Saturday, 27 December 2014


So it's Boxing day and your rolling around your house full to the brim with turkey, potatoes and miscellaneous cake and chocolate based treats. Not only that but your fridge and cupboards are also probably still bursting with the copious amounts of food that you bought. That's right folks! Its time to start getting rid of the leftovers and this cheesy vegetable bake is a scrumptious way to get rid of the most divisive Christmas veg of them all; the Brussels sprout.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014


I'm well aware that there is a recipe on this blog for a lully low cal alternative to your regular Mac and Cheese. However recently, now that the cold is biting and the darkness descends over Liverpool earlier and earlier each day you just need to have something that just makes you feel all warm and cosy inside. So forget that diet and tuck into this truly satisfying mac and cheese,peppered with crunchy onions and mushrooms and then covered in a beautifully crisp and golden brown bacony breadcrumb blanket.


I do love a good pizza, particularly my homemade ones. Homemade is always best in my eyes. Proofing pizza dough is all well and good when you have a the time to prepare it but what if you come in after a hard days work and need pizza NOW!!!! Well no need to shout. Grab yourself a packet of puff pastry from out of the freezer and it's simple; defrost said pastry, roll it out, spread over tomato sauce, add toppings of your choice and your done! A yummy twist on pizza in no time at all!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014


My Nan used to love pickled red cabbage. With a big bowl of Scouse, shepherds pie or any kind of stew she would spoon in mounds of it and I have to say it's a taste that I have definatly inherited from her. I've not had any for ages so as I was on a bit of a pickling spree for Christmas I thought it would be the perfect time to make a nice big batch in honour of my Nan. Mine uses red wine and balsamic vinegars with mustard seeds and bay leaves to give it really sweet edge. Hopefully when I give this out as gifts this year, I'll pass on that love to my friends too.


So you have had a go at my garlic and rosemary oil (hopefully cloudless!). Hope your enjoying it on your roasties! Next up is my second one, a fabulous spicy chili oil. Chili oil is great for using as a base for a curry, stir fry or just for simply dipping in bread in an anti-pasti kind of way. It so simple to make and can be done on a lazy afternoon. All you need is a large pan, lot of oil and an array of chili's and you can create a second oil which you can give out on it's own or as a duo with your garlic and rosemary oil.


Homemade Christmas gifts are the best. Just by putting in a little bit of time and effort to prepare your own little prezzies can sometimes mean a lot more to most than a thoughtless last minutes present grab from the shop. Here is my first flavoured oil, garlic and rosemary and you can make enough for around 6 people just by taking an afternoon out to get your infusing on. Decant it into little fancy bottles which you can find cheap online, decorate with ribbon and labels and your recipients are going to adore it.

Friday, 28 November 2014


My apple turnovers went down a treat last weekend. Well with me anyway I must of eaten about 6. Proper little pig me! What is a boy to do when he doesn't have any puff pastry to hand. I ain't making any (ain't nobody got time for that!). Lucky for me I had some filo pastry sheets to hand so I thought it would be perfect to use the same filling but create a stunning strudel instead. So this time you get that warm cinnamon spiced apple, apricot and raisin filling but this time wrapped in a beautiful crispy filo snake. Another wonderful winter treat!

Monday, 24 November 2014


So I've shared my perfect nut roast recipe earlier in the month and let me tell you something, it's well lush. However sometimes, try as you might you can't always eat wants in front of you especially if you have issues with portion control like I do. This recipe uses all your left over nut roast and the trimmings from your Sunday roast and transforms it into a fabulous next day meal. A delicious dinner and no waste. It's a win/win situation all round really!

Sunday, 23 November 2014


When you come in on a Saturday after a hard week in work there is only one thing you need and that is to stuff yourself with a big fattening greasy takeaway that you clearly know is bad for you but hey, you deserve it, you've worked hard. Don't waste your hard earned pennies on pizza shop prices though and get on my new pizza recipe for a cheesy, meaty, chili feast with delicious cheesy stuffed crust. Yes, you need to wait a bit for the dough to proof but it's well worth the wait when your shoving those slices in your mouth!

Monday, 17 November 2014


It doesn't get more comforty than an apple pie does it? But what does one do when you don't have or can't be bothered making a shortcrust. Bring out our old friend, the frozen pack of puff pastry and you can whip up some apple turnovers instead. For added flavor I have added apricots and raisins into these triangular treats and stewed them in sugar and a good spoon full of cinnamon to really make them pop. The perfect winter pudding to warm you up on a chilly evening! 

Thursday, 13 November 2014


I was just going to call this a veggie shepherds pie but then I realised that as its meat free you could call it a cottage pie too. Either way you look at it, this winter classic of an array of vegetables simmered in a herby vegetable stock and covered with lashings of cheesy mash is the perfect comfort food meal now that the chilly evenings are drawing in. Best of all, finish it off with a flash grill to create those fantastic cheesy crispy bits of mash that you will all be fighting for come dinner time.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


Got a hangover? It's never pleasant is it? It's time to give yourself a comfort day. When I'm a little
worse for wear there is nothing I love more than a good stack of egg butties laced with spicy pickles and lashings of mayonnaise. This little guide below my secret to the perfect egg sarnie that will sort anyone out, plus they're simple to make so you don't have to spend too much time standing up which is always traumarific with a banging head.

All you need is the following:

Tuesday, 11 November 2014


Potatoes can be ever so boring can't they. There is only so many times you can roast, boil or make
jackets out of them. In the past I've made boulangere with them and stuffed potato skins but if that still doesn't tickle your fancy why not do dauphinoise. Traditionally there are no onions in dauphinoise but I like the added layer of sweetness and texture that they add. Leave them out of you wish but give it a go, it's a tasty addition I promise you. Cheesy, creamy and packed with nutmeg and pepper, these bad boys will perk up any Sunday roast.

Sunday, 9 November 2014


Its a lemon fest this weekend at MattyB Bakes. You have had a try at the Classic Lemon Tart but what about if you really fancy having a scrummy lemon cake instead. Well with the left over ricotta cheese from the 3C Pasta bake you can whip up this amazingly moist sponge cake dotted with crunchy poppy seeds and covered in a beautifully sticky icing. Its a different take on the traditional lemon sponge cake but one that I think you will agree really sits alongside those classic recipes it in terms of both texture and taste!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


It's the day before your holidays and you still have a lot of veg and eggs in your fridge that are going to go to waste if you can't use them pronto. What do you do? Whip up an egg fried rice! So simple to do, all you need are some eggs and cold rice and whatever bits and bobs you have in your fridge and hey presto you have turned your miscellaneous veg and dairy that was destined for the bin into a great meal that not only prevents waste but tastes so much more better and fresher than something you would get in your local chippy!


For some reason we didn't think we liked Ricotta. Don't ask me why I have no idea it's just one of those things we had got into our heads until one day we realised we hadn't actually eaten it (like ever!) and my philosophy is to always try everything once. So we did and I'm pleased we did otherwise we wouldn't have made this fabulous herby ricotta stuffed pasta bake. It's so cheesy and scrumptious, another fab dish to warm your cockles on these cold, dark November evenings. It's what the winter was made for!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014


The Christmas jam and chutney marathon continues but this time with something new. Having stumbled across Nigella seeds whilst perusing around Spice Mountain's stall at Borough Market I snapped them up with thought of trying out a mango chutney this year. Great on a cheese board or with that turkey curry you make with your leftovers, it's another fab homemade gift you can dish out this Christmas time that will really put a smile on the face of your friends and family.

Saturday, 25 October 2014


I'm not a vegetarian, however having lived with a pretend one for nearly nine years I've become accustomed to eating many a meat free meal and a lot of my blog recipes are veggie friendly. I do get frustrated that some eateries are off limits due to a lack of veggie options that Jon actually likes (risotto and goats cheese are a no no) so Bistro 1847 is a godsend. Whenever we have visited in the past there has always been top notch meat free farye that is so beautifully presented and delicious that it makes you wonder why you ever need a slab of meat on your plate. With the arrival of their new Autumn menu we decided it would be a great time to see if their new dishes excelled as much as those we had enjoyed so much in the past. Sure enough, it was once again an absolute treat!

Thursday, 23 October 2014


A friend and I braved the crazy weather in Manchester this week (thanks to the passing hurricane Gonzalo!) to party at Lady GaGa's #Artrave tour. For pre-dancing nibbles I suggested a trip to the Splendid Sausage Company having spotted it on my travels during my last visit to Manchester and having looked over the menu of delicious hot dogs, burgers, fries on our train journey up to the city we were both absolutely ravished and hoping that the food lived up to our expectations. Thankfully I can tell you that it did, so much in fact, we may of stuffed ourselves silly!

Sunday, 19 October 2014


It's terrible when your going on holiday and you need to empty your fridge unless your going to waste all that delicious fresh food. Sometimes though using what is left in your fridge can throw up some surprising delicious treats and this is how these cheesy mushrooms came about. Using some left over portobello mushrooms, some "heading towards its expiry date" mozzarella, throwing in some oils and herbs and lacing with hot jalapenos, these delicious veggie treats make a great change from your standard Sunday roast.


I do love a good bit of cheesy beans on toast for breakfast on a weekend. Proper dirty start to the day that. With this recipe though I got a tin of cannelloni beans, some spicy chorizo and a hand full of plump mushrooms and elevated them with a tin of chopped tomatoes and a cheesy crumb topping to something you could be proud to serve on the dinner time for a nice winter tea time treat. If you think you need something to warm your cockles tonight then this will proper do the job!

Saturday, 18 October 2014


Earlier in the month I showed you how to make a delicious chocolate orange sauce. Now you need the perfect pud to pour it over and here it is in the form of a beautiful sticky toffee pudding laced with chunks of pecans for added crunchy goodness. It's essentially an all in one mix so as long as you have all the ingredients and a stick blender you can have this gorgeous pudding rustled up in no time. Pour over the sticky toffee topping and you are in pure pudding paradise and that's before you have even added that scrummy chocolate sauce.

Friday, 17 October 2014


I had quite a bit of pumpkin left over from making my pumpkin spice muffins so I thought whilst I'm enjoying my new found fondness for those orange boulders that I'd give the classic pumpkin pie a whirl. Using my favourite sweet pastry recipe and topping with a layer of delicious dark chocolate this is more suited to serving as a pudding at a Halloween themed dinner party (or after Thanksgiving dinner if your one of my American chums!). It's defiantly a more grown up treat that you can enjoy whilst the little ones enjoy their candy hauls.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


My Xmas preparations continue with the batch of my lully chili and tomato chutney. I have made this chutney for the last couple of years now and last year I think I got the recipe spot on. I sat late in the evening and was in heaven spooning it onto ham and cheese and just devouring the lot. It truly is heavenly. What's great is that you can create a large batch in October, leave for the flavors to really meld together and then decant into smaller jars to hand out to your friends and family as gifts in December. It's the chutney that keeps on giving.

Monday, 13 October 2014


I can't remember a time when I'd actually eaten pumpkin (Pumpkas as the kiddies used to call them!) so with Halloween around the corner I
thought it would be a perfect time to give some a whirl. With the success of my Christmas muffins I thought I'd give them a trick or treaters twist and give them a more spooky slant. This time I'm frosting my muffins for a sweet treat and adding some delicious pumpkin spice to really make them pop. Your little ghosts and ghouls won't be able to resist. 

Thursday, 9 October 2014


Yaaaaaaay! Christmas is coming. Cards and wrapping paper are creeping onto the shelves and adverts are beginning to appear on the TV. It got me in the mood to bake with some classic Christmassy flavors, cranberries and mixed spice. You have to have a little tipple at Christmas though so I've soaked my cranberries in some Amaretto overnight for an adult punch to these deceptively innocent looking breakfast muffins. After one bite, those comforty Xmas flavours and smells will transport you straight to the 25th December!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014


Sometimes it's good to go back to basics. With all the fancy bakes I've done over the years I realised I hadn't made a simple loaf of bread before. So that is what I have done and it's equally satisfying to watch the loaf rise in the oven and come out beautifully golden and smelling delicious. This soda bread is simple, quick to prepare and when sliced and warmed under the grill, absolutely delicious smothered in jam and butter. You'll never want to buy a shop bought loaf again!

Monday, 6 October 2014


How does one make cake even better. Why you serve it with a sauce of course. You could simply pour over a shop bought sauce of some sort but you can't really get that many flavours to suit your need down at your local supermarket. If your really out to treat yourself or impress some guests without breaking the bank why not make this delicious orange and Amaretto chocolate sauce. So decedent and boozy its defiantly one for the grown ups and once you've cracked this recipe you can change it to create an array of flavoured chocolate sauces.

Sunday, 5 October 2014


I came across a recipe for chickpea and tomato bread in Jack Monroe's book "A Girl Named Jack" this
week and really liked the sound of it. I began to look into how you can add more flavours into bread dough and it lead me to experiment and create this cheese, chili and chickpea (the "3C's") tomato bread. It's a unique bread full of nutty warmth and earthy flavours and if your a fan of hummus I think you'll go crazy for a slice so why not try something new and different today! You only live once after all!

Thursday, 2 October 2014


The cold nights are starting to creep in. What could be greater on a chilly evening than a big bowl of homemade soup. That's what's greeted me when I came home this evening. Jon had been slow cooking parsnips, carrots and spices to create this beautiful soup that smelt amazing when I walked through the door. It doesn't get better than that really does it! I just had to share his recipe with you so you can feel all lully and toasty inside too! You can all thank him later!


The BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes so is this month and I'm so excited to be going down to check it out! They have notified me of a brand new offer for discounted tickets which I'm happy to share with you now. Find out more about the show by clicking below:


The BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes Show, sponsored by Lexus, launches at the beautiful Business Design Centre in Islington, London from 25-27 October 2014.   Bringing the popular BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes title to life, the show will be packed with baking, bread-making and cake-crafting demonstrations, free master classes, and hundreds of products to get you baking like a pro.
PLUS!  Don't miss out on seeing your favourite baking stars, LIVE at the show!  Every full day adult ticket includes a seat for the Bakes & Cakes Theatre, where you can watch Mary Berry, Mich Turner, John Whaite, Paul Hollywood, and other expert bakers in LIVE 30 minute baking and technique demos.
Whether you're new to baking or a seasoned baking veteran, the BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes Show is the perfect place to meet bakers, cake-crafters and confectioners, learn new skills, and pick up all the essentials you need to develop your home baking hobby.
So what are you waiting for - get your tickets today and you could spend a whole weekend in the company of your baking heroes. I'll be going to sample the treats on offer and I hope that I'll be able to see you there!

*Offer valid on Adult and Concession standard advance tickets only.  Offer ends 24.10.14.  †Standard Bakes & Cakes Theatre seat included per advance standard ticket, subject to availability. Gold seats available for £3 extra per person. All admin and transaction fees included. Ticket terms and conditions apply. Not all celebrities appear on all days, check the website for details. Information correct at time of print. Good Food® Good Food logo© BBC Worldwide.


Wednesday, 1 October 2014


I love Asian food and one of our guilty pleasures is to take a trip to Wagamamas for a big plate of Yaki Soba. Looking for some inspiration for a pack of tofu we had sitting in the fridge I took inspiration from our many trips there and created a tofu yaki soba so that we could enjoy this little treat from the comfort of our own home. It required a bit of work waiting for the tofu to press and marinate but your patience will yield fabulous results, creating a dish bursting to the brim with tastes of the orient.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014


Having recently enjoyed some cracking Quesadilla at Revolction De Cuba I thought it was time to
expand my Mexican repertoire and try and recreate these little bad boys at home. I didn't realise how simple they were to make. Simply load up tortilla with some flash fried onions and peppers and smother with cheese. Give them a little griddle to make them all toasty good and you have a great snack to serve as a meal or as part of a lully spread at your next fiesta!

Monday, 29 September 2014


You know when you wake up sometimes and just go "oooh I really fancy that for tea tonight". Well
that's the feeling I got this morning and my craving was for a good homemade quiche. Sitting in my fridge was some cooking chorizo, roasted red peppers, red chili and cherry tomatoes. All beautifully glowing ruby ingredients that I thought would work amazingly together hence the birth of my "Red Hot Quiche". A spicy, smoky and sweet dish that was exactly what I wanted!

Sunday, 28 September 2014


Sometimes it's hard to come up with tasty things to do with veggie products. I think I over think things now and then tho, sometimes the simplest creations can be the most tasty. Take these chili and mint kebabs for instance. All you need to do is marinate some Halloumi and veg for an hour, skewer and grill and voila! What's even better is that it's a great way to again use up those odds and ends of veg in your kitchen. The veg below is a suggestion based on flavours and textures I enjoy but feel free to swap or add veg in for what you have or enjoy.

Friday, 26 September 2014


I prepared these cute little tartlets as dessert for a meal I made for a friend of mine who was staying over whilst we went to see Kylie open her tour in Liverpool this week. They are my little homage to Ms Minouge, tiny little tartlets (we all know good things come in small packages) filled with a luscious creamy white chocolate filling and I decorated the top with some pink sprinkles for that little camp flourish fit for any Kylie fan. The only real work comes in making the pastry, the filling is super simple to make but is delicious, perfect for any princess of pop!


I had a friend over for dinner the other night. Normally I make dinner when people visit but I have a habit of making thing far too complicated and stressing myself out. This time however I went with southern fried chicken and wedges. Not the hardest thing to make but that doesn't mean they have to be boring. Here is my little recipe for turning the humble wedge into crispy, punchy chunks of potatoy perfection, great for prepping before hand and whacking in the oven when needed so you can spend time with your guests rather than chained to the kitchen.

Monday, 22 September 2014


When Jon said he would be making slow cooked chili this weekend I still had to find some way to
contribute to the menu. That was when I stumbled across this cheesy chili cornbread. A polenta "dough" packed full of corn, jalapenos and cheese It was an amazingly complimentary side to the chili and something really different rather than just whacking some store bought bread or fajitas on a plate. Best of all it's super simple to make, in fact it couldn't get any simpler even if I tried!

Sunday, 21 September 2014


When I adapted this Jamie Oliver recipe for Jamaican Spiced cake I was overwhelmed by the response the pictures got on Facebook and Twitter. I do have to blow my own trumpet though and say this is one of the finest cakes I've  ever made so if your a fan of ginger and Amaretto, you need to run into the kitchen as quick as you can and make this pronto! Whats great about the recipe is that it's so so simple but the result is his phenomenally moist and fluffy cake. I promise you will not be disappointed!

Saturday, 20 September 2014


Making a potato salad is a rather simple affair. Potatoes, mayo and some chopped herbs. Done! What you may not know is that by adding a few more ingredients you can really lift up this simple side dish into something really special. All you need is a red onion, caster sugar and red wine vinegar and there you have it! It's ever so fancy and everyone will think it's well posh but they won't know how quick and easy it was for you to make. Don't worry though. I won't tell anyone if you don't? 

Monday, 15 September 2014


The Bubble Rooms in Woolton Village was always a fab place to eat and drink so we were sad to see that it had closed this year. However, when we heard it was getting a revamp by top chef Simon Rimmer we were excited to see what changes would be made. There was only one way to see if his changes would still make this venue a top place to visit, go and check it out for ourselves!

Sunday, 14 September 2014


Revolution bars have always been something that I associate with shot roulette and horrendous hangovers. It's certainly not the first place I would think of going too to enjoy a great meal. That was until we stumbled across Revolucion De Cuba in Manchester's thriving Deansgate area. Their fantastic South American spin off not only has the party vibe of your standard Revolution but has the eats that make it a great and affordable place to bring friends for tasty treats before tearing up the dance floor.

Monday, 8 September 2014


 Sometimes we spend too much time focusing on the protein on our meals that the poor old veg can get neglected. This Sunday rather than just knocking out another one shot roast I took the time to spruce up the sides to really make them the star of the show. My first little guide for adding some Asian-esqe sparkle to your cabbage and courgettes is so simple you'll have no excuse for dull lifeless veg every again.

Sunday, 7 September 2014


I'm a bit of a jam hoarder. I'll buy a nice looking conserve to use in a bake and then end up with about 3-4 jars in the fridge with tbsp of jam in the bottom which would never be enough to fill a whole cake. This recipe for jammy biscuits is brilliant for using up these bits and bobs as you only need a small about of jam for them and keen bakers should have the rest of the ingredients knocking around for a spontaneous bake. Lets be honest; you would well rather have a biscuit over a slice of toast wouldn't you? Thought So!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014


I'm British, therefore I love potatoes. Fact!  But even for me there is only so many times you can have mash, chips or roast potatoes until it starts to get just a little bit tiring. Here is a great recipe for jazzing up a roast potato using ricotta, onion, jalapeƱo and chili jam. So simple to make that you'll never look at a potato the same way again and trust me when I tell you this, these are one of the most delicious things I've ever made. Fact!



My cherry jam filled Bakewell cake seems to be going down a storm online. Thank you all! But what if your not a fan of Bakewell flavours. Well I've switched up the recipe for chocolate lovers out there to make this delicious banana loaf filled with oats and pecans filled with a gooey chocolate sauce in the middle which will ooze out of ever slice. Top that with an oaty, sugary topping well; who could resist that really! 


Many moons ago I said to Jon that I fancied a frittata. At the time Jon did not."Oh well!" I thought, "maybe some other time". This turned into some kind of in joke between us both that any time we saw a frittata being made on TV or in a magazine that we'd say that some day maybe I'll get my frittata. Well today is the day folks. This is my garlic and chili jam frittata stuffed to the brim with asparagus, mushrooms and (for that spicy kick) jalapeno pepper, all topped off with salty feta. My dream has finally come true!