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taste & create: learning to make youvarelakia


taste & create is one of my favourite blogging events. its organised by nicole from for the love of food who pairs bloggers up who then cook a recipe from each other’s blog.

it’s great fun looking through a blog and then having to be disciplined enough to choose just one recipe to try. waiting to see what the other person chooses to cook of yours is always exciting. in many ways, that’s the whole point of having a blog - i want people to try (and hopefully enjoy!) the same dishes that i cook and love.

i’ve been paired with elly from elly says opa who, like my previous partner valli, has a penchant for all things greek. looking through elly’s blog i was tempted by many, many dishes but decided to choose one which combined a number of elements that were appealing – greek flavours, a lemony egg sauce and meatballs. i decided to make elly's youvarlakia!

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menu for hope 4: prizewinners


as you may know, through menu for hope 4 we ended up raising over $91,000 for the un world food programme.

the raffle has now been done, visit chez pim to find out who the lucky winners are.

i wonder who i’ll be exploring london with?


couscous- meh?


i think people tend to either love or hate couscous. i used to hate it, finding it tasteless and stodgy. then, oh happy day, david cooked me some shortly after we met. he was following a recipe of some sort which dictated that he add herbs and other flavourings (i can’t remember exactly what) and it was a completely different experience. i’m now of the opinion that people who hate couscous haven’t had good couscous.

i have to admit to being lazy and using quick couscous which requires little more than the addition of hot stock (the easiest way to add flavour, don’t just use boiling water) and leaving it to sit, covered, for 10 minutes before fluffing up the grains with a fork.

this week we had some gorgeous couscous that required a little more effort, but not much. i mixed the couscous grains with finely diced red chilli and shallots plus shredded mint, basil and parsley before adding the stock, into which i’d stirred the juice and zest of a lemon plus a pinch of saffron. when the couscous was done i stirred in some pomegranate seeds and it was ready to go.

if you’re not a couscous fan, give this a try (or get experimenting with your own variation) and let me know how you get on – i think you might be converted…


january foodie profile: joanne fry


as i mentioned last week, this year i want to make space on my blog to explore the huge range of food-related careers that exist and how they affect the way that people cook and eat.

i’ve spent many an evening thinking how i could integrate my love of food with my work and i expect that a lot of you have too. who knows, maybe one of these profiles will be the first spark of inspiration for a career change…

first up is joanne fry, pictured above, who works at the hotel school, norwich city college.

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mackerel pate: take two


mackerel pate is a favourite of mine. pile it on some warm toast, add a mug of tea (with refills supplied by a willing david) and a book or the weekend papers, and i’m wonderfully happy.

recently i’ve been very lazy though. i’ve not been managing to do much more than place a few chunks of mackerel on the toast and half-heartedly crush them with a fork. not really what you’d call cooking.

however, a suggestion by my friend hels saw me making a bit more of an effort, adding horseradish and cream cheese to the pate mix. the combination of flavours works really well and feels quite indulgent – thanks for the tip hels!

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