Last year I set myself a project to make 52 new recipes. It really was good to try new dishes and rustle up things that I would usually buy pre-made, so this year I am aiming to continue to try something new each month. Below are recipes for the new dishes from this year and the last, plus some firm favourites. 

Baking is a science so needs a bit of precision. Cooking on the other hand has no rules - play a little...miss things out that you don't like, add those that you do. Does the recipe suggest 250g of something but you have 300g and won't use the extra 50g in a day or two? Then throw it all in. Handful, splash, glug, dollop...use as much or as little as you fancy.

Useful swaps: 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs is equal to 1 teaspoon of dried herbs. Thyme, marjoram, rosemary, oregano and sage are interchangeable as are basil, tarragon, dill, chives, flat leaf parsley. I also swap out cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and mace. Juniper berries can be replaced with black pepper. 

The following are also interchangeable: marsala, madeira, sherry, port, ale, cider, white wine, red wine, vermouth.

Conversion tables for weights and oven temperatures.

The recipes in general serve four (pies, tarts and cakes six) and sometimes there is a little left over for a nice lunch.


My bits and bobs...

bread machine for proving

compact food processor

slow cooker

pressure cooker

pasta machine


garlic press

rice cooker

ice-cream machine

one egg frying pan

pestle and mortar

goggles (to wear whilst chopping onions)