Dandelion fritters - veggie recipe

The inspiration was a blog by Karina Wells, who used this recipe. I transitioned the recipe from vegan to vegetarian to make use of the ingredients I had in the house.


30 dandelion flower heads
1 1/4 cup polenta flour
1 1/4 cup milk
1 egg
vegetable oil for frying
1/2 tsp salt


Pick the dandelions just before cooking or keep them in a bowl of water if you can't. If you are foraging, pick them away from a road or anywhere where there might be pesticides. Dandelions are open on a sunny day, so it's better to wait for the sun to come out. Make sure you leave a bit of stem for handling them later.

Wash them, pat them dry. Combine the ingredients for the batter, beating the egg in. I do not like to waste oil, so I filled about an inch of this small milk pan to fry them in. At the end not much oil was left.

Grab the stems and dip the flower in the batter. You can also scoop a bit and make the flower into a ball if it's easier. Place flower in the hot oil, stem up. After a little while, turn it. Fry in batches of three or four, then put them onto a plate covered with kitchen towel to absorb the oil. Lovely hot and plain, but you can have a dipping sauce.


Rice pudding the Italian style


  • 90g pudding rice
  • 250ml hot milk
  • zest of one lemon 
  • 15g butter 
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 110g sugar
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 60g mixed dried fruit 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsps of semolina flour
  • oil spray for the ramekins (or butter)


Cook the rice for 10 minutes until soft. Drain it and return to the pan. Add the milk, half of the zest and cook covered at low heat until all the milk is absorbed (around 10-15 minutes). Stir occasionally so it does not stick to the pan. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 170C or gas mark 3. In a bowl, add the butter and the rest of the zest, the eggs, sugar, ground almonds, mixed fruit and semolina.
Add the rice. Spray some oil and coat six ramekins using your fingers or a brush. Place the ramekins inside a tin and pour some hot water from the kettle until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Spoon the rice mixture into the ramekins. Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes until set and golden. 
Leave the puddings to cool and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. You can make them the day before if you prefer and keep them covered in the fridge.


Spade to Plate and cooking from the garden

I have not updated this blog in a while. This is because of work (paid and voluntary), which has left me less time to do crafts... I still recycle, more than before.

I go to cookery classes to use up vegetables from my friend Karina's allotment and also make jams and cordials at home. Yesterday I made elderberry cordial and apple and blackcurrant jam. I sterilise jars in the microwave while metal lids go into a pan of hot water (from the kettle).

I add citric acid to the cordial so it lasts longer. Having missed out on the flowers, I have harvested the berries, which make a wonderful anti-flu syrup!

You can find lots of recipes online, I have done these by eye so I could not tell you the proportions of fruit and sugar. I used a pectin powder, which allows to use only 500g of sugar per 1000g of fruit.

Have a happy summer!


Summer projects

School is out, so family crafting is back - indoors and outdoors. Michela, aged 10, produced these masterpieces so far.

The butterfly mobile is very cute, we got the idea from a children's centre activity. It's a fun way to recycle packaging. Inside the open dice, the butterflies hang from pretty ribbons.

She also made a Lego chick and this wonderful painting at the Fitzwilliam Museum's Art Week. The glue featured is Gorilla Glue, which bonds a variety of materials, including paper! We got this sample from a friendly PR and we are now wondering what to do with it next.


Watch strap hack - with loom bands

Fixing a watch strap

My watch strap's loops broke... the tongue bit kept flipping up and getting caught in things. So I took a black loom band, doubled it and secured the strap end back. No need to replace the watch strap yet...


Make a trendy skirt from a man's suit jacket

For best results, use a large jacket. My partner is on the slim side so I added a small panel at the back. The pocket on the back comes from the inside of the jacket. There is also another internal pocket inside. 


Snow ice cream or Italian granita with snow...

As it is snowing, here is my recipe of snow ice cream. Do not use compact snow unless you want it slushy... You can find the recipe on my parenting blog...