Gently, calmly, quietly, we are stepping back in to weeknight meal mode. Ray McVinnie has a relaxed trio that will be gracing my outdoor table this week: A chopped squid and bacon salad provides something a bit different, salmon, steamed vegetables and noodles are brought to life with a simplified teriyaki sauce and yoghurt chicken pitas can do double duty as lunch the next day. Kathy Paterson has given fish and chips a summer makeover and Megan May's summer pasta is good for those with a glut of courgettes — and those who are eating a bit lighter post-holidays.

Dinners at my place right now are mostly salad-based with cheese playing a leading role. It's a great way to really enjoy a well-made cheese and we have worked our way through a fine selection over the holidays, one of the finest being Over The Moon's Burgundy Moon. You can read more about it here. Coleslaw is top of mind for Allyson Gofton and she is sharing her mum's diggers' coleslaw recipe.

To beat the heat, we're drinking sparkling cucumber water; gingerella shandy and iced tea and you might like to add a frozen prawn cocktail to that weeknight meal list.

Happy New Year to you, it's good to be back. Let's eat — and then perhaps a wee nap before starting in on Louise Thompson's 18 ways to set your 2018 on fire.