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Tahini Galette

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 20th May 2019

Another Bank Holiday! There are so many at this time of year and the wonderful thing about that is that you don’t feel you have to use them to ‘get things done’. Instead you can slow down, have friends around and relax. This recipe brings a slightly Mediterranean vibe to a very informal pastry tart. It’s perfect for at the dinner table or in the garden or cold in a picnic.

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Meringue Nests and Easter Bunnies

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 15th April 2019

It’s Easter time and that means the days are getting warmer (sometimes) and there is a flurry of bank holidays. Those extra days allow for a little bit of frivolous messing around in the kitchen, whilst the sniff of summer turns our tastebuds to lighter, more delicate sweet treats and away from the warming custard-fuelled stodge of the winter months.

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Christmas Shortbread Sharing Tree

Posted by Gill Bland Friday, 7th December 2018

At Christmas you may have people popping round unannounced and needing sugary sustenance, you may have the whole family over for extended periods and wanting to graze on sweet treats, or you may just be fed up of dried fruit and wanting something different. This stack of festive shortbread is great for sharing but also keeps incredibly well and looks good in the meantime if you don’t get around to using it straight away.

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Aunty Viv’s New Mum Magic Fruit Cake

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 5th March 2018

This year Mothering Sunday will have a new significance in our household. Our little boy, Monty, was born on the 9th Feb.

On our return home from hospital, my Mum stayed with us for a week and I have even more love and respect for her than I already did, both because of the experience of becoming a mum, and also for her patience, help and mad cooking skills during that week. My mum’s stews, soups and other  general awesomeness will continue to feature in future recipes, but for this one I am going to bring you someone else baking prowess.

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Mulled Wine Chocolate Cake

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 18th December 2017

I know some people get sick of the flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and orange zest at Christmas. I am not one of those people. I am one of those people who sprinkle all-spice into their hot Ribena as soon as the nights get dark in a bid to emulate mulled wine without consuming unhealthy amounts of the ruby-red spiced booze-of-delight. So, when I noticed a recipe for a red wine cake sometime earlier in the year I parked it at the back of my baker’s brain and waited for the festive season to come around so that I could make mulled wine chocolate cake. This recipe makes no apology for throwing all the Christmas flavours at it. You can stick to just mulled wine, you can have cinnamon icing and if you want to really go for it you can make a mulled fig jam to dot through the mixture or to fill the middle of each cupcake. It’s up to you how much you want to gild the Christmas lily (or indeed poinsettia). 

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Picnic Pick-and-Mix Handpies

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 7th August 2017

Summer holidays are here and getting outdoors is a great thing to do with the family when you’ve been cooped up in schools and offices all year. Add a a picnic into the mix you've got yourself an adventure - especially when you take the unreliable British weather into account. This recipe will not only make an event out of prepping for the picnic, but it’ll provide a range of options for young and old and something comforting enough to eat in the car hiding from the rain or light enough to eat sat in the sun. You can make the pastry with the kids and lay out all the filling options for them to choose from so that they can make their lunch and mark the tops of the pies as they wish.

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Gin & Tonic Cupcakes

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 5th June 2017

Well, it looks like summer is just starting to think about appearing and what great timing, for Saturday the 10th June is World Gin Day and there’s nothing that makes a gin and tonic taste better then a long balmy summer evening. 

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Easy Batch-Bake Biscuits

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 20th March 2017

The Rangemaster tall side oven is a wonderful thing - the slight variation in heat from top to bottom is a boon, allowing you to crisp up the roasties at the top while the apple crumble bubbles away below.  It’s great for cooking an entire meal but it really comes into its own when you want to batch cook things. Trays full of roasted vegetables, jacket potatoes to feed an army, lasagnes and all sorts of good, wholesome food can be racked up to eat now or to freeze and store later. Yes, all sorts of good, wholesome food…. or cookies. You can whip up an awful lot of cookies in a very short space of time with the tall oven. Even better, you can pre make the dough in all sorts of different flavours and have it stored in the freezer so that you can bring out mounds of freshly baked biscuits in the time it takes for the oven to heat + 10minutes.

 

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Gingerbread Mocha Mousse Cake

Posted by Gill Bland Wednesday, 7th December 2016

Not everyone loves Christmas pudding and even if you do, it can be a bit much at the end ofa full Christmas Dinner. This dessert makes a lighter alternative and is quick and easy to assemble, especially if you make the biscuits ahead of time. It’s an ode to the Christmas drinks so popular in high street coffee shops at this time of year and who knows, maybe it’ll give you a nice caffeine boost at the end of the meal - just enough to make it through the washing up before you collapse in a heap.

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Sweet Potato Fruit Bread with homemade Nutella

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 21st November 2016

Fruit-bread toast and chocolate spread. That comes into the category of naughty but nice, right? Well, let me be your little ray of sunshine today (yeah, sunshine, remember that?) because this toasty goodness is actually at the healthy end of the spectrum.

The bread is made with sweet potato and chickpeas so it’s sweet but not too sweet, incredibly filling and full of slow release energy. The loaf is studded with prunes to give it little pockets of gooey goodness that also serve to up the fibre content and the crunchy roasted chickpeas on the top give it a lovely crunch to contrast the more solid texture of the inside.

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