Making life delicious, one recipe at a time.

Making life delicious, one recipe at a time.

Feeding Time Blog

Feeding Time Blog

Making life delicious, one recipe at a time.


Recent Posts

Spicy Breakfast Beans

Spicy Breakfast Beans

Sometimes, on a Saturday morning, I watch a whole lot of The Pioneer Woman episodes as I finish my breakfast. Being in a family, this means that someone is usually in earshot of Ree Drummond’s twang as she waxes lyrical about cowboys and ‘life on the ranch’ and on one particular occassion, AT was around as she cooked up a big ranch breakfast. There were hashbrowns, baked eggs and all sorts of goodies being made and of course he asked if I could make something ‘like that’, listing ingredients like green peppers and onions.

II always try something once. And …

Local Food Hero: Cookham Bakehouse

Local Food Hero: Cookham Bakehouse

A hero, in every sense of the word for me, Karen Brymer of Cookham Bakehouse deserves the spotlight this month at Feeding Time Blog. With the Real Bread Campaign kicking off #SourdoughSeptember – now is the perfect time to highlight the quiet revolution Karen has begun for the bread-loving folk of Maidenhead, Cookham and the Royal Borough. Karen has lived right here in the village for 11 years and with a couple of kids at home, she needed to find a more suitable, less London-based career and came up with the idea of making bread. It all started a few …

Blackberry and Apple Pie

Blackberry and Apple Pie

So many blackberries, so few recipes. I had to toss up between a pie or a crumble because I’m not interested in baking blackberries any other way. Whether you’re scrumping them from the side of the road or picking them off your neighbour’s rampant bush, blackberries abound and this pie is going to change your life. I have been known to take a nonchalant  stance when it comes to pie crusts. I’ve made a few good ones but mainly they’re not much to write home about. So I did a little bit of research before I made this pie and …

The Royal Oak Teepee: Marlow

The Royal Oak Teepee: Marlow

For our growing community of writers, growers, eaters and influencers, the Royal Oak pub at Marlow hosted an evening of fun, food and fizz to celebrate their new garden teepee. Spacious yet intimate, chic and casual, the luxe and laid-back tent is decked out with plenty of seating, suede and bark upholstered banquettes, log seats, sheepskin throws and cowhides with a generous sprinkling of succulents and candles. Parked in the old boules section of the pub’s outdoor space, the teepee is now available to hire for team-building, parties, christening, birthdays and anniversaries. With a fire-pit in the centre and adjustable …

Latin American Feast with Santa Maria

Latin American Feast with Santa Maria

The folk at Santa Maria sent me over a lovely package of products to try. I am new to the world of Latin American cuisine, but with my interest in Mexican cooking it seemed like a natural step in my culinary curiosity. I’ll admit, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with all the sauces, rice and seasoning so I got creative and did some reading about what sort of vegetable side dishes one might find on a table in Cuba, Brazil, Peru, Chile or Argentina.

Turns out it’s a cuisine that is not huge on green vegetables, well, not …

Asian Rainbow Slaw

Asian Rainbow Slaw

I say the same thing every year, “it’s too hot to cook” and it’s still true. Mainly because my kitchen faces the slowly setting sun that makes cooking about as comfortable as working in a roasting dish on Sunday. You’ll notice there’s been a lot of reviews lately because, like every summer, I have been avoiding the kitchen in the heat. But dinner still needs to get made and so I thought I’d inspire you all with some of my favourite salad recipes. Here’s one that got lost in a post about buffalo wings, because let’s all agree that when …

Bateaux Cruises: Windsor

Bateaux Cruises: Windsor

For most folks, life these days feels busy. Busier than it ever felt before. I blame the Internet for everything; for making life feel so hectic, applying pressure to be and say and do and share all the time and it piles up incrementally until one day you throw your hands up in the air and say STOP!

Arrange for some babysitting and make plans for a date night, call your girlfriends or wrangle the family together and tell them you’ve got a brilliant idea. To locals, a river cruise is something you do when you’ve got friends visiting from …

How We Do BBQ

How We Do BBQ

I grew up watching my dad catch and cook snapper on barbecues made with cypress pine which smelled divine as it burned. He’d brush on his special mix of lemon juice and olive oil that would splatter onto the white-hot ashes sending smoke up through the meat. He was famous among family and friends for his BBQ fish and over the years his monster cook-offs would come to include thick discs of chorizo, pork chops and perfectly charred olive oil and garlic ciabatta.

It’s rather surprising that it took me more than five years of living in UK before I …

The Airport Gourmand

The Airport Gourmand

It’s almost that time of year when lucky Brits are jet-setting to all corners of the world in search of summer fun. For me, the holiday starts as soon as I set foot inside the airport; that meal before the flight sets the tone for good times ahead. Without question, Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, and Heston Blumenthal are the UK’s best-known chefs, each with their own restaurant empire. If you don’t have the time to visit one of their cafés, why not side-step the crowds and head to their respective holes-in-the-wall in some of the city’s major airports?

Plane Food,

Cutsie Cupcakes: Cookham

Cutsie Cupcakes: Cookham

I stumbled across the shop accidentally – it’s easy to miss –  but the word ‘cupcake’ caught my eye as I drove by one weekend. Sure, you can get cupcakes anywhere, and they’re ok but I was compelled to write about these cupcakes because they tasted so good. As a keen baker myself, I know when something is homemade. Cutsie Cupcakes have that homemade taste, texture and moistness that make them stand out from the run-of-the-mill grocery store treat. Even better, Cutsie Cupcakes look incredible. Teetering with giant swirls of butter cream, the little cakes look so tempting and often …

Elderflower cordial

Elderflower cordial

“Elder be ye Lady’s tree, burn it not or cursed ye’ll be” so says the Wiccan Rede. If you want to cut an elder you must ask permission of the Elder Mother, the spirit said to inhabit the tree, “Old girl, give me some of thy wood and I will give thee some of mine when I grow into a tree.” The Elder tree has long been used for medicinal purposes throughout Europe and Asia and in times past to treat colds, flu, hayfever and arthritis. It’s been found that elderberries stimulate the immune system and some …

Skinny Smoked Salmon Salad

Skinny Smoked Salmon Salad

I don’t know if you can relate, but I have to wear a bathing suit in a few short months. It’s bad enough that my skin is winter-pale and scaly but having a few kilograms extra of it laying about isn’t helping. I have 3 months until this body hits the beach and so I’ve started making small, but consistently better food choices and I’m hoping that with my new salad regime there’ll be a little bit less of me to offend the other holiday-makers.

As soon I decide that it’s time to cut-down on the pork scratchings and lunch-time …

Book Review: Saffron Soul by Mira Manek

Book Review: Saffron Soul by Mira Manek

I recently had the epiphany that for me, there’s no point in buying a recipe book from a restaurant chef. I don’t want to cook like a chef and when I’m at home I don’t want to eat like I’m at a restaurant. When a long, busy day comes to an end and I’m contemplating dinner, I don’t want make or eat fussy food. I want simple food, clean food; a meal that’s not too difficult to prepare.  And so these days I much prefer the culinary insight of non-restaurant folk.

Enter Mira Manek and her debut cookbook Saffron Soul. …

Matar Paneer

Matar Paneer

I’ve always wanted to enjoy paneer but have found the paneer dishes at restaurants to be… not so great. It’s an unusual cheese, sort of like cottage cheese in flavour – which is to say incredibly mild – but it’s dense and closer to tofu or halloumi cheese in composition. The delicate flavour and robust texture goes well with this lightly, spiced tomato sauce because you can actually taste the paneer, it’s not just a vehicle for other flavours. I called my friend and she recommended this recipe which uses an MDH masala mix called Shahi Paneer. I prefer to …

The Secret to Perfect Fried Rice

The Secret to Perfect Fried Rice

In China, each region has its culinary speciality. Changzhou is famed for their fried rice and it’s always bought at the end of the meal, almost like dessert. I don’t know why they do this because when fried rice is done properly it is truly the best part of any meal. When I was there, I asked my Chinese friend how to make fried rice the Changzhou way, and since then I’ve been trying to perfect the technique and the recipe. Recently I cracked the final secret to the perfect fried rice and it came as a surprise because I …

Keralan Chickpeas

Keralan Chickpeas

I was lucky enough to get a personal tutorial for this Kadala curry from a friend of mine who hails from the south Indian region of Kerala. My friend makes hers with soaked and pressure cooked chick peas, but I just used tinned. If you find a good brand of chick peas – where the texture is just right – stick to it, because some tinned varieties can be really quite horrible. Seeing her prepare this dish made it more accessible to me as dish that I can incorporate into my menu. In the past I’ve been a bit frightened …

Creamy Tomato, Crab and Ginger Pasta

Creamy Tomato, Crab and Ginger Pasta

This recipe has been buried deep inside my memory for many years and found it’s way out of the rat’s nest last weekend. When you remove things pasta, rice and large wallops of mashed potato from your weekly repertoire, recipes like this sink to the bottom of your mental recipe pool like a stone. I can’t remember why this one sprang to mind but it’s a terrifically satisfying dish that combines seemingly incongruent ingredients like cream, fresh tomato, crab and ginger. It doesn’t sound like it should work but it does. You get richness in flavour from the cream, sweetness …

Chicken Satay Pizza

Chicken Satay Pizza

Purists look away now! Avert your eyes and block your ears because I’m about to plunder and pimp the sacred, doughy idol you call pizza. I’ll admit that I’m not a fan of fusion food but I will bend the rules now and then when it feels right. And I don’t know about you, but for me peanut sauce, chicken and snow peas on a pizza feels right. I only know this because many years ago, we used to go a gourmet pizza restaurant and order the Java, an Asian-style pizza that contained absolutely nothing that a good pizza should. …

Sublime Steak and Cheese Sub

Sublime Steak and Cheese Sub

It’s not everyday you can make someone emotional with a sandwich. On the weekend I had some left over steak and offered to make steak sandwiches for the boys. So far, so what right? Everyone has their own take or secret to make the best steak sandwich but this was different. No trace of tomatoes or chutneys, sauces or lettuce. No questions of toasted or un-toasted bread.

The American’s have a name for this sandwich, and it’s called the Philly Cheese Steak. I only know this because I grew up watching a lot of American TV and this stuff sinks …

Orange and Almond Cake

Orange and Almond Cake

I’m a bit late to the party on this one. Kiwi chef Peter Gordon’s boiled orange and almond cake has been floating around the interwebs for some time now. I only found out about it from my visit to Rex Bakery last year where I tasted it and knew immediately it was a winning recipe. Peter pours chocolate ganache over the original recipe which features in his book The Sugar Club but I prefer this cake plain.

Well, I say plain, it’s not plain – it’s amazing and best left unadulterated. I’ve tried boiled orange cakes before and found them …

Local Food Hero: The Marlow Cheese Co.

Local Food Hero: The Marlow Cheese Co.

Cheese is a funny thing. The way we appreciate a fine cheese rather goes against the grain. Mould makes it more marvellous and the worse it smells the better it is. That’s how I knew the Cygnet cheese from The Marlow Cheese Co. was going to be a corker; it ticks both boxes

I’ve never tried a lactic cheese before, that’s the category of cheese the Marlow company’s debut effort falls under. It’s hard to describe as it’s got the consistency of a cream cheese or soft goat’s cheese but only when it’s young, and the slightly acidic, light citrus …

Apple, Nut, Cranberry and Coconut Loaf

Apple, Nut, Cranberry and Coconut Loaf

I don’t know if it’s the same in your neighbourhood or backyard but our neighbours have an apple tree on our fence line that’s bare but for the green baubles that occasionally drop and roll across the yard. I have no idea what kind of variety it is but they taste pretty good. I’ve seen trees along the motorway that have red fruit still adorning the barren branches and I can’t help but wonder if that’s why we decorate our Christmas trees the way we do.

There are a number of similar recipes for this kind of apple-cranberry loaf and …

Smoked Haddock Chowder

Smoked Haddock Chowder

Is it that time yet? If you’re not quite ready to get your blender out just yet, then this is the perfect soup for you. This recipe is not overly thick or rich and is in fact the perfect mid-season option if you’re looking for a light fish dish to add to your repertoire. Get creative with this one, go ahead and add peas, baby spinach and asparagus. There’s no roux or cream required for this chowder, so it remains light in texture, and if you can refrain from adding cream, light on calories also.

Smoked Haddock Chowder
Ingredients:
2 …

Suped-Up Scrambled Eggs

Suped-Up Scrambled Eggs

This recipe started life out as an omlette. I copied it from a little French cafe we used to go to back in Sydney called Bitton where it was served with slivers of toasted Turkish bread and monkey-nut chutney. I’m not great at making anything too tricksy at 7 o’clock in the morning so this dish became more scrambled-eggs, less omlette and because you can’t get Turkish bread or monkey-nut chutney in the UK, you can replace with some toasted slices of ciabatta and tomato chutney.

The combination of sun-dried tomatoes, ham, goat cheese and oregano creates a perfect blend …

Blitva

Blitva

My dad is from a little island on the Dalmatian coast and the food they eat in those parts is very simple and yet superbly delicious. Mostly the locals eat grilled meats and fish accompanied with bread, salad and a dish they call blitva. Blitva is a vegetable usually made with silver beet or swiss chard and potato, but it can be made with anything from broad beans or zucchini or as I like to use, broccoli and sometimes green beans.

I use broccoli in my blitva because the flavour is mild and better for the kids…chard and silver beet …

Avocado & Baby Gems with Honey-Mustard Dressing

Avocado & Baby Gems with Honey-Mustard Dressing

I stole the idea for this dish from a restaurant in Notting Hill called Pizza East. A fairly amazing establishment, and not just because I saw Mark Strong there. They serve up pizzas and delicious cured meats but it was their vegetarian offerings that I became acquainted with. I was blown away by the quality of each dish, there were fried battons of polenta, pomegranates, purees and an assortment of complex meat-free arrangements but the stand-out plate was the simplest of all, some leaves and avocado drizzled with a vinaigrette.

I like to serve mine up with a sweet …

Warm Halloumi Salad

Warm Halloumi Salad

I found this recipe in the Waitrose magazine of all places. Created by grain & gluten-free bloggers Hemsley & Hemsley, this salad combines a few of my favourite things, one of those being halloumi cheese. Wilted lettuce is another feature that doesn’t get much press but is truly a sensation. Once you can get over your preconceived notions of how lettuce should be eaten, you’ll be throwing lettuce into your stir fries and including it as a warm side in no time.

I love that this salad is warm. I love that most of the ingredients will probably already …

Pulled Pork with Cider Sauce

Pulled Pork with Cider Sauce

Those in the my inner circle know and accept without opposition, the title I’ve bestowed upon myself in the privacy of my kitchen. But now it’s time to share it with you. It all began many years ago when I transformed a £4 piece of pork shoulder into a tender, moist and delectable feast of sheer delight. It was then that I gave myself the title of The Pork Whisperer.

Obviously I’m having a laugh, because the truth is, the only thing you need to be good with pork shoulder is time and a packet of foil. The longer you …

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

This here is the only way to eat banana bread. Toasted, buttered and preferably with a coffee, first thing in the morning. I can’t remember where or how I first ate banana bread this way, but it was likely at a cafe back in Sydney a lifetime ago.

I make this dense, sweet loaf when my stash of frozen bananas is getting out of control. You know when you buy bananas and the last one or two gets over-ripe and no one eats it? Don’t throw them away, throw them in the freezer and when you’ve got 3-4 in stock, …

Buttermilk, oat and chocolate chunk muffins

Buttermilk, oat and chocolate chunk muffins

Many years ago, back in the day when we could go out for breakfast in relative peace and quiet, we used to visit a little tiny cafe in Drummoyne (Sydney) called the Bowen Island Bakery. We would order a coffee and these incredible choc-chip and oat muffins. The choc-chips in these muffins were more like asteroid-sized chunks of Valrhona and they were spectacularly moist, oaty and just a little bit salty.

I have been trying to re-create this recipe ever since. And I don’t claim to be exactly spot-on for this recipe, but it’s close enough to warrant sharing. These …

Caramel Chocolate Slice

Caramel Chocolate Slice

The ingredients for this classic Australian slice are simple, as is their preparation. The skill in this dish though, lies in the technique. Unlike some other recipes where you might have a generous mistake buffer, if you over cook any of the components of this recipe or it will not work or taste as good as it should; you’ll get a hard base, a chewy middle and a lack-lustre topping. This recipe is sort of like Millionaire Shortbread; the biscuity bottom is not shortbread but rather coconut based.

Keep a watchful eye on the cooking process. Don’t let the base …

Healing Chicken Soup Infused with Turmeric and Ginger

Healing Chicken Soup Infused with Turmeric and Ginger

Maybe you’ve noticed, but I’ve not written a post for a few weeks. It’s because I caught a virus which was bad enough, but then I went ahead got myself a nasty chest infection. The doctor calls it pneumonia. I haven’t baked for weeks and there are so many things I want to try like Honey and Co’s disassembled feta cheesecake and sour cream and pecan loaf. But for now all I’ve managed to muster is some chicken soup.

You might have heard chicken soup being called ‘Jewish Penicillin’ and after doing a bit of reading I discovered that it …

The Perfect Hummus

The Perfect Hummus

There’s not much that needs saying with this recipe. It’s hummus. Who doesn’t love hummus? But before you scoff and think about your off-the-shelf variety,  it’s not like that. Grocery store hummus is a grainy, grey goop compared to the silky, subtle flavour of the real thing. And this recipe is the real thing.

This hummus takes a little bit of effort but is worth every step and so reliable that it was featured on Food52. The recipe comes from Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi’s book Jerusalem and will elevate your snacking experience beyond your wildest dreams. Don’t …

Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberry Pancakes

Finally. Finally it’s beginning to feel like spring. On May Day we went to see the Ellington Morris Dancers perform their first dance for the season. Based in the Maidenhead area, this gang call themselves the Ellington troupe because Ellington was the name of Maidenhead in the Doomsday Book.  The Ellington dancers perform early 20th century morris dances from Cotswold villages such as Adderbury, Bledington and Bampton, and Lichfield in Staffordshire and of course from Ellington’s own tradition and a few Border Morris dances. You can catch these marvellous morris dancers do their thing each Wednesday evening at village pubs …

Guacamole

Guacamole

Everyone once in a while when the wind blows in a certain way and the stars align, my sister and I will get together for dinner and drink wine and watch a DVD. Over time it came to be known as Nacho Night, because while at first we might have tried various meals to enjoy on our sisterly night, it soon became clear that we were really only interested in one particular recipe. Yep, you guessed it. But it’s not the nachos I want to talk about today. Our nachos are great, but we don’t deviate much from the Old …

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

The first time I had French onion soup was in L’Entracte brasserie on 1 Rue Auber, opposite the Opera Garnier in Paris. I wrote about it here. The last time I ate French onion soup was this weekend, as the rain and wind swept away the promise of fun and relaxation this Easter weekend. Ok, so I’m exaggerating a little. There were ‘glimpses’ (I think is the term they use on the weather report) of sunshine, and I did manage to plant some sweet peas and go on a bike ride.

I did the obligatory Google-search, and read Felicity …

Cheese and Quinoa Cakes

Cheese and Quinoa Cakes

I had no faith in this recipe. First of all I’m not a huge fan of quinoa, and second, I didn’t really think the combined ingredients were exciting enough to turn quinoa into something palatable. But I admit, that I was dead wrong. These quinoa cakes are amazing and versatile. If you don’t have the time or patience to bother with the time-consuming pan frying process, then simply throw them in some muffin patties and bake them. Of course they won’t be cakes, but rather morsels of tasty, protein goodness. Which ever way you come at this recipe, it’s a …

Sweet Ricotta Panzerotti

Sweet Ricotta Panzerotti

I don’t make panzerotti very often and if I still lived in Sydney I never would have even tried. You could buy them in a little Italian cake shop in a place called Haberfield – and I was always glad for an excuse to go into this Italian suburb to max out on freshly made Italian cheeses, bread and cakes. But you cannot find anything even similar here in the UK, and when I do make these fried pockets of goodness, I always remember the time my mum bought one into the hospital for me the morning after I’d given …

Super Food Stew

Super Food Stew

You feel healthier just looking at the photo of this pot of vegetables. If only it were that easy. While it not be as easy as moving your eyeballs across a computer screen, this recipe for curried vegetables is simple enough for even the most inexperienced cook because mostly it just requires chopping vegetables up. I made this dish because I had a bit of a blow-out last week during half-term holidays. Not only did I go to Bristol where the food is amazing, but I seemed to fall every wagon I own. There were white bread sandwiches flying and …

Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza

I’ve written about pizza before on this blog, but it feels like something that needs sharing every once in a while. If only the world knew how easy it was to make pizza at home, then I’m certain more people would get on board. If only people knew that in a typical take-away pizza there are about 12 ingredients in the dough alone, as opposed to 5 when you make it yourself. Pizza doesn’t have to leave an oily stain on the plate, it doesn’t have to have stuffed crusts, it doesn’t have to be a blow-out of a meal. …

Flourless Carrot and Walnut Cake

Flourless Carrot and Walnut Cake

I don’t really want to add much to this post, because frankly, I don’t want to distract you. You might already know this if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time but I’m on the search for the perfect carrot cake. I know it’s out there, I’ve tasted it and I will not rest until I’ve found it. In the meantime, I’ve found Ottolenghi’s version to be very nice, and I believe this flourless recipe to be another, very worthy entry.

AT and I ate this whole cake ourselves and so when a recipe brings out the …

Cheddar and Chutney Scones

Cheddar and Chutney Scones

I’ll let these photos speak for themselves. As much as I’d like to recall, these buttermilk, Cheddar and Christmas Chutney scones didn’t just happen spontaneously because unlike chutney and cheese, it’s not often I have buttermilk in the fridge. And you really need buttermilk for this recipe. These scones were a premeditated craving. I’d also recommend grabbing some proper Wookey Hole Cave Cheddar and Rosebud Preserve Christmas Chutney rich with dates, prunes, apricots and ale because that’s what I used and the combination worked deliriously well. I can’t speak for the quality of these scones using lesser quality cheese and …

Oven-Baked Buffalo Wings

Oven-Baked Buffalo Wings

There’s no use fighting it. Party season has arrived, it’s upon us, we’re boarding the train to Christmas Town and I’m going to get that ball rolling with this amazing recipe, that until now – I’ve kept to myself. Buffalo wings; they’re not made of buffalo meat, they get their name from their place of origin – the New York city of Buffalo. As with most of these legendary dishes, the truth about how they came about is a little bit misty but let’s not worry about that.

These buffalo wings make a super addition to any party menu. They’re …

Glowing Butternut Squash Soup

It’s not often that I post a recipe while I’m eating it. That’s why the photo is so utilitarian but it’s hot off the press folks and it’s a keeper, and while I have written in the past about ‘Sweet Chilli Pumpkin Soup….that recipe is more of a lazy-man’s way to spice up the usual recipe without going to too much trouble. Which is great, but this soup is a more thorough and layered approach to what you could call a Thai Pumpkin Soup recipe. Thai because the ingredients are ubiquitous in Thai cooking, pumpkin I’m not sure …

Thai Fish Cakes

Proper Thai fish cakes. I can guarantee you’ve never had them before, because since moving to the UK, neither have I, despite the fact that they abound on pub menus all over the nation. I’m going to throw you a bone here and share a recipe for proper Thai fish cakes. The bouncy and pungent kind that are made and enjoyed by Thai people and Australians and anyone else fortunate enough to have a good Thai restaurant near them. The best part is that they’re easy to make and you probably already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen.…

The Gateway Cheese and Beautiful Boards

In the lead up to Christmas, I get the opportunity to try new products and sample foods being launched for the festive season. It is a rare occasion that I’ll turn down the chance to try cheese or chocolate and happily I had the good fortune to take delivery of both recently. Paxton and Whitfield are one of the country’s oldest and most respected cheese mongers and so I’m always so pleased to try whatever they send. This year I tried the Trio of Contemporaries selection which proved to be a finely selected group of fresh and imaginative cheeses to …

Local Food Hero: Gordon Stores Maidenhead

It’s October and in our family that means pumpkin carving, autumn trees and turning on the heating. We carved out pumpkins last night and draped some cobwebs and spiders around the place. Just a bit of fun for Halloween which is one of my favourite festivities. People say Halloween is an American cultural quirk and one that’s being steadily adopted here in the UK. But before you start hum-bugging this spooky celebration, just remember it all started here in Britain – well according to some scholars anyway. The Celts were celebrating Samhain long before the Christian festival of All Hallows …

5 Ways to Use Up Old Bread

This was supposed to come after the Love Your Left Overs post that I wrote after attending an awareness campaign for the RBWM and Green Redeem. But I got distracted by Paris and pasta-free lasagnes. So here’s five ways that you can love your leftovers and avoid wasting food. Remember that shocking statistic- that 1/3 of landfill is food? That’s a total of 18 million tonnes of food that the UK throws away each year. With the food recycling programmes here in the borough, you have no excuse to let organic matter contribute to land fill.

Now, excuse me …

Pasta-free Lasagne

Paleo Lasagne

I want to call this paleo lasagne, but the truth is that I cheated and put a little mozzarella cheese on the top. However – if you’re strong enough to forgo the cheese, then yes, this would be a paleo meal, which means free from dairy, grains, sugars…. etc. Personally, I believe that by adding a little cheese on top it makes the meal feel much more decadent than it actually is and it’s certainly not going to break the calorie bank like a regular lasagne would, because of course the calorie riches lie in the pasta and bechamel sauce …

Instinct and Accident: A Guide to Eating Well in Paris

Instinct and Accident: A Guide to Eating Well in Paris

This time last Monday I was in Paris; walking into the Latin quarter to see where Earnest Hemingway and James Joyce lived, to see Paris’ Pantheon and soak in the atmosphere of student life. But really, honestly, I was there for some noodles. If you ever ask a member of my family for travel tips, chances are they’ll be food-related. My brother stayed in Paris for a month and most of his tips came in the form of cafes to idle in and specific dishes to try. My mum’s best memory of Paris is some chicken she had in St …

The Golden Ball Pub: Maidenhead

Golden Ball Pub

I’d been to The Golden Ball pub in Maidenhead once. It wasn’t great so I didn’t go back, and while I’m sure it was the go-to of anyone within walking distance, I wouldn’t have called it a destination pub. However, thanks to the team at Epic Pubs, The Golden Ball has been transformed into just that, a destination venue where it feels like you’re going out without leaving the neighbourhood.

You probably haven’t heard of Epic Pubs before and that’s because The Golden Ball is the team’s first foray into the world of free housing. When I asked the manager …

Love Your Left Overs

Maidenhead Food blog

Last week I was invited to participate in Green Redeem’s Love your Left Over’s food challenge At Stubbing Nursery for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

Did you know that…

  • In the Royal Borough 30% of all rubbish that goes to landfill is food waste.
  • The average family throws away around £700 of food shopping annually.
  • If we stopped wasting food that could have been eaten, it would have the same impact as taking 1 in 4 cars off the road.
  • The weekly food waste recycling gets collected and turned into electricity and fertiliser in a recycling facility in

Roast Butternut with Pistachio Pesto

Every once in a while I like to try out new side dishes, because let’s face it, grilled meat is a dietary no-brainer. With a nice piece of chicken, fish or lamb, sometimes just a sprinkling of salt and pepper and a nice hot pan is all you need. But it’s often the vegetable component of a meal that can end up making the nightly dinner seem lacklustre. I’m hoping to remedy that by sharing a few new things I’ve tried out lately, some flavoursome, exciting vegetable dishes that will brighten up the weekly repertoire.

FeedingTime Blog

Let’s begin with this delightful …

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

There was a time that I played cook in a cafe we used to own and run. It was called On a Roll. I didn’t like it much. The mornings were very early, usually before sunrise, and the work was repetitive, lots of shredding chicken, lettuce, tomatoes etc for the sandwich bar, roasting joints of beef, making muffins, bagels and pastries and breakfast fry-ups for early birds. I was only 21 at the time and our 2nd chef had just left, leaving us with a business to run but no one to staff the kitchen. I don’t know how or …

Summer in Croatia

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This is the fifth time in six years that we’ve been to Croatia for the summer holidays. But before you decide that I’m unimaginative, you have to realise that it’s not just a random beach on some random island that draws our family back year after year. As a child, my dad used to go swimming at the same beach where we now swim. He would jump off the highest point on the pier, even once riding his bicycle into the ocean.

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This year seemed to cement our sense of belonging in the sea-side village; we’ve witnessed local kids turn …

Local Food Hero: Palmieri’s Gourmet Italian Cafe

Real Bread Campaign

This loaf of bread might not look special but if you could smell it and taste it, you’d realise that it wasn’t like other loaves of bread. It’s special because it’s real bread and it’s special because you can only get it on a Thursday at one place in Maidenhead. This bread is the reason that I’m celebrating Palmieri’s as one of my local food heroes. As part of the Real Bread Campaign  Italian cafe Palmieri’s in Maidenhead make fresh bread made on-site every Thursday. Available only after midday and prepared by Roberto Palmieri, it is without a doubt the …

Chicken Tinga

Mexican feast @feedingtimeblog

Let the photo set the scene; Father’s Day, Pineapple Margaritas made with reposado tequila and chipotle-chicken tinga served with tostadas, guacamole, and limes. This is the second Mexican feast we’ve had at the Cory house this year and I’m hoping that my experiments will become less of a special occasion and more of a weekly occurrence. I was sent a package of dried chillies of all varieties from the gang at MexTrade UK, but it was the tiny tins of chipotle chillies adobo that they threw in that I started with.

I’ve never cooked with chipotles before and I …

Lamingtons

Lamingtons This is what a lamington looks like. It’s pieces of sponge cake that have been dipped in a thick chocolate glaze and then covered with desiccated coconut. They’re very popular in Australia. Popular enough that you can buy them pre-made in little packets at every supermarket. I haven’t had eaten one for over four years now, since we left Sydney. Recently my 10yr old son has shown an interest in baking and so I thought lamingtons would make a nice easy project. I bought a packet mix sponge cake and a whole lot of icing sugar and once I let …

Pasta Hacks: Part Two

As promised, I have two more pasta hacks for the Giovanni Rana ‘Make it My Way’ creative cook-up. The first one is a chicken pie using the Creamy Carbonara Sauce from the Italian Indulgence range of stir-in sauces. Sticking with the theme of convenience, I devised this super easy recipe for turning a pasta sauce into a deceptively simple and delicious pie. Simply slice up a leek and grate some asparagus and courgette into a small saucepan and saute with a bit of olive oil till the leeks have softened. Turn the heat off and then throw in some pre-cooked …

Lemon Blondies

After the excitement of Berlin, pasta hacking and winning a Lurpak hamper for my Bad-ass toastie for #freestylefood month – this post feels rather boring in comparison. I’ve been so busy working on promoting Animal Music that I’ve got no stories to tell about this recipe except that it’s delicious.

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Despite all the chaos, I’ve been baking quite a bit lately. I find the busier my life gets, the more I bake. I’ve come to accept that it’s most likely some kind of delicious release-valve. KT and I have made two batches of lamingtons and I’ve just put my elderflower

Pasta Hacks with Giovanni Rana

One of the fun parts of food-blogging is the challenges that you get to try. I was approached by the people who promote Giovanni Rana pasta and sauces here in the UK, to take part in the ‘Make it My Way with Giovanni Rana’ challenge; where bloggers were asked to create recipe hacks for the new range of stir-through pasta sauces. Six sauces – six dishes and I said yes before I realised that it fell during an exceptionally busy month for me. I may be a little late on this task but nevertheless I have made good on my …

The Best and Wurst of Berlin

I was in Berlin for a few days last week. While I usually like to write about the food I ate while I was away, my affair with food abroad this time was a little bit… different. I was travelling alone and this meant that I didn’t have to worry about feeding anyone but myself; a completely foreign experience. Each time I opened the fridge of my little Air BnB flat, I smiled at the lonely carton of milk. There were no half-drunk bottles of orange juice to keep it company, no cling-wrapped blocks of cheese, half cucumbers and avocados …

Local Food Hero: Quintessential Meats

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At AT’s work, there are a handful serious BBQ guys…guys who know about meat, guys who build smoke pits, South Africans…you know the type. When asked where they buy their meat – the answer was unanimous: Quintessential Meats in Warfield. I don’t like to be left out of good things, especially when it involves food and so I made my way over to Warfield. It’s beautiful there. Lots of farms and horse-types, golf courses and tucked away, off a lane you’ll probably miss if you’re not careful, is Fernygrove Farm. Run by James & Charlotte Quinn, Fernygrove and Hornbuckle …

Crumbed Pork Fillets and the Perfect Friday Wine

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I met Jo Randell at one of the Cookham Media Hub events. I knew she’d been writing about wine for a local publication and a friend told me she was good at it. I don’t usually read about wine, but in her column and on her blog Perfect Friday Wine, Jo strips back all the jargon and industry talk and explains in a relatable way,  how and why certain wines are worth taking a chance on. She’s on a mission to sing the praises of lesser known brands and varieties, taking a viticulture bullet for us all so we …

Best-ever Bad-ass Toastie

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Ok, so I burnt the outside a little bit. I don’t make toasted sandwiches much these days but when I do, they tend to be pretty amazing. This one even has a name, we used to call it the ‘Dolce’. We named all our sandwiches back when we had cafe, waaaaay back in the late 90s in the corporate ghetto of North Sydney. This one is called The Dolce because in classical music, when you play something ‘dolce’ you play it softly and sweetly and that is kind of what this sandwich is all about. All the softness of the …

An Ethiopian Adventure with Sarah Parfitt

It’s not often that we get to escape the comfort zone, that’s because it’s nice being comfortable. But once in a while, an opportunity arises that pushes you out into a world that’s very different from your own daily experience. Sarah Parfitt was fortunate enough to have one of these adventures when she went to Gende Tesfa in Eastern Ethiopia for a week. Her goal was to set up a community journalism project and a school link between Holy Trinity School here in Cookham and the Gende Tesfa School. It’s been 30 years since the famine in Ethiopia and Sarah

Spiced Root Vegetable Fritters

 

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I love the look of beetroot. I like the way the dirty root bulbs belie the firm, bloody flesh inside. Beetroots are another one of those vegetables that we don’t each much of but are packed with bioflavonoids and other fun things that we’re told is good for us. But aside from that, they taste good and this recipe is great way to get more of those unfashionable vegetables like parsnip and carrot into your diet in the most delicious way.

You can serve these fritters up with anything from cucumber raita, yoghurt dip, sweet chilli sauce or some …

Bee-sting Choux Buns

I celebrated my 14th wedding anniversary recently and as you might guess, for such an ordinary number and because it was karate night, we did nothing. Well, we said we’d do nothing but AT bought me some lovely long-stem roses, and I made him some choux pastry. And yes, it was looking as boring as it sounds, so, like George and his medicine, I came up with something marvellous.

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I’d intended to fill the profiteroles with custard, but as I bit into my test subject I was reminded of a much beloved German Bee-Sting cake. Without the need to bake …

The Blackwood Arms Burnham

Since moving to Cookham, we’ve been exploring the areas north of Maidenhead, driving along dark lanes to find pubs buried in the woodland, and so on the advice of one of AT’s work colleagues, we tried a new pub on the weekend. It’s called The Blackwood Arms and is secreted between Littleworth Common and Twelve Acre wood on the outskirts of Burnham Beeches. Close to Dorney Wood, The Blackwood Arms has been the local watering hole for Chancellors, not far from Cliveden it was also a secret meeting place for the Profumo lovers, and with a classic country pub ambience, …

Home Espresso Blends and the Third Wave

Apparently we’re in the midst of the third wave coffee movement. This was news to me. I didn’t even know there were waves where coffees were concerned but it turns out that things are moving pretty quickly and there’s whispers of a Fourth Wave. Sort of like feminism I suppose, but much less important (to some), the development of coffee culture throughout the western world has become a rather serious affair. I recently found out that it wasn’t my national pride swelling but an acknowledged fact that Australians are considered the frontier folk of good coffee. So I guess what …

Cosmic Donuts

Can you imagine how Stephen Hawking must have felt when the concept for the expanding universe dawned on him? Or how Tesla might have felt when he first realised the potential of wireless technology? That’s kind of how it was for me when I bit into some donuts that I made last week. It was like time and space was bending, the ether opened up and whispered to me the secrets of the universe and the cosmic recipe for the best donuts ever made.

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You might think I’m exaggerating, but perhaps you’ve never tried to make donuts at home, or …

Pozole

Pozole

You probably don’t know what pozole is. I didn’t until recently. In fact I’ll admit that I’m embarrassed at how little I know about Mexican cuisine – despite the fact that I love Mexican-style food so much. Note I’ve used the word ‘style’ because it’s not Mexican food that I’ve always loved, it’s really something else. Call it Tex-Mex, call it what you like but it’s a match made in heaven and sadly the closest thing we’ll get to eating Mexican food outside of Mexico. Corn chips, cheesy dips, anaemic guacamole and Old El Paso packet mixes are about as …

Double Chocolate Muffins

Well…we can’t be good all the time.

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Here are the rules. Think of it like Fight Club but instead of fighting to escape spiritual somnambulance we’re fighting to escape the disappointment of below-average chocolate muffins. We’re fighting to make a chocolate muffin that rises above the ordinary, sets the bar, goes beyond…
This is a good recipe, but with care and love it can achieve greatness.

First Rule: Use hand-chopped Cadbury Bourneville dark chocolate, not chocolate chips.

Second Rule: Do not let these muffins over cook or they will be ordinary.  Keep a keen eye on oven, and your nose …

Educational Eating in Scotland

So you probably won’t be surprised to learn that the person who crossed 3 borders and drove for most of a day over rough terrain to eat cevapi in Sarajevo, also travelled for 6 hours in a train and spent 3 nights in Edinburgh to do nothing else but eat. I’m not kidding. I didn’t see sites, I didn’t enter one museum and I did not learn a single thing that I did not absorb via my digestive tract. But surely I can be forgiven? I’ve been to Edinburgh before, I’ve witnessed the fine city during Fringe Festival and taken …

Mushroom Risotto

I was recently made aware of #mancrushmonday. I’m in the process of creating a Top 10 list to share with my sister and yes; Gary Oldman, Mark Strong and Mads Mikkelsen if you’re reading this – you will make the cut. And speaking of hash tags, I made up my own one for the boys yesterday in the wake of a Horrible Histories overload. It’s called #noTVintheafternoonmonday. It was not a hit.

But while we’re on the topic of popularity and hash tags,  this post falls in line with the #meatfreemonday. Except it’s not Monday. But it would have been …

Pease Porridge Hot

When I originally thought of posting a recipe for split pea and ham soup, I knew it was going to be problematic. Like dhal, pea and ham soup is not pretty, but worse, it’s not textured like dhal. In reality it’s one of the ugliest meals you’ll ever eat. I remember when my mum used to make it, she’d throw chunks of red kransky sausage in and it was like digging for treasure. It distracted us from noticing how this tasty soup looks in fact, like grey slop. So instead of showing you photos of this unattractive soup, I thought …

Pea Shoots and Paris

Pea Shoots and Paris

As you know I recently had a friend from Australia visit me here in the UK. She spent a few days in the area with her partner, but mostly came to spend time with me and the boys. We met when I was pregnant with KT and have been friends ever since – that’s coming on 10 years now. The last night of their stay, L and JJ came over for a home-made dinner. It was hard to know what to make, as I didn’t want to spend more time in the kitchen than necessary and they’d be gormandising in …

White Chocolate Blondie

Remember when I said I was looking to post more exciting, healthy recipes this year? I thought I might start at the bottom end of this aspiration and work my way up. I’ve been busy with some visiting friends and looking to try some fresh, light and tasty sides to go with our main meal tomorrow night. They’ve been gorging in France over the new year and I think they could use some greens so I’m going to try something with pea shoots and broad beans. But in the meantime, this recipe is perfect for anyone who wishes they could …

Ready Steady Cooks & Co.

Welcome to 2015. It’s taken me a while to crank up my mojo but here I am. Christmas was a whirlwind of rocky road and truffles and cellophane and curling ribbon and I came out the other side of December needing a little break from the kitchen and indeed the temptations of the festive season. This year I’m looking for recipes to freshen up my tired old culinary repertoires, and more importantly recipes that will help me fit into my black jeans again.

Just before Christmas I had the pleasure of being a judge for the in-house staff food competition …

Rocky Road

I was chatting to another mum in the school yard the other day and we were talking about how hard it is to choose those incidental gifts; the ones you give to your neighbour, your hairdresser, teachers and workmates. It can get expensive and really difficult to think up meaningful gifts on top of all the other major presents of the season, and so I’ve always gone the home-made route. You can make a few different things, with minimal cost, and because you’ve made it yourself, the resulting sweets and treats become worth more than just the sum of their …

Rip Snorting Roasts

Whether you’re a wiz at making roast dinners or perhaps taking your first piece of meat for spin, there’s a always room for improvement when it comes to making the perfect roast dinner. I’m yet to attempt the Yorkshire pudding and always trying hard not to overcook the green beans. Anyone with experience will tell that it’s all about timing. The difference between a good roast pork and a mouthwateringly-memorable one is time. Whether your potatoes are nice or out-of-this-world is all about how long they’ve been roasting for. I could go on, but I think you get the point.…

Lemon Myrtle Yoghurt and Macadamia Shortbread

A friend from home sent me an Australian bush food recipe book for Christmas, along with a couple of packets of wattle seed and a chilli, wild lime and lemon myrtle seasoning blend. What a thoughtful gift and it truly got me thinking about the good friends I have left behind. It also got me thinking about this really nice yoghurt I used to try-not-to-buy because it was loaded with calories. It was a lemon myrtle yoghurt. Lemon scented myrtle or Backhousia citriodora was named after the British botanist James Backhouse, and shortened to lemon myrtle to market the dried …

Treacle Pudding

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Am I jumping the gun a bit posting a recipe for treacle pudding? It’s not really cold enough yet or dark enough and with the twinkling lights and festive cheer, winter gloom hasn’t quite set in. Does it count that I made this last month and that I found it perfectly fitting to eat the deepest winter comfort food on a dreary November evening? Does it help that I’ve heard the temperature is about to drop? Or, how about this one – is there really a wrong time for treacle pudding?

There’s a bit of irony about this recipe. I …

African Peanut Stew

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This is a recipe from the vegan cookbook Oh She Glows. Author of the Oh She Glows blog and book of the same name, Angela Liddon is a bit of hero for vegans and those looking to reduce the amount of meat in their diets without feeling as if they’re missing out. Her recipes can be counted on for full flavour and satisfaction, unlike that dreary vegetable soup that you whip up when you’re in need of something healthy. Consider this recipe a starting point, with its soft, mild tomato base infused with a hearty peanut flavour you can really …

Cooper’s Coffee Marlow

As London’s coffee culture moves at light speed, with the likes of Monmouth marching across the terrain like caffeinated Kiwi warriors, and hole-in-the-wall cafes springing up in unlikely places, Maidenhead seems to have been overlooked by the destination-coffee house revolution. Costa, Nero and Starbucks don’t count. I drink their coffee, I sit in their cafes and I enjoy the illusion of atmosphere just like the rest of you, but it’s not the same as a proper coffee house. You won’t find the same ambience as a place that’s run by an impassioned individual with everything at stake, you won’t find …

Green Lentil Dhal

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When you make and eat food like this, you realise why the western world is getting fatter and hungrier. Dhals are ugly, they’re really easy and cheap to make and they are nutritious and filling. Not much room for profit here is there? When you consider the holy trinity of sugar, fat and salt that keeps people craving more food, you realise that selling food is only profitable when your market is kept hungry. This is one of a thousand and one recipes that are possible with lentils and other split pulses (Dhal means ‘to split’ in Sanskrit), and this …

Roast chicken and vegetable pie

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I was looking for something special to cook last Saturday night. Not because I’m a domestic doyen but because I needed to make up for the sausages and fish-fingers that I threw around like proper food last week. The great thing about this recipe is that it can be whipped up pretty quickly and you can turn something out that looks a million pounds but costs very little. I don’t go for chicken breast unless I’m making breaded chicken. Thighs always hold up better,  taste better and cost less. So grab a packet of thighs, with skin and bone if …

Healthy and Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Soup

It gets harder to be enthusiastic about salads when the weather turns. Fresh, raw vegetables suddenly don’t seem as appetising or satisfying when there’s a chill in the air. But don’t let a craving for comfort food be an excuse not to eat healthy, nutritious food. This chicken soup is an old favourite from a very long time ago when I was in the kitchen at our cafe back in Sydney. This soup is creamy and tasty but not loaded with cream or butter. It is not particularly low in calories mainly due to the creamed corn which is a …

Coconut and Ginger Slice

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If you ever wanted to cunningly plot the demise of an enemy with a cake-induced-heart-attack, this recipe would be your weapon of choice. It is one of the most supernaturally seductive slices I’ve ever tasted and contains a whopping one and a half blocks of butter, tasting every bit as delectable as you’d hope. I’ve made buttery slices in the past only to be disappointed by the oily residue that seeps out the bottom, but this slice doesn’t come across as being overly fatty or unpleasant even though it really, really is. So dangerous is this slice that I sent …

Scrappy Supper: Toast with Garlic Mushrooms

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I love scrappy dinners. I couldn’t tell you why. Maybe it’s that break with routine that signals something exciting, something different. For us, Tuesdays have become our night for scrappy suppers.  With all of our activities falling on one night of the week, I gave up cooking. I’d make meals that were usually only half eaten at best, and with the effort it took to have it all prepared and ready for eating during that elusive half hour between activities – it just wasn’t worth the effort. So it’s baked beans on toast or a fried egg sandwich.

But then …

Local Food Hero: Daniel

I could never bring myself to pay over £20 for a garlic press. Even £11 seems steep to me, and this is because I’ve owned expensive garlic presses in the past and they’ve never been very good. I have one criteria for the perfect press and that’s no removable parts. Not easy to find let me tell you. However, after scouring Windsor for this humble kitchen tool, I was frankly surprised that I would find exactly what I was after at Daniel. They had a few to choose from which is impressive for a small department store and I found …

Coffee, tea and …lino cuts

I’m breaking with convention today. This might come as a shock, but I’m not going to write about food. Today I’m going to write about art. I’ve been helping to promote the first Cookham and Maidenhead Arts Trail in recent months and the event finally took place over the weekend. Completely organised by the artists exhibiting at the trail, the Cookham and Maidenhead Arts Trail came into being when a cooperative of like-minded artists felt there was enough creativity in the area to warrant a local trail. There are trails in Wokingham, Buckinghamshire, Henley but not one for Maidenhead.

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I …

Roasted hazelnut and orange blossom cake

Roasted hazelnut and orange blossom cake

I think we’ve spent enough time making up for the sins of the summer holidays. Can we all agree that’s it time, once again, to enjoy sweet treats with our cup of tea? It’s become cold all of a sudden and the trees are turning and I think we can officially say goodbye to summer. But I’m not sad, it’s been a long, hot summer and I’m ready for a change. Despite the fact that this cake was supposed to be a National Trust spring time celebration of the new rose garden at Cliveden, it’s a robust recipe that can

Curried Courgette Fritters

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Whether you’ve got an allotment, a patch in the garden or you’re the recipient of surplus from a friend or neighbour, chances are you’re enjoying the bounty of harvest time. At the end of summer vegetables and fruits are ripening and ready for the pickings. I paid a visit to the Cookham Dean Fete on Saturday and I couldn’t wait to see the produce prizes. At the entry to the village hall there were a handful of giant pumpkins greeting you at the door and inside the hall there were tables laid with the best that Cookham green-thumbs had to …

A Foodie Pilgrimage to Sarajevo

I’ve become one of those people who holidays in the same place each year. I didn’t think I was that sort of person, but it turns out I am. I love to explore the world and embrace new and challenging holiday destinations, but when it comes to summer holidays, my family and I love to return to Croatia each year to sun ourselves on the stoney beach of Prigradica, eat our body-weight in ćevapčići and enjoy the view from our apartment. While we missed out on another island lunch with Captain Tomislav on this trip, we did get to try …

Local Food Hero: Macey’s Organic Butcher

Village life can be frustrating. You know by now how I feel about the limitations when it comes to food, but there are other basic services that life outside of the city simply cannot provide. Namely sharpening services for kitchen knives. I’ve tried everything. I’ve called up restaurants, asked mobile services and even tried calling up butchers but I cannot get my knife sharpened. Short of buying a new one, which is not going to happen, I didn’t know how to solve my problem. I bought some gadget on line that had been recommended but it didn’t work and for …

Cheung Fun in the summer

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When I lived in Sydney dumplings were never too far away. They could be bought at an Asian grocer and cooked up at home or found in a nearby Chinese restaurant in one of the many Chinese hubs around Sydney. Since moving to the UK, London is the only place where dumplings can be found easily and in abundance. Every Chinese restaurant in China town does dim-sum – or ‘yum cha’ as we call it in Australia, and it’s during those precious daylight hours that you can find dumplings, steamed, fried or however you like it. I tried Dumplings

Luscious Lemon Pie with Coconut crust

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I’ve made loads of lemon tarts… but I’ve never felt moved enough, confident enough to share a recipe. It’s all been a bit hit and miss. Sometimes grainy, sometimes too tart and often too flat. But, I made a lemon tart the other day – and perhaps I’m jumping the gun a little here, having only made it once – but I’m going to share this recipe because it’s the best one I’ve ever made. AT made the bold call of saying it’s the best lemon tart he’s ever eaten – followed by telling me that I’ll never be able …

Creamy raw broccoli and roasted nut salad

Creamy raw broccoli and roasted nut salad

It’s salad mayhem here. This will be the last one for the season. I promise. This raw broccoli salad is the jewel in the crown. The first time I tried it was at my turkey-carving masterclass at Copas Turkeys last year. They had put on a lunch for the visitors and this was one of the salads on offer. It’s been 6 months – and finally I got my hands on Brenda Copas’ raw broccoli salad. It’s similar to a popular American recipe that features bacon and raisins and fried lardons was an option for this dish but I left …

Roasted broccoli, cheddar and spiced walnut salad

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I recently tried Applewood Cheddar for the first time and while I don’t make a habit of eating cheese unless it’s mouldy, I couldn’t resist seeking out a recipe for this much-loved British cheese. With its subtle smokey flavour and creamy texture, this white cheddar is perfect for salads because it holds it shape despite being tossed about with leaves and dressing. I wanted to make cheese and chive scones, but this hot weather doesn’t really invite hearty fare, so I did a little research and was none too surprised to find a delightful salad using cheese on an American …

Date, toasted almond and spinach salad

Date, toasted almond and spinach salad

I don’t know if it’s my impending beach holiday or the heat, but I’ve been eating lots of salads lately. Who am I kidding, I eat salad everyday because if I didn’t then I don’t know what. This is the first of a few salad recipes that I’ll be throwing at you in the lead up to my hiatus in August and the last of the recipes that I made for my exotic middle eastern luncheon. Another Ottolenghi masterpiece, this salad has already entered legendary status in the combined family repertoire. It features prominently at family gatherings and is …

Cornflakes; not just for breakfast

The only time I buy cereal is when Kellogg’s have their annual Grown-ups Go Free promotion. Last year we used them to take the boys to Lego Land for the first time and I’ve got my tokens on the fridge ready for this year’s visit. And this time we’re all going on the big roller-coaster. My kids tried Coco-pops for the first time and they weren’t as impressed as I thought they’d be. I remember loving Coco-pops as a kid. Maybe cereal is acquired taste, who knows? The cornflakes were put aside for baking and so I thought I’d share …

Local food-hero: Italian Continental Stores

When I moved to Britain I wanted to make sure my blog also felt like it had moved and changed to reflect my life here. So many things are different about life here compared to back in Sydney. Surprisingly the availability of food, equipment and services are much harder to come outside of London. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the availability of European and Asian (I don’t mean Indian) ingredients is harder to come by outside of the melting pot of London. I’m noticing small changes like the opening of the Thai shop and buffet on the High St, …

Fruit Dip

Fruit Dip

Sweet dips for fruit is always a popular search on my blog, and so I thought I’d share this recipe just in time for those super summer strawberries. So often the sweetness of a perfect strawberry needs nothing else, but after dinner or perhaps when you’re having a visitor, a bowl of strawberries doesn’t quite cut it in the dessert stakes. So up the ante and put out a bowl or two of fruit dips, throw in some cantaloupe and red grapes and you’ve got sweet fruit fondu. Or get creative and whip up some hazelnut shortbread and you’ve got …

Custard Creams

6oz of butter, 6oz flour, 2oz of sugar and 2oz of custard powder is all you need to make one of Britain’s favourite snack time treats. Custard Creams have been one of the nation’s favourite biscuits since Victorian times, and while this recipe is not the same as store bought – they’re just as addictive. Using icing sugar instead of caster sugar and the high quantity of butter make these biscuits very short and fine in texture and the perfect delivery system for the butter cream. If you want to go custard crazy – you can also put a little …

Carrot, Feta and Almond Baklava

Carrot, Feta and Almond Baklava

 

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Here is another recipe from my middle-eastern luncheon odyssey a Carrot Baklava from my trusty Maria Elia cookbook. Ever since my brother and his main squeeze ditched animal products, our family has tried to embrace their choice by looking out for super tasty vegetarian and vegan meals that we can all enjoy. This recipe is a great jumping off point – as it turns the baklava tradition on its head for a savoury and surprisingly satisfying dish. Carrots and feta are just the beginning – you can create endless varieties of this meal, as Maria shows on …

Wiltshire wonders; food to seek out when you’re out west

It’s something I’m rather proud of that didn’t involve feeding my face, so I’ll begin by saying that I walked over 14 miles on Sunday from Salisbury to Stone Henge. If you’re curious about the route, it’s something I found on the Saturday Walkers’ Club website. I was, I’ll admit, a little anxious about it because I’ve never walked that far before, but it was an amazing experience. Wiltshire is truly a magical and mysterious part of Britain and there is so much to see. Stone and wooden circles were our focus, and while we didn’t see it all by …

Home made Baguette: yes you can!

I’ve tried making bread at home for years. The loaves have always come out too dense, or stodgy, or the results simply weren’t worth the effort. I’ve come to realise that bread-making is more of a habit than anything else. I can’t think of the last time I had a good loaf…or maybe it’s just British preferences that I’m having difficulty adjusting to. If I want some nice Italian style bread, I buy and freeze Crosta and Mollica’s sliced Pane Pugliese and if I want a soft, light pillow of Turkish pide, I’m left wanting. And French-quality baguettes? Forget it. …

On the chopping block

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There’s a plethora of chopping woods, blocks and sheets available today, which makes choosing the right board difficult. However, if you’re not sure about what the best kind is, consider that wooden chopping boards have natural anti-bacterial properties in the wood that make them hygienic and safer to use. While both plastic and wooden boards get nicks and crevices that can harbour sometimes dangerous bacteria, plastic holds onto these germs while a wooden board will – when washed and dried – be free from harmful germs. But don’t rely on my word, do your own research and draw your own …

Savoury Coeur a la Creme

There’s the kind of recipe that you make, it’s great, but for some reason, you don’t make it again. Perhaps it was too fussy, the ingredients too difficult to source or it just wasn’t worth the effort. And then there’s the kind of recipe that’s great and you continue to make it again and again. They’re the ones I’m interested in, and they’re the ones I share.

Today, I have one of these little gems to share that you might not have stumbled across yet. It’s a Savoury Coeur a la Creme  from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. Ina’s …

Sweet Hoisin Pork

This recipe explores all four corners of the taste world: sweetness, spice, salty and sour. This Hoisin Pork recipe is another Kylie Kwong classic. I can’t praise her recipes enough, they are fresh, simple and always on the money. I love this recipe because it has a lovely combination of sweetness in the pork marinade and the crunch of the fresh cucumber is a stroke of genius. The sprinkling of Sichuan salt and pepper at the end is beyond words.

Hoisin Pork

Ingredients:
1 large pork fillet, sliced thin.
1 cucumber (sliced finely using a potato peeler)
1 tbsp light …

Smarties Cookies

My Dad bought me this apron back from a trip to Zagreb. It’s a hand stitched motif of a pretty lady in the kitchen. It says ‘I’m sweeter than sugar, I’m your dinner’….which sounds strange but it’s a translation and rhymes in the Croatian Language. I think I love this apron so much because it’s made with a starched cotton/linen that you just can’t get here. It softens so beautifully over time. I love the simple lace trim and the pretty face of the lady. It has a European charm that is hard to describe. I love it so much …

Pineapple upside-down cake

This pineapple upside down cake has an unusual texture that makes it somehow very luxurious. The recipe isn’t exactly easy but it isn’t exactly hard either. If I hadn’t eaten one of the pineapple halves, there would have been the perfect amount in one tin. So one tin is fine as long as you don’t help yourself to a quick pineapple snack before you start. You could use pears, plums and even apples if you don’t want to use pineapple – but who doesn’t love pineapple?

pineapple cake

Pineapple Upside-down Cake Recipe

Ingredients:
For the base/top of the cake
Tin of pineapple …

The Only Chocolate Brownie Recipe You’ll Ever Need

The Only Chocolate Brownie Recipe You’ll Ever Need

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I stand by my outrageous claim that this is indeed, the best brownie recipe ever. In the world. I have made it countless times and it never fails to impress. It’s moist, rich, delicious hot or cold and thoroughly and deeply chocolatey.  It’s easy to make too. There’s no double-baking and not even a pinch of cocoa or coffee granules involved. This recipe wins out over all others because it’s made with excessive amounts of real chocolate. The result is a satisfying and tangible chocolate flavour.

The skill for this recipe is knowing when to take it out of the …

Christmas Spiced Nuts

 

IMG_5773I must pass on my thanks and a kick in the shin to Nigella Lawson for passing on this recipe – the bar snacks at Union Square apparently. I’m sure they are responsible for at least 1 of the obligatory 3 pounds I put on over Christmas time. These make excellent edible Christmas gifts for teachers, neighbours, postmen and hairdressers. That is if they make it out of your kitchen.

Spiced Bar Nuts Recipe

Ingredients:
2 cups of raw nuts
2 tbs chopped rosemary
2 tsp salt
2-3 tsp brown sugar (or maybe some more depending on your taste)…