Pumpkin spice latte season

As pumpkin spice latte season approaches and I continue to avoid Starbucks I thought it was time to get on with making my own coffee.

I followed the following recipe from foodnetwork.com but it basically comes down to the following:

1 or 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree (can from Waitrose)
1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar
1 cups soy milk
1/2 tea spoon vanilla extract

mix them all up and heat them by either steaming with a frother or in the microwave.

Add a shot or two of espresso.


Homemade pumpkin spice latte. It only takes two tablespoons of pumpkins so freezing the rest. #coffee

A photo posted by Joanna Booth (@stillawake17) on


White chocolate syrup recipe for coffee

I no longer need Starbucks (or a boyfriend), I have white chocolate syrup and it is better than good. I used this recipe from food.com but didn’t have some of the original ingredients so substituted.

Here’s my version:

1 (150 ml) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 can water
1/2 can cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon instant decaf nescafe
100g white chocolate


I added all the ingredients in together and then stirred until they reached a simmer then kept it like that for a couple of minutes and then took off the heat.

I’ve been whisking every few minutes to keep chocolate together. To finish up “pour into bottles and refrigerate. You may need to let it get to room temp at the end of the bottle.”


Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/white-chocolate-mocha-syrup-recipe-376916?oc=linkback

Scones recipe

Here’s my tribute to the Great British Bake Off which is back on the telly, my attempt at Mary Berry’s scones recipe.

These are the ingredients you will need:

450g (1lb) self-raising flour
2 rounded tsp baking powder
75g (3oz) butter
50g (2oz) caster sugar
2 large eggs
about 225ml (8fl oz) milk
To serve
raspberry jam
clotted cream or double cream, whipped
Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7. Lightly grease two baking-sheets.

For the instructions visit the website so I don’t infringe any copyright by just taking Mary Berry’s work. Briefly:

It doesn’t take much – rub the butter into the flour; mix in the sugar; top up the two eggs with milk until you get to 300ml and then mix.

Roll out on to a floured surface and cut with a round shape. Push round cutter in and then pull out, don’t twist.

Bake for 10-15 minutes.



Blueberry and ricotta pancakes

With leftover ricotta in the fridge and an abundance of blueberries – three punnets bought at 40p each and one arriving with the veg box – I felt inspired this morning to find out whether blueberry and ricotta pancakes are a thing.

They are. They are very tasty so here is the recipe:

1 cup of self-raising flour
A pinch of salt
1 egg
1 cup of milk
2 table spoons of ricotta
half a cup of blueberries
butter for the frying pan

Add the flour and salt to a bowl. Make a well and add the egg and milk and ricotta. Whisk until well combined. Add the blueberries and mix. Our blueberries were huge so I cut them in half.

Dollop the mixture into the frying pan and fry the pancakes until bubbles appear on the one side. Flip over.

I drizzled with maple syrup and my daughter loved them.

Tip from the Homemade Mama: add two teaspoons of corn flour into the mixture for fluffy pancakes.

Blueberry and ricotta pancakes

Mersina enjoying her blueberry and ricotta pancakes

Nectarine & almond cupcakes with basil syrup

This post is about my very brief but tasty adventure pursuing a new recipe by Genevieve Taylor. I became determined to make the peach almond cake with lavender syrup as soon as I saw the recipe.

“I will make this recipe today,” I foolishly proclaimed in a tweet but then struggled to find lavender. Well, I didn’t struggle to find it, admittedly, there was some on the corner of Cumberland Rd but I felt too guilty cutting bits off of someone else’s plant.

I bought the ingredients straight away but I couldn’t really get going without the flowery one so I wondered whether to just skip the syrup.

After sleeping on it for a few days I ingeniously decided that since I had lots of basil growing around the flat (about six plants at last count) why not just use that? Brilliant!

I also had bought nectarines that day as I don’t actually like peaches which explains part of the name.

Oh and the cupcake rather than cake part? Well when it came time to pour the mixture into the already prepared cake tin, I couldn’t find it. The muffin / cupcake tin was right in front though as were the muffin little paper things so voila!

The recipe is available on Genevieve’s site and the cupcakes turned out delicious.

Pancakes, in Bristol

Today’s inspiration for pancakes came from the Bristol Wine and Food Festival. Two stalls down from Jimmy’s Food and across from some organic chocolate was Clark’s Foods selling maple syrup. I had bought some from them last year and the idea of it stayed with me. Where to get pancakes though?

On Sunday, the Bordeaux Quay Brasserie serves butter milk pancakes with poached summer berries, crème fraîche & maple syrup for £6.00. The pancakes are superb and fluffy but I didn’t fancy going on my own.

I had pancakes at the Arnolfini last summer and while their mint tea is almost authentic in its mint suffused presentation, their pancakes were rubbery and flat. The strawberries and cream topping was nice but I wasn’t willing to try again.

I wasn’t sure whether the Clifton Lido breakfast menu included pancakes and luckily I didn’t venture as it doesn’t appear to do so.

The Boston Tea Party, on Park St, serves Belgian Waffles with all manner of toppings but no pancakes on the menu. The Glassboat has been doing a lazy Sunday Brunch menu but it’s a lovely place designed for lingering meals with company.

I decided that I wasn’t meant to eat out so instead I would cook at home. I bought some milk from Sainsburys for 45p and headed back. Pancakes don’t require many ingredients and I already had flour and eggs. I double checked my recipe against the one on the dedicated pancakesite and the rest was quite easy.

100g (4oz) plain flour
1 egg
300ml (1/2 pint) milk
optional pinch salt

sugar and lemon juice to serve
oil for frying

1. Add the flour and salt to a bowl and make a well in the middle.
2. Add the egg and slowly stir in with the flour.
3. Add the milk slowly until it’s all combined.
4. Heat some oil or butter in the frying pan.
5. Pour some mixture over the surface of the pan and wait until one side cooks.
6. Flip pancake over and slide on to plate when done.

I didn’t have any creme fraiche or poached fruit so it was sugar on the pancake, I then rolled it up and sprinkled sugar on top. Just the way my mum used to make them.

Food: tyropita (cheese pie)

A post by eatbigbristol had me thinking about vegetarian dishes and not many recipes initially came to mind. This was surprising as most of the dishes I eat are veggie but they’re usually food thrown together or selected from a restaurant menu. Vegetarian dishes as intentional and known recipes aren’t that common for me but as a Greek-Australian there are plenty of traditional dishes with which I grew up. One of the most typical ones is tyropita (translated to cheese pie) and my mum’s version is wonderful and not as salty or fatty as most other ones. The dish is best used as a side rather than a main, or at least as an accompaniment:

Cheese mix:
6 eggs, 1 cup of milk, 150gm of cheddar, 150gm of feta, 150gm ricotta.
Salt and pepper for seasoning, filo pastry, butter (for drizzling).

Mix the eggs and milk. Grate or cut up the cheese into little pieces, mix in with the milk and eggs.

Melt and spread some butter on the tray (deep dish), lay down one layer of filo pastry, put some of the mix on (you will use it to distribute between all the layers so plan accordingly), add a layer of filo pastry, sprinkle some butter, more mix, and continue to do this until the last layer on top.

Sprinkle water and butter on the final layer. Before baking cut the tyropita into diagonals on one side, and then the other (the final pattern to be rhombus shaped pieces). Rough cuts are fine. You will need to cut again when baked and this will make it easier.

Bake for around 45 minutes at 180c.

I made this dish tonight for my housemate as he is having a very late night at work. The cheeses can be changed and variety is encouraged. I used double Gloucester cheese, feta and mozarella (Sainsburys had no ricotta) and the flat certainly smells lovely.

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