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A thread for all to share their recipes stating whether (in your opinion) they are easy / difficult / quick etc etc.   When posting make your first word STARTER / MAIN / or DESSERT, that way we can quickly refer to them if needed.    I will begin with a dessert which we had today.

DESSERT - easy

1 orange   -   4 tablespoons Cointreau (or Orange Sec)  -  1/2 pint cream   -   1/2 teaspoon cinnamon   -  7 ozs. Chocolate Chip Cookies   -    1 sachet Fixe Chantilly

1.   Put grated rind and juice of the orange and cointreau into a bowl.   (Retain a little bit of the rind for later).

2.   Whip the cream with the fixe chantilly and cinnamon (it needs to be fairly thick, so it stands in peaks).

3.   One by one dip the cookies into the orange mixture and sandwich them together with a little of the cream to    form a "log roll".

4.   Spoon any excess liquid over the cookie log roll.

5.   Now cover the whole of the log roll  with the remaining cream mixture to cover it completely.

6.   Sprinkle with the orange rind (also nice with grated choc on top - if you should have any!).

Place in fridge for 2 - 3 hours (at least), I try to make mine the day before if we are having it for guests.

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Ok, here's your singin' hinny

8oz plain flour

pinch o' salt

1 tsp baking powder

2oz butter

2oz lard

1oz sugar

2oz currants or sultanas

2-3 tbsp milk


Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl

Rub in the butter and lard until mixture is like breadcrumbs

Stir in the sugar and fruit and milk until mixture forms a stiff dough

Roll into a ball and turn out onto a lightly floured board

Roll out to a circle about 1/2 inch thick

Lightly grease and heat a frying pan and place the hinny in it

Prick the top lightly with a fork and cook for 15-20 mins turning once until golden brown on both sides

Serve hot cut into slices and spread with butter


Just a thought, do you think my french neighbours would like a slice with an aperitif  




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MAIN - easy

Cotes de Taureau Gardien

Buy a rib of beef (but taureau, that you can get around here is better - darker meat, but no worse for that). A nice piece for around €9 would be a treat for 2, but would go 3 at a push.

Leave it out of the fridge for an hour or two to get to room temp. Season, then sear off for 30 secs each side in a really hot pan. In to the oven at 190C for 10-15 mins absolute max (be brave!). Remove and stand for 3 mins-ish.  Take off the bone and slice thickly.  No sauce needed - it's own juice will be there to drizzle over.

Serve with a nice Gratin and some haricots verts or a dressed salad.

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MAIN - easy


This is for 4 people   .........     4 chicken fillet breasts    -    2 tablespoons sunflower oil    -    4 teaspoons Dijon mustard    -  2 tablespoons plain flour    -    1/4pint chicken stock     -     1/4pint unsweetened orange juice    -    4 tablespoons fromage frais     To Garnish:   grated orange rind

1. Heat oil in frying pan and brown the chicken for good 5 minutes on each side.  Remove from pan and set aside.

2. Mix mustard with the flour and stir it well to smooth it down, now add this to the frying pan.

3. Add stock a little at a time whisking to make it smooth, then add orange juice and heat through to boiling point.

4. Reduce heat to simmer and return the chicken fillets to the pan and continue simmering for 25 minutes until cooked.  Stir in fromage frais.  Garnish on plates when serving.

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Thanks for the singin hinny recipe, geordie girl. I didn't really know what they were, just remember the song about Billy Boy. I love those geordie songs.

Here's a vegetarian recipe for a main course: Lentil Bake.

1 red pepper, seeded and sliced

1 green pepper, seeded and sliced

2 small courgettes, sliced

1 onion sliced  

6 oz red lentils

1 pint stock made from a veg stock cube, 1 tbsp tomato puree, hot water and optional red wine.

In a large casserole heat 2 tbsp olive oil and fry the veg on both sides quickly until golden. Add lentils and stock, cover and bake in a medium oven about 30 mins., until all stock is absorbed. You can use other veg eg tomatoes, aubergines etc.

I think this is easy to make, don't know how to colour code.


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Main (easy): 

Chicken and Prawn Creole (by British Heart Foundation) – Serves 8

            Preparation time less than 30 mins / Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour


§          675g / 1½ lb boneless, skinless chicken

§          1 tbsp vegetable oil

§          2 onions, coarsely chopped

§          3 cloves garlic, chopped

§          1 each red + green pepper, coarsely chopped

§          1 can (800g / 28 oz) tomatoes

§          1 litre / 1¾ pint chicken stock

§          1 tsp dried thyme

§          1 tsp dried oregano

§          ¼ tsp cayenne pepper

§          450g / 1lb long grain rice

§          450g / 1lb medium prawns (fresh or frozen)

§          20g / ¾ oz chopped fresh parsley


1.        In large nonstick pan, heat oil over medium heat and cook chicken for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add onions and garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until softened.

2.        Stir in peppers and add tomatoes, breaking up with back of spoon. Add stock, thyme, oregano and cayenne; bring to boil.

3.        Stir in rice and cover, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

4.        Meanwhile, in a saucepan of boiling water, cook prawns for 3 minutes and drain. Peel and de-vein if necessary. Add prawns to rice mixture and cook for 5 minutes or until prawns are hot. Stir in parsley.

I make this differently each time, depending on what I’ve got to hand) (eg, with chicken or turkey breasts, with prawns or mixed frozen seafood, with chilli flakes + Harisa paste) and it’s always gone down really well, very tasty.  You can make it as hot as you like.


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DESSERT - easy

Sticky toffee pudding

Ready in 1 hour, 40 minutes


175g stoned dates, chopped   -  1/2 teaspn.bicarbonate of soda   -  1tbsp coffee essence  -  75g butter, softened   -  200g light brown soft sugar  -  2 large eggs, lightly beaten   -   175g self-raising flour, sifted   -  75g pecan nuts, finely chopped

To make the sauce:

175g light brown soft sugar  -  115g butter  -  6tbsp double cream   -  50g pecan nuts, chopped


1 Put the dates, bicarbonate of soda and coffee essence in a bowl. Pour over 175ml boiling water and leave to cool.

2 Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Grease and line the base of a 1-litre pudding basin with nonstick baking paper. Put the butter and the sugar in a large bowl and beat until well combined, using an electric whisk or wooden spoon. Beat in the eggs a little at a time until smooth.

3 Fold in the flour, dates mixture and pecans. Pour into the basin and cover with greased foil. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes until cooked - an inserted skewer should come out clean.

4 Around 10 minutes from the end of cooking, put the sauce ingredients in a pan and heat gently, stirring until it's smooth. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Turn the pudding out and serve with the sauce.

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This recipe is for James Martin's Croissant Pudding with White Chocolate and Whisky.  I've made it many times now and it's great for using up leftover croissants (if you have any!)It's delicious and our French neighbours love it.



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[quote user="Just Katie"]I am currently eating some shortbread made by my daughter.  Mmmm just like big lumps of rock hard pastry and burned on top.  Would anyone like the receipe?[/quote]

You should give her encouragement, Nigella Lawson probably started out the same way!!

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[quote user="Geordie girl"]

Hi 47 have you got a nice starter recipe that can be done ahead and that looks like it was hard work, but easy really. I am cooking for 8 next week

Thank you i'm sure you'll come up trumps


Would you like a soup recipe or something to eat with a knife and fork?

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May I offer a suggestion?  Coeurs d'Artichauts aux Sauce d'Aioli  (I just made that name up!)

Couple of large cans of Artichoke Hearts (you'll need 3-4 pieces / person) - drain and dry off, put in a small casserole ready to warm through.

Make a vegetable stock (a real one is best, but a powder cube would do fine) and reduce down to about 125 mls (for 8).  Once the stock has cooled slightly, whack in some creme fraiche and whisk up. Return to the heat and bring up to near boiling point.  Add some pureed garlic to taste + seasoning + chopped parsley.

Warm the artichoke hearts in the oven and arrange on individual heatproof dishes.  Pour over the sauce and sprinkle some grated cheese (anything will do) on top.  In to a medium oven (say 180C) for 10 mins, then under the grill until nicely brown on top.

You can do most of the prep in advance, right up to putting the dishes in the oven.  Looks & tastes good and really easy.  


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