Mexican Lasagne: I feel I am careering about like some giddy traveller with air miles to spare here. The thing is, I cook instead of travelling - a kitchen rather than armchair tourist - and it's less tiring, so it stands to reason that i can cover more ground. Still, the notion of a Mexican lasagne might seem a fantastic voyage too far; let me just say that here this is a shorthand for Mexican-inspired ingredients piled up in lasagne-like fashion.
Red Prawn and Mango Curry: This is one of the easiest suppers to make, but somehow, however much I know this, it always surprises me. Not in the cooking, so much as in the eating: I can't believe, each time anew, how deep and textured and full-throttle, in a sweet, comforting way, this tastes, when all I've done is a bit of shopping and some light stirring.
Marmalade Pudding Cake: Now, this is a beauty. I don't mean flash or fancy - rather the opposite; there is something austerely handsome about its appearance, and yet gorgeously warming about its taste. But then, this laid-back Sunday-lunch pudding is what kitchen food is all about. I'm happy to leave the picture-perfect plate-decoration dessert to the professional chef and patissier. When I want to eat one, I'll go to a restaurant. That way, everyone's happy.
Chilled Caramelised Oranges with Greek Yoghurt: There is a hint of the days-gone-by sweet trolley about this: it's not as tricksy to make as the arance alla principessa I remember from my childhood, the pudding I always chose on treaty weekend jaunts with my grandparents to the now defunct San Marino in Connaught Street, but rather a rougher-hewn, contemporarily pared down and more huskily aromatic version of the same.
Scallops with Thai Scented Pea Purée: I love the bouncy sweetness of scallops and, although you might think the equal sweetness of the peas would be too much alongside, the deep flavour of coriander and chilli and the sharpness of lemongrass miraculously provided by the thai green curry paste, make it a zingy and yet still comforting accompaniment.
Cheddar Cheese Risotto: This might seem odd to Italians but it works beautifully: the starchy rice, the sharp Cheddar, both are the perfect counterpoint for each other. I make this on days when I need to escape to the kitchen and have a good, quiet, relaxing and mindless 20 minutes staring into the middle distance and stirring. I heartily recommend it.
Lamb with Rosemary and Port: I love the sort of dinner that you cook without any special effort but without sacrificing gratification. That's the thing really: cooking is simple; you can choose to complicate it, but there's no need to. Even when you're at a low ebb, this is a manageable supper and just what's needed to pull you out of a slump. It's comfortingly retro, too: I think it's the generous amount of - well - gravy that the juices and the de-glazing-action make.
Tuna and Crab and Avocado Wraps: I have never really thought of myself as a person who could wrap, fold or fiddle about with food or felt that way inclined. But you know, when you get into it, it's really quite OK - actually, more than OK. These wraps are curiously relaxing to assemble and everyone is always bowled over by them. They're a very good way of injecting a little zing into the proceedings without having to slave for hours over a hot hob.
CHEESE FONDUE I don't suppose this is ever going to win plaudits from the World Health Organisation, but a cheese fondue is surely the stuff of dreams. On the plus side, health-wise, I love it best with radishes, chicory, spears of radicchio and carrots dipped in, but I don't know why I am trying to engage with that particular argument.
Banana Butterscotch Muffins: White chocolate morsels can be used in place of the butterscotch ones and my children seem to love both with equal fervour, though I'm pretty fond of these with dark chocolate chips, too.