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    500 Recipes

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    Delightful and EASY little smoked salmon and cucumber appetisers, and healthy too, with NO pastry! These are a breeze to make but they tick all the taste boxes, as well as being elegant. Cucumbers do vary in size, and I have suggested a medium cucumber, which is about 10" to 12" long.........however, any size will do!! Adjust the crème fraiche to how many cups you yield from a cucumber, I managed to make 30 cups and used 10 tablespoons of crème fraîche for that amount, 1 teaspoon per cup. Serve these with cocktails and pre-dinner drinks, or as part of a buffet. The cucumber cups and crème fraîche can be prepared beforehand, but these should only be assembled 1 hour before serving (at the most) and covered in cling film to ensure the smoked salmon does not dry out. Allow 2 to 4 per person, depending on what else is served.

    Recipe #404994

    A wonderful brunch recipe for the morning after or when you need an early boost for a busy day ahead; although this is super healthy and refreshing, I have also served this as the dessert dish for a buffet, BUT with champagne as the liquid instead of orange juice! (Just another idea for dressing this fresh fruit salad up with frills!) This is not only healthy, but it is SO festive and colourful - my photo shows the one I made this Boxing Day (26th December), I usually add kiwi fruit too, but we had run out of them.......oooops! My quantities listed here make enough for 6 to 8 people, but this can be increased as well as reduced to suit personal requirements. I normally serve this with crème fraiche or vanilla yoghurt, but it’s also wonderful when served “naked”, the salad that is, not me! The fruits I have suggested are rich in vitamins and antioxidants for a quick mental boost, as well as a rapid detox to aid recovery after a heavy night or after indulging in rich food, but please do adapt this to your own seasonal and local produce if you wish.

    Recipe #404993

    Make your own brandy butter to smother over delicious, homemade Christmas Figgy or Plum pudding, and in only 5 minutes with this easy recipe,..........no Christmas table would be without this "naughty but nice" accompaniment! This is also wonderful when served with hot mince pies......prise open the pastry lids and dollop some brandy butter inside, preferably when they are warm, so the brandy butter runs through the pies! This makes a great gift - pack the brand butter into an attractive pot and add serving instructions. .

    Recipe #404338

    A wonderful stuffing recipe for your turkey or indeed lamb, beef or game birds - this is baked in a bread (loaf) tin and looks very impressive when turned out, as well as being easy to slice and serve. It can also be served as an alternative type of "meatloaf" with salad, pickles and chutneys........or even better, in sandwiches. I have also made this as a vegetarian option, leaving out the sausage meat and adding more breadcrumbs to the stuffing loaf.

    Recipe #404303

    Roasted pumpkin and creamy cheese lasagne (lasagna); a Boxing Day special - although I have made this for Christmas Eve too! This is a wonderful addition to the festive vegetarian table, but is ALSO hugely popular with meat eaters. This is my adapted version of Nigella Lawson's pumpkin lasagne; I have changed a few of the methods and added (as well as omitted) a few ingredients! Boxing day is the day after Christmas day, also called St Stephen’s Day – the 26th December; it is a public holiday in the UK and most Commonwealth countries……….generally a turkey curry day, or a turkey-free day, one of the two! Serve this with a large bowl of salad and some crusty bread for mopping up the delicious sauce.

    Recipe #403973

    A delectable holiday fudge, which is the ultimate treat for anyone with a sweet tooth. This buttery, crumbly fudge is enhanced and made more festive by studding it with rich, jewel-like fruit. If you do not have stem ginger handy, you can use crystallised ginger or glace ginger instead. Making fudge the proper way involves using a sugar, jam or candy thermometer - or you can use the "soft ball" method if you do not have a suitable thermometer. Drop a small spoonful of the fudge into cold water, if it forms a malleable soft ball, the setting temperature has been reached. If you plan to make this fudge for gifts or to sell, pack the squares into attractive cellophane bags, glass jars or boxes and add a pretty ribbon as well as a label of ingredients. This recipe is part of my Old Fashioned Sweet Shop collection of recipes, sweets, candies, fudges, sugar plums and chocolates!

    Recipe #402077

    I love the Nutcracker Ballet and the music that accompanies it, especially the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies! These fabulous little festive sweetmeats are based on a recipe that I adapted from Delia Smith's latest and BRILLIANT cookbook, "Happy Christmas". I have made these TWICE already - as a pre-Christmas dummy run, and they are SO easy as well as being extremely delicious! Sugar plums are mentioned in all forms of literature; most famously in “The Night Before Christmas”…………“The children were nestled, all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads". However, they are a VERY old kind of sweet/candy, and I have traced some recipes right back to the Middle Ages in one guise or another, usually with minced meat hence “sweet meat”. This recipe can be made as a boozy after dinner adult treat, or with orange juice so the children can dream of them dancing in their heads! NB: These are great fun to make with the children, as they are easy as well as being "no-cook". If you plan to make them for gifts or to sell, pack them into attractive cellophane bags, glass jars or boxes and add a pretty ribbon as well as a label of ingredients and storage details. This recipe is part of my Old Fashioned Sweet Shop collection of recipes, sweets, candies, fudges, sugar plums and chocolates!

    Recipe #402071

    This is a really easy ice cream to whip up and one that I make every Christmas to go with the Christmas pudding and with my annual Rumtopf or Brandied Cherries and Apricots. You can make it in an ice cream maker if you have one, but as it is a non-custard base ice cream, it works just as well without an ice cream maker. It lasts for one month in the freezer and is a great addition to the summer dining table too!

    Recipe #401893

    A fabulous wilted salad boasting the rich, festive colours of vibrant crimson reds and lush holly greens, as well as being full of flavour - this is simply a wonderful salad for the Christmas, New Year or Thanksgiving family table. Please do use any blue cheese or ham of your choice; Stilton or Roquefort would be lovely as well as Prosciutto or Bayonne ham.......and, if you are serving any vegetarians, just leave the ham out of the equation! The dressing can be made up a few hours or a day beforehand, just wilt the leaves and assemble the salad right before serving. Serve this salad with crusty rolls or some thinly sliced rye bread and a glass of chilled Rosé or Chardonnay.

    Recipe #401862

    Whether you have just come of the ski slopes or you are wandering around a French Marché de Noël, a Christmas Market, this is JUST the beverage to warm the cockles of your heart, as well as your frozen fingers and toes! Vin chaud is hot-spiced wine served the French way, with a slug of Cognac of course! It's a traditional welcome drink and is very popular where I live in the South West of France; especially at Christmas and New Year – and you’ll find it in all of the Christmas Markets at this time of year. Ladle this mulled wine into some heavy cut-glass punch cups; or for a real French feel, use an assortment of old wine glasses and to avoid them cracking, place a teaspoon in to the glasses beforehand - this takes the heat away from the glass. One word about the wine, please DO use a good wine, and not what is known as a "cooking wine" - I find that Beaujolais works well or a fruity Chinon.

    Recipe #401846

    A trip down Memory Lane! This is my mum's recipe for Coconut Ice, little coconut squares which are coloured pink and white, and used to be popular in old-fashioned British sweet (candy) shops. My mum used to make trays and trays of these for our Church fêtes, as well as for Christmas and for gifts. These lovely little coconut morsels are very popular in Scotland where I think my mum's recipe originated – either from my Scottish grandmother or an auntie. These are great fun to make with the children, as they are easy as well as being "no-cook". If you plan to make them for gifts or to sell, pack them into attractive cellophane bags, glass jars or boxes and add a pretty ribbon as well as a label of ingredients and storage details. This recipe is part of my Old Fashioned Sweet Shop collection of recipes, sweets, candies, fudges, sugar plums and chocolates!

    Recipe #401462

    Gorgeous spiced pumpkin scones with honey butter - what a treat for the tea-time table during autumn and winter. I have made these twice now and love the combination of the honey butter with the scones, although they are also delicious with plain unsalted butter. This recipe came from an Australian "Olive" magazine that was sent to me, apparently, Queensland is famous for its blue pumpkins where this recipe originates from - I added the spices as well as the honey butter! A wonderful recipe for the cooler months, but as it uses tinned or frozen pumpkin, these can be made all year around. If you don't want to serve these with the honey butter, just split them whilst warm and spread with normal butter or cream. Mixed spice is a British spice mixture, I have a recipe for this on RZ: Recipe #266688

    Recipe #397407

    I am lucky enough to live in the Cognac and Pineau grape growing area of South West France - we also grow grapes for the excellent local (Charente-Maritime) wine in this area. Our woodman, Monsieur Jacquot, has a small chateau with several vineyards, and every year we are invited to join in on the first or last day of the "Vendange" - the grape harvest. And, every year, Madame Jacquot prepares and cooks the most delicious food for all of the grape pickers, family and invited friends. This year (2009) the harvest started on the 1st October, and this is the dish she made for us, served simply with fresh salads, assorted local breads, local butter, cheese and of course local wine, pineau and cognac. I asked her for the recipe and she rattled out the ingredients at a rapid pace, whilst I scribbled them down on the back of an envelope! I have recreated this recipe at home twice now, and this is ALMOST as good as hers is! (Mind you, she set hers out on long tables with white linen and beautiful old vintage crockery.......I found out that the white linen were bed sheets! NEVER used on a bed she stressed, kept for large gatherings.) The key to this recipe is SIMPLICITY and GOOD sausages and wine. I used local Toulouse sausages, meaty and with a high 85% meat content. But you can use ANY good, meaty sausages that you have available locally - I bet high quality venison or Angus beef sausages would be brilliant in this dish. Also, DO try to source “Lentilles Vert de Puy” – green Puy lentils; they make all the difference to this wonderful harvest dish. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did, sitting at the long table in the old barn, under ancient beams and with beaming faces and loud laughter. ( PS: I cut this recipe RIGHT back from 30 people to just 4! Please adjust the amounts to suit.)

    Recipe #393717

    Picnic like the French with a perfectly ripe Camembert, some garlicky sausage and a fresh, crusty baguette - eh voila! No need to go outside for a picnic, if the weather is inclement; enjoy a picnic in your kitchen at the kitchen table, or use the cheese platter as a centrepiece for parties, fêtes, cocktails or social gatherings! Lay a tartan rug on the table and use wicker baskets or a hamper if you wish...........be as "rustique" or as "chic" as you want to be! Great for Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year, as well as for a summer picnics of course!

    Recipe #393189

    Grilled lamb steaks served with a tangy lemon, feta cheese, and herby olive oil mash; this simple supper has bags of hearty, robust flavours, and is very easy to whip up. I always make extra feta, lemon and olive oil mash, so it can be used as a dip or a sandwich filling for another meal. Try to use fresh herbs wherever possible, they have a softer and more subtle flavour and truly make the lamb steaks sing! Serve this supper dish with jacket potatoes and a fresh mixed salad. The flavours in this recipe remind me of hot sunny days by the seaside here in South West France, the distant fragrance of herbs mingling with the salty air........free-range lamb would also be good - especially hill reared lamb that has a distinct herby flavour in the meat. I serve this in true French fashion with a glass of chilled Rosé wine. Bon appétit! (The inspiration for this dish came from Nigel Slater's wonderful grilled lamb with feta and lemon recipe..........I have altered it enough to call it mine though!)

    Recipe #391822

    This sticky and lightly spiced walnut tart is absolutely perfect for any autumn gathering, especially Thanksgiving, Halloween or Bonfire Night. It combines walnuts together with warm spices and a hint of orange, which are all bound together in a buttery syrup filling.......if you cannot get hold of golden syrup, you can use honey instead. Serve this pie with a dollop of cream, crème fraiche or yoghurt.

    Recipe #391765

    The very soup reputed to have built the British Empire and one that was oh-so-fashionable in Victorian and Edwardian times! This soup was served daily, until recently, in the dining cars of British Rail. This classic hearty soup was also very popular at the castle (Windsor) in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Queen Victoria was particularly fond of it, and it regularly appeared on state banquet menus. However, this recipe has not had very good press over recent years - drab tinned brands and indifferent, greasy soups served in some lower end restaurants have given it a bad culinary name! I hope to redress that with this authentic recipe from Windsor in Berkshire, England - home to the Royal Windsor Castle. A rich and hearty soup, this makes a meal in itself when served with crusty bread, scones or bread rolls.

    Recipe #391231

    Borough market brownie-maker Matt Jones shared his infamous dense chocolate brownie recipe on BBC Good Food, and I am posting it here for safe-keeping! For anyone who has tasted one of these brownies, the experience is sublime.......deep, intense and chewy brownies that are packed full of lucious chocolate! Borough Market is London's oldest food market, its origins date back from the time when the Romans built the original London Bridge. And, although it has moved from where it was originally established, Borough Market has occupied its current site for the last 250 years. You can find both food and non-food items in this market, but locals regularly go here to get fresh produce from various parts of the British Isles. One of the most popular foodie treats in the market, is the ostrich burger, as well as these delicious brownies. Makes 12 LARGE squidgy brownies.

    Recipe #390814

    Another BRILLIANT idea from Nigel Slater and his new programme, "Simple Suppers". I love the idea of this, and can see all sorts of possibilities for what to "raid" from the fridge at the end of the week. I like his suggestions for bacon and bangers, and especially when served with crisp, green cabbage. An excellent, hearty supper dish and one that would be great for the children too - the greens being "hidden" amongst all the spuds, bacon and sausages etc! (By Nigel Slater. From Nigel Slater's Simple Suppers.)

    Recipe #389622

    Toasted goat's cheese on toast that has been spread with garlic paste.......and then served on mixed salad leaves - brilliant! I am hooked on Nigel Slater's new programme, "Simple Suppers", where he prepares and cooks food just the way I like it...........fresh, seasonal, unpretentious, flexible and hearty. This is one of Nigel's "Inspirational" recipes that was shown on his first programme. In the absence of ciabatta bread, I would be inclined to use any rustic bread........with lots of body! (Recipe from NIgel Slater's Simple Suppers and the Digin site.)

    Recipe #389599

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