Category: Picnic

Aug 16

Picnic pie

SERVES: 10-12


  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 large red onions
  • 2 aubergines
  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • olive oil
  • 3 large red peppers
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon golden caster sugar
  • 600 g baby spinach
  • 200 g ricotta cheese
  • 2 lemons
  • 60 g Parmesan cheese
  • unsalted butter , for greasing
  • plain flour , for dusting
  • 640 g shortcrust pastry
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 100 g soft goat’s cheese
  • 1 large free-range egg



  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
  2. Peel and finely slice the garlic, pick and finely chop the rosemary leaves, discarding the stalks. Peel and slice the onions, and slice the aubergines and courgettes lengthways, roughly 5mm thick.
  3. Peel and cut the squash into 5mm slices, then place on an oven tray, season and drizzle over 3 tablespoons of oil. Roast on the top shelf of the oven for 35 minutes, or until soft, adding the garlic and rosemary after 20 minutes.
  4. Put the whole peppers on a second tray and place on the lower shelf of the oven for 35 minutes, or until blackened. Tip them into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and set aside for 10 minutes.
  5. Peel and discard the skins of the peppers, deseed, then slice the flesh into large pieces. Season, then place in a colander to drain.
  6. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan over a medium heat and sweat the onions for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just caramelised. Stir in the balsamic and sugar and cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Place a griddle pan over a medium-high heat. Brush the aubergine and courgette slices with oil and place on the hot griddle for 5 minutes, until soft and lightly charred (do this in batches). Turn and season them halfway through, then transfer to a plate. Set aside.
  8. Fill and boil the kettle. Put the spinach in a colander and pour over the boiling water to wilt it. Let it cool, then squeeze it dry, chop it up and pop it into a bowl.
  9. Add the ricotta to the spinach, then finely grate in the lemon zest and half the Parmesan. Season, stir to combine and set aside.
  10. Reduce the oven temperature to 180ºC/350°F/gas 4 and grease and flour a 23cm spring-form cake tin.
  11. On a floured surface, roll out 420g of the pastry, so it fits the base and sides of the tin. Carefully press the pastry into the tin, leaving a little overhang, and trim off any excess.
  12. Pick the basil leaves. Sprinkle half the basil and half of the remaining Parmesan over the pastry base, then layer up the veg. Begin with the courgettes and aubergines followed by a layer of the peppers, then the spinach. Spoon over the squash and onions, dot over pieces of the goat’s cheese, then scatter on the rest of the basil and Parmesan.
  13. Beat and brush the egg around the edge of the pie. Roll out the rest of the pastry, place it on top and crimp the edges with your fingers to seal. Poke a hole in the pastry top and brush with the beaten egg.
  14. Bake the pie in the oven for 45 minutes, or until golden, covering the top with kitchen foil for the last 10 minutes if it looks too dark.
  15. Leave the pie to cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then take it out of the tin to cool completely. Serve hot or cold.


Jun 28

Banana Bread (Mum’s recipe – Mary Berry)

200g bananas – mashed

2tbsp milk

110g butter

150g castor sugar

2 eggs

170g plain flour

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

1tsp baking soda



Cream butter and sugar then beat in eggs.

Add mashed banana, milk then fold in sifted flour, baking soda and bicarb until combined.

Preheat oven to 140.

Place mixture into 2lbs loaf tin then bake for approx 50-55 mins (if 1lb tin 40-45 mins).

Allow to cool for 10 mins before removing from tin.


Apr 03

Chocolate Cornflake Cakes




  • 100 g Salted Butter
  • 60 g Golden Syrup
  • 100 g Milk Chocolate
  • 100 g Dark Chocolate
  • ¼ tsp Sea Salt Flakes
  • 160 g Cornflakes – gluten free if needed
  • 36 Chocolate Mini Eggs – optional



  • Cut 100g Salted Butter into cubes or slices and add to a large mixing bowl (or large saucepan).
  • Measure 60g Golden Syrup directly into the butter bowl.
  • Break up 100g Milk Chocolate and 100g Dark Chocolate into chunks and add to the butter and syrup.
  • Melt the chocolate etc in the microwave or on a low heat on the hope. Use 30 second then 10 second blasts in the microwave, stirring thoroughly after each blast.
  • Once melted, stir in ¼ tsp Sea Salt Flakes.
  • Add 160g Cornflakes to the melted chocolate.
  • Keep stirring until all the cornflakes are coated in the melted chocolate mix. It will look and feel at though there isn’t enough chocolate to coat all the cornflakes. But I promise you there are!
  • Just keep mixing, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl with the spatula.
  • Line a muffin tin with paper muffin liners. Spoon in the mix to fill each case. Gently press the mix down into the cases.
  • Optional decoration for Easter – Take 36 Chocolate Mini Eggs and add 3 to the top of each cornflake cake. Push them down into the chocolate a little so they stick.
  • Leave the cakes in a cool place (the fridge if they’ll fit) for at least an hour or until they are able to be picked out of the paper cases without falling apart.


Chocolate Cornflake Cakes with Golden Galaxy Eggs


Dec 17

Healthy lunchbox – Prawn, mango and avacado salad, Tzatziki, Fruit and nut flapjacks, Tropical green juice


Dec 17

Healthy Lunchbox – Baked aubergine with Mediterranean Veg, Paprika Chickpeas, Apple Crisps, Strawberry and Banana Milkshake


Aug 31

Easy Quiche Lorraine

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Pre-bake Crust 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 437 kcal



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pre-bake frozen pie shell for 40 minutes as directed in my all-butter pie crust recipe.

  2. While pie shell is baking, whisk the half and half, eggs and white pepper in a bowl or 4-cup measuring cup and set aside. Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until browned. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain, then slice or break into 1/2-inch chunks. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the clear, rendered bacon fat, discard the rest, and carefully wipe out the warm skillet. Add the bacon fat back to the skillet and cook the onion over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until tender, and set aside.

  3. Once pie shell has pre-baked, remove from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F. Scatter the cheese on the pre-baked pie shell then top with the bacon and onion. Slowly pour in the custard mixture over the bacon mixture. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top of the quiche puffs and begins to brown and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean while the center may still be somewhat jiggly.

  4. Transfer to a cooking rack where the egg will continue to set. Cut into slices and serve warm or at room temperature. If making ahead, bring to room temperature for 15-30 minutes before serving.


May 12

Rosie’s Ham-gammon sweet cured

Place ham in saucepan and add water til just covered

Bring to boil then drain water.

Replace water and add good tsp brown sugar.

Gently simmer, covered, for 20 mins per lb + 20 mins (approx 1 hr for 750g)

Turn off heat and leave covered and with water in to cool.


May 12

Garlic and herb falafel with cucumber salsa verde