Thursday, 3 December 2009

Sam from Wiltshire...

So, June this year I made the move from the UK where I have lived most of my adult life (although still not quite there!!), to the USA, for urrmm LOVE.. so I get married and settle down thinking ok.. Michigan has the highest unemployment rate in the USA but my faith will see me through.. its been a lil over 1 month since i have had my work permit so I am waiting.. The stress of being out here, homesick, missing my family and esp my dad who isnt doing so well, and knowing I am not in Spain to see him.... Ive been feeling less than great.. but today.. i received a box from the UK!! thank you Sam.. your presents really lifted me up.. I love tea.. I was the most grateful for that.. but not to mention the lovely card making kit, the novel (i am going to enjoy that with the bubble bath), and the chocolate!! So I just want to thank Sam for making some amazing choices, and to the Happy Sorceress for doing the blog by mail thing.. Its amazing..

Monday, 9 November 2009

Sweet Potato Turnovers Recipe - Truchas de Navida

truchas are very special to me, its part of the fond memories of my grandmother. She would always have these, every single Christmas. There will no truchas for me this year :(
I'm half way across the world starting my new life in Michigan!
But I will be attempting to make them.

prep time 20 mins

cook time 50 mins


  • Crust:
  • 2 pkgs (12 oz each) puff pastry OR
  • 4 cups unbleached white flour
  • 8-10 oz water (approximately)
  • dash of salt
  • 4 Tbsp margarine, softened to room temperature
  • Filling:
  • 2 lbs. white or orange sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 2/3 cup whole peeled almonds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp anise extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • powdered sugar for dusting


This turnover recipe makes approximately 2 dozen “truchas” or turnovers.

If using puff pastry for crust, remove the 2 packages from the freezer.

If making crust: Place flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut margarine into four pieces and add to flour, cutting with a fork to mix. Add half the water and kneed with your hands. If necessary, sprinkle in more water and continue to knead the mixture just enough so that it becomes a smooth dough, no longer sticking to your hands. If the dough is kneaded too long, it will become tough. Cover the dough in the bowl with plastic wrap and set it on the counter in a warm spot while the filling is prepared.

Rinse the sweet potatoes under cold water to loosen any dirt. Place potatoes whole and unpeeled in a pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil and cook until soft, approximately 20-30 minutes. The potatoes are done when you can easily insert a fork or knife into the thickest part of the potato. Remove from water and place on a plate or rack and allow to cool thoroughly.

While the potatoes are cooking, grate the lemon zest onto a plate. Grind the almonds in a food processor. Separate the yolk of one egg into a small bowl for later.

When potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the skin. The skin should easily “rub” off. Cut the cooked potatoes into large chunks and place in a mixing bowl. Mash with a potato masher or fork. Add the lemon zest, ground almonds, cinnamon and anise extract. Mix together. Add sugar and mix thoroughly.

Pre-heat oven to 400F degrees while assembling the “truchas”. If using home-made crust, lightly flour a cutting board, so dough does not stick. Divide the dough in half. Place half of the dough on the cutting board and using a rolling pin, roll it out thin.

If using puff pastry, roll out one of the pastry sheets on waxed paper or floured cutting board.

Cut circles in the dough approximately 3 to 3.5 inches across, using a wide mouth jar or glass. Place a dollop of sweet potato filling on each circle, then fold the circles in half to form a half moon. Press edges together with a fork to seal. Place on cookie sheet or baking stone. Whisk the egg yolk and brush the top of each “trucha” with beaten egg yolk. Using the rest of the dough, roll and cut to make the rest of the turnovers. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the "truchas" turn golden brown. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes or so. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.

Spanish Pizza - Coca

Spanish pizza is something else, hardly if any cheese, caramelised onions, the occasional boiled and grated egg, peas and tomato. Personally I am not a fan of pizza, I dont like the greasiness, the overly tomatoeyness and then theres the cheese.

this pizza is perfect for those who prefer a more healthier option, and the great thing is you can go vegetarian too.

the key to this recipe is using lots of Spanish olive oil. I usually drizzle the base of the pizza with olive oil and crushed garlic.

(this recipe serves 4-6 people)



  1. 1
    Brush pizza pan with melted butter or oil.
  2. 2
    Make crust: Combine yeast, sugar and 1 /14 cups flour in large bowl.
  3. 3
    Add warm water and oil.
  4. 4
    Beat with electric beaters for 3 minutes.
  5. 5
    Stir in as much remaining flour as you can.
  6. 6
    Knead dough on lightly-floured surface until smooth in elastic.
  7. 7
    Place in a greased bowl; cover and leave in warm place to rise for 45 minutes or until doubled.
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Ideas for Toppings

caramelised onions:

add 2-3 tablespoons to pan on high and add 2-3 medium sized chopped onions (i prefer rings-looks prettier) with 2 tablespoons of sugar and brown. The sugar should caramelise.When the onions are a honey colour add 3 tablespoons of white wine (i usually use a dry white wine).

tomato & tuna:

mix a can of cubed tomato with tuna drizzle with lots of olive oil.

Spinach and pinenuts:

blanch some baby spinach, chop up with some pinenuts.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Hello WORLD!

Food is my passion, some how I have always gravitated towards the kitchen .. and fire! The numerous burn scars on my body testiment to this.  Coming from a family of Bakers we always took our food serious!

As a child I would make crepes with my dad, and donuts with my mom... Our friday night family time consisted of my siblings and I eagerly watching my mom prepare some sugary delight.... Meal times were always an important time of the day for the family.  

In my teens I learnt the fine art of cake decorating and sugar craft, earning a few certificates along the way and developing a passion for creating "something pretty that you can eat"

I grew up to be the feeder, the neighbour knocking on the door with baked goods and deserts just because... the neighbour whos food caused envy in the hallway of my appartment block... The old saying that the way to a mans heart is his stomach can be true for all, the power good food has over ones mood is amazing. The whole concept of comfort eating makes me delight in the idea that I can save the world.. one desert at a time!!!