Welcome to the cooking bug

thecookingbug.com

These are recipes from the heart of my home, and from the homes and hearts of those dear to me.

There is much we have forgotten and abandoned in the home kitchen, some of which I humbly revive here.

I have a large collection of old, tatty and generally pretty manky cookery books, some of which defer to lard at every available juncture.  I have taken inspiration from some of these books, and have reworked some old recipes to be more suited to our modern kitchens

And so here it is, the cooking bug, my collection of food musings, my recipes and experiences.  Eclectic, eccentric, effusive, enthusiastic. 

I caught the cooking bug as a child, I hope there is no cure!    

 

Recent additions ...

    

Cheesecake Fruit Flans

Cheesecake Fruit Flans These are very versatile and easy to make – with the lightness of a creamy cheese filling....

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Berry Swiss Roll

Berry Swiss Roll Basic sponge is tremendously versatile and can be transformed in all sorts of ways – the most traditional of which is the good old Swiss Roll...

 

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Maple and Pecan Creme Tart

Maple Pecan Creme Tart    Delicious meeting of cheesecake filling, pecan pastry base and a glossy coating of reduction of maple syrup ...

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Seafood Gumbo

 Seafood Gumbo    This is a lovely and aromatic dish which with lovely vibrant colours....

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Limoncello and Elderflower Tiramisu

Limoncello and Elderflower Tiramisu

Sweet and tangy this is a lovely elegant dessert - made in individual portions or as a large generous tart ...

 

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Sesame Crusted Salmon

Sesame Crusted Salmon

 

This is a healthy and simple dish packed with flavour to make the most from the salmon  ...

 

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Bacon Baked Potatoes

Bacon Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes get a revamp with some streaky bacon and subtle herbs ...

 

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Puy Lentils with Pinenuts

Puy Lentils with Pinenuts

Simple and delicious there is a lot to recommend the humble lentil ....

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Beef and Ginger Sesame Dumplings

Beef and Ginger Sesame Dumplings

Served with a very simple soy and sesame dipping sauce and pickled vegies it is a great weekend meal....

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Raspberry Cupcakes

Raspberry Cupcakes

Something of an indulgence, these are a break from the tradition of regular vanilla cupcakes....

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Passionfruit Cupcakes

Passionfruit Cupcakes

Passionfruit is a gorgeous scent and these little cakes are filled with the perfume and flavour of passionfruit ....

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Pandan Oaty Pancakes

Pandan Oaty Pancakes

I don't think it is possible to have a bad day if you start it out with a plate of vibrant green pandan-pancakes with glossy berries ....

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 Chickpea and Lemon Baked Chicken

Chickpea and Lemon Baked Chicken

The sweet, creamy nutty little chickpea is just the ticket with this light and tasty chicken dish....

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Fillet of Beef

Fillet of Beef

The beef fillet is one of the most tender and delicous pieces of meat you can purchase. Here are two methods to get the best for your money ...

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Harmony Cake

Harmony Cake

I have made this cake to represent the many wonderful cultures that influence our food and festivities ...

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Chickpea and Sweet Potato Patties

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Patties

These are rather tasty and quite healthy too - what's not to love about the sweet potato-chickpea combo ...

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Honey Cake

Honey Cake

This is an Eastern European cake, dense and sweet and imbued with the rich aroma of honey and almond....

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Honeyed Fig and Mascarpone Puffs

Honeyed Fig and Mascarpone Puffs

These are very light and tasty and filled with a sweet lemony mascarpone cream....

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 Buckwheat and Rye Dog Biscuits

Buckwheat and Rye Dog Biscuits

Why we shouldn't make our own dog biscuits from time to time. These are healthy and my dogs think they are delicious ....

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Blinis

Blinis

These are lovely little Russian pancakes for a special brunch or an elegent meal ....

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Parisian Terrine

Parisian Terrine

This is my ode to Paris in the form of a terrine - so many meals in France begin with a lovely terrine, we should all embrace it from time to time ....

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Elderflower Iced Tea

Elderflower Iced Tea

Continuing the theme of the elderflower-enthusiast.... this is a very light and refreshing cocktail with elderflower and Earl Grey tea ....

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 Mushroom and Feta Calzone

Mushroom and Feta Calzone

Calzone are great picnic food and so easy to make - with any filling you like, this is my favourite ....

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Pesto Bread

Pesto Bread

Pesto Bread is a chewy pull-apart style picnic loaf, great to share ....

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Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse is an easy to make, delicious indulgence that we should all enjoy from time to time.....

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Rose and Elderflower Cocktail

Rose and Elderflower Cocktail

With a little bit of planning ahead this cocktail can grace your next soiree and bring a little sparkle to your glass.....

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Mushroom and Prosciutto Tarts

Mushroom and Prosciutto Tarts

This is a simple little canapé with big flavour....

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Oysters with Champagne Tarragon Butter

Oysters with Champagne Tarragon Butter

Fresh oysters are delicious as they are, but for an extra burst of flavour this is one of my favourites ...

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Salt Caramel Pecan Pies

Salt Caramel Pecan Pies

These are great little tarts made as tiny individual pies, filled with caramel and topped with toffee threads ...

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Raspberry Chambord Jelly Shooters

Raspberry Chambord Jelly Shooters

These are the ideal party dessert – small, delicious and rather pretty ...

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 Christmas Tree Biscuits

Christmas Tree Biscuits

These are pretty little biscuits, decorated however elaborately you like, into Christmas trees ...

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 Raspberry Red Velvet Shortbread

Raspberry Red Velvet Shortbread

The fresh raspberries mean the shortbread is tangy and sweet without being overly buttery...

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Glass Noodle Seafood Soup

Glass Noodle Seafood Soup

Clean and tasty Asian inspired soup made with Vermicelli Glass Noodles - made from mung beans...

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Mango and Pomegranate Sorbet

Mango and Pomegranate Sorbet

Mango and Pomegranate is a great flavour combination - and it looks just so pretty...

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Pandan Cupcakes

Pandan Cupcakes

Part of me loves Pandan cake just for the vivid colour - however the flavour is delicious too. They look fabulous with brightly coloured frosting - very Christmassy and green...

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Granny's Shortbread

Granny's ShortbreadMy Granny made these biscuits every Christmas in staggering quantities, all mixed by hand, all buttery and sweet ... 

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Vegetable and Lentil Pie

Vegetable and Lentil PieGreat for cold wintery nights, this pie can be stuffed with as many veges as you want...

           

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Raspberry Red Velvet Cake

Raspberry Red Velvet CakeThere are some cakes which can only be made for special occasions – this is definitely one of them! Rich, decadent and just a little bit over the top, this is birthday cake with attitude. ...

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Blueberry Velvet Cake

Blueberry Velvet CakeLike it's cousin the Raspberry Red Velvet Cake, this cake has a rich and indulgent flavour that is to be enjoyed on special occasions only! A stripped down, less sweet version of the original recipe with lots of blueberries ...

      

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Rich Hot Cross Buns

Rich Hot Cross BunsThese are rather special, even extra special Hot Cross Buns for Easter. I do love Hot Cross Buns, yet so often they are stodgy, overly doughy and lacking actual flavour. I guarantee these ones are fab.  ...

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Lime Infused Pavlova

Lime Infused PavlovaLimes have a way of bringing tropical exoticism into the kitchen, and when matched with mango – well, you are really in business then! This pavlova does just that. You can use any topping you fancy, however I really do strongly recommend the combo of mango with this lime-infused pavlova base ...

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Chocolate Mousse Cake

Chocolate Mousse CakeThis is a very decadent dessert to be savoured on very special occasions ...  The cake itself is quite dense and flavoursome and benefits from being baked in advance.  It also means you are not stressed out on the day if you are serving this for a special occasion – all you have to do is assemble and make it pretty! ...

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Ferrero Rocher Cake

Ferrero Rocher CakeI am not mad keen on chocolate, but even I go weak at the knees when it comes to Ferrero Rocher – they are indeed the golden jewel of the chocolate world. This cake celebrates them in all their glory and is a rich, creamy affair that I think is well worth making once in a while. The various layers do make it a bit fiddly, however once it has chilled in your fridge and worked its magic it's worth it! ...

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Coconut and Maple Loaf 

Coconut and Maple LoafThe smokey flavour of the maple syrup goes beautifully with the toasted coconut, flavouring the entire cake with a lovely nutty scent. Enjoy this cake warm or cold, it lasts well if kept in the fridge and goes especially well with tropical flavours; grilled mango, passionfruit pulp, crushed berries or cherries ... 

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Mango, Chicken & Pomegranate Salad

Mango, Chicken & Pomegranate SaladPart of me just loves this salad because of the spectacular colour of the ingredients, it is however not all looks here, the flavours are great too. This salad makes a lovely addition to a festive or celebratory meal, like a stained glass window it seems to glow with mystical light. The flavour of the salad is both light and full of depth ...

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Blueberry Pie

Blueberry PieFor when blueberries are in season, or for when a sticky sweet purply treat is the only reasonable thing to make!This recipe is so easy it is almost embarrassing to include here, however it works, it is delicious and is a great way to whip up a special tasty treat if unexpected guests pop in on a Sunday afternoon!

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Apple and Walnut Cake

Apple and Walnut CakeA lovely, semi-sweet treat which is beautiful as a plain cake, or even better when ornamented with toffeed apple skins and roasted walnuts!

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King Prawn Pappardelle

King Prawn PappardelleLuscious wide ribbons of silky pasta and a wonderfully simple accompaniment of King Prawns, tomato and herbs -  wonderfully tasty and even better if you make your own pasta!  The pasta is coated in the flavours of the prawns rather than soaked in sauce, leaving the ribbons of pasta shiny and golden.

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Chillies in Oil

Chillies In OilFor when you need that smoking hot zing that only chillies can offer, or to add that special something to a cheese platter.  The oil preserves the chillies perfectly so you can have a supply permanently on hand, with the added benefit of having a ready resource of scented oil for pasta and other creations.  Use whichever type of chilli you prefer- eye meltingly hot, or mild and peppery.   

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Roast Beetroot Salad

Roast Beetroot SaladBeautiful glistening domes of deep ruby beetroots are irresistible - especially when served with a fresh combination of salad greens, feta cheese and crunchy nuts. The roasting juices make a glossy and piquant dressing with Balsamic vinegar and orange juice.

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Smoked Chicken Risotto

Smoked Chicken RisottoSmoked Chicken Risotto is an absolute favourite. The flavour is intense, yet subtle and the chicken is so tender, soft and juicy that it brings the whole dish together with its smoky goodness. There are many ways of preparing risotto, yet once I tried smoked chicken, the plain chicken variety became obsolete! Add your favourite herbs, dress it up or down, it is a very satisfying dish to share with friends.

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Cooking Essentials - Pantry, Fridge and Spice Rack

Star Spangled SoupWith a selection of essentials in your kitchen it is theoretically possible (no I am not testing it) to go a month or more without going to the supermarket. At the very least, you can make it through the weekend without resorting to fast food mush.

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Star Spangled Soup

Star Spangled SoupI love soup and I make it almost every week in Winter.This was another soup resulting from a fair quantity of a few ingredients left over from another meal coming together to make a tremendously flavoursome and unique tasting soup.

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