I am manic for recipes right now.

I am looking up how to make common things from scratch (mayo, ranch dressing…) and it has made me realise I have a fair number of favourite things to make I have learned over the years. My mom is a fabulous cook and gave me the skills to find my way around most kitchens and recipes, good enough it has been a skill I have traded for room and board while travelling with Denis. Today I will share two I have added to my personal collection since we started travelling, family recipes I will share another day.

I made this first recipe in Scotland while volunteering for a couple in a little village steeped in history called Balquhidder. It was January and it was cold and wet so most of my time was spent in the kitchen trying to beat the winter blues with good things to eat. Our host had a fabulous selection of hand written and cut out recipes and this one caught my eye, it was fabulous, better than I dreamed. It will be a go to for us whenever we feel a cold coming on or we just want some comfort with a kick.

Roasted Garlic Soup with Parmesan Cheese

(no idea where it came from)

26 unpeeled garlic cloves

2 tbsp olive oil sprinkled over the garlic then season with salt and pepper.

Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 45 minutes until tender.

In a pot

2 tbsp butter

2 1/4 cups sliced onions

1 1/2 tsp thyme chopped

cook above until onions translucent, add roasted garlic (peeled)

18 raw garlic peeled

add to pot and cook 3 minutes

3 1/2 cups of chicken stock

add to pot and cook 20-30 minutes

puree soup

add 1/2 cup cream

Place grated parmesan in the bottom of each serving bowl and spoon over soup. Add a lemon wedge if desired. Good without the cheese as well. It is a surprising soup that will have you going back for seconds.

A decadent dessert that I discovered here in France while searching for flourless recipes will be an often repeated treat when something sinfully rich is called for. It is not sweet as I modified the recipe quite a bit in that regard but when you just want something full of flavour with a satisfying texture this chocolate treat can’t miss.

Chocolate Dream

4 large eggs

1 cup unsweetened cacao powder

1/2 cup of maple syrup

heaping 1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla

Mix it all in a bowl until very smooth. Place in a 8 inch round pan that is covered in wax paper. Back at 350ºF for 30 minutes. The centre will look uncooked. Cool overnight in the fridge if you can. Serve with raspberries, fresh currants or other favourite fruit and dust lightly with icing sugar.

There are so many more recipes that I enjoy and I think every so often I will share some. Nothing like a tried and tested recipe. I am a fan of simple prep and common ingredients though for something special I make exceptions.

Homemade is best, yes?


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