Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Dr Pepper Ribs

Dr Pepper ribs - delicious! These would be fab done on a BBQ too, which I might try if we ever get any nice weather! It seems a little bit of a faff with the long cooking, but its worth it for soft, melting ribs. I don't like Dr Pepper as a drink, but makes a great marinade. I served it with a sweetcorn salad.

3 racks of small pork ribs, approx 500g each
1½ l Dr Pepper
2 star anise

200ml Dr Pepper
6 tbsp soft brown sugar
6 tbsp tomato ketchup
1½ tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp ground allspice 
Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Put the ribs, fleshy side down, in a single layer in a large roasting tin. Pour over the Dr Pepper and add the spices. Tightly cover with foil and cook for 2 hours. 
Put all the glaze ingredients in a pan and simmer until thick and syrupy. 
After the initial cooking take the ribs from the oven and turn it up to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6, or light your barbecue. Drain all the liquid from the tin. Turn the ribs flesh side up and baste with the glaze. Roast for 30 minutes or barbecue, adding more glaze halfway through until sticky and shiny. Cut into sections to serve. 

Corn salad

Small tin of sweetcorn, drained
Half a cucumber, finely diced
Half a red onion, finely diced
Tablespoon chopped parsley
Teaspoon lime juice

Mix all the ingredients together.

Creamy Masala Chicken

This is great if you fancy a quick, last minute curry. My husband found the sauce quite rich, but I loved it! So tasty, and with quite a kick to it. I would miss out the fresh chilli if I was serving this to children! I love when I stumble apon a recipe that I have all the ingredients for already in the fridge/cupboard. I am definitely going to make this again. Serve with rice/naan.

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs , cubed(or use breastmeat)
3cm piece fresh root ginger , peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves , chopped
1 tsp mild chilli powder
2 tbsp fresh coriander , chopped
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion
1 red chilli
1 tsp ground turmeric
284ml carton double cream
juice of ½ lemon

Put the chicken, ginger, garlic, chilli powder, coriander, lime juice and 1 tbsp of oil in a bowl. Stir, and set aside. Chop the onion, and seed and chop the chilli.
Heat a large shallow pan. Tip in the chicken and marinade and fry for about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a pan and fry the onion and chilli for 3-4 minutes until just soft. Add the turmeric and stir fry for 1 minute. Lower the heat, pour in the cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Add the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes, or until cooked. Season and stir in the lemon juice. Serve with rice and naan bread.

Red Onion & Rosemary Foccacia

I have made foccacia before, in this post here. I used a very similar recipe, but added some lightly fried red onions to the top before baking in the oven. Delicious!

New Product - Macaroni Cheese Pringles

I love it when I find wacky new or unusual flavoured food, so I thought I might start blogging about them! I found these in our local Morrisons, so had to try them. They also had Spag Bol flavour, which I will try next time. I'm not sure what I expected from this flavour, but it was VERY cheesy! Seeing as pasta isn't a strong flavour, cheese was all they could with really. They are a bit like Quavers, rather than a fancy cheese taste. A bit strong for me overall!

If you have spotted any new/interesting flavoured products, please let me know so I can review them!

July Foodie Penpals reveal!

Foodie Penpals is a great idea that I found over at Rock Salt. You are given a penpal for that month, make up a parcel of food goodies and send them on. You get a box from another penpal on the list - and everyone is happy! If you would like to take part, head on over to This Is Rock Salt to sign up!

So, this was my goody box this month! This was sent the lovely Victoria (I'm not sure if she has a blog!). Most of it has been eaten already :D This is what I got ....

Dorset cereals Honey Granola - very tasty! I hope I can buy larger boxes of this!

Caramel laces from Ikea - Yummy! The kids helped me scoff these. We were almost fighting over them.

Plantain crisps - I have wanted to try plantain for ages - I cant seem to buy them in our small town. When I opened the bag, it looked like dried banana chips so I think my brain expected them to taste sweet. These were salted though, and made a lovely savoury snack.

Red & Green Thai Paste - Made a lovely Thai green curry with one jar, I am hoping to make a red Thai curry with the other soon. I love Thai flavours.

Coconut bar - Mmmm this was so tasty! No-one got to share this with me ha ha.

Minestrone Mix - Its not really the weather for soup just now, but I do plan to make a big pot when the weather is expected to turn lousy next week. i will blog about it when I do!

Ginger & spring onion sir fry paste - Haven't used this yet, but no doubt will soon! Cant decide between prawns & chicken though.

So a huge thank you to Victoria for my lovely goodies!

 I got to send Hannah at http://hannahdoeshealthy.blogspot.co.uk/ this month!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Tuna balls with pea & sweetcorn pasta

This is a lovely yet simple kid's dinner! I like it especially as it uses mostly store cupboard items. All my children love tuna, and this was something a bit different using it. A nice change from fish fingers.

Serves 4 children

200g can tuna in oil
85g fresh breadcrumbs
50g cheddar , finely grated
1 large egg , lightly beaten
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp sunflower or olive oil , for frying
100g small pasta shapes
a handful of frozen peas& sweetcorn
2 tablespoons creme fraiche

To make the tuna balls, tip the tuna and its oil into a large bowl and stir in the breadcrumbs and grated cheese. Add the beaten egg and chives, then season with a pinch of salt and stir again until everything is well mixed.
 Form into 12 balls the size of ping-pong balls, then chill until you're ready to cook. 
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, dropping in the peas & sweetcorn for the last couple of minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and fry the balls for 8-10 minutes, turning often, until they're golden brown. Drain them on kitchen paper and keep warm. 
Drain the pasta, return to the pan and add the creme fraiche. Heat gently for a minute, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

Cheesy Vegetable Bake

I was looking for a tasty side dish to go alongside gammon steaks. I didn't fancy potatoes or pasta with it. I knew I had a bag of vegetables lurking in the fridge, so decided to use that up. The crunchy topping was something my mum used to always add to macaroni cheese - crushed crisps!

Serves 4 as a side dish

About 400g of fresh veg (I used broccoli, cauliflower and carrots)
300 ml single cream
Pinch mustard powder
150g grated cheese
1 tablespoon cornflour
Half a packet of crushed crisps
Tablespoon Parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to season

Gently steam the vegetables until cooked but not soft. Drain and tip into a casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 200c.
Warm the single cream in a saucepan, and season. Add the pinch of mustard powder.
Mix 125g of the cheese with the cornflour, and toss to coat. Add the cheese to the warm milk a spoonful at a time, and let each batch melt before adding the next. Once all the cheese has melted into the cream, remove from the heat and pour over the vegetables. Top with the remaining 25g grated cheese, the crushed crisps & the Parmesan. Pop into the oven for 20/25 minutes, until golden on top.

Sunday, 29 July 2012


I found this tasty recipe on Mumsnet, a user called SoupDragon posted the "ultimate" flapjack recipe. Of course, I had to try it! I have a few friends & their kids coming over tomorrow afternoon for tea & cakes. I made these flapjacks, some chocolate cripie cakes and some toffee crispie cakes. The toffee version doesnt seem to have worked too well - smells burnt :( Will have to wait and see what they taste like. These flapjacks on the other hand, smell and taste great! I haven't used condensed milk in them before, but it was a great addition! No need for sugar in this recipe.

250g porridge oats (the cheap type, not large ones),
150g Butter,
2 generous table spoons Golden Syrup
half a tin condensed milk, (half a 376g tin)
baking tin, no bigger than about 18cm x 28cm

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees c
2. Line the baking tin with baking parchment.
3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the sugar and syrup. Keep gently heating and stirring until all is melted and mixed. If it starts to boil take it off the heat!
4. Add the condensed milk and mix. Bring to the boil for about a minute.
5. Remove from the heat and gradually add the oats, folding them in. All the oats should be coated, and the mixture quite dense, but still sticky. Don't add so many oats that the mixture becomes dry.
6. Pour the mixture into the tins and spread about so that it lines the tin to a depth of 2-3cm. Don't squash the mixture in, just spread it evenly.
7. Bake in the oven for about 15mins. You should take them out when they just start to go brown round the edges, don't leave longer than this. If they're still squidgy in the middle that's fine, they set on cooking.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Party Nibbles

I had a wee get-together with some of my friends, and I love to be the hostess with the mostess! I'd collected a few recipes for party nibbles, so this seemed a great opportunity to try them out. The one that went down the best is the one I forgot to photograph! Typical! They were sweet chilli sausages, and were eaten very quickly. I will make them again soon I think.

Another nibble I made were the sausage rolls I had previously blogged about here. I added a dash of tomato ketchup, less garlic and sliced them into bite size rolls. Served hot with a ketchup dip, they were delicious.

I had recently spotted these wee tomato/cheese cocktail bites, so had to make them! Very easy to assemble, and taste lovely - a bit different from the usual cheese & pineapple sticks!
They are just cherry tomatoes, a cube of feta and a small basil leaf, speared on a cocktail stick!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Honey & Balsamic Roasted Sausages

I am back from my week away down south! Typically, they have great weather now I am back up here. It was just a quick simple dinner tonight, as I adjust back to normality. I have made a version of the recipe before, in the early days of my blog. I did this version by memory though, so it may be a bit different. As usual, everyone scoffed it, there were no leftovers! I served it with new potatoes, with the sauce drizzled over them. This served 4 people.

12 sausages
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 red onions, cut into wedges
A little olive oil
400g cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 red pepper, deseeded & chopped in to chunks
2 tablespoons honey

 In a large roasting tin, toss together the sausages, garlic and red onions with a little olive oil.
 Roast in a preheated oven at 200°C/fan160°C/gas 4 for 15 minutes, until golden.
 Add the cherry tomatoes, pepper. honey and balsamic vinegar. Season and toss together gently. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes then serve.

Friday, 20 July 2012


It's a bit quiet on here just now, because I have taken the kids to stay with Granny for a week! I will be back next week with some new recipes and my Foodie Penpal reveal!

Sunday, 15 July 2012


This compition entry is for the BritMums #ColourMeInRK competition, sponsored by Kellogg's. Britmums kindly sent us an art pack and a big box of Rice Krispies to decorate. Perfect for a horrible wet weekend! The Wee Man had a great time running wild with the colours, with a little bit of help from his big sisters. This is his "awesome creation" (his words haha).

By Josh age 4

Pork Stroganoff

My sister in law bought be a lovely tin of amazing smoked paprika - and I love using it in my cooking! This stroganoff is a family favourite and lets me use my lovely paprika. I had to use  red onion, as we were all out of white! It didnt affect the taste though. I use the cheaper shoulder steaks to make this, you could use tenderloin or fillet or any cut you like.

2 tbsp vegetable oil 
200 g trimmed pork cut into strips
1 bay leaf 
30 g butter 
1 onion, thinly sliced 
100 g button mushrooms, sliced 
1/2 tsp smoked paprika 
100 ml soured cream 
1 lemon, juice only 
1 tbsp chopped parsley 
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
boiled rice, to serve 

 1. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed non-stick frying pan until smoking. Season the meat and place in the pan, along with a bay leaf.

2. Fry quickly, stirring briskly until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside.

3. Add half the butter to the pan and soften the onion on a low heat - about 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining butter to the pan and, when it has melted, add the mushrooms and paprika and fry for a further 2 minutes, until softened. Remove from the pan and add to the pork.

4. Spoon the soured cream into the frying pan and warm through. Tip the pork, onions and mushrooms back into the pan, bring the mixture to a simmer, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until creamy. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley, and season to taste. Serve with boiled rice.

Marinated Cucumber

I have been eating a lot of salads lately, but cucumber always seems so boring! I was flicking through the River Cottage Veg Everyday cookbook, and found this simple recipe for jazzing up cucumber. It was such a nice change, I will be doing this more often! I grow mint in my garden, so always have some fresh to hand. The rest is just store cupboard items.

1 medium cucumber
Tablespoon bunch fresh mint
Tablespoon olive oil
Teaspoon cider vinegar
Salt & pepper to season

Top & tail the cucumber, then peel. Chop in half, then slice those into halves length ways. Chop into chunky half-moons. Mix the olive oil, vinegar & mint, and add the cucumber. Thoroughly mix, season & leave to marinate for 30 minutes. Stir again then serve.

Creamy Garlic Mushrooms

These are delicious on toast, or even just by themselves! You could probably use it as a pasta sauce, or pour it over chicken. I love mushrooms, so I am always looking for new recipes for them. If you have a good mushroom recipe, please share it with me!

Serves 2

3 crushed garlic cloves
12 mushrooms chopped (I used chestnut, you could use any though)
Knob of butter
Splash of sherry (or white wine)
Half a carton of double cream
Parsley, to serve

Melt the butter in a pan, and add the garlic. Cook for a minute or 2, letting it cook but not colour. Add the mushrooms and stif fry for about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and let it simmer & reduce down. Add the cream, and let it warm through, stirring to mix all the flavours. Sprinkle with parsley & serve.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Marinated Courgettes with Mozzarella

I bought some courgettes reduced at the supermarket, so needed a nice recipe to use them up. I had a flick through the River Cottage Veg Everyday book, and found this one. Really tasty! No-one else here likes courgettes, so I ate it all myself :D Very tasty, will definitely make it again. I didn't have a lemon though, so I used a lime instead, still tasted great so I assume you could use either. I have bookmarked a few more recipes from this book to try, they all sound amazing.

4 medium courgettes (about 500g)
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil
1 large clove garlic, finely slivered
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus a little juice
A handful of mint or basil, roughly torn
1 ball of buffalo mozzarella (about 125g), or other mild, soft cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Top and tail the courgettes, then cut them lengthways into thin slices, 1–2mm thick. Put them in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of the oil and use a pastry brush to get them all lightly coated.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a fairly high heat. Working in batches, sear the courgette slices for about 2 minutes on each side until tender and golden. Transfer them to a shallow dish.

Take the frying pan off the heat and let it cool down a bit. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, the garlic and lemon zest. Heat very gently for a few minutes – the residual heat in the pan may be enough – you just want to take the raw edge off the garlic and infuse the flavours into the oil.
Pour the infused oil over the courgettes. Add some salt and pepper, a little squeeze of lemon juice and the mint or basil. Toss together, cover and leave for 1 hour at room temperature.

Serve with the torn mozzarella scattered over it.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Cheese, garlic & chive crisps

Not a potato in sight! These would be perfect for people following a low carb diet. They are also perfect for cheese lovers! They are deliciously crispy and tasty, I would serve these as a snack at a party/buffet. I used fresh chives from my garden, but dried would work. You could try changing the toppings to whichever herbs/spices you like. Try varying the cheese too.

4 square slices of Edam cheese (from the packs you get of pre-sliced cheese but NOT processed cheese)
3 inches of fresh chives, snipped
A few pinches of garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 170c. Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper. THIS IS IMPORTANT, they will stick to foil/nonstick trays! Cut each square of cheese into 4 quarter squares. Spread on the baking sheets, top with snipped chives & a tiny pinch of garlic powder. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the edges turn golden brown. Remove from the oven, and carefully remove the greaseproof paper with the cheese from the tray, and place on a cool surface. Le the cheese completely cool (this doesn't take long) and then serve! They crisp up beautifully.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Stuffed Cheese Burgers

I used Lidls steak mince to make these burgers, and they tasted great! Definitely the best homemade beef burgers I have made. I had mine with salad leaves & a huge dollop of homemade coleslaw. Having the cheese in the middle, all melty & oozing, was a great addition, I cant wait to make these again! These would work well on a BBQ too. Make sure to firmly seal the patties around the cheese, to stop the cheese oozing out.

Makes 3 Stuffed burgers

450g steak mince
pinch garlic powder
pinch onion powder
3 small matchbox size blocks of cheese

Combine the mince with the seasoning & onion/garlic powder and mix well by hand. When thoroughly mixed, divide into 6 equal parts. Roll each part into a ball, then flatten to make a patty. On 3 of the patties, place the cheese directly in the middle. Top with one of the other 3 patties, and seal the edges. Grill, fry or BBQ until cooked through.

Homemade coleslaw
1/2 white cabbage, grated
1 carrot, grated
5 spring onions, chopped
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
Pinch of salt

Combine all the ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Chill in the fridge. Will keep for 3 days in the fridge.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Slow Cooked Chinese Beef Stew & Crispy Kale

Another meal that you can just stick in the slow cooker! You coudl also do this in the oven, for around 2 hours. The meat comes out so meltingly soft, and the chinese flavours are delicious. Makes a great change from the usual slow cooker stew. I served ours with vermicelli noodles and crispy kale (tastes quite like crispy seaweed).

750g braising beef
1 bunch spring onions , sliced
3 garlic cloves , sliced
Half red pepper, sliced
10 button mushrooms, sliced
an inch of root ginger , grated
2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1 star anise
4 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
2 tbsp soy sauce

Place everything in the slow cooker, and cook for around 6 hours. No need to brown the meat first!

Crispy kale -

Half a bag of shredded kale
Olive oil
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 200c.  Coat the kale lightly in olive oil and spread out on a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15 minutes, until it is just starting to go golden at the edges.

Published Recipe!

I have had one of my recipes published in a recipe magazine! I am quite chuffed. The magazine is my favourite recipes and its a monthly mag full of readers recipes. If you are on Facebook, I would really appreciate some votes for this months favourite recipe :) Just go here and pick the "baked meatballs" recipe - https://www.facebook.com/myfavouriterecipes/app_142288745871074. Thank you x

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Cheese and Ham Tagliatelle

I needed a quick & simple dinner for the children tonight, as my Wee Man had hit his head and only wanted Mummy cuddles for most of the evening :( He sat with his Dad long enough for me to whip this up for them. The Wee Man even managed a few bites himself! He preferred the ice-poles that we were using to bring down the swelling. If Id had time, i would have added fried mushrooms to this too.

Serves 2 (or 3 children)

6 dried tagliatelle nests
1 pint milk
Pinch nutmeg
2 large handfuls of grated cheddar
1/2 tablespoon cornflour
Half tub of cream cheese with chives (or add your own chives)
3 slices of ham, diced

Boil the pasta nests in salted water as per the packet instructions (8-12 minutes usually).

Warm the milk in a sauce pan, and add the pinch of nutmeg. Mix the cornflour with the cheese, then add to the milk a bit at a time, allowing all the cheese to melt before adding more. Once all the cheese has melted into the milk, season then add the cream cheese. Allow this to also melt. Add the chopped ham & stir.

Drain the pasta and divide between bowls. Pour over the sauce, twirl with a fork to combine the sauce a little with the tagliatelle, and serve.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Chicken in creamy leak & mushroom sauce

Not the prettiest looking dish! Tasted lovely though. It is quite rich, so I didnt serve potatoes with it, just some fresh corn on the cobs I forgot to meal plan this week, so all my cooking has been a bit hpahazard, using up what ever is in the fridge - I must be better prepared next week!

Serves 4
2 chicken thighs per person
Butter & olive oil, tablespoon of each roughly
2 leeks, sliced
10 mushrooms, sliced
300ml pot double cream
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 shallot, diced finely (or onion)
Small handfu parsley to garnish
Salt & pepper to season

Heat a frying pan and add the butter/olive oil. Fry the chicken, skin side down, until the skin is crispy. Transfer to an oven dish & pop in the oven for about 30 minutes at 200C.

In the same frying pan, add the shallot & garlic & fry gently, scraping the chicken bits from the bottom of the pan. After a minute, add the leeks & mushrooms (add more butter/oil if you need to). Let the leeks & mushrooms sweat for around 10/15 minutes. Add the cream & seasoning, and allow to simmer fo a few minutes. Plate up the chicken & pour the cream sauce over. Scatter fresh parsley on top & serve!