Monday, November 21, 2011

The Christmas Cake...

... is out of the oven.

(Contains blueberries, strawberries and macadamia nuts, as well as the tradition goodies!)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Carrot and Almond Soup

This is my favourite soup recipe which I'm posting for Laura. It comes from Gillian McKeith's cookbook "You Are What You Eat," which, actually, there is no point in buying because it only has about three good recipes in it. Though I must admit that those three recipes are AWESOME!

When ever I eat this soup I always feel like I'm putting something really nutritious into my body. It tastes sweet and the ground almonds give it a lovely creaminess. Gillian does some messing around with herb stalks but I'm inclined to ignore anything fussy like that. It's also nice to double the recipe and freeze ahead for ease of access to yummy deliciousness. :)
Carrot and Almond Soup
Serves 4

  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 6 carrots, trimmed, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp wheat-free vegetable bouillon powder (I use a stock cube...)
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 100g ground almonds


1. Place the onions, garlic, carrot and celery in a large saucepan. Add 1.25 litres boiling water and the bouillon powder. Bring to the boil and add the herbs.

Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Strain, reserving the stock. Blend the vegetables with a hand held blender until smooth.

Return the mixture to the pan and add the ground almonds and enough of the reserved stock to make a soup-like consistency.
Reheat, then divide between warmed soup bowls and serve garnished with chopped fresh coriander and parsley.

What I said earlier about freezing was true - I always made double to freeze - but everyone always eats at least two bowls in one sitting so the next time I make it, I'm going to do it when everyone's out and not tell anyone what I made...

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Bonjour, mes amis! My recent absence was due at first to a singing competition and then to the awful, evil flu. I'm better now and ready to blog again -LUCKY YOU, YAY!!

Having literally eaten my body weight six times over in the last two weeks to stay alive, I have now taken up the challenge of losing 7 - 10lbs before Christmas. (I've said it on Twitter now, so it has to happen.) This does mean that my baking will take a step back for a while and the cooking will take a step up. 

HOWEVER! I made this recipe for one of my trips to Dublin two weeks ago and it is so fast and SO EASY and reminds me of being a little person. My sister used to make a variation of this and we always called them 'hedgehogs." 

4 oz butter (at room temperature)
4 oz caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten with a dash of milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz self raising flour

For the top:
150g raspberry jam, heated until runny
100g desiccated coconut

Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius (170 fan)/ 350 Fahrenheit / Gas 4

                                                     1: CREAM THE BUTTER AND SUGAR!

2: Add the egg, vanilla and flour a little at a time, mixing as you go until all ingredients have been used.

 3:  Divide the mixture between 12 prepared lined bun cases.

4: Bake for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

5: Lightly toast the coconut on a baking tray under a grill or in a frying pan until lightly golden.

6: Spread the jam on top of each cake and dip into the toasted coconut until coated.