I love mince pies.  They just had to be my favourite part of Christmas.  I usually start making them mid November and make at least once batch a week.  I also make them as gifts for friends.  I think as you get older a festive gift of food is so much nicer.  To make my mince pies I use my Nan’s pastry recipe which is just perfect.  She was an amazing sweet pastry cook and everyone I know loved her mince pies.  Mine are good but will never taste like hers! To make the mincemeat and marzipan slice I have… View Post

I’m not sure if you have a starter or not with your Christmas lunch but even if you don’t this classic and simple to make prawn cocktail is a lovely addition to any meal or as a main for a light lunch.  This recipe is 5 simple ingredients: Pre cooked prawns Lettuce Mayonnaise Tomato ketchup Lemon wedges No cooking is required which makes this starter an ideal recipe for the kids to make when you are busy cooking the turkey and all the trimmings.  If you have purchased frozen prawns please make sure they are thoroughly defrosted before eating.  They… View Post

Christmas isn’t Christmas without homemade mince pies. Flaky buttery sweet pastry encasing rich mincemeat full to the brim with rich decadent fruits and that lovely sticky sauce. If you’re lucky it will also have a little alcohol, brandy for example, mixed in as well. My Grandmother was a tremendous sweet pastry cook. He pastry was to die for. A quite simple yet gorgeous tasting rough puff pastry recipe. A recipe I use from her hand written recipe book dating back to the 1930’s. In our house from about now there at least 1 batch (24) mince pies cooked every week.… View Post

Everyone loves an easy dessert.  One that is quick to make but looks and tastes like you have taken forever to make.  This is a cheat’s chocolate and fresh raspberry trifle with no cooking or baking involved. Chocolate roll or chocolate cake 200g of dark chocolate Punnet of raspberries Seedless raspberry jam 250g Mascarpone cheese 400g tinned custard 275ml double cream Cut the chocolate cake in to slices and spread with the raspberry jam then place them in to a trifle dish.  Sprinkle over the raspberries. Break up dark chocolate and melt all apart from 1 chunk.  Whilst the chocolate… View Post

We were invited last week to sample the new panasian menu at Aluna in the Mailbox, Birmingham.  The restaurant is situated at the rear of the Mailbox right by the canal and is easily accessible through The Mailbox or a 5 minute walk along the canal from Broad Street.  We were hown to our table in the lusious decorated resturant side, The room is divided in to two with the resturant one side and a bar the other which serves a range of wines and amazing show stopping cocktails, imagine fire and smoke!  There is also and seating area with… View Post

The lovely people at Biscuiteers’ sent me a box of their fruit iced vanilla biscuits to try.  Biscuiteers are a London based company run by husband and wife team Harriet Hastings and Stevie Congdon.  Buscuiteers’ launched in Autumn of 2007 with their amazing mission staement: ‘Why send flowers when you can send biscuits instead?’ Having tried this beautiful fruit basket of biscuits I really do agree with this mission staement although the odd bunch of flowers won’t go amiss every now and then. The fruit basket contained 16 iced vanilla biscuits which were carefully packaged in a keepsake metal tin.  The… View Post

I was looking on twitter when a link came up about National Days in September.  I was quite surprised to read that today, 3rd September is National Welsh Rarebit day.  Who even knew such a day existed?  I can’t think of anything more comforting on an autumn day than being wrapped up warm, feet up and tucking in to a plate of Welsh Rarebit and this easy to make recipe really is perfection on a plate! To make this super tasty treat you will need: Ingredients 225g of grated strong white cheese such as Cheddar or Cheshire cheese. 1 tablespoon… View Post