Sunday, October 19, 2008


ISBN 9780718148584.

Following my posting for Chianti Baked Meatballs by Jo Pratt from her book In The Mood For Food, I dipped further into her book and have cooked a small selection of recipes.

Unfortunately, I am not able to put the recipes on, because it would take forever. I have only been able to find a link to one recipe, which is a shame.

Marshmallow Meringues with Mango and Passion Fruit.

These meringues were possibly the best I have ever made, we loved the crisp outside and the marshmallow centre. For the mango and passion fruit cream, I simply pureed a mango and swirled this into some sweetened Greek Yoghurt along with the passion fruit. This simple dessert was delicious and I loved the scented yoghurt.

Cherry & Almond Cake

It is National Baking Week from the 20th to the 26th October 2008 here in the UK and this is the recipe I have chosen, to celebrate everything that is so wonderful about baking.

Orange Caramel Yoghurt

A definite hit, but the oranges need to be segmented and not cut across into thin slices. If you get any horrible membrane from the orange then this will ruin the dessert.

Ginger & Banana Trifle

Wonderful - anything made with ginger cake is a hit with me! Just an assembly job using Grand Marnier to soak the ginger cake, stem ginger and bananas. I topped the trifle with whipping cream but I think the sharpness of creme fraiche would be better.

Sticky Maple Pears

I didn't have any maple syrup and so used a good honey instead. The recipe says to crumble amaretti biscuits over the pears, but if you do this then the presentation gets very messy.

Honey-Seared Salmon with Sesame Noodles

I confess to cheating on this one - I bought a bag of stir fry vegetables instead of the spinach, bean sprouts and springs onions - it still tasted great. Also, I added to this a sweet chilli and ginger sauce bought from Marks and Spencer! I have made this twice now and it's fabulous. The recipe is here.

Cheese, Onion & Potato Pie

Oh dear! The potato was very sloppy due to the amount of milk required in the recipe. Also, for us there was far too much cheese. I used Red Leicester, which is a cheese I would always add to cheese and potato pie, purely for colour. I'll go back to this another time and adapt the recipe.

Extremely Simple Beef & Ale Casserole with Horseradish Dumplings

After the casserole had finished cooking, I tried the sauce but it really wasn't to my taste and so I added a few mushrooms, a tin of chopped tomatoes and a teaspoon of English Mustard. Also, the dumplings didn't have any suet in them, I'm sorry but suet dumplings always win hands down for me!

I also made Parmesan-crusted Chicken with Avocado Salad, but unfortunately no photograph for this one! This one was another great recipe.

On my 'to do' list from the book Roast Sea Bass with White Wine Potatoes and Vine Tomatoes and also Roast Chicken for Two In One Pan.

All of the recipes have turned out well in this book, and I know that I will return to some of them time and time again.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I thought I would share with you, one of the surprise presents my husband so thoughtfully bought for me last Christmas. I had been hinting I would love to be the owner of a set of these in white for ages.
For both of us he bought a beautiful coffee mug and saucer each. They are part of the NewWave collection by Villeroy & Boch.

I even made a banana cake with passion fruit icing to match my lovely coffee cup and saucer! This is an Australian Women's Weekly recipe from the book Home Baked - one of my favourite baking books.

This week I met Jan from What Do I Want To Cook Today, a fellow food blogging friend, and we decided to make a trip to Birmingham. Whilst we were looking at the the Villeroy & Boch NewWave collection in Selfridges, it reminded me that I ought to post about my lovely mug and saucer. Jan and I both love kitchen gadgetry, pots etc, and it is a real joy to look around with her. Thank you Jan for another really enjoyable day out.

Hopefully, sometime in the future, I will manage to post about our coffee machine, grinder and where we source our fresh coffee beans. The foam on top of the coffee in the photograph is light years from what we are achieving now. We now know how to surf and texturise the milk to make micro foam. My husband has all the makings of a fine Barista, but alas, I am still a Barista in training. Unfortunately, latte art is still not achievable by either of us!


As I have dared to mention the word Christmas, perhaps you are now thinking you can't possibly find the time to blog, and just how stressful it can get, with cooking, posting and commenting.

How about sending for a Berocca's Blogger Relief pack. I first saw this last winter on a blog, applied for the pack and last week received mine. The pack consists of Berocca tablets which is an effervescent orange drink full of vitamins and minerals, a pen holder, bubble wrap keyring, a glass, a USB panic button, stress ball and a pen!

Well, we all need some fun sometimes, don't we?