Cooking this week

There are times when, having taken time to prepare a dish, I can’t help but feel slightly annoyed by the fact that it took longer to prepare than to eat. I thought I would share with you a super-simple, super-tasty recipe that I made this week and which takes less than one minute to make…..mackerel pate. It requires just three ingredients.  Remove the skin from three medium sized smoked mackerel fillets and flake them.  I use the ones that are covered in peppercorns. Mix with two heaped tablespoons of Total 0% fat free Greek yogurt and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Blitz in the blender. Done.


The soup maker needed another airing so I made pea and mint soup. The instructions say that frozen vegetables cannot be used so I cooked the potato and onion with stock in the soup maker, added a packet of defrosted petit pois and two teaspoons of mint sauce concentrate as per my blogging friend Margaret Powling’s recipe and blended it.  Quick, simple and very tasty.


I made another loaf of Rosemary and Seed Oat bread, the recipe for which is from an old Sunday supplement. It has a dense texture, quite heavy and scone-like than bread but goes perfectly with the pea soup. This is a photograph from a previously made loaf. Husband is not at all keen so I freeze it in individual slices.

This pear and almond cake was really moist and very tasty. Based on my oft-used apple cake recipe, I substituted pears for apples (I know … you guessed that bit!) and ground almonds replaced a quarter of the flour. It also contains sultanas. With a sprinkling of almonds on the top, it really was a hit.

Cooking 5

A vegetarian lunch was required today and I decided on Chilli potatoes, quinoa & feta salad, cauliflower cheese, beetroot, apple and onion salad and a ricotta and spinach pizza. The later was bought rather than home made. We rarely eat pizza but when we do I always wonder why we don’t do so more often. It was delicious.


Otherwise meals have been mainly chicken or fish dishes. As much as I enjoy creating meals as I go along, there are times when nothing tastes quite as good as a plump piece of M&S breaded plaice. I like this better than any plaice I have ever cooked from fresh.

Today’s cooking playlist included (as most batch cooking sessions do) the marvellous Juan Caldera, Spanish guitarist (actually he is Italian but spends most of his time in Madeira). We have come across this hugely talented man every time we’ve been in Madeira and always stop to watch his street performances. He also plays in the local hotels and is a very popular attraction. We have just one cd but at about an hour and a half long, its excellent music for the kitchen!



  1. Hello, Eloise, and also Ratnamurti,
    My blog has disappeared and I’m trying very hard to get it put back. I don’t know why this has happened, it happened last July, too. Thank you for enquiring in this way, Ratnamurti, and thank you Eloise for acting as intermediary!
    All good wishes,


  2. Hello Eloise. I discovered your lovely blog from Margaret’s blog. Wow, this food you prepared looks amazing. I’m going to try the beetroot salad. I’m sending you greetings from southern California. Have a great week. Pat


    • Hi Lilly’s Mom, lovely to hear from you. I have ‘seen’ you on Margaret’s blog (which incidentally she is having major problems at present so it is temporarily inaccessible). I guess it is a little warmer where you are than it is here in the UK. We had to scrape ice from the car windscreen yesterday. Glad you like the look of the food and hope that you enjoy the beetroot salad.


  3. That apple/beetroot/onion salad looks good, and the chilli potatoes; may I ask for the recipes/directions, please? I cooked several dishes this weekend; some of it was shared with an aunt and cousin who came to dinner; a lot of the rest of it will be frozen for future meals.


    • Hi Bless. One small bag of shredded beetroot mixed with a small onion and similar sized apple both chopped small (didn’t bother peeling the apple). Sprinkle with salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar. It was really nice. Boil small potatoes. Lightly toast breadcrumbs made from two slices of bread. Mix with 1 tablespoon of oil and a teaspoon of chilli powder. Spread over the potatoes and then pop them into oven until roasted. Unfortunately there were no leftovers so nothing for the freezer!


  4. Hi this is a bit cheeky, but I was wondering if Margaret Powling knows that her website is now not accessible. Can’t figure out how to contact her to tell her. But am pleased that I finally figured out how to post on your site.


    • Hi Ratnamurti, not cheeky at all. Margaret aware that she is having problems with her site. The problem is being looked at by her IT man. Let’s hope she is up and running again very soon….we all miss her, I am sure. And welcome to thisissixty.


  5. We have had roast fillet of lamb with all the trimmings. The grandchildren enjoyed theirs and ate most of it. Their mom and granddad enjoyed theirs too.


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