Meyer Lemon Tart

Meyer lemons, more orange than yellow in colour. Hallowed in the lemon world - or so I am told by those more in the know than I (which would be just about everybody). Lemon tart - using puff pastry pie crust...I overfilled it and it spilled out whilst baking. Have yet to taste not sure about this took 25 mins longer to cook than the recipe stated...

Hazlenut Brown Butter Cake

Delicious... I will definitely make this again. It's not your regular kind of cake batter. It's meringue, crushed hazlenuts, a little bit of flour, browned butter...and I love it. As you can see, the cake didn't last very long - not even long enough for a photo of it in all its resplendent wholeness.

Arroz con Leche (Spanish Rice Pudding)

Recipe from a Spanish website. I don't speak Spanish, unless you count Spanglish and some Rosetta Stone. I used an English translation (cheated, basically). I didn't think this recipe would work, especially when I had to add egg yolks to the hot milky rice and they appeared to cook...looking a bit like egg fried rice gone very wrong -- see picture 1. However, after persevering with it and stirring for what seemed like eternity (15 mins), it all turned out well. G (Spanish) gave me a "muy bien, felicidades" which to me is the equivalent of winning Master Chef.

Cornish Hen

The recipe said to season them with salt and pepper...I added some garlic and honey. I should have covered them with foil from the start of roasting as they looked burnt when they came out, though in fact they were cooked just right. My little helper (whose primary purpose is to add seasoning, otherwise known as cat hair): The "bunchy" kind of spinach, rather than the leaves - better flavour albeit ridden with invisible soil bits... I know what you're thinking: the hen looks like a roasted frog.

Manhattan - Aqua Grill

6 different types of oyster...delicious crevettes... If you like the above, visit Aqua Grill in Manhattan. We chose to sit at the bar, close to the chaps shucking the oysters...and had a great lunch there.

Dinner Guest

Meet Miau. Unlike other felines in the household, this one has good table manners and apparently likes to sit at the table. Freak.
Winston Churchill (if I remember correctly, though it could be Ernest Hemingway) would not start eating his meal until his cat was seated across from him in his own dining chair. I am not that bad; besides Miau usually doesn't wait for anyone else before she commences stuffing her face.

Lemon Meringue Pie

This was the first time I made LMP since I was 15yrs old and burnt my arm with one of those spring loaded pie tins. Ok not spring loaded...the ones where the base pops out....I have a minor panic attack memory state thing whenever I see one of those tins...because of the burns but also the bollocking from Mrs Comber for not using a baking tray -- not sure which was worse. Happy to report this time there were no injuries of any kind - unless you count the wound to my ego when the meringue went flat and overspilled because of too much lemon filling. For obvious reasons I photographed the "good side" ha. I liked the pie, though G found it too sweet.

Apple Crumble and Beef Wellington

Disclaimer - I didn't make the beef wellington, Balducci's did - and I admitted it (finally). Good for me frankly, as G thought the beef was completely flavourless. Note to self, this is why passing off a storebought dish as your own can backfire. No photos of the crumble...I have lost them. Besides I am really only posting these pics above to show off that I peeled that apple in one go, and that I like our kitchen tap.
The apple crumble - finally found the answer to a crunchier topping. My last few crumbles have been too sandy. This time I added granola (just the oats) and a little more dark brown sugar than before. Whilst not perfect, it did the trick (temporarily satisfied G who is in search of the perfect topping).

Raspberry and Poached Pear Pie

I am obsessed with my kitchenaid.
This was a really simple pie to make. Puff pastry (readymade) crust, custard and fresh raspberry filling topped with poached pears. It couldn't have looked more homemade when it came out of the oven, not helped I'm sure by my "checking the middle was cooked enough" through shaking the baking tray wildly with my eyes closed. There must be an easier way of checking something is cooked enough without having to kneel in front of the oven, receiving an involuntary hot steam facial, the ensuing watering and stinging eyes, all the while praying my arms do not meld to the oven racks.

The most disappointing Pork Ragu ever...

Hugely started off so promisingly too! My mistake was buying pork loin because they didn't have any pork shoulder. I think they key would have been the flavour that the bone would have added. As it was, although it looked okay, the flavours were underwhelming and reminded me why I am not a fan of meat cooked in this much tomato-based sauce...

Turron Macarons

Turron - a Spanish nougat-y paste... To die for. Eaten at Christmas usually - comes in all shapes and forms...soft, hard, crunchy etc. My favourite is the hard turron with almond pieces in it. Again - to die for...beware if you have fillings! In this recipe, the buttercream filling (optional depending on whether or not you want to make a proper macaron sandwich) calls for turron paste - but living in DC where Spanish baking ingredients are almost nonexistent, I used almond paste. I made my first batch of macarons way too fat - in width. Rather than being just larger than bite-sized, they were the size of a tomato slice. Oh dear. However, if you love chewy meringue as much as me, then this is purely a bonus. Second try, the macarons were much better in size. They are so simple and fast to make. The key - almond flour, and you must pipe the "batter" rather than spooning it onto the silpat or parchment paper. Spooning it means the macarons come out peaked and more like the coconut macaroon shape (not to be confused with these macarons). The filling is almond buttercream - easy to make and lasts at least a week in the fridge. Second attempt - better in size First attempt - the photo doesn't reflect it well but they were massive...and this picture was taken in natural daylight whereas the one above was taken in the evening without flash. These ones had almonds sprinkled on top.

Pancetta, Gorgonzola and Spinach on polenta "pizzas"

From a NYT recipe...turned out really well. Very tasty and super simple to make. It took a total of 10 mins from prep to table. Lack of time, so I cheated and bought readymade polenta... I used a newly discovered spinach from Wholefoods...not the flat leaved, packaged (or loose) kind which is found everywhere - and until now the only kind I've seen... This kind is in bunches, with roots (and a lot of soil) still attached. The flavour is far superior to the regular spinach leaves mentioned above - and maybe this only afflicts me, but this kind doesn't leave that weird coating on my teeth. A word of caution though, it is jampacked with tiny bits of apparently invisible soil. Despite rinsing the spinach numerous times, there was still enough remaining that it was a problem...!

Apple Charlotte

Apple Charlotte. One day when I find the photos of the finished charlotte pudding, I will post them. I really only wanted to show the charlotte pan because it cost me so much more than a baking utensil ever should. Pffft.

Stuffed red peppers

I hadn't made these since 20 years ago... They looked pretty but the tomato-based sauce was too bland. Better luck next time.