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S’Mores (aka Chocolate & Marshmallow) Pie

Posted by Gill Bland Tuesday, 30th October 2018

This pie is a friend-making pie. It is ideal for the darkened setting of a bonfire night party where you can not worry about politeness and shovel it in with a spoon or your fingers, giving you a sugary hit to keep you warm through the festivities. It is gooey and chocolatey and you will end up with laughing at each other’s choolcatey moustaches and the stringy bits of marshmallow getting stuck in your hair. It’s also VERY dietary-requirement friendly as it is almost accidentally vegan, dairy and gluten free.

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Slow Roast Curry Pork with Turmeric Roasties

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 22nd October 2018

It’s national Curry Week from 22-28th October and so it is that I bring you an entirely un-authentic but utterly warming and tasty cry version of a roast dinner. Curry AND roast dinner, eh? Who said you couldn’t have your cake and eat it? Throw your favourite spices at this recipe and treat it a bit like pulled pork. Serve with turmeric roasties (below) or salad, wraps, pickle and  yoghurt or dhal (eg. like this).

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Sort-of Moroccan Sort-of Leftovers Pie

Posted by Gill Bland Thursday, 26th July 2018

When we planned that I would blog a freeze-ahead recipe to highlight the new Rangemaster freezer range, it was the middle of winter and we were having more snow that I’ve seen in a while. It seemed a perfectly reasonable thing to be considering hearty freeze-ahead casseroles, lasagnes, pies etc. 

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Father’s Day Beef Wellington

Posted by Gill Bland Tuesday, 12th June 2018

A quick web search for Father’s Day recipes brings up a barrage of meat and beer based recipes, most of which are BBQ or beef based. I had great ideas that I was going to do something more unusual to celebrate the day - like spaghetti pie (it exists) or something lighter even, but I thought I should ask the new-dad in our household what his stomach would most desire on Father’s Day. Barely a beat was missed before the reply came back ‘that beef in pastry thing you made once ages ago’. So, the cow-based, pastry laden product won out and you know what? I’m glad. I’m not sure why it’s been so long since I made this. It’s so easy and yet it looks quite impressive. I might just repeat it next week when we have some other Dad’s (and their families) over for tea.

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Easy Batch Bake Tray Cake

Posted by Gill Bland Wednesday, 11th April 2018

There’s clearly something about March. It’s the time when I feel the need to churn out huge batches of sweet treats, making the most of the side oven on my Rangemaster Elan 90 in the process. Last year I shared my fail-safe freeze-ahead cookie recipe and this year I’m bringing you the easiest cake recipe recipe I know. It’s  an all in one recipe for minimal faff, it’s customisable and  it can be baked in roasting tins or shallow trays to make as many as you like. Perfect for cake sales or just for making enough for now and enough to freeze for, you know, emergencies.

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Aunty Viv’s New Mum Magic Fruit Cake

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 5th March 2018

This year Mothering Sunday will have a new significance in our household. Our little boy, Monty, was born on the 9th Feb.

On our return home from hospital, my Mum stayed with us for a week and I have even more love and respect for her than I already did, both because of the experience of becoming a mum, and also for her patience, help and mad cooking skills during that week. My mum’s stews, soups and other  general awesomeness will continue to feature in future recipes, but for this one I am going to bring you someone else baking prowess.

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Superhero Muffins

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 8th January 2018

I’ll be honest – giving you this recipe seems like a cop-out. As you can see from the lovely sunshine in the photos, I took them back in June last year. So, it seems like I’m just throwing something at you from the archives because I can’t be bothered. However, when the good folk of Rangemaster asked me to provide a healthy breakfast recipe I wanted to give you one that I ACTUALLY eat. Not one that I aspire to eat and never get around to. Yes, there are lots of lovely healthy buckwheat pancake recipes (which I’ve made a few times and are indeed good) or lots of egg-white concoctions which look promising but don’t deliver but, to be honest, something has to be really enticing to tear me away from a good, gloopy bowl of porridge made slowly over the hob in a moment of morning reflection-time. No, it’s the days when I don’t have time to sit down that I need a healthy option that I can grab and go and will help me resist the draw of the almond croissant.

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Mulled Wine Chocolate Cake

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 18th December 2017

I know some people get sick of the flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and orange zest at Christmas. I am not one of those people. I am one of those people who sprinkle all-spice into their hot Ribena as soon as the nights get dark in a bid to emulate mulled wine without consuming unhealthy amounts of the ruby-red spiced booze-of-delight. So, when I noticed a recipe for a red wine cake sometime earlier in the year I parked it at the back of my baker’s brain and waited for the festive season to come around so that I could make mulled wine chocolate cake. This recipe makes no apology for throwing all the Christmas flavours at it. You can stick to just mulled wine, you can have cinnamon icing and if you want to really go for it you can make a mulled fig jam to dot through the mixture or to fill the middle of each cupcake. It’s up to you how much you want to gild the Christmas lily (or indeed poinsettia). 

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Wintery Red Cabbage, Sausage and Apple Dunking Stew

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 27th November 2017

One pot, a host of hearty ingredients and a touch of seasonal spice without being too early to the Christmas party. This dunking stew is the perfect answer to a cold dark evening. It takes moments to prepare and doesn’t require the day-long brewing that a proper thick stew needs. For this reason I’ve called it a dunking stew - calling to a broth makes it sound too weedy but it would be false advertising to imply that the liquid had the fortitude of a regular stew. The juice in this one is ideal for soaking up with thick slices of bread. This is a fast-track to casserole comfort. 

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Friendly Pumpkin Cornbread

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 30th October 2017

The clocks have gone back and the dark nights are here. Twinkly street lights and crunchy leaves fill the walk home from work and even school. Whether you’re out pounding the pavements with the kids on a chilly October evening or you’re just coming home after a long day, a big hunk of this Friendly Pumpkin Cornbread with some soup, chilli or any other warming stew will go down a treat, and it’s not tricky at all to make (see what I did there?). Despite cutting the amount of sugar from the original recipe by 3/4 it’s still quite sweet, but this works really well with savoury dishes and even better if you toast it with a mature/ blue cheese and some pesto for that oozy green-gooey look!

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