Thursday, 29 November 2007


Buy a pack of ingredients at Charlesworth's for making Panforte. This is not a packet cake but rather just the dried fruit part - all weighed already, plus the recipe.

Follow all the instructions carefully - you will have to add flour, butter etc -and you will have a perfect and especially delicious cake that will last for months - until you start eating it, then it will go in a flash.

I cut slices and put them in cellophane bags and attach a little gift card. When visitors drop in around Christmas time, you can quickly write their name in the card and it seems like you had remembered them all along!!

Gingerbread shapes


Makes 3 trays

Cream : 4oz butter
1/2 cup brown sugar

Sift and add: 2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp carb soda
3 tsp ground ginger

Add: 1 egg yolk
2 1/2 Tbl golden syrup
a little water to dough consistency

Roll out thinly. Cut shapes with floured shape cutters - I use men, butterflies, bells, all sorts I have collected over the years. Place on trays and bake 10 - 15 mins.

Icing for decorating: 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 egg white, lightly beaten
3 drops acetic acid (optional)

Divide icing between several little containers and colour each differently with food colouring. Cover until ready to start.

Use piping bags made from greaseproof paper. Put a different colour in each one.Roll down the top so the icing is in the pointy end. Snip off a tiny bit of the point to allow the icing to be squeezed out. Go for it - anything goes.

ps Don't leave your dog unattended in the same room with these on a coffee table !!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Lily’s red lentil salad

We had this at a friend's last weekend and it was particularly nice. One of the things about it was that the red lentils were not cooked to a mush, but rather held their shape a little because of the cooking method.

1 tbs olive oil
1 clove crushed garlic
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup red lentils
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
Juice of 1 lemon
2 chopped tomatoes
4 chopped shallots
1 bunch coriander, chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
salt and pepper to taste

*heat oil in pan and cook garlic and cumin for 1 min
*add lentils and stir
*stir in stock and bring to boil
*simmer the lentils uncovered, stirring often for 10-15 mins
*allow to cool
*stir in lemon juice, tomatoes, shallots, coriander, salt and pepper
*serve with the slivered almonds on top and accompany with toasted Turkish bread