Making life delicious, one recipe at a time.

Making life delicious, one recipe at a time.

Author: Lara

No-Bake Mars Bar Slice

No-Bake Mars Bar Slice

Look away now if you’re hoping for a healthy, nutritious recipe to help you shed pounds for a sensational summer bod. But stay tuned if you’re interested in a light, chocolatey snack and have always wanted to make your own version of the Mars Bar slice that you can buy at most supermarkets. I suppose it’s a little bit wholesome that you’re melting down the chocolate bars yourself. I tried making these once before and the recipe was complicated and terrible and they didn’t work out. My hopes were dashed that I’d ever enjoy the pleasures of robbing my kids …

Local Food (and Beer) Hero: Taplow’s Moog Brew

Local Food (and Beer) Hero: Taplow’s Moog Brew

There’s a change in the wind and a whisper in the streets of  Taplow. It wasn’t until I visited the home, tiny beer-garden and micro-brewery of Margi and Id, founders of  Moog Brew that I realised how incredible their enterprise really is. Trading for 2 years now, the married couple developed an interest in brewing after travelling around the UK, USA & Belgium and visiting countless breweries, “it was a journey of learning for us that had only one logical conclusion … to have a go ourselves.”

After homebrewing for a couple of years and winning competitions, they finally caved …

Spiced Carrot, Nut and Coconut Cake

Spiced Carrot, Nut and Coconut Cake

When the Beast of the East strikes and I am trapped in the house with various deadlines and two tweenaged boys, what else is there to do but bake? I’m grateful that I haven’t been stuck on a motorway for hours, that I haven’t had to cancel flights or go out to the shops or work. Schools are closed, the trains have stopped running and the heating is on as we wait for the snow and wind to pass over. One last blast of winter before spring.

I never seem to have almond meal in the cupboard, so when I …

Royal Virundhu: Maidenhead

Royal Virundhu: Maidenhead

There are people who ‘love curry’ and then there are people who actually love Indian cuisine. I’d had two recommendations to try the Royal Virundhu on Queen St in the last few months – which is usually enough for me to try something out for myself and I arrived early enough on a weekday to ensure I didn’t have to compete with the corporate crowd, if there was indeed one to report.

It was quiet, and we ordered a selection of vegetarian dishes. It’s my feeling that if you can make vegetables sing, then you can be confident that the …

How to Choose a Chef’s Knife

How to Choose a Chef’s Knife

Last year I broke my knife. I’d had it for going on 10 years and I was faced with the formidable task of buying a new one. There was no joy in this virtual shopping trip because, as with so many things these days, there are so many choices I simply didn’t know where to start. I loved my old knife, but I was pretty certain I could improve on it, especially considering that when it broke, it was because the handle split in two, leaving the blade in tact but useless.

Naturally then, I was drawn to a knife …

Lemon Dhal

Lemon Dhal

I don’t know how it is with you at approximately first day back to work in early January, but for me, it feels like a long goodbye to the things that I love the most like Blackbomber Cheddar, Christmas lights, Neal’s Yard Dairy Stichelton and See’s Candy Maple Walnut chocolates. But it’s not a very sad farewell, because in actual fact, there’s still cheese in the fridge and chocolates in the drawer; it’s more like an emotional, psychological wrench from eating what ever I want, whenever I want.  And let’s all just admit it that while it’s great …

Mulled Apple Cider

Mulled Apple Cider

This is not so much a recipe, but a guide for festive drinking and a nod to the traditions of ye olden times, traditions that seem both timeless and borderless. Whether they’re Geman family recipes, warming mugs of punch at the Viennese Christmas markets or wassail punch recipes, there’s no hard and fast rules about what to throw in to your festive bowl. Ingredients like apple slices, orange and lemon rind, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice and star anise are the main players when mulling your favourite tipple.

Some clever folks keep their punch warming in a slow-cooker, and others like …

Sachertorte and Sausage in Vienna

Sachertorte and Sausage in Vienna

We’d been dreaming of whisking the kids to Vienna for a slice of Sachertorte to teach them the art of cultural and culinary indulgence. The moment finally happened, we booked our flights many months in advance and the lead up to our trip was long and full of sugar-plum fantasies of shining baubles and cosy cups of glühwein (mulled wine), but mostly of sausages. And expectations were out of control.

Our first stop was to Schonbrunn Palace and as with most large and extravagant sites of interest, we had to book tickets and wait for our slot. The kids weren’t …

Coconut and Cashew Crumble

Coconut and Cashew Crumble

I’m stuck in a cycle of baking the same old recipes because everyone loves them, and eats them which isn’t so bad really. But things can get stale – so I’ve been branching out. It’s not always successful as I discovered with the Lumberjack Cake. A moist, dense combination of apples and dates with a delicious caramel coconut topping. However, it sat on the cake stand half uneaten because half the family liked it and half didn’t. But the real reason was that the recipe, I think, was flawed. I could taste the baking powder/soda and this tainted the flavour …

Indonesian Beef Curry

Indonesian Beef Curry

OK so this is not really a curry, not as you might know it, but it caught your attention nonetheless. Growing up in Australia, we get exposed to a huge range of Asian culinary influences but, here in the UK it’s very much focused on Chinese, Japanese and Indian. It’s great to see Thai restaurants and street-food stalls popping up and Vietnamese is gaining traction in London, but Indonesian food is yet to have any sort of impact. I’ve always thought of Indonesian food as similar to Malaysian; a milder blend of flavours yet strong with umami. Not overly spicy …