Mains · Recipes

5 Minute Spicy Houmous, Tomato and Goats Cheese Pasta.

Full disclosure: I am tired and really, really, REALLY could not be bothered cooking this evening. I have already prepped tomorrow nights Spaghetti Bolognase but for some reason my initial plan of cottage pie for tonight seemed like way too much effort to even contemplate.

I had a quick rummage in my fridge and found a random selection of ingredients that needed using up. Lo and behold this 5 minute pasta dish was born; due to pure exhaustion and laziness on my part. Being a mummy is hard work, especially when the toddler is being a little… Hem hem.

Let’s just say I nearly cheered when bedtime arrived. Just as well I love that adorable little dot isn’t it! Wouldn’t be without her but I really think that toddlers should come with a, ‘oh dear God mummy needs a cup of coffee in peace’ button. Life would be sooo much easier. I’m joking of cause but seriously I just needed a quick easy meal and then an hour of collapse out in front of the TV time.

Anyway back to my little throw things in a pot and see what happens experiment. It was really quite tasty and healthy considering it took about 5 mins to cook from scratch. I know houmous seems like an odd match with pasta but it’s basically a ready made sauce and works really well! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

250g Fresh egg fusilli pasta.

1 Beef tomato diced.

150g Plain houmous.

25ml Peri peri sauce.

125ml of the pasta’s cooking water saved. (Take it out just before you drain the pasta.)

125g Firm goats cheese sliced into 1cm cubes.

Ground black pepper to taste.


  1. Get all of your ingredients ready and boil the kettle.
  2. Cook the pasta for 3 1/2 minutes in lightly salted boiling water in a large pan.
  3. When it’s finished cooking save 125ml of the pasta’s water (The starch in it will thicken the sauce with the minimum of effort).
  4. Put the water, humous, tomato and peri peri sauce in the pan and stir over a low heat for a few seconds.
  5. Add back in the pasta and cook for a further minute while stiring.
  6. Share between two bowls and then sprinkle the cheese on top. Grind some pepper over it and them enjoy!

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Mains · Recipes · Uncategorized

Red Wine and Balsamic Steak with an Easy Mushroom Sauce.

Here is a nice simple recipe for steak that tastes fantastic and requires the absolute minimum of effort. Perfect! Caramelised on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside, just the way steak is meant to be. The mushrooms are an ideal accompaniment and act as a healthier alternative to a sauce. They are also a method of using up the marinade because why waste something that’s so tasty when it can become something so much better with a tiny bit of work?



2 Sirloin steaks (Approximately 1 inch thick)

2tbsp Olive oil

1tbspa Soy sauce

2tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 tsp Mustard powder

1 Clove of crushed garlic

Salt and pepper

4 tbsp Red wine

250g Diced mushrooms.


  1. Place the steaks so that they are flat in a large dish.
  2. Mix together all of the ingredients (except the steak, mushrooms and olive oil) in a cup or small bowl.
  3. Pour the marinade over the steaks and after 30 mins turn the steaks over.
  4. Ideally you want to do this the day before eating (and turn them over a few times) so that all those lovely flavours soak in but an hour is plenty if you’re short on time. If you’re eating them the next day make sure you cover the dish in cling film and then refrigerate the steaks until about 30 mins before cooking.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan until it’s very hot.
  6. Turn the heat down slightly and place your steaks in carefully. Flip once half way through. Use the times below as a guide to cooking them to your prefered level of doneness.
  7. For blue: 1 min each side.
  8. For rare: 2 1/2 mins each side.
  9. For medium rare: 3 1/2 mins each side.
  10. For medium: 4 mins each side.
  11. For medium well: 5 mins each side.
  12. For well done: 6 mins each side.
  13. Leave on a warm plate, under some foil to rest for about 10 mins.
  14. Meanwhile fry the chopped onions in a sauce pan with 1tbsp olive oil until they are browned.
  15. Add in left over marinade and stir constantly. Simmer on a low heat for about two minutes.
  16. Place the mushrooms on the top of the steak and serve.

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Mains · Recipes

Slow Cooker Chicken and Spinach Curry

Sometimes you really fancy a good curry but really can’t be bothered to stand over a pan for hours and don’t want another unhealthy take away.  I love my slow cooker! It facilitates my obsession with delicious food and my need/ want of ease. Having two little ones doesn’t allow much time or energy for cookery based adventures so having a few quick recipes that can just be chucked in the slow cooker and forgotten about is ideal. I would advise making a big batch and freezing half as an easy microwave meal for a later date. It will keep for about a month if frozen in an airtight container and will keep in the fridge for up to three days if stored correctly.

It’s mild and creamy with a serious amount of nutrition packed into every portion. I count 4 of your five a day and that’s not including the onion. Delicious, healthy and incredibly easy. What more could you possibly ask for?

Ingredients: (To serve 4)

1tbsp Olive oil.

500g Chicken breast, diced.

1 large white onion, chopped finely.

300g Mushrooms, diced.

35g Tandoori powder.

1 sliced red pepper.

3 Chicken stock cubes.

300g Baby spinach, rinsed.

2x 400g Tins of chopped tomatoes.

200ml Coconut milk.

5 Cloves of garlic, diced finely.

1 1/2 tsp Sugar.

1tsp Hot chilli powder.

1/2 tsp Tumeric.

5 Heaped tbsp Tomato Puree.

1 tsp Fennel seeds.

1 tsp Ground ginger.

250ml Milk (either whole or semi skimmed)

2 tbsp Chopped coriander.


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown off the chicken for 3 mins.
  2. Add in the mushrooms and onion and fry for a further 2 mins.
  3. Add in garlic and fry for a further 1 min.
  4. Put all the ingredients in your slow cooker, other than the milk and coriander and then stir well.
  5. Cook for either 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Longer is better as it helps the flavours blend together but it will still taste great after  just 4 hours cooking time!
  6. Add in the milk and coriander and then stir throughly.
  7. Serve with rice and naan bread.

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Mains · Recipes

Birthday Steak and Beer Pie, Topped with a meat feast Pizza.

dsc_18557765088749374277297.jpgNot sure what possessed me to do this other than as the ultimate birthday treat for my wonderful partner. He is one of those weirdos that doesn’t really like cake, so I decided that I would create him the savory equivalent. As usual I decided to let my creative heart take over my more rational brain and the Birthday Pizza Pie was born.

It’s amazing!

It should be cooked over two days ideally as the filling improves after its flavours are left to develop fully. I will be using shop bought, ready rolled pastry and pizza dough just for the sake of ease (and laziness.)


1 very large heavy bottomed pan. (I use Pro cook Pans)

1 large frying pan.

Wooden Spoon

Sharp Knife

Measuring spoons

Grease proof paper

Weighing Scales

A very deep spring form baking tin.

Baking tray

Baking beads

Large Pyrex bowl.

Ingredients for the Pie:

3tbsp Olive oil

30g Unsalted butter.

2500g Lean stewing steak.

3 heaped tbsp plain flour

6 cloves garlic (crushed)

60g Tomato puree

1 litre Ready made beef stock.

750ml Good quality larger or ale

1 Red chilli (chopped finely)

3tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

300g Mushrooms (chopped finely)

2 Large onions (chopped finely)

1tbsp Marmite

1tbsp Sugar

2tsp Dried mixed herbs

2 Beef stock cubes.

Salt and pepper to taste.

3 Sheets of ready rolled pastry

100g mixed cheese (ideally mozzarella and cheddar)


  1. Put your beef in a large dish and evenly cover the meat in the flour.
  2. Season the meat well with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 1tbsp of olive oil in the frying pan and brown off 1/3 of the meat at a time. Replace the oil in between batches.
  4. Place the meat in your large pan.
  5. Melt the butter in the frying pan (medium heat) and add in the onions and mushrooms and cook until the onions become translucent (about 5 mins.) Stiring constantly.
  6. Add in the garlic and fry for a further 1 minute and remove from the heat.
  7. Add everything to the meat.
  8. Partially cover and cook over a low heat for 3 1/2 hours. Stiring regularly to prevent sticking.
  9. Take off heat and allow to cool.
  10. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until needed. (No more than 3 days unless you’re going to freeze it)

Getting the pie ready.

  1. Grease the inside of the spring-loaded baking tin. Cover the inside with your pre-made short crust pastry. This should use just shy of two sheets.
  2. Add in a layer of grease proof paper and tip in your baking beads.
  3. Bake at 200oc for 20 mins until the pastry is golden brown and firm.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  5. Carefully remove the pastry from the tin. Place it on a greased baking tray.
  6. Heat up the pie filling on the hob until it is just starting to bubble.
  7. Put the pie filling in the pasty and Sprinkle on 100g of cheese.
  8. Cut some pastry (from the 3rd sheet) into strips and arrange in a criss-cross pattern, like so: (Doesn’t have to be pretty as no one but you will see it!)
  9. Bake for a further 15 mins and remove from the oven.
  10. Now prepare the pizza.


The pizza


1 Box ready rolled pizza base

350g Pizza Sauce

200g Mixed Salami and pepperoni

150g Mozzarella grated

200g Mixed cheese grated.


  1. Place the pizza base over the top of your slightly cooled pie. Trim it so it is slightly too big.
  2. Put a small hole in the centre (using a knife) to let the steam escape.
  3. Cover with the pizza sauce and 200g of the cheese.
  4. Cover the pizza with 3/4 of the meat:
  5. Cover with the rest of the cheese and then add on the last bit of meat.
  6. Bake in a 200oC oven for 15 mins then put the entire pie under the grill until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 mins before serving.
  8. Enjoy.


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Mains · Recipes · Side Dishes

BBQ Roast Chicken with Three Sides.

Peri Peri BBQ Chicken

So after a week where life hasn’t allowed me much time to indulge my blogging hobby, I have decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and have a BBQ. It went well so I will share my new-found culinary discoveries with you all. I hope you enjoy them as much as we have.

The main event is a BBQ, peri peri chicken cooked over a tray of beer so you get that delicious mix of smoke and beer tastes coming through. The skin went perfectly crisp and the meat stayed incredibly moist.

The side dishes are: cheesy potato bites, garlic butter mushrooms and balsamic vegetables.

I used a small chicken so adjust cooking times accordingly.

BBQ, Peri Peri Chicken


1 Sachet Peri Peri marinade

2 tbsp Olive oil

1 Chicken

100ml Lemon Juice

1/2 Can of Larger


  1. Mix the Peri Peri with the olive oil and then coat the chicken in it. Wrap with cling film and refrigerate. This is best done the day before so there is plenty of time for all those flavours to soak in.
  2. About 30 mins before you want to start cooking place your coals in the BBQ leaving a gap in the middle and light them. Allow them to reach the ember stage. Pour your beer into a disposable tin tray and place that between the coals like in the photo below. Please be very careful!
  3. Unwrap the chicken and place on the BBQ above the tray.
  4. Cook for 1 hour breast side up. Baste with the lemon juice every 20 mins to help keep things moist.
  5. After the hour cook the chicken breast side down for 20 mins.
  6. Make sure the juices are running clear and then place on a plate, covered with foil to rest for 20 mins.
  7. Carve and serve.

Cheesy Potato Bites (Per Person)

1 Medium potato

20g Mature Cheddar cheese; grated.

1/4 tsp Paprika

1/2 clove garlic; crushed

Olive oil spray

1tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Rinse and chop the potatoes into 5 cm cubes. There is no need to peel them.
  2. Boil them in slightly salted water for 10-15 mins until a fork can easily stab them.
  3. Drain and run some cold tap water over them to cool them quicker.
  4. Lie a large piece of tin foil out flat and place the potato pieces in the centre.
  5. Sprinkle all the seasonings over the potatoes and then sprinkle over the cheese.
  6. Spray the food with the oil in an even coat.
  7. Wrap the foil into a parcel shape. (Works best if its one parcel per person)
  8. This will take about 20 mins to cook on a BBQ.
  9. Remove from heat, unwrap and serve.

Garlic Butter Mushrooms (2 Servings)

200g Button Mushrooms (sliced in half)

30g Salted butter

2 Cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 Chilli; sliced finely.

Salt and pepper

  1. Place a large sheet of tin foil flat and place the mushrooms onto the centre.
  2. Add all the other ingredients.
  3. Wrap up into a parcel and then cook on the BBQ for 20 mins.
  4. Remove from heat, unwrap and serve.

Balsamic Vegetables (2 servings)


1 Red pepper (Sliced)

1 Yellow pepper (Sliced)

1 Red onion (Sliced into chunks)

1 Courgette (Sliced into 1cm circles)

100g Plum Tomatoes (halved)

1 Clove garlic (crushed)

1tsp mixed herbs

3tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1tbsp Olive oil

  1. Place a large piece of tin foil down completely flat.
  2. Put all of the vegetables in the centre.
  3. Fold up the edges to make a bowl shape and then add in all the other ingredients.
  4. Close into a parcel
  5. Cook for 30 mins on a BBQ.
  6. Remove from heat, unwrap and serve.

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Mains · Recipes

Lazy Tomato, Basil and Mushroom Sauce.

Today has been way too busy to properly prepare and organise a full on home cooked meal so I raided the cupboards and fridge and threw together a sauce. Simple, delicious and ridiculously cheap! This could easily be doubled (or trebled) and the left overs frozen to make another meal even easier!

Added bonus? You can easily convert it to vegan by swapping the stock over to vegetable. If you are on the other side of the fence and want it meatier, then brown off some mince first and swap the stock cubes to beef and a little red wine and you have a very simple Bolognese. Win, win!


1 tbsp olive oil

1 Large onion, chopped finely.

100g Chopped mushrooms.

2 Cloves garlic chopped finely.

150g Cherry tomatoes, cut in half.

1/2 Red chilli, sliced finely.

400g Tin chopped tomatoes.

1 tsp Dried basil.

1 heaped tsp Granulated sugar.

1/4 tsp Dried oregano.

1/4 tsp Dried parsley.

2 Chicken stock cubes.

1tbsp Balsamic vinegar.

Salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Fry the onions, tomatoes and mushrooms over a low heat until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add in the garlic and chilli and fry for 2 mins more.
  3. Add in all the other ingredients and simmer over a very low heat for 20 mins, giving it occasional stirs.
  4. Taste and add more seasoning as required. Add it slowly, remember it’s easier to add than it is to take away!
  5. Serve over pasta with a Sprinkle of cheese. Tastes great with pan-fried chicken or salmon!

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Mains · Side Dishes

60 second Microwave Poached egg.

60 Seconds Poached Egg

Oh dear, oh dear I mentioned the word microwave in a cookery/lifestyle blog….. But never fear because this a useful little cookery hack which will come in handy time and time again.

The difference in taste and texture is negliable when compared to ‘the real thing.’ Plus poached egg on whole grain toast is a healthy breakfast that sets you up for the day.

It might take a little trial and error to get the timings right because every microwave is different but it’s worth the effort. Mmmmm, yummy!


A cup

Slotted spoon

Kitchen towel


Cooking spray

An egg

1tsp of vinegar

Enough cold water to cover the egg

Salt and pepper


  1. Spray the inside of the cup with cooking spray then crack in the egg being careful to not break the yolk.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add in enough cold water to fully cover the egg and then add in the vinegar.
  4. Gently stab the yolk with a fork once.
  5. Cover with cling film and poke a tiny hole in the top using a knife.
  6. Place in the microwave on full power for 30 seconds and then gently turn the egg over using the slotted spoon and recover.
  7. Microwave for another 15 seconds and check. If its done, remove from the cup using the slotted spoon and rest it on a plate covered with kitchen towel. If not repeat.
  8. Great served on top of a slice of hot buttery toast.

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Mains · Recipes

Deep Dish Chicken and Bacon Pie

Chicken and Bacon Pie
Chicken and Bacon Pie

Disclaimer: Affiliate links may be used in this post.

I’m from the north of England so you can bet that I love a good pie, especially homemade with chunky chips and vegetables (because we have to pretend to be heathy right?) This pie is a bit of a faff to get done but it’s so worth the effort, almost all filling with crunchy pastry on top. Mmmm.

Fantastic for freezing, so it’s a good idea to double up the ingredients and make a second for when you’ve had “one of those days.” Freeze it when it’s fully cooled (covered in cling film.) Then when you need it you can just whip it into the oven at 150oC until its piping hot in the middle, served with some oven chips and some frozen peas on the side.

Job done, effort free dinner. Perfect for when you’ve been too busy to pee, never mind cook a meal from scratch.


Large pan

wooden spoon


Deep oven proof dish for the pie


1 roasted chicken (Or 4 chicken breasts cooked and torn to pieces)

2oz flour

220ml milk

1 splash of single cream

220ml each of chicken and veg stock

1 pack of smoked bacon, chopped

2 leaks chopped

50g frozen peas.

30g unsalted butter and a tiny bit of oil

1 clove of garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Ready rolled Puff pasty (I won’t tell if you don’t)


1) preheat oven to 200 degrees C.

2) Strip the chicken of meat and place to one side.

3) Sauté the bacon, garlic and onion/leeks in the butter and oil until soft on a medium heat.

4) Add in flour and stir

5) Keep the heat set to medium and then add in the stocks a tiny bit at a time followed by the milk. If too thick add more milk, if too thin add corn flour. (Tbsp cornflour mixed with a small amount of cold water.)

6) Add in the tiny splash of cream.

7) Add in chicken and the peas and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 2 more minutes and then take off the heat.

8) Now if you want traditional pie, line the pie dish with pastry and blind bake the pastry for 10 mins.

9) If like me you just like a pastry topping place chicken mix in the pie dish and cover with pastry. Trim off the excess pastry and glaze with milk or egg.

Now place in a pre-heated oven (200 degrees C) and bake until the pastry is golden brown. Usually about 40 minutes but check it often.


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