IT'S movie night. On Sunday evenings, when the restaurant is closed, we shut the door on the world and hit the living room. We will swing the sofa around to face the television, square on, just like in the cinema. My wife and I will cram onto the sofa with our two children (both still young enough to want to be with us, thank goodness) and the film starts.

Wintry darkness outside, only the gentle light of the screen inside, this is one of the loveliest moments of the week. This, undoubtedly, is a small slice of heaven.

I can't say the same of the food that you are supposed to munch on while at the cinema, sadly. Given that I am notorious for having a sweet tooth, that is saying something. Tubs of ice cream are fabulous but you have to eat it reasonably quickly before it melts – and then it’s gone. As for the most famous of cinema snacks, popcorn, I have never been a fan. Then there are the banks of gaudy sweets and chocolates of pick and mix. These are, paradoxically, both artificial yet also addictive; I know that with their colourings and E numbers, they are wildly unhealthy, so I try to steer clear.

Some homemade nibbles, all quick to knock up, are my solution. Crunchy spiced nuts make a great popcorn replacement and chocolate chip muesli bars replace pick and mix. I don’t pretend they are "health foods", but certainly they are less unhealthy yet still irresistibly delicious.

Warm sweet and spicy bar nuts

Recipes serve four

400g of mixed nuts, including cashews, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds (not blanched) and peanuts, all unsalted

A few stems fresh rosemary

1 tsp madras curry powder

Half a tsp smoked paprika

4 tsps soft dark brown sugar

1 lemon

Sea salt flakes, to taste (between a generous pinch to la evel tsp)

30g butter

1. Place the nuts on a roasting tray. Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the tray of nuts in the oven to toast lightly. This can take up to 10 minutes depending on your oven, but may take less. Do set a timer for a few minutes and check regularly. Do not get distracted, they can burn very easily. Once cooked to your liking, remove for the oven (you can switch off the oven now).

2. Meanwhile, strip the leaves of rosemary form the stalks and chop very finely; you ideally want up to two dessertspoons of finely chopped fresh rosemary. Transfer this chopped rosemary to a wide mixing bowl.

3. To the rosemary, add the cayenne and curry powder. Zest the lemon with a microplane or the finest face of a box grater, adding this zest to the spices. Do all this while the nuts are baking.

4. Add the still warm nuts to the spice mixture and toss a few times to begin to mix.

5. Now, in a frying pan, melt the butter then add the sugar. Heat just enough to melt the sugar then pour this over the bowl of nuts and spices. Add sea salt flakes, toss well and taste, adding a little more salt if desired. The nuts are now ready to be served. Either serve at once, still warm, or store, once cold, in an airtight container, until needed. Do reheat before serving for a few minutes on a tray at 180C and serve warm.

Chocolate chip muesli bars

370g porridge oats

125g plain flour

40g chopped almonds

40g chopped pecans

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp vanilla extract

150g butter, softened

175g honey

5 tbsp dark brown soft sugar

340g plain chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Lightly butter a baking dish measuring 20x30cm.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, flour and bicarbonate soda and toss well to combine.

3. Add the sugar and stir in before then working in the vanilla, butter and honey. Stir in the 340g chocolate chips, sultanas and nuts. Knead together well to mix thoroughly

4. Lightly press mixture into the prepared dish. Bake at 170C for 18 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes then cut into slices. Let bars cool completely in the dish before removing or serving. Store in an airtight container for up to several days; if stacking, always separate the layers with sheets of greaseproof paper to stop the bars sticking to each other.

Geoffrey Smeddle is the chef patron of The Peat Inn, by St Andrews, Fife, KY15 5LH 01334 840206