A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to spend a day at Vale House Kitchen, a brand new cookery school near Bath. Run by Bod and Annie, two of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet, Vale House Kitchen aims to reconnect people with their food by teaching basic hunting, fishing, foraging and cooking skills.

You can see for yourself how beautiful it is and find out more about the making of Vale House Kitchen in this short video:

I went on the Chef Skills course, run by fantastic local chef Kieran Lenihan. Kieran was an excellent tutor and I will definitely be paying his restaurants a visit.  View Post

I made these mincemeat puff pastry swirls last weekend and just had to share them as they are so simple yet so impressive looking. They’re perfect if you’ve got friends coming round and need to whip up a tasty hot treat, so long as you don’t mind a bit of pastry on the carpet.

Puff pastry mincemeat swirls

Firstly, you need a packet of ready rolled puff pastry. Unroll it, but leave it on the baking parchment. Spread it with whatever you fancy – jam, mincemeat, or perhaps even some of my home-made lemon curd? We went for mincemeat as I have been planning my #WinChristmas giveaway this week and it has been making me feel rather festive. View Post

If you enjoy these chocolate and peanut butter cookies why not try my homemade bourbon biscuits?

Belle is a bit of an entrepreneurial baker. Quite often, if she’s feeling a bit short of cash, she’ll whip up a batch of cookies and go door to door around the square selling them to our neighbours. She hasn’t quite grasped the idea of the costs involved, preferring to see the ingredients in the cupboard as fair game, but I admire her spirit.

This weekend we had friends coming over, so I set Belle to work. We decided to make chocolate and peanut butter cookies, a recipe we found on the Flora website. A few people I know have started using Flora Cuisine for baking lately, and singing its praises, so we thought we’d give it a go. It’s basically runny margarine, so is ideal for kids to use in cakes, biscuits and flapjacks as it’s already nice and soft. View Post

I’m normally not very good at making things in burger shapes. Things tend to fall apart. Not in a metaphorical, head-in-hands, weeping on the kitchen floor way, but literally – I can’t make them stay together in the pan. If they have onion in I never chop it finely enough and anything that is more of a paste ends up just a mess. Definitely more of a hash than a burger. You can imagine then how excited I was to try out these spicy chickpea burgers.

*voice drips with sarcasm, eyes rolling dramatically*

Actually though, these spciy chickpea burgers were pretty good! They were dead easy to make, I held myself and the burgers together, and they were absolutely delicious. The lovely bright, fresh ingredients make for super Instagram pictures too, which is basically what I look for in just about any activity.

So, pinnies on, blenders loaded, here we go… View Post

easy lemon curd recipe

In lieu of not being in a position to jet off to Iceland right now, I thought I should crack on with one of the more affordable options on my 40 things before I’m 40 list, so this weekend I decided to have a go at an easy lemon curd recipe.

I have always loved lemon curd, but had imagined it to be one of those things that would involve large pans and thermometers and possibly a frilly apron. It turns out though that making lemon curd is really easy! View Post


I have very fond memories of gin.

When I was about eight or nine years old I used to go and stay with my Gran and Grandad in Weymouth. While my Grandad was at work my Gran would pack us a picnic to take to the beach – sandwiches with Marks & Spencers ham, crisps, and a thermos full of gin and tonic. When I was even smaller I can remember sat on my Gran’s lap, the tonic bubbles going up my nose as she tried to get me to have a taste. Years later it was my children sat on her knee and I was the one having to say ‘Gran! You can’t give gin to a baby!’ View Post