Wholewheat Fruit & Guinness Cake

This is a recipe I used to make regularly many years ago. More precisely, when my daughter was a baby, back in the early 1980s. It comes from Delia Smith’s Book of Cakes, published in 1977, where it’s named Wholewheat Guinness Cake. The page where the recipe is printed in the book is so stained […]

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Romanesco – Two Ways

A romanesco is so beautiful, how could one resist it? Well, actually I’d been resisting them for a week or two, seeing them piled invitingly in Whole Foods’ greengrocery section, before temptation became too much yesterday morning and one was lifted carefully into my basket. They’re not commonly found on supermarket shelves in London but […]

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Cranachan – A Dessert for Burns’ Night

It’s Burns’ Night tonight, 25 January, and the celebration of the great Scottish poet’s birth in 1759. Remarkably, this popular event has been going since 1801 when it was held by a group of Burns’ friends to mark the fifth anniversary of his death in July 1796. The first Burns’ Night was held in July, […]

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Almond & Orange Biscotti

I hadn’t planned to do any serious cooking today but when I received a message from my Italian friend Antonio this morning wishing me a ‘Buona Befana’ I couldn’t resist finding out more. I had heard of La Befana but have always celebrated Epiphany before French style with a Galette des Rois. But clearly it […]

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Cod With Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Olives & Capers

I like to eat fish once or twice a week. Most often it’s salmon (organic farmed; wild when in season if I find it). Sometimes sea bream or sea bass; prawns to go into a fiery tomato sauce with pasta. I hadn’t particularly planned on cooking fish when I was wandering round Whole Foods in […]

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Lamb with Prunes & Moroccan Spices

Happy New Year!! Let me first wish you a happy, healthy and altogether easier and more enjoyable year than the one we’ve just left. Despite the many challenges of 2020, there were positives and indeed lovely parts of it for me. Especially the birth of my fourth grandson (my son’s third child) on 27 December. […]

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2020: Oh, What a Year! … Happy Christmas!

‘Oh, what a night/Late December back in ’63/Was a very special time for me/As I remember what a night’. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons may famously have been singing about a very good and special time back in 1975 but the words keep coming to me from the perspective of this year’s pandemic: ‘Oh, what […]

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Courgette, Parmesan & Mint Fritters

I was looking through an almost 20-year-old Antonio Carluccio book of his favourite Italian recipes a few days ago and came across these courgette fritters that I remember making with my son – almost 20 years ago! I’m not sure why I haven’t made them since as I remember we loved them and they’re pretty […]

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Tarte aux Prunes et amandes

I was cooking for the family again. Ingredients for a big pot of bolognese ragù were coming in the morning with my Waitrose delivery so I suggested making a lasagna for us all. There’d be plenty for the lasagna and enough spare to freeze a few portions of the ragù. I always like to make […]

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Apple & Blackberry Open Pie

I love making a meal for the family on Sunday. Sometimes they come to my house; sometimes I take everything to theirs. It’s more of the latter the moment. With two little boys having school and pre-school the next morning and needing early nights, it’s easier to be based at their home. We don’t ‘do’ […]

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