20 Feb

Slow Cooker Lamb Tagine

I get asked questions quite a bit about the slow cooker so I figured I’d pop my tips/answers below, with a slow cooker lamb tagine recipe at the end. As an added bonus, this recipe actually has a video to match. If this is the kind of thing you like to see please do let me know and I’ll do my best to film some more.

Maybe I should have called this post “why I flipping love my slow cooker”! Read More

14 Nov

Slow Cooker Beef Curry Recipe

I flipping love my slow cooker, and this beef curry recipe is the kind of thing that reminds me how easy it is to cook plenty of different meals for the family each week!

The last thing I want to do is to spend a busy day slaving in the kitchen to cook up something healthy and tasty for the kids. That’s why I make the most of my slow cooker at least twice a week. A slow cooker is such a handy gadget to have in your kitchen, and they use up the same energy as a light bulb. It’s the ultimate money-saving, time-saving way to make a dinner that the whole family will love. If you’re worried about leaving the slow cooker on when you leave the house, invest in a timer plug attachment. Read More

13 Oct

Courgetti With Pesto

Some days amazing things happen. Like getting a phone call asking me to demonstrate healthy recipes as part of the Navan #MyHealthyTown initiative. I had to pinch myself!

This was one of the most popular dishes I demonstrated in Navan for Morphy Richards last weekend. Everytime I heated the pan, it was like an advertisement for certain gravy granules and attracted a crowd. It seriously only takes about 7 minutes to put together. Thanks to popular request I’m sharing the recipe on the blog so it’s easy to find. I also shared it on my Instagram yesterday if you’re interested. Read More

07 Oct

Swift Baked Crispy Potatoes #Ad

It’s National Potato Day in Ireland today and when I was asked to develop a new recipe especially for the celebration I found it hard to say no. If you ask me, everyday is a potato day! There’s a reason why I don’t grow potatoes at the allotment. I certainly could if I wanted to, it’s just that we have so many fantastic local potato producers close to home that I prefer to support them instead. In fact, the local potato growers are so supportive of what we do at the allotments, there is a particular farmer who supplies us with potatoes for the pigs! Every couple of weeks a meitheal of syndicate members gets together and we shift a tonne of potatoes from a trailer into storage boxes for the pigs. They’re then boiled daily for the pigs’ main meal. Read More

01 Sep

Blueberry Muffins Recipe

As the elder lemon in the family (who is studying for her Leaving Cert this year) started back to school over a week ago, it doesn’t feel like the 1st of September at all. It feels like we are already hurtling through the school year towards Hallowe’en! Still today marked the start of term for many Irish students and I’m back with a recipe for blueberry muffins that all my family love.

Wholemeal flour gives these blueberry muffins a lovely crunchy texture. The blueberries, paired with the crumbly oats on top make for snack perfection. Don’t be limited by blueberries though, use whatever fresh or frozen fruit you have to hand. My kids love these muffins made with over-ripe bananas, which is a great way to use up fruit that might seem past its best. Read More

16 Jul

Simple Chicken Traybake

The beauty of this simple chicken traybake is that once it’s assembled you just bake it in the oven and wait while the delicious smells fill the house. Read More

18 Jun

Quick and Easy Vegetarian Tart

Vegetarian TartThis vegetarian tart is so easy to make thanks to the pre-rolled puff pastry. There really isn’t much to do apart from bake the pastry, then fill it a quarter of an hour before serving, then cooking for the final few minutes. It’s the ultimate make-ahead party food, and you’ll look like an absolute genius to produce something so pretty from your kitchen at the last minute. What makes it more incredible is that you only need 5 ingredients to make it! Read More

04 Nov

Tuna Fish Cakes

Tuna Fishcakes

While I love Fresh Fish Friday, I don’t always have the budget or time to get to the fishmongers to get some decent fresh fish.  This recipe for tuna fish cakes uses a medium tin of tuna which is handy to have in the store cupboard for frugal weeks. If you have fresh vegetables to put with this meal, do as they will brighten up your plate. Alternatively a tin of sweetcorn and some frozen peas will go just as well.  There’s nothing wrong with eating from the store cupboard every now and again, especially if it saves you money in the long run. Read More

14 Oct

Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble

Pork and apples go so well together but I often find it’s a bit too much of a stretch to get the kids to eat apple sauce with their pork chops. Because apples contain so much citric acid and pectin, they cut through fatty meals very well so if you have a heavy dinner, apple crumble with a little low-fat yoghurt is a great way to finish a meal.

I don’t know about you but having a nice pudding or “puddy” as it’s called in our house (thanks Dad) is handy for bribing kids to eat their meal. I love that this is fruit based.

When I was 5 our moved to  live in my father’s family home. It was a home that his father, my grandfather had built with hopes and dreams for his  young family many years before that.

My grandmother, used to grow all sorts of fruit in the gardens at the house, but as we grew older the strawberry plants, raspberry canes, and blackcurrant bushes waned. The espalier fruit trees that my grandparents had planted outside still thrive and are fruiting at the moment.

Last Sunday we gathered as a family to say goodbye to the family home. My parents are moving on now; they have no need for such a large space anymore. They now have 8 grandchildren (not all my children I hasten to add!), and excepting the newest (my 9 week old nephew), and the reluctant teen the rest ran around the garden making the most of the good weather.

Dad lifted his bonny grandkids up to pick their own apples for the last time, and my 3-year-old munched and crunched to his heart’s content. My love of apples comes from this simple action of reaching up and picking when they are ripe. I never knew how lucky I was when I lived with my parents. We’ve already planted 1 apple tree in the past year, and I’ve resolved to plant many more since.

I’ve lived in my home for almost as long as I lived in my childhood home now, I’ll always call dessert “puddy” though.

Apple Crumble

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2-3 large cooking apples
  • 1 lemon
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g butter, softened
  • 100g wholewheat flour
  • 100g porridge oats

Method

Preheat your (fan) oven to 160 degrees Celcius.

Fill a large bowl with water and squeeze in the juice of the lemon straight into the water. Peel, core and chop each apple into bite-sized chunks and submerge the pieces in the lemon water. This will stop them from turning brown.

In the meantime rub together the butter and wholemeal flour until you get a breadcrumb like texture. Then add 50g of caster sugar and the porridge oats and stir. Set to one side.

Layer a large ovenproof baking dish with half the apples. Sprinkle 25g caster sugar on top, then repeat with the second half and the rest of the sugar.

The next part is key to making great crumble. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the apples from a height. Do not press it down or compact it in anyway.

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes and serve with yoghurt, cream or custard.

Homemade Apple Crumble

07 Oct

Baked Spaghetti Omelette

My kids love how visually appealing this baked spaghetti omelette is. It’s low on ingredients, which means it’s easy to make, this also means that you can add any sort of side dish that you like. We prefer to eat ours with a fresh chunky salad. Perfect hot or cold, if you don’t finish it all at dinnertime, chill once at room temperature and eat the omelette for lunch with a dollop of mayonnaise on the side instead. Read More

29 Jul

Pasta Meatball Bake – Recipe And Video

When it’s Winter I crave warming dishes for dinner. You know the ones that give you a hug from the inside out, and that are just rib-sticking good. It’s Summer however, not that we’d know it. Today has been about 14 degrees on average which is pretty dire for the end of July, we’ve also had thunder, lightening, and hailstones. So you’ll excuse me if I revisit some of my favourite comfort food for dinner this evening.

This pasta meatball bake is a family favourite. It’s easy to assemble, and serves 8 people. It’s also a budget dish, costing approximately 80c per portion and as if all of this wasn’t good enough, my kids wolf it down.

To make it even easier for you to follow, I’ve even filmed a video recipe, and (the good news keeps on coming), I’m committing to a new video recipe every Wednesday from now on.

Read More

17 Jun

Sweet Mac And Cheese

As a child I always believed that macaroni was a sweet pasta dish. I didn’t realise that the name of a past corresponds to a shape. My childhood macaroni was normally made with penne. Dad used to cook it in a double-boiler, it’s a type of bain marie. The pasta was slowly cooked in a custard sauce and it was rib-stickingly good. This kind of dish was never cooked in the Summer months, but I have great memories of many milk puddings when growing up. Rice, semolina (with a sinful spoon of jam in the middle), tapioca, and this mysterious macaroni.

Now I know that macaroni is a type of pasta, and that it’s incredibly popular with melted cheese. It’s also pretty good with bacon stirred into the cheese sauce. That elevates simple macaroni with cheese to a whole new level, particularly if you drop a little bit of sriracha into the cheese sauce.

Still it’s too flipping hot for heavy desserts in Dublin at the moment. We are in the middle of a warm “fug”; where the skies are quite grey, the air is extremely humid, and the temperature is tipping 20 degrees Celsius. For those not in the know, that my friends, is practically tropical where I live. June is known as the “strawberry month”, and as we have a lot of family birthdays to celebrate in the month of June, most cakes and treats incorporate the little red jewels in some manner or form. Read More

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