Mushroom soup

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A traditional Eastern European starter and a family favourite for the Christmas Eve dinner when meat is not on the menu. It’s usually followed by a fish dish ending with cake. Serves  4 Approx time:  30 mins Difficulty:        Easy … Continued

Warm salmon and potato salad

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Perfect for a light lunch, this salad is easy to prepare and can be adapted easily by using your favourite fish (prawns or mackerel, etc) and whatever leaves and vegetables are available. Serves 2 Ingredients 150g new potatoes, washed 100g … Continued

No fuss fondant potatoes

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This delicious recipe is amazingly simple and, for those who are weight conscious , is very low in calories or Syns.  It  makes an ideal accompaniment to all kinds of grilled or roast meats, fish or a slice of a … Continued

Red pepper and feta cheese tart

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This is a lovely way to use red peppers, at their best in autumn. It’s a fabulous combination of sweet peppers, salty cheese and crisp pastry. Great for a Christmas veggie dish too. Serves 4 You will need three medium … Continued

Seville orange curd tart

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Seville oranges are traditionally used to make marmalade but they’re also wonderful in this fragrant pud. Think lemon curd, only orange-flavoured; it works perfectly. Serves 4. One pack of shortcrust pastry (or make your own sweet shortcrust pastry with 175g … Continued

Honey nut biscuits

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A recipe from my Slovak daughter-in-law – just the thing for last-minute Christmas presents. Easy for children to make too. Makes 24. Ingredients 300g plain flour 140g caster sugar 40g chopped almonds or walnuts, fairly finely chopped but not powdered … Continued

Warm dropped scones

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Not a fan of the favoured afternoon tea? This might convince you. Warm dropped scones, a sprinkling of sugar, warm juicy strawberries served with clotted cream.  What’s not to like? Ingredients (serves 2) For the dropped scones 150g self-raising flour … Continued

Advent cake

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This is like a Christmas cake but not quite so rich. I bake one at the same time as my Christmas cakes – on Stir-up Sunday, the last Sunday in November, when traditionally people make their Christmas cakes, Christmas puds … Continued

Eliza Acton’s Christmas pudding

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This is the best Christmas pud recipe ever, from Eliza Acton’s classic book “Modern Cookery” of 1845: “a remarkably light small rich pudding”. Serves 4 generously. You will need a 1.2litre ceramic pudding bowl, or two x 600ml – or … Continued

Bolo Rei (Three Kings’ cake)

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This is a traditional Portuguese crown-style cake for Epiphany, to celebrate the arrival of the Three Kings on 6 January. Makes one 24cm cake. Ingredients 340g strong bread flour or plain flour teaspoon fast-acting dried yeast + 75ml water 70g … Continued