Tag Archives: Lemons

Christmas Recipes…Christmas Dinner …the starter?


Well, the tree is up…or trees I should say two to be precise…Now to my Christmas menu every year we have the same well rephrase that we always have Prawn cocktail it is a family tradition plus one other…

I  have tried to have two completely different starters and no one will have it..nope! Nada! Not ever!

One year I fancied a change and we had a fantastic fresh seafood platter with Oysters, Langoustines everything you could think of and some Thai dips made by the daughter in Law… The only way to eat Oysters.

But we also had to have Prawn Cocktail….I think I would get lynched if I didn’t make it and the sauce has evolved over the years.I now add horseradish for that extra bite. Some add Tabasco or Worcestershire sauce but we like it with just horseradish  I use salad cream instead of mayonnaise. Sometimes I mix the two it just depends on how I feel on the day.But as with anything it is personal taste so play with the sauce and find how you like it best.

Prawn Cocktail.

prawn cocktail



  • 500gm of Prawns, peeled.
  • 5 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 5 tbsp Salad Cream.
  • 2-4 tsp hot Horseradish Sauce.
  • Salt and freshly ground Pepper.
  • 3tsp Lemon Juice.
  • Paprika to garnish.

To Serve: Fresh crusty brown bread as an accompaniment.

Shredded Iceberg lettuce.Tomatoes to garnish. Extra prawns for garnish…I leave the tails on these.

Let’s Cook!

Mix tomato ketchup, salad cream together. Add horseradish sauce, lemon juice, salt and black pepper.

At this stage, I taste and adjust the seasoning and add more of whatever I need to…. generally horseradish.

Chill in fridge until ready to serve.

To serve: Put some shredded lettuce in individual serving dishes with cucumber if using. Put a generous serving of the cocktail sauce on top.Sprinkle with Paprika.Garnish the dish with Prawns, A slice of lemon and tomatoes if using.


How about a baked whole camembert cheese served with cheese straws wrapped in bacon???

Now that ticks all the boxes for Moi…

Chicken Liver Pate:



  • 220g/8oz  butter.

  • 4 shallots chopped.

  • 2  cloves, crushed or finely chopped.

  • 450g/1lb chicken Livers, trimmed and cut in half.

  • 1 tbsp Brandy.

  • 1 tsp mustard powder.

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  • 1 bay leaf, to garnish.

  • 2-3 fresh cranberries, to garnish.


  1. Melt 110g/4oz of the butter in a pan over a medium heat, then add the onion and fry until softened, but not coloured.
  2. Add the garlic and chicken livers and fry the livers until golden-brown all over and cooked through. Add the brandy and mustard powder and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Place the liver mixture and 55g/2oz of the remaining butter into a food processor and blend until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Transfer the pâté into a serving ramekin or small dish and decorate with a couple of cranberries and a bay leaf….. I use lime leaves as cannot always get fresh bay leaves.
  5. Melt the remaining 55g/2oz of butter in a clean pan. Skim off the froth and pour the butter over the pâté. Transfer to the fridge to chill, then serve from the ramekin when ready.



How about potato cakes with smoked salmon?

You can either serve it with dill and sour cream or cream cheese and capers or cream cheese with dill and horseradish..lovely!

Potato Cakes with smoked salmon.



  • 3 med potatoes, grated
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 small egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp Fennell seeds lightly crushed
  • Good pinch of salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • Oil for frying.

Let’s Cook!

Heat the butter in a pan over a medium heat and add the onions cook the onions until they are soft then sprinkle over the brown sugar and cook until tender and golden make sure you stir them we don’t want them burnt, do we?

Put in a  bowl and set to one side.

Grate the potatoes and squeeze dry in a muslin cloth or clean t/towel it is surprising how much water you get out of some potatoes.

Mix the grated potato with all the other ingredients and mix well to combine.

Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and take a scoop of potato mix I  use a tbsp then put into the oil and flatten with the back of your spoon I make mine about 3 inches in size but on Christmas may even do slightly smaller…

Fry until golden brown and keep warm in the oven until you have fried all your little cakes…

Serve maybe 2 or 3 per late with some smoked salmon topped with your chosen topping I prefer the cream cheese it has a little more body to it…

Or lastly and what I will probably do this year is some lovely steamed mussels with a chilli dip…

The worst job is the debearding and they can tough little buggers to get out but well worth the effort and no one likes to eat the beard do they? It doesn’t look appetising either.


  • 2lbs fresh mussels scrubbed and debearded.
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 2 shallots sliced
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 3 stalk of lemongrass crushed
  • 3 slices of fresh ginger
  • Zest of half a lime
  • 1 sm chilli sliced
  • A handful of Thai basil.

Let’s Cook!

Heat the oil in a large straight-sided pot and add shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes add the other ingredients except for the mussels and bring to the boil, stirring then lower heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Turn the heat up to medium add mussels and put on the lid cook for 2-3 minutes then stir and cook further 1 minute all the mussels should then be open. Discard any which are not.

Spoon the mussels into individual bowls or one serving bowl and spoon over liquid.

These are lovely served with a spicy chilli dip.


If you want something a little more special then try this instead.


  • 1 stalk of minced lemon grass
  • 2-3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • good 1/4 cup white wine
  • tbsp rice wine vinegar.
  • 2/3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 chillies sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander.
  • tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • tbsp brown sugar
  • 2tsp cornstarch dissolved in a little water.

Let’s Cook!

In a large straight-sided pan bring the chicken stock to the boil. Add wine, vinegar, fish sauce, chilli, sugar, lime leaves, garlic and 1/2 cup of chopped coriander when the sauce is gently boiling add the mussels and stir gently, put on the lid.Cook for 2/3 minutes remove lid and stir and cook for further 1 min any mussels which are still closed remove.

Push mussels to one side and add dissolved cornstarch cook 30 seconds and it should have thickened gently stir in mussels.


Now taste and if too salty add lime juice and if not salty enough add more fish sauce.

Sprinkle with Thai basil.

Serve in a large bowl or individual bowls.

I hope you enjoy these mussels as much as we do…Let me know which ones you prefer with or without the wine???

Well, that’s it for Christmas starters…What is your tried and tested family favourite Christmas starter????

Have fun and don’t get too stressed over Christmas and all the planning I do hope these daily recipes have helped you a little…

Until tomorrow Ciao …










Christmas Recipes…Drink anyone???


Day 8 of my Christmas recipes and today I thought I would you some liquid refreshments to make ….they would make a lovely gift in a nice bottle with a bow or some other decoration… make 2 and keep 1 without leaving home a lovely way to beat the  Christmas rush…

I hope you enjoy and if you have a favourite homemade Christmas tipple then please let me know…

Irish Cream:


10 oz Irish Whiskey

1/2 pt whipping cream

1 can condensed milk.

2 eggs.

11/2 tbsp Chocolate syrup.

1/2 tbsp each of, Vanilla Extract, Coconut Extract, and Chocolate Extract.Home made Baileys

Blend all ingredients together and refrigerate.

Serve cold and or over Ice.

Now isn’t that easy? and …you can get about 4 batches from one bottle of  Irish Whiskey so by my reckoning that’s a real saving and lots of Baileys…yay……

Homemade tonic for your gin???



My favourite Tanqueray Gin no less and a tonic recipe ..you will never ever pull that metal ring and pour it over your gin again…This is sublime, the ultimate in a mixer and just what gin deserves and no I am not including the recipe for you…you will have to pop over to Chez’s blog and find it…haha…….Now you can all guess what I will be making this weekend 😉 If I can get Cinchona bark which gives the quinine flavour of tonic…..but Chez has it covered if you can’t she has given us the link to a man who can!




  • I litre bottle of your favourite vodka
  • 10 Lemons
  • 5 cups of water
  • 4 cups of granulated sugar

Let’s Brew!

Well, lets cook wasn’t really appropriate …Was it???

First, wash and peel those lemons and put the peels in a glass container ( big) enough to also hold the litre of vodka.

Leave to soak for at least 10 days. then drain off the liquid and dispose of the peels.

Make a syrup by dissolving the sugar in the water, cool and add to the lemon/vodka mixture. using a clean coffee filter strain the liquid…Voila!

You now have your own homemade Limoncello…

This last one is a lovely non-alcoholic apple-based drink.

  • 200 ml apple juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp whole allspice
  • 1 mace blade
  • 2 whole cloves
  • small strip fresh ginger
  • 1 clementine with the peel very finely zested.
  •  100 gm golden castor sugar

Let’s Cook!

Heat the apple juice with the whole spices, ginger, clementine zest and sugar. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then strain the syrup into small bottles.

Refrigerate until required and serve in a glass with some apple slices and ice or warm with a stick of cinnamon it is also lovely drizzled over ice cream.

All of these could be given as a lovely Christmas present and everyone loves a gift which is made by your own fair hands much nicer isn’t it????


Until tomorrow when I will be back with some more Christmas treats…


Fish Friday and it’s Fish Pie…


Fish Pie can be pastry topped or topped with mashed potato…

My mum always used to make it topped with potatoes sometimes she sliced them and others she boiled them… I think the slices potatoes look very pretty if you are having someone to dinner but when I am making especially here as I don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen…It’s hot!

I top with mashed potatoes either sweet potatoes ( which) I love but everyone one else likes the normal mashed potato as they call it…


For the filling

  • 400ml/14fl oz whole milk
  • 1 small onion finely sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500g/1lb 2oz thick white fish fillets, skinned…although if I can I get a pack of mixed fish pieces which includes salmon, smoked fish and other fish and it is very nice.
  • 40g/1½oz butter
  • 40g/1½oz plain flour
  • 150g/5½oz frozen peas/sweetcorn
  • 200g/7oz large raw prawns, peeled
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the topping

  • 800g/1lb 12oz medium  potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 40g/1½oz butter, cubed
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 100g/3½oz mature cheddar cheese, grated/ or breadcrumbs and parmesan makes for a nice topping.

Let’s Cook

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

To make the filling, pour the milk into a large pan and add the sliced onion and bay leaves. Season with salt and black pepper.

Place the fish fillets in the pan and bring to a very gentle simmer, cover and cook for two minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand and infuse for 20 minutes. Remove the fish and transfer to a colander over a bowl, then pour the milk into a jug.

Half fill a large saucepan with cold water. Add the potatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Drain the potatoes and cover with a clean teatowel which absorbs the steam. Mash with the butter, milk and three-quarters of the grated cheese. If I have cream in the fridge and feel a bit decadent then I omit the butter and milk and mash with cream.

Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

To finish the filling, melt the butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for a few seconds, then gradually add the infused milk, stirring constantly, and simmer over a medium heat for 3–4 minutes until the sauce is smooth and thick. Stir in the peas and season with salt and black pepper.

Spread one-third of the sauce into the base of a 1.5 litre/2¾ pint ovenproof dish. Scatter half the fish fillets over the sauce, breaking them into chunky pieces as you go and discarding the onion and bay leaves.

Arrange half the prawns on top of the fish and pour over another third of the sauce. Repeat this with the remaining fish and prawns and finish with the final third of sauce on top.

Spoon the mash over the fish mixture, spreading to the edges with a palette knife. With a fork just take it across the surface and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.

Sometimes I also slice some tomatoes and arrange them around the side of the dish.

Place the dish on a baking tray and bake in the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden-brown and the filling is bubbling.

Serve with some lemon slices.

Some steamed vegetables if a more substantial meal is required.

N.B This is also a nice recipe and can be made in individual servings just divide the mix between 4 bowls and brown the top for about 15 minutes.




Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from our own actions….Dalai Lama


Those two little birdies have flown the nest….just like our own babies do… I now have another nest..in my post box!

But as the postman very rarely uses it…as we say here.. TIT( This is Thailand) they can probably hatch and grow in peace……what I am really saying is; Post……. I don’t get..there must be this black hole somewhere……we were expecting a parcel and went to the post office Wednesday and there it sat…been there 5 days….didn’t even ask…ha ha…TIT.

When in Thailand..my motto is ” at least try it”…try it I did…..Ants Eggs…..which actually were not that bad….not much taste really…..bit of a no-no for me….give me something with lots of chilli any day.

Reading other blogs and realising a big percentage of my readers and bloggers come from the US,  I have been struck by how many  written references to God there are.

Although as a child I attended Sunday School and Church as I grew older……was even a choir girl…..I am confirmed and I take communion when I can and have found a church here which although different to mine….the teachings are the same…the differences  is it’s far more relaxed , singing…even food is eaten during the service. I was also struck by how many of the same young men that I have seen in local bars, who cage fight or you just see around having fun were also at the service….not that I think that anyone who frequents bars, cage fights or has good, clean fun should not enter a place of worship…….it was refreshing to think they were there with their  young families and friends worshiping the same God as I.

Commenting on a blog  about this..those written references which we British don’t generally do…..I believe in  God but  suppose wouldn’t write it for all to see and the lady who replied to my comment as I said I felt silly making that comment to her…… suggested that I shouldn’t feel silly..but should maybe start with a favorite verse of mine..so from this sometimes staid English Lady is one of my favorite verses.

Galatians 5:22-23   But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  

 Look what I got ……sitting on the beach with my sundowner…..fending off the ever-present sellers of  touristy bits and bobs…….a man appeared carrying a very heavy-looking bucket ….what did he have…had to look and what a surprise…it was fresh, very fresh honeycomb..and he strained the most glorious bottle of fresh honey…just had to purchase..it tastes so fresh and very slightly scented…amazing SAM_6809and a beautiful golden colour.

Just the thing to make some delish Honey, Lemon Pancakes.

Makes 5-6 .


  • 2/3 cup coconut flour.
  • 1 tbsp honey.
  • 1 cup coconut milk.
  • 8 eggs.
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.
  • Coconut oil or butter for frying, lemon wedges and extra honey to serve.

Let’s Cook!

Place all of the pancake ingredients in a large bowl and combine well. Heat a frying pan on medium-high heat and add one teaspoon of coconut oil, covering the base of the pan while it melts. Add a large scoop of pancake batter into the frying pan and cook until the top of the pancake begins to bubble and has started to cook. Flip the pancake over and cook for further 1-2 minutes or until the pancake has cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter then serve with a drizzle of honey and a lemon wedge for squeezing the juice over the pancakes.

And enjoy!


Until next time x