Tag Archives: Recipes

Can you help me with healthy eating?

12 Apr

I started this year with great intentions of eating more healthily. I was frustrated that I wasn’t really eating five fruit or veg a day when it’s really not hard if you plan your meals right.

For breakfast I would have some juice, and cereal or porridge with dried or fresh fruit and I was getting 3 or 4 of my five-a-day before I left for work. I replaced more unhealthy snacks with seeds and crackers and planned healthy meals packed full of vegetables.

Our new years resolution helped because without the option of nipping out for take-away food I had to plan what we would eat and I had to cook every night. We wasted less food and saved money.

Sounds great, right? Well life tends to get in the way sometimes. Getting ill seems to have knocked everything off balance for us at the moment. I haven’t been cooking, I haven’t been shopping, I haven’t really been cleaning and my new years resolution has gone down the drain. I’ve just been rushing around dreaming of the moment that I can walk through the door and collapse into bed.

More annoyingly I know that it is a catch 22 situation. If I don’t eat properly then I’ll have less energy to get better and actually enjoy life. Arrggh!

My sweet friend Gill is currently taking part in a project called Raw Food Rehab which intrigues me. It’s an 11 week programme called Go Fresh! where you have to try and eat as much raw, fresh food as you can. I won’t be taking part as hubby won’t really want to play along, but it’s a good principle to be thinking of when you plan meals.

Anyway, in order to try and get myself back on track I need your help {and I need to sleep for a 1000 years}. Please can you comment or link me to some quick, simple but nutritious meals or let me have your tips for healthy eating in a rush?

Thanks friends! 🙂


All you need is LOVE challenge – day 4

10 Feb

Today’s question over at the Valentine’s Swap and Challenge is

For Valentine’s Day I {LOVE} to bake/cook… {share a recipe!}

Regular readers will know my opinions on Valentine’s Day, so we don’t normally cook anything special. But I thought I would share one my all-time favourite recipes for special occasions/ entertaining.
It looks and tastes amazing but is VERY simple a quick to prepare.

Salmon Parcels with Watercress Sauce (serves 4 – easily halved)

I think this was originally off a Sainsbury’s recipe Card, but I have been making it since my early teens so I can’t remember! The chill of the watercress sauce is just lovely with the warm flakiness of the salmon. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it!

  • 1 Tbsp of butter, melted
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • sprigs of fresh dill (I never use this as I never have dill around!!!)
  • 4 salmon steaks
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 40g butter
  • 175g fromage frais
  • 75g pack of fresh watercress, finely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°;F, Gas Mark 4.

2. Brush 4 sheets of foil with melted butter.

3. Divide the onion between each piece of foil, and place a sprig of dill on the onion.

4. Place one salmon steak on top of the onion and dill and squeeze over the lemon juice.

5. Add seasoning to taste and a knob of butter.

6. Wrap the foil around the fish to form a parcel and place on a baking tray in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, pour the fromage frais in a bowl and stir in the chopped watercress with seasoning to taste.

8. Remove the salmon from the foil and serve with the sauce and new potatoes.

Head on over to Neely’s; Sam’s or Courtney’s blog to link up and browse some other recipes!

Swirling emotions and soup

3 Feb

I’ve been sitting here trying to work up the motivation to post but my mind is all over the place. I’m super tired because I was in the prayer room at church at stupid o’clock this morning and it’s only a few hours until I see my sweet hubby again after his interview.

[THANK YOU to all who have been praying…it’s going okay, but it’s been hard going, as expected. I’ll post more when I’ve actually been able to speak to him properly]

Instead of writing something meaningful I’ll simply share this soup recipe that Josh made last week, and hope to see you back tomorrow for a five fact Friday.

Broccoli Soup with goat’s cheese
(adapted from a recipe bbcgoodfood) Serves 4-6

1 tbsp Olive Oil
900g Broccoli
50g Butter
1 Large onion
1l veg stock
600ml full fat milk
100g soft goat’s cheese

1. Chop the broccoli stalks and florets, but keep them separate. Melt the butter in a pna, then add the onion, broccoli stlks and fry for 5mins until soft. Add the florets and stock, then the milk. Cover and simmer for 8 minutes until the broccoli is tender.

2. Blend in a food processor or hand blender. [hopefully your blender won’t break at this point, showering you with soup, like mine did].

3. To serve, reheat if necessary and scatter with goats cheese.

Banana and Toffee Cupcakes

24 Jan

A couple of weeks ago I bought ‘Cupcakes’ by Sue McMahon for my friend for her birthday. She’s just got into baking and this book stood out from others in the book store as it was filled with recipes that I thought she’d actually cook. Do you ever find that with recipe books? There are only a couple of recipes you’d actually attempt and the rest are too complicated or are filled with random ingredients?

Anyway, I was saying to Josh how good it looked and how many of the recipes I would like to try and so being the sweety he is he bought it for me as a surprise! AND he used one of his own Christmas vouchers so we wouldn’t break our new year resolution. Lovely, lovely man.

I’ve already made a few of the cupcakes [much to Josh’s delight – I’m not sure how altruistic the gift really was!!!!], and would definitely recommend this book.
This week I made banana and toffee cupcakes. The cupcakes include mashed banana and I wasn’t sure if I really liked them at first, but they have been growing on me.
I think I boiled the toffee for too long too as it doesn’t look like the picture in the book. It’s still very tasty though.
Let me know if you try them and if you like them.

Toffee and Banana Cupcakes

For the toffee topping

–          100g butter
–          125g condensed milk
–          50g caster sugar
–          1 tbsp golden syrup (and one extra for eating when no-one is looking)

For the cupcakes

–          100g butter, softened
–          100 soft light brown sugar
–          2 medium eggs
–          100g self-raising flour
–          1 ripe banana, mashed

1. Make the topping:
Place the butter in a large bowl and melt it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir in the other ingredients and cook the topping for another 4-7 minutes in the microwave. I let mine boil for quite a while and I think I did it too much, so keep an eye on it and stir after every minute.
Leave the topping to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 190⁰/375⁰F/Gas 5

3. To make the cupcakes, beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and flour and beat until the mixture is smooth. Fold in the mashed banana.
Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases and bake for 15 minutes.

4. Leave the cupcakes to cool and then spread the cooled toffee topping over them, and scatter over some chocolate sprinkles.

Can’t cook, or won’t cook?

22 Jan

I’ve  just been making some toffee cupcakes [a new recipe – I’ll post it if they turn out okay!] and got to wondering about people who can and cannot cook.

So, I’ve got a question for you to answer down in the comments section…

Do you think you can cook, and if not, why not?

I really appreciate my mum teaching me to cook. I’ve grown up eating good home-made food and I’ve been cooking on my own since I was about ten years old. I wouldn’t say I’m an amazing cook but I can confidently put a meal together for guests and I enjoy making new things.

However, I know people that get in a cold sweat when they think about preparing a meal and don’t have the first clue about how to cook certain things, or about portion sizes.

Why do you think this is? Surely anyone can follow a recipe? Maybe it’s just a case inexperience? Or are there simply just people who cannot cook?

I look forward to hearing what you think…!

When good muffins go bad

17 Jan

Okay…so I’m only posting this picture to encourage you. To make you feel better that everyone has bad days where their cooking goes horribly wrong.

So here we go…


Think I over filled the cases much?!

They might look bad (and I apologise for the TERRIBLE photo!) but they still taste pretty good.

Chocolate Muffins

–          250g Self Raising Flour
–          25g Cocoa
–          2 tsp baking powder
–          175g Caster Sugar
–          175ml Milk
–          2 large eggs
–          100ml Oil
–          75g Choc chunks
–          1-2 tsp vanilla extract
–          Handful of mini marshmallows

1. Preheat the oven to 180⁰C and line a muffin tin with cases and put a few mini marshmallows in the bottom of each case.

2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder into a bowl and gently stir in the sugar. Stir in the other ingredients until mixed and smooth.

3. Spoon the mixture into the cases (about half full) and bake for 20 mins.

I think this recipe should make about 14 muffins? But as you can tell from my monstrous results I used too much mixture in each case and made 11 in total!

Let me know if it works for you.

P.S I’m trying to do lot more baking at the moment so if you’ve got any favourite recipes, be sure to share them in the comments!

Super Speedy Supper

11 Jan

Here’s what we had for tea tonight…


Pasta in a bag
Serves 2 (Easily doubled)

–          2oog Tagliatelle
–          4 tbsp green pesto
–          2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
–          240g prawns
–          1 garlic clove, crushed
–          White wine
–          Salt and Pepper

1.  Cut out two 30cm squares in greaseproof paper

2. Cook the Tagliatelle in boiling salted water for about 5 minutes, or until soft

3. Drain the pasta and stir in half of the pesto.

4. Put one tsp of olive oil into the middle of each of the squares of greaseproof paper and spread it out with the back of a spoon. Divide the pasta between the parcels.

5. Spoon the prawns on top of the pasta mixture. Season.

6. In a bowl combine the rest of the pesto with the crushed garlic and spoon it over the top of the pasta and prawns. Sprinkle with a little white wine.

7. Dampen the edges of the paper squares and wrap the parcels up, twisting the edges.

8. Place on a baking sheet and put in a preheated oven (200⁰C/ 400⁰F/Gas 6) for 15 mins.

9. Unwrap and enjoy with a side salad

Happy Tuesday : )

The art of feeding boys

11 Mar


No, I haven’t fallen off the edge of a cliff – but I have been cooking!

I’ve been thinking about getting this cookbook for a while…


If you’re a blogger and you haven’t heard of The Pioneer Woman, where have you been? If you aren’t a blogger and you haven’t heard of The Pioneer Woman, you should definitely go and check her site out!

Anyway, Amanda over at Growth Chart Moments blogged about one of PW’s recipes the other day and it pushed me over the edge into buying the book (AND I had an Amazon voucher so it was free, which might have had something to do with it!).

Even if you don’t ever buy this book go and check out PW’s recipe pages. She makes everything so simple but it tastes SO GOOD!


So, after getting inspiration from Amanda I decided to make Chicken Pot Pie.

On a side note, this recipe uses left over chicken. In my house we very rarely have left over chicken because we’re not a ‘roast’ kind of household. In my parents house growing up we have delicious roasts every Sunday, but because we have been on such a tight budget for the first two years of marriage we just never got into the habit. SO – we bought and roasted our very own chicken (actually Josh did it and I made ‘helpful’ comments) – our very own growth chart moment!!

Josh was out watching rugby the day that I cooked and, because we had already frozen our chicken before we roasted it I knew that I wouldn’t be able to reheat the pie once it had been cooked, so I told Josh to bring back some men from the rugby to help us eat it.

There is something very satisfying about feeding blokes who don’t feed themselves. These just-out-of –uni-still-eating-pasta-men tend to go into raptures about your food in ways that other people don’t. Very satisfying!
After we had eaten the pie (and had trifle for pudding) the boys took me out to try and teach me to play snooker.
Lets just say – I think they enjoyed my food more than I enjoyed their entertainment!!

SO, in short – go and check out the recipe for Chicken Pot Pie because it is super easy and very very very very yummy.

Over and out.