Penny Isaacs - Food writer

December 18, 2008

Everyone likes to be cooked for and people appreciate it when you have gone to the effort of making them something special.

Garlic roasted honey and lemon chicken: I use industrial quantities of garlic, then squeeze honey and lemon juice over the bird.

Chocolate: I walk everywhere so I feel that I have “earned” a daily treat of chocolate.

Smoked salmon: Salmon strips drizzled with oil and dill goes well with crunchy fennel.

Honeycomb ice cream: It’s creamy but not cloyingly sweet, and, even allowing time for making the honeycomb, it can be whipped up in minutes by the most basic cook.

Pasta with pesto: pungent basil mingles with salty, lactic Parmesan, sweet pine nuts and fruity olive oil.

Dietician Joan Wides writes:

Garlic not only adds flavour but contains phytochemicals thought to have heart-protective and anti-cancer benefits. Garlic should be chopped and allowed to stand for 10-15 minutes to allow phytochemicals to develop.

Dark chocolate with high cocoa solids (ideally 70 per cent) provides the highest anti-oxidant flavanol content, as well as iron, copper and magnesium.

Ultra-rich ice-creams such as this one are best kept for special occasions.

Although pesto is high in fat, the intense flavours of the ingredients mean you need only use a small amount to coat the pasta.

Salmon is rich in omega 3 oils which are valuable for their anti-clotting, anti-inflammatory effect. Penelope’s addition of an oil-based vinaigrette dressing over the smoked salmon may not appeal to those who are aiming to reduce their fat intake.

Last updated: 4:32pm, September 23 2009