women

That’s supper sorted!

There’s a good reason why Halloumi cheese is one of the standby ingredients in my fridge. Unopened, it will last for ages, and I like knowing there’s something other than predictable pasta that I can pull out of the bag in an emergency. I like to slice it, dredge it in a light coating of seasoned flour, fry it in a little olive oil until it’s a nice golden color then turn over and repeat. Finally, I dress it with a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, finely chopped spring onions, chives or coriander and some red chilli. Bliss.

Description: Fried halloumi – a delicious standby

Fried halloumi – a delicious standby

Easy meringues

When I’m asked to bring a dish to a party, brownies or meringues are my usual crowd-pleaser.

So when my pal Alison turned 60 recently, I offered meringues…but then discovered she was expecting around 200 guests. Eek! I definitely didn’t want to be landed with a pile of yolks at a busy time. So I decided to give Dr Oetker Egg White Powder a go (From 1,49 for the equivalent of 12 whites, available tin major supermarkets), and was very pleasantly surprised. I honestly could not tell the difference between the powder and  fresh whites. I baked teaspoonful-sized meringues, then sandwiched the cooled ones together with a filling made from whipped cream, coffee, light brown sugar, rum and toasted pecans. Gone in a flash!

Description: Almost-instant meringues make a glamorous pudding

Almost-instant meringues make a glamorous pudding

Flower power

I defy anyone on this earth to consider Jill Fade’s crystallized edible flowers anything other than completely exquisite – guaranteed to supply the wow factor on a summer celebration cake. Jill grows all the flowers – violas, cornflowers and primroses are typical – at her Devon farmhouse without chemicals or pesticides. What’s more, neither flavoring nor coloring is added and each flower is crystallized within an hour of picking – and carefully packed to ensure it arrives intact. Flowers last for at least six weeks after dispatch. Prices start at $5.99; call 01598 740494 or visit meadowsweetflowers.co.uk for more details.

Description: Golden globes: Asian pears are wonderfully juicy

Golden globes: Asian pears are wonderfully juicy

A perfect pear

Until a few weeks ago, I’d never eaten an Asian pear… I’m not sure why not, but now I’m hooked on them. They’re in most supermarkets at this time of year, and taste like a cross between an apple and a pear. But the best thing about them is their extreme juiciness – be prepared to get messy.

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