Monthly Archives: September 2013

Happy Weekend Everyone!!!!

Happy Weekend Everyone!!!!

*** FREE *** 9/28/13 – 9/29/13

Would you like recipes that are EASY and that WORK?
Not sure where to start?
Here you have 101 Tried and Tested recipes that ALL WORK.
With soups, poultry, meats, fish, vegetarian, pasta & rice, potatoes, vegetables, dressings, sauces & marinades, desserts, baking and sweet things …
There’s truly something for everyone.
With differences you might not have thought of.
You don’t need an elaborate kitchen full of fancy gadgets.
Just follow the easy-but-imaginative recipes,
And get ready for: ‘Compliments to The Chef’!
Read on, get going, enjoy!

It is a cookery book, primarily aimed at beginners, but it could also be used by anyone who enjoys cooking and creating good, wholesome family meals.

“Tried & Tested – 101 Recipes” contains recipes covering soups, poultry, meats, fish, vegetarian, pasta & rice, potatoes, vegetables, dressings, sauces & marinades, desserts, baking and sweet things. I have personally tried, tested and modified each recipe until it works easily, giving excellent results. I have worked in the catering industry for many years running restaurants in north-west England and Jersey (which is renowned for fine dining).

It’s available at:-


Feeling Excited!!!

Well, I am feeling pretty excited and happy with life at the moment!

On Saturday and Sunday (28th & 29th September) my cookery book is free on Amazon!!!

And, on Wednesday 2nd October I can upload it to Smashwords as my KDP Select contract will have come to an end.  I am also going to be giving away my sampler version of Tried & Tested – 101 Recipes on Smashwords!!! It has 10 recipes in it, so the reader will have a flavour of what my book is actually like! I shall be uploading that on Wednesday, too!

I am hoping to have my vegetarian cookery book available soon, but I do have a few more recipes that I want to perfect before adding them to the book. I do believe in trying and testing every recipe and getting it to the very best it can be.

Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you all.

Happy weekend everyone!


Sugar named ‘most addictive and dangerous substance’ of our time, worse than cigarettes and alcohol

Sugar named 'most addictive and dangerous substance' of our time, worse than cigarettes and alcohol.

Pumpkin & Parsnip Casserole

Pumpkin & Parsnip Casserole

I decided to try out a wonderful sounding recipe for pumpkin and parsnip casserole yesterday. It had onions, garlic, chilli, beans, tomatoes, red wine and vegetable stock it, too. I added some smoked paprika and some fresh thyme, and lashings of salt and black pepper to it.

It was really delicious! It was packed with lots of healthy, fresh vegetables and I know it was doing me good whilst tasting really great! What a winner! I shall definitely be making it again soon!

I changed the original recipe quite a bit and was really thrilled with the result. I served it with mashed potato and some green beans. And, the recipe made several portions, so I re-heated some today after a busy day and it was such a quick, but healthy, meal.


Happy Thursday everyone!


Pumpkin Casserole, Quesadillas and Enchiladas

Pumpkin Casserole, Quesadillas and Enchiladas

I was at my local supermarket this morning and they had some pumpkins!!! It’s the first ones of this season and I had to buy one! It looks terrific!

I am going casserole it with some parsnips, beans, tomatoes, red wine and fresh herbs.

I have also got a few new recipe ideas for spicy bean enchiladas and refried bean quesadillas. I’ve got some wonderful time in my kitchen to look forward to!

I have also been working on a possible book cover for my veggie recipe book! I am feeling so excited about it. I’m hoping to have it published within a few weeks.

Have a wonderful day!


Parmesan Crusted New Potatoes

Parmesan Crusted New Potatoes

Over the weekend I was working out what I wanted to cook. I wanted something simple, but tasty and healthy.

So, I pan-fried a piece of cod which was delicious!

I also experimented with some new potatoes and a new way of cooking them. I melted some butter, added a pinch of smoked paprika and tossed some new potatoes in the melted butter. I then popped them into a roasting tin (double lined with foil, cos I hate washing up!) and then popped them into the oven for 50 minutes.

Half way through cooking, I turned them over, coating them in the butter, and sprinkled them with some fresh breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese. With about 10 minutes cooking left, I tossed them again and sprinkled more breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese over them.

They were wonderful and a change from simple, plain new potatoes! I’ll post the recipe over the next few days.

Have a great week!


Autumn Casserole!

Autumn Casserole!

Summer is definitely over here in UK! Autumn is here and winter is just around the corner.

But, for a foodie like me, winter means lots of wonderful vegetables, squashes and pumpkins! I can’t wait to be cooking pumpkin again and trying some new cooking ideas I have!

I cooked a mixed bean and vegetable casserole yesterday which was delicious! It was so easy and bursting with goodness from the red onions, courgettes, celeriac, tomatoes and a variety of beans. I served it with rice, but it would be great served with mashed potato on a cold winter’s day.

Next week I am getting together with a good friend of mine and we are having an aubergine lasagne. It’s a new recipe that I want to try and my friend has agreed to be a guinea pig for me!!! I am not terribly keen on aubergine, but this seems a good recipe and I am hoping that it will change my mind about aubergines.

I’ll let you know how it tastes!!!

Have a great weekend.


Chipotle Baked Potato Halves

Chipotle Baked Potato Halves

Over the weekend I discovered chipotle! My supermarket had a chipotle rub and I just had to try it out!!

A chipotle , or chilpotle, (which comes from the Nahuatl word ‘chilpoctli’ meaning smoked chili) is a smoke-dried jalapeño. It is a chili used primarily in Mexican and Mexican-inspired cuisines.

I used it as a rub on some potatoes, with olive oil, and I then baked them. They were delicious and had a lovely warmth to them.

Here’s what I did:-

I preheated the oven to gas mark 6/200ºC/400ºF/180º fan assisted/fairly hot.

I washed the potatoes and checked for anything that needed to be cut out, such as insect holes. Then, I cut them in half lengthwise. I scored a criss-cross pattern on the flesh side of the potatoes. This looks nice, and also helps the flavouring to penetrate.

I took 3 tablespoons of olive oil, mixed with 1 teaspoon of the chipotle rub, in a bowl, with a little salt and black pepper.

I coated the potatoes in this mixture, rubbing it thoroughly into the skin and flesh.

I lined a baking tray with foil (it helps with the washing up and prevented the potatoes from sticking).

I placed the potatoes, skin side down, on the baking tray and baked for 45 minutes. I them turned them over, and baked for a further 15 minutes at gas mark 7/220ºC/425ºF/190º fan assisted/hot.

The flavouring had nicely permeated right through them, and the skins were deliciously crispy! I shall definitely be making them again!

The History Of Pizza

The History Of Pizza

I have been cooking a loot recently and decided to take a day off today and just have pizza. (It was delicious and just what I needed!)

But, it got me thinking about the origins of pizza and I have done some research. Here’s what I have found.

Although the word “pizza” was first documented in 997 AD in Gaeta and successively in different parts of Central and South Italy, the history of the dish itself is not very clear or well documented.

Even earlier (circa 500 B.C.), Persian soldiers baked a flat-bread on their shields which they then covered with cheese and dates.

The precursor of pizza was probably the focaccia, a flat bread known to the Romans as “panis focacius”, to which toppings were then added.

The term ‘pizza’ first appeared “in a Latin text from the southern Italian town of Gaeta in 997 AD, which claims that a tenant of certain property is to give the bishop of Gaeta ‘duodecim pizze’ [‘twelve pizzas’] every Christmas Day, and another twelve every Easter Sunday”.

Foods similar to pizza have been prepared since the neolithic age. Records of people adding other ingredients to bread to make it more flavourful can be found throughout ancient history.

Pizza is now a type of bread and tomato dish, often served with cheese. However, until the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, the dish was sweet, not savoury, and earlier versions which were savoury more resembled the flat breads now known as schiacciata. Pellegrino Artusi’s classic early twentieth century cookbook, La Scienza in cucina e l’Arte di mangiar bene gives three recipes for pizza, all of which are sweet. However, by 1927, Ada Boni’s collection of regional cooking includes a recipe using tomatoes and mozzarella.

Modern day pizzas vary enormously. The pizza bases in Naples are soft and pliable. In Rome they prefer a thin and crispy base. Another popular form of pizza in Italy is “pizza al taglio” which is pizza baked in rectangular trays with a wide variety of toppings and sold by weight. 1843, Alexandre Dumas, père described the diversity of pizza toppings. An often recounted story holds that in June 1889, to honour the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, the Neapolitan pizza-maker Raffaele Esposito created the “Pizza Margherita,” a pizza garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil, to represent the colours of the Italian flag.

In 1990 the world’s largest pizza was made in South Africa at the Norwood supermarket, the pizza weighed 12.9 tons.

A Few Vegetarianism Food Facts

A Few Vegetarianism Food Facts

I love cooking simple, healthy, easy meals for my friends and family.

But, my biggest love is vegetarian cooking. For me, I feel it is a much healthier diet. I converted to a vegetarian diet for a mix of health and moral reasons and have never looked back. I love trying out new recipes and creating wonderful vegetarian chili, curry, burgers, salads and other everyday, healthy dishes. There is an abundance of fresh, wholesome food to choose from, mixing colours, flavours, textures to produce excellent meals the whole family will love.

Here are a few interesting vegetarian food facts that I have come across over the last few days. Some I already knew, but some have really surprised me!

** Vegetarianism has traditionally been linked to the people of ancient India. Even today, Indians make up more than 70 percent of the world’s vegetarian population.

** A well balanced vegetarian diet is known to bestow a wide range of health benefits. Research has shown vegetarians to suffer less heart disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, various cancers, diverticular disease, bowel disorders, gall stones, kidney stones, and osteoporosis.

** Not only do most vegetarians eat more healthfully than meat eaters, they tend to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco and exercise regularly. So, a lifestyle that includes these good habits is one that will help you control your weight.

** A 2006 study, examining the impact of a typical week’s eating, showed that plant-based diets are better for the environment than those based on meat.

** The China Study was a 20-year study that compared the mortality rates of meat eaters and plant eaters. They found that countries that ate more animal-based food were more likely to have higher death rates from “Western diseases,” while countries that ate more plant food were healthier.

** Famous vegetarians include Leonardo da Vinci, Henry Ford, Brad Pitt, Albert Einstein and Ozzy Osborne amongst others. One of the first famous vegetarians was the Greek philosopher Pythagoras who lived at the end of the 6th century B.C. Ironically, the original actor who played Ronald McDonald, Jeff Juliano, is now a vegetarian.

** A recent study argues that people who eat tofu and other plant-based foods have a better sex life than meat-eaters It claims that certain plants influence hormone levels and sexual activity. And, research reveals that if a man avoids red meats, it improves the sex appeal of his body odour.

** The first vegetarian cookbook in the UK was written in 1812.

%d bloggers like this: