Home made cold and flu remedies!

We keep on about the benefits of keeping keeping fit and boosting your immunity, but unfortunately despite our greatest efforts we will all get a cold at some point this winter. But worry not, it needn’t be the end of the world and you don’t have to spend a fortune at the chemist. Just have […]

How to make a good stock

Making stock is so easy. Anyone can do it. If you’ve ever roasted a chicken (or even bought a ready-roasted one from the supermarket), you can make stock. It’s not complicated, time consuming or messy. It’s a one-pot wonder that largely looks after itself. Homemade stock is a great ingredient for soups, risotto  and stews […]

Jam today – making strawberry jam

Make the most of cheap strawberries and get making some jam so you can enjoy  the taste of summer throughout the year. This recipe should make around 6 lbs (2.7 kg) of jam. Ingredients 4 lbs (1.8 kg) strawberries juice of 2 lemons 4 lbs (1.8 kg) jam sugar* * Jam sugar is sugar with […]

How to make bubble and squeak

This is a childhood favourite of mine and a great way to use up leftover vegetables. Don’t be put off by the rather strange name – it doesn’t often live up to it! If you over-cater on the cooked veg this is a very tasty and warming way to dish them up the next day. […]

Making potato cakes from leftover mash

Potato cakes are a great tasting snack and very quick and easy to make. When I was a child it was a treat we all enjoyed with a cup of tea in front of the TV on a Sunday evening, using the leftovers from Sunday lunch. Mix enough flour into the leftover mash to get […]

Tips for making tasty food from leftovers


Here are some helpful tips on using your leftovers to make tasty and nutritional meals. Before you sling it in the bin, stop and think! Those blackened bananas could make a delicious banana bread treat.

A wartime recipe for rosehip syrup


I was wondering what to do with the abundance of rosehips I get each year on my rambling rose when I came across this wartime recipe from The Ministry of Food. When food was short during the second world war every possible edible resource had to be exploited and the MoF issued these instructions for […]

Entertaining on a budget


There’s no need to stress about preparing a dinner for friends. Just get ready to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Your guests are looking for an easy evening of stimulating conversation, good food accompanied by lashings of whatever wine you can get on special offer at your local supermarket. It’s not about expensive ingredients, sophisticated restaurant-style […]

Very dangerous chocolate mug cake!


You are either going to love me or hate me for passing this one on, because this cake is genius.  It has been doing the rounds of the email network for a while now, but today I succumbed and finally tried baking it. Quite frankly it’s brilliant.  It has to be the simplest cake that […]

Why I’m going to make jam


I always thought people who make jam must be slightly bonkers and definitely fully paid-up members of the Women’s Institute (nowt wrong with that I hear you cry and you’d be quite right – but I’ve personally never felt quite ready for the jam and Jerusalem bit). This resolute refusal to get my pinny on […]

Some top tips for jam-making


When I think of jam I’m reminded of Diane Keaton in Baby Boom when she leaves behind her hectic New York management consultancy for what she thinks will be paradise in Vermont, only to discover she’s bored out of her mind and ends up making cupboards full of apple sauce. This being Hollywood her ‘Country […]

Homemade lavender ice cream


If like me you have a surfeit of lavender blooms this year and don’t know what to do with them, why not have a go at eating them.  Lavender has a lovely delicate flavour and can be used to flavour all sorts of dishes including chicken and cakes, but my favourite is to use it […]

Make your own barbeque – I’m a Barbie girl


I love barbeques. I love the concept of standing outside and cooking. I love food that has been sealed in its own juices and dressed with nothing more than a drip of oil, a splash of lemon and a whiff of charcoal. I also own a mighty fine kettle barbeque and am not ashamed to […]

Entertaining the kids in the holidays!


Keeping kids entertained for the long summer holidays can feel like a full time job. Especially when money is tight and the weather is unpredictable. But fear not, whilst it may seem that the holidays will never end and the children may be getting restless, we have some great ideas to keep them occupied, even […]

You say courgettes and I say zucchini


Yet another thing that divides the Yanks and the Brits, apart from the Atlantic, is how we describe our vegetables – not to mention how we pronounce them. The two classics for me are aubergine v. eggplant and courgette v. zucchini. This latter is a rare example of the Brits lining up with our cross […]

Making cheese at home


Cheddar. Cheshire. Cream cheese and parmesan… There are thousands of cheeses to choose from but what about cheese Chez Moi? Making ordinary cheese is really easy, as you just need milk and lemon juice.  I know cheesemaking is supposed to be temperature-critical, but it’s never bothered me. And I come up with decent paneer from […]

What to do with green tomatoes?

Green tomato chutney that's actually brown

I am awash (well, more accurately, a-stalk) with green tomatoes. I have tons of the things, looking beautiful and healthy and weighing down the surprisingly robust plants. They smell incredible and look luscious, but they are steadfastly, stubbornly green, and I think they’re now going to stay that way. It seems, from my researching, that […]

Confessions of a reluctant jam maker


Well I have to write this as I promised to do so in my earlier piece Why I’m going to make jam, which I think would be more appropriately titled as “Reluctant confessions of a novice jam maker“. I’m no longer reluctant to make jam – but I am very hesitant to confess the results! […]

Preserving, pickling and storing fruit and veg


This weather here in the UK has not been too kind for picnicking, barbecuing or holidays at home, but for fruit trees and vegetable gardens it has been amazing and we are having a bumper crop. If like me you are fortunate enough to have the space to have grow your own you are probably […]

Italian recipes for green tomatoes


One of our Italian members, Lina, very kindly sent us a couple of recipes for preserving green tomatoes. Clare O’Brien’s recent piece on what to do with them has provoked a lot of interest. In Italy green tomatoes are very popular and Lina posted a couple of ideas as comments under Clare’s piece. She’s now […]

Introducing the 10 Minute Cook’s videos


For all you wannabe stylish cooks, we’re thrilled to introduce the fabulous and talented Caroline Mi Li Artiss, the 10 Minute Cook. Each week Caroline is going to show us how to cook a different dish – from main courses to cakes and cookies. Get ready to impress your mates with your new found culinary […]

Flu season – boost your defences

Woman with handkerchief

All the recent publicity surrounding Swine Flu has left many of us are facing the annual “flu season” with a little more trepidation than usual. But there are lots of ways to maximise our body’s natural defences which, believe it or not, require no more effort than plundering the kitchen cupboard, garden or allotment. Of […]

Risotto as therapy


Those of you who are risotto lovers  will probably share my view that making a risotto is a wonderfully therapeutic activity. It sits alongside kneading dough in that respect – but much less aggressive! For me the therapy comes from contemplating, for sometimes quite a long time, what might constitute this evening’s risotto. It’s not […]

Caroline’s Chocolate Chip Cookies


This week Caroline is ably assisted by her daughter Bethany in making Chocolate Chip Cookies – yum yum – and easy-peasy! And well done Bethany! For baking trays and mixing bowls we love Lakeland

Chinese style chicken and sweetcorn soup


We’re looking at lots of ways to keep your immune system strong as we go into the winter. So today Caroline the 10 Minute Cook shows us how to use up that leftover chicken carcass to make a really tasty and nutritional Chinese-style chicken soup. She reckons this is great for boosting your immunity to […]

Halloween pumpkin soup recipes


Hollowing out pumpkins to make spooky lanterns is a great pre-Halloween activity. But you also need some  recipes for using up all that lovely pumpkin flesh you’ve hollowed out. These came from Lisa at Jessups Farm in Sussex, where they grow a huge range of squash, patty-pans, pumpkins, gourds, marrows and courgettes (among many other […]

Crispy Seaweed – simple and green!


I wrote a week or so back about my love of green food- such as ‘green’ risotto. There’s something unmistakably soothing and calming about green food – maybe we instinctively think of it as healthy, as it reminds us of being outdoors. Here’s another ‘green’ favourite that’s very easy, cheap and satisfying to make in […]

Save energy – starting in the kitchen


Climate change and global warming are BIG topics and it’s very easy to get paralyzed by the arguments and counter arguments, particularly at the moment. The big BP oil spill has added another layer of controversy to the mix. But while the politicians argue there are real and practical things we can do. The best […]

How to make fairy cakes like Sex and the City ones


It’s National Baking Week so here’s The 10 Minute Cook, Caroline Mi Li Artiss’ video on making fairy cakes – Not only do they look fabulous, but they taste delicious too. So come on, grab your mixing bowl and create your own fabulous ‘Sex and the City’ style cupcakes. More Baking Ideas Get this fabulous […]

10 minute vegetable noodles


This week, Caroline the 10 Minute Cook shows us how to make vegetable noodles. Her video is shot in real time and actually lasts just over 9 so it’s a very fast and very delicious dish to make when you’re in a hurry. You can serve as it is or add some tofu or chicken […]