Butternut squash soup and smoked salmon sandwiches

There was some butternut squash left over, already roasted to make it soft and sweet.  I made it into a quick soup by heating it up with half a pint of water and a half-cube of chicken stock.  I add black pepper, then zapped it in the blender to blend in the squash.  Finally I […]

Ginger and lemon cookies

They’re from Sainsbury’s, and come with the Weight Watchers logo on them.  Hmm, diet cookies?  I once thought of writing “The Chocolate Diet” for the airport bookstall market.  If you’re on a diet, I wouldn’t really have thought cookies or chocolate should feature very heavily.  However, it looked an interesting idea, so I thought I’d […]

AnCnoc Scottish malt whisky

Sometimes my mood takes me to Highland or Strathspey malts, sometimes to Islay (pronounced eye-la) ones.  The most popular Highland one is probably Glenmorangie, and the most popular Speyside might be Glenlivet.  I’ve recently been trying anCnoc (pronounced a-knock), named after the source of the spring water used in making it.  It is produced by […]


The Pacifico Mexican Restaurant off Covent Garden served me up this delicious rare steak with cactus. Beans and Rice on the side and a excellent glass of Don Julio blanco tequila to sip. Thoroughly recommend the place (and I go a fair amount!)

Lattice or deep filled?

This year I baked Sam Stern’s Christmas biscuits instead of mince pies.  I may yet bake a batch of my own, but to tide me over I bought two boxes from Marks & Spencer.  One was of lattice mince pies, with holes in the top pastry, and the other was of deep filled mince pies.  […]

Lunch in Brown’s

My guests included adults with their children, so lunch in Brown’s seemed like a good idea.  After a bracing walk through Cambridge and along by the river we arrived in Brown’s at about 12.15pm, early enough to get a table.  The boys filled up on bacon burgers with cheese and fries on the side.  The […]

Basic ‘meat’ pasta

It was from Sainsbury’s ‘basics’ range, and inexpensive.  I bought a large bag of ‘meat tortelloni.’  I have never quite worked out why Sainsbury’s calls ‘tortelloni’ what most others call ‘tortellini,’ but I was amused to see the word ‘meat.’  In the bad old days of the evil empire I was once unfortunate enough to […]

Polish Christmas chocolates

As well as that Astronaut freeze-dried ice-cream, Santa also left a box of luxury Polish chocolates under my tree.  The name ‘Wawel’ means nothing to me, but it is apparently one of the oldest and best known chocolate and confectionary makers in Poland.  The company was founded in 1898 by Adam Piaseckie.  The box decoration […]

Astronaut freeze-dried ice-cream

Of all the goodies that Santa brought this year, the most unusual was a packet of ‘Astronaut’ freeze-dried ice-cream.  From the early days of the manned space programme the astronauts took freeze-dried food into space in order to save precious weight.  This is less necessary now, and the International Space Station has a fridge on […]

Côte revisited (2)

While I was enjoying my tiger prawns and duck confit at Cambridge’s Côte restaurant, my dining companion chose to start with the breadcrumbed squid sautéed in garlic, lemon, parsley and butter with tartare sauce.  I’d tried this myself on my first visit, and particularly liked the crumbly batter, and the fact that the squid was […]

Christmas cookies

I made some Christmas cookies using a recipe Sam Stern posted on his own blog.  Here’s his recipe: 250 g self raising flour Pinch salt 125 g butter 125 g caster sugar ½ teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon ginger 1 small egg, beaten 1 tablespoon runny honey icing icing sugar (sifted) lemon juice ____ 1.Sift flour […]