Monthly Archives: May 2013

Will we get a chance to celebrate National Barbecue Week?

National Barbecue Week recipes


Will we get a chance to celebrate National Barbecue Week?

I’ve just had a peep at this week’s weather forecast (with eyes half closed in hope) and it seems that we may, may have some sunshine.

We built a new patio last autumn and we are desperate to get out and enjoy our first barbecue of the year.

The children love barbecues too. They are happy with a slightly charred chipolata and a huge dollop of ketchup as long as they are outside enjoying the novelty of having a barbecue.

We however, like to be just a little
more adventurous than that and
try a few more interesting dishes

As it’s National Barbecue week and also half term, there’s no better excuse than to dust down the barbecue, invite a few friends over and get cooking (or cremating if we’re not careful!)

We have a lovely Thai chicken recipe to test for the 2015 Dairy Diary, so that’ll definitely be on the menu. I think we will also make these fabulous recipes (plus the obligatory sausages of course) – all will feature in the 2014 Dairy Diary, so watch this space!

Happy barbecuing everyone and don’t forget to dampen down the coals before putting them in the bin. This warning comes from a pretty scary experience!

Press Lunch with Alaska Seafood at Nobu

Poached wild Alaska Salmon, Lemon and Tarragon Linguine


Press Lunch with Alaska Seafood at Nobu

Most of the time my job is pretty ordinary – fun but ordinary. Usually I am desk bound with a very long to do list, the occasional phone call and multiple emails.

Last week, however,
I had a real treat!

Alaska Seafood invited me to Nobu in Mayfair for an amazing lunch and a chance to find out more about their products and their ethics. The food was almost indescribable. The fish was melt in the mouth, with delicate but astonishing flavours. The only thing that let it down was my ability to use chopsticks! We enjoyed five beautiful fish courses with a fantastic apple sorbet and white choc parfait to finish. Divine.

There was a couple of celeb spots, a good natter with food bloggers and journalists and a sample of the lovely soap on the loos!

All in all, a good day out of the office. I even came away with a fabulous Alaska Salmon cookbook.

You can see a few of their delicious recipes in the 2014 Dairy Diary and you can also visit

Poached wild Alaska Salmon, Lemon and Tarragon LinguineHere’s one of my favourites.

Poached wild Alaska Salmon, 
Lemon and Tarragon Linguine

Happy Days in Dairy Diary Land

A sneak preview of the 2014 Dairy Diary

Happy Days in Dairy Diary Land

It’s my favourite time of the year in the office. The phones are quiet and I can plug my headphones in, listen to my favourite music and be inspired.

I’ve been busy planning the 2015 Dairy Diary: writing briefs for the team, researching pretty pictures, choosing recipes, creating the flatplan for the book and generally enjoying my job!

All our recipes are triple-tested and
so I get to sample lots of them.

I am particularly looking forward to testing Bruschetta with Gorgonzola & Figs and Tomato & Artichoke Tart. Yum.

Woohoo, first samples of the 2014 Dairy Diary have just arrived.

It looks fab! I am so so pleased. I can’t wait to share some pics and recipes with you all (sneaky peak coming up). I am sure you will love it too.

This week is cookbook development week. I am literally at square one and so I need lots of thinking time to consider how it will look and how it will develop. Luckily I have a train journey to London on Wednesday for a press lunch at Nobo (woooo, posh eh?) thanks to Alaska Seafood, and so I will have lots of time to ponder the cookbook.

So, a fun month in the Dairy Diary office!

Suasage and Cider CasseroleAs a special treat, I’ll share one
of my favourite recipes from the
2014 diary with you.

Sausage & Cider Casserole.
Enjoy, it’s delicious.

The Joy of the Deli Counter

The joy of the deli counter


The Joy of the Deli Counter

As the breadwinner (not a nice word, a.k.a. the one who escapes to the office rather than the one who has the much harder job of looking after the children) in a family of five, I am always looking for ways to economise whilst still eating well.

I have recently discovered the joys of the deli counter.

For those who have been shopping like this for years I apologise, but it’s like a revolution for me! Despite my rigorous approach to fridge management – I despise throwing away food – we often find ourselves wasting a couple of slices of cold meat when they are out of date. Unlike cheese or fruit and veg I always stick to the use-by dates on meat. It’s particularly aggrieving as it’s not cheap to buy! A good-quality packet of meat can cost several pounds.

I considered stopping buying cold meat altogether but it is so useful for our family for quick and tasty meals: Combined with a scrummy chutney for a speedy sandwich. On the side of a baked potato with lots of salad and some pickle. Children’s tea served with de-frosted mash (we always cook a huge batch and then freeze children’s-sized portions), peas and a splash of gravy – instant ‘ready meal’.

So, I decided to try the deli counter in our local supermarket. Woohoo! There was so much choice; I could buy apple-roasted ham, free range turkey and many other delights. Of course, I could also purchase as much as we need rather than the number of slices a packet dictates. After choosing carefully I discovered it could cost half the price of my usual purchases. Win, win, win.

I visited our local delicatessen this morning too. It’s hard to avoid temptation in such a culinary Aladdin’s cave. I could have spent a fortune. But I stuck to my list and came away with just three slices of cranberry-roast ham and a pot of home-made coleslaw. It set me back the princely sum of £2.60 and will make several delicious lunches.

So if you’re on a budget or you love good food (or both) pop in to your local deli or deli counter. You can pick up some delicious morsels at great prices – just avoid those delectable stuffed olives than will set you back a fiver for a tiny handful!

Creamed-Corn-&-Ham-Scramble-recipeWhy not try this delicious
lunchtime recipe using ham
from your favourite deli?

Creamed Corn & Ham
Scramble recipe.

Recipe taken from the
Dairy Book of Home Cookery
available to pre-order online
at the end of this month.

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