January 25th is Burns Night

Balmoral chicken – chicken stuffed with haggis
(Today’s recipe: Balmoral Chicken)

I've heard my Scottish friends talk of Burns Night, but I never actually knew what it was and did not want to show my complete stupidity by saying, “what dat den?” So when Sam invited us for a Burns Night Supper, I had to be brave and say, “what dat den?” She very kindly explained that it had nothing to do with Guy Fawkes (come on, burn, fireworks, how could I know), but with Scotland's most famous poet. (And in my defense I even know one of his 559 poems, so there.)

Warm Red Cabbage Salad with Blood Sausage / Black Pudding / Blutwurst

Warm red cabbage with apples and no blood sausage
I clearly remember the first time my Granny said she was having black pudding for supper. I asked her what it was and she said it was made from blood. Well, I just about threw up and seriously questioned her mental health for a long time. What does pudding have to do with blood, I still ask, but even Wikipedia didn't go into the origin of the name. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_pudding . Do you perhaps know why it's called a pudding?

Hello 2011

Mannequins in Toulouse
It's a little late but a lot heartfelt: here's wishing you the happiest, healthiest and luckiest year ever. May you keep none of your New Years Resolutions and still be deliriously happy. THANK YOU for staying faithful to me in spite of my very long dry periods, some of which were for no good reason and others were also for no good reason, but on a different level.

A belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

Nathan, Danny and Kunya
These gorgeous babies have Sally and Steven as their proud parents and I just find this photo absolutely adorable. Sally made flour footprints from the chimney to the tree and the children were literally rolling on the floor with sheer delight. Christmas is all the more special with children and we grown ups get to behave like children and then blame them, hee hee!

Pork chops baked with chutney

The pork baked to perfection
My mate Jane has asked for recipes using chutney as she keeps getting bottles of the stuff as gifts (sorry about that!) and doesn’t know what to do with it. I’ve come up with loads of recipes as I make soooooo much chutney and (short of giving it to Jane) I had to come up with uses for it. Should you be doing nothing this festive season, you will find me at various Christmas markets around the Gers with piles of Barbie dolls clothes (don’t ask) and yes, you guessed, chutney…


Bottled chutney
(Taken from the book “The complete South African Book of Food and Cookery” written by Sannie Smit and Margaret Fulton)
“This word (chutney) is derived from the Hindustani (word) “chatni”, which describes a well-seasoned relish or pickle that originated in India. Chutney is the standard accompaniment to curried dishes. It may be made from a mixture of chopped fruits, spices, acids and sugar, cooked slowly until thick, while some chutneys are a combination of fresh fruits, chopped, seasoned and served uncooked. Chutney can also be served with cold meat, cheese or as a sandwich filling.

Green Tomato and Apple Chutney

Bottled chutney
This recipe is adapted from the book “The complete South African Book of Food and Cookery” written by Sannie Smit and Margaret Fulton.

Cantuccini - the recipe

A plate of homemade cantuchini biscuits

(I got this recipe from my friend Anja and I think she got it from chefkoch.de. See also the post cantuccini - the story for more cantuccini information.)

Cantuccini - the story

A plate of cantuccini
Cantuccini or biscotti, are a twice-baked cake originating in the Italy. The cakes are large almond biscuits, made dry and crunchy through cutting the loaf of dough while still hot and fresh from baking in the oven and then putting it back in the oven to further dry.

Banana Coconut Cheesecake - The Recipe

Banana Coconut Cheesecake
A slice of cheesecake