Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burrito

I’ve just finished eating the following dish and am now lounging on the sofa in a rather pleasant food coma.  Rather greedily, I ate two when one would have been entirely sufficient.  Feel like a slob.  In my defence, I am (rather pathetically) still recovering from the weekend and feel in need of nourishment. 

Plus, these were amazingly delicious.  Resistance was futile.  🙂

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burrito

(adapted from The Moosewood Low Fat Cookbook – makes 4 large burritos)

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

Vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 green chilli, finely chopped

2 tspn coriander powder

2 tspn cumin

Pinch of cayenne

Tin of black beans, drained and rinsed

Handful of coriander

1/2 lemon, juiced

1/2 tspn salt

Flour tortillas

Grated cheddar cheese (optional)

  • Add the sweet potato to a pan of salted water.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes until the sweet potato is tender.  Drain.
  • Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan.  Add the onion, garlic and chilli and cook gently until the onions have softened. Add the spices and cook for a further minute.
  • Add the sweet potato, onion, chilli, garlic, beans, coriander, lemon juice and salt to a food processor.  Blend for 20-30 seconds until smooth-ish.
  • Pre-heat oven to 170oC and lightly oil a baking dish. 
  • Spoon the sweet potato mixture into the middle of each burrito and roll into a cigar shape.  Place burritos into the snug-fitting baking dish and cover with foil.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Optional – After baking, remove tin foil and sprinkle cheese over the burritos.   Place under the grill until the cheese bubbles.

I served this with chunky cherry tomato salsa.  Recipe to come.  🙂

The Wedding (cake)

After a whole week of brilliant sunshine and high temperatures, the heavens opened on Genna’s wedding day.  It rained and thundered throughout the entire wedding!  But no-one cared a jot.  The day could not have been more beautiful. 

Way too tired to give details.  The pictures say everything.  🙂




An enormous thank you to the owner and staff of Aswanley for making Gen and Keith’s day so incredibly special.  🙂

Pg. 123


It’s the wedding weekend.  I’ve pressed my dress, painted my nails and charged the batteries in my camera.  Most importantly, I’ve made the cake.  It’s sitting on the kitchen work surface as I type, anxiously awaiting  Saturday afternoon and its fifteen minutes of fame and glory. 

I will, of course, post photos of the finished cake once the day is over.  For today’s post, though, I’ve accepted a tag from  Holler and Pat.   They asked me to pick up the nearest book, open to page 123, count five sentences down and then write down the following three sentences.

Ok doke.

I’m re-reading Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon at the moment.  It’s a book that is often studied in Scottish high schools but I never have nor never will teach it.  I love it too much.  Selfish?  Maybe.  I just don’t think I could bare anyone scoffing at Chris or Euan or Rob of the Mill or any of the other characters I know so well. 

Anyhoo, here are the lines.  They say a lot about the heroine, I think.


 “Then he rose and shook hands, Well, well, it’s Miss Guthrie come up; you’ve been thinking of the will no doubt?

She told him, Yes, just that; and that she was going to live on at Blawearie a while, not roup the gear out at once, could he see to that with the factor?

He stared at her with his mouth fallen open, But you can’t live there alone!”

Wild Garlic and Lemon Pesto

This week I’ve been playing with my new discovery, wild garlic. My findings are as follows:

  • Once picked it very quickly wilts unless kept in a glass of water.
  • One shouldn’t eat the leaves after the plant has flowered.
  • The flowers, however, can be eaten but are stronger than the leaves.  They could be used to scent dishes rather than actually eaten.
  • The leaves go slimy and grey if sautéd
  • Though it tastes very mild, wild garlic gives the eater wicked, wicked wicked garlic breath.

 My plans to make Pille’s wild garlic pesto were scuppered when I realised I was without pinenuts.  Not one to be deterred, I hunted through my cupboards and made do with what I could find.  The resulting pesto was grassy, garlicky and great.  😉



Wild Garlic and Lemon Pesto

50g wild garlic leaves

30g nuts (I used cashew nuts but walnuts and almonds wpuld work well too)

50ml olive oil

30g parmesan, grated finely

1/2 lemon

Salt and pepper

  • Whizz the wild garlic and nuts until a coarse paste is formed.  Add the olive oil and whizz for a few more seconds.
  • Stir through the parmesan and lemon juice.  Season carefully.

We ate this stirred through wholemeal pasta and topped with rocket and torn prosciutto.


The Wedding Cake – The Recipe

Last night I made the final practice cake.  The wedding is only eight days away – eeeeeeek! – and, though the last sponge was a resounding success, I felt one more trial was necessary for peace of mind.  Again, the cake turned out very well.  So well in fact that when I returned to the staffroom at lunch time to take a photo of the leftover slices of cake this crumb was all that remained!



I will post a photo of the final cake after next Saturday’s wedding.  Until then, here, after much calculations,  experimentation and failure, is the recipe for a 10″ square moist vanilla sponge cake.  🙂


The Wedding Cake (based on Rose Levy Beranbaum’s white butter cake)

 650g Tipo 00 flour (my choice of flour caused much discussion.  The recipe called for North American “cake flour” which is finer than UK plain flour and bleached.  Solved the problem by using the ultra fine 00 flour and self bleaching it by blasting it in the microwave for 3 minutes.  Many thanks to this blog for providing the solution)

650g golden unrefined caster sugar

10 teaspoons baking powder

1.5 teaspoons salt

10 large organic egg whites, room temperature

560g whole milk, room temperature

5 teaspoons vanilla essence

360g organic butter, room temperature

Extra butter and flour for baking tins

800g pre-made fondant icing

Butter icing – perfect recipe here

Corn flour

Good quality strawberry jam

  • Preheat a non-fan-heated oven to 180oC exactly
  • Rub two 10″ cake tins with butter.  Dust with flour and line the bases with baking paper.
  • Lightly mix the egg whites with the vanilla essence and 200ml of the milk.  Set aside.
  • Sieve all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
  • Cream the butter and add to the dry ingredients along with the milk.  Mix until most of the flour is dampened then transfer the mixture to an electric mixer (there is a lot of mixture – adding the flour and other ingredients straight into the electric mixer’s bowl results in a flour storm).  Mix on medium speed for 1.30 mins.
  • Add 1/3 of the egg mixture to the batter and mix for 20 seconds.  Repeat until all of the egg mixture is combined.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 10 more seconds.
  • Pour equal amounts of the batter into the two pre-prepared baking tins and smooth over.
  • If you have a huge oven, bake both cakes in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes.  If you have a normal sized oven, bake the cakes separately for 40 minutes each.
  • Remove baked cakes from the oven and cool thoroughly.
  • Carefully tip one cake onto a plate/cake holding thing.  Liberally spread with butter icing then strawberry jam.
  • Carefully  tip the second cake upside down on top of the base cake.  Placing this layer upside down ensures a very flat cake top.
  • Dust a work top with cornflour and roll the fondant out to 5mm thickness.  Carefully lay over the cake and trim.