Posts Tagged ‘carrots’


Inspired by the fact that we still have a load of the home made mayonnaise in our fridge, I decided to make some coleslaw. I had totally forgotten about coleslaw… it was always something I had at school and was made for us at home, but I’m not sure I had ever made it myself before.

The best and only coleslaw anecdote I have (I bet that is the first time you have read those words today) was when we visited our French friend shortly after she had returned from living in Australia. She was so excited to prepare this “exotic” salad that she had discovered down under for us. Her excitement to see our reaction to the surprise salad immediately disappeared, like an excited spaniel that has brought a dead bird into the house, thinking he’s going to get a pat on the head and a treat. She couldn’t disguise her disappointment that coleslaw wasn’t a new phenomenon in our lives, but in fact a staple of our childhood  and we would much have preferred the foie gras.

So I made coleslaw last night and it was really great, especially with the home made mayo… and it’s full of raw vegetables so it can’t be bad for you…


  • 1/2 small white cabbage finely sliced
  • 3 carrots finely sliced into sticks
  • 1 apple finely sliced
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise (or as much as you like)
  • 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • salt an freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • flat leaf parsley to garnish


Chop the fruit and vegetables very finely, mix the mayonnaise and the mustard, season to taste and garnish with flat leaf parsley.


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Carrot Cake

This a carrot cake. It is delicious.



  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pound carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots), peeled and shredded on a box grater or in a food processor (about 2 3/4 cups)
  • 2 cups pecans (1 cup finely chopped for batter, 1 cup coarsely chopped for decorating sides of cake) *Raw, non-salted and fried pecans are difficult to find in Madrid so I did not use them in my cake, although I do prefer my carrot cake to contain nuts.*

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 400 grams cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and brought to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup confectioner’s sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. You will make enough batter to make a two or three layer cake. I chose to make my two layers. Butter your cake pans and lightly dust with flour, tapping out excess.

In one bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. In another bowl, beat butter and sugars together (with a fork or with an electric hand mixer) until its light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat 3 minutes. Add vanilla, water, and carrots. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Slowly add flour mixture, then finely chopped pecans.

Scrape batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly into halves or thirds. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen, and turn out cakes onto rack. Turn right side up, and let cool completely.

To make the frosting, use a fork or a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese and vanilla with a mixer until creamy. Gradually add butter and beat until incorporated. Slowly add confectioner’s sugar and beat until fluffy and smooth. I tasted the frosting every so often to determine the sweetness. I prefer my cream cheese frosting to be more tangy than sweet.

Using a sharp knife, trim rounded top of 2 cakes. Place one trimmed cake, cut side up, on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with second trimmed cake, cut side down. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with remaining cake. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Gently press coarsely chopped pecans onto sides of cake. Refrigerate 1 hour (or up to 1 day, covered) before serving.

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This is a really famous Spanish dish. It literally translates as “lentils” in English, but clearly this is a lot more than just lentils. I’m not sure where the dish comes from, but it is always on the menu at the six million restaurants here in Madrid, by the way that’s about a  ratio of approximately two restaurants per person…

They call these types of dishes “spoon food” for obvious reasons. It is a kind of soupy dish really although apparently traditionally “lentejas” was served not like a soup but with very thick stew like consistency, so I think that means that they would have cooked the lentils for longer.

The lentils used here are dried, but the kind that you actually don’t have to leave soaking over night. Many thanks to Tatiana for the recipe!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 leeks (finely chopped)
  • 1 green pepper (diced)
  • lentils (smallest kind) 1 small coffee cup per person.
  • 2 medium sized potatoes (halved)
  • 1 carrot (diced)
  • 2 tbsp of tomato purée
  • 2 cloves of garlic very finely chopped or puréed
  • chorizo (optional)
  • spicy paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • water
  • vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • olive oil


In a large pan fry the onion and the green pepper in some olive oil for about 5 minutes, then add the leeks and fry for a further couple of minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients and cover with 1/2 water and 1/2 vegetable stock. be quite generous, so that means double the amount of liquid to the rest of the ingredients. Cover with a lid and simer for an hour. About 5 minutes before the lentils are cooked, add the chorizo (halved) and cook for about 5 minutes longer. Serve with crusty bread and red wine.

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