• Cajun Pork Chop Recipes With Pineapple Salsa

    Looking for delicious Cajun pork chop recipes? Look no further!

    Cajun Pork chop recipes Cajun Pork chop recipes

    I picked up some fab meats at Waitrose at the magic hour on Sunday, and these lovely pork Loins were just £2 for two I also picked up a nice bit of rump steak reduced to 90p, so the pencilled in meal for Sunday night was Steak and Chips for the children with Pork for Stewart and I.

    At first I thought I would make a nice apple and cinnamon sauce to go with it, then had a total re-shake when I picked up Cauliflower rice for 5p at Asda, so I thought I would put a bit of Spice into it.

    The Griddle pan is my saviour when it comes to cooking pork Loin, as it gives it a lovely charred look and it also cooks it evenly. The Cauliflower rice was a newbie for me, but it was actually quite nice when it was flavoured and flashed in the Wok.

    Anyway I hope you like this recipe, it is actually a simple dish that looks like heaps of effort has gone into it ! ( Great for impressing the In Laws !)

    Cajun pork chop recipes

    You will need…..

    2 pork Loins

    1 tsp Paprika

    1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper

    1/2 tsp Garlic powder

    1 tsp dried Thyme

    1/4 cup of olive oil

    1 diced pineapple

    1 onion diced

    2 large tomatoes or 6 small diced

    1 finely diced Chili

    juice of one lime

    handful of chopped coriander

    1/2 tsp salt

    1 packet of cauliflower rice

    1 tbsp. tomato puree

    1 tsp paprika

    1/2 cup of dried coconut

    Cajun Pork chop recipes
    Cajun Pork chop recipes

    Mix the spices with the olive oil and then massage into the meat, leave this for a minimum of 30 minutes and turn put the griddle pan on a high heat, we want this at El scorchio temperature so that we get a fab charred look !

    Cajun Pork chop recipes
    Cajun Pork with Pineapple Salsa £1.60 each !

    Peel and dice the Pineapple, mix this with the diced chili, onion, tomato and coriander.

    Pour over the lime juice and salt then mix this well, the colours should look vibrant and it should taste fab, add or take away as much chili as you like, but it is nice to give it a bit of a kick as this compliments the Pork.

     

    Cajun Pork with Pineapple Salsa £1.60 each !
    Cajun Pork with Pineapple Salsa £1.60 each !

    I followed the cooking instructions on the Cauliflower and it said to pop it into a microwave, but I flash fried it in the wok afterwards with the tomato puree, paprika and coconut, to give it an extra bit of ommpphhhh !

    Cajun Pork with Pineapple Salsa £1.60 each !
    Cajun Pork with Pineapple Salsa £1.60 each !

    So the griddle pan is ready to rock and roll, so place your pork onto this and the sizzle when the meat heats the pan should be huge !

    Don’t move the pork from this position, as you will disturb the griddle marks on the meat. Cook it for around 4 minutes per side, and then hold it up and just cook the fat, so that it crisps up.

    Plate this up and enjoy !

    Cajun Pork with Pineapple Salsa £1.60 each !
    Cajun Pork with Pineapple Salsa £1.60 each !

    If your a Pork fan, why not try this Simple yet Flipping Gorgeous Thai pork that only cost 60p a serving!

     

    I’m linking up with CassEmma  and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Fabulously Frugal things I’ve done this week linky.

  • Three frugal Crimbo recipes !

    I have teamed up with TBSEEN to bring you three frugal Christmas recipes that are not only stonking gorgeous but these will bring festive cheer to your purse !

    I have made a “Oh so very chocolaty ” cake for £3.50

    This wasn’t a difficult cake, but my little decorating hack makes you look like a Pro !

     These Bum beepers are a Must for the Big Dinner and for around a pound, you can create a large batch of these tasty treats !

     

    If you have a vegetarian over for Christmas lunch, DO NOT serve them a nut roast as you could be in danger of having it chucked at you !

    This stuffed Butternut squash is not only easy to make and tasty, but you can save time by making it a day or two before your Christmas dinner !

    Enjoy X

     

     

  • Abergavenny Christmas Food fair.

    Every September, thousands of foodies congregate to Abergavenny for one of the best food festival’s on the British map !. Because of the success of the past events, a Christmas Food & drinks fair kicked off for one day only on the 11th of December and again, it pulled in a huge array of grub mad folk !.

    With Festive tunes playing, Children’s Secret treat workshops, Artisan bakers and Street food stalls, there really was something for everyone to get their teeth stuck into !

     

    The cooking demonstrations were a pleasant change, as Candles on the table and a close proximity stage, made it feel that little bit more personal.

     

     

     

    Creations from Christmas Pudding Mousse to a festive Pastilla were cooked up before your eyes, but a real highlight for me was the Welsh Sea bass with Lemon Pana cotta cooked up by Chef Matthew Dawkins from The Castle Inn, Usk. It looked and tasted amazeballs, and I will be paying his restaurant a visit when my significant other gets paid !

     

    The Exhibitors were a vast mix of goodies from Luxury cheese, to locally brewed ale to Raw chocolate, and being able to sample it was a treat within itself !

     

    I picked up some Beautifully coloured Rapeseed Oil from Cotswold Gold, that tastes delicious and is now pencilled into tonight’s dinner. I also picked up a fab loaf of Fig and Walnut sourdough from the newly opened Angel Bakery Abergavenny, which was spanktastic with some real butter spread on top ! ( EVEN MY KID’S LOVED IT !).

     

     

    A very pleasant Sunday was spent at this event, Even my sulking 14 year old started to enjoy it, she even let me listen to the Carol singers !

    I would recommend going to this next December as it was a pleasure to attend and a fiver entry is pretty good going !

    It also means that I only have 9 months until my next fix of The Abergavenny Food Festival !

  • A proper bit of Lamb !.

     

    We are Lamboholics in our house, however it is a bit treat as it is very expensive !. If I see it wearing a yellow sticker, it goes into my basket so quick, that you don’t even see me move, and I will always plan as nice dinner around it!.

    I picked up two lovely lamb shanks in M&S for £4.50, which was just under half the original price of £9.21, and as there is so much meat on the Shank, this will feed four of us quite happily. It just so happened that the sprogoons were out on the night we cooked them (Yipeeeeeee) and unfortunately we had to eat a whole one each !

    I picked up a celeriac and some posh carrots from Tesco for pennies, so this worked out to be a hearty meal for the two of us for around £3.30 each, But if you ate a lamb shank out, you would be paying £13 and up each !

     

     

    You will need….

    2 Lamb Shanks

    1 diced onion

    3 Carrots diced or grated

    2 Glasses of cheap red wine

    1/4 of a glass of balsamic vinegar

    1 Tbsp honey

    1 tsp salt

    1 tsp pepper

    2 Oxo cubes

    2 sprigs of Rosemary

    Celeriac, peeled and diced

    2 Potatoes peeled and diced

    Butter & milk for mashing.

     

     

    The secret to this dish is to cook it at a low heat for a while, until the meat drops off the bone, This dish is also really simple as it is much of a one pot dish. Just turn the oven or slow cooker onto a 150* or low setting and in a large oven proof dish, put the diced onion, carrots, lamb, rosemary, red wine,  honey, balsamic vinegar ,S&P and mix the oxo cubes with 3/4 of a pint of boiling water and add this to the lamb. Cover this and tell it that you will see it in around three hours.

     

    If you have never cooked with a Celeriac before, don’t fret about it !. It is an ugly looking vegetable that has only recently been introduced to the British supermarket shelves, treat it as it was a swede and you cannot go wrong. It has a distinct flavour that works well in a mash, Gratin or a stew. Boil this with the potato and when it is soft, drain and mash it with a gracious amount of butter and some milk, add seasoning to taste.

     

    Check that the lamb is coming away from the bone and remove this from the gravy, give this a good stir and plate up the mash potato and Celeriac, a dish is better as it will hold a lot of the gravy ( hence the photo of the swimming mash !)

    Place the lamb on top and pour over an obscene amount of sauce .

    Enjoy X

     

     

     

     

     

  • Rustic chicken for less than £1 per serving

    This delicious rustic chicken is less than £1 per serving!

    I have been soooooo cold the last couple of days that I have refused to leave the house, so the house is spotless (get me !), my cupboards rearranged and I am now clawing at the windows to get out.

    Yellow ticket whole rustic chicken recipe!

    whole rustic chicken recipe

    While I sorted out the cupboards, I came across several tins, many with Latin written on the front as they were so old, and I decided to make something based around a tin of chickpeas. These are part of the legume family and are a big part of Indian and middle eastern cooking, they are little balls of protein that are high in fibre, so a great addition to a child’s diet. My son is very fussy with his grub, so I do my David Blaine impression and make them disappear by blending any vegetables/pulses, so he is still getting his goodness, even though he thinks he isn’t !

    Now a tin of Chickpeas is only around 50p at Sainsburys and even cheaper again at  Aldi or Lidl, so you are adding a healthy item to your dinner that will not only bulk out your food, but it won’t damage your purse in the process !

    whole rustic chicken recipe

    Ingredients you will need:

    One chicken
    2 large sweet potatoes or 5 small
    1 onion chopped
    1 large or 3 small peppers
    1 tin of chickpeas
    1 tin of chopped tomatoes
    handful of thyme
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp black pepper
    1 chicken stock cube
    3 cups of rice ( six portions)

    Rustic chicken recipe

    1. Turn your oven onto a medium setting and get a large roasting dish ready.

      Empty the chickpeas into a sieve and rinse them. Add these and the tomatoes to the dish.

    2. Add the sweet potatoes, peppers, onion, thyme, stock cube and seasoning

      Mix thoroughly

    3. Place the chicken on top and cover loosely with some foil.

      Place this in the oven for around one hour and twenty minutes. I always find that if I cover the chicken with foil, the moisture generated will make the chicken nice, soft and succulent.

    4. Remove the foil for the last 20 minutes of cooking

      Start to prepare your rice

    5. Check that the juices from the chicken are running clear and give the vegetables a stir before serving.

      Serve this with the rice and decorate with a stem of Thyme, to make it look nice and rusticwhole rustic chicken recipe

    This was a delicious meal that we all enjoyed, this fed five of us nicely and then the leftovers went inside a lunchbox for the following day, even the cat had a meal, so it was well under budget, tasty and healthy ( even if my son didn’t think so !)

    Enjoy this tasty dish! 

    Why not give this other delicious chicken dish a try?

    Reduce your food bill by upping the veggies!

  • Best Christmas Pudding I Have Ever Tried!

    This might just be the best Christmas pudding I have ever tried!

    best Christmas pudding

    When Lidl sent me a box of Christmas goodies to review recently, I thought that I would be tough and expose it to my mini army of girlfriends and let them have the say on what was hot and what was not !. This is a fierce group of Welsh Chicks, that have a straight and honest tongue that could pack a punch and end any conversation would one raise of an eyebrow !

    First up was the 9 month matured hidden Centre Christmas Pudding which is currently retailing at £4.99. This could possibly be the best Christmas pudding I have ever tried!

    We decided to pop this in the Microwave for three minutes rather than steam it, and the smell that came from this pudding was immense, we were all made to get up from the comforts of the table and go into the kitchen, just to sample the smell as it was fab !

    When the pudding was turned out onto the plate, the first thing we all commented on was the look of pure moistness from the pudding, as it looked so delicate, we thought we had taken a gamble when we decided to microwave this, but I would most definitely cook it this way again !.

    When we open the pudding up, cherries poured out and we were amazed at the amount that the pudding held. They were almost gob filling size and again they were all very moist and packed full of flavour !. If you like a stodgy, dry pudding, this is not for you but if you like an orgasmic pudding then this is your cup of tea, coffee and prosecco! Truly the best Christmas pudding any of us have tried in a while!

    Annmarie has confirmed that Heston can jog on this year as she will be buying this for her family and saving a fortune in the process and both Rachel and Beck have also scheduled in a visit to Lidl to pick this up. A standing ovation commenced after we had finished followed by undone belts and eyes avoiding the clearing up that confronted us! If you’re looking for the best Christmas pudding on a budget, you would be hard pushed to find better!

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    If you have not tried a stollen before, then you are going to really dislike me introducing these to you. They are sooooooo Moorish, that I have banned these from the house until Christmas eve or get together’s as I can not be trusted around them. Again ,these are really soft and moist little numbers that have a lovely little kick of marzipan, and for well under £2 these are a great Crimbo buy !

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    This Luxury hand finished festive Yule Log is only £2.99 and looks flipping fab, it would look great on a buffet table and for anyone with a big chocolate fixation, this would be a winner. It was a bit to heavy on the chocolate for me as the topping was around 2cm thick, but at Christmas when healthy eating and calorie laden food is welcomed with opened arms, then you cannot really go wrong with throwing this in your trolley.

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    And finally the last recommendation is The DELUXE Chocolate covered Ginger pieces that are £1.99.

    A lovely friend Jay was directing his last show at the Dolman theatre in Newport and me and the girls went along to support it, unfortunately it was The Full Monty and it was so awful watching gorgeous looking guys taking their kit of on the stage, However the cast were amazing and the acting would rival any West End Production !

    We tried out these chocolate’s while watching it and we all loved them, Nicola decided that they were like Ginger Turkish Delight and this was the quietest that I have ever seen Sarah, as she ate three in a row ! Dionne my only friend with will power refused to try them as she is currently on Slimming world, even with my ” it’s healthy as it is Ginger” pushing didn’t budge her, and I could of easily decked her, as she has obviously stolen my will power, as it has VANISHED !!!

    The chocolate was extremely thick, and hadn’t I known they were Lidl’s, I would of thought they were a high end Chocolate carrying both a posh name and a posh price tag !.

    Anyway, I hope that you have enjoyed this review of my favourite Lidl Christmas Products and may I just add that I have not be paid or sponsored for this post, this is my honest view that I hope will help you with your Christmas Food shop !.

    Kelly X

    For more Lidl suggestions, check out my post about the Lidl quinoa!

  • Curry Kits By Post!

    Curry kits by post? Did you know they were a thing?

    Well they are – and they are well worth a try! Support a small Scottish business with their delicious spice kits which they put together by hand and send out to you. All the recipes are developed by Thea, the brains behind Sri Spice.

    curry kits by post

    I love my curries and as I have said previously, my local Takeaway and I  have a fab relationship, so when I heard about curry kits being sent by post, then I jumped at the chance of reviewing them.

    Sri Spice is a small Scottish based business run by the lovely Thea, she specialises in developing her own recipes and spice kits to make lovely Sri Lankan Curries at home. Thea runs this herself, and it is nice to share with you a woman’s passion and hard work going into a product rather than a large big fat cat company. She then sends out all her delicious curry kits by post, filled with vibrant spices to help us make those mouth watering curries.

    Thea grinds, toasts and mixes all the spices by hand in Scotland and I hope that she gets the recognition that she deserves, for all the hard graft that she puts in. I have not been paid or affiliated with this product at all, I am just sharing one persons talents for flipping clever food. Check out her website.

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    I have never eaten a Sri Lankan dish before, so when I made the Galle Curry it was a very pleasant surprise, for me it is like a cross between a Thai and Indian Curry, which is not heavy but full of flavour and the colour from the spices was fab. My kitchen smelt fantastic when I was cooking it, and I could imagine my neighbours being well jell should the smell waft into their homes !.

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    The kit was very simple to follow and it came with a easy to follow recipe card, and follow point spices. I just provided the coconut milk, prawns and vegetables, so at £3.75 for the kit and with your ingredients, you would be looking to make a curry for around £8 and under, ( less if you used left over chicken or plain veg !) and this would be enough for a family of four.

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    I luckily picked up some King prawns from M&S, so this was a perfect addition to the curry, The coconut milk was bought in B&M for 50p and the Potted Coriander plant which I will use for several dishes only set me back by 60p. The Garlic and Ginger was from my store cupboard and cost around £1 at my local Indian supermarket, These are fab to keep in the fridge as they can last for agers.

    dscf1075 I started of by marinating the prawns in lime juice and one of the spice bags, I mixed it up well and left it while I made the other preps for the curry.

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    The second bag of spice was then  fried for two minutes in some hot coconut oil.

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    Next, I put in the marinated prawns, followed by the coconut milk, garlic & Ginger and then waited impatiently for my other half to come home so that we could eat it.

    We both really enjoyed it and we will be ordering several other variety’s of Thea’s curry kits by post, for both ourselves and for Christmas Gifts ( as mine are often food based !)

    I hope you have enjoyed this insight into curry kits by post and any feed back would be greatly appreciated.

    Kelly X

     

    If you love a good curry, try this one too!

  • Posh Pork stacks for pennies

    If you love pork stacks as much as I do, then you’ll love these posh ones that can be made for mere pennies!

    Posh pork stacks
    Posh pork stacks

    I am so flipping proud of myself, as I had the chance to go out for a meal on a wild night of no children at home, But I was really sensible ( or sad !) and said There is so much food in the fridge to use up instead, that I couldn’t justify it.

    So, we saved a fortune as I was Hank Marvin, and that would of meant a starter, main and pudding, I didn’t contribute to food waste and it was bloody gorgeous !

    I had previously picked up a heap of yellow sticker donning items at Co-op and fancied something a bit greasy spoon come posh, so this was my little creation, that I hope you enjoy, as much as we did ( Or was it the lack of squabbling kids ? ). Posh pork stacks that everyone liked – what are the chances?

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    To make these delicious posh pork stacks, you will need……

    4 muffins sliced in half.

    Pkt rocket

    10 eggs

    150gr butter

    2 capfuls White wine vinegar

    1 Tbsp Coarse mustard

    1 Tbsp. honey

    2 Tbsp BBQ sauce

    Ham

    Salt and pepper

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    We are going to start with the Hollandaise sauce as this is a main part of the dish as it really sets it off, so firstly, Separate two eggs and place the yolks into a bowl.
    In a pan, Melt the butter and place to the side.
    Put some boiling water in a pan and place the egg yolks in the dish over the water.

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    This part requires 100% effort as you have to constantly whisk until the sauce is done, so you will start off by slowly adding the butter and the mustard. Mix it all until you get a lovely smooth consistency, add two capfuls of the white wine vinegar and remove from the heat, and cover with some cling film.

    img_20160331_194211In a bowl, add the BBQ sauce and honey to the ham and mix well, cover loosely with some cling film and pop this into a microwave to warm through.

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    Put a pan of boiling water over some heat and add a drop of vinegar, ready to poach the eggs.

    Slice the Muffins and toast.

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    When your muffins are nice and golden, put the Hollandaise onto a gentle heat to warm through and start to assemble the stacks. Put the Rocket ontop of the muffin, followed by the warm ham and then the Hollandaise, quickly followed by the Poached egg.

    Add a sprinkle of black pepper and salt and enjoy your posh pork stacks for pennies !

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    If you enjoyed this, have a gander at this….

  • Baking With Bananas

    Baking with bananas is easy! Don’t throw those bananas away!

    baking with bananas banana bread

    My children are royal pains in the butt when it comes to food, they will go through a phase of loving something, I will bulk buy it ( stupidly, I’ll admit !), and then they will have fallen out of love with the huge stash I have accumulated, the latest being a large bunch of bananas.

    So slowly, I have had 8 bananas in my fridge doing the whole colour pallet effect from green to yellow to brown , and I refuse to chuck them, so when they looked a funky shade of WTF yesterday, I though I had better take action! I love baking with bananas as this can be done even if they look like they are on the turn!

    When the Bananas are really soft they are often much sweeter and easier to mash, which make them a great ingredient for smoothies or cake, so after a huge Sunday roast, I served up this Banana and Coconut cake with Custard, which both the kids and Adults loved – all made from a little baking with bananas!

    baking with bananas brown bananas

    I tried a different method to my normal fool proof cake recipe and used a way of weighing the eggs and using the exact weight for the flour, sugar and butter, which actually produced a soft and moist cake (Thanks for the tip Mum !).

    You will need…..

    3 bananas

    3 eggs

    Self raising flour

    Sugar

    Butter

    2 tsp coconut essence

    Chocolate chips

    Desiccated coconut

    100g Bar of Chocolate ( LIDL 30p !! )

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    So after you have weighed out your ingredients, Melt the butter and add this to the sugar and mix well. Add the eggs, flour and coconut essence and have a good stir until all lumps have vanished, Add the bananas and mash them up with a fork, again mix this into the cake mix.

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    Add your chocolate chips, and pour the cake mix into a lined baking tin and cook in a pre heated oven (200*c)  for around 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the cake.

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    Remove the cake from the oven and leave for about 5 minutes before you turn It out from the tin. Leave the cake to cool for around half an hour and when it is just a little warm, start to melt your chocolate.

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    Place a bowl over a pan of water and place the chocolate and a chuck of butter into the bowl, Bring the water to the boil, and stir the chocolate when it starts to melt. When you have a lovely runny consistency, remove from the heat and pour this over the cake.

    (Remember to hide the bowl from the children, so that you can indulge in front of Corrie later !)

    I put the cake into the freezer, so that the chocolate goes hard quicker, as I normally have kids hanging of my shirt tails, asking me is it ready yet !

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    If you want to make a fancy design on the cake, be creative with some damp paper and use it as a stencil for your topping. ( I don’t get out much !)

    baking with bananas
    baking with bananas – banana and coconut cake

    And finally Enjoy ! X

    If you like chocolate and coconut, check this out…...

  • A fab little insight into the world of Men and Food. (Hold Tight !)

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    As you may already know, my real job is that of a Stewardess and after 20 years of flying, I am a master in the art of feather or leather, sick bags and lost luggage !.

    I get to fly with lots of different crew and often you get to meet some fab characters, one being my gorgeous friend Suzanne. Now Suzanne is a master on the keyboard and she often has me checking in on Facebook just to see if she has done another fab post, which will guarantee to make me laugh out loud. After a bit of persuasion, Suzanne has kindly agreed to write about some of her past experiences with Men and food, I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did !.

                                 

    Men, Food and Me.

    I’ve always considered myself to be an above average competent cook. I’m able to follow a recipe to the letter, julienne a carrot and chiffonade a bunch of basil. Should anyone doubt my culinary capabilities I can proudly profess that I’m in possession of several cookery related Brownie Badges, a Grade B in O’ Level Home Economics and also own over one hundred and thirty cookbooks.

    Despite a litany of culinary skills and my collection of cookbooks, I tend to stick to ten to fifteen tried and tested recipes when cooking at home. My adventurous spirit only rears its head when I invite people for dinner and want to dazzle them. Common sense dictates that you should always serve something that you’ve made before. However with Brownie badges, an O’ Level and cookbooks, I have the confidence of Nigella. Should the end result not be quite what I expected then lashings of lip gloss, a sexy pout and flicking my hair like a lap dancer on pay day usually does the job of distracting my guests. If that fails then a heavy handed sprinkling of parsley also does the trick.

    As well as Nigella, Gordon, Jamie, Lorraine and of course St. Delia, the men in my life; past and present, have also influenced what I cook. My first true love was a man who I’ll refer to as Mr H. He was not only a great guy; tall, hysterically funny and handsome, he was also a fantastic cook. I used to stand beside him in the cramped kitchen of his rented house and stare in awe and wonder as he chopped, sliced, diced and rustled up delicious dishes with very little effort. At the age of twenty-two Mr H was the naked chef long before Jamie Oliver. He was, without a doubt, the epitome of ‘Culinary Cool.’ He taught me how to make egg fried rice, a recipe I follow religiously to this day. I’ve always regretted breaking up with Mr H. Unbeknownst to me at the time, he was the only boyfriend I ever had that knew his way around a kitchen and could actually cook. Twenty five years later I found Mr H on Facebook. It came as no surprise that his profile picture was taken in a well kitted out kitchen with him looking resplendent in a crisp white Master Chef apron. He’s now married with grown up children and I’m in no doubt that they have all been well fed throughout their lives.

    I don’t want to drag you through my entire Hall of Shame but after Mr H came Nick. He was an affable bloke whose specialities were stews and curries. In reality this meant everything was ‘slop’ on a plate. In the few months we were dating I quickly realised that he had never mastered the art of cooking rice. It not only had a ‘burnt’ taste but always had to be scrapped off the bottom of the saucepan. After Mr H’s egg fried rice Nick was a major disappointment.

    Andy was a financial advisor who sorted out the mortgage for my first home. He was under the illusion that because he wore a suit and tie every day and could toss things in a frying pan using one hand he was God’s gift in and out of the kitchen. He was under the illusion that he could cook like a gourmet chef. He couldn’t. I affectionately refer to him as ‘The Tosser’ and not for his agility with a frying pan!

    Simon was another man who was found wanting in the kitchen. From the moment we met he constantly professed his love of things Italian, especially the cuisine. He had an annoying habit of having a tea towel slung over his shoulder. Everything he cooked was a ‘something’ pasta bake. The ‘something’ was either Tuna, chicken or corned beef. I became convinced he owned shares in the Dolmio sauce company as he used so much of the stuff. My ex-husband was another man who lied his way into my heart and kitchen. Shortly after we moved in together his first foray into the kitchen resulted in a huge crack in the new work top.

    Eventually I scrubbed ‘must be good in the kitchen’ off my list of must haves when looking for a potential mate. It was once a necessary requirement however having lived and learned I realised that I may as well whistle in the wind. After having my own naked chef at such a young age only Jamie himself would be a suitable replacement. Everyone else was a disappointment in (and out of) the kitchen. The exception is my current partner; he’s brilliant in the kitchen. Although his culinary repertoire is extremely limited, he is capable of making a few things. He excels at tea, coffee, toast (buttered right into the corners) crumpets and my all-time favourite, reservations. He is the master of getting a table at the last minute at a restaurant.

    Men haven’t been my only food inspiration. I have a folder full of recipes from supermarket magazines. This is how I learned to make Lancashire Hotpot, which is my all-time favourite winter recipe. My favourite TV channel is the Food Network which is worth every penny of my Sky subscription. I’m also influenced by food I’ve tried on holiday. I love Thai food, am partial to tapas and mezes but unfortunately I’ve never got to grips with North African cuisine. Take couscous, whatever you mix with it there’s no disguising the fact that it has the texture of sawdust. I’m also not keen on tagines and as for Ras el Hanout, which is the latest ‘it’ spice (along with preserved lemons) I believe that it should stay in a firmly sealed jar, on a shelf, in the supermarket. I feel exactly the same way about pesto. I love Italian food but have never understood the all the fuss that’s made about Pesto. It’s just green sludge that seems to be slathered on everything from pasta to sandwiches.

    In my humble opinion, men and food are very similar in so many ways. As a die-hard foodie, I often find myself lusting after something that I either can’t or I’m not supposed to have, George Clooney and doughnuts being prime examples. Just like food my taste in men has changed over the years. In my youth I loved two things more than anything else in the world, Michael Jackson and strawberry Angel Delight. Older, wiser and, hopefully, more sophisticated it’s now Michael Bublé and Häagen Dazs cookies and cream ice cream. With age I’m now very particular about what I put in my mouth. I know what I like and definitely know what I dislike. Age, confidence and wisdom means I’m no longer afraid to say no and mean it. This applies to men, Pesto and coriander.

    Suzanne Forbes

  • Pan Fried Duck Breast With Plum Sauce

    This pan fried duck breast with plum sauce is a dish that is full of flavour!

    pan fried duck breast with plum sauce

    If you ever see duck breast on the reduced shelf with a fab price, do a secret air punch as you don’t often see them marked down much. I picked two breasts up for under £1 and popped them straight into the freezer, ready for when I had some fresh ingredients to pair it up with.

    If you are going to do a Chinese Dish with a feathery friend, consider Star Anise in the recipe as it works really well, you can pick this up in most supermarkets but it is often a million times cheaper in an Asian supermarket. This works really well with desserts as well as the aniseed taste can pair it up nicely with other flavours.

    I decided to make this delicious pan fried duck breast with plum sauce.

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    To make this pan fried duck breast with plum sauce, you will need…..

    2 duck breast
    1/4 of a green cabbage sliced finely
    Egg noodles
    2 finely chopped spring onions
    2 finely chopped plums
    1 cup of orange or apple juice
    2 star anise
    1 tsp chinese 5 spice
    1 tbsp honey
    2 tbsp soy sauce
    2 tbsp sesame oil
    2 tbsp chicken marinade

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    It is worth paying a visit to a Chinese or Thai supermarket as you can pick up large bottles of soy sauce ,fish sauce and chicken marinades for a really low price and they can last a long time, these can make a dish taste like it should be in a takeaway carton,and it’ll save you heaps !.

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    In a small saucepan put in the plums with the star anise ,honey, juice and the Chinese 5 spice.
    Mix and bring to the boil, turn the heat right down and let it gently simmer for around 5 minutes. Turn off the heat,cover with a lid and leave until required.

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    Put the oil,soy sauce and chicken marinade into a wok and heat up on a medium heat, put the cabbage in and fry until soft, add the noodles and mix in the liquid.

    Fry four 2 to 3 minutes, then add the spring onions ( save some for decoration).
    Take off the heat, cover and leave to the side.

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    Score the skins on the duck and pat dry with a paper towel. Heat a frying pan but do not add any oil. Pop the duck in skin side down and let it cook for around 7 minutes, lot’s of fat will come from the duck, discard this and now place the duck on its other side for about a minute.

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    Pop the duck, skin side up in the oven for  about 8/10 minutes then pop on a chopping board and cut into disks, quickly flash fry the noodles and pop them on a plate.

    Arrange the duck over the noodles and pour over the sauce.
    Decorate with the spring onions and serve.

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    Enjoy X

    Why not try this?

     

  • Spicy Lentil Soup For Less Than £1

    This spicy lentil soup is packed full of flavour – and can be made for less than £1!

    spicy lentil soup

    This spicy lentil soup is based on a Turkish soup called Mercimek Corba, which is a widely eaten dish in Turkey.
    It is so simple with only a few ingredients, but is full of flavour and full of goodness.

    A bag of red lentils is only 95p in Lidl and for this recipe and this soup only requires half a bag, so for a huge panful of this spicy lentil soup, it would cost you well under £1, I even double up the leftover soup and put it into sauces or casseroles and it works really well.

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    You will need…..

    Half a packet of red lentils
    1 onion finely chopped
    2 stock cubes, chicken or veg
    1 tsp cumin
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp chilli flakes
    3 tsp dried or fresh mint.
    I cup of passata
    10g butter

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    Fry the onions in a pan with the butter, when they are soft add the lentils and keep stirring for around a minute.

    Add a pint of water and everything else, mix well and bring to the boil.
    When it has been bubbling for about 5 minutes, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and let it gently bubble for around an hour.

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    If the soup looks too thick add a little bit more water, but it should have a slightly thick consistency.

    Crusty bread is an absolute must with this soup, and if you add butter to the bread it’s even better. Add more chilli to the soup if you like a good old kick or feel free to cut them out completely.

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    Enjoy x

    Try this…