Chocolate Coronary Cake

5 Minutes for Special Needs

16 ounce tub of Cream Cheese at room temperature
6 ounces of Graham crackers crushed
4 ounces of butter [salted]
16 ounces of milk chocolate

Melt the chocolate
Melt the butter stir into the chocolate
Add the cream cheese and stir
Tip in the cracker crumbs and stir
Pour into an old ice cube tray lined with cling film / saran wrap.
Chill until cold
Turn out onto a plate and pull off the plastic.
Slice no wider than your pinky finger.

This is a chef’s original. It was supposed to be chocolate cheesecake but when I checked, we only had half the ingredients. Then I thought…..chocolate, crumbs, butter, cream cheese………… how bad can it be?
Yes he was completely speechless at first bite, but the victory dance that followed said it all.

If you enjoy caption competitions and photographs, you may wish to nip along to“DJ Kirkby” over at “Chez Aspie” and test your brain power.

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Absolutely crackers – two for the price of one

Try This Tuesday

Peppermint Creams
You will need:-
1 lb of icing / powdered sugar
a few drops of oil of peppermint / essence
Green food colouring
The whites [only] of 2 medium sized eggs
Tiny cookie cutters
Icing pens and or draggees to decorate

Whip the white to the soft peak stage, add peppermint drops and a slick of food colouring. Gradually mix in the icing sugar to form a stiff dough.

Dust a board with more icing sugar and roll out the dough. Tap the cutter into the sugar so that it doesn’t stick when you cut through the dough. Put the cut pieces on greaseproof or parchment paper to ‘crust.’

Decorate and box up.

Precautionary notes:-

Ensure all participating children have full tummies prior to commencement otherwise you have two choices, make twice as much to permit half to be consumed and still have enough left over to produce a worthwhile gift. Crumbs are not generally considered gift worthy.

Languid children, the type that drape themselves Daliesque over the kitchen counters are not much help when it comes to cooking, but sometimes mere observation and joint attention is a bonus.

Those who fear raw eggs may prefer to use dried Albumen available from all good delicatessens. Also handy for making manky merginues at short notice for those so inclined.

These make ideal gifts for the diabetics in your life as it enables the recipient to demonstrate and model good sharing habits. Rather than eat the gift of candy instead they may offer them back to the giver. This has the added bonus of making the giver realize just how wonderful it is to receive, in a roundabout manner which acts as a positive reinforcer whilst permitting the blood sugar levels of the recipient to remain under control.

Do not concern yourself with E numbers of the ‘icing pens’ as anyone who consumed 4 ounces of sugar is already airborn.

I heard on the radio today that in Japan the gift wrap is as important as the gift within, so here’s a quick trick to make your present more special.

1. You will need reflective paper, tissue, toilet paper rolls, glue stick and decorative wire.

Wrap your very important insignificant gift in tissue paper so that it doesn’t get lost. Insert into the toilet roll.

3. Cut a piece of reflective paper in a rectangle twice the size of the roll. Secure outer edge with a slick of glue. Roll and secure the other end.

4. Tie wire at both ends to form cracker.

5. Make as many as possible or as many as your bathroom supplies allow.

If your decorative wire moults stick the debris on the outside as extra decorations.

This reflective paper is more like plastic to the touch and therefore less abhorrent. The wire is far easier to manipulate than sticky tape which tends to end up everywhere except where you really want it. These are the best kind of crackers for us as they are bangless, a not insignificant bonus.

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Girls’ Birthday Party cakes – Magic Marker Best Shot Monday

Hosted by “Tracy” at “Mother May I,” but the photo-picture below will whizz you right there with one click.

Just call me snap happy.

red BSM Button

A selection of random cakes as it’s too tricky to get them all in the right order.

Now all the fun stuff is over and we’ve graduated to boring old grown up cakes.

Here’s the recipe for the Peppermint Ice frosting underneath:-

Peppermint Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
4-5 cups powdered [Icing] sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon all natural peppermint extract

Beat butter until creamy, scrape bowl.
Add 4 cups of sifted powdered, milk, and peppermint extract, beat until combined.

Taste and add more peppermint extract until it tastes strong or weak enough. And yes, you’re quite right, it’s vile, tastes just like toothpaste.

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Recipes from the Fringe of the Bell Curve

To celebrate my new found ability to sign up for this blinking linking thing, I had another brilliant idea, you know, one of those ideas that strikes in the wee small hours of the night. As often as not, the next day dawns and the idea dies like a damp squid, not to say squib.

So here’s the plan. Consider sharing a recipe that your family, a family member or you, enjoy that doesn’t seem to be appreciated by many other bodies on the planet.


Ideally this should be something that you really prepare and eat. If you prepare and eat chocolate covered scorpions, all well and good, but attempt truthfulness.

Have you given it a name? If so, what is it and why?

Please offer enough detail to allow others to follow it easily. I favour piccies, but not everyone as is reliant on visual cues.

Try not to assume that everyone else is on the same page as you are. E.g a pnb sandwich may be obvious to you, but to me it refers to post nuptial bliss, which is difficult to squish between two slices of bread. I don’t want to even consider the possibility of jelly.

It doesn’t need to be outrageous nor inedible. It may be that you just have a twist on the communal garden variety of recipe that reflects your personal preferences. Here are a few tantalizing examples:-
• A grilled cheese sandwich with a smear of Marmite
• A freshly sliced tomato sandwich with ground black pepper and a generous dollop of Pesto
• Cheddar, Spring Onion, [Green Onion] and cucumber sandwich
• Tuna, Wholegrain mustard, onions and Tomatoes
• Any typically traditional sandwich where you routinely omit a main ingredient [I know who you are!]
• Butter and crisp [chips] sandwich.
• Cereal without the milk but with yoghourt instead [especially if each has to be a certain brand]
• A jam [jelly] sandwich with dill pickle slices
• Sandwiches with no filling

And people wonder why I make my own bread?

• Snacking on dried cat food doesn’t count, you didn’t make it.
• Raw cookie dough in a sandwich [please provide Salmonella warnings]
• A Big Mac:- hold the lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, pickle, cheese, run to the bathroom to rinse the patty under the hot tap, dry with care, return to table to eat and leave the bun on the side. Yes, that wouldn’t count either because you didn’t really ‘make’ it yourself!
N.B. if you put your dried cat food in a sandwich it counts.

A category would be helpful. E.g. side dish, in-between dish or main dish, but ‘accompaniment,’ ‘snack’ or ‘splurge’ would do just as nicely.

Please try to use useful terminology that is easily comprehensible. Terms such as ‘smidge,’ ‘dab’ and ‘pinch’ should be limited, as cookery should not be a contact sport.

Use any measurement system you like but aim for consistency throughout, as a combination of cups, stones and millimetres is likely to be messy.

A note about how many it is supposed to serve would also be useful. E.g. rabbit sized, human sized or supersized. Alternatively reveal your nationality and we can all adjust accordingly.

If you’re an American type with access to all the clever stuff nutritional stuff like good for diabetics, people with high cholesterol or high blood pressures and the like, then all to the good.

If you use uncommon ingredients, please provide a link to the product as we would like to muddle our Harissa with our Halva.

The only ‘label’ required to participate, nay, politely ‘requested,’ if you would be so kind, is a name for your recipe. If you could possibly avoid using ‘putrid’ or ‘poison’ in the title, that would be a delight, as we have someone to provide that insertion service for us already.

These are ruthless rules people.

Here’s mine.

Beetroot Salad for the Brave [A sidling or mainette dish]
One fist sized beet per person
One ounce of crumbly blue cheese, Stilton, Roquefort or Feta per person
One tin [can] of whole anchovies in oil
One teaspoonful of garlic puree
One splashette of Balsamic Vinegar
2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Oil
One teaspoonful of roughly ground red and white peppers combined

• Bake the beets or microwave until tender.

• Leave to cool.

• Combine all the other ingredients.

• Add cooled, peeled and diced beets.

• Chill covered in the fridge for at least one hour.

• Serve on a generous bed of salad greens with hot, fresh bread, assuming you’ve not used it all up on sandwiches.

This should make your ears steam, your nose run and your eyes bleed. If not ……
then yur doin it wrong.

Coz Neophobia comes in many forms my friends.

Cheers dears

If you’d like to join in maybe this little icon can help us forge a new route for those with oral fixations.

Get the code:-
Cut and paste
from this little
boxy thing below
so we can all link

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Eggs Nests and Naans

Please scroll down for Smiley Saturday and SOOC

So here are the details of a “couple” of outstanding recipes:-

Outstanding = late, not particularly wonderful
Egg Nests
One and a half pounds of Duchesse potatoes
4 eggs [if you’re feeding four people or have two very hungry people]
That’s from the recipe book, not terribly helpful? Let me fill you in on how to make the “Duchesse” Potatoes.
Don’t forget to pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7 / 425 degrees F
People the potatoes, cut into equal sized pieces so that they’ll all cook evenly. Simmer until tender in boiling, lightly salted water [remember = simmer to glimmer, boil to spoil!] Drain the potatoes. Add gloibule of butter and a slosh of milk. Mash together until smooth. It should have a soft consistency. [do not whiz in magimix/Cuisinarte, there are no shortcuts] Spoon the potato into four oven proof dishes. [or do as the recipe says and find a forcing bag with a no.10 star nozzle and pipe into the individual bowls, maybe you have more time than I do and like doing extra washing up?] Break eggs carefully so as not to break the yolk. Make a well in the centre of each potato bowl and gently sploop one egg into each. Place butter shaving on each yolk and place in the oven. The recipe calls for baking for 10 – 15 minutes, but with my oven it’s more like 7 minutes or the eggs will turn in to tyre rubber, so experiment because you probably don’t want runny whites either = yuk! If you are also washing up averse, you can build little mountains of mashed potato on a sheet of parchment paper placed on a baking sheet, then make little wells for the eggs, add the eggs as above and bake. After baking you can lift off each little mountain with a fish slice [if you have a thick enough bottom!] without breaking the egg, and toss the paper!

Because they are dishless / bowless they cook faster too.

Peculiar but tasty “Naans”

Four and a quarter cups of bread flour
3 tsp of salt
3 tsp of fast acting dried yeast
1 and three quarter cups of water
Tip into bread machine on ‘dough’ setting for a couple of hours or knead together by hand [not recommended] or toss into mixer to churn.
If you’re doing this by hand, set aside covered with a damp cloth to rise [double in size] and repeat [once.]
Meanwhile make yummy stuff to put in the middle of your Naans as this may encourage people to take a bite on the promise of something more interesting inside.

One pretty safe bet is to saute a medium sized, finely chopped onion. Leave it in the pan with a heap of garlic and olive oil until it caramelized.

Use lots of flour to stop yourself and your dough becoming one. Divide the dough into four. Divide each fourth into two equal sized pieces. Persuade each piece into an oval shape. Place a quarter of the onion mixture in the centre, spread it out to leave an inch margin and squish the two ovals together around the outer edges. Place all four ovals on a baking tray, cover with damp towel, leave in warm place to double in size.

Heat the griddle / hot plate / frying pan to 425 degrees. Put one teaspoonful of olive oil on the hot plate and wipe over the entire surface with a wad of kitchen paper [do not burn finger tips] Plop Naan onto hot plate an leave it there for 2 to three minutes on one side before you flip it over and cook the other side. Do not poke it, leave it to cook. Lift off onto a warm plate, cover with the tea towel and cook the other naans in turn.

Other fillings that work well =
A bunch of chopped sauteed green onions / scallions
Finely chopped Coriander [cilantro]
A cupful of raisins previously plumped in boiling water, mixed with desiccated coconut and a tablespoonful of chutney or pickle

If you put the Naans in the oven instead of the hot plate, then they puff up like rugby balls, which means that you will now have to eat something that is the same size as your head. This is useful information because if you eat a whole flat Naan because you were good and cooked it on the griddle, then once it is inside your tummy it will then expand to something the size of a rugby ball! you have been warned.

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Thursday 13 – dietary supplements

Thirteen Things about how to pad your diet and save some pennies

In these financially stricken times, it pays to revive some of those housewifely skills of yesteryear. Depending upon your weekly food budget, it may be that with a little resourcefulness, deception and cunning, you can stretch the pennies a little further, as well as indirectly stretch the diet.

When we first arrived in the States we went to a chilli cookout. It was quite an extraordinary experience for the naïve and uninitiated. Whilst the variety was quite daunting, the main ingredients consisted of pure ground beef, chilli beans, [very few in number] and chilli in a variety of different forms. If you take a standard dish of chilli you might be surprised to find out just how much you can add to the recipe without reducing the flavour. Oddly enough, you may also find that you increase the nutritional benefits of the recipe.

1. A cupful of lentils will blend in without a trace, and add fibre surreptitiously.
2. Similarly, unlikely as it may seem, a cupful of rolled oats are barely noticeable, introduce a hithertofore unknown food substance to the wary and you may help reduce cholesterol a smidge.
3. Finely diced carrots are inoffensive to most. For the few who do find them offensive, try carrot puree instead.
4. If you usually add onions to your recipe, try doubling the amount,
5. Similarly with the chilli beans. If you have a bean counter in your family, then puree the additional quantity of beans that you plan to add, to foil their accuracy.
6. Consider adding side dishes to the main course such as baked potatoes, freshly baked bread or a bowl of brown rice.
7. These additions are filling in themselves, which may mean that you halve the consumption of the chilli itself, which can then be frozen for another meal at another time.
8. Add more liquid, water or tomato juice to make it more of a soupy consistency.
9. Add any left over vegetables from previous meals. A cupful here or there is hardly detectible, especially if it is mashed first. If you use a particularly distinctive flavoured vegetable such as parsnips, add a tablespoonful of pickle or chutney to further confuse the taste buds into co-operation.
10. Now is the time to break the mould if you have people who do not eat fruit. A cupful of apple puree or mashed bananas adds a tangy sweetness that masks the ingredients but may just get past the fruit bat sentries.
11. This would be a good time to introduce salad or other vegetables that your family hates, because with a bit of luck their taste buds will be numb from the chilli.
12. Of course if you double the amount of chilli you can be safe in the knowledge that no-one will eat what you have produced. This may appear to be a saving in the short term, but in the long term, hungry tummies have to be filled.
13. Do not on any account add a cupful of bran fibre. Although the health benefits are unchallenged, the fall out can be dire. Any pennies saved, will need to be expended upon further quantities of toilet paper, and that my fine friend is what is known in the trade as a 'false economy.'

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Recipe Award [s]

Please Scroll Down [a couple of pages] to Photo Hunters

Additional little deviations.

First of all many grateful thanks to “Angela” from “Memoirs of a Chaotic Mommy” the button making genius for creating these buttons for me in the first place.

I love them both and couldn’t decide which one to use and then I thought, delegation! Someone else can make the decision for me, much easier, you get to choose.

To “Michelle o”Neil” at “Full Soul Ahead” for “Baked Pears / Riley’s Dessert.”

“Melinda” for her “recipe” for cookies and who also hangs out over here for special diets “gfcf Mama.”

Then to “Bipolarlawyercook” for her post called “Spinach pear and chicken apple sausage salad,” the picture is enough to make you slather!

Then “Your Vegan Mom” because she is just wonderful when you’re in a fix, which I usually am. Try out this recipe for “Pizza Sandwich” but only if you can dislocate your jaws of course.

“Michelle” at “Zanes Milk Machine” for her post “Mich cooks snowballs.”

For “Empress Bee (of the High Sea)” on “Muffin 53” and her post “Snickerdoodles.”

And to “Hammer” from “When your Only Tool is a Hammer” for his recipe called “Hammer’s Wing Recipe” which strangely has nothing to do with flying.

Lastly to the “Antiwife” for a very interesting and alternative “recipe” indeed!


1. If you have time you may wish to link to the originators [Ooo, that would be me I suppose? No that would probably be “Angela” on second thoughts. Can you tell that I pinched these rules from someone else?]

2. Whizz it off to seven other blogs that you like, ideally to a perfect and specific recipe.

3. Tell the awardee that you have awarded them [because lots of people will never know otherwise because they have no way of knowing unless you tell them, unless they’re higher up the blogging learning curve than I am!]

4. Sit back and enjoy the glow.

Cheers dears

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Ruby Tuesday

Scroll down to next post for “Tackle it Tuesday”

Post anything red!

How could I resist?

Take a bowl of cherry tomatoes from the garden and a handful of fresh herbs.

Buy a packet of that instant pastry.
Stab your cherry tomatoes so that they don’t explode in the oven or cut in half. Spread over the pastry, sprinkle with the finely chopped herbs [or dried Herbes de Provence], dusty with Parmesan. Bake.

Cats on Tuesday!

I’m in heaven!

What a tail!

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Comment of the week Award

[Inspired by “Scribbit.”]

The ‘week’ is a bit wobbly at the moment as I try and get ahead and write posts in advance. So this time the award goes to….

“Jess” from “Diary of a Mom” on this “post” about wisdom. Her wise comment was as follows:-

“my dad gave me a couple of gems ..

~never trust anyone who starts a sentence with “trust me…”
and when i set out on my first real date:
~”put a dime (now a quarter) between your thighs and when it falls out, use it to call home”
ah, good old dad ;)”

If you haven’t visited her blog before I would recommend that a good spot to start would be on this post called “What I learned in Maine,” but not if you have a fish allergy.

If you too have a glut of courgettes then this might be a useful link:-

Zucchini Fritters

From “Simply Recipes.”

For the more adventurous you can split the batter into two. Add a teaspoon of toasted cumin seeded and Garam Masala to one half and a tablespoonful of Dijon mustard to the other half, then see which you prefer?

Some snipped Chives stirred into the sour cream or yoghourt is a good addition to consider.

A different way to cut down the salt, if you’re so inclined is to put the courgettes in a sieve, layer with cling film and place a weight on top to squeeze out the water. I expect a round house brick would do just as well.

[good luck on finding one of those!]

They can also be cooked on a hot plate if you have one, like pancakes.

Cheers dears

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