The twelve days of Kickstarter: mini Flamiches

At Christmas, actually at any time that you are having a party or entertaining and need speedy ingredients and ideas, ready-rolled pastry is your friend. And, though I might be tempted to make shortcrust, since it is so little work, I am really very very unlikely to make puff pastry. Here, for example, in the last of the apéritif posts, is an idea that takes about 20 minutes to make and will probably disappear into your, or your guests’ happy faces in about two. Continue reading

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The twelve days of Kickstarter: mini-Gruyère cakes

A ‘cake’ in French is, confusingly, not what Anglo-Saxons might call a gâteau. It is usually a loaf shape for a start, sometimes served at breakfast and, often savoury not sweet. The first one I ever made, for example was a Roquefort, walnut and raisin version. The mixture reminds me of muffins, since it tends to contain oil rather than butter and needs only the barest of beatings. They are therefore quick to make, especially if you make mini versions like these, as well as relatively low on ingredients and shopping.

Technically, this recipe makes 12 but I made them in US-bought mini-loaf tins which, since I only ended up with eight, might be somewhat larger than the French standard size…If you don’t have mini-loaf tins, mini-muffin tins might work, though I have not tried them. They come out quite soft and their flavour is delicate, rather than full-on, so they make an ideal Christmas party snack, or they’d be great, once we get outdoors again, for a picnic.  Continue reading

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The twelve days of Kickstarter: salmon rillettes

If you have read my last post, then you will know that I have launched a cookbook publisher. As I write this, I have twelve days to go on a Kickstarter campaign to reach my goal of £24000 which will pay for the final, most expensive stages of publishing my first book. And, since it is nearly December, and therefore nearly Christmas, I thought it seemed appropriate to give you a little gift on each of those twelve days, the gift of a recipe from The French Home Cookbook. Hopefully you will find them useful, hopefully you will find them inspiring and, hopefully, if you or someone you love is tempted by them then you will head over to the Kickstarter page and pledge a little something to help the recipes get published. Continue reading

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Poach my Lobster, or how I started my own cookbook publisher

A long long time ago, in a galaxy far away or, rather, in Cambridgeshire I was given a copy of The Pooh Cook Book. Here it is and there, on the endpapers, is my name and address and proof that I was about 10 when I got it (3R being my third-year in junior school).

The Pooh Cook Book

The post-its are a more recent addition...

The post-its are a more recent addition…

Though I barely cooked anything from it, apart from appallingly hopeless peppermint creams, and though I didn’t know it till many years later, it was the start of a love affair with food, cookbooks and recipes. Now, much MUCH later, I am turning that love into a business. And I want to share how it happened with you, since this blog is so much part of that love.  Continue reading

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The first soup of the winter: romanesco and cheese

I do love cold weather, or at least I do love it when it’s still a novelty, when all the fabulous autumn ingredients fill my head with possible recipes. I love the abundance of different squash, cabbages and apples, I love making stews and cakes and I love that one of the cheapest and quickest dishes in the world, soup, suddenly seems desirable. Continue reading

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A chef’s pan and chicken sofrito

My nephew and godson Matt went to university a month ago and, by all accounts, he is having a blast (not that he’s told ME; hello Matt, are you ever going to reply to your aunt’s text?!). He loves food and cooking and, though I was pretty certain he wouldn’t be eating much other than toast and kebabs in his first term or year, I still thought I should send him off with some useful kit. Continue reading

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The French toast to beat all French toasts

There is breakfast. You know, cereal, toast, porridge, a bit of fruit, yogurt, something grabbed from the coffee shop. Then there is brunch which, as far I am concerned, is just a bigger, often cooked breakfast so waffles, pancakes, eggs Benedict, scones, things that require more effort and are generally eaten at weekends. Then there is this, this being French toast from Plenty More. Continue reading

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