cooking, recipes, cookery, food, gourmet cooking . . .


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There is always something happening in supermarkets - new products, product demonstrations, shelves reorganised so you can't find anything. Not always interesting, quite often boring and sometimes a chore but just occasionally something catches your eye, something is interesting . . .

Almond MilkAlmond Milk

It would be interesting to know what the definition of milk is. For me milk is something that comes from animals. Wikipedia has the following to say:

Milk is a nutrient liquid produced by mammals, via the mammary glands.

Milk may also refer to:

  • Almond milk, a milk-like beverage made from almonds
  • Coconut milk, a milk-like substance derived from a coconut
  • Grain milk, any of various milk substitutes made from fermented grain or flour
  • Plant milk, any of various milk substitutes made from plants
  • Rice milk, a milk-like beverage made from rice
  • Soy milk, a milk-like beverage made from soybeans

It seems rather a contradiction to say "milk is a nutrient liquid produced by mammals" and then go on to use it to describe other products which have nothing to do with mammals!

However be that as it may, chilled almond milk is an enjoyable, refershing drink. So what does almond milk have going for it? There are several brands marketing almond milk as well as supermarkets' own labels. These facts come from Almond Breeze:

  • Almond Breeze Unsweetened contains only 29 calories per serving, that’s 60% fewer calories than even skimmed milk.

  • The Almond Breeze range contains no trans fat or cholesterol and is low in saturated fat. Eating less saturated fat can help reduce cholesterol.

  • All the Almond Breeze range is free from dairy, eggs and lactose.

  • There’s no soya, gluten, peanuts or MSG in the Almond Breeze range.

  • Almond Breeze products are suitable for both vegans and vegetarians.

  • The milk is a fantastic source of calcium - you can get 15% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) per serving.

  • The Almond Breeze range contains half the calories of soya and only a third of the saturated fat.

  • Almond Breeze products are made using Californian-grown almonds, a superfood. These nuts are rich in protein, fibre and mono-unsaturated fat, which help people stay fuller for longer.

. . . and it is not only for drinking. Watch the video and then try the recipes for yourself.

Almond Breeze Apple Pancakes

Almond Breeze Apple PancakesIngredients

225g plain flour
2 tsps of baking powder
2 eggs
300mls of Almond Breeze almond milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
2 medium apples peeled and coarsely grated
Melted butter


  • Sieve the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and make a well in the middle.

  • Pour the Almond Breeze almond milk, grated apple and vanilla extract into a jug with the egg and whisk together.

  • Then pour into the flours whisking continuously until you have a smooth batter.

  • Heat a non-stick pan on a medium heat and then brush with some of the melted butter.

  • Then pour a ladleful of the batter onto the pan and cook till bubbles form then turn it over and cook on the other side.

  • Serve with a light sprinkling of icing sugar to make them pretty!

Almond Breeze Herby Scrambled Eggs

Almond Breeze Herby Scrambled EggsThis makes for a lovely Sunday breakfast and is far healthier than a fry up! If you are on a dairy free diet just use olive oil rather than butter to cook the eggs, they will be just as delicious.


8 large eggs
200mls Almond Breeze almond milk
1 tbsp each of chives and tarragon
A sprinkle of parsley
Salt and pepper
A knob of butter

Chervil also works well with this dish, as does coriander


  • Crack the eggs into a bowl and season.

  • Pour in the Almond Breeze almond milk and gently whisk the eggs.

  • Sprinkle in the herbs.

  • Melt the butter in a non-stick pan and pour in you herby egg mixture turn the heat down to a low simmer and gently stir the eggs.

  • Continue cooking until they are just how you like them.

  • Serve on a wholemeal bagel with roasted on the vine tomatoes.

Serves 4

Editorial note: This site is not paid to promote any of the products or places featured in this newsletter.



Think of terracotta dishes from Spain and the terracotta ‘cazuela’ immediately springs to mind. The Spanish cazuela is probably the most useable, most versatile and toughest piece of terracotta ceramic cookware money can by – just ask the Spaniards (who swear by them). This simple dish can be used in all cooking environments, on the hob, in the oven, the outdoor clay oven, in the microwave, open fire and even in the freezer - every kitchen needs one of these terracotta dishes.

The production of such terracotta dishes involves three main elements: Earth (for the clay), wind (for drying) and fire (for baking). There is of course an element of skill which uses both modern methods as well as traditional techniques in today’s production of terracotta cookware. Mechanical machinery may increase volume but visit any good Spanish cazuela producer and old traditional methods remain very much the same and indeed at the forefront.

Spanish cazuelasThere are of course hand made cazuelas but when it comes to the modern age a blend of both satisfies not just the demand for Spanish terracotta cookware but also the true authenticity of Spain. It is indeed difficult to get away from the industrial age but when buying Spanish terracotta cookware there are those producers from Spain who have carried on and adapted their company ethos from their Spanish grandfathers or there is the alternative of buying from foreign shores. It has to be said that with this particular product, originality and quality is key . . .

Cooking in Clay

Discover cooking in clay and you will immediately be drawn to the idea of increasing your range of terracotta cookware, from the simple terracotta dish to the earthenware casserole, ceramic frying pan or a set of plates – The Spanish range is extensive and boasts such a neutral yet functional presence and usability it will compliment the most rustic of kitchen worktops as well a the minimalist. The Spanish cazuela is well accustomed to heat, being fired at over 1000 degrees your piece of terracotta cookware is a hardy, tough piece of clay cookware which will last for years. Cooking in cazuelas is something that the Spanish do almost daily, so versatile is this dish that a plethora of recipes can be cooked in them from pies and casseroles to seafood and even a Sunday roast, smaller cazuelas are of course ideal for serving tapas.

Discover Spanish Cazuelas >>>


New Potato and Honey Roast Salmon SaladThis recipe from Natoora for New Potato and Honey Roast Salmon Salad makes a light and great tasting evening meal full of flavour.



250g new potatoes (we used Casablanca), gently cleaned leaving the skin on
250g broad beans, podded (roughly 500g in the pod)
2 tsp. salted capers
knob of butter
2 organic salmon portions
1 standard Amalfi lemon
1 tbsp. honey
freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs

How to make:

  • Place your salmon on an oiled roasting tray and season with salt and pepper.

  • Gently warm the honey with the juice of one lemon and pour over the salmon.

  • Roast for 12 minutes, basting occasionally. You can add the salmon either hot or cold to your salad.

  • Put the eggs in cold water on a high heat.

  • When the water starts to boil, leave the eggs to cook for 3.5 minutes before removing and placing in a bowl of cold water.

  • Add some salt to the boiling water and add the potatoes. Make sure they are all a similar size or cut them so that they are. Smallish ones will need 10 - 12 minutes.

  • Whilst the potatoes are boiling, quickly blanch the broad beans, only for about 1 minute. Place them in cold water and shell each one to really get the best flavour and texture.

  • Heat a good sized knob of butter in a pan and add the salted capers and the broad beans.

  • Heat through, before adding the cooked potatoes so that the butter coats everything.

  • Season with black pepper.

  • Peel the eggs and slice in half lengthways.

  • Plate up your potato and bean mixture, flake over pieces of the honey roasted salmon and place the egg halves on top.



This is a really tasty soup recipe which was featured on the site some years ago and came from Henrie Geyser in South Africa


1 1/2 cup water
2 blocks chicken or vegetable stock
1 kg ripe tomatoes, halved, but not peeled
3 cinnamon sticks
5 cloves
3 bay leaves
4 - 6 curry leaves, dry or fresh (optional)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 red or green chilli (more, if you like it hot!), seeds removed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons torn fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh cream, whipped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped


  • Bring water to the boil and add the tomatoes, cloves, leaves, salt, chilli, cinnamon, onions and carrots.

  • Simmer for 40 minutes.

  • Let the soup cool and then blend until smooth.

  • Melt butter in saucepan, sprinkle flour in and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring over medium heat.

  • Add the soup and simmer for about 15 minutes.

  • Serve in heated bowls and garnish each bowl with fresh mint and a twirl of the cream.

  • Serve with warm garlic bread.

Serves 4




75ml hand-hot water
200g brown flour
2.5ml salt
2 x 15ml spoons malt extract
2 x 15ml spoon black treacle
25g margarine
30g dark soft brown sugar
100g sultanas
Honey or golden syrup to glaze
15g fresh yeast


  • Blend the fresh yeast with water.

  • Place the flour and salt in a bowl, add the sultanas.

  • Warm the malt, treacle, margarine and sugar until just melted and the sugar dissolved, and stir into the flour with the yeast liquid.

  • Mix to a soft dough.

  • Turn onto a floured surface and knead until no longer sticky (about four minutes), adding more flour if necessary.

  • Shape and place the malt loaf in a greased 500g loaf tin.

  • Cover the dough and leave to prove in a warm place until doubled in size - about one and a quarter hours.

  • Bake at 220°C, Gas Mark 7, for 30 minutes until browned and the malt loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

  • Cool the Malt Loaf on a wire rack.

  • Whilst the loaf is still hot brush the top with honey or syrup.

Makes 1 Malt Loaf


Basic Vegetable Preparations

Many times when you read a recipe, the chef will have written them up using culinary terms. These terms are useful as it means only having to use one or two words instead of having to constantly describe a process or method.

These are some of the more common basic vegetable preparations:

  Mirepoix : Roughly chopped vegetables used as a basis for soups, sauces and stews.
This usually consists of a combination of onions, leek, celery and carrots
  Ribbons : Wash and peel carrot and with a peeler shave off fine ribbons.
  Julienne : Fine strips of root vegetables, for example carrot. Make ribbons and trim into 3cm lengths and then cut into very fine strips (1mm wide)
  Brunoise : Fine dice of root vegetables
Cut into julienne and then into 1mm dice
  Jardiniere : Batons of root vegetables, for example carrot.
Wash and peel carrot and cut into 5mm thick slices. Cut 3cm lengths and then cut into 5mm thick batons
  Macedoine : Large dice of root vegetables
Cut into jardiniere and then into 5mm dice

All of the above may also be made with fruits.


This basic preparation is used for sauces, soups, stews, to stuff vegetables, for stir frys and many, many other dishes. It is basically, skinned and de-seeded tomatoes, roughly chopped.

  • Remove the core of the tomato and lightly score the skin with a sharp knife in a cross

  • Plunge into boiling, salted water (this is called a chauffant) for 10 seconds

  • Remove and place into iced water or under cold running water to stop the cooking process

  • The peel should now just easily peel away, if it does not repeat steps 2 and 3

  • Cut tomatoes in half and remove the seeds under running water

  • Roughly chop


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