Pinterest – this looks fun

I’ve set up some boards on a system called Pinterest.  It’s like cutting pictures out of papers and magazines, and organising them on your fridge, but it’s based on images across the web. Highly addictive …

If you look at the bottom of the left sidebar of this page, you can see some of my boards and link direct to them. The content will change regularly as I add more STUFF. I’ve used this to replace direct links to suppliers, restaurants, events etc. which I had before.

If you like the look and feel of it, you can request an invite from the site itself  (it may put you on a short waiting list), or you can ask me direct. I’ll need your email address to send you one.

Braised Red Cabbage with Preserved Lemons

We have braised red cabbage a lot in the winter. I have made it for years, and have finally settled on the Chou Rouge a la Limousine (with red wine, spices and chestnuts) recipe from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. (By the way, if you haven't already done so, visit My Mam used to make it with brazil nuts in. I've found this variation in delicious December 2005, from Tom Norrington-Davies. He calls it a tagine, although he swiftly admits it isn't, but it does have a middle-eastern tinge to it.

Serves 6, 97 cals per.

  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled but whole
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 0.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 medium (800gms) red cabbage, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 large or 2 small preserved lemons (large would be home-made, I suspect, while small are Belazu size)
  • 2 tbsps sultanas
  • 2 tbsps verjuice or wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 125 ml fresh vegetable stock or water
  • chopped fresh coriander to serve (optional)

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4. Heat the olive oil in a casserole and fry garlic, cloves, and cinnamon briskly until garlic just starts to brown. Add cumin and onion, stir to coat. Add cabbage and stir again.

Halve the lemons, discard the insides and slice the peel thinly. Add to the cabbage with all other ingredients, stir well, cover and bake for 50 minutes until cabbage is soft.

Remove from oven, keep covered, and rest 30 minutes.

Fish out the cinnamon and serve, topped with chopped fresh coriander if you want.

Not sure about browning garlic, that's not usually a good thing. Why the resting? It's a veggie version, no bacon or ham or anything.

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Seven Layers of Sin

Someone reminded me of this tonight, it's been a long long time since I made it … and said she'd found it on the net, I'd forgotten that I'd contributed it to The Umrats Online Cookbook years ago (there's more of the cookbook here: )

You'll need a large, 9 or 10 inch cake tin with a removable bottom: the spring-loaded sided ones are best. This recipe takes at least two days. If you need to, you can double the ingredients, but allow for longer cooking time with the cheesecake bit. As it stands, it'll do eight to twelve slices, each about the calorific value of a box of Belgian truffles.

First make a biscuit base. Take half a pack of chocolate-coated digestive biscuits, or the crumbly oaty ones (Hobnobs), and crush into crumbs (or whizz in a processor). Mix with 4 oz melted butter, and press the whole lot firmly into the bottom of the pan.

The next layer is a cooked cheesecake. Heat the oven to gas mark 4. In a big bowl, beat 12 oz of cream cheese until it's smooth and light. Add 6 oz caster sugar. Beat together 2 eggs, and add to the bowl, mixing really well. You can add a tablespoon of your favourite booze here if you like, or a tablespoon of strong coffee. Pour this over the base, and bake in the oven for about half an hour, until it is set and doesn't wobble a lot in the middle. Take it out of the oven, and leave it to cool for not more than ten minutes, while you grate or finely chop a normal-sized bar of plain chocolate. Spread the top of the warm cheesecake with a small tub of creme fraiche or sour cream. Sprinkle the chocolate on the top. As the cream gets hot it will melt the chocolate, then as it cools it all sets. You are now on layer four. This is a good point to get to the day before, if you have a lot of time on the day or you're skipping layers five and six.

Layers five and six are optional, but are both made the same way. Layer five is made with white chocolate, layer six with the best dark chocolate you can find.

When the cake is cold: Take one large bar of chocolate, or two normal sized ones. Melt slowly, in a bowl over hot water or at a very low temperature in the microwave, stirring as you go.

Whip a half-pint (10 fl oz) of double cream until it is quite firm. Take a spoonful and stir it into the melted chocolate, to thin it down a bit, then add the chocolate to the cream. Stir fast, it starts to set almost straight away. You can add some more liqueur here if you like. Spoon the mixture onto the cake, spread it out and leave it to cool and set.

Layer seven is the final layer, and you can leave this until the last minute if you want. It's easier if you get the cake out of the tin and put it on a plate. You don't need to get it off the bottom of the tin, just release the sides. Whip as much double cream as you want, at least 10 fl oz, until it is stiff. Pile it on top of the cake, and sprinkle with chopped dark chocolate, or those fancy chocolate cutouts you can buy. If you want to add fresh fruit (like strawberries) this is the place and time.

Cut in thin wedges; and this is me telling you, they need to be thin.

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Healthier Indian recipes

Found this website – – that has genuine Indian recipes adapted to be grilled or steamed or baked, with lower salt and fat contents. Some of the site isn't set up well, so lots of dishes are listed in the index as:

Calories: 167 per cup
Preparation Time:
2 days
Cooking Time:
No Cooking
Quantity: Makes 3 cups

and some of the recipes are a bit unhelpful, like this one for Fresh Curds:

Ingredients How to?
  • 1 litre skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon curds (made the previous day)
  1. Warm the milk.  
  2. Add the curds, beat up the mixture and cover. 
  3. Keep aside until the curds set (approximately 5 to 6 hours)
  4. During the cold climate, place inside a cupboard or closed oven to set


(although it's only really yoghourt).


But some of them look fun, and would be good for gluten-intolerant breakfasts –

Spicy Moong Dal Waffles

Preparation time: 10 minutes *Cooking time: 15 minutes * Serves 4.

Ingredients How To ?
  • 1 teacup moong dal with skin
  • 2 to 3 chopped green chillies
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fenugreek (methi) leaves
  • 2 teaspoons gram flour (besan)
  • a pinch asafetida
  • ¼ teaspoon soda bi-carb
  • 2 pinches sugar (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • salt to taste


  1. Soak the moon dal in water for 3 to 4 hours. Then wash it very well.
  2. Blend the soaked dal in a blender with the green chilies and a little water.
  3. Add the fenugreek leaves, gram flour, asafetida, soda bi-carb, sugar, oil and salt and mix well.
  4. Pour a little batter at a time in a preheated waffle iron and until crisp. Repeat for the remaining batter.

*Serve hot with green chutney.

Variation 1: MOONG DAL AND METHI DHOKLAS instead of soda bi-carb, use ½ teaspoon of fruit salt . At step 4, pour the batter immediately into a 225 or 250 mm. Diameter well greased thali and steam, for 5 minutes. Serve as above. 

Variation 2: MOONG DAL AND METHI PANKIS spread a little batter very thinly on a well greased non-stick frying pan. Cook on both sides. Serve as above.

Health Information Moong dal with the skin on retains all the B group vitamins during cooking. This recipe replaces the traditional cooking method for preparing snacks (e.g. frying in case of moong dall bhajias) by the healthier method of cooking using the dry heat of a waffle iron.

Per Serving: Calories 131  * Protein 7g  * Carbohydrates 19g  * Fat 3.5g

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