Saturday, 26 September 2009

Cream of Coconut Cake

I found this recipe on the internet and I don't remember where I got it from so if it's yours please let me know and I will definitely give credit. However, I followed the recipe and it was wayyyyy too sweet for me. The icing that is not the cake. The cake is delicious ! And yes it's made starting with a box cake mix. ;o) And if you are in UK I don't know where to get a plain old white cake mix at. I had one I brought over from home so if you do please let me know. This cake has such a nice flavor you could eat it without any frosting but . . .it sure is nice with it.

1 18.25 ounce package white cake mix
3 large eggs
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 8 oz can cream of coconut (I used 1 can coconut milk)
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Grease and flour one 9x13x2 inch pan. Combine in large mixing bowl, cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, cream of coconut and sour cream; beat with electric mixer for 4 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 35 - 40 mins, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake completely before frosting. Serves 12

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
4 cups powdered sugar ( I recommend 1/2 to 1 cup)
Coconut for garnish frozen or fresh is okay

Combine cream cheese, vanilla, milk and powdered sugar and beat with electric mixer until smooth. If a thinner consistency is desired, add more milk, a teaspoon at a time.

Frost cake and garnish with coconut.

Bacon & Baked Potato with Blue Cheese Soup

I made this soup and there were no leftovers. I think that says it all. The creamy mild blue cheese is optional. I served it with a crusty baguette. It was delicious. I found this recipe at and adjusted it to suit our tastes.

1 tbsp butter/margarine

1/4 c chopped onion or shallot

1/4 c chopped celery

2 c. chicken broth (can use low fat/ low sodium)

1 1/4 c milk (I used 2%)

2 baking potatoes, baked and cubed (1/2 inch)

salt and pepper

8 slices oscar mayer bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled

3/4 c cheddar or creamy blue cheese optional

1 tbsp green onion slices,

1/4 c sour cream

Melt butter in saucepan and add onions and celery and cook and stir 5 mins. or until crisp tender. Add in broth, milk. potatoes and cheese. Stir to mix and then crush potatoes with back of spoon. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

When ready to serve stir in cheese and stir until melted through.

Serve with green onions, some reserved bacon and sour cream if desired.

Notes: I used blue cheese and shallots instead of cheddar and onion. I also left off the celery as I didn't have any. I also whizzed my potatoes instead of crushing them with a spoon. I wanted a smoother soup. As for the bacon you might as well go ahead and cook the whole pack because when you smell it you're gonna want to sample it to make sure it's "soup quality"

Let me know if you like it. This can easily be doubled. The potatoes can be baked days in advance and kept in the refrigerator until ready to use. Just take them out and let them come up to room temperature before using. This is a perfect autumn warmer me up soup.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Take 5 Ingredients - Tomato baked eggs

This also appeals to me and is one for my vegetarian friends. It's one of those quick prep and throw it in the oven kinda meals and forget about it until it's done. Another one of the Take 5 Ingredients Recipes for you.

Serves 4, Prep 10 mins, Cook 50 mins

900g/2lb ripe vine tomatoes

3 garlic cloves

4 large free-range eggs

2 tbsp chopped parsley and/or chives

1. Heat oven to 200C/400F. Cut the tomatoes into quarters or thick wedges, depending on their size, then spread them over a fairly shallow 1.5 litre ovenproof dish. Note: The recipe didn't call for greasing the pan but if I make it I will spray it with the cooking spray first.

Peel the garlic , slice thinly and sprinkle over the tomatoes. Drizzle with 3 tbsp olive oil, season well and stir everything eogether until the tomatoes are glistening.

2. Slide the dish into the oven and bake for 40 mins until the tomatoes have softened and are tinged brown.

3. Make 4 gaps among the tomatoes and break an egg into each and cover the dish with foil. Return to the oven for 5-10 mins until the eggs are set to your liking. Scatter over the herbs and serve piping hot with thick slices of toast or warm ciabatta bread with a green salad on the side.

204 cal per serving

Take 5 Ingredients - Smoked Salmon & Pea Frittata

Hello Everyone !

The other day, along with a BBC magazine I got, came a little booklet entitled Take 5 Ingredients. I really like quite a few of the recipes so thought I'd share a few of them here over the next few days for us all to try. So, let me know if you try one and what you think. I don't know about you but I can always use a recipe that only uses 5 ingredients.

Serves 4, Prep 20 mins, Cook 30 mins.

500g/1 lb 2 oz cooked new potatoes (peeled)
200g pack smoked salmon
8 large eggs
2 tbsp chopped dill
100g/4oz frozen petit pois (garden peas)

1. Thickly slice the potatoes. Cut the salmon into wide strips. Crack the eggs into a bowl, beat with a fork until lightly foamy, then stir in the smoked salmon, dill, peas, and season. Finally, stir in the potatoes.

2. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in large non-stick frying pan, carefully pour in the egg mixture and cook over a fairly low heat for 10-15 mins until the egg is starting to set just under the surface.

3. Put a plate that is slightly larger than the top of the pan on top and invert the frittata onto it. Slide it back into the pan and cook for a further 5 mins to brown the underside. Slide onto a plate and leave to cool for 5 mins before cutting into wedges.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Jessie's Dessert

Hi Friends
I have been such a bad blogger this month and I apologize for that but, since I can, I am going to blame part of it on my friend who came to visit. We had such a good time and I didn't do a lot of cooking new things so, no new blogs. However, upon her return home she told me about a new dessert she tried that her daughter-in-law Jessie made which was really wonderful. I haven't tried it yet but I fully intend to so, I don't have any pictures. If you do try it how about letting me know what you think. And I want to say I had the privilege of meeting Jessie in Feb of this year and she is just as sweet as can be and thank you for letting me share this one here. Jessie you can correct me if I am wrong on this I tried to write it down quickly. And a quick thanks to Nancy for telling me about it. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. It sounds like a quick and easy dessert to make.

8 ozs cream cheese
1 can pie filling
1 refrigerator pie crust

Beat your cream cheese until smooth and fluffy, add in your pie filling. Take and cut however many rounds you can get from a refrigerator pie crust. You will need 2 for each little dessert. Add the filling to one round, then top with the other round. Using a fork, crimp around the edges to seal. Deep fry until golden brown, remove and dust with sugar.

Note: As far as I know, I haven't seen any refrigerator pie crusts here in UK but of course I could be wrong. I plan on using puff pastry for mine and I am sure they will come out just as nice. Thanks again Jessie !!!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Lunch - The Alford Arms (again)

As some of you know I have a friend visiting with me for two weeks. Her name is Nancy and she is a dear friend and we are so happy to have her with us. We went out for lunch at one of our favorite places yesterday. The Alford Arms is one of our favorite places to go. The food was delicious as it usually is and we even split a dessert which was out of this world. My friend and I had Parma ham and fontina fre range chicken supreme on boulangere potatoes with broad bean pistou.

Boulangere potatoes are potatoes sliced very thinly with onions sliced the same way, then you just layer them up in a greased dish. Pour over hot stock and bake for 1 hour in a hot oven. The are really good. We were not disappointed. My husband had Smoked haddock on wilted spinach with sarratt watercress hollandaise. It was equally wonderful as I had a little "sample" just to make sure.

Nancy and I then split a dessert of rich chocolate and walnut tart with malted milk ice cream. At the time I wished we had gotten two it was that good.

This place never, ever disappoints. We go here for all special occasions. They don't advertise as they don't have to their food speaks for itself. The staff are very friendly and helpful. If you want to find the Alford Arms a google search will do it. They have multiple locations.

Broccoli & Stilton Creamy Soup

I made this when a friend was visiting and served it with some nice crusty bread. It was a big hit. This soup is so quick and easy to make and it will feed the masses. It can easily be doubled for a larger family.

Serves 3

1 med head broccoli chopped up
3 tbsp shallots chopped fine
2 tbsp oil
1 large potato, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 c crumbled Stilton (blue cheese)
a dollop of cream, optional
salt and pepper to taste

Stir fry shallots in oil until just beginning to brown and smell oh so nice. Add chicken stock and stir, bring to the simmer. Cook broccoli and potato however you want to do it. I did mine in a ziploc bag in the microwave made for microwave cooking. You can do it either in water in the microwave or boil until done.

Drain vegetables and then add to chicken stock. I used an immersion blender and blended until smooth. (You can also remove from heat, cool and blend with hand mixer or blender.) Stir in your Stilton (blue cheese) until melted. At this point season according to your taste. I didn't add any salt as I felt my chicken stock along with the blue cheese was salty enough.

I then poured into bowls to serve and added a dollop of cream.

NOTE: If you want a thicker soup add more potato.