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Showing posts from November, 2010

Molton Chocolate Puddings

I've been looking for an easy warming pud to make for the Christmas pudding haters in our family (there are a few of them!)...and I think I've found it. These are so simple taking just 5 minutes to prepare and about 10 minutes in the oven and taste gorgeously rich and gooey. You could easily double the recipe to serve 8 if you needed to cater for a larger number of people and for an added seasonal twist you could omit the vanilla extract and add the zest of 1 or 2 clementines.
I promise you will be impressed by these!
MOLTON CHOCOLATE PUDDINGS| Serves: 4  | Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 10 Minutes | Total Time: 15 Minutes |
Ingredients: 125g Dark Chocolate125g Unsalted Butter3 Large Eggs150g Golden Caster Sugar35g Plain Flour1/2 TSP of Vanilla ExtractButter and Flour for ramekinsInstructions:Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200c and butter and lightly flour 4 ramekins (approx 200ml capacity).Step 2: Melt the butter and chocolate in a microwave (do 20-30 second zaps at a time to pr…

Easy Mince Pies ..... for the freezer

Last weekend I made my usual batch of mincemeat and decided while I was at it to make some mince pies for the freezer too. The pastry is no effort and is made entirely in the food processor (although you can do it by hand if you wish). It produces wonderfully crumbly pies, with a slight nutty flavour thanks to the ground almonds.
You don't have to freeze the pies of course and I give instructions below for baking them straight away, but I like to get ahead at Christmas and stashing a batch of these away in the freezer, I am safe in the knowledge I am just 20 minutes away from a warm homemade mince pie. Perfect for unexpected guests.

EASY MINCE PIES| Serves: 16 pies  | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 40 Minutes  |
Ingredients:  350g Mincemeat200g Plain Flour75g Ground Almonds40g Caster Sugar125g Butter, cubed1 EggMilk for glaze.Instructions:
Step 1: Butter a bun tin (you may need two).Step 2: Place the flour, sugar, almonds and butter in a food processor and…

A Slice of Cherry Pie: A Review

As a UK Food Blogger it was with great excitement I received my copy of ‘A Slice of Cherry Pie’ written by the founder of the UK Food Bloggers Association, Julia Parsons.
Julia, who has run a successful food blog (also entitled ‘A Slice of Cherry Pie’) since 2006 and more recently set up the UK Food Bloggers Association to act as a community hub for like-minded foodies, is now officially a published author too (is there no end to this woman’s talents?).
Julia has been releasing snippets of the book on her blog in the run up to its launch and I, like many bloggers have been eagerly counting down the days to its release. Well, it finally landed on my doorstep last week and I spent a lovely evening curled up on the sofa reading it from cover to cover – ideally it would have been with a glass of wine, but due to the flooding I hadn’t been able to get the shops so I had to make do with a can of hubby's lager – which somewhat ruined the image of a dark autumn evening, fire blazing, feet u…

Turkey Bolognese (and a cardinal sin)

OK, shoot me, I used linguine instead of spaghetti, a cardinal sin according to my hubby! 
Despite this 'oversight' on my part it turned out to be a deliciously rich bolognese, not dry as I often worry with turkey. 
Although the recipe uses turkey mince, there is absolutely no reason why you couldn't substitute it with some leftover cooked turkey (chopped up in a food processor) from your Christmas lunch! Just remember to add the turkey after the mushrooms.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
TURKEY BOLOGNESE| Serves: 4  | Prep Time:  20 Minutes | Cook Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes  | Total Time: 1 Hour 50 |
Ingredients:  2 Onions, chopped2 Cloves of Garlic, chopped250g Mushrooms, slicedOlive Oil600g Turkey Mince - or use leftover turkey chopped up1 dried chilli2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes2 TBSP Tomato Puree325ml Red Wine500ml Chicken StockDash of Worcestershire sauceSprig of thymeSalt and Pepper
Instructions: Step 1:  Heat a glug of oil in a large pan and cook the onions and ga…

Easy Christmas Cake

I finally got around to making my Christmas Cake last weekend, - I was beginning to panic a  bit as I've never left it this late before. Instead of the usual pre-soaking of the fruits in alcohol, I decided to simmer the fruits in Cherry Brandy for 10 minutes, which meant I could get the whole cake made and baked in a couple of hours.
The cake is now safely wrapped in a double layer of baking paper and a layer of foil, ready for its weekly feedings of cherry brandy - it's going to be a boozy one! In terms of the decoration, this year I am opting out of icing and instead going to go for a simple apricot glaze (warmed apricot jam brushed onto the cake) with brazil nuts and candied fruits on top.
EASY CHRISTMAS CAKE| Serves: 1 x 20cm cake | Prep Time: 30 Minutes | Cook Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes | Total Time: 2 Hours 15 Minutes |
Ingredients:  500g dried fruit mix including rasins, currants and mixed peel100g Glace Cherries, chopped100g Apricots, chopped100g Dates, choppedZest of 2 Oran…

Food from Plenty: A Review

Many of you may know Diana Henry from Market Kitchen, or perhaps from her articles in The Telegraph, Waitrose Food Illustrated or Sainsbury's magazine (she has been named cookery writer of the year twice!). I have long been a fan of her fresh, family friendly approach to food but shamefully up until last week I didn't own any of her cookbooks.
Henry is the author of six books to date including the much acclaimed Crazy water, pickled lemons;Roast figs, sugar snow and Cook simple. The latest offering, 'Food from Plenty' has over 350 recipes showcasing inexpensive and resourceful meals, ideas for using up gluts and clever ways to make the most of leftovers.
The book is based on a strong sustainability ethos but is not preachy or condescending. Diana shows the reader that by cooking seasonally, often with cheaper cuts of meat and fish (e.g. Braised Lamb Shanks with gremolata p180 and Pigs cheeks with mustard lentils p193), you can reduce food miles but more importantly produ…

Leon: Naturally Fast Food - A Review

Following on from their best-selling cookbook Leon: Ingredients and Recipes, Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent have recently published their latest offering– Leon: Naturally Fast Food.
Leon (Carnaby Street) opened in 2004 by Dimbleby, Vincent and Allegra McEvedy had within 6 months been named the Best New Restaurant in Great Britain at the Observer Food Monthly awards. With a prestigious judging panel containing names such as Gordon Ramsey, Rick Stein, Nigel Slater and Jay Rayner it was bound to go far and far it has gone – with 9 restaurants and counting! Leon's ethos is based on the twin principles that food can both taste good and do you good and the offerings in this cookbook certainly respect the founding aims. But far from being boringly healthy, this book exudes fun, quirkiness and above all is a very useful tool in any cooks kitchen.
The book is split into two halves. The first half contains fast food recipes, recipes for all types of occasion that take less than 20 minutes t…

Pumpkin, Apple and Sage Soup

A very large pumpkin had sat staring at me for quite a number of days in my vegetable rack so when Friday came (my day off) ... and it was raining, I thought I'd better turn the monster into something edible. Despite the time it took to chop up all the pumpkin flesh (a job I very much dislike!), it was on the table in less than an hour, so not bad really.
The apples were a bit of the spur of the moment thing, but they really worked and the cider vinegar gave it a tangy edge. I served it with some cheesy toasts using some of the Dorset Blue Vinney I was kindly sent from The Cheese Shed.

PUMPKIN, APPLE AND SAGE SOUP| Serves: 4  | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 40 Minutes | Total Time: 1 Hour |
Ingredients:  15g Butter2 onions, peeled and chopped2 garlic cloves, sliced1TSP Sage1/2 TSP Chilli Flakes1 TBSP Cider Vinegar1 large Pumpkin, peeled, cored and flesh cut into chunks2 Bramley Apples, peeled and chopped800ml Vegetable StockSeasoning
Instructions: Step 1: Melt the butter in a larg…

Win a Hotel Chocolat Advent Calendar

COMPETITION CLOSED Christmas is not so far away (7 weeks to be exact) and to celebrate Hotel Chocolat have plied me with chocolate...again. They have kindly let me road test not one but two Advent Calendars  AND given you the opportunity to win them in a little Christmas competition (2 winners this time so double the chance of winning).
First up was the Childrens Advent Calendar which Lowen reviewed (although I think she was getting confused thinking it actually was Christmas - she's only 3!). The Advent Calender was filled with milk chocolate in 6 different festive shapes, Lowens favourite being the reindeer below. The calendar also included 3 Christmas decorations to cut out and hang on your tree.

Hubby and I got to road test the Truffles for Share Calendar, which handily has two truffles behind each window - no more fighting over one chocolate for us! There are 6 different varieties of truffles, my favourite was the mousse au chocolat but the gingerbread truffle came a close seco…

Foodie Events in Cornwall ~ November 2010

24th - 27th November - Made in Cornwall Christmas Fair, Lemon Quay, Truro. Huge array of Cornish food, drinks and crafts.
27th November - Celtic Beer Festival, St Austell Brewery.
27th -28th November  -Cotehele Christmas Food Fair at Cotehele House nr Saltash. Annual Food Festival organised by Taste of the West. £2 admission.
Events at Amelies Restaurant, Porthleven this month Pie & Ale night - every Tuesday Tuesday nights at Amélies are homemade pie and ale nights. Priced at £12.50, you get a homemade pie with seasonal vegetables, hand cut chips and a bottle of your favourite ale. £10 Curry and stew night - every Thursday (except 11th and 25th)Choose between chef Marcus Houghton’s incredible curries served with rice, naan bead and chutneys, or a wholesome stew with oven-baked bread. All meals are served with a bottle of beer and are priced at £10.00. 70s night - Thursday 11th November Take yourself back to a brighter era, with a funky disco, and retro buffet of classic 1970s dishes: praw…