Hi and welcome to my blog! My name is Karen and I love cooking simple, uncomplicated, flavourful food. My cooking is inspired by seasonal ingredients, punchy flavours, an awareness of sustainability and of course by the likes and dislikes of my family and friends that sit around my table as well as you, the virtual guests around my table!
I am a chef, recipe developer and food stylist and generate my own content. I am also completely addicted to recipe books, of which I have an extremely large collection but the essence of my food is about celebrating life and all the fabulousness that we can add by creating good food.
Thank you for reading my blog. Please keep on giving me feedback and may your kitchen, as mine, be filled with joy and the best tasting food!
1 x 250 g bottle of cheese spread 150g butter, cubed 6 cloves of garlic, minced 2 red chillies, very finely chopped 250ml grated mozzarella cheese 2 sourdough loafs or baguettes
Preheat your oven to 200℃. Add the cheese spread, butter, garlic and chillies to a small saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir the mixture around while the butter melts. Keep going until amalgamated. Add the grated mozzarella and stir until the cheese has melted and has incorporated into the sauce. Take from the heat. Slice the bread on the diagonal into slices 2cm apart, taking care not to go all the way through to the bottom. Spread the cheese mixture generously between the slices. Wrap the bread in foil. (You may freeze one loaf at this stage). Place the loaf on a baking sheet and put into the oven for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
500g pasta of your choice 1 x 245g sachet pickled peppers, diced and liquid reserved 500g prawns, deveined 250ml salad cream/creamy mayonnaise 250ml yoghurt 2 big handfuls of basil leaves half an English cucumber, diced
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions and drain. Take the pickled peppers from the sachet and chop. Set the peppers aside. Drizzle the pickling liquid over the warm pasta and stir through. Set aside to cool. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, add the prawns and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Add the salad cream, yoghurt and basil leaves to a blender and process until you have a light green dressing. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Add the pasta, prawns, cucumber, peppers and basil dressing to a large bowl and mix through. Scatter some basil leaves on top and serve.
This chutney is the perfect way to jar your favourite summer memories. Delicious on a sandwich, with meat or on a cheeseboard.
30ml olive oil 2 red onions, chopped 3 cloves of garlic, minced 3cm fresh ginger, grated 2-3 red chillies, sliced 2 cinnamon sticks 2 star anise 750g tomatoes, halved 750g plums, pitted and halved a handful of parsley 190ml brown sugar 250ml apple cider vinegar 2,5ml salt
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and fry until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, chillies, cinnamon and star anise and cook until fragrant. Add the tomato, plums, herbs, sugar, vinegar and salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for one and a half hours or until the chutney has thickened. Remove the spices, adjust the seasoning and spoon the chutney into sterilised jars. Serve as a condiment to leftover meat, a cheeseboard or simply on a sandwich.
125ml sugar 125ml flour 3 eggs 5ml vanilla 30ml butter, melted 250ml milk enough pitted cherries to cover the bottom of a pie/flan dish
Preheat your oven to 180℃ and grease a ceramic pie/flan dish. Add the sugar and flour to a mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs, vanilla, melted butter and milk together in a wide-mouth jug. Slowly pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients while whisking. Fill the bottom of the pie dish with an even layer of cherries and pour the batter over the cherries. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. The clafoutis will puff up in the oven and fall back on itself as it cools. Dust with icing sugar once cooled.
3 potatoes, cooked (about 250 – 350ml cooked potato) 60ml butter 250ml cheese, grated (I use parmesan and cheddar) 5ml salt 5ml garlic salt 15ml chives, chopped 250ml yoghurt 375ml self-raising flour butter
Mash the cooked potato while it is still warm and mix in the butter, cheese, salt, garlic salt and chives. Set aside to cool. Add the yoghurt and flour to a bowl and combine. Knead until you have a smooth ball of dough – add a small amount of flour if the dough is too sticky. Divide the dough in two balls. Roll out into a circle of 1cm thickness. Add half the potato mixture, flatten into a smaller circle and gather the edges of the dough around the filling. Pinch together the dough to seal the potato filling. Flip the filled dough and gently roll it out to a disk shape that will fit your pan. Pan-fry on both sides on medium heat, until golden, brushing with melted butter. Serve the bread warm.
375ml bran 125ml boiling water 60ml butter, melted 190ml brown sugar 1 egg, beaten 50ml + 200ml buttermilk 6ml bicarbonate of soda 160ml flour 160ml wholewheat flour 2ml salt 250ml desiccated coconut
Preheat your oven to 220℃ and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cups. Add the bran to a mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over. Stir through. Pour the 50ml buttermilk into a small bowl and sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda over. Stir through and set aside. Add the melted butter to the bran and stir again. Now add the sugar, egg and 200ml buttermilk. Pour the bicarb and buttermilk into the mixture and mix through. Add the flour, wholewheat flour, salt and coconut and stir until just mixed. Divide the batter among the paper cases and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the muffins from the oven and from the muffin tin and cool them on a cooling rack.
This recipe makes about 300 biscuits and keeps brilliantly when stored in an airtight container.
1,5kg self-raising flour 30ml cream of tartar 30ml bicarbonate of soda 30ml ground ginger 5ml salt 500g butter, cubed 500g golden syrup 1kg brown sugar 6 eggs, whisked together
Preheat your oven to 180℃ and spray 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray. Sift together the flour, cream of tartar, bicarb, ginger and salt. Add the cubed butter and rub it in with your fingertips. Pour the golden syrup into a saucepan and set over medium heat until the syrup is very runny. Add the brown sugar and stir until almost dissolved. Take the saucepan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes. Whisk the eggs together and slowly add it to the syrup mixture while whisking continuously. Now add the butter and flour mixture and stir through until there is no trace of flour left. Refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour. Roll the dough into balls the size of walnuts and place them on a baking sheet, evenly spaced and about 3cm apart. Flatten each ball slightly with the tines of a fork (you don’t want them too flat!) and bake for 12 minutes. Cool the biscuits on the baking tray for 10 minutes or until set enough to handle. Keep going with making balls, flattening and baking until you have an abundance (about 300) of ginger biscuits. Store the biscuits in an airtight container.
2 aubergines olive oil 250g cherry tomatoes 1 red onion, chopped 3 cloves of garlic, minced 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomato 15ml fresh thyme, chopped 300g orzo 100g parmesan cheese, grated a handful of fresh basil 1 Burrata
Preheat your oven to 200℃ and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Slice the aubergine into discs, spread them out on the prepared baking sheet and generously drizzle with olive oil. Scatter the cherry tomatoes over the aubergine and bake for 30 minutes. Place a saucepan on medium-high heat and add some olive oil. Fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the chopped tomato and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes while stirring occasionally. Cook the orzo according to packet instructions. Drain the orzo and add it to the tomato sauce. Add the grated parmesan and stir through. Spoon the orzo into a serving dish and top with the aubergine, roasted tomato and burrata. Serve with fresh basil leaves scattered on top.
500g self-raising flour 10ml cream of tartar 10ml bicarbonate of soda 10ml ground ginger 2ml salt 170g butter, cubed 170g golden syrup 350g brown sugar 2 eggs 12 chocolate balls, halved 250ml cream, whipped
Preheat your oven to 180℃ and spray a 24-hole mini-muffin pan with cooking spray. Sift together the flour, cream of tartar, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and salt. Add the cubed butter and rub in with your fingers. Set aside. Add the syrup and sugar to a saucepan set of medium-low heat and stir until the sugar has almost completely dissolved. The mixture should be very runny. Cool for 5 minutes. Whisk the eggs together in a bowl and add it to the syrup mixture while whisking. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly – there should be no dry flour left. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and place in the muffin pans. Flatten the balls with your fingers and then make an indent with a small shot glass/the back of a lemon juicer. See video below. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately press the indents like you did before baking. Place half a chocolate ball in each hollow and set aside to cool. Top each ginger cup with whipped cream to serve.
250g dark chocolate, chopped 250g biscuits, something like ginger biscuits, finger biscuits, Marie biscuits or digestives 100g soft butter 150g caster sugar 3 eggs 30ml vanilla 30ml cocoa powder 75g almond nuts, chopped 75g pecan nuts, chopped 50g pistachio nuts, chopped 30ml icing sugar, sifted, to decorate twine, to decorate
Add the chocolate to a heatproof bowl set over simmering water and allow to melt until completely smooth. Set aside to cool. Bash the biscuits in a plastic bag but keep it chunky. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together. Gradually, and one by one, add the eggs – do not worry if it looks as though it has curdled at this stage. Add the vanilla and mix until blended. Sift the cocoa powder into the cooled chocolate and mix through. Now add the chocolate to the egg mixture and mix through on low speed. Take the bowl from the mixer and add the crushed biscuits and all of the nuts. Mix well. Refrigerate the mixture (in the bowl is fine) for about 30 minutes. Cover your working surface with plastic wrap. Roll the mixture into a log shape with your hands until it resembles a fat salami, about 30cm long. Cover the log with the plastic wrap and roll it, as if it were a rolling pin, to create a smooth cylinder. Twist the ends and make a knot. Refrigerate the log for at least 6 hours. Take the salami out of the fridge and lay it on baking paper. Rub some icing sugar over and tie with string to give it an authentic look. Slice into discs to serve.