Monthly Archives: April 2013

Wednesday 17th April 2013



I have always loved a good moussaka, and really love the combination of aubergines and tomato.  But I don’t always like the topping as it can be a bit dense and take away from what, for me, is the delicious part of the dish.  So I was really interested in trying this recipe for a Greek Filo Pie.

Basically this is a ‘normal’ layering of griddled aubergines with a tomato sauce made with lamb mince, onions, oregano and rosemary.  On the top I have then scrunched some filo pastry, brushed it briefly with olive oil, and baked in the oven for 40 mins.  The result is crispy on top and so juicy inside.

On the side I made some baked slices of potato.  It worked well as a side dish, but next time I will probably put a layer of par boiled potato slices in the bottom of the dish, before the tomatoes and aubergines, to make it more substantial.

Clean plates on a Wednesday night is always good!!! Thumbs up all round in this house!!!

Tomorrow I am late night so no dinner for me, and unsurprisingly a chilli from the freezer for Colin.

Monday 15th April 2013

I am trying to make sure we eat more veggie and, jumping on the band wagon of ‘meat-free Monday’ tonight was a new veggie ‘meatball’ recipe.  I don’t know where it came from as I copied it from a magazine when I was writing a cookbook for Colin for Christmas, bit I was inspired to cook it tonight as we  had some chard in stock, which is not usual. 

Basically I sautéed an onion and garlic clove with the chard until slightly softened.  I then mixed this with some ground cumin, salt and pepper and a tin of chickpeas.  To meet it bind together I added a little flour, maybe a tablespoon, mixing in well to make it easy to handle.  The mixture was then shaped into balls and fried off until browned.

I made a tomato sauce with this- the usual one for veggie balls with some coconut milk in to make it a little creamy and yummy.

A nice dinner, but the chard didn’t really taste so much with the chickpeas, I would probably so it again adding some spinach in too.  And this would have the added advantage of making Colin eat many more of his greens!!!

Tomorrow is late night for me so….. no dinner and chilli for Colin…..

My New Car!!!

My New Car!!!

Fiat 500 in pasadoble red, but what’s his name???

Monday 8th – Sunday 14th April 2013



Well how lazy am I!?! I’ll get my excuses in- really busy at work and getting in late etc etc etc.  But I have been keeping a log of what we have been having for dinner so I will do a recap now.


Quite a relaxing dinner of some bought in ravioli and a spicy tomato sauce.  It was ok, but Colin left most of it and that was because I put way too much chilli in! Who would believe it, it’s normally Colin who goes mad with the chilli.  But the ravioli men were good- a spicy sausage and tomato mixture inside some really light little parcels.  A good late night dinner.


Late night for me so no dinner.  Colin had some chilli.


Tonight I thought I’d try a recipe from a fairly new cookbook ‘Mighty Spice’ by John Gregory-Smith.  The picture, which is not a great one I have to admit, is at the top of post!  However it was absolutely delicious, light, fragrant, full of flavour and now a firm favourite.  Here’s the recipe.

Indian Fish Cakes with a Coriander and Coconut Chutney

250g salmon fillets, skinned

1large handful of fresh, chopped coriander

1 green chilli, chopped

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp ground coriander


1 handful coriander leaves

1 handful mint leaves

1/4 tsp garam masala

Juice 1/2 lemon

100ml coconut milk

  • Put all of the chutney ingredients into a food processor and blitz until a smooth paste.
  • Put the salmon, coriander, chilli, garam masala, ground coriander and a pinch of salt into the processor and pulse until just combined.  Cover with cling film and chill out in the fridge for 30mins.
  • Divide the salmon mixture into 4 portions and shape into burger type shapes.  Heat some oil and fry the salmon really lightly until browned and cooked through.
  • Serve with the chutney on the side and some rice and salad.

This was really delicious, I can not recommend it enough.  Marie you will love this !!!


Late night again so no dinner and more chilli for Colin!


Tonight I made a recipe from my new Lindsey Bareham cookbook.  Basically it was a mini roast without all the hassle!  I seasoned a chicken breast well and sliced it into slim pieces.  I griddled these slices hot and brief just before eating.  Along side this were some potato- well actually some premade gnocchi, boiled only for 1 min and then fried with some garlic and a little chopped bacon lardons.  I had seen this gnocchi type of thing in books before and fancied giving it a try,, and it was ok,  quite good infact, but if  I did it again I would fry the gnocchi for less time more hot to ensure all of them were very crispy.


Lazy lazy lazy…….


Yum yum yum…..


Out at my AGM tonight, one of the hottest chillis I’ve ever tasted and some good burgers served on the roof of my branch, served by cowboys (and girls)!!!









Sunday 7th April 2013

After a very lovely breakfast (smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for me, full English for Colin) we headed slowly back home.  First stop was Daylesford to the farm shop, where the air was full of cow poo but my bags full of yummy delights!  Here’s the goodies once home:


For dinner once home I made some lamb and rosemary meatballs, which sat in Yorkshire puddings, soaked in red wine gravy and accompanied by some roasted vegetables.  We have well and truly over indulged and we will need a detox week to recover!!!

Saturday 6th April 2013

Seagrave Arms

A rare weekend away to the Cotswolds staying in the Seagrave Arms, which I found in the Sawday guide.

But before we arrived we stopped off in Cheltenham for lunch.  It was gloriously sunny- the best day of the year by far.  For lunch we ate in Brasserie Blanc, where we have eaten several times before and found it to be consistently lovely.  We have tended to always order the same things but the menu had changed so we had to go off roading! Coin had the rare bread burger with all the trimmings and I had some pork belly. The pork was cooked to perfection, crispy and soft in the right places.  It sat on some cabbage and a tangy apple sauce.  We finished the meal with a selection of cheeses and some coffee.  Very lovely.


We then drove to the Seagrave Arms, booked into our gorgeous room, and went for a wander across the village and the fields, all in the sunshine.  How lovely!

For dinner we managed to fit in 3 courses!

For Colin:

😏Devilled kidneys

😏Fish and Chips

😏Amaretto profiteroles

For Jo:

😊Smoked salmon on blinis

😊Dover sole with lemon herb butter

😊Crispy rice pudding-this was amazing, like a cross between rice pudding and doughnuts! I would have never dreamt of it but it was delicious.

Fantastic, and I think we’ll be back as it’s less than 2 hours from home and very relaxing.  Full happy Tums all round.

Friday 5th April 2013

Last night I was late night at work so no dinner for me!

Tonight has been an easy dinner as back from work a bit late and getting ready for a weekend away- to the Cotswold. Very excited about it- it was supposed to be a surprise treat for Colin but I was unable to keep it a secret so he has known about it for a week!

So, tonight we had a Thai green curry with chicken.  Very tasty, made using Por Kwan paste and topped with lots of fresh coriander and lime juice. Light, delicious, and above all easy!

Wednesday 3rd April 2013

Tonight I am extremely proud of myself as there has been a massive triumph in the kitchen!  I have been meaning to try making a Homity Pie for some time but could not decide which recipe to follow.  I finally picked the version in the Pieminster Cookbook as it looked to be the most straightforward- and it was really great.  Here it is before it hit the oven.


The pie is a good veggie option, with more than enough for 4 people, so I will be taking 2 portions into work with me this week.  He’s the recipe:

Wholemeal pastry to fill a pie/flan dish. (I actually made the pastry myself which made me feel like a domestic goddess!)

2 sweet potatoes

1 large red onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

120g mature cheddar, grated

6 spring onions, chopped

Large handful of curly parsley, roughly chopped

500g new potatoes, cut into quarters and just cooked

120ml crème fraiche

Handful of breadcrumbs

Handful of fresh thyme leaves

  • Heat the oven to 200°.
  • Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and bake in the oven for about 40mins until soft.
  • Heat some olive oil in a pan and soften the red onion with the garlic.
  • In a small bowl mix the cheese, spring onions and parsley.
  • Add the potatoes to the onions and add the crème fraiche.  Stir in the cheese mixture.  Peel the sweet potatoes and break up the flesh.  Add to the potatoes and season.  Mix together well, taking care mot to break up the sewer potato too much.
  • Line the pie tin with your pastry.  Top with the potato mixture an sprinkle with breadcrumbs and thyme.
  • Bake in the oven for 30mins until golden brown.

Really lovely dinner with some salad in the side.  Clean plates and full Tums!

Tuesday 2nd April 2013


Is that sunshine I can see out of the window today!?!

To mark the beginning of  summer (I hope…) I made the first yummy salad of 2013.  I mixed cooked puy lentils, half an avocado, some small cubes of feta, some walnuts with some salad leaves.  The dressing was a little olive oil mixed with some pomegranate molasses, lemon juice and a very small splash of soy sauce- I know it sounds strange but it gives a great mix of sweet, sour and savoury that worked so well with the puy lentil earthiness.  I am sure this is going to be a regular throughout the sunshine days ahead!

For dinner we had some meatballs and tomato sauce.  The meatballs were very tiny ones made from mixing some pork mince with some little cubes of chorizo, and baked in the oven until cooked through.  The sauce was a usual tomato sauce with a healthy sprinkle of paprika and chilli flakes.  I thought it was all very tasty but Colin was not so keen-he made some excuse about already being full….  I’ll try something different tomorrow.

Guest Chef: Emily Samways!


The lovely and very talented Emily has today created this very gorgeous looking Easter cake!  Emily is my niece and she will be 10 this year- and a budding chef already- I believe we are kindred spirits! 

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