Friday, 27 March 2020

Stay at home: Conserving and Extending spring onions

UK lockdown:  Day 4
Self isolation: Day 14 

Our family of three have been 'self isolating' as we have symptoms of the coronavirus. It has been 14 days now and our last food delivery was over a week ago.

At a time when getting food and supplies to the house has become increasingly challenging, I am trying to conserve what I can and make it last just that little bit longer. Herbs, garnish all seem a little lavish in the current climate when so many are struggling to get basic essentials.

Even More Spring Onions
Here's something you can do that will extend the life of your spring onions. Ask the kids to help and be responsible for caring for their plants.
1) Cut off the lower section (including the roots) of your next batch of spring onions (salad onions)
2) Place them in a container with a little water (just enough to cover the roots) on a window sill or sunny spot

They will continue to grow for you. Just ensure you change the water every day or they will go mouldy and rot away.

Place them into a pot of soil or directly into the garden where they will flourish. The clump pictured has been there for a couple of years and have overwintered nicely. 

Happy growing!

Friday, 30 August 2019

Richard Buckley's "Plants taste better": Vegan recipe book

Plants Taste Better by Richard Buckley

Chef Richard Buckley has released his second recipe book Plants Taste Better, a beautiful hard back book with sophisticated vegan recipes.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Stir Crazy by Ching-He Huang

Stir Crazy by Ching-He Huang (Photo courtesy:

Mastering the wok with Ching-He Huang

This week, I was delighted to receive a copy of Ching He-Huang's latest cookbook in conjunction with the launch of her line of organic soybean and edamame noodles for Yutaka.

Stir Crazy is Ching's collection of everyday stir fry recipes written with the busy in mind.
In it, she offers plenty of tips on how to cook the perfect stir fry - with simple recipes that most people can try at home. 

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Japanese inspired burger with panko breadcrumbs

Japanese inspired burger with panko breadcrumbs (photo courtesy Yutaka)
Give Your BBQ A Japanese Twist

Who is feeling the heat this summer? With temperatures soaring, it's the perfect weather to be cooking on the BBQ.  This week, I was sent some sample Yutaka products to review -  their miso paste, panko breadcrumbs, wasabi paste to name a few and some recipes to add a Japanese twist to traditional BBQ-ing.

Now, I really love miso paste and try to add it to just about everything, so this Japanese-inspired miso laced burger really hits the spot.  Top with wasabi mayonnaise and what more could your heart desire?   

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Edible Science: Multi-coloured unicorn noodles for kids


The Kitchen Science Cookbook is a “recipe” book with a unique twist – each recipe is a science experiment that you can do at home with your family using the everyday ingredients you’ll find in your kitchen.  You don't have to be a science expert – if you can follow a recipe you can help your children do these unique experiments.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Forage and make homemade elderflower cordial

Look out for elderflower in June ......

Since arriving in the UK and discovering elderflower, I drink it all the time, usually in the form of shop bought elderflower pressé.

This year, I am making my own elderflower cordial, which as it turns out, is quite simply made from elderflowers, lemons and a basic sugar syrup.  It is so refreshing and the scent of freshly picked elderflowers is intoxicating.

For my first attempt, I used this BBC homemade elderflower cordial recipe.

Make a sugar syrup, and then simply immerse the flowers and lemon slices, and leave to infuse for 24 hours.  As I didn't have citric acid, I made a smaller volume of cordial, to be consumed quickly.

You can also watch Mary Berry making her elderflower cordial, although she uses both citric acid and campden tablets, which I've since discovered can be ordered online from Lakeland (

Forage for elderflower

Elderflowers can usually be found in hedgerow and can be large shrubs. In fact, you'll struggle to reach the flowers from the tallest branches, so pull down the branches you can reach and snip of the flower heads.

The best flowers to use are the ones which still have some unopened buds.

Carefully wash the flowers before using, to remove any dirt and small insects.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Country style rose posy from the garden...

A bouquet from the garden....

Late spring, beautiful ivory ruffled 'Margaret Merril' roses and pale apricot pink 'Chandos beauty' roses are coming into bloom in our garden.

I gather the roses, together with nepeta, sage buds and some silvery grey foliage, arranging the cut flowers into a posy vase to add a dreamy, romantic feel to our home.

Vase: LSA International posy vase 

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Growing Tomato & Zucchini in my greenhouse...

Tomato plants in the raised bed

Tomato seedlings

The last few months have been busy in our garden. My dream greenhouse build was finally completed and ever since, it has been a flurry of activity as we try to get all our seeds sown.  

Here is a quick look inside my new greenhouse.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Grow your own Salad - Wasabi Rocket

Last year, I was introduced to a new variety of rocket at the Thompson and Morgan show garden - the Wasabi Rocket.

What about the flavour?
Similar to a traditional rocket with a hot peppery flavour, it also has the distinctive flavour of wasabi root. Essentially, it is like having wasabi in a salad leaf form.

How to grow?
You can buy Wild Rocket seeds from Thompson & Morgan here at the trial price of £0.99 (for 500 seeds).

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Wild garlic and pork dumplings

A recipe for wild garlic ..

Wild garlic grows in abundance in spring. We are lucky enough to have masses of wild garlic growing in woodland close to us, so we can return year after year to forage for this wonderful herb. To me, they are similar to Chinese garlic chives, just with larger leaves.

In this recipe, wild garlic is combined with minced pork to make tasty chinese dumplings. The mince needs quite a bit of seasoning. I always make a few to begin with, cook them and then do a taste test. You may find you need to tweak the seasoning to get it to your taste.

Always wash wild garlic well before using. If you can't get hold of wild garlic, use Garlic Chives.

Place some filling into each wrapper.  Dip your finger into a small bowl of water and run it along the edge of the wrapper.

Now, fold the wrapper in half and press down to seal (creating a ruched edge).

Boil for 3 minutes, and aaaaaah .... tasty dumplings.

For the dipping sauce, you can simply serve the dumplings with light soy sauce or sweet soy sauce. I like a mixture of black vinegar (or rice vinegar), light soy sauce and chilli sauce.