Fresh Pasta with Sausage & Broccoli Sauce

My son Jonathan has been a keen cook since he was small enough to need to stand on a stool to chop and mix ingredients and his sons Freddie (5½) and Benjamin (2¾) are fast following in his footsteps. Thus they were very excited yesterday by Daddy’s new ‘toy’: a super-grade KitchenAid mixer with a […]

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Pasta with Cauliflower, Saffron, Chilli, Pine Nuts & Raisins

This is an adaptation of a Rick Stein recipe in his Long Weekends book. I’m particularly attached to this book (and the accompanying DVD of the TV series) at the moment, not only for its great and reliable recipes, but its subject: Long Weekends. Pre-Lockdown I’d become well practised at making the most of a […]

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Four Hens and Some Very Special Eggs

Meet (left to right) Gwen, Mildred, Maud and Gerty. My daughter and her wife recently got four hens. They live in a 16th century farmhouse in Worcestershire, at the end of a long unmade-up road surrounded by farmland. They’re not farmers themselves, but at their home they’ve created a wonderful bucolic living space where they […]

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The Sunday Barbecue

I like the heat, I like the sun; I was born under the sun sign of Aries and put my love of the sun down to that. I promise you would never want to be out and about with me on a wet, cold and windy day because my mood takes a nosedive. However, even […]

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Red Mullet with Orange, Capers & Pine Nuts

It was a spontaneous buy. I stopped off at the local fishmonger’s to buy some salmon and prawns and saw fillets of red mullet. I remembered it’s one of Rick Stein’s favourite fish and so decided to get some. I’ve cooked red mullet before, but long ago, and wasn’t sure what to do with it […]

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Little Blueberry Cakes for a Picnic

A picnic was promised. I’ve been booking weekly slots to go to Kew Gardens since it reopened. I do miss just being able to go there spontaneously on a nice day since the gardens are local to me, just a couple of miles away, but I’m grateful they’re open again and I can once more […]

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Linguine with Tuna, Tomatoes & Olives

It turned out to be a perfect supper plan. After my lovely afternoon with the family at Wisley Gardens, a simple, easy-to-prepare supper was ideal. It was really a store-cupboard meal, even though the idea of just rooting around to see what I had in store wasn’t the inspiration. The inspiration was Donna Leon’s Unto […]

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Cooking with Freddie: Olive Focaccia

Well it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to cook with Freddie, my gorgeous 5½-year-old grandson. With the pandemic lockdown, for weeks we couldn’t see each other and then only at social distance, which Freddie was very strict about! ‘The virus’ is part of his new vocabulary. One has to hope there won’t […]

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The Bubble Barbecue

Ten weeks of Lockdown and for the first time, this week, I could celebrate my single, solo-living status: the government announced that as part of the gradual easing of restrictions people living alone could now form a social ‘bubble’ with one other household. While before I could go round to my son’s and sit in […]

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Griddled Tuna with Mango Salsa (2)

This is the second version of a favourite family dish – hence the (2) in the title. The original version was one of my first ever posts on the blog back in 2011. I used to often make the dish, partly because I liked it so much and it’s really simple, especially for a midweek […]

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