No. 52 - February 2007


Welcome to the first Recipes4us Newsletter of 2007. February features include Valentine's Day, Pancake Day, Chinese New year, National Chip Week, National Bramley Apple Week plus our usual monthly features. Make sure you click on the >>>>more  links to read the full articles.


Once again this year I am hoping to introduce new sections to the website and newsletter which  I hope you'll find useful. The first addition featured in this newsletter, are quick links to where you'll be able to buy specific kitchenware or other items which relate to articles in the newsletter.


Also, you may have noticed banners on the site offering new subscribers free entry into a monthly prize draw.  As a one-off for February,  I'm going to do two draws - one for new subscribers since 1st January 2007 and one for current subscribers so you don't miss out. Do keep a  look out for a notification email from saying you've won to which you will have to reply. Oh, I should mention the prize is a signed copy of the Recipes4us cookbook "This Book May Contain Nuts" and the winners (drawn from subscribers prior to 1st February) will be announced in the March newsletter.


As usual, if you have any suggestions, additions or interesting questions  for the newsletter, please write to me at


Happy Cooking ! 



Florence Sandeman, Publisher

Did you know.....

The world record for eating cabbage is 6 pounds 9 ounces in 9 minutes

This Month's Features



Cooking by Country




Click the picture to find out about  Egyptian cuisine and culinary history, plus lots of recipes



Food in Film


Click the film to see the next in the series. this month it coincides with Chinese New Year.



What's in Season

Apples, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery,  Chestnuts,  Leeks, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Potatoes, Turnips, Walnuts, Naval Oranges



How does your  Kitchen Garden grow

If you're thinking about growing potatoes you should buy "seed" potatoes now. These are just small potatoes which have been certified as virus free. When you've got them, set them with the rose "eyes" uppermost in a light frost-free place. They will begin to sprout in about 6 weeks.


You can start sowing the seed of Aubergines and peppers, including chillies, in late February indoors in small pots 7.5cm/3" diameter filled with compost.. Peppers in particular require a relatively long growing season so to avoid disappointing crops it's a good idea to start them off indoors before acclimatising them to outside conditions.


Hold off sowing outdoor seed until the end of February and even then, sow with caution as cold soil conditions hamper germination. Unless the weather has been very clement, it's best to wait until March.


By now you should have ordered all your veggie seeds, but even if you haven't, they will be appearing in garden centres and stores very soon and you still have time to order them online.


For detailed growing instructions visit growing herbs and vegetables section









February 20th is Pancake Day



Also known as "Fat Tuesday" and "Mardi Gras" and "Shrove Tuesday" it always falls on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday which is the first day of Lent in the Christian faith.


We have lots of lovely recipes for dessert pancakes and lots of savoury ones too including fillings of  seafood, chicken, meat and  vegetables plus some background information about the tradition.


Why not make it easy on yourself - purchase this specialist pan direct from to take the heat out of cooking perfect pancakes.

>>>>> more      



12th-18th February is National Chip Week (UK)

Did you know……
1 in 4 of all British Potatoes consumed in the UK are eaten as chips?

Chips or French fries are a favourite in many parts of  the world, but so much so in the UK that we've dedicated a whole week to them. Unlike some other countries, we make and eat our chips in a variety of ways -  from thick to thin, as an accompaniment or on their own, with brown sauce, ketchup and more recently mayonnaise (comme les Belges). We've found interesting facts relating to our long term love affair with the humble chip and to celebrate, we've set up a complete page dedicated  to Chips - everything from its history to how to make the perfect chip.

>>>>> more      






18th February is Chinese New Year

Why not prepare a feast of Dim Sum to see in the Chinese New year. 2007 is the year of the pig. The literal translation of Dim Sum  is dot heart  but it’s also commonly translated as touch the heart  so if you don’t manage to prepare something special on Valentine’s Day (14th February) you can always do a double celebration on the 18th.

>>>>> more  



Food in the News . . . .

Experts address measures to curb rise in food allergies

The growing number of people suffering from allergies is due to changes in European diets over the past 30 years, says a new review from the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA2LEN)

>>>>> more    (External Link)


And don't forget, if you have to cater for someone with food allergies, we have a very comprehensive special diets and Allergies section on the site



It's National Bramley Apple Week 6th - 12th February

Bramley apples are widely considered to be the cook's choice for cooking apples and have become one of the most popular cooking apples used since their discovery in the 1850's in a Nottinghamshire cottage garden by Henry Merryweather a local nurseryman. The name comes from the owner of the cottage,  a butcher called Matthew Bramley. Their tart flavour and superb texture is ideal for using in recipes and their higher acid content makes for a stronger, tangier  more "appley" flavour when cooked. Below are some sweet and savoury recipes using Bramleys (or other cooking apples).


V = Vegetarian       GF = Gluten/wheat Free      DF = Dairy Free

Lentil Winter Supper     V   GF

Liver with Apples

Cotswolds Squab Pie

Stuffed Cabbage     V   GF

Apple and Potato Mash     V   GF

Apple and Maple Sauce    Vegan    GF   DF

Apple and Celery Stuffing

Sultana and Apple Clafoutis    V

Traditional Apple Pie    V

Blackberry and Apple Dumplings    V

Apple Gingerbread    V


Whether you're looking for everyday,  exotic or unusual food and drink,  visit  Food shopping has never been easier !




February 14th is Valentines Day

We've updated our Valentine's Day page with some extra features. Not only is there a brief history of the day which includes explanations such as why we sign cards, letters, emails with an "X",  but there's also sections on aphrodisiac foods, specially selected recipes to fire up your passion and some complete menu ideas to take the hassle out of planning your special meal. And as a taster, below is an extra special Valentines Day dessert recipe.

>>>>> more      


You're the Zest in my life Dessert

(Individual Orange Crème Caramels)


The perfect dessert for Valentines Day. Can be made well in advance too.  Do as we did and make it extra special by using a heart shaped mould which you can buy online from Amazon by clicking the link below.



1. Preheat the oven to 170C, 325F, Gas mark 3.

2. Make the caramel by placing the sugar in a small saucepan together with the water . Allow the sugar to dissolve over a low heat then bring to the boil. Continue to boil rapidly until it turns a deepish amber colour then remove from the heat immediately.

3. Pour the caramel into the base of two ovenproof ramekin dishes, swirling around the bottom and up the sides. Set aside.

4. Place the milk in a saucepan and heat to hot but not boiling.

5. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla extract and sugar.

6. Pour the hot milk onto the egg mixture then stir in the orange zest and juice mixing well then pour it into the dishes containing the hardened caramel.

7. Place the dishes in a baking tin filled with 5cm/2inches of hot water, cover loosely with foil then carefully place the water bath into the oven and cook for 45-60 minutes. Allow to cool before refrigerating. They will have risen very slightly but will fall a little when cool. Chill until cold.

8. To serve - invert the crème caramel onto individual serving plates, tilting the plates to the caramel juice encircles the crème caramel.


Serves 2  

Preparation and cooking time:  70mins plus cooling


For the Caramel
100g/4oz Granulated Sugar
60ml/2fl.oz. Water
Other ingredients
300ml/10fl.oz. Milk
2 Eggs, beaten

1 Egg Yolk, beaten
A few drops Vanilla Extract
25-50g/1-2oz Caster Sugar
The Juice and Grated Zest of ½ an Orange

We used this lovely little heart-shaped ramekin to cook this recipe which you too can buy at Amazon



 Other Valentines Day items to purchase

Make everyday recipes and meals extra special using our specially selected Valentine cookware







New and featured Recipes 

V = Vegetarian       GF = Gluten/wheat Free      DF = Dairy Free

Main Courses 

Lemon Chicken with Figs    GF   DF

Casseroled Garlic Coriander Fish    GF   DF

Egyptian Spiced Prawns     GF   DF

Stuffed Pigeon       GF

Egyptian Stuffed Aubergines      GF   DF

Koshari      Vegan   DF

Spiced Shish Kebabs      GF   DF

Lemon Lamb      GF   DF

Beef with Okra      GF   DF

Egyptian Kofta     DF

Ful Mudammas       Vegan    GF   DF

Duck with Almonds     DF

Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry       DF

Sweet and Sour Chicken      DF

Stir fried Prawns with Noodles

Lentil Winter Supper     V   GF

Liver with Apples

Cotswolds Squab Pie

Stuffed Cabbage     V   GF


Desserts Cakes & Bakes

Pumpkin Pudding      Vegan    GF   DF

Spiced Oranges     Vegan    GF   DF

Quick Pitta Bread         V   DF

Pitta Bread            V   DF

Barley Flatbreads      V   DF

Sesame Bread Rings      V

Fig Date and Walnut Bread      V

Semolina Cake       V

Caramel Apples or Bananas        V   DF

Sultana and Apple Clafoutis    V

Traditional Apple Pie    V

Blackberry and Apple Dumplings    V

Apple Gingerbread    V

Soups, Appetisers & Starters

Broad Bean Soup   Vegan  GF   DF

Yoghurt Soup

Egyptian Lentil Soup    Vegan  GF   DF

Chickpea and Tomato Soup     Vegan  GF   DF

White Bean Hummus       V   GF

Bean Cakes      Vegan  GF   DF

Chinese Fried Scallops

Prosciutto Roasted Figs

Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup     DF

Potstickers (Dim Sum)

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Olive Caviar

Calamaria Parayemista    GF

Kipper and Potato Salad      GF   DF




Cucumber Mint Yogurt        V   GF

Egyptian Dukka      Vegan    GF   DF

Vegetable Rice     Vegan    GF   DF

Spicy Chickpeas       Vegan    GF   DF

Spinach With Dill      Vegan    GF   DF

Pharaoh Cauliflower        V   GF

Fresh Tomato Sauce    Vegan    GF   DF

Quick Pitta Bread         V   DF

Pitta Bread            V   DF

Barley Flatbreads      V   DF

Sesame Bread Rings      V

Stir Fried Bok Choy    Vegan    GF   DF

Szechuan Aubergine       V   DF

Noodles with Black Bean Sauce       V

Plum Dipping Sauce    DF

Mandarin Pancakes        V   DF

Apple and Potato Mash     V   GF

Apple and Maple Sauce    Vegan    GF   DF

Apple and Celery Stuffing


Next Newsletter due out 1st week in March  - to unsubscribe click here