Monthly Archives: June 2013

Dad & Marie’s Birthday- 5th June 2013

ImageHere are my Dad and Marie, photo taken when we were on holiday in Malta a couple of years ago. Both were born on 5th June, although a good 30 years apart! Both also live in the north-east so I can not see them today, so instead I dedicate some food to them: lunch to Marie, and dinner to Dad.

A lunch for Marie….

ImageMarie loves seafood, and the flavours of Thailand and the Far East, so lunch is a Thai-inspired squid salad. This was very simple and made a good lunch- here’s the recipe.

Marie’s Squid Salad

6 squid- I bought them fresh from the fish counter at work but you could easily use frozen

1garlic clove

2 hot red chillis

Splash marsala

8 cherry tomatoes, chopped in half

Salad leaves

Fresh coriander

1 lemon

4 spring onions, sliced lengthways

  • prepare the squid by removing the tentacles and slicing into 1cm wide rings. I also used the tentacles, but don’t if you don’t like them.
  • Heat a frying pan and add a splash of olive oil. Sauté the garlic and chilli for 1 min until fragrant. Add the squid and stir for 1 min on a high heat.
  • Add a splash of marsala, or dry white wine and bubble away quickly. Add the tomatoes and stir around the pan for another couple of minutes until the squid is cooked. This doesn’t take long, and you need to be careful not to overcook as squid can turn very rubbery very quickly.
  • Squeeze in some lemon juice and get ready to serve.
  • On a large plate add the salad leaves and sprinkle over the spring onions and some freshly chopped coriander. Add the squid and a final squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Eat immediately, preferably with a chilled glass of celebratory prosecco!

I have promised it make this for Marie when we are together in Devon at the end of the month.

A curry for Dad…..


Now Dad is actually partial to a Lamb Rogan so this would have to be a departure for him! This curry is made with chicken, tomatoes, hot chillis, curry spices and coconut milk to take the heat down a notch. I have also sautéed some red and yellow peppers in mustard seeds, curry leaves and cumin seeds as Dad will always love extra veg!

Happy Birthday French men!!!

Tuesday 4th June 2013

A few weeks ago Barbara, my mother in law, visited a magistrate colleague who has a farm and returned back with some pressies for us- 2 sirloin steaks and a top rump. Tonight we had the steaks…

ImageThe quality of the meat shine through and needed nothing more than a simple seasoning and a hot griddle pan. It was tender and juicy and makes you think more and more that it is worth eating less meat, but making sure what you do consume is of the highest quality. You can taste that this animal had been raised well, looked after, and not simply seen as a commodity. Truly delicious with some English asparagus and some chips (to keep Colin happy of course!).

Weekend 1/2nd June 2013


What a weekend! Not only did the sun shine, making everyone happy and smiley, but I had a captive audience to feed 😊😊😊

A little while ago it was my father in laws 70th birthday, but as they are international jet-setters it has been impossible to get together to celebrate, until this weekend. He requested a curry, so we spent some time looking at our favourite home curries to design a banquet fit for the occasion! But first the cake….

70th Birthday Rainbow Cake

A cake with 7 layers – 6 cake and 1 mascarpone icing!


This cake looks amazing once cut, a real visual surprise, and perfect for a special occasion. It was not even that difficult, although it did take some time as the layers need to be cooked in batches. The kitchen was in chaos for the morning- actually the entire flat as at one point I was using 3rooms for prep!

Here are the individual cakes once out of the oven…

ImageOnce cooled they were stacked using mascarpone icing as ‘glue’.

ImageThe I iced the entire cake and topped with some edible silver glitter and some candles. Here we are in the garden enjoying the sun and cake.

ImageThere are many recipes for this cake. I used the one from Good Food magazine which you can find on their website. Worth the effort, and I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate a grand birthday!!!

Once cake had been digested I set to work on a curry banquet. As you will know myself and Colin love a selection of curries and it is almost a weekly occasion for us, and an opportunity to try new recipes. Tonight was about tried and tested favourites, but also introducing a variety of curries and flavours. On the menu….

Chicken curry, jalfrezi style

Red kidney bean curry

Red lentil dal

Bombayed Jersey Royals

Basmati rice

Coriander naan bread

Red onion, tomato, chilli and coriander salad

Washed down with a couple of bottles of Portuguese Duoro from Waitrose, which was a good match with the highly spiced food. A spicy, tasty spread!

ImageA walk on Sunday blew the cobwebs away, even though we did have to take a detour avoiding the locals……. After a brunch and a drive home all we could manage for dinner was a pizza. A lovely weekend off in the sun with happiness all around. Perfect.

Friday 31st May 2013

The last day of May and finally there is sunshine in the sky. It is amazing how much happier people are in the world when the sun has his hat on- long may it continue!

The last 3 days have been relatively uneventful food wise:

Wednesday = turkey and courgette burgers with latkes, not so good

Thursday = late night at work

Friday = spaghetti bolognaise, lovely as always!

I am gearing up to a big cooking weekend as we go to the P’s (my in-laws) for a belated 70th birthday party for David, and I am very looking forward to having a captive audience to cook for !!!

Tuesday 28th May 2013

Today was a lovely day off- well lovely in a foodie way, not a weather way, as it was tipping it down outside! A good excuse to stay cuddled up for the day.

For lunch we had spicy lettuce wraps from a Gordon Ramsay recipe, slightly adapted as using only pork mince and not the usual mixture of beef and pork mince.

ImageThe dipping sauce was a very hot, sour and tangy concoction which worked really well with the spicy mince and lettuce. We have had this several times before and it is always really filling, I think because it is so highly flavoured. Really lovely.

For dinner a recipe from the Bowler Meatball Book. Green Chilli Chicken Balls with a coconut chilli sauce and rice.

ImageAs always I can not take a good looking photo! And actually this was not the best meal I’ve ever made… The sauce was delicious- good Thai green Chilli paste and coconut milk, cooked really thick as more of a dressing than a sauce. But the balls were a little dry- I did make it with thigh meat hoping this would make it more tasty, but it did not seem to help. I may well have over cooked it, this is not out of the realms of possibility, so I may try it again and see if I can do a better version.


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