Moules marinière

When I went shopping yesterday I had planned to get mainly vegetarian ingredients to eat vegan for at least a week (not sure I could do the whole Veganuary thing). But I passed by the fish counter and spotted mussels for sale at £3 for a big bag and my plans immediately changed. I was…

Christmas clear out

This is a good weekend to clear out the fridge to make room for the Christmas food shop. There are lots of ways to cut waste by using up scraps of food in different ways, or turning leftovers into something freezable. Use vegetables which are past their prime for the Christmas lunch gravy (Jamie Oliver’s…

Chickpea curry

I’ve been stocking up my freezer with home made ready meals. This is partly to reduce my food costs (and batch cooking is one of the easiest ways to do that) and partly to have a big selection of quick meals to choose from in January when I know I’m going to be busy. I…

Latkes

Nothing says ‘happy Chanukah’ like a plate of piping hot latkes, straight from the frying pan and glistening in oil. I made these latkes early one morning at the beginning of Chanukah last week and was even greedy enough to guzzle some of them down for breakfast (I’ve never done that before but just couldn’t…

Chicken pizzaiola

The last time I went to Jamie’s Italian I had the chicken pizzaiola and it was so tender, spicy and delicious I wanted to try making it myself. It’s served with a puttanesca-type sauce (minus the anchovies) which I love, not just because of the flavour but because it’s so easy and quick to make….

Meat free moussaka

My holiday in Greece this year was wonderful. I stayed in Vassiliki on Lefkas, a pretty and laid back harbourside town and watersports centre where I windsurfed for the first time (proof that I can get out of my comfort zone). I also spent one morning on a tour of the nearby olive groves (where…

Chocolate and flake birthday cake

I made this cake to celebrate my grown up kids’ (they’re twins) birthday. They’re 24 on Monday (yes, where has the time gone?) but they’ll both be doing their own thing then so we got together this weekend to celebrate. I usually buy a birthday cake but as the Great British Bake Off is on…

Fish tacos

This is a dinner which can be put together in about 12 minutes or as long as it takes to cook the fish, which I usually do in the oven. The joy of eating this meal is making up the tacos – stuffing in the fish along with a range of accompaniments which for me…

Stuffed peppers

A couple of weeks’ ago I watched an episode of Yottam Ottolenghi’s cookery series where he was in Crete. He visited a family restaurant where one of the specialities was stuffed vegetables. All the family got together on a vine clad, sun drenched terrace to stuff courgettes, tomatoes and peppers with a simple mixture of…

Beetroot burgers

Here’s a recipe inspired by a four day cookery and meditation retreat at Sharpham House I went on recently. This was the recipe I made as soon as I got home from the trip. It was for supper that same evening – I couldn’t wait to start trying out what I had learnt, even after…

Lemon posset

I prefer a lemon dessert over a chocolate one any day because I don’t like anything that’s too sickly sweet. This is an adaption of a James Martin recipe, but I’ve reduced the sugar a bit (I like it quite sharp and I found it still set quite well). It’s dead easy to make –…

Spanish hunter’s chicken

This started out as a chicken cacciatore (Italian hunter’s chicken) – minus the mushrooms, which I think are traditional in hunter’s chicken (of any nationality). But I had lots of red peppers to use up, and pitted black olives, so I was in two minds – Spanish chicken, or chicken cacciatore? So this is a…