Tag Archives: Nigella Lawson

Quick Lentil Salad

Lentil Salad with Rice (9929)

Before I start writing a post for this blog, I also browse through my old photos as well as the more recent ones. There’s always a throwback in there which for some reason has either escaped my noticing it, or has lost its turn to be replaced in line with a new recipe or an exciting book review. There’s nothing I like best other than to spend my winter afternoons and early evenings in my study, reading or writing and sipping hot chocolate. In summer I just can’t get my mind to concentrate much. Aprile dolce dormire, the Italians say, dolce dormire roughly meaning a sweet sleep. So while C&T HQ keeps on working on the writing, recipes and other miscellaneous photos, I can spend some time sorting through my archives.

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Meatloaf

Meatloaf (6836)Happy Woman’s Day to all you hardworking ladies out there! I’ve been wanting to post this for ages, but other recipes, thoughts, musings and other tasks have grown and surpassed it for some time. But here it finally is, and about time too – it’s one of my favourites and this is a good reminder that I must make it again. This recipe undeniably always brings me to one of my dear friends in Michigan, who makes a beautiful meatloaf. Good times!

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Lentil and Chestnut Soup, life updates and some thoughts on ‘Simply Nigella’

Lentil and Chestnut Soup (8822)

These past couple of weeks are turning out to be so weird. What a way to start today’s post, eh? In the spirit of Halloween I am still feeling like a zombie. Sleepy (strong anti-ear infection medication does that to you, trust me) and generally very light-headed. I meant to post a recipe yesterday, but my to-do list went out the window in the afternoon since I didn’t feel well at all. The situation hasn’t improved much. My ear still feels like someone’s lighting a lighter in it and to top it all off I get stabbing pains at intervals, as if someone is literally poking a needle into my eardrum. Not fun. Babies are prone to getting ear infections, I am constantly hearing right now. True. I’m not a baby but I still feel miserable. Poor things (little ones not me), no wonder they constantly cry in pain.

Let’s move on to the more cheerful things, shall we? I have two pieces of good news. I have my new desk! I am so pleased with it. I almost couldn’t believe it was here while watching J and his dad assembling it in the study. I am really enjoying working in this room even more. It’s my haven. Nearer completion we plan to purchase a comfortable reading chair to place next to the window. Can’t wait. The second piece of news is that I am waiting for a number of cookbooks to arrive, all of which are for review. I’ll be happy if they all make the cut, so we’ll see.

Continue reading Lentil and Chestnut Soup, life updates and some thoughts on ‘Simply Nigella’

Sweetcorn Pudding

Nigella's Sweetcorn Cake Revisited (7092)Let’s cut to the chase. Just because I can’t contain my excitement! Today sees the launch of one the most anticipated cookbooks of the yearSimply Nigella. I’m still waiting for my copy so this is not a review, unfortunately (I would have loved to have one right here for you). So until that day comes, in celebration of the book, I am revisiting a recipe which has been an old favourite of mine for ages. It was one of the first things I learnt to make while I was still teaching myself the kitchen basics. I didn’t have any of Nigella’s books at the time, and fifteen years ago the internet was not as it is today. So I watched all her shows on the Food Network. Now there’s YouTube which make things a lot easier!

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Chocolate and Peanut Butter Squares

No-Bake Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bars (0209)

A few weeks ago I was invited to a friend’s house. It was already sweltering hot but the day before, as a result of my Facebook status at the time, and a special request for it, I baked some chocolate chip cookies. I never ever regret baking, especially for others and it’s only good manners to take something with you when someone welcomes you to their home. And you know the drill, for good friends I would do that and more. Another friend of ours made the most delicious rice salad I’ve ever had, with the freshest mozzarella and seafood. Bringing dessert was the least I could do.

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Image: Buttercream Muffins (with links to other recipes)

Buttercream muffins (9807)

I feel as if I’m getting my blogging mojo back! And since I am now on Flickr, I have decided to upload a two or three photos a week whenever I can. I was very hesitant at first and always questioned why I (or rather J) thought I would need to be present on another platform, apart from the usual Facebook and Twitter. I had almost enough of Facebook and again, I often think about not bothering with it at all. What I hate is the fact that they change the rules often, without making any form of announcement. (Case in point: I’m trying to upload this on FB and some setting has definitely changed since three days ago!)

Continue reading Image: Buttercream Muffins (with links to other recipes)

Holiday Hot Cake Revisited

Holiday Hot Cake Revisited (8607)

I hope you have excused my absence but I haven’t been well at all. This year the flu came down with a bang, fever and all. J was not that good either, poor thing. I just couldn’t eat anything substantial during that time – I’m sure you know what I mean. So when the fever finally went away and I was able to get up, this cake is all I wanted. I must stress that this is not something we eat every day. I would so like to, but I like to make this mainly around Easter and of course, during this time of year. It might not look pretty, but it’s good.

Holiday Hot Cake Revisited (8600)

The recipe is an adaptation of the one you will find in Nigella Express; incidentally there’s a similar one using chocolate in her first book How to Eat, but this one is even easier,  making it the one I like best. (You will find another post similar to this with a link to Nigella’s website, but this time I’m also giving you the recipe.) I find Christmas to be very stressful and honestly I am not often filled with seasonal cheer, but this is my pick-me-up. I just love it and it does taste of Christmas if you know what I mean. So for me, it makes sense to kick off the prep with this holiday bake. It will give you 4-6 servings.

Holiday Hot Cake Revisited (8603)

  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g light brown sugar, plus another 150g needed later
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 125ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 60ml vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 teaspoons butter
  • 500ml boiling water

Holiday Hot Cake Revisited (8608)

Holiday Hot Cake Whipped Cream (8605)

Preheat the oven to 220ºC/200ºC fan and place a baking sheet on to the middle shelf. Put the kettle on and boil the water.

In a medium bowl mix the flour, 100g of the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of the ground ginger, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, milk, oil and egg. Be careful not to overmix the batter. If the mixture is lumpy, then so be it; you’ll have a softer spongy base.

Lightly grease a round baking dish, preferably a ceramic or pyrex one, and pour the batter into it.

In a small bowl, tip in the 150g remaining brown sugar, remaining 1 teaspoon of ground ginger and the 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Mix these well together and sprinkle this over the batter in the baking dish.

Take the 6 teaspoons of butter and place each one gently over the sugary mixture. Now slowly pour the boiling water over this. Slowly. Don’t worry, everything will work out fine!

Place the baking dish onto the baking sheet already in the oven, and bake for 30 minutes. You will end up with a lovely cake on top and gorgeous toffee sauce on the bottom layer. Let it stand for around 10 minutes before serving. In the meantime whip up some double cream into soft peaks and serve up. Make sure to give everyone some toffee sauce together with the cake.

Holiday-Hot-Cake-with-Cream-(6611)

Holiday-Hot-Cake-with-Cream-(6612)

Reserved for special occasions, but well worth the wait! Enjoy!

Rob x

(Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Express, Chatto & Windus, 2007.)