All posts tagged: easter

A chocolatey Sailor Jerry Easter cocktail!

I recently learned about and tried Sailor Jerry rum. I do love a spot of rum (particularly in a cocktail) and this one has a great story.  ‘Sailor Jerry’ was born Norman Collins, and came of age in the 1920’s when tattooing was an expression that belonged to an emerging American counterculture. He left home as a teenager and travelled the US by hitchhiking and train hopping and it was along this way that he learned how to tattoo, working primitively with only a needle and black ink, doing designs freehand. He ended up in Chicago where he worked with local tattoo legend Gib Thomas who taught him how to use a proper tattoo machine. He then joined the Navy and developed a lifelong love of ships.  After the Navy he settled in Honolulu and at the height of World War Two, he was regularly tattooing many of the 12 million Americans serving in the military who were on shore leave in Hawaii. This is where he created his legacy. I also had no idea …

Blood Orange & Rhubarb Crumble

One of my favourite desserts to make is crumble – it’s so easy yet delicious, and I’ll happily tuck into it all year round, it’s such a heart-warming, comforting dish! Last Easter I made a rhubarb crumble, so this Easter I thought I’d step it up a notch by adding blood orange. Here’s the recipe (it serves around 6 people – depending on appetite!) Ingredients 800g rhubarb, chopped into small chunks 3 blood oranges, peeled and divided into segments (remove as much of the pith as possible) 1/2 blood orange for juice 200g white caster sugar Dash of port (optional) For the crumble topping 350g self-raising flour 200g butter (soft/room temperature) 100g caster sugar 1/2 blood orange for zest Method Pre-heat the oven to 200c/180c fan. Heat the rhubarb and half of the sugar in a pan on a low heat. Stir and make sure the sugar doesn’t caramelise. Add a dash of port for extra flavour if you have some. Once the rhubarb feels soft and slightly melted, pour into an oven proof dish …

Easter Cooking: Lamb & Tomato Curry

One of the recipes we cooked with our roast lamb over Easter was a lamb and tomato curry. Curries are often Tim’s job, as he always does well with them and gets the spice level just right. I tend to get a bit overzealous with the chilli, although I love making them. As you can tell by the cooking photo, he’s a much messier chef than me. But it’s ok – he calls it ‘rustic’ 😉 He got the recipe from Food.com, but always tends to add his own twist. This is the original recipe: INGREDIENTS SERVINGS 4-6 1⁄4 cup olive oil 2lbs boneless lamb shoulder (in our case, we used lamb leg), trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 inch cubes 1⁄4 cup butter 2 tablespoons cumin seeds 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 inches fresh ginger, minced 2 medium onions, chopped 2 tablespoons ground coriander 2 tablespoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon turmeric 1⁄2-1 teaspoon cayenne 10 whole cloves 3 inches cinnamon sticks 1cup plain yoghurt 6 medium tomatoes, peeled and each cut into six pieces or 1 1⁄2 …

Easter Cooking: Lamb Moussaka

Moussaka was always one of mine and my Mum’s favourite dishes when we were in Cyprus, but it’s admittedly a bit of a hassle to make. Some of the local restaurants we went to used to ask you to order it in advance, so they could get it ready, as they would only serve fresh food. I don’t mind making it myself when I have the time, so I thought that I’d try giving it a go over Easter using both lamb mince and leftover lamb from our roast on Good Friday. I’ve used bits and bobs from different recipes over the years, but this is what I tend to stick to: Ingredients 2 aubergines cut into 1cm/½in slices 3 fairly large potatoes, cut into 1cm/½in slices 500g lamb mince 500g sliced lamb pieces (as mentioned earlier, taken from our previous roast leg of lamb) 1 onion finely chopped 2 garlic cloves crushed 1 tsp fresh oregano  1 tsp fresh mint, chopped 1 tsp ground cumin 2 tsp ground cinnamon (I sometimes increase this, as I love the …

Luxury Easter Eggs: Hotel Chocolat and Heston Blumenthal/Waitrose

Each year Tim and I buy each other an Easter Egg and this year, we both ended up buying each other dark, rather luxurious eggs. I bought Tim the Heston Blumenthal Easter Egg from Waitrose: It’s in a very nice black and gold box – it almost looks more like a whisky/spirit box than an Easter egg! It opens up from the side to uncover a golden painted chocolate egg and when you crack into it, it reveals dark chocolate on the inside with a number of smaller mandarin flavour eggs, on a bed of edible straw. It’s all very ‘Heston’! Tim bought me the Rabot 1745 Easter Egg from Hotel Chocolat: I adore Hotel Chocolat – it’s pricey, but the chocolate is always so delicious. It’s the closest I’ve ever found to the chocolate we tasted in Belgium, many years ago. The Rabot 1745 egg is one of their ‘extra thick’ range – one side is pure Madagascan 72% dark chocolate, and the other in  Saint Lucian 70% milk chocolate – it’s going to …

Easter Cooking: Roast Lamb with Orange & Rosemary

The prime ingredient for our Easter cooking is always a leg of lamb, which we make last for a few days, trying out different recipes and types of cuisines. In the past, we had bought our lamb from Waitrose during a trip to Westfield, but this year, we really couldn’t face battling the Easter shopping crowds, so we ordered online from Turner & George. We’ve ordered from them in the past (they previously used to be called the East London Steak Company) and we were impressed with their service and quality of meat. We decided to go for their Easter Roast Lamb Box (£32.00 and the lamb weighed 2.5kg), as it also included their lamb rub and a bottle of Pinot Noir, which we could use during the cooking. Their delivery slots are 5:00am – 9.00am or 9.00am – 5.00pm Tuesday – Friday, and 6:00am – 10am or 10am – 6pm Saturday. As we’re fortunate to have a post room that collects all of our deliveries, we chose the 5-9am slot on Good Friday, so …

Easter Baking: Simnel Tear and Share

I’d been pondering over what to bake over Easter for some time. For the past few years I’ve made cookie dough meringues (I’ll put the recipe on here one day, they’re incredible), an apple pie and creme egg brownies. But none of them had been using ‘traditional’ Easter flavours. I watched The Great British Bake Off Easter Masterclass, where Mary Berry made a Simnel Cake and Paul Hollywood made hot cross buns (he also made Tsoureki, but I don’t think I’m quite there yet, as much as I love it, it looks quite challenging to bake!) After browsing various websites, I came across a recipe on BBC Good Food for a Simnel Tear and Share, which combines the flavours of a Simnel Cake, Hot Cross Buns and Chelsea Buns. So I thought I’d give it a go! I’d actually never baked using yeast before (I’ve usually made cakes rather than bread) so I was expecting it to be a bit of a challenge. But look how my beauties turned out!! This is the recipe, as …