Monthly Archives: June 2012

Pineapple with Basil

Now this is something so simple but absolutley brilliant.  Basil with pineapple.  It just works so well!  I was served this when we visited our relatives in Switzerland and had dinner with them.  It came totally out of left field, no one had had pineapple with basil before but everyone agreed it was brilliant!

We ate it with extra thick double cream from Gruyere (OMG, most amazing cream ever!) and meringues made using Raisinee, a kind of alcohol, which were amazing! It lent a sort of fruity aroma to them.  Back in the UK I had to make do with normal meringue and cream, but still, very very tasty!


Serves 8

1 pineapple
6 basil leaves
splash of fizzy water or tonic water

– Peel and core the pineapple and cut it into chunks.
– Cut the basil leaves into strips using scissors.
– Mix everything together in a bowl and add a splash of fizzy water or tonic.


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Filed under Desserts, Easy

Lemon Sandwich Biscuits



Makes ~30 biscuits

325g plain flour
200g butter
125g caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 egg yolks
1/4 jar lemon curd
100g icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

– Heat the oven to gas mark 4/180C and line 3 baking trays.
– Put the flour and butter, chopped into pieces, in a food processor and blitz until it looks like breadcrumbs.
– Add the sugar and lemon zest and blitz until mixed in.
– Add the egg yolks and blend until it comes together to form a dough.
– Tip out onto a worksurface and bring together with your hands into a smooth ball.
– Roll out the dough on a well floured worsurface to a thickness of about 5mm.  You may need to split the dough into smaller amounts to roll it out.
– Cut out using a flower shaped cutter (or any other shape you want!)
– Place on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes until just golden.  I find it best to cut out a tray of biscuits and while one is in the oven have the next resting in the fridge.
– Cool on a wire rack.
– Sandwich two biscuits with a teaspoon of lemon curd in the middle and gently press together.
– Mix together the icing sugar and enough lemon juice to form a runny drizzle.  Place it in a sandwich bag and snip the corner off.
– Place the biscuits on trays and drizzle the icing back and forth over the biscuits.
– Leave the icing to dry before packing away in a tin.

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Filed under Cookies and Biscuits, Easy

Midnight Walk for St Leonard’s Hospice


This is incredible cheeky, I know, as this is a food blog and you come here for the food (I assume!!) but I’m about to leave the house to go do the Midnight Walk to raise funds for a local Hospice and I’m still short on my fundraising target.

Even if it’s only £1 I would really really appreciate all the help I can get to raise money for this amazing place as without our help they simply wouldn’t be able to keep offering the wonderful service they do.

Thank you so much, I’ll get back to our regularly scheduled recipes on Monday!

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Filed under Not Food

Bacon and Mushroom Pasta Bake

Another pretty simple dish using my dream team of ingredients, bacon, mushrooms and cream.  You just can’t go wrong with them! (I swear, I eat other things too! Really!) This time it’s a pasta bake, lovely and creamy and cheesy!


Serves 4

1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove carlic, finely chopped
200g mushrooms, quartered
125g smoked lardons
300ml double cream
200g penne pasta
1 ball mozerella
3 tbsp panko or breadcrumbs
20g grated cheddar

– Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
– In a large, oven proof pan saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil.
– Add the mushrooms and lardons and saute until cooked.
– Add the cream and bring to a simmer.
– Season according to your taste.
– Add the cooked pastato the pan and stir until well mixed.
– Tear the mozerella into chunks and stir through the pasta.
– Scatter with breacrumbs and grated cheese.
– Either pop under the grill until browned or you can put it in the oven at gas mark 6/200C for 20 minutes of you prefer.

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Filed under Easy, Mains

Asparagus Soup

I found a whole box of asparagus bundles reduced to 30p each at the supermarket and just couldn’t resist! I restrained myself to 6 bunches.  I spent a few weeks in Italy earlier this year during asparagus season and was served a delicious asparagus soup.  It seemed like a good time to give it a go myself!


Serves 4

25g butter
1 onion, chopped
600g asparagus
750ml hot chicken stock
100ml creme fraiche

– Gently melt the butter in a large saucepan.
– Add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes with the lid on until soft.
– Chop the asparagus into ~1″ lengths, removing the woody ends of the stalks and reserving at least 12 asparagus tips.
– Add the asparagus to the pan and gently cook for 10  minutes.
– Add the hot stock and use a stick blender to puree until smooth.
– Add the creme fraiche and stir until it has melted in.
– Add most of the asparagus tips and simmer the soup for a few minutes.
– Serve with a few of the asparagus tips on the surface.

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Filed under Easy, Starters

Pecan Pie

I’ve always liked the idea of a pecan pie… Pecans and pie, really, what’s not to love! But I’d never actually eaten one before. I decided to make one and see if it was as good as I thought it could be.

It was!


Serves 10

200g digestive biscuits
100g butter, melted
150g dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
2 tbsp golden syrup
170g Carnation condensed milk
100g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g pecans

– Heat the oven to gas mark 3/170C
– Place the ring from an 8″ victoria sandwich tin on a baking tray and grease well.
– Crush the biscuits in a sandwich bag and mix with the melted butter.
– Press firmly into the ring to form a base, making sure to fill all gaps and smooth up the sides firmly.
– In a large jug first cream together the butter and sugar then add the other filling ingredients, reserving the pecans, and mix well.
– Pour the mixture into the pie base.
– Gently place the pecans on the top of the filling in circles.
– Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until the filling is set in the middle.

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Filed under Desserts, Moderately easy, Teatime Treats

Banoffee Pavlova

My family are well known for our Pavlovas.  My mother will always have a Pavlova base or three ready for an impromptu dessert!  One of our best inventions ever was the Banoffee Pavlova.  So simple but so right!


Serves 8

1 large pavlova base
1/2 tin Carnation caramel
2 large bananas
300ml double cream, whipped
fruit to decorate

– Gently spread the caramel over the pavlova base, being careful not to crush it.
– Cover with a layer of sliced banana.
– Swirl the cream over the top.
– Decorate with strawberries and blueberries to make a union jack.

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Filed under Desserts, Easy

Gluten Free Fruit Loaf

I was searching for a fruitcake recipe that used as little sugar as possible as it was for my dad who is diabetic.  I found this recipe on Good Food and loved it firstly coz it uses pecans, which my dad loves! This recipe uses no extra sugar but what is in the fruit and the only carb in it is the polenta.  It’s wonderully fruity! In honour of the occasion I arranged fruits and nuts on the top to make the union jack but you could use banana chips and pecans, as was originally suggested in the recipe.


Serves 12

250g dates, stones removed
200ml boiling water
2 small or 1 large banana (~140g)
100g pecans, roughly chopped
200g sultanas
100g chopped prunes
100g chopped apricots
100g fine polenta
2 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
3 tbsp Jack Daniels
2 egg whites

– Heat the oven to gas mark 4/180C and line a 900g loaf tin.
– Put the dates and water in a small pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
– Tip into a food processor with the banana and blend until smooth.
– In a large bowl mix the pecans, sultanas, prunes, apricots, polenta, mixed spice, baking powder and Jack Daniels.
– Then mix in the date puree.
– In another bowl whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
– Fold the egg whites into the fruit mixture until well combined.
– Tip into the loaf tin and smooth out.  It will be very full.
– Decorate the top of the loaf however you wish.  I used almonds, pecans and glace cherries to make the union jack!

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Filed under Cakes, Moderately easy


As has now become something of a tradition for Royal events I prepared a Jubilee feast for us to graze on while watching the pageant on the tv at my parents’ house. I kept it simple. The only rule seemed to be that if it stayed still it got a union jack on it! (The dog failed to stay still!)


The full spread. We even pulled out the very good china and the family silver teapot! Apparently, at the age of 26 I am now able to be trusted with the very good stuff!


The union jack bedecked fruit loaf with my red white and blue cupcakes in the background. The fruit loaf was gluten free and the only sugar in it cake from the fruit. Perfect for my dad, who loves fruit cakes and has diabetes.


And for our jubilee dessert, a banoffee pavlova bejewelled with a union jack made of strawberries and blueberries. Hands up, who didn’t make a union jack out of fruit on something this weekend?

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Filed under Easy, Not Food, Teatime Treats