insert birthday song [here]

salted caramel & buttered popcorn cake

This is not an original thought. In fact, I’m just waiting till it becomes as popular as red velvet. And really, I wouldn’t be lying if I were to tell you that it should be MORE popular than red velvet.

This is what comes of the “monkey see, monkey do” effect. I saw this cake… first in an article written about a famous restaurant. Then again on a blog. & slowly slowly, I see more & more variations of it popping up before my eyes. Each time becoming more & more enticing.

Really, you have to be a fan of buttered popcorn & salted caramel. Then again, who isn’t. Did you ever try those buttered popcorn jellybeans? This is just like that. You kind of think “uh, WEIRD”, but then you have a bite & it becomes *MIND BLOWN*!

So. Um. Yeah. I totally made one for myself.

It’s my birthday & I can do whatever the heck I want. Including make my own cake.

…let’s be honest though, those who know me, know I’m far too much of a control freak to ever let anyone else make me a cake.

As for this one? This buttery, delicious, salty masterpiece? Well, the idea may not be original… but the recipes I wrote are completely my own. Who knows… maybe if I’m feeling in a particularly good mood, I’ll release it.

If you really want to see them happen, you should totally click on the link bellow. You can pledge & call it your birthday gift to me. Put it this way… my writing a book, means you can make this cake at home all by yourself

the seductive side of spinach tortillas

gluten-free spinach tortillas. Perfect for wraps!

I’ve been wandering around my kitchen all morning wondering how in the world I can make spinach tortillas look seductive…..

Do you know how hard it is to make green food look good?!  I’m not talking about salad green, or fresh cucumbers… I’m talking about baked goods that look green. It’s almost like asking the Grinch to pose for glamour shots.

The pictures fail though.

I’m telling you, I kept frying up tortillas & before I could even plate them, I was stuffing them in my mouth. I made my way through FOUR before I managed to actually set one aside for the picture.

So much flavour!

Immediately after I was done photographing them… I whipped myself a scrambled egg & quinoa filling with fresh parsley & sweet chili sauce. I know that probably doesn’t sound appealing, but it was frickin’ amazing.

I assure you… the colour of these tortillas are all natural & the flavour is overwhelmingly delicious. I can’t wait for Mel to come home so I can get him to make me chicken burritos again!

Continue reading

chocolate lady fingers

gluten-free chocolate lady fingers, perfect for making an italian tiramisu

These cookies are supposedly meant to resemble a lady’s finger, hence the name…. Whilst I can admit that I, myself, have rather short & thick little fingers, they resemble nothing like the cookie.

Maybe that’s me being naive though.

I also personally believe, that these cookies don’t make such of a statement on their own. Sure, they are flavorful & nice. Simple & easy to eat five or six without really thinking about it, but I’d never sit & crave one. You know what I mean?

There would never be a moment in my life where I would say “Oh, I could REALLY go for a lady finger right about now.” It just ain’t happening.

I can however sit down & say “oh my god, I HAVE to have tiramisu right this very moment or else I’ll just burst into flames & melt!” (a touch dramatic, I know)…. & then THAT statement would lead me to saying “you know what, if I’m going to make a tiramisu, I’m going to have to make lady fingers.”

See how that all works out? One thing always leads to another.

That’s what happened in this instance. I desperately wanted tiramisu, (I also needed to make it for work) & so I needed to whip up a batch of lady fingers in order to fulfill my deepest desire at that moment. Going one step further, I decided to make my little gems chocolate flavored, I thought it might just add an extra little “UMPH!” to my finished dessert.

Ok, so make these, & then immediately use them to make my tiramisu recipe. Do it. Do it now!

Continue reading

fish baked in aromatic parcels

We are always excited to be in the kitchen and cook… for us, for other people, or even for our dog. Even making fried eggs makes me happy. However, there are some cooking sessions that stick with me for a long time and put a smile on my face. It can be for a number of reasons, like the first time I was hired to cook alone for 20 people.

This recipe is in my special list because of the way I incrementally acquired the ingredients without having planed it at all.

So the story starts with our standard, twice a week trip in to the town center which is at the port where we stock fresh fruit and vegetables from the farmers market. Depending on the weather there are sometimes, early in the morning, a few small fishing boats docked along the pier which is exactly next to the road we drive on. So when we spot them we always check them out. This time, one of them had three, nicely sized fish that we bought right away. This doesn’t happen very often because the Aegean is not like the big oceans… it’s a lot warmer and shallower and the fish mainly caught are small to medium size from sardines to red snappers. So having bought the fish along with our weekly shop, we head home.

The island we live in has an abundance of two things growing everywhere in the wild: Caper berries and fennel. Both go well with fish, but because caper berry season is over, I chose to use the fennel seeds. I cannot describe how much more fragrant the fresh un-dried seeds are compared to the store bought, and you get them in various stages of maturity… I even use some of the flowers from the fennel plant. So off I went for a walk in the fields with the dog to cut some stems, and 20 minutes later I was back with a handful of seeds. Now, all that was left was some lemons from the lemon tree. Ohh and because i was watching a Jamie Olive episode a few days before, I was a bit influenced by his obsession with chillies and added some chili infused olive oil that Lauren made.

The smell that came from that parcel was amazing, and I recommend this recipe especially to people that don’t like fish very much.

– Mel

Continue reading

the classic digestive biscuit

Do you remember these biscuits?

I used to go through time periods where these biscuits would be the staple of my diet. Whether they were plain, chocolate covered, chocolate & caramel covered, dipped in coffee or milk.

It’s safe to say I would live on them every now & then. Especially if I hadn’t had time to make a packed lunch before work.

Not to mention that these little things make the perfect crust for so many different desserts. Banoffee pie, cheese cake, keylime pie. I mean seriously, who would have thought one cookie could do so much.

Well, I hadn’t realized just how much I was missing these until Mel started asking me for banoffee pie. He’s got some mad craving for it that he just can’t seem to shake, and since I’m making it for him, I’m going to be darn sure that there will be a piece with my name on it too.

Selfish, I know, but I have sugar cravings too ya know! Not to mention my outright refusal to post up anything that isn’t gluten-free these days. Again, selfish I’m sure, but I also would like to believe there’s a crowd out there who have all the same cravings I do, combined with the frustration of not being able to find them in a GF format.

So go on, make these… enjoy them for what they are, love them for what they are, and then once you’ve had your fill, make another batch for the banoffee pie I’ll post up soon.

Continue reading