Mad Hatters' Blog

Mad hatters love tea parties… we love them… especially the cake. We also love good food, fun events and interesting people!

Avoca’s 3 bean salad – perfect for sunny afternoons May 30, 2010

Filed under: Food,Recipes — wearemadhatters @ 10:12 pm
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Crunchy, fresh, satisfying, delicious

Sometimes the simple ones are some of the best, and this Avoca salad is the perfect example.

400g can each of kidney beans, butterbeans and chickpeas (drained and well rinsed)

4 spring onions finely chopped (I used finely chopped red onion instead)

2 red peppers, 2 yellow peppers, diced

1 can of sweetcorn (I don’t like sweetcorn so left it out! Still v colourful because of the peppers)


1tbsp dijon mustard

3 crushed cloves garlic

125ml olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

Make up the dressing, season to taste, then stir in all of the other ingredients. taste and adjust the seasoning. Amazing.


Inside-out carrot cake cookies – 1 of your 5 a day? May 29, 2010

Filed under: Food,Recipes — wearemadhatters @ 11:10 pm
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Loved the look of the recipe that @epicurious tweeted about on Wednesday so much that I had to give them a try, so I got everything in and made them this morning. They were all gone by lunch time. Really easy to make (I’m still no pro), and really good with a cup of tea.

The full, original recipe below can be found at, but I decided to go for a classic icing sugar/cream cheese/vanilla essence middle and it was really good. Also, not only are they really good warm before they’re iced (and you feel a bit like you’re having one of your 5 a day), but they’re also good as a single biscuit with icing  rather than sandwiched as once you have two together it can be a bit daunting, I prefer to fool myself that I’m only having one, then eat several more, rather than start out with two at the same time. Keep reading about carrot cake cookies…


Calling all comfort foodies… May 25, 2010

So as you may have all gathered by now Cat & I (along with our friends & family) tend to spend all our time, or at least a significant part of it, eating, thinking, talking (and now writing) about food. We are always on the look out for new things to try and add to our recipe books. But we have now pretty much exhausted each others food catalogue (spending 24/7 together for a year in Italy will do that to you) so this is where you guys come in.

We would love all of you to tell us how to make your favourite comfort food dish (or dishes), the one you want to eat when you come back from an awful day at work. Everyone has one. So go ahead and post the recipe. No matter how simple. Share you favourite dish (and any family secret ingredients necessary) with your fellow comfort foodies. We’ll be posting ours shortly.

Cat & Jen


Hummingbird Bakery Awakening!

Filed under: Food — Jen @ 5:50 pm
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I have long been a fan of baking. I don’t think there’s anything more relaxing (well at least when everything is going right-those who have seen me when things are going wrong would disagree!) Thankfully I also work with people who appreciate cake (nearly) as much as I do. Each week on Friday our office stops completely at 10.30am to gather at one end of the office for tea and cake. We have a rota and each week two members of the team bake and bring in cake. This is, understandably, my favourite part of the working week. Last week I was treated to the MOST AMAZING lemon cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook (

I heard of The Hummingbird Bakery a few years ago thanks to an American friend of mine (thanks Celeste) but somehow I never got around to picking up the Cookbook. That is until last Friday. After tasting the wonderfully light, fluffy and ‘zesty’ cupcakes at cake-time I knew that I could no longer live without this book! Keep reading about lemon cupcakes…


Lolly with a face anyone?? May 24, 2010

Filed under: Food,Kitchen — wearemadhatters @ 10:30 pm
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With the summer coming up I thought I’d look up a few fun gadgets and accessories that were about at the moment.

These lolly heads (left) immediately caught my eye (how could they not)

I have stared at this for ages (right) and still can’t figure out how it would cut up garlic, but if you want to chop garlic for a salad dressing and don’t want your hands to smell of it, then this seems a good way to use up some time Keep reading…


Baking challenge – the results so far… May 23, 2010

Filed under: Food,Recipes — wearemadhatters @ 11:20 am
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No one could say I didn’t have a plan. The sun was out and as soon as baking was over I was going to the beach so I wanted to get everything done in the morning, but Jamie said cold cake absorbs the mixture better so honey and pistachio would be made first, to cool while I made muffins, then onto topping both of them. Then off to the beach. Best laid plans and all that…

The honey and pistachio cake mixture smells AMAZING when you pour it into the tray – Greek yoghurt and lemon and orange zest, fresh fresh fresh. I followed the recipe to the word (very unlike me which I think is why baking has gone awry in the past) and the cake looks great fresh out of the oven. Keep reading about cake and muffins…


1 weekend – 2 baking challenges May 20, 2010

Filed under: Food — wearemadhatters @ 9:14 pm
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Being someone who is more comfortable wielding a baking tray for a casserole than a cake I have decided that now is the time to start trying out the sweeter chapters of cookery books and websites. This weekend therefore I shall be attempting both white chocolate muffins alla Channel 4/Delicious online and honey and pistachio cake alla Jamie Oliver… neither of which I have made before, because I really don’t bake. Who knows if this is a good idea or not.

It seems to me that they’re different enough that I must be capable of making one of them, and they both sound delicious so if either works I’ll be happy. Depending on how they come out I will post the recipe… watch this space (and cross your fingers for me please)!