Mushroom toasts with bacon and bone marrow

toast close up

I’m kicking off my first recipe post on Nicole’s Kitchen Diary with these delicious mushroom toasts. I was lucky enough to salvage this recipe from my old blog, all thanks to my friend Joe who pointed me to a website that periodically scans and takes snap shots of sites. Lucky for you guys, because it’s one of my favorites and would make the perfect Valentine’s Day starter. Roasted bone marrow spooned over garlicky mushrooms and salty jewels of bacon and perfumed woody thyme… what’s not to love?

The inspiration for this recipe came from one of the best kitchen books you could own, The Flavour Thesaurus. It’s always on hand in my kitchen. If you’re a foodie and you’ve not heard of it or read it, I urge you to order a copy. As the title suggests, the book is set out like a thesaurus and is a bible of parings, recipes and ideas for the creative cook.


  • 250g mushrooms (I used Chestnut and Shiitake), roughly chopped
  • 4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped thyme
  • Splash of white wine
  • 2 disks of femur bone (bone marrow) – ask your butcher for this
  • 4 thick slices of sourdough bread
  • 1 tbsp each of butter and olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Turn the oven on to the highest temperature and pop in the bone marrow (in a roasting tin). It will take about 35-40 minutes.
  2. When the marrow has only 10 minutes from being done heat the butter and olive oil in a pan on a medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 4 minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms, garlic and thyme, cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Then add a splash of wine and allow to cook until reduced. Season to taste.
  5. Pop the slices of sourdough bread under the grill. Remove when lightly toasted and whilst still hot rub them with a garlic clove.
  6. Remove the bone marrow from the oven and carefully spoon out the soft marrow from the middle – stir this through the mushroom mix.
  7. Pile the mushroom mix on to the toasts and garnish with a little fresh thyme.
  8. Serve immediately.

Your setback is a platform for your comeback

I am the author (or was) of Miss Friday’s Feast, a food and cookery blog. I worked hard for five years to establish a blog that became home to many of my own recipes and ideas. The blog provided me with a space to air my views and share my love of food with the world.

Recently, for one reason or another (work, my two-year old, or just lack of enthusiasm), I had neglected writing my blog and allowed my hosting account to lapse, which meant my blog was taken offline – a bloggers worst nightmare. I had various issues trying to reinstate it. Alas, it’s gone – the domain name, the website, the posts, the recipes, my photos and five years of hard work to establish something I was immensely proud of.

Having spent a few days/weeks grieving the loss, I figured I’d turn the negative into a positive. You’ve heard the phrase right… ‘your set-back is a platform for your comeback’. So, here I am starting a fresh with Nicole’s Kitchen Diary.

I’m reading an interesting book at the moment about how success happens, it’s called Black Box Thinking (by Matthew Syed) and I have to say, it’s true that a progressive attitude towards failure  turns out to be the cornerstone for success. So I’ve made sure that I apply the lessons I’ve learnt from this set-back. I have set my domain subscription to auto-renew, meaning it will not lapse if I (foolishly) forget to pay the renewal. I have also decided to keep my own back-ups of my recipes, photos and posts, something I should have done from the start.

When deciding to start a new blog I did what you would expect, I read articles and watched YouTube videos “10 things to consider before starting a blog” and “how to set your blog apart” I’m paraphrasing, but you get the point. I had to find my niche… or did I?

The web is saturated with healthy living blogs – In fact, run a quick Google search and you’ll get 5,480,000 results. I’m not knocking them, heck I read plenty of them, but that’s not me. I love cake too much, but I’m not the best baker, so that’s not going to work either. Veggie, vegan, raw food, free-from? – Let’s just stop there. Whilst I am a huge fan of healthy food, I’m not even entertaining the idea of cutting any food group out of my diet. So finding a niche was proving difficult. However, something I am hugely passionate about it a balanced lifestyle, one that involves fruit, vegetables, proteins, carbs, dairy, sugar (in moderation) and staying active. I think I just found that niche – beautifully balanced.

I decided on the name of Nicole’s Kitchen Diary as a total rip off of Nigel Slator. I’m a big fan of his general attitude towards food, a seemingly relaxed, non fussy approach. He eats what he has in the fridge or garden and experiments with flavours and textures. I also love his writing style – it’s free-flowing and liberating. I like the idea of being able to dip in-and-out of something like a blog. I’m not nearly disciplined enough in my personal life to operate to a schedule or routine. I have a two-year old which often makes the very notion of routine a laughable idea.

So, take me as you find me, haphazard, unscheduled and unapologetic.