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Archive for October, 2011

Happy Halloween! Did you go to a halloween party? Did you dress up? Did you make halloween-themed baked goods? Did you, did you, did you? Where was it? What did you wear? What did you make? Hmmmmm? I did not go to a party or dress up, but I did make these pretty orange and black cupcakes 🙂 Enter if you dare… it’s only cupcakes, silly

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I have a soft spot for loaf cakes. They’re not flashy. They don’t need to dress up all pretty. They’re happy just the way they are, simple and tasty. And everyone else is happy with them the way they are too, because they totally rule your face. I wish I were a loaf cake. Or something. Click here if you wish you were a loaf cake too!

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Sometimes The Book People come to my office. When this happens, I accidentally part with money in return for more cookbooks and then I sneak them home and put them on the bookshelf so that I can claim I’ve had them for ages when Chris asks where they’ve come from. Shh. Don’t tell. What has this got to do with soup? Well, not loads. But I got this wonderful soup book last time The Book People came (don’t you think The Book People sounds kind of sinister? Like The Pod People. They’ve come to take over your… cookbooks! I guess it doesn’t sound that sinister. I do love my cookbooks though. What if they took over my Nigella books?! I am experiencing high levels of confusion right now). Come inside if you want (your cookbooks) to live!

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Last week, my mum and I went out for tea to Strada. I was getting a little worried looking at the menu because I wasn’t in the mood for much of what was on offer (apart from the desserts, hehe). In the end, we both ended up choosing tomato and roasted vegetable rigatoni topped with ricotta and it turned out to be absolutely delicious. We agreed that it needed recreating at home and so I decided to have a go. It turned out ace. Eat your vegetables!

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These cakes just say autumn to me (not literally, that would be mental. And would I still have the heart to eat them if they could talk? I’m so glad they can’t talk.). I think it’s the warm, fudgey flavours of the toffee and the autumnal orange of the fudge and icing, and sticky toffee anything is just great comfort food. While this cake is still my favourite of any sticky toffee dessert, these cupcakes are delicious and definitely worth a make. You want some sticky toffee? Yeah you do!

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So guess what. Before this recipe, I’d never made chocolate chip cookies. I know. Mental. But I really hadn’t. Ever. When I realised this, I wondered why I hadn’t. But now I know: I was waiting for this recipe to come along, so that my first attempt would be AWESOME. Wait! There’s cookies!

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If you were to count my chocolate cookbooks (why do I always seem to be counting my cookbooks?), you would find that I have ten of them. Ten cookbooks devoted to chocolate. That is how much I love chocolate. And I have five more on my Amazon wishlist. Why? What is wrong with me? I shall tell you: Nothing, you fool. Why wouldn’t I want ten chocolate cookbooks? Chocolate is amazing. And after making this recipe from Willie’s Chocolate Bible, I shall be buying the book to add to my collection. Come in if you love chocolate!

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This weekend I had to go old school with my baking. My electric scales broke and I had to dig out my cheap dial scale I got when I first went to uni which only has marks every 50g. It was scary. It was inaccurate. It was impossible to measure 80g. It… worked! It worked! The cake worked! And the icing! Despite the primitive measuring method! Phew. That was tense. Were you tense? Have some cake. It totally helps. Come in, there’s cake!

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Thai massaman curry

Thai food is another one of those things I missed out on for the first 16 years of my life. In fact, I don’t think I was brave enough to try it until I was at uni. Now it’s one of my favourites and I can’t believe I haven’t got any Thai recipes on the blog yet, so here’s one of my favourite Thai curries to rectify the situation! (more…)

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I did not realise, when I decided to make this, how much of an arse-ache it would be to get pasta shells. I naively went to my usual supermarket and happily (that bit might be a lie, grocery shopping makes me angry) trotted (also a lie, I never trot) up and down the aisles picking up my shopping, when I got to the pasta aisle. I looked at the big pasta shapes they had. Not there. “Hmm,” I thought, “I must not be looking properly” (this happens a lot). I looked at the small pasta shells. Nope, not there either. In fact, after 10 minutes of searching (and panicking) it transpired that they did not stock large pasta shells. They had what can only be described as slightly-larger-than-small-but-not-even-medium-sized pasta shells. (more…)

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