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The Food Lover's Diary

Food Lover

The Horror of the Freakshake

The Freakshake, a super high-calorie mess of a milkshake, stuffed with anything sugary the maker can think of, is gaining in popularity.

But with some coming in at 1200 calories, there are those who are shouting for a ban. But a boycott may get better results

The One-Brew, One-Dish Tavern

When I was young, most pubs didn't sell food other than a stale sarnie, and the beer was often rubbish. These were smoky, smelly environments, jealously protected by their narrow-minded regulars. But pubs are changing, are cleaner and the food is better. But perhaps they are still getting it wrong.

The Supermarket Clones

It could be some huge conspiracy; all the big supermarkets owned by one secret company, determined to sell us all exactly the same products.

But, sometimes, this feels uncomfortably true!

Recipe of the Day

Ham Hock with Broad Beans, Lentils and Chorizo

You can pick up cooked ham hock in many supermarkets at the takeaway counter. Sometimes smoked, sometimes just cured, it is not the highest quality item out, but it is nicer than some of the dried out roast chickens they often sell.

I suppose this dish owes more to Spain than anywhere else, though I would be nervous about calling it a Spanish dish since I just made it up! But the Iberian influence is unmistakeable – the smoked ham, the onions and garlic and of course plenty of Pimenton, the Spanish Paprika.

Steak and Kidney Pud with Cider

I have cooked my pud more or less the same way for years – I often use lamb kidneys because of the rich sauce they generate.

For a change I went for ox kidneys and shoved in a bottle of cider – well, why not? See what you think.

Don’t Forget the Dough Balls

Suet dumplings are a simply wonderful addition to any country stew.

But lovely though they are, it is all too easy to forget old fashioned dough balls – thick, luscious bread that is steamed above the stock.

Couscous with chicken

Couscous is one of those ingredients that simply goes with anything. In this case, I am using a spicey, middle eastern style chicken recipe and then adding extra tomato for richness.


Marrow stuffed with Tuna

This is a really simple recipe using tinned tuna. You could make it with fresh tuna, flaking it before mixing it in and baking it all, but I am trying to keep it not just simple but cheap too.

Wonderfully healthy, tasty and good for diets!

Lovely Broad Beans & Parmesan

As a child, broad beans were an unedifying proposition. Veg was cooked as it was and put on the plate with little thought other than to make sure it was on time. Broad beans were cooked without removing their thin skin. But cooked properly, these are wonderful.

Twice Cooked Fall Apart Ribs

These ribs are cooked for hours in stock and spices before being finished off in the oven to give them their final rich, dry finish.

No BBQ sauce, but full of concentrated flavour from the long, slow cooking – much nicer and much less messy too.

Homemade Ice Cream

I really don't care what time of year it is or what the weather is like, when you dish up fresh, homemade strawberry ice cream, it is always summer.

This is so very simple. Get yourself an ice cream maker and you will never want to buy ice cream again.

The Best Sandwich in the World

There is something about a sarnie that is not just easy and quick, but immensely satisfying. The trouble is that most of the sandwiches that you buy have terrible bread and the filling's are boring, only made vaguely edible by salt. This is a proper sarnie.