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.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Home made meatballs

I made meatballs for dinner yesterday.  I use Nigella's recipe from Nigella Bites for these but replaced the beef/pork with turkey.

I also find that adding garlic to the meatballs is overpowering so I just leave it out.


500g minced turkey
3 tablespons of semolina
2 tablespoons of grated parmesan
1 egg
pinch of salt
good grind of black pepper


  • Bung all ingredients in a bowl and mix together
  • Form the meatballs by rolling small amounts of the mix in your hands (approx 1 teaspoon but don't measure)
  • Place the meatballs on a plate or baking tray lined with cling film and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  • I cook these by adding them to the tomato sauce which is cooking on the hob - partially cover with a lid and leave to simmer for at least 20 minutes - don't stir as this will make the meatballs break up
  • After 20 minutes I check if the meatballs are cooked by cutting one open
  • Eat
  • Enjoy
I use my homemade tomato sauce to cook these

I found that making this quantity gave me 97 meatballs so I cooked 33 (11 each!) for dinner last night and froze the rest in two separate batches so I have some ready for next time.

I served them with rice and very nice they were too!

    My Tomato Sauce

    I use this tomato sauce as the basis for a lot of dishes - especially spag bol, meatballs and lasagne.


    1 tin/pack/jar of chopped tomatoes
    Splash of milk or double cream
    Splash of soy sauce
    Splash of red wine
    Pinch of salt
    Pinch of sugar
    Herbs (basil, oregano, parsley etc) to taste
    Few crushed dried chillis if you like


    • I whizz the tomatoes through my magic bullet to make a smoother base (like passata but a lot cheaper!)
    • Pour this in a pan and heat gently
    • Add other ingredients to taste
    • I like my sauces quite thick so I let it reduce quite a lot
    • Eat 
    • Enjoy

    You can make the sauce and then add the meat (as I do for meatballs and cook the meatballs in the sauce) or put the meat in first and then add the sauce (as I do for spage bol)

    Friday, 24 August 2012

    Birthday Cake

    This is the cake that yesterday's sugar roses were for

    It's my Gran's birthday next week & we're having a little gathering for her & I am providing the cake

    I am very pleased with how it has turned out. It's a Victoria Sponge under the icing

    Thursday, 23 August 2012

    Not exactly Jane Asher...

    But not bad for my first attempt at sugar roses

    I'm very pleased with how they have turned out

    Finished cake will be posted tomorrow

    Tuesday, 21 August 2012

    Chicken Disaster

    Well just to prove not all my ideas work - tonight's meal went a bit wrong

    Started off fine - frying the chicken breasts in olive oil & a little butter, then added a splash of white wine - still fine, then a drizzle of honey & some double cream - still fine - all things I've done before and have worked perfectly into a lovely creamy sauce.

    Taste test, needs a little something so I go for one of my usual fail safes - a dash of soy sauce. So far so good...

    Put the rice on & leave the sauce to reduce.

    That's where it all went wrong.

    Left it a bit too long & it caramelised a bit too much!!



    I mean burnt


    I tried everything I could think of to rescue the sauce but in the end had to give up & just have the chicken with rice & no sauce

    It was ok but not as good as it should have been

    Sunday, 19 August 2012

    Update & weekly menu

    Oh dear, I've been a bit rubbish at this blogging malarkey for a week or so.

    Hoping to get back into the swing of things soon - got a birthday cake to make this week so that will get posted

    Can't promise to post every day this week but here is our planned menu.

    Daughter is staying with Grandparents again so just meals for two

    Sunday - out for lunch when we met Grandparents so nothing planned

    Monday - Bacon & Spinach pasta

    Tuesday - something with chicken but I don't know what yet!

    Wednesday - non starter as Husband has late meeting & it's rehearsal night

    Thursday - Baked potatoes & sausages (weather permitting)

    Friday - possible pay day treat

    Ok - so it's a bit haphazard but that's the general plan

    Back soon

    Tuesday, 7 August 2012

    Meatballs with tomato sauce & rice

    This recipe uses my all purpose tomato sauce which I use for everything - bolognese, lasagne & this meatball dish.

    I'm going to blog the sauce recipe separately - so watch this space!

    Anyway - I often make my own meatballs but these are Asda's sweet chilli beef meatballs which I love

    Once the sauce is ready I add the meatballs & let them cook in the sauce for about 20 minutes - as they cook they infuse the sauce with some of the chilli flavour

    Serve with rice & enjoy

    Top with grated cheese if you like

    Monday, 6 August 2012

    Spinach and Bacon Pasta

    This is a delicious & very quick dish

    All I do is cut up some bacon into small pieces & fry it in a little olive oil while boiling water to cook the pasta

    I usually use fresh pasta as it cooks quicker but dried works just as well!

    Once the bacon is cooked and the pasta is cooking (depending on whether fresh or dried) I add a bag of baby spinach to the bacon and wilt it

    Then add some grated Parmesan, Grana Padano or Cheddar (personal choice - all work well) to the bacon and spinach mix

    Drain the pasta once cooked then toss the bacon and spinach with the pasta and serve

    I find it doesn't need any salt but a little black pepper is very nice. Add more grated cheese on top if you like

    Saturday, 4 August 2012

    Saturday night treat

    DD is away on a sleepover tonight & Husband cooked one of my favourite meals for me

    Steak & chips with corn on the cob


    Thursday, 2 August 2012

    Leftover slow roast pork

    Using the leftover pork from the weekend & the left over gravy I made individual pies for us all

    I really like making individual portions of things - I think it makes meals seem a bit more special!

    All I did was warm the shredded pork in a pan, add the gravy & warm through

    I then added a splash of double cream & some soy sauce.

    Whilst this was simmering I rolled out a piece of puff pastry & cut it to fit my pie dishes

    I then split the meat & sauce between the three dishes, topped with pastry, brushed with milk, added a couple of air holes & decorated with Russian Doll cookie cutter pastry shapes

    The pies then went in the oven at 200C for 30 minutes

    I served this with mashed potatoes (should have peas too but I'd run out from frozen peas!)