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Cooking up a storm with the Abbotts

Being in lockdown, like many of you I have recently spoken with, has given me the chance to reflect on some of the things that I have not always had or made the time for in my hectic schedule.

My eldest daughter Talya is extremely competitive and like myself enjoys cooking, so we have been challenging each other to a daily bake-off.

The recipes we have attempted so far have been a huge success.

We teamed up to create a wonderful paella and tasty jerk chicken, which my youngest daughter Lois (who at times can be picky) absolutely loved.

The baking content so far has included apple strudel, lemon drizzle, blueberry muffins, banana cake and a pineapple upside down cake.

Lois has been appointed head judge, but I think we all agreed that the pineapple upside-down cake was the winner - made by Talya.

I would love to receive some recipe suggestions. Drop me an email at with your favourites. I'm especially interested in dishes from around the world.

I'll let you know how we get on with our next round of bake-offs!

Stay safe.


PS We forgot to take a photo of the winning pineapple upside down cake, so we've included the one from the recipe! Here's our lemon drizzle and blueberry muffins...


Here are a few of the recipes we've tried:

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Our favourite so far... Served hot or cold, with cream or custard, it's a winner!

Apple Strudel

I think Austria is probably better known for its Wiener Schnitzel but since it was a bake off, I’d like to think the strudel reminds me of some wonderful puddings I have enjoyed whilst snowboarding in the Austrian mountains, most recently this year in Ischgl.

Jerk Chicken

This is not only a famous dish in Jamaica, but also renowned throughout the Caribbean.


A dish we are all no doubt familiar with, that originated in Valencia, in the east of Spain, but can be found throughout the country.

Hyderabadi chicken biryani

India doesn’t have a national dish as such because of their diverse culinary traditions but here is one of my personal favourites.


This is the national dish of Portugal. There are several recipes for Bacalao but this one is similar to one that I loved when in Lisbon.

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