Month: October 2014

Pumpkin, lentil and spinach daal

Serves around 4, depending on appetite. 150g dried red lentils 4 fat cloves of garlic 1 large white or red onion 1 tsp cumin (seeds or ground) 1/2 tsp turmeric 1 red chilli (the general rule is the smaller they are, the hotter they are) or pinch of the dried stuff A grating of fresh ginger or pinch of dried 1 tbsp oil 100g pumpkin purée 100ml coconut milk or natural yoghurt 100g spinach (fresh or frozen) Zest and juice of a lemon First rinse your red lentils thoroughly under cold running water, and set to one side. Peel...

Read More

Punkin' (Pumpkin) Jam

The smallest girl in our household calls pumpkins ‘punkins’ – hence the name ‘Punkin Jam’! If you think carving pumpkins are bland and boring and inedible, this might just be the thing to change your mind… I’m typing this with some hot buttered toast between my teeth with some soft, sweet jam on top… And that handsome chap in the background is Rob, carving our punkin into a fiendishly good lantern… The usual rules of jam making apply, equal weights of fruit (or in this case, pumpkin) to sugar. I didn’t add any citrus to help it set, but...

Read More


I read with some horror in this week’s Independent that in the UK we will throw away 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin flesh this week ( while carving out Jack O Lanterns. I eyed the one sitting on the kitchen table with suspicion and dread and the stirring feeling of a mission bubbling away in my little brain… So this morning, after the obligatory pumpkin-scooping-out session, I set about putting the extremely large bowl of pumpkin flesh to work. I have a few ideas for it over the coming days, so first, I’ve knocked it into a large amount of...

Read More

No-eggs little dollar pancakes

Yesterday morning we woke the toddlers with a promise of pancakes for breakfast, one of the small pleasures of the half term holidays being that breakfast can be a more leisurely family affair, rather than a melee of cereals and juice while trying to make packed lunches and brush hair and keep uniforms clean, one eye on the clock watching the impending school run tick closer… So, into the large mixing bowl went the flour, sugar, milk, quick stir, shared grins of excitement at the thought of pancakes for breakfast and oh shoot and blast, we don’t have an...

Read More

Happy book-birthday, hurrah!

Happy book birthday! And so the day is finally here, and true to form on publication day, I’ve spent most of my waking hours on various radio stations and chatting to journalists, not to mention signing a pile of 503 quite large and heavy books in the Penguin offices on the Strand. And now, finally collapsing in a quiet corner with a nice hot mug of tea, I thought I’d jot a few words down here. It seems as though the ink is barely dry on the first book, A Girl Called Jack, when suddenly out of almost-nowhere this...

Read More

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 240,179 other subscribers.