Food (for Occasions) Recipes

Lemon & Pistachio Cake (dairy and gluten free)20140831_130427 [1109553]


200ml mild rapeseed oil

150g ground pistachios (or you could use almonds instead)

50g stale gluten free breadcrumbs  

200g golden caster sugar

2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder

Zest of an unwaxed lemon

4 organic eggs – beaten


Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well being careful not to over beat. Scape the mixture into a 20cm round tin and bake for approximately 50 mins at 180 degrees. Cool for about 15 mins then turn out of the tin, pierce all over with a skewer then slowly pour over a warmed mixture of 50g of caster sugar combined with the juice of 2 unwaxed lemons. Scatter over some coarsely chopped nuts if you wish.  

Orange and Almond Cake with a Marmalade Glaze


  • 150g butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • zest and juice of a large orange
  • 4 eggs
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Marmalade glaze:

  • 85g caster sugar
  • the juice of 3 oranges
  • 5 tbsp of marmalade


  • Pre-heat the oven to 170 C and grease and line a 20 cm round spring-form cake tin
  • Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy
  • Lightly beat the eggs and add the orange zest and juice
  • Beat the eggs and orange into the butter mixture
  • Sift the flour and baking powder together and then fold into the butter and egg mix with the ground almonds
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for 40-50 mins until golden and a skewer comes out cleanly
  • While the cake is cooking, heat the sugar, orange juice and marmalade over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved
  • When the cake is cooked, spear it all over with a skewer and while the cake is still warm and in the tin, pour the syrup over
  • Leave to cool completely in the tin

Berry Cocktail

Blend frozen raspberries with strawberries, blueberries and a dash of apple juice (a few mint leaves bruised with a little sugar could also be added for adventurous youngsters).  Top with a little more apple juice and serve with a few slices of fresh strawberry in the glass.  

Fruit Sorbet

Cherries aren’t to every child’s taste but this recipe works equally well with raspberries, strawberries, peaches, mangoes etc.

Jelly & Sorbet!

Jelly & Sorbet!


8oz pitted cherries (or other fruit)

2-4 tablespoons of sugar syrup


Make a sugar syrup by heating equal quantities of water and caster sugar in a pan.  Bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.  Allow to cool completely before using. 

Puree the cherries (or other fruit) with a little water to loosen until smooth.  Strain through a fine sieve, pressing down firmly to collect as much juice as possible.  Stir in the sugar syrup (to taste) and process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions or if making by hand; pour into an ice cream container (or similar) and put in the freezer.  Remove every 30 minutes and stir and scrape the frozen edges into the centre with a fork until the mixture is the desired consistency.   


Home-made Beef Burgers


1lb 4oz of good quality minced beef

1 egg yolk

A small handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

½ a small red onion, very finely chopped

1 small garlic clove, very finely chopped

1oz parmesan cheese, finely grated

Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper

Olive oil


Place the minced beef into a bowl.  Add the egg yolk, parsley, red onion, garlic, parmesan, mustard and seasoning and combine well (hands are good for this!). 

Divide the mixture into 6 equal amounts and pat each into a burger shape.  Drizzle with olive oil and put on a plate in the fridge until ready to cook. 

Prepare gherkins, slices of cheese, lettuce, tomato etc. to serve with the burgers. 


Try substituting coriander for the parsley and adding a little finely chopped chilli and ground cumin instead of the parmesan and mustard.  Some people add breadcrumbs to their mixture to help the mixture bind; if you find your burgers are particularly crumbly you may want to try this. 


Crunchy honey granola bars


6oz light muscovado sugar

4oz butter

2oz clear honey

8oz fruit muesli (any whole nuts roughly chopped)  

4oz sunflower seeds

2oz sesame seeds


Preheat the oven to 180C.  Grease and line a shallow baking tin (approx. 18cm square). 

Put the sugar, butter and honey in a pan and gently heat until the butter has melted.  Stir in the muesli and seeds. 

Spoon into the tin and flatten with the back of a spoon.  Bake for c. 25mins or until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.   Cut into bars.


Lemon Pudding


2oz butter

8oz caster sugar

The zest of 1 lemon

100ml lemon juice

3 eggs, separated

2oz self-raising flour, sifted

250ml milk

Icing sugar to serve


Preheat the oven to 180C. 

Beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest together until pale and creamy.  Whisk in the lemon juice, egg yolks, milk and flour bit by bit to make a smooth batter.  Whisk the egg whites into soft peaks and then carefully fold into the batter.  

Pour the mixture into a buttered ovenproof dish and place the dish into a roasting tray.  Half fill the tray around the dish with hot water and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes or until lightly browned and set with a bit of a wobble. 

Remove the dish from the baking tray and dust with icing sugar.  Delicious served warm or cold with pouring cream and perhaps a few summer berries.    



Rose Petal Jam


1l of waterSingle Rose

1l container filled with rose petals (choose roses with the best scent)

Juice of 2 lemons

1kg of sugar


Put the petals in a saucepan with the water (some recipes recommend bruising the petals by rubbing with a little sugar first and leaving for several hours or overnight to release more colour and flavour), bring to the boil and simmer for approx. 15 minutes. Strain the liquid into a bowl and allow to cool.  Add the lemon juice (admire the colour returning to the liquid) and sugar and return to the heat.  Once the sugar had dissolved, increase the heat and boil to reach setting point.  Cool a little before pouring into sterilised jars. 


This is a sweet jam and more liquid than other jams but absolutely delicious poured over yoghurt or folded into whipped cream!    


Three great summer salad recipes – perfect for picnics!

Summer Greens with a Herb Vinaigrette


  • 200g green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 200g courgettes, cut into sticks
  • 200g cucumber, diced
  • 100g peas
  • 100g broad beans
  • 100g asparagus
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • Handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp of snipped chives
  • Grated lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper


Steam the vegetables until they are tender and then plunge them into ice-cold water so that they cool quickly and retain their colour.  Drain thoroughly, shell the broad beans and then transfer all the vegetables into a box with a lid and add the cucumber. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Take the dressing and vegetables separately and when ready to eat, gently toss the two together.

Quinoa Salad


  • 60g quinoa
  • 60g bulghar wheat
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 40g sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 tin of cooked puy lentils
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cucumber, finely diced
  • 50g peas
  • 50g edamame beans
  • 50g French beans
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Large bunch parsley
  • Large bunch mint
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • 100g creme fraiche
  • Salt & pepper


Cook the quinoa and bulghar wheat according to their instructions, drain and allow to cool.  Cook the beans and peas and then plunge into cold water to cool quickly and retain colour.  Combine the salad ingredients and then gently stir in the dressing (oil, lemon juice, creme fraiche and seasoning).  Feta, spinach and/or rocket can also be added, depending on the other salads being served.

Gado Gado Salad

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1 tblsp oil
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 diced shallot
  • 1/2 long red chilli
  • small piece ginger
  • 1 tblsp palm sugar
  • 1/2 tblsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tblsp lime juice
  • 1/2 teasp shrimp paste
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 1/2 jar crunchy peanut butter


Soften the shallot, garlic & chilli for 5-6 mins, add all other ingredients (except the coconut milk & peanut butter) bring to the boil whisking and then off the heat, whisk in the coconut milk & peanut butter.  Return to the heat and simmer for 1 minute then keep whisking as it cools to prevent splitting.


  • 3 carrots, cut into thin sticks
  • 1/4 small white cabbage, finely sliced
  • 125g beansprouts
  • 1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cucumber, diced
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 kg cooked & diced new potatoes
  • Large handful coriander
  • Large handful mint


Blanch the carrots, cabbage and red pepper, plunge into cold/iced water and then drain.  Add the other ingredients and combine with the sauce.


Tea Loaf


  • 5oz currants
  • 5oz sultanas
  • 5oz brown sugar
  • grated rind of two oranges
  • 1/2 pint of tea
  • 1 egg
  • 10 oz self-raising flour

Soak the fruit, sugar and rind overnight in 1/2 pint of hot tea.  Stir in the egg and flour and turn into a greased and lined 8″ tin. Cook at 150 C/Gas Mark 2 for approx. 1 & 1/2 hours (or in two small loaf tins for approx. 50 minutes).


Limoncello & Mint Lemonade

Limoncello and Mint Lemonade

To make your own Limoncello –

Pare the zest from 6 unwaxed lemons (Sorrento if you want to be truly authentic!) being careful not to include any white pith.  Put into a large jar/bottle and pour over a litre of vodka.  Leave for a week, shaking the jar/bottle each day.  Dissolve 750g of sugar in 750ml of boiling water, allow the syrup to cool and then add it to the vodka and peel.  Leave for a second week, shaking daily before drinking.

N.b. The same method can be used with other fruit eg. oranges.

To make your own Limoncello and Mint Lemonade –

Muddle fresh mint leaves with lemon juice and sugar or lemonade cordial (sugar syrup and lemon juice).  Strain into a glass and add 1 part Limoncello to 2 parts Soda Water.  Top with ice, a slice of lemon and more fresh mint.  Lovely!


Chicken Breasts stuffed with Ricotta & Spinach

(A favourite from the 1980s and a quick and tasty supper in 2012!)



  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 250g spinach
  • 200g ricotta
  • 60g parmesan
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • salt & pepper
  • squeeze of lemon juice

Set aside 6 large spinach leaves then blanch or wilt the rest of the spinach.

Squeeze out any excess liquid and then purée the spinach with the garlic, ricotta, parmesan, s&p and lemon juice.

Ricotta & Spinach Filling

Make a slit in each of the chicken breasts to form a pocket and spoon in the filling.Wrap each breast in a spinach leaf, brush with melted butter and season with s&p.

Bake for 25 mins at 200C.

Chicken Breasts stuffed with Ricotta & Spinach (served here with on-the-vine, roasted cherry tomatoes and watercress)

This is good served with a cream and herb sauce, new potatoes and a green salad for a quick and easy supper.  Alternatively, allow the chicken breasts to cool completely, chill for a little while and then slice for a summer picnic.

Chicken Breasts stuffed with Ricotta & Spinach

Variations on this dish are endless.  Try substituting bacon or prosciutto for the spinach leaves wrapped around the chicken breasts or add some chopped prosciutto to the filling.  Fresh herbs or watercress, rocket and other leaves etc. can be added to the spinach mixture or a little lemon rind but be careful not to add too much as it can taste bitter.

3 responses

  1. Pingback: Marmalade – start the day the traditional way! | food for Occasions

  2. Pingback: Summer cooking with children | food for Occasions

  3. Pingback: Blooming marvellous! | food for Occasions

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