Win dinner for two, Recipes, Eateries, The Best Trifle ever, designer burgers and Spice-it-up!

Build your burgers as you like them

Easy mega tasty burger for hungry people!

For the burger:

Place 340g minced beef in a bowl, crack in an egg and mix, forming four patties. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fry in a dry, non-stick pan for 4-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Meanwhile, mix together 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon tomato ketchup and 1 small gherkin, chopped finely. Split a sesame seed bun, smear with the sauce and slide in the burger — along with shredded iceberg lettuce and slices of tomato.

Double the ingredients to make larger burgers!

Cost - too various to suggest but from around £1.60 to £3.00+ each.

Try different flavours and different versions:

 Peppers

 Cheeses

 Spices

 Bacon

 Ham

 Mayonnaise

 Salad

 Smokey Sauces

Add smokey bbq sauce and smoked cheese for a change. Add a little fresh mint on top of the burger.

Substitute pork steak or lamb or slices of roast beef or slices of roast chicken for the burger

Try serving with crispy chunky chips and a runny fried egg on top!

Serve with a glass of ice cold cider for a change.

Afterwards, go for a run round the block or two before you try the 'Proper Trifle' further down!!

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proper trifle - not for the feint hearted

The best English trifle – at least 8 portions or 4 for if you’re hungry & didn’t have the burger!

Prep time cake 20 mins. Cook time cake 60-70 mins

Prep time trifle 20-25 mins + unattended chill times in fridge

Cost around £3.90 inc gas.

For the home-baked sponge cake base, you will need:

 8 oz sugar

 8 oz butter or spread

 3 medium eggs

 Beat all together until smooth (food processor or muscle power!)

 Add 8 oz self-raising flour

 Add 4 desert-spoons milk

 Beat all together until smooth

 Take a (big enough) Pyrex / oven-proof bowl

 Lightly Grease with butter

 Lightly Dust all over inside with flour, shake off excess into sink

 This process stops the mix from sticking when cooked

Baking the cake:

Place the cake in the Pyrex bowl

Place in pre-heated oven at 170 fan for one hour. Don’t open oven door or the cake will sink!

Gently and slowly open oven a few inches and press the top – if it feels properly firm, take it out. If not give it another 10 mins until it does. Don’t be tempted to turn up the oven, that will burn the top but not cook the inside! WATCH YOUR HANDS ON OVEN.

Remove from Pyrex bowl by sliding a thin spatular between the cake and the bowl. Place on a breadboard (if possible) and leave to cool for ½ hour.

Slice the top 1/3rd off the cake and set aside (to scoff separately with some strawberry or apricot Jam!).

Wash and dry the Pyrex bowl for the next stage or find a similar size ‘serving bowl’.

Place the cooled cake back in the bowl

For the trifle you will need:

 Strawberry jelly that makes a pint - use ¾ pint for the trifle (eat the other ¼ pint)

 Tin of mandarin oranges (broken pieces is fine and half the price) remove or drink the juice!

 Tin of good custard (or make your own – it’s not difficult)

 Strawberry Angel delight

 Double cream


 Dissolve the jelly in ½ pint boiling water, then add  ½ pint cold water and pour evenly over the sponge base.

 Spread the mandarins evenly over the top.

 Place in fridge for a couple of hours until jelly is cold throughout.

 When cold add the custard over the top and put back in fridge for ½ hour

 Make the angel delight and spread straight away over the custard before it sets.

 Whisk the double cream (not too stiff or it wont spread) and spread over the angel delight

 You can add chocolate or other ‘sprinkles’ on top if you like – or not.

 Place back in fridge for an hour so it’s nicely chilled before serving

Eat your trifle with a glass of Prosecco, or anything sparkly - Yummmm


You can vary the layers to suit yourself, change the fruit or flavours of jelly and Angel Delight, add 1/2 teacup of sweet sherry (to taste) evenly over the sponge before adding the jelly and use colour to create the dramatic - like the picture - it's all up to you, but it will be scrummy!

For the kitchen

This is a super site with hundreds if not thousands of household products mainly, but not exclusively, around the kitchen. Well worth a look if you want variety and choice.

Another comprehensive kitchen and allied products store with loads of choice an a variety of pricing levels.

spice up your life !

We hope these videos take the mystery out of fragrant and tongue tingling Indian cuisine . . . .

. . . . and make your kitchen and your food smell wonderful. It's not as tricky as you might think!

Lets get started with the basics

An Overview of Indian Spices:

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all of the spices used in Indian Cooking. If I forgot to list a spice that you’d like to know more about, just leave me a comment! Also, these are in alphabetical order, not in the order of what’s used most.

Amchoor Powder (Dried Mango Powder): Amchoor powder is made from unripe green mangoes. It adds a tart and fruity flavour to recipes.

Black Salt (Kala Namak): This pinkish-grey salt has a pungent, sulfurous flavour. It’s a spice that’s often used in chutneys and chaat.

Cardamom: Cardamom is warm, floral and very aromatic. It’s one of my favourite spices to use in sweets and also in savoury dishes.

Cloves: Cloves have a uniquely sweet and warm aroma, making them perfect for both sweet and savoury dishes.

Coriander: Unlike cilantro leaves, coriander seeds are mild in flavour. Even if you’re a cilantro hater, give the seeds a chance. I find that coriander seeds to be sweet and nutty with subtle notes of lemon.

Cumin Seeds: Cumin, a member of the parsley family, and has an earthy and smoky flavour. By first dry roasting the seeds in a cast iron skillet, you can intensify this flavour.

Curry Leaves: Curry leaves are from a plant and they provide dishes with a unique smoky and citrus-like flavour and aroma. You can find fresh curry leaves at most Indian grocery stores, or on Amazon. I typically store extra leaves in a ziplock bag in my freezer and use them as needed.

Curry Powder: Curry powder is a blend of spices that contains coriander, cumin, turmeric, red chilli powder as well as other spices. Curry powder does not contain curry leaves.

Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Kasoori Methi): This is the secret to getting homemade Indian food to taste restaurant quality. Dried fenugreek leaves (also known as kasoori methi) adds complex flavour to any curry or dish. It’s earthy, warm, sweet and bitter. You can find dried fenugreek leaves at any Indian store and also on Amazon.

Fennel Seeds: Fennel seeds are highly aromatic and have a sweet, licorice-like flavour.

Garam Masala vs. Meat Masala: You will see both of these spice blends used in my ebook are not interchangeable. The garam masala that you find in stores is typically a north Indian blend. My homemade meat masala is different in flavour and is primarily used in south Indian cooking.

Kalonji (Nigella Seed): Kalonji, also known as nigella seed or as onion seed, are small, black, triangular shaped seeds that look similar to sesame seeds. They’re nutty, peppery and pungent. They are often used in pickle or chutney recipes and some restaurants will even add kalonji to naan bread.

Kashmiri Chilli Powder vs. Cayenne: Cayenne is a spicy chilli pepper that will add heat to a dish. It ranges from 30k-50k Scoville units. Kashmiri chilli powder on the other hand is very mild and registers at around 2k Scoville units. The reason many recipes call for Kashmiri chilli powder is because it adds a nice red hue to dishes. If you want to substitute a spice for Kashmiri chilli powder then I suggest using paprika.

Mustard Oil: Mustard oil has a horseradish or wasabi-like flavour and is very pungent, so a little goes a long way. Mustard oil is very popular in Indian and South Asian cuisine, however, due to the erucic acid found in this oil, it can only be sold as “massage” oil in the United States. That said, this oil is becoming increasingly more popular, even among American chefs. You can purchase this oil in any Indian grocery store or on Amazon.

Brown/Black Mustard Seeds: Brown/Black mustard seeds are commonly used in Indian cooking and are more intense than yellow mustard seeds. Brown or black mustard seeds are typically first cooked in hot oil, until they begin to pop or splutter. They are pungent, slightly spicy and nutty.

Saffron: Saffron, one of the most expensive spices on the market, requires just a pinch to impart its flavour and beautiful golden colour onto any dish. Soak a couple threads of saffron in a tablespoon or two of warm water or milk before using.

Star Anise: This star-shaped spice has a licorice-like flavour. While star anise and fennel seed are somewhat similar in flavour, I find star anise to be savoury and slightly bitter whereas I consider fennel seed to be more sweet.

Turmeric: Turmeric, one of the most popular Indian spices, has a long history of medicinal use dating back thousands of years. It has has a warm, peppery, bitter flavour and will add a bright yellow colour to any dish.

Now a trditional curry sauce

and finally: an 'authentic' favourite (more next time)

check out 'the skills centre' - in style

The Butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker . . . .

Seen in the Personal Ads section of the local paper:

"My wife and I decided that we don't want to have children any more. So anybody who wants one can give us their address and we will send you one."

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