May 28th, 2011

The Perfect Chilli Con Carne? Category: Recipes

Anthony has been asking for a Chilli for ages and I keep making excuses. Its not that I dislike it, its just that I tend to prefer other things for dinner.

Tonight he eventually got his way and made his own after some research for a good recipe. That is when he came across an article on the Guardians Word of Mouth Blog – How to cook the perfect chilli con carne.

He quickly decided that he wanted to make the perfect chilli con carne but we did find it difficult to source the ingredients and we swapped the speciality chillis for a hot red one & some dried chilli flakes, Mexican oregano for dried oregano and we forgot the sugar. We also added half a tin of tomatoes at the end to bulk things out too.

We were slightly disappointed with our version, I couldn’t taste any coffee but Anthony thinks it added to the base layer of flavour. And the overall heat was much less than I had expected but it did leave me with a slightly tingly tongue! We’ll see how it develops overnight/in freezer.

April 16th, 2011

Scones Category: Cooking with...

My first Cooking With… post.  Elodie likes watching me cooking cakes, to be honest she loves anything to do with cakes and can often be heard saying ‘coffee and cakes’ ahem, not that we go for coffee and cakes often ;)

This week she got to help make scones properly – fingers in the flour, rubbing the butter in & mixing the egg and milk in.  There was lots of flour everywhere but she enjoyed herself and the scones were really nice too.

March 12th, 2011

Review & Competition: Hotel Chocolat Easter Chocolates Category: Reviews

So its not too long to Easter and the lovely Jam & Cream has sent me a Hotel Chocolat H Box to review, how could I say no?

The 15 filled chocolate eggs arrived quickly and well packaged in the post, so I can recommend their postal service if you want to order from their website :)

But getting to the good bit, the chocolates… well, unusually they lasted a few nights in the house which was a pleasant surprise, not because they were horrible – because they were too lovely & had to be savoured!

Our Top 3

Caramel Egg – delicious sweet runny caramel in a 50% milk chocolate shell, it tastes even better than it sounds

Vanilla Custard Egg – vanilla custard ganache in a milk chocolate shell, I could have eaten a whole box of these

Blueberry Egg - very fruity blueberry ganache in white chocolate, I am weary of fruity chocolate but this really tasted like fresh blueberries and went nicely with the smooth white chocolate shell

The Others

All the eggs were lovely and the chocolate shells are nice and thick so you get a good chocolate fix with each one.  The strawberry egg was another fresh fruity surprise in white chocolate and the caramel praline egg tasted like a Ferrero Roche encased in a caramel chocolate shell nom nom nom…

The only downside to this box is that there are 15 chocolates in each box and 8 flavours so there weren’t two of every flavour.  We had 5 pairs, one triple selection (Caramel, yummy) but two came on their own & I dont like sharing ;)

Competition – Would you like to win a Hotel Chocolat H Box?

We can really recommend this box so if you would like to win a box for yourself all you need to do is ‘Like’ the Hotel Chocolat Facebook page or follow them on Twitter & come back and leave me a comment below to let me know you have done it – please leave me your Twitter name and/or a way to contact you.  I will than randomly pick a winner after the closing date on 26th March 2011.  Good Luck!

Please note this competition is only open to UK Residents

February 20th, 2011

Birthday Girl is 2 Category: Other Foodiness

Elodie was 2 on Wednesday, I really dont know where the time has gone.  A birthday calls for cake so here is her Miffy cake.  This is the first time I have tried to make a figure to go on top of the cake and I have to say I am reasonably proud of my efforts given I didnt practice!

We took Elodie to Chester Zoo on her birthday and she seemed to enjoy herself… I think the monkeys were her favourite.  Here is the birthday girl with her balloon…

January 25th, 2011

Celeriac Soup Category: Cooking for..., Recipes

Last week Elodie had a quick taste of Celeriac soup & it went down a treat, so this weekend I made some for us.  The recipe was really easy and quick to make, the soup itself was velvety and filling.  The recipe I used was a Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall one from River Cottage:


  • 50g butter
  • 1 celeriac
  • 1 potato
  • 1 leek
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 litre chicken stock

1. Peel & chop the celeriac and potato

2. Peel & chop onion,

3. Slice the garlic & leek

4. Melt the butter on  a low heat and add the vegetables.  Put the lid on the pan to help the vegetables sweat down.  I left the for about 20 minutes.

5. Add chicken stock and leave to cook for 20 minutes until celeriac is tender.

6. Leave to cool slightly then blitz with a blender.

7. To serve, heat soup thoroughly.

We enjoyed ours with the last of my River Cottage Bread.  A simple, filling and very tasty midweek dinner.

Elodie cleaned her bowl and has since been feeding her baby soup. I think she enjoyed it! (well, for the timebeing).  I managed to get 3 Elodie portions & 2 large dinner portions out of the above recipe. I have frozen two of the small portions & I think they will be ok.

Hugh suggests that you swirl some Parsley & Walnut Pesto through it but we didn’t and it was fine without. Though we did swirl a little cream through the adult portions but to be honest it didn’t make much difference.

December 18th, 2010

30th Birthday Cake – Guitar Category: General

It was my brothers 30th Birthday earlier this week & despite him denying the whole thing it really did happen… so to celebrate I had to make a cake.  At first I had exciting ideas revolving around mountain bikes, his new hobby but it was soon decided that it would be based around his love of all things guitar related.  Elodie *loves* Gung Gungs guitar (Gung Gung is her attempt at saying Uncle & seems to have stuck for now) and once I told her we would be making a cake for his birthday all she kept saying was “gung gung cake” followed by the noise a guitar makes… thats a lesson I should have learnt from, not to tell her anything that is a secret that she can talk about :)

We also went out for a meal to Simon Rimmers restaurant Earle in Altrincham… it was really nice if a bit far to trek from the Wirral but we all enjoyed some delicious food & a nice time was had by all.

Anyway, here are is the cake (I was up until midnight last Saturday making the icing guitar)