Yum, back to pasta. A wonderful invention set to make amazing meals in no time at all, and yet they are healthy and super tasty. So yes, this blog will be full of many different pasta meal ideas. Sorry.
Carbonara is an Italian classic that everyone has heard of and probably tried. I have managed to find a way to make this dish super easy and tasty every time. I have tried hundreds of different methods to make a carbonara and this is the one that is the winner for me.
350g dried tagliatelle
150g smoked bacon chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large eggs
150ml double cream
2 tbsp chopped parsley
How I make it
Cook pasta and drain
Fry bacon for 4-5mins
add to drained pasta and 1tbsp olive oil
Put eggs in a bowl, add cream, whisk together
add to pasta (while pasta still warm) and add cheese
serve with parsley on top
This is a very simple and easy meal to cook and goes down a treat with my daughter and household. I usually serve with a herby bread and salad followed by a fruity dessert.
This is a dish that can be used as a packed lunch. I used to have Tuna Pasta Bake for lunch hundreds of times at school. It’s a sure fire way to make sure that little ones are getting a healthy meal, and is perfect for those busy days when school is over. On an evening when you have football, dance, piano, karate, anything that your children might do, giving them a meal at lunch means that they can have a lighter option for their dinner.
Nobody likes to have a hungry child.
As stated above, this is a recipe which I used when I was a child. My mum used to make it, and then she taught me.
That’s what cooking is about though, right? Finding a recipe which everyone likes and passing your version of it down generation after generation. You add in “secret ingredients” or you mix everything in a particular way to get the taste/texture etc, you desire.
Cooking is all about experimenting and that is what I do with my food everyday. I make sure to teach my little one (who’s only 3) the basics of cooking every time I make something, and as she gets older she will do more. Cooking is a fundamental skill which we all need in order to survive. It brings us joy, flavour, colour, and taste. It makes our lives brighter and better. More importantly, it keeps us alive.
So here is my recipe for a wonderful Tuna Pasta Bake.
Pasta (usually a cup of pasta per mouth, plus one for luck)
2 tins of tuna
1 small tin of sweetcorn
1 knob of butter
100ml milk (or more if needed)
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp tomato puree
Cheese to serve
1 packet of plain crisps crushed (optional)
you can also add peppers or mushrooms if you desire which makes a slightly different dish, just as delicious.
Heat oven to 180c
Put the pasta on to boil as per packet instructions.
Melt the butter over a low heat, and add the flour in gradually. Heat through for around 3 mins.
Gradually whisk in the milk and simmer (but continuously stirring so the milk doesn’t burn) until a thick sauce has developed.
Add in the tomato puree and heat through until completely mixed in.
Add in Tuna and Sweetcorn until heated.
Drain Pasta and mix into the sauce.
Pour pasta into an oven proof dish. Top with Cheese and crushed crisps, place in oven for around 20 mins, or until golden and bubbling.
Serve up with a salad.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. This is a super scrummy dish that I think is perfect for lunch, instead of always having sandwiches in different varieties.
This recipe has been handed down to me by my mum and each time we add something to it to make it our own. This is something I make when I have a fair amount of time as it can take a little time to make (especially if you make the pastry yourself).
What I love about this pie is that it is jam packed full with ingredients and so you only need a small amount of it before you are full. Paired with mini roast potatoes and fresh veg this is a great dish for a cold winters day, it’s warming and filling and that’s exactly what you need when you have hungry mouths to feed that never seem to be full.
I recommend you make the filling for this pie the day before you are going to cook it as that ensures that the meat is infused with the different flavours, making for a tastier dish that you just won’t be able to resist.
4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
100g cooked ham
150ml double cream
75ml chicken gravy
2 tbsp fresh tarragon
1 tsp cornflour
1/2 tsp english mustard
250g ready rolled puff pastry
1 med egg beaten
Put chicken, ham, cream, gravy, tarragon, cornflour, mustard and pepper in a large bowl.
Leave to marinate over night
Spoon filling into a shallow baking dish.
cover with pastry, trim to fit
brush with beaten egg
cook for 30-35mins
serve hot with veg and potatoes.
You can also blind bake some puff pastry with baking beads for about 10 mins before putting the filling inside it. This makes it a bit more of a traditional pie, rather than a hot pot with a topping.
A Fish Pie is full of protein, veg and yummy goodness. This is something that my dad used to make all the time when I was little, and when I asked him where he got the recipe from he told me it was from my nan.
Since having the recipe I have adapted it and moulded it to my tastes and to something that my little one is more likely to eat. I have now got my fish pie to an almost perfect state, but I know it is missing something, and I hope to one day find out what that is and then share it with you.
For the Mash
5 med potatoes
ground black pepper
For the Filling
Fish pie mix (defrosted)
2 cups milk
2 tsp cornflour
3 hard boiled eggs (cut into 4)
1 tbsp parsley
2 cups of frozen peas
A knob of butter
Pinch of pepper
As I said at the beginning of this post there is something missing from this ingredients list and I still haven’t worked out what it is. But that’s what cooking is isn’t it? one big experiment with food.
Peel and chop the potatoes into small pieces. Put them on to boil.
Boil the eggs for 12 mins ~(to get hard boiled)
Once boiled leave the eggs to cool for 10mins then peel and cut into 4 pieces
Once the potatoes are soft drain the water and add a knob of butter and splash of milk
mash the potatoes and add more milk or butter to the consistency you like, set aside for later
Pour a cup of milk into a pan and bring to boil.
Add the fish, let simmer for around 5-10 mins.
remove fish and add flour and parsley to the milk, mix well until smooth and it thickens
add in the peas, simmer until they are heated through
add in fish, and eggs
set into a pie dish (I used a lasagne dish)
layer the mashed potato on top, run a fork in the potato to make ridges
top with cheese
bake in the oven at 200c for 25-30 mins or until golden brown
Serve with veg of your choice.
This is dish very simple to make but does require a bit of your time, however if you have older children they could help you make the sauce or for a better result prepare the filling the night before you wish to make the pie so that the flavours are really infused.
I hope you enjoy this recipe, if you have any ideas on what could be missing please let me know.
Quiche is one of our summer go-to’s. It is a light and tasty dish which is perfect for a warm summers day paired with a wonderful salad. My salads usually consist of a selection of lettuce, tomatoes, celery, pepper and cucumber. I don’t use a dressing as I usually mix it with the products that I am pairing it with.
There are so many fillings that you can add to a quiche to make it your own, I am going to share with you the fillings that I used to make the one photographed. However the world is your oyster when it comes to the fillings that you can add to a quiche.
280g plain flour
140g cold butter
300ml double cream (or creme fraiche for a lighter filling)
a handful of tomatoes
50g grated cheese (I like to use a red cheese like red leister)
Making the Pastry
Rub flour and butter together until crumbs are made
Slowly add water until a dough is formed
Roll out pastry until desired size and put into the tin
leave in fridge for 20 mins
Heat oven to 180c
Prick base of tart, line with greaseproof paper and put baking beads on top.
Blind bake for 20 mins with beads then 5 mins without.
To make the filling
Prepare and cook filling items so semi cooked. (onions and peppers slightly softened)
Beat eggs, gradually add cream and seasoning (the mixture wont go thick but will stay a runny consistency)
Sprinkle parmesan over the base,
add filling ingredients
top with the cream mixture and cheese
Bake for 20-25 mins, until golden brown
leave to cool and remove from tin
While this is a slightly more complex recipe in terms of time it takes to make, this is an absolutely tasty delight once the recipe has been perfected. Since making this dish I have found that adding the cheese into the cream mixture makes it have a fuller taste. We have also found that bacon and other seasoning items such as pepper, basil, and parsley also go really well with a quiche.
I hope you enjoy this meal and have fun adding your own fillings and experimenting like I have been doing and still am!
There are so many fillings that you can have with a Jacket Potato. One of my favourites is a creamy leek and bacon filling. Both Leeks and Bacon go really well with potato so this combination is just perfect.
Jacket Potatoes are an incredibly easy and versatile meal. They can be used as a main meal, a lunch or as a side dish, and are perfect for all kinds of weathers. This is why I love a humble jacket potato, they are perfect for hundreds of different meals and meal types.
Jacket Potatoes (1 per person)
4 Rashers of Bacon
2 tablespoons flour
How I made it
Bake the Potatoes in the oven at 200c for about 30-45mins or until potatoes are soft.
Chop the Leeks into small chunks, cook until soft.
Grill the bacon. Cut into small pieces.
melt a knob of butter
stir in flour until a paste is made
add a splash of milk at a time until a sauce is formed. Mix continuously.
grate in cheese, and add salt and pepper to taste.
add in the leeks and bacon
serve with a sprinkling of cheese and a side salad.
An alternative you could add a teaspoon of mustard to add a twist to the sauce. It is a delicious creamy sauce and I am still experimenting with ways to make it better and different, because who likes to have the same thing over and over again?
I hope you enjoy this recipe and add your own alternative twists to it to make it yours.
In my previous post Easy peasy paella I posted about how we love a good rice dish in our household and often swap between these two very similar dishes.
So here is my absolute fave (against what everyone in the household feels) my vegetable risotto. I love the diversity that you get with a risotto as you can literally use anything that you find in the cupboard or fridge to make it something rather special. This is usually a dish that gets created at the end of the week right before we need to do a food shop.
Theres very little use me putting up an ingredients list as every risotto I make is different from the last, as I use whatever I have left in the fridge. Here is a list of the most commonly used ingredients in my risottos.
1 cup risotto rice per person
500ml boiling water
1 veg and 1 chicken stock cube (mixed in the water)
a knob of butter
2 cloves garlic
1 cup peas
mushrooms (usually about half a punnet)
salt and pepper
cheese (any cheese you have left, cheddar works best with parmesan for topping)
Again, literally anything you can get your hands on to use up will work well. I have even used spinach, peppers, bacon lardons, left over chicken and prawns before and all taste great in a risotto.
In this Risotto I added some ham at the end just to give it a little extra colour.
How I made it
First and most importantly you want to prep your food and make sure it is all ready to be cooked. chop the onions and garlic, mushrooms, leaks and any other ingredients you might have that need to be cut (like bacon and chicken).
Once your food is prepped and ready to go then you can start.
fry the onions and garlic until the onions are softening,
add in the leeks and mushrooms (and any other ingredients you might be using, NOT frozen veg yet though)
pour in the rice (no stock yet) and cover in the butter
once covered slowly pour in the stock, making sure that the rice is covered with the liquid.
stir thoroughly and continuously. you don’t want the rice to stick to the sides. stirring continuously also allows for the edges of the rice to break down which will allow for the sauce to become creamy.
before all liquid is absorbed add in the frozen products (if you have any) like peas.
If rice is still quite hard add a splash of water
add in the cheddar and herbs/spices constantly mixing the mixture.
The mixture will become creamy right before your eyes.
taste it at this point so you can add in more herbs/spices or cheese as needed.
once the water has evaporated and been absorbed, the risotto is ready to be served.
I serve my risotto up with a mixed salad on the side or sometimes a garlic bread. I find it is a lot of fun to ask my little one to help me with the stirring, it allows me to have a free hand so I can add in the ingredients, and she gets to see the magic of the creamy texture happen right before her eyes.
Ah, Spaghetti and pasta in general. I love love love making pasta dishes as they are so quick and easy to make, and you can trick your lovely little ones into eating a whole host of vegetables. Psst, just don’t tell them what’s in there! Or if you do getting them to help prepare dinner somehow makes them more likely to eat the veggies which are put into dinner. I don’t know how but it’s MAGIC!
This dish is one that I whipped up with barely anything left in the house. I was very proud of myself and what’s more, it was a very tasty dinner.
I am one for using up everything we have in the house BEFORE doing a big shop, as I don’t like the idea of getting in new things to cook when you still have a freezer, or fridge or cupboard completely full of food. I personally think it’s wasteful as the reality of you ever using the products that are already there are slim to none, as you end up using the new products and forgetting about the old.
For this dish I had the option of using Spaghetti or Fusilli, and I find both pastas work in different ways. For this dish I wanted a pasta which sticks to the sauce and spaghetti seems to stick best to the sauces I have found. Also my daughter has an obsession with noodles, so if she is being particularly stubborn on not eating her food I will whip up some spaghetti (but call them noodles) and most of the time she will eat.
Ingredients I used
Spaghetti (enough for 3 people)
Handful of tomatoes
1 Chicken breast sliced and cooked (left over from the day before)
1/2 bag of fresh spinach
Rocket and salad to serve (Lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, sweetcorn, no dressing)
(since making this recipe I have also added broccoli)
How I made it
Boil the pasta
While the pasta is boiling oven bake the tomatoes for about 10 mins (this is when I also steam the broccoli)
when the pasta is cooked, take about 2 mugs of water from the pan before draining – you will be using the water in a bit.
pour all ingredients into a bowl (spaghetti, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, chicken, 1 cup of cheddar cheese and 1 cup of parmesan, and the pasta water) add any herbs and spices to taste – basil and pepper are what I tend to use.
Mix until a smooth creamy cheese sauce has been created. (I sometimes add a splash of milk, but find the water and cheese is perfectly good enough)
serve with a side salad and some rocket and parmesan on top.
and Voila! a super easy yummy treat for the family in under 20 mins
I hope you enjoy this meal and have fun adding in your own ingredients and making the food your own. As all I am doing is giving you ideas of easy and quick meals to do with a busy family, and these are created to me and my families tastes, so of course you can add in your own flavours to make them your own.
Flapjacks are a great treat for any family, and you can make them anyway you like. I added raisins to this batch that I made, but you could have them plain, or add anything that you desire into them such as dried mixed fruit or chocolate chips. I even tried making it using granola breakfast cereal once and that was delish.
The gooey centre and crisp outside is a sensation for little fingers and big alike. My daughter loves to make these and get covered in golden syrup and flour (as all toddlers do) and can’t refuse to help when she sees the ingredients on the side, and have a taste of one or two of them haha.
so here is all you need to know about how to make this simple flapjack:
100g Plain Flour
100g Brown Sugar
100g Raisins (or mixed fruit)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon Golden Syrup (or honey as an alternative)
you could change any of these ingredients to something else, for example you could use 200g of granola cereal instead of adding oats and fruit separately.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and grease a tin ready to turn the ingredients out onto. put to one side.
mix all dry ingredients together and set aside.
melt butter and golden syrup together until completely melted.
once melted add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix until completely covered
turn the mixture into the oven dish and make sure it is all of an even thickness. (if you want to make cookies instead, make little balls out of the mixture and put onto a baking tray at an equal distance, don’t flatten as they will do this in the cooking process)
Place in oven for approx 15 mins or until golden.
take out of the oven but leave in the tray until cool. whilst warm cut into squares or rectangles.
once cool they are ready to eat! yum yum x
I hope you have as much fun making these as I did with Isabelle. These make such a nice snack or even a lovely homemade present for someone (I know what i’m doing for some xmas presents haha)
If you attempt these I would love to see pictures and know what you changed if you changed anything, but these are so simple they are great for a first time baker or even just a little baker who is wanting to do something on a rainy day.
Don’t forget to watch my Youtube how to, to see how I made these and more info about these super yummy and easy snacks
This super simple Ice Cream recipe is one that has been passed down to me from my mum. It’s quick and easy to make and tastes amazing. My daughter absolutely loves helping make this (especially as she gets to lick the bowl clean after haha)
As stated in the title, there are only 2 ingredients you need:
500ml Double Cream (I use 600ml to save measuring the condensed milk)
300ml Condensed Milk (the cans come in 376ml)
How to Make it:
This is the easiest part ever!
Mix the two items together until they are thick and don’t fall off the spoon,