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We’ve recently been reading The Gingerbread Man, so we thought we’d have a go ourselves to see if ours jumped out of the oven and ran away.


  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 175g sugar (I use approx. 75% granulated, 25% demerara)
  • 125g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp/75g golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp/25g treacle
  • a splash of vanilla

Sieve together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon. Add sugar and give a quick stir.

Rub in the butter to make ‘breadcrumbs’.

Stir in the egg, syrup, treacle and vanilla to create a dough. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Set the oven to 180C and prepare two trays with baking paper.

Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface to a thickness of around 0.5cm. Cut into shapes.

Bake for around 12-15 minutes.

This recipe makes lots of gingerbread men, so I froze about half the dough for another time.

Once cooled, decorate. We ate ours straight away in case there were any sly old foxes about.



This is such a simple recipe for children. They like helping out and they like eating them – Sam ate a record seven fishcakes this time. I usually try to keep it quite bland, because that’s the way my kids like them, an alternative would be to add onion, chives, or parsley.


  • 1 baking potato
  • 1 can pink salmon
  • 1 egg
  • breadcrumbs
  • a sprinkle of oats

Easy, peasy. Whack the potato in the microwave for six minutes, mash, add the salmon. Make into balls and then roll into the oat and breadcrumb mixture before frying. We used to roll in either breadcrumbs or oats, the breadcrumb/oat combination is a recent innovation introduced by Sam. And a very successful one too, judging by his record seven-in-a-row fishcake fest.


The lentil part of this recipe is a mash-up between Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Puy lentil and spinach soup and Angela Hartnett’s Poached cod and lentils, with a few amendments of my own, depending on what is in the ‘fridge. The fish part of the recipe entirely belongs to Angela Hartnett, though I have to admit that I’m sometimes too mean to sacrifice 300ml wine to the poaching stock.


For the lentils

  • knob of butter and a splash of olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 leek
  • 150g le puy lentils
  • a splash of white wine
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 3-4 spring onions
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley
  • handful of baby spinach

For the cod

  • 2 cod (or haddock, or similar) fillets
  • 300ml boiling water
  • 300ml white wine
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/4tsp fennel seeds
  • 5 coriander seeds
  • sprinkle of thyme
  • a few basil leaves
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Gently fry the onion and garlic with the butter and olive oil, until the onion is soft and golden. Add the leeks and celery.

Add the lentils. Pour in the stock a spoonful at a time (Angela Hartnett says it is as if you were making risotto).

When the lentils are nearly done (about twenty minutes), it is time to turn our attention to the fish.

In a separate pan, put all the poaching liquids and herbs and spices and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat, add the fish to the pan, put on the lid and leave to cook for about five minutes.

Add the spring onions, parsley and spinach to the lentils and mix together. Angela Hartnett adds another knob of butter at this stage, but I’m trying to be a bit healthy.

Add the poached cod to the lentils and warm through.

This is a really lovely meal, I just serve with salad.




This is a healthier version of a fancy schmantzy tarragon chicken recipe that I’ll write about another day. The chicken here is dry-fried, to keep the calories down, and there’s no alcohol added – because Jim’s not really a fan of booze in food.


  • 2 free-range chicken portions
  • 1 large onion
  • 250g punnet of brown mushrooms
  • tarragon
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 3-4 tbsp low-fat creme fraiche (optional)
  • new potatoes (optional)
  • runner beans, kale or cabbage (optional)

Dry fry the chicken and onions in a non-stick pan. Add the mushrooms, tarragon and chicken stock.

If including the potatoes, par boil for ten minutes or so and add to the pan with the stock.

Put in the oven at 200C for thirty minutes. The greens can be added to the pan for the last five or ten minutes.

Stir in the creme fraiche and serve.

(Note: if you add creme fraiche then you can’t freeze this dish)



I love this slow-cooker recipe, it is so simple. I make it ahead whilst the children are having their tea and it is ready for us when they have gone to bed.


  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 3-4 spring onions
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 lemon – zest and juice
  • coriander
  • 400ml fish stock

Place the chopped spring onions and celery at the bottom of the slow-cooker. Lay the salmon fillets on top (skin-side down). Drizzle lemon juice and zest over the salmon along with a sprinkling of coriander. Pour hot stock around the salmon.

Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Add a big sprinkling of coriander before serving. We ate it with brown basmati rice and broccoli, and a salad on the side.


Here's one I made earlier

Here's one I made earlier

Hi, my name's Helen and I live in London with my husband and two children. When I started piping the potato on my shepherd's pies, my husband suggested that it might be a good idea for me to find an outlet for my creativity, so here we are. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, the extra twist is that I don't eat meat (I do eat fish though) and Jim, who loves meat, is always on a diet. Here are a few recipes that I have enjoyed making for my family.

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