If we are having a bit of a lazy day over the weekend we always treat ourselves to a late breakfast that is something a little different from the usual cereal we have during the week.
I’m a continental breakfast lover and will always opt for crossaints and coffee but the rest of the family all love a cook breakfast which I hate cooking!
I seem to create a huge mess and it takes me forever to prepare.
Feeling a little experimental and with a lack of food in the house I decided the other weekend to create a one pan meal that would have some tradition English breakfast elements plus something a little spicy.
One Pan Brunch
- 150g chorizo sliced in 2cm rings
- 2 herby sausages
- 1 peeled and diced potato
- 4 eggs
- Three sliced tomatoes
- 1 chopped red onion
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
- Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan. A cast iron one is great for presentation.
- Add the onion to the pan a fry for a few minutes until softened.
- Add to this the potato and chorizo and fry over a medium heat for 5 mins.
- Add to this the tomato and herbs and cook over a low heat for for about 10 mins until the potatoes are softened.
- Lastly create four small wells in the ingredients and crack one egg into each well.
- Cook for a further 5 mins and serve with a big chunk of crusty bread.
Over the summer we spend the majority of time eating out of a picnic hamper. I love eating outside on the go but it can become a little boring if you don’t try out different things to add.
We had our first camping trip over the Bank Holiday and I wanted something tasty that would feed us all, take up limited space and not create lots of rubbish to throw away.
I have seen lots of breads that are filled with yummy ingredients and wanted to give it a try with all the things we love.
Here is my recipe for my ‘tear and share’ bread that was a hit with us all.
Tear And Share Picnic Bread
- 1 large loaf of tiger bread
- 2 balls of sliced mozzarella
- 120g antipasto selection platter
- 285g jar of drained and chopped chargrilled peppers
- 285g jar of drained and chopped sundried tomatoes
- 50g grated cheddar cheese
- 400ml mayonnaise
- 3 cloves of crushed garlic
- 1tsp dried oregano
- 1tsp dried thyme
- 1tsp dried rosemary
- Cut 2cm slices into the tiger bread stoping just before the bottom.
- Mix together the mayonnaise, garlic and herbs and spread a generous amount into each side of the bread.
- Into each section place a mixture of meat, mozzarella cheese, peppers and tomatoes.
- Once it is all nicely filled sprinkle the top of the bread with cheddar cheese and place under the grill on a low heat for around 5 mins to melt the cheese and allow all the filling to mingle together.
- Once cooled wrap in brown paper and pack up ready for your picnic.
We had our first experience of camping at a festival this weekend and I really wanted to try out some tasty treats that were easy to prepare with limited space but we’re still a little bit special.
We had decided that disposable BBQs were going to be our best friend as we could quickly prepare the food and throw everything away when we were done.
The whole family has a sweet tooth so something sticky and chocolaty would be the perfect treat. Take a look at these yummy cones if this is the kind of thing that takes your fancy too!
Gooey Chocolate BBQ Cones
- Pack 10 waffle cones
- 200g milk chocolate
- Large pack of marshmallows
- 120g cadburys nibbles
- Punnet of strawberries
- Break chocolate into pieces, cut marshmallows into half and quarter the strawberries.
- Take out the cones and equally divide the chocolate, marshmallows, nibbles and strawberries between each of them.
- Wrap the cones separately in tin foil and place on the BBQ when it is just warm at the end of your main cooking.
- Leave to warm through for around 10mins, remove and serve. They would be perfect with a big blob of vanilla ice cream.
My slow cooker is my best friend and the most used piece of kitchen equipment I own.
It is more versatile than I ever thought it would be and I make all sorts of things from stews, soups and curries to cakes and fudge!
With a large family who take part in lots of activities after school being able to stick something in the slow cooker at the beginning of the day and it being ready as soon as we get in is invaluable.
A favourite with all the family is a healthy chicken and lentil curry the we serve with rice and a simple tomato and cucumber salad.
Chicken And Lentil Curry
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 2 chopped onions
- 2 chopped cloves of garlic
- 4 diced chicken breasts
- 2 tbsps garam masala
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsps tomato purée
- 500ml chicken stock
- 175g red lentils
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until softened.
- Add the diced chicken and cook until browned.
- Transfer into the slow cooker and mix together with the remaining ingredients.
- Cook on high for 6 hours and serve with basmati rice and a simple cucumber, tomato and red onion salad.
Valentines Day is fastly become a big celebration in the UK with it being a day not just for couples but something that the children now join in with.
My older children all attend Valentines discos at school and the younger ones have made some beautiful cards at school.
To be honest for me it should be something special left for couples to enjoy but im going with the flow and letting the kids join in with the celebrations too!
Number four wanted to do some baking this week so we went with a pink theme and made some strawberry flavoured cupcakes that were suitable for his allergies.
Strawberry Flavoured Cupcakes
- 110g self raising wheat free flour
- 110g dairy free margarine
- 110g caster sugar
- Egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs
- 1 tsp strawberry flavouring
- 1tsp red colouring
- 140g dairy free margarine
- 250c icing sugar
- Few drops red colouring
- Strawberry flavoured sparkles
- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and lay out 12 cake cases ready for filling.
- Best the butter and sugar together, add the egg replacer, flavouring and food colouring.
- Fold in the flour until completely mixed. Then transfer to cake cases.
- Cook for 10 mins then place in a wire rack to cool.
- Make up the buttercream by combining the margarine with the sugar and then mixing in the food colouring.
- Once the cakes are cooled place the butter cream on top and pull a fork over the top to create a rough surface and then sprinkle over the strawberry sparkles.
One of my biggest pitfalls when it comes to eating a healthy balanced diet is portion control and my love of all things stodgy! Bread, pasta and rice in abundance are my love and something I need to try and get under control.
I had seen a few recipes for cauliflower rice in the past but had not tried it until today and I was very presently surprised. It’s light cous cous like texture was the perfect accompaniment to my spicy mince.
Spicy Mince And Cauliflower Rice
- 1 cauliflower
- 500g turkey/beef mince
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 thumb sized piece of garlic
- 2 red chilli
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 100ml stock
- 1 onion
- Half a bag of kale
- Chop the onion and garlic and fry with a little olive oil until softened.
- Add the mince and cook until browned.
- Add the grated ginger, chopped chilli, soy sauce and stock.
- Simmer for 15/20 mins and add a little water if it begins to dry out.
- For the last 5 mins add the kale and cook until it is wilted.
- Whilst the mince is cooking take the heads from the cauliflower and place into a food processor and pulse until it is the consitincy of cous cous.
- Transfer to a bowl and cover with cling film and pierce a couple of times.
- Cook in high for 7mins.
- Serve together with the mince.
Along with most people after the indulgences of Christmas, New Year is the perfect time to get healthy eating regimes back on track. In my experience as a personal trainer most people fall off the wagon due to unrealistic goals and being to strict with themselves.
The word diet immediately puts fear into people’s heads and food plans that are not suited to your personal choice means that they stop before they even really begin.
I am a food lover and find that if I keep my meals flavoursome and varied I am much more likely to stick to them.
A favourite in this house is my sticky Asian salmon that we serve with rice noodles and stir fry veg but is equally as yummy with rice or simply on its own.
Sticky Asian Salmon
- 3tbsp runny honey
- 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- Thumb sized amount of grated ginger
- 2tbsp soy sauce
- Half a side of salmon
- Line a baking tray with enough foil to sit the salmon on and cover over the top.
- Mix together all the above ingredients and cover the salmon
- Leave to marinade in the fridge for 30 mins or overnight if you can
- Cover and place in a preheated oven 180 C/gas mark 6 for 20 mins
- Cook uncovered for a further 5 mins and then serve
A mince pie is a must at Christmas, especially washed own with a nice glass of mulled wine!Sometimes the traditional mince pie can get a little boring. My Grandma always used to make her mince pies with puff pastry and I always liked the lightness of this so I have made something a little different by tuning them into pinwheels that are a little like a Chelsea bun minus the icing.
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 1 large jar minced meat
- I beaten egg
- Sprinkling of granulated sugar
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200C or 180C fan oven whilst lining A large baking tray with greasproof paper.
- Lightly sprinkle the sugar over the worktop and roll out the pastry so increase they’re size by about another 6cm.
- Take the mincemeat and spread across the pastry leaving a border of around 2cm on each long edge.
- Once covered take one long edge and roll I into the mincemeat and keep rolling until you make a long sausage shape.
- Brush the beaten egg along the last free edge and stick together. Place this in the fridge and cool for around 20mins. Once cooled remove from the fridge and cut into slices about 4cm wide. Place into the baking sheet and press down with the ball of your hand to flatten slightly.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20mins or until they are golden brown.
- Once ready allow to cool for 5mins and the serve warm. They would be yummy with a big dollop of double cream!
I always like to make something for the children’s teachers at the end of term as the children can then get involved with the whole process and feel really proud when they hand it over to their teacher.
This Christmas we have made some yummy candy cane bark which is so easy to do.
Candy Cane Bark
- 800g white chocolate
- Box of 12 candy canes
- 2tsp peppermint flavouring
- In a bowl bash the candy canes until broken into small pieces.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water.
- Add the broken candy canes and peppermint flavouring to the chocolate and mix well.
- Pour the mixture into a shallow baking tray lined with greasproof paper and place in the fridge for around 30/40 mins.
- Once hardened break into random pieces.
I took some cellophane and placed the bark into the centre and gathered at the top with some Christmas ribbon and attached a gift tag.
What do you normally but for your children’s teachers at the end of term?
There is nothing better than a lovely warming cup of hot chocolate and a yummy biscuit with the cold weather in the lead up to Christmas.
I’ve made some pretty biscuits that are allergy friendly and can be balanced on the side of your favourite mug or cup and decorated any way you like.
Christmas Cup Biscuits
- 300g Gluten free flour
- 150g soft brown sugar
- 150g dairy free margarine
- 1 egg equivalent of egg replacer
- 2tsp all spice
- 250g icing sugar
- Juice half an orange
- Preheat the oven to 180c/Gas Mark 4 whilst lining two large baking trays with greasproof paper.
- Mix together the flour, and sugar and then rub together the butter and egg replacer to make fine breadcrumbs. Leave it in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
- Once chilled roll out onto a floured surface until it is about 1cm thick. Take any festive cutter you like and cut out the shapes. Once out then cut a small rectangle into the bottom of each biscuit slightly larger than the rim of your cup.
- Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes whist mixing the icing sugar and orange juice to make the icing.
- Once the biscuits have been taken out and cooled place your icing into a piping bag and pipe on your design.
- When the icing has set serve on the side of a cup of hot chocolate.