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summer party menu

a summer party menu for friends

One of the questions I get asked most is for ideas for party food. I do this for a job so I’m always pulling together menus but I know that for a lot of people, having friends over can feel stressful and expensive. So I’m sharing a summer party menu to help. Now I’ve got

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orange, fennel, olive and caper salad

Orange, fennel, olive and caper salad

This easy orange, fennel, olive and caper salad brings zing and brightness to the table. The salt of the olives and capers balances the sweetness of the orange. This should really be made no earlier than 30 minutes before eating. If you want to get ahead, you can segment the orange earlier in the day

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spiced chocolate mousse

spiced chocolate mousse pots

These gently spiced chocolate mousse pots are one of the easiest of make-ahead desserts. They are gluten and dairy free too so they cater for pretty much every guest, children too. They are inspired by the flavours of Mexican hot chocolate but you can make them with or without spice. I love them so much

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Markle Sparkle

The Markle Sparkle cocktail

I love a good Royal Wedding and the upcoming nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are no exception. A party like this deserves a special drink and I’m sure my Markle Sparkle will be sipped at many a get together. Pulling together the best bits of California and Britain is something I’m pretty adept

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a giant sausage roll fit for a Royal Wedding

Just one look at Prince Harry and you know he loves a sausage roll. I’m with him. Let’s hope Meghan has learned to love them too. A giant sausage roll is a brilliant party centerpiece. Let people cut a sliver or a wedge off with a bread knife. Add jars of mustard, pickle and a bottle

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coronation chicken tacos

coronation chicken tacos

I love a good Royal Wedding and the upcoming nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are no exception. Pulling together the best bits of California and Britain is something I’m pretty adept at, so to help you celebrate the big day, I’ve created a party menu with recipes that bring together the best of

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Middle Eastern chicken with green tahini sauce and lemon roast potatoes.

In my twenties I could often be found on the Edgeware Road in London late at night, scoffing Middle Eastern food. The combination of char-grilled chicken, citrusy herbs, chilli, and sesame sauce remains one of the flavour combinations I most lust-after. This Middle Eastern chicken is a great summer recipe as it is delicious fresh

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roasted cauliflower salad

roasted cauliflower salad two ways

I love the bulk that roasted cauliflower adds to a meal. Most children and adult cauli-phobes find that they enjoy cauliflower and broccoli (its greener cousin) when it is roasted rather than steamed or boiled. That’s because roasting vegetables intensifies their natural sweetness by forcing the moisture out. These two salads are hearty enough as

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turkey

Christmas dinner recipes and tips

You can now buy my stress-free Christmas cooking guide, containing all my recipes, time plans and tips. I cover everything from the Christmas Day dinner, cocktails and party food, a dinner party menu and what to do with leftovers. All my recipes are written for any level of cook and my years of teaching, answering

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Roast nectarine, thyme and honey cream tart

roast nectarine, thyme and honey cream tart

If you come to my house for dinner over the summer the chances are you’ll get this roast nectarine, thyme and honey cream tart for dessert. It is so easy to make and a joy to eat. I also make it with plums, apricots, rhubarb or peaches depending on what I can buy at the

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speedy spring frittata

speedy spring tomato, corn and basil frittata

On Monday nights I have the combination of meat-free Monday and after school football (soccer) to shape my dinner plans. I’m usually trying my best to delay a trip to the supermarket so dinner is often a mad rush to make something from what is in the fridge and freezer. This speedy spring frittata ticks all

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rosemary bacon hassleback potatoes

rosemary bacon hassleback potatoes

These rosemary bacon hassleback potatoes are the easiest and most delicious spuds to sit alongside all your feasts. I love these as an easy alternative to my roast potatoes with a roast dinner but I won’t say no to them with some fish and salad or even on their own. These hassleback potatoes have maximum

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grilled cheese

grown up grilled cheese with tomato dipping sauce

Until we moved to America I thought the whole world knew what a cheese toastie was, but I was wrong. Over there it is a grilled cheese – even though it is usually cooked in a frying pan rather than under the grill (known as a broiler in the US). Confused much? I’d always made

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Spanish meatballs in tomato sauce

Spanish meatballs in tomato sauce

I love a good meatball. And these Spanish meatballs in tomato sauce are the latest iteration of my obsession. Meatballs are such an easy thing to make a big batch of and freeze. Read on for how you can store and serve these in all sorts of ways for midweek dinners and fancier dinners with

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Prince Harry cocktail

The Prince Harry cocktail

I created this cocktail in honour of my favorite Prince (sorry Kate) and also for my own ginger prince (red headed, Mr Tomato). The slightly spiced ginger and rosemary syrup is lovely topped with Champagne or cava. I taught this in my Christmas classes last year in California and was blown away how many times

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pea pesto crostini

pea pesto crostini

This pea pesto crostini recipe is dear to my heart as it was taught in my first ever You say Tomato class. Since then it has become a regular in my students’ houses. They love it like I do because it is colourful, healthy, child and budget friendly. Most importantly, because it is mainly make-ahead

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parmesan and poppy seed shortbreads

Parmesan and poppy seed shortbreads

Forget Pringles – these crumbly cheesy Parmesan and poppy seed shortbreads are so moreish that you’ll be lucky if one batch is enough to last you between the cooling rack and the serving plate. They are a perfect pre-dinner drink partner. My children love them with soup too. The dough for these can be frozen

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mulled wine

mulled wine – the best recipe for winter cheer

A coffee cup filled with mulled wine is just the thing to get you through carol concerts, freezing cold rugby matches and Christmas shopping – as long as you’re not driving. It may make you ugly cry a bit more during the Joni Mitchell CD scene in Love Actually (is that just me who doesn’t

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