Saturday, 23 July 2011

Squid panzanella salad

A salad that is very much more than the sum of its parts – bread, tomatoes, anchovies and basil come together in a surprisingly elegant way. A little chef’s tip – don’t tell picky eaters about the anchovies in the dressing before they’ve taken a bite. They’ll never guess. [That little trick worked on my anchovy-phobic flatmate.] 

Although, however elegant it looks, this salad always reminds me of my first time preparing squid - for a medical student, I am suprisingly seafood-squeamish. Cue plastic bags over my hands and lots of hysterical squealing and gagging. YUM.

Toffee apple cupcakes

According to me, not my finest work, but they seemed to go down very well. A rather sweet cupcake, with a frosting that consists of mainly brown sugar and a dash of cream, I think these are a work in progress. With the arrival of my stand mixer this morning [!] I think I'm finally ready to attempt Swiss meringue buttercream, which will go much better.

Looking deceptively simple, these babies involved the use of a sugar thermometer [glad I finally have a use for it], two different batches of toffee cake, jam-making, and a near death experience with boiling toffee. Although, seeing as I have more kitchen injuries than most chefs, other people may find these to be a piece of cake. Pun intended. Apple butter and toffee cake recipe after the jump.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Birthday canapes

Hi all - sorry about the little break, it's been manic over here, what with barmitzvahs and birthdays intruding on everyday life [my brother's, mine] so here's a little snapshot to keep you going until tomorrow. Italian style canapes! And all achieved by me in a single day [and night]. A lot of prosecco was drunk that day.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

date, cranberry and walnut flapjacks

SO MOREISH. I made two batches in about two days - all gone. Perfect for those impromptu drop-ins with a nice cup of tea, and it's got enough oats in it that you can conceivably convince yourself it's healthy. Oats! Really good for you. And when it's sheeting it down outside, with thunder and lightning in July [!], there is actually nothing better than a cuppa and a flapjack - days like this are made for doing nothing. Recipe after the jump.

slow cooked moroccan lamb with couscous and chickpeas

Some might say that slow cooking lamb is not the best thing to do when moving flat that day - but I beg to differ. Due to my incredible forethought [some may even say prescience] when I managed to lock myself out of my new flat approximately 2 hours after living there, I trotted off happily back to my old flat, where I had this baby waiting in the oven for my lunch.

Aside from being delicious, it's also an incredibly useful thing to have in the fridge - use to fill pittas, eat with jacket potatoes, or simply reheat and eat with a fork when recovering from traumatising experiences - such as getting your card declined in a supermarket. Oh yes. It's been a busy week. Recipe after the jump.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Turkish delight

Hello dear readers - I'm back from my sojourn to Turkey! I came back bearing shisha pipes, Turkish coffee and boxes upon boxes of Turkish delight - which I am of course aiming to give away, but will most likely eat myself. At least one box has been reserved for an Arabian Nights-themed dinner party - how lovely does that sound?

So I'm back, and full of inspiration and motivation for cooking, imagining slow cooked spiced lamb with couscous, elderflower Turkish delight, hazelnut praline Paris-Brest....all to be accomplished after I move flats. Hauling two vintage typewriters, two sewing machines, a suitcase full of LPs, and a pasta machine up three flights of stairs is not something I'm exactly looking forward to.