not quite ripe

Seems it's not quite peak blackberry season just yet.

Last night's raid on some local hedgerows was a bit disappointing on the blackberry front - found enough for a crumble or cake, but it needs another week or so before everything is nicely ripe and pickable.  However, we also picked enough sloes for a large batch of gin :)

Festive overeating

Christmas strikes again.  As usual, I am not feeling at all festive or excited about it.  It's also about 20° warmer than it was this time last year, and obviously no snow, so it doesn't "look like xmas" either.  Quite why everyone thinks it should be snowy is a bit beyond me anyway, given that this is the UK and that rarely ever happens...

A week off work is always good though - now all I have to do is finalise which days I'm doing which exciting things on (climbing, kayaking, etc etc) and actually decide New Year plans.

But anyway, I... continue reading »

chocolate pancakes

ahh, the one day of the year where I can be arsed to eat pancakes*...

Yesterday's worked surprisingly well.  I used a slightly different recipe from normal (well, I always use a different one as I never remember/write it down) - bit more adventurous, using buttermilk rather than normal milk.  Anyway, the batter looked thicker and more gloopy, and it did look like the pancakes might come out fat and rubbery (I like 'em thin and crêpey). But they were actually very good - and tossed brilliantly!

So for future reference:

half a pot (140ml ish) buttermilk 150g flour 2 eggs and a little bit of... continue reading »

footprints in the butter

Off to visit friends tomorrow, which gives me an excuse to bake cakes :)

Not that one should ever need an excuse, but a dozen or so cupcakes all to myself doesn't fit so well with the current healthy eating efforts, ahem...

Anyway, Sainsbury's had new sprinkles (to add to my already excessive collection):

Elephants!  Or possibly mammoths, I suppose.  And going by the packaging, very much aimed at small children.  But growing up is overrated, so I don't care :P

(bonus points for figuring out the post title)

Expensive Tastes

Last week was mostly spent working long hours in a posh hotel somewhere.

The upside of this is the food...

That's one of many puddings I consumed.  Some sort of blackcurrant mousse/jelly/sponge cake.  Topped with gold leaf, and very tasty.

Apple & Cinnamon cakes

Over the last few months, I've developed a bit of a thing for mini cupcakes.

Now, I like baking cakes anyway, but for some reason they seem to be even more tempting when bitesize.  This hasn't been helped by discovering websites like Bakerella...

Tonight I've been experimenting a little... and have created some rather yummy apple and cinnamon cakes :) 

Here they are fresh out of the oven.  I'd also like to point out that silicone cake cases are awesome.

Noting the recipe down for future reference:

1 egg 125g self raising flour 100g light muscovado sugar 75g (ish) butter 1 tsp cinnamon 1 apple, chopped into tiny pieces

Mix everything... continue reading »

It's never too early for mince pies

It's getting nice and autumnal now :) Pretty coloured leaves on the trees, and that slight chill in the air. Helped by it still being fairly sunny, so it's not actually cold yet...

Unfortunately, this also means that Sainsbury's is slowly filling up with Christmas crap. Far too early for any of that nonsense!

The only plus side being that I have some of these in my kitchen:

OK, so that's only a 'value' pie, and thus has a very poor filling:pastry ratio, but it's yummy all the same!  Once I get my hands on a jar of mincemeat I'll make my own... continue reading »

les légumes

I'm in Lyon at the moment, in a very posh hotel (here on business, hehe).

My French is rusty, to say the least.  But I'm making an effort, and so just about got through my entire meal last night without speaking English :)

Then the waiter appeared with a shot glass of something green and moussey looking.  I didn't really catch any of what he said, other than that I should eat it and say if I like it...

Had a few spoonfuls, but couldn't quite place the taste  So I asked.  Eventually we got as far as "comme un chou-fleur... mais le... continue reading »

mmm, pistachios

This is the result of my evening so far:

A glass full of pistachio shells.  Yum yum.  Nuts are healthy, right?

Vegetables and Wine

I was reading the packaging of the sweets I was eating yesterday, as you do.  Now I want to know why they feel the need to sneak vegetables into strawberry laces.  Is nothing sacred?!  It was bad enough when I was younger and discovered that the chunks in Branston Pickle are bits of veg...  Stopped eating it for ages, heh

Anyway it's almost the weekend again, which means I'm off camping again, and have purchased yet another bottle of wine.  My current criteria for buying wine is that it's pink, costs less than a fiver, and most importantly has a... continue reading »

fruit and veg

For reasons mostly to do with the voucher I get at the end of it, I'm currently doing some survey type research thing.  This involves, amongst other things, recording how much fruit and veg I eat each day.

Two weeks in and I'm just about averaging two portions.  That's 1.8 of fruit and half a vegetable, ish. 
I'm not convinced their way of calculating it is entirely accurate, but even so, oops...

Leeky Chocolate Oranges

Everyone knows that the only way to 'tap and unwrap' a chocolate orange is to bash the living shit out of it, yes? They even have it on the adverts now.

But apparently this is not so true anymore! I'm quite disappointed actually. Me and John had two each in our xmas stockings (yes, I know..), and I've only just got round to eating the second one.
My first one was a tangy one (absolutely the best type), and I barely had to touch that to get it open. In fact, I think all I did was... continue reading »