Mozzarella Paninis with Homemade Veggie Tapenade

20131231_144411It’s really easy to fall into the habit of lunch being a cheese sandwich or a piece of toast and only making the effort with your evening meal. But as it’s new year and I decided to do a really lovely lunch. I also love a bargain, and picked up a big bag of paninis from Tesco that were in the reduced section for 50p. So this is what I did with them, lots of lovely gooey mozzarella cheese, homemade tapenade style dip and some lovely big tomatoes. A good lunch if I ever saw one. The quantities are for two people but go ahead and double them, half them, whatever!

You will need: 10 black olives, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 paninis, 125g mozzarella cheese, pinch of mixed herbs, a big handful of walnuts, a big tomato and rocket to serve.20131231_141705Heat your oven to 200 degrees. Chop the paninis in half and drizzle each half with olive oil. Crush your garlic first in the pestle and mortar. When they are crushed, add the walnuts and then the olives and pound them to make a smooth paste. Add a pinch of mixed herbs, a tablespoon of olive oil and some lemon juice if you fancy.20131231_142234Spread your tapenade over the bottom two halves of your paninis. Now slice your mozzarella into thick slices and divide between the paninis covering the tapenade evenly. Slice your tomato and divide this as well. 20131231_142652Now put the tops of your paninis on top of the tomatoes and squish down well. Place on a baking tray and cook for 15 minutes in the oven. Take them out, make sure all your cheese has melted and serve on a bed of rocket with some balsamic vingear.

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And that’s it. A really lovely lunchtime treat that’s dead easy to make and would cost a bomb if you bought it in a cafe!

Enjoy, Love Mrs Gardom

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Total Comfort Coffee and Walnut Cake

20140102_140821         My Mum always used to make coffee and walnut cake. Any family party, church function or school event, Mum would make her coffee and walnut cake and it would be the first to go. This is my recipe, inspired by hers. It is lovely and sweet and bitter and just makes me feel all warm and cosy.

You will need, 6oz butter/margarine, 6oz self raising flour, 3 eggs, 4oz soft brown sugar, 2oz caster sugar, 2oz walnuts, 1tbsp baking powder, 2 tbsp strong coffee. For the icing: 8oz icing sugar, 5oz butter, 2tbsp strong coffee, walnuts for decorating.

20131231_163535First of all put two tablespoons of instant coffee into a mug and add a tiny amount of water, until the coffee forms a thick paste.I prefer to use a strong coffee, like Kenco Milicano.

20131231_164250Leave to cool. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and grease two cake tins. Mix the butter and the sugar together until smooth. Add the coffee. Now beat the eggs in a mug and add slowly to the bowl, while still mixing. 20131231_164909

Crush your walnuts into little pieces, with a blender or a pestle and mortar and add to the mixture. Now add a tablespoon of baking powder and sift the flour slowly into the bowl. Once everything is mixed together divide the mixture between your two tins. To get the mixture level I hold either side of the tin and wiggle it on the surface so that the cake mixture is evenly spread. 20131231_165338

Pop your tins on the same shelf of the oven and cook for fifteen to twenty minutes. Check your cake is done, it should spring back when you poke it, and turn them out on a wire rack to cool. 20131231_171357

For your icing, do the same as before with the coffee, making a paste. Now blend the icing sugar and butter in a bowl and add the coffee. I used the whisk attachment for my machine, but use a hand whisk if you would rather.

20131231_171217Place your first cake onto a plate or cake stand and cover the top with half the icing mixture. Pop the top on and cover this with icing.

20131231_172803Then decorate the top with walnuts and a sprinkle of icing sugar.I must admit, my presentation is more ‘rustic’ but  I would rather my cake taste awesome than look pristine.

20131231_173459Thick gloopy butter icing and lovely light sponge makes this a fabulous teatime treat, serve with loads of cream and a good americano. I love this cake. So does my husband. It isn’t going to last very long in this household!

Enjoy, Love Mrs Gardom

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