surprisingly fruity spaghetti

I thought I might have been able to blog about sailing this week as we had a little trip planned even went so far as arranging a dog sitter. Well it did n’t happen it was too windy for me so I cried off – another time. My highlight in the kitchen over the weekend was fridays supper. It started well with anchovies and olives and a glass of beaujolais.

I had been out all day and wanted something quick, easy and very tasty to cook.

I invented this dish when the fridge was almost bare accept for carrots, garlic, onions….. not wanting to go shopping I came up with this really tasty pasta sauce which we have made twice now and I am sure it will become a regular. And what a healthy dish for supper and it goes down really well with a bottle of Beaujolais as we found out.

My Husband wanted to call it orange pasta ! em and he also thought it had butternut in it?

serves 2 heartily

6 tbls olive oil

5 cloves of Garlic bashed

1 onion

4 carrots grated in a processor

1 stick of celery

6 sun dried tomatoes chopped

1-2 tbls tomato puree / or tinned tomatoes (no need to add water)/ or fresh skins removed

splash of water

dash of chilli any form will do

salt to taste

black pepper if you want (i don’t)

freshly grated parmesan to top

150g spaghetti


fresh basil leaves

toasted pine nuts

Soften garlic and onions in oil in wide pan then add grated carrots cook together for a few minutes till carrots turn a lighter shade of orange. Add sun dried tomatoes

or tin or fresh depending on preference or what you have.

Let bubble away while you cook the spaghetti careful not to reduce too much. take off the heat after a few minutes to rest while spaghetti boils. Strain spaghetti but not for long so some liquid remains tip into sauce and combine.

Serve with plenty of parmesan and a leafy green salad.


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almond and pear cake

another cake cooked in the tiny oven.Image

I’ve just eaten a small piece and it really is delicious – this is another recipe from River Cottage Everyday that i have adapted again I used spelt but white this time dairy free margarine and pears instead of apples because that is what I had in the fruit bowl.

I seem to cook when a bit displaced or have something new to work through. I am thinking about opening a real nice knitting yarn shop. Im a bit scared to admit that I would really like to do this – haven’t a clue how to buy yarn wholesale!! anyone any ideas I would like to stock wool made in wales as well other gorgeous yarns from small producers.

The knitting group got off to a good start with three of us – there should have been five but one had put her back out and the other had come down with something. The cake went down well.

I have made Gooseberry Jam this week. We had 4 kilos of gooseberries Image

from the garden this year.

all topped and tailed by my wonderful husband.Image

all cooked and in jars.Image 

4 kilos of gooseberries and 0 black currants  – mr and mrs blackbird had the lot.


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Knitting group cake made

almond and honey cake

Here is the cake baked in this tiny oven – as you can see it got a little burnt down one edge so if I ever try again to bake a cake in the little oven I must remember to turn it a few times. This is the oven-

I am a little concerned about the knitting group as two out of five have called off due to ailments. So tonight we will be a triangle as long as no one else drops out. Still I’m looking forward to my sticky honey and almond cake. I wonder if this will set a precedent. By the way I used spelt wholemeal flour and dairy free margarine in my version of this cake.

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knitting group cake

tomorrow a knitting group will start at my place there are hopefully five of us.

I am going to bake a cake for this occasion – I was thinking about a honey and almond cake.

almond and honey cake

almond and honey cake made last year



I have turned off the Rayburn because I can’t sleep if the house is too warm in summer and there is the added benefit of saving some money. So I have this tiny electric oven that cooks on a 15minute timer. You can grill from above or heat from beneath or both at the same time. It is so small that I had to go out and buy a smaller loaf tin. The cake will have to be a loaf cake because the oven won’t take a round tin. Making this cake in this little oven will be a challenge, yesterday i made a gooseberry crumble  with a bit too much moisture in the gooseberries and it bubbled up and spilt as it cooked. There was danger of it breaking the element so I had to take the crumble out twice pour some liquid away and clean the spills.

Hope fully the cake will be easier I shall halve the ingredients in the original recipe but twice the ground almonds. just love nutty cakes.

My husband and light of my life is building an oven in the garden – it is about two thirds built now, it really shouldn’t have taken this long but sailing has taken priority over oven building when the weather has been right. I’m really looking forward to experimenting with this oven – it is not just for pizzas – .

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