Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tzatziki Dip

Tzatziki is a cucumber and yogurt dip. It goes really well with SO many things. My personal favourite is with steak :) Also a great side if you have a spicy curry.


2 cucumbers, grated
1 cup Natural Yogurt
2 cloves garlic, Fine diced or crushed
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch white pepper
1 cup Sour Cream
Handful Fresh chopped chives to dress

Combine garlic, sour cream, yogurt, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Stir gently

Gently fold in cucumber

Chill for a few hours and top with fresh chopped chives before serving

Simply double recipe to feed more

**Suggested Use**

Use as a dressing in a steak sandwich served on Ciabatta

Chocolate Crepes

I made these yesterday. We are a crepe loving family. Trust me! You will probably read and think HUH really?! But YES trust me :)

Makes 8

1 cup plain flour (100g)
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp melted butter, cooled
1/2 cup milk (125ml)
1 tbsp sugar
Pinch Sea Salt
1 tbsp dark cocoa powder
80ml lemon & lime soda

In a large bowl add dry ingredients

Follow with milk, butter, eggs and egg yolks. Whisk to make a smooth batter and leave to rest. You can leave this over night if you wish but do let it settle for at least an hour 1/2.

Before use, add the soda

Heat a pan

Add some butter to pan if you wish. I don't add anything to mine

Using a ladle, add one scoop at a time. Move the pan to cover the edges to make thin crepes. They are ready to flip when bubbles appear through out the top.


Keep going until you have used the mix

Serve topped with powdered sugar

Pizza Rolls

A great way to get veggies into those picky eaters!

Serves 2-4

1 Sheet "Just Roll" puff pastry
1/4 courgette, sliced thin
1 red pepper, sliced
1/2 yellow pepper, sliced
1/4 cup tomato pasta sauce
Small handful spinach, chopped fine

Cooking time 15 mins

Pre-heat oven to 180C/ 356F

Lay defrosted pastry onto a baking tray covered with grease proof paper.

Cover with a layer of tomato sauce leaving a gap around the edge of roughly 1cm.

With the pastry horizontal, start placing the veg from the side closest to you. Roll while you are placing the veg so that you won't squeeze it out as you go. Once rolled, wet the inside of the over lap with water and press gently to seal.

Use a fork or skewer to pierce the whole roll several times

Pop into oven for 15 mins until crisp and golden

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tomato & Mascarpone Sauce

This is the sauce I used for the Gnocchi

Tablespoon of butter, melted
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, crushed or chopped fine
250g Mascarpone Cheese
Ground Black pepper
1 tbsp Tomato paste

Add butter, parmesan, milk, crushed garlic and mascarpone to a pot. Slowly heat and stir until smooth. Season with black pepper.

Add a small amount of tomato paste (for colour)and stir until you are happy with the colour. A light pinky colour.

DO NOT BOIL. You want to heat and stir until it forms a nice thick sauce.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Something to try if you never have before!

Gnocchi is a pasta alternative

Made from potato (very Irish) and wheat flour
Easily found in most supermarkets in vacuum packed bags

I serve it with a tomato and mascarpone sauce and some fresh crusty garlic bread.

Gnocchi is easily cooked by adding to boiling water. It is cooked once it floats. Once drained you can gently stir in your choice of sauce.

No recipe needed just give it a try if you never have!

(Don't forget your crusty garlic bread to mop up the sauce)

Puff Pizza

Great alternative to a pizza. I love pizza but I can't ignore the high calories.

Serves 4

1 sheet of Just Roll puff pastry
1 red pepper, chopped into chunks
1 yellow pepper, chopped into chunks
1 red onion, chopped into chunks
1 courgette, washed and chopped into chunks
1/4 cup tomato pasta sauce
1 beef tomato, sliced
125g mozzarella, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil

Ensure pastry is defrosted

To a baking tray add red & yellow peppers, onion and courgette and drizzle with olive oil. Pop into a pre heated oven at 180C/356F for 20 mins until nicely roasted.

Cover a flat tray with grease proof paper and lay pastry over it. Using a fork, poke a few holes through the pastry avoiding the edges. Insure there is always a 2cm edge free from holes and toppings.

Cover base with tomato sauce

Add roasted veg from the oven

Top with sliced tomato and mozzarella

Pop into pre heated oven at 200C/390F for 15 mins until pastry is cooked and mozzarella is melted.

Serve with french fries or crisp salad

Couscous with Meatballs

A nice alternative to heavy pasta meals

Our Toddler is a HUGE couscous fan

Serves 4

12 meatballs
1 red pepper, sliced
6 button mushrooms, sliced
1 red white onion, sliced
Jar Tomato & Basil Pasta sauce
1 packet Mediterranean couscous
1 tbsp olive oil

In a hot pan fry the peppers, onion and mushroom in olive oil until the onion is soft

Transfer to an oven proof dish. Add meatballs and pasta sauce. Pop into a pre heated oven 190C/375F for 45mins.

Meanwhile prepare couscous according to packet. Normally add boiling water and leave to sit for 5 mins. Then fluff with a fork.

Pretty simple meal that's a huge family hit!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mint Sauce


Bunch of fresh mint, finely chopped
4 tbsp boiling water
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar

Clean jar with lid for storage

Place finely chopped leaves into a jug and add sugar and boiling water. Stir and allow to cool. Add white wine vinegar a little at a time and taste to ensure you have the right amount of tang.

Mint crusted lamb

Serves 4

(Kid friendly with NO bones)


6 lamb chump chops (chops without bone)
4 slices of white bread, crumbed
4 tsp mint sauce
Salt & Pepper

In a bowl combine the bread crumbs and mint

Cover the top of each lamb chop in breadcrumbs pressing down firm

Season with salt and pepper

I suggest cooking in the oven on a grilling tray so that the fat will drip away from the lamb. Place in a pre-heated oven at 180C/365F for 15 to 20mins. You don't want to over cook lamb as it will dry.

Serve with creamy mashed potato and green beans.

**I will be adding the mint sauce recipe should you choose to make your own

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Peanut Pie

For this one I'm not going to be strict about amounts. It all depends on personal taste, dish size and who you want to feed.

I use quiche dishes for my base. You could also use mini cake dishes to make individual pies. You can also buy ready made bases from your local supermarket.


4 tbsp peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
1 cup icing sugar
1 sponge base
500ml vanilla custard (ready made or homemade)
1tbsp vanilla extract (If making custard)
200ml fresh cream.

If you will be making your own base you will want to bake it the day before to insure it is well cooled. I suggest making a sweet sponge base such as a Victoria sponge. Ensure you greasy the quiche dish before baking.

In a mixing bowl, add sugar and peanut butter. Using a hand mixer/blender combiner until it has the appearance of breadcrumbs. Sprinkle on top of the fresh sponge.

Next make up the custard according to packet. Remember to add the vanilla extract. Make the custard a little thicker than normal so that it will set quickly. Please note if you use ready made it will not set as well. Pour on top of pie and leave aside to cool.
Pop into the fridge once cooled for at least 2 hours. I like to leave it over night to the layer sets well.

When ready to serve you need to whip that cream! Personally I like to whip it by hand so I burn a few extra calories and don't feel so bad about eating it :)

Like I said the rules of measurement are not strict. It can all vary depending on taste and who you're feeding. This is the basic idea and so far has been a hit with anyone who tasted it. Especially my peanut loving 2 year old!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sausage Bake

Serves 4-6

500g Pork Sausages
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp Worcester sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced & deseeded
400g tin chopped tomatoes
150ml apple juice
250g cooked fusilli (or any shapped pasta)
150g edam cheese, chopped

Cook pasta

Place sausages onto a baking tray and into a pre-heated oven at 200C for around 15mins. Make a hole in each using a knife before placing in the oven.

In a medium sized bowl mix together the honey, ketchup & Worcester sauce.

Fry the onion and pepper in oil for 5 mins until soft.
Add tin tomatoes, apple juice and cooked pasta.

Once pasta is coated, pour into an oven proof dish

Remove sausages from oven and cut up into chunks. Marinade in sauce mix. Pour all mix and sausages on top of the pasta.

Top with cheese chunks and return to the oven for 20-25 mins until cheese has melted

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Moroccan Chicken & Chickpeas

Serves 4


1 tbsp olive oil
1-3 tsp Ras-El-Hanout spice
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced on angle & peeled
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 chicken fillets, sliced thinly
300ml boiling water
400g tin chickpeas, drained & washed
Handful chopped coriander
Crusty Bread to serve

Sweat onion and carrot in a hot pan with oil until soft

Remove and place aside

Add chicken to pan and brown. Add Ras-El-Hanout spice and cook for further 2 mins

Return carrots and onions to pan and now add the remaining ingredients. Cook for 20 mins until chicken is cooked through.

Serve with some fresh crusty bread and enjoy!

My 2 year old was eating this meal so we only added 1 tsp of Ras-El-Hanout as it is quite hot. If you enjoy a hotter meal then add up to 3 tsp.