So ostensibly this is a post about madeleines but really, really, its a post about my brand spanking shiny new Kitchenaid. We’ve been debating getting one of these babies for a long time, and finally took the plunge (John Lewis had a great deal! We were powerless to resist). Madeleines were on my radar for the weekend anyway so what better way to christen my new favourite kitchen appliance (sorry porridge spurtle).
I always thought a cocktail had to have three ingredients. A gimlet only has the two but after getting merrily sloshed on these during happy hour in a bar in New York I’m pretty sure they count as a cocktail. This one’s named after a Royal Navy ship’s surgeon Sir Thomas Gimlette (at least that’s the story I like best) and is designed to keep scurvy at bay.
There are two aspects to this-firstly the chilli which is a Jamie Oliver one and a firm favourite and secondly, the cornbread muffins. I’ve always fancied making cornbread to go with chilli, I love the combination of sweet and spicy (see also: peshwari naan and curry) although I realise this is controversial. Anyway, I’ve always been put off my not knowing quite what the key ingredient, cornmeal, actually is, where to buy it or what to use in its place. Polenta is often suggested and I’m never quite sure about that either (instant, coarse, fine?) so when a recipe suggested semolina I went with it. I know what that is and I can buy it in our crazy greengrocers.
I have tried various lemon drizzle cakes over the years but this, which my auntie is famous for, is not only the easiest but the best. I’ve gone a little bit off piste here and stirred some white chocolate chunks into the cake mix too; white chocolate and lemon go surprisingly well together, but these aren’t at all necessary if you prefer your lemon cake unadulterated.
The first sign of sunshine and we grab a picnic and take it up to the Heath. The picnic quite often consists of nothing more than bread and hummus, pâté and fruit but since it’s a bank holiday and our first chance this year to try our brand new picnic bag, a bit of effort seemed appropriate. These sandwiches, stuffed full of tasty morsels, fit the bill perfectly. Continue reading