Thursday, 31 May 2012

a jubilee celebration cake

... of course I couldn't let this up-coming weekend pass without celebrating Her Madge's 60 years on the throne and I had been thinking long and hard about what I should create that both reflects her incredible tenure to our great country and also something terribly British and fun for all to enjoy on a sunny bank-holiday street party...

... and then my dear, sweet editor Caroline from Lincolnshire Life Magazine emailed in a panic... could we possible drop the article on the Skidbrooke Cyder Company, push it back to July... and pick up on a Jubilee themed bake of some kind... oh and you have 24 hours to turn something around!

... and so dear friends whilst this may look like a complicated cake it really isn't... you know me... I don't do complicated... it just takes a steady hand and an analytical mind... anyone who was good at rubiks cube as a kid would find this a blast...

Jubilee Celebration Cake

The cake is a flag-waving celebration of red, white and blue, covered in a double cream and cream-cheese frosting topped off with a white chocolate crown.  Whilst the cake looks rather complicated it is in fact rather a simple classic Victoria Sponge cake with a little food colouring.  Each layer is then cut into three concentric rings and shuffled around to create the checkerboard bunting effect. For some added flair I’ve sandwiched each layer with two flavours of jam from Lincolnshire’s own Jenny’s Jams.

You will need 3 x 20cm loose-bottomed cake tins.

For the cake layers:
6 large free-range eggs
425g soft butter or margarine
425g self –raising flour
425g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
red gel colouring
blue gel colouring

For the icing:
200g mascarpone
200g cream cheese
200ml double cream
2 teaspoons honey

- pre-heat the oven to 170c 

- in a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light, pale and fluffy.  You can do this by hand with a
wooden spoon or with an electric whisk.

- Add one egg and beat it in then add a little four and beat it in then beat in the vanilla extract

- Now alternate between eggs and flour until it is all used up and you have a smooth creamy cake batter

- divide the cake batter equally between three bowls

- add half a teaspoon of red gel colouring to one bowl and half a teaspoon of blue gel colouring to a second bowl and stir them well in

- pour the cake batter into three prepared tins and bake for 25-30mins or until risen and a sharp knife inserted comes out clean.

- let them cool completely before using.

- in a large bow whisk the cream cheeses together with the honey, then add the double cream and whisk again until thick and spreadable

Now for the assembly, you will need to find two templates, one for the inner circle – I used a medium scone cutter, and one for the outer ring – I used the base of the loose-bottomed cake tin which has a deep ridge where the loose bottom sits which made a perfect outer circle.  Cut out the circles on all three cakes and swap them around so that each layer has a red, white and blue section.

Place the bottom layer on a cake-stand, spread the top with jam and sandwich the next layer on top, again spread this with jam and place the final layer on top.

Spread the icing all over the cake and smooth out with a pallet knife, shave a crown of white chocolate on top.

I've entered this cake in The Times Diamond Jubilee Baking Competition and it has already been shortlisted as a favourite.  The winner is to be contacted and announced today so it's unlikely i've won and I haven't been out to buy the paper yet... but it was fun baking...

... I also realise i'm rather late with a lot of these entries but i'm entering the cake into a few jubilee bake bloggers challenges nonetheless, including... Sarah at Maison Cupcake's Forever Nigella challenge, this month hosted by Nelly at Nelly's Cupcakes... also for Homemade by Fleur's Jubilee Baking Challenge
...and whilst its not quite 'in season' it is perfectly timed so i'm also entering it into Ren from Fabulicious Food's brilliant Simple and in Season challenge, this month hosted by The Botanical Baker...

eat and of course, enjoy!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

random recipes #16 - round up

... it seems you quite like getting to choose your own recipes, which is far too easy a compromise if you ask me... but what I love about random recipes this month is how odd some of the recipes are and how they seem to have no logic at all as to why they are the first or last... i'm sure you can make your own minds up... I thank you once again for all the wonderful entires and such dedication... you are all lovely... and so without further ado, here's the round-up...

book: Cuisine Express
recipe: Mint and Ginger Palmiers

Mel has gone for one of the 5 recipes on the last age of this book and little zingers they are too... look at these beauties!

book: Leemei Tan's Lemongrass and Ginger
recipe: Japanese Inspired Chicken Teriyaki Bento

believe it or not but Ren is a Random Recipes Virgin... but here she is today with this glorious entry... chicken teriyaki, (first recipe from the book) perhaps my favourite thing in the whole world!... nice one Ren!

book: Hamlyn's 200 Mini Bakes and Cakes
recipe: Lemon and Limoncello Mini Cupcakes

lovely Laura (who loves cakes) has gone for the first recipe from this book and these awesome cupcakes... so cute and so naughty with that hidden twang of limoncello!

book: Hamlyn's 200 Mini Bakes and Cakes
recipe: Window Cookies

... Laura... Laura... Laura... how we love your cakes... and your double whammy entries to Random Recipes... and these window cookies are particularly spectacular... I totally understand why you'd want to cook these too... from the very last page of the book... well worth the wait!

book: a little taste of Italy by Sophie Baimbridge and Jo Glynn
recipe: Amaretti Biscuits

... last recipe from the book finally makes a comeback and I have such fond memories of Amaretti Biscuits from my childhood which makes it so lovely to see them make an appearance here... and particularly because they look so bloody wonderful, thank you Debby with a 'y' x

book: Real Fast Food by Nigel Slater
recipe: Bruschetta

... a proper first recipe from Lou and Nigel Slater here with these classic, fresh and mighty fine bruschetta... the taste of summer... remember summer?

blog: Taste Space
book: River Cottage Veg
recipe: Appaloosa Bean Chili

... great name... great bowl of glorious chili from a glorious book and a rather fantastic blog from Janet ... a recipe from the front of the book... and what a book! (i've aid that already but it is a great book...) 

book: Food of the Sun by Alastair Little and Richard Whittington
recipe: Saffron Sultana Cake

Sarah's very delicate entry this month are these rather sweet saffron cakes... there's something about them that makes me think of posh ladies in lace gloves... it may be because i'm going slowly mad... 

book: Farmstead Chef
recipe: Lentil and Polish Sausage Soup

a last recipe this time from Susan from this wonderful cook book... I love anything that has this hearty type of cooking and so I must track down a copy of this book... or ask Susan to continue to cook from it!

book: Good Housekeeping Best 30 Minute Recipes
recipe: White Bean Soup

another soup recipe but this time from the first page of the book and Janice has made a soup i've never made before so am very much looking forward to trying this one out... perfect for the cold grey weather we'd been having...

book: Cakes and Ale by Nathaniel Gubbins
recipe: Gubbins Sauce

Phil strikes absurdity gold yet again with his randomness and this genius 19th Century cookbook... only an author with such a profoundly odd name would name a sauce after himself!

book: Be-Ro 1928 Recipe Book
recipe: Victoria Scones

More vintage recipes this time from lovely Karen and these delicious large scones with little cherries on top... fit for a queen, although it makes me wonder just how many scones HRH has eaten in her life... just the thought!

book: HFW Veg Everyday
recipe: Tourte de Blettes

poor Claire... not having much luck last month or this to be honest... a complete no-no from Hugh... Swiss Chard in a sweet tart anyone...?

blog: Makey-Cakey
book: Waste not Want not by Patrik Beer and Gunter Jaros
recipe: Fruit Cocktail and Muesli Cake

firstly, let us all thank Ruth for the wonderful recipe cars she so kindly sent out last month... yay Ruth... secondly, don't you just love this non-muesli, muesli cake... but to eat it for your supper...?

book: Nigel Slaters Real Fast Food
recipe: Bruschetta

Alice really should be doing her homework but she's being distracted and looking at cute pictures of animals and creating fabulous things in the kitchen instead... naught Alice...

book: Book of Baking
recipe: Mini Cornbreads

stepping away from her 'sweet baking' comfort zone but glad she did, Ros the Baking Addict has created these rather lovely and interesting polenta cornbreads... I am a convert I think....

book: For Chocolate Lovers by The Tanner Brothers
recipe: White Chocolate Sauce

Choclette gets away with a super-easy one here, which I think is rather dangerous as it means it can be made and eaten simply, fast and effectively, waaaaaay too often for my fat tummy!

blog: HungryHinny
book: Sugar Animals by Francis McNoughton
recipe: Sugar Elephant

isn't this the cutest random recipe entry ever...?  I love the way this months theme has turned out some bizarre oddities... but Natalie's elephant is beyond adorable!

book: Claudia Roden's Middle Eastern Feast
recipe: Hummus

lucky Aveen picks one of my favourite authors here and a lovely, simple hummus dip... I think one of the basic 'must-have' recipes for every good host!

book: Chocolate - 100 everyday recipes
recipe: Chocolate and Pistachio Bisotti

a Random Recipes Virgin here... wave hello everyone and make Susie feel welcome... and i'm sure with these delicious biscotti she has to hand round she'll become a crowd pleaser pretty quickly!

blog: 41 Feasts
book: Recipes from Pan-Cooked Chicken Dishes Around The World
recipe: Fruity Chicken Curry

could you get a more specific titled book?  Nicola was after a truly random recipe and this month I think she achieved it with the fruity, chickeny cocktail... looks so pretty and I bet it tastes like summer in a bowl!

book: Eating with Emperors by Jake Smith
recipe: Cream of Asparagus Soup

you have to go and check out this incredible looking book that a friend gave to Denise, lucky her... just imagine a book filled with recipes fit for serving the Emperors!... just imagine a whole book dedicated to me!

book: New American Recipes
recipe: Angel Food Cake Supreme

Lucy has stepped back in time and shed a little tear for her mum with this glorious cake for her little girl and the first recipe from this 1960's pamphlet... 

book: Porters English Cookery Bible
recipe: Asparagus in Orange Butter

whilst you were all slaving over hot stoves in a cold climate I was sunning myself in Mallorca... and I still had time to make my random recipes entry... which was bloody amazing!

... don't forget to tune in in a couple of days to find out the random recipes challenge for June...

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

mums show live - an exciting announcement

... a very exciting thing has happened... The Viking and I as the dynamic duo of The Persuaders have created a new and really rather cool consumer exhibition for mums called Mums Show Live...

... it's the first UK show for mums with kids aged 4 to 12 years old and promises to bring everything that is wonderful and sometimes a little scary about being a mum into one exciting and crazy arena for a few days... it's only been a couple of months since the idea was conceived but so far we've had some great response from brands who want to take stands, a lot of them are from some really cool internet-only based companies which will make coming to the show even more interesting...

... now you may think it a little odd that two men have set up a show for mums but if I explain that in fact this is a partnership with my brother Jason who, until recently was Exec Vice President of one of the worlds leading exhibition companies and it was a few months ago when, after 17 years, he decided to leave his job in search of an easier life with his wife and kids, that he asked me if I had any ideas for a consumer exhibition... now obviously my world is all about food but I know that there are already many brilliant food shows out there and there's no point competing in a crowded market... what I am aware of however are the plethora of brilliant mum (and of course dad) blogs out there and believe it or not, no consumer shows for them at all... and so I suggested we do a show for mums... but not a baby show, something for what happens when you send the little ones off to school and everything that covers those wonderful years...

... and a little more than a month later and the Mums Show Live was born... we now have a date in early May 2013 and the incredible Alexandra Palace in London as our first venue... and a wonderful website, the logo for which has been designed by the lovely Nick who happens to be Sarah from Maison Cupcake's better half...

... and why am I telling all this to you dear reader... well, other than the fact that i'm very proud of this exciting new venture we also need content for the show, particularly in the Conversation Theatres where we plan to create a round-table 'Loose Women' style format where a selection of diverse topics will be discussed... we're looking for bloggers of all sorts to take part, suggest topics or just come along and join in the conversation... we already have some of my favourite mum bloggers signed on but if you would like to take part or know anyone who you think would be great to have on-board then please feel free to either leave me a comment or email me at or tweet us @mumshowlive...

... of course you can all come along and say hi... and get to meet The Viking too... i'll be up-dating my blog regularly with what's going on at the show, so check back here for more fab Mum Show Live stuff!

... and now, because i'd hate to leave you without a recipe, here's a very special recipe from my mum
Rhubarb and Raspberry Streusel Flan, with pictures of my mum making it... (her hands anyway!)

for the pastry:
8oz Flour
4oz Butter 
1 dessert spoon of sugar
1 beaten egg

for the flan:
rhubarb cut into small chunks
a punnet of raspberries
some jam (we used raspberry but any jam will do)

for the streusel topping:
4oz flour
2oz butter
2oz demarera sugar
lots of cinnamon

- crumble the butter into the flour, add the sugar and mix, then the egg and a drop of water and bring together into a dough - refrigerate for 30mins

- pull off 2/3rds of the pastry and roll it out to as thin as humanly possible (you may need to ask your mum to help...) and line a flan dish

spread the un-cooked pastry base with jam

pack the flan with un-cooked fruit

- make the streusel topping by crumbling it all together and then sprinkle evenly onto flan

- bake on 190c for about 30mins or until topping goes golden

eat and of course, enjoy and don't forget to let me know if you'd like to contribute to Mums Show Live!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

cider braised lincolnshire sausage hot-dogs with caramelised onions in cider

oh YES!!!!... if by magic someone switched the summer on... last week us Brits were bemoaning the extended winter and quite literally on Wednesday last week, as though at a flick of a switch, it went from really quite cold to really rather hot...

... and like all decent British folk that meant on with the shorts and sun-tan lotion and out with the barbecue... it's officially summer, let's all jump up and down and do it quickly before the powers who be decide we've all quite frankly had enough and bring back the cold and rain...

Lincolnshire Sausage Hot Dogs with Caramelised Onions in Cider

Inspired by my visit to The Skidbrooke Cyder Company as you know I’ve been experimenting with cider recipes, from a wonderfully rustic Pheasant Normandy, a very sweet Honey, Orange and Almond cake to a richly piquant Lambs Liver Braised in Cider but now that summer’s in full swing I thought these succulent sausages were a very simple yet perfect way to capture that incredible sunshine cider taste!  I’ve roasted mine in the oven for a deeper, richer flavour but they could easily be started this way and then finished off on the barbecue for a more authentic vibe!

... I previously forgot to mention that I made veggie versions of these for The Viking using Cauldron Lincolnshire Sausages, treated in exactly the same way and they came out very well!

8 Lincolnshire Sausages
2 large glasses of Farmhouse Cider
2 large onions – thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
a large pinch of fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste

8 hot dog rolls – I’ve made my own using this super easy recipe on my blog for Soft White Rolls.

- pre-heat the oven to 180C

 prick your sausages once with a sharp knife, place them in a bowl and cover them with a glass of
cider.  Let them marinate for at least an hour.

- place the sausages in a roasting dish, pour over a little of the cider and roast in the oven till golden
roughly 30 minutes

- meanwhile gently sauté the onions in a little butter and oil until beginning to turn dark brown, this
should take about 20 minutes adding a teaspoon of sugar and the thyme halfway through.  Don’t leave
them un-checked, they will need stirring throughout.

- after 20 minutes turn the heat up to full and throw in a glass of cider and let it bubble away until you
are left with sticky, golden onions

- place a sausage into a roll, cover with onions and enjoy!

Friday, 25 May 2012

vegetable pilaf - a book giveaway

... the lovely people at bloomsbury books have sent me a copy of Joanna Weinberg's new cookbook - cooking for real life... it's an 'everyday' cooks book that is packed with family-friendly but really rather delicious recipes that are written in an open and knowing style that comes from someone who has clearly been in the situations we've all been in such as the surprise of friends suddenly dropping by, or feeding a family with what's in the larder... I like the 'ordinary-ness' and no-fuss of the recipes and as Joanna says herself, 'not every meal has to shine'... the photography is charmingly retro and occasionally as basic as the concept and there are also some cool '60's inspired graphics that head up each chapter... followed by some neat 'instant tips' also done in a retro style...

... I've always liked Joanna's writing, she writes a weekly column for The Times, so it's great to see her work in one place and it's also nice to hear a new voice out there...

... as always when I review a book I like to cook something from the book itself and I actually had real trouble choosing... I wanted something simple to reflect the quality of the book but I also wanted something that I didn't have to go out and shop for... so always in stock in my cupboard is rice...

vegetable pilaf - taken from the daily grind chapter of the book

1.5 lt vegetable stock
240g basmati rice (I used regular long grain as that's what I had in...)
40g butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion - finely chopped
250g cauliflower, broken into florets
75g cashew nuts (i used pine nuts as I had them in the larder)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon hot chilli powder
pinch saffron threads
100g frozen peas
100g tinned, drained chickpeas

- bring the vegetable stock to the boil, add the rice and boil vigorously for 5 minutes, drain and set aside

- in a large pan melt the butter and oil together and fry the onions until turning golden, add a pinch of salt, the cauliflower, cashews and the spices and fry for a couple of minutes until everything is coated in oil and spices

- push the veg into a low mound in the middle of the pan, stir the chickpeas and peas through the rice and then pack this mixture around and on top of the veg and nuts

- pour over 325ml boiling water, wrap the lid of the pan in a tea towel and place on the pan so that no steam can escape.  Set over a high heat for 3 minutes and then a low heat for 10 minutes until the water is absorbed.

- switch off the heat and let it rest for 2 mins

- remove the lid, place a plate upside down over the pan and invert both in one movemnet so that the rice lands on the plate with the vegetables and nuts on top - scatter over the coriander leaves

... I have very kindly been given a copy of the book to give away to one of you lucky readers.  All you have to do is leave a comment below... you can also enter again by tweeting I've entered @belleaukitchen 's cooking for real life book giveaway, you can too:  and then let me know you've tweeted by leaving another comment... simple! I will announce the winner at the end of the month...

eat and of course, enjoy!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

chocolate and almond splodges - we should cocoa

... have you ever started out making one thing but then finished up making something else entirely...?

... don't ask because frankly I couldn't tell you if i tried... it was like that classic scene from Friends where Rachel makes a traditional British Trifle but the pages of the cookbook stick together and she uses layers of minced lamb that should have been for a Shepherd's Pie... except it was web site pages that were digitally stuck that got me confused as I hurriedly combined recipes... so these are part classic almond macaroons and part almond cookies... but mostly splodges... which I don't really care about at all because they taste completely and utterly heavenly... crunchy yet fluffy... light yet with a pleasingly natty snap!

... of course I am entering these beauties into this months we should cocoa challenge usually hosted by either Chele from Chocolate Teapot or Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog but this month guest-hosted by Laura from How to Cook Good Food, who picked the theme of almonds...

... now I just have to remember what I did...

chocolate and almond spoldges

200g caster sugar
200g butter
250g plain flour
150g ground almonds
100g flaked almonds
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
some runny honey

- place the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream them together until light and fluffy, add the vanilla and mix a little more

- mix the dry ingredients and sieve half onto the butter/sugar mix and beat in with a wooden spoon

- whisk the egg whites to a gently frothiness and then fold this all into the mix

- sieve in the remaining dry ingredients followed by the flaked almonds and combine

- using a teaspoon splodge roughly onto baking trays and bake on 180C for 20 minutes

- cool on a wire rack during which time you should paint each one with a little honey

eat and of course, enjoy!

Monday, 21 May 2012

veggie mince and onion pie

... the following post is brought to you by the British Weather and should be read in your plummiest Pathe News voice...

... back from Spain and it's really hard not to be down about this ridiculous weather... i've tried writing to the BBC but their lack of response forces me to feel they're not taking this seriously at all... The UK has two major events looming both of which could do with a wee bit of sunshine and warmth and don't go telling me Her Madge doesn't care if it rains for her big day... there's only so much stiff upper lip us British can take before we need to crack open the vaseline... and let's face it, you can bake as many scones and make as many cucumber sandwiches as you like but a soggy Victoria Sponge is not particularly cricket is it...?

... so scrap that... I suggest we start celebrating Autumn and all the glories that log-fuelled season has to offer... open fires, warming stews and gravy with pastry... no one does pastry better than the cold seasons and we must see these periods of bitterness as an extended blessing of pastry and gravy...

veggie mince and onion pie
it's National Vegetarian Week this week in the UK (although as The Viking says, it's NVW for him every week) so i'm using quorn mince as a healthy alternative to meat... but you can easily replace this with beef or turkey mince if you must... but hey, get over it and use the veggie stuff its bloody good... and again, it's wrapped in pastry so what's not to like?

i'm using an 8inch ceramic pie dish

for the filling:
1 300g packet of quorn mince
2 medium onions - chopped
a half glass of red wine
half a pint of good quality Marigold vegetable boullon with a teaspoon of Marigold gravy powder
half a teaspoon of tomato puree
2 bay leaves
a handfull of fresh thyme

for the pastry
8oz plain flour
4oz butter or margarine
half a teaspoon mustard powder
water to mix

- start with the pastry by mixing the flour, salt and mustard powder and then mix in the butter using your hands to turn it into breadcrumbs... add a teeny bit of cold water to bind it into a dough, wrap it in cling-film and pop it in the fridge for 30 mins whilst you make the filling

- saute the onions gently in some melted butter and olive oil until soft and starting to turn golden (roughly 10 gently minutes) - throw the thyme in half way through

- add the mince and stir it around until it soaks up all the lovely oniony juices

- turn the heat up and throw in the red wine and let it bubble and reduce by half

- turn the heat down and add the stock and tomato puree and bay leaves and let the whole thing simmer gently for 30 mins

- take half the pastry and roll out a round big enough to line your pie dish

- pour the mince and onion stew into the pie

- roll out the top layer and place the pastry on top, seal with an egg/milk wash and then brush the top with the same wash

- bake for 20 mins or until golden

... for more veggie recipes check out one of my favourite vegetarian blogs Tinned Tomatoes...

... eat and of course, enjoy!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Observer Food Monthly Awards - your vote counts!

... ok, i'm re-writing this because I feel that my first post didn't really emote why i'd love to be nominated for this excellent award...

hello dear friends...

... it's that time of year once more when the wonderful people at The OFM Magazine ask us to vote for our favourite British foodie stuff... it's only the second year they've had a category for British Food Blog and it would be a wonderful thing to be nominated...

... there are two reasons why these particular awards are so important to me.... firstly, as many of you know,  my 'other life' is as an event producer and from 2006 to 2010 The Persuaders produced The Observer Food Monthly Awards events in London... they were very exciting events, as award ceremonies often are (click on the link to see what we did) and you can imagine the guests... all the best chefs, producers and restaurateurs from across the UK... nerve wracking for our caterers... and you see, the thing is, I ALWAYS promised myself I would have something more to do in my life to do with food... at the time  I had no idea what that would be but now, looking back, to actually be nominated for this and at the awards ceremony I used to produce....

... secondly, I love the fact that the awards celebrate the whole of Britain and British Food and by the previous years results they are not London biased, which many awards seem to be... these awards celebrate the fact that London is clearly not the centre of the food universe!..

... I do, however, need your votes... a little time consuming as you have to register but well worth the chance of winning a Caribbean Holiday!

you don't have to but you can also nominate your favourite British producers, chefs and restaurants and the awards are well respected within the food industry so it would be extra special to be part of such an illustrious crowd...

... to vote please click here

sadly for me (and those of you wishing to vote) the voting can only be done from the UK...

I thank you x

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

asparagus with orange butter - a random recipe

...greetings from the island of Mallorca... my family have been coming to the island of Mallorca since the late '70's before it was 'Majorca' and was going through its naff phase... it was always a cheap, sunny destination for many Europeans and spent a couple of decades building some pretty dreadful hotels on some stunning, unspoilt beaches whilst ruining its own reputation... fortunately it is now going through something of a renaissance as the locals and government realise quite what an incredibly beautiful place it is and what wonderful produce the land harvests...

... for those who are perhaps unaware of Mallorca it is the largest of the Ballaeric Islands of which the infamous party island Ibiza also claims residency and is situated in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Spain... The island has 5 good hot summer months and 7 cooler winter months. It has been known to snow and being an island the rain can be rather dramatic on occasion... last night we had the most incredible thunder and lightning but today the sun is glorious... The land is mountainous in areas and flat and arable in others...The King of Spain has his holiday home here and clearly my family thought that if it was good enough for him it was good enough for us...

puerto pollensa

... my mums sister has an apartment in a coastal town in the North of the island called Puerto Pollensa... it used to be a sleepy fishing village and during the 1980's was the height of chic for the euro-rich and their yachts.. it's now sadly all a little cheesy and not yet taking advantage of the cooler, edgier parts of the island life... however I adore my aunts apartment and feel very privileged to be able to use it at the drop of a hat... Puerto Pollensa still has its charms however, such as the shady Pine Walk which runs from the delightful 1930's Illa D'Or Hotel into town along the beach past some stunningly covetable houses...

...Sunday is market day in Pollensa Old Town and it is the most wonderful traditional market selling not only incredible fresh fruits and vegetables but delightful local foods such as roasted almonds, stuffed olives, local cheeses and cured meats... I could spend hours wondering around and it's only the weight of my shopping bag that stops me!
pine walk

... I picked up some local asparagus which is in season and delightfully thin and therefore needs very little cooking time... perfect with some incredibly juicy oranges for use in my random recipes challenge which is to pick the first or last recipe from a randomly selected cookbook... mine was asparagus in orange butter from Porters English Cookery recipe because it really is quite as easy as steaming the asparagus and squeezing orange into the melting butter!

jaffa cake icecream - for Kavey

at dusk



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