“Pasta with Mackerel, Marsala and Pine nuts” from “Nigellissima”

Peter: This is very sweet for a pasta.

Anna: Did you not think that the saltiness of the capers and the mackerel off-set the sweetness?

Peter: I guess so. It was nice because mackerel can be quite a strong flavour and this combination of ingredients tempered it.

Anna: Well you know how much I love salty and sweet combos, so I have to say that I’m a fan of this recipe. And it was very quick and easy, just as Nigella said it would be.

Peter: I like a good bit of mackerel too, so I’m happy to have it again.

Anna: That’s good then, as I’m already planning when we’re next going to have it!

If you would like to try this recipe for yourself click here.

“Pasta with Mackerel, Marsala and Pine nuts” from “Nigellissima”

“Liz’s Banana Bread” from “A Taste of Home”

Anna: Yum, yum, yum!

Peter: Why have you decided to make banana bread today? It’s not something you’ve made that often before.

Anna: Because I have been craving it for weeks. And I haven’t made it much before as you told me you don’t like banana bread. Do you this?

Peter: I’m not a fan of mushy bananas.

Anna: You can hardly call this mushy bananas! It’s a bread.  Flavoured with bananas. With crunchy walnuts and sultanas in it. Besides, I didn’t see you leaving it on your plate. It seems to have disappeared….

Peter: This reminds me of Australia where they are very big on banana bread.

Anna: You’re right! And it reminds me of my childhood. My mother used to make banana bread and the taste of it takes me back 30 years. I need all the help I can get these days. Will you be taking a slice to work.

Peter: I will, but will I smell of booze at my desk? There’s certainly alcohol in this.

Anna: Just a bit of rum, that’s all. This was so easy I’ll be making it again!

“Liz’s Banana Bread” from “A Taste of Home”

“Baguette and Butter Pudding” from “Best Menus”

Tom: Ooh, it’s crunchy!

Kirstin: Because it’s got baguette in it. From the cheese shop.

Kat: It’s like Italian bread. Super crusty!

Tom: Well, I like the crunchiness.

Patrick: I do too. I don’t normally like bread pudding, but this is really good!

Kat: What do you like about it?

Continue reading ““Baguette and Butter Pudding” from “Best Menus””

“Baguette and Butter Pudding” from “Best Menus”

“Carrot cake” from “Bill’s Basics”

Anna: Phew.  This went much better than the Cake of DOOM.  Apart from you forgetting half the ingredients.

Kirstin: I thought I HAD bought them!

Tom: So you didn’t forget them — you forgot that you hadn’t bought them.

Anna: This is a perfect Sunday afternoon cake. It’s fruity, it’s like a tea-time cake. It’s not a dessert cake. And it’s got at least two of your five-a-day in it.

Kirstin: It’s my first carrot cake!

Tom: I liked the raisins. Are they usually in carrot cakes?

Kirstin: They were supposed to be sultanas.

Anna: I thought they worked. They were darker and chewier than sultanas would have been. Perhaps because the cake was slightly burned.

Kirstin: We have at least figured out my oven now.

Anna: I think it would work very well with chopped dates in it, in place of the raisins.

Kirstin: So do you think Peter might like some of this cake then? On his sick bed? With his chicken noodle soup?

Anna: Yes, I think I will take him some home.  I’ll eat it if he can’t!

“Carrot cake” from “Bill’s Basics”

“Pappardelle with Courgettes, Sultanas and Pine nuts” from “Forever Summer”

Anna: I’m sneaking this one in whilst Kirstin is still away involving, as it does, a dried fruit.  In a savoury dish.  Which we know is vorboten in her culinary world.  But I do love this flavour combination myself and this pasta dish really reminded me of the Veneziana pizza from Pizza Express I loved when I was a teenager.

Peter: I’m getting sweet, and nutty, and salty…

Anna: All good things.  This is definitely a great way to use courgettes at this time of year and a lovely vegetarian dinner for a meat-free night, that doesn’t make carnivores feel deprived.  Peter didn’t even make a comment about it being veggie.

Peter: I didn’t.  Hang on, I can feel myself passing-out….

Anna: I did come a bit undone by not reading the recipe properly beforehand as the courgettes have to fry for a good half hour – 45 mins.  But that aside it’s as simple as anything.  One gripe, Nigella has got her pasta quantities off in this recipe.  She’s not shy of a big portion, by her own admission, but I’d say you need twice as much as she advises here. 

Peter: Luckily you hadn’t tipped the water out yet so I could nip back and cook more.  My bowl was looking a little empty.

Anna: Otherwise this was very yummy. We’ll be doing this again, without Kirstin obviously.

“Pappardelle with Courgettes, Sultanas and Pine nuts” from “Forever Summer”