Yes, I’m still here! 40 before 40 update!

#27: Get published

Not exactly what I had in mind when I compiled this list, but I am SO counting this!

A few months ago, I received an email from the lovely Sophie Godwin, telling me the good people of BBC Good Food really liked a recipe I’d posted in the GF community. She asked me whether I was interested in having my broccoli, Gruyère and chorizo soup professionally shot by one of their food stylists, with a full-page feature in this year’s Christmas issue.

Needless to say, I grabbed my wife and spun her around the room a few times. Joy to the world!

I BBC Good Food. In fact, we even included a one-year subscription as part of our wedding registry in 2015; so having one of my recipes published in the Christmas edition (C for Christmas Nut, remember?) made my year. YAY!

I’ll be sharing the recipe @ The Chirpy Chef soon!


A Picture A Day – Day 284: Blog Business


It’s just one of these days…

#11 of my 40 before 40:


  • Make 20 recipes from 20 different countries
    Because 40 seemed like a stretch somehow. Love finding out more about international cuisines

#13 of my 40 before 40:


  • Cook every dish in a cookbook


Just yesterday, I decided on which cookbook I wanted to turn into my #13: John Gregory-Smith’s Mighty Spice Express Cookbook, which coincidentally has recipes from all over the world, so it ties in nicely with #11.

And then it happened.


“You should start a separate blog all about food! Why stop at blogging about Mighty Spice Express? Why not review other cookbooks? A 10-recipe verdict! And now that you mention recipes: why stop at 20 countries? Why not try a recipe for every country? You could ask other bloggers for inspiration! Wait, there’s more! Blog about strange ingredients! About kitchenware! Kitchen gadgets! OH MY GOD! THIS IS SUCH A GREAT IDEA!”

Original? No.

Très me? Oui!

Off to the drawing board!


Recipe: Cheesy Italian Bread Swirls

CAUTION: Highly addictive! 😉

[Makes about 12 of each.]


– 500g strong white bread flour
– 175g wholemeal flour
– 11g instant dry yeast
– a good handful of grated mozzarella
– 20g sea salt
– 400ml water

– 7 heaped tsp black olive tapenade
– 4 heaped tsp grated parmesan
– 1 small handful of grated mozzarella

– 4 heaped tsp red pesto
– 4 heaped tsp grated parmesan
– 1 small handful of grated mozzarella
– +/- 8 sun-dried tomatoes


  1. Mix the flour, yeast, salt, water and mozzarella in a bowl.
  2. Place the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes (or 5 minutes in a stand mixer; medium speed) until you have a lovely springy ball of dough. Put the dough back in the bowl and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour.
  3. When the dough has doubled in size, tip it back on to a floured surface and flatten with the palm of your hands. Divide the dough into two. Roll each ball of dough out to a rectangle shape.
  4. On one rectangle, spread the black olive tapenade and top with the grated parmesan and mozzarella. (Looks a bit like a pizza at this stage:IMG_7095

5. On the other, spread the red pesto and top with the parmesan and mozzarella before
arranging the sun-dried tomatoes in a line. (If you put them alongside the bottom
“seam”, you’ll have tomato in the middle of each swirl. Forgot about that as I was
making them. Whoops.)

IMG_7097     6. Roll up the dough like a Swiss roll to make a long sausage shape.
7. Line two shallow baking tins with non-stick paper. Cut the dough into slices, then
carefully lift each one into the tins. Loosely cover with a warm damp towel or cling film
and leave to rise for another 20 minutes.

8. Preheat the oven to 225C/205C(fan). Bake for 25 minutes, or until risen and golden-
brown. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool a few minutes before serving. Best eaten
warm, but equally delicious cold!



Olive swirl


Pesto/tomato swirl


Recipe: Green Kicker Soup

One of the joys of owning a side-by-side fridge is the ridiculously long life span of veggies residing within this box of mouthwatering magic.

My wife and I tend to buy lots of veggies and then forget about them at times, but thanks to good ol’ George (Yes, we named our fridge. Our oven’s called Margaret, our microwave oven Odette.) making left-over soup is a breeze!

Green Kicker Soup


  • 1 kohlrabi, diced
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • +/- 200g kale leaves (no stems)
  • 4 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 litres vegetable/chicken/beef stock (I tend to go for chicken stock; gives every soup a more velvety feel)
  • 3 heaped tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil


1. Heat the oil in a large casserole/saucepan.
2. Fry the spring onions, garlic and leeks for about 2 to 3 minutes, until slightly softened.
3. Add the kohlrabi, curry powder and kale. Stir until well combined.
4. Add the stock and bring to the boil.
5. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
6. Turn off the heat and blitz with a hand-held blender.

Behold, green goodness pre-simmer:

IMG_7058 (Small)

And post-blitz. Happy faces all around!