Posted in food

Turkey Burgers

Who doesn’t love a good burger? They are a great food for all times of the year, you can have them on the Barbecue or you can cook them on the grill. They are the perfect food for all the family to enjoy.

When we have a food that is super tasty and loved by us all, I will always look for a way to make it healthier. And as beef mince is not the healthiest of meats for us to be eating, I thought I would give Turkey Burgers a go.

This recipe is super simple and easy to make, and Isabelle really enjoyed getting messy with me and making the burger for us to eat for our dinner that night. They were full of flavour and went really well with a side salad, and brioche burger buns, and since first making this recipe I have now made it about 3 times (I only made it for the first time 2 weeks ago). I cannot wait for the summer season when I can attempt to make these burgers to put on the barbecue, and perfect the flavours with a kind of smokiness that the BBQ brings.

Ingredients:

  • Turkey Mince
  • 4 Spring Onions (finely chopped)
  • about 3-4 spoonfuls of Plain Yoghurt (I used Greek)
  • Breadcrumbs (from about 2 slices of bread)

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients together
  2. Mould into little balls, and squash a little to make a burger shape
  3. Leave in the fridge for about 10-30 mins
  4. Cook on the grill about 3-5 mins each side (or until golden on both sides and cooked through)
  5. Serve in a bun with some mayo, salad and homemade chips.

There you have it. It really is a super simple recipe that tastes absolutely amazing.

Enjoy! x

Posted in food

Chocolate Heaven Cake

Who doesn’t like a chocolate cake?

While we are stuck in another lock down, we need a pick me up, and this cake has definitely been that for us. It is very light, and moist, and the flavour is intense and just delicious. With a dark chocolate and white chocolate ganache to fill and top the cake, this cake really does hit the spot when you are in need of that sweet treat.

I have always loved a chocolate cake, and the best part was always that I would help my mum in the kitchen to make one. The recipe that I have used today is actually from Mary Berry, as I have lost my mums recipe and am in need of replacing it as soon as possible. (I haven’t got the heart to tell her I’ve lost it). What I think makes anything you cook and bake taste even better is when you make it with your mum, (or daughter/son), and I definitely think this cake tastes better for me and Isabelle compared to everyone else who has tried it.

So here is my take on the Mary Berry recipe that I have adapted for us, and made the only way I know how. (I only used the ingredients she gives, I didn’t follow her instructions).

Ingredients

  • 250g Self Raising Flour
  • 250g Butter / Margarine
  • 250g Caster Sugar (I used Brown Sugar)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 tsp cocoa powder (Isabelle did 6, I didn’t really mind, and it tasted great so she must know something)

For the Ganache’s

  • dark chocolate (we used the sharing bag of Bournville chocolate buttons)
  • White Chocolate (We used the sharing bag of dairy milk white chocolate buttons)
  • Single Cream (we were supposed to use double but single cream was all we had)
  • Icing sugar (I have no idea how much I just did it by eye)

When you cook and bake all the time, or a lot, measurements tend to go out the window. Usually I try to take a note of how much ingredients I am using but sometimes it is nearly impossible.

Method

  1. Line 2 cake tins with greased proof paper, and preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  2. Cream the sugar and butter together
  3. Add in flour and mix
  4. Next add the rest of the ingredients, leaving out the cocoa powder, and mix well. I use an electric whisk to do this to get as much air into the mixture as possible.
  5. Add in the cocoa powder and continue to mix until the batter is smooth and airy.
  6. split mixture into 2 and pour into lined cake tins.
  7. put into oven for 20-25 mins until cooked all the way through.

Tip: Don’t open the oven door until the cake is cooked as it will spoil the rise.

To Make the GANACHE

  1. Melt the chocolate (you are making 2 ganaches, one white chocolate and one dark chocolate so melt the chocolates separately)
  2. Mix in 2 tbsp of single cream. You are looking for a thick cream consistency, continue to add cream by tbsp until it reaches this consistency.
  3. Add in 2 tbsp of icing sugar.
  4. Mix well – this will cause the creamy texture to toughen a little.
  5. Decorate on cake. White chocolate in the centre of the sandwich and dark chocolate on the top.
  6. ENJOY!!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe, if you have any questions feel free to contact me and ask me anything. I am always happy to help.

Much Love

If you wish to see my car crash of a tutorial please see my video below.

Posted in food

Mummy’s Sausage Hot Pot

I love a one pot dish. They are so simple to make, and yet can have many complexities to them. My sausage hot pot is a kind of casserole. This is a recipe that my mum used to make for me on a cold winters night, she would put it on first thing in the morning, we would all go to work and school, and when we get back we have a wonderful dish to eat for dinner.

Sausage casserole was one of my favourite meals that my mum would cook. It’s super tasty and really easy to make. You can add or take away any of the veg that you throw into this dish, and the more you play with the sauce the better the dish becomes.

I always love to cook with Isabelle and this is one dish she absolutely loves to make with me. As soon as she sees the slow cooker come out she is right there by my side ready to throw all the veg into the pot for me and stir. This recipe is so simple that even a three year old can make it. Getting children to cook from an early age is a brilliant way to set them up with the skills they need for life, they learn where their food comes from, that it takes time to make a good meal, and that they should be eating at least ONE hot meal a day. Ever since Isabelle could walk she has been assisting me in the kitchen, and I will be making sure that she continues to do so until she is old enough to cook dinner herself.

My Sausage Casserole Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 6 sausages
  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped, or crushed)
  • 1 Veg stock cube (Or chicken as an alternative – I used chicken in the video)
  • 3 carrots (chopped small)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of baked beans
  • 2 handfuls of mushrooms (chopped)

I don’t really measure the ingredients as I like to cook by eye. It means that there is no right or wrong with the amount of ingredient you put into the dish, but you can put in as little or lot as you like.

Method:

  1. Start of by browning the sausages, this will only take a few minutes, and you just want a little bit of colour on each side of the sausages.
  2. Add in the onions, garlic and leek and cook a little until soft.
  3. Once the veg is softened slightly add in the remaining ingredients and leave to cook for 1 hr on the slow cooker. (Alternatively you can cook in the oven on the lowest setting, cooking times may vary in the oven so keep an eye on your hotpot!)
  4. At about 1 hr add in any herbs and seasoning you wish to have in your casserole, and anything else you think it may need (we sometimes add in a drizzle of wine, or Worcestershire sauce, and once we tried mango chutney which was quite nice!) Leave for another 30 mins to 1 hr
  5. Make sure the sausages are cooked through, and serve with mashed potato

There you have it, the simple tasty sausage casserole that I make nearly every fortnight. It is great for those busy days where you haven’t really got a lot of time to cook dinner, as you can make it first thing in the morning and keep it on a low heat until you are ready to eat.

Enjoy!

Much love xx

Posted in food

Mum’s Carbonara

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.

Ingredients

  • 350g dried tagliatelle
  • 150g smoked bacon chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150ml double cream
  • 50g parmesan
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

How I make it

  1. Cook pasta and drain
  2. Fry bacon for 4-5mins
  3. add to drained pasta and 1tbsp olive oil
  4. Put eggs in a bowl, add cream, whisk together
  5. add to pasta (while pasta still warm) and add cheese
  6. mix well
  7. 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.

I hope you find this as easy and tasty as I do.

Enjoy! xx

Posted in food

Ham Hock Mac and Cheese

Cheese and pasta, what’s not to like?!

I love a macaroni cheese, it is such a versatile meal. You can have it as a starter, a side dish or a main meal. And my gosh it is great!

I love to mix up the recipe a little adding different ingredients and making it something special each time.

For this recipe I added ham (forgot tomatoes) and a small teaspoon of yellow mustard. It tasted amazing and belles absolutely loved it. Paired with a side salad and some garlic bread this dish becomes a full on meal.

Ingredients

  • 375g macaroni pasta
  • 125g butter
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1ltr milk
  • 2tbsp dijon mustard
  • 300g gruyere grated
  • 150g extra mature cheddar grated
  • 500g ham hock shredded
  • 100g fresh breadcrumbs

How I made it

  1. Cook pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water until just tender. drain and toss in olive oil.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pan, stir in flour and cook out for a few mins. heat the milk separately, then whisk into the flour and butter over a low heat until thickened. stir in the mustard and all the cheese keeping back about 5tbsp
  3. Heat the oven to 190c/ gas 5. mix sause into pasta add ham. Put into large dish and top with breadcrumbs and remaining cheese.
  4. Bake in oven for 20mins or until golden.

There you have it! My wonderful take on a macaroni cheese. Look out for more of my macaroni recipes as I explore this dish with more flavours!

Much love

Emma xxx

Posted in food

Creamy Leek and Kale Lasagne

A lasagne has been a family favourite for decades in my household, but I was beginning to get a little tired of having the same lasagne everytime. I decided to try and change it up a little, and this is the kind of lasagne that I created.

Ingredients

  • 300g Kale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 leeks thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • juice of half lemon
  • 150g mascarpone
  • 200g ricotta
  • 150ml veg stock
  • 4 tbsp basil pesto
  • lasagne sheets
  • parmesan, grated

How I made it

  1. preheat oven to 200c/180c fan/ gas mark 6. Grease baking dish with olive oil
  2. bring pan of salted water to boil. add kale. cook for 4-5 mins then drain. pat dry with kitchen paper
  3. heat olive oil in pan over medium heat. add leeks and season generously. cook for 8-10 mins
  4. add garlic and thyme and cook for 2 mins. add kale, lemon juice, mascarpone and ricotta (leave 4 tbsp for later. mix to combine well
  5. add veg stock to loosen into a thick sauce. remove from heat
  6. spread 1/4 of sauce into bottom of dish. dollop 1 tablespoon of pesto, then layer with lasagne sheets. do this until all sauce has been used. end with lasagne sheets.
  7. mix the last bits of ricotta with a splash of stock, spread over the top layer. add grated parmesan.
  8. bake for 20 mins until golden and bubbling.

There were mixed reviews about this dish, my little one decided it was “yucky” before even trying it but everyone else seemed to enjoy it as an alternative to the standard type.

Let me know what you think! Will you be trying this as well??

Enjoy xx

Posted in food

Chicken, Bacon and Spinach Fettuccine Alfredo

Pasta is such a simple dish to make, you can literally throw anything you like into it and it makes it something special.

I love to pack my pasta dishes full of veg and goodness, but sometimes I let us have a naughty binge with our pasta.

The Chicken Alfredo is my twist on a classic carbonara and is super delicious. Served with a side salad or a slice of garlic bread it is a wonderful treat for all.

Ingredients

  • 320g fettuccine or tagliatelle
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 6 streaky bacon rashers chopped
  • 4 chicken fillets
  • salt and black pepper
  • knob of butter
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 200g mushrooms sliced thickly
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 220ml cream
  • 200ml whole milk
  • handful parsley
  • 100g spinach chopped
  1. Put the pasta on to cook according to package instructions
  2. heat olive oil in large pan over med heat, cook bacon until crisp and golden
  3. season chicken with salt and pepper add to pan which bacon was cooked in. cook for 3-4 mins each side until golden and just cooked through. transfer to plate with bacon, cover with foil to keep warm
  4. melt butter in same pan, add onion, cook for 3-4 mins until soft. add mushrooms and cook for 6-8 mins until golden. Add garlic and cook for around 30secs
  5. add cream and milk, summer for 8-10mins or until begins to thicken. add in chicken and bacon. season to taste.
  6. add cooked pasta, fresh parsley and spinach, stir to combine. warm through for 1-2mins.
  7. serve with parmesan

This is a really quick and simple dish that tastes amazing. My little girl didnt think so though! She much preferred the garlic bread, but you win some you lose some. X

Let me know what you think about this recipe and if you’re going to give it a try x

Enjoy! Xx

Posted in food

Tuna Pasta Bake

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.

Ingredients

  • 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.

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180c
  2. Put the pasta on to boil as per packet instructions.
  3. Melt the butter over a low heat, and add the flour in gradually. Heat through for around 3 mins.
  4. Gradually whisk in the milk and simmer (but continuously stirring so the milk doesn’t burn) until a thick sauce has developed.
  5. Add in the tomato puree and heat through until completely mixed in.
  6. Add in Tuna and Sweetcorn until heated.
  7. Drain Pasta and mix into the sauce.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Much Love xx

Emma x

Posted in food

Chicken and Ham Pie

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.

Ingredients

  • 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
  • black pepper

Method

  1. Put chicken, ham, cream, gravy, tarragon, cornflour, mustard and pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Mix well
  3. Leave to marinate over night
  4. Spoon filling into a shallow baking dish.
  5. cover with pastry, trim to fit
  6. brush with beaten egg
  7. cook for 30-35mins
  8. 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.

I hope you enjoy this recipe

Much love xx

Posted in food

Nan’s Fish Pie

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.

Ingredients

For the Mash
  • 5 med potatoes
  • milk
  • butter
  • ground black pepper

For the Filling
  • Fish pie mix (defrosted)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 3 hard boiled eggs (cut into 4)
  • Grated cheese
  • 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.

Method

  1. Peel and chop the potatoes into small pieces. Put them on to boil.
  2. Boil the eggs for 12 mins ~(to get hard boiled)
  3. Once boiled leave the eggs to cool for 10mins then peel and cut into 4 pieces
  4. Once the potatoes are soft drain the water and add a knob of butter and splash of milk
  5. mash the potatoes and add more milk or butter to the consistency you like, set aside for later
  6. Pour a cup of milk into a pan and bring to boil.
  7. Add the fish, let simmer for around 5-10 mins.
  8. remove fish and add flour and parsley to the milk, mix well until smooth and it thickens
  9. add in the peas, simmer until they are heated through
  10. add in fish, and eggs
  11. set into a pie dish (I used a lasagne dish)
  12. layer the mashed potato on top, run a fork in the potato to make ridges
  13. top with cheese
  14. 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.

Enjoy xx