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

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

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

Double Chocolate and Orange Cookies

After double, these cookies could only be improved by making them triple; perhaps a drizzle or dunk of white chocolate on each. As they stand however, my Double Chocolate and Orange Cookies are just splendid as they are. Especially straight from the oven. The smell as they bake is hard to beat. I like to use dark chocolate when making cookies as sweet as these because I think it adds some welcome bitterness. When it comes to rolling the cookies, for Read more

Three Easy Soup Toppings with New Covent Garden Soup

I like to look forward to my lunches; whether I’m using up some leftovers to make a quick salad, sticking all sorts of ingredients in a sandwich or slurping on soup. Sometimes it can be very tempting to just grab the quickest thing in the kitchen but if I do that I am invariably disappointed at lunch time. So say hello to my three easy soup toppings which can all be made in less than five minutes, using ingredients you probably already have and Read more

Kanelbullar (Swedish Cinnamon Buns)

While in Gothenburg last year I think I had a Kanelbullar every day. When it’s cold and windy outside sinking your teeth into one of these alongside a hot cup of coffee is just perfect. Slightly sticky, full of cinnamon and normally covered with nibbed sugar you can smell them before you see them in the cafés of Sweden. After trying a few different recipes I have come up with my own Kanelbullar recipe; the ideal balance of bread, wholesomeness Read more

Vegetarian Fish and Chips (with Halloumi)

This is, probably, one of my absolute favourite meals I have ever made. Not only does it look glorious (excuse self-praising) but it is absolutely delicious. A vegetarian fish and chips if you will; a real rival to that classic seaside dish using halloumi instead of fish. With my recipe there is no crispy batter, however, the outside of the halloumi gets all crispy and wonderful so you really don’t miss it. Plus, as there’s no deep fat frying Read more

Smoked Cheddar and Pickled Onion Turnovers

There's something you need to know about these turnovers. Although they are most excellent for using up leftovers they are more than worth baking up in their own right. Am I the only one who couldn't say no if offered Smoked Cheddar and Pickled Onion Turnovers? Didn't think so. Perfect for using up roast or mashed potatoes, pickled onions or chutneys and whatever hunk of cheese you have lying around. Completely versatile and a little bit too tasty Read more

Marshmallow Rice Krispie Yule Log

I tried making a traditional Yule Log a few years ago. It was somewhat stressful. Apart from the fact that my butter is never warm enough and I always lose patience and mix it up anyway and deal with the consequential sponge that turns up the whole process is fraught with danger. The rolling up, unrolling, spreading of cream, re-rolling and hoping for no cracking then furiously patching it up with ganache, chocolate flying all over the place. It's Read more

Bramley Apple and Nut Flapjacks

I live in a village and on first appearances it has all the qualities of somewhere straight out of Call The Midwife. Actually living there is quite different; people don't know each others names, good luck trying to get them to take your bins in for you and there's so much material competition it's like a car forecourt out there. Of course there are exceptions; one of which is the white house on the corner. They have a Bramley apple tree and although Read more