Category Archives: Food

Picture 47

“There’s not much you can do to improve on a classic mince pie: buttery pastry, sweet fruit filling- delicious. So why not try something new to serve it with. My ‘cheats’ blue cheese ice cream takes the stress out of making it from scratch so there’s no excuse not to dress up an old classic”

Ronnie Murray, Head Pastry Chef for Hix Restaurants

Mince pies with Castello Danish Blue Cheese ice cream

Takes 30 minutes to prepare, 12 minutes cooking time

Makes 12 Read More →

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Picture 48

“Cheese is very versatile when used in cooking. For this canapé I made a flavoursome cheese ‘snow’ by freezing the cheese beforehand and then grating. Left to thaw the frozen cheese will return to its normal state so you can pop any left overs on the cheese board!”  

Ronnie Murray, Head Pastry Chef for Hix Restaurants

30 minutes to prepare, 10 minutes cooking time

Makes 12 Read More →

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In town this week I made a quick trip to Marks And Spencer to exchange a dress for a smaller size (#winning) when I got sidetracked in the food hall and ended up with a basket full of stocking fillers.

I have always loved Mark and Spencer, full of great British charm with red busses and Union Jacks everywhere, it appeals to my patriotic side without a doubt. My kitchen shelves are full of repurposed M&S tins, and no home-based ‘date night’ would be complete without their dine in for £10 dinner. A great British shop for a Great British girl.

So when it comes to Christmas I always know it’s the one place I will find what I need…

Marks And Spencer Stocking Fillers

Tins of shortbread, perfect for Nans, Mums, Aunts (and Men with a sweet tooth of course). The recipient will appreciate that even after the goodies have long gone they have a beautiful tin the can use again and again. The gift that keeps on giving. Read More →

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Picture 45

 “Pineapple and cheese is a classic flavour combination. I have used a really exciting cheese for this sweet canapé recipe that combines these two flavours wonderfully. A bit of a departure from your normal cheese cake but it’s Christmas so be a bit adventurous. You will be rewarded with this sweet treat”

Ronnie Murray, Head Pastry Chef for Hix Restaurants

Takes 20 minutes to prepare, 10 minutes cooking time

Makes 20 Read More →

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Honey Glazed Cosmo Cocktail

I love a party – and what better excuse is there for a party than Christmas? and what makes a party more than cocktails?

Give traditional Christmas flavours a creative spin with the Honey Glazed Cosmo, a perfect yuletide tipple featuring nutty, cranberry and fragrant notes. Designed by Dan Wilks of Create Cocktails, who has created bespoke cocktails for the likes of Madonna, Kylie and Kate Moss, this simple to make cocktail is sure to impress guests over the festive season.

Honey Glazed Cosmo Cocktail 

40ml Salty Caramel Popcorn ODDKA
40ml cranberry juice
1 teaspoon redcurrant jelly 
2 lime wedges
2 dashes of orange bitters
Star anise to decorate Read More →

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Today brings to you Mince Pie Cinnamon Sticks With Baileys Chili Chocolate Sauce – my new favourite Christmas party food treat.

Christmas means many things to many people. A time to reflect, to worship, to be thankful or maybe a time to celebrate, to give and to receive.

For me its a chance to see loved ones, to take some time out to enjoy myself, to spoil my nearest and dearest with love, presents and food….and, without doubt, a time to party. And these mince-pie cinnamon sticks with Baileys chili chocolate sauce are the perfect complement to a Christmas cocktail or two. Read More →

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I have been working with the Tesco Finest* range since I attended their re-launch in October. Today they sent me a wonderful recipe for how to cook Rib Eye Steak that I simply had to share.

How To Cook Rib Eye Steak

Rib Eye Steak of Beef, served with Pan Fried Wild Mushrooms, Chips and Red Watercress & English Radish Salad


  • 2 finest* 28 Day Dry-Aged Aberdeen Angus Rib Eye Steak
  • 100g finest* Wild Mushrooms
  • 160g finest* Elfe Potatoes (exclusive to Tesco)
  • finest* Beurre D’Isigny Normandy Butter
  • 75g finest* Red Watercress, Rocket and Spinach
  • 6 Fresh English Radishes


  • Remove steak from packaging and leave at room temperature for 10 minutes.  Lightly brush each side of the steak with oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Thinly slice Elfie potatoes, leaving the skin on.  Wash in cold water to remove starch.  Slowly fry in oil until lightly brown and crisp.  Drain and leave on kitchen paper.
  • Wash mushrooms and pan fry in a little butter, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Fry in a very hot dry heavy pan over a high heat for 2 minutes on each side to seal in the juices, reduce the heat to a medium heat and continue to cook until preferred taste.  6 minutes for rare, 11 minutes for medium or 14 minutes for well done, turning once.  Leave to rest for 3-4 minutes.  Add a knob of the butter to the pan and allow to melt, pour the cooking juices and the butter over the steak and serve.
  • Serve steak with lightly dressed red watercress and radish salad, crisp game chips and pan fried mushrooms.

I’m no meat lover, but even I think this sounds amazing. I’m always a little unsure as to how to cook Rib Eye Steak, especially the timings for a rare to medium finish, but this just makes it sound so simple.

I can’t wait to give it a try – will be sure to let you all know how I get on.

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Date Night in Shoreditch

After having children, time alone as a couple becomes precious. Even the most simple of evenings can feel special. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just as long as you are together.

Last Friday The Essex Husband and I were heading out for his sister’s birthday when suddenly, thanks to their tardiness, we found we had a few hours to kill just the two of us.

Already on Old Street we ceased the opportunity to try out the highly acclaimed The Three Crowns. After reopening in May, to much praise from the locals and the foodie world alike, this former questionable establishment has flourished into a gem of the Old Street area.

With its big bar at the front, fantastic array of bar snacks, great selection of beers, and lots of tables in the restaurant area overlooking the huge open kitchen for a those wanting a sit down meal, this vibrant public house has something on offer for everyone.

Date Night in Shoreditch

Photo Credit  

Date Night in Shoreditch

Photo Credit

6pm on a Friday evening it was standing room only at the bar. We stood there talking like we had just met, sharing stories we must have told each other a hundred times over, but loving every moment of it.  A few drinks and many laughs later we were on our way to meet our friends and family for the birthday celebrations, safe in the knowledge, thanks to this impromptu date, that we were still more in love than ever.

Cheesy, but true.

What a perfect date night in Shoreditch.

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A simple risotto recipe is perfect for a warming meal on a cold evening.

Served with a glass of wine and some fresh rustic garlic bread, this Mozzarella and Roasted Tomato risotto is a firm favorite at Essex HQ.

Simple Risotto Recipe - Mozzarella and Roasted Tomato

Simple Risotto Recipe – Mozzarella and Roasted Tomato

Serves 4

  • 300g cherry tomatoes
  • Rosemary salt
  • 25g Butter
  • Olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped finely)
  • 1 Litre vegetable stock (boiling hot)
  • 300g Arborio rice
  • 100g mozzarella (chopped into small chunks)
  • Handful of fresh basil (torn)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half, sprinkle with rosemary salt and roast in the oven for 10 minutes
  3. Melt the butter in a pan
  4. Add splash of olive oil, then the chopped garlic, and cook for 1 minute
  5. Add the rice to the pan, mix to coat each grain with the butter
  6. Add one ladle of stock at a time. Stir to allow rice to soak up the liquid before adding the next ladleful of hot stock. Repeat till all stock has been used. (Takes about 15 minutes)
  7. Stir in the mozzarella allowing it to become melted and stringy.
  8. Gently fold in the roasted tomatoes
  9. Serve in pasta bowls topped with fresh torn basil.
  10. Enjoy!

I’m a big fan of home cooked meals, but with a busy life I know the need for simplicity when in the kitchen. I hope this simple risotto recipe will hit the spot with you all, and your family enjoy this mozzarella and roasted tomato risotto as much as we do.

Simple Risotto Recipe - Mozzarella and Roasted Tomato

I have linked up with Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesdays   - a great place to find a whole host of other yummy recipes. 
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I love vegetarian food. I’ve never really been a fan of meat dishes, I’d much rather a big plate of salad. This simple vegetarian lasagna recipe is a perfect midweek family meal, taking only about 20 mins to prep and just over half hour to cook.

It’s a big hit here in Essex HQ.

Simple Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe


  • 1 pack of lasagna sheets
  • 1 carton of tomato passata
  • 500g chopped peppers
  • Handful of chopped spring onion
  • Handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 de-seeded red chilli, finely chopped
  • 5 mushrooms, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 1 pint of Milk
  • 80g grated Cheddar cheese



1. Fry the garlic and chillis in a little oil for a few minutes before adding the mushrooms, onion and peppers – keep stirring on the heat until they have softened

2. Add the tomatoes and basil and continue to simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and until the sauce has thickened.

3. Layer lasagna sheets at the bottom of your dish, cover with half of your mixture, place another layer of lasagna sheets on top and fill with the rest of the mixture. To finish cover the dish with one final layer of lasagna sheets.

For the topping:
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
2. Add the flour and heat for 1-2 minutes while stirring.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk, keep stirring as you add to prevent lumps. Once you’ve added all of the milk, return to the heat and bring back to the boil.
4. Simmer for 5 mins and then stir in cheese allowing it to melt before pouring over the top of your lasagna.
5. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 30-40 minutes, stand for 5 mins before serving. Serve with a rocket salad.

Tasty Tuesdays on

Link up your recipe of the week



This Simple Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe is also featured on the Anchor Dairy website.

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