Rucola and Stilton Dip

You will need:

  • 2 tubs of cream cheese
  • about 50 g of stilton (more or less, depending on how strong you’d like the flavour to be)
  • 2 handfuls of rocket / rucola with the thicker stems removed

I prefer to remove the stems from the rucola to avoid having a bitter taste; you will find that the rucola actually takes the edge off the strong taste of the stilton, so despite both the ingredients having strong flavours you will end up with a more subtle end result.

You can serve this with plain crackers or nachos or else on toasted bread like this:

Or perhaps use the mixture to fill ravioli… mmmm…


Lady of leisure breakfast


What is it about rucola that makes any slice of toasted bread taste more.. posh?

I made this with a generous helping of cholesterol-lowering butter, prosciutto crudo and fresh rucola. Accompanied by milky coffee. Yes, a good start to my day!

Getting your 5 a day smoothie


For two large glasses of smoothie (ignore the diminished volume in the photo, sometimes I forget to take a picture before tasting) you will need:

– 4 apples, peeled, cores and chopped
– 2 kiwis, peeled
– 3 oranges, peeled, pips removed
– juice of half a lemon
– 1/2 a cup of water
– 6 ice cubes

Add more water if you feel that the juice is too thick

Blend ūüôā

Coconut Rice

This is a simple way of adding a little more flavour to your rice, and works really well with spicy dishes such as curries. We made it as an accompaniment to our Caribbean Spicy Prawns. You will need:

Long-grain rice – about 2 cups

2 small tins of coconut milk

2 cups water

1 cinammon stick

1 knob of butter

The quantities above are for a large portion, so you my wish to use half the amounts.  Start off by rinsing the rice thoroughly and draining.

Next, melt a large knob of butter in a pan.

Add the rice, and fry until the rice starts to turn transparent.

Add half the water, the coconut milk, and the cinnamon stick. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until the rice is cooked.   If it starts to dry up, add the remaining water.

When cooked, remove the cinnamon stick and gently fluff up the rice with a fork.

Jacket Potatoes… and potato skins

Thanks to modern technology, Jacket potatoes are one of the easiest side dish or snack to make, and a great accompaniment to meat or poultry dishes. Keep reading for one of my favorite BBQ dishes too…

To make Jacket Potatoes:

Wash your potatoes, do NOT peel, and do not dry them.

Pierce each potato several times with a fork, then wrap them individually in a tissue.   Place on a plate, and microwave on high for approximately 2.5 minutes per potato.

To test if they are cooked, slowly push a knife into the largest potato. If you feel any “crunch”, then they need a little more.¬† If the knife penetrates smoothly to the middle of the potato, then they are done.¬†¬† Be careful as they will be very hot to hold.

At this stage, you can split them open and serve with a knob of butter or cheese.

Alternatively, follow the next part of the recipe for a real treat:

Fry some diced bacon bits, and grate some cheddar. Place these in a large bowl.   You will need about half a cup of bacon and the same amount of cheddar for 3 large potatoes.

In the meantime, cut your jacket potatoes in half and leave them to cool for a few minutes.

When the potatoes have cooled sufficiently, scoop out the insides. put half aside, and mix the other half with the cheese and bacon.  Try to keep the potato halves in matching pairs.

Once you have scooped out all the potatoes, mix in the bacon-cheese-potato to a paste. If need be add a little milk to make it smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

The next step is to spoon the mixture back into the hollowed out skins.

Close the halves again and wrap in foil. Stick them on the BBQ for ten minutes, just to warm them through and melt the cheese, and dig in!

Carribean spicy Prawns

Here’s a spicy seafood dish that we made recently for a carribean-themed evening.¬† You can play around with the spices depending on your taste, and you can even use¬†pieces of¬†fish rather than prawns. Simply dice them to more or less the same size so that the cooking times¬† remain the same.

You will need:

2 heaped teaspoons crushed black pepper

2 heaped teaspoons cumin

1 heaped teaspoon cayenne pepper

6 large cloves garlic, crushed

1 large knob of butter (approx 1 heaped tablespoon)

approx 800g raw, peeled prawns

1 pint of lager

2 tablespoons honey

1/3 cup worchestershire sauce

1 heaped teaspoon cornflour

Melt the butter in a pan on a low – medium heat. Throw in the spices and garlic and fry for a couple of minutes.

Once the spices start browning, turn up the heat slightly and add the prawns.

Stir around, coating the prawns with the spices and cook for no more than a minute.

Once the prawns start to turn white, pour in the lager.

Simmer for another minute, or until the prawns are almost cooked, then remove the prawns with a slotted spoon.

Put the prawns aside. Next add the honey and worchestershire sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.   In the meantime add a little water to the cornflour and mix to a smooth paste. Add this to the sauce and keep on simmering until you have a thick sauce. This stage may take a while,  say about 20-30 minutes.

Finally add the prawns back to the sauce for a final minute, then serve with some coconut¬†rice (recipe to follow!) or pita bread. This dish is not for the faint-hearted –¬†Prepare to shock those taste buds!

How to make Sponge Cake

This is a simple recipe for a plain sponge cake with a hint of lemon. Once the cake is ready, you can fill or decorate it, or you can have it plain with your afternoon coffee.   You will need:

6 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. In the meantime, separate the egg yolks from the whites, into two bowls.

Beat the egg yolks until smooth.

Next, add the sugar, lemon zest, and half the juice.  If you prefer, you may omit the zest and substitute the juice with water.

Mix to a paste, then add the flour.

Slowly add the remaining juice until you have a smooth paste.

Now beat the egg whites until stiff.

Add a couple of spoonfuls of egg white to the yolk mixture and slowly fold in. Be gentle so as to retain the air bubbles in the egg whites.

Now add the yolk mix to the remaining egg whites and slowly keep folding in.

Pour into a lined baking tray and put in the oven.

Cook until golden brown. When the sponge is ready, it will bounce back after pressing it down sightly.

Allow the sponge to cool, then remove it from the baking dish.