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Happy Weekend everyone!

I have been fairly busy in my kitchen and have tweaked a few more recipes readt for my new vegetarian cookery book. I’m hoping to have that live by the end of this month!

Meanwhile, I have uploaded my cookery book to Smashwords and there is a free Sampler version of it!

You can find it at

At the end of this week I am heading to North Wales for ten days and I shall be looking forward to checking out the local Welsh produce at the different farmers markets!

Have a great week.



Spicy Bean Enchiladas

Spicy Bean Enchiladas

Hi everyone,
I had a good, but busy, weekend promoting my book and also cooking up some new recipes.
I made spicy bean enchiladas and they were delicious! Mind you, I did slightly overdo the chilli flavouring, but my taste buds have just about recovered and I have amended the recipe!
Later today, I shall be uploading Tried & Tested – 101 Recipes to Smashwords so it will now be available so it will be available for all e-reading devices, most word-processors and home printing.
I shall also be uploading a sampler version of it which will be free!
I’ll let you know when it all goes live!
Have a great week!

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!


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!


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.

Jerk Sweet Potatoes

Jerk Sweet Potatoes

Hi everyone,
I’ve been busy in the kitchen and cooked some wonderful smoky bean burgers with jerk sweet potatoes.
The burgers were great and had a smoky edge courtesy of some BBQ sauce and smoked paprika.
The sweet potatoes were a total dream and so easy to do!
Here’s how I did them:-

Ingredients (Serves 4)
4 sweet potatoes, halved lengthwise
olive oil

For the jerk seasoning:-
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp runny honey
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp jerk seasoning

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6/200ºC/400ºF/180º fan assisted
Slash the flesh of each potato half in a criss-cross pattern.
Rub all over with a little olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Place on a baking tray, flesh side up, and bake for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the jerk seasoning ingredients in a small pan and stir together over a low heat.
After the potatoes have been cooking for 40 minutes, brush the jerk seasoning mixture over the flesh side of the nearly baked potatoes.
Cook for a further 10 minutes.
Serve immediately.

Hope you like them as much as I did!

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