Chicken Marsala

chicken-marsala

In my younger days I made a lot of chicken marsala. It was considered exotic back then. I originally picked up the recipe from the back of a box of cornflour sometime in the 1960s and the following version is  pretty well the same apart from the prosciutto and mushrooms.  It’s still a lovely meal […]

Quick Cooking Tips

Basic Cooking Tips Take the time to actually read recipes through before you begin If you’re cooking for guests never try a new recipe and a new ingredient at the same time Cook pasta 1 minute less than the package instructions and cook it the rest of the way in the pan with sauce Instead […]

Lamb Navarin

lamb-navarin

Strange how a French name for an ordinary dish sounds better than than it should. Lamb Navarin is lamb stew with turnips (Fr. navet ). I make this with potatoes, carrots and onions as well as turnips. Or I just leave out the turnips. In the ingredients list, I’ve included a swede – or a turnip […]

How to Boil Things

pot-on-stove

There was a time when cooking meant boiling. And I mean boiling. That was the style in my mother’s kitchen and every other kitchen of my childhood. My grandmother boiled food furiously although my mother at least turned the stove knob down a little. That’s what those knobs are for – to turn down the […]

How to Poach an Egg

poached-egg

I like a poached egg plonked, all by itself, on a piece of toast but there are all sorts of ways to serve them. You can use toast, or muffins, grilled ciabatta, whatever you think tastes best. Layer the toast with a nice slice of prosciutto, or smoked salmon, or soft cheese. Poach the egg […]

Zucchini Slices with Sweet Potato

zucchini-slice-2

There are plenty of zucchini around at the moment so it’s a good time to get stuck into them. There are heaps of ways to cook this little squash and making them into slices is really easy. I like these cold. Ingredients 2 tsp olive oil 1 large brown onion, finely chopped 300g sweet potato, […]

How to Clean the Sink

kitchen-sink-3

My sink holds dirty dishes and standing rinsing water. I clean the cat’s bowls in there too. So, every day waste accumulates in and on the surface of my sink resulting in stains, odours, and creating a cozy little haven for germs. The detergent and water that flows through the sink isn’t cleaning it. Soap […]

How to Clean the Fridge

fridge-2

If there’s one thing that reveals your true self – it’s your fridge. Mine is always higgledy-piggledy with heaven knows what in coloured containers or concealed in plastic wrap. But it’s almost clean. The best thing about cleaning your fridge is getting, apart from a clean fridge, the opportunity to organise the contents. Bur let’s […]

How to Blanch Sugar Snap Peas

sugar-snap-peas

Sugar snap peas are just slightly more mature snow peas. The pods are more rounded in shape and they have a crisp texture and slightly sweet taste. You eat the whole pea, raw in salads, or cooked whole in stir fries and vegetable dishes. How to Blanch Sugar Snap Peas – or any Spring vegetable […]

Cleaning Chopping Boards

chopping-board

Let’s face it your chopping board gets really grotty. And smelly! No wonder your kitchen cutting board smells, you use it to chop onions, garlic, cut raw and cooked meat and chicken, and prepare fish. It’s going to end up a prime breeding ground for germs too. Wooden Chopping Boards To disinfect and clean your […]

Polenta Cheese and Tomato Bake

polenta-bake

Polenta, or cornmeal, is a staple food in Italy. I once had a waiter tell me that this was an ancient traditional meal, (antico) and I didn’t have the nerve (or the Italian) to point out that corn and tomatoes are from the New World. In any case, it’s Italian enough now. So this dish […]

Winter Pasty

pasty

I’ve called this a Winter Pasty as I tend to make them in the cooler months. No reason really, just that I tend to avoid the oven in Summer. This little recipe can easily fit into the frugal basket, you won’t break the bank when you buy the ingredients. Mind you, the price of frozen […]

Slow Cooked Lamb Casserole

lamb-4quarter2

Yesterday I saw some good-looking lamb forequarter chops at the butchers and asked for four of them. Shoulder chops? he asked. Forequarter chops, I replied. He beetled his young brows. Why are forequarter chops called shoulder chops these days? Oh well, I wasn’t going to argue. A chop by any name….. Anyhow, I took the […]

Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup

sweet-potato-lentil

Lentils are an essential source of inexpensive protein with dietary fibre, folate, vitamin B1 and packed with iron. They’re also pretty tasteless. Combined with sweet potatoes and a few flavourings you can get around this lack of taste. Give it a try on a chilly day. Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup Ingredients 1 large sweet […]

Slow Cooked Pot Roast

potroast

Pot Roast is a blast from the past, my mother used to cook this and I’ve only slightly adapted her recipe to suit the Slow Cooker. She wasn’t exposed to garlic in her cooking days, but she knew a lot about swedes and other root vegetables. A tougher cut of beef takes a different style […]

Stuffed Butternut

stuffed-butternut

Butternuts are the perfect size and shape for stuffing; scoop out the seeds and fill with any stuffing of your choice. Pop the filled butternut in a steam bag and microwave for 3-4 mins on high or place in a colander of boiling water and steam till soft. You can then put them in a […]

Pass the Polpettes please

cooking 002

Polpettes are basically meatballs but in this recipe there’s no meat. These little beauties are made with mashed potatoes and feta cheese, flavoured with lemon juice and dill. You can make them as tiny little balls, the right size to stick a toothpick in (if that’s your way of serving an appetiser), or make them […]

Wonton Soup

wonton-soup

Someone told me that ‘won ton‘ means swallowing a cloud. Perhaps it does. And perhaps the wontons floating in this soup resemble clouds. You make wontons by spreading a square wrapper flat in the palm of your hand, putting a small amount of filling in the centre, then compressing the edges together to seal. Here’s […]

Quick Cleaning Tips

Kitchen Half a lemon stored in your fridge controls and eliminates unpleasant smells When cleaning your kitchen, start on the right hand side of your stove and move around clockwise. Your stove is usually the grubbiest part, so ending with it keeps you from spreading dirt and grease In the kitchen clean top to bottom. […]

How to Make Vegetable Stock

stock-vegetable-3

Stock can be made from many different ingredients, chicken, beef, fish, shellfish or vegetables but the easiest to make, and the most adaptable, is vegetable stock. When you use it, it’s not so strong that it overpowers other flavours and, frankly, it’s fast to make and economical. Vegetable stock is also acceptable to vegetarians. This […]

Rhubarb and Apple Crumble

apple-and-rhubarb

Rhubarb is an excellent fruit for cooking, it’s cheap enough and easy enough, for anyone to cook. Remember, never use the roots or the leaves! Here’s a little dish for dessert pairing rhubarb with apple and topped with a crumble. Crumble originated in the Second World War, my mother used it as a quicker, easier […]

Roast Vegetable Pie

veggie-pie

A warm hearty pie for the cooler months. Here’s an easy little pie with roasted vegetables, flavoursome hommous and the excellent Cypriot cheese halloumi, all in a light golden puff pastry crust. Delicious! Cheese always goes well with vegetables and halloumi is a cheese that keeps its shape even when cooked. . Roast Vegetable Pie […]

Potato Peel for Cleaning Pots

Potato  peelings

Don’t throw out your potato peelings. I’m sure you put them aside for the compost anyway, but you have to see this to believe it, potato peel has a sort of miraculous effect in a dirty pot or pan. If you’ve tried everything and that nasty burned stain inside your best pot won’t leave – […]

Grow Tomatoes in Buckets

bucket-tomatoes-2

Growing tomatoes in buckets is the solution if you’re short on space or the soil isn’t good. Where I live, it’s just about solid clay. Planting tomato buckets gives you all the advantages of gardening in pots and with a 20 litre – 5 gallon bucket and you won’t have to worry about keeping your […]

Carrot Soup with Orange and Mint

carrot-orange-juice

A Meal for One A really simple soup to make with ready-made vegetable stock. You may like to make your own stock but I freely confess that I often don’t do this anymore. After years of hanging out over the hot stove watching stock simmer, I surrendered myself to the convenience of ready-made. These days […]

Jane Austen, Detective

jane

One of the great pleasures of my life has been introducing Jane Austen to my children. Now here’s a side of Jane that I’m going to introduce to you. Who would have thought it? Jane Austen discovering clues, sifting through evidence, unravelling nefarious plots and solving grisly murders. But, when you consider it, the same […]

Cleaning with Lemons

lemons

Cleaning with Lemons leaves a beautiful clean and fresh smell around the house. Freshen up your dishwasher by cutting a lemon in half and popping one or both halves in the cutlery rack. Clean and deodorise your chopping boards by rubbing them with lemon juice. Clean your windows and mirrors with 25mls of lemon juice […]

Slow Cooked Pear Sensation

pears2

These cheese-stuffed pears have sprung from an Ancient Roman recipe, at least I’ve served pears very like these as part of an Ancient Roman meal, as a tasty mensa secunda, the dessert. The Ancient Romans ate a lot of pears and cheese, although they would have prepared this with sheep cheese, not cow’s, and a […]

Make Washing Powder

laundry-basket

Cath makes enough washing powder for a year for under $10. It depends on how much washing you do of course, but I reckon this should last me at least 6 months and that’s a substantial saving! Instructions to make the washing powder Ingredients: 1 bar soap, grated 1 cup washing soda (Lectric Soda) 1/2 […]

How to Cook Sweet Potatoes

sweet-potato-roast

Baked Sweet Potatoes 1. Scrub them clean and put them directly in the oven on the middle rack. The skin will develop a delicious light crunch as the sweet potato cooks. 2.Coat them in a bit of butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over. Wrap in foil to hold in the juices and soften the […]

Susanna Duffy : Under Creative Commons License: Attribution No Derivatives