Recipe: Red Onion & Merlot Marmalade

Red Onion & Merlot Marmalade

There’s nothing lovelier than a homemade gift, and edible presents are the best of the lot.  I made a few jars of red onion marmalade many years ago, and one particular recipient has dropped very un-subtle hints every year since, wondering when the next batch might be appearing…. so here it is, along with a recipe for you to make your own.

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Recipe: Pistachio & Cranberry Biscotti

Pistachio & Cranberry Biscotti

When I posted my (ludicrously early)  Figgy Christmas Chutney recipe back in October, I promised lots more ideas for homemade, edible Christmas gifts over the next few weeks.  So here’s number two… some deliciously festive Pistachio & Cranberry Biscotti, dipped in white chocolate.

Biscotti are supposed to be dunked—traditionally in Vin Santo—but I love mine with a nice cup of tea, or even better at this time of year, a glass of mulled wine!

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45 Recipes for Vegetarian Party Nibbles & Canapés you need to know about

Vegetarian Party Nibbles & Canapés

As a vegetarian, I’ve often found myself in the situation where I’m ravenously hungry at a drinks reception, but all the canapés coming past involve smoked salmon or prosciutto, or other meaty treats.  A very first-world problem, I know, but there you go!

So, as party season approaches, I thought a quick roundup of ideas for vegetarian party nibbles & canapés  would be a good idea.  Some are from friends’ blogs, Continue reading “45 Recipes for Vegetarian Party Nibbles & Canapés you need to know about”

Recipe: Seedy Spelt Flatbreads with Roasted Garlic Hummus

My little boy absolutely loves meals which involve dipping, tearing, dunking, sharing and picking bits and pieces that he fancies from a selection of yummy things…. a “choosing lunch”.  And do you know what – so do I.  I think we all do – perhaps it’s some sort of primeval enjoyment for eating with our hands rather than cutlery – tearing apart warm, freshly-cooked flatbreads, scooping up a big dollop of hummus, and dotting a sun-blushed tomato or maybe a few olives on top.  I don’t think there can be many better starters or lunch platters to share with friends or family.  Continue reading “Recipe: Seedy Spelt Flatbreads with Roasted Garlic Hummus”

Recipe: Chilli Peanut Vietnamese Rolls

Chilli Peanut Vietnamese Rolls

For years I’ve been looking at Vietnamese Spring Roll recipes and two thoughts have crossed my mind: 1) YUM.  2) Who on earth has enough time on their hands to fiddle around making those?

Well, do you know who?  Me.  And you too.  They are actually a doddle, and oddly satisfying to make.  The rice paper wrappers are just brilliant – stretchy and sticky but in a really helpful way when you come to roll them up.  They end up looking elegant and professional even if you’re all fingers and thumbs like me.  (Confession: I accidentally poked a huge hole in one of these wrappers, but you would never know it!).

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Recipe: Mini Picnic Calzones

Mini Picnic Calzones

I love pasties, and I love pizza, so in my books you can’t get much better than a calzone.  If you’ve not tried one before, then give these a try – a calzone is basically a folded-over pizza, and these are stuffed with mozzarella, olives, capers, courgette, chilli and sun-dried tomatoes, in a light and crispy bread dough.

I’ve made full-sized calzones before (see post here) but these little bite-sized picnic versions are super-cute. They are a bit more sturdy than flaky pastry pasties, (though I do love a good cheese & onion pasty or three on a picnic too!), so are great for packing away in a tupperware box and traipsing off to your preferred picnic spot.  Continue reading “Recipe: Mini Picnic Calzones”

Recipe: Mini Picnic Quiche Bites

Mini Picnic Quiche Bites

We were supposed to be having a picnic with friends today.  With the British weather being true to form, however, rain stopped play and we ended up picnicking on the living room floor instead.  Typical!

I love picnic food – little bite-sized morsels neatly packed in tupperware boxes.  Eating outside somehow makes everything taste lovelier, (though even picnicking in the living room is a treat!).

Over the next week I’ll post a few of my favourite picnic recipes, starting with these Mini Picnic Quiche Bites.  These are so quick and easy to make – simply line a large baking tray with shop-bought pastry, pop in your quiche fillings of choice, bake, then slice Continue reading “Recipe: Mini Picnic Quiche Bites”

Recipe: Creamy Jalapeno Mini-Pepper Bites

Creamy Jalapeno Mini Pepper Bites A

“Oh my word, those are AMAZING”.  I would love to say I had that reaction to everything I cooked/invented, but these were, apparently, unexpectedly good! These lovely little mini-peppers were on special offer at the supermarket and just too cute to resist. But what to do with them?  These bite-sized party nibbles are stuffed with a more-ish spicy filling of cream cheese, jalapenos, spring onion and coriander.

They might look like a terrible fiddle to make, but in fact these were ready to eat within 20 minutes of turning on the oven.  Whilst the peppers roast for 15 minutes, you simply blitz the other 4 ingredients together in a mini-chopper/blender, then slice off the tops and stuff.  Simples!   Continue reading “Recipe: Creamy Jalapeno Mini-Pepper Bites”

Recipe: Warm Six-Spiced Party Nuts

Warm Six-Spiced Party Nuts

Warning: seriously more-ish.

Salty, spicy, smoky and sweet – these warm toasted six-spiced party nuts are the perfect sophisticated nibble to serve with drinks.  A bit more special and ‘homemade’ than a bowl of crisps, they will take less than 15 minutes from turning on the oven to handing round in a bowl, and are most definitely worth the effort. Continue reading “Recipe: Warm Six-Spiced Party Nuts”