Eggless Welsh Cakes

The first Easter following our move to England happened to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. This only meant one thing to us – extra holidays! So we set off on a camping trip to Wales where we encountered these yummy things called Welsh cakes. We also encountered some other interesting things like the guy who was into dressing up like Elvis and going to gatherings with other “Elvises” but that’s a story for another day.

What are “Welsh cakes” ? Really, they are a pancake more than a cake – made with flour, raisins/sultanas, spices such as cinnamon, butter,eggs and sugar. There isn’t really any baking time involved as you cook them on the stove in a fry pan. They are a lovely accompaniment to tea and go with any sort of fruit jam/preserve.

Do give it a go as it is incredibly easy to make and takes barely any time to put together. In addition, you can make it gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and sugar-free if you’d like.

The inside of a Welsh cake

The inside of a Welsh cake

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Layered chocolate and cherry wine cake : My most decadent cake yet

I have made this cake twice – once as a wedding present for a dear friend and once for my huband’s birthday – both in 2013, both decadent as anything and both having gone down an absolute treat with their respective recepients.

Weddings and wedding presents – always a tricky one for me. There are those people that tell me what they want and make my life easy. And then there are others who I care about, but I have no clue as to how my miniscule contribution could make a difference to there generally well set up lives. It is in the latter situation that I usually opt for cooking (usually baking) something for them so that they can remember the taste of it (and perhaps its maker) for many years to come.

I’m not a huge chocolate eater myself but I knew my friend was and I know my husband definitely is. It is his weakness and I often joke that he’d be easily kidnapped if someone dangled dark chocolate on a stick in front of his eyes. So, for me, this cake was a challenge on many levels – coming up with the right texture, appearance and taste for the occasion were very important. So I set about surfing the internet for inspiration and ideas and came across this lovely recipe by Lindsay & Taylor and I decided to give it my own twist.

Hope you like it and will give it a go.

Manasa

Triple-layer chocolate cherry cake with dinosaur

Triple-layer chocolate cherry cake with dinosaur

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Grilled olives with chilli and lemon

This recipe is one I got from one of my favourite Italian food websites Silvia’s Cucina…I served it at my Italian-themed dinner and it was a big hit. My guest had great fun trying to ‘fish’ an olive out of the bowl with a grissini. Many hilarious attempts involving the snapping of the grissini into halves, thirds, and quarters ensued. When one of us managed to ‘catch’ an olive, it was celebrated with cheers and claps and a sip of spumante. Thanks Silvia!

Appertivo : Grilled olives

Appertivo : Grilled olives with grissini

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Purple sprouting broccoli for breakfast

A few months ago, just when the season was right for it,  a dear friend brought me some purple sprouting broccoli fresh from her garden. It just also happened to be the weekend  and I was missing my Melbournian weekend brunches, as I often do in this small English town.

To pay for breakfast or brunch here is folly as the food is disappointing 9.5 times out of 10. So, I decided to make some myself using this lovely sprouting broccoli. A bit of google-ing and I settled on grilled purple sprouting broccoli and hollandaise sauce on a bed of sourdough and poached eggs.

Why do I post it now ? I was doing an audit of my food pictures folder and realised that I have so many things I need to write about and today, I just felt like writing about this one as it was so delicious. I’m sorry, I don’t have too many pictures of the process and next time I make this dish, I’ll be sure to take some.

Purple sprouting broccoli with hollandaise sauce over poached eggs and sourdough

Purple sprouting broccoli with hollandaise sauce over poached eggs and sourdough

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Tiramisu alle fragole or Tiramisu with strawberries

I have been on holiday for a whole week as a re-energiser before starting my new job. Thus, I’ve spent most of the week doing what I like best – cooking. Earlier in the week, I cooked a festive South Indian meal for some friends of ours which is still being consumed 4 days on and last night, we hosted an Italian-food themed board games night with some other friends. While I had most of the menu sorted, I was umm-ing and ah-ing on the “dolce” or dessert course.

Given my enormous free time this week, I browsing through the travel section in the local library and I chanced upon a book called “Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons : Travels in Sicily on a Vespa” by Matthew Fort. This book’s contents are pretty much as the title claims – It contains several mouth-watering (and sometimes weird) Sicilian recipes, while giving the reader a feel for Sicilian people, life and customs as the writer explores this island on his Vespa scooter.

The one thing that really irks me about this book is the unecessary overuse of flowery language to describe things that can be done equally well with more accessible vocabulary. Despite that, I’m persisting with the book and it was in one of its pages that I came across a lovely recipe for strawberry tiramisu.

I have posted two previous tiramisu recipes – one regular and one with raspberries. However, back in the day, I didn’t actually have any pictures of this delicious Italian treat.

Inspired by this verbose but informative book, and my Italian-themed games night, I present to you – Tiramisu alle fragole with pictures.

It was so good that my guests were fighting over it !

 

Tiramisu with strawberries - Just hanging onto the edge of the bowl...

Tiramisu with strawberries – Just hanging onto the edge of the bowl…

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Welcome to Miceinmybelly.com…We have moved!

Dear readers,

Canwehavesomerasam has been a fantastic platform to share my recipes and adventures with food. It was my husband that encouraged me to start blogging in December 2011 and two and a half years on, I have a modest, yet highly encouraging and supportive readership. Thank you so much!

More recently, my husband and I have been talking about making this blog a joint project which brought us to the decision to host the website ourselves and customise it to our heart’s content. Two months of work, mostly by my husband in setting up the website, and me backseat-driving the customisation, we present to you….

miceinmybelly.com

 

mice-in-my-belly-screenshot-2

Mice in my belly front page

 

What’s with the name ?

“Mice in my belly” is the English translation of a Hindi idiom that says “mice are running in my belly” (पेट में चूहे दौड़ना) and means that one is very hungry. We hope that looking at our new website would make our readers really hungry and that the name would be catchy enough for people to remember once they’d heard it. Catchier than canwehavesomerasam.com at least !

 

MIMB_Header_23

 

So, what’s new ?

Pictures – lots of pictures. We wanted the new website to highlight the food I make and what better way to do this than diplaying pictures more obviously than the text itself. Hope you like the new style. Miceinmybelly.com has all the same content as canwehavesomerasam but with recipes sorted into categories such as cuisine, diet, mealtimes and taste. We also have a “Beyond Food” menu with posts on travel, ingredients that I use in my food, tips, techniques and. There is a little more information about me, the blog and those who inspire me to keep blogging in the about section.

 

Mice in my belly -> Recipes -> By cuisine

Mice in my belly -> Recipes -> By cuisine

 

How can you follow us ?

We tried to make it simple and easy for you to be able to follow miceinmybelly.com. Click the “Follow” button in the bottom right corner of any page on miceinmybelly.com and enter your email address in the box provided. Once you are signed up, you will get an email assking you to confirm your subscription. Following this, you will get an email once a week if I have updated the blog. If I haven’t updated my blog, then we won’t bother you with emails.

How to follow us (blue box in the bottom right corner)

How to follow us (blue box in the bottom right corner)

 

How will we transition over to the new site ?

Anything I post in the coming month (June 2014) will be on both websites. However, come July 2014, I will only update  miceinmybelly.com. All the recipes that are currently on canwehavesomerasam.wordpress.com will continue to be there as I will not take the website down.

 

Contact us

My emailing us your comments, suggestions, complaints at miceinmybelly@gmail.com. Alternatively, you can comment on each post on the blog.

 

Thankyou and we hope that you will move with us,

 

Manasa

 

 

Turkish cornbread (Misir Ekmegi)

I have a Turkish colleague and a few weeks ago, she was relishing some cornbread that her mother had made for her and couldn’t stop raving about it. As is my reaction in these situations, I set out to make some for myself.

Upon surveying the internet for some recipes, I came across one at Binnur’s Turkish Cookbook which looked simple enough  and so I decided to give it a go. Of course, I added a few of my own touches like fresh chives and chilli flakes to flavour the bread and really loved the end result. It was soft yet had a crunch to it, and tasted good warm and cold. Slather some butter on it or eat it with a dip or chutney. It’s absolutely delicious and what’s even better is that it is a one-pot dish and preparation time is less than 15 minutes !

I did go back to my Turkish friend and give her some of my cornbread to try. She liked the taste of it but said it was quite different to her mum’s. She said her mum’s version was made of  only cornmeal, corn oil and salt as corn grew abundantly in the region of Turkey where she came from. However, she did also say that in regions where wheat was available, people did add standard flour to the cornbread and so my recipe was also genuinely Turkish. Woo hoo!

Yellow corn meal
Yellow corn meal

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