Entertaining

chickpea salad

chickpea salad with feta, herb and lemon

The most delicious chickpea salad with feta, herb and lemon First things first, the star of the show in this chickpea salad is, clearly chickpeas but if that is throwing you, they are known as garbanzo beans in the US. Now everyone is clear on that, let’s talk about why you need to make this...

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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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one pan fragrant roast chicken

One pan fragrant roast chicken with crunchy chickpeas and vegetables

My students love a good one pan, throw it in the oven dinner so I think you’ll love this. I just got back from teaching a week of classes in California and I’ve already had loads of pictures of this one pan fragrant roast chicken dish from my students after they’ve recreated it at home....

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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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smoked salmon fishcakes

smoked salmon fishcakes with pea tartar dip

These easy little smoked salmon fishcakes can be made ahead. I love them to soak up drinks at parties, or to serve a quick hit of omega 3s to my kids for dinner (tip – don’t tell your kids they’re having ‘cakes for dinner’ as they may be disappointed). They’re great on top of a...

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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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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...

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marinades and kebabs (or kabobs!)

Kebabs (or kabobs if you are in America) are a great thing to make for a bbq (or grill in the US). They make a small amount of meat go a long way and often cook much faster than a big slab of meat. You also get a better ratio of crunchy outside to soft...

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Easter

Easter treats for lunch and brunch

I’m in England just now and enjoying the four day weekend we have for Easter. Very civilized having Friday and Monday public holidays either side of the weekend as it allows so many of us to travel back to our families. I always feel that it is like Christmas without the hassle of gifts and...

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how to work without a recipe and find inspiration – slow roasted pork with kale pesto, roast butternut squash and greens

Lots of my students ask me how to move beyond cooking with a recipe, to the point where you can come up with your own combinations of ingredients and techniques to create a dish. As I was cooking tonight, I realised that what I was making was a perfect illustration of how I do this....

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pickled vegetables

homemade pâté

This is another of those dishes I probably never would have made had I still been living in England. It is so easy to pick up good pâté in the UK but I find it almost impossible to find pâté here in California. For me, it is such a nostalgic comfort food.  The first bite...

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pulled pork crostini topped with fennel and lemon salad

I always try to come up with new toppings for my party standard of crostini. My inspiration usually comes from food combinations I enjoy for dinner. In this case the inspiration came from my fallback entertaining option of 4 hour roasted pork shoulder, crusted in fennel seeds which I serve with a citrus fennel salad....

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An easy prep ahead roast dinner for friends

I had friends coming over for dinner and knew I had very little time between getting children to bed and them arriving. I knew I’d barely have time to throw on my earrings and lippy so I chose to make things I could prep ahead of time and finish off while my friends chatted to...

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