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Category: Persiana

Stuff and Nonsense – March 2015

No retro food today just a random collection of what I’m doing and loving at the moment. I love it when other bloggers do this so I thought I might give it a go. The title for this is inspired by this gorgeous song by Missy Higgins, covering an old Split Enz song which I have just rediscovered on my ipod.

Stuff I’m Listening To

A work mate suggested  the Welcome To Night Vale podcast to me. And I am loving it!!!  Quirky kooky at it’s best!!!


Stuff I’m Reading

I joined a book club!!!  Our book of the month is Us by David Nicholls. I am so excited to read this.  I loved his last book, One Day.  Also a bit scared about the whole book club thing.  First meeting next Monday!

 I have just finished reading this which I loved.  This was one of those books where I just wished I had had the idea to do it.  This was so funny although it did get a bit repetitive at times but this may have been because I read it in pretty much a day.  And like most diets, it left me wanting more!


 I’m loving Flawless Visions take on MKR. Hilarious

So sad that Yinzerella is taking March off. 

Stuff I’m Watching

MKR as mentioned.

I’m loving season 2 of Broadchurch

Stuff I’m Cooking   

I  took a fairly ordinary baked vanilla cheesecake and fancied it up with the addition of some Chambord and a take on Sabrina Ghayour’s Strawberries with Basil Sugar. This was delicious!!!

 Baked Vanilla Cheesecake

Vanilla White Chocolate Cheesecake With Chambord Raspberries and Basil Sugar
Serves 10
Take your next baked cheesecake to the next level by adding some of these Chambord soaked raspberries. Then crank that up even further with Sabrina's basil sugar!
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
4 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
4 hr
For The Cheesecake
  1. 125g plain sweet biscuits
  2. 125g gingernut biscuits
  3. 125g melted butter
  4. 60ml cream
  5. 100g white chocolate
  6. 110g castor sugar
  7. 250g mascarpone cheese
  8. 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  9. 1 tbsp cornflour
  10. 1 tbsp vanilla
For the Topping
  1. 2 tbsp Chambord
  2. 400g raspberries
  3. 1 1/2 tbsp castor sugar
  4. Good handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
For the Topping
  1. Pour the Chambord over raspberries and leave to macerate.
  2. Put the chopped basil in a mortar with the castor sugar and, using the pestle, grind down the sugar with the mint until the sugar turns green.
For the Cheesecake
  1. Crush the plain biscuits and the gingernuts in your food processor until they resemble fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the melted butter.
  3. Press biscuit mixture evenly over the base of a 24cm springform pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm.
  4. Preheat the oven to slow - 150C.
  5. Place cream and chocolate into a small heavy bottomed pan, stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Beat the cream cheese and caster sugar in a medium bowl until just smooth.
  8. Add the mascarpone.
  9. Beat until combined.
  10. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the chocolate mixture, the vanilla and the cornflour.
  11. Pour this mixture onto the crumb mix.
  12. Bake in a slow oven for about 55 minutes or until just set.
  13. Cool in the oven with the door ajar.
  14. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
  15. When ready to serve, place the Chambord marinated raspberries on top of the cake.
  16. Sprinkle with the basil sugar
  17. Enjoy!
Adapted from Sabrina Ghayour's Strawberry Carpaccio With Basil Sugar
Adapted from Sabrina Ghayour's Strawberry Carpaccio With Basil Sugar
Retro Food For Modern Times
Have a great week.  And beware the hooded figures in the dog park!

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Joan Crawford Inspired Dinner For Two

A few weeks ago Jenny at Silver Screen Suppers invited her readers to celebrate the launch of her book of Joan Crawford recipes by taking part in a cookalong.  I was so excited to be a part of this and I set Melbourne Cup Day as the day because strangely enough, I was going to be at the races on the actual day.

Jenny very kindly provided us with three of Joan’s recipes.  One was for Crepes Suzette.  Having recently had Crepes Suzette expertly cooked for me at the Lotus Blanc in Cambodia, I thought I might give this a miss.  I wasn’t sure my attempts at flipping and flaming would compare. However, I was well and truly up for the other two, starting with

Joan’s Crawford’s Danti-Chips

Joan Crawford's Danti-Chips
Joan Crawford’s Danti-Chips

I was so excited about these. I was even more excited when the jars of devilled ham were two for one at the local supermarket.

And then, dear readers, I made a newbie, amateur, doofus mistake.  Because logic should tell you that when you are confronted with a jar of pink paste called Devilled Ham, you just need to accept that all it contains is ham and…other….stuff.  Don’t ever go wondering what that other stuff might be.  For the love of all that’s good in the world….


And yes, I am shouting at you.  Because it was over a week ago and I still feel sick thinking about it. And you know, Deviled Ham was one of my pleasures in life.  Admittedly not high on the list but it was there.  And now it has gone.  Forever.  Just like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

I’m not going to tell you what was in it.  Just don’t read the label.  Even though now you really want to.  I know you do.  do not give into the temptation. Imagine that jar of Peck’s Paste is local Nazi Colonel and you are an oversexed French Cafe owner hiding some English airmen and a priceless painting of The Fallen Madonna with The Big Boobies and resist!

(And if you had absolutely no idea what that last bit was about, your parents obviously didn’t watch enough British sit coms during your formative years….

You can find out more about that particular tangent here:

‘Allo ‘Allo)

Or watch it here:

 So anyway, I chose the vegetarian option.  I used a mushroom and spinach tapenade for my chips.  He had the devilled ham, Far be it from me to spoil anyone’s enjoyment of life the way mine has been destroyed.  Plus, we have two jars of it to get through.     Ignorance?  Bliss. 

These do look really pretty though don’t they?  And they tasted really delicious.  I added some chopped up pickled chillies to my pickle garnish and they went really well with the other flavours as well as adding a little colour. 


 We ate these mid’-afternoon whilst watching the races. And believe me, it took no time at all for that plate to become this…

Where have all the Danti-Chips gone?
Where have all the Danti-Chips gone?


Later on in the evening it was time for the second of Joan’s recipes and….it’s making my mouth water even as I think about it.

Ooooohhhhh yeah…Steak with Roquefort come on down. (Although technically mine was Steak with Stilton as the local supermarket does not stock Roquefort).

Joan Crawford's Steak with Roquefort
Joan Crawford’s Steak with Roquefort

We had this with some kale and beans  I also doubled up with a book club recipe and made the Turmeric and Cumin Potatoes from Persiana.  Which were also super!

Steak with Roquefort
Steak with Roquefort


Persiana Turmeric and Cumin Potatoes
Persiana Turmeric and Cumin Potatoes

Meal to remember!!!!!

Steak and any sort of blue cheese is amazing.  And Joan’s little twist with the….not telling…you need to buy the book to find out….is awesome!

Oh, and if, like me you happen to have some leftover corn chips from the Danti-Chips and some leftover roquefort mixture from the steak you can combine these with any leftover kale and some very finely chopped red onions to create a delicious spin on Nachos the night after!

Leftover Nachos

Hopefully Joan would approve!!!

Thanks Jenny for the wonderful opportunity to be a part of this!!!!  I loved the recipes and can’t wait to see the rest of the book!

 I think it’s only fair this week to have the sign off to come from the lady herself.  Have a fabulous week – maybe think about how you can add some old Hollywood glamour into your life.  And buy Jenny’s book!  If the recipes I tried are any reflection it will be awesome!!!

Link here:

Cooking with Joan Crawford

And remember

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