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A Guinness pie

I know, I know. It’s not pie weather. In fact, here in Sacramento, the temps have been in the mid-100’s, which is positively skorchio. However, the stomach wants what the stomach wants and lately, I’ve been craving the comfort of a good British pie.

Steak and Guinness pie

Holland’s has recently launched a steak and Guinness pie, which is available at Tesco (for the Brits in the room). Prime steak, dark rich gravy infused with Guinness beer, and shortcrust pastry.

Trader Joe's Steak and Ale Pies

And for the Americans in the room, I stumbled upon steak and ale pies at Trader Joe’s. I haven’t tried it yet but I did buy a box and will do a little review on a future blog post!

What do you think? Are you a fan of steak and ale pie?

Bye-bye 2012, hello 2013!

Can you believe that 2012 is coming to a close already? I don’t know where this year has gone. I think I’ll forever think of 2012 as a quick moving current, a pleasant but very swift breeze! I resolve in 2013 to try to take things slower (if that’s even possible with two small children!) and make the most of every minute!

Yesterday, I baked up another batch of gingerbread. I’ve hardly baked much this whole year and yet in the past couple of weeks, our kitchen has been the center of the universe (as it usually is this time of year!) and I’ve done some successful baking! This time, I went with Nigella Lawson’s Guinness Gingerbread, which is every bit as heavenly as it sounds. There’s only a cup of Guinness in the recipe, but it’s enough to give the recipe a little something-something. The lack of molasses this time around also makes for a less strong, more child-friendly cake. I found it to be the best kind of spice cake imaginable – super moist and sticky, without screaming “Christmas.” It’s gingerbread for these post-Christmas days and the kids loved it.

Guinness gingerbread

Have a wonderful New Year’s and all the best to you in 2013! I’ll see you back here on Thursday!

Nigella’s Guinness Gingerbread

1 1/4 sticks 10 (tablespoons) butter, plus some for greasing
1 cup golden syrup (such as Lyle’s)
1 cup (packed) plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 cups sour cream
2 eggs
1 rectangular aluminium foil pan or cake pan, approximately 13 by 9 by 2-inches

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line your cake pan with aluminium foil and grease it, or grease your foil tray.

Put the butter, syrup, dark brown sugar, stout, ginger, cinnamon and ground cloves into a pan and melt gently over a low heat.

Take off the heat and whisk in the flour and baking soda. You will need to be patient and whisk thoroughly to get rid of any lumps.

Whisk the sour cream and eggs together in a measuring jug and then beat into the gingerbread mixture, whisking again to get a smooth batter.

Pour this into your cake/foil pan, and bake for about 45 minutes; when it’s ready it will be gleamingly risen at the centre, and coming away from the pan at the sides.

Let the gingerbread cool before cutting into slices or squares.