The Family

Me - Mum and wife, part time PA, small time collector of vintage china , amateur singer and actress, cross-stitcher, cook and cake baker.

Hubby - Dad and husband, computer fixer, dress maker, Lego builder, tenor and fez wearer. Loves his food except celery and basil.

DD - pre- teen daughter, bright, beautiful, talented, sporty, kind, honest, loving and funny. Knows what she likes and what she doesn't but tastes are getting wider as she gets older.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Raspberry Ripple Cheesecake

I made this cheesecake to follow the Slow Roast Marmalade Pork

I found the recipe here

I was really pleased with how easy it was to make and how exactly it tasted like raspberry ripple ice cream!

 125g melted butter
250g digestives

300g frozen raspberries
60g icing sugar

1tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon
450g cream cheese
225g caster sugar
400g double cream

  • Line a loose bottomed 20cm diameter tin with cling film or greaseproof paper
  • Crush the biscuit to crumbs - I use the rolling pin method
  • Mix the crumbs with the melted butter
  • Press into the tin and chill 
  • To make the raspberry puree, put the raspberries and icing sugar in a pan and gently heat for about 10 minutes until liquid, then push through a sieve to remove seeds
  • Mix the cream cheese, lemon zest and vanilla
  • Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold in with the cream cheese mix
  • Spread 3/4 of the cream cheese mix on top of the biscuit base, then blob on half of the puree
  • Spread the rest of the cream cheese on top and pour more puree on the top and swirl.
  • Chill until set
  • Eat 
  • Enjoy
This was the first time I had made this and next time I try to spread the puree more evenly through the layers of cream cheese as the ripple effect was only evident on top.

I did have some puree left over which I put in a jug and allowed people to add more if they wanted.

I made it on Friday to eat on Sunday and it was really lovely.

Slow Roast Marmalade Pork

This is a gorgeous recipe that I found in a Sainsbury's magazine.

It is a Jamie Oliver recipe and I have made it several times over the two years I have had it.

I can't find a link to the original recipe so am posting it here from the magazine

Serves 8-10 (with leftovers if you're lucky!!)

1 x 5.5kg neck end of shoulder of pork or 2 x 1.75kg boneless pork shoulder joints
Olive oil
1/2 x 340g jar good quality fine shred orange marmalade
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt


  • Pre heat oven to Gas Mark 4/180C
  • Place the pork in a large roasting tray and score the skin (I get my butcher Mr Pargiter to do this for me)
  • Drizzle over the olive oil and rub in
  • Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Roast for about 5 hours or until pork is tender and shreds easily
  • Remove from oven
  • Mix the marmalade with a teaspoon of black pepper and spoon this all over the pork
  • Put the pork back in the oven for another 30 minutes or so until it golden and glazed
  • Remove from oven and let it rest for at least 30 minutes covered loosely with foil
  • When ready to serve shred the pork and the crackling, drizzle over some of the sticky juices and serve on a large platter.

That is the original recipe, I now cook it slightly differently, in that I have the oven at 100C and cook the meat for 12 hours, then I turn it up to 200C for 30 minutes before adding the glaze.  I also add a few chili flakes to the glaze

I have done this both for buffets and for a Sunday roast and each time it has been very well received and demolished - sometimes I have leftovers sometimes I don't!

I made this for a Sunday lunch with Husband, DD, Mum, her Husband and my Best Friend yesterday and again they all loved it and I do have leftovers so am trying to decide how best to use them up

Watch this space...

Chocolate Fudge Cake

This is a recipe that my Mum, my sister and I have all been baking for years.

I have it as an email as I know my sister has the original recipe card - so apologies if it is your recipe and I have not credited it.

This is also DD's favourite cake so I made it for her coming home from the Grandparents


175g/6oz butter or marg
175g/6oz caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
200g/7oz plain flour
50g/2oz cocoa powder
2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp of salt
175ml/6fl oz milk

50g/2oz softened butter or marg
2 tbsp cocoa powder
3/4 tsp instant coffee granules
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
275g/10oz icing sugar

  • Pre heat oven to Gas mark 4 (180C)
  • Grease and line 2 loose bottomed sandwich tins (7 inch diamter)
  • Cream butter and sugar until blended
  • Add vanilla extract
  • Add eggs, one at a time beating until fluffy
  • Sift flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt into a bowl and add to creamed mixture
  • Slowly add milk, beating until smooth
  • Pour into tins, making sure each tin is even
  • Bake for approx 30 minutes or until done
  • Leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely

For the frosting
  • Combine butter, cocoa and instant coffee
  • Add vanilla, egg and icing sugar
  • Beat until smooth
  • Use some of the frosting to sandwich the two cakes together before covering with the rest of the frosting
  • Eat
  • Enjoy 

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Unusual Week!

Thought I should explain the absence of posts over the last few days!

Well, it's school holidays and DD is away staying with Grandparents for the week - which usually means Husband and I get to eat things she doesn't really like BUT I am performing in an Open Air production of The Tempest this week which means that after work and before going to the park/theatre there isn't very much time to eat plus it has been so hot I can't be bothered sweating over the cooker before performing!

Our meals this week have included bacon butties and late night chips!

However I am now off work for the rest of the week so have a bit more time and should be able to cook again!

Stay tuned....

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Chicken Quesadillas

Another Mexican special from the Husband tonight.

Again using the Old El Paso kit which we buy when they are on special offer wherever we happen to be shopping that week!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Fishy Friday

Sainsbury's Salmon, ginger & chilli fishcakes with mashed potatoes & peas tonight

These fishcakes are very tasty - I sometimes find fishcakes bland bit these are well spiced with a nice crunchy coating

Pineapple Loaf Cake

Did I mention that I also make cakes?

This is one I make a lot - it originally came from Bella Magazine & the torn out page is getting quite tatty

It's a lovely cake & very moist


11oz self raising flour
5oz butter (cubed)
5oz caster sugar
6oz sultanas
1 small tin of pineapple rings - keep the juice
2 medium eggs (beaten)


  • Preheat oven to 180C/Gas mark 4 
  • Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin
  • Sift flour into a bowl, add the butter and rub in until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs
  • Stir in the sugar
  • Pat pineapple dry and cut into small pieces
  • Toss with the sultanas and add to the flourand mix well
  • Add eggs and pineapple juice and mix really well
  • Spoon into prepared tin and put in oven
  • Bake for 1hr 15 minutes (approx) 
  • Check after 45 minutes and put foil over the top if it is getting too brown
  • Leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes once it is cooked
  • Then cool on a wire rack
  • Eat
  • Enjoy!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Quick meal!

Tonight had to be a very quick meal due to an early rehearsal call for me.

Although I try to always cook from fresh ingredients I occasionally use the Birds Eye Southern Fried Crispy Chicken - they're nice & spicy which we all like & cook quickly

I serve these with peas & mashed potatoes

I make my mash with boiled potatoes (obviously!) with a little butter & cheese. If I have some in I will add a little double cream too

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Menu Change

Today required a menu change as DD went to her friend's for dinner.

Rather than us eat a meal which she really likes without her & due to limited time we decided to opt for sausage & what we call "Daddy chips" (as opposed to Chippy chips because he makes the best chips ever)

The trick is to use a deep fat fryer, beef dripping & cook twice

Very nice they are too

Monday, 16 July 2012

Spaghetti Carbonara

Freely adapted over time from a Delia Smith recipe


150ml double cream
2 eggs
4 rashers unsmoked bacon
125g (approx) Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese


  • Slice the bacon into small pieces and fry 
  • Whisk the eggs, cream and some of the cheese
  • Cook the spaghetti
  • Once the spaghetti is cooked drain it and return to the hot pan (but off the heat), add the sauce and stir
  • Put the spaghetti and sauce onto plates and then add the cooked bacon on top* with more cheese.

*The idea of adding the bacon seperately came about because DD doesn't like the bacon but she does like the cheese sauce

This takes about 15 minutes to make and serves the 3 of us - you can adjust quantities as you prefer.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Chicken Enchiladas

Made by Husband using the Old El Paso kit, served with sour cream, guacamole & tortilla chips.


Weekly Menu

I'll try and blog our weekly menu ahead of time!

Saturday - I went to a party so Husband and DD ate pizza
Sunday - Husband is cooking Chicken Enchiladas
Monday - Spaghetti Carbonara
Tuesday - Southern Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes and peas
Wednesday - ususal problem - compounded by my acting as Stage Manager for a school play and not being home all day
Thursday - Chicken stir fry and rice
Friday - Fish cakes, mashed potatoes and peas

Recipes and photos will hopefully follow daily!

Likes & Dislikes

I've tried 3 different ways of writing this post & it's just too much of a list!

Rather than list everything we DO like I'm just going to highlight a few things we really don't like.

Me - tomatoes, bananas, peppers, mushrooms, celery and I'm allergic to apples

Husband - basil, pesto, celery

DD - anything greasy like sausages, cooked veg (much prefers them raw), baked potatoes, risotto, couscous, fruit cake and she's allergic to kiwi.

Thinking about it, I'm sure there's a few more but I'll add to the list as this blog progresses!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

General information

I thought it might be useful if I told you the sort of things we generally like to eat.

Our weekly menus do tend to follow a pattern - we have a pasta based meal at least once a week (often Mondays), we eat rice probably once or twice a week and potatoes - often mashed as this is DD's current favourite way of eating them.  We eat fish on Fridays - yes partly down to my Catholic background, but also partly because we should!

We eat quite a lot of chicken in different ways. I try to use turkey mince not beef because anything too greasy seems to upset DD's stomach at the moment and this has brought some challenges.

We like spicy food - especially Indian and Mexican.

My Husband makes the best chips ever - no he really does.

Thursday tends to be the day I cook something that takes a little longer as it's my day off and I have more time.

Just as an example this is our menu from this last week.

Saturday - pizza
Sunday - chicken fajitas
Monday - Spag Bol
Tuesday - Southern Fried chicken, mash and peas
Wednesday -
Thursday - Turkey meatballs in tomato sauce with rice
Friday - Chippy Tea

Wednesday is blank because it is a difficult day for us - I'm at work, DD has Choir rehearsals starting at 5:45pm and then we all have rehearsals starting at 7:30pm. There isn't time for us to eat together so DD will have her dinner before Choir and Hubby and I will eat (usually just a sandwich) later - to allow for this we both eat bigger lunches at work that day.

I think it is really important for families to eat together - though I know it's not posible for all families. It is possible for us and so we do it.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Chippy Tea!

Start as I mean to go on!

It was a Chippy tea and it was delicious!

The Prologue

Hello, I've been thinking about this for a while and people keep telling me I should take the plunge into blogging after tweeting regularly about what I feed my family.

I'm not going to describe myself as "just" anything because I am a lot of things - wife, mum, sister, daughter, friend, auntie, PA, singer, actress, cook and baker to name but a few!

I'm neither a Domestic Goddess or a Yummy Mummy - I am ME.

I'm married to a wonderful man, who also cooks but as I work part time and closer to home, I tend to cook during the week because that is what works for us.  He washes up and DD sets and clears the table!

We meal plan to save money, time and reduce waste. I prefer to cook meals from scratch because I can control what is in them but if you want to use a jar of sauce - go for it - I don't care!

I tweet a lot, but not only about food.  I have tweeted about our meals under #1joint3people5meals and #3cleanplates, which is where the name for this blog has come from (though frankly I'm surprised no one else has used it before!)

I will make an effort to use #3cleanplates regularly to make it easier to keep track of things.

It strikes me as somewhat ironic that I am starting a food blog on the day we'll be having a Chippy Tea but hey - that's life!

I will always credit where I get recipes from and link when I can - but I am not the most technical of people so please bear with me!

I'm just sharing what works for us - nothing more.