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Sticky Toffee Pudding (2)

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I had earlier posted a recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding .. that is also a very good recipe which makes a smaller pudding but I must say, THIS recipe is by far the best ever! Best served with warm with couple scoops ice-cream … no ice cream here as I had none … lol

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You will need 280g dates, stoned and chopped

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Boil the dates in 425ml water for about 5 minutes until soft and pasty

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Cream 115g unsalted butter and 350g soft light brown sugar until pale & creamy … here, as always with all my puddings & cakes, I would discount the sugar used by about ¼

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You will need 350g self-raising flour and 4 eggs, beaten

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Add the beaten eggs into the creamed, pale butter & sugar mixture and beat to mix well

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Add 2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda to the date paste (this will make the mix fizz) .. .

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…no quickly beat the dates, flour and 2 tsp vanilla extract into the creamed egg mixture

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Pour the mixure into a buttered 9.5″ x 9.5″ x 2″ baking dish or pan … I used a Pyrex casserole dish which works well … and bake for 1 hour until just firm to the touch … I advise you to check the colour of the pudding after 45 mins … if the top looks well browned, lay a sheet of foil on top to stop it singeing before it’s cooked through

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Ta-daaa!! The pudding is done .. what I’ve done here to keep the pudding moist and even richer is I poked about 30 holes right through and then pour some of the toffee sauce over the pudding, making sure the sauce soaked into the pudding through all the holes … sliced into 16 squares …..

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…serve up warm with hot toffee sauce poured over the pudding and if so desired, with couple scoops of Vanilla Ice-Cream, too … to make the toffee sauce … mix 600ml double cream, 115g demerara sugar (again, I discount about 1/4 of this amount) and 4 tsp black treacle altogether in a saucepan over low heat and stir together until blended, bring to the boil and transfer to a jug to serve

Fruity Apple Tea Bread

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I baked this for a charity cake sale and I was pleasantly happy with the way the cake turned out …looks very pretty & presentable …a perfect loaf to take to a friend’s when you are invited over for a morning coffee or afternoon tea 😉  Check out my other post of Tipsy Fruity Apple Tea Loaf …made even more moist with aded XO Cognac!

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Oil and line a 900g /2lb loaf tin with a loaf tin liner as seen here or line base with non-stick baking paper

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Put the butter, sugar, sultanas and apple juice in a small saucepan … heat gently, stirring occasionally until the butter has melted …tip into a bowl and leave to cool …

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…. stir in the chipped apple and beaten eggs …

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…. sift the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda over the apple mixture … stir well to mix …

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… spoon into the prepared loaf tin and smooth the top level with the back of a spoon …

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… toss the apple slices in the lemon juice …

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…arrange the apple slices neatly atop the mixture … bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes

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Warm 1 Tbsp Golden Syrup …

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Brush the top with the warmed golden syrup

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Lift the glazed cake out of the tin and leave to cool atop a wire rack …

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Voila! All packed up ready for the charity cake sales 🙂

RECIPE

Ingredients :

125g butter

125g soft light brown sugar

275g sultanas

150ml apple juice

1 eating apple … peeled, cored and chopped

2 medium eggs, beaten

275g plain flour

½tsp ground cinnamon

½tsp ground ginger

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

curls of butter, to serve

To decorate :

1 eating apple, cored and sliced

1 tsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp golden syrup, warmed

Methods :

  • Preheat oven to 180ºC …oil and line the base of a 900g /2lb loaf tin with non-stick backing paper
  • Put the butter, sugar, sultanas and apple juice in a small saucepan … heat gently, stirring occasionally until the butter has melted …tip into a bowl and leave to cool
  • Stir in the chipped apple and beaten eggs … sift the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda over the apple mixture … stir well, spoon into the prepared loaf tin and smooth the top level with the back of a spoon
  • Toss the apple slices in the lemon juice and arrange on top
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 50mins …cover with foil to prevent the top fro browning too much
  • Leave in the tin for 10 mins before turning out to cool onto a wire rack
  • Brush the top with the warmed golden syrup and leave to cool … remove the lining paper, cut into thick slices and serve with the curls of butter

Mini-Cup-Cheesecake

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Don’t these wee mini-cup-cheesecakes looks absolutely delish? Perfect dinner parties, afternoon tea or whenever you dance .. saves having to mess with slicing up a big 8 or 9 or 10 inch cheesecake 😉  These are topped with Blackcurrents 🙂

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In a small bow or food processorl, mix the graham cracker/digestives/shortbread crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter

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Place 2 tablespoons of the crumb mixture in each muffin cup ….press down on the crumbs with something flat to form a good crust … set aside

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The base of the cheesecake perfectly done 😉

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In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy

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Add the eggs, lemon juice, and ½ sugar, and beat until smooth

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Fill each baking cup with about 3 tablespoons of the cheesecake mixture

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Bake the cheesecakes for 17 – 19 minutes or until they start to crack on the surface

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Place the cooled cheesecakes (with the paper liners still on them) in a covered container and refrigerate overnight

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Remove the paper liners and top each cheesecake with 2 tablespoons of pie filling….keep covered and refrigerated.

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Voila! Bon Appetite!

RECIPE

Ingredients

      ¼ cups graham crackers/shortbread/digestives, crushed
              ¼ cup sugar
             4 tablespoons butter, melted
               2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
               2 large eggs
               2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
              ½ cup sugar
               1 (21 oz.) can cherry, strawberry or blueberry or blackcurrent pie filling 

¼ cup sugar

              4 tablespoons butter, melted
               2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
               2 large eggs
               2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
               ½ cup sugar
               1 (21 oz.) can cherry, strawberry, or blueberry pie filling

Methods :

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line 18 regular muffin cups with paper baking cups ….set aside
  • In a small bowl, mix the graham cracker/digestives/shortbread crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter
  • Place 2 tablespoons of the crumb mixture in each muffin cup.  Press down on the crumbs with something flat to form a good crust … Set aside
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy  
  • Add the eggs, lemon juice, and ½ sugar, and beat until smooth
  • Fill each baking cup with about 3 tablespoons of the cheesecake mixture
  • Bake the cheesecakes for 17 – 19 minutes or until they start to crack on the surface
  • Cool the cheesecakes in the muffin pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack.
  • Place the cooled cheesecakes (with the paper liners still on them) in a covered container and refrigerate overnight
  • Makes 18 mini cheesecakes

Before Serving : Remove the paper liners and top each cheesecake with 2 tablespoons of pie filling.  Keep covered and refrigerated.

Cheese Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

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An extremely simple and quick recipe and the result is simply relish … a cupcake with a twist … perfect for tea-time snack or as pudding over dinner/lunch … the individual portion is neat & today 😉

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The batter with the filling dropped on top …These work best if you only fill the paper cups 1/2 full with batter before you add the cream cheese mixture

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… if you drop in only about 1 Tbsp of the cheese mixture then when you bake, the cake will rise and enclose the cream cheese making it a lovely self-filled cupcake … I didn’t wanna waste the balance of the cheese mixture so I topped the cake with all of it hence a thicker layer of the cheese and looks more layered than self-filled 😉

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Everybody will want your recipe!

RECIPE

Ingredients :

For Cake :

1 box cake mix, Devils Chocolate or any Chocolate cake mix (and required ingredients listed on the box) ..this is my “cheat” way … you may make the chocolate cake from scratch using your own recipe, if you wish

 

For the Cream Cheese Mixture :

8 oz Philly cream cheese

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

1/8 tsp. salt

Method :

  • Cream sugar, cream cheese, egg, and salt until smooth & well blended
  • Mix the cake batter per instructions on the cake-mix box or per your own chocolate cake recipe
  • Line muffin pans with cupcake paper cups and fill paper cups 1/2 full and drop a tablespoon of cheese mixture into center of cupcake
  • Bake as directed on cake box  … bake for the shortest cupcake time listed on box … note : cake needs to be cooked but the cheese filling doesn’t need to look baked and it will set as the cupcakes cool once out of the oven
  • Makes about 20 regular cupcakes or 30 mini ones

Mutton/Chicken Biryani

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Biryani, biriani, biriyani, buriyani, beryani or beriani is a rice-based dish made with spices, rice and chicken, mutton, fish, eggs or vegetables. The name is derived from the Persian word beryā which means “fried” or “roasted”

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The spices and condiments used in biryani may include, but are not limited to, ghee, nutmeg, mace,pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander, mint leaves, ginger, onions, and garlic …the premium varieties include saffron

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The ground spices I used for marinating the mutton/chicken  … the whole spices in the saucer in the middle is whole garam masala … for the rice as well as the curry

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For a non-vegetarian biryani, the main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the meat—beef, chicken, mutton, lamb, fish or shrimps …. here, I’m using boneless mutton

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Marinating the mutton/chicken overnight with yogurt, garam masala, garlic & ginger paste, turmeric powder and chilly powder …mixed the meat thoroughly with the yogurt and spices, cover and let it marinate for 2 hours

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First thing is boil your rice with the whole garam masala till about ¾ cooked

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the ¾ cooked rice, left aside to cool

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Deep-fry the sliced onions until golden brown

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Golden-fried onion … I spread some of this in every layer but if you don’t fancy so much onions then just spread it atop the last layer of rice

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Brush base of your pot with ghee and line it with a few bay leaves

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Layering process … put a layer of rice first then sprinkle rice with the milk/saffron mix, rose water, lime juice, chopped green chillies and spread some golden-fried onion (if using) then top with a layer of the mutton/chicken curry and keep repeating this layering process with final layer being rice …seen here is pix of my biryani with boneless chicken

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The layering complete and ready to be cooked in the oven or steamed

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Biryani is ready and being served up 🙂

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Mutton Biryani is eady to be tucked in!

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Chicken Biryani served up with a fresh salad of lettuce, radish & cherry tomatoes

RECIPE

Ingredients :

500 g Basmati rice

1kg boneless mutton/lamb/chicken, cut into chunky pieces

1 large onion, sliced

¾ cup golden fried sliced onion

6 garlic cloves, crushed

½ cup yogurt, beaten

1 can chopped tomatoes

½ cup cashew nuts (optional)

3 Tbsp Red chilli powder or 6 red fresh chillies

2 fresh green chillies, chopped

1 Tbsp coriander powder

4 Tbsp garam masala powder

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground mace

1 Tbsp turmeric powder

1 Tbsp saffron, dissolved in ½ cup hot milk

2 Tbsp rose water

juice of 1 lemon

salt

½ cup oil

50g ghee

a handful of fresh coriander or mint, chopped

Whole spices :

4 bay leaves

10 green whole cardamom

6 black whole cardamom

2 Tbsp black cumin seeds

10 cloves

2 x 2″ cinnamon sticks

Method :

  • Mix well salt, ½ of the red chilli powder, ½ of chopped ginger and chopped garlic, 1 tsp garam masala powder, ½ of turmeric powder and all the yogurt and marinate meat pieces for 2 hours
  • Wash and soak rice in water for about 30 minutes … heat 1 Tsp oil and crackle half of the whole spices in the heated oil … add rice and fry for a minute then add enough water and salt to taste and cook rice until ¾ done… set aside to cool … discard whole garam masala
  • Make a fine paste with remainder of red chilli and the cashew nuts
  • Heat oil in a thick bottom pan … add remaining whole garam masala and let it crackle then add sliced onions and sauté until light golden brown and then red chilli & cashew paste for 5 minutes … add in remaining chopped ginger, chopped garlic, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder fry for 1 minutes … add canned chopped tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes then add in the marinated meat, bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer until meat is tender
  • Dissolve saffron in warm milk and set aside 
  • Take a heat proof pot and brush base of pot with ghee and lay the rest of the bay leaves … spread alternate layers of rice and meat … sprinkling saffron dissolved in milk, golden fried onions, chopped green chillies, lemon juice and  dot with ghee in between layers and finish with a rice layer on top, sprinkled with saffron milk, golden fried onions, rose water and dot with ghee
  • Cover and cook in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes and garnish with chopped coriander/mint … you may also garnish with sliced hard-boiled eggs and some cashew nuts … serve hot with some of the meat curry/gravy on the side 

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

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This is a very good recipe for a dinner party as it’s easy to carve and serve 😉

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Lovely layers … juicy and relish!

RECIPE

Ingredients:

1 pork tenderloin (450g)

3 – 4 rashers streaky bacon, rind removed

10 – 15g butter

for the stuffing:

25g butter

1 med onion, finely chopped

¼tsp  thyme

¼tsp sage

75g mushrooms, finely chopped

110g fresh breadcrumbs

4 Tbsp chopped parsley

grated rind of a lemon

2 tsp lemon juice

1 egg, beaten with 2 Tbsp cream or top of the milk

for the gravy:

1 Tsp brown flour

about 275ml dry white wine or cider

salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Methods:

  • Preheat oven to 180ºC
  • With a sharp knife, split pork tenderloin into half lengthwise and using a rolling pin, batter the 2 halves to flatten and widen them slightly and season with salt & freshly ground pepper
  • To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a pan and fry the onion and herbs gently for about 10 mins then add the mushrooms and raise the heat slightly …cook for further 3 – 4 minutes or until juices from mushrooms have almost evaporated 
  • Spoon contents of pan into a bowl and add in the rest of the ingredients of the stuffing, mix well and season
  • Spoon stuffing onto one half of the tenderloin, pat down to firm it slightly then place the other half of the tenderloin on top
  • Spread some butter and season with freshly ground pepper then cover the top of the tenderloin with the rinded bacon
  • Tie with string at 5cm intervals to keep it neat and tidy then transfer it carefully to a buttered roasting tin
  • Bake near the top of the oven for 1 hour then place on the serving dish and keep warm
  • To make the gravy, stir the flour into the pan juices, add the wine and some seasoning and let it bubble until syrupy 
  • To serve, carve the meat into thick slices and pour over the gravy and serve with vegetable of your choice
  • A garnish of fried apple rings would go well with it 😉

Yim Kuk Kai aka Salt Baked Chicken

It’s been too long since I last posted on my blog and this is a special request from my son …so I had to cook this, take photos step-by-step and flog it for him so that he can have a go at this dish 😉

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Course Salt is one of the main ingredients you will need … minimum 1 kg but it all depends on whether you bake half a chicken, just a whole leg or a whole chicken …. I baked a whole chicken (quartered into 4pcs) and I used up to 3 kg

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I used 2 casseroles …2 pcs of chicken in each casserole to bake …so here, it shows I spread the 1.5kg salt in each casserole and put the casserole into a pre-heated moderately hot (200-210°C / Gas Mark 5) oven for the salt to be heated up

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here, I boiled Dong Quai (Angelica Sinensis), red dates and Kei Chi (Wolfberries) with just enough water to cover herbs for 10 mins or until gravy is reduced until concentrated … set aside

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The boiled herbs with very concentrated gravy

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I used one whole chicken chopped into 4 quarters (2 whole legs + 2 breasts w wings attached) …if you prefer, use all whole legs to the quantity you prefer … rub the chicken pieces with some sesame oil, salt & light soy sauce

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Spread out on your kitchen counter top a double -layered piece of greaseproof paper … make sure it is big enough to wrap each chicken piece into a parcel … with plenty to overlap at closures

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Put some of the herbs in the middle of the greaseproof paper

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Put a piece of the chicken atop the herbs mixture on the greaseproof paper then put some more o fhe herbs mixture atop the chicken, t/w a bit of the gravy

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Gather the top and bottom of the double-layered greaseproof paper and fold it downwards towards chicken piece

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fold ends of paper in to allow stapler to reach as close to chicken as possible and staple both ends

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Both ends stapled, as close to chicken piece as possible … extend back out the folded ends of the paper

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Tuck both ends of the paper underneathe the parcel of chicken

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Carefully flip the parcel over and staple the two ends of the paper … not necessary to staple if you don’t want to but it makes the parcel more secure for handling

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The wrapped parcel of chicken ready to be buried into the course salt to be baked 😉

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With oven gloves, carefully take the casserole of course salt out of the hot oven, dish out 3/4 of the salt into another pot then spread the balance 1/4 evenly to cover base of casserole dish

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Carefully place the chicken parcels atop the layer of salt in the casserole dish and then pour the salt that was dished out earlier atop the chicken parcels and cover the parcels completely

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The chicken parcels completely buried in the course salt….bake in a moderately hot oven (200-210ºC / Gas Mark 5) for 45 – 60 mins …baking time will depend on the size of your chicken pieces … do not bake too long to avoid chicken being dry!

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here it is … Yim Kuk Kai … Salt Baked Chicken revealed 🙂 …. When done, carefully use  a wooden ladle to remove salt atop chicken parcels and lift parcel out onto serving plate with a thong (support base with wooden ladle if necessary) …. cut/tear open the paper at top of parcel to reveal the chicken and eat off the parcel as it is 😉

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I served up the chicken with this Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables of Broccoli, Mange-tout, Carrots, Fennel Bulb & Ginger ….yumz!!