Lemon Drop Vodka

This is a really simple cocktail but one that is worth of being included as a recipe. There is only a few ingredients in this recipe yet the refreshing flavours are wonderfully combined to create a drink perfect for the summer, but can easily be enjoyed on a winters evening as well.

Lemon Drop Vodka

•1 1/2 oz vodka
•3/4 oz lemon juice
•1 tsp sugar syrup
•Lemon twist for garnish

1. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes.
2. Shake well (use both hands as accidents can occur, I learnt the hard way).
3. Strain into a cocktail glass.
4. Garnish with the lemon twist.

Optional – If you have any lemon sherbert adding this can add a great sweet sour twist to this drink.

Enjoy Janet Lefton


Dead Easy Mushroom & Potato Curry

This is a recipe that I came across through a friend and it is dead easy to make as it only involves 1 pan. You can not go wrong with this plus it is extremely tasty and suitable for vegetarians as well.


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large potato, chopped into small chunks
  • 1 aubergine, trimmed and chopped into chunks
  • 250g button mushrooms
  • 2-4 tbsp curry paste (depending on how hot you like it)
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • 400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
  • chopped coriander, to serve


1. Put the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion and potato and gently cook for about 5 mins until the potatoes and onions are starting to soften.

2. Add the aubergine and mushrooms and continue to cook for a few more minutes.

3. Start to stir in the curry paste and add the stock and coconut milk. Then turn up the heat and bring to a simmer for around 10 minutes or until the potato is cooked through and tender.

4. Once all cooked stir through the coriander and then enjoy.

The curry works great with rice or naan bread. To be extra healthy use brown rice. Enjoy Janet Lefton

Strawberry Lemonade

I found this recipe hidden in my cupboard the other day and it was one that me and my sister used to make as kids. We started off making normal homemade lemonade but one day during the summer we had some leftover strawberries and added them to the blender. This drink is perfect for the summer and if you want an adult version try adding some white rum  Barccadi works well but any white rum will do.


1 Tablespoon of grated lemon peel (the smallest size grater)
1 Cup or 235ml of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 big handful of strawberries (cut in half)
2 cups of water or 470ml of water
2 cups of water or 470ml of sparkling water or soda water
4 table spoons of sugar

1. In a medium saucepan add the sugar and water (not sparkling) and heat while stiring until the sugar dissolves.
2. Add the lemon peel and lemon juice, stir, and remove from the heat. Let the liquid cool completely, then strain into a clean pitcher. (to get it to cool quicker add a few ice cubes)
3.  In a blender puree the strawberries and then add to the pitcher with the lemon juice. Stir well to combine and refrigerate until well chilled.
4. Add the sparkling water and stir well.
5. Pour into classes and enjoy!

Enjoy Janet Lefton

Simple Flour Tortilla Wraps

These tortilla wraps are amazingly simple to make and ideal for lunches or for fajitas.


  • 800g (1 3/4 lb) plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 350ml (12 fl oz) boiling water
  1. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Rub in butter to resemble texture of polenta. Add water slowly, mixing with your hands to make a soft dough. You may not need all the water.
  2. Knead a few minutes on floured surface until smooth and elastic. Lubricate top with oil, put back in bowl and let rest, covered for 10 minutes.
  3. Divide into small balls the size of golf balls and proceed to roll out into size and thickness you prefer.
  4. Cook in dry heavy frying pan until top is slightly bubbly then turning on opposite side for a minute or two. Keep stacked and warm inside a clean tea towel.

Adding spices and herbs will bring new flavours to the wraps. I highly suggest adding chilli powder or dried coriander.

Enjoy Janet Lefton

Jerk Chicken with Cocomut rice and peas

If you enjoy Caribbean food then this is the recipe for you. Lovely spicy jerk chicken with flavoursome rice and peas perfect for summer or winter.


  • 1 tbsp Spicentice Jamaican Jerk Chicken spice mix, from Asda, Budgens and selected Sainsbury’s
  • 150g full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 4 free-range skin-on chicken thighs
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • Kidney beans
  • 180g long grain or basmati rice
  • Small bunch of fresh coriander, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Very Lazy Red Chillies, or similar
  • Mango chutney to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6 and heat a lightly oiled griddle pan. Stir the jerk spice mix into the yogurt in a bowl, then season. Add the chicken and turn to coat generously. Griddle the chicken for 5 minutes on each side until nicely charred. Transfer to a foil-lined baking tray and roast for 15 minutes or until cooked.
  2. Meanwhile, pour the coconut milk into a pan, then add 160ml cold water and the rice and kidney beans. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes until the rice is tender.
  3. Stir through the coriander, then season to taste. Divide between bowls and scatter over the chilli. Top with the chicken, with mango chutney on the side.

Enjoy Janet Lefton

Carrot and Orange Soup

A simple but delicious starter or perfect for a winter lunch.


  • 1 large onion
  • 8 medium-large carrots
  • Small piece of butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 orange
  • 1 litre vegetable stock or water
  1.  Peel the onion, then cut in half. Put the 2 halves, cut side down, on a chopping board and cut each into thin strips. Peel the carrots and cut the ends off. Cut each carrot in half widthways, then lengthways. Put them on the chopping board with the flat sides down, and cut into small pieces.
  2.  Put the butter and oil in a saucepan over a low heat, add the sliced onion and cook for 10 minutes. Check and stir the onion regularly. Using a cheese grater, grate the zest off the orange into a small bowl. Add the zest and the carrots to the pan with the onion. Put the lid on and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3.  Add the stock or water and bring up to a simmer, then put the lid back on the pan and leave to simmer gently. After 45 minutes, test that the carrots are really soft by poking them with a knife or skewer. Turn off the heat. Carefully ladle the soup into a food processor – it will be very hot, so ask an adult to help with this. Whizz the soup until it is smooth. Cut the orange in half, squeeze the juice from one half and add to the soup.
  4.  Return the soup to the pan, heat it gently and taste it (careful, it’s hot!) You might like to add a pinch of black pepper or a little chopped fresh coriander, until it tastes just right.

Enjoy Janet Lefton

No Bake Oreo Cheesecake

If you are after a simple dessert that everyone will enjoy this no bake cheese cake is perfect.


  • 45 Oreo Cookies, divided
  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, melted
  • 3 packages Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
  • 113g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 360g whipped cream

1. Line a pan with with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Coarsely chop 15 cookies; set aside. Finely crush remaining cookies; mix with margarine. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Refrigerate while preparing filling.

2. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Whisk in the whipped cream and chopped cookies. Spoon over crust.

3. Refrigerated 4 hours or until set.

Enjoy Janet Lefton

Marmalade Flapjack with Chocolate

Marmalade flapjack with chocolate topping.

This recipe is fantastic if you are a fan of flapjack and chocolate orange.


  • 200g raisins (optional)
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 125g soft brown sugar
  • 150g marmalade
  • Finely grated zest of one orange
  • 2tbsp golden syrup
  • 400g rolled oats
  • 50g chocolate (milk or dark)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/Gas Mark 4
  2. If adding raisins – cover the raisins with boiling water, leave for 10 mins to soften and swell, then drain
  3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the brown sugar, marmalade, orange zest (leave some aside) and golden syrup, and bring just to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the oats and drained raisins(optional)
  4. Line a 25cm square tin or similar with foil, spoon in the mixture and pack it down evenly, right into the corners
  5. Bake in the oven for about 25 mins, until lightly coloured at the edges. Do not cook for too long or the flapjacks will turn rock hard when cold; bake them too little and they will crumble
  6. Remove from the oven and leave until warm before cutting into 16 squares
  7. Melt chocolate in a bowl and add the remaining orange zest
  8. Spoon the chocolate over the flapjack and allow to cool

Enjoy Janet Lefton

Welcome to my blog about my passion for food and cooking. I am self employed in the catering business and want to share some of my favourite recipes and tips and tricks. I also enjoy eating as I am passionate about flavour and textures and find that to be a great cook and chef you need to taste your food.

Some of my favourite food ingredients are chocolate (all kinds) and chillies. I enjoy the heat and flavour from chillies.

Hope you like the blog and come back regularly for new recipes.

Enjoy Janet Lefton