Gluten Free White Chocolate Cookies


I have a recipe for gluten free white chocolate cookies which I have been using for a few years now which works really well.

I adapted it from a recipe I had, which didn’t work so well, so I made a few changes.

85g of unsalted butter
100g of light brown sugar
30g of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
200g of gluten free plain flour
75g of white chocolate chips
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 180℃ and line two baking trays with baking parchment.

Add the butter to a heat-proof mixing bowl. Melt the butter in a microwave for approx 50 seconds, until just liquid. Ensure it has fully melted. I find that slicing the butter into thin slices speeds up the process.

I once tried melting the butter in a pan, but the butter was too hot so the white chocolate chips I added later then melted. It’s important that the butter isn’t too hot.

Add the brown sugar and caster sugar to the warm butter, stir well.

Now the add the vanilla essence and the egg. Sometimes, depending on the size of the eggs, I replace the single large egg, with two egg yolks.

Mix into a smooth batter consistency.

Sift the plain gluten free flour into the batter and combine into a soft shiny cookie dough. I use to add xanthan gum, but have found it isn’t always necessary.

Add the white chocolate chips

Spoon the dough into small balls onto the baking trays.

Put them into the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes.

They are ready when they are starting to brown slightly but will still be very soft. Leave them on the tray to cool for five to ten minutes before transferring carefully to a wire rack to cool.

This recipe makes about twelve cookies.

Homemade bean dish

I originally called this dish a cassoulet. However I didn’t think it was an authentic cassoulet, so checked for a definition of what a cassoulet is.

Cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked stew originating in southern France. The food writer Elizabeth David described it as “that sumptuous amalgamation of haricot beans, sausage, pork, mutton and preserved goose, aromatically spiced with garlic and herbs”.

Yup, what I cooked wasn’t a cassoulet. I didn’t use haricot beans, mutton or goose, and didn’t slow cook it either. Maybe something to try at another time.

I did though make a dish with beans, pork belly, and Polish sausage. 

In a large deep frying pan, I have a lovely large pan I got at IKEA which is ideal for this.

I added a splash of olive oil to which I added some pancetta. After cooking this for a while I added chopped garlic, with diced red onion, peppers and mushrooms.

I cooked the pancetta, onions, peppers, and mushrooms until the onions and pepper were softened. I then added some flour, stock, and some tomato puree. I cooked this for a while (ten minutes) before adding some sliced Polish sausage and some cooked pork belly chunks. The pork belly I had slow roasted in the oven for an hour.

After ten more minute I added two packs of beans, one cannellini, and one borlotti. As they are already cooked I was just warming the beans through.

I served this with some roasted potatoes and cooked vegetables.

Homemade Mexico City Nachos

Having really enjoyed the Mexico City Nachos from Wahaca, I have now been making this dish quite often myself.

Homemade Mexico City Nachos

I used some tinned black beans, I also had some other mixed beans and sweetcorn. To this I added some tortilla chips, and then dressed the dish with guacamole, sour cream, grated cheese, a tomato salsa, Mexican cheese dip, and some homemade pickled red onion. I added some freshly chopped coriander as a garnish.

It was a really nice and fresh dish, and was a good but slightly different version of the dish I had in London.

Homemade Mexico City Nachos

Having really enjoyed the Mexico City Nachos from Wahaca, I have now been making this dish quite often myself.

Homemade Mexico City Nachos

I used some tinned black beans, to this I added some tortilla chips, and then dressed the dish with chopped fresh red pepper, avocado, guacamole, sour cream, grated cheese, a homemade tomato salsa, and some homemade pickled red onion.

It was a really nice and fresh dish, and was a good copy of the dish I had in London.

Made some paella

I made and cooked a paella, or a Spanish inspired rice dish.


I diced an onion and a pointed red pepper.  In a hot large frying pan, I put some olive oil and I cooked off bacon lardons, and some diced chorizo.  I then added the diced onion and pepper. When this was softened, I added some sliced mushroom. Once this was stirred in I added 250g of paella rice.

To this I added some paella seasoning, paella seasoning, Carmencita Paellero Paella Spice Mix.

This is according to the description the number one selling spice mix in Spain.

I ensured that the rice was coated I added a splash of sherry. I then added some chicken stock and water. Stirred once and left it to cook.

I added some more water as it cooked.

Before serving I added some cooked sliced chorizo, freshly chopped parsley, and some chunks of lemon.

I served this with some freshly cooked fish and salad.

Festive Red Cabbage

As we approach Christmas I am reviewing my processes and recipes for Christmas dinner.

Red Cabbage
Image by Ralph Klein from Pixabay

For Christmas lunch this year I am planning to make some festive red cabbage.


knob of butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced or chopped
1 x 500g (or half a) red cabbage, shredded finely using a food processor (white core discarded) or with a knife.
2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
splash of Port
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp soft brown sugar
3 eating apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 tsp redcurrant
2 tsp cranberry sauce


Heat the butter and oil in a large lidded saucepan. When hot, add the onion and fry gently until softened. Stir in the spices and season. Add the cabbage and fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until glossy. Stir in the sugar, apples and Balsamic vinegar, add a splash of port. Cover with a lid and let it cook gently for 30 minutes.

At this point I set it aside while I cooked the rest of the lunch. Ten minutes before I served lunch, I put it back on the heat and stirred.

Stir in the redcurrant and cranberry sauce (you don’t need to use both, you could use one or none) and cook for a further 10 minutes. If you aren’t using the sauce, taste the cabbage and add a little more sugar if it’s too tart for your taste.

My recipe for Bolognese

spaghetti bolognese
Image by -Rita-👩‍🍳 und 📷 mit ❤ from Pixabay

This is my recipe for making Bolognese sauce for serving with spaghetti or other pasta.

500g minced beef, I try and get 5% or 10% fat mince, otherwise the end result can be a bit greasy

Splash of olive oil

One onion, diced

One carrot, finely diced. The carrot is there to add some veg to the dish as well as flavour

One red pepper, diced

Handful of mushrooms, chopped

Splash of balsamic vinegar

Knorr beef stockpot

Dried Italian herbs

Tin of tomatoes

Tomato purée

I usually use a big pan for cooking this dish. I heat the pan add the olive oil and then brown off the mince until it is all done. If you have excess fat in the pan then drain the cooked mince and discard the excess oil and fat.

Add the onion, carrot and pepper. You can add extra vegetables at this point, or extra pepper. After a few minutes add the mushrooms. 

Once the onion is soft and cooked, add the tin of tomatoes, the herbs, the tomato purée and the balsamic vinegar.

Cook for at least 20 minutes on a low heat, though longer would ensure that the beef is tender.

Serve with spaghetti or a pasta of your choice. Add freshly grated Parmesan to taste.

Gluten Free Pancakes


I often make pancakes for breakfast on a  regular basis.

Cup of gluten free plain flour

Cup of semi-skimmed milk

One egg.

Spoonful of sugar.

Vanilla essence.

Whisk the ingredients together. I do find that with gluten free flour there isn’t any benefit to which order you add the ingredients, but I generally do the flour first, then add the milk, then the sugar vanilla essence and the egg.

The key is to have a batter that will coat the back of the spoon.

Gluten free batter doesn’t need to be left to stand (as some recipes for normal pancakes call for). When I started cooked gluten free pancakes, I use to make normal pancakes as well using wheat flour. However after tasting both, I realised that there was very little if any difference. So now, and it avoids the risk of cross-contamination, I only cook gluten free pancakes.

I have often heard that the first pancake cooked will not work and therefore should be thrown away. My experience is that the reason the first pancake doesn’t work, is mainly down to the fact that the pan isn’t hot enough. I put my pancake pan on the heat and then make the batter, that way it is hot enough when I am ready to start cooking the pancakes.

I brush the pan with some sunflower oil. Add a spoonful of batter and then swirl the pan so that the batter coats the entire base of the pan. I say spoonful of batter as I usually use a bowl with a lip so I can put the batter direct onto the pancake pan. You can see the batter cooking and once it is cooked, flip the pancake over. Yes you can toss it, but I usually use a fish slice to flip the pancake over.

I use the same recipe for smaller pancakes as well.

Serve with your favourite whatever, be that sugar, maple syrup or whatever.

Spiced Cauliflower Salad

Spiced Cauliflower Salad

This recipe for a cauliflower salad was inspired by a dish I once had in a cafe in Wapping Wharf (sadly now closed).

Take some fresh cauliflower and cut it into thin slices, I usually use about a third of the cauliflower when making the dish.

In a bowl add some mayonnaise, a splash of olive oil and half a teaspoon of curry powder. The olive oil thins out the mayonnaise making it easier to coat the cauliflower slices. The curry powder adds spice and warmth to the dish.

Stir and coat the cauliflower slices with the mayonnaise mix, do this gently so you don’t break the cauliflower too much. I also add some unsalted cashew nuts as well to the salad. Season with salt and pepper.

Gluten Free Couscous

Looking for gluten free versions of wheat based dishes was always challenging, but becoming less so.

We have always enjoyed the prepared salads from M&S, but alas most of them contain gluten.

I had been looking for a pack of gluten free couscous for a while, so when I saw a pack of Clearspring Organic Corn Couscous this looked like a solution.

It was really easy to prepare I added 100ml of stock to 65g of the dried couscous and left for five minutes. I then used a fork to fluff the couscous. I added some diced cooked Mediterranean vegetables and seasoned with olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

I was really impressed, it had the texture of couscous and worked really well.