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Thursday, 19 April 2012

Garlic butter roasted mussels

Today is national garlic day, to celebrate I have made garlic stuffed mussels! Healthy, simple and good for you.

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 25g/1oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander, plus extra to garnish
  • 6 green-lipped mussels, de-bearded and cleaned, one shell removed
  • 75g/3oz fresh breadcrumbs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ lime, cut into wedges

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, butter and coriander.
Place the mussels on a small baking tray. Divide the butter between the mussels, then sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
To serve, transfer to a warm plate and sprinkle with coriander and lime wedges.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Peppermint Creams - by Lorraine Pascale

I saw this recipe on  Lorraine Pascale's TV programme and I just had to try making them, my boyfriend adores pepper mint creams as they remind him of his Grandmother. I made them for my friends and family for Easter and they were a big hit, great for any occasion and perfect for a gift for someone special.


  • 320g icing sugar
  • 130g condensed milk
  • 2 tsp peppermint extract - I added in a little extra to get a nice mint flavour
  • 200g dark chocolate (i used milk as my family don't like dark chocolate)

  1. Add the icing sugar, condensed milk and peppermint extract in a bowl. Mix all the ingredients together until you can form a icing sugar dough ball (you might need to work it a little).
  2. Place the dough onto a floured (with icing sugar) work surface and roll it out until the dough is between 3 and 5mm thick.
  3. Cut out your shapes using whichever tool you prefer, a shot glass/spirit measure give a great size.
  4. Place your peppermint cream shapes onto a parchment lined surface (I didn't have this so I used cling film) and leave in the fridge for at least ah hour to set.
  5. Then melt 200g chocolate in a pyrex bowl over a simmering pan of water (make sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl as it will make it too hot).  Take your peppermint creams out of the fridge and dip them in the chocolate half way or allow the first half to set in the fridge before coating the other half to cover them completely.
Wrap in little bags with ribbon or on tissue paper in small boxes.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Rhubarb and Coconut Meringue Pie

My mum picked out this recipe as the dessert for her Mothers Day meal as she loves rhubarb. I have never made a meringue pie so it was a first for me! I really great way to impress friends and family, also most of it you can make a day ahead.


For the pie
  • 700g rhubarb cut into 3cm pieces
  •  160g caster sugar
  • The zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 4 tbsp cornflour
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 50g melted unsalted butter 
For the pastry
  • 50g dessicated coconut
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 110g unsalted butter (cold and cut into cubes)
  • Aprox 2 tbsp iced water
For the meringue
  • 3 Large egg whites
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 40g  dessicated coconut

  1. For the pastry, put the coconut into a food processor with 1 tbsp of the flour and pulse into a fine mixture. Add the flour, coconut and sugar  into a large bowl and mix, add in the better and using your finger tips rub into the flour mixture until it resembles find breadcrumbs. Add just enough iced water to bind. Knead briefly until smooth (try to touch the pastry as little as possible), wrap in cling film and put it into the fridge for 20 mins.
  2. While the pastry is chilling mix the rhubarb with 70g of sugar and the zest and juice of the orange. Scatter into a roasting tray and cook for 20 minuets at 190°C. Process the rhubarb and the juices in a food processor until smooth and pass through a sieve with a wooden spoon. Set aside.
  3. Turn the oven up to 200 °C. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 20cm x 3.5cm fluted loose bottomed tart tin. Line with baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice and blind bake for 12 mins on a baking sheet. Remove the baking beans and paper and cook for a further 5 minuets or until crisp and golden. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl mix the remaining sugar, corn flour and some of the rhubarb purée to make a paste. Add into a pan with the rest of the rhubarb purée and bring to the boil on a medium heat, allow this to bubble  for a minuet, then remove it from the heat. Taste and if is too tart add in some more sugar. Mix the egg yolks with the butter, add in the rhubarb mixture to make a curd. Scrape into a bowl, cool and then chill.
  5. Pour the curd into the pastry case and bake for 30 minuets at  190°until set. Allow to cool completely. (if your making this a day ahead leave in the fridge until you are ready to finish the dessert).
  6. Then to finish make the  meringue . Whisk the egg white until stiff, then add in the sugar 1 tbsp at a time whisking until still each time. Then fold through the coconut and spoon the  meringue  over the rhubarb tart base. Bake in the oven for 15 minuets at  190°until the meringue is golden and crisp on the outside. Then cool and serve!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Ravioli with bacon, peas and courgette

This recipe is a real week night wonder. Simple, easy and really divine! I served mine with a chilled glass of white wine and some stone baked garlic bread.

Preparation - 5 mins
Cooking - 10 mins
Serves - 2 people


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 rashers of bacon, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium courgette, grated
  • 1 cup of peas (you can use a mug, small glass depending on how many peas you like)
  • Tortellini (any flavour you like, one pack usually serves 2)


  1. Add the oil to a frying pan and fry the bacon until crisp, drain off the bacon and set aside leaving the oil in the pan. Soften the onion on a medium heat for 5-10 minuets then add the garlic for 3-5 minuets (don't let the garlic go a golden brown it will have burnt and will taste bitter). 
  2. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, while it is cooking add the courgette and the peas to the onions and add in the bacon.
  3. When the pasta is cooked drain it then and add it to the bacon mixture, then season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve and cover in parmesan, lovely with garlic bread.