Monthly Archives: March 2013

Hot cross buns and pom poms


Those aren’t hot cross buns, those are pom pom chicks, as mentioned previously, and are far cuter than my hot cross buns so get pride of place. I’ve tried making hot cross buns in years gone by but they’ve always turned out fairly solid and not worth the effort. This is a Paul Hollywood recipe though and since he hasn’t failed me yet I thought I’d give it another go. Continue reading


Friday Pieday

Well in our house this is a pie, a grand old recipe that’s been passed down ooh at least one generation and a classic for making on a meat-free Good Friday. However, flicking through Pippa Middleton’s book (I don’t own it, er honest, I just like to surreptitiously leaf through whenever I’m in a bookshop) and I noticed her Salmon and Prawn Pillow, which is pretty much exactly the same as this but with fancier fish. So without further ado, I present my tuna fish pillow. I expect the call from Waitrose magazine any day now. Continue reading

Well, nobody’s perfect

I couldn’t help but notice that the most popular thing I’ve written is about Old Fashioneds. Turns out everyone likes a stiff drink. In my continuing quest to have a grown up alcohol selection I am aiming for the ingredients for a Negroni but a handy halfway house is another bourbon based cocktail, the deliciously prohibition era Manhattan. They’re what Marilyn Monroe mixes in a hot water bottle in Some Like it Hot, and if that isn’t an endorsement I don’t know what is. Continue reading

A bit of a science lesson

The intention was to make some soda bread as a nod to St. Patrick’s day but I got completely and utterly sidetracked by Dan Lepard’s Saturday recipe in the Guardian for  carrot and sesame bread.  The recipe is a normal bread recipe (strong white flour, yeast, warm water) but with the addition of two grated carrots, a handful of sesame seeds and the juice of about one and a half oranges. The orange juice is there to provide some vitamin C, with actual scientific purpose this time rather than in a vain attempt to avoid a cold.  Continue reading

Proper black bean sauce


Fermented black beans. They’re interesting looking. And man are they pungent. And if you dont read the bit in the recipe where it says to soak them and then mash them and instead give them a cursory rinse and a poke with a fork you end up with some chunky bits of bean which are very salty, a little bit sour and a little bit bitter and not entirely pleasant.  So don’t do that. Do this instead. Continue reading


These are pancakes but not as you know them. I first had them at a restaurant called Abeno in London and on our visit to Tokyo last year they were a must eat (though they’re actually from Osaka rather than Tokyo). The restaurant we went to was a proper take your shoes off, sit on the floor effort and involved us cooking our own which is rather scary, particularly when you’re not entirely sure what you’re cooking, although we were very closely supervised (this – the cooking your own slightly unknown food – happened to us a lot in Japan).

Continue reading

A healing orange and almond cake

I’ve been feeling a bit of a sniffle coming on recently and since I still have a couple of alluring lady blood oranges left over I thought I’d combine my attempts to ward it off with our cake for the week. The recipe’s a Good Food one from way back when that I have made many a time, not least because it simply involves throwing everything in a food processor. Continue reading