Monday, 4 March 2013

Spicy Chicken & Bacon Pasty

2 rashers streaky bacon , chopped
1 large potato (about 250g total weight), peeled and cut into small cubes
red chilli , deseeded and finely chopped
1 ready-cooked chicken breast , shredded
3 spring onions , thinly sliced
375g pack ready-rolled puff pastry
2 tbsp milk

Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/ gas 7. Fry the bacon in a non-stick pan over a medium heat for a few mins, until it starts to release its fat. Add the potato, turn up the heat and fry for 5 mins, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp and the potato just underdone. Add the chilli and cook for a further min. Season generously with black pepper, plus salt to taste.
Tip into a bowl and mix with the shredded chicken and spring onions. Unroll the pastry and, with a rolling pin, roll out until it's large enough to cut out 4 circles of pastry, using a large saucer or a side plate as a guide, discarding the trimmings. Lift onto a baking sheet.
Spoon the filling into the middle of each circle. Brush the edges of the pastry with a little milk, then bring them up to the middle, pinching at the top to make a pasty. Brush with a little milk, then bake for 15 mins or until golden.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Ultimate chocolate cake

This is from bbc good food, and its a really good recipe. One of the few cakes that tastes even better the next day.

200g good quality dark chocolate , about 60% cocoa solids
200g butter
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
85g self-raising flour
85g plain flour
1⁄4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g light muscovado sugar
200g golden caster sugar
25g cocoa powder
3 medium eggs
75ml buttermilk (5 tbsp)
grated chocolate or curls, to decorate

200g good quality dark chocolate , as above
284ml carton double cream (pouring type)
2 tbsp golden caster sugar


Butter a 20cm round cake tin (7.5cm deep) and line the base. Preheat the oven to fan 140C/conventional 160C/ gas 3. Break 200g good quality dark chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy-based pan. Cut 200g butter into pieces and tip in with the chocolate, then mix 1 tbsp instant coffee granules into 125ml cold water and pour into the pan. Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted - don't overheat. Or melt in the microwave on Medium for about 5 minutes, stirring half way through.
While the chocolate is melting, mix 85g self-raising flour, 85g plain flour, ¼ bicarbonate of soda, 200g light muscovado sugar, 200g golden caster sugar and 25g cocoa powder in a big bowl, mixing with your hands to get rid of any lumps. Beat 3 medium eggs in a bowl and stir in 75ml (5 tbsp) buttermilk.
Now pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, quite runny consistency. Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25- 1 hour 30 minutes - if you push a skewer in the centre it should come out clean and the top should feel firm (don't worry if it cracks a bit). Leave to cool in the tin (don't worry if it dips slightly), then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
When the cake is cold, cut it horizontally into three. Make the ganache: chop 200g good quality dark chocolate into small pieces and tip into a bowl. Pour a 284ml carton of double cream into a pan, add 2 tbsp golden caster sugar, and heat until it is about to boil. Take off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
Sandwich the layers together with just a little of the ganache. Pour the rest over the cake letting it fall down the sides and smoothing to cover with a palette knife. Decorate with grated chocolate or a pile of chocolate curls. The cake keeps moist and gooey for 3-4 days.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Sweetcorn and fish chowder

Sweetcorn and fish chowder with cornbread from Sainsbury's little ones recipe book.

This is one of our favourite recipes in this house- and one of Shaun's 'dishes' to cook.

I don't always do the cornbread as I'm not very good at it but the chowder is just gorgeous. I always use smoked fish as I prefer it but you can use unsmoked if you want. I also prefer to do it with sweet potato rather than butternut squash!

For the cornbread
125g Sainsbury’s polenta
125g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
50g mature Cheddar, grated
2 medium free-range eggs
150g natural yogurt
150ml Sainsbury’s whole milk
25g unsalted butter, melted
For the chowder
20g unsalted butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
300g butternut squash, cubed
2 medium floury potatoes, cubed
300ml Sainsbury’s Signature vegetable stock
100ml Sainsbury’s double cream
300ml Sainsbury’s whole milk
300g frozen sweetcorn
300g Sainsbury’s line-caught cod loin, cubed
Small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Preparation time:
25 minutes
Cooking time:
25-30 minutes

Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Grease a 23cm square baking tin.

Make the cornbread. In a large bowl, mix together the polenta, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spring onions and Cheddar until combined. Make a well in the centre and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, milk and melted butter. Pour this mixture into the well of the dry ingredients and stir until everything is combined. Pour the batter into the greased baking tin and bake in the oven for 20 mins until golden.

Meanwhile, make the chowder. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and gently cook the shallots and garlic for 3 mins until softened. Stir in the squash and potatoes, and cook for a further 5 mins. Pour over the vegetable stock, double cream and milk, and bring to a gentle simmer.

Add the sweetcorn and simmer for 5 mins. Using either a hand-held blender or a free-standing blender, purée half of the mixture until thickened and smooth. Return the puréed mixture to the pan, add the fish and parsley, and cook for a further 5 mins until the fish is opaque.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

American Pancakes

200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
300ml milk
knob butter
sunflower oil or a little butter for cooking
golden or maple syrup

Mix together the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Beat the egg with the milk, make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and whisk in the milk to make a thick smooth batter. Beat in the melted butter.
Heat a teaspoon of oil or small knob of butter in a large non-stick frying pan. Drop a large tablespoonful of the batter per pancake into the pan to make pancakes about 7.5cm across. Make three or four pancakes at a time. Cook for about 3 minutes over a medium heat until small bubbles appear on the surface of each pancake, then turn and cook another 2-3 minutes until golden. Cover with kitchen paper to keep warm while you use up the rest of the batter. Serve with golden syrup

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Spanish Omelette

I did Spanish omelette for the first time today- I've not really had the right tools before- I.e a pan that goes under the grill and one non stick enough to be able to get it out after!

I did it from a BBC good food recipe- but we have run out of leeks so I replaced with bacon. It's one of those fab things that you can do whatever you want with them though

butter , for frying
1 leek , thinly sliced
225g potatoes cooked and cooled (about 1-2 medium size ones)
6 eggs
85g cheddar
1 tbsp sage , finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried sage), optional

Melt a knob of butter in a medium, nonstick frying pan, then cook the leek for about 5 mins until softened. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes in half, then into slices about ½cm thick. Beat the eggs, season, then stir in the cheese and sage.
Add a little extra butter to the pan if needed, tip in the potatoes, then the egg mixture. Turn the heat to low, then cook for 10 mins until nearly set. Place under a hot grill, then cook for a couple of mins more until the top is set and golden. Slice into wedges and serve with a green salad.

* I have to say I added plenty of pepper
And would probably use stronger cheese next time or more of it but it was yummy all the same. I had mine with some sweet chilli sauce and Ethan and Shaun had theirs with ketchup. Perfect for Saturday dinner time

Mini mash pies


Makes 8
Takes 20 mins to make and 25-30 mins in the oven

35g crustless white bread, torn into pieces (about 2 slices with crusts off)
100ml milk
9 rashers streaky bacon.
300g good-quality pork sausages, skinned (about 6 sausages)
½ onion, finely chopped
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
Freshly grated nutmeg
400g floury potatoes (such as king Edward), cooked, drained and mashed with butter and milk
2 tbsp coarsely grated Parmesan or Cheddar
Preheat oven to 180˚C/fan 160˚C/gas 4. Soak the bread in the milk for 1 minute. Drain, squeeze out and discard the excess milk.
Line the base and sides of 8 muffin holes with the bacon, overlapping to fully cover each hole. ½ a slice across the bottom of the cup, one slice around the sides.
Put the bread, sausage meat, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and parsley in a large bowl and season to taste with freshly ground nutmeg, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using your hands, squelch the mixture together until well mixed. Roll into 8 balls, place in the bacon-lined holes and pat gently to fill the space.
Whip the mashed potato with a fork and lightly pile high on top of each mound of meat, to completely cover. Rough up potato with a fork and scatter with the grated cheese. Bake for 25-30 mins or until cooked

Friday, 11 January 2013

Mexican Chicken and Spiced Wedges

Mexican Chicken

5 Chicken breasts (skinless)
1 large or two small red onions
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 red chilli
2 cloves garlic
1 lime
1 jar of salsa
2 tablespoons sugar
Tin of tomatoes
Small jar tomato puree
Packet of Mexican spice mix -taco/ enchilada/ fajita (1 Tbsp reserved for potato wedges)
1 chicken stock cube
Sour cream and grated cheddar cheese to serve (optional)

Mexican Spiced Wedges

450g potatoes
1 Tbsp reserved Mexican Spice Mix
1 Tbsp olive oil


Preheat oven to 220 (200 fan oven)

Wedge potatoes, place in Large Micro Cooker with a tablespoon water and microwave on high 10 mins (for a 600w microwave. Reduce cooking time for more powerful microwaves). Drain and shake gently. Add spices and oil and mix to coat. Put on Medium Round Stone.

For the Mexican Chicken, slice the chicken and peppers into thin slices with Forged Knife on Flexible Cutting Mat. Chop onion and chilli with Food Chopper, crush garlic with Garlic Crusher, zest lime with Microplane and juice with Citrus Press. Open Tomato Puree with Smooth Edge Can Opener. Place all the Mexican Chicken ingredients into a rectangular baker and cook for 15 mins. Take out and stir and then put wedges in the oven. Cook wedges and Mexican chicken for 20 mins until chicken is cooked through and wedges golden and crisp. Put cheese and sour cream in bamboo bowls to serve.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Glazed Moroccan Lamb Chops

This lovely recipe makes the most gorgeous lamb chops ever but all with simple ingredients that most people will always have in. Would work with pork too I'm sure

From Pampered Chef

2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Korintje Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
4 bone-in lamb loin chops, cut 1-1 1/2 inches thick (3 1/2-4 ounces each)
2 teaspoons olive oil

Combine curry powder, chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and salt in Prep Bowl. Combine 1 1/2 teaspoons of the seasoning mixture and honey in another Prep Bowl; mix well and set aside.
Trim excess fat from lamb chops. Rub dry seasoning mixture on all surfaces of each chop. Cover; refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°c. Heat oil in oven proof Sauté Pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add chops; sear 2 minutes. Turn chops over and place pan in oven. Roast 5-7 minutes or until internal temperature reads 70 degrees. Remove from oven; place chops on Cutting Board. Loosely tent with aluminum foil 5 minutes (temperature will continue to rise) for medium doneness. Place chops on serving plates. Drizzle with honey mixture. Serve with hot couscous, if desired. Garnish with fresh mint, toasted slivered almonds, if desired

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 13 November 2012



2-3 Chicken breasts
1 lemon
2-3 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (take this yourself)
1 red and 1 yellow pepper
1 red onion
2 courgettes
2 cloves garlic
1tsp dried rosemary or mixed herbs

1. Cut lemon in half with utility knife and juice ½ into the batter bowl
2. Add chicken breasts.
3. Add Cajun seasoning . Stir together. Place lid on. Leave to marinate.
4. Slice pepper and put into deep dish baker or medium bar pan.
5. Slice courgette and add to pepper
6. Crush garlic on top
7. Sprinkle herbs on top of vegetables
8. Chop onion and add to mixture.
9. Mix all ingredients together.
10. Spray with kitchen spritzer or no oil at all!
11. Place chicken on the top
12. Roast uncovered in oven at 200ºC for 20-25 minutes.
13. If vegetables are not quite cooked remove chicken to rest and roast vegetables for a further 10 minutes.
14. Slice chicken and place back into deep dish baker

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Chicken tikka masala/korma stoneware style

Chicken Tikka Masala / Korma - Stoneware style !!!


5 chicken breast for Deep Dish baker or Square baker – (can double ingredient’s for rectangular baker)
jar tikka massala paste or korma paste, depending on hot or creamy curry preferred
250g natural yoghurt (greek style is nice, Rachel's organic greek yoghurt with coconut is gorgeous)
I tbs olive oil
1 red onion – finely chopped
1 garlic clove
1 fresh green chilli - optional
1 inch piece root ginger – finely grated or chopped
4 fluid oz or 125 ml water
4 floz or 125 ml double cream
Bunch fresh coriander – finely chopped
3 tbsp lemon juice

Chop up raw chicken into bite size pieces
In batter bowl add to the chicken all the other ingredients
stir up and pop in stone on 180-200 degrees for35 mins – just make sure curry is bubbling nicely in oven.

Lovely with rice and naan breads.
Of course you can adapt the recipe if you are trying to be virtuous by adding more water and less cream – or even adding more yoghurt and no cream – the oil is optional too but I think it makes the curry more authentic.

Garlic chilli prawn pasta

There are so many versions of this but I like to keep it simple

Fry some onion in butter gently with some garlic and chilli until onion is translucent, don't burn the garlic
Cook the pasta as usual
add the prawns to the butter garlic and chilli and cook, then add the pasta and some parsley and done.

You can add cream or white wine at the garlic and chilli stage but it's just as good like this.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Baileys cheesecakes

Most amazing treats ever.

Ready made cookie dough (sainsburys do a gorgeous chocolate chip one) rolled into 24 balls and baked in the oven for 8 minutes, then leave for about 5 minutes before using the tart shaper covered in icing sugar to make cases.

Take half a tub (about 150g) soft cheese/philly mixed with a big slosh of baileys and a decent spoonful of icing sugar

Fill the cases and try not to eat all of them at once. If you manage to make them last put them in the fridge to set.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Goats cheese and red onion tartlets

Really simple ready rolled short crust pastry, spoonful of red onion chutney, good chunk of goats cheese - in the oven at 190 for 15 minutes.

Mini Muffin Pan Love

When I joined Pampered Chef, I got a 'Deluxe Mini Muffin Pan' as part of my bonus for achieving 4 shows in my first month. To be honest it was one of those things where I thought ok then, that can go in the cupboard.

But I was wrong.

Its just fab, it came with a 'dabber' or 'tart shaper' to make it easier to make cases and it really does make a difference. This isnt about me trying to sell products, I genuinely just love it.

I'm going to add some pics and recipes of some of the ideas that I've tried but below is a list of suggestions that I've been given and will be working through.  If anyones desperate for a recipe I havent tried yet let me know and I'll send it to you




11. BLIND BAKE savoury or sweet tart cases and freeze in preparation of people dropping in



21. BAILEYS CHEESECAKES (My favourite!)

I've been away a loooong time

Well its been a very long time since I posted on here and I didnt even realise!

Basically I bored myself with it, so I've stripped it back, changed it round and will now just hopefully post bits and pieces about recipes and ideas I love rather than boring myself and everyone else with my (usually) boring meal plans.

I've changed alot since I last came on here, which was about February I believe, I've joined Pampered Chef and the stuff makes cooking so easy and good that I've found a real love of cooking and baking again!

Unfortunately its no good for my waistline and me and Shaun both reaaaally need to get on a weight loss kick, but for now, I'm enjoying my yummies too much.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Chorizo Carbonara

Based on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls River Cottage every day book


250g spaghetti, linguine, or other long pasta
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
1 cup Tupperware Mexican Chorizo (recipe follows), crumbled (or Spanish chorizo, diced quite small)- I just used Spanish chorizo as I couldn't be arsed essentially doing two recipes for one meal! The Tupperware Mexican chorizo can be found in the book or online though.
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Add the pasta to a large saucepan of well-salted boiling water and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the chorizo and fry briskly for about 10 minutes, until crisp and cooked through. If you’re using the soft Tupperware chorizo, you can start with a bit of a lump and break it up with a spatula as it fries, so it forms lots of succulent little nuggets and crumbs, thereby maximizing the surface area available for crisping.

Beat the egg yolks and cream together and season lightly (since the chorizo is already highly seasoned).

When the pasta is done, drain thoroughly and immediately return it to the hot pan. Tip in the crisp chorizo, followed by the egg mixture. Use 2 forks to mix the eggy cream into the hot pasta. It will cook in the heat of the pasta, coating each strand in a light, creamy sauce. Serve right away, with a final grinding of black pepper on top.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Cheesy Bacon Pancakes

This is a Schwartz recipe. You'll find I quite like them, they have lots of good inspiration on their website and I'm sorry to admit I quite like their packet mixes, yes I am perfectly capable of making my own and know that I should but sometimes it's just quicker and easier to use one and it's much better than getting a ready meal in! I'll put the recipe below and then underneath I'll put how I change it!

1 packet Schwartz Cheddar Cheese Sauce Mix
300ml (½ pint) milk
25g (1oz) butter
225g (8oz) unsmoked back bacon
1 tbs olive oil
225g (8oz) button mushrooms, sliced
1 tbs Schwartz Oregano
6-8 ready made savoury pancakes
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
mixed salad to serve
Schwartz Black Pepper to season


Make up the Cheddar Cheese Sauce, following the packet instructions.

Meanwhile, grill the bacon until crisp and then chop into small pieces. Stir the bacon into the sauce. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the mushrooms with the Oregano for a few minutes until browned. Add to the sauce.

Spoon the sauce into the centre of the pancakes and roll them up. Place the pancakes in an ovenproof dish and then scatter the tomatoes on top and grill for 10 minutes.

Serve with a side salad and season with Black Pepper.

Well I don't use the tomatoes on top - instead I usually put on a tomato sauce, last time I just mixed a tin of tomatoes and some garlic salt and herbs and poured it over, previously I've bunged a little jar of pizza topper over or something like that, depending what I've got in.

I usually put a little bit of cheese on top of it all just to melt.

I usually use Italian or mixed herbs instead of oregano

Oh and I don't serve with a salad, more likely to do sweetcorn or something with it.

SW Bacon and Veg Pie

One of my absolute favourite recipes, really healthy and so yummy.

Recipe shamelessly copied and stolen from Julie S- Thanks!

1lb 12oz/794g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and chopped
Salt and black pepper
7oz/198g carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3½oz/100g green beans, trimmed and finely chopped
3½oz/100g courgettes, finely chopped
3½oz/100g celeriac, peeled and finely chopped
Fry light
10oz/283g lean bacon, all visible fat removed, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 eggs
4 tsp dried parsley
7oz/198g fat-free cottage cheese with onion and chives
1lb 2oz/511g ham, all visible fat removed, finely chopped
3½oz/100g frozen peas
4oz/113g parmesan cheese, grated

1. Preheat your oven to 180c/350f/GM4. Boil the potatoes for 20-25 minutes or until tender, drain well, season and mash.

2. Meanwhile, boil the carrots, beans, courgettes and celeriac for 3-4 minutes, drain and set aside. Place a frying pan sprayed with fry light over a medium-high heat. Stir fry the bacon for 7-8 minutes. Add the onion, fry for 3-4 minutes and then set aside.

3. Whisk the eggs, parsley and cottage cheese together. Add to the mash. Add the cooked veg, bacon and onion, ham and peas.

4. Spray a medium-size pie dish with fry light. Add the potato mixture, sprinkle over the cheese and bake for 35-45 minutes.

Syns per serving: Extra Easy FREE*
* Add 6 syns if not using the cheese as a Healthy Extra

Sticky Gammon

Here is the link to what Shauns Sticky Gammon is based on

BBC Good Food Sticky Gammon Steaks

He has changed it quite alot like and he won't give me a proper recipe but basically the gammon is chopped up not whole and he uses a pineapple juice instead of orange and chops pineapple up into it too. Oh and we have it with noodles not pak choi haha.

It is yummy though.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Tuna and Mushroom Pasta Melt

2 tbs oil
1 onion, chopped
350g (12oz) mushrooms, sliced
1 packet Schwartz Tune and Mushroom Pasta Melt Mix
350ml (12fl oz) milk
2 x 185g tins tuna, drained
175g (6oz) pasta, cooked and drained
Grated Cheddar cheese, to taste

- Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
- Blend the packet contents with the milk and add to the pan. Bring to the boil stirring. Cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the tuna and cooked pasta and heat through.
- Transfer to a heatproof dish, top with the cheese and place under a pre-heated grill until golden.