Category Archives: Recipes

Taking Stock!

I have a very good friend who has had what can only be described as a truly “crappy year”. Marion has been off work since this March with terrible symptoms of a disease which was only diagnosed in the second half of Summer. The diagnosis finally came in after many months of debilitating pain and it was determined that she had Lyme’s Disease.

The short-term solution was a course of antibiotics to kick the disease into touch, but there is a further 6 months of drugs required; if you go down the route of traditional medicine. The alternative was described to her as a “really strict diet” and I have to agree that it is quite limited. Essentially Marion has to train her body to accept foods in the same way you would when weaning a baby onto solids. Before this process can begin though it is essential to pack meal times with minerals, and these come from stock! Read the rest of this entry


Suffolk Winter Fair Recipes

This weekend I am demonstrating and leading workshops at the Suffolk Christmas Fair, Trinity Hall, Ipswich. I will be demonstrating oak plank salmon and pecan pie on both days of the show and leading a workshop on how to make your own homemade Christmas pudding with rum sauce. Below are the recipes for the 2 sweet dishes. I hope you’re tempted to give them a try and would love to hear your comments on what you thought.

Pecan Pie
Makes 1 x 10′ pie



  • 80g softened butter
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 20g cold water
  • 160g plain (all-purpose) flour


  • Place the butter, sugar and water in a bowl and whisk by hand until the water and sugar have been incorporated into the butter
  • Add in the flour and mix to combine. The mixture should become a paste that will clean out the bowl and transfer easily to the work counter for a quick knead
  • This dough can be rolled out straight away as it does not require time to rest in a fridge
  • Roll to the thickness of a pound coin before transferring to the tart case. Make sure to shape the pastry into the flutes for a crisp finish once baked. To prevent the pastry sticking to you, take a small ball of dough dab it in flour and use this to shape the dough into the flutes.



  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 85g light muscovado sugar
  • 85g golden syrup
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tbsp brandy
  • 4 large eggs
  • 150g pecan halves


  • Preheat your oven to 190c/170c fan/ gas 5 with a baking sheet on the middle shelf.
  • Gently melt the butter in a saucepan. Once melted add in the sugar, golden syrup, vanilla extract and eggs. Stir vigorously to fully incorporate the mixture.
  • Reserve a quarter of the pecans for decoration and roughly chop the remainder of the packet. Stir the chopped nuts into the filling and transfer to the prepared pastry case.
  • Decorate the top of the tart with the reserved pecans and transfer to preheated baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and set.
  • The filling will rise as  it bakes but will settle as the tart cools.

This dish can be made a couple of days ahead, or frozen for up to 2 months.

Traditional Christmas Pudding

Makes 1 x 500ml pudding bowl


  • 85g sultanas
  • 85g currants
  • 25g raisins
  • 75g mixed peel
  • 15g sliced almonds
  • 40g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 75g suet
  • 1/4tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg (can substitute freshly grated of course)
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1tbsp kirsch
  • 1tbsp brandy
  • 1/2tbsp whisky
  • 75ml cheery beer
  • 25g plain (all-purpose)flour
  • 40g white breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg


  • Place all dry ingredients (with the exception of the breadcrumbs and flour) into a bowl and add the alcohol. Stir through and leave for 24 hours to soak in.
  • Lightly beat the egg before adding to the other ingredients with the flour and breadcrumbs.
  • Lightly butter the pudding bowl and place a disc of baking paper in the bottom. Fill the bowl with the filling and cover with another disc of lightly buttered baking paper.
  • Cover the bowl with a double layer of baking paper and foil with a pleat across the centre of the basin to allow for expansion. Secure around the rim of the basin with kitchen string and keep 1 end long to create a handle. This will help to move the pudding around especially in and out of the hot water.
  • Trim the excess baking paper and foil before planing the basin in a saucepan deep enough to have a lid on it. You can either boil in water that comes half way up the side of the bowl, or steam by placing an upturned saucepan in the bottom of the pan and pour water to cover the plate.  Boil for 6 hours or steam for 8.
  • The pudding will keep for up to 3 months in a cool dark place. On the day of serving, boil or steam the pudding for 2 hours or heat in a microwave on full power for 6 minutes. Turn the pudding out onto a hot serving dish and ‘flame’ with brandy or rum. Serve with rum sauce.

These 2 recipes are really quite simple and I urge you to give them a go. I especially suggest making your own Christmas pudding if you’ve never particularly liked those puddings available for purchase from the supermarkets. It’s not too difficult, I think one of the biggest turn offs could be buying so many ingredients if you don’t have a reasonably stocked baking cupboard. If you do have to buy everything why not think about making more than you need yourself so you can give the others away as a wonderful homemade Christmas present for family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving & Merry early Christmas with these 2 recipes 🙂

Apple Tarte Frangpiane Recipes

I am very fortunate to have been invited to demonstrate at Weald Park Game & Country Show, Essex this weekend. Find below the recipes for the 2 dishes I will be creating as part of my sets this weekend. If you were there, I hope you enjoyed it, if you are reading having found it some other way then enjoy 🙂

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Cooking Turkey This Easter?

Then you need to check out the instructional video I put together at Christmas for how to prepare, cook and carve the perfect bird for you and your guests 🙂 Read the rest of this entry

My Christmas Gift To You! A ‘How To’ Video For Cooking The Christmas Turkey :-)

So Christmas is here and there are turkeys being picked up from butchers’ shops across the world. People are making their final trips to the shops for all those key items that make Christmas so special to them and their families, before heading home hopefully to a place where loved ones gather to share a few days of fun and forget their troubles. Read the rest of this entry

If You Could Learn To Cook One Thing…

…What would it be? I posed this question to friends last week and got a variety of responses. A response from a friend of mine in Calgary prompted me to post the recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding yesterday. I’ve also had questions for Steak & Kidney Pie, Bread and Green Eggs and Ham, so watch this space.

So I’ll ask the same question here, “If you could learn to cook one thing what would it be and why?”

Answers on a postcard 🙂

A Fantastic Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe

Who doesn’t love this pudding? Or couldn’t grow to love it if eating it for the first time! It is a classic hot sponge pudding with a luxurious toffee sauce poured over the top that one may choose to finish off with a custard, or my favorite, ice cream!

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How to do a Beetroot and Orange Salad Tante Marie style!

How to do a Beetroot and Orange Salad Tante Marie style! Read the rest of this entry

Day 80 – Indonesian & A True Austrian Classic

Yesterday afternoon and this morning we had a class on Indonesian cooking. One of the teachers from school is originally from Indonesia so as a group we cooked up a bunch of traditional dishes for lunch today. Then this afternoon, we finished off our Sacher Torte and I was quite surprised at how well mine turned out! 🙂 Read the rest of this entry

Sailed Passed 3,000 Hits!

I have just noticed on my blog stats that since I started the blog at the end of June I’ve had over 3,000 hits! I think a large percentage of those will be my Mum but thanks to everyone who visits, I hope you find the posts interesting and I hope you keep coming back. 🙂