Rose and Pistachio Victoria Sandwich

What a crazy summer it has been, Clinical Scientist training finished and today I registered at yet another uni to begin my PGCE. It’s been quiet on the blogging front (and even in the kitchen I am sad to say) due to finishing one training, undertaking a 3 month course ready for my next training alongside and all the fun summer brings. One particularly glorious summer’s day was spent undertaking a morning run with a friend and then guilt free brunch, endless tea and cake and lots of puppy cuddles. This was the cake I made and it was a big hit. I’d been dreaming this up in my head for some time and it was the perfect occasion. I based it on Mary Berry’s traditional Victoria sandwich recipe.

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Courgette & Basil Soup

Now we live somewhere with a garden, I decided I wanted to grow my own vegetables this year. I dug up a very overgrown flower bed, bought some seeds and a small plastic green house and had a go (I did save a few seeds from vegetables we’d eaten such as squash, pumpkins and lemons). The spinach and chard are ready to be eaten and we’ve already made a start on the spinach, I’ll harvest a bunch of chard this weekend for next week. The first vegetable to really make an appearance though were the courgettes. I bought a variety seed pack, we had a couple of gorgeous pale green ones first and today I harvested a bright yellow one! It is beautiful!

Courgette and basil soup

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The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower

Rebecca Raisin has written a new book. THANK GOODNESS! I have been waiting for what feels like ages. It was in fact only October last year that her last book came out, ‘The Little Bookshop on the Seine‘ and the observant amongst you will remember that in May the cover of this latest book ‘The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower’ was revealed. I haven’t ever read a Rebecca Raisin book I didn’t like love and I cannot tell you how much I enjoy the fact that they connect, all the stories from the Gingerbread Cafe,  the Bookshop on the Corner and the Maple Syrup Farm, in Ashford, Connecticut to Paris and this treasure of an Antique shop with its mysterious owner Anouk all are linked in some way. They stand alone but the real magic is in having read them all.

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Mille Feuille

Ah, mille feuille, my love affair with these started in Geneva, as all good love affairs should. Actually, I lie, it was just over the border from Geneva in a little village called Prévessin-Moëns, France. I was there with a friend, spending the week at CERN on “work experience”, as all good physics nerds do. My gosh we had THE BEST week: the walk each morning through the fields, over the French-Swiss border, looking at Mont Blanc in the beautiful October sunshine and ending the week with a chocolate fuelled tour of Geneva. Take me back.

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Our walk to and from work, pictured here in the evening light.

 

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Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream

Summer is here! I’ve seen glimpses of it in between the rain! I promised more strawberry recipes, I’m finally about to deliver on that promise. I already have one delicious (sour cream) strawberry ice cream recipe in my arsenal (I would never order strawberry ice cream when out but you can’t beat it home made with delicious fresh strawberries), but then I spotted this recipe in BBC Good Food magazine (June 2016 issue). The original calls for white balsamic, whilst the idea of it excited me, I didn’t want to go hunting shops to find some and ordinary balsamic would surely work fine (it did). The combination of strawberries with balsamic vinegar is divine and I’d urge you to try it if you haven’t. I took this to a family BBQ and it was a big hit.

Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream

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Strawberry and Basil Jam

Strawberry season is here, wooohooooo! I vowed at the beginning of the year that this year I would make strawberry jam, once the season was upon us. Get ready for a selection of strawberry based recipes. It is no secret that I loooooooovveeee the combination of strawberry and basil; basil MIGHT be my favourite herb but it has serious competition from coriander and rosemary, oh and mint. What is your favourite herb? It’s like choosing between children right?!

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Butterscotch Pecan Cheesecake

Baked cheesecake, my current baking battle. Have any of you won at the baked cheesecake battle? I have not. I mean this one was delicious but it wasn’t quite cooked enough for my liking, I wanted it to hold a little better when cut. I made a summer fruit cheesecake the week after but that one was too cooked. Too cooked to even share with you,weep. I mean, we ate it but the edges were too cooked, the middle wasn’t too bad though, phew, at least we ate something. I made it when we had people who I’d only just met for dinner, why do things never pan out like you’d planned when you are trying to impress?!

Pecan

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