vegetable tajine with harissa

This tajine has all the flavours of a tasty Moroccan dish.  It’s perfect for a warming supper or dinner party now it’s colder.  It has that lovely combo of savoury and sweet because it’s got delicious spices and dried apricots in it. It’s super easy as it’s sll baked in the oven and needs little attention. Perfect if you are busy. I serve it with saffron couscous, garlicky yogurt (Alpro have just started doing a sugar free plain yogurt) and my Moroccan orange salad, recipe in the index, and it’s a big hit with vegetarians and non vegetarians.

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warm spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce

This spaghetti is a proper Tuscan summery delight and my Italian family favourite. It not only is fresh and simple but it has very few ingredients too. It reminds me of summer evenings sitting in our garden as children with a glass of fizzy apple juice pretending it was champagne. This spaghetti can be served with Parmesan, but it traditionally is served without. I love this with a plain salad with my vinaigrette.
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quick pear sorbet

This really smooth and easy sorbet is a really refreshing end to a meal. You don’t need an ice cream maker to make it, as the technique I use makes it silky smooth. It tastes very french and delicately peary which reminds me of my holidays in France. You can eat it straight away or it freezes really well and stays soft enough to scoop. Like all ice creams and sorbets, it is better if you take it out of the freezer about 10 minutes before serving. Brilliant for using up a glut of ripe pears too.

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bellini sorbet

There’s nothing like a cocktail and dessert in one. Inspired by the Bellini cocktail, which was invented in around 1934 by Giuseppe Cipriani of Harry’s Bar in Venice, and still served there to this day. This sorbet is really refreshing and delicious. It’s also really easy to make and if you like Bellinis and you like sorbet, then you have hit the jackpot with this recipe. It is perfect on Valentine’s Day at the end of the meal. It’s light and a bit boozy, so your not too stuffed for your romantic shenanigans ahead. I would also serve this on a special occasion like Christmas Eve or New Years Eve.

Serves 2.

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carrot cake

I make this carrot cake without sugar, it’s based on Ottolenghi’s carrot and walnut cake, but I’ve simplified it. You can make it with sugar or xylitol. You really can’t tell there’s no sugar in it, if you go down that route. It’s just as delicious with or without. Ralph took it to work and people couldn’t believe that there was no sugar in it because it was so delicious!

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nicoise tartines with fried capers

Any one who reads my blog knows I loves salad sandwiches…but not just any old salad sandwich, mine are pimped up sandwiches made with a combination of new recipes and traditional ones like this nicoise tartine recipe. I scorch or roast my bread in a pan with olive oil so it’s extra crispy and tasty… then I layer crunchy capers on top of creamy soft boiled eggs with tuna salad and crunchy scorched bread. It’s colourful and healthy and tastes delish. I have also made them in advance and stored them in the fridge for an hour or so and they were still lovely and crispy.

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smoked salmon tartines with pickled cucumber and wasabi cream

If you like smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels, this tartine recipe is based on that but really ramped up flavour and texture wise. I made these last night for a dinner party, and they went down really well. They are a great combo of tangy sweet savoury crunchy and creamy. I replaced the smoked salmon with slices of avocado for one of my veggie friends who doesn’t eat fish and she really loved it. You need to make the pickled cucumber and pink pickled onions in advance, the methods are below and in my recipe archive, and they are beyond easy. I really can’t wait to make them again, I really love them and they are perfect for a date night.
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refried beans

Fancy a Mexican? I do… this recipe is really easy and delicious and perfect as a TV snack or a starter. I even like to serve it on tiny tortillas as a canapé. I like to serve refried beans (or Mexican hummus as I like to call it) on corn tortillas, or tacos with salad, but it also goes with anything you fancy…avocados, roasted veg, salsa, lettuce, sour cream, a squeeze of lime, cheddar or jalapeño peppers. You can pick n mix.
Perfect with a margarita or two.

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pavlova ice cream pudding

This pudding can be assembled in 5 minutes max, so zero stress.  I’ve never met anybody who didn’t think it was really amazing. It has that great combo of creamy and crunchy mixed with sweet from the meringues and ice cream and tart from the berries. It’s a visual and sensual feast. The recipe uses any vanilla ice cream, but I use Swedish Glace or the newly launched coconut ice cream from Coconut Collaborative which are delicious if you are going down the dairy free route. None of your guests would guess it’s dairy free and it’s perfect if you are following kosher.

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