Tag Archives: Valentine’s day

Fragrant, seductive & elegant Valentine’s Day menu

Sweets for my sweet ...

Love it ….. or don’t love it, it’s Valentine’s Day on Monday!

If nothing else, it’s an opportunity to make a certain person feel special, be kind to ourselves and practice a bit of self-love,  spend time with loving people or …  simply eat delicious food!

Rose & orange blossom dark chocolate Smyrna figs stuffed with almonds

This is what’ll be cooking chez nous:

Griddled haloumi with chicory and pomegranate


Braised cod cheeks with walnut dukkah and sumac onions

Zesty, herby bulghur wheat


Mini ginger & rhubarb Pavlovas

 And these moreish stuffed figs to nibble on with an espresso or verveine (depending on how full we are!).

Made with love xxx

And remember, love is contagious!

Happy Valentine’s Day & bon appetit,

Monique x


Treats for my sweet

The older I get, the more simply I like to eat and the more I appreciate uncomplicated things.

Depending on the occasion and the mood I am in, anything goes as long as it is easy + delicious.

I find dessert is always appreciated, bit it doesn’t have to be rich or difficult make.

Here’s suggestion for an appealing, uncomplicated Valentine’s day supper which can be made with the minimum of fuss.


Linguine with clams & tomatoes


Passion fruit pudding


Here’s what you need:

Serves 2

For the linguine

200g linguine (I like de Cecco)

30ml olive oil

2 garlic cloves, green shoot removed + very finely chopped

1 small red chilli, very finely chopped or 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes

500g clams, cleaned

65ml white wine

250g cherry tomatoes, cut in halves

1.5 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley

freshly ground black pepper


For the pudding

10g unsalted butter

65g caster sugar

20g plain flour

pulp of 3 passion fruits

92ml milk

1 egg, separated


This is what you do:

1. To get the clams to spit out any grit they may have hidden in their shells, put them in a bowl of cold water with some oats or polenta for 10 minutes; wash, rinse + drain the clams.

2. Cook the linguine in a large sauce pan of rapidly boiling water, according to packet instructions, until al dente.

3. Whilst the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat.

4. Add the chilli, garlic and seasalt and fry very gently for 1 minute.

5. Add the clams, white wine and tomatoes; cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes  or until the clams open.

6. Remove from the heat.

7. Drain the pasta and add to the frying pan with the parsley. Gently toss to combine, then season with pepper + salt to taste.

On to the pudding…

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Beat the butter + sugar in a bowl until well combined.

3. Add the flour, passion fruit, milk and egg yolk and mix to combine.

4. Whisk the egg white in a clean bowl until stiff peaks form.

5. With a large metal spoon, gently fold the egg white through the mixture.

6. Pour into 2 greased oven proof ramekins and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the top is golden and puffed.

7. Serve immediately as the puddings deflate very quickly!

Bon appetit!


Be my Valentine

What is romance?

I don’t think it is being crammed into your local restarant which has been set up to squeeze in as many “tables for two” as possible.

On the other hand what could be more romatic than preparing a delicious meal for your loved one – to eat at your own pace, with a good bottle of wine, in the comfort of your home?

Why not try Savvy Cook’s honey roast chicken recipe? It is easy and delicious and good for you.

Here are some ideas for easy starters and puds:

fresh shell-on prawns with (home made) mayonnaise; serve with fresh brown bread and butter and don’t forget finger bowls with a slice of lemon.

Parma ham or bresola curled over a base of rocket; trickle over some good olive oil.

pears baked in red wine; peel but leave the stalks on. Add 3 tablespoons of sugar per 4 pears and some good quality red wine; cook in a covered dish slowly in the oven at 150 C for about an hour and serve at room temperature with a dollop of creme fraiche.

A slab of good quality dark chocolate and some crystalised stem ginger; really good chocolate raises serotonin levels in the brain (making us feel happy) and it also contains phenylethylamine which is similar to the chemicals released in our bodies when we fall in love.

Have a wonderful 14th of Feb and bon appetit!