Making Croutons – What Bread to Use and How To!

By Victoria Hansen |January 25th, 2015|

Croutons is a culinary term that comes from the French word that is a diminutive for crust, from the Latin root also meaning crust. Croutons refers to small, crisped pieces of bread that were sauteed or baked to remove moisture. Croutons are used as a garnish and sometimes to add seasoning […]

10 Pastry Hints and Tips

By Victoria Hansen |January 18th, 2015|

For best results, keep everything cold. Use cold hands, a cold marble top, pastry board or worktop and water. (To keep my hands cold, I fill a resealable plastic bag with ice and then hold it in my palms for a few seconds when I need to or run them under cold […]

Chestnut Puree -Yum!

By Victoria Hansen |January 11th, 2015|

On the weekend a friend who came to stay bought me a bag of locally grown chestnuts, I decided to roast then purée them.

Peeling chestnuts requires patience; it involves removing both the shell and the bitter-tasting layer of thin brown skin. It is easier, but just […]

History of Pates, Terrines & Galantines

By Victoria Hansen |January 4th, 2015|

Pates have been the staple of French chefs. They provide an opportunity to display the imagination and skill of and ambitious chef. Contrary to many restaurant patrons, pates are delicate, fine, exquisite specialties that require great culinary skill and passion to create. They consist of finely ground livers of: chicken, pigs, ducks, geese, and […]

Ways to Use Up Leftover Christmas Food

By Victoria Hansen |December 28th, 2014|

Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and New Year is looking good.

I'm sure you have tons of leftover food in the fridge so I thought you might like some ideas for using it up. Here's a few of them.

Wishing you a happy and prosperpus New Year. Happy […]

23 Pies Hints and Tips

By Victoria Hansen |December 21st, 2014|

If you don't have a pie bird, insert tubular macaroni into cuts in the top layer of pastry on fruit pies to prevent the filling from overflowing. This also works for lattice tops.
For topping winter pies, such as apple, try using rum flavour for the whipped cream instead of vanilla […]

Making Your Own Christmas Gifts

By Victoria Hansen |December 14th, 2014|

Not only are home made Christmas gifts well received but just about everyone, they will also be remembered long after store bought choices and, they're relatively inexpensive.

This year my sister Tracey and I decided to create lots of small stocking stuffer gifts and have a […]

Muffin History & Trivia

By Victoria Hansen |December 7th, 2014|

The name muffin is given to two types of breadstuffs, one a yeast-leavened item, and the other ”quick” bread raised with baking powder or bicarb soda. In the UK, “muffin” also refers to what is known in much of the English-speaking world as an English muffin. This yeast-raised muffin is the older of the […]

Which Cake Tin – Silicone or Metal?

By Victoria Hansen |November 30th, 2014|

I recently had a question on Facebook today from one of my friends asking me what I think about silicone cake pans, so I thought I'd jot down a few things that come to mind.

Firstly, what I mean by silicone cake pans are those ones that come in various colours […]

22 Soup Hints and Tips

By Victoria Hansen |November 23rd, 2014|

The best soups are made with a base of homemade stock and fresh ingredients. Obviously this can be a time-consuming endeavor. You can reduce your time in the kitchen by using canned or frozen stocks or bouillon bases. Even so, plan on taking your time with a good soup or stew.