No. 50 - November 2006

Welcome to the free monthly newsletter. If you have any suggestions for additions to this newsletter,   please write to me at . 

Happy Cooking ! 




Florence Sandeman, Editor

Food Funny


Who's there?
Stew, who?
Stew early to go to bed.

What's New This Month



Cooking by Country



Click the picture to find out about  Scottish cuisine including  history and of course lots of recipes



Food in Film



Click the film to see the next in the old time family favourite!



What's in Season


Apples, Artichokes, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chestnuts, Courgettes,  Figs, Kale, Leeks,  Onions, parsnips, Pears, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Perpetual Spinach, Squash, Turnips, Vegetable Marrow, Walnuts, Watercress



At Your Convenience

from a  packet and a tin ...

Don't just use instant mash potato as an accompaniment or topping for a quick shepherd's pie, make the mixture up a little stiffer than usual  (just use a little less water) then add tinned salmon or crab to make easy fishcakes. Give it extra flavour by adding finely chopped chillies, garlic salt or thinly sliced spring onion. and for an added crunch, dip into beaten egg and dried breadcrumbs before shallow frying.



How does your  Kitchen Garden grow


So long as the frost hasn't got to them, continue to pot up plants of Basil, Marjoram,  Oregano and Parsley and grow them  indoors on windowsills for a fresh supply of herbs.


There are a few vegetable seeds which can be sown now including Hardy varieties of board beans and winter lettuce plus spring greens and early carrots. You can also plant garlic and shallot sets.


If you've grown Brussels sprouts or cauliflower, continue to remove any leaves which have turned yellow.


Don't forget to start planning next years herb gardens and vegetable plots. Many seed catalogues are now available and it's a nice way to spend a winter's evening and we've made it even more simple by including the heights and spread of many vegetable plants so you can plan a border which includes flowers for a more ornamental look.


You can also consider making a cold frame which means you can sow seed earlier for earlier harvesting.


For detailed growing instructions visit our specialist  growing herbs and vegetables section






Countdown to Christmas .....


Culinary jobs for November

Christmas Puddings

I know I mentioned this last year at this time, but for the benefit of readers who have subscribed since then I'd like to share  my late mother-in-law's secret for Christmas pudding making as she was an excellent Christmas Pudding maker.  Her secret was to make them early and to re-boil/steam then for a couple of hours every two weeks or so. The result was an incredibly dark rich pudding, a tablespoon of which was sufficient for me. And it makes 1 medium sized pudding go a long way.


Christmas cake

If you want to make a traditional cake with marzipan and icing, ideally, once you've covered the cake with the marzipan, you should wait a week before icing....longer if

you wish and once iced, it will last for weeks in a cake tin. So why not start it now. One less thing to think about.



If you want to get a fresh one from your supermarket, or anywhere else, you'd do well to order  it  now.


Before Turkey became popular in the UK,  Goose was the chosen bird for Christmas. Why not try it for a change. Or for something completely different why not try  Venison? Many high street retailers don't sell venison roasting cuts so really, if you want to try it you should order it now.


Happy Planning !



Food in the News . . . .


Sales of Kale Increase

According to a recent news article, Kale, sometimes called Borecole, has made a huge comeback in the UK. Certainly I can remember a time when you never saw kale in supermarkets at all. Today, Kale has joined the merry band of “Super-Foods” ranking along side blueberries, acai and noni. Why? Well it is a good source of folic acid, lutein, iron, calcium, fibre and antioxidant Vitamins (A and C)….amongst other things.

Shame on me – I only had three recipe for Kale on the whole site, but it is now rectified! Here are a three more to ensure you get your Kale-ories.


Chilli Kale   Veg HT ACC 30mins

Rice and Kale Gratin     Veg  HT  ACC  55mins

Garlic Baked Kale with Potatoes     Veg  HT  ACC  70mins


More  >>>  (external link to full article)



! ! !  STOP PRESS  ! ! !


To Celebrate St. Andrew's Day (patron saint of Scotland) on 30th November I have added Scotland to the Cooking by Country  section this month (see the link on the left).  I know, for a British site, it's well overdue!  For more information about  St Andrew's Day,  click the flag.



Readers' Questions


My husband just came back from walking the dogs with half a ton of chestnuts! - I have had a look at some of your recipes...I like the sound of the Chestnut Fritters - can these be frozen?


I wouldn't suggest you freeze the fritters but certainly, chestnuts can be frozen. Simply boil them until just tender then remove the shells and freeze in useable quantities in freezer bags.




Culinary Christmas Gift ideas from Recipes4us.

Order early - one less thing to think about !

We now accept all major credit and debit cards

When you get to the check-out just choose the option "If you do not currently have a PayPal account  click here". You will not have to go through the process of signing up - we get your order immediately and payment is debited direct from your chosen card (including Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Delta, Electron, Solo and Switch).



This Book May contain Nuts is more than just a cookbook. As well as the 80 recipes (from carnivore to vegetarian, starters to desserts, simple to elegant, featuring many traditional dishes from global cuisines) it's gastronomically and educationally informative, A real gem of a cookery book worthy of adding to any collection. 


To read a review about it click HERE.


Click HERE to order Online or Mail Order from this site


ISBN 095483240X     Also available from   



*Special Offer*

Themed Spice Packs

Great as unusual "stocking fillers"  for anyone who likes to cook especially if they like to experiment with flavours from around the world.

You can't get them anywhere else so click HERE to order.




Whether you're looking for everyday,  exotic or unusual food and drink,  visit 

Food shopping has never been easier !


Recipe of the Month


Pecan Pear Muffins

This is a recipe which is taken from the Recipes4us book "This Book May Contain Nuts" which you can order online from our shop. Makes a great gift for discerning cooks.  A wonderful recipe for this time of year when pears are in abundance. You can substitute the pecans with walnuts if you prefer.


180ml/6fl.oz. milk
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
225g/8oz Self Raising Flour
150g/+5oz Demerara Sugar
˝ teasp Salt
˝ teasp Ground Cinnamon
250g/9oz Ripe but firm Pears
50g/2oz coarsely chopped Pecan Nuts
1 tablespoon sugar

Makes 6 Large Muffins 

Cold  Vegetarian  Cakes
Preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes


1. Preheat the oven to 200C, 400F Gas Mark 6 and lightly grease a 6 hole muffin tin.

2. Place the milk, oil and egg in a small mixing bowl and whisk to thorough blend. Set aside.

3. Remove the cores from the pears but leave the skin on then chop the flesh into 12mm/ ˝ -inch pieces. Set aside.

4. Place the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl, stir to combine then add the chopped pear and pecans and toss to coat and distribute evenly throughout the mixture.

5. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture then pour in the egg mixture and stir until just moistened. Do not over mix.

6. Divide the mixture between the greased muffin cups sprinkle with the white sugar and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Allow to cool a little then remove from tin and cool on a wire rack.

New and featured Recipes 

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

Soups & Starters 

Chicken Teriyaki Appetisers

Chickpea Bourekia   V 

Olive Pita   V 

Fennel a la Grecque      Vegan   DF   GF

Smoked Haddock Pate      GF

Partan Bree      GF

Lanark Poached Pears   V 

Scottish Cullen Skink     GF

Scotch Broth     DF


Desserts Cakes & Bakes

Raspberry Cranachan    V 

Drambuie Ice Cream   V 

Abernethy Biscuits   V 

Border Tart    V 

Whisky Cake  V 

Royal Scottish Shortbread    V 

Apple Gingerbread   V 

Dundee Cake   V 

Scottish Clootie Dumpling

Chocolate Coconut Cheesecake     V 


Rice and Kale Gratin     V 

Garlic Baked Kale with Potatoes      Vegan  DF   GF

Chilli Kale       V    GF

Cidered Beans       Vegan  DF   GF

Oatmeal Stuffing


Neeps n Tatties       V    GF

Kailkenny       V    GF

Parsnip Bakes    V 


Main Courses 

Beef in Whisky Sauce    GF

Lorne Sausage

Scottish Herring in Oatmeal     DF

Finnan Haddie

Dundee Marmalade Cutlets    GF

Dunlop and Spinach Strudel    V 

Highland Sausage Plait

Kirkcaldy Stovies

Tipsy Grouse Casserole    GF




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