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I often try to cook something special on a Friday night. We’ve been so busy recently that it has been a bit of a struggle, but you can’t get much better than this fantastic starter: fresh, simple, delicious.  A perfect start to the weekend.


  • 50g butter
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • about 1kg clams (in their shells)
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • about 3 tablespoons of chopped, flat-leaved parsley

I’ve never cooked clams before so I asked the fishmonger at Soper’s what to do. She advised me to give the clams just a cursory rinse in cold water before cooking. So that is what I did:

Give the clams a cursory rinse in cold water.

Melt the butter, add the onion and garlic and cook under a low heat until soft, not brown.

Throw in the wine and the clams. Put a lid on the pan and steam for 5 minutes.

Add the parsley and stir.

Discard any clams that do not open.

Enjoy with some crusty bread to soak up the juices.

Serves 4 as a starter.



This is a very, very rich pudding, but delicious served with whipped cream, a handful of soft fruit and a drizzle of icing sugar. You won’t need to eat for three days afterwards.


For the base

  • 250g digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 150g unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

  • 750g full-fat cream cheese
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 110ml sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • zest of two lemons
  • juice of one lemon

The base

Pre-heat the oven to 180C

Line a loose bottomed tin with baking paper. I line the sides as well – leaving the paper a two or three centimeters higher than the sides of the tin.

Melt the butter in a large pan.

Whilst the butter is melting, smash the biscuits into crumbs. A food processor is good for this, or put the biscuits into a plastic bag and bash with a rolling-pin.

Add the biscuit crumbs into the butter and stir until completely coated. Pour the buttery crumb mixture into the loose-bottomed tin and press in well. Bake for around ten minutes then allow to cool.

The filling

Turn the oven up to 200C.

Whisk together all the ingredients and pour onto the cooled biscuit base.

Place on a baking tray – the cheesecake does rise a little during cooking and this will catch any overflow.  Bake for 45 minutes.

Turn the oven off, open the oven door and allow the cheesecake to cool slowly in the oven. This will stop the top from cracking.

The little tarts in the picture were made with some leftover ingredients. I didn’t get a picture of the main event unfortunately.



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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