Trying to stick to my ‘Bake once a Week’ resolution. I missed last week, had too much on my plate and bad brain* got took up all my down time.

This week I wanted fruit to be the star of the show(since last bake was chocolate chip cookies). I also wanted to use an ingredient that was in season. Had to go with rhubarb.

Rhubarb is super nostalgic for me, my maternal grandfather grew a large patch in his back garden. His partner Beverly would make jams and pies and crisps and crumbles to feed the grandchildren and the neighbours.

I’ve been homesick lately. Summer in the city always gets me down. I’m an island girl and I miss the sea and the wilds most this time of year. I’ve also been reflecting on mortality, family relations, and legacy. So this bake was reflective of that.

I had never had a CRUMBLE until I moved to the UK. It was one of the first desserts I remember being served by my inlaws. I grew up on CRISPS which are essentially the same but with an crispy oat topping instead rather than the crumbly crumble topping.

crimble1

Recipe:

COMPOTE/FRUIT FILLING

  • 85g golden caster sugar
  • 1 heaped tbsp cornflour
  • 450g strawberries
  • 450g rhubarb
  1. Preheat oven to 75F / 190C / Gas Mark 5
  2. Cut your fruit into chunks, I like mine big and rustic, and place in a bowl.
  3. Remember the fruit will soften and disintegrate when you cook it so bigger pieces make for better mouthfeel and be more substantial.
  4. Add lemon juice, sugar, black pepper, and cornflower to fruit and toss gently.
  5. Place fruit into a saucepan and heat on medium-low until fruit softens and sauce thickens.
  6. Pour compote into baking tray.

crumble2

CRUMBLE:

  • 120g plain flour
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 60g unsalted butter or margarine at room temperature, cut into pieces
  1. Throw everything into a bowl and using a fork mash it all together until you get that lovely crumble.
  2. Scoop crumb topping onto the compote.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crumble is golden brown.

CRUMBLE3

Remove from the oven and allow it to cool. Serve with vanilla ice cream or custard.

 

 

 

granolabarstall

So since I found out about my laundry list of allergies I’ve had to give up a few foods. Nuts are the big offender and they’re in everything! I’ve really had to relearn how to eat, remember to look at ingredients, to ASK when I’m eating out, and I’m still learning. Baby steps.

Snacks are really where I’ve struggled and god damnit I love snacks! I am queen of snacking! I love chocolate  and biscuits and granola bars and so many of them have nuts, or are just super likely to be contaminated with nuts. There’s a danger component, there’s a risk now when I want a snack and it sucks. No one wants to treat themselves and have it make them super sick.

I’ve spent the past three months trying to find safe nut free pre-packaged snacks but tbh that’s been pretty much a flop. I knew granola bars were easy, I remember my mom making them when I was little so I finally got around to making my own! I like my snacks fully loaded so I found some pretty basic recipes online and just personalised them. I’ve swapped out nuts for seeds, added a little extra salt because I love salt with my sweet and in 15 minutes I had a weeks worth of delicious nut free snacks!

My bars were loaded up with chia, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds, desiccated coconut, some diced figs and dates, and of course chocolate chips!

Eating our way through Italy,

img_5598Milan has some amazing food, it has always been one of the  most afluent cities in the country and it’s food colour reflects this with rich dishes.

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Trattoria da Abele Temparanza

I’d been to Milan once before in November. Because my partner was working, and the cold, there was little al fresca dinning. This trip however we took full advantage of the weather and dinned out doors very often.

My absolute favorite dinning experience in Milan is Trattoria da Abele Temparanza. We’d found int on our last trip and it was so good we’d placed our booking, for the night after we arrived,  months before shortly after booking our plan tickets! Their menu is delicious and seasonal home cooked meals you’d expect to be cooked by someones Italian grandma; you can feel the love and see attention to details, and taste the quality in everything they serve.

Although we only spent 3 days and 2 nights in Milan we ate a lot of food! Especially at the wedding of my friend Laura we were there to attend. After a beautiful intimate ceremony in the garden of a castle, we were served cocktails and large buffet of snacks and appetisers, a three course dinner with wine, a candy buffet, wedding cake along with a chocolate fountain and entire dessert buffet full of cakes, pastry, fruit, and cheeses.

 

 

After the wedding we headed to Rome by train to celebrate our own 4th Wedding Anniversary(June 6th).

Rome for tme was all about he Ice Cream and Gelato. My three recommendations if you’re an ice cream fiend like myself are as follows;

 

 

Giolitti, was founded in1890 is the oldest ice cream parlour in Rome. They’re well known for their huge selection of ice cream and gelato flavours. The inside of this place is just beautiful with it’s old fashioned marble counters espresso machines, and glass cases filled with tradtional pastries, worth a visit even if you don’t like ice cream. Della Palma has more of a kitsch retro vibe. Selling a wide range of candy and confections they offer 150+ flavours of gelato, ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbert, and WHIPPED ice cream to chose from. I had Tiramisu WHIPPED ice cream and a scoop of Peanut Brittle with Marshmallow Ripple. Finally Frigidarium, a smaller selection compared to the previous two recommendations but what’s on offer is absolutely amazing. I had a scoop of both their raspberry and peach gelato and they were to die for.

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Trattoria al Moro

Highlights were our ‘Anniversary Dinner’ at Trattoria Al Moro; ‘a high-end, 1920s wood-paneled, romantic restaurant with a classic Roman menu & a large wine list’.

I can highly recommend this spot, we chose to dine outside, which was a little loud as it’s right on busy pedestrian street, but there’s thick greenery surrounding the dining area which provides privacy.  We had the most adorable old waiter who was very attentive and gave great recommendations from the menu and wine list.

Trattoria Al Morro is just around the corner from the Trevi Fountain, so besides the glowing reviews online we picked it so we could visit the fountain just before sundown and after dark. The fountain was so crowded I failed to really appreciate it’s beauty on the night, we visited again the next day and it was a little less crowded but still pretty maggoty with tourists so we didn’t stick around very long. I didn’t even get a picture, it was just so crowded.

I had some of the most brilliant pizza of my life from Pinsa ‘Mpo. The restaurant is very small with only a handful of small tables outside and a bar along the back wall with a dozen stools, we stopped by in the early evening during a quieter moment and managed to get a tiny table for two on the pavement outside.

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Pinsa ‘Mpo

We did keep it simple when it came to food this trip, but that is one of the best things about Italian food. 

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Passaguai

 

The other great food find was Passaguai. Which I think we found thanks to the trusty Guardian(they’re a trash publication but they actually do really good food guides for Europeans cities that haven’t let me down yet so…). The Roman equivalent of a posh hipster cafe, located in a slightly damp basement it was pretty refreshing to sit in the cool atmosphere after the heat and crowds of the city. The service wasn’t great but the food was.

 

All in all it as a brilliant trip for food. Italy may not be my favourite place in the world but when given the chance to visit I’ll go purely for the food!

All in all it as a brilliant trip for food. Italy may not be my favourite place in the world but when given the chance to visit I’ll go purely for the food!