Banana, pear, vanilla and cinnamon jam

I do not know about you but I personally love the combo of sweet banana and spicy cinnamon in anything from pancakes to waffles to milkshakes to ice-cream… The list goes on! So I was in a jaming mood the other day, preparing to go up North with a pot, and I thought up this jam recipe. Then realised Mrs Beeton had almost an identical one in her book : Great minds think alike!

I made it quite light in sugar because of the sweetness of the fruit so it probably will not last too long out of the fridge but then it does not HAVE to… Try it on toasted brioche or in my next batch of goat milk yogurt- See recipe here.

IMG_7217Ingredients list:

  • Bananas, 1 kg
  • Pears, 500g
  • Brown granulated sugar, 500g
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • Spices: Cinnamon 1 Tbsp and 1 Vanilla pod (scraped), 8 cloves

Peel and cut the fruit.

Put in the preserving pan, the pears, lemon juice and the sugar. Bring to boiling point. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the bananas and the spices and simmer at jam temperature for 20 minutes to half hour.

Pour boiling hot into clean jars and screw the tops before turning the jars upside down to sterilise from top to bottom. Wipe and  rinse the jars when cooled down.

Keep in a cool place until needed. Once open, it will not keep long …


Avocado and kiwi frozen smoothie for radiant health


Just 3 ingredients and lots of ice...

Just 3 ingredients and lots of ice…

A cooling smoothie with an unusual savoury tang: The smooth avocado marries the tangy kiwi in a delicious if surprising combination.

Ingredients list:

  • avocado, 1
  • kiwi, 1 peeled
  • spirulina powder, 1 tsp (optional)
  • orange, 1 squeezed
  • ice cubes, handful

Blitz all of the above ingredients in your food processor ( mine is a Thermomix) and serve cold in an ice cream glass. I love it as a starter or anytime of day as a smoothie. It is also a great post work out recovery drink! Need to remember that next sunday as I attempt to run the Richmond running festival Half-marathon…

Be sure that, with or without spirulina, this sweet and savoury smoothie packs a big vitamin punch in a small size –  quantities above are per person.

You can source Spirulina powder in health shops. It is great for energy because it contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals as well as anti-oxydants. I can’t say I enjoy the taste of it of in small quantities in smoothies it does the job and provide even more green to your diet… The taste is fresh and clean so perfect to start the day feeling radiant with health and virtue!

Pure green energy

Pure green energy





Roasted Spanish style haddock with red peppers

As students up and down the country prepare themselves to move into their Freshmen’s halls or flat-shares, this is a cheap and very tasty recipe to warm up an autumn evening in a new city! A fast and healthy recipe, all cupboard based, to save time and money. The flavours are inspired by a couple of recent Spanish week-ends and the endless and delicious tapas tasted, where only a few but excellent ingredients help produce food that sing in the soul!

Haddock is a firm fleshed fish with no bones and a great source of omegas, lean protein and important minerals to nurture hungry young brains. It is very nice frozen so no need to look for fresh one unless you are near the sea. This dish is all cupboard or frozen ingredients so easy and cheap to source and it only boasts 3 to 4 ingredients (plus some seasoning) so it is real quick to put together. Hardware wise, all you need is an oven proof dish and the oven that goes with it.

Spanish red

Spanish red

Ingredients list

  • Frozen haddock, 1 filet per person
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • ½ red pepper, chopped


  • Sweet paprika, 1 tsp
  • salt and pepper
  • A little olive oil
  • Quarter of  a lemon to serve

Lay the fillet (still frozen) in a dish and pour all the ingredients on top.

Swing it into the oven at 180° and bake for 30min or until the fish is tender and totally defrosted. Cooking frozen fish without defrosting is key to getting a tender but firm and tasty end dish rather than soggy and unappetising flesh… Unlike meat, fish should always be cooked frozen!

Summer evening on a beach somewhere...

Summer evening on a beach somewhere last month…

Almond and Cumin Roast Chicken – reblog!

Almond and Cumin Roast Chicken, curtesy of Cooking Up the Pantry.

I had to re-blog this as it sounds just so yummy! I will be definitely be trying it soon… Hope you like it too. Plus it is a great way of using up my Garma Masala spices.

Back to the printmaking studio and the yoga routine this week, so too busy to post anything of my own but just you wait…

Copyright to Cooking up the Pantry- thx!

Cold soup of melon, cucumber and mint – as fresh as a kiss!

A sweet and savoury soup as cool and healthy as a salty kiss, the kind you get when you are flirting in the waves! Try it!


Ingredients list:

  • Honeydew melon, 1 small
  • Cucumber, seeded, 1/2
  • Grape, one small bunch  (if the melon is not sweet enough)
  • Yogurt, 150g
  • Chopped sweet shallots, 2  small ones
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon juice, 1 lemon
  • Olive oil, 50 ml
  • Mint, small bunch plus sprigs to decorate

    A peek at the mix!

    A peek at the mix!

Scoop out the melon’s flesh, peel the cucumber and take the seeds out.

Peel the garlic and took out the inner shoot if green.

Chop and mix all of the above ingredients then blitz into a blender (or Thermomix). Add the chopped mint and blitz again. Keep a few sprigs aside.

Reserve and chill until ready to eat.

Decorate with fresh  mint and a little stick with fruit on it. Add a few ice cubes when serving.

Freshly made

Freshly made

We had this in a little “chiringuito” in El Palmar, not far from the Roche beach that I have pictured above. I fell in love with the sweetness and coolness of this perfect summer combination. Soups are a great summer dish – a welcome alternative to the salads… The beauty of cold soup is that they are choking-full of watery fruit and veg and therefore so hydrating and refreshing in the heat. Plus the extra shot of vitamins will leave you radiant when returning from the beach.

This is the second in my series of Spanish themed soups for summer goodness. Hope you are loving them as much as I do! Third one soon on it’s way and it is the famous and mysterious “Ajo Blanco”…