W is for…wine-boosted baguette

Firstly apologies for the long gap in the blog. I decided as part of a health kick to do ‘dry January’, which unfortunately meant that I could trust myself to cook my remaining (alcoholic) recipes, so I had to wait until wet February to continue the blog, when dry January was well and truly over.

This recipe, is a bit of a cheat meal…it’s like combing your baguette sandwich and glass of wine all in one and baked, full of cheesy goodness. I call it my wine-boosted baguette, or simply the Boozy Baguette. The wine I used in this recipe was a sweet Moscato from BareFoot wines (because I had a particular sweet-tooth moment), but any grape variety will work.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (per person):

  • ½ baguette;
  • 1 glass of white wine;
  • 3 slices of ham (try to get it from the butcher rather than the pre-packed stuff) cut into bite-size pieces;
  • one handful of grated gruyère cheese
  • smooth Dijon mustard


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Slice the baguette into 2-inch slices and place cut side down into a baking dish. Pour over the glass of wine so a little seeps into each piece of baguette.
  3. Spread a small amount of mustard on each slice. Then sprinkle over the ham and top with the grated cheese.
  4. Put in the oven for 25 minutes or until crispy and golden on top. Serve with the rest of wine.

Boozy baguette Boozy baguette

Lentil and vegetable curry - serving

L is for Lentil and vegetable curry

I picked up this recipe nearly 3 years ago and since then it’s been one of those great go-to recipes that I can tweak to whatever vegetables I have in. It contains at least 2 portions of your 5-a-day, is low in fat and is very tasty!

Lentil and vegetable curry - veg preparation


Making dahl for the curry

Preparation time: 10-15 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes


  • 200g yellow lentils (washed)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut (optional)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 dried red chilis
  • 12 curry leaves
  • 2 small onions, finely sliced
  • 6 tomatoes (cut into quarters)
  • 1½ tsp ground corriander
  • 10 okra
  • 1 medium sweet potato – cut into ½inch cubes
  • a handful of green beans
  • 200g paneer cheese – cut into small pieces
  • a pinch of salt

Vegetable and lentil curry - adding the final veg


  1. Put the lentils in 1litre of  water in a large pan and bring to the boil. Spoon away any scum, then turn down the heat to a simmer. Add the turmeric and sweet potato and leave to soften for 20 minutes.
  2. The next stage is to make the tarka. Heat the oil in a frying pan, then add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, 1 tsp of sesame seeds, cloves and dried chillies.
  3. Once the mustard seeds have started popping, add the curry leaves and onion and a pinch of salt and leave for a few minutes until the onion has softened.
  4. Then add the tomatoes and ground coriander, give it a stir and leave for another 5minutes until the tomatoes have soften and the flavours are well combined.
  5. Add the tarka to the lentil and sweet potato mix (which should be nicely soft by now). Then add the tamarind paste, coconut if using, green beans and ocra and leave to simmer for a final 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile in frying pan you used for the tarka, fry the paneer in a little oil, sprinkling over the remaining sesame seeds. It should take a couple of minutes on each side for this hard cheese to take some colour. Add to the curry and it’s ready to eat.

Lentil and vegetable curry - with the toasted sesame paneer