Monthly Archives: April 2013

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! 

Easter Monday 2013

A nice, long lie in for me, an early start to work for Colin.  I raided the fridge for lunch and came up with mini pizza.  A tasty, veggie lunch, using up alot of odds and ends.



On Saturday I had bought some Italian sausages from Carmela, the Italian Deli in Horsham.  I remembered a recipe I used to cook all the time when I lived in Brussels, originally from the Tessa Kiros book ‘Twelve’: Sausages and Beans.



This is one of the simplest meals I’ve made, and certainly one of the yummiest.  The sauages are simply either grilled or cooked in the oven.  The bean stew in made as so:

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 red chillis, chopped

6 sage leaves, chopped

2 tins chopped tomatoes

1 tin cannellini beans

  • add a splash of olive oil to a saute pan and fry the garlic and chilli for 1 min.  Add the sage and stir around.
  • add the tomatoes and cook for 30 mins until thick.
  • add the beans, stir through and cook for a further 10 mins, adding a little water if the sauce is becoming too thick.
  • serve with the sausages and a sprinkling of more sage if you like.

You have to have some good red wine with it- preferably Italian- a Valpolicella did the job nicely!

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