25th Anniversary Recipe Book

Welcome to the HOST Cook Book. Here we have collected together a selection of the many recipes, stories and photos sent to us from across the world.


Unfortunately, due to a lack of funding and shortage of recipes in certain categories, we were unable to print copies of this book, as was the original plan. However, we hope you will find this online version a happy alternative. If you would like to make a donation to HOST for these recipes, please feel free to do so at or, if you are outside the UK, via PayPal.


Thank you very much to all who contributed recipes, stories and pictures. If you have any recipes or photos you would like to add, please feel free to email them to


Thank you,




* (V) indicates dishes suitable for vegetarians


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Marion, Pembrokeshire host

Minnie and Jan from China were our first HOST students - they came in November 1996. We have stayed in close contact with them and have met lots of times, both here and in their home - and Jan’s parents have visited us with them twice. They have two sons and live in Worcester Park.


On their first visit I asked them if they liked western food; Minnie said “yes” and Jan said “I haven’t tried any yet”! I had been feeling anxious before then!! I laid the table as normal and half way through the first course Jan said, “Eating with knives and forks is easier than I thought it would be”!! Of course he’d only used chopsticks until then - didn’t think, did I! After their last meal, Minnie said “I wish I had two stomachs then I could enjoy more of Marie’s lovely food”. They offered to cook a meal for us but I had already prepared food so they said, “OK we’ll do it next time”!


Their next visit was for my 50th birthday in March 1997 - wow, Chinese takeaways are nothing like the real thing. They gave me a list of western ingredients to buy and brought the Chinese ingredients with them - plus Jan’s huge bladed knife! That was the first of many meals we have shared; we always use chopsticks when they cook and cutlery when I cook.

In June 1999 we went to visit them in Cardiff and helped to make wontons for dinner.


In 2002 they came to visit us for Christmas with their first son, Ray, and Jan’s parents, Wentian and Zunling. We helped to prepare breakfast one morning

Roast Loin of Pork with Apricots and Almonds (United Kingdom) 

In April 2007 they joined me for my 60th birthday celebrations - and again cooked for us.


We last visited them in October 2010 and enjoyed a trip to the Chinese supermarket where I bought some of my favourite Chinese fungi. They cooked it as part of the first meal back in 1997 and, because I love it so much, cook it each time!!



Roast Loin of Pork with Apricots and Almonds - United Kingdom -Alice Portnoy


  • 1½kg (3½lbs) boned loin of pork

  • 50g (2oz) blanched almonds

  • 50g (2oz) dried apricots, diced

  • 1tbs honey

  • 1tbs Dijon mustard

  • 1tbs Soy sauce

  • Pinch of plain flour

  • 250ml (½pint) stock

  • Freshly ground black pepper


    • Remove the skin from the Pork.
    • Brown the almonds under a grill.
    • Make a small slit down the length of the underside of the Pork and stuff it with the almond and apricots. Push the joint together and tie with string.
    • Mix together the honey, mustard and soy sauce and spread over the Pork.
    • Place the Pork in a roasting pan and cover the base of the pan with a little water.
    • Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes per lb plus 30 minutes.
    • Remove the joint from the oven and cover with foil to rest.
    • Drain all but 1 tbs of fat from the pan, sprinkle with flour and stir in the stock.
    • Bring to a boil and season. Strain and serve with the meat.


Turkey Loaf - Italy -Caterina Mognato


  • 300g (10oz) turkey mince

  • 200g (7oz) ricotta cheese

  • Rosemary

  • Speck ham (or Parma ham)

  • Cooked ham (and/or bacon)


    1. Mix the turkey mince and the ricotta cheese, adding some rosemary, salt and a little pepper. If the resulting dough is very dry, you can add a little milk (being careful not to make it too liquid).
    2. Cover a baking tin with a layer of mixed hams.
    3. Place the dough in the baking tin and wrap it completely with the ham.
    4. Cover the baking tin with some tin foil and cook in a pre- heated oven at 200C for an hour.
    5. Leave to cool for a few minutes before serving.


Uzbek Plov - Uzbekistan -Marion Wright


  • 1kg medium grain rice
  • 1kg (2 lbs) lamb (shoulder or rib)
  • 1kg (2lbs) carrots
  • 2-3 medium onions, sliced into thin rings
  • 2-3 heads of garlic
  • ½ tbs cumin
  • 200-250ml vegetable oil
  • Long red chillies (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Hosts Louse, Marion, Marcus and John with student Davron (centre) from Uzbekistan


    1. Wash the rice under the tap until clear and cover with cold water to soak.
    2. Cut the meat with the bones into match-box pieces.
    3. Cut the carrots into thick sticks-
    4. Heat the oil in a heavy casserole and fry the meat in batched until golden brown.
    5. Remove the meat and add the onions and fry until golden.
    6. Return the meat to the casserole and add the carrots. Continue cooking and stirring for 15-20 minutes until the carrots soften. 
    7. Add 2/3 of the cumin, rubbing it in your hands first to release the flavour.
    8. Lower the heat then add just enough hot water to cover  
    9. Simmer gently for 40 minutes to 1 ½ hours until the water is absorbed and the meat is tender. (Do not stir).
    10. Increase the heat and add the drained rice in one layer over the meat and vegetables.
    11. Add the garlic and chillies. Cover the rice with 2cm of boiling water. (Placing a spoon over the rice while you pour on the water will keep the rice down). Bring to boil and add salt.
    12. Cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
    13. Make holes in the rice to check the water level.
    14. Reduce the heat to very low - cover the casserole tightly and let it steam for 20 minutes.
    15. Remove the garlic and chillies and mix the rice, meat and vegetables together. Add more salt if necessary.


Wontons - China -Marion Wright


     (Makes approximately 32)

  • 1 egg
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 200g (8oz) flour
  • 75-100ml (3-4 oz) water






  • 100g (4oz) ground pork or chicken
  • 4 peeled water chestnuts, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dry sherry or rice wine
    • ½ tsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbs minced greens from a medium scallion


    1. Lightly beat the egg with the salt and add 75ml of the water.
    2. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and water mixture.
    3. Add in the flour and enough of the remaining water to form a dough.
    4. Form the dough into a ball and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth.
    5. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
    6. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll until very thin.
    7. Cut into 3½ inch squares. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge of freeze until ready to use.



    • Mix all ingredients together.
    • Put one tsp of filling in each square of dough.
    • Moisten the edges of the wonton with water.
    • Keep the wonton covered while you fill them.
    • Bring the edges up over the filling and twist to seal, the final result should look like a money bag.
    • Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the wontons, leaving enough room for them to move around. Boil for 5-8 minutes to allow the filling to cook.


Mozzarella al Forno (Baked Mozzarella) - Italy -Caterina Mognato


     Per person

  • 1 Mozzarella Ball
  • 2 - 3 slices Cooked Ham
  • 1 Frankfurter
  • 1 Cheese Slice
  • Tomato passata
  • Olives
  • Anchovies
  • Pinch of Oregano


    • Oil a small, round baking tray and cover it with a layer of ham. Place the cheese slice in the middle.
    • Cut the mozzarella ball in two and place both halves on top of the cheese slice.
    • Chop the frankfurters into small, round pieces, the olives in halves, the anchovies and add all of them to the baking tray.
    • Cover the whole thing with tomato passata and add some oregano on top.
    • Cook in the oven for about ten minutes, or until the mozzarella has melted.



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Caroline, Inverness-shire host

In 2007 we had two students staying over the New Year; one from Japan and the other from Taiwan. They wanted to cook us a traditional Chinese meal. They cooked a large chicken in a very large pot, on the stove, in Coke a Cola. They wanted the real Coke. It was the most delicious chicken we have ever eaten.


Staying in the Highlands, many students have researched local food before they arrive and frequently ask if they could try Haggis. I always ensure that we have a good Haggis, potatoes and neeps (turnip) available and every student has gone back with the information to cook one themselves and also links to suppliers who will send a Haggis anywhere in the world.


One student from Mexico was enthralled by the notion of frying fish in batter. We took him up to Ullapool and he was delighted to try 'fish and chips'. He was so delighted that once finished he ordered a second round and ate it with gusto!

Mexican Chicken Supper - Mexico -Carolyn Robinson


  • 1 red chilli, seeded and cut into small pieces

  • 4 large, ripe tomatoes

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1 small onion

  • 150ml (5oz) chicken stock

  • 1tbs oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • Cooked chicken, shredded

  • Large bag of Tortilla Chips

  • 125ml (1/4pt) double cream

  • Grated cheddar cheese


    • Liquidise the chilli, tomatoes, garlic and onion with enough chicken stock to make a thick sauce
    • Heat the oil and add the sauce. Cook this for 5 minutes
    • Place the shredded chicken and chips in a large dish. Pour over the sauce and top with the cream and cheese to cover
    • Bake at 200C/400F (Gas Mark 6) until the cheese melts – about 15-20 minutes.


Laab Gai - Thailand


  • 450 g (1lb) boneless chicken, chopped or ground

  • 1 Tbs. peanut oil

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced and pounded to a paste

  • 1 stalk lemon grass (optional), trimmed and sliced into thin rounds or chopped

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped

  • 2 green onions (use white part only), finely chopped

  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves

  • 2 small pieces dried galanga, toasted and then ground finely

  • 2-4 tsp. ground roasted dried Thai chillies

  • 3+ Tbs. fish sauce (nam bplah), to taste

  • Juice of 2-3 limes, to desired sourness

  • ½ to 1 tsp. sugar as needed to balance flavors

  • 2 Tbs. ground roasted rice

  • An assortment of raw or lightly steamed vegetables and aromatic herbs, such as: sprigs of various tropical basils and mints, green beans/long beans Thai eggplant, cabbage morning glory/water cress, cucumber/ squash/zucchini lettuce etc.


    • Cook the chopped or ground chicken in a little bit of oil in a wok until thoroughly cooked, breaking into small bits. Set aside.
    • Prepare the garlic, lemon grass (if using), shallot, green onions and mint.
    • Toast the galanga in a small dry pan over medium heat until the pieces are darkened and slightly charred.
    • Let cool before grinding in a clean coffee grinder to a fine powder.
    • Then roast a handful of whole dried Thai chillies in the pan, turning frequently until they are darkened and slightly charred.
    • Grind into a fine powder.
    • Toss the cooked chicken with the garlic, lemon grass, shallot, green onion, mint, ground toasted galanga and chillies, fish sauce and lime juice. Mix well. Taste and adjust flavors to desired sourness, hotness and saltiness. Add sugar only as needed to pull the flavors together.
    • Toss the toasted rice powder into the mixture and serve salad at room temperature with a tray of assorted vegetables and herbs.


Yuexin Shi (Chinese Chicken Wings) - China


  • 12 Chicken wings

  • 1 can of Coke or Pepsi

  • 4tbs soy sauce

  • 2tsp salt


    • Liquidise the chilli, tomatoes, garlic and onion with enough chicken stock to make a thick sauce
    • Heat the oil and add the sauce. Cook this for 5 minutes
    • Place the shredded chicken and chips in a large dish. Pour over the sauce and top with the cream and cheese to cover
    • Bake at 200C/400F (Gas Mark 6) until the cheese melts – about 15-20 minutes.

Baked Tapenade Chicken - France
  -Ceris Owen


  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 tbs green olive Tapenade
  • 4 slices of pancetta
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 225g (9 oz) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 100 ml (3-4 oz) dry white wine
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 200g (8oz) slice ciabatta bread
  • Salt and pepper


    • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
    • Place the chicken breast on a chopping board and cut three deep slashes into each.
    • Spread a tablespoon of the tapenade over each breast, pushing it into the slashes.
    • Wrap each piece in a slice of pancetta.
    • Place the chicken in a shallow dish and top with the tomatoes, and garlic.
    • Season and pour over the wine and 1 tbs of the oil.
    • Bake for 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts.
    • Remove from the oven and let it stand for 5 minutes.
    • Brush the ciabatta with the remaining oil and toast.
    • Transfer the chicken to serving plate and serve with the ciabatta. 

Lemon Chicken- China
-Mabel Evans


  • 6 skinned and boned chicken thighs, cut into strips
  • 1 tablespoon sherry or equivalent
  • ½ tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs cornflour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Peel from one lemon, pared very thin and cut into matchstick slices
  • ½ packet of frozen Chinese vegetables
  • 1 inch root ginger peeled and finely sliced
  • 125ml (1/4 pt) chicken stock blended with 1 tablespoon of cornflour.


    • Place all the ingredients in a suitable microwave vessel.
    • Cook on high for 20 minutes and on simmer for 40 minutes
    • Serve with boiled rice, past or crusty bread

Julie, Marion and Jennifer

Tandoori Chicken - India
-Alice Portnoy


  • 2 Chickens, cut into 8 pieces
  • Salt
  • 250g (8 oz) natural yoghurt
  • 55g (2 oz) mixed Indian spices
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 140g (5oz) Tomato puree


    • Skin the chicken and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 15-20 minutes and wash and dry.
    • Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour over the chicken.
    • Marinate for 5 hours or overnight.
    • Place the chicken on a wire rack over a roasting pan. Spoon over the sauce and bake at 180C/ 350F for 1 hour. Baste with the sauce during cooking.

Three Cup Chicken - Taiwan - Chia-Yu from Taiwan


  • some chicken, 8 breasts or legs (boned or not depending on your preference)

  • the three cups

  • 3 tbs Sesame oil

  • 3 tbs Soy sauce

  •  3 tbs Rice wine
  • some ginger

  • Salt and pepper

  • 5 cloves of garlic

  • 1 table spoon brown sugar


    • Cut the chicken into small pieces if you like, leaving skin on

    • Put the sesame oil into the cold pan

    • Add the ginger slices and garlic bulbs, turn on the heat, medium
    • Fry until the ginger is golden brown
    • Add the chicken pieces
    • Turn up the heat and fry them
    • Add the other two cups – soy sauce and wine, also 1 table spoon brown sugar
    • Stir it all, cover the pan and simmer for a few minutes
    • Uncover and reduce the sauce until it’s like a gravy as you wish
    • Add the basil leaves and stir and toss the food



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Marie and Eric, West Yorkshire hosts

It was back in 1997 whilst sorting out student details for a HOST party that I came across an American student who wanted a HOST weekend at the end of November.  Eric persuaded me it would be a good idea to cook a Thanksgiving dinner on the Saturday evening and invite friends to join us.


Turkey, pumpkins and pecan pie are all favourites on the Thanksgiving dinner table. Thanksgiving was first celebrated by the early English settlers in New England as thanks for surviving their first winter, and to give thanks to God for their first harvest in the autumn.  It is the main holiday in North America when families come together.  As pumpkins are not available after Halloween in England pumpkin soup is a good alternative to pumpkin pie


Devin and Tara came to us in November 2003 we all met up for the first on the Friday evening at our house. We have remained in touch ever since as they have with each other.  The first photo was taken on that weekend on a visit to Goredale Scar in the Yorkshire Dales, the second when we met up for a long weekend in Philadelphia PA in August 2010.


The story doesn’t quite end there because in 2005 we had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Tara’s folk in LA and ended that holiday with some memorable days in Florida with Devin’s parents.  As for that first American student, Sarah, she now lives in Seattle and yes, you guessed it, we spent a few days with her and her husband in August 2010. 


It just goes to show where an invite to a host student can take you.

Mousseline of Salmon - France -Alice Portnoy


  • 450g (1lb) fresh raw salmon, skinned

  • ½tsp salt

  • ¼tsp white pepper

  • Pinch of nutmeg

  • 1 fresh tarragon leaf

  • 4 egg whites, lightly beaten

  • 250ml (½pt) double cream

  • 400g (14oz) package frozen puff pastry, thawed

  • 1 egg, beaten


    • Place the salmon and seasoning in a liquidiser and blend until fairly smooth. Chill.
    • Add the egg whites and blend in, chill again.
    • Add the cream and blend in, chill again.
    • When the mixture is thoroughly chilled shape it into a block. Keep in the fridge white you roll out the pastry.
    • Cut one piece of pastry for the base. Place this on a slightly damp baking tray.
    • Lay the salmon on the base. Cut another piece of pastry to go over the top. Tuck the edges under the base.
    • Brush with the beaten egg.
    • Bake at 220C/400F for 25-35 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and well risen.
    • Serve hot or cold with hollandaise sauce.

Salmon with Creamy Sauce - United Kingdom -Elspeth MacGregor


  • 4 x 150g (6 oz) Salmon steaks

  • 65g (2 ½ oz) butter

  • Sea salt

  • 2 x 130g packets of bacon lardons or cubed pancetta

  • 2 small gem lettuces, finely shredded

  • 200ml (8oz) vegetable, fish or chicken stock

  • 200g (8oz) frozen peas

  • 2 tbs double cream (optional)

  • 3 tbs chopped parsley

  • ½ lemon, juice only


    • Remove any pin bones from the salmon.
    • Melt 28g (1oz) of the butter and brush the salmon. Season well.
    • Place the salmon under a preheated grill for 3-4 minutes per side.
    • When cooked remove from the oven and cover to keep warm.
    • While the salmon is cooking, heat a pan on high heat and add the bacon. Reduce the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes until the fat starts to run.
    • Add the lettuce and stir well to coat with the fat.
    • Add the stock, season and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 3 minutes.
    • Add the peas, cream, if using and parsley and give the pan a good shake while it comes to the boil.
    • Add the remaining butter and simmer for 2 minutes, then add the lemon juice.
    • Serve with the salmon.

Lucia cooking on the BBQ

Welsh Smokies - United Kingdom -Ceris Owen


  • 200g (8oz) smoked haddock

  • 25g (1oz) butter

  • 2 hard boiled eggs

  • 2 chopped tomatoes

  • 100g (4oz) cheddar cheese, grated

  • 225ml (8oz) double cream

  • 75g (3oz) prawns

  • Bread crumbs


    • Place the salmon and seasoning in a liquidiser and blend until fairly smooth. Chill.
    • Add the egg whites and blend in, chill again.
    • Add the cream and blend in, chill again.
    • When the mixture is thoroughly chilled shape it into a block. Keep in the fridge white you roll out the pastry.
    • Cut one piece of pastry for the base. Place this on a slightly damp baking tray.
    • Lay the salmon on the base. Cut another piece of pastry to go over the top. Tuck the edges under the base.
    • Brush with the beaten egg.
    • Bake at 220C/400F for 25-35 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and well risen.
    • Serve hot or cold with hollandaise sauce.

Trout Baked in Newspaper - United Kingdom -Elspeth MacGregor


  • 1 whole trout of 900-1300g (2-3lbs), cleaned and gutted, but head still on and gills removed.

  • Splash of olive oil

  • 1 Bay leaf

  • 4-5 lemon slices

  • 1 spring onion, sliced

  • Sprinkle of mixed herbs, (herb de provence mix)

  • Salt and pepper to taste


    • Place the fish on a sheet of newspaper and make a few diagonal slits along each side.
    • Pour a little olive oil over the fish and rub in. Add the rest of the ingredients, placing some on the inside and outside of the fish so it is well covered.
    • Wrap the fish in several layers of newspaper, folding the edges over to seal. Tie the parcel with string and soak under the tap long enough to make the newspaper damp all the way through.
    • Grill on a barbecue for about 25 minutes each side or bake in the oven at 220C/440F (Gas mark 7-8) for 30-40 minutes. 

Trout Baked in Foil - United Kingdom -Elspeth MacGregor


  • 450-900g (1-2 lbs) cleaned whole trout or trout filets

  • 50g (2 oz) butter

  • 1 lemon, sliced

  • Selection of fresh herbs, thyme, parsley and chives, chopped

  • 100ml (4oz) white wine (optional)


    • Place a large sheet of aluminium foil in a baking tray and place the trout on the foil. Make a few diagonal cuts in the whole trout to allow the seasoning to penetrate.
    • Add the herbs and wine and a few slices of lemon.
    • Make a foil parcel, folding the edges together to seal in the juices.
    • Bake in a preheated oven 80C/360F (Gas Mark 4-5) for 15-20 minutes per lb. (35-45minutes per kg). Filets will need half the cooking time.
    • Serve with crème fraiche combined with chopped dill.


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Li Ping, Singaporean student

Before you came to the UK, what ideas did you have in your head about British food and mealtimes?

Western cuisine does not have high carbohydrate intake like Asian cuisine. The famous British food is fish and chips.


How did your HOST visit change those ideas?

I underestimated the amount of tea British people drink everyday. It also seems like a common practice to have home-baked dessert after every meal.


Did you eat something at your host’s home which you would like to know how to cook? Please tell me what it was.

Apple crumble pie!


If your hosts came to visit you in your country, which is the one food or dish would you most want them to try?

Hainanese Chicken Rice, Bak Kut Teh, curry fish head, minced pork noodle, laksa, braised pork, there are just too many to name!


Do you have an amusing story to share which is about your food experience in Britain?

The amount of tea I drank over my 3 days 2 nights stay in Cornwall with my Host family is probably equivalent to the amount that I would drink normally in half a year.

Jan preparing a 50th birthday meal

Mutton and Leek Broth - United Kingdom


  • 100g (4oz) pearl barley

  • 1kg (2lbs) scrag end of neck of mutton or lamb, sliced

  • 2½ ltr (4½ pts) water or vegetable stock

  • 150g (6oz) carrots

  • 1 small stalk of celery

  • 100g (4oz) turnip of swede

  • 150g (6oz) onion

  • 2 medium leeks, thinly sliced

  • ½ tsp thyme or handful of       rosemary

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  • Parsley or chervil, chopped

  • Pinch of sugar


    • Wash and soak the pearl barley for 4 hours or overnight.
    • Drain and add to a large pot of pressure cooker.
    • Add the water or stock.
    • Bring to the boil and skim well.
    • Dice the turnip of swede, onion, leeks carrots and celery
    • Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for another hour or until meat is tender, (or 5 minutes in a pressure cooker).
    • Discard the bones and fat.
    • Dice the meat and return to the pan. Add parsley or chervil to serve.
    • Best prepared in advance so the fat solidifies to be removed before reheating.

Pumpkin Soup (V) - United States -Eric and Marie Songhurst


     Serves 8

  • One 2½kg (5½ lb) pumpkin

  • 50ml (2oz) olive oil

  • 1 ltr (1¾pt) chicken or vegetable stock

  • 75g (3oz) Parmesan cheese

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 25ml (1oz) double cream

  • Parmesan cheese/croutons to serve


    • Quarter the pumpkin, peel it and remove the seeds.
    • Chop the flesh into small cubes.
    • In a large pan heat half the oil, then stir in the pumpkin, stirring well to coat.
    • Cover and fry over low heat for 10 minutes or until the pumpkin starts to soften and take on a golden colour.
    • Pour in the stock, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the pumpkin is cooked.
    • Liquidize or blend until very smooth and silky. If too thick add more stock.
    • To serve, reheat slowly, stir in the parmesan and cream and slowly bring to a boil.
    • This soup freezes well. Cool and freeze after liquidizing. Thaw before reheating and add the cheese and cream before serving.

Cazuela de Mariscos (Colombian Fish Soup) - Colombia


  • 175g (7oz) butter

  • 2 tbs vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 1 large green pepper, sliced

  • 1 large red pepper, sliced

  • 6 cloves garlic

  • 4 limes, squeezed

  • 1 ½ fish bouillion cubes, dissolved in 75ml (3 oz) boiling water

  • 900g (2lbs) raw shrimp, cleaned and deveined

  • 200g (8oz) raw squid rings, cleaned

  • 450g (1lb) any white filleted fish, cut in large chunks

  • 200g (8oz) clams in shells, cleaned

  • 200g (8oz) raw cockles

     (4 ½ pounds of frozen seafood mix      can be substituted for the above if      desired.)


     White Sauce

  • 400ml (16oz) milk

  • 4 tbs flour

  • 50g (2oz) butter

  • 200ml (8oz) white wine

  • Salt to taste

  • 450g (1lb) mozzarella cheese, grated


    • Melt the butter in a large pan, add the vegetables and garlic and sauté until soft but not coloured.
    • Add the lime juice and the fish stock.
    • Add the fish
    • Make the white sauce- melt the butter in another pan, add the flour and stir well for about 1 minute. Add the milk and white wine and stir until well combined and smooth.
    • Pour over the fish mixture and simmer until the fish is cooked.
    • Spoon into bowls and sprinkle on the cheese. Grill until the cheese is melted and serve with crusty bread.

Rui and Gudong

Leek, Tomato and Potato Soup (V) - United Kingdom


  • 453½g (1lb) fresh prepared leeks OR 340g (¾lb) frozen, sliced
  • 56½g (2oz) butter
  • 453½g (1lb) tomatoes OR tinned tomatoes OR tinned tomato puree
  • 680g (1½lb) potatoes
  • 2pts water
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cream (for serving)
  • Chopped Parsley (for serving)


    • Cook the sliced leeks (no need to wait for frozen leeks to thaw) gently in the butter in a heavy saucepan.
    • Add peeled tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes.
    • Add the peeled and diced potatoes.
    • Season and stir well.
    • Add the water and cook until the potatoes are soft or for half an hour.
    • Blend until smooth.
    • To serve, stir in the cream and sprinkle on the parsley.


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Italian Student , University College London

Before coming to the UK I had a very different opinion about British food in general. Despite knowing that there were more typical British dishes than just the famous English breakfast, black pudding or fish & chips, I was amazed to discover how many different varieties of local fruit and vegetables there are all across the UK, to say nothing about dairy products - mainly cheese - and meat, especially beef. 

Also, I realised that even though it is true that the British don't have a real cuisine like the French or the Italians, the number of elaborated dishes is amazing and many have a really great taste, despite butter being virtually everywhere.

Russian Salad (V) - Russia
-Marion Wright


  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 3 waxy potatoes cut into small chunks
  • 1 mug of frozen peas
  • 6 small cornichons or gherkins, sliced
  • 2 rounded tbs of mayonaise
  • 2tbs chopped parsley (optional)


    • Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the potatoes and the carrots, cook for 4 minutes and then add the peas. Cook for another 4-5 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
    • Drain and cool for a few minutes then tip into a bowl. Add the pickle, mayonaise and parsley, if using.
    • Mix well and season to taste.
    • Serve with leftover beef, lamb or chicken.

Jollof Rice (V) - Nigeria -Anne Marie Ringler


     Serves 4-6

  • One 2½kg (5½ lb) pumpkin

  • 50ml (2oz) olive oil

  • 1 ktr (1¾pt) chicken or vegetable stock

  • 75g (3oz) Parmesan cheese

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 25ml (1oz) double cream

  • Parmesan cheese/croutons to serve


    • 500g (20oz) long grain rice
    • 400g (14oz) can of chopped tomatoes
    • 142g (5oz) tomato puree
    • 1 red pepper
    • 1½ onions
    • 1 red chilli—seeds removed
    • 1tsp thyme
    • 1tsp Curry powder
    • 2-3tbs oil
    • 2 vegetable stock cubes
    • Salt to taste
    • Butter if required

Baked Lentil and Tomato Savory (V) - United Kingdom -Jenny Martin


  • 75g (3oz) red lentils
  • 200g (8 oz) fresh tomatoes or one 15 oz can
  • 1 small onion
  • 150g (6oz) cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 250ml ( ½pint) milk or vegetable stock
  • Seasoning, nutmeg (optional)


    • Grease a lidded baking dish.
    • Slice the tomatoes and chop the onion.
    • Place layers of tomato, onion, lentils and cheese in a dish with the seasoning, reserving a little of the cheese.
    • Best the egg with the milk or stock and pour over the lentils.
    • Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on the top.
    • Over with the lid and bake at 180C/360F/Gas mark 4 for 45 minutes.
    • Remove the lid and cook for another 30 minutes until browned.

Butternut Squash and Pine Nut Lasagne (V) - Italy -Liz Hudson


  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 50ml (2oz) olive oil or margarine
  • 2 medium red onions peeled and cut into wedges
  • 3 garlic cloves, skinned and sliced
  • 400g (14oz) chopped tomatoes or 4 fresh tomatoes, quartered.
  • 75g (3oz) pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chopped rosemary leaves
  • 9 sheets of egg free lasagne



  • 50g (2oz) butter or margarine
  • 50g (2oz) flour
  • 600ml (1pt 4oz) milk (soya milk can be substituted)
  • Salt and pepper


    • Heat the oil or margarine in a large roasting tin in the oven at 180C.
    • Add the squash, red onions, garlic  and rosemary, and a little paprika and bake for 20 minutes.
    • Add the tomatoes, and pine nuts and cook for another 10 minutes, stir occasionally until the vegetables are browned and softened.
    • Remove from the oven and place vegetables in a bowl. Add salt and pepper.
    • Make the white sauce- Melt the butter or margarine, add the flour and stir, then add the milk, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened.
    • Grease a 2 ltr lasagne dish with oil or margarine. Fill with alternate layers of vegetables and lasagne noodles.
    • Pour over the sauce and bake at 180C for 40 minutes or until the noodles are soft.

Curried Nut Roast (V) - India


  • 200g (8oz) chopped hazelnuts
  • 75g (3oz) wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 2 onions
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1tbs mild curry powder
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


    • Chop the onion and green pepper and fry in the olive oil until soft but not coloured.
    • Combine the onion and pepper with the remaining ingredients and bind together with the beaten egg.
    • Add the salt and pepper and pack in a loaf tin.
    • Bake at 200C for 30-40 minutes. Serve with new potatoes and a green salad.

Zihong and Zhimin, New Year

Lentil, Onion and Cheese Savory (V) - United Kingdom


  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 50g (24 oz) margarine or butter
  • 100g (4oz) lentils
  • 150g-225g (6-8 oz) cheddar cheese
  • Salt
  • Chopped mixed herbs (optional)


    • Cook the onions in the butter or margarine over low heat for 15 minutes.
    • Add the lentils and cover with boiling water. Cook until almost soft.
    • Remove from the heat, add the seasoning and half the cheese.
    • Place in a flat, oven-proof dish and add the rest of the cheese.
    • Place under a hot grill until browned

Roasted Vegetable Risotto (V) - Italy -Carolyn Robinson


  • 200g (8oz) butternut squash, peeled and cut into ¾” cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 small aubergines, cubed
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cubed
  • 1 large courgette, cubed
  • 4 tomatoes, quartered
  • 200g (8oz) button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 275g (11oz) risotto rice
  • 1lt (2 pints) hot vegetable stock
  • 50g (2oz) grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp chopped thyme leaves


    • Preheat the oven to 200C/ 150F/Gas mark 4
    • Put all the vegetables in a single layer in a large roasting pan, season and sprinkle with thyme. Pour over 1 tbs. oil and mix well.
    • Roast for 30-40 minutes until tender and golden.
    • Heat remaining oil in a deep saucepan or deep frying pan and add rice and stir. Gradually add the hot stock a little at a time until all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is just tender but not too soft. 
    • Stir in the roasted vegetables and half the parmesan cheese.
    • Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle on the remaining cheese.

Sweet Potato Souffle (V) - France -Marion Wright


  • 300g (12oz) sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 50g (2oz) butter
  • 2 tbs thick natural yogurt
  • 1½tbs plain flour
  • 150ml milk
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3 tbs chopped walnuts


    • Preheat the oven to 190c/375F/Gas mark 4-5
    • Cook the sweet potatoes in salted boiling water until just tender. Drain and put through a sieve.
    • Beat in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1oz butter and the yogurt
    • Melt the remaining butter in a pan and add the flour. Cook for one minute.
    • Add the milk and stir until thickened.
    • Beat the sweet potato puree into the sauce and add the egg yolks.
    • Whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold carefully into the potatoes.
    • Add the walnuts.
    • Spoon into a greased souffle dish and bake for 35-40 minutes until well risen, puffed and golden.

Simple Scone Pizza (V) - Italy -Liz Hudson


  • 25g (1oz) hard margarine
  • 100g (4oz) self raising flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • 2 tbs milk
  • 2 tbs water
  • 400g (14oz) can of chopped tomatoes, drained and mashed
  • 75g (3oz) parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ small onion, chopped
  • 100g (4oz) mushrooms, sliced
  • olives to decorate
  • 1tbs mixed herbs


    • Rub the margarine into the seasoned flour until well blended and like breadcrumbs
    • Combine the milk and water and add to the flour to make a soft dough.
    • Form into a ball and flatten then roll our to about 1/2 inch thickness.
    • Place the dough on a greased baking sheet.
    • Spread with the mashed tomatoes add a layer of grated cheese, some onions and the sliced mushrooms.
    • Bake at 180 C for 15-20 minutes. Add the olives (optional) for the last few minutes of cooking.


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Christabel, Malaysian student

Before you came to the UK, what ideas did you have in your head about British food and mealtimes?

Fish & chips is the main food.


How did your HOST visit change those ideas?

They cooked really nice things including Shepard's pie and different dessert.


Did you eat something at your host’s home which you would like to know how to cook? Please tell me what it was.

The desserts were all lovely, including Strawberry trifle with cream.


If your hosts came to visit you in your country, which is the one food or dish would you most want them to try?

Nasi Lemak! It is Malaysia's famous dish.

Carrot Cake (V) - Sweden -Elspeth MacGregor


  • 4 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 400g (14oz) caster sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 4 cups grated carrots
  • 200ml (8oz) vegetable oil
  • 225g (9oz) plain flour
  • 2tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp cinnamon


     Cream cheese frosting

  • 25g (1oz) butter, softened
  • 175g (7oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 500g (1lb) icing sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla extract


    • Grease and flour two 22cm baking tins.
    • Mix the sugar, baking powder, flour, cinnamon and baking soda in a bowl.
    • Add the eggs and the oil and mix just until blended.
    • Add the carrots and pecans and stir until combined.
    • Pour into the baking tins and bake at 190C (380F, Gas mark 5) for 35-40  minutes
    • Test with a skewer, if it comes out clean the cake is done.
    • Leave in a tin for 10 minutes then turn on to a wire rack and allow to cool.



    • Mix the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
    • Add the sugar and vanilla and blend. If too thick, thin with a little milk.
    • Spread on the cooled cake.

Traditional Cornish Scones (V) - United Kingdom Carolyn Robinson


  • 450g (1lb) self-raising flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • ¾tsp cream of tartar
  • 100g (4oz) butter
  • 50g (2oz) caster sugar
  • 250ml (10oz) milk
  • 1 egg, beaten, to glaze


    • Sift the flour salt and cream of tartar.
    • Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumb. This can also be done in a food processor.
    • Add sugar.
    • Make a well in the flour and add the milk. Mix together and until it forms a soft not sticky dough.
    • Turn on to a floured board and roll to 1 inch thickness.
    • Cut into rounds with 2“ cutter and place on a greased baking tray.
    • Brush the tops with beaten egg
    • Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
    • When cold, split and spread with jam and Cornish clotted cream.

Ava and Sandra

Banana Bread (V) - United States


  • 3 small soft bananas
  • 5 level tbs caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp Baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 100g (4oz) margarine
  • 200g (8oz) self raising flour


    • Mash the bananas and sugar together
    • Melt the margarine
    • Sift the flour with the baking soda and salt. And the melted margarine and the beaten egg and mix well
    • Place in a well greased 1lb loaf tin and scatter a little Demerara sugar over it.
    • Bake at 180C (375F, Gas Mark 4) for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Easy Chocolate Cake (V) - United Kingdom -Pamela Maher


  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 300g (12oz) soft margarine
  • 300g (12oz) caster sugar
  • 300g (12oz) self raising flour
  • 2 tbs cocoa powder or enough to colour




     Chocolate Frosting

  • 75g (3oz) soft butter
  • 175g (6oz) sifted icing sugar
  • Vanilla essence
  • Milk


    • Lightly grease 2 round sandwich tins, 8-9 inches in diameter.
    • Beat the margarine and the sugar until pale and fluffy.
    • Sift the flour with the cocoa powder.
    • Beat in some egg, followed by a tbs of flour until all the egg is added.
    • Fold in the remaining flour.
    • Bake at 160C/375F/ Gas Mark 4, for 30 to 40 minutes until the top springs back to the touch and it is shrinking away from the side of the tin.
    • Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes.
    • When cooled turn out of tin on to the rack.


             Chocolate Frosting

    • Beat the butter with the icing sugar.
    • Add a few drops of vanilla essence and enough milk to make a soft icing.
    • Spread the icing between the layers and on the top of the cake.

Ginger Bran Cookies (V) - United Kingdom -Marion Wright


  • 100g (4oz) margarine
  • 2 tbs golden syrup
  • 300g (2oz) self raising flour
  • 205g (8oz) demerara sugar
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 75g (3oz) Kellogg’s All Bran or Bran Buds
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ tsp salt


    • Preheat oven to 180c/375F/Gas mark 4-5
    • Put margarine and syrup in a saucepan and melt over a low heat.
    • Mix together the dry ingredients then add the egg and the syrup mixture to make a soft dough.
    • Roll small amounts of the dough into balls and place them on a baking tray.
    • Flatten the balls slightly, leaving room between the cookies for spreading.
    • Bake for 15-20 minutes until brown.
    • Remove to a cooling rack.

Gluten Free Potato Cake (V) - Italy -Margaret Powell-Jones


  • 150g (6oz) brown sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Drop of single malt whisky
  • 1 lemon rind and juice
  • 200-250g (8-10oz) potatoes
  • 175g (7oz) cashew nuts
  • 50g (2oz) dried apricots
  • 50g (2oz) dried cranberries
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs icing sugar


             Use a 22-24cm round cake tin or 30cm oblong tin, line the base with oiled                           greaseproof paper.

    • In a large bowl whisk the brown sugar and yolks until pale yellow in colour.
    • Add the whisky lemon rind and lemon juice to the egg mixture.
    • Peel and boil the potatoes, Cool slightly and mash.
    • Chop the nuts finely, cut or chop the apricots and cranberries and add to the potatoes, stir in the egg mixture and mix well.
    • Add the baking powder and salt to the egg whites and beat until stiff. Gently fold into the potato mixture. Make sure it remains fluffy.
    • Pour into a baking dish and decorate with a few whole cashew nuts.
    • Bake in preheated over at 180CV/360F/Gas mark 4-5 for 45-50 minutes.
    • Allow to cool and sprinkle the top with the sieved icing sugar.
    • Wrap in cling film and keep in the fridge. Best served after 2-3 days.

Courgette and Potato Pie - Greece


  • 2 large courgettes
  • 1 potato
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g flour
  • 375 ml milk
  • 2 pieces of bacon
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Bread crumbs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parsley


    • Cut the courgettes into thin round pieces. Peel the potato and cut into small pieces. Cut the bacon into strips.
    • Grease an oven dish with butter and sprinkle it with bread crumbs.
    • Mix the courgettes, the potato and the bacon pieces together and place in the oven dish.
    • Mix the other ingredients into a dough and pour it on the rest.
    • Cook in a pre-heated oven at 150C for 20 minutes.


Pizza Muffins (V) - Italy -Marion Wright


  • 125g (5oz) cheddar cheese
  • 100g (4oz) mushrooms, sweet corn, red or green pepper, or cooked meat
  • 50 ml (2fl oz) olive oil
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 8tbs milk
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 225g (9oz) self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200g (8oz) chopped tomatoes


    • Cut the cheese into cubes.
    • Chop the mushrooms, peppers or cooked meat.
    • Place the olive oil, eggs, milk and mustard in a jug and whisk.
    • Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt and add the cheese and the mushrooms.
    • Add the liquid and mix together.
    • Divide the mixture between 12 muffin cases and spoon the chopped tomatoes on the top.
    • Bake for 30 minutes. Eat warm or wrap in foil to keep warm Can also be frozen for up to 3 months.


Julie making cookies

Sweet Roll (V) - United Kingdom -Penny O'Bee


  • 200g (8oz) self raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 50g (2oz) margarine or butter
  • 45g (1 1/2 oz) sugar
  • 50 ml (2oz) milk



  • 45g (1 ½ oz) butter
  • 50g (2oz) sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or mixed spice
  • 50-75g (2-3 oz) dried fruit


    • Combine flour and salt and rub in the margarine or butter until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
    • Add the sugar and then the milk and mix until a soft dough forms
    • Roll out the dough to an oblong about 1/4” thick
    • Melt the butter for the filling and add the rest of the ingredients.
    • Spread of the dough, moisten the edges and roll up.
    • Cut into 12-13 rolls, lay on their sides so that they are touching each other, in a well greased tin.
    • Bake at 200-210C/400-420F/ Gas mark 6 for 20-25 minutes

Welsh Cakes (V) - United Kingdom -Ceris Owen


  • 200g (8oz) flour
  • 50g (2oz) butter
  • 50g (2oz) lard
  • 75g (3 oz) sugar
  • 50g (2oz) currants
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp mixed spice
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt
  • Milk to mix


    • Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and spice together.
    • Rub in the mix fats.
    • Add the sugar, currants and bind with the beaten egg and a little milk to make a stiff paste.
    • Roll the paste to about 1/4 inch thickness and cut into 2 1/2 inch rounds.
    • Place on a greased griddle or baking dish and place until a medium grill for 3 minutes.
    • Spread with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Eat hot or cold.

Bara Brith (V) - United Kingdom - Diana McCormack


     Makes 2 small loaves

  • 450g (1lb) self raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • 375ml (¾pt) strong tea
  • 100g (4oz)
  • 450g (1lb) mixed fruit
  • 1 rounded tsp mixed spice


    • Soak the fruit overnight in the tea
    • Line 2 loaf tins with buttered greaseproof paper
    • Mix the dry ingredients
    • Stir the beaten egg into the tea and the fruit
    • And the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and spoon into the loaf tins.
    • Bake at 180C/360F (Gas Mark 4) for 1 ½ hours.



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Maureen and Andy, Devon hosts

Most Host guests take an interest in what we cook and eat, and it is interesting in turn to hear the differences in their cultures. They love to take photographs of the meal and are astounded at the time we spend in preparation. In Vietnam they sadly could not take home and try the fruit crumble recipe as they do not have an oven. They cook all their meals on the top, often buying take-aways from the street vendors.


A German student brought us a gift of a recipe book from his region with anecdotes about the region too - very different.


A Devon cream tea always goes down well as does a roast dinner, with squeals of delight at any type of pudding.

"Chaos" Tiramisu (V) - Italy -Mandy Talbott


     Serves 6—8

  • Large pot of double cream
  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • 75ml Tia Maria (or similar)
  • 5tbs golden caster sugar or soft light brown sugar
  • Packet of sponge fingers
  • 300ml strong coffee (instant or filter)
  • Grated chocolate, for decoration
  • Cocoa powder, to sprinkle


    • Put the cream, mascarpone, liqueur and sugar in a bowl and beat well to combine (consistency should resemble thickly whipped cream).
    • Prepare a serving dish. Put coffee into a shallow dish and dip in the sponge fingers just sufficiently to soak but so they are not too soggy.
    • Layer half of the sponge fingers into a serving dish.
    • Spread over half the cream mixture, grate a bit of the chocolate over and then repeat with remaining sponge fingers, cream and chocolate.
    • Dust very lightly with a little cocoa powder and grate on a bit more chocolate if liked.

Smores (V) - United States -Marion Wright


  • 1 pack of digestive biscuits
  • 1 large pack of marshmallows
  • 1 bar Cadbury milk chocolate per person


    • Put the marshmallows on a skewer.
    • Toast over an open flame until very hot and glowing
    • Remove from the fire and blow out the flame
    • Sandwich with ½ bar of the chocolate between 2 biscuits and press together.
    • Eat straightaway- very sweet and sticky- but delicious

Apple Crumble (V) - United Kingdom


     Serves 4

  • 4 large cooking apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into large pieces
  • 1 tbs water
  • 3 tbs sugar, plus extra to taste
  • Ready made custard, ice cream, double cream or creme fraiche to serve (optional).


     Crumble topping

  • 75g (3 oz) butter
  • 75g (3 oz) brown sugar
  • 200g (8oz) plain flour


    • Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4
    • Heat the apples, water and sugar in a large pan stirring occasionally until the apples are broken down and beginning to soften. Taste and add more sugar if required.
    • Make the topping by combining the flour and sugar and rubbing in the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
    • Spoon the apples into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the crumble topping.
    • Bake for 18-20 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
    • Spoon into dish and drizzle over custard or any other topping.

Ao decorating a trifle

Bread and Butter Pudding (V) - United Kingdom


  • 250ml (½ pt) milk
  • 75ml (3oz) double cream
  • Grated rind of half a lemon
  • 25g (2oz) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 loaf of bread cut into 8 slices - best if a few days old (any leftover bread, croissants, rolls or panettone can be used)
  • Butter for spreading
  • 50g (2oz) raisins
  • 50g (2oz) candied peel, finely chopped
  • Freshly grated nutmeg


    • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
    • Butter a 2 ltr baking dish.
    • Slice the bread, not too thick and butter each slice
    • Cut each slice into 2 triangles
    • Arrange one layer of the bread over the base of the dish.
    • Sprinkle over some peel and raisins, cover with rest of the bread and the remaining peel and raisins.
    • Combine the milk and cream and add the caster sugar and lemon rind.
    • Add the eggs to the milk mixture and whisk again.
    • Pour the mixture over the bread and sprinkle with the grated nutmeg.
    • Bake for 30-40 minutes and serve warm.

Apple Cake (V) - United Kingdom -Alice Portnoy


  • 285g (10oz) soft margarine
  • 285g (10oz) caster sugar
  • 285g (10oz) Self-raising flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 lemon, rind and juice of
  • 225g (8oz) cooking apples, diced
  • Pinch of mixed spice
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 55g (2oz) chopped nuts
  • 3tbs demerara sugar


    • Grease and line a large baking tray.
    • Place all the ingredients except the nuts and demerara sugar in a mixing bowl.
    • Beat for 2-3 minutes until well mixed, don’t overbeat.
    • Spread the mixture evenly over the baking tray.
    • Sprinkle the top with a mixture of the nuts and the demerara.
    • Bake at 180C (350F) for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and springy to the touch.
    • Trim the edge and cut into squares for serving.

Yoghurt and Amaretti Biscuits (V) - Italy -Caterina Mognato


     Serves 4

  • 300g whole yoghurt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 banana
  • 6 spoonfuls of sugar
  • 150g amaretti cookies
  • 5g chopped almonds


    • Whisk the sugar together with the egg yolks until you obtain a foamy cream.
    • Mash the amaretti biscuits into a crumble (leave 4 whole biscuits for decoration).
    • Mash the banana with a little bit of the yoghurt.
    • Mix the cream, the crumbled amaretti, the banana-yoghurt mash and the rest of the yoghurt together.
    • Divide it all into four cups and leave in the fridge for at least one hour.
    • Before serving, decorate each cup with an amaretto biscuit and some chopped almonds.

Melting Moments (V) - United Kingdom -Marion Wright


  • 70g (2½ oz) self raising flour
  • 45g (1½ oz) caster sugar
  • 50g (2oz) margarine
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Rolled oats or desiccated coconut
  • Glace cherries


    • Preheat the oven to 160C/320F (Gas Mark 3)
    • Cream together the margarine and the sugar until light and fluffy
    • Add the vanilla and then stir in the flour. Mix well
    • Divide the mixture into 20 pieces and roll each into a ball with wet hands.
    • Roll the balls in oats or coconut.
    • Place on a greased baking tray, press out slightly and place a small piece of cherry in the centre of each biscuit.
    • Bake for 15-20 minutes

Mrs. MacGregor's Tablet (V) - United Kingdom


  • 450g (1lb) sugar
  • 200ml (7oz) milk
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs golden syrup
  • 50g (2oz) broken walnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla


    • Mix the sugar, milk, butter and syrup in a pan.
    • Boil for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan.
    • Add the walnuts and vanilla.
    • Let cool and beat thoroughly.
    • Pour into a shallow baking tin and let it set.
    • Cut in small squares and store in an airtight tin.

Pear and Ginger Upside-Down Pudding (V) - United Kingdom -Mandy Talbott


     Serves 6 -8

  • 125g (4oz) softened butter or margarine 
  • 125 g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 110g (3½oz) self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 30 g (1oz) ground almonds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbls ginger syrup (or juice from the pears if using) – add extra ginger or a couple of chopped knobs of preserved ginger if you want a really gingery dessert.



  • 90 g (3oz) granulated sugar.
  • 90 g (3oz) butter
  • 2 tbls spoons of ginger syrup from a jar of preserved ginger
  • 4 large firm pears


  • Set a shallow cake tin (23 – 25 cm) over low heat to melt the butter. When melted, add the granulated sugar and syrup and stir until a rich golden colour.
  • Peel, core & thickly slice pears if using fresh ones – arrange on the toffee base
  • For the cake, mix all the ingredients together until they are thoroughly combined.
  • Spread the mixture over the pears
  • Bake at 190°C/375°F (Gas Mark 5) for 25 – 30 minutes or until just set. Allow to rest for a little while in the tin and then invert on to serving plate. (Tip – put cake tin on baking tray to catch any drips if syrup ‘boils over’.
  • Serve with crème fraîche or ice cream.

Trifle - Toni McCabe


     Serves 6—8

  • Enough sponge cake to cover the bottom of a medium sized Pyrex bowl – to about an inch thick. As plain a sponge as you can find, or else get economy sponge cake mix from Sainsburys.

  • About a cup of sherry or fortified wine (cooking sherry), or a little more, enough to soak the sponge well.

  • 1 packet of raspberry or strawberry jello (or 1 packet of vegetarian jello for vegetarians or people who don’t have beef or pork gelatine) – this vegetarian  jello is available in Holland and Barrett the health food shop chain.

  • A 300 ml carton of double cream


    • Cut up your sponge and cover the pyrex bowl with it, maybe to 1 inch.
    • Prepare a serving dish. Put coffee into a shallow dish and dip in the sponge fingers just sufficiently to soak but so they are not too soggy.
    • Pour on the trifle or fortified wine, let it soak in as evenly as you can.

    • Then make the packet of jello as per the instructions on the packet and pour over the sponge; let it set for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.

    • When it is good and firm, beat the double cream until it is stiff and starting to stick to the beater (with a beater or whisk) and then pour over the trifle.


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Carolyn, Cornwall host

We had a delightful Chinese student who stayed with us a couple of years ago. We had been given some new laid eggs and decided to serve boiled eggs for breakfast. We have some china egg cups in the shape of a chicken and so we put them on the table for breakfast. She thought this was for some strange drink and when we produced the eggs she had no idea how to eat them.

We bought her a similar chicken egg cup as a souvenir and later she sent us a photo of it, in pride of place, on her bedroom mantelpiece.

Marbled Chocolate Fudge (V) - United States -Marion Wright


  • 425g (17oz) plain or semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • Dash of salt
  • 1½tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g (10oz) white chocolate, chopped


    • Melt the chocolate with the milk and salt over a hot heat.
    • Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and chopped chocolate and stir until blended.
    • Line a 8 or 9 inch square tin with greaseproof or baking paper and spread the fudge evenly into the pan.
    • Chill for 2 hours until firm. Turn onto a cutting board and peel off the paper and cut into pieces.

Laver Bread (V) - United Kingdom


  • 120g tinned Laverbread
  • 30g (1½oz) fine oatmeal
  • 1 tbs vinegar
  • 100g (4oz) streaky bacon


    • Mix the Laverbread, oatmeal and vinegar and shape into flat small cakes.
    • Fry the bacon until crisp. Lift out the bacon and fry the cakes in the bacon fat.
    • Lift out carefully and serve with the bacon.


Mandy prepares a meal for her Surrey hosts, including Chinese Sautéed Cabbage (below)

Chinese Sautéed Cabbage (V) - China - Man Guo, University of Greenwich


  • 1 whole cabbage
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • Oil
  • Salt


    • Wash the cabbage. Cut in half and then into pieces of approximately 5cm long and 2cm wide.
    • Heat a frying pan until very hot and cover the base with oil.
    • Heat the oil and add the sliced garlic. Stir frequently for 1 minute or until the garlis is slightly browned.
    • Add the cabbage to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the cabbage is slightly browned, stirring frequently.
    • Add salt to taste.