Study in Scarlet (and yellow and orange)

For everyone fed up with the grey and gloom.

I've been secretly hoping the Marmite would be used up in time to coincide with my red and yellow tulips.
It's nice when things match don't you think?

These gorgeous little munchies are spiced roasted chickpeas;
500g of cooked chickpeas tossed with 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 teaspoon of spices and 1 teaspoon of crunchy sea salt.
Spread on a baking tray and roast at 220°c (200°c fan oven) for about 40 mins.
I used chilli oil and smoked paprika.

Scarlet stew.
This glowing stew is full of tomatoes, peppers, fish and prawns.
Quick and easy to make.
Soften a chopped onion (or use a tub of veg hash) in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add a couple of cloves of crushed garlic, ½ - 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, a generous pinch of mixed herbs and bay leaf. Add a chopped red pepper. Let it cook together for a minute or two.
Add two 400g tins of chopped tomatoes and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add about 500g of white fish cut into chunks. I used a bag of defrosted frozen fish. Continue to cook for about 10 -15 minutes more. At the last minute add some prawns. As many as you like really. I used 170g of frozen cooked king prawns. You could use raw prawns which will probably be nicer. They take minutes to cook through so be careful not to overcook. I added a handful of black olives at the end too.
Season to taste.

When serving carefully spoon out the fish and the sauce for the one who won't eat prawns or olives.
Then carefully spoon out the fish, prawns and sauce for the one who won't eat olives.
Divide the remaining stew with abandon between the three of you who eat everything.
Be aware that despite this time consuming operation someone will inevitably leave the pepper on their plate.

Serve with focaccia (no, spellchecker I don't mean Fibonacci, good grief) which will be completely devoured.

To make the focaccia (not an authentic Italian recipe)
 Mix 500g of white bread flour, 1 teaspoon of easy-blend yeast, 1 teaspoon of salt and half a pint of warm water (280ml).  Knead for about 4 mins then leave to rise for an hour and a half before punching down and rolling  into a rough rectangle. 
Place on a greased baking sheet, sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper and herbs. Drizzle on a tablespoon of olive oil smearing it all over. Press your fingertips into the dough making little dimples.
Bake at 220°c (200°c fan oven) for 15-20 mins.

There was also a jelly made from tinned mandarin oranges. I forgot to photograph it which was a shame because it would have  been a perfect addition to this  post.

Two hours after I picked them the tulips exploded.

Sampler for April. All my photo-samplers can be seen on the sampler page located under the banner picture.

Apologies for yet more pictures of my red and yellow tulips, especially if you have one of my calendars (you'll be seeing more tomorrow). They are the only things flowering in my garden at the moment.



  1. Don't think I could ever tire of tulips - they are beautiful!
    Victoria xx

  2. ive got nothing flowering in my garden. your tulip are beautiful so bright

  3. Lovely pictures. Stew sounds nice but OH doesn't enjoy eating fishy stews. Ah well.

  4. I haven't had jelly and oranges for years and now you make me really want some. It remids me of birthday parties. Especially in those little waxed paper dishes.

  5. My goodness !!
    Your Scarlet stew sounds delicious... I caught myself inhaling rather deeply while looking at the steam rising from the soup bowl !!

  6. Your emptied Marmite jar was just waiting for those tulips...they make a perfect couple!

    Thank you also for the delicious looking fish stew recipe...must give it a go.


  7. Your Tulips are stunning and they do go well with the Marmite jar.

    I haven't had fish stew since I was last in France, too long ago. YOurs looks wonderful.

  8. It was worth eating all that Marmite for the sake of Beauty. And I love all food made of chick peas so will be trying the spiced roasted. My gram flour flatbreads were a big success, although the children said they were even worse than fancy cheese.

  9. Thank you for your blog, I love it.

    We like lime jelly with slices of banana, covered in cream. It's our Great Grandads speciality (he's 94!) x

  10. The tulips are beautiful and the chickpeas look scrumptious!

  11. My tulips are conspicuous by their absence.

  12. I've been trying to finish my Marmite jar for ages for floral purposes. Sadly I am the only one who eats it in our house, so it is taking a loooooooong time. Clearly I need more secret hidden marmite recipes.

  13. The warm fireplace7:34 pm BST

    Love the marmite jar and flowers so bright and cheerful.We planted 200 tulips last spring it is a riot of colour here.

  14. Anonymous7:37 pm BST

    Your sampler has reminded me to tell you I used your Lemon Possum recipe for guests over the Easter weekend - it was delicious and went down VERY well. Thank you.

  15. I have never thought of using a Marmite jar as a vase, those tulips looked magnificent, I glad you managed to photograph it time too share with us. Your recipes look delicious too I will add them to my new recipes to try. I keep picking flowers from the garden each week and keep forgetting to photograph them I will have to do better!
    Sarah x

  16. Anonymous8:18 pm BST

    What a gorgeous colour combination, I would never have thought of using the jar for that. The chickpea recipe sounds delicious!

  17. your tulips aer sooo beautiful sue, they remind me of strawberry cornetto! I wish i had picked some of my tulips before it rained here for 24hours non stop, too bedraggled now.

  18. Hm, have to try the recipes!

  19. I'm thinking your tulips would also look great in a Colman's mustard tin!

    1. You are right! The tin will be empty soon -I've only had it four years.

  20. Anonymous6:00 pm BST

    Chic peas look amazing! Have you tried kale chips yet? toss them in a tiny bit of oil, whatever spices you like and roast on high until the ends get black....just like chips and soooo good!!!

  21. Your tulips probably exploded on a salt high ! They look perfect in their jar .
    I make a fish stew just like that ( luckily we all eat everything ) ... but now I see that I must make some stylish bread to go with it .

  22. Gorgeous tulips, yummy chickpeas, and great recipes to try. The bit about serving different versions of the same meal ... soooo familiar!

  23. Anonymous5:33 pm BST

    We've just got back from a holiday in Holland.We visited the Keukenhof gardens where there is a truely spectacular display of tulips.The bulb fields are amasing too. ME.

  24. I can't wait to try the stew - it sounds absolutely lovely! As for the marmite jar, it is perfect!

  25. A mouth-watering post - in so many ways.


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