On a recent visit to New York City, I tried the meatloaf in Kitchenette, a cool retro diner, and have been craving it ever since, which was why this recipe was born. It's true, unashamed comfort food and should be celebrated for being just that. You can make one big meatloaf and serve it in slices or I sometimes like to make mini ones and serve each sitting proudly on top of the spicy bean stew.
Whenever I visit Paris, one of the first things I always order is a 'crêpe avec jambon et fromage'. This recipe is my little twist on that – it makes vibrant green pancakes that are really nice as a brunch or lunch dish. Ham hock is a cheap and tasty alternative to prime slices of ham.
These make a very elegant cheese course and are quite easy to prepare. You can make these ahead of time and they will puff up again when you place them back in the oven.
People panic a little bit about the measurements for cocktails, but it really is a case of making them to taste and remembering simple rules like one part alcohol to three part mixer for each person. Then just add the flavours! Get your hands on some fresh summer mint for these babies – it's one of the easiest herbs to grow, so just pick up a plant in the garden centre and pop it in a pot for fresh mint all summer long!
Tartines – open sandwiches are absolutely adored by the French. Because they are simple, you need good bread, preferably sourdough, and the best, ripest blue cheese you can find. Serve it with the watercress tossed in vinaigrette made with walnut or hazelnut oil, and some toasted nuts.