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

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

An Adventure Right on Your Doorstep

I thought I knew my local area pretty well, thought I’d trodden all its paths and roads and could take you to all the best places. Turns out I was wrong as a spontaneous left turn took me to all sorts of corners of Hampshire that I didn’t even know were there. We were planning on doing a bit of local exploring but hadn’t set our expectations too high as we were so convinced we'd already seen it all; we were amazed at all the new places we Read more

Ultimate Hot Chocolate Gifts

I love a good hot chocolate; not too sweet, not too bitter but full of chocolate flavour and I have been working on perfecting my recipe for the ultimate hot chocolate. This recipe is too good not to share, and what nicer way to share it than making some (ever so pretty) make-your-own hot chocolate gifts. You need only four ingredients, a few empty jars, some string, paper and your very neatest handwriting. A word of warning: make sure you make enough Read more

Christmas Food and Gift Guide

If someone is kind enough to get me a gift for Christmas I love it when said gift is food or food related. I think it’s a very personal thing to give, whether it be something they have made themselves or taken time in choosing for you. This is my Christmas Food and Gift Guide; a range of different food and drink ideas from all sorts of places and companies. Berry Brothers and Rudd had their Christmas preview all the way back in July when I ventured Read more

White Chocolate Easter Egg Nests

I don’t think a bit of accuracy does anyone any harm and I find myself slightly troubled each Easter as I see many chocolate nests filled with standard size chocolate mini eggs. Not only does it look like an ostrich has laid several eggs in a blackbird’s nest you can only fit three maximum in each nest which doesn’t feel very generous. Now I know these aren’t used for educational purposes and are purely for chocolate enjoyment but I couldn’t Read more

Duck Lettuce Wraps with Gressingham Duck

As it's Mother's Day soon there are many things to consider: will it be flowers, chocolates, something else or a simple card. My Mum isn't picky or fussy and would be just as happy with a few daffodils as a full blown Mother's Day themed weekend. So really, as our lives both revolve around feeding us and other people, I think the real decision is whether to eat out somewhere or eat in? Both have their merits. Having lunch at a restaurant means Read more

Cranberry and Pistachio Chocolate Truffles

I can find it hard to know what to give people for gifts. When I’m not sure I normally cook or make something for them instead; it’s personal and I quite enjoy doing it. This is the other recipe that I developed for Kenwood (see crumble here) and I think they look a bit like Brussels sprouts if you stand far enough away (and squint). My recipe for Cranberry and Pistachio Chocolate Truffles is really simple and I find I usually have these ingredients Read more

Cranberry and Clementine Crumble

I love cranberries and really try to make the most of them when they are around; they are almost fool proof when it comes to making jams and jellies as they are so full of pectin. This Cranberry and Clementine Crumble is a great way to use cranberries in a different way over the festive period and the addition of Cointreau adds a little something extra. I was asked to come up with a couple of wintry recipes as part of a project with Kenwood. I used Read more

Christmas Food Gift Ideas

Every year I have at least one person say something like, "Oi, you like food, what do I get >insert friend/relative/colleague's name here< for Christmas? They like food too". Firstly I am never likely to respond to an, "Oi", but talk about the impossible question. How do I know that they do or don't like blue cheese, a selection of miniature spirits, dark chocolate or that special coffee that comes out of a kopi luwak? So for all of you who Read more