As a child I adored Enid Blyton books. By that I mean I was absolutely infatuated with them. They would captivate me, fire my imagination and would be responsible for much tiredness in the morning as I lay, at night under the duvet, utterly absorbed.
Moussaka is the most well known Greek dishes around. Perfect with a Greek side salad or simply on its own.
Fresh tuna is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and antioxidant minerals. Make sure your fresh fish is odourless and best eaten on day of purchase. I've found the easiest way to deseed a cucumber is to slice it into quarters, then run a sharp knife under the seeds to lift them out.
Fresh, homemade pesto is one of the greatest ingredients I like to have stored in my fridge. One would usually think of basil pesto, however I recently experimented with another beautiful green vegetable cavolo nero.
Sure you can buy a version of these fiery bites from the supermarket and stick them in the oven, but seriously, these are so much better, cheaper and you'll know exactly what's in them. This recipe makes 18, which would be just enough for me on my own - they're really that good.
Despite being a bit tough to get your hands on if you don't know exactly where they're sold, they make an excellent part of a cupcake when ground into a fine dust. That lovely aroma and childhood nostalgia pairs perfectly with the unique blend of Earl Grey, but you can use any tea you like.
Tiramisu is one of those dishes that benefits greatly from being allowed to rest so the flavours can really mingle together. The Coffee mix liquid moistens the matzo right through although you don't even have to tell anyone that there's matzo in it. And of course you don't even have to tell them you used gluten-free matzo.
This has got to be the most delicious vegetarian pasta ever! The inspiration from this is from Sicily, home to the best aubergines in the world. The dish is called pasta della nonna which translated means grandmother's pasta. You know it's going to taste good with a name like that.
Cornbread always reminds me of proper Lumberjack-style places. American BBQ joints and stuff. So does the combination of potato, sour cream and chives. Everything about it just screams 'steakhouse'. You'd be mad not to try these - people go crazy for them!
This meat sauce is a good recipe to freeze up to three months. Defrost thoroughly, then return to a saucepan and reheat gently, bubble for 10 minutes and use in other recipes.
These things are incredible. Even better than they look. All other cupcakes may as well give up and go home right now.
I always keep halloumi in the fridge since it has a long shelf-life. This recipe rewards experimentation. Try adding cucumber, pesto, oliveor basil instead of coriander etc. - whatever you fancy.
Wild garlic is peeping up amongst the snowdrops in the woods behind our Angus house. When the cattle return to a ajoining woodland field, it always brings a smile to my face as I am minded of the tainted butter in Hardy's tale of Tess of the D'Urbervilles.
Congee is all about well-being and vitality. When eaten, it really feels like it heals all that is bad in the world. It is comfort food like being in bed on a miserable day with a warm, soft cosy blanket and your favourite TV show. Its like something you get from your grandmother or your mother.
The ultimate in chocolate treats. Three layers of heaven: a crunchy Oreo base, gooey brownie, all topped with a rich, smooth chocolate ganache. I put this up there in my all time favourite chocolate desserts!
Whether you will have a good year or a bad one depends on all your actions at the start of day one! Every year, I find myself following the symbolic traditions. I don't want to risk having a bad year so I celebrate by following as many of the rules as I can and eat and eat and eat as much as my belly can fit with my family and those I love.