Cheat’s Vanilla Cream Berry Tart – House Of Fraser Blogger’s Recipe Book

Cheats Vanilla Cream Berry Tart

Cheats Vanilla Cream Berry Tart

Even the most accomplished cooks need time savers, those meals that take elements of something ready made and with a tweek or two, or an innovative combination, turn them into something else.  When House Of Fraser asked me to contribute a recipe to their Bloggers Recipe Book, I chose one of my ‘cheats’ recipes.  Something that can be made by both novice and expert cooks.  Even the possibly scary thought of blind baking, could be swopped for a shop bought pastry case.  But the result is a bit of a show stopper. Continue reading

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Salt Beef Sandwiches And Blooms Of Whitechapel

Hot Salt Beef Sandwich With Crisp Sweet Pickles And Oozing With Mustard

Hot Salt Beef Sandwich With Crisp Sweet Pickles And Oozing With Mustard

Piling on to the tube for a trek across London to the East End, pushing through the crowds on Petticoat Lane.  Finally ending up in Whitechapel High street and the trailing queue for Blooms, was a treat I discovered in my early teens. Continue reading

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If It’s All Too Much – Gluten Free Healthy Coconut And Goji Berry Cereal

It's All Been Too Much!

It’s All Been Too Much!

If you too are feeling it’s all been a bit much, then join me in a few healthy recipes to start the new year and a healthier 2015.  That’s not to say this is a New Years Resolution-  Certainly not!  But a look at what I eat when and making some healthier choices.  Some of  the recipes for those choices will appear on my blog along with the usual Glamorous Glutton Fare including travel and book and product reviews.  Have a wonderful 2015 everyone! Continue reading

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Dolianova Sardinia – Food Tour

Sardinian Seadas Drizzled With Honey

Sardinian Seadas Drizzled With Honey

The fire snapped and crackled as the ancient olive wood burnt in the enormous fireplace.  The smoke gently flavouring the suckling pig as it turned slowly on the large metal stake like spit.  This was dinner Sardinian style. Continue reading

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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

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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

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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.”

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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

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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

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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

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