Ardingly Antiques Fair

The sun was shining over Ardingly today; someone knew it was the much anticipated open air antiques fair and drizzle would signal a disaster. Jasper and I went on an adventure looking for booty, scanning stalls as quickly as my eyes allowed. Two hours, thirty pounds and two nappies later, we left with a bowl, another bowl, french fabric, a pastry brush and a wire rack. 'One man's trash is another man's treasure' as they say. 


Filo bundles full of black beans, sunny tomatoes and summer herbs

I've just finished writing a few recipes for UK TV Food. It's been a really lovely commission to do I think the results are super good. This is one of my favourites but perhaps it should be put into a one bowl, one tray category? 

The black beans are so elegant; they look like currency, all shiny and extravagant. 


Makes 4 large parcels

Prep Time – 20 minutes
Cook Time – 20-25 minutes


1 x 400g Black beans, washed & drained
60g Soft Bread crumbs
160g Sun blushed toms, roughly chopped + 2tbsp of the marinating oil 100g crème fraiche
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
4 tbsp flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
100g Feta, crumbled
270g Filo (approx. 6 x sheets 50cm x 25cm)
75g butter, melted


1/ Preheat the oven to 200C, fan 180C, gas 6.
2/ In a large bowl combine the black beans, breadcrumbs and sun blushed tomatoes. Give everything a good stir before adding the tomato marinating oil and crème fraiche. Add the freshly grated nutmeg, parsley and feta. Season well and set aside.
3/ Cut the filo into roughly 12 x 25cm x 25cm squares. Brush one square with melted butter before sandwiching with a second square. Again brush the second square with butter before laying a third square on top. Finally brush this square with melted butter.
4/ Pile ¼ of the mixture into the center of the square and, using your hands, bring the pastry up and around the sides of the filling, partially encasing it.
5/ Brush any exposed edges with a little more melted butter and place on a baking sheet. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the filo is golden in colour. Serve with some fresh green leaves.

Tip – If your tomatoes don’t arrive with any marinating oil, just use olive oil.

Here is the link if you want to see the other recipes; 


Wedding full of hearts

No cooking for the past few days, I've been busy sewing hearts for my friends wedding. She is going to  attach pins to the back and voila, each guest has a heart to wear for the night. Sweet idea! 


Maple Walnuts

I've inherited a nut obsession from my mother; she would freely admit nuts may 'be the death of her' and knowing that there has for twenty nine years, been a stacked kilner jar by the fridge, I'm willing to agree. Pre dinner, during dinner, post dinner, all seem completely normal moments to abandon self restraint and bring out the jar. 

Then I discover you can sprinkle with sugar, toss in maple syrup and bake in a hot oven for a few minutes to make the nuts even more of a snacking problem. Still, this has got to be better than a Mars bar, right? 

Maple Walnuts 

200g walnuts
2 tbsp. demerara sugar
2 tbsp. maple syrup
A pinch of salt


1/ Preheat the oven to 200C, fan 180C, gas 6. Line a baking sheet with non-stick parchment.
2/ Combine the pecans, demerara sugar, maple syrup and pinch of salt in a small bowl and spread into one thin layer on top of the parchment. Make sure all the nuts are quite close together; any lonely ones may get burnt.  Drizzle any remaining mixture onto the nuts.
3/ Cook the pecans for 6-8 minutes before removing from the oven, turning with a spatula, and cooking for a further 5-6 minutes (checking regularly to make sure they don’t burn!) Remove from the oven, allow to cool and set aside.
4/ Store in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks using a delicious topping for cereal, desserts or even chopped into salads



Flowers can look so beautiful even when they should have been thrown away a day or two before.


Claude's Kitchen

Life has moved on - 30th parties have become the new 21st' and Saturday night played host to the best yet. 

The setting was Claude's Kitchen; a beautifully simple room with high ceilings, wooden floorboards, dripping light bulbs and just forty covers. Yes, just the kind of room I would like to have in my house. When I own a house. 

I have to admit I didn't resort to instagram (surely there is a limit to fuzzy, mediocre photos I can post?) so you will have to trust me. The food was spectacular.

We had mackerel, pan fried & pickled. A generous, perfect square of pork belly. Crackling that snapped like frozen puddles. Poached prunes. A fluffy chilled chocolate thing. And more, lots more but I should have taken instagram photo's as a record! 

I think Parsons green could be described as a sea of generic with predictably beautiful people sipping predictably expensive wine.  Claude's Kitchen is a welcome island in the south-west wealth ocean which deserves every bit of praise it gets. 

Here is a review and some pics if you need more tempting; 



Sausage, French Beans & Cider

I don't want to get boxed as a one pot wonder, as having an aversion to more than two pans or a blender or a kitchen aid. No, I like all of those things but I do think one pot cooking is a very friendly way to approach food. It suited me last night. I'm trying to encourage my baby to eat more than rhubarb yoghurts and I though he might like a sausage. 

I thought it was delicious. Nick thought it was delicious. Jasper quite liked it. 


Prep Time – 10 minutes
Cook Time – 40 minutes

Serves 4


8 x Good quality Sausage
1 onion, finely sliced
125g French beans, topped but with their tails left on
250ml Sweet Cider
300g tinned Cannellini beans, washed
1 large tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
A small bunch of Thyme
1-2 tbsp. olive oil  


1/ Preheat the oven to 200C, fan 180C, gas 6. This is a one step recipe. Just combine the sliced onion, French beans, cannellini beans, thyme, mustard, garlic, most of the bunch of thyme and cider in the base of a small roasting pan.  
2/ Lay the sausages on top of the vegetables, drizzle each with a little oil and cook for 20 minutes or until the sausages are just beginning to brown. Remove the tray from the oven (carefully so the cider doesn’t tip everywhere!) and turn each of the sausages over so the other side has a chance to brown. Season the upturned side with salt and pepper.
3/ Return to the oven and cook for a final 20-25 minutes until the sausages are cooked through. Serve immediately sprinkled with the remaining fresh thyme.