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Food, Home & Garden

Sweet couscous

Sweet couscous

Couscous is extremely versatile and can be used for both savoury dishes and for sweet ones, such as this quickly made, delicious hot cereal. The couscous is mixed with dried fruit and soaked briefly in hot milk, then topped with fresh fruit, to create something a little different to start the day.

Tomato and pecorino clafoutis

Tomato and pecorino clafoutis

For this savoury version of a classic French batter pudding, sweet cherry tomatoes are baked in a light, fluffy batter flavoured with grated pecorino cheese. Make individual clafoutis, or one large one, and serve for a simple lunch or dinner with bread or boiled new potatoes and green beans.

Turkish eggplant and yogurt dip

Turkish eggplant and yogurt dip

Many versions of this creamy eggplant dip are to be found around the Mediterranean. This one is thickened with ground almonds, which add both texture and protein. Served with pita bread and crunchy vegetable crudités, the dip makes a delicious snack or starter.

Pecan waffles with maple and blackberry sauce

Pecan waffles with maple and blackberry sauce

Crisp, crunchy waffles, so popular in France, Belgium and North America, are a lovely treat for breakfast or brunch. To make these, you will need a waffle iron that can be used on the stove or an electric waffle maker.

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Pistachio floating islands

Pistachio floating islands

In this version of the classic French pudding, îles flottantes, fluffy poached meringues studded with pistachios float on a creamy vanilla custard. A flourish of fresh blueberry coulis is the finishing touch to this sophisticated dessert.

Pumpkin, ricotta and sage gnocchi

Pumpkin, ricotta and sage gnocchi

There are numerous versions of gnocchi in Italy. For the one here, a flour–based dough of ricotta and mashed pumpkin, flavoured with sage and parmesan, is shaped into the little dumplings. A colourful roasted capsicum and onion sauce completes the dish.

Quail eggs with asparagus and parmesan

Quail eggs with asparagus and parmesan

Make this lovely, warm salad in late spring with the new season's asparagus. The lightly steamed, bright green spears are topped with poached quail eggs, then finished with parmesan shavings and a crisp salad. Accompany with slices of baguette for an easy lunch.

Raspberry cranachan

Raspberry cranachan

This traditional Scottish dessert is quick and easy to put together, and the nutritious combination of cream, fromage frais, oats and fresh fruit makes a superb sweet course for a special occasion meal. The whisky not only adds a taste of Scotland, but gives a fantastic kick to the flavour.

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Rice pudding with apricots

Rice pudding with apricots

Rich in flavour and wonderfully creamy in texture, this satisfying rice pudding is a modern version of a popular old favourite. It's flavoured with tangy orange zest and sultanas, and paired with a cinnamon–spiced fresh apricot compote.

Golden penne with goat's cheese

Golden penne with goat's cheese

Mild and creamy goat's cheese is melted in saffron–infused white wine and mixed with fennel, olives and capers to make a golden–coloured sauce for pasta shapes. This easy dish comes with a simple mixed leaf salad.

Herbed French toast

Herbed French toast

Give breakfast or brunch a new twist with this savoury version of French toast, also called pain perdu or eggy bread. Triangles of bread are dipped into a fresh herb and egg mixture, then pan–fried until crisp and golden.

High-vitality milkshake

High-vitality milkshake

This satisfying ‘breakfast in a glass’ is made with milk and thick yogurt flavoured with banana and freshly squeezed orange juice, plus some wheatgerm for extra vitamin value. A milkshake–style drink makes a great energising start to the day, ideal for people in a hurry.

Huevos rancheros

Huevos rancheros

For a fun weekend brunch, serve this Mexican–style dish of poached eggs, warm flour tortillas, a fresh tomato and chilli salsa, and toppings of grated cheese, sour cream, spring onions and fresh coriander. It will soon become a firm favourite.

Little custard pot

Little custard pot

These creamy baked custards, delicately flavoured with vanilla and accompanied by a fresh cherry compote, are easy to make and sure to be popular with all ages. Take care not to overcook the custards – they should be just set when you take them out of the oven.

Marbled winter fruit fool

Marbled winter fruit fool

Dried prunes and peaches have an intense, concentrated flavour and sweetness and, with the addition of a dash of peach schnapps or brandy, they make a really special fruit fool. This is an attractive dessert for the winter months.

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