17th October 2011
Jasmine Earl Grey cupcakes with orange blossom buttercream.
I made these CUPcakes (haha) for a girly night in last Saturday.
It’s an ordinary sponge recipe with a few tablespoons of black, strong jasmine Earl Grey (the better the quality of the tea the stronger you can brew it. Cheap teas can go very bitter).
The two-tone icing is buttercream with a tsp of orange blossom water, half coloured peach and the other half left natural and all shoved into the same piping bag. The pearls are sugar balls that I’ve shaken in a baggie with white lustre dust. You can buy sugar pearls but they’re often not as pearlescent as you would want so I always keep some gold/silver/cream/white lustre dust to hand.
*Please excuse the terrible piping, my regular, large star nozzle had gone walkies that day!
Teacup silicone cake cases can be found at many online sites such as Amazon or eBay. I bought my 4 from The Works in Windsor.
13th October 2011
Huevos rancheros are a kind of Mexican-style scrambled eggs that usually include ingredients such as chillies, chorizo, peppers and onions.
They’re a perfect breakfast for people like me who prefer something bold and savoury rather than sugary cereal or toast. And yes, I am one of those people who like curry for breakfast. Long live leftover lovers!
12th October 2011
Probably my most cooked dish for friends, once you get over the initial soufflé fears it’s easy peasy to make. The French have these as a simple after-work supper, a big difference from our view of the dish as something fancy-pants. The only disaster I’ve had with this was when the oven turned off during an epic French thunderstorm! Lovely with simple, crisp, bulky salad leaves and some cornichons if the cheese is strong.
11th October 2011
Following the news that Millar McCowan, makers of the Wham bar, have gone into administration I have been stocking up each time I see these sticky lovelies!
*Apparently these have been saved. Unfortunately too late for me to have them as favours for this year’s Burns Night supper. I wonder when we’ll be seeing them again? -2/4/2011
8th October 2011
My friend Sally had:
Ginger fruity bubble tea with extra lychee popping boba. Revolting is the most kind thing I can say about this flavour!
5th October 2011
Sunny days = countryside picnics
Rain or shine, the Boy and I are always thinking with our bellies. The freak October heatwave gave us the ideal opportunity to have one last summer picnic so we raided Newlyns Farm Shop and found a sunny spot with a fab view of the beautiful Hampshire countryside.
Newlyns Farm Shop:
It is no secret that I am a massive supporter of good animal-welfare practices. I believe that some things are worth the high costs and that moral values go hand-in-hand with our consumption of meat and dairy products.
When you drive into the Newlyns car park you are met by a small tribe of pigs, chickens and sheep. They are kept there in spacious pens as an example of the husbandry methods used throughout the farm. For some, walking out of the shop past the pigs, sausages in hand, might be too much. But to be shown how well-kept these livestock are means that I can be content that my purchases have not lived lives of suffering, and that makes my lunch just that little bit tastier.
If you are happy to invest in good food (it really is not a cheap place to shop), even once in a while, it’s worth having a splurge here.
What we ate (an edited selection):
•Ham hock terrine: A moreish, mustardy deli favourite. Perfect with homemade piccalilli.
•Rosemary crusted sheep’s cheese: Unfortunately not as fragrant and herby as expected, instead rather musty. Not recommended.
•Bramley apple juice: Surprisingly sharp but much more refreshing than a Braeburn or Katy variety. Would be lovely with a cheddar.
•Chicken liver and wild mushroom pate with garlic: Much richer than the average chicken liver pate, the strong garlic gave it a very ‘grown-up’ flavour.
•Mars bar rice crispy bites: A sickly but fun Newlyns classic.