Archive for the ‘New Simply 3 - 5 Book’ Category

Food for Rainy Summer Days – Carrot and Courgette Soup

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

We are assured that it is in fact the height of the British Summer, although you would forgive us for being a little doubtful here at the Gables. We would so love to be giving you some beautiful barbeque recipes but sadly the rain is still pouring over our herb garden and our barbeque is sitting forlornly underneath its rain cover.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed that soon barbeque season will begin but for now we thought we would share one of our favourite foods for rainy summer days – Carrot and Courgette Soup. This simple soup (which is taken from our recipe book ‘Simply 3-5’) came to us from our very good friend, Kate, and we now regularly make it, especially at this time of year when courgettes are in season. The courgettes add a fantastic texture to the soup, making it deliciously creamy in spite of the fact that it contains no cream at all! All you need is some fresh crusty bread and you have a delicious and wholesome meal.

Carrot and Courgette Soup
Serves 4

25g butter
300g carrots, peeled and chopped
250g courgettes, chopped
600ml vegetable or chicken stock
1tsp sugar
1tbsp tomato puree

Melt the butter in a saucepan and gently fry the vegetables for 10 minutes without colouring.
Add stock, sugar and tomato puree.

Simmer for 30 minutes then process or blend until smooth. Season to taste.

Speaking of Mothers….

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

My daughter is currently in her third year at University and I was talking with her on the phone the other day when she asked me for some advice. She had to cook a dinner party for eight people for a birthday celebration. She asked me what would be good for her to cook for that number of people. She has not had to cook for eight people before and usually only cooks for herself or perhaps for her flatmate as well. Oh, and the other thing that I needed to take in to account was the fact that her budget was limited – understandable being a student!!!! So what was my advice?  To get out her copy of Simply 3 – 5 and make the following: the Classic French Onion and Creamy Thai dips with the Spicy Pitta Crisps as nibbles to have ready for when everyone arrives. These can all be made ahead of time taking away the stress of trying to make too many recipes at the same time. I suggested that she follow that with the main course being Creamy Roasted Pepper Pasta Sauce using her pasta of choice. She would need to cook this whilst she had her guests there, but the recipe is so simple that she would be able to manage that really well. Also, very good for the budget! Finally, the Shortcake Apple Crumble. Another recipe that she could prepare a little ahead of time and then pop in the oven 30 minutes before she needed dessert. Lovely served with ice cream or plain whipped cream.  There you have it…. a simple budget friendly three course meal suitable for anyone. By the way, I had another phone call today….it all went really well for her and all of her guests were suitably impressed!

Quick and Easy Cooking Course

Friday, March 12th, 2010

I have recently taught the first of our Quick and Easy Cooking courses.  This course is centred around our new book ‘Simply 3 – 5’. 

I had some very enthusiastic students with a wide range of expertise.  Some students had little experience and wanted to learn how to make some meals without having to do lots of shopping or spend hours in the kitchen.  Others were accomplished cooks who wanted to be shown some quick and easy recipes and ideas to use after a busy day at work when they needed to prepare a meal for a hungry family.  One of the really good things about our courses at the Gables School of Cookery is that we cater for a wide range of needs. 

I really love teaching and one of the benefits is seeing the confidence of students grow as they prepare the recipes.  Even accomplished cooks can always learn more with us at the school!!! When I am teaching it is also really lovely to see the interaction between students with various levels of expertise.   The Quick and Easy Cooking course was full very quickly and luckily I have scheduled a number of courses for this year with the next one on Saturday 22nd May.  

Judging by the enthusiasm of the students on this course I think there will be some very happy people out there who will be getting the benefit of the “simply 3 – 5’ approach.

Until next week…..Happy cooking!


2010 already!!!!!

Monday, March 1st, 2010

You are probably wondering where we have been!!  Kathy and I have been very busy since the launch of our new cookbook Simply 3 – 5.  In fact, Kathy made a flying visit to England late in November all the way from sunny Melbourne in Australia to the colder climate here. 

We really enjoyed spending some time together however it was a very hectic time as we supplied all of our Simply 3 – 5 Christmas orders.  We were inundated with orders from people who had purchased Simply 3 – 5 and who were so pleased with the recipes in the book that they wanted to give friends and family a copy of Simply 3 – 5 for Christmas presents.  What a lovely gift to receive.

Then there was the joy and festivities of Christmas!  My family spent Christmas Day here at the Gables School of Cookery.  We had some other members of our extended family join us from Ipswich and had the most wonderful day with them.  Christmas is such a special time for family to be together and I love it.  The cooking was shared by us all and like most people do at Christmas we ate too much!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and wish you all the best for 2010 and I will be back soon.


New Simply 3 – 5 Book

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Since the launch of Simply 3 – 5 in November, I’ve had many requests for sneak previews of the recipes contained in the book. It’ll probably be one of the most useful cookery books you ever buy. In the meantime, here are a few tasters to show you how fast, simple and very stylish the recipes we’ve collected in the new book are.

A wide range of culinary influences

You won’t be surprised that, with my sister Kathy in Australia and me here in the heart of the Cotswolds, the recipes cover a wide range of geographical and culinary influences. What all the recipes have in common is that they simplify classic recipes and make them possible with only a handful of ingredients – and without sacrificing any of the taste. How do we do it? Buy a copy of the book!

Actually, our secret lies in taking out the unnecessary ingredients that have crept into so many recipes over the years. It happens because some cooks like to show off, and because, often with the best intentions, they misguidedly believe that ‘more is better’. In fact, as we show you in Simply 3 – 5, less is very often much, much better.

A classic Mittel-European dessert

Take the classic Mittel-European white chocolate torte for example, the dessert that you may have enjoyed in Germany or Switzerland. In its traditional form, it’s a complex, time-consuming culinary adventure. But in the book we simplify this classic sweet treat, make sure it tastes as good as the one you’d  enjoy on Munich’s Marienplatz, and give you a foolproof recipe. Wunderbar!

Taste of the high Atlas

Heading south and across the Mediterranean, imagine wowing dinner guests with a delicious beef casserole with Moroccan spices. A simplified version of a classic Moroccan tagine, you can make this dish in a regular Pyrex casserole dish. Of course, if you did bring a genuine tagine back from Marrakesh you can use that instead – but you won’t have to spend a whole day scouring your local souk with a long list of  supposedly essential ‘authentic’ ingredients. It’s your choice; I know what I’d do!

Inspired by Normandy

For a rather different starter or a light supper dish that’s sure to impress, please try the cheese and herb pate. Inspired by Normandy’s tradition of soft cheese making, it’s a fresher and tastier version of shop-bought Boursin-type cheeses. And it’s so easy to create with a handful of readily available ingredients…

Kathy’s favourite from down under

Last but not least, my sister Kathy (who co-wrote Simply 3 – 5) has asked me to mention her favourite chicken, avocado and cheese melt. This dish takes us both back to teenage years in Australia – a wonderful, healthy and rather exotic alternative to a sandwich when you fancy a quick and easy lunch or supper snack.

That’s enough for the time being. With four down and only another couple of hundred delicious recipes to go, you’ve had your taster so why not order your copy and discover how easily you can create such delicious meals. What are you waiting for? All it takes is three to five ingredients.