Mini Madeira Cakes

 Madeira cake is one of my favourites. It seems wholesome and homely, even if it is full of butter and sugar! My grandad used to love a hunk of Madeira with a piping hot tea, sweetened with half a bowl of sugar. I made these little cakes for the OH, as he too likes a plain and simple cake. I came home that evening and found him spreading butter onto the Madeira cake . I had to laugh, as that’s exactly how my grandad ate his. It turns out that’s how the his Dad ate his too. I personally like mine just as they are without extra butter. More …

Olympic Torch Cupcakes

The Olympics is starting this week and I can’t wait for it, especially the opening ceremony. We just returned from a weekend away in London and I couldn’t help but get caught up in all the excitement.  The whole city is awash with colourful flags and all the store fronts are creatively themed for the Games. For some reason it reminded me of The Hunger Games, with all the pomp and ceremony. That in turn got me thinking about the amazing fire dresses that Katniss wore for the opening Tribute Parade. So, with the whole idea of parades and flames on my mind, I decided to create a flaming torch cupcake.   More …

Pepper, Tomato and Feta Lattice Tarts

I love anything lattice, lattice bakewell tart, lattice apple pie. There is something about lattice pastry that really appeals to me. It’s like knitted pastry…what’s not to like? I bought a lattice cutter on my honeymoon in Madeira – yeah, I know, I am a real blast to bring on holidays. We found this crazy little shop that sold kitchen gadgets among other things (they also sold giant baby Jesus statues, and a saucepan that would hold a large human – but that’s a different story). More …

Pear, Pomegranate and Pistachio Salad

Pomegranate seeds are not only beautiful to look at, but also delicious to eat. They remind me of little red rubies, all glowing and shiny. They bring such freshness and colour to a salad, kind of like tiny drops of cold rain on a scorching hot summer’s day.  I created this salad with a few of my other favourite ingredients.  Pears are such an underrated fruit, but they have a fantastic flavour and texture. Conference pears are my favourite variety of pear. I also used a delicately flavoured Irish goat’s cheese to give this salad a touch of creaminess. More …

A Scottish Foodie Car-cation

When I was young, we often took the ferry to France for our summer holidays. All four of us would clamber into the back of the car, elbowing each other and fighting to get the window seats. I always got the middle seat. My parents used to pack everything into our car, (winter and summer clothes, board games, even corn flakes), everything to keep us entertained and fed over the two weeks holiday. I haven’t taken the ferry since I was a child, so when I was offered a car-cation to Edinburgh with Stena Line, I jumped at the chance. More …

Cheese Canapes

This dish is kind of like an alternative cheese plate, a cross between cheese tapas, and cheese and crackers. As it’s summer, there is a huge array of delicious ripe fruit out there, so I decided to pair (pear!) them with some of my favourite summer cheese. This cheese plate looks so impressive, but only takes minutes to make and works great as canapés with a glass of sparkling wine or champagne. The cool thing about this dish is that you can mix and match as you like. I sliced up some fruit, a selection of herbs, and some cheese. Then I just tasted and figured out what worked well together. More …

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