Tag Archives: recipes

I Had No Idea Carrots Could Taste So Good!

I had the lovely privilege of having dinner at a friend’s home the other day. She is such a great cook, and she seems to be embracing the vegetarian diet. She made an incredibly delicious carrot risotto, so packed with flavour.

Bowl, Dish, Meal, Fine Dining, Gourmet, Delicious

This is not her risotto of course, I was too polite to start taking photos of the meal she served us. But I just loved that dish. I will be dreaming about it all weekend.

She said it was from a Waitrose recipe….so I can try to make it myself. Although I don’t know if I will be able to do it justice like she did.


Would You Like To Come Over For Supper? (Don’t Be Fooled – This Is Not A Food Blog)


I have been looking at lots of other blogs.  (Especially the blogs produced by everyone who has kindly decided to follow or like one of my posts.)  There are some really beautiful blogs out there.  I have to admit foodies, travellers and fashionistas are particularly amazing.  Your blog sites are stunning!  I love the phenomenal photos, the delicious details, the infectious enthusiasm.  I am so impressed by the blogs I have been scrolling through – truly inspirational!

I am not great with a camera I must admit.  Someone mentioned they thought my stories needed photos to make them look a bit more appealing.  I am trying – honestly!  I have to remind myself to take my tablet out to take photos that will relate to my stories.  I promise I will work on making my blogging site more appealing and colourful…if you have not realized by now, I am in this for the story writing.  But I am trying to apply all the lovely advice and helpful tips that readers have given me.  It has been delightful to receive feedback and encouragement.

To mark my appreciation for all of the kind and supportive words that other bloggers and readers have been sharing with me, I thought I would invite you all for supper.  I have in mind a very tasty summery dish that is vegetarian (so many vegetarian and vegan blog sites out there) and I will make some hummous, a crisp salad and a crusty loaf…plenty of lime and lemongrass pressé (wine will be available if you do like to indulge)…and if you would like, I will even make a naughty pudding for dessert.  I am going to abstain from naughty pudding myself, so I can work towards being almost perfect for my Goldfinch.

I am not a food blogger (and by the end of this post you will probably be thankful of that!)…but this is my attempt at a colourful post, full of photos and chatter.  The recipe came out of a magazine…I am sorry I do not know which, but I deserve no credit for this culinary creation.  I am going to turn these beautiful specimens into our yummy supper.

Start of Supper

The oven is on, pre-heating to 200ºc …do you need me to find out the temperature for an oven with a gas supply?  Apparently that would be Gas Mark 6.

So, sorry for stating the obvious, but I have washed the peppers before anything else. Then I have cut them in half and scooped out the seeds and the white stringy bits.  Then as you can see I have arranged them in an oven-proof dish.

Halved peppers

The next step is to take 100g of pistachio kernels and put them into a dry saucepan.  They need a gentle toasting.  You just begin to smell them cooking and then you need to take them away from the heat – unless you are fond of the taste of burnt nuts.

Now if you have a pestle and mortar – and you probably will if you are a food blogger – then please use this to crush the toasted pistachios.  I don’t have one, so I painstakingly chop them up with a knife.

Put them aside for now, they are going to be used later.


Now I have to get ready for the teary-eyed bit…chopping two onions.  Red, white, green – your choice.  I have used one red and one white today.  I have also chopped up four cloves of garlic.

Into the saucepan it goes with a nice lug of olive oil.  This needs to heat gently for about 8 minutes until the onions are soft and smelling delicious.  They should not be crispy, so gently does it with the heat.


I have weighed out 200g of rice.  Today I am using organic brown rice…because that is what I found in the cupboard.  I think other rice would work just as well…maybe much better.  I have added one teaspoon of dried oregano and a few twists of salt and pepper.

Oh no, you can see the reflection of my hand while I take the photo…that looks a bit creepy weird doesn’t it?


I have thrown this into the saucepan with the onions and garlic and stirred everything together thoroughly.

I have already prepared a jug with 300ml of boiling water and a vegetable stock cube and a tablespoon of tomato puree.


So the tomato-ee veggie stock goes into the saucepan with the onions and rice and everything is mixed again thoroughly.

I am going to let this mix simmer for another 10 minutes with regular stirring.


In between stirs I have prepared some of the other ingredients.

200g of feta cheese – crumbled.

A handful of flat-leaf parsley and a handful of mint leaves – chopped up roughly.

Oh and those chopped up pistachios.

So remove the saucepan from the heat and now mix in these last few ingredients…the aroma is so yummy.

Feta Nuts Herbs

Then…the nicey ricey goes into those halved peppers….

Stuffed Peppers

Now we need another one of these.

300ml vegetable stock and another tablespoon of tomato puree mixed together.

This should be poured over and around the stuffed peppers.


I then put a layer of foil over the top and bake the dish for a whole hour.  After an hour, I remove the foil and allow it to continue baking for another 15 minutes so that the top is a tiny bit crispy.

And voila!!!


Bon appetite!

This might not look the most appealing recipe you have seen this month (and I am sure my photography does not make it look more enticing) but I will say this…people love it!  Everyone I have made this for raves on about it…I love supermarket magazines for the recipes they contain…not too many ingredients, not too much skill and they often are very delicious.

I know what you are thinking…Caramel should definitely NOT start a food blog…safer to stick to the story writing.

All the same…thank you again for a very warm welcome to blogging.  Keep the tips and advice and comments coming.  It makes it so much fun to come home from work and see what might be waiting for me.

Now…who would like to help me with all the washing up?


I Am Spending A Fortune On Feeding My Goldfinch

When I do my own food / grocery shopping, I usually go to the local Sainsburys supermarket.  For years I went to ASDA or Aldi, but there is no ASDA and no Aldi near here.  Nor is there a Lidl, an Iceland, or a Farmfoods.  When I first moved to London I lived a five minute walk from an enormous 24-hour Tesco Supermarket.  But there is no Tesco near here.  So instead I now shop for myself at Sainsburys.

The nearest supermarket to my little abode, at only two minutes walk away, is an organic supermarket named Bayley & Sage, but everything there costs a fortune…I went shopping there once, just after I moved here, and nearly started choking with the shock when the cashier told me the price of the small basket of items I had collected. So I don’t go there unless I want to buy a treat for Goldfinch or to buy sandfire (it’s the only shop near here where I can buy it).

When Goldfinch is coming I switch to shopping at Waitrose…because in my head, (if not reality) I think I will find better produce.  But it also costs more.  I just like to feel I am giving the best to Goldfinch.  One of the things I love about shopping at Waitrose is the chance to collect a free Waitrose magazine (along with my free coffee).

The Waitrose magazine has some fantastic recipes.  I have always been a big fan of supermarket magazine recipes.  I like them because they normally don’t have a ridiculous amount of ingredients and you don’t have to have been a contestant on Masterchef to be able to follow their recipes.

I like to bake…and I especially like to bake for Goldfinch. This weekend I made a traditional favourite savoury dish which I have made many times before.  But for pudding I thought I would turn my hand to trying a couple of recipes from last month’s Waitrose magazine.

ice cream.pngFirst of all I made the toffee-apple ice-cream…which involved making caramel – a messy job but somebody has to do it!  It has ripples of caramel soft golden apples, crumbly biscuit bites and creamy vanilla ice-cream…oooh la la!

upside down cakeThen I made the upside down. maple, walnut and apple cake, which was warm and ooooozing with caramel.

It is a pleasure cooking and baking for my Goldfinch.  But I spend twice as much money on my food shopping when I know he is coming to visit.  I am spending a fortune on feeding my gorgeous Goldfinch.  But I love it.  I love him you see.  I love any chance I have to give something to him that shows him how I feel and how happy he makes me.