Monthly Archives: January 2017

Sri Lankan Veg Curry

Well Chloe, the wait is finally over!  You’ve been asking me for ages to put this on the blog and finally I have got round to it!  This is a lightly spiced vegan curry that makes Chloe feel happy after a long, hard day at work – ok this and a large glass of wine, but she does have an extremely stressful job!  It’s great just served in a bowl curled up on the sofa.   It isn’t too heavy and yet is warming and somehow the colours and smells make you feel as though you are somewhere sunny and warm.  Dare I say it, this meal actually feels as though it’s doing your body good!   All it needs to go with it is either some couscous or brown basmati rice Continue reading


Going for a walk on a Sunday with the dogs on a misty Autumn morning is one of life’s old fashioned pleasures   With luck there are blue skies, autumn leaves and some crab apples or sloes peeking through the hedges.  Simple but timeless pleasures.

Flapjacks. There is nothing to beat the smell of them coming out of the oven.  Buttery, honked and oaty toasty.    Somehow though flapjacks seem out of fashion and not often on offer.   Maybe it’s because flapjacks are seen as being worthily oaty and, if we are going to have that sort of thing, people will go for an energy bar.    Flapjacks are relegated to something that your granny made – and often overbaked -making them so claggy and hard when you bit into them you were afraid that you would need to visit the dentist from a lost tooth or filling. Continue reading

Breakfast Martini


I promised a couple of weeks ago when I shared my marmade recipe that I would write some that used it.  At the time I had in mind a pudding or maybe a baked ham but instead I came across this cocktail which is essentially a marmalade martini.  Salvatore Calabrese is a mixologist and a recent President of The United Kingdom Bartenders’ Guild and the man who has this as his signature cocktail – and jolly nice it is too!!! Continue reading

Clementine and Rosemary Upside Down Cake

How could I resist reading the column heading above???

It is funny sometimes how an idea for a recipe comes about.  I had been thinking about making a spiced clementine cake I had seen in this month’s Olive magazine when I saw Diana Henry’s article in The Sunday Telegraph about the herb Rosemary and saying how could it was with all sorts of things including oranges.  Well that was the inspiration for this recipe.  We had it today for lunch and on a cold day the caramel and clementines were perfect with the perfume of Rosemary giving a hint of warmer more Mediterranean days to come   It is a wonderful indulgence with the feel of a steamed pudding yet it does not feel too heavy when you eat it!!! Continue reading

Pinecone Firelighters Scented with Orange and Cinnamon

Well this isn’t a recipe in the sense of making something to eat, but for those of you who have wood burners or an open fire it is worth knowing about.   I used to buy something very similar to these and it never occurred to me that you could make them yourself until my friend Rachel sent me a photo of some she had made.  I had to have a go and I was delighted with the results. These are so quick and easy to do.  Not only that but they are cheap to make, look good, smell wonderful and do the job.  Brilliant Continue reading

Seville Orange Marmalade

My husband loves marmalade on toast for his breakfast   Mind you he doesn’t object to it as a glaze over a baked ham or atop a steamed pudding either (though truthfully he likes all steamed puddings!).  But whilst we are at it, marmalade goes very well with both roast duck and roast pork as well which is useful to know  for those who have an allergy to onions as a dear friend of mine has.    I will add some recipes using marmalade during the next few weeks so you can see its versatility!

Some foods are steeped in our culture and in our personal histories. Marmalade is certainly one of them. From the moment you open the jar, that bitter sweet citrus smell that fills the air evokes memories. Mine are of my mother making marmalade in the 1960s whilst I watched perched on the top of the red kitchen steps judiciously placed at a safe distance (I was an inquisitive child!!)  Itwas the first preserve of the year and somehow it’s tangy flavour after all the rich Christmas flavours is just right Continue reading

Wheaten Bread with Seeds

My Goddaughter, Chloe, has a yeast intolerance so can’t eat standard bread.  Luckily there are lots of different soda and wheaten breads that use bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and buttermilk/yogurt to make wonderful loaves.  The Irish in particular are famous for these sorts of breads but they are made elsewhere

I like using buttermilk, particularly now I have found it available in 1 litre cartons courtesy of Ocado, as it gives a wonderful crumb      I love the fact I can get this loaf in the oven in ten minutes and I love the nutty taste of this bread.   Now admittedly wheaten/soda bread does not keep as well as other bread and is at its best eaten on the same day its baked or toasted the next but this particular recipe with the edition of the melted butter keeps another day quite satisfactorily Continue reading

Turkey Stock

Another year gone and a new start to 2017.  All those resolutions to make.  I bet the mostpopular is to do with diet and exercise.  Apparently about 5% of us keep to it past 6 weeks  Not great odds!!

I am determined to get to grip with eating better and make the most out of life. And whilst I would be delighted to lose weight that’s only partly what I mean by eating better. I want to make sure that I get the most out of all the food I buy and throw away as little as possible. And when I do eat meat I want to buy the best I can and by that I mean that I know it’s had as good a life as possible and that I use every bit of it Continue reading