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"To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day."

Somerset Maugham

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Tuesday
Aug032010

Elizabeth David’s Piedmont roast peppers (via Delia Smith)

I have come backwards to arrive at this post; normally when writing about someone else’s recipe I would test it and then discuss how it worked. In this case I made the dish first and then went in search of the recipe. Perhaps I should explain...

Last year I went for dinner at the house of some family friends who live nearby. As the starter, Lynne served a selection of antipasti which included the most delicious roast peppers I had ever tasted; they were so good that I cannot remember any of the other antipasti, and this coming from someone who annoys people (read the boyfriend and previously the ex-boyfriend) by describing a restaurant not by where it was or what it looked like, but by what they and I each had for starters, mains and dessert.

I had made many a roast pepper in my time, but none matched up to these.

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Wednesday
Jul282010

Vinaigrettes - here’s one that I prepared earlier

I have two core vinaigrettes that I make up in jars and always have ready in the fridge to use as salad dressing. They keep for ages, the only fresh ingredient (garlic) being preserved by the vinegar and oil. Since I will refer to these a lot in my recipes I thought I should do a separate post on them, so as not to continually be repeating myself.

Just a little point of trivia – always one to err on the side of caution, I was doing some research to ensure this was the correct use of the term ‘vinaigrette’. I was concerned that in order to fit the definition, the preparation must involve the slow pouring and whisking of oil into vinegar to create a creamy emulsion. As it turns out, this is just a style of making vinaigrette, but by no means a definition.

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Tuesday
Jul272010

Stephanie Alexander's simple banana cake

Updated on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 4:10PM by Registered CommenterVix

This recipe is a staple in my house, I make it all the time. This is mainly because the boyfriend has a habit of slipping a large bunch of bananas into the trolley each week and then leaving them to rot. I find this cake works best with overripe bananas, so I try to step in before they are completely past it and the result is a seemingly never-ending supply of banana cake and some very happy friends and colleagues.

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Monday
Jul262010

Raspberry and mascarpone cheesecake

Last year I made a cheesecake for my friend Mishka’s birthday. I based the measurements on a recipe for white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake from the Philadelphia website, but changed the ingredients to suit my tastes. I am not a big fan of chocolaty cheesecakes, I think the best cheesecakes are the simplest ones and I find that chocolate overpowers the subtle cheese flavour; if I wanted a chocolate cake then that is what I would make. The furthest I will stretch with embellishments is to use some berries or a squeeze of lemon and some zest.

Since it was a birthday, I wanted to make something special, hence the mascarpone. It would work just as well to substitute extra cream cheese, but the rich and creamy mascarpone does add an extra dimension (and a little sophistication) which is complemented perfectly by the raspberries.

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Thursday
Jul222010

Asparagus wrapped in prosciutto with soft-boiled egg

Updated on Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 3:08PM by Registered CommenterVix

I am cooking a special dinner this weekend to say thank you to a friend of mine; I often say thank you with food. I have never cooked for Jane, but although she calls herself ‘Jane the hopeless cook’ I know that her worldly experience means that she certainly knows her food, even if she doesn’t like to cook it.

Under such circumstances, I always find myself fretting over what to cook, basically because I want to cook everything. I had so many different ideas this time that I went one step further than ever before, the geekiest a food geek could possibly be; I entered my starters, mains and desserts into 3 columns of an excel spreadsheet and sorted them into menus that went together, so that I could rule out options that didn’t fit. I cannot believe I am admitting this on a public website. Lucky I don’t have much traffic yet. Not so lucky, most of the visitors to the site know me. Oops!

Anyway, one of the dishes that I wanted to try was this, so I tested it out tonight to see if it worked. It does. In fact, it may even make the cut for Saturday.

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