A variety of bruschetta with cheese, tomatoes (fresh and sun-dried), artichokes and mushrooms.


Start off with a ciabatta, though in theory you could use a baguette or french stick (and I have done so).


Butter one side only.

Add topping.

Dribble olive oil over.

Bake in a hot oven for less than ten minutes.



Trofie Pasta with fresh basil pesto, pine nuts and grated parmesan

Trofie Pasta with fresh basil pesto, pine nuts and grated parmesan.

Trofie Pasta with fresh basil pesto, pine nuts and grated parmesan

Fresh Trofie pasta.

Into a pan of boiling water (no salt, no oil).

Cook for ten minutes.

In a blender/grinder, handful of basil leaves, olive oil, blitz and blend. Add more basil leaves and more oil, blitz.

Drain pasta.

Dribble olive oil in.

Toss and coat pasta.

Add basil pesto, handful of pine nuts, handful of grated parmesan.




Red Pepper and Tomato Salad

A salad I made which included red pepper, lettuce and cherry tomatoes. It was dressed with some white wine vinegar, olive oil and a dash of freshly ground black pepper.

I do make variations, this just so happens to be one I remembered to photograph!

Red Pepper and Tomato Salad

Additions in the past included:

Fresh Mozzarella Pearls



Homemade croutons

Take your chicken. Baste with wood varnish…

Here’s a great kitchen tip. You know how bowls of soup in food magazines always have a few bubbles rising artfully to the surface, giving that freshly ladled-from-the-tureen appearance? Well, you can recreate this effect quite easily at home by lightly drizzling some washing-up liquid into your soups but, please, only use the best stuff; this is no time to cut corners. Next, take a plastic straw and gently blow into the soup, creating an entire bowlful of bubbles. Using a pin pop away until you are left with just those few artistic ones that will survive for hours. The taste might not be to die for but at least your bowl of soup will look just like it does in the food magazines.

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Tiramisu Recipe

This is my recipe, there are no exact quantities as I don’t use them…

Get some amaretti biscuits, you can use sponge fingers if you prefer.

Make up some espresso coffee, using decent espresso coffee. Add some Amaretto spirit. For those that avoid spirits, then just using coffee will be fine.

Dunk the amaretti into the coffee/Amaretto mix, and place into small bowls (or one big bowl).

Mix (say) three egg yolks with some caster sugar (say 3 oz), mix in a tub of Mascarpone cheese.

Spoon the mixture onto the biscuits.

Now you could do a layer of biscuits, a layer of the Mascarpone mixture, but it depends more on what you are serving them in.

Leave in the fridge to set.

Once set, dust with cocoa.



Disaronno Amaretto


I do like mozarella, there is something about the texture and though the taste is not extreme, it is still there.

Cooked or raw it is a very versatile cheese.

Personally I like the mozarella pearls you can buy, but I am finding these difficult to get at the moment, sometimes they are in the fridge, most times they are not! When I do find them I add them to salads.

One way in which I do like using mozarella,  is sliced with tomatoes and then dressed with some good olive oil, white wine vinegar and freshly ground black pepper, delicious.

If I am cooking with mozarella then I like to either cube it and mix it with the main ingredients or thin slices on top – especially good on pizza.

Nice coffee

Before venturing into the STEAM museum in Swindon recently, we popped into the shopping outlet next door to grab a coffee.

We had a very nice coffee form the Lavazza coffee bar there.

Pity it was in a paper cup.

Organic Chicken

So organic free range chicken is twice the price of *normal* chicken.

Is it worth it?

A resounding yes.

The flavour and tenderness was superb.

I made chicken, mango and pineapple kebabs and served it with a mixed salad (with virtually all organic ingredients).



I am a great fan of Langoustine.


When they are just right there is something about the freshness and sweetness that makes them delicious.

It can be hard to find fresh ones, usually they are available either frozen or defrosted. In terms of taste, fresh is always best.

I like mine simple with a bit of mayonaise or aioli, but they are also nice split and grilled with butter and garlic.

Bacon-wrapped chicken legs stuffed with pork and pistachio

Ingredients for four servings

4 boned-out chicken legs or thighs or even whole legs


approximately 12-16 rashers of pancetta bacon

dash olive oil


handful of sauasge meat, I used two (proper) sausages and removed the skins

half a handful of pistachio nuts,

half a handful of pistachio nuts, ground

half a handful of breadcrumbs

1 egg yolk

herbs, parsley is fine

Make the stuffing by mixing all the ingredients together.

Open out the chicken legs or thighs, season with pepper and divide the stuffing between them. Roll up to enclose. Lay about three or four bacon rashers on a board, overlapping them slightly. Put one stuffed chicken portion on top and wrap the bacon around to cover completely. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.

Cut four very large pieces of foil. Wrap each chicken parcel tightly in foil, twisting the ends to seal. Roll back and forth to even the shape. Poach the chicken parcels, two or three at a time, in a large pan of boiling water for 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked. Allow to cool in the foil, then refrigerate for 30 minutes (this helps the bacon to ‘set’ around the chicken). Remove the foil and pat dry to remove any excess moisture.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and carefully sauté the chicken parcels until the bacon is brown and crisp on all sides. Transfer to a warm platter and rest in a warm place.

You can make a sauce by deglazing the pan with say some wine or sherry.

You can serve with vegetables.

With thanks to Gordon Ramsey for the inspiration.

I also made this recipe this weekend, but used pork loin steaks and no bacon.