Magical Maple Syrup - Irish Smoked Salmon, Sweet Potato Pancake, Soy and Maple Glaze

Last year, we travelled across Canada from East to West. It's one of these journeys which stays with you for a long time. The first day of the trip is a whole day parade of trees of various shapes, sizes, colours and species. But of course Maple trees with their distinctive leaves are the ones and probably the only, I recognised.

I only thought of maple syrup as one kind of. But on arrival in Vancouver, I was quickly proven wrong, supermarkets are stocked up with rows and rows of Maple Syrup bottles. The amber liquid is subjected to a complicated grading system but in essence, is goes from pale and subtle to dark and strongly flavoured.

It takes a bit of going to get it right but the result is worth the effort. So if you are looking for a bit of inspiration for Christmas, here are a recipe which I like to make.

Irish smoked salmon, sweet potato pancake, soy and maple glaze

Serves 4-6 
For the pancakes:
350ml skimmed milk
350g sweet potato
2 free range eggs separated
120g wholemeal flour
120g buckwheat flour
5g dried yeast
For the soy and maple glaze:
300ml maple syrup
300ml soy sauce
Garlic clove, crushed
10g chilli flakes.

To serve (optional):
Smoked salmon
Crème fraiche
Chive batons

  • Cook the sweet potatoes in boiling water until tender. Remove skins dry and mash.
  • Mix milk, sweet potato, egg yolks, salt, and a little oil.
  • Add sieved flour and yeast mixture.
  • Whip egg whites and fold in gently. Rest.
  • Heat a heavy frying pan until hot and place in oil.
  • Drop the batter mixture, cook until golden brown and turn when the surface starts to bubble. Keep warm.
  • For the soy and maple glaze, combine all ingredients in a pan. Reduce by two thirds and then put aside for serving.
To Serve 
  • On the warm pancake place the smoked salmon herbs and salad. Garnish with crème fraiche and the reduced glaze. 
Top Tips

This dish is ideal for breakfast or a dessert alternative. Just serve with some red fruits instead of the smoked salmon.
To make the perfect pancake, try using an individual pancake pan.

 Reproduced with the permission of the  Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers.

Every year, for Christmas we get a smoked salmon from the west coast of Ireland while the "Irish lot" gets a bottle of whisky. Family traditions are important so for this reason. I add this recipe to the Inheritance Recipes co hosted by Coffee and Vanilla which this month I have the pleasure to host. Please join us Here

Leeds, a City with Art in its Heart


This month Leeds will provide its usual vibrant festive experience but there is an added bonus: an arts trail conceived to guide you around the city center’s major spots. The trail features artworks by local artists. It’s a journey of arts and magic reflecting on modern issues, ancient beliefs and …..lights.

Leeds, UK, Travels, shopping,
Leeds Arcades at Xmas
Here is a taster, you’ll need to explore the rest for yourself. As the train pulls in the recently refurbished Leeds station, passengers are welcomed by “Spirit”, a huge installation designed by Newsubstance. Spirit hovers above busy commuters as they progress through the railway station concourse beneath it. Internally lit by 3000 LEDs, the ethereal figure shines a calm, festive light as people rush and bustle beneath it.

Leeds, Arts Trail, North England, UK

Leeds, Arts Trail, North England, UK
NEWSUBSTANCE's SPIRIT installation at Leeds' station
 Leeds is best known for its shopping experience, John Lewis recently opened their new flagship shop in the center, it’s the largest in the UK, following the footsteps of their illustrious competitor, Marks and Spencer which, two centuries ago, opened their very first shop. The tiny outlet is still opened for business in Kirgate Market, one of the largest markets in Europe.

Leeds, Arts Trail, North England, UK
Christmas lights cascading down Trinity church
Undoubtedly, the shopping center which attracts the most punters is Trinity Leeds named after its neighbour, the Holy Trinity church, a Georgian church consecrated in 1727 and a key venue at Christmas. Trinity is part of the trail, illuminated by a cascading waterfall of lights, highlighting the unity of old and new in the city center.

Leeds, Arts Trail, North England, UK
Textures of Winter by Alison M Smith
My personal favourite piece of art is a series of sculptural lighting located in Park Square. An installation by Alison M Smith, entitled “Texture of Winter”, reminiscent of the evolution of ice formations melting. Alison has gathered plastic from Leeds retailers which she recycled and shaped into organic forms.

Leeds, Arts Trail, North England, UK
Leeds city center
What better way to explore a place? Leeds center is compact, it takes only 20 minutes to walk from north to south so it’s perfect for children too. Santa’s Christmas Post Office, complete with giant bauble and live reindeer is part of the trail in the Merrion Centre. 

Leeds, Arts Trail, North England, UK

The iconic Corn Exchange, an architectural masterpiece in itself is transformed by a creative exploration of Aurora Borealis designed by Dave Lynch and Glatherine Cross. The whole trail includes 15 pieces of work altogether and might find you parched and hungry by the end.


Loiners know their town inside out and you can’t go wrong following them to the nearest packed to the rafters restaurant. This cunning tactic led us to Bundobust and Friends of Ham. 

Leeds, Arts Trail, North England, UK
Bundobust in Leeds
Leeds, Arts Trail, North England, UK

The former is an Indian street food cafe with doors on the walls which offers dozens of munchy dishes. A kind of Indian tapas with dishes such as Okra Fries cooked to perfection, mini Massala Dosa and I am told that the sprout bhaji are back due to popular demand. The lot washed down by a choice of 110 different beers.

Leeds, Arts Trail, North England, UK

Leeds likes its craft beer, there are 27 craft breweries in Leeds postcode. Friends of Ham organises beer and cheese pairings, a new movement which demonstrates that as often Leeds is forward looking. 

For the time being, one of the most popular brewery to visit is the Northern Monk, on the outskirts, renowned for multi award winning beer "Eternal", their “crazy beers” such as Rhubarb and Rosemary flowers flavoured beers and for  their street art can. Because at the end of the day, Leeds is a city at the heart of arts.
Leeds, Arts Trail, North England, UK

For more information about Leeds check out Welcome to Leeds you will find details about the Christmas art trail and its 15 locations (1st December and 3rd January).

Yorshire has been awarded the best place to stay in Europe by the World Travel Awards and this is reflected by its accommodation offer. Take a peek at .

Leeds is 2h1/2 by train from London. It’s well worth buying a National Rail Railcard before you go, to benefit from up to 60% discount. cards include: 16-25, Family and Friends, Two Together, Senior, Disabled Persons Railcards and Network Railcard.

When in Leeds, don't miss The Brudenell Social Club, a great venue for gigs of all sorts

If you miss the arts trail look out for the Leeds Indie Food Festival which has talks, demonstrations, special dinners, markets, pop-ups, kids’ events and films throughout the month of May

My special thanks to I Like Press, the coolest press agency which organised  our visit in collaboration with LeedsBID and last but not least  UMPF for providing me with shopping power.

Give-Away #35 : 4 copies of Le Creuset, One Pot Cuisine RRP £20.00 each

December, all about sharing, goodwill and... presents. So on the 1st day of the month, Pebble Soup has teamed up with Octopus Publishing to bring you a give way you'd love.

Four hard copies of Le Creuset, One Pot Cuisine, a newly published book. Four lucky winners.
Le Creuset is a household name and even if you don't own one of any of their pots or pans, you might want to get inspirations from their One Pot Recipe Book, or you know somebody who would love it for Christmas.

This book is bursting with 100 mouth-watering recipes for delicious casseroles, tagines and simple one-pot suppers. Each beautifully illustrated recipe comes
with simple, easy-to-follow instructions. From Trout with Bacon and Fennel to SeaBass in a Salty Crust, Shrimp and ChermoulaTagine to Aubergine Stuffed with Rice, Herbs and Pine Nuts, these delicious and fragrant dishes are sure to delight everyone.

So tell me which is your favourite one-pot recipe in the comments box, use the rafflecopter to enter and don't forget to look at the T&C. Giveaway will end on the 6th December at midday Good luck

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Inheritance Recipes - December 2016

Welcome to the December edition of the Inheritance Recipes. It's my pleasure to host the festive season challenge. Time for friends and families to gather around great meals where, no doubt, recipes will be exchanged.

Wherever in the world, your recipes come from, share them and their stories with Inheritance Recipes because more than ever it's time to spread a positive message when it comes down to diversity.

This month we have added a new feature to our much-loved challenge if you are press for time or do not have a blog you can still join via the brand new IR Facebook group page, another great way to join us. Post a picture and a story, for various legal reasons we will not be able to add it to the round up but you recipe will still been seen by many

If you don't want to join this month but would like to get some inspiration for the month to come take a look at the November gorgeous round up on Margot's blog, Coffee 'n Vanilla. Personally, I recommend the Polish pancakes

Inheritance Recipes is a challenge that Margot of Coffee and Vanilla and I have started to celebrate dishes food bloggers cherish. Recipes which have been passed down by a family member, a friend, through an ancestral culture and dishes which you would like to bestow to future generations.
We will share your recipes via our social media channels and include in the round-up (with pictures) at the end of the month. We will also add your recipes to the Inheritance Recipes Pinterest board (that has 2.3 K followers) and include your blog’s handle in our Inheritance Recipes list on Twitter. Don’t forget to subscribe to them both!


Please, link back to challenge page on both: Pebble Soup and Coffee and Vanilla blog.

If possible, display one of the IR badges on your recipe post.
Choose any badge on the side, lots of lovely colours this month and 2 sizes too.
Add your recipe via linky -Up to 2 recipes accepted per blogger.

Feel free to link up to past posts but please, update them with links to the challenge pages to qualify.

Closing date is the 29th December.

Entries from bloggers all around the World are accepted.

Please note that entries that fail to follow “how to enter” instructions won’t be approved.

If you use Twitter to promote your recipe, please use #InheritanceRecipes, tweet it@coffeenvanilla or @solangeweb and we will re-tweet it.

When you have a spare moment do visit other entries which caught your eye, comment on them and give them some social media love.
When you have a spare moment do visit other entries which caught your eye, comment on them and give them some social media love. And last but not least, have a look at the terms and conditions if you haven't yet done so.
We can't wait to see your recipes and read their stories. Hope you'll celebrate in style and have a wonderful festive season.

Linked recipes
Irish Smoked Salmon
on Sweet Potato Pancakes
with Maple syrup, Soy Glaze

Brandade de Morue

Readers of Pebble Soup will know that I grew up in Nimes in the South of France, it was my dad's glorious years and though we moved back to Lyon when I was 10 years old, tales and customs of Provence surrounded us for a long time afterwards.

Already at such a young age, I was a fish fanatic and one of my favourite dish was la brandade de morue. It's a salted cod puree stirred for a long time with garlic and milk, some add potatoes to it and of course, there are a few variations: salted cod or fresh cod fillets salted, cream or milk or both. It's oven baked, served hot or cold with toasted or fried bread.

Originally from Nimes, brandado (in provencal) became quickly known throughout the area and is often consumed at Easter.

Though I love it, I have never made it from scratch. But due to the incredible kindness of a follow twitterer, I received one pot via the post only a few days after me commenting on a tweet. The kindness of others never ceased to amaze me, Thank you David, you are a star.

What I didn't know at the time was that the salted cod used is lovingly prepared and best quality. David is a second generation fisherman, he cures and salts cod and pollock. Cod brandade will be Thule Ventus next venture and I am delighted to have been one of the first persons to give him feedback. Just hoping that my childhood memories of baked brandade in a scallop shell were accurate enough.

If you fancy making your own, here is how to do it

                                        Brandade de Morue 
200g of salted cod
1 peeled onion
6 black peppercorns
a couple of bay leaves
5 tbs of olive oil
a squeeze of lemon juice (optional)

You will start by desalting the cod. The process takes 24 hours in the fridge, the cod is place in a recipient covered with water and the water is changed at least three times.

24hours later, in a saucepan, place the onion, 6 black peppercorns, a couple of bay leaves an a pint of milk, add the cod and bring it to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Lift the cod allow to cool, debone and skin

Cook one of two potatoes (no more than 200g) in the milk. When cook, lift it and mash it.
Keep the milk

Purée the cod and the garlic in a food processor with enough milk and when the mixture is well mashed so, at the last minute add the potato whisk a couple of times use the pulse button if you have one as potatoes treated this way can get really gluey.

Transfer to a dish add lemon juice (if using) 5tbsp of oil, stir well, it should be almost sloppy but not quite.

Served on toast or alternatively oven baked topped with bread crumbs.

What best recipe to add to Inheritance Recipes? This month hosted by Margot I can't think of any but maybe you do, come and join us.

Courgette Soup with Basil and Parmesan -Italian Style-

Courgette soup recipe, Italian Soup recipe, vegetarian recipe, zucchini, basil, parmesan

It's the end of courgette season which is a bit of a relief as they, I am sure, reproduce when left to their own device in fridges and pantries.

If courgettes are abundant and used a lot in Great Britain, courgette flowers are more of a continental thing. Courgette flowers can often be found on the menus of French or Italian restaurants. Smaller flowers are given a tempura treatment (fried in a light batter); larger flowers are typically stuffed with tomatoes and herbs or goat's cheese. 

It won't be long before we get the flowers again, (May) so we'll come back to that then but in the meantime, I'd like to share a recipe which I found floating on the net. A Delicious Italian Soup, because you never get enough courgettes recipes ....even out of season.

Courgette Soup with Basil and Parmesan -Italian Style-

Ingredients Method
500g courgettes
15g butter
1 or 2 garlic clove
1 lemon
250ml of light stock chicken or vegetable
plenty of basil leaves about 20
4 tbsp grated parmesan

1) Wash the courgettes and chop them into cubes.
2) In a saucepan, saute the courgettes cubes in olive oil on medium heat for about 2 minutes.
3) Add the minced garlic cloves and 15 of the basil leaves and continue cooking them for about 1-2 minutes.

4)Add the stock, bring to boil and cook for a further 5 minutes
5)Whizz the lot in a mixer, return to pan, add the parmesan, stir 
6)Serve with a few basil leaves to decorate

I love this recipe and want to share it as widely as possible therefore, I sent it to Meat Free Monday. 

Challenges are a great way to share recipes with others. If you are a blogger, you should take a look at Inheritance Recipes and join us from time to time, Margot and I would love to see your recipes.

Inheritance Recipes - October Round up -

Thank you all for sending your entries to our October Inheritance Recipes Link-up.

Every month, we love to read you stories. You can submit an (old or new)recipe or even two if you wish, as long as they are connected to a story the inheritance theme: Recipes you inherited through a family member, a friend or your ancestral culture. 

There is no geographical restrictions for the entries, recipes from all over the world are more than welcome. We love diversity. The Inheritance Recipes is co-hosted with Margot of Coffee and Vanilla and she will be the one to collect the entries next. 

                            Join us in November here is the linky

But before you do, have a look at (in no particular order)

  1. the amazing Pistachio, Orange and Raspberry Fondant Fancies baked by Gluten Free Alchemist, she will not do it again but she will pass the recipe on so that someone else can bake them for her :))
  2.  Chicken Fried Steak, certainly a good one to know by the Lawyer's cookbook
  3.  A twist on a crumble Mince and Tomato Crumble by Searching for Spice
  4. A Spicy Chayote Picadillo recipe 
  5. Tilapia with Coconut and Shrimps another exotic but easy recipe to make as shown by Chindima in her Fruitful Kitchen
  6. Margot at Coffee and Vanilla entered two recipes from Poland Grzaniec, definitely, one for bonfire night and Budyn as her mum makes used to make when she was little.
  7. and I added a Smoked Haddock Chowder, winter is coming.......
We share all the entries via social media channels and include them in a full round-up with images on one of our blogs at the end of the month. All entries can be seen below. Follow the links under the collage to check them out and don't forget to subscribe to our Inheritance Recipes Pinterest board (that has over 2,500 followers) and our Inheritance Recipes list on Twitter.

See you in November here is the linky        

What's New in the Kitchen #15 : Bake, Baked, Baked

Hurray, it's
a bi-monthly edition of product reviews. For the #15, the thread is what else but BAKE. 

Next week, it's the final of the GBBO. Somehow and that's certainly not thanks to my sweet baking prowess, I got kindly sent a Star Baker Apron. If you have bakers in your midst, note that Debenhams has launched a new range for "Great British Bake Off" Christmas gifts 

At just over £10, this lilac apron in a tube could be the perfect gift. It's certainly good quality.

We can't talk about baking without mentioning cheese. Specifically Cheddar. For a very long time, I turned my nose at cheddar coming from a country where cheese has been elevated to the fare of gods. Cheddar found on supermarket shelves seemed quite insipid till I worked out that there is cheddar and Wykes Farm cheddars. Wyke Farms is the UK's largest independent cheese producer making over 13000 tonnes of cheddar per year with the same award winning 150-year-old recipe. Lately, I tried their new trio and I wasn't disappointed. Give it a go. Perfect for topping soups at Halloween.

This summer, I covered a festival for the local newspaper. A stand was offering fruit crisps. I am  traditional when it comes down to crisps. No fruit, no vegetable, potato only. 
 So Emily Fruit Crisps took me by surprise, this is just a lovely product. They look like baked crisps, though it's a different process. They are certainly not oily. A bag of deliciousness. The taste is beautiful so if you come across them at Holland&Barrett, Waitrose or Sainsbury's give them a go.  

Pebble Soup HQ was privileged to be sent samples of different grades of

to cook/bake/or simply add to yoghurt.
Golden is the lightest and we probably never see it in the UK supermarkets
Amber is the next grade, still light with a delicate taste
Dark robust is my favourite and a good all rounder, I suspect that's the one we get here
Very Dark is the last to be harvested and is recommended for sauces and glazes.
Did you know that Quebec produces 90% of Canada maple syrup?

I'll soon publish my Maple Glazed Ham recipe, see you soon

Disclaimer: What's new in the kitchen is a review column, some of the products are sent to Pebble Soup HQ, some are bought. Words are my own and do not review if I am asked to write a positive review.



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