A recipe from Kate Hibbard, from ‘Come Dine with Me’ Portsmouth.

Serves 6


  • 6 x 125g slices goat’s cheese
  • 12 slices Parma ham
  • 1 tbsp sesame or olive oil
  • 200g walnut halves
  • 50g rocket leaves
  • 2 pears, quartered cored and sliced
  • 1 tbsp balsamic glaze
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method: How to make goat’s cheese wrapped in Parma ham

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Put the goat’s cheese on a board and wrap each slice fully with Parma ham.

2. Place the cheese on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and season with a little salt and plenty of ground black pepper. Drizzle with 2 tsp sesame or olive oil and bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese begins to melt.

3. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan for 3-5 minutes until golden brown, turning regularly. Arrange the rocket and pear slices or six plates. Scatter over the toasted walnuts.

4. Carefully place a goat’s cheese on top of each pile of salad and drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Finish with a few drops of sesame or olive oil and serve.


I flicked through ‘on demand’ menu today to catch up with my favourite show ‘Come Dine with Me’ and was thrilled to see season 4 from Portsmouth. Its availible to watch now and has some brilliant recipes from locals on it. As well as great filming of Portsmouth and lovely spots around Southsea. Lee Stafford pictured above is filmed shopping in my local fruit and veg shop picking up some mushrooms, ace! It was aired on More 4 recently so check it out!

seafood bbq girl

April 14, 2010

Its official BBQ season is here!

My brother has this really cute bucket bbq that he picked up from the awesome HEMA in Holland (we use to live right on the border with the Netherlands). It made its debut on the common last summer and it totally rocks. Even better as I mentioned in my Friday Fish post is that we live right next to the sea and have super fish markets on our door step. Not that sorry looking fish you get from the sainsco’s supermarkets.

Just think you could cycle down to Old Portsmouth pick up some fresh fish and within the hour be grilling it beside the sea. Try it as an alternative to frozen burgers, you wont be dissapointed. Its great for our local economy, great for the environment as its local. Grab some ice cream after and then a pint at one of our great Southsea boozers, what an amazing day that would be. If I didnt have kids I’d be right there with you. I dream big!

Remember to respect the common and take what you bought, dont leave rubbish, dont ruin it for everyone and get bbq’s banned, that would suck!

Serves 4


  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 5-6 grinds of black pepper
  • 4 fresh bay leaves, very finely shredded
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 mackerel, gutted

Method: How to make grilled mackerel

1. Whisk together the garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves and olive oil. Rub the marinade all over the mackerel and inside the cavity.

2. Make sure your barbecue is very hot. Put the fish on the grill and turn after five minutes, allowing the other side to cook for a few minutes longer until the fish is opaque all of the way through. Serve straight away.


April 6, 2010

‘Dinner’ is such an important thing in our house, it requires thought, timing, preperation and planning.( Sometimes a take away does the job though.)

Most weeks I write out a menu plan in biro and slap it to the fridge. It helps me shop and budget and I dont have to threat about what I’m going to have to feed everyone. Even if your cooking for yourself most nights, it will challenge you to cook a range of food and not to waste whats in the fridge. If I’m going shopping without thinking I end up with food that we never eat, it goes out of date and starts its own eco system in the back of the fridge. This is something I try and avoid, if possible.

Hmmm what can I disguise as edible tonight?

sister wordpress

April 2, 2010

I love cooking but being the home loving gal I am I also sew pretty good too.

Check out my sewing site and business Ooh la Lapin

Last night I made this, its one of my own recipes. Its so easy and tasty that I have to share it!

Gnocci bake

serves 4-6

1 bag of gnocchi (from the chiller/fridge)

1 carton of passata

1 tin of whole peeled tomatoes

1/2 courgette

1 pepper (any colour)

grated mozzarella

fresh basil

1 sprig of fresh rosemary finely chopped

dried oregano

salt, pepper and sugar

  • chop the courgette and pepper into big chunks and fry in olive oil until soft, sprinkle with oregano, pepper and salt.
  • tip in the tomato and passatta, add a large teaspoon of sugar and the rosemary, simmer for 10 mins.
  • cook the gnocchi according to the pack instructions.
  • tip the drained cooked gnocchi in with the tomato sauce and stir.
  • tip into an oven proof dish and cover with mozzarella
  • bake for 15-20 mins at 190c
  • remove from oven and scatter with torn basil leaves.
  • serve with yummy garlic bread to mop up the sauce

Back from Spain!

April 1, 2010

Shellfish ahoy

We have just enjoyed a family holiday in rural Spain in the Jaen province north of Granada. Jaen is the poorest province in Spain but produces pretty much all the olive oil. My parents have a traditional village house there, we enjoyed sitting outside and chatting to elderly Spanish neighbours. Some still sprightly 70 year olds off to harvest the olives. As we all know the Med diet of olive oil and fish is supposed to be responsible, personally I think the sunny weather and close family ties help people live longer happier lives!

The food was amazing and we ate at traditional Ventas (taverns) no posh eateries in Granada for us. The food is simple and very tasty. Here are a couple of recipes I nicked from local kitchens!

Tortilla Campana

serves 4-6

5 eggs

serrano ham

green pepper

1 tomato

2 med potatoes

salt + pepper

  • peel the potatoes and slice thinly into rounds, place in boiling water for 5-6 mins till nearly cooked.
  • Heat olive oil in a large pan, add the sliced green pepper, chopped tomato and ham, fry for 3 mins then add the potato slices, fry until the potatoes start to go crisp and golden.
  • Whisk the eggs together in a jug, add a couple of generous pinches of salt and a sprinkle of pepper.
  • Pour over the Potatoes, ham, pepper and tomato. Once cooked on one side place under a grill to cook the top until golden brown.
  • serve with a crisp salad and a glass of wine.