Saturday, 22 June 2013


Life has been a little busy lately with the release of Loving Lydia, the forthcoming release of Bad Girl Bill in August (check it out on my website), the submission of Cormack Blunt - Action Hero, and finishing off my short Romantic Comedy ready for submission by the end of this week, hopefully in time for Christmas publishing.

Oh and did I mention, getting ready to go on holiday and the small matter of a house move some time soon?

Well, I do like to keep busy, but life is never too busy to cook ... and eat and socialise. As a family, we love to eat together, because that way we can always find out what's going on in each others lives - especially me, I'm nosey.

Baking is a particular favourite of mine, and my sister Margaret and I used to attend celebration cake making courses together. We can whip up Christmas cakes, wedding cakes and birthday cakes, but really any kind of food features heavily in our family celebrations.

I hope you enjoy a couple of my favourite recipes. My first one was served to me a few years back by my sister, Lynn, who declares she cannot cook. But she can, so I stole her recipe.

The second one came from my mother and is one of the most frequently requested desserts for family get-togethers and has dozens of variations - just use your imagination.

I leave the drink selection to you. Personally a glass of good red wine suits me, especially with anything pasta - Cheers

Chicken & Ham Cannelloni


Olive Oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Clove of Garlic, crushed
350g Passatta
142g Tomato Puree
1 tsp Caster Sugar
150 ml Chicken Stock (I cheat, I use a Knorr Stockpot)
2 tbsp Fresh chopped basil

1.       Fry the onion and garlic in olive oil
2.       Add all ingredients and simmer for as long as it takes to complete the next stage.

10-12 Cannelloni Tubes


Olive Oil
1 Onion, roughly chopped
1 Clove Garlic
175g (6 oz) Chicken Breast, Finely chopped
125 g (4 oz) Smoked Ham, diced
150g (5 oz) Garlic & Herb Boursin
Pinch of Salt
Grind of Pepper

1.       Fry Onions in the olive oil, set to one side.
2.       Fry chicken.
3.       Add all ingredients to a food processor and zap for a minute or until fairly smooth.
4.       Stuff the Cannelloni and place in a dish. (I use a piping bag for this)
5.       Pour Tomato Sauce over.
6.       Place in Oven at 200C degree, 400F degree, Gas Mark 6 30-40 minutes.
7.       Serve with a green salad.

For a vegetarian alternative - and we have a few vegetarians in our family, replace the filling with:

Makes 5-6 Cannelloni Tubes

Olive Oil
1 Onion, roughly chopped
1 Clove Garlic
150g (5oz) Ricotta
125g Baby leaf spinnach
Pinch of Salt
Grind of Pepper

Strawberry Cheesecake


400 g (13 oz) Chocolate digestive Biscuits - crushed
175-200g (5-7 oz) Butter
300 g (10 oz) Philadelphia Cheese
300 ml (½ pint) Double Cream
125 g (4 oz) Caster Sugar
75g (2oz) Chocolate – melted
500g (15oz) Strawberries - sliced

Grease an 8” fluted dish with butter.

1.       Melt butter.
2.       Mix in crushed biscuits.
3.       Turn mixture into dish and press down firmly into fluted edges.
4.       Refrigerate.
5.       Whip double cream until it stands in firm peaks.
6.       In a separate bowl, beat together Philadelphia and caster sugar.
7.       Fold cream and Philadelphia and sugar mix together.
8.       Spread on biscuit base.
9.        Arranged sliced strawberries on top.
10.   Drizzle a little chocolate over everything.
11.   Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

Slice, serve … enjoy.

                                      Diane Saxon's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)                                    


  1. Oh, man! That cake looks gorgeous!

  2. Fabulous dishes, I love cannelloni, yum! Let's hope we get some summer sunshine to go with it.
    Daisy Banks

  3. I love cannelloni. very yummy and the dessert looks great. I'll bring the wine :)

  4. I love pasta dishes! Thanks for the recipe.

  5. It's such an easy recipe, I hope you enjoy it.

  6. LOL, I was reading this when I received notification of your comment on my blog. YAY us and our awesome taste!

    1. I also do the chocolate thing with mine. Melt chocolate, drizzle over the top, pull a thin utensil (I use a knitting needle kept just for baking jobs) up and down with half inch gaps between and it pulls the chocolate into points (like the top of a bakewell tart) I'll bring the Cannelloni, you make the cheesecake.


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