Boys Autumn/Winter Style

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Oh K! Mini Tattoos

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Unicorn Nail Stickers

I noticed that Lisa from We Don’t Eat Anything With A Face was hosting a Blog Hop and had posted about her first, latest and favourite cookbooks and I couldn’t help but join in myself. (apologies in advance for my rather non veggie cookbooks)

I remember growing up my mum had numerous Good Housekeeping recipe books from the 70s and 80s and loved helping her make recipes from them. But my first cookery book was Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course. I received it in 1992 (according to the inscription) as a Christmas present from my dad, so that would have made me 11 and it was no doubt to stop me from stealing his copy!

I have cooked many a recipe from this book over the years. I loved nothing more as a child than being left to my own devices in the kitchen cooking up a storm and making a mess. Delia taught me the classics, Coq au Vin, Boeuf Bourguinonne, Moussaka, not to mention the devilishly chocolatey squidgy chocolate log, which is amazing!

My latest cookbook, well there’s two of them actually, again from my dad as a Christmas present, but some 18 years later than the first, are Jamie Does…….. by Jamie Oliver and I love/heart (not sure what the name is!) curry by Anjum Anand.

Since I live i Spain and my family are back in the UK, I set up a wish list on Amazon for Christmas and birthdays so I could add items to it that I fancied (my daughter has one too) and my family could then buy them without me knowing what was from whom and send the to me as part of the free super saver delivery they do – needless to say I often treat myself now I know I can get free delivery!

I chose these two because I adore curry and wanted a book that showed me how to make authentic curries rather than the same old flavours you get in an Indian restaurant. I’ve watched Anjum Anand’s tv series before and she comes across as such a warm character who makes some wonderful dishes so I thought I’d give this book a go. I’m yet to make anything out of this book, however I feel a curry night coming on. The dishes i most want to try are southern potato curry, spicy andhra chicken curry, authentic pork vindaloo, lamb dopiaza, cumin crusted sautéed potatoes and instant naan.

Next up there is Jamie Does…… I chose this one because having moved to Spain I’ve been on the look out for some traditional Spanish dishes, or a modern twist on the traditional and as yet my Spanish isn’t quite good enough not to ruin a recipe from a recipe book written in Spanish so Jamie it was! I watched the accompanying tv programme and Jamie Does Andalucia was filmed in and around Ronda which is up in the mountains about an hour and a half away from where I live so I almost had to get this book! The book is a mixture of stories from Jamie’s travels and recipes, all of which sound delicious. I’ve tried a few of his tapas recipes and recommendations, each with delicious results, but am yet to try a meal. I really do need to get myself cooking! I can’t wait to make the best chorizo and tomato salad in the world, croquetas, mini meatballs, patatas bravas, swedish meatballs, pitt y panna, creamy mushrooms, souvlaki and sweet and lovely honey and pistachio cake.

On to my favourite cookbook Stuffed vine leaves saved my life, by Nadia Sawalha. It’s an amazing book that I would recommend to anyone. You can read all about it in my previous post here.

I’ve cooked lots of recipes from this book, one of them being Spanish style chicken in sherry. Herby garlic bread is divine, Kataef (arabic pancakes) are unbelievably delicious and the recipe for Baklava is unbeatable. I absolutely adore this book and can see myself making meals from it for years to come.

So what are your favourite, first and latest cookbooks? Remember to link up to the blog hop here.

This is a recipe from the wonderful recipe book I posted about a few days ago, Stuffed Vine Leaves Saved My Life by Nadia Sawalha, and it was one of the first recipes I made from the book.


  • 3tbsp plain flour
  • salt and black pepper
  • smoked paprika
  • 4 chicken breasts cut into chunks (the recipe calls for a whole chicken, cut into pieces on the bone)
  • 150ml/5fl oz olive oil
  • 20 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 200ml/7fl oz sherry
  • fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Season the flour with salt, pepper and paprika.
  2. Roll the chicken pieces in the flour mixture.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan.
  4. Fry the chicken pieces until cooked through.
  5. Then fry the garlic in their skins (although this works just as well without the skins) with the chicken until golden brown.
  6. Remove from the heat and add the sherry bit by bit.
  7. Turn the heat up gradually to burn off the alcohol.
  8. Turn down the heat again and simmer until the sherry has disappeared.
  9. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with barra de pan (french stick) to mop up all the juice.

This goes really well with sautéed potatoes and would be equally as nice with a crisp green salad in summer. I used probably double the amount of sherry in an attempt to keep this “fresh” when my partner stayed out watching football one night and it worked just as well. The juice/sauce  from this recipe is absolutely divine and it just wouldn’t be the same without a hunk of crusty bread to dip in to it.

I started this blog to record recipes I have made since moving to Spain, Spanish inspired and a few family favourites thrown in for good measure, but I’ve found myself neglecting it somewhat. It’s not as though I’m not cooking on a daily basis, it’s rather that I seem to forget to take photos of the food I make and never get round to posting any recipes. So I have resolved to address this and have created a “wish list” of Spanish foods I want to try my hand at making:

  • Albondigas – glorious meatballs, often eaten as tapas
  • Alioli – the cause of much of my weight gain since arriving here (well that and the hunks of bread I dip into it!) this is garlic mayonnaise sent straight from heaven
  • Santiago Tart – an almond based cake eaten mainly at Easter
  • Arroz con leche – rice pudding
  • Pan con tomate – think bruchetta with garlic and tomatoes
  • Jamie Olivers chorizo and tomato salad – I’ve fancied this ever since seeing it on Jamie Does Andalucia
  • Croquettas – another tapas dish and a favourite with my daughter, think potato croquettes with ham or chicken inside them
  • Tortilla – potato omelette
  • Ensaimadas – Majorcan cakes in a swirl or “snail” shape
  • Pinchos – delicious kebabs
  • Patatas a lo pobre – potatoes cooked with onions and peppers
  • Patatas bravas – potatoes with a spicy sauce
  • Paella – how could I not attempt a decent paella while living in Spain?!

I’m sure I’ll think of a few more to add to the list as I go along, however by writing these down I have something to work to, a challenge if you will. Wish me luck and remember to pop back to see how I got on!

I treated myself to a new cookery book just before Christmas. It came in an Amazon order, concealed among presents for my daughter and I couldn’t wait to rip that box open and get cooking!

I had my eye on this book for quite some time. I’m a bit of a fan of Nadia Sawalha (I’m thinking of buying her exercise video next to help me shift the pounds after eating my way through all the recipes in this book!) and had heard it was full of fantastic recipes, but little did I know just what a wonderful book it was before I opened that box just before Christmas.

This isn’t just a cookery book, this is a book about Nadia’s family and their love of food, and each other. Reading the book transports you to Jordan, Morocco, and even Croydon, surrounded by larger than life family members, each with a wonderful story to tell and a love of food that makes your mouth water. I love nothing more than reading a cookery book when I get a new one, coffee in hand I devour every page, reading all the recipes and quickly picking out what ones I want to try first, but this is the first cookery book that I have read word for word and literally couldn’t put down. It is simply a fantastic book that you just have to read for yourselves!

There are loads of recipes in the book that I simply have to make, several of which I have tried already, each with delicious results, which I will post about in future, but for now, if you love food, go get yourself this book, it is an absolute must read for anyone who simply loves food!

*No I don’t know Nadia, neither is this a sponsored post, I just absolutely loved this book and had to tell you about it*

Chicken Basque

Another long standing family favourite and one I’ve made recently since moving to Spain is Chicken Basque, another delicious recipe courtesy of Delia Smith. I first made this when I was about 11 or 12 from Delia’s Summer Collection recipe book and was delighted to receive the book from my dad when I passed my driving test so that I could start making it again!

It’s a fantastic dish, bursting with glorious mediterranean flavours. It’s easy to make and needs no accompaniment, however it is delicious with a crisp green salad in the height of summer. All of the ingredients are readily available both in the UK and in Spain, although surprisingly enough sun dried tomatoes are rather hard to come by out here, although once I stumbled across them in a hypermarket the other day I just knew I’d be making this recipe for dinner!

Chicken Basque
(serves 4)

4 chicken breasts
2 red peppers, sliced into strips
1 large onion, sliced
2oz/50g sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and cut into pieces
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
5oz/150g chorizo sausage, sliced
8fl oz/225ml brown basmati rice
10fl oz/275ml chicken stock
6fl oz/170ml dry white wine
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chopped fresh herbs
2oz/50g pitted black olives, halved
1/2 large orange, peeled and cut into wedges

1. Season the chicken.
2. Heat 2tbsp of the oil in a casserole dish and brown the chicken on both sides
3. Remove to a plate
4. Add 1 tbsp oil to the casserole and add the onions and peppers, allowing them to brown. Cook for approx 5 mins.
5. Add the garlic, chorizo and tomatoes and cook until the chorizo has taken on some colour.
6. Stir in the rice and once they have a good coating of oil, add the stock, wine, tomato puree and paprika.
7. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, then place the chicken on top of everything.
8. Sprinkle the herbs over the chicken pieces and scatter the olives and orange wedges among them.
9. Cover the dish with it’s lid and cook on a gentle heat for about 50 mins – an hour until the rice is cooked. Alternatively cook in an oven at Gas 4/180C


Another recipe courtesy of Delia Smith! I fancied the look of this one when I came across it on her website recently. I won’t regurgitate the recipe, I’ll leave that to Delia to explain on her website, however what I would mention is that the potatoes were not cooked at all after the specified time, even after giving them another half an hour in the oven. By which time we were so hungry, I removed them from the casserole and microwaved them for ten minutes and added them back to the stew once they were done.

Unfortunately this grainy photo doesn't do it justice

Even after microwaving the potatoes this was a nice dish, personally I’d have preferred it with chicken, but my partner particularly enjoyed it and has since taken the leftovers to work for dinner.

Still without a decent Spanish cookery book, I turned to Jamie Oliver for inspiration recently and my god am I glad I did! This recipe is simply to die for and will be one I will cook again and again! It makes a great meal for family, but would be great when entertaining too.

I have never perfected crispy chicken skin before, but the skin on this chicken was eaten as I was carving it, much to my partners disgust! So without further ado,  here’s the recipe for the tastiest roast chicken I’ve ever come across:


1kg of potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5 inch dice

2 lemons

a handful of flat leaf parsley

2kg fresh whole chicken

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

300g chorizo, sliced diagonally

8 cloves of garlic, peeled

olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas Mark 7
  2. Place your potatoes and lemons in a pan of water and boil for 5 mins.
  3. Drain, then prick the lemons all over with a knife
  4. Stuff the chicken with the hot lemons and parsley
  5. Season the chicken and potatoes with the salt and black pepper
  6. Place the potatoes in a baking tray and put the chicken on top
  7. Sprinkle over the chorizo, a little chopped parsley and the garlic cloves
  8. Drizzle with olive oil
  9. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes
  10. Serve with the cooking juices drizzled over


Before cooking

This recipe is slightly adapted from Jamie’s, he cooks it slightly differently, and also adds a gremolata, for the original recipe click here.

Look how delicious it is when it comes out of the oven!

The most succulent, flavourful chicken I've ever tasted!

TIP: I would recommend adding the chorizo during the cooking time as it was slightly crisp after an hour and twenty minutes. I will have to make it again now just to test out an appropriate timing!

Chicken Paprika

In the absence of a Spanish cookery book, I have turned to an old family favourite thanks to the culinary goddess that is Delia Smith. It’s a recipe I have been cooking since I was 11 years old and I first discovered it at my father’s house when I made it for us to eat on the patio one balmy summers evening. It’s a recipe that doesn’t fail to delight everyone who has since tried it and is fantastic with a crisp green salad and rice in the summer or roast potatoes and vegetable once the weather turns.


3lb/1.3kg chicken, quartered

olive oil

2 medium onions, sliced

1 dessertspoonful plain flour

2 pinches of cayenne pepper

1 heaped teaspoon of paprika, plus a little extra (I used Spanish paprika of course!)

1lb/400g tin tomatoes

5fl oz/150ml chicken stock

1 green pepper, de-seeded and sliced

5fl oz/ 15oml soured cream


 Pre heat the oven to gas mark 3, 325F or 170C

Begin by heating the oil in a pan and gently frying the chicken joints until golden in colour.  Using a slotted spoon transfer them into a casserole and season.

Fry the onions and peppers gently in the pan in the oil remaining. After around ten minutes stir in the flour, cayenne pepper and paprika.

Then add the tomatoes and stock and stir before simmering.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and bake in the oven for an hour and a quarter.

Just before serving spoon the soured cream over the chicken, mixing it in slightly to give a marbled effect, before sprinkling over some more paprika. (I was so hungry at this point I forgot to take a photo of the finished article. To see how it should look click here