Pork Steaks with Piquant Pasta Recipe

Delicious breaded pork steaks are accompanied by a delightful pasta, comprising red onions, baby tomatoes, herbs and cornichons, the latter of which adds a little acidity to the dish.  Quick to make, an easy weekday or weekend supper dish.

Serves: 2
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes



For the pork
2 x 6 oz or 7oz  pork steaks
6 oz  breadcrumbs
1 tbsp dried parmesan cheese
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 large egg, beaten
1½ tbsp olive oil for frying

For the pasta
6 oz  rigatoni, penne or other pasta that you like
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
10 baby tomatoes, preferably red and yellow
1 red onion, very finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
Handful parsley, finely chopped or basil or rosemary if you prefer
2 tsp capers, chopped or 2 tsp cornichons, chopped
½ tsp sugar



Mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan and black pepper in a large flat bowl.

In a separate flat bowl, pour in the egg mix.

Prepare your pasta dressing by heating the olive oil in a pan and gently softening the onion and garlic – do not burn. Add the tomatoes and continue to soften until they still have a slight bite to them.

Add the white wine vinegar, capers and chopped parsley, and leave to simmer for one minute. Season with ground black pepper.

Cook the pasta as per packet instructions, or to your own taste. While the pasta is cooking, dip the pork steaks first in the egg, and then completely coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Pan fry for 6-7 minutes on one side, flip over and cook for 4-5 minutes on the other side. Keep warm.

Finish your dish by draining the pasta, adding 1 tbsp olive oil and the pasta dressing. Top with some ground black pepper.

Place the pork steaks on top or to one side of the pasta. Serve with a tossed green salad or green beans.

Butternut Squash and Herb Dauphinoise Recipe

A delicious dish to have as a change to potatoes, a great accompaniment to a rich stew or casserole once the autumn and winter evenings start to draw in. Use your own selection of herbs, but woody herbs such as rosemary and thyme tend to work the best.

Serves: 4-6
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour



10 oz double cream
3½ oz full fat milk
2 bay leaves
4 or 5 thyme sprigs
2 or 3 rosemary sprigs
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
1 tbsp salted butter, for greasing
1 large butternut squash, peeled and thinly sliced. If you have a mandolin or similar slicer, it is much quicker!
3½ oz mature Cheddar or other hard cheese



Heat oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4.

Put the cream, milk, bay leaf, sprig of thyme, the garlic and ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg in a saucepan, and bring to the boil. Take the pan off the heat and leave to infuse for 15 mins.

Grease a large baking dish with the butter, then layer up the butternut squash, adding seasoning and a few thyme leaves and rosemary leaves in between. Pour over the infused cream, leaving the bay and thyme on the top.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 mins. Uncover then scatter with the cheese. Leave uncovered and bake for 30 mins or until the squash is tender and the whole dish is bubbling and golden (test the center with a knife). Leave to cool slightly as this dish will be extremely hot.

Ratatouille ‘En Tomate’ Recipe (Vegetable Stuffed Tomatoes)

If you have a vegetable slicer, use this for the smaller shreds of veg, or a grater. Combine with small diced vegetables to fill sweet and juicy big beef tomatoes for baking in the oven. This is a lovely and simple to prepare dish for vegetarians or as an accompaniment to grilled meat or fish.

Serves: 4
Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  25 minutes



4 large (beef) tomatoes
1small red onion, diced
1 small zucchini, sliced with your slicer (thin end) or grated
¼ celeriac, sliced with slicer (thin end) or grated
¼ eggplant, finely diced
4 baby (cherry) tomatoes, halved
A little chili powder to taste
1½ tbsp olive oil
Sprinkling of dried mixed herbs



Heat oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4.

Gently soften the onion and celeriac in the olive oil. When softened, add the eggplant and continue to soften. Add sliced zucchini and cherry tomatoes. Mix in the chili power to taste. Leave to one side.

Cut the large tomatoes in half and slice a little off each round end so that they will stand up on a baking tray. Remove the inner core and seeds. Turn upside down on some kitchen paper to drain.

When drained, season the insides with a little salt and pepper, and pile in the vegetable mixture, leaving a little of the celeriac for topping. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Mushroom Parcels in Filo Pastry Recipe

These are delicious little pasties, ideal for a light lunch, served with salad, or even an accompaniment to a curry or as part of a buffet party. Try serving with a little chutney or relish.

Makes: 16
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes



4 sheets filo pastry
12 oz strong flavored mushrooms, such as field or porcini
2 oz butter, melted
Extra butter for frying
1 shallot, peeled and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed or minced
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 oz feta or goats cheese (omit this if you are serving with a curry)



Heat oven to 400°F/200°C. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

Cook the mushrooms, shallot and garlic in butter over a low heat until tender. Add the thyme and cook for a further 2 minutes. (add cheese at this point, if required).

You can either place this mix in a liquidizer and pulse until fine, or chop the mix yourself so that there is still texture, and not almost liquidized.

Lay a sheet of filo on the work surface and brush with the melted butter. Make sure you keep the other sheets covered with a wet tea towel. Cut into 4 strips.

Place 1 tbsp of the mushroom mix about ½ inch in from the corner and fold over to a triangle shape. Continue folding up and down, keeping the triangle shape. Place on the baking tray.

Repeat the process until you have made all 16 triangles. Brush each triangle liberally with melted butter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and crisp. Serve on a platter garnished with leaves and chopped herbs, or with a salad for a light meal.

Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango Recipe

A delicious, warming and traditional dessert that is quite filling. The addition of mango slices to the top adds another texture and compliments the rice pudding really well. One of the children’s favorites.

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hr



4 oz short-grain rice
8 oz coconut milk
4 oz milk
2 tsp orange zest
4 tsp caster sugar
1½ tsp vanilla essence
4 oz cream
2 medium sized mangos, stone removed, peeled and sliced
Sprinkling brown sugar or cinnamon



Place the rice, coconut milk, milk, zest, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over a low/medium heat and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. When the rice is cooked, remove from the heat and leave to cool with the lid on. If you don’t have a pan with a suitable lid, cover with aluminum foil.

When the mixture is cold, stir in the cream. Pour into a serving bowl, top with mango and a sprinkling of brown sugar or cinnamon.

Arancini (Rice Balls) with Sundried Tomatoes and Mozzarella Recipe

The Sicilians claim that arancini originated on their island, but other Italian regions totally disagree! Whoever invented it did a great job with these little morsels of risotto rice and a variety of fillings. We have kept the simple version, but you can stuff the balls with meat, bolognaise, ham and cheese, mushroom, almost anything! If you have made a risotto, this is a great way to use up any leftovers.

Makes: 16-20 balls
Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes



9 oz risotto or arborio rice
1 onion, very finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced or crushed
1 oz fresh Parmesan, grated
5 oz white wine
20 oz Vegetable Stock
16-20 tiny mozzarella balls (sometimes called Mozzarella Pearls)
5 oz all purpose flour
2 medium eggs, beaten
4 oz dried breadcrumbs (we actually used panko)
Vegetable oil for deep frying
1 small jar of sundried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped



Using a little olive oil, add the chopped onion and crushed garlic to a pan and cook for 2 minutes or so until soft.

Put the risotto rice into the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes to coat the grains before adding the white wine.

Wait until the wine has been absorbed by the rice then add some of the stock. Stir to distribute, then repeat the process every time the wine is absorbed.

Once the risotto has achieved the right level of tenderness (you don’t want it to be slushy) put to one side to allow it to cool.

Heat a deep-fat fryer to 340°F/170°C/Gas Mark 4 (or whatever temperature you normally use).

In the meantime, take a palmful of the rice and gently place some chopped sundried tomatoes and the mozzarella pearl into the center. Roll into a ball. Repeat this with the remaining risotto.

Roll the balls in flour, then egg and then breadcrumbs, until all balls are coated.

Drop into the hot oil in batches. Make sure you have kitchen paper to hand to drain the balls of excess oil.

Serve with a side salad or leaf salad and a tomato dip.

Spanish Paella Baskets Recipe

You guests will think you are so clever and creative when you serve these delicious paella baskets. The lovely tortilla ‘basket’ is made so easily and resembles an open shell from the beach and is filled with a mouthwatering selection of fish and/or seafood. You can also make this basket with chicken and chorizo, if  you have guests who are allergic to fish. The baskets can be made the day before, as can the fish stew part of the recipe, as long as you reheat to the correct temperature. You will need a large dutch oven or casserole dish to prepare the fish, one with a lid that can be put on top of the stove.

Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes



6 tortillas
1 lb mixed fish such as cod, haddock, salmon or any firm white fish
8 oz large raw prawns/shrimp
A few mussels (say 2 per basket) or clams (4 per basket)
2 pints fresh fish stock
1 large glass dry white wine
4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
Large bunch parsley, very finely chopped
8 oz cooked saffron rice (cook rice as per packet instructions but add saffron in at the beginning of the cooking process)
Seasoning to taste



Heat oven to 180°C.

First prepare your baskets, by greasing/oiling the outsides of 6 coffee mugs. Wrap the tortilla around each mug (upside down). They should stick to the mug, but if you are struggling, you can always use a piece of string to tie each one.

Place the tortilla baskets onto a tray and into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes until crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing string if you have used it.

In a large dutch oven/casserole dish, pour in the white wine and fish stock, and scatter in the garlic. Bring to the boil and then turn to a simmer. Add the fish pieces first. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, and then add the prawns/shrimp and half the parsley. Place the lid on to allow the fish to steam. After 5 minutes, add the mussels or clams, ensuring they are completely clean, and none are ‘open’. Replace the lid and steam for a further minute until the mussels open.

Line the bottom of each basket with the cooked rice, then ladle on the seafood mixture and some of the poaching liquid. Scatter with remaining parsley and serve.

Open Roasted Vegetable Lasagna Recipe

Tasty and quick to make, this open lasagna is full of flavor and can be made using almost any vegetables that you have left over. Try it and see.

Serves:  2
Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes



6 lasagna sheets, either fresh or soaked in water if dried
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
8 button mushrooms
1 courgette, sliced into rounds
6 green olives
1 large beef tomato, sliced
½ red pepper, sliced
4 tbsp passata
2 garlic cloves, skinned and finely chopped
2 tsp freshly chopped oregano
Freshly ground salt and pepper

To serve:
1 tablespoon Parmesan shavings
A drizzle of olive oil



Heat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6.

Grease a small oven proof dish or small loaf tin.

Mix the onion, mushrooms, courgette, olives, tomato, pepper, passata, garlic, oregano and some freshly ground salt and pepper together.

Place 2 lasagna sheets at the bottom of the greased ovenproof dish to cover the base and spread a third of the vegetable mix over the top. Put another 2 sheets of lasagna on top and put another third of the vegetable mix on top, followed by the remaining 2 lasagna sheets, and finish with a layer of the remaining vegetable mix.

Cook for 25-30 minutes until piping hot.

 Divide into 2 and serve with the Parmesan shavings and a drizzle of olive oil.

Wound Up In Murder | Yarn Retreat Mystery Series | Betty Hechtman

Wound Up In Murder

Product Description

Series: A Yarn Retreat Mystery (Book 3)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (July 7, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425252655
ISBN-13: 978-0425252659


Other Editions

Kindle Edition (What's Kindle?)

With two yarn retreats in the bag, Casey is looking forward to running her third one at Cadbury by the Sea’s Vista Del Mar hotel on the Monterey Peninsula. This time, each knitter will get a Mystery Bag of knitting materials to turn into a personal project.

But Casey gets tangled up in another retreat at the same hotel, when the organizer and his wife have a very public spat. As Casey is delivering her baked goods later that night, she finds the woman dead in the bushes with a magician’s silk scarf nearby—just like the scarf Casey’s ex-boyfriend, Sammy, used during his magic act at the retreat. As Sammy takes center stage as the prime suspect, Casey and her friends will have to stitch together the clues before the real killer pulls a disappearing act...

Darned If You Do | A Needlecraft Mystery | Monica Ferris

Darned If You Do

Product Description

Series: A Needlecraft Mystery (Book 18)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley (February 2, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425270114
ISBN-13: 978-0425270110


Customer Reviews

Other Editions

Kindle Edition (What's Kindle?)
Audio CD

After a tree falls on Tom Riordan’s house, landing him in the hospital, the police discover a mountain of junk piled high in his home. Locals in Excelsior, Minnesota—including Betsy Devonshire and her Crewel World Monday Bunch—offer to help with the cleanup while Tom recuperates. 

But when Tom is found murdered in his hospital bed, the sole heir to his property—his cousin Valentina—becomes the number one suspect. Betsy believes there’s more to the case than meets the eye, but finding clues to the killer’s identity in the clutter Tom left behind will be like looking for a needle in a haystack…

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