Perfect Gift – Sparkly St Nicholas Gingerbread Cookies

Christmas Gingerbread Cookies

Christmas Gingerbread Cookies

The battered red wooden skis and memories constructed from family stories and photos are all that remains of our two years in Germany.  Pictures of my older sister, then three, dressed in a furry lined anorak, Scandi patterned hat and mittens proudly skiing to Kindergarten. Photos of my mother, barely recognisable behind the veneer of 1950s European fashion, pushing a pram around the university campus where my Father was a professor. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Cupcake Doughnuts Filled With Hotel Chocolat Raspberry And White Chocolate Jam

Doughnut Cupcakes With Hotel Chocolat Raspberry & White Chocolate Jam

Doughnut Cupcakes With Hotel Chocolat Raspberry & White Chocolate Jam

When Hotel Chocolat offered me a choice of their wonderful chocolate goodies, I didn’t want to go for Dasher the Chocolate Reindeer or the beautiful Enchanted Forest in caramel and milk chocolate.  I knew these would be fabulous with the distinctive quality that Hotel Chocolat chocolates always have.  I wanted to try one of their slightly more off beat products, White Chocolate And Raspberry Jam. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

Book Review – Spice By Dhruv Baker

Discover how to use Spices With Spice by Dhruv Baker

Discover how to use Spices With Spice by Dhruv Baker

Masterchef fans may well remember Dhruv Baker, the winner of the 2010 series.  His deft use of spice and astounding palate were often commented on by judges John Torode and Greg Wallace.  Baker has now put that experience and his love of flavour between the covers of his first cook book, Spice.

Split into practical sections, based around ingredients, Baker  demystifies spices, saying that spice is about flavour, not heat.  This book shows you how to get the best flavour from ingredients that are easily available from the supermarket and many of which may already be in your kitchen cupboard.

Chicken Lollipops in Spice By Dhruv Baker

Chicken Lollipops in Spice By Dhruv Baker

It would be a mistake to think of this as just another Asian cook book.  Influenced by his multicultural background with an English father, Indian mother and having lived in Mexico, India, Tanzania as well as Great Britain, the dishes span as many continents.  Slow Roast Pork Belly With Fennel And Coriander, Aubergine Crisps With Truffle Honey, Braised Duck With Star Anise And Galangal and my favourite, partly because it  is fairly simple, but mainly because it packs a punch of flavour – Mushroom Pilau.  A side dish or a main, full of fragrance from the cardamom, cinnamon and cloves, rich in texture from the earthy flavoured mushrooms and a sweet crisp crunch from the fried onions.  This has quickly become a Glam favourite.  With over a hundred recipes, there’s still many more to explore.

Masterchef Champion Dhruv Baker's Mushroom Pilau From His Cook Book Spice

Masterchef Champion Dhruv Baker’s Mushroom Pilau From His Cook Book Spice

Unlocking The Spice Cupboard at the back of the book is an alphabetical list of spices with clever descriptions of flavour and uses, from Ajwain Seeds to Vanilla Pods.  It includes the different ways that spices can be used beyond the obvious: making flavoured oils, dry roasting, marinades, rubs and flavoured butters.

Chocolate And Cinnamon Torte From Dhruv Baker's New Cook Book Spice

Chocolate And Cinnamon Torte From Dhruv Baker’s New Cook Book Spice

The section on Drinks is a innovative addition and again steers away from the mundane, with recipes for a Cardamom Martini and Pear And Prosecco Spritz.

This book is an all rounder with great dishes, it instills a confidence with spices in the cook and has some new and out of the ordinary dishes to experiment with and Baker wants his readers to do just that.  “Once you have tasted some of the recipes…you might want to add more or less spice, or add or take away ingredients…..however you use them, I hope that you will make them your own.”

If you enjoyed this post, share it using the Share Buttons  Subscribe to Glamorous Glutton free here

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Venison Cottage Pie With Spring Onion Mash

Crispy Spring Onion Mash Topped Venison Shepherds Pie

Crispy Spring Onion Mash Topped Venison Cottage Pie

The steel grey light of a damp November day gives way  to cold  fat drops  splatting against the windows as the wind drives the rain forward.  The fire’s lit, the intermittent crackles forming a percussion with the rain.  It’s time for comfort food.  Game is perfect when the weather gets cold, but you don’t always want the bones and bits that go with a pheasant or a quail.  Venison mince is the perfect ingredient for a meal eaten curled up on the sofa.  Rich in flavour and a creaminess from the oats, it can be eaten with just a fork or a spoon and if you make a cottage pie it has all your veg too!  Well nearly.  What’s your favourite dish to warm you on a cold autumn day? Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

Spiced Broccoli Patties With Curried Dip

Spiced Brocoli Patties & Curried Dip

Spiced Brocoli Patties & Curried Dip

There are times when all I want is vegetables.  I’ve done with meat and fish I just want to be renewed by healthy flavours, herbs and spices.  These little Patties pack a punch of flavour from the cumin and coriander and a sweetness from the caramelising of the outside as they’re cooked.  With a hint of chilli and the barely cooked herbs these are a perfect light lunch or snack slathered in a lightly curried dip. Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Exploring Talmont Sur Gironde, France

Mud Flats On The Gironde Estuary

Mud Flats On The Gironde Estuary

The sun shimmered off the mud flats as we drove along the coast road. The gulls circling and diving, finally landing on the bald stones that lay camouflaged by seaweed, it’s soft ozone smell rising to mingle with the fragrance of sun baked grasses from the fields nearby.  Then, there was Talmont, perched high on a rocky outcrop, a twelfth century fortified village sticking out into the bright blue sky. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday Words – Review Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes

Tom Kerridge Best Ever Dishes

Tom Kerridge Best Ever Dishes

Tom Kerridge’s second book to accompany his BBC TV series Best Ever Dishes,  is a delight of wonderful photography and twists on classic dishes from home and abroad.  Whilst this is not a book for a quick midweek supper the recipes are very achievable for everyone except the real beginner. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Emmer Wheat Tagliatelli With Fennel Seed Pork Meatballs And Tomato Sauce

Fennel Seed Sausage And Tomato Pasta Sauce

Fennel Seed Sausage And Tomato Pasta Sauce

The tiny kitchen in our London flat was the height of mod cons for the 60s.  We had a fridge, A FRIDGE!  It required constant maintenance and once you put in a pint of milk and a lettuce, it was full.  But at least we didn’t have to hang the milk out of the window in a bag to keep it cool.  Wall shelves, a tiny built in work surface and a larder cupboard completed the storage. The white stone butlers sink was squeezed in next to these wonders of the modern age, but required you to slide in sideways past the cooker to get to it.  This kitchen was small, even to a child of three or four it was small. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Chai Spiced Chocolate Brownies

Stack Of Chai Spice Chocolate Brownies

Stack Of Chai Spice Chocolate Brownies

My rug samples were spread around me, saved from the dusty factory floor by a sheet, not quite white but not yet grey.  The flourish of colour making a vibrant splash against the cheerless concrete.  Beautifully patterned, each careful tuft had been meticulously costed by my Indian supplier and the negotiations were about to begin.  Electricity was intermittent in this small rural community and the usual whir of the air conditioners was missing from the general factory noise.  In the hot sticky atmosphere I wondered how fast we could get the job done, longing for the hotel bar and bath.  With a nod from the owner a young Indian boy entered with a tray of dark milky tea.  The spicy aroma hit me long before the drink was in my hands, cinnamon, fragrant cardamom, peppery cloves and sweet nutmeg.  A milky drink with a perk from the tea and a miracle of spices to enliven even the most lethargic.  This was my first taste of Chai. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

Buenos Aries – Bar Doreggo And Tango

Interior Of Bar Dorrego

Interior Of Bar Dorrego

The San Telmo bar Dorrego was dark, an early morning scattering of customers sipping coffee and quietly chatting, waiting for the weak Autumn sunshine to warm the day.  Bent wood chairs, all matching but worn with a pale patina, were tucked under scrubbed wood tables scratched with time and the initials of previous drinkers. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,