This month in the Secret Recipe Club we were assigned Karen’s blog Lavender and Lovage. Karen blogs about British food and the customs that often surround them. She also blogs some wonderful French recipes, as she splits her time between North Yorkshire and the South West of France. Karen’s blog is full of gorgeous pictures and wonderful recipes and I am hooked!
As you can probably tell, I really really like Karen’s blog. I have made three of her recipes so far (out of a long list that I want to try) and each of them was delicious and exceeded my expectations. I was going to share the recipe for her Butter Bean and Bacon Cassoulet which is wonderful but my fellow SRC member Emily had already discovered and raved about it. I’ve chosen to share a really simple recipe for mackerel pate which we had as part of a lovely lazy Sunday lunch. This would also be a great starter at a dinner party.
- 250g peppered smoked mackerel
- 125g cream cheese with herbs (Karen suggest boursin)
- 125g creme fraiche
- salt and pepper to season
- 1 small shallot, peeled and finely diced
- juice of half a lemon (Karen used a whole lemon but check as you go along in case less will do)
- cayenne pepper
Flake the mackerel into a bowl and add all the other ingredients. Mix well and then cover with cling film. Chill for an hour in the fridge before serving. We used fresh crusty bread to serve this with. This is so simple yet makes the most delicious pate I’ve ever tasted. Please go make this and check out Karen’s wonderful blog!
This month, for the Secret Recipe Club, we were lucky enough to be assigned Bewitching Kitchen. This is a bit of international food blogger love, because the author of Bewitching Kitchen was born and raised in Sao Paolo, Brazil. So we were pretty excited to try our hands at some Brazilian recipes! I’d been meaning to try Pao de Queijo (pronounced “little cheesey popover things”) for a while now, so this was the perfect excuse! They’re delightful little popovers, be careful, it’s easy to eat a bunch of them…
Obviously December is not the only month where we’re allowed to enjoy cookies. So here is a round-up of tasty homemade gift ideas we’ve posted, in case you need any more inspiration!
Brownies are always a favourite with the sweet obsessed (by which we mean us). Lucy will be making a few trays of cheesecake topped chocolate brownies this weekend while Shannon, unsurprisingly, leans towards a brownie with booze – bourbon cherry brownies.
Cupcakes are still really popular and we may have made a few of these over the last couple of years. Amongst others we have peanut butter cupcakes, beer cupcakes, St Patrick’s day cupcakes and Victoria sponge cupcakes.
Lucy seems to have a weakness for muffins with fruit – apple and toffee muffins or chocolate and banana muffins
Biscuits/Cookies – amaretti and ginger biscuits
Someone on the list who doesn’t so much have a sweet tooth? How ’bout Soft Pretzels:
And if you truly can’t be bothered to make anything, our recommended gift lists from last year still stand (part 1, part 2). We would gladly still accept anything by Le Creuset.
Category : Bread, Nibbles
Things are ramping up for the Holiday season. We Yanks have Thanksgiving in two weeks, and I’m hosting my family this year, so that should be an adventure. But that’s stress for another day. This weekend Seattle is headed into crappy weather. The kind of weather you hunker down during: It’s all couch time, all weekend long. So, that also makes it a snacky kind of weekend. This blog has plenty of dessert snackables, so I thought I’d add something a little saltier to the mix. This is a delicious option. It’s admittedly a little labor intensive, at least for the kind of snacking I usually do. But it saves you from spending the entire weekend on the couch, or if you’re having people around, it looks a little nicer than nuking burritos and it’s certainly cozier than opening a bag of chips!
During my visit to the UK, Lucy was fresh off a holiday as well. She had just come back from Spain, and was waxing poetic about all the wonderful food. So, considering the dreich weather, we decided to try to bring a little Spanish sunshine back to Edinburgh, in the form of tapas. And adding saffron: even better.
Back in this post I recommended a book that I was lusting after as a possible Christmas gift: The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit. It seems a lot of people thought the same and Edinburgh city centre sold out in the run up to Christmas (according to a certain boyfriend). So I ended up indulging myself in the sales and I have been engrossed ever since.
Although the book doesn’t tend to give many recipes it is a great springboard for cooking. The other night I had some salmon I wanted to cook and half a lime that needed eating up. After a quick flick through the chapters Marine (Oily Fish) and Citrussy (Lime) I had more ideas for flavour combinations than I knew what to do with.
These scones are one of the recipes I found when I was searching for things to go with goats cheese and they are great although, possibly too easy to snack on. Continue Reading
If you’ve followed who wrote what for the blog, you’ll probably notice a pattern: Lucy cooks wonderful savory dishes, and I’m more about sweets. It’s not that I can’t or don’t make anything else. It’s just that sugar is a far, far better motivator than salt for me (but it can be a close call, I’m a bit of a salt fiend too). However, I booked a tropical holiday for just after Christmas, so while I spent all summer effectively avoiding swimsuits, I think I really should try to cut back on the carbs for a little bit here. Well, at least until I pass a bakery and start crying a bit and give up on the diet and start wallowing in starch and sugar.
So, not only am I doing a non-dessert dish, but I actually added more vegetables to the dish than the original recipe asked for.
I’m scared too, guys.
Back to the dish: it’s a tortilla. No, not that kind of tortilla. If you tried to use it to wrap up a burrito, you’d have an extreme mess on your hands. This is the kind of tortilla you see on Tapas menus. It’s like an omelet or fritata, and generally cut into small chunks and served at or slightly above room temperature. Or if you’re starving from carb deprivation, you’ll dive into head-first while it’s still hot enough to burn, in which case it doesn’t hold together very well but is still very tasty.
The original recipe calls for normal potatoes, fewer vegetables, and recommends putting the potato/chorizo mix on top of the eggs. I then mixed them together, but I think putting the potatoes down first and pouring the eggs over the top is the better bet, especially if you’re intending to serve small squares when entertaining. Also, note this is a BIG recipe. So if you’re only having a small dinner party or want it more as a main for a small group, half it for sure.
First, a big apology: I was supposed to post last week, but I was both extremely busy and rather sick, so when I wasn’t bogged down with one I was bogged down by the other, and that wasn’t terribly conducive to posting. A lot of the busy was due to making desserts for a little local convention, so my oven was very busy. Sadly, I think the cold went straight to my brain, because a) I didn’t take many pictures and b) of the pictures I took, not a lot are useable. But they were such good desserts, they will come back around, and in the meantime, I give this peace offering. Continue Reading
This week is Cheesecake Week on Double the Sugar! We’ll be posting every day with a recipe or a review or just some cheesecake related tips. Let us know how we’re doing in the comments section and cheer us on as we, and our other halves, become increasingly full of cheesecake related goodies!
I hope you’re not horribly disapointed that the first cheesecake of the week is a savoury one. I just like to keep you guessing folks!
There’s a show in the UK called Come Dine With Me. It is wonderful telelvision. It is also probably very cheap to make and has become hugely popular thanks to the fact that it’s always fun to laugh at other people. The basic premise of the show is that four or five strangers from the same town take it in turns to throw a dinner party for each other. At the end of the night they score each other out of ten. At the end of the week the person with the highest score wins. Cue lots of complaints, awful scoring, moaning behind people’s backs and fake friendliness. So always a good laugh.