Food + Drink

Crowd-pleasing Recipes

Now that the winter is fading away and spring is around the corner, you might be thinking of coming out of hibernation. And what better way to celebrate the season than by throwing a dinner party? If you like the idea of entertaining after the last few months of dreary darkness, here are some delicious recipes to get you started.

Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms (serves 4)


These heavenly tasting mushrooms are simple to make and can be prepared in advance, ready to pop in the oven when your guests arrive.


2 tbsp butter (plus some for greasing)
2 rashers streaky bacon (chopped)
285g frozen spinach
4 large mushrooms
1 onion (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
30ml double cream
1 tbsp parmesan cheese (grated)
Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 200oC and grease a baking tray
  2. Fry up the chopped bacon and put aside
  3. Place the frozen spinach in a saucepan with a covering of water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for about 10 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the heat and drain
  4. Whilst the spinach is cooking, remove stems from mushrooms and chop them. Then place the mushrooms on the greased baking tray
  5. Melt the butter in a saucepan, and then add the onion and garlic. Once soft, add the bacon, mushroom stems, bacon, and double cream. Let it get up to a simmer, before removing from the heat and adding the parmesan cheese. Season
  6. Stuff each mushroom with a generous amount of filling and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes


Spaghetti Bolognese with a Chilli Twist (serves 4)


This popular Italian cuisine is loved around the world for its flavoursome simplicity. Fun to make and fun to eat, with the added spice of chilli jam, this student staple becomes a sophisticated evening meal.

4 rashers streaky bacon (chopped)
Sprinkle of rosemary
Olive oil
2 red onions (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (finely diced)
500g minced beef
400g spaghetti
1 medium wine glass red wine
1 400g jar chopped tomatoes
2 carrots (chopped)
2 tbsp chilli jam
Salt and pepper


  1. In a wok or large saucepan, heat the olive oil and when hot, fry the bacon with the rosemary
  2. Add the onion, carrots, and garlic, and fry for a further 3 minutes until softened
  3. Add the minced beef, stir, and continue to fry for another 2-3 minutes. Then add the wine, tomatoes, and chilli jam
  4. Season well and lower the heat. Continue simmering for about an hour, stirring and checking regularly
  5. Serve with spaghetti and hot garlic bread


Elderflower and Raspberry Jelly


Even the most sophisticated of dinner parties needs an element of fun, and in this sparkling dessert you will have found it!

300g raspberries
1 tsbp caster sugar
2 gelatine leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
250ml sparkling white wine
50ml elderflower cordial


  1. Arrange half the raspberries in a jelly mould
  2. Cut the rest of the raspberries in half and mix with the lemon juice and sugar. Chill in the fridge
  3. Soften the gelatine in cold water. Meanwhile, add the cordial and 50ml wine to a saucepan. Heat gently and then remove when it begins to simmer. Add the gelatine and allow to cool slightly. Once cool, pour in the rest of the wine. Stir gently
  4. Pour into your mould and leave in the fridge for around 3 hours
  5. Serve with the chilled lemon raspberries


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