Recipes and Ruminations of a Freelance Eater

Recipes and Ruminations of a Freelance Eater

Recent Posts

Cafe Brownies

Cafe Brownies

So there’s a debate raging in my house. I’ve just made a brownie and it’s different recipe to the one I normally use. This new recipe comes from a friend who used to work as pastry chef under one of Sydney’s well-known chefs. This friend has been making these brownies since forever and they always look incredible but I never tried making them because the recipe was always so large – 10 eggs large. These ladies are working large-scale tray bakes here for the hungry cafe-goers of Sydney but I’m looking for something more humble in size so I had …

Strawberry Shortcake with Baby Basil and Sweetened Creme Fraiche

Strawberry Shortcake with Baby Basil and Sweetened Creme Fraiche

This is no ordinary strawberry shortcake. Perfect for when strawberries are in season when they not only taste great but are cheap too. Fairly easy to make, always impressive and lovely to eat, this almond shortbread and with strawberries served with baby basil leaves and brown sugar creme fraiche is a recipe I’ve held onto for years. Ideal for dinner parties, afternoon tea or family get togethers, you can make the shortcake the day before and it takes only minutes to assemble. While you can use almond meal in place of processing your own almonds, you won’t get the rustic, …

Hrstule

Hrstule

I have a little recipe book where I keep all my cuttings and family recipes. Its pages are splattered with flour and other ingredients, and some of the pages are even stuck together. Scattered through out this book are mysterious little post its with hand-written and very scant recipes for various Croatian sweeties. Sweeties for recipes that my mum and I love, but find hard to track down. Something you might not know about some people, is that sometimes they don’t share the entire recipe with you. You’ll get enough to get you a good result, but often a little …

Lemon Yoghurt Cake

Lemon Yoghurt Cake

It’s nearly Mother’s Day. In my house this means home made cards from the boys, and an uncertain spouse asking what I want. While I wasn’t blessed with the sensitivity and understanding of little girls, I was gifted with two precious boys who love me. I don’t need Hallmark to help us along with that, but I do believe that Mother’s Day is a good opportunity to tell your mum how much she means to you. This lemon yoghurt cake is an ideal way to celebrate Mothering Sunday, as it’s known here in the UK. It’s light, sweet and tingles …

Asian Meatballs with Sticky Glaze

Asian Meatballs with Sticky Glaze

You can make these meatballs with whatever mince you fancy, be it turkey, beef or pork but do take care to buy 5% lean mince where you can. I can never really tell the difference between lean mince and full fat (20%) so this is a painless way of reducing fat in your diet. Another tip here is to oven-bake the meatballs, instead of pan-frying. This not only saves on fat but it’s also easier than standing at the hob and scraping burnt pieces of mince off the surface as your meatballs slowly disintegrate.

I’ve made these many times and …

Chicken and Cashew Stir Fry

Chicken and Cashew Stir Fry

If you’re looking for a tried and tested chicken stir-fry, this recipe will tick all the boxes. It’s easy to prepare, easy to make. It tastes amazing and it has that pan-asian appeal that is neither strongly Thai or Chinese and yet, satisfies a hankering for that unmistakable umami of Asian cuisine. You don’t have to be kick-ass kitchen to nail this recipe and chances are you’ll have most of the ingredients already. This recipe has been in our family for many, many years and I think my sister first discovered it from a magazine or something. It’s hand written …

Food Hero: Made for Drink

Food Hero: Made for Drink

It could have been anywhere really, but Dan Featherstone and his team chose Maidenhead to be the HQ of the Made for Drink company. What started in his kitchen a few years ago, soon became prodigious cook-ups in the community hall at Waltham St Lawrence. Today though, Dan and his team have got a trade unit in the Cordwalis Estate with six employees, a modest complement of cooking equipment and they’re about to add another major retailer to their growing list of clients which includes Waitrose, Molson Coors, Fortnum and Mason, Daylesford, Rick Stein to name-drop just a few.…

The Mole and Badger: Cookham Dean

The Mole and Badger: Cookham Dean

I’ve always known that there was a boutique hotel and restaurant tucked away in Cookham Dean, but I’d never bothered to seek it out; it either seemed too fussy or hidden away. So, when I’d heard about The Mole and Badger opening up at the old coaching inn, I was very curious…

Cookham Dean was the childhood home of author Kenneth Grahame and became the setting for the famous Wind in the Willows stories about Mr Toad, Ratty, Mole and Badger. The charming story book icons have inspired the new identity of Sanctum on the Green’s restaurant, listed also as …

Festive Edibles for Gifting and Scoffing

Festive Edibles for Gifting and Scoffing

It seems that the Maidenhead Farmer’s Market is at dire risk of being closed for good and that got me thinking about the ways we source and buy local produce and edible gifts, especially at Christmas time. Everyone loves receiving chocolates or a hamper of goodies at Christmas, but you can always do better than a bog-standard brand from the shelves of your local supermarket. If you can’t find the time to make your own truffles or bake some shortbread, the next best thing is finding a locally made or artisan treats and while they might not be easy to …

Chocolate and Roasted Walnut Truffles

Chocolate and Roasted Walnut Truffles

I normally stay away from either making or eating truffles. I don’t like all the rolling-by-hand. So when I saw this idea on a Mexican cooking show recently, I was motivated to put this knew technique into action. Instead of rolling your truffles, simply pour the mixture into a tin and cut the pieces into rustic cubes. Dust in cocoa as you have truffles without all the fussles.

When it comes to making truffles, as long as you’ve got equal parts of chocolate and cream you can pretty much do what you like with them. I feel the marriage of …