Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Pea and Ham Soup

Not everyone's fave but this is definitely one of mine!


500grams of Peas (small pack)
One large onion
Six rashers of bacon, fat removed
Two celery sticks
Two cloves of garlic
Three slices of honey roast ham
Three medium sized potatoes
Pint and half of chicken stock
Salt and Pepper
Glug of olive oil
Glug of  double cream (if you don't have any use milk)

  • Chop the onions, garlic, celery and bacon and fry in a stock pot on a low heat until soft for about 20mins
  • Chop the potatoes into small pieces and add to the pot
  • Pour in the chicken stock and simmer for approx 20-25 mins until potatoes are soft
  • Add all the peas and a glug of cream and salt and pepper
  • Simmer for a further 10mins
  • Add the ham (shredded into bits)


  • Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until puréed
  • Pour back into the stock pot and season to taste
  • Serve with crusty bread and butter
  • Colour and taste is AMAZING!

Homemade Tomato Soup

Wow I actually can't believe my last post was in January, that's 7 months ago quite shocking but this year has flown exceptionally fast, 5 weddings down, the Queens Jubilee, Olympics, my little sister has moved to New York, Karen about to introduce the lil Le Cornu into our world and summers nearly over! Busy busy and that doesn't mean I haven't had time to cook, I have but I've been far too lazy and just not had the chance to share!

What's made me post today is Mirek, he's had two teeth removed and has been told by the nurse to avoid, rice, pasta and anything solid! Oh gawd initially that made me quite sad, but then I realised  that suits me just fine for two reasons..1) soup only dinner diet for a few days is surely going to help me lose a few pounds for my beach holiday in October...2) soup = autumn/winter and I LOVE this season and what with conkers already starting to line The Avenue this makes me happy!

Never made soup before so am going to post two recipes today, firstly delicious homemade tomato soup.

Approx 12 reasonably sized tomatoes (home grown ones are the best as they're much juicier but i used a mix of both
One carrot
Three celery sticks
One large onion
Two cloves of garlic
Handful of fresh basil
Salt & Pepper
Pint and half of chicken stock
Glug of oil
Glug of Lea Perrins Worcestershire sauce


  • Boil some water in a kettle and fill a large mixing bowl
  • Place all the tomatoes into the bowl for 5 mins
  • Chop the onions finely and the carrot and celery stick into small pieces
  • Fry the oil, onions, garlic, carrot and celery sticks in a large stock pot and cover for about twenty mins until soft
  • Peel the tomato skins off the tomatoes, should come off quite easily if not place them back in the hot water
  • Chop the tomatoes into small pieces and add to the pot
  • Chop the basil and add to the pot
  • Simmer for approx 15 mins
  • Add the chicken stock and season with salt and pepper, simmer for approx 20 mins
  • Add the contents of the pot into a blender slowly bit by bit with a ladle and blend until it's pureed
  • Place back into the stock pot and add a glug of lea perrins
  • Simmer for approx 20mins and season to taste
  • Serve with crusty bread and butter

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This recipe is so easy to make I gave Mirek instructions over the phone and he made it for me. Really tasty and healthy-ish, and great if you want to use up what's in the fridge.

Tip: Make sure you check the chicken every 15mins and mix the mixture and baste over the chicken


Chicken breasts x 3
One big onion
One carrot
Half a block of feta cheese (or you can use pack of boursin)
Six-Eight mushrooms
Eight cherry tomatoes
One Pepper (Red is best)
Small packet of pancetta or three slices of bacon
One lemon
Glug of olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Three slices of parma ham (o)


  • Pre-heat your oven to 180degrees
  • Chop all the veg and bacon/pancetta into tiny pieces (onion, carrot, mushrooms, tomatoes, pepper) and add to a big mixing bowl
  • Crumble in the feta cheese
  • Add a glug of oil
  • Squeeze in the lemon
  • Season with salt and pepper and mix it all together well
  • Slice a pocket sideways into each chicken breast (like a pitta bread)
  • Stuff each breast with the mixture
  • Optional: Wrap each chicken breast with the parma ham and place in a roasting tray

Sprinkle the remainder stuffing around the chicken breasts and a little over the top
Place in the middle of the oven and bake for approx 40-45mins (checking and basting every 15mins)

It might look a little burnt on top of the chicken, but it's not it's crispy and makes it taste even better!

Serve with rice. Soooooo yum!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Pork chops with mushrooms and cream

This is one of mamma spoon's faves too, pork chops with mushrooms, cream and mash! Probably one of the simplest of dishes I've made but definitely one of the best!


Pork chops (ideally with bone)
Packet of mushrooms
One lemon
One and half spoonfulls of plain flour
One clove of garlic
Salt and Pepper
Pot of Double cream
Fresh basil (o)

Pork prep
  • Preheat the oven at 200 degrees
  • Fry the pork chops in butter on both sides and season with salt and pepper until they brown

  • Whilst they are frying chop up the mushrooms into quarters 
  • When the porks browned both sides place it on some foil on a roasting tray - make sure the foil is big enough to pack up when the mushrooms  are done
  • Fry the mushrooms in the same pan that you fried the pork
  • Crush in the garlic and add to the mushrooms with some black pepper and fry gently
  • When the mushrooms are soft, turn off the heat and add one and half spoonfulls of plain flour
  • Mix the mushrooms up until all the flour has disappeared and squeeze in a whole lemon and mix
  • Then put the mushrooms on top of the pork chops in the foil
  • Pour the double cream over the pork chops and wrap the foil over into a parcel so its all sealed
  • Add some fresh basil on top (o)

  • Place into the oven on 200degrees for approx one hour and a half 
  • Peel the potatoes and boil to mash with butter and cream

Serve with veg of choice, we had brocolli and sugar snap peas. OMG soooooo delicious! 

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Sunday Roast!

Fancied a roast today! Perfect Sunday, up at 9:30am prepared the chicken, long walk around Beckenham with Darvill, bumped into Rudi and Amy, met Mirek in the Woody with Missy, left him to watch the footy with Cleavers, went home to crack on with dinner, mum popped by to pick Missy up and we chilled with a Roast and a Chateauneuf-de-Pape. Ahh just how Sundays should be!


Maris Piper Potatoes
One chicken
One lemon
Fresh Basil
Fresh Coriander
Chunk of ginger
Chilli flakes
Chilli powder
Parmesan (o)
Salt and Pepper
Three cloves of garlic
Olive Oil

Chick.. Chick.. Chick.. Chick.. Chicken!

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
  • Melt a knob of butter in the microwave, add a glug of oil
  • Chop up the basil and corainder and add to the butter
  • Crush the garlic and mix it all in
  • Squeeze half a lemon and season with salt and pepper
  • Add some grated parmesan and mix (o)
  • Add a small spoonfull of chilli flakes
  • Make pockets under the skin of the chicken breasts and slice into the chicken meat
  • Repeat for the legs
  • With a spoon put the mix under the skin of the chicken and rub it all in, until all the mix is nearly gone, then rub the remainder over the top of the chicken
  • Season with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of chilli powder over the top
  • Put the other half of the lemon up it's bum!
  • Leave to stand if possible!

  • Put it into the middle of the oven and roast for approx 2 hours until skin is crisp
  • Every half hour, spoon the juices over the chicken
  • After 45mins of the chicken being in the oven boil the potatoes
  • When they're nearly ready drain them and put a lid over and carefully shake the pan so they fluff up
  • Put a knob of butter and glug of oil into a roasting tray
  • Add the potatoes and coat them with the buttery oil
  • Spoon out some of the chicken juice and pour over the potatoes
  • Switch the chicken to the bottom of the oven and the potatoes in the middle
  • Roast until potatoes are crispy

Serve with buttery baby corn and carrots..Mmmm

Forking Fish Pie!

I made this dish last week and have just remembered that I hadn't put it up as Le Cornu requested!

I know it's a bit odd but when I'm hungover as well as always craving something containing minced meat, I also really crave a good mash potato topped fish pie! This recipes a classic and a goodun and inspired by the lovely Steph Tiller!

Top tip essential: Steph's top tip -  Make the sauce thicker than you think it should be

One lemon
Fish Pie mix (haddock, salmon and cod)
Eight king prawns (I use raw)
Three eggs
Coriander (although Parsley would be better)
Salt & pepper
Plain flour
Two spoonfulls of creme fraiche or double cream (o)

Fish filling

  • Add the fish (excluding the prawns) into an oven proof dish and cover with milk, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle in some fresh coriander. 
  • Cover with a lid and put into the oven for approx 15mins on 200degrees
  • At the same time peel and boil the potatoes
  • And hard boil the eggs (approx 8 minutes boiling)
  • Gently fry the onions and squeeze half a lemon in so they are soft
  • When the fish is done, drain the milk and keep to one side in a measuring jug
  • Break the fish up a little and add it to a deep pyrex dish

  • Cover the fish with the fried onions and add in the raw prawns in between the mix
  • The potatoes should be ready now so mash them up with some butter and a spoonfull of cream
  • Now make a roux by adding a knob of butter to a small saucepan, once the butter has melted add some plain flour slowly and mix it quickly to make a paste then little by little add the fish milk stock and keep stirring so it gets thicker, repeat this until you've made a white sauce for the fish. 
  • Once the white sauce looks ready with no lumps add a spoonfull of creme fraiche or double cream and stir - make sure the sauce is thicker than normal
  • Finish it off by squeezing the rest of the lemon in and season with salt and pepper
  • Pour the sauce over the fish and give it a gentle stir
  • Cover the fish pie with the mashed potato and bake in the oven until the top is all golden and crispy - approx 35mins

Serve with mange tout and fresh peas. YUM! x

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Casserole a'la Boeuf Spoons

This has got to be one of mum's best sooo delicious and warming and just perfect for  a lazy January Sunday! Never made it before so rang mum and scribbled the briefest of instructions down on a post it and just added my little extra bits :-)

Mirek said it's one of the best meals I have ever made :-) and of course i asked him what was wrong with all my other dinners!

Top Tip Essential: when making the sauce, make sure you make a roux with flour and cold water if you need to thicken it up later when the sauce is in
- Also you can pretty much add any veg you have into this dish, just remember to fry the onions up first
- A joint of beef costing £8 will make enough dinner for 5/6 people
- (o) = optional


Joint of beef
One onion
Six mushrooms
Six wild dry mushrooms (o)
One large carrot
One Red Pepper
One Star Anise (o - but a fab tip from Heston!)
Pinch of smoked paprika (o- this is very strong so make sure its just a pinch)
Salt & pepper
Plain Flour
Pint of cold water
Olive Oil
Two beef stock cubes
One chicken stock cube (o)
Small glass of red wine
Approx 20 peppercorns
Three large bay leaves

La Casserole Prep

  • Set the oven to 160 degrees/gas mark 3
  • Chop all the veg (carrots, mushrooms, pepper) up into small pieces and put aside. Keep the onions separate as you'll need to fry these first

  • Slice the Beef joint up into slices approx 1/2 an inch thick
  • Coat each slice of beef in plain flour

  • Pour a glug of oil into a large frying pan and on a low heat fry the slices of beef until they start to brown around the edges, season with salt and pepper on both sides (this takes approx 8 mins)

  • When they are done put them to one side and add the onions to the frying pan with the meat juices
  • Fry gently until soft
  • Add the rest of the veg and fry gently until they are all softened

  • Then add one big spoonfull of plain white flour and stir so the veg is all coated
  • Pour in the cold water and keep mixing until it all forms a sauce consistency
  • Break in the stock cubes and keep stirring
  • Add the star anise (o) bay leaves and all the peppercorns
  • Add the red wine and keep stirring
  • If the sauce is of the consistency you like then fab, if you need it to be a little thicker then take a tiny amount of flour and mix with the same amount of cold water and pour into your sauce stirring it in until smooth
  • Add in a pinch of smoked paprika (o)
  • Keep cooking the sauce for approx 20 mins
  • Season to taste 
  • In a large casserole bowl or pyrex dish add some of your sauce mixture, then add a layer of the beef slices
  • Continue to layer.. sauce..beef...sauce and cover the dish then put it in the oven
  • Cook in the oven for 3.5 hours

Serve with creamy mash potato and choice of veg, we had baby carrots and asparagus and i was so excited about it I forgot to take a picture of it plated, but this is what the leftovers look like. Hearty and really yum!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Fancy a duck anyone?

I never thought I would ever put up a post about a pre-prepared 'nearly' ready meal but I just MUST! This was an absolute treat over Christmas thanks to mamma and pappa spoons' little Sainsbury discovery!

If you're like me and crave a bit of crispy duck now and again but can't be arsed to go to the chinese and spend a lump, well just get yourself off to Sainsburys and make this purchase!

My only tip would be is to roast the duck for a little longer, I think it say's about 40 mins but I did it for 50 mins to make sure the skin was extra crisp!

It's on offer at the mo for £4.49 and you get a mini recipe book, perfect for pre-NYE partying without the heaviness of a full dinner!

Honestly try it you'll be licking your fingers x

Thai Green Chicken Curry

This dinner was delicious the other night! Jamie Oliver inspired thai green curry, but as usual I didn't have all the ingredients and Jamie doesn't use chicken in his curry sauce base so I concocted this dish from one of my own recipes and a bit of Jamie's. (Jamie's 30 minute meals - page 86) And I even got to use my new blender! Woop woop!

Top Tip Essential: Blend the spices and onion to make a thick paste

One onion (I used red)
Three cloves of garlic
Three spring onions
One whole red chilli
Spoonfull of crushed chilli flakes
One small spoonfull of garam masala (optional)
One big spoonfull of  ground coriander (fresh would be preferable but i only had ground)
One whole lime squeezed  (I grated a frozen lime and used two big spoonfulls of the zest)
Glug of olive oil
One green pepper
Six mushrooms
Three chicken breasts
Half a pint of chicken stock
One tin of coconut milk
Fresh basil
Basmati rice

Mmmm curry!
  • Chop the onion in chunks, peel the garlic and add to the blender with the chilli, chilli flakes, garam masala, chopped up spring onion, coriander and lime and blend until fine and a thick consistency
  • Add a glug of oil to the blender and blend 
  • Chop the chicken into small pieces
  • Chop the mushroom and pepper into small pieces and leave to one side
  • Gently fry the paste in a small glug of olive oil in a large frying pan 
  • At the same time make the chicken stock in the blender bowl so you use up all the bits of paste!
  • Add the chicken to the paste and fry gently for approx 5 mins until chicken looks white

  • Add the mushrooms and the peppers to the chicken and fry gently for another 5 mins
  • Pour in the chicken stock and cook till it starts to boil and then simmer for approx 5 mins
  • Add the tin of coconut milk and stir in and gently simmer for at least 30mins
  • Season with a little salt and pepper
  • Chop up the fresh basil and mix it into the curry
  • Make the rice and serve with a sprig of basil.

Soooo yummy! x

Wednesday, 28 December 2011


Nothing better than a bit of rice following the Christmas meat'n cheese carnage! Having said that I can't believe I didn't actually have any cheese this Christmas apart from cheese on toast we had on Boxing Day! Not even one chunk of stilton, the good thing I suppose is that for once I didn't feel stuffed like the turkey and hopefully I can still get into my dress on NYE!

Paella has got to be one of my favourite things to make, not only cos it's easy (easier than risotto) but you don't need to cut anything before you eat you and the only thing you need to slightly chew is the chorizo and prawns! Absolute comfort food after days of boozing and crunching on roasties and sprouts!

Top Tip Essential: Buy a sachet of paella spice mix! They sell it now in Tesco, luckily I have been blessed with my parents going to spain and bringing me endless boxes of the spanish stuff! Thank you Mum!

One sachet of paella spices. I use x two sachets of 'El unico Paellero (Carmencita)
Two lemons
Half a pack of Paella Rice (you can buy at any supermarket)
One large red pepper
One tin of chopped tomatoes
One large chorizo sausage
Packet of raw king prawns
One big spoonfull of peas (frozen are fine)
One large onion
Two cloves of garlic
Two pints of chicken stock
Six mushrooms
One large glass of white wine
Glug of olive oil

Paella Paella

  • Chop the onion and crush the garlic and fry gently in the oil in a large frying pan
  • Add the mushrooms and red pepper once the onions have softened
  • At the same time, chop up the chorizo into quarter chunks, each slice in four and fry in a separate pan, no oil needed, gently fry till a little bit crispy
  • Squeeze half a lemon into the onion mix and fry for two mins
  • Add the rice to the frying pan and mix until each piece is coated in the oil
  • Mix in the sachets of paella mix and coat the paella rice, should be bright paella yellow
  • Fry for approx three minutes
  • Add the wine to the rice mix and let it gently boil until most of the wine is absorbed
  • Pour in half the chicken stock and let it boil and then turn down to gently simmer
  • You need to keep stirring  it regularly but not as often as risotto so the rice doesn't stick to the pan
  • Add the peas straight from frozen into the rice 
  • Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and stir in
  • Let it cook for five/ten mins stirring occasionally
  • Add the remainder of the chicken stock and place the prawns on top evenly around the pan, let it cook for a few minutes before stirring in to ensure all prawns are cooked through evenly
  • Add salt and pepper
  • Squeeze in the rest of the lemon juice and stir
  • Add the chorizo but do not pour all the chorizo oil in, you can add a teaspoon in for taste 
  • Cook gently until all liquid is absorbed and rice is plump and paella consistency

Serve with parmesan cheese and fresh basil and a chunk of lemon squeezed over the top! 

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Social Eatworking

The Facebook for Food...Really??? 

I loved this article in the Evening Standard this week! Apparently 'Social Eatworking' is the way forward for 2012 with the launch of Foodie.fm - the facebook equivalent for food, where users can post recipes, photos and recommendations to others... sound familiar?

Well at least Foodie.fm is a community of similarly obsessed food fanatics so they'll  be no harm of me continuously and annoyingly posting up links and recipes of my dinners, thinking everyone and anyone is interested in my daily consumption...BRING IT ON I say!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

The Perfect Hangover Cure - Chilli Con Carne

Lovely day & night at Rudi and Amy's wedding yesterday, she looked amazing! Great food, great company, great entertainment but a great big hangover this morning. I knew I'd feel like this, so I got the mince out the freezer at 2am this morning!

Top Tip: Keep a lemon and lime in the freezer then when you need to use for cooking you can grate it frozen 

One red onion
500 grams of lean steak mince
Three hot red chillis
One teaspoon of dried chillis
Three cloves of garlic
One beef stock cube
One red or yellow pepper
Tomato purée
Spoonfull of plain flour
Half carton of Passata
Two tins of chopped tomatoes
Spoonful of ground coriander
Two tins of kidney beans (drained and rinsed)

Optional - (o)

Cherry tomatoes
Grated Lime zest
Glug of Lea Perrins
Grated mature cheddar
Sour cream

  • Chop the onion and add to a mixing bowl with the garlic and the mince.
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Chop and add the chillis to the bowl and a spoonful of coriander
  • Mix it together with your hands so that everything combines 

  • Fry the mixture in olive oil on a medium heat in a large saucepan (don't use too much oil)
  • Grate in a small amount of lime zest and stir together (o)
  • Add two heaped spoonfulls of tomato puree
  • Stir in the spoonfull of flour
  • Chop the pepper and cherry tomatoes (o) and add them to the mince and fry for approx two mins

  • Add one tin of chopped tomatoes and break in the beef stock cube
  • Add in half a carton of passata
  • Add a glug of Lea Perrins (o)
  • Add two tins of kidney beans
  • Cook on a low heat for at least an hour, stirring regularly and season to taste

Serve with basmati rice and a sprinkle of grated cheddar and dollop of sour cream on the side.

How to make perfect fluffy rice
  • Add the rice to a saucepan and add cold water to cover the rice by about a centimetre 
  • Turn on a high heat and bring it to the boil (uncovered) , when you start to see it bubbling you need to let it boil for about a minute (no longer)
  • Turn it right down to minimum heat and cover with a lid (do not uncover)
  • Simmer for exactly 10 mins
  • Take it off the heat and it should be perfect!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Creamy Salmon and Pea Fusilli for you Miss Fisher

This one's for my Aussie friend Gina, she recently reminded me of this delicious recipe I shared with her while she was here in London. Sadly she's now back in Oz but hopefully every time she makes this dish she'll be reminded of me and I'll be reminded of our last night out to see a 'Man Like Me!' Amazing!


One Lemon
Roasted honey salmon flakes (fresh) or you can use a seasoned cooked salmon fillet flaked
One small tub of creme fraiche
Chilli flakes
Fusilli pasta (or ideally fresh tagliatelle)
Knob of butter
Fresh peas (or frozen)

Creamy and flaky

  • Fry the butter in a small frying pan and add the salmon flakes, break up so they are in small pieces and not too chunky
  • At the same time boil the water for the pasta
  • Squeeze in half a lemon (for two people and one lemon for four)
  • Stir the salmon and lemon until it starts to golden (not too much)
  • Add the tub of creme fraiche and mix together
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Add a few chilli flakes
  • Turn it off and wait for the water to boil
  • Add the pasta and peas and boil until ready
  • Once it's done, drain and stir in the creamy salmon (you may need to heat before you mix it in)
  • Serve and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan

Soooo delicious so easy, and great for a quick meal that everyone will love, just yummy! x

And I'm sure Anna even secretly liked it when I made it this summer, and she's not one for fishy dishes!

Double Scotch and....

It's been a while since my last blog and to be honest I haven't liked it at all partly because it's taken me away from the blog-flow I had, but mainly it all boils down to a few but 'BIG' reasons all of which I have listed in priority order below:

- One of the best loved 'booze' brands in the world
- The emptiest fridge in the 'Close'
- Some 'see you next tuesday' robbing our lovely home!
- Late nights
- Frost bite (slight exaggeration but it was bloody cold)
And one extremely tired Spoon! Who now comes with bags bigger than Primark!

It suddenly hit home the night that Mirek said, 'I can't remember the last time I took dinner  leftovers to work for lunch, what have we actually been eating??'
Oh gawd I thought I really can't remember? which was odd!

The closest I got to any blog post was this article which I found on my commute one late night home and one which I also just realised was rather apt considering...!

 But I didn't post it, nor did I rush out to Tesco to find it! I have since forgotten but today it's been added to the enormous shopping list that exists in my mind.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Ten Bells Pop Up....OMG!!!

Well well well I never! 

Can I just say this article that I perused today in the Metro on my way to work is about my fave pub in London and actually apart from it being part of Ripper history, as in Jack the Ripper.. horrible thought I know but so fascinating, i dont know why it's my fave!

I think it's the feeling you feel as you walk in and think you're taking a step back in history....or is that just my mental imagination.... maybe not so much now as they moved the bar to the centre of the pub! why would you do that??? I still don't understand!

Anyway this seriously was one pub that I encouraged everyone to experience, if you didn't feel it upstairs then you sure did when you walked down the teeny staircase to the lavatories! a combo of graffitied walls, low ceilings, piping, and awful toilets which felt you were a million miles away from anyone! But time and time again I wanted to go see it just one more time....to the point I used to make my friends just go in to go and walk downstairs how cruel was that, and I always wondered why they came back with that confused are you for real? look on their faces...like I said 'know the history live the experience!' and they sold Fruli's!! another big tick on the tickbox!

Once there was even a real stuffed dog on display on the bar! and as much as my love for dogs is widely known I still found it amazingly fascinating! and just odd!

So.... the article I read this morning reads like this:

Upstairs room? OMG really? now that's amazing and I want to see! like NOW!!!

But luckily....I have till January 2012! yes please .....please.... please! Mirek? please? I don't ask for much but this one thing would actually make my year!  x

Oh and for once I don't care about the food! Did I actually say that? But I must admit it would make a massive difference :-)

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Pretty special!

No 80 today was smelliliciously good! A combination of spiced apple, cinnamon, cloves..roast lamb, potatoes and all the trimmings. Amazingly delicious and wow what a stuffing! No stuffing just literally satisfyingly stuffed..

It was my first pre-Christmas Christmas dinner with the Tillers and Prettys! What can I say? Two words...Pretty Spesh!

The biggest and juiceyist leg of lamb i have ever eaten, roasted garlic, shallots, potatoes and red wine gravy! As Mirek would say 'Yummas'! As I would say 'Thank you Steph, yes please!'
Followed by Kate's amazing Christmassy Crumble...ooooh naughty!

The kids were on top form, entertaining everyone, George told me my hair was the colour of custard..insult or compliment I wonder? Hmmm the fact that he's 4 is known for his Innocent Georgeisms and has the most interesting imagination meant i took it as a compliment ha how could I not! Thick and gloopy didn't even come to mind! How could it when it was said with this grin...

Just gorgeous! The kids ate like they had never eaten before...,more meat..more veg and please sir can i have some more! Aww just wonderful to see!

Lottie shyfully acted out her lines for her Christmas concert, and happily said that she no longer wanted to be Mary as she was quite happy to be Alien 4 because she had 5 more lines to learn than Mary did, then she sang what seemed to be the longest song ever and wasn't even her song in the hope that whoever had that part may pull out giving her the chance of stardom...bless her!

Joseph...oh Joseph was just Joseph... happy...excited and full of energy, considering he finished off the leg of lamb that was quite an achievement!

What a day and what brilliant quality company! My first taste of Tiller Christmas left me wanting lots more! x

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

OH Nigella!!!

Thought I'd do a quick little blog post in tribute of good ole Nigella for the silent laughter this little video brought to me this lunchtime... check this big beauty out

I also wanted to point out that the only thing this woman has ever made me wanna taste from her voluptuous innuendo filled presentation of dishes is her 'Marmite Spaghetti'...oh yes mamma!

This has got to be one of the simplest things I or you can or will ever make!


  • Spaghetti
  • One spoonfull of marmite
  • Big knob (stop it!) of butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated cheese

A Real Quickie

  • Boil the spaghetti
  • Drain and add a big knob of butter
  • Add one spoonfull of marmite and stir
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Top with grated cheese

That's it! 

Easy, tasty and something I'm quite sure can turn those Marmite Haters into Lovers!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Cottage Pie

What always confuses me about cottage pie and shepherds pie is which is with beef and which is with  lamb. It's one of those things you are always told "shepherds = sheep, cottage = beef" but I never seem to remember even when the above seems pretty straightforward.

This recipe is for cottage pie, simple, meaty and using up lots of things in my fridge :-)

  • One onion (i used half red and half white)
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • One leek
  • One carrot
  • Four chestnut mushrooms
  • One beef stock cube
  • Two big spoonfulls of Passata (or tomato purée)
  • 500 grams of lean minced beef
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Glug of Lea Perrins
  • One teeny pinch of sugar
  • One tea spoonfull of mixed herbs
  • Four medium potatoes
  • Glug of milk
  • Knob of butter
  • Chunk of mature cheddar (optional)

  • Chop the onion, carrot, leek and mushrooms and fry gently in a big saucepan with crushed garlic
  • Sauté so its soft
  • Sprinkle the beef stock and stir in
  • Add the tomato passata/purée
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Add a glug of Lea & Perrins
  • Cook till so the meat is cooked through and browned
  • Sprinkle with sugar and add the herbs
  • Continue to cook on a low heat and stir regularly

  • Peel and boil the potatoes
  • When they're soft, drain and add the butter, put the lid on and shake so they break up
  • Add a glug of milk and mash the potatoes till soft and fluffy 

Pie Pie
  • Preheat the oven at 200degrees
  • Add the mince into a pie dish and cover with mash potato

  • Sprinkle strong cheddar over the top and bake in the oven for approx 30mins until cheese has melted and top has crisped and browned a little

Serve with peas or green side salad (iceberg lettuce, cucumber and celery) nom nom we both had more than second helpings!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Chicken, ham and leek pie ala'Tenby

OMG it took a lot for me to do this today considering the hangover from hell I have from Amy's hen night at Kanaloa. It was nearly substituted with ham egg and chips, but oh no i suddenly got my oompth  back and gave it a go.

Looked online at about 6 recipes and decided some were a little too simple and others were far too complicated for my brain and taste buds today so thought I'd take bits of each and do it my own way.

Here it goes, this one is sooooo good you really must try!


  • Two leeks
  • Six chestnut mushrooms
  • Chunk of Ham (as per my ham joint or use thick sliced ham approx 3 slices)
  • Half an onion
  • Two chicken breasts
  • One centimetre slice of butter
  • One Big Spoonfull of plain flour
  • Three quarters of a pint of chicken stock
  • Three big spoonfulls of thick double cream
  • Half a lemon
  • One sheet of ready rolled puff pastry
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Making the Filling

  • Chop the onions, mushrooms and leeks
  • Slice the chicken breasts into strips
  • Cube the ham into small pieces
  • In a large saucepan fry the mushrooms, onion and leeks and season with salt and pepper, fry slowly so it sautés and doesn't burn

  • In a separate saucepan melt the butter and once melted add the flour stirring constantly, when it gets to a thick pulp add the chicken stock and stir rigorously, it helps using a whisk
  • When it's smooth add the cream and continue to stir until all the lumps have gone and its a creamy sauce texture
  • Stir it into the veg mix above
  • Add the raw chicken and allow it all to boil, then reduce and let it simmer
  • Squeeze in the lemon, add the ham and stir
  • Simmer for approx 20mins until chicken has properly cooked through

Pie pie

  • In a pie dish, add the filling
  • Cover the pie dish with the pastry
  • Whisk an egg up and brush the egg on the top of the pie 
  • Bake for approx 35-40 mins until the pie is golden

Made with love for my hungover Mirek  x

Serve with creamy mash potato!

Pappa Spoon inspired Sweet Orange Honey Baked Ham

I tried this ham a week ago when my dad made it and I literally couldn't stop picking, it's absolutely delicious.

The only problem was that I didn't have all the right ingredients so had to improvise a bit with the cloves and spices.


  • One smoked gammon joint (I used a Tesco value joint about £3.50)
  • One carton of orange juice
  • One onion
  • Cloves and Spices (which I didn't have but I did have a sachet/tea bag of mulled wine spices, so used two of them)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Three big spoonfulls of Honey
  • One spoonfull of wholegrain mustard
  • Half a lemon
  • Glug of orange juice
  • Crushed chillis
  • One spoonfull of soft brown sugar

Cooking the ham
  • Put the ham in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil
  • Once it starts boiling, turn it off, drain the water and place back into the saucepan
  • Pour over the carton of orange juice so it half covers the ham 
  • Pour cold water over the top so it covers all of the ham
  • Chop the onion in half and add it to the saucepan
  • Add the bay leaves and one sachet of the cloves and spices

  • Bring to the boil then turn it down and simmer for approx 3 hours
  • Remove from the pan and cut off most of the fat and skin from the top, however make sure you leave a thin layer 
  • Criss cross the top of the ham with a knife cutting through slightly to the meat
  • Place into a roasting tray

Making the Glaze
  • Mix the honey, lemon, glug of orange, chillis, brown sugar, cloves and spices and mustard together 
  • Spoon over the glaze covering all of the ham and making sure it seeps in through the criss cross
Roasting the Ham
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
  • Place the glazed ham joint into the oven for approx 25-35 mins until the ham is roasted

  • Make sure you baste the ham every 10 mins with the glaze and juices from the roasting tray
  • If the juices and glaze start to burn a bit in the tray then transfer the ham to a clean roasting tray for the last 10 mins

So sweet and soooo delicious and perfect for Christmas.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Spicy roast chicken, rice and a bit on the side

I nicked this idea from Jamie's Great Britain, having watched him make it and considering how much it made us dribble I thought I'd give it ago but slightly adapted of course.

Top Tip Essential: Marinade for at least one hour


  • One whole chicken
  • Three big cloves of garlic
  • Thumb size piece of ginger
  • Three small fresh red chillis
  • Two big spoonfulls of tomato puree
  • One spoonfull of ground coriander
  • One spoonfull of turmeric
  • One spoonfull of garam masala
  • One spoonfull of curry powder
  • One tea-spoonfull of dry chilli
  • Two lemon
  • One spoonfull of sea salt
  • One tea-spoonfull of pepper
  • Two big spoonfulls of natural yoghurt
  • Half a red onion
  • A quarter of cucumber
  • 10 small plum tomatoes
  • Glug of olive oil
  • Glug of white wine vinegar

Making the marinade

  • Grate the garlic cloves and the ginger into a mixing bowl
  • Squeeze in one whole lemon
  • Add the chillis, coriander, tomato puree, turmeric, garam masala, curry powder, sea salt, pepper and yoghurt and stir into a thick paste
  • Place the chicken into a dish and slice through the skin and the chicken meat all over the breast and legs
  • Make pockets under the skin and deepen the slices
  • Fill the pockets with the marinade and work it into the chicken and over and under the skin so it's covered
  • Marinade for as long as possible in the fridge

A good roasting

  • Heat the oven on 225 degrees
  • Place the chicken into a roasting tray and shove half a lemon squeezed slightly into the cavity
  • Place on the middle of the oven and roast for approx 1.5-2  hours
  • Baste the chicken every half hour with the juices
  • It needs to look burnt on the outside because of the yoghurt, which you can scrape off after

A bit on the Side

  • Chop the tomatoes, red onion and cucumber into small pieces
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Add a glug of white wine vinegar
  • Add a glug of olive oil
  • Stir and serve

Serve with basmati rice and a squeeze of lemon...delicious

So annoyed, it looked so delicious i couldn't wait to cut into it and so forgot to take a pic of the whole chicken straight from the oven!

It was soooo good, we had second helpings and there's plenty left over for lunch tomorrow x

Tuesday, 15 November 2011