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wax on wax off – de-waxing citrus fruit and embracing zest

As a Brit I still cannot get over the thrill of being able to wander outside and pick a lemon, orange of grapefruit off a tree in my California garden.  The problem is that once my tree is bare, and my friends have also handed over their spare fruit I really struggle with paying for...

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roast chicken and garlic sticky brown rice

roast chicken and garlic sticky brown rice with greens

This roast chicken and garlic sticky brown rice was the first dinner I made after being away in England for 3 weeks. I love staying with people and being cooked for and eating out but I really miss cooking in my own kitchen. And, I admit, I miss being selfish and making what I want...

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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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chorizo and chickpea stew

Chorizo and chickpea three ingredient stew

Sometimes I forget to post some of the easiest things I throw together and this chorizo and chickpea stew is one. I make them so often that it doesn’t occur to me that other people don’t make them too. Or I talk myself out of posting them because they are so simple I wonder if...

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sesame wasabi crusted tuna

sesame wasabi crusted tuna with kale rice and a cucumber ginger salad

This sesame wasabi crusted tuna is a really nice way of making a dinner that feels that elusive combination of healthy and fancy at the same time. Last month I was hankering for something crunchy and fried. I’ll be honest, I was craving something like fried chicken but my head wasn’t allowing my belly to decide...

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buckwheat bread

buckwheat, coconut and spelt soda bread

Let me start by saying that this buckwheat bread doesn’t taste of coconut. Nor was it born out of any dietary needs. It is delicious and easy and has the rare quality of tasting gorgeous whilst also tasting really healthy. It was, as many of my best discoveries are, a result of me having a...

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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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welsh rarebit

Welsh Rarebit – no rabbits were harmed in the making of this

I recently hosted a party for my American friends and wanted to introduce them to some British classics. I wanted to make things that I could prep ahead and quickly assemble and heat at the last-minute, so Welsh Rarebit ticked all the boxes. Traditionally, Welsh Rarebit was served as a ‘savoury’, a course after dessert...

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thanksgiving in the cabin

A Brit’s take on Thanksgiving

You may be wondering what right an English girl has to be talking about that most sacred of American holidays, Thanksgiving. Before moving to America I had little clue about what went on at Thanksgiving. My only references were the odd episodes of Friends – what had stuck in my mind was the marshmallow topped sweet...

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puy lentil bolognese

This puy lentil bolognese is a brilliant meat-free Monday dinner and freezer filler. I do feel like a little constraint is a bigger boost to my imagination than a wide open choice of what to eat. So forcing Monday to be meat-free in our house encourages me to try lots of new recipes. And I...

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salmon with tomato fennel sauce

salmon with tomato fennel sauce and broccolini

Faced with a pretty standard fridge full of ingredients the other night, I wanted to make something seasonal, healthy and quick. This salmon with tomato fennel sauce and broccolini is what I ended up with. It was a perfect combination of virtuousness and deliciousness and was very fast too. This type of quick tomato and...

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roast beet goats cheese salad

roast beet, goats cheese and kale salad with savoury granola

I’m always on the lookout for a new way of livening up my daily salads. I’ve long known that a bit of crunch along with something a little sweet is the way to make a hum drum salad sing. I’m not one for fruit in salads – that is an American taste that this Brit...

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crunchy courgette flower

stuffed and crunchy courgette (summer squash) flowers

There is one meal that I have every summer, just once or twice usually. Lets be honest, anything fried is usually delicious. Actually, let me backtrack – there is some really bad soggy fried food out there – fried in dodgy oil and using scary ingredients. This recipe takes top-notch, seasonal ingredients and a light...

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Piedmontese peppers

These beauties are simplicity itself. They are my nod to the ’90s when Delia Smith made these a regular dinner party starter along with the, then unusual, baked goats cheese. Sometimes its easy to dismiss things that have gone out of fashion but these are still delicious and a gorgeous way of using all that...

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healthy chicken Kiev. You can take the girl out of the ’80s…

I did much of my early experimentation with food in the eighties – Monster Munch,  Crispy Pancakes and Angel Delight. There wasn’t quite the understanding then about the nasties lurking in processed food. Luckily my Mum was an amazing cook so those foods in a box were infrequent treats. She busied herself with expanding our...

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tomato and green bean gnocchi with goats cheese and lemon. Ready in 5 minutes

Our vegetable patch is starting to come up trumps. We just picked our first beans and tomatoes of the season and I’m so excited about having so many gorgeous ingredients just a few steps away from the kitchen. Garden-to-table cooking is my mission for the summer, using fresh veggies and herbs and serving them simply...

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one pan prawns with fennel, tomato and smoked paprika

When the weather gets hot I start to reminisce about the meals I’ve eaten on summer holidays through the years and have the urge to recreate them at home to bring back happy memories of traveling. For 3 years running, we went to a crazy music festival in Spain and spent the following week camping...

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homemade baked beans – a bit fancier and healthier than Heinz

Before I start, let me say that as a Brit it would take a lot to dent my love of Heinz Baked Beans. But living somewhere where a can costs five times as much as they do in the UK means beans have become a huge treat in our house. Something we have to really,...

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