Author Archive for Lucina

Chocolate and raspberry brownies

chocolate and raspberry brownies

chocolate and raspberry brownies

Welcome back to me! Sorry for the silence but I have been gallivanting around the world…well, Italy in truth, AND Berlin. Wonderful city! While I was in Italy visiting my family we had a reunion where each person had to bring something to share for lunch. I decided to bake these brownies at my dad’s house -which is where I was staying (hence no picture of Tomik the cat )- as my contribution. My Italian family wasn’t familiar with brownies so I happily introduced them to these calorie laden treats for the chocoholics, much to their delight. Brownies originally come from  the States and there are many versions of them out there. I chose this one with raspberries as I think the chocolate/raspberry combo is a winning combination. Candi knows that as she had blogged in the past a Swedish cake which is rather similar (click here ). The recipe comes from the BBC online website. My only change was to shed 100 gr of sugar off the original recipe. By the way, the picture doesn’t do it justice. I should have shown you what they look like inside: lovely and gooey. Oh well! Trust me though: you will impress your friends if you make them a batch of these! :-) Continue reading ‘Chocolate and raspberry brownies’

Cinnamon spiced squash and butter bean stew

cinnamon spiced squash and butter bean stew

cinnamon spiced squash and butter bean stew

First of all apologies for the long absence from the blog but work interferes with my experimenting in the kitchen big time! I am turning into a sad person: all work and not much play. Anyway, I finally managed to try something new last weekend: this lovely, winter warmer stew, straight from the Mildreds cookbook. Lovely served with rice or cous cous. A must for all the veggies out there. Continue reading ‘Cinnamon spiced squash and butter bean stew’

Banoffee pie

banoffee pie

banoffee pie

This is another classic dessert very much liked by my family, especially my oldest son who always asks me to make it when he visits. I don’t know why I haven’t blogged it yet. It is easy to assemble, it doesn’t require any cooking and can be made in advance. The only problem with it is that it is laden with calories. ARGH! Still, once in a while it won’t kill anyone.   Plus with all the running I am doing now (I’m in the middle of the excellent From couch to 5K programme to ease people into running. Brill!) I deserve some cake, now and again. 😉 I can’t remember who gave me the original recipe but this is the one I’ve been using for many years. Success guaranteed! Continue reading ‘Banoffee pie’

Chilli cornbread

chilli cornbread

chilli cornbread

As promised here’s another delicious recipe from my new Mildreds cookbook. I didn’t hang about, did I? Had some friends over for dinner last night and amongst the other many things I cooked I baked this bread. Really lovely! By the way, my eldest son Mike wasn’t best amused when he read on my blog that I accused him of basically doing b****r all when he returned home for his Christmas holiday. I was of course exaggerating (writer’s licence, see?). He did help tidying up, to be fair. Plus, in truth, I like spoiling him and his brother so I don’t mind cooking non stop when they come for a visit. That’s the honest truth! 😉 So there: I’ve set the record straight. Now do this bread for your lovely girlfriend, Mike! Continue reading ‘Chilli cornbread’

Puy lentil salad with roasted vegetables

Puy lentil salad with roasted vegetables

Puy lentil salad with roasted vegetables

Time to blog something healthy. I fear we have had too many calory laden things lately. As I was entertaining guests for Christmas I made this gorgeous salad courtesy of the  cookery book which my son’s lovely girlfriend kindly gave me for Christmas to add to my collection. Thank you Lucy!! It is called “Mildreds, the cookbook” and it is basically the recipe book of this vegetarian restaurant in London called…surprise, surprise, Mildreds (which is fab, by the way).  The book is full of really interesting, mouth watering vegetarian recipes. I can see me blogging more recipes from it. The good thing about this super healthy  salad is that you can eat it hot or cold and you can add goat’s cheese or feta cheese  to it, if you wish, thus making it a complete meal. I will definitely make it again. I didn’t follow the recipe religiously as I didn’t have all the vegetables, however I am sure there is room for variation. This is definitely something I shall make again…. Here is the original recipe, straight from the book. Continue reading ‘Puy lentil salad with roasted vegetables’

Dundee cake

Dundee cake

Dundee cake

First of all Merry Christmas and a Happy Boxing day to you all! It’s a welcome relief from cooking and eating to write on this blog, if truth be known. Although we didn’t really overdo it in the food department, like some people do, it feels as if I have been stuck in the kitchen for the last couple of days. And I can’t say I have received a lot of help from the men in my life. Both sons when they return home for Christmas revert to the time when they were ten. Incapable of even making a cup of tea for their own mother. The irony is they can cook very well. Ah well! I guess they come home to get spoilt and I must oblige, being an Italian mamma after all. 😉 But enough chit chat. The cake I am about to blog is another classic. It’s basically a fruit cake but much lighter than your traditional Christmas cake (which I find far too heavy and rich). There are many recipes out there but when it comes to classics there is only one master for me: good old Delia. I got the recipe straight out of her web page. I slightly adapted it as I added some cranberries to the dried fruit mixture. The good thing about it is that it keeps well and, in fact, its flavour improves if eaten after a few days. Of course you don’t have to wait for Christmas to make it. In fact I think I will repeat the experiment real soon because even I liked it. Continue reading ‘Dundee cake’

Asparagus and smoked salmon tartlets

asparagus and smoked salmon tartlets

asparagus and smoked salmon tartlets

Months and months ago I purchased in Lakeland a mini quiches perforated silicon baking tray. Guess who never used it until last week? That’s right! Yours truly! I don’t really know why I got out of the swing of baking quiches as I love them, particularly if the pastry is light and crispy. Anyway, I decided the time had come to resurrect the humble quiche and christen the tray so it so I plumped for these smoked salmon and asparagus tarts which I had never made before. You’ll be glad to know the baking tray was a resounding success. The pastry was cooked to perfection with no soggy bottoms. Of course you can make a whole quiche rather than 6 individual ones. But I thought the individual ones looked more professional. I shall definitely make them again, that’s for sure. Continue reading ‘Asparagus and smoked salmon tartlets’

Eve’s pudding

Eve's pudding

Eve’s pudding

This is another classic recipe which I baked for my brother when he came to visit us last weekend. I hadn’t made it for donkey’s years! He liked it so much he wanted to know how it’s made so here it is. As usual there are loads of different recipes out there but basically an Eve’s pudding (no idea why it is called that) consists of stewed apples at the bottom and a sponge mixture at the top. It’s simple but nice. Ideally it is served hot with either cream or custard. My recipe -slightly adapted- comes from the BBC website. Continue reading ‘Eve’s pudding’

A hearty cavolo nero, beans and pasta soup

cavolo nero, beans and pasta soup

cavolo nero, beans and pasta soup

Winter is coming so let’s bring back the wholesome soups on the menu. I had bought a bag of cavolo nero recently and didn’t know what to do with it so decided to  put it in a soup. Apparently it is very good for you: full of vitamins and antioxidant properties. The soup lasted me for DAYS but it was very nice reheated. You can do it with the addition of the pancetta or without it, if you are vegetarian. Simple but tasty and filling. Just what the doctor ordered on a cold, autumn night. Continue reading ‘A hearty cavolo nero, beans and pasta soup’

Lemon meringue pie: my atonement

lemon meringue pie as it should be

lemon meringue pie as it should be

20161105_200143

Yes, my dear friends, I was really peeved at my disastrous attempt at making this classic dessert last time I blogged so I had another go. This time I decided to make 6 individual little tarts rather than a large one, which I was very pleased with. As you can see from the pics  this time the experiment was successful. No offending liquid oozed out nor were there any soggy bottoms in sight when I cut the tarts.  Success! Tomik the cat was clearly happy, unlike the last time. :-) Obviously I made sure the custardy mixture was dense before I poured it in the pastry cases. I also  made a couple of other changes: I thought the Mary Berry’s recipe for the shortcrust pastry was a bit too rich (and far too soft) so I changed the proportions: I used half butter to flour, put only an egg yolk rather than the whole egg, a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar and enough cold water to bind it. It was much better and didn’t shrink as much when I baked it blind.