Chickpea curry: Punjabi comfort food

Chole, chickpea curry

This punjabi style chickpea curry, or Chole, has to be one of my most favourite recipes for a cold winter’s day. The combination of fresh tomatoes, ginger, coriander and cumin is simply delicious. Perfect for curling up on the couch with and letting the weather have it’s way. Add some naan bread and … [Read more...]

Wakes Cakes

Wakes Cakes

Wakes cakes are a specialty of northern England and in particular the mill towns that where at the heart of the cotton industry. The odd thing is they're biscuits, not ‘cakes’. Biscuits with a very unusual but pleasant hit of liquorice flavour from the caraway seeds. In some places they would also … [Read more...]

Plum Chutney

Opal Plums

Noisy, chaotic, scruffy and yet irresistible. I love street markets. Rows of stalls selling everything from herrings to hummus. I can't help but come away with a bulging shopping bag and a head full of recipes. Thursday is market day on the 'Wilhelminaplantsoen' in the centre of Bussum. I've just … [Read more...]

Learning to love Beetroot…

Beetroots

I don't like beetroot. I've been telling myself this for years. The thing is I couldn't say what I dislike about them. Apart from a tentative nibble, I'm not sure I've ever eaten one. "How do you know until you've tried them?" Sofia asks. My fatherly advice coming back to bite me in the butt. … [Read more...]

A taste of summer: Elderflower Cordial

The elder flowers are in bloom, it took a while but the large creamy-white blossoms are ripe for the picking. For the past few weeks I've been passing by, looking in anticipation at the large bushes near my home, waiting for the right moment. The moment when I could harvest these wonderfully … [Read more...]

Fabulous potato dishes: ‘Tartiflette’

Reblochon cheese

For the last week I've been holidaying at my parent's house in Cascastel, amongst the rolling hills of the Corbières. This southern part of France and the Languedoc in particular boasts some truly wonderful dishes. Local specialities such as 'Bourride' (fish stew with aïoli); 'Confit de Canard' … [Read more...]

The thing about pancakes…

Scottish Pancakes

Until quite recently I was useless at making pancakes. Admittedly, I obstinately refused to follow a recipe. Surely I could knock-out a simple griddle cake without the need for instructions? How hard could it be? Apparently you can't just whisk-up eggs, flour and milk and pour the resulting batter … [Read more...]

Shortcrust pastry: a taste of home

Shortcrust pastry

Nothing quite reminds me of home as much as the taste of shortcrust pastry. The crumbly, melt in the mouth texture never fails to make me nostalgic: memories of brightly colored jam tarts and pies filled with home grown fruit. Childhood favourites, baked by my Mother and on occasions my Grandmother. … [Read more...]

A healthy alternative: Apple and blueberry bread

If, like me, you are partial to a slice or two of homemade cake, you may well appreciate my predicament. A burgeoning waistline has given me cause to consider the unthinkable - giving up cake. This unpleasant prospect got me thinking. What if I could bake a healthier cake? A cake every bit as … [Read more...]

A pudding for Christmas

How does that saying go? 'The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry'. This year I had planned to make a homemade Christmas pudding. Not just any pudding, my ideal pudding, a pudding with all my favourite festive flavours. I was going to take some appealing photographs and share the whole … [Read more...]