Carrot, Apple + Pecan Crumble Muffins

Carrot Apple Crumble Muffin

I’m not much of a breakfast muffin person – it’s hard to sway me from my standard fare of toast with avocado or eggs, bircher muesli or, as the autumn draws in, a bowl of creamy porridge with yoghurt and fruit – but if you are, these muffins would be just perfect. I’ve been eating them at tea time or after dinner, the buttery crumble topping giving them just enough decadence to stand in for dessert. Essentially I’m saying this is an all day sort of a muffin, a necessary addition to your baking knowledge whatever the hour you decide to indulge. Continue reading

Squash + Feta Empanadas

Squash & feta empanada

If you enjoy cooking (and eating), feeding others is a very special thing. Sara wrote a beautiful post about it here; her feelings about how sharing food and nourishing the people around us is an unspoken act of love are so much in line with my own.  But for all I love to choose ingredients, spend time in the kitchen and finally sit down at the table to share the spoils with the people I love, sometimes I also need to be fed.

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Peanut Butter & Blueberry Jam Blondies

Peanut Butter & Blueberry Jam Blondies
The last few weeks have seen a bit of a break from baking. Maybe it’s the warmer weather (she says, on a day when it’s pouring down with rain), the summer holiday season or the inevitable consequence of over a year of cookbook testing, writing, eating and promoting. There have been sweet treats, of course, scoops of ice cream I haven’t made myself (on holiday in Italy, it’s allowed), shop bought cantuccini (see previous bracket) and all the fresh fruit that the season can bring. There was a pistachio cake for my birthday a few weeks back which I filled with a pillow of whipped cream and fresh raspberries, but it disappeared before I got the chance to take any photos, and sometimes (always) living in the moment is more important than snapping it for posterity. Continue reading

Wholemeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Wholemeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

The last few weeks have been full of celebration. We’re at that stage in life where everyone is turning thirty, getting married or engaged with the various drinks and parties and hen dos that go with it. In between all the socialising there’s been little time for baking, so what I end up making tends to involve minimal time and effort for maximum results. Continue reading

Strawberries & Cream Scones

Strawberries & Cream Scones

Strawberries + cream = Wimbledon. Which means the recipe for these strawberries and cream scones is exactly one day too late. Sorry. I was far too busy popping these moreish little morsels into my mouth whilst watching the final yesterday to think about posting them online, but if you look on the bright side you’re now 350 odd days ahead of schedule for planning in snacks for Wimbledon 2016.

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Peach & Almond Bun Cakes

Peach Almond Bun Cakes Brown Sugar

Peaches rarely make their way into my baking. Fruit salads and ice creams or simply eaten whole over the sink, juices spilling down my chin, are all regular occurrences, but subjecting a peach to heat takes a bit more planning. If the fruit is too perfect, it disappears from its brown paper bag before I can even think about cooking; too soft and it won’t withstand the oven’s heat. But every so often I find a contender (or two), and on this occasion a pair of not-quite-perfect peaches made it into these simple little bun cakes. Continue reading

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crumb Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Sauce

I’m not normally what you’d call a cupcake person. Rugged muffins, buttery financiers and slabs of brownie I can get behind, but American-style cupcakes weighed down with buttercream and covered in sprinkles? Not so much. Yet try as I may, there’s something so birthday-appropriate about a cupcake and with two to celebrate this weekend just gone, I’m going against my better nature and sharing these peanut butter beauties. Continue reading

Walnut Cherry Oat Butter Tart Pie

Walnut Oat Cherry Butter Tart Pie Seven Spoons

‘There are a million and one directions in my waking hours, but I find there’s a welcome habit in cooking, in the routines of the kitchen around which our lives revolve. It’s what gets us going in the morning and brings us back together each night.’ 

This is the closing paragraph of the introduction to food blogger Tara O’Brady’s beautiful debut cookbook, Seven Spoons. It’s a sentence that seems to sum up her approach and the way this book will work its way into your kitchen. If you’re into cooking, I suspect that Tara’s is the kind of food you’re already making, but a new improved version, introduced with passion and such elegant prose, peppered with little surprises and tips along the way. Continue reading

Chocolate Orange Madeleines

Chocolate Orange Madeleines

My name is Kate and I’m addicted to buying cookbooks. In between purchases I try to get my fix from blogs and magazines and websites, but there’s nothing quite like a physical cookbook with its secrets and stories and real pages to prop open. Ask my husband to verify this fact and he’ll wryly smile before leading you to our spare room where a whole wall of evidence awaits: Ottolenghi snuggled between Annie Bell and Richard Bertinet, beneath rows of River Cottage, River Café, Hugh, Delia, Jamie and more.

This army of cookbooks isn’t just made up of big name bestsellers. I love to see how home cooks approach recipe writing and the recent rise of food blogs to books has opened up a new world of temptation as far as cookbook buying goes. These books don’t just share recipes but invite you into the kitchen of their author, the personal tone making them incredibly satisfying; a feeling of sitting down at someone’s table rather than simply being dictated what to make. Continue reading

Homemade Ginger Nuts (Ginger Snaps)

Ginger Nuts tray

With their fiery flavour and tooth-breaking crunch, ginger nuts – sometimes known as ‘snaps’ – regularly come top of ‘dunkability’ experiments. If you don’t have a cup of tea to hand but prefer something softer, a shop-bought ginger nut can be gently warmed in the oven or microwave. Just be careful with the timings or you’ll end up with incinerated biscuits, a wailing fire alarm and an angry university warden (I’m speaking from experience).
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