Coconut and White Chocolate Cheesecake

This white chocolate and coconut cheesecake is a little slice of heaven.

Creamy white chocolate and coconut topping with a crunchy biscuit base. Serve with berries to cut through the

sweetness and a dollop of thick fresh cream. It’s no bake so setting time aside it’s so quick and simple.

Ingredients

300g digestives

100g butter

350g cream cheese

5 tablespoons desiccated coconut

1 teaspoon maple syrup

Extra white chocolate and desiccated coconut to decorate.

Method

Start by greasing and lining an 8″ loose bottomed cake tin.

Wrap your biscuits in wax wrap and bash into pieces with a rolling pin, You can do this by blitzing in a food processor if you prefer.

Melt your butter in a large saucepan over a low heat and stir in your biscuit crumbs. Mix to ensure they all get coated in the butter.

Transfer them to your cake tin and press down to make a firm base.

Pop in the fridge while you mix up your cheesecake topping.

Snap up your white chocolate and melt it in a bowl in short bursts in a microwave or in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Stir until smooth.

In a large bowl beat together your cream cheese, maple syrup, and desiccated coconut along with the melted white chocolate. Whisk to fully combine and spread over your cheesecake base.

Allow to set in the fridge for a few hours or overnight if time permits.

Slide out your cheesecake from the tin and set on your desired plate. Scatter over the desiccated coconut reserved for decoration.

Finally drag a sharp knife along your white chocolate to create shavings and sprinkle these on top of your cheesecake.


Cod in Creamy Lemon Sauce

Some Sunday’s I can’t be bothered to make a roast. This is a divine alternative.

Cod fillets in a creamy lemon sauce with capers and dill. I serve it with buttered baby new potatoes and tender-stem broccoli. Always with music, always with candles and always with ice cold white wine.

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 cod fillets

150ml double cream

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons capers

2 cloves garlic – minced

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

Sprig of dill

1 tablespoon white wine

Lemon slices to garnish.

Method

Place your cod in a foil parcel and leave slightly open.

In a small saucepan add your cream, wine, lemon juice, garlic and capers. Simmer over a low heat for a couple of minutes.

Pour over the cod and dot on a few sprigs of dill.

Bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 12 minutes.

Remove and serve immediately.


Spaghetti Bolognaise

I hope you like my twist on a classic. The sauce is rich and full of tomato deliciousness. I always make a soffritto

first as this gives the sauce such a lovely flavour. My tip is to always buy the best chopped tomatoes you can as

it really makes a difference to the richness of the sauce. I’m not adverse to blending a few sun dried tomatoes

into the sauce either, a slosh of red wine, chuck it all in!

I serve it with lots of fresh grated parmesan, garlic bread and a glass of full bodied red. Always with candles, always with music.

serves 4

Ingredients

500g steak mince – 5% fat

500g passata

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 small onion – diced

1 small carrot – grated

1 stick of celery – finely chopped

3 large garlic cloves

2 tablespoons tomato puree

200ml red wine – any will do

1 teaspoon oregano

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup mushrooms

Glug of olive oil

Pack of spaghetti

Knob of butter

Method

Start by making your soffritto. In a pan of hot olive oil add your oregano and garlic, then slowly cook your onions, carrot and celery until softened. This will take about 10 minutes.

Now add your mince and brown it. When the mince starts to brown a little add your wine allow to bubble a little and mix thoroughly.

Tip in your tomato puree, tomatoes and passata, then stir.

Add the mushrooms and peas.

Allow to simmer for an hour or so over a gentle heat stirring every now and then.

Have a little taste and season with salt and cracked black pepper.

Put on a pan of boiling salted water for your spaghetti and cook according to packet instructions. I always cook for 1 minute less so my pasta is al dente.

Drain the spaghetti in a colander and stir through a knob of butter.

Plate up the spaghetti and spoon your bolognaise on top and serve immediately.

Pour yourself a glass of red and enjoy.


Chicken and Tomato Panzanella

This salad is heavenly. Leaves tossed together with the reddest vine tomatoes, nocellara olives, capers, slithers of onion,

roast chicken and chunks of leftover sourdough. A rare entity in my house. Did I mention how much I love bread!

I love a salad all year round and this one conjures up memories of summer. It’s like sunshine on a plate.

Serves 2

Ingredients

Bag of salad leaves

4 vine ripened tomatoes

1 onion – sliced thinly

1 tablespoon capers

2 teaspoons oregano

2 chicken breasts

Slice of leftover sourdough

Glug of extra virgin olive oil

Dressing

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Salt and cracked black pepper

1 clove garlic – grated

Squeeze of lemon juice

Method

Start by pan frying your chicken breasts on a griddle pan coated in a little olive oil.

Season with salt and cracked black pepper and sprinkle either side with oregano.

Once the chicken is cooked through add the sourdough slice and press with a pan slice to soak up the juices. Keep the bread on the griddle until it is lightly toasted.

Set aside.

Arrange your salad items in a bowl , chop your chicken into pieces, rip up your sourdough and drizzle over your dressing. Toss together to fully coat in the dressing and serve.


Chicken and Chorizo Arrabiata

This is a favourite in our house. I make this for my Mia who has a few dinners on rotation that she will eat but she could eat this every day she loves it so much.

You can add as much or as little chilli as you like according to how hot you like it. The addition of chorizo really elevates the flavour.

This is one I make most weeks. Serve with fresh basil, parmesan cheese, garlic bread and a nice glass of red.

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 chicken breasts – diced

1/2 ring of chorizo

1 small onion – diced

1 can of chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

2 tablespoons spoons pasta water

Glug of red wine – any will do

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and cracked black pepper

2 teaspoons chilli flakes

fresh basil and parmesan cheese to serve

Extra virgin olive oil

400g rigatoni

Knob of butter to stir through pasta.

Method

Start by cooking down your chopped onion in a pan of hot olive oil until the onions soften. Keep stirring so they do not burn. Turn the heat low while you chop the chorizo.

Once you have chopped your chorizo into rounds about 1cm thick add to the pan of onions along with the chilli flakes. Pan fry the chorizo until it starts to get a little crispy. Set aside both the onions and chorizo on a separate plate.

In the same pan add your diced chicken breast. The oil will be fragrant from the onions, chilli and chorizo. You may need to add a little glug more to make sure the chicken is lightly coated.

Once the chicken is almost cooked add your onions and chorizo back to the pan. Now add the chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, butter and red wine, stirring to combine. Simmer gently for 10 minutes or so while you are boiling your pasta. This should take roughly 10 minutes but I always finish it 1 minute less than cooking time so it is al dente. Always add salt to the pasta water. We want it salty like the Med. Give it a stir now and then.

Once your pasta is cooked. Drain and toss through a knob of butter and add to the pan of sauce. Season with salt and cracked black pepper.

Serve immediately with fresh basil, parmesan cheese and garlic bread.


Fig and Parma Ham Salad

A beautiful vibrant salad that is ready in minutes. I make a light dressing made of extra virgin olive oil, honey, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar which livens it up.

I think we are all looking for a little health boost in January and figs are so good for you. Full of protective antioxidant properties. I hope you enjoy it.

Serves 2

Ingredients

Bag of lambs leaf lettuce

4 slices parma ham

3 figs – cut into quarters

Dressing

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

Method

Simply arrange your lettuce and add your parma ham.

Cut your figs into quarters and place on your salad.

Mix up your dressing and toss through your salad.

Serve immediately.


Citrus Salmon

I always try to eat a little lighter at this time of the year, don’t we all. Bringing you a little salmon inspiration with this citrus salmon.

I’ve added a drizzle of honey for sweetness.

Effortlessly simple to make and ready in minutes.

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 salmon fillets

Juice of half a lemon

Salt and cracked black pepper

Drizzle of honey

Teaspoon cajun seasoning

Method

Pre heat oven to 180c / 160c fan.

Place salmon fillets on a foil lined baking sheet using enough foil to fold over the top.

Squeeze over the lemon juice and drizzle over a little honey. Shake over your cajun seasoning and season with salt and cracked black pepper.

Fold the foil over the top of the salmon making a parcel leaving a little gap.

Cook in the oven on the middle shelf for 12-15 minutes.

Serve with asparagus and your rice of choice.


Sharing Board

I love making all different types of sharing boards when I am entertaining as they are quick and simple so I am not spending all my time at the oven when my friends and family are over. This one is ideal if you are having a New Years Eve party or gathering. Just increase the amount of them according to how many guests you have over.

I’ve listed a few ideas for you but feel free to add additional items. Figs, celery, apricots etc all work well.

Have a lovely time whatever you are doing. Wishing you all a happy, healthy new year.

Ingredients

Crackers – use a few types

Pretzels

3 types of cheese per board

Nocellara olives

Pistachio nuts

Sesame bread sticks

Dates

Grapes – red and green

Fresh basil to decorate

Serve with some rustic freshly baked French bread and salted butter at room temperature and of course lots of lovely wine.


Signor Sassi Knightsbridge, London

Signor Sassi, part of the San Carlo chain is one of the most celebrated Italian restaurants in London. Located in Knightsbridge, the food is utterly divine and the restaurant has such a cosy family feel to it. The walls are adorned with pictures of every celebrity under the sun who has dined there including Victoria Beckham, José Mourinho, Prince Albert of Monaco , Rihanna, Marco Pierre White and the list goes on…. It really is the jewel in the crown of Italian restaurants.

The service was wonderful with a dare I say it a playful cheeky feel. All I will say is if you need an ego boost go to Signor Sassi! Compliments galore! Even my husband found this amusing!

I found it incredibly hard to choose from the menu basically because I wanted everything on it! We ended up having the grilled prawns served with tomato sauce, chilli and a dash of cream, the avocado with crab, baked in lobster sauce, cream, brandy, tomato and parmesan.

This was followed by the Ragu and the Signor Sassi special creamy mushroom and parma ham risotto which was another level of delicious.

We shared a tiramisu which was to die for. I really cannot wait to go back!


Parma Ham, Pear and Blue Cheese Crostini

These are such a lovely idea to have at a gathering with a glass of champagne or prosecco. Effortlessly simple but delicious nonetheless.

Ingredients

I rustic baguette

1 ripe conference pear – cut into thin slices

1/2 pack of blue cheese. I used St Agur

6 slices parma ham

Method

Slice your baguette into diagonal slices about 2cm thick.

Drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil and toast under a hot grill for a couple of minutes.

Remove from oven and add half a slice of parma ham, a slice of pear and a slice of blue cheese.