Recipe: Peach Crostada

Peach Crostada 1a The following recipe is from The Perfect Peach by The Masumoto Family.

* This recipe is of the Crostada but made in the traditional way, not the way written in the directions of the book.

 Items needed:

Baking sheet

Parchment paper

pastry brush

Dough: (prepare 1 day in advance)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

6 TBSP Whole Wheat flour

1 TBSP Sugar

1/2 cup + 1 TBSP Butter, unsalted cold and cubed

1 Lg egg

1 1/2 tsp milk



1/2 cup sugar

3 TBSP all-purpose flour

1.2 tsp cinnamon

6-8 peaches, ripened, peeled and cut into wedges

about 1/4 cup of turbinado  sugar or coarse sanding sugar for edges

1 TBSP Heavy Cream

Directions: (for dough)

  1.  Place flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl or food processor and blend/pulse to mix.
  2. Scatter cubed butter into flour and mix by hand or pulse until resembling coarse sand.
  3. In small bowl, whisk egg and milk together.
  4. Add to flour mixture and mix or pulse until rough dough forms clumps. Do NOT overmix, will become paste and toughen dough. **If dough is extremely wet, can add up to 2 TBSP of all-purpose flour (I had this issue with the recipe and added flour)
  5. Pull together and form into disk about 1″-1 1/2″ thick. Do NOT knead.
  6. Wrap disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1.5-2 hrs or up to one day.


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place flour, sugar, and cinnamon in small bowl and mix together.
  3. Place sliced peaches in medium bowl and sprinkle with flour mixture. Making sure to coat and stir thoroughly without damaging peaches.
  4. Place dough on floured parchment paper, precut to fit baking sheet.
  5. Roll dough into circle about 11″ in diameter and about 1/8″ thickness.
  6. Slide dough disk and parchment paper onto baking sheet.
  7. Using sliced peaches, arrange in single later, going in a circle starting about 1″-1 1/2″ from edge of dough disk.  Continue pattern until you reach the center. **If there is a lot of juices left over, don’t add to peaches, will end up with boil over.
  8. Start at 12′oclock position and begin folding edge of dough over peaches, overlapping dough as you go in circle until completed.
  9. Using pastry brush, brush outer edges of dough with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar (turbinado or coarse variety)
  10. Place in center of oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  **If using baking sheet with no edges, place empty baking sheet on rack beneath to avoid spillage in your oven.
  11. Once cooled for about 20-30 minutes, cut into wedges and serve!


Recipe: Christmas Fudge

153801Here’s the recipe…Christmas Fudge YUM!!

3 cups of white sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
3/4  cup butter
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow fluff
1 (11 oz) package white chocolate chips
Red and green food coloring
Greased 9×13 pan.

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cream and butter.  Heat to between 234-240 degrees.
Stir in marshmallow fluff and white chocolate chips, mix well.
Reserve 2 separate 1/2 cups and set aside.
To one of the reserved 1/2 cups, add red food coloring until you get the color you want.  To the other cup, add the green food coloring.
Pour white mixture into prepared pan.  Pour dots of both red and green mixtures across the top.  Use a toothpick to make swirls throughout the white.
Chill for 2 hours (if you possibly can!)  and cut into 2 inch squares
(Courtsey of

Recipes: Christmas Cocktails

The boy’s drink of choice for the holiday season would be:

Three Wise Men
The Three Wise Men

            • 1/3 oz Jack Daniels
            • 1/3 oz Jim Beam
            • 1/3 oz Johnny Walker


            • Put some ice in a cocktail shaker.
            • Pour the “three wise men” inside the shaker.
            • Shake for about 10 seconds then serve.

The girl’s drink of choice for the holiday season would be:

Candy Cane MartiniThe Candy Cane Martini

            • 1  1/2 oz Vodka
            • 1/2 – 1 tsp Peppermint schnapps
            • 1 oz Club soda
            • Ice
            • Crushed candy canes


            • Put some ice in a cocktail shaker.
            • Pour the vodka, peppermint schnapps and the club soda inside the shaker.
            • Shake the container vigorously, then pour its contents in a martini glass which has been dipped in the crushed candy canes.
            • Serve.



Since it’s Day 4 of Christmas Reads week (and I can’t get enough of Victoria and her books) there’s another giveaway! Just like yesterday it is only going to be up for 24 hours; and who ever wins gets an ebook of Boycotts & Barflies…along with bragging rights! (Sorry no Manolo’s! ;) )


Recipe: Coconut Cake

coconutcakeLemon Curd:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons) (do not use the bottled lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon (4 grams) finely shredded lemon zest (outer yellow skin of lemon)
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small pieces

Coconut Cake Recipe:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups (325 grams) all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups (350 grams) granulated white sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups (420 ml) buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Sophie Morgan’s Ginger Shortbread

imageThis is one of my favourite things to bake (and eat!) and is actually referenced in Diary of a Submissive as such. I am usually quite generous with the ginger, as I enjoy a little bit of fiery bite to my biscuits. You can be less heavy handed (or even remove it completely).

• 125g/4oz butter (at room temperature)
• 55g/2oz caster sugar
• 180g/6oz plain flour (sifted)
• 28g/1oz crystallised ginger, roughly cut into small pieces
• Optional pinch of ground ginger

1.Beat together the butter and sugar until smooth.

2.Stir in the flour to get a smooth paste.

3. Stir in the crystallised ginger, and the pinch of ground ginger if you’re using it.

4.Empty the mixture onto a piece of cling film, and roll it into a fairly fat sausage shape, using the clingfilm to minimise how much you handle the mix – if you touch it too much it’ll end up very short and your biscuits will turn out really crumbly. Wrap it up and chill it in the fridge for half an hour or until very firm. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

5.Unwrap your shortbread sausage and cut 1cm slices out of it, to make around 12-14 round shortbread biscuits. Put them evenly (and with some space between them) on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.

6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a very pale golden brown color is achieved. Transfer from pan to rack and allow to completely cool.

Enjoy with a fabulous cup of tea or coffee!

*Note: You may also sprinkle tops of cookies with additional sugar before baking to add a little sparkle and crunch.

Sophie Morgan’s Simple Roast Chicken Recipe

20121226-225228.jpg Sunday roasts were a big tradition in our house growing up (as was the good natured bickering over who got the chicken leg and who got the chicken breast), and while I can’t quite organise myself to cook one of these every weekend, this does remain a firm favourite. It’s also surprisingly straightforward to cook (and tastes fab).

• A whole medium sized chicken
• A white onion
• A lemon
• Four peeled carrots
• Baking potatoes (I use two large ones per person)
• Vegetable accompaniments – in our house we go for broccoli and carrots usually
• A few table spoons of vegetable oil
• Vegetable stock/gravy granules (depending on preference)

Then for the Yorkshire Puddings – this is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe. The extra egg yolks make for a lovely rich batter.
• 250g plain flour
• 1 level tsp salt
• 4 medium eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
• 300ml milk
• 300ml water
• 2 tbsps olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6.

2. Chop the onion and lemon into quarters, and place in the neck cavity of your chicken.

3. Take a good sized roasting tin and put the four peeled carrots in the bottom of it. Place your chicken on top of the carrots, so they can act as a trivet for the meat to cook evenly. Season your chicken if you so desire.

4. Put the chicken in the oven to cook for around an hour – preferably in the centre of the oven. On the top shelf put the tray you’re going to cook your potatoes in, with a generous glug of vegetable oil – enough to coat the bottom of the pan.

5. Meanwhile, peel your potatoes and cut them into 3 inch-ish chunks. Put them in a pan of boiling salted water and let them cook for 10-15 minutes. They’ll be ready to take out when you can prod one with a fork and it ‘gives’ a bit.

6. Drain your potatoes. Don’t hesitate to throw them about a bit as you do so – the rougher edges will make for crispy potato when you roast them. Once you’ve drained off the excess water, take the tray of (by now hopefully hot) oil out of the oven and put your potatoes in ready for roasting. Make sure to coat all sides of each potato with the hot oil, either by turning the spuds or using a spoon to drizzle the oil over them all. Pop them back in the oven with the chicken.


7. Next up is preparing the batter for your Yorkshire puddings (our version of what I believe you American folk call popovers), an essential part of any Sunday roast. Put the flour and salt into a large basin and (as energetically as possible – the air helps) beat in the eggs and yolks. Once it’s thoroughly mixed together whisk in the combined milk and water, a little at a time until you have a smooth batter (you can use a hand blender if you’d rather). Once you’ve made the batter put it in a jug and leave it in the fridge to chill until you need it (you’ll need to give it another quick stir before you do so).

8.Now prep your accompanying vegetables ready for cooking. We’re a bit boring in my house so mostly this means chopping carrots and broccoli florets into little pieces ready to boil for 10 minutes or so at the end. Put a stock cube in the water to add to the flavour.

9. Assuming I don’t have my boyfriend helping prep the veg, by the time I’ve chopped everything I’m usually ready to get the chicken out of the oven and rest it. You’ll know it’s ready when it’s looking golden brown and cooked through – you can check this by sticking a skewer into the breast at the thickest part – if the juices run clear (and there’s no blood!) then you’re all good.

10. Whack the temperature up on the oven to 220C (425F or gas mark 7), move your potatoes down (or take them out if they’re crispy enough for you – I always like mine as crunchy as possible) and put a tray in the top for your Yorkshire pudding. Put a few tablespoons of oil in the bottom of another roasting tin and leave it for at least five minutes in the hot oven.

11. Switch your vegetables on to cook.

12. Once the oil in your pan is sizzling pour the batter in and close the oven door. The Yorkshire pudding will take around 15 minutes to cook – don’t be tempted to open the oven door to see how it’s doing until near the end of that time or the blast of cool air will see it sink. Sad times. You want it puffed up and fluffy-looking so you can cut off nice slices of it to go with the dinner (for me, mini ones made in muffin tins just aren’t as fun).

13. Meanwhile, turn your attention to carving the chicken.

14. Then, take out your potatoes / Yorkshire pudding / veg. Use some of the lemony/oniony/carroty meat juice from the bottom of the pan you cooked your chicken in and make a simple gravy. I’m quite lazy so I use the meat juices (having squeezed the lemon quarters to make sure it’s got real tang to it), some of the water drained from the vegetables and add some extra gravy granules to thicken it.

15. Dish up and enjoy. Get someone else to do the washing up.

Recipe: The Ultimate Chocolate Brownie Recipe

After reading Meant to Be, I was craving brownies because Marienne, the heroine in the book, loves to bake and bakes a lot!

Today, the author, Karen Stivali, was tweeting about making brownies.  Since she couldn’t send me any, she was nice enough to share her personal brownie recipe.  (Of course, I always think food tastes better when it’s made by someone else.)


If you like extra-chocolaty brownies with just the right mix of chewy edges, ooey-gooey middles, and a thin flaky top layer, then look no further, you’ve found the Ultimate Brownie Recipe. So easy you’ll never go back to a mix. Seriously. I’ve actually never made brownies from a mix, but friends who’ve asked for this recipe very often tell me they’ll never make mix brownies again. Whip up a batch and let me know what you think!

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (I use Baker’s unsweetened)
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract (go a little over rather than a little under)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I use Gold Medal)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I use Nestle’s)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly butter a 9×13 inch metal baking pan. (Note: If you only have a glass pan that will work too, but lower the oven temp to 325 degrees.)

Place butter and chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for two minutes. Stir butter/chocolate mixture until all the chocolate is completely melted. (Note: If you don’t have a microwave you can do this in a pot on top of the stove, just make sure to do it over low enough heat that you don’t brown/scald the butter.)

When all the chocolate is melted, stir in 2 cups of sugar. Mix until completely blended.

Add three eggs and the hearty teaspoon of vanilla. Stir until completely blended.

Stir in 1 cup of flour.

Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Spread evenly in buttered pan.

Place pan on the center rack of the oven and bake for 33 minutes.

Remove brownies from the oven and insert a toothpick in the center to test them. If the toothpick still has wet batter on it, put them back in for a minute or two. If it has fudgy crumbs stuck to it or comes out clean, you’re done. (You’re aiming for fudgy crumbs, but honestly it depends what you hit when you stick the toothpick in—if it looks like you stabbed a chocolate chip and the toothpick has melted chocolate on it, take a fresh toothpick and try again.) DO NOT OVERBAKE THESE BROWNIES—a few extra minutes in the oven will turn them from a delightfully soft chewy/gooey treat into chocolate flavored bricks. Better underdone than overdone.

Let the pan cool on a rack for at least an hour or so (if you can wait a few hours that’s even better).

Once the pan is completely cool you can cut the brownies into squares (or rectangles, or whatever other shapes you please). Use a very sharp knife, or a pizza cutter, or a sharp-edged spatula. Store any brownies you’re not planning on eating immediately in an airtight container or cover tightly with plastic wrap. Air is not their friend and they will dry up if left uncovered.

Individually wrapped brownies travel well and are great for bake sales, packed lunches, or kept in a purse or briefcase for potentially stressful moments.

For an extra-special treat these can be topped with a swirl of your favorite chocolate frosting and a pretty M&M, but really, they don’t need it.

They’re pretty tasty under ice cream and hot fudge as well.

Whatever you choose to do with them, enjoy!

For more of Karen’s (Marienne’s) recipes, be sure to check out the link on her site.

The Gretchen Lowell


3 oz of Tomato Juice
1 1/2 oz of Vodka preferably Grey Goose or Belvedere
Splash of Guinness draught optional helps build the blood.
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Lime Juice
1 dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 dash Celery Salt
1 dash Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 to 4 shakes of Tobasco sauce or more
1 dash sugar Yes Sugar

Mix ingredient together then pour over ice in a High Ball glass.

Garnish with celery, lemon and lime wedges. Skewer Cocktail shrimp and blue cheese pieces. Enjoy

You can substitute tequila for vodka. But garnish with avocado instead of blue cheese.

Recipe: Enchiladas from S.C. Stephens

Okay, I have to admit…I’m a terrible cook, and I don’t like doing it, lol. But my mom was great at it, and this is her enchilada recipe that I absolutely love (and it’s super easy):

• 1 dozen corn tortillas
• 1 onion, chopped fine
• 2 cans chili con carne, no beans
• 1 can black olives, chopped
• Shredded cheese

1. Grease skillet and place tortilla in pan.
2. Turn until pliable then remove to dish.
3. Sprinkle with cheese, onions, and olives, then roll up and place in 8×12 baking dish.
4. After all tortillas are stuffed, heat chili and pour over the top.
5. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, onions and olives.

6. Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.