Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Street Party Custard Creams

So is everyone in the UK enjoying the insane amount of bank holidays that you've got? Unfortunately, over here in tulip land we only get Easter Monday off. No Good Friday. No May Day. And of course they'll be no Royal Wedding bank holiday for us either. Being an expat Brit, I feel I'm losing out so I guess I'll just have to host my own little street party and fly the British flag all by myself. Hopefully some other people will join in and I won't be sat by myself on my street with my tea, cakes and bunting.

Custard Creams have got to be the best biscuit ever conceived haven't they? And yup, unfortunately along with many other things that I love to eat, you can't buy them here. But wait, the story doesn't end there! I found a custard cream recipe which sent me into some kind of delirium. I ran to the kitchen, broke a tea cup whilst scrambling to get my pinny over my head and proceeded to have some baking fun so I could get one of these babies into my mouth as soon as humanly possible.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Happy Easter & Hot Cross Buns

I like baking. I like weekends. I like baking at weekends. This weekend I baked.

I like bank holidays. I like that Good Friday is less than a week away. I don't like that in the Netherlands you don't get Good Friday as a bank holiday. You only get Easter Monday. This makes me want to move.

So instead of making my hot cross buns on Good Friday like you're meant to, I'm making them a few days early. This also means that I can make these over Easter weekend too. Every cloud and all that I suppose.

I've never actually made hot cross buns before. In fact, as a child I didn't really like them but now that my taste buds have grown up a bit I love em. A sweet, spiced, yeast leavened bun filled with dried fruit. What's not to like? They have a cross piped onto them prior to baking and are traditionally eaten on Good Friday to symbolise the crucifixion. 

Apparently there are many superstitions surrounding the humble hot cross bun too. Did you know that a hot cross bun made on Good Friday will not spoil or go mouldy over the coming year. Guess I'll not be able to test that one out though will I? If there are any sailors out there, take one on your next voyage to protect against a shipwreck. And if you're a bread baker, then hang one in your kitchen and it will protect against fires and ensure that your bread turns out perfectly every time.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Pea, Mint & Goats' Cheese Tart

It seems I have a thing for baking tarts. You'd think I didn't eat anything else. Out of 14 posts, four of them are tarts but hey, they taste good and I wanted to makes something springlike that I could take along to a picnic at the weekend. I love, love, love the minty pea layer and what could be better than topping it off with goats' cheese? My slicing and photography skills don't show it off to it's best but I was totally taken in by how pretty it looks when you cut into it. A lovely bright green stripe topped off with the goats' cheese loveliness. It went down swell and was perfect spring picnic fare. And if you need another reason to give it a go then think of how much your wallet will love you. Frozen peas are as purse friendly as it gets and when your tart needs to be half filled with them then you're onto a money saving winner. Just don't tell your friends how little you spent on them or how easy it was to make. Just revel in the compliments.

Make it.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Leek & Potato Soup

This is a great soup. This is an even better soup for when you think that spring has arrived, leave the house in your finest spring wear only to be attacked by the rain gods on the way home. In such a situation, something hot, comforting and insanely delicious is needed to get you out of that bad mood you're in and to get some warm blood pumping through your veins once again. This, for me was perfect and I can most definitely recommend this bowl of goodness with a steaming hot cup of tea. With milk. Because I'm English. Oh, and why not throw a blanket in the mix too with season three of Dexter.

Although I've eaten it a lot, I've never actually made leek and potato soup before but I'll definitely be doing this one again. In fact I'm hoping for a few more rainy days as an excuse. Who knew that these two ingredients could be so tasty. The recipe only uses milk and stock but I had a bit of cream to use up so threw that in too. Definitely not a bad thing. If you've never had this before, or have never tried your hand at making it yourself, then all I can say is do it. It'll make you very happy. And warm.