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 🙂

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 🙂


Little Frangipane Tarts

Ingredients :~

  • 6 small shortcrust pastry cases (i used pre-rolled Shortcrust dough & cut into circles then baked)
  • 1 egg
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 100g butter
  • 90g golden caster sugar
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 x tablespoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 1/2 jar good quality raspberry jam
  • 1 x 250g tub creme fraiche to serve

Method :~

  1. Put the 6 pastry cases on to a baking tray.   Make a frangipane mixture by cracking an egg into a mixing bowl and adding 100g almonds, 100g butter and 90g of golden caster sugar.   Grate over the zest of 1/2 an orange and add 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract or paste, use a spoon to mix everything together.
  2. Spoon a small teaspoon of jam into each pastry case, top with a heaped teaspoon of frangipane, add another small teaspoon of jam, then finally add another teaspoon of frangipane.
  3. Put the tray in the oven on the middle shelf and set the timer for 18 minutes exactly.
  4. When the tarts are golden and cooked, turn the oven off and take them out.
  5. Serve warm with a dollop of creme fraiche on the side.

Oven temperature : 190 degrees C / 375 degrees F / Gas Mark 5

Recipe courtesy of Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals ISBN 978-0-718-15477-6

p.s. another winner with the family on this one everyone gave it the thumbs up 😉

Rocky Road Crunch Bars

I bought a few new recipe books last week and this recipe was in one of them the book reference and ISBN number will be at the bottom of the page.

So this tray of goodness has been calling my name all day, and I just finished crafting in my workshop tonight via Ustream with Karen, Ellen and Laura .. so this recipe is for you girls… enjoy  🙂

RoCkY RoAd CrUnCh BaRs


  • 125g Soft Butter
  • 300g best quality dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) broken into pieces
  • 3 x 15ml tablespoons of Golden Syrup
  • 200g Rich Tea Biscuits
  • 100g Mini Marshmallows
  • 2 teaspoons Icing Sugar for dusting


  1. Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a heavy based saucepan.   Scoop out about 125ml of this melted mixture and put to one side
  2. Put the biscuits into a freezer bag and then bash them with a rolling pin.   You are aiming for both crumbs and pieces of biscuit
  3. Fold the biscuit pieces and crumbs into the melted chocolate mixture in the saucepan, and  then add the marshmallows
  4. Tip into a foil trey 24cm (i used a silicone pan); flatten as best you can with a spatula.   Pour the reserves 125ml of melted chocolate mixture over the marshmallow mixture and smooth the top.
  5. Refrigerate for about 2 hours or overnight
  6. Cut into 24 fingers and dust with icing sigar by gently pushing through a tea strainer or small sieve.

Pour your self a cup of tea and enjoy 🙂

Makes 24

Recipe courtesy of Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson ISBN 978-0-701-18184-0


Portuguese Tarts

I made these as a pudding for after our dinner tonight and they are absolutely beautiful, the troops gave them 10/10 and i’ll  be making more of them soon 🙂

Ingredients :

  • Plain flour for dusting
  • 1 x 375g pack of pre-rolled puff pastry
  • Ground cinnamon
  • 125g Creme fraiche
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons golden caster sugar
  • 1 orange

Method :~

  1. Dust a clean surface with flour.   Unroll the sheet of puff pastry, then cut it in half so you end up with two 20cm x 20cm squares of pastry (put one in the fridge for another day)
  2. Sprinkle over a good few pinches of cinnamon, then roll the pastry into a swiss roll shape and cut into  rounds.   Put these into 6 of the holes in a muffin tin and use your thumbs to stretch and mould the pastry into the holes so the bottom is flat and the pastry comes up to the top.   Put on the top shelf of the oven and cook for around 8 to 10 mins or until lightly golden.
  3. Spoon the creme fraiche into a small bowl and add the egg, vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of golden caster sugar and the zest of 1 orange.   Mix well
  4. Take the muffin tin out of the oven and use a teaspoon to press the puffed pastry back to the sides and make room for the filling.   Spoon the creme fraiche mixture into the tart cases and return to the top shelf of the oven.   Set the timer for 8 mins.
  5. Put a small saucepan on a high heat.   Squeeze in the juice from the zested orange and add 4 tablespoons of golden caster sugar.   Stir and keep a good eye on it, but remember caramel can burn badly so dont touch or taste!
  6. Pour some caramel over each tart (They’ll still be wobbly but thats good).   Put aside to set

Serve with double cream or ice cream.

Recipe talken from the book Jamies 30 Minute Meals ISBN 978-0-718-15477-6

Homemade treats for dogs and cats

Chunky Head

Homemade treats for dogs and cats 

Taken from the book “The Natural Way for Dogs and Cats” by Midi Fairgrieve – isbn 0-85207-344-5 

2 tablespoons bran/bran flakes (eh wheat, oat or rye) 
2 cups wholemeal flour (eg wheat, rice, rye etc) 
1 heaped tablespoon brewer’s yeast (if no yeast allergy), or crushed vitamin B complex tablets 
1 cup wheat germ 
2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses (1 teaspoon for cats) 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
30g butter (cats) 
1 teaspoon fish-liver oil (cats) 

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and add enough water to make a firm dough.   Shape the dough into small, flat biscuit shapes and bake in a moderate oven for about half a hour until dry and hard. 

The biscuits will keep for at least a week if stored in a cool, dry, airtight container.   All of the above ingredients can be bought in health food stores.   (Substitute wheat bran and wheat flour for an alternative grain if you suspect an allergy to wheat). 

These make a really healthy biscuit and are also a fun treat for children to make for their pets.

Pecan Shortbread



8 ozs (225g) Plain Flour
4 ozs (100g) Cornflour
4 ozs (100g) Icing Sugar
8 ozs (225g) Butter
A handful of pecans plus extra to place on top




Chop butter into small pieces, take a handful of pecans and place into processor with sieved flour, cornflour and icing sugar. Whizz until it gathers into a ball.


Turn the mixture out onto floured surface and roll out to ½ inch thick. Cut into rounds with pastry cutter and place on a greased baking tray.


Roll into a large sausage fill a plastic bag with some demorara sugar put the shortbread sausage into the bag and coat the outside edges in the sugar.. remove and cut into thick slices (my preferred option its quicker!)



Cook for 15-20 minutes at 350f/ 180c / Gas 4 till firm and light brown. Place on a wire rack and sprinkle with caster sugar while warm.

Tip – to keep shortbread fresh and crisp, place in a plastic bag when cool and then in an airtight tin.

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.

Homemade Butter


I made butter this afternoon and I cant believe how easy it is to do!

All you need is one 600ml carton of double cream.. pour the cream into a food mixer with a whisk attachment…. turn on to med-high for around ten mins…

1. First it turns to thick cream

2. Then it goes like scrambled egg

3. Then all of a sudden it comes together inside the ball whisk and seperates from the liquid, giving you butter and butter milk!

4. I seperated the buttermilk into a small jug

5. I turned out the butter onto a clean square of muslin and gave it a good squeeze, to remve the last of the buttermilk..

6. Turned it out onto a wooden chopping board and took 2 large wooden spoons to pat it into shape.

I will be using the buttermilk to make scones or muffins with later on today..