Olive and Fontina Baked Courgettes

A couple of courgettes turned up in the veg box this week. Although the days have been warm, borderline hot, recently the evenings are still cold reminding me that it’s firmly still spring. I’m certainly not complaining, I prefer spring in some ways; mostly that the heat (if any) is not muggy and there are many, many fewer insects. All the more enjoyable for al fresco dining I think you’ll agree; insects in summer mean I am forever swiping the Read more

Layered Ragu and Aubergine Pasta Bake

I think I’m part Italian. More likely, I like to think I’m part Italian. The reason for this recent realisation is that Italian food is the food I crave the most; when I’m looking for inspiration I invariably turn my attention to that most wonderful of countries. Pasta is the obvious Italian ingredient to inspire meals but the rice dishes, salads, marinades, stews, cheeses, meats and sauces always make me feel like I’m having a little Italian Read more

The Ferry Cookham

I hadn’t been to Cookham before having Sunday lunch at The Ferry a few weeks ago. In Berkshire and nestled alongside the Thames it’s a lovely village for a walk around, a nose in a few of the independent shops and finding somewhere for a drink, good food and a natter. Home to the Stanley Spencer gallery you could easily while away a morning before heading for some lunch. My top tip: get there early. Parking in Cookham is somewhat limited, there Read more

Horseradish Celeriac Remoulade

I used to really dislike horseradish, I just didn’t understand why you would want to eat something that makes you pull a face similar to the one you would pull if someone trod on your foot. I had tried it before and had decided to avoid it at all costs from then on; until I ate some by accident in a mini Yorkshire pudding covered with rare roast beef and everything changed. If you’re like me and you’re also on Team Horseradish then you must Read more

The Newbury Tasting Menu

I have to admit that I am a big fan of a 'Tasting Menu'. An opportunity for the chef and restaurant to show off different styles, techniques and flavours; improved further if there's matching wines to accompany it all. Also, let's be honest, I'm a fan of anything that means I get to gorge myself on everything indulgent. I was invited to try out The Newbury Tasting Menu and was really looking forward to it; what to expect in terms of theme or style Read more

Spanish Fennel Biscuits with Cream Cheese and Honey

When I was in Spain I ordered a dessert on the assumption that there had been a translation error on the menu. They can't mean cheese ice cream, surely, they must mean cheeseCAKE ice cream, that'll be delicious. Nope. Along came some cheese ice cream with a massive cracker on the side. What a revelation it was. The 'cracker' was actually a slightly sweet, very thin, fennel infused biscuit covered in sticky honey, which when dunked in the cheese ice Read more

New Store Cupboard Ideas – March 2017

I have been trying some really interesting products recently; it always makes for a brighter day when your lunch includes something new and different. Always welcome in my kitchen is something delicious and easy to make a tasty dinner in a flash. This month I’ve been trying out a new range of curry sauces, puffed chickpeas and chocolate chock full of good stuff; some new store cupboard ideas. I tried out two of the Funky Elephant products; the Read more

Vegetable Singapore Noodles

The thing I like most about these vegetable Singapore noodles is that you can throw in whatever you have left in the fridge at the end of the week. Add a few simple store cupboard staples and voila, dinner in 15 minutes. I have been perfecting this recipe for a little while now to get a good balance of sweet, salt and spice and by Jove I think I've cracked it. No more takeaways needed! You really can play around with this recipe too; try using different Read more

Sticky Soy Chard

Chard has such a fantastic earthy flavour and I love using it in all sorts of dishes. I used Swiss chard for this recipe but the rainbow variety would work just as well and look fantastic. My Sticky Soy Chard came about because I wanted to treat the chard exactly as I would treat bok choi; covering it in a savoury, sticky glaze. The chard plant itself does have a habit of getting a bit of mud stuck in the leaves so make sure you give it a good wash Read more

Slow Cooked Lamb Curry

This slow cooked lamb curry came about because I decided I was the proud owner of far too many spices. I hope it's not just me that has drawers, jars and bags full of various spices. They were of course all originally bought for a specific recipe but some of them get used less often than others; I use a lot of paprika and cumin but not so much caraway or allspice. I've got three different types of dried chilli hanging around (ancho, chipotle, kashmiri) Read more