christmas cocktail

a new Christmas cocktail

At this time of year you might be thinking of what to make for parties as your signature Christmas cocktail or what to serve for non drinkers on the big day. I served this shrub with white port and tonic as a welcome cocktail at my last supper club. Everyone went wild for it. I...

Rose sangria

Rosé sangria

I’ve never been much of a fan of sangria but my recent holiday in Portugal I’ve really got behind rosé sangria – much lighter, less sweet and perfect by the jugful at lunchtime. I think this is the perfect drink to bring out at a BBQ or summer party. You can even make it with...

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...

romesco sauce

romesco toast with goats cheese

Romesco sauce is so versatile and a jar will last in the fridge for a week or two. I love having it on hand to add to pasta, spoon over fish or chicken, spread on toast or dip raw veg or bread sticks into. It is swoon-worthy with poached eggs and avocado on toast for...

herby carrot pancakes

herby carrot pancakes with salmon and avocado

When I bit into these herby carrot pancakes on my last trip to LA, I did my usual food nerd thing of noting all the flavours and textures into my phone and photographing them from every angle so that I could recreate them for class. I’m sure I missed seeing some famous actor walk by...

roast rhubarb

pinkly perfect roast rhubarb

Why perfectly pink roast rhubarb? Roasting even the saddest of fruit is a brilliant trick. Because the roasting draws out and evaporates the water, you are left with a much more concentrated flavour. Roasting rhubarb not only gives great flavour, it also leaches out the most fabulous princess-pink juice. As the only girl in a...

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...


Negroni cocktail

This is a real bartenders’ drink. Many will say it is a man’s drink but I think there is something very cool (not that alcohol makes you cool, obviously) and egalitarian in a girl ordering a ‘men’s drink’. If you do want to soften it up a bit, just mix your Negroni up with a...

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...

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...

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...

pear honey thyme cheddar bites

pear, honey, thyme and English Cheddar bites

Cheese and apple or pear is a classic combination; the slight sourness of the fruit balances the cheese perfectly. This prep-ahead pear honey thyme cheddar bites appetizer can be served as a canapé, as a salad, tossed with rocket (arugula) or even on a sandwich. Either way I think you’ll love it as most of...

spiced nuts

spiced nuts – perfect party snackage

When a bar serves freshly roasted spiced nuts along with my cocktail I am in heaven. But more often than not, my cocktail drinking now happens at home with friends. This recipe is inspired the bar snacks I once had at The Union Square Café in New York, it is such an easy recipe to...


frozen watermelon

Fastest, most why-didn’t-I-think-of-that recipe ever? I love making homemade frozen ice lollies or Popsicles in the summer but what to do when you don’t have the equipment or energy to make them? Last summer I over-committed to a ginormous watermelon a couple of days before we were heading away from home for the weekend. I...

grapefruit margarita

grapefruit margarita

A good margarita is a wonderful thing. I’ve developed a bit of a taste for them here in California having never had one when I lived in England. Don’t feel sorry for me, I had plenty of other drinks. A margarita made with margarita mix is not a wonderful thing. I’m not sure why the...

crunchy chickpeas

addictive crunchy chickpeas [garbanzo]

These addictive crunchy chickpeas are my new obsession. Either roast them alongside vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, brussel sprouts are all good). Or follow the recipe below and add them to salads, serve them with drinks or have them as a healthy snack. They add a delicious crunch to pitta and houmus. If you are Stateside you’ll...

lemon elderflower cocktain

Dirty Blonde – Lemon Elderflower Cocktail

As an attempt to make Friday nights in feel a little more like Friday nights out, my husband and I have taken to making cocktails and this delicious gin, lemon elderflower cocktail fits the bill perfectly. We used to be out drinking cocktails a lot more than we do now so we have a good...