Monthly Archives: July 2012

Sweet Chilli Salad Dressing

This recipe is one of my own that I adapted from one I found on the internet. It was originally sweet chilli sauce but a quick drizzle of olive oil and ta-daa! You have a rather tasty salad dressing. 


40g Sugar

60ml White Wine Vinegar

Chilli powder to taste

30ml Water

1tbsp Olive Oil as virgin as you like


Heat the vinegar and sugar until the sugar fully dissolves and allow to boil. Add the chilli powder and stir until it is fully dissolved. Don’t let it cool at this point, it will caramelise. (If this happens, just put on the hob again and use boiling water from the kettle instead of the cold water and keep stirring until the hard candy-like substances softens and melts into the water.)

Add the cold water to the mixture, and then leave on the side to cool down to room temperature. When it has cooled add the olive oil and decant to a small pot with a lid. Pass to your husband, and request that he shakes vigourously.

To Serve:

Drizzle lightly over a simple salad. We found it went very nicely with tuna and egg. This batch lasted us for 3 salads. It keeps fine in the fridge for pretty much as long as you like.

 Probably cheap depending on what oil and vinegar you use.

Calories per batch: 290



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Madeira Cake

A selection of photos from other people

This cake appears as the first recipe in the book under the title My Mother-In-Law’s Madeira Cake a fabulous tribute to all the wonderful mother-in-laws out there – long may you defy the stereotype! Nigella describes it as a plain cake that is well worth the effort, and I couldn’t agree more. It looks and tastes like it should take great skill to produce, but really you can whip it together in a jiffy.

Like snickerdoodles, this recipe doesn’t use anything I wouldn’t normally have in except eggs and butter. I did substitute lemon juice for the zest, and that came out fine. A while ago I made lemon cupcakes which had a simple lemon drizzle icing on the top. I think this would go superbly on this cake, and I’ll try it out the next time I make some.


Recipe on


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50 Shades of Twilight?

Liked Twilight? Enjoying 50 Shades of grey? Then here are a couple more books that you might want to try out. I have both of these, so do let me know if you’d like to borrow, and I’ll post them over.

Want some more sexy vampire action, but don’t know where to turn? Try the Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison starting with Dead Witch Walking. Rachel is a supernatural bounty hunter in a world where witches, vampires and werewolves live openly amongst the human (or more normally out in the slightly nicer suburbs). After she quits her government job, taking their best vampire employee with her to be her business partner, Rachel’s life is thrown into chaos as she tries to break the contract her old boss has put out on her head.

If you’re after something a bit sexier, and want to get in on some of that 50 shades action, check out Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. Phedre was brought up in the court of the night blooming flowers where she believed she would grow up to be a courtesan until she bought her freedom. Sold instead to the Lord Anafiel Delaunay, she learns that she has been touched by a god, with the gift of feeling pleasure from pain. This unusual gift will take her on a fantastic journey on which will hang the fate of her land as she knows it.


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Wild and Nutty Rice

Tom found this recipe in the metro and brought it home. We’ve adapted it to suit our ingredients cupboard, and here it is! We had half for dinner and then half for lunch the next day, which worked really well.

Tom found a mint plant on yellow sticker at Tesco a while back, and it’s been slowly turning into a mint jungle. So we gave it a good pruning for this recipe. When he’s grown back, then we’l have it again! It’s shown me how nice it is to grow things and use them in your own kitchen. When we’ve bought a house, I’ll be sure to have a whole range of herbs on the windowsill in the kitchen. And hopefully a green house outside too. I intend to grow salad veg like Dad used to!


240g Risotto Rice (because we had some that needed using up!

100g chopped walnuts

125g chopped, dried apricots

1 Apple

1/2 Onion

Fresh Mint

2tbsp White Wine Vinegar

3tbsp Olive Oil


Cook the rice first. Lightly fry the walnuts in 1tbsp olive oil until they go all brawn and cripsy. Mix everything in together.


Price: A bit pricey compared to our usual fare. The walnuts, risotto rice and apricots are the expensive ingredients.

Calories per serving: 600


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As I didn’t think of starting this blog until after I’d baked a few items, I won’t have any photos for the first few posts. I will of course take photos and update the posts the next time I make these goodies, but for now, you’ll have to use your imagination!

I chose Snickerdoodles for my first recipe partially because they had no unusual ingredients, and partially because I’d heard of them Veronica Mars, but had no idea what they were. And what a good choice it turned out to be! I had always imagined them being something like a snickers bar, full of nuts and chocolate and gooey caramel, but I couldn’t have been further from the truth. These simple little treats are a very simple biscuit covered in cinnamon, but surprisingly effective. They are likely to become by go-to baking treat of choice.


These only required me to get butter, as I had all the other ingredients in already and other than eggs, I’m fairly likely to always have them in. This also makes it a nice cheap recipe. Which is a point, when I’m a bit more organised, I’ll work out a price for each recipe and post that too.


A very straight forward recipe, cream, mix, fold, ball, coat with cinnamon and pop in the oven. Best done with the Kenwood.


Excellent. If you don’t overcook them, you get a light and almost fluffy texture which is really well complemented by the cinnamon coating. If you do overcook them (first batch, didn’t trust the oven!) they come out a little heavier, but still remarkably tasty.


For my second batch, I made half with chocolate powder substituted for some of the flour – Chocodoodles. I took those into work for a more balanced set of opinions, and the plain doodles came out on top with a unanimous vote. If I try Chocodoodles again, it will be with melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder, to see if that makes a difference. 

Price: Probably Cheap

Calories per serving: 70

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A new book, a new beginning!

How to be a Domestic Goddess, Nigella LawsonA few weeks ago, I saw Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess reduced to just £9 in WHSmith. I’ve wanted this book for a while so I grabbed it and have dived wholeheartedly into the world of nutmeggy fumes and bubbling chocolate. OK, I haven’t actually bubbled any chocolate yet, but it’s sure to come!

I’m planning to bake my way through the book partially in order, partially skipping through as when the situation requires it. I’ve made 3 of the recipes so far, and already I’m losing track! So here’s where I write up my thoughts on what I thought of the recipes  – how cheap or expensive and how hard or easy to find are the ingredients; how easy is it to whip together and get right and of course, how tasty are the treats!

Being a domestic goddess in training, I do occasionally cook regular meals as well, so I’ll be adding in the odd completely unrelated recipe of my own as we go along.


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