Super simple creamy basil pesto and spaghetti

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I’ve been meaning to get around to making my own pesto for ages, and the basil plant on our kitchen windowsill was looking a bit overgrown so I decided to give it a go. This recipe is from Gino D’Acampo’s book ‘Gino’s Pasta‘, and you could make it without the yoghurt if you don’t want creamy pesto. I actually used creme fraiche so it was super creamy but really tasty! The original recipe uses homemade pasta, but we haven’t got a pasta machine (yet!) so I used dried.

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Moroccan lamb tagine with lemon and pomegranate couscous

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We bought a gorgeous Le Creuset heart-shaped casserole dish with some vouchers that we were kindly given for our wedding, and I decided to try out a new recipe for its first outing. I found this Rachel Allen recipe on the BBC food website, which is originally meant to serve 12-14 people and would be brilliant for a dinner party! I halved the original quantities because this was for me and Tom, plus a few boxes for the freezer – I’ve given the original quantities here. Although it takes 1 1/2 hours in the oven, it can be made in advance and then reheated. Continue reading…

Dark chocolate and ginger cookies

I absolutely love The Great British Bake Off, and am already hooked on the new series! I’ve just got the books of two previous winners, and this recipe come from John Whaite Bakes (John won the third series). It’s one of those books where you want to make everything in it! I love the photography in the book, and it’s a really good read. I decided to make these cookies first because we had most of the ingredients in our cupboard, but also because dark chocolate and ginger are two of Tom’s favourite things! Be warned though – they are super tasty cookies and won’t last for long… Continue reading…

Bacon and leek quiche

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This is another of my Mum’s tried and tested recipes and it’s really tasty and easy to make. You can either make the pastry yourself, or use cheat pastry from the shop if you want to make it quickly during the week (which is what I did!). Smoked bacon works really well with this recipe, but you could use unsmoked if you prefer. Use a loose bottomed tin for this so that it is easy to remove after baking, and leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving (or serve cold too). Continue reading…

Rich chocolate almond cake with white chocolate frosting

Last week we had a pre-birthday celebration for our lovely friend Hannah, and everyone brought something along to contribute to the meal. We were set the challenge of making a birthday cake – but what sort of cake do you make for the person who made you the most amazing wedding cake?! So we decided to go for a super-chocolatey cake, but found two recipes that we liked. Tom was in charge of cake making and went for a combination of the two recipes: the first was by Rachel Allen and the second was from The Cooking Ninja blog. I was in charge of the frosting, and this originally comes from a Mary Berry recipe that we also found on the BBC Food website. You’ll need to use a 21cm loose bottomed cake tin, lined on the bottom and buttered on the sides – best to get this ready before you start! Continue reading…

Butternut squash soup

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Butternut squash isn’t something that I’ve cooked with a lot before, but recently I’ve realised how delicious it is and I seem to keep choosing it! Here’s a delicious recipe by Nigel Slater, which I saw on TV last week on his programme Nigel Slater’s Dish of the Day. It was first broadcast on 23rd November 2012, but you can watch it on the BBC website. The recipe isn’t written out but I’ve transcribed it – on the clip it shows you how to make some crisps out of the butternut squash peelings, but I’ve not included them here. I also had a sweet potato in the fridge and decided to throw that in for good measure, but that isn’t part of the original recipe. Continue reading…