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Friday, 21 October 2016

PACMAN Birthday!

For my husband's birthday & with very little time this year I had the challenge of making a cake with a computer game theme. My husband loves his space games especially Elite Dangerous, so an easy but retro idea came to mind....

Friday, 14 October 2016

Paneer Tikka


125ml natural yoghurt
2 tbsp ginger purée
1-2 tbsp garlic purée
1 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp veg oil
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp cumin
6 cardamom pods, grounded seeds 

250g paneer, inch cubes
2 peppers
1 large red onion


  1. In a bowl mix together the marinade ingredients to make a thick paste.
  2. Chop the other ingredients to inch size pieces & add to the marinade mixing well.
  3. Leave for a few hrs or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 200C.
  5. Bake for 10mins until the paneer is turning golden brown & turn over putting back in the oven for another 10 mins.

Serve with fresh lettuce, chopped tomatoes, raita & mango chutney in a wrap or naan.

NB could also skewer the paneer & veg after it's marinated & cook on a BBQ or under the grill.

Homemade naans

Monday, 10 October 2016

Where have I been?

I know it's been a very long time since I posted anything...apologies but it's been a very busy summer!!

We had a wonderful road & camping trip to the Black Forest in Germany to see my brother, sister-in-law & 3 nieces. The youngest nieces are twins that were born earlier in the year so it was our first time to meet them & have lots of cuddles. Plus my brother & his family hadn't yet met our youngest neither. We also became Godparents to the twins & had a lovely day with all the family at the Christening at a little chapel high in the mountains.



Black Forest

Only a few weeks after returning from our holiday my mum suddenly passed away, which was quite a shock for us all, but meant I was very pre-occupied with all the arrangements & grieving.

In memory of mum

August brought my return to work after nearly 7 months off, which has been a big adjustment for us all. 

Hence, I'm sure you can now understand  why the blog has been a little neglected. But I now have some wonderful new recipes to share with you, especially as we have now all become vegetarians I have even trying out lots of new foods & recipes.

Peas in a pod
Green tomatoes waiting to be made into chutney

On top of that I've been:
  • Enjoying the garden & more recently harvesting
  • Learning lots about essential oils & their benefit to health & wellbeing from my sister-in-law Maria in the Wood
  • Started doing some Christmas crafts in preparation for December coming around much quicker than I'd like to admit! 
  • Looking after my 2 gorgeous little boys  :)
  • And a last minute camping trip to Northumberland enjoying the last of the summer sun in September.

Bamburgh in September

Monday, 18 July 2016

Spiderman Bag

My Goddaughter is Spiderman mad, so for her 4th birthday I made her this bag...

Monday, 13 June 2016

Nappy Flower Bouquet

A great friend is having a baby girl soon. She already has two little boys and is quite excited to be having a little girl, so I had to make her something special...

...the flowers are all made from useful baby items, mainly nappies, but there are socks, baby mitts, muslin cloths...

...and the base is also filled with baby bits - cotton wool balls, more nappies & a little pouch I made to put nappies & baby wipes in for your nappy bag.

For a first attempt I'm pleased with the result.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Creamy Chicken, Bacon, Leek & Mushroom Pie


250g ready made puff pastry
3 large or 4 medium chicken breasts
125g pancetta
Olive oil
200ml chicken stock
3 leeks, sliced
200g button mushroom, halved
2 medium carrots, chopped finely
75g butter
300ml milk 
5 tbsp flour
1 tbsp thyme
Handful of grated cheese
A little egg or milk for glazing 


  1. Chop chicken into roughly inch squares.
  2. In a bowl mix together 3 tbsps of flour & the thyme.
  3. Coat the chicken in the flour mix.
  4. Heat a little olive oil in a pan until hot & add the pancetta & flour coated chicken chunks. Stir continuously until the chicken chunks are beginning to brown.
  5. Add the leeks, carrots & mushrooms & a little more oil, continue to stir until the leeks are soft.
  6. Mix the chicken stock with the leftover flour from coating the chicken & then add to the pan. Allow to continue to simmer for a few minutes.
  7. In another pan on a low heat melt the butter and once melted remove from heat to add 2 tbsps of flour, mix to a thick paste.
  8. Place back on the heat & add the milk a little at a time, whilst whisking to ensure the paste is completely combined with the milk. Gradually the sauce will begin to thicken, but keep stirring until it's the desired consistency. 
  9. Place the chicken & bacon mix into the bottom of a pie dish, sprinkle over the cheese & pour over the white sauce, gently mix together slightly & allow to cool.
  10. Preheat oven to 160C.
  11. Roll out the pastry to the desired shape, size & thickness for your pie dish.
  12. With the milk or egg for glazing brush around the edge of your pie dish & the place the pastry over the filling, crimping the edges of the pastry to the pie dish edge to seal. Make a hole in the middle of the pastry with a knife.
  13. Glaze the pastry case with the milk or egg & place in the oven for 30-40 mins or until golden brown & bubbling. 

Enjoy with some greens and boiled new potatoes.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Slow Cooked Moroccan Chicken & Aubergine Tagine


5 chicken thighs
2 medium aubergines
2 onions
4 carrots
75g sultanas
75g apricots 
2 chicken oxo cubes in 500ml boiling water
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp cumin 
2 tbsps flour
Black pepper


  1. Chop aubergines into 1-2 inch chunks & place in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Next place the chopped onions, carrots, sultanas & apricots on top of the aubergines.
  3. In a bowl or jug mix the OXO cubes with the boiling water & add the spices & flour, mixing well.
  4. Place the chicken thighs on top of the vegetables & fruit but push them into the vegetable mix and pour over everything the stock & spice mix.
  5. Place on low in a slow cooker for 6-8 hrs or on high for 3-4 hrs.
  6. Serve with rice or couscous.

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