Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Lamb and Potato Bake

I love cooking a meal in one oven tray, not only does it save time washing dishes, but the flavour of the ingredients mix together and transform simple ingredients into something really tasty! This lamb and potato bake has a real Mediterranean feel and requires very little time and effort!


1 red onion
4 cloves garlic
3 tblsp olive oil
250g lamb chops
300g new potatoes
2 bay leaves
75ml white wine
1/2 litre stock
1/2 tsp dried (or fresh) oregano
salt and pepper
50g sun-dried tomatoes roughly chopped, or 1 dstsp tomato puree


Pre-heat the oven 150C.
Peel the onion and slice into 1cm slices and put in the roasting tray, bash the cloves of garlic and add to the tray, sit the lamb on top.
Slice the new potatoes into thick slices (1/2 -1cm) and scatter over the lamb.
Add the remaining ingredients and cover the baking tray with foil.
Cook in the oven for 45mins before removing the foil and return to the oven to cook for a further 20mins.
Allow to stand for 10mins before serving.

Delicious served with sprouting broccoli and crusty bread!

I love this dish with black olives, but I don't use them because my husband hates them. If you want to use them, add them for the last 20mins cooking time!

Soft Choc-Chip Cookies

These are not your regular cookies, they are very cakey and soft and bite-sized!
I serve them warm with icecream, or they are great with a hot mug of coffee and a gossip!


150g butter, softened
150g sugar ( I use 1/2 soft brown and 1/2 caster)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
300g self raising flour
200g good quality chocolate, cut into chunks


Pre-heat the oven 170C.
Cream the butter with the sugar until creamy and well combined.
Add the egg and vanilla and mix well before adding the flour and chocolate.
Mix to a dough and either freeze at this stage in batches, or divide into walnut-sized balls and set on a baking sheet, allowing approx 2cm between each cookie.
Bake for 10mins or until they are lightly golden.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before eating several with a hot cuppa before anyone notices!

Risotto Balls

This is a great way to use up leftover risotto! The crisp exterior really works with the soft flavour-some rice and the melting mozerella in the middle - an Italian classic and now a family favourite!


350g leftover pea and broad bean risotto
100g mozerella, cut into 1cm pieces
2 tblsp flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 slices bread, made into breadcrumbs (approx 150g)
Vegetable oil, for shallow frying


Lightly wet your hands and pick up a small handfull of the cold risotto. Flatten in the palm of your hand and put 1 or 2 pieces of mozerella in the middle. Form the risotto into a ball encasing the cheese in the middle and squeeze slightly, so it is firmly held together. Ideally the ball should be the size of a golf ball.

Roll the ball in the flour and then into the beaten egg and finally into the breadcrumbs. Roll the ball between your hands and gently squeeze to make sure it is compact. Transfer to a plate and repeat the process untill all the risotto has been used up.

Chill the balls for 2hrs-24hrs and then shallow fry untill golden and either serve immediately, or set aside and re-heat in a hot oven 200C for 10 mins.

I serve 3 balls per person with a crisp salad. They are delicious as an appetiser with drinks!

Monday, 3 August 2009

Volunteers Needed

For the first week of September I am looking for as many volunteers as possible to test out an exciting menu plan idea that I am setting up. All I ask is that you follow the plan to the letter and at the end of the week you let me know how you got on and let me have any thoughts or ideas on how you think it could be improved. There will be NO additional cost to you at all. Have a look at the description below and if you are willing to give it a try for one week then let me know your email address. Don’t worry if you are not in the UK as all the ingredients I use are available at any supermarket. (Obviously you will need to be in the UK for the link to the delivery site to work). I need as many people across all family structures as possible from single males to families with some vegetarians, some just fussy and some just difficult, through to those passionate about cooking. Everyone is welcome and your feedback will be valued.

As I say I am looking for as many volunteers as possible, so feel free to pass this on to ALL of your friends and family. The more people I can get to help me with this the better. At the end of the test period and once the site goes live any volunteers that have helped will get a significant discount in continuing with the plan.

Thanks very much and I look forward to spending a very exciting week with you.


As busy people we are all too familiar with the daily panic to get a meal on the table. That awful moment of thinking “what am I going to cook tonight”, “what ingredients do I have in the cupboard” and then worst of all that mad dash to the supermarket to buy a few missing ingredients and ending up buying things you didn’t need at all. No wonder most people turn to unhealthy convenience food and takeaways. Well, with my help, I intend to change all of that for you and make it easier for you to cook and serve your family quick, healthy, nutritious meals every day and in the process I will save you time and money and avoid wasting food.

Here's How:
I will send you a full week of recipes and a complete shopping list, as well as a link to a video of each recipe. I will also send a link to mysupermarket.com where with one click, the entire shopping list will be added to your basket ready for payment and delivery. No more spending hours in front of the computer trying to find what products you need or wandering up and down the aisles of the supermarket. Within 5 minutes your shopping will be done for you. You will get to choose which shop to use from Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s or Ocado (Waitrose) and you will see a price comparison from each store allowing you to choose the most economical. Of course if you prefer to go to your local shop instead there will be an easily downloadable shopping list on the site. All of the tedious combing through cookbooks and magazines to find meals your family will like is done for you! I will tell you exactly:

• What ingredients to buy in a convenient easy to read shopping list
• What meals to cook for the week
• Show you in a video how to cook each meal in only 30 minutes or less
• Give you a recipe card for each recipe that you can print and keep

How am I going to help?

• Savings – Whether it saves you an extra trip to the supermarket or you eat at home an extra night instead of going out, you will save both time and money with my weekly meal plans.

• Cut down on wastage – It is awful how much food we waste. Did you know we throw away 1million loaves of bread a day in the UK? That’s a lot of potential bread and butter puddings. With a few key ingredients and help from me, I will show you how to turn leftovers into great tasting dishes.

• Quick, Easy Recipes - Cooking times and step-by-step directions are easy to follow for the beginner or experienced cook. Each recipe can either be followed on an easy to read recipe card or viewed on a short video. Each recipe takes only 30 minutes or less of active prep time.

• Family Tested - All recipes are tested by my family and friends for taste and ease of preparation. Only those recipes that get thumbs up from everyone make it into my recipe collection.

• Child Friendly - My recipes are simple and delicious and do not relying on excessive spice or unusual flavours. My meals appeal to children's sensitive taste buds and adults alike. Of course if you like that extra spice I will show you how to jazz up you meal.

• Healthy Choices - With my weekly meal plans your family will tend to eat at home more so you'll know exactly what ingredients go into your food. My recipes use common ingredients that can be found in any grocery store.

Save Time & Money
Whether you like to cook, hate cooking or consider it a necessary evil, I will simplify your life. Take back the time you spend tearing through cookbooks and magazines or trolling through the aisle of the supermarket trying to find good meals each week. With my easy recipes and shopping lists automatically delivered to you, that precious time can now be spent with your family.

With my weekly meal plans you will:
• Serve nutritious dinners to a family.
• Save on your grocery bill each week with a defined shopping list.
• Save on eating out or takeaway’s since we eliminate all the guesswork of what to have for dinner.
• Cut down on unnecessary wastage.
• Prepare a delicious family meal in 30 minutes or less.
• Have your kitchen stocked with easy, healthy meal choices.
• Have more time since all meal planning is done for you.
• Be more relaxed without the 5pm dinner time panic.

Pea & Broad Bean Risotto

Firstly, do not be put off by the broad beans in this recipe! They are a really delicious vegetable if you know what to do with them. If you remove the grey, leathery outer skin there is a delicate, vibrant green treasure inside!


50g butter
1 tblsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced, or chopped
250g risotto rice
1/2 litre vegetable stock, boiling
75ml white wine (optional)
100g Parmesan cheese, grated
150g frozen/fresh peas
100g frozen/fresh broad beans


Cook the broad beans in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain and rinse under cold water. Gently nick the broad bean skin with your finger nail and squeeze out the bright green bean, discard the skins.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the olive oil and garlic and cook gently for 2-3 mins without colouring the garlic. Add the rice and continue to cook over a medium heat for 2 mins. Add the white wine to the pan and cook untill it has been adsorbed. Add the boiling stock a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously and only adding more stock when the previous stock has been absorbed. Continue adding stock over a medium heat untill you have added nearly all of the stock. This will take 10-15 mins. At this point stir the peas and broad beans into the rice, continue adding stock untill the rice is tender, and creamy. Stir in 2/3's of the Parmesan and serve. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the risotto. Serve with a fresh green salad, or slices of tomato and mozerella drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This dish is really worth the effort!

If you have any risotto left over, look for my recipe for risotto balls - one of my favourites! (should be online tomorrow - depending what time my husband gets home from work)