Let me tell you a secret...

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I am such a lazy cook, but I love good food – preferably rather smart food – and as a result I seem to have spent a lifetime searching for the easiest, most effortless way to produce delicious and, if possible, impressive dishes.


I spent many years cooking with my small team for parties, celebrations and large gatherings.  Our kitchen was usually a tent with water only via hosepipe and squelchy grass under foot, yet elegant meals were  produced at speed.  We simply had to get the job done, so if some part of the cooking process could be avoided without detriment to the quality of the dish, it was.  

I have had no training and therefore I am able to bend and break rules quite happily, mainly because I don't even know what they are. However, have no doubt, these recipes do work. I give time saving hints and tips, I point out any possible stumbling points along the way and how to deal with them if they arise.

I now have Tudor Cottage Bed & Breakfast (pictured top left corner) near Dorchester in beautiful West Dorset.  The house is small and intimate with ancient architectural features, the atmosphere is calm and  relaxing, breakfasts are exquisite and the welcome is warm.


It isn’t always easy to be confident in the kitchen, so here is my cheat’s guide with shortcuts to cooking scrumptious meals, as well as comfortable family food without creating too much agitation and a desperate wish to run for the hills.

Ready to learn? Pick a recipe and let's get started!

Most, but not all, recipes given here are my own, and if one belongs to or has been inspired by someone else, I say so. Actually this has not always been straightforward. 

 

I came across a recipe in Nigella's wonderful How To Eat which, up to that moment, I was absolutely certain I had devised myself, but it seems her Great Aunt Myra got there first,  Even worse, Nigella describes the recipe as "very 70s".  Most insulting.

Detail of Harriet's Cheesecake Wedding Cake