So Many Cooks

So many cooks blessed my kitchen today and we cooked up a storm.  First in the kitchen today were Lara and Harvey in their pyjamas, such was their enthusiasm to cook.  Literally I was first as I put the oven on at 8am to slow roast the pork but that was easy so it hardly counts.  Lara and Harvey made some amazing:  Butterscotch Cookies.

Makes 30 – 40 cookies


  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour
    1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 225 g butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 bag (300g) Butterscotch chips


  1. Preheat oven to 190 °C
  2. Put flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in to a small bowl and mix
  3. Put butter, both sugars, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl and beat with electric beaters
  4. Stir in dry ingredients
  5. Stir in oats and butterscotch
  6. Drop tablespoons of the cookie dough on to ungreased baking sheets

     7.  Bake in oven for 7 – 8 minutes for chewy cookies and 9-10 minutes for crisp.

They were fabulous.  Moist, chewy and butterscotchy 🙂

There were 13 for lunch today and an easy potato recipe for a large group, and one that will sit quite happily keeping warm, is Potatoes Boulangere.  So named because villagers used to take their dishes full of potatoes in a stock to the bakery and put them in the bread ovens once the bread was baked for the day but the ovens remained warm.  They are a healthier alternative to the decadent Potatoes Dauphinoise which are cooked in cream.

Adjust quantities to suit your party size but I used the following today:

Potatoes Boulangere (for 7 adults and 6 children)


  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 3 large onions, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 large potatoes
  • Butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock


  1. Heat oil in frying pan and add onions
  2. Fry over a low/medium heat until going soft.
  3. Add garlic and cook for about 5 minutes on low heat
  4. Slice potatoes thinly ( I use a mandoline)
  5. Butter a large, deep sided baking dish
  6. Put in a layer of onions and then a layer of potatoes.

7.  Season with salt and pepper and repeat onion and potato layers.
8.  Pour on hot stock
9.  Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours or until the potato is cooked through.

Next in the kitchen was Lucy with her assistants, Lara and Olivia.

Lucy was on the vegetable rosta and cooked:

  • Bulghur wheat with roasted vegetables
  • A recipe from ‘Veg Everyday’ which was a warm salad of green leaves, mushrooms cooked with butter and garlic, blue cheese and roasted butternut squash
  • Mashed butternut squash
  • A mountain of carrots

Olivia sliced up all the peppers and peeled and sliced the carrot mountain.  She was amazing 🙂

We even managed a lovely dog walk in the woods while things were baking gently in the oven.

A snack of king prawns (which I buy raw), cooked with garlic, some lemon juice and parsley.  I only just got there with the camera in time to photograph some before they disappeared!

While we got stuck in to the wine finished cooking lunch, the children played.

Finally it was all ready; roast pork, potatoes boulangere, red cabbage with apple, bulgur wheat and roasted vegetables, salad with roasted squash, mushrooms and blue cheese, mashed squash and carrots.

The children sat round my most recently collected Freecycle item;  a 1960’s blue formica topped table

Cheers 🙂

Abi was in charge of desserts and we had a strawberry pavlova and those wickedly irresistible chocolate Crunchie salty nutty bars.  Abi brought the meringue with her and a pot of quite possibly the very best raspberry jam in the world from the Town Mill bakers in Lyme Regis.  It somehow tasted even more raspberryish then raspberries do!

The 2 large discs of meringue were spread with lemon curd and then the cream was whipped up with some sugar and the raspberry jam and fresh strawberries were folded in.  Max helped with whipping cream and adding all the strawberries  – it tasted amazing.

A little relax for some post prandial digestion.  Butter wouldn’t melt eh?

Then sadly it was time for everyone to go, including my lovely Lara.   Thank you to everyone for coming and contributing and cooking so much.  It was a wonderful day.  All come back soon.

To take my mind off my half empty nest, I went to the cinema to see ‘The Help’ with Lucy and Sally.  Sally and I had read it on holiday this summer and really enjoyed it.  The film was good too and I recommend both the book and the film.

I did receive 2 wonderful gifts this weekend, both in jars.  But they are worthy of a decent photo and explanation so they will have to wait for tomorrow.

About Lose Weight and Gain Health

Hi! My name is Zoe and I live in Hastings, East Sussex, with my son Harvey and dog, Milton. I have been fighting the fat for years but this time I am serious. I want to lose weight and gain health. This blog is about how I am changing my lifestyle so I can lose weight but not by just "being on a diet" but by making small changes to our lives so that as I lose weight, I gain health. I want my family to be healthy too and never have to struggle with their weight like I have. In common with many large people, I have gained and lost weight many times over the years. This time, I want to lose it and maintain a healthy low weight. I am interested in eating food that is nutrient dense and delicious and that appeals to children and adults. I do not eat animal products so follow a vegan diet. I try to use locally produced food supplemented with what I can grow myself. I support and try to use local farmers markets and farm shops. Another objective is to add more exercise to our days. It sounds so simple when I write it down :-)
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6 Responses to So Many Cooks

  1. abiellson says:

    Oh what a lovely day it was, sorry we couldn’t get their earlier to join you not so much for the dog walk but for those delicious looking prawns! 🙂 Lovely to see you all again and look forward to Christmas when we can do it all over again for 3 days, yipee! xxxx

  2. Laura Stavro says:

    Everything looks so divine. I was glad I had already had my lunch when I read this. What did Lara do to her hand? She didn’t burn it making the cookies did she?

  3. It is so much fun all cooking together and everyone bringing different dishes. It was a lovely lunch which I failed to photograph properly as I was too busy chatting and eating! It was a great day. Lara’s hand is very bruised following an incident in a night club!

  4. Lara says:

    It was the perfect day (aside from the troublesome journey home!!) so thankyou so much!! And what a wonderful blog to show this!! I loved reading through and looking at the pictures! Reminded me of the perfect weekend 🙂 It has also made me very hungry remembering all the wonderful food!! I was planning on having wheetabix for breakfast only to realise (once the wheetabx and sugar were in the bowl!!) that I have no milk so I will just have to remember the wonderful food I ate over the weekend until lunchtime!! Keep up the brilliant work!!


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