Broccoli Cocktails

Broccoli Cocktails


Honestly, the words broccoli and cocktail don’t usually connect in my mind but this grown up salad looks yummy 🙂  When I acquire some Pernod, I’m definitely giving it a go!

(serves 4)



8oz / 225g broccoli

3 tomatoes

5oz /150g. camembert cheese

few lettuce leaves.

For the dressing:

¼pint / 150mls / ⅔ cup of whipping cream

4 teaspoons of pernod

1 tablespoon chopped pistachio nuts

salt and pepper



  1. Divide the broccoli into florets and cook in boiling salted water for about 10 minutes or until tender. Drain well and allow to cool.
  2. Divide the florets into bite sized pieces and reserve a few for decoration
  3. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes, then drain, peel and chop.
  4. Dice cheese.
  5. Line four cocktail glasses with lettuce leaves and divide the salad between them.
  6. Stir together pernod and cream and season to taste.
  7. Pour over cocktails, decorate with reserved broccoli florets and sprinkle with chopped nuts.


Bon appetit!

Linda x

Spinach and Orange Salad

Spinach & OrangeSalad


Another delicious recipe from ‘Cooking for Today’

Needs a little preparation but well worth it!

Spinach and Orange Salad

(serves 4)



8oz. / 225g young spinach leaves

For the dressing:

2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

2-3 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon chopped thyme

½ an orange

salt and pepper




To make the dressing:

  1. Carefully peel the orange half and cut peel into fine strips.
  2. Place peel strips in a small pan, cover with water and bring to the boil.
  3. Cook for 3 minutes. Drain well, reserving orange strips, and cool.
  4. Mix together the lemon juice, oil and season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar. Add the thyme.
  5. Remove the pith from the orange half, chop into fairly small pieces and arrange in a salad bowl with the spinach leaves.
  6. Sprinkle over the fine strips of orange rind and dressing and serve at once


Bon Appetit!

Linda x

Avocado and Wine Soups

Avocado Soupwith Almonds

Avocado and Wine Soups

Another couple of fruit based soups for you to try. The first recipe includes chicken stock but I think vegetable stock would work. I’m a little squeamish about meat based stock with fruit recipes but if you’re okay with it, try the original!



Avocado Soup with Almonds


2 ripe avocados

2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice

½ pint / 300mls / 1¼ cups of chicken stock

4fl.oz / 100mls / ½ cup of double cream

3-4 tablespoons of medium white wine

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon of toasted slivered almonds



  1. Halve the avocados, discard the stones and scoop out the flesh. Liquidize with the lemon juice
  2. Put the stock in a pan and bring to the boil.
  3. Stir in the cream and wine.
  4. Remove from the heat and beat in the avocado puree.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Cool and then chill the soup.
  7. Divide between 4 soup bowls and sprinkle with toasted slivered almonds.


White Wine Soup with Kiwi fruit

This one is for the grown-ups!


14fl.oz / 400mls / 1¾ cups of apple juice

12fl.oz / 350mls / 1½ cups of sweet white wine

1½ oz / 40g / 3 tablespoons of sugar

2 – 3 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)

4fl. oz. / 125mls / ½ cup of double cream

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 egg yolks

lemon juice

extra sugar

2 kiwi fruit



  1. Put the apple juice, wine and sugar into a pan and bring to the boil.
  2. Blend the cornflour with a little cold water, add to the soup and stir until boiling.
  3. Simmer for one minute.
  4. Beat the egg yolks with the cream and whisk into the soup.
  5. Reheat, stirring but do not allow to boil.
  6. Stir in the vanilla and add lemon juice and extra sugar to taste.
  7. Peel and slice the kiwi fruit. Add slices to the soup and serve hot or cold.


Bon appetit!

Linda x

Garlic Potatoes Recipe

Garlic Potatoes

Garlic Potatoes

5 Ingredients, 7 simple steps


3 or 4 large potatoes, scrubbed or peeled and washed.
2 or 3 cloves of garlic (or more if preferred), crushed
½ – 1pint (300-600ml) of milk

Butter to grease dish
2oz (50g.) grated cheese

A little chopped parsley (optional, but helps sweeten the breath after eating garlic!)

1. Pre-heat oven to Gas mark 5 (375F, 190C)

2. Slice prepared potatoes fairly thinly. Boil or steam potatoes until just cooked. Don’t let them get too soft. Drain well and leave to cool slightly.

3. Grease a deep oven-proof dish with the butter

4. Crush or finely chop cloves of garlic to taste.

5. Place layers of potatoes in dish. Sprinkle garlic and chopped parsley if using, over each layer

6. Pour milk over the whole dish to about half way up. Milk could be mixed with a little single cream if preferred. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

7. Bake in the centre of pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes or until hot right through. Serve hot.

NB: Cheese can be added after cooking and browned off quickly under the grill if preferred.
Recipe from ‘Easy Potato Recipes’ available FREE on this page: Free Stuff

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

Melon and Savoury Banana Soups

Melon Soup with Grapes

Melon and Savoury Banana Soups

It’s been a few days since I yearned for more fruity recipes so here are a couple more to get the taste buds twitching!

The first one includes wine and nuts so maybe not suitable for children or those with nut allergies. The pine kernels are used as a garnish so could be left out.


Cold Melon Soup with Grapes


40z. / 100g. of green grapes

5oz. / 150g. of apricots

1 cantaloupe melon

1 eating apple

3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice

18 fl. oz. / 500ml / 2¼ cups of sweet white wine

1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch)

1 tablespoon of clear honey

2 oz. / 50g / ½ cup of pine kernels



  1. Wash the grapes, apple and apricots and cut in half
  2. Removes pips from grapes and stones from apricots
  3. Peel, core and thinly slice the apple.
  4. Cut the melon in half, remove the seeds and dice the flesh from one half, discarding the rind.
  5. Put the diced melon in a pan with the remaining fruit and pour over the lemon juice and wine.
  6. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Liquidize or sieve, then return to the pan and re-heat gently.
  8. Blend the cornflour with a little cold water, add to the pan and stir until boiling.
  9. Simmer for 3 minutes then stir in the honey.
  10. Using a melon baller, cut balls from the remaining half of the melon and put into the soup. Allow to cool.
  11. (If using) Toast the pine kernels, tossing them in a pan without fat, over a moderate heat until golden brown. Just before serving, sprinkle them over the soup.


Refreshing Savoury Banana Soup

This recipe uses beef or chicken stock. I don’t think that’s necessary so don’t be put off if you’re a veggie or, in my case, think that meat and bananas don’t mix! Try a vegetable stock instead.

And also, as with the previous recipe, the almonds are used as a garnish so could be omitted.


1 pint / 600 mls / 2½ cups of beef or chicken stock

2 ripe bananas

2-3 tablespoons of double cream

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Pinch of curry powder (to taste)

Salt to taste

Few toasted slivered almonds (garnish)



  1. Put the stock and curry powder into a pan and bring to the boil
  2. Peel bananas and mash them in a large bowl
  3. Sprinkle with lemon juice and whisk in the boiling stock.
  4. Season to taste with salt and blend in the cream.
  5. Cool and then chill.
  6. Serve the soup garnished with the toasted slivered almonds if using.

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

Kiwi and Blackcurrant Soups

Cold Kiwi Soupwith White Wine

Kiwi and Blackcurrant Soups

So good to make the most of summer fruits! The first one includes white wine so maybe not for a family tea!

Cold Kiwi Fruit Soup with White Wine


1 pint / 600mls / 2½ cups of sweet white wine

4-5 tablespoons of caster sugar

4 whole cloves

1 stick of cinnamon

4-5 tablespoons of maple syrup

5 kiwi fruit

4fl oz / 125mls / ½ cup of whipping cream

Few sprigs of mint to garnish


  1. Put the wine, sugar, cloves and cinnamon n a pan and bring to the boil
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup. Leave to cool then strain.
  3. Peel the kiwi fruit, cut a few slices and reserve for garnish.
  4. Sieve the remaining fruit to remove the seeds.
  5. Beat the puree into the spiced wine with the cream. Chill
  6. Serve the soup decorated with slices of kiwi fruit and sprigs of mint.


The next one is alcohol free!

Blackcurrant Soup with Apples


12oz / 350 g / blackcurrants

2 medium sized cooking apples

3 oz / 75g / ⅓ cup of sugar

Strip of lemon rind

1 stick of cinnamon

18 fl oz / 500 mls / 2¼ cups of water

Juice of 1 lemon

2-3 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)

Little extra sugar



  1. Wash the blackcurrants and place in a pan with the sugar, lemon rind, cinnamon and water.
  2. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes or until the fruit is soft
  3. Press the soup through a sieve, discarding the lemon rind and cinnamon stick.
  4. Make up to 1¼ pints / 750mls / 3 cups with more water if necessary
  5. Peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut into slices and place in a pan with the fruit soup and lemon juice.
  6. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Blend the cornflour with a little cold water, add to the soup and stir until thickened.
  8. Simmer for a further 5 minutes and add extra sugar to taste.

Serve hot or cold

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

P.S. If you’re thinking about growing blackcurrants and/or apples there are some easy to follow downloadable guides on this page: Growing Guides


Rhubarb and Gooseberry Soups

Rhubarb Soupwith Berries

Two more delicious fruit soups to enjoy!

Rhubarb soup with Berries

This fruit soup includes a recipe for dumplings, similar to the snow dumplings on this page (ink to apricot soup page). Scroll down for a delicious gooseberry soup (recipe suggests cooling the gooseberry soup for four hours so make it early!)


Rhubarb Soup with Berries


1lb / 450g rhubarb

40z / 100g / ½ cup sugar

½ pint / 300mls / 1¼ medium white wine

8oz / 225g raspberries

1lb / 450g strawberries

For the dumplings:

1 egg white

2-3 tablespoons of caster sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Wash the rhubarb and cut into small pieces.
  2. Put the sugar in a pan and heat, stirring all the time, until it becomes golden brown
  3. Pour in the wine and heat, stirring, until the caramelized sugar has dissolved.
  4. Add the rhubarb and raspberries. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes
  5. Press through a sieve and return to the pan.
  6. Hull the strawberries and cut them in half.
  7. Stir into the soup and leave to cool.


  1. Whisk the egg white until stiff, add 1 teaspoon of the sugar and whisk again until glossy.
  2. Bring a pan of water to the boil then remove from the heat.
  3. Take small portions of the egg white mixture using a teaspoon and drop them into the water.
  4. Cover the pan and leave for five minutes until the dumplings become firm
  5. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain and float on the soup.
  6. Combine the remaining sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle over the dumplings


Cold Gooseberry Soup


½ pint / 300mls / 1¼ cups of water

Rind of 1 lemon

½ stick of cinnamon

2¼ lbs / 1 kg / 2¼ cups dessert gooseberries

12fl.oz / 350mls / 1½ cups of red wine

5 oz / 150g / ⅔ cup of sugar


  1. Bring the water, lemon rind and cinnamon stick t the boil.
  2. Add the gooseberries and cook for about 8 minutes until soft
  3. Discard the cinnamon and lemon rind
  4. Liquidize the soup
  5. Return to the pan, add the wine and sugar and stir until boiling.
  6. Cool for 4 hours.

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

Strawberry and Cherry Soups

Strawberry Soup

Both these recipes are served cold so, as I mentioned in the Apricot recipe, they may work well as a pouring sauce for desserts.

Cold Strawberry Soup


1½ lbs / 675g.  strawberries

2-3 tablespoons of sugar

8fl.oz. / 225mls / 1 cup orange juice


  1. Reserve a few strawberries for garnish and hull the rest (remove leaves and centre core if preferred)
  2. Liquidize or sieve prepared strawberries
  3. Stir in the sugar and orange juice and mix well
  4. Stir soup, garnish and serve.


Cold Cherry Soup


1½ lbs / 675g.  morello cherries

½ pint / 300mls / ¾ cup of red or white wine

1¼ pints / 750 mls / 3 cups of water

Strip of lemon rind

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 stick of cinnamon

1 whole clove

3 oz. / 75g. / ⅓ cup sugar

2-3 tablespoons of cornflour (cornstarch)



  1. Remove stalks and stones from the cherries
  2. Put the wine, water, lemon rind, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, clove and sugar into a pan and bring to the boil.
  3. Add the cherries and simmer for about 8 minutes.
  4. Blend the cornflour with a little cold water, add to the pan and stir until boiling.
  5. Simmer for one minute.
  6. Discard the rind, cinnamon and clove and cool.

TIP: The original recipe suggests serving with snow dumplings (snow dumpling recipe on this page)

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

P.S. Strawberries are easy to grow yourself. Check out this downloadable guide from your favourite online retailer:



How to Grow Strawberries

Amazon US , Amazon UK , iTunes , Kobo , Payhip , Barnes & Noble



Apple and Chocolate Soups

Apple & Borage Soup

Apple and Chocolate Soups

Another couple of fun recipes from Cooking for Today. The first one seems to have rather a lot of sugar, but uses tart apples. I’m thinking perhaps sweeter apples and less sugar may work. Don’t know if honey would be a good alternative but may be worth a try….


Cold Apple Soup with Borage


1lb / 450g. tart dessert apples

8fl.oz / 225ml / 1 cup medium white wine

4fl.oz / 125ml / ½ cup lemon juice

½ pint / 8fl.oz / 1¼ cups water

5oz. / 150g. / ⅔ cup of sugar

2-3 tablespoons of cornflour (cornstarch)

Few borage leaves and flowers


  1. Peel, quarter and core the apples and cut into slices.
  2. Put the wine, water and lemon juice into a pan and bring to the boil.
  3. Add the apple slices and simmer until tender but not soft. Remove the apple slices and keep aside.
  4. Add the sugar to the cooking liquid and bring to the boil.
  5. Mix the cornflour with a little cold water, stir into the pan and simmer for another two minutes.
  6. Return the apple slices to the pan and chill.
  7. Garnish with borage leaves and flowers.


And this one should delight chocolate lovers!

Chocolate Soup


3-4 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)

1litre/ 1¾ pints / 4⅓ cups milk

3oz. / 75g. / ¾ cup of grated chocolate

1 teaspoon vanilla essence (extract)

pinch of salt



  1. Mix the cornflour with a little of the milk.
  2. Put the rest of the milk in a pan with the grated chocolate and bring to the boil.
  3. Add the cornflour mixture to the pan and cook gently for three minutes, stirring all the time.
  4. Add the vanilla essence and salt, and sugar to taste. Stir well until sugar has dissolved.

TIP: To intensify the chocolate flavour, add 2-3 tablespoons of very strong coffee to the milk. And for extra special occasions, stir in 2-3 tablespoons of coffee liqueur after the soup has been removed from the heat.

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

Apricot Soup


“Cold Apricot Soup”

Here’s another yummy fruit soup recipe. Because it’s supposed to be served cold, I think it may be a good pouring sauce over ice cream or other dessert. Anyway, here goes…



450g / 1lb ripe apricots

1litre / 1.75 pints / 4.3 cups of water

100g / 4oz / ½ cup of sugar

½ stick of cinnamon

2 slices of lemon

4-5 tablespoons of cornflour (cornstarch)

Few drops of vanilla essence

Lemon juice



  1. Cover the apricots with boiling water, drain and peel. Cut in half and remove stones.
  2. Reserve a few apricots for garnish and cut the rest into 1cm (½inch) wide strips.
  3. Put the water, sugar, cinnamon stick and lemon slices in a pan and bring to the boil.
  4. Add the apricot slices and cook for about 15 minutes.
  5. Discard the cinnamon and lemon slices, then liquidize or sieve the soup and return to the pan and re-heat.
  6. Blend the cornflour with a little cold water, mix into the soup and stir until boiling.
  7. Stir in the vanilla essence and lemon juice to taste and leave to cool.
  8. Stir in the reserved apricot halves into the soup.
  9. Serve with snow dumplings if liked. Recipe below.


Snow Dumplings


500mls / 18fl.oz. / 2¼ cups of milk

½ teaspoon grated lemon rind

25g / 1oz. / 2 tablespoons sugar

Pinch of salt

150g / 5oz. / scant 1 cup semolina

1 egg



  1. Bring the milk, lemon rind, sugar and salt to the boil.
  2. Remove from heat, add the semolina and stir vigorously until mixture forms a ball.
  3. Heat for one minute, stirring all the time.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and beat in the egg.
  5. Fill a large pan two thirds full with salted water and bring to boiling point.
  6. Using two wet teaspoons, form small dumplings from the semolina mixture and drop carefully into the boiling water.
  7. Cook gently for 5-7 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon, drain and serve with the soup.


Bon Appetit!

Linda x