Russian Caramel | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Is it too soon for me to mention the C word? No, not the rude C word. I mean Christmas! I think it’s about to get all Christmassy around here very, very soon and I can’t wait. I heard the first Christmas song of the season on the radio the other day. A little early you […]

Chicken Enchilada Casserole | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Olé! Let’s get all Mexican up in here! Are you a fan of Mexican food? Or should I say Tex-Mex? In Australia, we didn’t have much Mexican influence when I was growing up (why would we on the other side of the world?). All I knew about Mexican food was the big, yellow Old El Paso box, and […]

Piñata Cake | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

So. Tomorrow is Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind’s first birthday! Wow! I can’t believe how quickly the last year has gone. There have definitely been times where I’ve been a bit over it all, but there have been many, many more times where I’ve really, truly enjoyed the whole thing and couldn’t imagine my life […]

Roasted Red Pepper & Goats Cheese Alfredo | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Iain and I have been doing a weekly meal plan in our house for a while now and I absolutely love knowing what’s coming up on the menu for the week. We had always done a basic meal plan, but we tended to stick to tried and true recipes. Something about going that step further and sitting […]

Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

We’re in for a cold spell this weekend in London. September was milder and drier than usual, but I think October will put us back in our place; show us who’s boss. With the cooler weather coming, it’s the perfect time for the puddings to come out. Not the American kind of pudding either; the […]

Two Cheese Broccoli Risotto | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

I’ve got a funny risotto story to tell you. My mum is going to hate me for telling it to you, but you don’t know her and she doesn’t know you, so it’s all good really. When I was about 17, my mum wanted to cook something a bit different for dinner, so she decided […]

Prawns in Garlic Beer Sauce | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Did you know that I only started drinking beer this year? Well, of course you didn’t, because you don’t know me in real life, but I did. I never liked it before. It was too bubbly and too bitter and just not my cup of tea. I normally drink cider (hard cider I believe my […]

Apple & Blackberry Loaf Cake | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

I think loaf cakes/quick breads might be my favourite type of cakes. For one, there’s no need for icing/frosting, and to be honest, I’m not bothered by icing a lot of the time. For another, they’re denser than a regular cake, which just means less air and more cake for meee. And finally, it seems like […]

Creamy Prawn & Mushroom Linguine | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

The prawn monster has been let loose in our flat again! She’s the cookie monster’s long lost sister, and her catchphrase is ‘Me want prawns.’ She has a bit more of an adult palate than cookie monster, and she might also very closely resemble someone called Alice. I’ve said it before and I’ll say a million […]

Lemon & Poppyseed Muffin Top Cookies | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

I was quite young when Seinfeld was on TV, but I distinctly remember the episode with Elaine and the muffin tops. I probably saw a re-run of it when I was a bit older, but I remember agreeing whole-heartedly with everything Elaine said about muffin tops, they’re most definitely the best part of a muffin. I always […]


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