Simple Sunday Supper with a Recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding

On a recent Sunday I found myself facing a dilemma.  I was up to  my eyeballs doing mountains of laundry and getting 2 sons packed to go back to school the next morning with last minute shopping of toiletries for good measure.  I was also awaiting the overnight visit of my sister and husband who were travelling from Canada in uncertain weather and a great distance.  It had been more than 6 months since we we last together and I wanted to be hospitable in spite of the chaos of sending kids back to  college.  This would also be the last chance to sit down around the table with our 3 sons alll together for a long time.  I decided a make ahead menu, a casual but inviting table setting and keeping it simple would have to rule.   Not knowing when our visitors would arrive meant I needed a meal that could sit and be kept warm as long as necessary.


I set the table way ahead of time with casual dishes that could all go into the dishwasher and fuss-free linens.  I piled the dessert dishes on a tray at the end of the table, ready to serve.  On the same tray I set a vase of flowering witch hazel from my garden.  Simple but inviting nonetheless.  Potted houseplants or a bowl of fruit could have also stood in for a centerpiece.

image image



Throw-together salad of greens with goat chesse, dried cranberries, pecans and clementines, all on hand

Crock Pot roast of pork with honey, cranberries and orange zest


roasted sweet potato roundsimageimage

rice pilaf with apples, currants and sliced almonds, all on hand

Individual Sticky Toffee puddings, a favorite of my sister’s

The meal was easy, all make ahead and held up until our weary travellers arrived.  Wonderful aromas greeted them with a hearty “welcome!”  with nary of stitch of laundry in sight!


Sticky Toffee Pudding

(adapted from Five Points Restaurant, NYC)



1 c boiling water

10 oz pitted dates

1 t baking soda

1 1/2 c flour

1 t baking powder

Pinch salt

1 stick(8 T) butter, room temperature

5 T sugar

2 large eggs

1 t vanilla

Toffee Sauce:   1/2 pint heavy cream, 1 c brown sugar, 4 T butter


For the puddings:  Preheat oven 350F. Pour water over dates, add soda, let stand for 5 minutes to soften dates.  With an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and beat in eggs. Add date mixture and vanilla and blend on low. Gradually add the combined dry ingredients.  Pour into prepared individual mini Bundt pan or in an 9 inch round baking dish, coated with butter or spray oil.

Bake 30 minutes if in large pan, 20 minutes if individual sizes.  Poke holes in pudding with a skewer to have sauce penetrate.

To make toffee sauce, bring cream to a boil, add sugar, add butter and boil 3 minutes.  Serve hot over pudding.  This was the only thing I made at the last minute.


I’m thinking a similar dessert was  served at Downton Abbey!  It will make your family moan with abandon and delight, unlike at the abbey.  Wishing you many simple Sunday suppers, surrounded by your family and good conversation.

5 thoughts on “Simple Sunday Supper with a Recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding

  1. I keep reading your blogs and want to do some of them myself……but I can’t keep up. You’re so fast!!!! I haven’t even shopped for the wreath yet, and I want to try the Hot Chocolate on a stick, yesterday you were planting bulbs and today a “Simple Sunday Dinner” I’m still catching up on last weeks’ laundry! Ha Ha, the roast and sticky pudding look divine, wish I could just pull them off of the page for supper tonight. Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2014 19:41:22 +0000 To:

    • I can! It is a recipe from my greek Canadian friend Panorea. In a small bowl mix together 3 t olive oil, 1 t fresh thyme leaves, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, 1 t coarse sea salt. Peel and chop 4 medium sweet potatoes in 1 1/2 ” thick slices Toss in and coat with the seasoned oil and roast at 400 for 45 minutes on a rimmed baking sheet. I shift them once while roasting so they don’t stick. They make the house smell like ou’ve been slaving all day! So good, even the next day in a salad.

  2. Pingback: Spiced Lemon-Fig Snacking Cake | French Gardener Dishes

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