Mary Berry’s Apricot Frangipane Tart (or could it be a Quiche?)

But first a Random Rant.

What the hell has happened to the BBC news website? It’s my go-to primary source of news (If, on the other hand, I want non-news I wind myself up by reading about the latest shenanigans relating to Kim Kardashian on the Daily Mail Online).

The BBC website used to just tell you wjat was going on in reasonably impartial terms (not bad for a leftie organisation). But now they seem to have employed a 21 year old to redesign the site so that it feels like you are looking at….well I’m not sure. It’s like its designed for people who don’t read the news. GREAT BIG pictures. Sentences of no more than a few words. Lots of videos.

They say it’s because most people view the BBC site on phones and tablets. But people know better than to view lots of videos on the move because it uses up the battery and their network credit.

So what’s the real reason? Money. Austerity. Over here everyone who has a TV has to pay the BBC a license fee. It began a looooong time ago. Before commercial channels with advertising and of course well before cable or satellite subscriptions.

But now, in the brave new world of dog-eat-dog, the license fee is under threat. We have to pay it even if we don’t watch it. Even Sky hasn’t managed to pull that trick (although you know they wish they could).

So the BBC is trying to shrink into the background. You can imagine them sitting in their very expensive new offices in Manchester sweating it out.

‘What can we do?’

‘Can we make them forget?’

‘Forget what?’

‘The license fee.’

‘How?’

‘Well, let’s not increase the price. They’ll forget about it.’

‘Well how are we going to afford our inclusive diversity training weekends at Gleneagles?’

‘We’ll slash the online budget. We’ll create one website that works across any device. It’ll look crap because it will have much less content, but it’ll be super cheap to run.’

‘Excellent! Pour the champagne and give yourself a pay rise.’

So there we have it. A vanilla news website which seems oddly devoid of news. It’s got big pictures and large areas of white space. Groovy.

Still awake? Looking for some food? How about this. It came from BBC GoodFood. Now they aren’t messing around with websites. They do spend a bit too much time messing around with foods you’ll never try (like most recently wild garlic. Come on, wild garlic) but they also do really good things. For instance, Apricot Frangipane Tart.

IMG_8901

Continue reading

Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Fondant Potatoes

Over the past few months I’ve built up a vast bank of food posts. Hundreds of photos. The problem is, I can’t really remember the recipes for many of them. And I mean this is a serious food blog. Very serious. Lots of serious cooking, stern photography and in-depth analysis. So, on that basis, I have opted for posting Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Fondant Potatoes.

IMG_7225

Continue reading

Homemade Chinese Take-Away

Now this was a bit full on. Create five dishes in less time than it takes to holler ‘I’m starving, feed me noooooooooooooow!’

Holler? What the hell kind of word is holler? Let’s change that to ‘yell’. Or scream. In Hell’s Kitchen (and I would have called this blog Hell’s Kitchen if I’d thought of it at the time, but I didn’t so there you go) you sometimes have to cook fast and cook clever. Generally that happens when a) children are around and b) wine is not flowing too quickly.

Chinese food is characterised by salty, sweet flavours. It’s also supposed to be made fast.

IMG_8030

Continue reading

50 Shades of Chocolate

Grey is so….gray. Chocolate is better. Also you can’t dribble grey over your significant other and, well, whatever.

Also, there could well be 50 shades of chocolate. I’ve no idea. Brown is brown, chocolate is chocolate…but of course it isn’t. Chocolate is a whole world of bittersweet fantasmagorical wonderment. Combine it with cream and strawberries and you have a gourmet-gasm of amaze-balls. Sorry, getting carried away.

Lets get down to business, so to speak. It was pancake day yesterday and so we celebrated with Strawberries and Cream Pancakes with Chocolate Sauce.

IMG_8192

Continue reading

Coconut Spinach and Lemony Chickpeas

This was an interesting creation I happened upon on an American blog called ‘the kitchn‘. Edgy title. Edgy? Well, see how they miss out the ‘e’ from ‘kitchen’. That’s edgy. It says ‘we do food, but we don’t follow the rules’. Anyway enough banter, they do some very nice dishes and are now a useful source of inspiration. And this one was dead easy, served with a baked sweet potato, which is a culinary sensation in itself.

IMG_8118

Continue reading