Condensed milk is a funny thing. I have always been strangely enamored by it, always watching the way that it oozes out of the can like a sugary waterfall then suddenly becomes a slow, endless stream until all patience is lost and I just give up and use a spatula to get the last few sweet drops out. Some people I know would eat it by the spoonful, some wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole, but I guarantee that both sides would agree that condensed milk makes a darn good cake, and this Condensed Milk Bundt Cake fits the bill perfectly.
This Condensed Milk Bundt Cake is unlike any other cake I’ve ever had. It is very dense and spongy and best served with lashings of whipped cream and fruit puree to offset the density. It is almost like a pound cake but slightly less sweet, as the only sugar in this cake is from the sweetened condensed milk. It slices beautifully and would be perfect to take to a friend’s house for tea. Who wouldn’t appreciate this pretty little cake appearing at their door?
Breakfast burritos are a whole food group to us Californians. It’s just a way of life! I mean, I was a pretty good girl at school but even I managed to wander off campus once or twice to walk to the local greasy cafe to have a delicious breakfast burrito (sorry Mom!). Then, when I went to college in San Diego I discovered the true passion that people carry for this rolled breakfast delicacy. There are restaurants that claim to have invented the breakfast burrito, the world famous California burrito and most other burritos are usually under contention as to their origins. The reason we enjoy eating these creations at little greasy cafes and restaurants is because they will make them for you quickly and well, with your rumbling belly soon to be subsided. But the one thing that no burrito connoisseur will deny is that they are time consuming to make yourself at home, and like I said at the start of this post, breakfast burritos are a food group. So, what’s a breakfast burrito craving California girl to do? Make Freezer Breakfast Burritos of course!
The first thing you need to do is prepare and cook all your ingredients so they have time to cool completely before rolling. This is so once you’ve rolled your burritos there is no excess steam inside, which makes a soggy burrito once microwaved! You’ll need:
Scrambled eggs, seasoned.
Cooked, diced potatoes. You could also use hash browns!
Crispy smoked bacon lardons. You could also just cook up some crispy bacon and crumble it.
Sautéed onion. I used a mix of red and white onions.Fresh washed and dried spinach leaves.
Since moving to Britain, I have never realized how much I took for granted the sunny Southern California weather. So the second the sun begins to shine after the cold winter months, you know it’s time to make a delicious cocktail to enjoy in the precious sunshine. What better than the classic, oh so British perfect Pimm’s Cup Cocktail?
A Pimm’s Cup is sweet and tangy yet incredibly refreshing. The fizz and the fresh fruit and cucumber create a very light drink that you can find yourself drinking throughout the day. It’s a great cocktail to serve at a barbecue because you don’t need to do any muddling or making of sugar syrups or anything complicated when you’d rather be enjoying your day!
Pimm’s No. 1 Cup is a gin-based liqueur that is steeped in history. The tipple was created in 1823 by the son of a farmer in England. It rapidly rose to be a favorite among the English as it was also sold as an aid to digestion! The popularity led to the creation of several more liqueurs, like the Scotch-based No. 2 Cup and the rum-based No. 4 Cup. Yet all the subsequent libations were phased out as none were as loved as the classic Pimm’s No. 1 Cup.
This classic British cocktail is so simple to whip up. To make the Perfect Pimm’s Cup Cocktail all you need is some Pimm’s No. 1 Cup liqueur and some lemonade. In Britain, lemonade is a clear, fizzy lemon soda, so 7-Up and Sprite would be comparable. All the fruit and garnishes are completely customizable, but I would highly recommend adding cucumber, lemon and strawberries as a perfect combination. This recipe is more 1 cocktail, but it is easily increased to make a pitcher of the cocktail. I like about 1 part Pimm’s and 3 parts lemonade, with lots and lots of fruit!
Visiting Lisbon and Porto in Portugal was life changing. Not only is Portugal a beautiful country, it is full of life and culture. The people are lovely and the food is even lovelier. I must’ve had way more than my fair share of these beautiful, vanilla scented tarts during our 10 days in the country. But they were pretty irresistible! I mean, just look at these photos I snapped of the most delicious Pasteis de Nata I’ve ever had:
My mouth waters just looking at these images again…
There are some foods that just burn into your sense memory, and for me this was one of them. I will always remember not only the taste, but also the feeling of popping into tiny little backstreet bakeries and purchasing one that has literally just been taken out of the oven. Those experiences are rare and for me, worth trying to recreate.
The key to great Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese Custard Tarts) is actually quite simple.
Uber flaky pastry.
Super vanilla flavor.
Silky smooth custard.
oh, and let’s not forget the iconic dark spots on top (which are incredibly difficult to master in a home oven, but let’s give it a go, shall we?).
A few tips to help make the best Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese Custard Tarts) possible: Take care in rolling the pastry properly. We want flakiness and lots of layers! Also, be sure to whisk your custard like mad: no lumps here! And lastly: don’t skimp on the vanilla. It takes your tart from ordinary to extraordinary! Get ready for your cheapest ever vacation to Portugal!
Look at the spiral on the bottom of the pastry! This is where your hard work rolling and cutting the pastry pays off! So many layers of flakiness!
I’m looking out the window to a marble gray sky that seems like at any moment it will burst into tears. As little drops begin to form on the window I find comfort in a slice of the Best Ever Banana Bread because honestly, it just makes life better. I have to admit, one of my favorite things about Banana bread is not eating, but smelling the sweet scent of it baking in the oven. It really is the best thing in the world. There are very few aromas that are truly irresistible, like freshly baked bread or warm chocolate chip cookies, and Banana Bread even more so.
This bread is great because it is so moist because of the super ripe bananas. They also give this bread a great sweetness that is so natural and not ‘sugary’. This is great because you really can eat a whole lot of it for breakfast and not feel like you’re eating cake! There’s also a whole teaspoon of salt in this recipe, which somehow also makes it slightly savory. It is perfect when smeared with slightly salted butter.
Even though I really enjoy the soft crunch of texture that the walnuts give to this bread, feel free to use pecans or even remove the nuts if you have allergies. You could replace the nuts with raisins or other dried fruit, or even throw in some dark chocolate or peanut butter chips! Talk about a delicious loaf of (banana) bread!
Another reason why I call this recipe the Best Ever Banana Bread is because of how easy it is to make. Throw all the ingredients into a mixer and, bam! Ready to bake and filling your house with the glorious scent of homemade yumminess.
It seems like all I’ve been thinking about recently is France. I’ve bought a few books about living, eating and loving in Paris and have been inspired to go back. Do I even need to mention David Lebovitz’s blog? That’s an incentive to get on a long flight in itself! I began looking through photos of our last trip to Paris, which was actually part of our honeymoon tour, and I longed for the feeling of sitting outside a Patisserie and enjoying the little sweet treats in the summer sunshine. At this point I had two options: book a trip to Paris, or make something to make me feel Parisian in my own home. So what did I do? Both of course!
So I immediately booked a train for a weekend away at the end of May (WHOOO HOO!), unwrapped the Madeleine pans that my husband had given me for Christmas (he must have predicted this!) and I got cookin’. When making Classic French Madeleines, you need to prepare in advance and make sure you read the recipe at least twice before beginning. You need the correct equipment (two 12 hole madeleine tins) and also the time for this recipe, as the batter needs to rest in the fridge and you need to chill the pans in the freezer before baking.
These little French cakes are almost more cookie than cake. They are like a delicate little sponge with a crisp biscuit like case. They are lemon and vanilla scented bites that will transport you straight to the cobbled back streets of Paris. These super cute cakelets are best enjoyed the day you’ve made them (trust me!) but if you are getting ahead and serving the next day, do not dust with the powdered sugar after baking, wait until just before serving to enjoy them at their best. They can be stored for a few days in an airtight container.
Aren’t they just the cutest little things you’ve ever seen? They would be the perfect thing to bring to a girlie brunch or for a little snack with a pot of tea or coffee. I need to explore more flavor combinations as an excuse to make lots of them!Continue reading →
February… really? I’ve definitely gotten over that fuzzy feeling you get when it’s cold outside- because it’s absolutely freezing! But while we’ve been pretty luck so far weather-wise (fingers crossed!) I still felt like I needed a little boost. Something to remind me of warmer days and to help me imagine those soon to come.
All these thoughts about the days hotting up got me thinking about the summer and more importantly, our summer vacation. We haven’t been back to the beautiful US of A since our wedding, and this summer it will be a whole three years (gasp!) since then. So of course, heading home to the land of the free in on the top of my list of destinations at the moment. But- the travel monster needs feeding, and we’re hoping to stop over in…
Ah I think I’ve got to stop writing and book our flights!
So let’s make this short, but oh so sweet. This is a fab recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Scones. They are so buttery and flaky and dotted throughout with tart rhubarb and sweet strawberries. What’s brilliant is that they’re also incredibly fluffy inside, not too dense like some store bought scones. They are perfect with a big cup of tea! The other thing that’s great about the scones is that they are so easy. Just pulse the dough in the food processor, fold in the fruit, shape and bake! I have used this scone recipe many times with other fruits as well, and I particularly like the combination of blueberries and lemon zest or blackberry and orange zest.
So, with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, whip up some delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Scones for the one you love, and dream of exciting things to come.