Thursday, January 27, 2011

Banoffee Pie

OK. I still don't get it why pie and not cake. However, pie or cake it is still delicious and really easy to make.
I have been feeling guilty for feeding my husband sandwiches for dinner for the past two months, and to ease the guilt and celebrate his birthday, this Banoffee Pie recipe was real godsend. I would have ordered the cake and would have had it delivered if I had remembered to do that earlier in the week, but since I'm not functioning properly, that was out of question.
Good thing is that the 'birthday boy' aka my husband, loved his birthday cake. He's very fussy eater, but for first time he didn't came up with comments 'it's too sweet, too sticky or too dry'.
Well...Happy Birthday darling and many many happy returns!
Before I type the recipe, I must add that it's not mine, but kindly 'borrowed' from here. (
All trademarks and other intellectual property appearing on this site are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A. Vevey, Switzerland).

So, for 12 servings you will need:

  • 100g (3½oz) butter, melted
  • 250g (9oz) digestive biscuits


  • 100g (3½oz) butter
  • 100g (3½oz) dark brown soft sugar
  • 397g can Carnation Condensed Milk


  • 4 small bananas
  • 300ml carton double cream, lightly whipped
  • chocolate powder

You will also need:

  • 20cm (8”) loose-bottomed cake tin, greased

To make the base, process the biscuits until crushed. Stir in the melted butter. Press the mixture into the base and 4cm (1½") up the sides of the tin. Chill the base while you make the filling.

To make the filling: place the butter and sugar into a non-stick saucepan over a low heat, stirring until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Add the condensed milk and bring gently to the boil, stirring continuously. When the caramel has started to boil, remove from the heat and pour over the biscuit base. Cool, and then leave to chill for about 1 hour, until firm.

To serve, remove the pie from the tin and place on a serving plate. Slice the bananas, fold half of them into the softly whipped cream and spoon over the caramel base. Decorate with the remaining bananas and finish with the chocolate powder.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Another year rolled by, and I feel like nothing has changed. I still feel like 17 year old, with some gray hair sprouting up and a laughter line or so more.
Thanks goodness, no wrinkles yet.
I was determined to pass the New Year's eve with sandwiches and popcorn this year (as I 'smartly' advised a friend to do the same), but as fate would have it, things changed at the very last moment.
I was on the phone with my mum and she was telling me of the million dishes she prepared for the celebration, so I felt sort of guilty for not doing the same for my husband.
You see, I'm in a big pickle at the moment, with my graduation thesis haunting me in my dreams, another assignment due in 10 days and another 2 exams that has to be passed. Not to mention other issues...
So, at about 4 pm yesterday, I decided to make small fiesta for dinner. Thanks goodness for the defrost function on the microwave!
Our modest dinner consisted of freshly baked bread rolls, quails with orange and honey,peasant style meat, potato salad and Russian salad.
So, I'll start with the starter:

Russian Salad:

You'll need the same amount of these products:
* Cheddar cheese
* Ham
* Garden peas (tinned or cooked)
* Carrots (steamed or cooked)
* Potatoes (cooked in their skins)
* Pickled gherkins
* Mayonnaise


Cook the potatoes, carrots and peas (if using the fresh variety) and drain them. Leave them to cool completely. In meantime, cube all the cold ingredients into small cubes.
When the potatoes and carrots are completely cool, cube them as well and put all ingredients together in a bowl. Pour over the mayonnaise and mix gently to bind the ingredients. Chill until needed.

Quails with honey and orange

For 2 persons you will need:

4 quails
8 rashers of bacon
1 orange
1 lemon
1 teaspoon honey
pinch of cinnamon
little freshly ground black pepper
some salt


Squeeze the orange and grate some zest into the orange juice. Mix the honey, cinnamon and black pepper into the orange juice.
Pat dry the quails with kitchen tissue and stuff each cavity with 1/4 of the lemon.
In a baking tray lay the bacon and put the quails breast side up. Rub some salt into them and with teaspoon pour over some of the orange-honey marinade. (Do not use up all the marinade at once, you'll need to bast them again)
After 15-20 minutes of roasting, baste them again with the marinade and roast them for another 20-30 minutes (depending on the size) or when pricked the juices are running clear.

Peasant style meat

For 2 persons you will need:

300 grams of ground beef
300 grams cubed pork
300 grams tinned mushrooms (mixed if possible)
4 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
1 glass (250 ml) white wine
about 300 ml water
1 tablespoon flour
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 medium onion very finely chopped
3-4 large pinches of oregano
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons "Vegeta" or "Knorr Aromat" (If you can't find these, use salt to taste)
Some oil for frying


First you have to make little meatballs from the ground beef. Chop the onion very finely, add to the ground beef, put generous pinch of oregano, some salt or "Vegeta", little ground black peper and mix well.
Now it's good time to preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
With wet hands form small balls (the size of a walnut) and put them in a dish or tray.
Heat some oil (about tablespoon or two) in a frying pan and fry the cubed pork. Do not over fry, just lightly brown it. Take out the pork from the frying pan with a slotted spoon and put them into a baking dish.Put the meat balls into the same pan and fry until lightly browned, and again, take them out with a slotted spoon and add them to the pork into the baking dish.
Put the drained mushrooms into the same pan, season with some oregano, add the crushed garlic, cayenne pepper and paprika and heat them through. Pour them over the pork and the meat balls and stir around gently so they mix well into the baking dish.
Scatter the whole black peppercorns and lay the bay leaves on top of the meat and put in the oven for about 10 minutes. Take out the dish and put the glass of wine and return for another 10-15 minutes in the oven. After the wine has evaporated, mix the 1 tablespoon of flour in cold water (about 300 ml) and pour over the meat, shaking the dish gently and return back to the oven.
Leave the dish in the oven for another 20-30 minutes (or until golden brown).
Can be served hot or at room temperature. Leftovers are freezing well for up to 2 months.

Potato Salad

For 2 people you will need:

2 large boiled potatoes (boiled in their skins)
1 small onion, sliced
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


After they have cooled down, peel off the potato skins and cut the potatoes into medium cubes. Add the sliced onion and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the oil and vinegar and mix lightly so all the ingredients combine. Best served at room temperature.

Enjoy and have fabulous, healthy, wealthy and very HAPPY NEW YEAR!