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Grilled halloumi with beetroot, carrot, lemon and cumin salad

Grilled halloumi with beetroot, carrot, lemon and cumin salad

Something about the advent of spring means I want to make everything feel fresh and new, so I started my spring cleaning a couple of weeks ago, to get everything well prepared for the bright months ahead after the long winter hibernation.

I try to clear out my larder cupboard every 6 months or so, so I’m incredulous that somehow there always seems to be a small packet of something that went off circa 1996. Its the bit of the spring clean that I relish the most, a voyage of discovery through the packets and jars I’ve got squirrelled away. I’m a bit of a magpie collector of weird and wonderful foodstuffs on my travels, which are randomly all the more appealing when I can’t understand the label – an interesting surprise maybe; a bit of dinner roulette.

I also amass foodie gifts from people who know I am a sucker for an unusual spice, a new flavoured oil or a special gadget. And so it was that I rediscovered a halloumi cheese making kit that we had been given for Christmas. My husband has a particular fondness for cheese, so I think it was technically a gift for him, but I view all of these things as for sharing really. Read more

Rhubarb and raspberry cobbler with vanilla cream


Rhubarb & raspberry cobbler

Spring is just teasing me at the moment; tantalising me with an occasional brief appearance, before disappearing just as quickly as it came. One day has bright, glorious sunshine, a gentle breath of warmth in the air, then the next I need my coat and hat again, fighting my way through yet more frosty gloom. So whilst the blossom is breaking out on the first brave trees, I think there is still time for a few more hot puddings before winter is completely over.

I am continuing to make the most of the rhubarb season, this time upping the pink quotient even further with the addition of some raspberries. Rhubarb is often paired with strawberries, but to me a cooked strawberry is an abomination, not to mention that it’s impossible to get good quality strawberries at this time of year. But I had some raspberries in the fridge and thought I’d give them a try and was really pleased with the results. The raspberries really bring out the fruitiness of the rhubarb, the flavours are a really good compliment with neither fruit particularly dominating. They are both quite tart so plenty of sugar is needed to allay that mouth puckering sourness.

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