Easy Boiled Fruit Cake


It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe, but this is a good one! While busy in the kitchen tonight making this fruitcake it occurred to me to share this quick and easy recipe on my blog. Although it’s called “boiled fruitcake”, it’s baked – the name comes from the fact that some of the ingredients (fruit, butter, sugar) are boiled together beforehand, giving the cake a more complex flavour. It’s a lovely, light fruitcake, perfect for tea or a snack. This recipe was passed down from my grandmother to my mother and now to me.

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Tinto de verano – a Spanish summer drink!


J and I recently went to southern Spain for four days, a glorious four days of hot sun, blue skies and beautiful buildings with Moorish architecture such as the Royal Alcázar in Sevilla and the Alhambra in Granada. We still need to sort out our photos, so more about that later. For now, I want to share a new drink I tried for the first time on this trip, very popular in Spain. It is called tinto de verano, red wine of summer, and is perfect for a hot day. Here is how you make it:

Add 1 part of red wine to 1 part of lemonade (e.g. Sprite or lemon Fanta), add a few slices of lemon and some ice blocks, and voila! Tinto de verano. So simple and yet so delicious and refreshing for summer. Drink it and picture that you are sitting at a cafe in a cobblestone street in Spain, enjoying the warm summer evening 🙂

Nakládaný hermelín (Cheese marinated in chilli and garlic oil)


Hermelín is the Czech version of Camembert cheese, and can be eaten as is or marinated in oil (nakládaný), fried in breadcrumbs (smažený) or grilled (grilovaný). When he came across a pile of cheap Camemberts in Rewe, J was inspired to make the marinated version. That was one and a half weeks ago:  today we dined on delicious, spicy, herby cheese served with bread to mop up the flavoursome oil, and a glass of our favourite new drink from Spain, tinto de verrano. Here is how he made it (of course, he never measures anything, but it’s not really necessary with this):

Ingredients for an average sized jar:

Hermelin or Camembert cheese (he used three – take as many as you can stuff into your jar)

canola oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped into small pieces

about 8 garlic cloves, cut into quarters or pieces

chillies, chopped into pieces (the amount and type depends on how much heat you like)

bay leaves, peppercorns, allspice (pimento)


Cut the cheese into chunks and put into a clean jar. (For tips on sterilizing jars, see here). Add the onions, garlic, chilli and spices, then top up the jar with oil. Close the jar and leave to marinate for about 2 weeks (not more than 6 weeks). We put ours in the fridge, but apparently this is not necessary. Serve with nice big slices of crusty bread to mop up the oil.


Grandpa’s rock buns


These rocks buns were on my grandfather’s wishlist for every birthday, Christmas and Father’s day, so my mother would always make him a big tin and some for us at the same time. She would make some slightly burnt ones especially for me, because I liked them that way. I guess the reason my grandfather liked rock buns so much is that they are good with a cup of tea. I think they make a nice breakfast when you’re in a hurry! Continue reading

Štrúdl (Czech strudel)

J’s family live on a farm in the Czech republic, and when we go to visit we are always offered lots of delicious home grown foods from the cellar: fruits, honey, potatoes, eggs, nuts, preserves and jams. Last time we returned to Berlin with a big bag of apples and pears, so “Let’s make ŝtrúdl!” said J one evening.

It’s really quick to make and delicious for breakfast or tea-time. We also tried a (non-traditional) savoury version (shown in the third picture), where instead of a fruit filling we added spinach, feta, dill, ground coriander, paprika, salt and pepper. This made a really great lunch! Continue reading