On the menu: chicken, leek and ham pie, birthday cake, fruit compote and healthy banana bread


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I am definitely not normally a pie person but when Paul Hollywood made leftover turkey and ham pie on the Great British Bake Off Christmas special, I thought it looked delicious, so thought I’d have a go. We didn’t have turkey this Christmas, in fact we had ham, although the leftovers from that were eaten pretty quickly and I’m not a big fan of turkey anyway, so I switched the turkey in the recipe for a couple of precooked chicken breasts and the ham was a pack of shredded ham hock from the supermarket. It was sort of a ‘leftover’ pie though, in that it used up quite a lot of stuff that was about to go out of date!

I also changed the recipe in that I didn’t add sherry, as we don’t have any, I just added a bit more orange juice but you couldn’t really taste the orange in the final pie, so I think water would be just as good.

Anyway, the pie was absolutely lovely, it smelt gorgeous when cooking too (which is always an added bonus). It was a big hit with all non-fussy members of the family (i.e. not Boy Lacer). I will definitely be making again.

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I made Nigella’s lemon and thyme bundt cake for my birthday and hmmm, it was a bit dry and stodgy, although I may have overcooked it a little. Didn’t really taste that much of thyme either. (added a few days later – you know, this actually improved a bit with time, so it wasn’t a bad cake in the end).



Doesn’t look particularly appetising does it? This is fruit compote from The Happy Pear, the recipe is pretty flexible about what fruit you put in, although it does specify rhubarb, so I made this rhubarb and raspberry. I didn’t make the full quantity, so was not sure how much honey to put in, as it turns out, not enough, as this is pretty sharp and I’ve since been adding extra honey when dishing this up. This was really fun to cook, it has cinnamon in, so it’s like a little extension of Christmas, it smelt gorgeous on the stove but even with reducing the quantities a bit, it makes an awful lot and I don’t think I’m going to get through it all. It’s currently in the fridge, I should have frozen some.



I have so many banana bread recipes in my cook book collection but I can never remember which particular books they’re in and whether they’re any good or not, so I always tend to find a recipe online if I want to make banana bread, as googling is much quicker. This time I tried a recipe from Running With Spoons, as it matched what I was trying to use up, namely bananas (obviously) and yoghurt and also claimed to be healthy, as it’s low on sugar and the only fat is the yoghurt. I am currently on a month long ‘diet’ where the only sugary foods I’m eating are the ones I’ve made from scratch myself and although this ‘diet’ could technically see me eating a massive tower of profiteroles, as long as I made them myself, I’m going to try and make sure what I’m baking is reasonably healthy, at least most of the time.

Anyway, the resulting banana bread is okay, not bad but not particularly good either, probably because it’s not full of butter like my favourite banana bread recipes. However, it is better than some other healthy banana bread recipes I’ve tried, so I guess it’s a win.



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