Tried and Tested Recipes - or why John and I will never be thin...

Tomato and Orange soup
Perfect bread and butter pudding
Baked pork tenderloin - I used wholegrain mustard not Dijon
One pot spaghetti supper
Slow Cooker Pork Neck Steaks with honey, ginger and lime
Chicken apple and leek casserole
Sesame Chicken - I added pineapple, peppers and onions.
Slow cooker ribs (using bacon ribs)
Banana Bread (best recipe I have found)
Bacon Wrapped Halloumi on pea salad (I made a lime, mustard and white wine sauce to serve with this)
Cypriot Orange Pie - the dog's doodahs
Sweet potato rounds - one yet to try but thinking of doing this as a starter at some point

Pot mess fridge surprise chicken casserole!!

Best Cottage Pie
Thai fish cakes - I floured, egg'd and breadcrumbed mine and
Sicilian whole orange cake
Slow Cooker honey lime ginger pork - I think you need a cut with higher fat content than loin
Bbq pork ribs - I used orange juice in the sauce not water
Crabstick Jeon - I added lime and ginger and honey to mine
Sweet Chili Sauce
Preserved Stem Ginger

Egg-less lemon cake
I had some yoghurt that needed using up so substituted some of the milk with yoghurt

Slow Cooked Pork Neck Steaks
I tweaked the basic recipe slightly so I caramelised the onions and some apples first and laid that on the top of the pork steaks which I had smeared with garlic paste honey and mustard.  I made the stock with a little orange juice too and then took the liquid out, reduced it and added a dash of cream.

Slow cooked Chicken Thighs with creamy lemon sauce
Naan Breads
Beef and Orange Curry

Creamy Somerset slow cooked pork - needs a pork cut with some fat content
Vegan sticky toffee pudding
Curried Potatoes - I used up some left over roast potatoes and sprinkled a tiny bit of sugar to caramelise them.

Lemon verbena uses
Stir fry beef - (add pre-fried carrot, onion, cucumber batons and cashew nuts)

Crumpets (with self raising flour and no yeast)
Hot Cross Buns
Easy Raspberry Cheesecake (but I used blackberries)
Orange Pecan Bread Pudding
Banana Loaf - I added some cinnamon and some brandy soaked sultanas
Poached Pears
Slow cooked Normandy Pork with apples and ciders


Citrus Self Saucing Souffle

40g butter, melted and cooled, plus extra to grease the dish
160g sugar (caster for preference)
3 large eggs, separated
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 largish lemon
3 tablespoons self-raising flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
250g thick Greek-style yoghurt (I didn't have enough to supplemented with mum's lemon curd)
Icing sugar, to finish

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Lightly butter a 1.5 litre ovenproof dish.
Beat together the butter and sugar until light, pale and fluffy
Beat in the egg yolks and lemon zest, then sift the flour and baking powder together over the batter and lightly fold in.
Whisk together the yoghurt and lemon juice, then gently stir this mixture into the batter until just combined.
Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks then gently fold into the lemon mixture, using a metal spoon.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish. Stand the dish in a roasting tin and carefully pour in boiling water fto come halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake for about 35 minutes until the pudding is puffed up and lightly golden on the top – it should still have a slightly wobbly texture.
Remove from the oven, then lift the pudding out of the roasting tin. Leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Dust with icing sugar to serve.
Lovely on its own or served with a dollop of cream or thick yoghurt

Spicy Fig and Orange Jam (I added a teaspoon of easy chopped chilli for an additional kick)

Bailey's Bread and Butter Pudding (Mum's favourite)

Beef and Cranberry - the filling for my pie

Lemon Curd Bread and Butter Pudding
Spicy Thai Carrot and Peanut Soup
Thai Prawn Crab and Salmon Fishcakes 
(fishcakes needed egg and breadcrumbs to bind)

Lemon Pickle

August 2015 (click on the links)
Easy Treacle Tart
Sticky Asian Pork Neck

March 2013


500 g leg of lamb, cut into small chunks including bones, fat trimmed off
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 large onions, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, ground to a paste
4 -5 garlic cloves, ground to a paste
5 whole cloves
4 green cardamoms, slightly crushed
2 (2 inch) cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
6 -8 peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
salt, to taste
2 tablespoons plain yogurt, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Large handful of sultanas


Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan, and fry the cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and peppercorns till they start to pop (over medium to high heat), should take a minute or so. Next add in the garlic-ginger paste and the onions and fry till soft and golden (add a little water if the mixture is sticking to the base). Next add in the turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt and fry for another 5-10 mins adding a little water if necessary (bear in mind spices burn easily). Add in the beaten yoghurt and stir it in thoroughly for 2 minutes and then mix in the tomato paste and cook for another 5 minutes. Now add in the chunks of meat and sultanas and stir in well making sure the meat is coated with the curry mixture. Add in water enough to cover the lamb (about 1/2 litre) giving it a good stir again and now reduce the heat to low and let this simmer gently with the lid on for 1 1/2 hours. Now add in the garam masala powder and cook for another 30 minutes till the sauce has thickened.

(I cooked mine with the meat still on the bone and in the pressure cooker)


January 2013

John's Banana Muffins (makes 12 muffins)

3 or 4 Large bananas, mashed
1/2 cup sultanas soaked in brandy/rum/orange juice - you choose!
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 slightly beaten egg
1/3 cup melted margarine or butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
Mix the mashed banana, sultanas, sugar, egg and margarine together. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and flour. Mix wet and dry ingredients all together! Pour into greased muffin tins, and bake in 350 degrees F/180 degrees C oven for approximately 30 minutes - check by testing with skewer.


Banana Loaf
  • 100 gram(s) sultanas
  • 75 ml Cyprus Brandy
  • 175 gram(s) Plain flour
  • 2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon(s) bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon(s) salt
  • 125 gram(s) butter (melted)
  • 150 gram(s) demerara
  • 2 large egg(s)
  • 4 small banana(s) (very ripe, and mashed - about 300g without skins)
  • 60 gram(s) almonds (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract

Carrot, Coriander and Halloumi Fritters

  • 250g halloumi
  • 4 large carrots, coarsely grated or shredded
  • 5 spring onions, finely sliced
  • Small bunch of coriander, leaves chopped
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 20g gram or chickpea flour (or plain flour)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Grated Peel of 1 Lime and Juice
  • Teaspoon Honey
  • Chopped Chilli (to taste)  
To finish
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Handful of rocket leaves
  • 4 tbsp sweet lemon dressing*


  1. Coarsely grate 50g of the halloumi and add to the carrots in a mixing bowl. Slice the remaining halloumi and set aside.
  2. Add the remaining fritter ingredients to the mixing bowl, season with pepper and just a little salt and mix well. Form into 12 round cakes, flattening them with your hand, and lay out on a tray. If you have time, chill for 30 minutes to firm them up.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the cakes for a couple of minutes on each side until golden. Remove to a plate and keep warm in a low oven while you fry the halloumi for a minute or 2 on each side. You won’t need any extra oil for this. When done, the cakes should be crisp and golden.
  4. Layer the fritters and halloumi slices on serving plates with the rocket, and drizzle with the sweet lemon dressing.
*To make 100ml sweet lemon dressing, combine ½ crushed garlic clove, 1 tbsp mild honey, 1 tsp wholegrain mustard, finely grated zest and juice 1 lemon and 90ml olive oil.

Spicy Fig Orange Microwave Jam Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh figs (6-10 figs, depending on the size of the figs)
  • 1/2 cup seeded, peeled orange, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar (reduce if you want, though it won't set as well)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter

    Place the ingredients in a large ceramic or glass bowl or casserole, stir to combine, let sit for 30 minutes for the fruit to macerate in the sugar.

    Place in microwave. You will cook the fruit mixture on the high setting for approximately 15 minutes. As soon as the mixture starts to boil, after about 6 to 8 minutes, stop the cooking and stir. Continue cooking and stir every few minutes. At about 13 minutes the mixture should start to get viscous. If you spoon out a bit on to a small plate that has been in the freezer, you can push the mixture around a bit with your finger tip to see how thick it is. If it is runny, cook it a couple minutes more. You can also check by seeing how the jam runs off of a spoon. If it seems to firm up a bit as it drips, it's done.
    If you use a large pyrex measuring cup as we have done here, you can see that you start with close to 3 cups of liquid. You want to boil it down to 2 cups

    Pour out the jam into jars, leaving 1/4-inch of headroom from the top of the jars. If you want to keep your jam in a cupboard, then use sterilized jars (heat them in the oven at 200°F for 10 minutes). If you plan to eat up quickly and will keep them in the refrigerator, regular clean jars will do.

Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Sauce 
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin 
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander 
3/4 teaspoon black pepper 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1kg pork loin steaks 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 cup freshly squeezed pomegranate juice (we have a glut)
3/4 teaspoon cornflour 
1 tablespoon water 
1 to 2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Stir together cumin, coriander, pepper, cinnamon, and salt in a shallow bowl.  Pat loin steaks dry and dredge in spice mixture until evenly coated.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Reduce heat to moderate and cook pork, turning occasionally, until meat is browned on all sides and slightly pink inside.  Remove pork, wrap in foil and let stand 10 minutes.
While pork stands, pour off and discard any fat from skillet, then add pomegranate juice to skillet and boil over moderately high heat until reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 3 minutes (if side of skillet begins to scorch, reduce heat to moderate). Stir together cornflour and water and whisk into juice, then boil sauce until thickened slightly, 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and add Sherry vinegar to taste, then swirl in butter until incorporated. 

This was served with hasselback potatoes (or as Crafty Jane calls them Hedgehog Potatoes) and white cabbage with apple, sultanas, peas, cinnamon.  JOHN SAYS FANDABBYDOZIE!!!!!!


Borlotti Bean Salad
200g borlotti beans
2 tbsp
olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
garlic clove (crushed)
pinch of chilli flakes
red chilli, finely chopped
lemon juice and zest
sage leaves, chopped
large handful of

Shell the beans and cook in boiling water for around 10 minutes until tender. Place the beans with all the ingredients apart from the rocket and lemon juice and warm through in a small pan. Add the lemon juice and rocket and stir well. Serve and enjoy


Orange Banana Yoghurt Cake TO DIE FOR!!
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 banana
1 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1/2 cup yoghurt
Zest of one orange
1/3 cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a cake pan (I used a bundt loaf pan)

Mix the butter and sugar, incorporate mashed banana. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and and baking soda. In a third bowl, mix the remaining ingredients. Slowly add the flour mixture into the banana base, alternating with orange-yoghurt.

Cook for about 35 minutes. Cooking times depend on the pan you use, check for doneness with a toothpick

Lemon Lentils
1 tin of lentils
2 cloves pickled garlic
Squeeze Lemon Juice
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Preserved Lemon very finely chopped

Strain the tin of lentils and rinse.  Tip into a bowl and add the garlic passed through a garlic press.  Add the chopped preserved lemon.  Season with lemon juice and black pepper.  Quickly heat in a saucepan or in microwave.  Do not overcook the lentils as they have already been cooked.

Prawn Biryani
This recipe serves 2:
200 gms raw peeled king prawns (I used frozen ones)
2 small onions, thinly sliced
2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 green finger chilli, slit lengthwise
1 stick cinnamon
4-5 cloves
1 tsp minced ginger and garlic
Quarter tsp chilli powder
Quarter tsp garam masala powder
1.5 cups rice
3 cups water
2 tsp ghee
Sprinkling of saffron soaked in 1 tsp warm milk

Heat the ghee and fry the onions, ginger, garlic, cloves and cinnamon. When the onions start turning translucent and soft, add the tomatoes and chilli powder.
Fry this paste until the raw smell of the masalas go. Then add the rice and fry for 2 minutes. Add the water, lower the flame to medium, cover the pan and cook.
When the rice looks half done, add the raw prawns, green chilli and the garam masala. Give the rice a good stir. Recover and cook until the prawns are done and the rice is dry. Before you take the rice off the flame, mix in the milky saffron.
Two things you need to remember: Don’t stir the rice too much or it will not have the fluffy, separate texture that characterises biryani and make sure the prawns are cooked but not overdone.
Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt and lime pickle


Microwave Barbeque Sauce

One medium sized onion finely chopped
2 tbsp butter
half pint of tomato ketchup
slug of cider or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp Tobasco
Slug orange juice

Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl for about 30 seconds.  Add the onion and microwave on full power (high) for 2 minutes, or until tender. Add the remaining ingredients and cover. Microwave on full power (high) for 5-7 minutes.  Remove, stir, allow to cool then taste.  Freezes well.

My Stifadho - A No 1 Hit ALWAYS

1kg beef - I used Shin in the UK as you need some fat so dont buy a good quality cut
1kg small onions finely chopped
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic
1 cup brown vinegar
half glass dry red wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
large teaspoon cinnamon
ground black pepper
slug of tomato puree
salt to season
gravy granules to thicken sauce

Place the chopped onions into water and rinse.  Cover in fresh water and bring to the boil - boil for five minutes then drain.  Cut the meat into small chunks and add to onions together with all other ingredients and enough water to cover the meat.  Cook in a pressure cooker for about three hours and cook again the next day for several hours.  Taste - you should have a slightly sharp, sweet, cinnamon flavoured dish and use gravy granules to achieve whatever thickness you need for the sauce.  Serve with rice or orzo.  This is always a winner but is done by taste so the quantities may need some adjustment.

Friday 27th April
John was dubious (surely butter beans should be hot???) but declared it PDG (Pretty Damn Good)

Chili Prawn and Butter Bean Salad
Large Cooked Prawns (enough for 4 people)
Large Tin of Butter Beans
Juice of 1 Lime
1 large Red Chili
Handful of Coriander
Black Pepper
Squirt of Honey
Squirt of Sweet Chili Sauce
Wild Rocket (upon which the above will sit)

De-seed the Chili and chop very finely, chop the Coriander.  Mix the Prawns, Butter Beans, Chili and Coriander.  Add the juice of the lime and freshly ground black pepper and mix so all ingredients are coated with the lime juice.  Add a squirt of Honey and a squirt of sweet Chili Sauce again making sure everything is mixed and coated.

Place a handful of wild Rocket on a plate (you could add finely grated carrot and/or onion and/or cucumber or anything else you like in a salad but cut it small so that you do not really need a knife) and heap a serving of the Prawn/Butter Bean mix on top - DELICIOUS

Thursday 29th March
Laura cooked this and it was fantastic

Saturday 17th March
The banana and yoghurt cake nearly didn't get offered to the visitors - it is light and yummy!!

 Wednesday 14th March
Although my pie cases were a bit overdone these really didn't need cream or icecream

Sunday 11th March
A couple of my favourite vegetable dishes:

Tuesday 6th March
Not quite the dry texture of local Pastichio which is served in slabs but very tasty none the less and could be easily adapted to make a vegetarian version without the meat.

Monday 27th February
John says that this was absolutely lush and he couldn't get enough of the sauce which was my invention - he says I ought to bottle it.

And here's the veg accompaniment:

Tuesday 22nd February
John says this would have been even nicer if I had remembered to get some vanilla ice cream to go with it!!

Sunday 19th February
Another great pork dish and I don't normally like pork!

Sunday 5th February
John thought this was fantastic:

Friday 27th January
A treat for John after a shitty day...

Thursday 26 January
This is absolutely delicious... PULLED PORK

Monday 23 January
A foolproof method!

Sunday 22 January
My first entry!