Tag Archives: Apple

Yay! Comfort Food For The Cold Snap

Anyone For Luscious Sticky Toffee Pudding?, Rocking Dog

Anyone For Luscious Sticky Toffee Pudding?

Yay! The cold weather is on its way with the hope that the Noah’s Ark style rain and grey flooding misery will subside. Celebrate a crisp white frost this weekend with warming comfort food.

Simon Hopkinson’s Sticky Toffee Pudding is seriously good and SERIOUSLY calorific! I love the puddings baked in empty syrup tins (the small ones!) Meanwhile crumbles are an easy pudding to throw together and a myriad of fruits can be used. Rhubarb and stem ginger is a gorgeous combination. Chop your rhubarb into 3-4 cm sticks and create a thick layer of fruit in an oven proof dish. Roughly chop two or three balls of stem ginger and sprinkle over the rhubarb together with some of the stem ginger syrup. Sprinkle over some caster sugar before topping with your favourite crumble mixture. Porridge oats or a handful of museli give added texture to the crumble. Apple crumble is always a favourite in our household and the boy loves it particularly if it has a dollop of Dulce Leche under its crumble blanket! Tut,tut! Large white coffee cups make great individual crumble bakers.

All this talk of hot comfort puddings and I have a handful of fresh raspberries ready to be picked in the garden together with some rhubarb. What a mad season! British asparagus is going to be cropping very early and the growers are expecting two harvests despite the cold blowing on in.

Whatever you are doing this weekend I hope it’s happy, you stay cosy and you allow yourself to indulge in hot luscious yumminess!

Apples For........, Rocking Dog

Apples For……..

...Crumble!, Rocking Dog


Heart Warming Soup, Rocking Dog

Heart Warming Soup

January Raspberries And...,Rocking Dog

January Raspberries And…

...Rhubarb!, Rocking Dog


Gushing Water Everywhere, Rocking Dog

Gushing Water Everywhere

New Batch Of Rocking Dog Recycled Gift Labels

Looking For Presents, Rocking Dog

Looking For Presents

Yesterday I made a batch of recycled gift labels. My magazines were piling up and in need of a cull (World Of Interiors and Country Living make good gift tag fodder). I was in need of an easy craft task after a night where sleep didn’t come easily. However, at 4.45 am the dawn chorus was truly glorious, as was the dawn with the promise of burgeoning verdant spring greenness.

Back to the task in hand. Images were chosen and cut with a paper trimmer (which gives perfect straight edges). These were mounted onto recycled brown luggage labels using Pritt (don’t accept impostors!) Many were then given a stamping treatment before being given strings which complemented the style and colour of the images. As I am going to be selling these, I grouped tags of the same genre in quantities of five.

Simple job, surprisingly time consuming, but somehow quite satisfying!

These tags would look pretty on a present wrapped in vibrant crisp tissue paper, or tied onto a bottle of bubbly. Equally one of these labels could be attached to a plant or hand tied bunch of flowers. The idea could be adapted to make lovely, yet inexpensive place names for a party or wedding. The tags could be deliciously tied around a napkin or to a chair, indeed a gilded pear, apple or frosted fir cone. Go Wild!

Summer Fruit Tags, Rocking Dog

Summer Fruit Tags

Stamped & Waiting For String, Rocking Dog

Stamped & Waiting For String

String Chosen & Cut, Rocking Dog

String Chosen & Cut

What Have You Got Cooking Rocking Dog?

The Magic Begins!, Rocking Dog

The Magic Begins!

The answer, another simple dessert to blag, oops, blog about! My lovely Mum’s recipe for Scandinavian Peasant Girl With Veil delighted many a guest during the 70’s. It was often the perfect end to a dinner party which had normally begun with Beef Stroganoff or Athenian Mince (rather like lasagne but the pasta layer being replaced with boiled thickly sliced potatoes). Another pudding staple was cherry pie (Morton’s black cherry pie filling trapped in a homemade pastry case). The pie was normally decorated with large pastry stars, had a hole to let the steam escape, and a generous sprinkling of sugar before baking. Pudding plates cleared, it was my Dad Doug’s piece de resistance to offer a range of liquors. Holiday travel abroad was in it’s infancy but there’d be some weird concoction from Palma de Mallorca, French hypermarket buys together with Drambuie and Tia Maria. Latterly I remember one of Dad’s less successful liquer buys, a kiwi flavoured liquer with two whole kiwi unappetisingly floating about in it. It rather resembled a specimen jar on some gory hospital lab’ shelf!

Unfortunately, I do not know where the original recipe for Scandinavian Peasant Girl came from. My Mum Barbara, had a small shelf of cookery books and recipe cards, but for weekday cooking she relied on a selection of regular stored in the head recipes. I remember her loving Graham Kerr, The Galloping Gourmet when he hit the TV screens, she definitely said he was dishy! She certainly couldn’t abide the bullying Fanny Craddock but was rather fond of Keith Floyd

We ate this nostalgic pud’ yesterday for a small gathering, and I hope my children will keep this family recipe in their repertoire. I tried to look for Barbara’s glass trifle bowl to get the whole 70’s vibe, alas my cellar is much to untidy to lay my hands on it! (job 476 on the list) Although a grating of 70% dark chocolate would be more PC these days, I still personally love the Cadbury’s Flake to remind me of this pudding being served up at home by my mum in a jazzy trouser suit!

So the recipe for Barbara’s Scandinavian Peasant Girl With Veil.

(serves 6 very generously)
3/4 large sliced wholemeal loaf (day old bread perfect)
250g butter
100g soft brown sugar
4 large Bramley apples
4 tbsp white sugar
200ml double cream
2 Flake bars or grated chocolate

*Peel, core and slice apples and put in a pan with a little water and the white sugar. Cook until pulpy. Cool.
*Break the bread slices into pieces and blitz to coarse breadcrumbs with a stick blender or in a processor.
*Melt the butter on a medium heat in a large high sided frying pan.
*When butter melted add in the breadcrumbs and continue cooking over a medium heat. Stir constantly!
*After about 15 minutes the breadcrumbs will be crisper and a chestnut brown colour. Remove from the heat.
*Stir the brown sugar into the breadcrumbs.Leave to cool.
*When apple and breadcrumb mixes are both cold, whip your cream into peaks.
*Layer the apple and breadcrumb mixtures in a large glass bowl/glasses. End with a breadcrumb layer.
*Dollop the veil (cream) on top of your dessert(s) and break over some shards of Flake or grated chocolate.
*Refrigerate until serving.

If you were making this dessert ahead of time I would suggest making the apple and breadcrumb mixes and storing them separately in airtight containers in the fridge. Assemble up to 2 hours before guests arrive. No Hostess Trolley required!

Thank you to Malago WI for the lovely Emily Ketteringham tea towel which features in my photo’s. Simply too lovely to dry dishes with!

Mother and Brother, Rocking Dog

Mother and Brother

Scandi' Pud', Rocking Dog

Scandi’ Pud’

First Frost

frozen bird food, rocking dog

Frozen Bird Food

We awoke on Monday morning to the first savage frost of the winter.
Clothed in white, the garden looked spectacularly inviting. The frost stayed all day and reminded me of my favourite childrens’ book The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde. ‘Spring has forgotten this garden,’ they cried, ‘so we will live here all the year round.’ The Snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak, and the Frost painted all the trees silver. Then they invited the North Wind to stay with them, and he came. He was wrapped in furs, and he roared all day about the garden, and blew the chimney-pots down.” Very thankfully the North Wind didn’t visit our garden, so it was quiet and still, sparkling and cold.

Frosted Wreath, Rocking Dog

Frosted Wreath

Frost Clad Catkins, Rocking Dog

Frost Clad Catkins

Brook At Our Garden's End, Rocking Dog

Brook At Our Garden’s End

Special Apple Pie!

Apple Pie

Why do I give into the demands of my son?! My gorgeous girls come home and accept whatever is put on the table, but Golden Boy tongue in sort of cheek goads me for Yorkshire Puddings, Apple Pie.. etc.. etc… Anyway today’s pie Alex.. While we are on the subject of men .. one of my photo’s shows my beloved rolling pin.
The said rolling pin was a present from my parents, locally crafted from beautiful cross-sections of wood and truly coveted. One day I could hear all this banging from our cellar – and found Andyman defrosting the freezer by bashing the ice with my rolling pin! I could have wept.
It survived pretty much unscathed, but I did feel like hitting the enthusiastic rolling pin wielding thug ! Sorry must go and get The Special One’s pie baked!!

Pastry Cutters

Pastry Cutters

Rolling Pin

Rolling Pin