Homemade Meatballs

Homemade Meatballs ~ Makes 20

When I was in town yesterday, I stopped by at the Butcher’s Shop and picked up some things for meals for the coming week… ¬†In amongst the things I got was 1lb of steak mince, I had 3 things in my mind to make…

  1. Lasagne
  2. Mince n tatties
  3. Meatballs

So today, meatballs won… and here is my recipe, made up as I went along ūüôā

Ingredients :~

  • 1lb Steak Mince
  • 1 x medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 x slices of granary bread blitzed in the food processor to breadcrumbs
  • 1 x Large Egg
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A splash of hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of mixed dried herbs
  • plain flour


  • Place in a large mixing bowl
  • Add the mince, chopped onion, egg, seasoning and herbs and the breadbrumbs
  • Mix everything together until combined
  • roll into balls
  • coat in plain flour
  • brown/fry until golden
  • Once browned, I pop mine in a jar of pasta sauce and simmer for 20 mins till cooked through.
  • Boil some pasta
  • bon appetite ūüôā


Nutty Plum Crumble

This recipe is courtesy of ¬†“The Best of Mrs Beeton’s Christmas” ISBN 978-1-898-80176-4

Serves 4-6

Ingredients :

  • 675g Plums, halved and stoned
  • 50g Sugar

Topping :

  • 175g Plain Flour
  • 75g Butter or margarine
  • 25g Demorara Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 75g Chopped Hazelnuts, toasted

Set the oven at 180 degrees C / 350 Degrees F / Gas Mark 4   Place the plums in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with sugar

Make the topping.   Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter or margarine until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Stir in the sugar, cinnamon and hazelnuts.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the plums, pressing it down very lightly.   Bake the crumble for about 45 mins, until the topping is golden brown and the plums are cooked.   Serve with custard, cream or vanilla ice cream.

Peppercorn Sauce

We are having Balmoral Chicken for our tea tonight so I made this Peppercorn Sauce to go along with it, for those of you wondering what the dish is… it’s Haggis wrapped in Chicken Breast smothered in a Peppercorn Sauce … YUM!!

Peppercorn Sauce Ingredients

  • 170ml Double Cream
  • 2tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 beef oxo cubes
  • A good splash of white wine
  • A good splash of hot water
  • 2tsp of crushed peppercorns (or more according to taste)


  1. Add the cream to a small saucepan and heat gently.
  2. Crumble the oxo cube into the cream
  3. Add Dijon mustard, and most of the peppercorns leaving some for the steak
  4. Add wine and water stirring all together
  5. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper
  6. keep stirring until quite hot

Malted Chocolate Crunch

Malted Chocolate Crunch Recipe.

  • 8oz ~ 225g digestive biscuits magimixed or bashed in a plastic bag with a rolling pin
  • 4oz ~ 100g Butter
  • 3 Large Tablespoons of Golden Syrup
  • 2oz ~ 50g Ovaltine
  • 6-8oz or 175-225g Cooking chocolate

Method :

  1. Line a small swiss roll tin with cling film
  2. Melt butter and syrup, then add ovaltine and biscuits
  3. Pour into tin and flatten
  4. Cool
  5. Melt cooking chocolate in bowl over boiling water or microwave
  6. Spread chocolate evenly over mixture, I like to sprinkle choc chips and white chocolate mice on the top of mine.
  7. Allow to cool
  8. Pull out crunch, take off cling film and cut into squares.

The Best Ever Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe ~ Thanks to The Pioneer Woman!

One of the blogs that I read is The Pioneer Woman, and there has been a recipe over there that has been niggling away at me to try for a long time now…

But.. today was the day and I finally made it.¬†¬† It turned out brilliantly, below is a link to the Pioneer Woman’s Site, where you can find the recipe and¬†a detailed photographed¬† step by step tutorial…. enjoy ūüôā

Pioneer Woman Chocolate Sheet Cake

Combine in a mixing bowl:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • In a saucepan, melt: 2 sticks / 8oz¬†butter
  • Add 4 heaping tablespoons cocoa. Stir together.
  • Add 1 cup boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat.

Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

  • In measuring cup, pour 1/2 cup buttermilk.
  • Add: 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees F or 180 degrees C for 20 minutes.

While cake is baking, make icing:

  • Chop 1/2 cup pecans finely.
  • Melt 1 3/4 – 7oz sticks butter in a saucepan.
  • Add 4 heaping tablespoons cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat.
  • Add: 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 lb minus 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Stir together. Add pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake.

Join in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

Join in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

I can’t believe a year has passed since¬†we held¬†this event… a¬†very worthwhile cause, and a charity dear to my own¬† heart,¬† losing my¬†mum to this dreadful disease¬†4 years past.

Tomorrow at work, we are holding another Coffee morning in conjunction with the Macmillan Cancer Apppeal for the Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning.

This is a great way to raise funds,¬†it gets the troops at work eating good, wholesome, additive free, home baking whilst contributing to a good cause¬†ūüôā¬†¬†¬†

I have been happily baking away in the kitchen all evening and hope to get some pictures and recipes up soon.

I just need to keep the vultures (Hubby & Kids) from hovering around the kitchen long enough to get the goodies safely put into containers to take to work tomorrow morning!


I have to thank Sam @ MacMillan Cancer Support, who contacted me though¬†my blog and left some lovely comments… ūüôā

Sam also left me an information video¬†on the fundraising¬†work that MacMillan Cancer Support carry out… Please take time out to have a look at this very worthwhile cause.¬†¬†

MacMillan Cancer Support

Chilli Burgers with Coriander and Spring Onions

Chilli Burgers with Coriander and Spring Onions

Ingredients :

  • 200g/7oz canned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 450g/1lb best steak mince
  • 1-2 fresh red chillies, such as jalepeno, deseeded and chopped, or to taste
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
  • salt and pepper


  • 3 ripe tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small ripe avocado, peeled, stoned and mashed
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh red jalapeno chili, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander.
  1. Place the kidney beans in a food processor and blend for 1 minute
  2. Add steak mince, chillies, garlic, spring onions, coriander and salt and pepper to the food processor and blend for a further 2 minutes.   Shape into 4 equal size burgers, then cover and leave to chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the salsa.   Mix the tomatoes, avocado, spring onions, chili and coriander together.   Place in a small bowl, cover and leave for at lease 30 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
  4. Heat a non stick frying pan until hot.   When hot, add the burgers and cook over a medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden or until cooked to personal preference.   Serve with the salsa.

Vegetable Savoury Rice


  • 1 Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Green Pepper, diced
  • 8 Mushrooms, quartered (I quarter mine so the kids can pick them out easily)
  • A couple of handfuls of frozen peas
  • A small tin of Sweetcorn
  • 1 red chilli finely sliced, no seeds included
  • enough long grain rice to serve 4
  • Light and Dark Soy Sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Method :

  1. Cook the rice as per the instructions on the packet
  2. Put all the vegetables into a large non stick frying pan and saute until soft
  3. Once the vegetables are soft and the rice is cooked, add the rice to the same pan as the vegetables and¬†stir in enough soy sauce to coat the rice and heat through until piping hot… and serve.

My OH loves this rice with Scampi piled on the top

Raisin Bread

Raisin Bread.

“This is really just a large, shiny currant bun.¬†¬† The syrupy glaze that you brush on the loaf after it comes out of the oven makes it look quite extraordinary – it’s as if someone has suddenly switched a spotlight on it”

To make one loaf :

  • Strong White Flour 500g, plus extra for dusting the work surface
  • Salt, 2 teaspoons
  • Easy-blend (fast action) yeast, a sachet or 2 teaspoons
  • Raisins, 150g
  • Milk, 125ml
  • Warm Water, 125ml
  • A large free-range egg
  • Orange marmalade, 2 good tablespoons
  • Lard or vegetable oil for greasing the tin.

For the glaze:

  • Granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon
  • Water, 2 tablespoons


  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Teaspoon
  • Measuring Jug
  • Tablespoon
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Cling Film or tea towel
  • Large loaf tin approximately 13 x 23 x 7cm, or a large round cake tin,
  • small saucepan
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Pastry Brush
  1. Put the flour in the mixing bowl with the salt, yeast and raisins
  2. Measure the milk and water into the jug.   Break in the egg and whisk everything together with the fork.   Pour the eggy liquid into the bowl of flour.   Spoon in the marmalade.
  3. Mix the flour and liquids together, either with your hands or with the wooden spoon.   When it becomes difficult to stir the dough, turn it out on to floured work surface,   Knead he dough, adding more flour a handful at a time if it is really sticky.   The dough will become smoother and smoother.
  4. When you feel that your arms are ready to drop off, poke a fingertip into the dough – if the dent you made bounces back and leaves just a little mark, then you’ve kneaded enough.¬†¬† Shape the dough into a neat ball, out it in the bowl and cover the bowl with cling film or a damp tea towel.
  5. Leavethe bowl of dough in a warm (but not hot) place, away from open doors and windows, for 1 and a half to 2 hours, until doubled in size.
  6. Grease the bread or cake tin with a scrape of lard or a drop of vegetable oil.
  7. When your dough has risen to a great big puffy, ballooned mass, twice its original size, flatten it with your fist.   Now pull it out of the bowl and knead it gently for a few seconds on the work surface.
  8. Flatten the dough out a little into a round disc, then roll it up roughly like a carpet so that you get a puffy sausage shape.   Place the dough sausage in the tin loaf Рit should come about half way up the sides (if your using a round cake tin, then shape the dough into a ball and tuck the sides of the dough underneath  to make the ball pillow up, then put into the tin).   Cover with cling film or the tea towel again and leave to rise for 20-25 mins.   Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220 degrees C/Gas Mark 7 and place a shelf in the centre.
  9. Oven gloves in.   Place the tin gently in the oven and set the timer for about 12 mins.   Then turn the oven down to 190 degrees C/Gas Mark 5 for another 10 mins.   Oven gloves on.   Take the tin out of the oven.   Turn the bread out of the tin and tap the base to see if it sounds hollow.   If not, put the loaf directly on the hot oven shelf for 10 mins to colour the sides and bottom.
  10. Meanwhile, make the glaze.   Put the granulated sugar into a small saucepan with the water.   Place on the hob, switch on the heat to medium and stir with the wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved to make a syrup,   Let it simmer for a minute, then switch off the heat.
  11. Switch off the oven, take the bread out and let it cool on a wire rack.   Now brush the top and sides of the bread with the warm syrup.   It will shine beautifully.

How to eat your Raisin Bread

This loaf is probably at its best when slightly warm.¬†¬† Spread thick slices of it with butter and eat, licking your sugary fingers.¬†¬† If you’ve got any left the next day, eat it toasted and dripping with butter.


If you fancy a spicier bun, you can add a teaspoon of ground mixed spice to the flour in the bowl.   And you can shape the mixture into little buns rather than one big loaf if you prefer.   Bake the buns on a large greased baking sheet for about 15 mins at a slightly lower temperature, 200 degrees C/Gas Mark 6

Recipe courtesy of :

The River Cottage Family Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall & Fizz Carr

ISBN : 0-340-82636-3


Sweet Potato & Red Pepper Soup with Coconut

I popped along to visit Nancy @ Bankhead Farm Shop to pick up my weekly vegetables.   She had sweet potatoes this week so I bought some with a view to making some soup.

¬†Once I got home I had a scan through my recipe books and found this one, its extracted from Best Kept Secrets of the Women’s Institute – isbn : 978-1-4165-2791-5

 I have to admit it turned out very well indeed and everyone loved it.

Serves 4


Preparation & Cooking Time : 1 Hour

Freezing: Recommended.

25g / 1oz Butter

1 Onion, Chopped

1 Garlic Clove, Chopped

1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander

450g / (1lb) Sweet Potato, Grated

2 Red Peppers, Chopped

700ml (1 1/4 Pints) Vegetable Stock

400g Can of Coconut Milk

  • Melt the butter in a large pan.¬†¬† Add the onion and garlic and cook over a low heat until soft.
  • Stir in the ground coriander and cook for 2 minutes
  • Add the sweet potato and red pepper to the pan and cook for 5 mins.
  • Pour the vegetable stock over and bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Allow to cool a little and then puree
  • Return to the rinsed out pan and add the coconut milk.¬†¬† Heat gently until piping hot and then serve at once.

Note: If coconut milk isnt available, use 100g of creamed coconut, chopped and increase the amount of stock by about 150ml.

Serve with freshly baked crusty bread and enjoy ….