“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.

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“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”