During my search for the perfect whoopee pie, I was sent this recipe by a reader of my blog, whose mother in law, Mrs Linda Daunt, has lived all her life in Maine, New England and is a fantastic cook. Mrs Daunt's special touch is to add buttermilk instead of regular milk, to give the pies a richer taste. The original recipe uses a marshmallow-type filling, but I prefer to stick with regular buttercream frostings.
This tart is a real lifesaver; it uses solely kitchen staple ingredients and is very easy to assemble. It reminds me of the little tarts I used to make when I first started baking but is a bit more sophisticated and I love the addition of desiccated coconut, which goes well with the jam. You can use whatever jam you have in your store cupboard, all flavours work perfectly.
Even the most sorry-looking kitchens should have a few eggs, veggies and a bit of leftover cheese knocking around. My fridge-leftovers frittata is a great little lunchtime dish; it's a filling base for lots of additions, depending on what's in your kitchen. Try adding leftover ham, chorizo, spinach, peas, herbs, all sorts really.
One of my favourite quick-fix suppers, this is full of fresh flavours and has a nice hum of heat from the chilli flakes. Gnocchi is easy to make yourself, but you can now pick up packets of the fresh variety in most supermarkets. If you happen to have fresh peas growing in your garden, feel free to use them instead of frozen.