Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Smoked Salmon Pate

I am stuck in a bit of a rut. I think it's just because I'm in the transition period between finishing university and becoming employed. I've even had to start saying that I'm 'unemployed' on forms etc. All of my life I've been a student, and now that I'm not, it feels so very strange.
I also can't help but be bored out of my mind most of the time, trying to find things to do. I find myself on Pinterest nearly every hour of the day, looking for cool craft projects. I'm working up the courage to make myself a clutch bag, and finally use my long-forgotten sewing machine... oops.

Now normally when I get like this, I tend to bake to my hearts content; except I'm supposed to be dieting. My mum insists that I'm going to look good for my birthday next week (only 5 more days to go!), so she's kind of banned me from baking. At the time, I thought 'Fair enough, I can do that, I'll just find other things to do'. Now all I can think is 'Sod this damn diet, let me make some cake and eat it!'
Honestly, it has been so difficult, especially when I read other blogs, and they've been making some delicious food, and all I want is to try them out.

Trust me, this time next week, I'll be back in my kitchen, making some delicious baked goods, and I can post something on here.

To make it feel like I'm actually making something, and can therefore contribute something to this blog, I decided I could make healthy(ish) savoury treats. And this salmon pâté really is a treat, it's just so delicious, and every mouthful makes me so so happy. And it also tends to leave me wanting more...
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I think I found the recipe on one of my many trips to Pinterest, and once I remembered there was a pack of smoked salmon in the back of the fridge, I got to making this straight away. This is one of the quickest things I've ever made, honestly five minutes, and I was done.
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200g Smoked Salmon
1tsp Horseradish Sauce
2 or 3 Chive Leaves
120g Low Fat Cream Cheese
Black Pepper
Lemon Juice

In a food processor, blend the smoked salmon into a paste.
Then add the cream cheese, horseradish and the chives, and pulse until combined.
Add pepper and lemon juice to taste, and spoon out into a serving dish.
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This pâté is quite versatile, as it can be served with quite a few things, depending on what you fancy. I had mine with a couple of slices of toast, but it's also delicious with oat crackers (or any other type of cracker really), and also just served with some thick pieces of cucumber.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Vanilla Cupcakes

At the end of last month, a couple of my friends turned 21, yay!
This also means that I am the only one in my group of friends who is still 20. Bring on the end of this month!!
I love making cakes for people's birthdays, as sometimes I find it more personal. Also, if your friend is difficult to buy presents for, you're always safe giving them some cakes. And let's face it, unless there is something seriously wrong with them, everyone likes receiving cakes on their birthday... or just any time of year really. photo 9103b18e-6c97-4583-8a64-42be8dbeb183.jpg
I got the recipe for the cupcakes from the Glorious Treats blog. The owner of the blog perfected her recipe for these cupcakes, and I've also tried them a couple of times before, and I do have to say it is one of the best cupcake recipes out there. The cupcakes are always moist and light, and taste delicious.
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Now as these cupcakes were for my friends' birthdays, I wanted to make a bit more effort with the icing. A normal buttercream icing is nice and all, but sometimes you want to make something a bit more fancy. So this time I played around with some fondant icing, creating a quilted effect, which you can see in the photos. It's really easy to do, and there are plenty of tutorial videos on youtube which will show you how to do it in seconds.
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After a few days, I found out from my friends that the cakes had all been devoured, and they were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. So you don't just have to rely on me saying that they're good :)

Monday, 5 August 2013

Key Lime Pie

I have a bit of a weakness for citrus. The smell and taste of it always makes me think of hot summer days, drinking ice cold orange juice, and eating fish with lemon squeezed over the top. Delicious.
We always have a pile of lemons and limes in the fruit bowl; my mum likes lemon in hot water, and I like using limes in my cooking.
Recently, I've been making a lot of mango salsa, which is served with a meaty fish like salmon or tuna, and in that salsa I put in a lot of lime juice. It gives the salsa a nice tangy flavour, and works perfectly with the fish.

But I also love using limes in baking.
Hence, Key Lime Pie.
I didn't know this, but apparently key lime is actually a type of lime. It's meant to be smaller than normal limes, and is more tart and bitter. Unfortunately, I couldn't get these key limes here in the UK, so I had to make my pie with the conventional lime you get everywhere.
Not that it made a difference with the taste, it was still sweet.
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Normally the pie crust is made with digestive biscuits, or in America graham crackers, but I thought I'd be a bit different (read: adventurous) and use ginger biscuits for the crust. I thought it would go nicely with the lime, and give the pie a bit more warmth.
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I got the recipe from Jamie Oliver, although all of these recipes are pretty much the same, and you can use almost any recipe. The only difference was I didn't use double cream for the topping, I used some creme fraiche instead, as that was what I had in the fridge.
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I served mine with a pot of lemon and ginger tea, and it made the whole experience even better. So appetising, and all of the flavours just mixed together perfectly. 
Although be warned, if you don't have a big sweet tooth, then you might want to stay away. The condensed milk makes the pie very sweet, so you can only have a small portion each time.
Otherwise, go ahead, and enjoy :)