Since the reception was in my parent's garden we decided to make three different flavours of cakes – Vanilla, Lemon and Rose.....light and Summery and perfect for a garden wedding. The Rose Cupcakes were also chosen since her flowers all featured beautiful roses so it worked perfectly. The day before the wedding Mum & I set to work baking 144 cupcakes which we then filled with a little buttercream (flavoured to match the cake) then topped with either fondant or royal icing and finished with one of three decorations! It was a busy day to say the least but we did it and the final results turned out pretty well, if I say so myself!
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Friday, August 24, 2012
I have recently developed some what of an obsession to olives. I love them and can't get enough of them, so when I saw a giant jar of pitted Kalamata olives in a local shop I couldn't resist buying them. Having a jar of olives in your fridge is a great thing as you can put them on so many things....I love throwing a small handful onto pasta for a little variation (see my Sausage, Olive & Tomato Pasta), or of course on top of a crispy and slightly charred pizza that I have cooked on the barbecue. They are perfect in Salads and if you always have olives in your fridge then you can always make up a quick batch of my favourite Marinated Olives – ideal to serve with drinks for any unexpected guests, and perfect as part of an Antipasto lunch. And then when you really want a hit of salty, briny olive goodness there is Tapenade. Originating from France this beautiful glossy black spread made from olives, capers and anchovies is fabulous on crostini or crackers as a quick and simple lunch or snack. And it doesn't stop there! Once you make it you will find so many options for using it....on pizza instead of tomato sauce, tossed through hot pasta for a quick and easy meal, used to stuff chicken with for a delicious and perfect meal for entertaining or thinned down with a little extra olive oil for a fabulously tasty salad dressing. The options are endless so if you are an olive fan why not give this deliciously easy and fast recipe a go. And to think I didn't like olives up until a couple of years ago and now I can't get enough of them!
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
A perfect Summer dish for using up some fresh basil pesto that you might have in your fridge desperate to be used! Light tasting and full of Summer flavours, this dish is sure to become a family favourite. Serve with some steamed seasonal greens or a nice crisp salad and once you have tried the original recipe why not mix things up a bit by using some Spicy Red Pesto or your favourite version of pesto. If you aren't a fan of Goats cheese you could try using Boursin, Ricotta or even cream cheese.
There are a few things to note about this recipe…. First of all regarding the tomato sauce, due to my husband's dislike to tomato chunks I always blend my tomatoes or use passata (sieved tomatoes). If you prefer a smooth sauce blend away otherwise keep the sauce chunky! Secondly, the lasagna sheets that I buy are quite large so I cut them in half – if yours are smaller don’t bother cutting them. Finally, I use a rectangular glass Pyrex dish to cook my cannelloni in – approximately 9” x 13 ½” – and it fits perfectly. If you don’t have a similar dish use what you do have – you can always cut the cannelloni to make them fit! This is real, fresh home cooking at its best.
Friday, August 17, 2012
I LOVE coleslaw and I always have done! My mum loves it so it was always in the fridge and a necessity when it came to eating Cheese Toasties/ Grilled Cheese when we were growing up! Whenever my friends came to our house for lunch the one thing always requested was a Cheese Toastie (Mum had a great toastie maker!) with coleslaw! Generally though coleslaw was not something I made myself....back home in the UK it was just as easy (and delicious!) to buy it from the supermarket. When I moved to Canada however I discovered that the coleslaw from the supermarket was something completely different and I wasn't a big fan so it didn't take me long to start making my own when I needed a coleslaw hit!
This is by far the simplest recipe you will find for coleslaw but it is amazing how many times I'm asked to bring it to a potluck party and for the recipe! People are even more astonished when I tell them how easy it is to make and what's in it. For best results I like to make it an hour or 2 before serving as it allows the flavour of the onion to really come through and mingle with everything, which in my opinion is what makes this coleslaw taste so good. Try it and you'll see!
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
When it comes to Summer and barbecue season you can't let it pass without making plenty of burgers as you can't beat a perfectly grilled, slightly charred burger enjoyed outside on a sunny day. We eat burgers quite a lot – they are just so versatile and make the perfect Saturday night feast (even in the winter!). You can change things up by varying what you put on your Burger but we always have to have cheese, lettuce, red onion and pickles! Special occasions call for sauteed mushrooms, bacon and occasionally spicy jalapenos and of course I can never resist some slices of fresh tomato. Finished off with some mayonnaise, mustard and tomato ketchup and you have the perfect finger-licking burger!
Friday, August 10, 2012
Thai Red Curry with Chicken & Bamboo Shoots then you will have all of the ingredients you need for the salad dressing. It takes no time at all to make and is so light and refreshing – the perfect salad for a hot summer day. The dressing will make more than you need but it keeps in the fridge. Having said that, if you are like me it won’t last long as you will find yourself making this salad lots!
I first published this recipe in August 2010 combined with the Thai Red Curry with Chicken & Bamboo Shoots mentioned above, but I decided it needed a photograph to show how amazing it is and therefore a page to itself! This is Summer food at it's best! Enjoy x
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
When I was doing some research and looking for ideas for my sister's Harry Potter Grand Feast I came across some pictures on the internet of these fantastic Flower Pot Ice Cream Sundaes and I knew I had to make them. They look amazing – the perfect touch to a whimsical feast – but even better, they are super easy to make and of course, who doesn't want some ice cream during a feast!?!
For the party I was unfortunately unable to get some traditional terracotta pots so instead used some gold cups (which were used for the feast anyway) and they looked pretty good. But as soon as I bought these super cute individual flower pots (actually muffin cases which I'm sure you will see a lot more of on upcoming posts!) I knew I had to use them! So now I can make 6 individual flower pots – the perfect treat for a party for both children and adults alike!
Friday, August 3, 2012
There are 2 reasons why I love Antipasto...The first is I love food I can pick at over a long period of time (or at least I try to make it last a long period of time!), helping myself to little bits of this and that individually, or putting a few things together. The second reason is that Antipasto can be as simple or complicated as you like! Now when I say complicated I don't really mean that, more so just that you can spend a bit more time preparing it, or you can just buy things from a local deli and put it all together on a plate. It is ideal picnic and lunch food, perfect for a casual Italian starter or a light main course enjoyed outside in the garden with a cold glass of sparkling Prosecco! When it comes down to it, Italian food has to be my all time favourite as there are just so many flavours that I love and so antipasto is a perfect course for me.
Below is a list of some of my favourite Antipasti dishes (this list is likely to grow over time!). For a special treat try making it yourself but if you are in a hurry nip down to your local Italian deli and let them do all of the work for you!