Tag: paper

Onion and gruyere tartquiche

My husband and I have been at each other’s throats recently. It happens sometimes and there is usually a period of a few days when we simply cannot exchange a civil word.

I, of course, think it’s because my husband is a fucking arsehole. And he maintains it’s because I’m such a cold, horrible bitch – times a hundred at the moment because I am pregnant and therefore “barely able to tolerate” his presence.

In actual fact, these rocky patches are so short and intense that it feels more like some sort of bad planetary alignment.

But the bad cosmic voodoo is not helped by the fact that we are both irritable shitbags and very good at saying very mean things to each other. Sometimes arguments are like an arms race, us firing the very horriblest things we can at each other, he culminating in something about me being boring and fat and me asking him if it isn’t time he went to see his shrink.

I, of course, think it cannot possibly be me. I am not grumpy, I am just bravely tolerating the horror that is pregnancy. But after a period of quiet reflection, I think maybe I do play a part in these marital breakdowns.

On paper, I probably come across as reasonably chatty. But in real life I often don’t say terribly much – I am conversational in bursts but most of the time, I am quite quiet. And I sulk. And fume.

I live in my head quite a lot, I suppose, whereas my husband lives his life out loud. He could never, for example, have an affair and keep it secret because at some point, while emptying his brain out through his mouth, he would just confess it.

So if I do something annoying he will tell me in plain language what I am doing that is annoying, (coughing, clearing my throat a lot, leaving the car unlocked, interrupting him, blatently glazing over while he is talking etc), whereas if he does something annoying, (leaving me to clear away his cereal bowl, not understanding that giving Kitty her lunch or tea ALSO involves wiping down the bloody highchair), I don’t say a word – I just rage internally about it. And it’s not impossible that this rage, suppressed, translates itself to frostiness and unpleasantness.

Marriage is played out so much in the domestic sphere, especially when you have children, that is it very difficult not to focus and obsess about small matters, like cereal bowls and irritating coughs. I often fail to take my own advice in these situations, which is to think immeditely about the nice things one’s husband does that cancels out the need to wipe down a highchair.

Like how my husband does bathtime, on his own, every night. I’ve always taken this for granted but I am now aware that other men do not do this. Some because they can’t because they work long hours, but some because they just don’t want to deal with the screaming and the bending over and the sweat and the toothbrushing and so they magically manage to walk in the door at 7.20pm every night.

I also never see a bill for anything, I live an entirely paperwork-free life untroubled by insurance, tax, mortgages or credit card statements; someone else looks after the garden; I haven’t taken out the bins or touched a recycling bag for 5 years; I get to give birth in any private London hospital of my choosing.

And there’s me moaning on about the occasional cereal bowl. I think Giles is right. It’s not him: it’s me.

So to make amends I made Giles a tart. Not a tart though, really, in the end – much more of a quiche.

I felt terribly grown-up making this because it felt very French, very accomplished. Like one really ought to know how to talk to the Queen, get out of a sports car and make a quiche.

It was also the first time that I have successfully blind-baked something and I am NO LONGER AFRAID!!

It was an onion and gruyere tart and it was absolutely terrific and I really recommend it – especially if you are racking your brains for good mass-catering buffet lunch solutions as we stare down the festive season like it’s the barrel of a shotgun.

Onion and gruyere quiche
make about 8 picnic-sized pieces

1 23cm flan tin. Ideally with a removeable base but don’t fret if not. Most flan tins are 23cm, but this is reasonably important so if it looks to you at a vague guess like much BIGGER or SMALLER, then you might have to think again
1 packet shortcrust pastry from the excellent and life saving Jus-Roll
3 large onions, sliced as thinly as you can
200ml double cream
3 eggs (I know, rather a lot)
salt and pepper
200g gruyere, grated
50g parmesan, grated
some thyme leaves – maybe 10?
50g butter

Preheat your oven to 180C

1 Cook your onions on your lowest available heat setting with the butter and a large pinch of salt for TWO HOURS. I know this is a long time, but you just put it on the thing and forget about it.

2 Roll out the pastry and lay it in the flan tin. Trim the excess and then line with paper and then baking beads or beans or whatever. You can ALSO use cling film for this. I was worried that it would melt but it doesn’t. Use a triple thickness of film to line the pastry and then pour in the beads.

3 Bake this for 15 mins then take out the paper/film and beads and cook for another ten minutes.

4 Mix together your now gloopy sticky onions with the double cream, beaten eggs, cheeses, pepper, (the onions will already be quite salty), and thyme leaves.

5 Pour into the pastry case and bake for 30 mins.

Really delicious with a winter coleslaw or any kind of cold, sharp salad.


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Bake with Anneliese

Mum Anneliese Giggins learnt how to bake by baking her way through Mary Berry’s Baking Bible on the wonderful blog Rising to the Berry. Keen to continue her love of baking, Anneliese will be sharing a delicious new baking recipe with us each month – bake along and share all your tips, advice and of course pics!

November 2012: Mini key lime and ginger pies 

I came up with this recipe quite by accident. I’d planned to make my husband, Neil, a large key lime pie for his birthday. The pie in question had a ginger pastry, was filled with a luscious lime filling and topped with extravagant Italian meringue. It was obvious that the recipe would take some time and patience to complete; it was hard to ignore my sense of dread! I breathed a sigh of relief when I discovered the filling contained raw eggs. As I am pregnant, I would be unable to eat it and Neil doubted that he could eat the whole thing by himself!

I was left with lots of limes and couldn’t bear to waste them. I decided to make my own quick and easy key lime pie and stick with a ginger theme. Instead of a pastry base which would require chilling and rolling out, I opted for a simple gingernut biscuit base. For the filling, instead of raw eggs, I used just three ingredients; limes, condensed milk and double cream. I decided against decorating with meringue or extra cream – simple is my motto in life!! I think baked goodies always look appealing in miniature form and these mini pies are no exception. It is crucial to use paper cases unless your tin has removable bases – it is very upsetting when you can’t extract your beautiful little pies from the confines of the tin!


Get Anneliese’s mini key lime and ginger pies recipe

This recipe is super quick to whip up, but you must allow at least two hours for the topping to set in the fridge before serving. Although these mini pies may look almost identical to cheesecake in appearance, they will not set as firmly and will remain on the soft side; this is perfectly normal!! They should just hold their shape once the paper case is removed.

I really hope you enjoy these mini key lime and ginger pies. They are perfect to serve to family and friends for dessert. Everyone will assume you spent ages slaving over them. There is no need to correct them!!

Anneliese’s top baking tip

If you bake fairly regularly it is worth paying a little more for your bakeware. Cheap tins can bow in the oven, providing an uneven bake. Investing in a few stronger and heavier tins will make such a difference to your cakes and bakes and they can last you a lifetime.


October 2012: Lemon drizzle cake 

After spending 18 months baking my way through the wonderful recipes from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, I have opened my mind to other possibilities and ideas. Nothing too crazy, you understand! I wanted to begin this blog with a nice, simple, but most importantly, tasty cake. I think most of us start baking with a classic sandwich cake, so I hope this is a good place to take a first step. I’m not sure I know of anyone who doesn’t enjoy a slice of lemon drizzle, so why not make it even more tempting by filling it with a luscious lemon curd and mascarpone filling?!


Get Anneliese’s lemon drizzle cake recipe

For me, a sandwich cake summons up an array of childhood memories. I must have made such a cake for almost every family occasion. It was either a vanilla sponge filled with strawberry jam or a chocolate version filled with a generous helping of rich chocolate butter cream. I never imagined I could venture into different flavour combinations; I stayed well within my comfort zone! 

I really hope you enjoy this recipe and that you feel the urge to give it a try. Good luck! 

Anneliese’s top baking tip

My top tip this month is to read through the whole recipe before making a start. It is so frustrating to get halfway through a recipe only to find that you don’t have all the ingredients in stock or that the dried fruit needs to soak in a brandy bath overnight. I know this from experience!! 


Where to next? 


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?Baked? Beans

“Baked” Beans

by Pam on October 22, 2012

I wanted to make some baked beans for dinner but didn’t have the time to deal with dried beans.  I found this recipe that I adapted on Martha Stewart[1].  I added a little bit of bacon crumbles to the sauce  and used regular mustard instead of dried mustard. I planned on adding some brown sugar but didn’t because they were sweet enough without it. The beans turned out tangy, sweet, and very delicious! My kids both really loved these beans and so did I.

Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Cut the bacon into pieces and place into the pan.  Cook, until crispy, for about 2 minutes on each side; remove from the pan and place onto paper towels to drain.  Crumble.  Add the onion to the pan (add a bit of oil if needed) and cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes.  Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the rinsed & drained cannelloni beans to the onion mixture then season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Add bacon, 1/2 cup of water, ketchup, molasses, and mustard.   Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Serve & enjoy.


“Baked” Beans

Yield: 6

Prep Time: 10 min.

Cook Time: 1-2 hours


2 slices of lean bacon, cooked & crumbled
3 tbsp sweet yellow onion, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 15 oz cans cannelloni beans, drained & rinsed
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup of molasses
1-2 tsp mustard


Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat. Cut the bacon into pieces and place into the pan. Cook, until crispy, for about 2 minutes on each side; remove from the pan and place onto paper towels to drain. Crumble. Add the onion to the pan (add a bit of oil if needed) and cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the rinsed & drained cannelloni beans to the onion mixture then season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Add bacon, 1/2 cup of water, ketchup, molasses, and mustard. Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve & enjoy.

Adapted recipe by For the Love of Cooking.net
Original recipe by Martha Stewart



  1. ^ Martha Stewart (www.marthastewart.com)
  2. ^ Print Recipe (www.gordon-ramsay-recipe.com)

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