Starter / snack

Our Favourite Seasonal Food: Asparagus


British asparagus season has now begun, and we can delight in these delicate, flavourful green shoots for the next month or so.

Super-versatile, asparagus can be boiled or steamed, griddled or barbecued or roasted in the oven. They work well in risotto, pasta, omelettes, the list goes on….. or simply dipped in soft-boiled egg. Mmmmm.

Each spear of asparagus is harvested by hand
when it reaches just the right height.

Look out for locally grown bunches in your farm shop or farmer’s market.

This is my favourite asparagus recipe as it’s really simple and easy to prepare too – perfect for a speedy dinner.

Hot Roast Asparagus & Potato Salad

Save 25% on A Zest For Life

You’ll find this in A Zest for Life cookbook together with two more recipes with asparagus: Roast Cod Loin Wrapped in Pancetta and Sea Bass with Asparagus & Roasted Potatoes.

For a limited time only, we’re offering 25% off this gorgeous book. 

Just use the code ZN25 at checkout.

Emily Davenport

Emily Davenport

I post a blog every week featuring food, family and fun. There are lots of useful household tips, crafty ideas, giveaways and delicious recipes that I think you will find irresistible.

Burns Night Haggis Samosas

Haggis Samosas

It’s Burns Night this evening, which gives us (Scottish or not) the excuse to enjoy haggis


I have the confess that I didn’t actually try haggis until last year. What a revelation! I can’t believe I have been missing out all these years.

In this Dairy Diary recipe, the haggis is mixed with carrot and rice and encased in filo pastry to make these delicious samosas.

A twist on a classic – but a delicious one.

“Some hae meat and canna eat,
 And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.”


Haggis SamosasBurns Night
Haggis Samosas

A Dairy Diary recipe.



Burns Night celebrates the life and poetry of the Scottish poet Robert Burns.



Emily Davenport
Emily Davenport

I post a blog every week featuring food, family and fun. There are lots of useful household tips, crafty ideas, giveaways and delicious recipes that I think you will find irresistible.

Read more… 

Perfect New Year Nibbles: Medjool Dates with Feta

Medjool Dates with Feta

New Year’s Eve is bound to be an intimate affair with the restrictions this year, but that doesn’t mean there’s no reason to celebrate.


In fact, toasting in the New Year will be more poignant than ever this year.

Buy in your favourite tipple, get out your favourite glassware and crockery (you could even get glammed up for a Zoom call) and serve scrumptious nibbles like these gorgeous dates stuffed with Feta cheese.

Medjool Dates with Feta




Dairy Diary 2021Dairy Diary is packed with gorgeous recipes like this one, as well as fascinating features and lots of space to write.

If you weren’t lucky enough to find one in your stocking this year don’t worry, you can still buy now.





Emily Davenport
Emily Davenport

I post a blog every week featuring food, family and fun. There are lots of useful household tips, crafty ideas, giveaways and delicious recipes that I think you will find irresistible.

5 Fabulous Dips

Roast Beetroot & Feta Dip

I have a friend we name ‘queen of dips’ because she has always whizzed up something delicious for us to nibble on whilst chatting or waiting for dinner to cook.

She’s inspired me often to make these easy bowls of deliciousness.

Dips are an incredibly simple and tasty dish to serve as part of a tapas-style meal or as a starter before the main course.

Served with vegetable crudité and/or breadsticks/chips, dips are perfect for a summer’s evening in the garden.

I’ve broken the rules slightly here, the first recipe (the only one that we have a photo for, sorry!) is from our brand new cookbook due to be launched in August. I’m supposed to keep it secret until then, but this recipe is so good I wanted to share it now!



Roast Beetroot & Feta Dip

Serves 4–6
Preparation 15 minutes plus cooling
Cooking 1 hour
Calories 101 | Fibre 2.9g | Salt 0.4g | Sugar 0g Fat 5.7g of which 3.6g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians    

  • Raw beetroot 1 bunch (approx. 500g/1lb 2oz) 
  • Cooked or drained canned cannellini beans 75g (3oz)
  • Dried chilli flakes or cumin seeds ¼ tsp 
  • Feta cheese 65g (2½oz), chopped
  • Soured cream 4–6 tbsp
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Mixed seeds 2 tsp (optional)
  • Breadsticks, carrot batons or Oaty Crisps (p44) to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°fan/Gas 7. 
  2. Roast the beetroot for about 1 hour or until tender. Leave to cool a little then top and tail, and peel away the skins.
  3. Place the beetroot in a food processor with the beans, chilli flakes or cumin seeds, and 50g (2oz) of the Feta cheese. Whizz to blend together then whizz in enough soured cream to make a smooth dip. Season to taste.

Wear rubber gloves when peeling the beetroot to avoid staining your hands. Chilli flakes give a slight ‘kick’ to the dip, the cumin is more fragrant; choose your preference.

Recipe Taken from A Zest For Life Cookbook.



Hot Artichoke & Chive Dip

Serves 6
Suitable for vegetarians

  • Artichoke hearts 390g can, drained
  • Parmesan cheese 75g (3oz), grated
  • Light mayonnaise 125ml (4fl oz)
  • Soured cream 125ml (4 fl oz)
  • Snipped chives to garnish, optional
  1. Place all ingredients except chives into a food processor and whizz until smooth. Season to taste.
  2. Spoon mixture into a saucepan and heat gently until hot but not boiling.
  3. Pour into a serving bowl, sprinkle with chives if you like, and serve immediately.




Serves 8
Preparation 10 mins
Per portion 100 kcals, 6g fat (1.1g saturated)
Suitable for vegetarians

  • 410g can chickpeas, drained
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150g (5oz) natural yogurt
  • 3 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Chopped coriander to garnish
  1. Place chickpeas, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor and whizz to a coarse paste.
  2. Stir in cumin, ground coriander, salt, yogurt and peanut butter.
  3. Chill until ready to serve. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with coriander. 

Recipe Taken from The Dairy Book of Home Cookery.



Avocado Dip 

Serves 6
Preparation 15 mins
Per portion 78 kcals, 5g fat (0.6g saturated)
Suitable for vegetarians

  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and stoned
  • 225g (8oz) quark or low fat soft cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 10 drops hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice
  1. Mash avocado flesh with quark or cheese.
  2. Season to taste and stir in garlic, pepper sauce and citrus juice.
  3. Cover and refrigerate or serve immediately.

Recipe Taken from The Dairy Book of Home Cookery.



Blue Cheese & Poppy Dip

Serves 4–6
Preparation 10 mins
Per portion 231 kcals, 20g fat (10.3g saturated)
Suitable for vegetarians

  • 150g (5oz) Blue Stilton cheese, crumbled
  • 175g (6oz) cottage cheese
  • 150ml (1/4 pint) soured cream
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  1. Mix all ingredients together. Spoon into a serving dish. Garnish with extra poppy seeds.

Recipe Taken from The Dairy Book of Home Cookery.




Keep safe and well everyone.




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Shop Locally; Eat Seasonally


Shop Locally; Eat Seasonally


St George

Thursday is St George’s Day and is also the start of British asparagus season.

You can find out more about St George here.

British asparagus season may be brief but is worth celebrating. Not only do those little green shoots taste really good, they also contain vitamin K, which is essential for healthy blood clotting. It is a rich source of vitamin C to boost your immune system (particularly helpful right now) and asparagus is also a mild diuretic and is believed to help detoxify the body.

We’re all needing to shop locally right now, and many of us are shopping at farm shops. This makes eating seasonally essential.


Here’s our guide to what’s in season in April


Plus an Asparagus Recipe for One

This asparagus recipe is perfect for a quick and easy lunch. It serves one but is really easy to scale up to serve 2 or more, if your household is a little bigger.


Mozzarella & Asparagus Baguette

Mozzarella & Asparagus Baguette



Recipe taken from Just for One or Two cookbook.




Marvellous (and Easy!) Mothering Sunday Menu

Mother's Day Menu

Every year I have the romantic vision of a Mother’s Day walk in the spring sunshine


This would be followed by a civilised lunch or afternoon tea enjoying ‘mum’ time with my own mum and my children.

The reality is always monsoon-like weather that almost blows us off a hill/into the sea/over a cliff followed by a long queue for a table in a restaurant whilst looking like drowned rats and the children cry/argue/moan because they’re freezing cold and bored.

Obviously, this year things have to be a lot different and I will have to make-do with a phone call to my mum.

With my children, we plan to cook at home together. I’ve chosen an easy and accessible menu that they can follow and that we can enjoy together stress-free. All recipes come from the Around Britain cookbook (look out for the special offer code on this!)




Mothering Sunday Menu


Parsnip & Apple Soup


This creamy soup originates from East Anglia, where root crops thrive in the fertile soil. The sweet and velvety texture of parsnip combines wonderfully with a hint of tart cooking apple.

Parsnip & Apple Soup 


Teviotdale Pie


Teviotdale is a valley in the Scottish borders, whose principal town is Hawick. This border country has a turbulent history, and saw numerous clashes between Scots and English. This tasty pie from the region is a great recipe for making a little meat go a long way.

Teviotdale Pie


Knickerbocker Glory


This ice cream extravaganza originated in New York and was named after its original Dutch settlers, the ‘Knickerbockers’. However, its popularity here in Britain is due to an Italian named Pacitto, who opened an ice cream parlour in Redcar where he introduced the Knickerbocker Glory to the British.

Knickerbocker Glory



Around Britain CookbookAll recipes come from the Around Britain cookbook (look out for the special offer code on this!)













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