Monthly Archives: September 2013

Date and Banana Dessert with Pecans

Date and Banana-0246Living on an island of date palms, and having date palms in our garden, an almost endless supply of these sweet delicious morsels of fruit are available from one season to the next. In its simplest form dates are delicious just as they are, but quite heavenly when paired with different flavours and ingredients such as vanilla, citrus, chocolate, dairy products, nuts and certain spices. This super easy desert with dates and bananas soaked in fresh cream is not overly sweet, but enough to satisfy that sweet craving after a meal.

Nutmeg adds an aromatic sweetness and another dimension of flavour to this dessert and is best when freshly grated. I keep whole nutmeg stored in a special nutmeg mill and freshly grind when required. This desserts is best made two to three hours before serving, the flavours need to develop and the dates soak up some of the cream. The bananas do not discolor during this time, so no need to add any lemon juice. Use bananas that are firm with no brown spots on their skins. Fresh and dried dates can be used for this dessert but choose soft plump dates when buying dried ones. Continue reading

Smoked Mackerel Pâté with Preserved Lemons

smoked mackerel pate-0125

It has been a busy week and this time it had nothing to do with cooking or baking. When you have lived in a home for several years there are inevitable repairs and fresh coats of paint needed. Even though the work was nothing major, the areas in the house being repaired are turned upside down and workmen are in and out of the house all day long. The lingering smell of paint is never very pleasant and I always leave a few large onions peeled and quartered on a tray (in each room painted) overnight, which really helps to remove the smell of paint. Once the repairs and painting have finished (which felt like forever), next comes the cleaning and putting everything back in its place. When everything is so disorganized I like making something quick and easy, to keep in the fridge when hunger strikes… like this delicious smoked mackerel pâté. Continue reading

Waffles on a Grill with Maple Syrup and Blueberries

Waffles-0084-2Waffles and maple syrup were not something I was accustomed to having when growing up, however, skinny pancakes with a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkled with caster sugar were always a treat and Dad was chief pancake maker in our home. There are many variations and flavours of waffle batters, some have different flours mixed together, some with added oil and vegetable shortening, others need the egg white beaten separately and some waffles are made with yeast.

Lighter and crisper on the outside I prefer waffles over pancakes for breakfast. Waffles contain a lot more added fat than pancakes and serving a simple topping like real maple syrup with fresh berries is my preference. Waffles with mascarpone cheese, greek yoghurt, ice cream and chocolate I will keep for desserts. Continue reading

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