Venison Cottage Pie With Spring Onion Mash

Crispy Spring Onion Mash Topped Venison Shepherds Pie

Crispy Spring Onion Mash Topped Venison Cottage Pie

The steel grey light of a damp November day gives way  to cold  fat drops  splatting against the windows as the wind drives the rain forward.  The fire’s lit, the intermittent crackles forming a percussion with the rain.  It’s time for comfort food.  Game is perfect when the weather gets cold, but you don’t always want the bones and bits that go with a pheasant or a quail.  Venison mince is the perfect ingredient for a meal eaten curled up on the sofa.  Rich in flavour and a creaminess from the oats, it can be eaten with just a fork or a spoon and if you make a cottage pie it has all your veg too!  Well nearly.  What’s your favourite dish to warm you on a cold autumn day? Continue reading

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Spiced Broccoli Patties With Curried Dip

Spiced Brocoli Patties & Curried Dip

Spiced Brocoli Patties & Curried Dip

There are times when all I want is vegetables.  I’ve done with meat and fish I just want to be renewed by healthy flavours, herbs and spices.  These little Patties pack a punch of flavour from the cumin and coriander and a sweetness from the caramelising of the outside as they’re cooked.  With a hint of chilli and the barely cooked herbs these are a perfect light lunch or snack slathered in a lightly curried dip. Continue reading

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Exploring Talmont Sur Gironde, France

Mud Flats On The Gironde Estuary

Mud Flats On The Gironde Estuary

The sun shimmered off the mud flats as we drove along the coast road. The gulls circling and diving, finally landing on the bald stones that lay camouflaged by seaweed, it’s soft ozone smell rising to mingle with the fragrance of sun baked grasses from the fields nearby.  Then, there was Talmont, perched high on a rocky outcrop, a twelfth century fortified village sticking out into the bright blue sky. Continue reading

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Wednesday Words – Review Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes

Tom Kerridge Best Ever Dishes

Tom Kerridge Best Ever Dishes

Tom Kerridge’s second book to accompany his BBC TV series Best Ever Dishes,  is a delight of wonderful photography and twists on classic dishes from home and abroad.  Whilst this is not a book for a quick midweek supper the recipes are very achievable for everyone except the real beginner. Continue reading

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Emmer Wheat Tagliatelli With Fennel Seed Pork Meatballs And Tomato Sauce

Fennel Seed Sausage And Tomato Pasta Sauce

Fennel Seed Sausage And Tomato Pasta Sauce

The tiny kitchen in our London flat was the height of mod cons for the 60s.  We had a fridge, A FRIDGE!  It required constant maintenance and once you put in a pint of milk and a lettuce, it was full.  But at least we didn’t have to hang the milk out of the window in a bag to keep it cool.  Wall shelves, a tiny built in work surface and a larder cupboard completed the storage. The white stone butlers sink was squeezed in next to these wonders of the modern age, but required you to slide in sideways past the cooker to get to it.  This kitchen was small, even to a child of three or four it was small. Continue reading

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Chai Spiced Chocolate Brownies

Stack Of Chai Spice Chocolate Brownies

Stack Of Chai Spice Chocolate Brownies

My rug samples were spread around me, saved from the dusty factory floor by a sheet, not quite white but not yet grey.  The flourish of colour making a vibrant splash against the cheerless concrete.  Beautifully patterned, each careful tuft had been meticulously costed by my Indian supplier and the negotiations were about to begin.  Electricity was intermittent in this small rural community and the usual whir of the air conditioners was missing from the general factory noise.  In the hot sticky atmosphere I wondered how fast we could get the job done, longing for the hotel bar and bath.  With a nod from the owner a young Indian boy entered with a tray of dark milky tea.  The spicy aroma hit me long before the drink was in my hands, cinnamon, fragrant cardamom, peppery cloves and sweet nutmeg.  A milky drink with a perk from the tea and a miracle of spices to enliven even the most lethargic.  This was my first taste of Chai. Continue reading

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Buenos Aries – Bar Doreggo And Tango

Interior Of Bar Dorrego

Interior Of Bar Dorrego

The San Telmo bar Dorrego was dark, an early morning scattering of customers sipping coffee and quietly chatting, waiting for the weak Autumn sunshine to warm the day.  Bent wood chairs, all matching but worn with a pale patina, were tucked under scrubbed wood tables scratched with time and the initials of previous drinkers. Continue reading

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Review – Chicken The New Classics By Marcus Bean

Marcus Bean's Chicken The New Classics

Marcus Bean’s Chicken The New Classics

Is your favourite cookbook the one your Mother used?  Or the one you learnt to cook from?  Perhaps it’s a spotted and spattered tome that could never be replaced?  I have a shelf of recipe book treasures, well thumbed and well used, but just occasionally there’s a book that can sit beside them. Continue reading

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Honey Baked Figs With Thyme, Honey And Pistachio Ice Cream

Honey Baked Figs And Thyme With Honey And Pistachio Ice Cream

Honey Baked Figs And Thyme With Honey And Pistachio Ice Cream

Figs plucked straight from the tree, plump, sweet and juicy, warmed by the sun.  But if you have to settle, like me, for the ones from the supermarket this is a delicious way to put the sun back into them.  A little honey and a sprig of thyme brings a real Mediterranean flavour to even the unripe fruit.  Team that with a creamy honey and pistachio ice cream and give a last salut! to a wonderful Indian Summer.

RECIPE Continue reading

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Smoked Haddock Natas

Smoked Haddock Natas

Smoked Haddock Natas

It was six o’clock and Mr Glam came barreling through the door arms laden with bottles of white and red announcing that he’d invited some friends for drinks in two hours.  We had a few cashews in the cupboard and a bag of crisps, I was going to have to pull something together from whatever was in the fridge. Continue reading

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