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Weekend pictures

Lots of pictures from the weekend. A vintage looking Jess, making lavender sugar, coffee and cake at Greens Coffee Co , Jess atop a fence, making catnip ‘strawberries’ from Mollie Makes tutorial, made a gingham cushion cover, salt and pepper popcorn, found ‘Home’ old sign in the garden, first garlic harvest.

Tomato Salsa from Mexican Food Made Simple

Mexican food is one of my favourite foods, and I have really been enjoying Mexican Food Made Simple on Tuesday nights, and I am a big fan of Wahaca. I gave the salsa recipe a go to stuff in to some burritos because it seemed so simple and quite authentic.

The dry roasting of the tomatoes and garlic is a great idea, much much quicker than roasting in the oven and both come out just as juicy and flavoursome as oven roasting. I was amazed at how well the garlic roasted like this, even in my dodgy frying pan. I blitzed mine the food processor instead of my pestle and mortar so it was a bit more liquid but because it was quite spicy you only needed to use a little anyway!

I subbed half a chipotle in adobo chili instead of a fresh jalapeno, as I’d forgotten to buy fresh chilis. I assume fresh green chilis would work the same as a jalapeno. The chipotle gave it a nice warm smoky finish to add to the charred taste from the tomatoes.

I served it with traditional burrito fillings – spicy black beans, mexican rice, sour cream, cheese and tortillas.
This recipe makes a lot so there will be plenty left over for other things. I am going to use mine to top a steak and jazz up my cous cous at lunchtime.

The next recipes I want to try are the griddled pineapple with rum caramel and the chorizo and potato quesadilla. And I will attempt homemade corn tortillas once I’ve got the frying pan situation sorted out.

Sweets & Chocolate

I love sweets. I do a lot of baking and whilst I appreciate freshly baked sweet treats there is something inside me that really loves the processed sugary wonderfulness that is sweets. And chocolate, I am a sucker for cheap sugary chocolate whilst also liking dark chocolate too.

Every day after school I used to go to the corner shop and buy a chocolate bar or a bag of 10p (20p if I was feeling rich) penny sweets. There was a brief phase of those sherbet sticks that you could buy for about 3p which everyone in school had and for some reason I remember them being of particular concern to teachers. Maybe because kids were pretending they were cocaine and snorting them, maybe that was it.

If you’ve read Stephen Fry’s Autobiography (the first one) which includes a long section listing all the sweets he loved and loves that is just about how I feel about sweets too. Even though most of the sweets I used to eat still exist now there is always a heap of nostalgia associated with them.

Here comes the list, my favourites include: foam shrimps, lemon bon bons, apple laces, strawberry laces, sherbet dib dab, black jacks, fruit salad, foam mushrooms, foam strawberries, cherry lips, aniseed balls, fizzy cola, chewy cola, giant cola bottles, fizzy blue bottles (not the flies, the drink) coconut rolls, love hearts, foam teeth and toothbrushes, refreshers, drumsticks (one of my teeth came out because of a drumstick lolly), flumps, rhubarb and custard, Wham bars, candy sticks, candy necklaces, fried eggs…. the list is pretty much endless.

Although there are some sweets I don’t like. I’m not a big fan of hard sweets save for bon bons and rhubarb and custard. And I never understood why people liked those white mice. I’m not a big chewing gum person although I did used to buy those long packs of bubblegum which were about 15p a tube. They never tasted sweet for very long so I could easily chew a whole pack in a couple of hours.

Chocolate wise the list is quite a lot smaller than the sweet side of things. At the moment I am favouring Galaxy over Cadburys – have Cadburys changed their recipe? I am inclined to blame Kraft Foods for the less chocolatey nature of their Dairy Milk lately. My favourites at the moment (which changes often!) are Galaxy Caramel, Galaxy Ripple, Wispa, Milky Bar and Crunchie. I am still mourning the loss of Kit Kat Peanut Butter which has been replaced by the rubbish Kit Kat Caramel – which isn’t really caramel inside at all is it? Do we not get peanut butter as much in the UK as our American counterparts. There should be more peanut butter in confectionary in my opinion.

My favourite chocolate bar ever was the Cadburys Fuse bar, which was discontinued around the late 90s. It had basically everything going for it – chocolate, raisins, nuts, FUDGE PIECES and crispies. And the packet design was pretty cool too. I miss those.

So there you are, an essay from a sugar addict. I still do need to have at least one bar of chocolate a day, and it is a need, I think. I get a bit crabby otherwise. And you have no idea how glad I am that retro sweet shops have become popular again, Mr Simms Olde sweet shop in Cambridge is one of the best places to go for all kinds of sweets.

Now I am off to the shop for some sweets. I hope you enjoyed reading my post!

Sweetie images from Handy Candy – and google image search

Summer Fruit Drizzle Cake

It hasn’t been all bad on the eating front lately.
It was the husbands birthday yesterday so on Monday I baked up this lovely cake, the recipe is in this months BBC Good Food magazine. I love the idea of sweet berries mixed in with lemon and sugar, very decadent but also feels healthy. The cake is studded with fruit inside too.
If you do make it I have a tip! The recipe says to chuck everything (minus berries) in the bowl and whisk, Don’t do this! You will end up with mix EVERYWHERE. I would use the normal cake method of creaming sugar and butter and then adding the rest, unless you have a food processor or a stand mixer.
I think I will be trying this again with different fruits, maybe peaches and raspberries.

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