Saturday, 31 October 2009


The other half has crossed the Tamar for the weekend leaving me and the laptop all alone. It means I can wear tracksuit bottoms all weekend and eat the food he hates.....Here are the top three...

1) Couscous (or mini rice as he calls it. He hates it because it gets every where).
2) Leftover red cabbage with spices (he doesn't like cinnamon and cloves apparently...first I'd heard!)
3) Roast dinners...(I think I'll only fit one of these in as he's only gone for the weekend. I've booked a table at the Victoria Inn. My first visit this year! I'll post photos tomorrow)

Most weekends I'm desperate to lounge in bed but I was surprisingly restless this morning and decided to head into Truro.

If you haven't been there before it's the most lovely city to shop in........

There's lots of small alleyways and streets to wander around.....

I was scouring the charity shops along River Street for vintage cookware. There's quite a few pieces I need but I can't bear the thought of buying new ones which are so stupidly expensive.

But today there was nothing worth buying. I may head to Penzance this week...the charity shops there are amazing. But I did find this vintage bag....£3.99!

I love it! It's so thick it feels like it's been made out of a horses saddle. By the time I got home my toes were freezing...I'm not sure how much longer I can get away with wearing flip flops. I needed something to warm me up....

Thai Green Chicken Soup.....

Thai Green Paste:

1 clove garlic
1 inch fresh ginger chopped
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 tsp shredded galangal
2 pieces lemongrass
2 green chillis
1 small onion
1 handful coriander
1 squeeze fresh line
1 tbsp fish sauce

Put all the ingredients in a mini chopper and process.

Soup Ingredients

Thai chilli paste
1 can coconut milk
1 chicken stock cube
1 handful shredded roast chicken

In a wok put the paste and stir around a bit. Add the coconut milk. Put the stock cube in the tin and add hot water right to the top. Put in the wok with the rest of the ingredients. Add the chicken. Simmer until slightly thicken (about 10 to 15 minutes). Serve with homemade garlic

Thursday, 29 October 2009

My first giveaway!

I'm on a late shift for the next two weeks and am surviving on a diet of crisps and yoghurts so there is very little cooking going on (until tomorrow!)

So I thought I would offer a lovely box of crumbly, creamy fudge from here.

It's made with local butter, milk and cream from Scilly and comes in a lovely box decorated by the artist Tom Holland. If you haven't seen his work before have a look at his website. I dream of having one of his originals!

All you need to do is leave me a comment on this post and I'll pick a random name on Monday x

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Name game...

I'm thinking about changing the name of Cupcakes in Cornwall. I don't think it really represents the blog and I wish I had given it more thought before I chose it.

Has anyone ever changed the name of their blog....any suggestions?

PS here's a nice picture of Scilly from Scillywebcam to look at......

Monday, 26 October 2009

TV Dinner....

( I know this is a tiny picture but it's the only one I can find.)

This evening my mum makes her brief debut on series 4 of An Island Parish. (BBC 2, 730pm). The programme follows her as she starts her online fudge business. My mum is the lovliest, kindest most unlikely to be on TV type of person ever. (In the photo she is the smiley one in a chiropodist's uniform..that's her other job!!)

If you see it let me know what you's worth watching for the scenery!

PS....if you want to try the fudge click here

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Ruling the roast.....

I feel like I should have cooked something with pumpkins by now. They are everywhere in Cornwall. In laybys. In people's windows. On Friday we went to Illogun for a friend's fireworks/halloween party. I think my lungs have just about recovered from the huge amount of fumes from the fireworks. If you live in Illogun, in fact if you live in the Camborne/Redruth area, I apologise for the clouds of green smoke wafting around the area.

It was a lot of fun. Our friend bought everyone a pumpkin and we carved faces in them. I think we should have got a psychiatrist to tell us what our pumpkins say about us. (Mine is the one with the ears.)

Sunday nights are a tricky one for me. Roast dinners have always been as big a part of Sundays on Scilly as the Archers and Desert Island Disks. But the other half doesn't like roasts. I know. Who doesn't like roast dinners? It's like saying you don't like breathing. So every week I have to try and disguise a roast dinner as something else.....
Chorizo and paprika roast chicken...

1 whole chicken
4oz chorizo
1 stick cinnamon
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 pt sherry
(for the gravy)
1 tbsp flour
1 small knob butter
a splash of sherry
1/4 pint chicken stock

Preheat oven to 180'c. Inside the chicken cavity put the cinnamon and chopped chorizo. Sprinkle the paprika over the chicken, pour the sherry in the baking tray and pop in the oven for one and a half hours.
While your waiting make some of Mary Berry's yummy bread sauce....
(You can find the recipe here...

Once the chicken is done, take it out of the oven. Pour the juices into a saucepan. (Make sure you tip the chicken up carefully because some of the juices will be trapped inside. You should be left with a lovely orangey, red sauce from the chorizo. Add the flour and butter and pop on a hob. Whisk until it thickens. Add a splash of sherry and the chicken stock and keep whisking for about 2 minutes.
Serve with some of Delia's red cabbage with apple from here.
We also had watercress with it. (In case you're wondering pudding fans we had apple crumble)

Spring onions.........

Over the last few weeks I've been filling the pages of this blog with autumnal cooking. But this weekend I've had a taste of spring. My sister has been staying after spending the week back at home on Scilly and look what she bought me. The first daffs of the season. If you didn't already know Scilly has it's own micro climate which means we have early daffs as well as ripe juicy strawberries much earlier than our Cornish neighbours less than thirty miles away. And don't the flowers look pretty for a November afternoon?

I've still got armfuls of brown crispy onions happily sitting in the greenhouse waiting to be eaten. They are so patient. Unlike the apples currently holding me to ransom in my kitchen and the summer parsley which is starting to turn brown at the curls as an act of defience for my lack of interest recently.

But I ignored them. Today I had a craving for that sweet, sticky confit you get when slow cooking onions in butter.

Onion and fennel tart.....

8 small onions (although I should have used 10)
2oz butter
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 pkt puff pasry

Preheat the oven t 180'c. Chop up the onions into thin strips. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat and add the onions, vinegar and sugar. Cook slowly for about 30 mins or until a deep brown.

Roll out the pastry on a floured surface. Slice a thin line around the edge (about 1 inch in). (Make sure you don't cut all the way through
Pop into the oven for 10 minutes. (If you want you can brush the edges with beaten egg.) Take out of the oven. Add the seeds into the onion mix and spread over the tart. (As you can see I could have done with more onions.) Pop back into the oven for 10 or 15 minutes until risen. Serve with watercress.

We had treacle pudding and custard after it!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Mmmmmm pie......

One of the things I love most about autumn is that we get to bid farewell to the crunchy, aloofness of the summer salad and chilly reception of a garden pimms. Instead we welcome the warming embrace of a steaming hot chocolate while wearing pyjamas. (I'm a very fickle blogger. Come March I'll be singing the praises of eating a salad while sitting in the garden.)

Fish pie sits well with pyjamas. It's practically married to hot chocolate. All I need now is an open fire and me and my fish pie can spend our lives happily together.....

Fish Pie (serves 4 hungry people)

2 salmon fillets (there's only one and a half in the photo because I added the rest to a curry last night!)
1 fillet of a smoked fish of your choice. (I used salmon again)
1 handful raw prawns
Milk and lots of it
1 bay leaf
2 hard boiled eggs
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 heaped tbsp flour
1oz butter
8oz grated cheese (Cornish yarg is good!)
1lb potatoes

Preheat oven to 180'c. In a baking tray put the prawns, raw salmon, milk, salt and pepper and the bayleaf. Pop in the oven for 15 minutes.

Take the fish and prawns out of the poaching liquid (but keep's liquid gold!). Flake into a baking tray with the smoked fish. Grate the eggs on top of the fish. In a pan melt the butter and whisk in the flour until it becomes a thick paste. Add about 1/2 pint of milk and the poaching juice. Keep whisking until thick. Add most of the cheese and whisk a bit more. Pour over the fish.

Boil the potatoes until soft. Add a splash of milk and mash up with the rest of the cheese. Fork over the top of the fish and bake in an oven for 20 minutes.

(Check out my birthday ovengloves my other half bought me!)

Serve with peas and greens. Check out the steam in the photo.
* After this photo was taken I added ketchup....(it was so good don't judge me)

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Souper drug.....

My mum swears by soup. At any opportunity she grabs her aga pan, chops up as many leeks, potatoes and onions as she can find it and boils them away happily. Before she reads this and takes offence.... I love everything my mum cooks from her juicy roast pork with crispy crackling to her eton mess style lemon lapis. She is what a cook should be. But she likes thicky hearty soups and I can never get past the idea that it is just pureed vegetables. I want a thin consome or a creamy light mushroom soups. For me potato has no place in a soup bowl.

I've been off work sick for the past few days (cough cough splutter splutter). Today I finally braved the kitchen to make something for my lunch and noticed the leftovers of a roast chicken. It seems criminal not to make a chicken stock for the next roast dinner....but then realised I could kill two birds with one stone and have a lovely chicken soup.

Be warned this is a very light, subtle chicken soup only suitable for eating while in pjs watching Loose Women.

PS. I would rather be here.....

Chicken Soup/stock (makes 3 tubs of stock and 1 bowl of soup)

1 leftover chicken
4 carrots
1 parsnip
1 large onion
1 bay leaf
fresh parsley
salf and pepper

Put the bones in a big pan and cover with water. Add all the other ingredients. Simmer for about an hour until the chicken starts coming off the bones.

Sieve into a large container. (That's the stock done.) If you are making soup, pop some in a warm bowl. Take out some chicken from the sieve. Chop up the hot vegetables and add to the soup. Eat.

If you are sticking with the stock pop it in a tub and freeze until you need it. This is why I always keep take away boxes!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Surf 'n' turf....

Autumn is all about pumpkins and squash oranges and the deep browns of the leaves gathered under the shedding trees but today autumn was cornflower blue.

We woke up to a bright blue clouds. Just a sleepy golden sunshine you only ever get in October. After eating scotch pancakes the size of my fist and the leftovers of last night's fat butchers sausages (and after about twenty phone calls to fellow surfers about the conditions) we set off to Chapel Porth near St Agnes.

Just look at that sky....

We bumped into lots of people from work and it seems as if Chapel Porth was the place for locals to go.

While the other half dried off in the car park I went over to the beach cafe and bought us steaming hot chocolates dusted with warm cinnamon.
In the boot sat my shining new spade and fork I was given for my birthday so we headed to the new allotment to dig a border....this might not look like much but it was a lot of hard work!
Next I just have to make a growing plan......I was given Nigel Slater's "Tender" for my birthday and have read it cover to cover...

Friday, 16 October 2009

A whole load of toad...

My sister says you should never look around a place without looking up. So when she comes to visit me in the village she walks with her head up in the air looking at the tops of the houses and shops. And it's like being in a whole other world.

Today I drove into town to meet the other half for some lunch. I tried to park at work but the car park was brimming with cars. So I drove down to the side of the river and parked there. I scuttled into town as I was running late.

But on the way back I had all the time in the world and I looked up....and down...and stopped to look around me. Truro is an amazing city. So much more than a quick visit to the cathedral and a luke warm pasty. I strolled around the shops, wandered through the alleys and generally just enjoyed the autumn sunshine.....

Everything looks pretty...even the road signs..

These mushrooms look like they should be in some kind of fairytale.

But they didn't smell so good....the flies seemed to like them. The autumn sunshine gave me a craving for something hearty and substantial. When I got home the fridge was looking sparse. The leftovers of the last veg box were patiently waiting in a glass bowl....dusty carrots and two corn on the cobs the colour of buttermilk. So I decided to make a roasted carrot toad in the hole....

Toad in the hole....(serves 2: one boy and one girl!)
5 sausages (big, chunky butchers ones)
4 carrots
2oz self raising flour
1 egg
1 extra egg yolk
1/2 pint milk
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200'c. Peel and slice the carrots into batons. Put the carrots and the sausages in a roasting tray and pop in the oven for 20 minutes.
In a bowl put the flour, egg, yolk, milk and seasoning. Mix heartily! Pour into the roasting tin with the sausages and carrots. Roast in the oven for 20 mins of until it gets light and puffy! Serve with buttered sweetcorn.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Fowey again....and beans on toast

The autumn sunshine is still blazing across Cornwall making an October staycation very pleasant indeed.

We went to Fowey again yesterday and took the Bodinnick ferry across the river. After stopping for twiglets to keep us going we walked up the hill past the church and the old school and took a right onto the "Hall Walk". It takes you all the way to Polruan.

There are benches every few steps so you can stop and admire the view.....

Then you turn a corner and this is what you see.....the water was so mirror flat and clear I just wanted to jump right in......

We caught the ferry back and ate beans on toast and steaming hot leek and potato soup. Fowey is fast becomming one of my most favourite places....

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Sunshine Saturday...

There are many things I love about autumn....

1) The trees turning browns and oranges. On Scilly you don't really get autumn, summer ends and winter begins. So I get so excited when you start seeing piles of leaves and acorns on the ground.
2) Bonfire night. I love fireworks. And sparklers. And those fake hotdogs.
3) My birthday (5 days to go!)
4) Empty roads.

Now I'm not complaining about tourists coming to Cornwall because frankly everyday I wake up and realise how lovely it is here. But it is hard driving anywhere quickly in August. So there is something wonderful about a hot and sunny October day where you drive to Fowey with hardly a car on the road....then you whizz straight into town and park in the car park. It was a dream.

We wandered through the streets and went to buy a big clock for our kitchen wall. We strolled along the front where visitors ate ice creams and fish and chips....

The boats were packed with people, laughing about given a sunny day on a plate...look at the photos...does this look like August to you?

Then we bought pasties and sat outside the harbourmaster's office dangling our legs over the water watching the fish.

Perfect day. 10/10.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Fabulous Friday.....

I love it how some people have their own words. Today I opened my car to find these inside....

...with a note saying "To splendiferous friend..." They were from my work mate and general awesome gal about town because the presenter I work with won an award last night.

We had to drive six hours to get it and I thought my heart would explode when they read his name out! So it's been a bit quiet on the blog but I'll be cooking again tomorrow.

I hope you have a splendiferous weekend....I'm on holiday for a week now and can't wait to go here. I can't wait to tell you about it...

Monday, 5 October 2009

Homemade Fudge....

Once upon a time there was a thirteen year old girl who lived on a tiny island with 85 people on it. She watched a film called "Mermaids" and saw someone making fudge. She ignored the storyline and thought it would be fun to make fudge. So she went home and she found her mum's cookery book with the faded yellow pages and she found a family recipe for vanilla fudge...She made it and it was delicious.

But there was too she sold some at the island fete. People loved it and asked for more. She started selling it by the side of the road every summer and it paid for her dance lessons......

A long time went by.....When she came back from University in the summer she didn't need a summer job anymore because the fudge paid for that. She just kept making fudge. Vanilla fudge, clotted cream fudge, chocolate fudge, coffee fudge, rum and raisin fudge, whisky and ginger fudge, cherry get the idea. She made her stall pretty and sometimes people left her notes telling her how much they loved the fudge....

One day a hollywood star stopped and told her he loved the fudge and visited the stall every year.

But the little girl had to get a proper job one day so she left the island and the fudge behind....
But people kept knocking at the door asking for fudge so the little girl's mummy started making it. She made the kitchen bigger and shinier but kept making the fudge one batch and a time and stirred it by hand. She started using local milk, cream and butter so it didn't come from the mainland.

And people still knocked at the the little girl, her sister and their mummy made a website so people can order the fudge online. A TV crew came and follow the mummy for a BBC 2 series.....
You can now buy the fudge here

I would post the recipe but it is a top secret........