My new favorite cookbook was just delivered to my front door.
My very own dedicated and signed copy of The Brother Hubbard cookbook arrived at my house this afternoon.
I am not a cake person.
I will always be far more tempted by some cheese as dessert than with a sweet treat. Mr B is like me so we are that couple that always forgets the dessert when we have people over. We are all about the starters and main courses.
Since we’ve had kids, we have realised that IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE to celebrate certain events without cake. Kids seem to have an extra chromosome that determines that a celebration is not a celebration without a cake. The cake chromosome affects people differently depending on their genetic background and some people even lose it when the reach maturity but, in others, it only gets stronger.
As yesterday we celebrated Mr B’s birthday and Sunday is Big Monkey’s birthday too, I have been and will be making cakes. OK, let’s call spade spade. I am ASSEMBLING cakes.
My “regular” cakes are those that involve some melting at most and some assembly. But that doesn’t mean that they are boring or look terrible. Oh no! they are cool! and it’s not me saying that. All the under 10 kids are saying. Cool, I’ll tell you.
2/3 chocolate Swiss-rolls
1 kg of vanilla ice-cream
2-3 bags of Maltesers
Medium size see-through bowl
Get the ice-cream out of the freezer for at least 10 minutes before you are ready to assemble the cake. We need the ice-cream to be smooth and manageable.
Cover the inside of the bowl with cling-film. This will help to get it out of the bowl later on without any drama.
Cut the Swiss-rolls into 1 cm slices and start covering the inside of the bowl with it. Starting from the middle and working your way out in rows. Squeeze the Swiss-roll slices into the gaps, , make sure not to leave big gaps between the slices.
Once the inside of the bowl has been covered, fill half of the semi-circle with the vanilla ice-cream, add a layer of Maltesers and finish it off with another layer of ice-cream.Cover the bowl and put in the freezer.
Take it 10 minutes before you are ready to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ and flip it onto a plate. The cling film should help you peel it off the bowl with ease. Watch the little faces light with delight as they find the Maltesers hidden in the ice-cream.
You wanted cake? That’s a cake with an impact and a surprise!
Minimum effort, maximum satisfaction cake. A go-to-in-case-of-emergency-cake.
The weather is glorious in Ireland at the moment. I mean, really and truly glorious. Hot – and I am not talking Irish hot (ie. 17 degrees C), oh no! I am talking proper walk-your-kids-to-school-in-sandals-and-tshirt (and trousers of course) hot! no cardigan! Glorious!!!!
Sunshine makes you feel better, more alive, full of energy. We do more when the sun is shining (my garden has been transformed in a week!). Food also tends to be different when the weather is good. I am always looking for something lighter, fresher, less complicated. Anything that would helps me get the food ready quickly and back outside to soak up as much Vitamin D as we can.
I guess that, as a good Spaniard, I love tapas, pintxos… a large variety of small quantities of food to share. Mix and match. It is my favorite way to eat. In the Basque Country we do pintxos rather than tapas. Pintxos are a small, individual snacks eating at the bar while hanging out with friends. They usually come on a slice of bread and spiked with a tooth pick. Bars tend to have on display an enormous variety of pintxos and Mr B and I spend our summers tasting every single one of them… for research purposes obviously… 😉
This DIY pintxo is easy to put together, full of flavor and perfect for sharing. Perfect for when you have people coming over to the house for drinks. It requires minimum effort and it provides maximum satisfaction. And if you team this with the Rosemary Roasted Almonds your friends will love you forever and ever and ever.
You will need:
- A jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- Serrano Ham
- Manchego cheese
- Crusty bread
Blend the whole jar of sun-dried tomatoes in their oil to make a lovely paste perfect for spreading on the bread. This paste is amazing with anything: pasta, sandwiches, soups, salad dressings…. just yum!
Open the packet the Serrano Ham and cut the Manchego cheese and the bread into thin slices.
Make it look pretty on a board – very important!
Now, let’s get eating. This is self-asemble, DIY, so there are no rules. It’s a mix and match.
I particularly like spreading the sun-dried tomato paste on the bread and topping it up with cheese or ham.
We are already in February and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Are you a Valentine kind of person?
Mr B and I never celebrated it until we had the boys and they became aware of the day. We are just not very romantic. Now we have a “family date”, exchange cards and have breakfast in bed, all together. It’s lovely. The boys call it Love Day, and for us, that is exactly what it is.
Whichever way you celebrate, on your own, with your partner, in family, with friends… t is always nice to have some inspiration for the day.
VALENTINE’S DAY DECORATION
If you like embracing Valentines Day to the fullest and go all out decorating your home, this balloon arch is just super cute and it can be used from breakfast bar to cocktail bar as the day evolves…
I. Am. Totally. In.Love. With. This. Chandelier. I just have to make it.
And what about these love-heart garlands? Easy to make and ever so adorable!
VALENTINE’S DAY PRINTABLES
If you are too busy to make anything, or you are feeling lazy, or just not feeling at all, there are some amazing free printables that you could use to decorate your home and get you in the mood.
VALENTINE’S DAY FOOD
Now, if you are traditional and you are planning a Valentine’s romantic dinner, this caprese salad as a starter would be only delightful, delicious and super romantic!
An antipasto platter is totally down my alley and it means no cooking for anyone… It doesn’t get any better than this!
Or if you want to something a little bit more special, you could have the seafood option.
And I believe that tradition dictates that chocolate must be had for dessert in Valentine’s Day, right? This walnut and chocolate cake is just the perfect treat, don’t you think?
So, whether you are having a quiet one, a by yourself one, a family one or a romantic night, I hope you are now inspired to make the day a little bit special. For you at least. Because you deserve it!
Have an amazing weekend!
ps- If you like this post, please feel share it with your friends. Thanks!