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roasted stuffed butternut squash with goats cheese


well, december is here and many of us are starting to think about the festive season and all the parties and celebrations ahead of us. one such person is meeta whose monthly mingle theme is “traditional feasts.”

i don’t celebrate Christmas, or any other feasts, so am exempt from all the madness and rushing about. i won’t shout about it, but i actually find december quite peaceful as everyone else is distracted and i can avoid a lot of the mayhem with a quiet “christmas isn’t my thing” excuse.

however an excuse for a party or a special meal is rarely something i’ll walk away from so here is my offering for meeta’s gathering – a roasted stuffed butternut squash with goats cheese.

this would be a good vegetarian option for a festive meal and it can easily be made vegan by omitting the goats cheese. if you need a wheat-free option try the version i made with black rice earlier this year. seasons greetings!

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bang bang chicken!


chicken thighs are always in my freezer and a regular choice if i don’t want to have to think too much about what to cook. i love to marinade them overnight (lemon, garlic and herbs or harissa paste being two favourites) and then roast them to accompany a salad and some good bread.

however familiarity is not always a good thing so i decided to branch out this week and try nigel slater’s bang-bang,-it’s-bonfire-night-what-can-i-feed-to-the-hordes chicken with black-eyed beans casserole recipe.

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chasing coughs and colds away!

well, it’s been a lousy couple of weeks for me – i’ve had the sniffles, a sore throat and chesty cough for most of it and am still suffering. hopefully you’ll all be in better shape than me but if not, or if you just want to make sure you stay ahead of the nasties check out these immune-boosting diet tips.

read more over at the daily tiffin, a blog that helps people have a healthy family lifestyle. i'll write about healthy eating, over at the daily tiffin, every fortnight.


chicory, feta and pomegranate salad


chicory is a great winter vegetable that doesn’t taste at all wintry. which means that when you need a break from all those roasted roots and sautéed cabbage dishes you have a perfect seasonal substitute.

this salad was incredible easy to make and is a nice alternative to the more traditional chicory salad with blue cheese and toasted walnuts.

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daring bakers: a taste of two potato breads


tanna from my kitchen in half cups chose this month’s daring bakers challenge – tender potato bread.

the only bread i make regularly is flat bread so i was looking forward to trying this, especially given tanna’s descriptions: “potatoes and potato water give this bread wonderful flavour and texture… once baked, the crumb is tender and airy, with tiny soft pieces of potato in it and a fine flecking of whole wheat.” the recipe offered the option of making different shapes with the dough but i was sold on the fact that “the focaccia is memorable.”

a reread of the recipe triggered a slight nervousness in me as the dough is apparently very soft and moist, so i steeled myself for some very messy kitchen baking! and then things got interesting – there was a baking supplement in the saturday paper which included dan lepard’s recipe for olive oil and potato focaccia-style flatbread.

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