Tag Archives: Mediterranean

Turkish Bulgur Salad (or, Necessity is the Mother of Invention)

Turkish Bulgur Salad with Poached Eggs

It’s been about two weeks now that my family have been in lock-down. We are hardly social at the best of times, so the enforced distancing, in our very rural neck of the woods, has meant very little to us. In fact, considering what is going on around the entire world, our lives here are embarassingly pleasant and trouble-free.

Oh don’t get me wrong, there have been some problems: the shops are out of the gin that The Author and I prefer, and we have resorted to a gin with fewer juniper notes. (I know!) And the lack of school for the kids (now actually all teenagers in various degrees of hormonal angst) means that The Author and I have to force them to go outside in the sunshine, otherwise I think they would moulder away with their phones in their withered hands.  Continue reading

Week 18 2016

One of the seasonal menus from last week:

Tunisian Tomato & Chickpea Soup (V, GF)
Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Sautéed, Olives, Garlic & Lemon (V, GF)
Roasted Potatoes with Harissa (V, GF)
Spring Onion Rolls (V)
Green Salad (V, GF)

(If the dishes have a link to a recipe, they are underlined.
If they are not underlined, I’ll do my best to get them on here!)

Braised Cannellini Beans (or, this is really good)


A few years ago, I was tinkering around with a recipe for a gluten-free cake for work. I wanted to make something that didn’t have a gritty rice flour feel or a dense texture and crumb, something that everyone (not just gluten-free people) would really enjoy. I thought I’d hit the jackpot with a recipe for a quinoa chocolate cake, so I made it, and I presented the deep chocolate confection to my waiting family.

“It tastes like soil,” said The Author, not trying to be unkind. Continue reading

2016 Week 2

Umbrian Chick Pea Soup (V, GF)
Broccoli with Chilies, Capers & Egg (GF, DF)
Onion Rings
Rosemary Focaccia (V)
Salad of Winter Greens & Vinaigrette (V, GF)

(Dishes that have a link to a recipe are underlined. If they are not underlined, I will – hopefully – get the recipes to you soon. If you can’t wait, contact me!)

Week 44 2015

Pumpkin Parmesan (GF)
Wine-Marinated Mushrooms (GF, V)
Roasted Potatoes with Garlic & Bay (GF, V)
Green Salad & Vinaigrette (GF, V)
Rosemary Focaccia (V)
Gluten Free Focaccia (GF, V)

Dishes that have a link to a recipe are underlined. If they are not underlined, I will – hopefully – get the recipes to you soon. If you can’t wait, contact me!)

Aubergine Rolls with Goat Ricotta & Basil Sauce


When I was growing up, in Vermont, one saying that I particularly loved hearing on the weather reports, especially in the summer, was that we were in for “good sleeping weather.” That means cool but not cold, maybe just the perfect temperature for having the window open and a cosy blanket to snuggle in.

That window of opportunity for good sleeping weather is surprisingly small in our little north-eastern state, where the annual temperature range is anywhere from -30C to 35C, and on a daily basis the weather can change from an idyllic sunny day to a blustery, gale-force storm. So Vermonters also have another saying: If you don’t like the weather….wait a minute.

The same could be said Continue reading

Spanakopita (Spinach & Cheese Pie)


Since the first day of spring, we have been waiting for the weather to change and become, well, more spring-like. Yesterday, that happened.

The temperature went as high as 19C (or 66F, as I still think of it), and we all went a little giddy with the relative heat.  The kids and their visiting cousins thought it was hot enough to swim and play in the river, never mind that the water comes from pools and springs in the heart of the moor and is a less-than-welcoming temperature even on the hottest days of summer.  Continue reading

Lamb Stew (Things aren’t always what you expect)


A couple of weeks ago, the sun woke me up bright and early, and as it bathed the treetops in a golden glow, I breathed deeply and stretched my arms and announced to The Author (still half asleep), “I think the weather has turned now! No more hard frosts till the autumn!” And in his kind way, he said, “Hmmm.”

“I really think this is the turning point!” And I hopped out of bed, looked out the window and gazed upon . . . white. One of the hardest frosts of the year.

But, that was then and this is now, and Friday saw a triumvirate of auspicious events here in Devon: a solar eclipse, the vernal equinox, and the first day of spring.

Luckily for us, The Author’s parents had a stash of Solar Eclipse Viewing Glasses from 1999, when the last total eclipse happened in England.


To be honest, for most of the eclipse we didn’t need the glasses – the sky was too overcast. But when the clouds occasionally parted, the sun was hot and very very bright. I expected much more dimness, but a surprisingly small sliver is enough to keep daylight going. So the glasses really came in handy, and we were able to look directly at the sun, a beautiful and eerie solar crescent.

The day of the eclipse also saw Continue reading

Orange Pistachio Biscotti


To paraphrase Shakespeare, some cookies are made great, and some cookies have greatness thrust upon them. I think that biscotti are the latter.

With very few ingredients (what, no butter?), biscotti seem like cookies born of deprivation. A biscotto* is a cookie that is hard, dry, and looks very much like toast. Truly, there is not much to recommend it. But have it with a cup of tea or coffee, or even a glass of red wine, or vin santo (my favourite), and you have achieved cookie perfection.  Continue reading

Fig & Almond Spirals


The Author is urging me to put on my boots and go out with him. But I’m sitting here by the fire, with the warmth of my laptop to keep me cosy, and by contrast, it’s not exactly inviting outside. Minus 10 Celcius, to be exact.

I know that in the grand scheme of things, our cold weather is pretty inconsequential. We barely have a frost, the water in the wheelbarrow has only a skim of ice on top, and the palm tree is alive and well. Really, when some of you are braving temperatures of -20F, it’s quite churlish of me to complain.  Continue reading