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Posts Tagged ‘snacks’

Devilled eggs

Is it too early to start with the Christmas recipes? I know plenty of other places have got a head start on me but it didn’t seem right to even contemplate these sorts of thing until December. But then realising that Christmas eve is just three little weeks away made me think it was time to post this retro recipe, perfect for any parties you might be planning. Now a lot of folks will say that devilled eggs belong firmly in the 1970s; I remember the cover photo on one of the ancient Fanny Craddock cookbooks that I think my Mum inherited that showed a plate of washed-out eggs presented on a bed of lettuce that looked far from appetizing.  For a long time I felt ever so slightly ashamed for liking devilled eggs as much as I do. If and when they ever grace a buffet table I swoop in and grab a couple before finding a quiet corner to guiltily devour them. (more…)

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For reasons which are probably familiar to many diabetics using an insulin pump, every six months or so I spend eight days (usually spread over a couple of weeks) skipping meals or in medical terms checking fasting blood sugars. It’s not a great hardship but it’s never something I like doing since it entails fasting for 10 or 12 hours and a lot of finger pricking. The problem is that I spend so much of my time thinking about food and planning meals that to deliberately skip one is like torture. I’m not supposed to eat anything at all which I can just about manage overnight or when missing breakfast but if I have to miss lunch or dinner I struggle. If I start to feel really empty I cheat and eat something small that has no carbs so it (in theory) won’t alter my blood sugars.  (more…)

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While I’m still trying to eat a tad more healthily, I’m a firm believer that a little of what you fancy is good for you. If you deny yourself all forms of treats sooner or later you’re going to give up or break down and over indulge. If you fancy cake, why not make some little buns, just a few bites can give you the sweet treat you fancy and, if you’re clever about it, you can fiddle the ingredients to make them that bit more wholesome. These buns, for example, are not just mini bites of sweet, moist cake with a delightful citrus tang; they are also vegan, high in fibre and a good source of those pesky essential fatty acids that my fish-defficient diet is rather lacking. These clementine cakes are positively perfect!

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One of my favourite seasonal treats is a slice of stollen. The German Christmas cake is made from bread dough enriched with sugar and eggs, dried fruit, spices and candied peel. At its core runs a thick seam of marzipan which any almond aficionado will revel in. A true stollen is also be finished off with a blizzard of icing sugar. This year, rather than make a full-sized loaf for slicing, I though it would be fun to make something a bit more portable, easier to share and a whole lot cuter to boot. Hello mini stollen buns! (more…)

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Taralli are a ubiquitous Italian snack food found in every corner of the noble boot. Each region has its own variation; some are softer and more bready, others are crunchy, some are flavoured with chilli, almonds, fenel seed or herbs. In Puglia they use olive oil in the dough but in Naples it’s lard. They come out with the wine as part of an aperitivo spread or to tide you over between meals. When I lived in Emilia Romagna taralli kept me going through never-ending lectures on Italian history and inevitably delayed train journeys.

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Roasted chestnuts

Just a quick post to share a seasonal snack. I spent a lovely evening snuggled up with my husband watching a film, drinking scotch and munching on roasted chestnuts hot from the oven. I really wish I had an open fire…

Oven-roasted chestnuts are incredibly easy to make and taste wonderful; slightly sweet with a beautiful smell. Ideal witha  sprinkling of salt.

Roasted chestnuts

Make as many as you want plus some extra in case any are bad.

Try to choose firm, heavy chestnuts. Soft ones are likely to be off.

Heat your oven to 220°C.

Put the chestnuts flat side down on a tea cloth and cut a cross in the shell. Don’t worry if you cut into the nut, this will amke it wasier to peel.

Arrange the chestnuts on a baking sheet cut side up and roast for 20mins.

Peel while warm and spinkle over some sea salt.

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