Category Archives: Sweet Dishes

Late to the table.


I know I’m late to the table, to jump on the ‘Overnight Oats’ bandwagon, never really appealed to me. I can’t do cereal with cold milk, I have to eat it dry I even have butter on my Weetabix when I’m being childlike and need nursery food memories for comfort.  Shock horror, I know but I’m sure we all have some weird and wonderful food faux pas.

The more I read about the phenomena, I thought I must try this, I have all the ingredients in my store-cupboard. Another fact, I’m not proud to admit, but hey it’s true, my youngest now 14, gets up and leaves the house in the dark (school starts too early here) before I’ve had chance to be bright eyed and bushy tailed, *Mum fail* and I know was grabbing anything to eat that didn’t take up pressure minutes to prepare.

So I, we, she, could prepare breakfast the night before, leave in the fridge and hey presto a healthy, vitamin, energy packed pot of goodness would be ready to go.

Still, at this stage, I’m thinking cold, gloopy, mushy …….

I investigated all the recipes, ideas online, adapted them to what we had and set about creating our oaty concoction.  Kilner jar clean and ready, loaded with ingredients that would supercharge us to Wonder Woman status ( always wanted that costume 😉 ).  In the fridge it stood, to work its magic.

By soaking the oats all night in your chosen liquid, preserves the tastes and nutritional value from not cooking, a great source of iron and dietary fibre and slow realese energy, keeping you full up till lunch.

So this is what I created.


La Rosilla – Superhero Oats 😉

Serves 2 generously.

What you need: Large Kilner Jay or covered jar, mug to measure ingredients.

  • 1 mug of oats
  • 1 pot 125ml of greek yoghurt  – I use full fat, fat-free often tend to be full of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of Chia Seeds (Omega3)
  • 1 mug Unsweetened Almond milk – Skimmed milk would work fine too.
  • 1 tsp local organic honey
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • Pinch of salt – I used Himalayan pink, I had it for Christmas 😉
  • Handful of frozen berries

Mix all together and place in fridge until morning.

I then served in a bowl with a scatter of almond nibs and a sprinkle of Bloom Supercharge Matcha.

Well, well, well I was so pleasantly surprised it was delicious, thick and creamy almost luxurious.  So my thinking cap is on as there are so many adaptations and additions for your basic recipe, you can literally add any fruits, spices, liquids & nuts.  What’s your favourite medley ?  Please share your ideas.

Grated apple and cinnamon.

Peanut Butter and strawberries.

Pineapple and coconut.

Sultana and walnut.

So I hope it won’t be an overnight (excuse the pun) fad, and we start to feel our Wonder Woman powers.




Sun shiny, brand new.


How fortunate we are to be blessed with skies so blue and warm sunshine to start the year, it should put a spring in my step, but no actually I’m happy to sit, face smiling upwards, eyes closed soaking up the liquid Vitamin D. This does not mean I’m not planning, creating and goal setting, I’m just doing it in my mind, occasionally on a piece of paper but definitely procrastinating from sitting inside, typing away.


For those that live in Spain will know our houses are built to stay cool, thus in the winter months, no matter how warm outside, there is often a chill indoors,in-fact we have to open all the doors and windows to let the heat it.  To light a fire before sunset is a luxury, many of us hardcore ‘campo’ (countryside) folk don’t partake in, but on the going down of the sun, fires are stocked, shutters closed and the evening hibernation commences.

We are on our last few days of the Christmas holidays, though we have chosen to take a mid-week break in feasting and frivolities to give our livers and stomachs a breather, before our last celebrations of “Los Reyes’ the 3 Kings on Saturday, when we will feast once more with friends.

New Year resolutions are still in the thinking stage, I look back in amazement that I actually completed those I made in 2017 !!

  • DRYJAN – YEP !
  • Walk 100 miles – I actually walked 1200 !


  • Loose 15kgs – I actually lost 20 !
  • Climb a Virtual Everest – 8848m – I actually climbed 6.9 !
  • Walk part of the Camino de Santiago and get my Compostella – YEP !


FullSizeRender 14

So I’m going along the lines of continuing my above efforts, carrying on walking, great for thinking time, breathing in the scenery and keep my back moving and delaying surgery . Adding a few more mountains to my tick list, and walking the Camino Finisterre and Muxia. This Camino route pre-dates Christianity, as pagans would head to Fisterra on the Costa da Morte (Coast of Death) where they believed the sun died and the worlds of the dead and the living became closer.

Food and drinks wise I aim for control, I need to loose my ‘All or nothing‘ characteristics, that personality trait though I feel may live in me forever and is actually what I’m renowned for, and I quite like me 😉 So I’ll enjoy my

So I’ll enjoy my Feast Days, and add the odd couple of fast days when necessary, I know that works for me. Fortunately, there is an abundance of fresh and vibrant local ingredients to whet our appetites, and whilst the sun shines we can enjoy

Fortunately, there is an abundance of fresh and vibrant local ingredients to whet our appetites, and whilst the sun shines we can enjoy light and healthy and often raw lunches & smoothies, and by night comforting one-pot’s full of vegetables, herbs and spices.


Berry Bursting Smoothie.

Whizz together.

1/2 frozen Banana.

Handful of frozen berries.

250 ml coconut water.

1/2 Tsp of Macha powder.

Tbsp of fresh mint leaves.


New ideas for cultural, gastronomic, charity and hiking days for my business La Rosilla – Lifestyle and Food are in the pipeline, collaborating with like-minded people and businesses, who celebrate and promote this beautiful and unique area we live in.

So welcome 2018, you’ve made a sun-shiny, brand new start.

Keep up the good work and watch this space.



#cookfromthebooks week 10 – Reunions & french fayre.


A fabulously hectic week, of friends and frolics has left me literally unable to speak…my jaw has gone into painful spasm, maybe the price I’m paying for eating,drinking, laughing and singing too much 😉 So I’m now on soft food and alcohol free tipples, best recover soon.

A few months back I volunteered on a language immersion course by Diverbo, to assit Spanish teachers in their quest to improve their English language skills, us volunteers were known as the ‘Anglos’. This week the Anglos of Southern Spain ( Malaga, Almeria, Murcia and Marbella) had a reunion, we re-grouped for a fabulous evening of wining and dining, laughter and merriment.  One of the gentleman known as ‘The Baron’ lives not too far from me at La Rosilla, so were pooled culinary skills and created a menu of french delicacies for our new friends.

Steak Tartare

Smoked salmon, avocado & goats cheese terrine

Coq au vin

Gratin dauphinois

Garlic braised spring greens

Tarte au citron & pot au chocolat

melting camemberts

Cafe and cognac

Some of our diners we knew may be a little unsure about steak tartare, so we held back from describing it’s origins or naming the dish, until after they’d tasted it, naughty I know, but we were able to convince most of them and they agreed, they wouldn’t have tried if they’d known, just proving many people pre-decide before trying 😉

For my #cookfromthebooks challenge this week, my sweet treats of Tarte au Citron & pot au chocolat, were taken by the simple and clearly written book ‘FRENCH’ by Raymond Blanc, published by M & S. The book  was originally published in 2003 as ‘Foolproof french cookery’

Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir

I have very fond memories of my visits to Le Manoir aux quat’saisons in Oxfordshire when I lived in England, reserved for very special treats, a place from the moment you arrived you feel clam, looked after and you know you are going to have an unforgettable experience.  Dining, gardens, accommodation, all faultlessly designed.  Unpretentious and impeccable  service, makes every one feel special and welcome.

My little pots of chocolate I adapted slightly and here is my recipe, rich, decadent and perfect for the chocoholics out there.


Makes 8 little pots or glasses.

300 g of dark choc, broken up

250 ml double cream

75 g of butter

good glug of cognac

  • Put all the ingredients in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water stir gently, until melted.
  • Pour into shot glasses or espresso cups.
  • Chill until ready to serve.


Our reunion was a great success, all different characters from all walks of life, coming together to re-confirm our new friendships.

Now for me, I’m off to make soup that I can sip through a straw, and hope my jaws gets back to full waggle soon 😉


If you would like to join in this years challenge of #cookfromthebooks I would be delighted :) Just add the hashtag #cookfromthebooks and add the logo below & link to this site.

#cookfromthebooks cooking challenge 2014

#cookfromthebooks week 9 – Carnival capers, supperclub visit & almond tart.


The end of Semana Blanca holiday (half term here) in Malaga province, went out with a bang. A family day out on the coast enjoying blue skies and warm sunshine, a chance to finally sample a fellow supper-clubbers Rooftop Table’s gourmet ‘Thai’ delights, dancing on a bar, well it was ‘Carnaval‘ and afternoon tea with tart, Almond & raspberry slice, from Bill Granger’s book, aptly named ‘Holiday‘ .

I can’t believe it’s week 9 of my personal #cookfromthebooks challenge already, this has got to be one of my best New Year resolutions ever, a win, win resolution. 🙂 That I’m loving sticking to, and everyone else is enjoying the fayre.

Bill Granger’s style is chilled and comforting, this book, focuses on occasions and events all related to relaxing and food.  Outdoors, fireside, celebrations and barefoot.

Bill Grangers Holiday, book review by La Rosilla.

I knew we were expecting a hectic week-end of revelry, so I decided on a decadent and rich Almond and raspberry slice recipe, to enjoy as and when we wanted, whilst taking a five minutes to sip tea and chillax.  All the ingredients I had in the fridge and store cupboard, and I easily managed to put it all together in between chores before going out.


It has a crunch shortbread bottom, fruity layer of jam (use your favourite flavour) and a sweet nutty topping, definitely not an everyday treat 😉 .  Don’t make the mistake I did, and add all the sugar at the almond stage, it then is really sweet !!!!

210g butter softened

165g caster sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

200g flaked & whole almonds mixed

2 tbsp milk

225g plain flour

40 g cornflower

160g raspberry jam

  • Preheat oven 180c
  • Line a bking tray with paper approx 24 x 20cm
  • To make the almond topping : put 60g of the butter, 55g of the sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla, the lamonds and milk in a pan.  Cook over a low heat until the butter and sugar has dissolved, then leave to cool
  • Make the shortbread base : beat the remaning butter, sugar and vanilla, until pale & creamy.  Sift the flour and cornflower together and beat into butter mix until crumbly.
  • Press the dough into the baking tin and bake for 12 mins or until light & golden.  Leave to cool for 10 mins.
  • Spread the jam over the base, then the almond mixture.
  • Return to the oven and bake for 25 mins more.
  • allow to cool and then cut into squares.

Enjoy with tea & breathe !

Family rating adults 10/10 chi8ldren 7/10 dare I say too rich for them !!

Back to reality now, children back at school,l cooler climes and wind blowing a hoolie, Oh well it’s nearly the week-end 😉


If you would like to join in this years challenge of #cookfromthebooks I would be delighted :) Just add the hashtag #cookfromthebooks and add the logo below & link to this site.

#cookfromthebooks cooking challenge 2014

#cookfromthebooks week 6 (Weather week & TV gone)


What a week, crazy weather all mixed up, days of warm sunshine, lashing rain and then winds to make Kansas look positively calm.  Battening down the hatches and waiting for weather to arrive, can seem quite exciting.  Mountain living is a guarantee that we receive extremes of all weathers and seasons, and within the ‘Expat online’ community always a great talking point, well we are British after all 😉

Number 1 daughter returned home from a very wet Herefordshire for her half term break, hoping for her cockles to be warmed and her pale skin to be rosied but we can’t always provide !! So it’s home fires burning, hot bots in  bed and 2 pairs of socks to keep her tootsies warm.  Candles are always at the ready at La Rosilla , baskets filled with tee-lights to be lit  in every room, normally to create a cosy ambiance but at this time of year for necessity too. With wind and rain comes the power-cuts, all part of the adventure of our lifestyle.

Food for family and friends we can provide, nothing beats gathering around the dining table when there has been a week of conversation topic making. So I set the table, invited friends for supper, scoured my cook books for my week 6 #cookfromthebooks  challenge, for family friendly recipes, ( our guests not quite so adventurous as us in food tastes 😉 A homely Chicken, Bacon and pea pie would see fit, chosen from Rachel Allens ‘favourite food at  home’ Rachel Allen Favourite food at home

I find this cook book, uplifting, clear and easy to follow.  Good hearty recipes, beautifully captured in photos.  Family favourites, dishes for occasions and basic must know tips for all cooks.

The Chicken pie with bacon and peas wasn’t a fast throw it all together affair, but worth the time and effort.  Like normal I adapted it to suit our tastes and and what I had in the fridge.  The pie in the recipe can be topped with mash or puff pastry, I used a filo topping, to add a slightly more sophisticated pie, to serve for supper guests.  I also used pancetta, instead of ham, which added an extra richness.   I served this with roasted butternut squash cubes, in caraway , not all guests were willing to try ‘Can’t do orange veg’ they said !!! and for  green, french beans sauteed in butter & garlic.

No photos this week of my ‘Pie’, with power on & off, candles lit and my wine glass full, this rare I know, slipped my mind 😉

Pud was a comforting cherry crumble or La Rosilla chocolate Brownies, La Rosilla Browniesthe children all bagsied the Brownies so I sneakily hid a butternut squash cube in them, but the devils caught me out 😉 – The crumble topping was unusually made I thought.  I always rub my flour and butter together to make bread crumbs then add sugar , oats and cinnamon – but in Rachel Allen’s recipe for Rhubarb, plum & cardamon crumble, she prepares her dry ingredients then pours on melted butter and quickly mixes – It did provide a dense crumble topping but I found quite clumpy – I think in future I’ll stick to my usual, on saying that with the bowl placed dangerously near to my place, I did manage to secretly have a few portions 😉


To finish the week an event we knew was looming on the horizon, but hoping it wouldn’t and not knowing when it would, came to fruition.  For many Ex-pats living in Spain, we have a guilty pleasure, or for some of us a necessity to watch UK TV to keep us up to date of our home-land, receive world wide news in our own language, or for me the obligatory watching of the many ‘Foodie’ programmes .  Never have I watched a ‘Soap’ in 9 years but Saturday Kitchen, Masterchef & my ‘Jamie’ these are my moments of weakness and now they are GONE !! The UK have changed their satellite position, and now we can no longer tune in to our favourite channels 😦 .  There are ways and means, and options being advised, sold, hawked as days go by, but as in sit, switch on and watch NO ! I know we’ll get used to it, and maybe find that life we actually came to live on a mountain for.  I have a pile of books to get through, jigsaws to make, and DVD’s to watch, so once I’ve finished sulking and got my head around it, all will be fine….Hurry up summer, when late night terrace sitting, and the only thing we watch is the night sky for shooting stars.

Until then a plateful of home-made ‘Melting Moments’ from my treasured, well thumbed, Nan’s ‘Bero’ recipe book, will do the trick.


140 g S.R Flour

80g caster sugar

120g Margarine / butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

Oats, dessicated coconut & cranberries to decorate.

  • Cream togwther butter & sugar, add vanilla.
  • Stir in flour and mix well.
  • With your hands bring dough together.
  • With wet hands divide mixture into 36 balls and roll and coat with coconut or oats.
  • Place on a greased baking sheet slightly apart and flatten a little add a dried cranberry to some.
  • Bake at 160c for 12-15 mins until golden.




If you would like to join in this years challenge of #cookfromthebooks I would be delighted :) Just add the hashtag #cookfromthebooks and add the logo below & link to this site.

#cookfromthebooks cooking challenge 2014

Ruby Pomegranates !


As every year, I’m always delighted when the first Pomegranate is ready or ‘Granada’ as they are called in Spain.  They hang dripping from the trees on the mountains. some splitting with their over ripeness, giving a sneaky peak to their ruby-red jewel’s inside.

I use them as much as I can when in season, Pom Raita, Pom Punch, Pom Cous Cous , This year I created a lush salad with other fruit  and herbs in season, Poms, watermelon, feta, rockets, nuts and local jamon and olives delish !

Pomiliicious Salad

Pomiliicious Salad

I also went about creating my first Pomegranate Molasses, an ingredient that I use a great deal in Middle Eastern cooking, but surprisingly have never been able to find locally , the results were fabulous.  Now I have the ruby spectacular syrup to take me through the winter months.  I also jarred cute bottles for friends for ‘C’ just can’t say the word yet, I hope they’re not reading !!



Gather as many Poms as you can.


Slice in half.

Slice in half.

Juice the poms.

Juice the poms.

Pomegranate juice, 20 poms makes about 1.5 litres !!

Pomegranate juice, 20 poms makes about 1.5 litres !!

Put the juice in a pan, with 2 tbs of sugar and a juice of a lemon, bring to the boil and then simmer uncovered to reduce to a thick pouring consistency, then bottle.  Will keep in the fridge for several months.

Bottle of ruby nectar Pomegranate Molasses.

Bottles of ruby nectar
Pomegranate Molasses.




Drying out …


No i’m not talking about giving up the vino of course, a little less I have admit now it’s back to school time, but drying out some of summers bounty to preserve its sweetness and flavours for the coming cooler months, prolonging that taste of summer just a while longer.

My grapes were picked and put out to sunbathe for tiny raisins or currants, to be used in baking over the autumn or sprinkled in salads or cereals for breakfast.  Drying grapes in our area of Spain is very local tradition, which is celebrated with the ‘Ruta de Pasa‘ a lovely drive through the mountains’,taking in scenic whitewash villages, who lay out the grapes on the mountainside to dry beautifully in the Anadalcuian sunshine.  These will then by turned into unctious sweet Malaga wine and sweet delicacies.

Drying grapes at La Rosilla

Drying grapes

Delighted this year I had a bumper crop of figs, fresh chutney was made, that will be enjoyed with strong cheeses and roasted meats, but I tried something new, I sundried my figs too .. for recipes such as ‘pan de higo’ a delcious figgy roll that is enjoyed as a tapa, or after dinner with a rich PX sherry and a slither of cured goats cheese.

Heres how to do it…

Picked, wash and halve the figs.

lay out seperately on trays lined with kichen paper.

preparing figs for drying

preparing figs for drying

Cover with fly nets and lay out in the sun to sry for a few days.  Bring in at night if where you are the morning are damp.

When the figs are dry and chewy, store in an airtight container and enjoy.

Dried figs at La Rosilla

Dried figs at La Rosilla

I also dry my tomatoes in the sun, you can read about that here.

Teasing tasters.


Seems the weather keeps teasing us and giving us a taste of what’s to come – A day of glorious sunshine in between the dull & rain, is enough to lift the spirits , time to fling open the windows, lunch alfresco and the drudgery of the daily homework routine somehow seems all more bearable done in the afternoon sun.

Yesterday we we’re singing with the birds, everyone was cheery, flowers were picked to add a springtime bloom and the children gathered their boots & walking sticks and returned once more to their Swallows and Amazons lifestyle, trekking and exploring their mountainside with dogs & cats in tow.

My main vegetable patch is in need of resurrection, I’m trying to build the enthusiasm to to tackle it head on, what I have done, is create a little mini herb & salad patch in the border at the back of my house, just by the kitchen door & yesterday we enjoyed our first pickings of leaves & herbs & edible flowers in a fresh green salad.

salad leaves from La rosilla

We are down to one hen at the moment 😦 but soon her new friends will be arriving, I think she is enjoying eating solo and not having to share, and bless her she lays an egg everyday for us, good job really, as I often start a recipe or dish and then think …’bloody hell’ have I got any eggs ? . Yesterday was no exception, scouring the fridge for inspiration & decided to rustle up a red cabbage slaw, Oh no no mayo,- no worries I’ll just whip some up – Oh no, no eggs – Off to Henny Penny I trudged , she hadn’t let me down.

Today we’re back to wet & grey, with even talk of a ‘Red’ alert on weather warnings !  So I’m feeling the need for comfort food and sharing.  Luckily this afternoon is my ‘Book Club’ and we going to chat about The Kasmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas , a tale of The Raj, Colonial India & Wales, so I’ve baked a spiced Tea Bread & Victoria Sponge, hopefully sweet tastes to match the beautiful tale.

The Kashmir Shawl


250 gr of Sultanas soaked in 300ml of cold tea, leave overnight.

 I use a Moroccan tea, flavoured with cinnamon, chicory, liquorice, orange & mint.

Mix with :

2 beaten eggs

250 gr of SR flour

200 gr of Brown sugar

2 tsp of mixed spice

Stir well together – then pour into a lined 2lb loaf tin – bake at 175 c – for 1 hour until risen and dark golden.

Spiced Tea Bread recipe from La Rosilla.

Enjoy with butter and jam and of course a lovely cup of tea.



What a difference a day makes !


I think this must be the windiest winter on record, well it’s certainly the windiest we’ve experienced living on the mountain.  In fact in the 8 years we’ve lived here , we’ve lived through many weather records, the hottest summer, the wettest Autumn, the driest winter, Snow first time in 80 years .. we call it living in extremes, or all weathers.

The skies have been so clear and blue this winter, and on most days we can see the snow topped mountains of Sierra Nevada and the Mediterranean  sea – journeys to the coast afford views of Africa, and its Moorish headlands.  The wind though has paid it’s price, this morning hiking up the mount to the meet the school bus, I had to hold on to my little daughter as she was almost blown away, we sheltered in a nook from the howling wind, olives that have not yet been picked were hurtling through the air like missiles.  As soon as it comes though it subsides, and calm prevails once more.

Yesterday we were able to to enjoy a feast with friends alfresco, with Secreto Iberico‘ on the barby and a huge terracotta dish piled high with patatas a lo pobre‘ , along with herb salad and the first nasturtium flowers of the season, and a giant loaf of rye soda-bread to mop up juices. A day in the fresh air, rosie cheeks, full bellies, and then a night in front of the fire, with a trifle to boot 😉

Today the wind is back, and the temperature has dropped, so the home fires are burning and warming comfort food is needed – Albondigas are bubbling away, and a tray of luscious Oatie, fruit & nut flapjacks have been made to enjoy with a little camomile & honey tea.

What a difference a day makes, but it keeps us on our toes, and makes us make the most of all weathers.

Here I share my recipe for a very large tray of Oatie, fruit & nut flapjacks.

Oaty,fruit & nut traybake

2 oranges – zested & juiced

1 lemon – zested & juiced

200 gr Sultanas

400 gr butter

200 gr Brown sugar

200 gr Golden syrup

200 gr Plain flour

500 gr Oats

200 gr pine nuts

  • Put juice, zest of fruits & sultanas in a saucepan and heat gently, for the sultanas to plum up – for about 5 mins.
  • Add butter , syrup & sugar to the pan and heat gently until all melted.
  • In large bowl put flour, oats & nuts, mix then add melted mixture, stir well until thoroughly mixed.
  • Pour mixture into a large lined baking tray and bake in oven 160 c for 25 mins until golden
  • Cut into squares whilst warm then allow cool.




Baking across the miles !



Well what a few weeks, living the dream NOT ! Weather, floods, landslides, bureaucracy, hospitals, banks – Enough is enough, Basta Ya !

It’s Friday & I need that Friday feeling, and that means creating comfort and all things sugar & spice.  My trusty Banana, Walnut & choccie bread is on order, filling La Rosilla, with aromas good enough to calm the most stressed soul.  Whilst baking in the oven, & stirring rumbles in my tum, I tweeted my doings, and a twiend @mosscottagebnb replied ‘have a go at my recipe’.  I perused said recipe, and it confirmed Bill & I had very similar tastes & recipes, mine a little more thrown together, well It’s Friday after all, but I’m sure the outcome just as delish.

While browsing Bills blog – I came across his Shortbread recipe, so easy I thought I have to have a go – So it’s in the oven as I type, and Bill is making some too some 1560 miles away in my old hometown of Stratford -upon- Avon, it’s my first attempt so fingers crossed , A little taste of home 🙂

Banana, walnut & chocolate loaf recipe

Banana, Walnut & Choccie Bread (Well more like a tea loaf / cake – you know what I mean )

Prepare a loaf tin with greaseproof paper

preheat oven 160 degrees

200 g SR flour

125 g sugar

handful of mixed fruit

handful of chopped walnuts

handful of chunks of dark choc or choc drops

2 eggs

3 very ripe bananas mashed up

grating of lemon rind

100g butter.

  • Cream sugar and butter together
  • add eggs one at a time until combined
  • add mixed fruit and lemon rind, stir
  • fold in sifted flour
  • stir in walnuts & choc

Bake in the oven 50 mins to 1 hour, until golden & risen and a skewer come out clean.

Allow to cool, or if like me eat when warn out of the oven, before others get their hands on it 😉

How lovely to share recipes with from afar but for now – TGIF