My two food goals this year are a) to be more creative, more loosy-goosy in the kitchen and not such a recipe slave and b) to endeavour to use more seasonal, local produce and produce less waste.

These two goals, it turns out, can actually be achieved alongside each other.  My buddy Aoife from My Adventures in Veg had told me last year of Home Organics, the organic fruit and vegetable delivery service that she had signed up to.

Home Organics are a small family-run Dublin based company who deliver a number of different organic vegetable and/or fruit bags around the city.  They collect produce from Irish farms as much as possible, working mainly from Philip Draper’s farm in Birr, Co Offally, as well as with Denis Healy and March Michel’s farms in Wicklow.  The Irish produce is at its best from Spring until December, so the bags are supplemented with organics goods from the nearest countries possible – UK, France, Spain and Holland – to keep the bags full until April/May time.

Another extra service they have is their food blog, where a seasonal recipe is posted every week to coincide with the produce prevalent in the bags.  How clever!

I’m hoping that having a bag delivered to me each week will ensure that, instead of buying ingredients for a recipe inevitably leading to waste, I will look into my fridge and see what I have and decide what to cook and eat that way.

There are a few different options of combination bags that you can order, including the option to add goods such as grains and olive oils.  We went for the €22.00 Fruit and Vegetable Bag.

Read on for more info about the bags, as well as an Experimental Sconey-bread recipe and some of the other meals we whipped up with our Home Organics fruit and vegetables.

In our first €22.00 Fruit and Vegetable Bag we received:

2 leeks

1 head of broccoli

2 beetroot

1 onion

7 carrots

11 potatoes

3 big mushrooms

3 pears

3 apples

4 kiwis

3 oranges

1 lemon

1 avocado

Myself and Niall do eat out quite regularly, but last week was a record for us with four nights out of seven spent in a restaurant.  Because of this, we had a little surplus fruit and vegetables by the time our second delivery came around.  A few kiwis, spuds and a leek remained.

What I’m hoping is that we’ll able to get through all of our produce by Sunday, and if that means that Sunday becomes Soup Sunday, so be it.  Even if it only gets us to Friday, I think that’s still great value for €22.00.

What you need for Aoife’s Eccentric Sconey Bread (loads for 6 people)

450g self-raising flour

pinch of salt

25g caster sugar

85g cold butter

1 large egg

225ml milk

Glaze: a little extra milk and egg.

This will make a nice big loaf of sconey bread, or of course, 10 to 12 normal scones.

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees C/Gas Mark 6.

Sieve your flour and caster sugar into a large mixing bowl.  Cut your cold butter into small cubes.

Transfer flour and sugar to food processor and whizz with cold butter.  Transfer back to mixing bowl.

Beat your egg with your milk.  You can add a drop extra milk so you have some left more the glaze.

Make a well with your flour mixture and gradually add your milk/egg mixture until it forms a wet dough.

Put flour onto a clean surface and knead your dough with your hands.  The extra flour will make it come together into a nice loose dough.  Don’t overdo it with kneading either, as it will make for a tough scone.

Now you have a plain scone mixture, ready for the oven.

However, I wanted to make some experimental sconey-bread.

Using my Flavour Thesaurus, I split my dough in half and popped them into two separate mixing bowl.  I made one batch of Leek, Bacon and cheddar sconey bread and the other half the more controversial Anchovy, Sage and Parmesan sconey bread.

For the Leek bread, I fried half a leek finely chopped for 10 minutes until well softed, and then added the bacon and fried for another 4 to 5 minutes, until nice and crisp.  I added that to half my scone dough and then finely grated about 100g of cheddar cheese and mixed well.

For the Anchovy bread, I finely chopped 2 tablespoons of fresh sage and added that to the other half of the dough along with 100g of finely grated Parmesan.

Now I rolled out the dough once more and cut each half into three triangle shapes and covered them with glaze.  For the Anchovy bread, I placed two anchovies on top of each triangle.

They went into the oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.  You might need to turn the baking tray around, depending on your oven, to make sure each little loaf gets equal love, but only do that towards the end of baking.

We munched these with some (more) cheese and chutney and I found the Anchovy oones went really well with a bit of Dijon mustard and sliced tomato.  Yum!

Apart from the scones, we had a good few plates of sliced fruit and yoghurt:

I made a potato and leek cheesy tortilla:

I made a pasta sauce from the delicious mushrooms mixed with creme fraiche and crushed walnuts from MY OWN RECIPE (mommy, wow!):

I put together this roast beetroot, apple and walnut salad with a honey and mustard dressing:

Niall made a killer beef hotpot with spuds, leeks and carrots:

And I made a carrot and orange soup with chilli and chickpeas, which sadly looked like baby food but tasted lush!

In this week’s bag, we received:

10 potatoes

3 large carrots

2 large parsnips

3 small florets of brocolli

1 head of kale

1 head of cauliflower

1 onion

5 kiwis

5 bananas

3 apples

1 grapefruit

1 avocado

So this week, I’m thinking of make a kale and chorizo soup, a beetroot and apple salad (beet left over from last week), Jamie Oliver’s Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Parsnip and sausage hotpot, avocado and grapefruit cous cous and lots more spontaneous meals along the way, I’m sure.