Newtown – Isle of Wight

Newtown church.

Newtown is a fascinating little village that has been settled since before the Norman conquest. It is now overseen by the National Trust and is definitely worth a visit.

Looking out over the marshes to the natural harbour at Newtown

Samphire in it’s natural habitat!  Samphire (also known as glasswort) is a succulent plant that grows in salty estuary areas. It is lovely eaten raw (although salty!) or cooked in a stir fry or steamed.

Newtown harbour

Cashew nut and vegetable paella at the New Inn, Shalfleet. An old favourite of ours and only a few minutes drive from Newtown. The perfect watering hole for lunch.

Roast beef and gravy.

Children’s serve of fresh cod and chips. This was so tender!


Exam revision snack- Peach tart

Roll out puff pastry.Layer with thinly sliced fresh peaches. Cook in a hot oven (200 degrees celsius) for about 20minutes. Drizzle honey and flaked almonds on the top,dot with ricotta cheese and fresh mint.


Button squash

I was beyond excited when I saw these squash for sale this week.

In the UK they are apparently known as patty pan squash, in Australia they are known as button squash. Husband-Gusto had never had these before. I bought the entire load available, and last night just steamed them. H-G adored the flavour, and tonight I again steamed them, let them cool then sliced thinly. I drizzled olive oil and lemon juice over the squash, added some dollops of ricotta and sliced mint and this made a really glorious side dish to our meal.

I was really pleased with how this worked out. If I can persuade H-G to let me have raised vegetable beds in our garden (or in his new courtyard) then I could grow these and life would be near complete.


Honey and Almond cake- the cheat version

A quickly assembled cake for guests that was a hit.

I am really NOT a baker, and nor am I a person who is usually distracted by the dessert part of any menu. So while I spend hours planning dinner recipes,I usually only serve fruit for pudding.

However today I fancied something a bit different, so put together a very simple cheat’s version of almond and honey cake.

Shop-bought madeira cake.

Shop-bought honey and flaked almonds.

I heated the honey and almonds very very gently on the stove. I thenskewered holes into the madeira cake and poured the warm honey syrup over the cake and left it to cool.

Served with icecream, it was an easy finish to a meal and perfect served with an espresso.

Summer meals

Strawberries, cherries and canteloupe with yoghurt, honey, cocoa powder and pumpkin seeds.

‘Blackened’ sesame tofu steaks with salad. The tofu was not meant to be ‘blackened’ but I got distracted, and as ‘blackened’ or ‘charred’ whatever is often to be seen on restaurant menus I figured this fit in nicely.

I cut firm tofu into half, then give it an ‘egg wash’ and dip it in seasoned flour. Then I rolled it in sesame seeds and cooked in olive oil. Very tasty indeed with a little bit of chilli sauce on the side.

Snacks – or The One Where Egusta Tries to Eat More Healthily

bagel with honey, apple and pumpkin seeds.

Toast with tomatoes, olive oil, green olive, pumpkin seeds and fresh basil from my garden.

Baba Ganoush and corn chips. I cannot tolerate aubergine in any other form, but baba ghanoush for some reason- must be the added sesame, lemony, garlicky goodness!

The Baba Ganoush was from the Sabra brand, bought on a rare trip to Sainsbury’s. (I am a committed Aldi woman). However I can see a return trip, purely to stock up on these delicious dips.Just too good.–Tahini-Dip/250780011?dnr=y