• 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 chicken/veg stock cube
  • 150g risotto rice
  • 500mls boiling water
  • 1 leek
  • 1 chopped courgette
  • 6 asparagus spears
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Grated cheese to taste

We are back from our first family holiday abroad and we survived it all. You see I’ve been rather phobic about taking the kids abroad until now so we’ve just holidayed in jolly old Suffolk and it was fabulous. Lots of fish and chips (and sssh… onion rings) on the beach and building sandcastles against the bracing wind. Me with a ski jacket on and blue fingers, Mr Bell in a T shirt looking well, manly in a sandy kind of way. Evenings were spent watching TV, drinking red wine, inhaling local cheese and reading trashy novels once the good telly wore out.

But we bit the bullet. We went to Ibiza for a week. Don’t laugh. Most of my friends found this vaguely amusing; the island of partying with two little tearaway tagalongs more interested in inflatable boats and digging for buried treasure. And it was fine… I managed to survive a holiday outside the UK with kids. We are okay despite a 2am wake up alarm to get us to the airport on time. We are okay despite my youngest son being very very blonde and slightly hating the sun. We are all fine and dandy even though we walked on the wild side and brushed our teeth in local water. And the best thing ever was that the kids ate everything. What a relief. They’re usually pretty adventurous but I have heard horror stories from friends about culinary adventurers turning into screaming neophobes once they set foot on foreign soil.

Of course this was obvious to the rest of you. But not to me. Anyway, a quick recipe tonight as I need to search for a bargain last minute deal for August. Know anywhere good with a water slide?

This recipe was posted on my facebook page in note form after a few people took an interest in the picture of it. Here it is properly.

One year ago: Choc dipped ice-cream cones  and Sweetie covered ice-cream wafers and Razzamatazz ribs and Thoroughly British banana and custard cupcakes

Two years ago: Banana and custard melts and Thomas fairy cakes

Leek, asparagus and courgette risotto


- 1 onion, chopped finely

- 1 tbsp butter

- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil

- 1 chicken/veg stock cube

- 150g risotto rice

- 500mls boiling water

- 1 leek, chopped and rinsed if grainy

- 1 chopped courgette

- 6 asparagus spears, chopped into 6 pieces each

- Black pepper to taste

- Grated cheese to taste

Fry the onion in 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp rapeseed oil in a large saucepan. Fry on a low heat until very soft then crumble the stock cube over the top and fry off. Add the risotto rice and fry for 1 more minute. Then add boiling water in 50ml dribbles at a time and stir until 400mls are absorbed. When this water has been absorbed and the rice is swelling and looking creamy, add the leek, chopped courgette and the asparagus. Stir in and add the remaining 100mls of hot water a bit at a time – keep checking the rice for bite. It should have a little bite but also creaminess to the risotto. Season with black pepper and stir through a handful of grated cheese. Eat whilst browsing the internet for sunny holidays.

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