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Business Diary: Pancakes are too expensive to drop

If you can't afford to toss quite so many pancakes today, you know whom to blame – like everything else, it is the fault of the bankers, of course. The cost of many staple foods has risen very sharply in recent months – the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation says food prices are now at a record high – and one reason for this is market speculators have caused a bubble to develop, claims the World Development Movement, the anti-poverty campaigner. Try not to drop them.

Flipping marvellous: Mark Hix takes pancakes to a new level with his posh fillings

Shrove Tuesday is upon us again and I find that it's always a good excuse for creating some posh pancake recipes. Not that there's anything wrong with simple pancakes served with sugar and lemon juice – but there are so many more great things you can pop into a simple pancake. Here's a recipe for a basic batter, plus four other pancake ideas.

Crespelle with butternut squash

Serves 4

St Clements crêpe soufflé

Serves 4

Basic pancake batter

Makes 8-10 pancakes

Chicken and coconut curry pancakes

Serves 4

Lobster pancakes

Serves 4

Around the world in 80 dishes No. 42: Baked filled savoury pancakes

Ingredients to serve 4

Health and Safety brigade face crackdown

Town halls that wrongly ban events on health and safety grounds could face making big compensation payouts, under plans being considered by the Government.

Get cracking: Don't just fry them for breakfast – eggs are cheap, versatile and nutritious, says Mark Hix

From Monday we are going to be celebrating British Egg Week – and as you may have deduced from the number of times that egg recipes have appeared in my column over the years, I am a dedicated fan. Eggs are so versatile, easy and nutritious and we too often overlook them as a source of reasonably priced, delicious meals.

Apple pancakes

Serves 4-6

Media Lunch: Mark Austin, ITV newsreader

The venue: Riva, my favourite restaurant bar none. The food is very, very good; it's northern Italian cooking. The restaurant is very small with understated decor but it's incredibly popular because of the food. The first time I went in there many years ago, A A Gill was there, which I thought was a good sign.

Breakfast goes global: How to start the day the international way

At lunch and dinner, we've embraced world cuisine. So why are our mornings stuck in a toast-and-cereal rut?

Pandora: Hail to the Greens: Thom gets political

It's been almost five years since Thom Yorke delivered his famous snub to Tony Blair by refusing to meet the then Prime Minister for a discussion on global warming.

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