Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 Blogging Highlights

It’s New Years Eve and in true New Years fashion I’m going to do a little reflecting on my blogging adventure to date including the trials and tribulations, and of course, the best recipes so far!
I started the blog in April of this year. I had been following other people’s blogs for about 6 months prior and needed somewhere to document my own creations and experiments. Since then, I have connected with fellow bloggers on a whole new level and I’ve been even more creative than before!

Here are my 10 favourite recipes of 2011:

After Dinner Cupcakes

At Christmas we get through a mountain of After Eights and Matchmakers. Everyone loves a dark chocolate filled with mint after their dinner. So when we ran out, I though why not make an after dinner cupcake! A chocolate bun with peppermint icing and sprinkled candy cane on top!

By tweaking a standard cupcake recipe I was able to make these delicious after dinner cupcakes!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Turkey Supreme Leftovers!

I my house, it is not the turkey curry that reigns supreme the week after Christmas, but...Turkey Supreme!

The rest of the year this is my Mums go to dish when there's chicken in the fridge and she's been forced to cook, but it never tastes as good as it does when it is made with leftover turkey!

It is also a good dish to kick-start those healthy eating habits! Minus the butter in the roux, the rest of the dish is relatively low fat! Especially if you use skimmed milk to make the white sauce.

So if you're still looking for ways to finish off the last of that turkey, this is the recipe for you!

Ps. Don't be afraid to put the dark meat in, that just makes it taste EVEN better!!!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas Cake

Christmas would not be complete without a Christmas Cake. Fact.

Everyone's Granny has their own recipe, yet more often than not people buy a shop bought cake. Even those members of my family who decorate their own cakes buy the fruitcake from a Supermarket first. Considering my Mum and Dad were famous for their Christmas Cakes before they had children, I couldn't understand why everyone avoided making their own. If my parents could make one every year without fail...why couldn't everyone else?

So, armed with a near-illegible copy of my parents old recipe, this year I decided to make my own cake.

I was pleasantly surprised with just how easy it is. Though...the proof is in the pudding as they say, and when you've never made a cake before, don't know what its consistency, colour, texture etc should be it's a scary thought offering it up to guests!

Fortunately for me it seems my first attempt was a success! (Though it was some what larger than anticipated and is now nicknamed the monster Christmas Cake.)

So, if I can do it, so can you! I urge all of you to make your own Christmas Cake this year! I have started my own tradition, so why not start your own too!!!

Here is my recipe, I am sure it will not fail you.

WARNING: This is highly boozy! (Though Delia assures me you can replace the brandy for orange juice for a more family friendly cake).

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Mince Pies

Happy Christmas Eve fellow food lovers! Tis the season to be jolly...and eat lots of mince pies!

Every Christmas Eve I take part in two of my favourite food traditions! With my Dad, I get up super-early and go to the Butchers to get our Turkey and other meaty-trimmings, then in the afternoon/evening we make mince pies!

If you haven't made any yet, there is still time to make them before Santa comes! I know, normally I work 'til 5pm on Christmas Eve and still manage to get a batch in before we head off out to our annual Christmas party at a family friends. So if you've got an hour to spare follow the recipe below and you will have beautiful mince pies, better than any shop bought variety!

Here's the recipe...

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Red and Green Velvet Rudolf Cupcakes!

A week ago I shared with you the long list of Christmas cooking that I would be embarking on in the run up to Christmas, somehow I’ve actually managed to start it!!!

It’s been so busy since I returned home for the holiday’s but on Sunday I made my red and green velvet Rudolf cupcakes! They were so popular at my Grandad’s birthday/post-Carol Service Party that I’ve had requests to make more!

Fortunately for me they are quick and easy, and unlike many recipes (The Humming Bird Bakery included) they don’t require any fancy ingredients – just store cupboard staples!

Here’s the recipe! Enjoy!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Harissa spiced Lamb Steak with cous cous and moroccan veg.

I am absolutely terrible at going to the reduced section in supermarkets - when I see a bargain I simply can't resist it, so somehow (despite my normal tendency to shy away from meat, in particular lamb and beef) I found myself taking home two huge lamb steaks!

What on earth was I going to do with these?!

I do a delicious veggie tagine (even if I do say so myself) which you can find here, so I wanted to do something a little different, but still with a Moroccan edge, and I came up with this recipe!

The basic idea is that you have slow cooked veg and chickpeas inspired by a traditional tagine, lemon and coriander cous cous, with a big fat juicy harrisa spice lamb steak on top!

Sound good?

Well here's the recipe:


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