Limoncello trifle – a dessert for grown ups


I have fond childhood memories of going to granny’s house for Christmas dinner. My sister and I playing with our new toys in the ‘good room’ while the smell of homemade soup and turkey filled the air.

There were two constants you could always be assured of; the gravy would be delicious and Christmas dinner would conclude with a bowl of trifle.

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Apple and cinnamon scones


I have tried and tested many recipes for scones over the years and after numerous tweaks have finally created a version which incorporates a favourite flavour combination – apple and cinnamon.

When it comes to baking, I find the most difficult part is achieving a good rise, so remember not to overwork the dough before quickly cutting out the scones.

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Festive indulgence – a tradition to be preserved in this crazy year of new norms


It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when catching up with family and friends, parties, and decadent food and drinks are usually enjoyed with a generous dollop of festive cheer.

In these uncertain times none of this can be taken for granted and 2020 has become a year many would prefer to forget.

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Chocolate chip and peanut cookies


During the first lockdown I was guilty of piling on a few pounds. Pounds that are much harder to shift than the few in my bank account.

So in a bid to curb the waistline before the Christmas excess I have made a weekly promise to consume less treats. This starts with good intentions, but as mid-week approaches abstinence becomes harder and I crave a sweet fix.

To resolve this problem I have taught myself how to make cookies, adding peanuts to make them feel slightly healthier.

You can decide if the ability to make simple homemade cookies is a help or hindrance!  


  • 300 grams plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 50 grams light brown sugar
  • 50 grams caster sugar
  • 200 grams butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 200 grams milk chocolate (chopped into chunks)
  • 50 grams chopped unsalted peanuts


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  • Using an electric whisk, beat the butter and sugar together until smooth, then add the egg.
  • Sieve in the flour, baking soda and salt and fold through. 
  • Add the vanilla extract, chocolate and peanuts and mix well to form a dough.
  • Place the dough on a floured surface and roll into a sausage shape and cover with clingfilm.
  • Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes before cutting, for best results each cookie should be roughly 1 to 2 cm wide.
  • Place the cookies on the baking tray and bake for 10 -12 minutes.

A taste of home – giving the gift of food and drink this Christmas

With Christmas approaching, the sales and special offer notifications are crashing into my inbox on a daily basis and with that comes the temptation to buy things for myself and the loved ones of course.

While waking up on Christmas morning with lots of presents to open, might not be what the season is truly about, for me there is still an excitement attached to guessing what lies beneath the festive wrapping paper that never grows old. Continue reading

Mastering the art of baking; remember to use your loaf


People have been baking bread since the Middle Ages and what began as a process born out of necessity, has become fashionable again with more and more of us baking at home.

The rise in popularity of home baking is often credited to TV programmes like Bake Off or Nailed It!, but consumers have also become more health conscious and want to know exactly what they are eating. Continue reading

Ratatouille with couscous; a bit of a vegetable stew

Ratatouille is a rich, vegetable stew that originates from the Provence region of France.

This hearty dish tastes wonderful on a cold winter evening and is really easy to make.

Traditionally ratatouille is eaten with crusty bread or rice; I served my version with couscous as its fluffy texture is perfect for soaking up the thick sauce.

Most recipes also add chopped aubergine – I am not a fan and therefore omitted it from mine – but if it tickles your fancy, add some at the beginning with the rest of the veg.



Ratatouille with couscous

Recipe serves 2-4 (depending on how hungry you are)

  • 1 red onion
  • 1 courgette
  • 2 red peppers
  • 500 grams passatta
  • 10 -12 basil leaves
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried herbs de Provence
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp each of black pepper and sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 50 grams couscous per person


  • Finely slice the onion, chop the courgette and peppers into chunks. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.
  • In a large casserole dish fry off the vegetables and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Roughly chop the basil leaves and set aside until later. Finely slice the stalks and add to the vegetable mixture.
  • When the vegetables are golden and softened, stir in the passata, balsamic vinegar and sugar.
  • Cover the pan and transfer to the oven to cook for 30 to 35 minutes until the sauce reduces.
  • Make the couscous according to the packet instructions – I always use chicken stock for added flavour.
  • Add the chopped basil leaves and serve.




Rocky Road Bites

Winter has well and truly arrived and as I write this post, huddled under a blanket for warmth I am dreaming of a warm cup of tea and a sweet treat.

With Christmas around the corner, our favourite chefs adorn our TV screens sharing festive recipes for mince pies, chocolate logs and Christmas cakes. While they all taste really good, let’s be honest they can be a tad time consuming to make. Continue reading