Slow Cooking With Homepride

[AD] Cooking for a large family with varying ages can be a challenge to say the least. There are always likes and dislikes, someone is hungry when someone else isn’t or there is a last minute friend turning up that needs feeding.

All of these issues with the need of serving them something nutritious as well as tasty can be mind blowing at times, but this is where my slow cooker is my saviour.

I bought my first slow cooker back before I can even remember now, after getting fed up with serving up a plate of beige food when I was pushed for time after the kids swimming lessons. We would get in late, they would be ravenous and I just reached for nuggets and chips or pizza as they were the quickest and easiest option. 

The more children I had and the more after school clubs that were happening, the more I was reaching for freezer food and I knew this wasn’t good for any of us.

The slow cooker came on the scene and I marveled at how I could prepare a whole range of meals that were healthy and filling in the morning, and this would be ready to eat as soon as we got in at night.

My narrow minded thoughts of them only being used to cook stews were quashed and over the years the different meals I have prepared have been so vast. The only thing that sometimes holds me up is having a bare cupboard as some recipes require a fair few ingredients and this is why I have been so pleased to discover the Homepride Slow Cooker range.

Homepride slow cooker sauces are concentrated sauces that once added to a few simple ingredients creates a perfectly slow cooked meal packed with flavour in three simple steps.

For me the sauces are perfect for those times when you are in a real rush as all the flavour is packed into this handy little pouch for you which is so convenient when you are pushed for time…or inspiration.

Big families also come with big food bills and these Homepride sauces are extremely budget friendly as there is no need for a high list of ingredients which you can find with some recipes.

As I said earlier, another hurdle I face with my gang is needing to please everyone’s tastes which is no mean feat! The Homepride sauces offer chilli con carne, chicken curry, beef and ale and BBQ pulled pork. My mini critics are a hard bunch to please but I can honestly say each recipe was a winner.

The issue was choosing which sides to have, but because the recipes are so quick and easy to prepare I didn’t mind adding a few different side dishes to please everyone.

The beef and ale worked perfectly served with a creamy mash that I had made in advance, and for my potato fearing kids, chunks of fresh bread worked well. The pulled pork was the perfect after school meal as it could be piled inside floury baps with a big green salad.

The favourite for us though was the chilli con carne. I can never get the combination of spices right and the Homepride sauce gave me a rich sauce with just the right amount of spice.

Head over to my highlights on Instagram to see a step by step guide of how I made it and please let me know what you think if you give it a try.

Tear And Share Picnic 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
  1. Cut 2cm slices into the tiger bread stoping just before the bottom.
  2. Mix together the mayonnaise, garlic and herbs and spread a generous amount into each side of the bread.
  3. Into each section place a mixture of meat, mozzarella cheese, peppers and tomatoes.
  4. 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.
  5. Once cooled wrap in brown paper and pack up ready for your picnic.

Allergy Free Apple, Blackberry And Rhubarb Crumble

  
I love nothing more than saving a few pennies on the food shop so today we headed into town to pick up some bargains from the butchers and the greengrocer.  On the way back we stopped and picked a few handfuls of blackberries that are still around.

During the summer I very rarely make any puddings so as the weather is now on the turn I thought tonight would be great to have a yummy crumble. 

This recipe is great if you suffer with food allergies but can easily be converted to your usual ingredients.

Allergy Free Apple, Blackberry And Rhubarb Crumble

  • 120 wheat free flour
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 60g dairy free spread
  • 150g cooking apples
  • 30g demerara sugar
  • 30g dairy free spread
  • 100g blackberries
  • 150grhubarb
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan or Gas Mark 5.  
  2. Add 60g dairy free spread, sugar and flour to a bowl a drub together making a breadcrumb like mixture.
  3. Next put the 30g of dairy free spread and demerara sugar onto a saucepan and melt together for a few minutes.  Stir in the rhubarb and apple along with the cinnamon and cook for a few minutes.  Add the blackberries and cook for another couple of minutes.  Remove from the heat and place into a deep gratin dish.
  4. Lastly poor the crumble mixture over the top and place in the oven for around twenty minutes.

  
Sadly we forgot the custard so had it served by itself. I think we might have to get some for the leftovers tomorrow!

What is your favourite fruit to add to a crumble?

 

   

Allergy Free Cottage Pie

  
With the colder weather and darker nights drawing in a firm family favourite has appeared back on our menu…cottage pie goes down well with all of the children and this recipe makes it safe for number four too.

Allergy Free Cottage Pie

  • 1kg Minced Beef
  • 2 Chopped Onions
  • 3 Sliced Carrots
  • 2 Cloves Chopped Garlic
  • 3 tbsp Wheat Free Flour
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 850ml Wheat Free Beef Stock
  • Sprigs Of Thyme
  • 1 1/2kg Chopped Potatoes
  • 220ml Oat Milk
  • 25g Dairy Free Margarine


  1. Heat a little oil in a large pan and brown the mince.  Next add the vegetables and cook for around twenty minutes.  Add the puree, flour and garlic and cook for another few minutes.  Add the stock and herbs and cook uncovered for about 45 minutes.
  2. Place the potatoes into a pan of boiling water and cook until soft. Once ready drain and mash together with the milk and margarine.
  3. Lastly spoon the meat into a large ovenproof dish and spoon the mash potato into the top. Score all over with a fork and cook for 30 minutes in the oven at Gas Mark 7, 220C/200 Fan.
  4. Once bubbling and golden it will be ready to serve.

There is always a big debate in this house as to how it is served.  My favourite is fresh green vegetables and the the others favour baked beans.  What is your favourite accompaniment?