Carrot orange ginger salad #CookOnceEatTwice September 2016

Cook Once Eat Twice September 2016

Welcome to this month’s #CookOnceEatTwice and the August round up.   I’d expected that August would be a quiet month because of the summer holidays but in fact it’s been quite busy with twenty delicious entries.   I really will be spoilt for choice when I decide which of these lovely recipes to make this month!

Cook Once Eat Twice

The first delicious recipe was this Easy Brazilian Feijoada with Tomato and Orange Salsa from Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie.  It was such a lovely summery dish to welcome the start of the Olympics!


Next was Jhuls at The Not So Creative Cook with a healthy meal of Spicy Tomato Eggs!  This is a dish I would happily eat at any time of day!


Jhul’s next entry was a Roasted Eggplant Fan.   I think aubergines are fantastic roasted but I’ve never roasted them like this before and love the idea!


I haven’t eaten Korean food for a long while but the next entry reminded me that there are some lovely spicy Korean dishes.   This Bibimbap, also by The Not So Creative Cook has made me hanker after some hot and spicy Asian food.


Next was Kate, The Gluten Free Alchemist with a lovely Homemade Houmous.  I have to admit that houmous is one of those things I used to make all the time but now I’m a bit lazy and often buy it.   This post really has reminded me just how good it is to make your own!

homemade houmous

Next was Monika at Everyday Healthy Recipes with some beautiful Cauliflower Cheese Patties.  I’ve only recently learnt to appreciate cauliflower and this is a lovely original way of serving it.

Cauliflower cheese patties

The next two entries are both perfect for outdoor summer eating.   First was Caroline from Caroline Makes with these Mini Chicken and Ham Picnic Pasties.  I love anything made of pastry and these are also a great way of using up leftover roast chicken.

chicken and ham picnic pasties

The second picnic recipe was these Cheese and Olive Savoury Picnic Muffins from Helen at Family Friends Food.  I love making muffins and savoury muffins are a great way of getting the children to eat a few hidden vegetables!

cheese and olive muffins

The next recipe is also a great way of getting kids to eat a few more vegetables.   This Green Veg and Mint Risotto by Kirsty from Hijacked by Twins is a lovely lazy way of making a really tasty risotto!

green veg and mint risotto

Next was a beautifully presented Very Easy Ratatouille by Helen at Roast Chicken and a Country Walk.  With some crusty bread and a glass or red wine this would make a lovely simple summer evening meal.


This was followed by a gorgeous Escudella, a type of Catalan stew, by Kirsty at Hijacked by Twins.    I love all forms of Spanish food but I hadn’t heard of this before so I am delighted to have learnt something new! The post also contains a giveaway so if you visit now there’ll still be time to enter.

catalan stew

Next were some beautiful Stuffed Vine Leaves by Elaine at FoodBod.  I just love the sound of the chermoula inspired ones and if you fancy stuffing vine leaves then do take a read as I’m sure, like me, you’ll be tempted!

stuffed vine leaves

Then Eb  from Easy  Peasy Foodie linked up these  beautiful Turkey Tikka Masala Meatballs with Bombay New Potatoes.   We may not think of meatballs straightaway when we think of a curry but why not?   I’m sure they are amazing in this curry sauce.

turkey tikka masala meatballs

Eb also linked up this lovely Quick Aubergine and Chickpea Curry.   It looks beautiful and I am especially tempted by it as I discovered this week that Little Miss Spice will eat chickpeas in a curry sauce, which means I’ll certainly be making more recipes using chickpeas over the coming weeks!


My own entry was next.   My two little ones helped make these Caribbean Beef Patties for Caribbean Food Week and so they are not perfect but they are really tasty and filling and we ate them for the next couple of days too!

Caribbean Beef Patties

The next recipe was Kate at The Gluten Free Alchemist’s Legendary Vegetable Lasagne.   Now I absolutely love a good lasagne but I have only ever made one in my life.   I really don’t know why not as I look at this picture and I know I really really want to gobble it up!

veggie lasagne

The next recipe is from Shaheen at A Seasonal Veg Table.   Her Curried Anglo Italian Fenugreek Ratatouille really has my mouth watering.   And it also contains chickpeas!   Hooray!

fenugreek ratatouille

Then Eb from Easy Peasy Foodie was back with a more traditional Italian dish.   This Easy Sicilian Style Tuna Pasta sounds so full of glorious Italian flavours – olives, capers, anchovies to name just a few!  It definitely makes me want to be on holiday again!


Then Elizabeth from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary linked up these beautiful Courgette & Poppy Seed Muffins.   They looks amazing and I am quite honoured that they were inspired by my own humble Chocolate Chip and Chia Seed Muffins.


Finally there was a delicious Thai Curry Split Pea Soup from Johanna at Green Gourmet Giraffe. I have eaten far too many ice cream this summer and I’m hoping to eat more healthily in September so this would be a perfect choice for a tasty healthy meal!

split pea soup (6)

But the fun doesn’t end there.   Of course I also made one of the entries from last month.   With it being the middle of summer I went for something light that I knew I would love.   I’d just made my Spinach Citrus Salad and really fancied making another citrus salad and so  I had to choose the beautiful  Orange, Ginger and Carrot Salad contributed last month by Choclette at Tin and Thyme.   That’s the picture of my attempt below.   It’s really simple but so tasty and keeps really well in the fridge for a few days.

Carrot Orange & Ginger salad #CookOnceEatTwice

The linky for September is now open so please add your links below.   I can’t wait to see what recipes get added this time and of course, I am still trying to decide which of this month’s recipes to have a go at myself.

Cook Once Eat Twice

Here’s a reminder of the rules:

  • Include a link in your post to Searching for Spice and include the badge.  Add your link to the linky.
  • Tweet @Corinathecook using the hashtag #CookOnceEatTwice and I will retweet all that I see.
  • Include the source of any recipe if applicable and use your own photos.
  • I will pin all entries onto the Cook Once Eat Twice Pinterest board.  I also stumble and yum the entries.
  • It’s acceptable to link up old posts but please update them with the link and the badge so they fit the rules of the challenge.
  • Feel free to link up to other blogging events as well, as long as it is within their rules.
  • Please take the time to visit some of the other links that catch your eye.
  • The closing date is the 28th of the month and the roundup along with the next month’s linky will be posted on the 1st of the following month.
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#CookOnceEatTwice September linky and August round up
Slow cooker Beef Bourguignon

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

This slow cooker beef bourguignon may not be quite as rich as a bourguignon cooked slowly on the stove but it still has bags of flavour and is so convenient.   It’s just perfect for easy midweek meals when everyone is back at school or work.

Slow cooker Beef Bourguignon

This month has 5 Mondays and so welcome to a bonus Secret Recipe Club assignment.    This is actually the first bonus challenge I’ve taken part in but the theme was just perfect for me. The challenge was to find a recipe just right for making once the holidays come to an end and everyone is back at school or work, the type of recipe you can make quickly or with very little effort.  Well, that is exactly the type of recipe I love.  I could easily have made double of this so it would have lasted for more meals, making it a perfect #CookOnceEatTwice choice as well.

The blog I was assigned to was Life on Food, written by Emily.   Emily has a gorgeous little boy aged 1 and so she really appreciates meals that can be made quickly and with minimum effort so this theme certainly suits her too!

Slow cooker Beef Bourguignon

When I first looked at Emily’s blog I went straight to the slow cooker section.   I love my slow cooker and for me it really makes life easier in the evening when trying to juggle putting the children to bed, going out for a run and managing to get dinner ready for me and Mr SearchingforSpice before it gets too late!  Emily has a great selection of exactly the type of slow cooked meals I would choose to eat.   There was Slow Cooker Curry Chicken Wings, Crock Pot Curry Chicken and Slow Cooker Asian Beef Short Ribs and even Crock Pot Baked Apples for dessert!  I was spoilt for choice just in the slow cooker section!

I decided on the slow cooker beef bourguignon in the end as we all love beef bourguignon. What makes it so good is the little smoked bacon lardons as they add so much flavour to the sauce along with the red wine, stock and herbs.  It’s a real comfort meal and one that I’ll definitely want to make again once the weather turns colder too.

This is my second recipe for beef bourguignon.  This earlier recipe contains a lot more wine and is cooked in the oven instead of in the slow cooker.  After all, it’s certainly worth having more than one recipe for a classic such as this!

Slow cooker Beef Bourguignon

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

Yield: Serves 4


  • 200g smoked bacon lardons
  • 450g stewing steak
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 200g mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 large carrots, sliced into batons
  • 75ml red wine
  • 75ml beef stock
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1tsp parsley
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Put the bacon lardons in a saucepan and cook until browned. Empty them into the bottom of the slow cooker then brown the beef in the same pan.
  2. Empty the beef into the slow cooker and add all the other ingredients.
  3. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  4. Serve with baked or mashed potato or crusty bread.
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I am linking this to the Slow Cooked Challenge hosted by Baking Queen.


Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
Mexican Scrambled eggs

Mexican Scrambled Eggs

These tasty Mexican scrambled eggs make a great healthy breakfast or light lunch.
Mexican Scrambled Eggs

A few years ago I went on holiday to Mexico.   I came back inspired to cook lots of Mexican dishes and I have enjoyed cooking Mexican recipes ever since.  I’ve tried stews, salads and of course huevos rancheros.

After unwittingly putting a whole habanero chilli pepper in my  mouth during one unforgettable breakfast,  I have to say that the breakfasts are the most memorable dishes from that particular holiday.

When I heard that the theme for this month’s Recipe Redux was a vacation inspired recipe, I decided it was time to revisit Mexican breakfasts and make a healthy and delicious Mexican scrambled eggs.

Mexican Scrambled Eggs

I used lots of spring onions and coriander to give the eggs a healthy fresh green vibe.  In case that wasn’t enough green, I also wilted a few handfuls of spinach to serve under the scrambled eggs. To give a bit of a kick I added some red chilli pepper, although not a traditional Mexican one – I am staying well away from habaneros at breakfast time these days!

I also grilled some halved cherry tomatoes and added them to the scrambled egg right at the end as I didn’t want the tomatoes to break up and make the dish watery.  By grilling them they were beautifully caramelised and gave a lovely juicy bite every time I ate one.

I just wish I had the motivation to make Mexican scrambled eggs every day for breakfast.   My normal breakfast is a couple of slices of toast with a little cream cheese, coffee and some fruit if I am not in too much of a rush.    This breakfast is definitely higher in protein and much more filling than just toast.   It’s also good to feel you’ve already eaten a portion of vegetables before the day has hardly started!

Mexican Scrambled Eggs

Mexican Scrambled Eggs

Yield: Serves 1


  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • A dash of milk
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red chilli pepper, sliced
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaf
  • 20g hard cheese (I used Cheddar)
  • 3 large handfuls of spinach
  • Black pepper
  • 1 slice of toast


  1. Put the cherry tomatoes under the grill.
  2. Put the spinach in a saucepan with a little water and cook until it begins to wilt then take it off the heat and drain it in a colander.
  3. Add a little milk to the eggs and beat lightly with a fork.
  4. Put a little oil in a saucepan and cook half of the spring onion and most of the chilli pepper for about a minute then add the egg mixture.
  5. Stir the egg as it cooks. When it is nearly ready, stir in the rest of the spring onion and most of the coriander.
  6. When the egg is ready, take it off the heat and stir in the cheese and black pepper.
  7. Spray a little oil onto the toast. Push any remaining water out of the spinach and put it on top of the toast. Top that with the scrambled egg, cherry tomatoes and the remaining coriander and chilli slices.
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I am sharing this with Meat Free Mondays at Tinned Tomatoes.

Meat Free Mondays

Mexican Scrambled Eggs
Caribbean Beef Patties for Caribbean Food Week

Caribbean Beef Patties for Caribbean Food Week 2016

It’s time to celebrate Caribbean Food Week 2016 and what better way than to make some make some delicious Caribbean inspired recipes like my Caribbean beef patties, marinated chicken legs or spicy skinny curly fries.

caribbean pasties 1 (2)

In the UK Caribbean Food Week runs from 22nd to 29 August and so what better time is there to cook up some spicy Caribbean recipes?  And if you’re in or near London then why not head down to Brixton for the Caribbean Food Week Festival at Windrush Square on 26th-27th August? There’ll be loads of amazing Caribbean street food as well as live cookery demonstrations, music and other entertainment.

I won’t be able to get to the festival but  I’ve been lucky enough to receive a hamper full of lovely Caribbean products  from Grace Foods in order to create my own tasty street food party at home.

Caribbean Food Week Hamper 2016

I’ve created three easy recipes that would work just as well served from a street food stall as they would if you prepared them for a simple meal at home.

The first recipe is for Caribbean beef patties.   These are simply minced beef and potato pasties but with the addition of some hot pepper sauce in the filling.   You can make them as hot as you like and a little extra hot sauce on the side when you serve them just gives them an extra kick!

I have to admit that I allowed Little Miss Spice and Master Spice to help make the pasties and so they are a little rough around the edges and in the chaos of cooking with the children I forgot to glaze them.   Even so, they tasted great and make great street food! The recipe is at the end of this post.

Caribbean beef patties

The next  dish was the Jerk marinated chicken drumsticks.    They are so simple to prepare and cook that you don’t need a recipe.  I just marinated the chicken legs overnight in a couple of tablespoons of Dunn’s River Jamaican Jerk Seasoning.   The next day I baked them in the oven till they were cooked through (about 35 minutes).    If you can cook them on the barbecue they’d be fabulous too!

I must warn you though, these chicken legs were very very hot.   I think the marinade is almost completely made up of chilli peppers.  The little bits of charred marinade on the skin of the chicken are only for those who really can take the heat!

Jerk marinated chicken drumsticks - Caribbean Food Week 2016

If you want a slightly less fiery chicken dish then use the marinade a little more sparingly and mix it with some yoghurt.   You could also scrape the excess marinade off the drumsticks before cooking them.

The final dish was almost as simple as the chicken drumsticks and was a clear favourite with both Little Miss Spice and Master Spice.   It was these spicy skinny fries made from sweet potato and normal potato.

Skinny spicy fries

I got my spiraliser out to make the  fries  and so they are long and curly like spaghetti.   I then added a heaped teaspoon of Dunn’s River Hot and Spicy Jerk Chicken Mix and tossed it with the fries before deep frying them.

So if you’ve got an unused spiraliser  hidden in a cupboard, this really should be the recipe to make you get it out.  I know it’s not the healthiest spiralised recipe but they really are so so worth it! I don’t very often deep fry anything but these spicy skinny fries are certainly going to get made again.   And again.

skinny spicy fries

Caribbean Beef Patties

Yield: Makes 4


  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250g beef mince
  • 1 potato, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1-2 tsp hot pepper sauce (Use more for really hot patties!)
  • For the shortcrust pastry
  • 450g plain flour (I used a mix of 100g wholemeal and 350g white flour)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 200g butter, diced


  1. Cook the onion gently in a little oil until softened. Add the crushed garlic and cook for a minute.
  2. Add the mince and cook, breaking it up until it is browned on the outside.
  3. Add the turmeric, the potatoes, the tomato puree and 200ml of water.
  4. Simmer for 15-20 minutes till the potatoes are cooked through and the sauce has reduced.
  5. Stir in the hot sauce. Add a little at a time and keep tasting so you get the level of heat just right.
  6. Leave to cool.
  7. Make the pastry. Mix the salt into the flour then either rub the butter into the flour using your finger tips or use a food processor. Stop as soon as it is rubbed in and the mixture is like breadcrumbs.
  8. Add a couple of tablespoons of cold water and knead the mixture together to form a dough. Add a little extra water if it is too dry.
  9. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and put in the fridge for half an hour.
  10. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each one out into a circle. Put a tablespoon of the mince mixture on one side and fold the other side over to form a parcel. Press the 2 sides together.
  11. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes at 200C.


I had quite a bit of leftover mince so you could easily make more patties by increasing the quantities of pastry. For a more attractive finish, brush the uncooked patties with a little beaten egg or milk before baking them.

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To find out more and join in with Caribbean Food Week 2016 then take a look at Caribbeanfoodweek on Facebook or Twitter @Caribbeanfoodwk #CFW2016

We ate these Caribbean beef patties the next day too so I am going to share them with my own #CookOnceEatTwice event as well as linking to the #TheFoodCalendar at Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, #CookBlogShare at Sneaky Veg and Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum.

Cook Once Eat Twicethefoodcalendar-august-2016Cook Blog Sharebrilliant blog posts

Caribbean Beef Patties
Banana fudge ice cream

Banana Fudge Ice Cream

This creamy homemade banana fudge ice cream is so good you’ll want to keep the recipe!

banana fudge ice cream

Last summer I made the best banana fudge ice cream ever.   It was simply a banana ice cream studded with little pieces of chocolate covered fudge.   It was so easy to make I could make it for guests and only needed to spend a few minutes getting it started in the ice cream maker and then 20 minutes later it was ready to eat.  I made it more than once too.

Of course I wanted to make it again this summer.   I definitely wanted to eat it again and so I did what any food blogger does when wanting to remake a favourite recipe.   I searched my blog for the recipe.

I knew I’d made it a couple of times so I was confident it would be there.   It wasn’t.   I wondered if maybe I’d noted the recipe down in my drafts folder but it wasn’t there either.  What could I do?  Well, I knew I had to make that ice cream again.   That banana fudge ice cream was so delicious that it could not just disappear like that!

I had to try to remember the recipe.   Well, luckily I knew the main ingredients were bananas, cream and chocolate covered fudge bars.  The quantities?   Well,  I tend to be quite flexible with quantities anyway.

Banana fudge ice cream

The important thing is to keep tasting the mixture as you’re blending the ingredients together.   If it tastes amazing  before it’s frozen, it should taste good when frozen too.  In fact, it’s hard to give exact quantities as the bananas can vary in sweetness.   For ice cream you can get away with using slightly overripe bananas and of course, the riper they are, the sweeter they’ll make the ice cream.   I still needed a little bit of icing sugar to get the right level of sweetness but you may find you’ll need more or less depending on taste.

You could easily adapt this recipe.   I’ve called it banana fudge ice cream as one of the main ingredients is chopped up fudge bars (I used Cadburys Fudge) but  you could make a completely different ice cream just by using a different chocolate or candy bar.   Personally I quite fancy adding a crumbled up chocolate Flake another time!

I used my ice cream maker to make this ice cream as it’s so easy to use but if you haven’t got an ice cream maker then don’t let that stop you, although I haven’t tried them, you can read here about 6 ways to make ice cream that don’t involve going out and buying a machine!

Banana fudge ice cream

Doesn’t it look tasty in these  Ravenhead sundae dishes?

Banana Fudge Ice Cream


  • 2 bananas (they weighed 210g after being peeled)
  • 300ml double cream
  • 110ml milk (I used semi-skimmed)
  • 60g icing sugar (feel free to use more or less depending on how sweet you want the ice cream to be)
  • 100g chocolate covered fudge, chopped
  • Extra sticks of fudge to serve (optional)


  1. Mash the bananas thoroughly with a fork until you have a puree.
  2. Add the cream, milk and icing sugar and mix together with the fork.
  3. Turn the ice cream maker on and pour the banana cream mixture into it.
  4. After about 10 minutes when the ice cream is beginning to set, add the chunks of fudge and let the ice cream maker continue beating for another 5 minutes.
  5. Scoop the ice cream into a container and put in the freezer until you're ready to eat it.
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If you’re looking for more easy ice cream maker recipes then do take a look at my recipes for gooseberry ice cream,  raspberry and white chocolate ice cream or  even kiwi fruit ice cream.

I am linking this to #CookBlogShare hosted this week for the first time by Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie.  I am also linking to #RecipeoftheWeek at A Mummy Too and Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum.

Cook Blog ShareRecipe of the weekbrilliant blog posts

Banana Fudge Ice Cream
Spinach Citrus Salad

Spinach Citrus Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette

This healthy spinach citrus salad combines oranges and grapefruit  with a punchy grapefruit and mustard dressing  and is definitely one of the most refreshing salads I’ve eaten for a long while.

spinach citrus salad

I was so pleased to find this salad on From Gate to Plate when I was browsing through looking for my Secret Recipe Club pick.   I’d had a few busy weeks and I was feeling like I needed to make some healthy choices and this was exactly what I was looking for.

The salad looks quite simple and it is.   But, it is packed full of flavour.  The spinach leaves go really well with the orange and grapefruit segments and the grapefruit dressing is a revelation!

spinach citrus salad

I often add lemon or lime juice to salad dressings but I’d never thought to make a grapefruit vinaigrette. Maybe that’s because I just don’t buy grapefruits as often.   That really should change as I think this dressing would go so well on all sorts of salads.   You can clearly taste the grapefruit but because of the agave nectar it’s not too sharp at all and even the mustard isn’t too strong, despite the fact that I used English mustard rather than Dijon.

As I said earlier, I found this recipe on From Gate to Plate but I have adapted it just a little.  I used agave nectar in place of honey and I’m sorry to say I completely forgot to add the red onion.  I’m sure it would be lovely with just a little onion but it was gorgeous without it too.

spinach citrus salad

From Gate to Plate is written by Lauren, a 20 something country girl with a passion for cooking, farming and animals.  She lives and works on a farm and loves the outdoor life.   The photography on her blog is absolutely beautiful and I was so tempted by the gorgeous pictures!  If you’re not already tempted by my pictures of this spinach citrus salad then just pop over to her blog and I can assure you that you will be!

Some of Lauren’s recipes that really made me salivate were her Spiked Skillet Peach Pecan and Blueberry Crumble, spiked with a  little bourbon I think this dessert would be perfect on a slightly cooler day.  I always look at the salads and I love the sound of this Pickled Pasta with Cucumber and Tomatoes.  It would be great for easy summer meals and picnics and I always love recipes that can be prepared in advance too. My children love vinegar and I’m wondering if it would be a way to get Little Miss Spice to eat pasta.

This may not at first look like the most child-friendly recipe but Little Miss Spice loved the citrus fruit and even ate a few leaves of spinach along with the dressing.

spinach citrus salad

Spinach Citrus Salad

Yield: 4 servings


  • Large bag of spinach, washed
  • 1 grapefruit, cut into segments
  • 1 orange, cut into segments
  • For the Dressing
  • Juice of 1/2 a grapefruit
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp English mustard or a little more of another variety of mustard
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Divide the spinach between 4 plates and top with the fruit segments
  2. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together
  3. Serve the dressing on the salad.


This salad is lovely with fish, chicken or halloumi. If you are making this salad in advance, don't put the dressing on until ready to serve as it will make the spinach go soggy.

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spinach citrus salad

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I am linking to #CookBlogShare hosted by Mandy at Sneaky Veg, Brilliant Blog Posts hosted by Vicky at Honest Mum and Eat Your Greens hosted this month by The Veg Hog and on alternate months by A Seasonal Veg Table.  As spinach is a great vegetable to grow in allotments and is season right now too, I am linking to #TheFoodCalendar at Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen.

Cook Blog Sharebrilliant blog postsEat Your Greensthefoodcalendar-august-2016

Spinach Citrus Salad
Crosta & mollica review

My Summer Entertaining Tips & Review of Crosta & Mollica Breads

It’s summer.  It’s finally summer!  We’ve waited a long time for summer this year but now it’s here, it really is time to enjoy it.

Crosta and Mollica Review

It’s time to invite friends round and enjoy some easy and relaxed entertaining.  As a food blogger I love cooking and I love to cook for other people, especially when they enjoy my food!

However, I hate to have to spend so long preparing a meal that I’m stressed before the guests even arrive and I also hate to have to spend time in the kitchen when I could be outside enjoying the party.

So, here are my three top tips for easy summer entertaining that won’t make you stressed:

Tip No 1

Start the party off with some good quality nibbles and don’t feel you have to make them yourself.

Recently I’ve been snacking on a tasty selection of Crosta & Mollica Italian Tarallini, Crostini and Grissini breads.  They’re lovely as a snack but are also great for a party.   They’re crunchy, moreish and a cut above the average bread stick.  I’ll tell you more about the individual biscuits further down this post.

crosta & mollica review

Tip No 2

You don’t have to prepare all the food yourself!   If someone offers to help or asks, what they should bring, don’t turn down the offer.  If they want to bring a dessert, why not?  I have to admit that I don’t always stick to my own advice on this one.  I’ve often turned down offers of help but then wished I hadn’t!

Tip No 3

Serve food that you can prepare in advance.  This is really really important.   Some recipes may be great to eat  and may be very impressive but it’s your party.   Serve something that allows you to enjoy the party just as much as your guests.   I love to use my slow cooker to make amazing slow cooked bbq ribs or to make a favourite curry in advance.  I make things that I know taste good and if they look good too then that’s a bonus!

Finally, if you can’t resist wowing your guests just a little then pick a dessert you love and that can also be made completely in advance.  My homemade banana fudge ice cream is a particular favourite!  I have to say I don’t have any friends who are not impressed by homemade ice cream!  Cheesecakes and pavlovas are also popular make-ahead desserts and it’s easy to make them look good too.

Crosta & Mollica Review

The Crosta & Mollica Breads

The four Italian Crosta & Mollica breads I tried were:

Tarallini with Fennel Seeds – Crisp baked Italian dough rings

Tarallini Multigrain and Seeds – Crisp baked Italian dough rings

Crostini Oregano – Crisp baked Italian Bread Slices

Grissini Breads – Handmade light & crisp short Italian grissini

Crosta and Mollica Review

It’s hard to say which my favourites were  but it was probably the Tarallini.    I especially loved the taste of the fennel in the Tarallini with fennel seeds and I was delighted that Little Miss Spice loved them too.  In fact, I struggled to take photos as every time my back was turned they were being slowly but surely snaffled away!

Crosta & Mollica Crostini

Master Spice was the same with the Crostini.   The oregano gives them a beautiful Italian flavour and they are deliciously crisp and crunchy!

The Grissini breads are closest to mini breadsticks but  a little bigger and just so much lighter.  They are all slightly different shapes and sizes which gives them an authentic rustic feel.

Crosta & Mollica review Grissini Breads

You can buy the breads from Waitrose, Ocado and Tesco and are currently retailing at £1.89 – £1.99

Have you tried these breads?  Do let me know and also let me know what nibbles you like to serve at a party.

Disclosure:  This is a featured post however all opinions are my own.

Crosta & mollica review

Review of Crosta & Mollica Breads

my sweet potato kibbeh 3

Cook Once Eat Twice August 2016 and July Round Up

Welcome to August’s #CookOnceEatTwice and the July round up.   This last month seems to have flown by and now that the summer holidays have started it’s going to be even harder to find time for blogging but also even more important to have a few tasty meal ideas that can make enough food to last for more than one meal!  The linky for August is at the end of this post but first lets see what delicious recipes were made in July.

The first entry was from Elaine at Food Bod with a dish that started as a simple (but delicious) salad then the leftovers went into a roasted aubergine.  The leftovers of this second meal were added to a marinated cauliflower and chickpea dish and amazingly there were still more leftovers which were whipped up into a dip!  I looked at each picture and thought I’d find it hard not to gobble it all up so I am so impressed with how Elaine manages to do this again and again!

food bod

Next was Shaheen from A Seasonal Veg Table with Ramiro Pepper and Harissa Tomato Potatoes with Black Pudding.  It looks like such a delicious vegetable stew and the vegetarian black pudding on the top must be a lovely contrast to the tomatoes and peppers!

Ramiro Pepper and Harissa Tomato Stew

My own entry, a Garlic and Herb Butter Quick Bread was next.  This bread really is a great alternative to traditional garlic bread and although it might not be the healthiest bread it really is moreish!

Garlic and Herb Butter Quick Bread

Next was Monika from Everyday Healthy Recipes with this gorgeous Baked Beetroot with Feta and Orzo.  I just love the colours and I need to get over my fear of getting beetroot stains everywhere and use beetroot a little more in my cooking!

beetroot and feta salad

Then there was  another wonderful salad, this Orange, Ginger and Carrot Salad by Choclette at Tin and Thyme would also be a perfect side dish for a bbq, a picnic or just a simple meal at home.


This was followed by these delicious Date Slices by Angela at Only Crumbs Remain.  The pastry looks perfect and I love the generous amount of dates in them.  I haven’t had date slices for years and would love to try one again!

date slice

Then there were two entries from Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie.   The first was this Kale and Red Onion Dhal with Buckwheat.   Eb has been following the Sirt Food Diet and this is just one of the super healthy and delicious meals she’s made as a result.  I’ve also been inspired and am hoping to try buckwheat again soon.

kale red onion dhal and buckwheat

Eb’s next contribution was a recipe that was almost a disaster but turned into the exact opposite.   These Baked Potatoes with a Spicy Chickpea Stew would make a tasty alternative to a simple jacket potato with baked beans.

baked potato and chickpea stew

Then Monika from Everyday Healthy Recipes made these lovely Meatballs with Basil and a Roasted Pepper Sauce. Meatballs are always a popular choice for my kids so we’d love these.


Finally there was this Easy Peasy Chicken Curry from Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie.  If you’re a curry fan like me then I know you’ll be tempted!

easy peasy chicken curry

Finally, what did I made from last month’s round up?   Well, I was so tempted by Shaheen’s Middle Eastern Sweet Potato Kibbeh from A Seasonal Veg Table that I could not resist having a go at it.  It was really simple to make.  I loved the fact that I could prepare it earlier in the day when I had a moment and then cook it later.   It lasted for a couple of days and was great either cold or reheated in the oven.  I hadn’t had kibbeh before so I was especially delighted to try something completely new to me.  Do take a look at the recipe over on A Seasonal Veg Table.

Sweet potato kibbeh #CookOnceEatTwice

Thank you again to everyone who took part and once again I look forward to making at least one of this month’s entries before the next round up!

Please come back soon to link up your #CookOnceEatTwice recipes for August.   The linky is at the bottom of this post.

Cook Once Eat Twice

Here’s a reminder of the rules:

  • Include a link in your post to Searching for Spice and include the badge.  Add your link to the linky.
  • Tweet @Corinthecook using the hashtag #CookOnceEatTwice and I will retweet all that I see.
  • Include the source of any recipe if applicable and use your own photos.
  • I will pin all entries onto the Cook Once Eat Twice Pinterest board.  I also stumble and yum the entries.
  • It’s acceptable to link up old posts but please update them with the link and the badge so they fit the rules of the challenge.
  • Feel free to link up to other blogging events as well, as long as it is within their rules.
  • Please take the time to visit some of the other links that catch your eye.
  • The closing date is the 28th of the month and the roundup will be posted soon afterwards.
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#CookOnceEatTwice July round up
courgetti salad

Courgetti Salad

This simple healthy courgetti salad flavoured with lemon juice and baharat spice mix makes  a perfect bbq side dish or side salad for an easy weeknight meal.

courgetti salad

This month The Recipe Redux challenged us to ‘get your fruits and veggies in shape‘.   After all, this time of year really is the best for enjoying freshly picked fruits and vegetables.  There’s so much in season at the moment and everything tastes so much better than in the middle of winter.

You don’t even need to put in a lot of effort to enjoy all the fresh produce.  This courgetti salad for example, uses spiralized raw courgette (zucchini) and it’s so quick to make that it really is worth getting the spiralizer out of the cupboard for.  But even if you don’t have a spiralizer, a simple vegetable peeler would make a perfectly acceptable substitute.

courgetti salad

This salad is a seasonal mix of courgette and spring onion, tossed with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing but with the addition of Barts baharat spice mix, which is what really gives this salad its lovely spiced flavour.

Baharat is a peppery spice mix from the Middle East that combines paprika, coriander, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cloves and nutmeg.   It’s great to add a little bit of heat to a salad dressing, lovely in a stew and delicious as a rub for foods that are going to be cooked on the barbecue.   Or in my case, inside on the griddle pan.   I’m using baharat a lot at the moment although this is just my first recent blog post to feature it.

This recipe represents quite a success in my own little world.  Mr SearchingforSpice does not like courgettes.  Even if I hide a few cooked ones in a  pasta sauce he will pick them out and refuse to eat them.   More for me!  He’s rather good at picking out vegetable pieces he thinks he doesn’t like.  Well, I fully expected him to not even try this courgetti salad but he not only tried a little, he ate rather a lot.  I just wonder how soon I can get away with making it again.   I may even be able to remake this lemon and courgette spaghetti one day!

courgetti salad

Courgetti Salad

Yield: Serves 4

A simple spiralized courgette salad with a lemon and baharat dressing.


  • 1 large courgette
  • 2 spring onions, sliced lengthwise and then into pieces about 5cm long
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp baharat seasoning
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed


  1. Spiralize the courgette or if you don't have a spiralizer you could slice it into thin strips using a vegetable peeler.
  2. Put the courgetti and spring onion in a bowl
  3. In a small bowl or jar mix together the remaining ingredients for the dresssing. Mix well or shake.
  4. Pour the dressing over the courgetti and toss together.
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I am linking to Fiesta Friday hosted this week by Jhuls at The Not So Creative Cook and Colleen at Faith,Hope, Love & Luck. I am also linking to No Croutons Required hosted by Lisa’s Kitchen and on alternate months by Tinned Tomatoes, linking to Eat Your Greens hosted by A Seasonal Veg Table and on alternate months by The Veg Hog. I am also joining in with Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum and Cook Blog Share at Snap Happy Bakes.

No Croutons RequiredEat Your GreensTasty TuesdaysCook Blog Share

courgetti salad


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

gooseberry ice cream

Homemade Gooseberry Ice Cream

There’s nothing better than freshly picked berries and ice cream in summer so why not combine the two with this recipe for tangy homemade gooseberry ice cream?

Gooseberry ice cream

I love summer and I love all the fresh fruit and vegetables that are around right now.  One of my favourite activities to do with the children is to go and pick our own fresh fruit and vegetables at Garsons Pick Your Own Farm, which is where I picked these gooseberries.

If you’re not familiar with gooseberries they are tart green berries about the same size as grapes. You can sometimes eat the very ripe ones uncooked and without sweetening them but usually they are too sharp and need to be cooked and sweetened before they can be eaten.

Freshly picked gooseberries

I grew up on a farm and we used to pick them in some of the hedgerows so we always had a lot of gooseberry pies and crumbles at this time of year.  I’ve made a few crumbles myself and last year I made a delicious gooseberry cobbler.   This year however, I fancied trying something a little different.  I fancied gooseberry ice cream.

I was initially thinking along the lines of a gooseberry crumble cake and I still want to make that but I need to go and pick more gooseberries first!  I was then given the idea of making ice cream. Now I love my ice cream maker in summer but it was still sitting in the cupboard since last year. I just had to get it out, especially as I keep coming across so many tempting ice cream and frozen yoghurt recipes online.

I have had my ice cream maker for a few years now and seems to be out of stock but as far as I can see it is exactly the same as this Andrew James Ice Cream Maker , which is currently the number 1 bestseller on Amazon.   It only costs £27.99 at the moment so there really is no reason not to treat yourself!

Gooseberry ice cream freshly churned in ice cream maker

I haven’t used exact quantities in the recipe as the amount of sugar needed for the gooseberries does very much depend on how tart they are and also on how sweet you like your ice cream to be.   I love tart fruits to keep their sharpness but I know that not everyone feels like that!  Add some sugar or another sweetner to the gooseberries as they are cooking and then when they are almost ready taste them and add a little more if necessary.   Once the gooseberries have been mixed into the cream then you might also need to add extra sugar.   I add icing sugar at this stage as it dissolves more easily.

You can see from the pictures that there is still some texture in the gooseberry ice cream from the fruit.   I love to get lumpy fruity pieces in my ice cream but if you want it to be smoother then you could puree the gooseberries after stewing them.   You could even then pass the mixture through a sieve to remove pulpy bits and seeds.

gooseberry ice cream

I went for a plain gooseberry ice cream this time but you could also add some spices to the gooseberries as they are stewing to get a more complex flavour.  How about gooseberry cardamom ice cream?  That’s a recipe for next time!

I found that this gooseberry ice cream kept well in the freezer and didn’t go too hard.  It was possible to scoop it as soon as it came out of the freezer without having to wait for it to soften a little first.

If you’re looking for more homemade ice cream recipes then do take a look at my other ice cream recipes:  vanilla ice cream and affogato, kiwi fruit ice cream, cardamom and pistachio ice cream and raspberry and white chocolate ice cream.

I have to say I am also very happy with my new quick release ice cream scoops and Ravenhead sundae dishes which you can see in the picture below:

Gooseberry ice cream

Gooseberry Ice Cream

Yield: Serves 4-6


  • 300g chilled stewed and sweetened gooseberries
  • 300ml double cream
  • Icing sugar or sweetener (optional)


  1. Mix the gooseberries and cream together in a mixing jug.
  2. Taste and mix in a little icing sugar or an alternative sweetener if the mixture is not quite sweet enough.
  3. Follow your ice-cream maker's instructions. Pour the gooseberry mixture into the ice cream maker and let it stir it for about 15 minutes when it should be fairly stiff. Transfer to a freezer container and place in the freezer. Or eat straightaway.


I haven't given instructions for stewing the gooseberries as they can vary a lot in sweetness. I added 150g or sugar to 800g of gooseberries but it is a matter of taste. Keep tasting and adding extra sugar until they are right.

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Do you make your own ice cream?  If so then please leave a comment and inspire me with your favourite flavour combinations.

I am linking to Tasty Tuesday at Honest Mum, Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too and Cook Blog Share hosted this week by Sneaky Veg.

Tasty TuesdaysRecipe of the weekCook Blog Share

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Homemade gooseberry ice cream