Thursday, 29 December 2016


So Christmas is over for another year. Hasn't it just flown by? Did you have a nice time over the festive holidays? I did but once again I've eaten far too much. After all those sweets, chocolate and the massive mountains of cheese, ham and turkey you would think there wouldn't be any room left for anything else but come lunchtime today I had a right craving for some proper lush cheese on toast. What happened next? Well it just so happened that I made the best cheese on toast ever, so good in fact that I knew I had to share the recipe with you as soon as I could. Well, Christmas is all about giving isn't it! 

Saturday, 24 December 2016


It's Christmas Eve ladies and gentleman! You know what that means; it's time to ice your Christmas cake ready for the big day tomorrow. When I said I was preparing my cake in October a couple of guys in work looked at me like I was crazy but if you make your cake early and then soak it with the booze of your choice once a week until the 25th, you'll have a fantastically boozy fruity treat to serve as part of your Christmas spread and if you're anything like us, enough leftover to last till new year! Marzipan, icing and apricot jam at the ready? Lets go!

Friday, 23 December 2016


So you have made your homemade mincemeat  and it's been brewing away for a while so now, in the last few days before Christmas it's time to make those mince pies. Obviously if you haven't made your own mince meat you can use a ready made variety but for me, making your own pastry, filling it with your own mince meat and baking them so that your kitchen is filled with those incredible festive smells is what Christmas is all about! My recipe below will make 8 mince pies but you can scale the recipe up if you want to make a bigger batch.

Thursday, 22 December 2016


Let me get straight to the point with this one and tell you that I think The Delaunay is a brilliant restaurant. A proper fancy dining experience that we have visited two Christmas times running now as a post theatre treat and hopefully, fingers crossed we'll be back for a third time next year. Let me take the time now to tell you all about why I think The Delaunay is so special and why you need to visit them the next time you are in the capital.

Saturday, 17 December 2016


This is a recommendation that's a bit outside the norm now as its not so much a restaurant that I'm writing about but more a foodie venue. We strolled past the Flat Iron Square on Union Street in the Southwalk area of London last weekend and it was packed full of people drinking and generally having a good time. Intrigued as to what was going on we gave it a quick google and found out that as well as hosting weekly flea markets, many small vendors sell their foodie wares here as well. Looking for somewhere to lunch the next day, we decided to stroll over and see what was on offer.

Thursday, 15 December 2016


Nestled away under the shadow of the Shard is Champor Champor. Much like the time we visited Grafene in Manchester, we had no idea how we found out about this Thai-Malay restaurant but we had bookmarked it for a visit next time we were staying in Southwalk. That time was this weekend so with a reservation made for 9pm, off we trotted! The entrance to Champor Champor is very unassuming but once you walk through the door you are instantly transported to the east. An array of Malaysian/Thai inspirations decorated the red walls; Buddhas, masks and even the cow that acts as their emblem was brought to life right above us.

Friday, 9 December 2016


Last weekend we went to the beautiful city of Amsterdam. It was my first time in the Dutch capital and I was surprised by the amount of South Asian restaurants that were knocking about. One day whilst exploring the area of De Pijp, close to the Heineken Experience south of the city, we stumbled across Frnzy, a Vietnamese street food restaurant nestled down one of the more quieter side streets. A quick glance of the street food style menu and we decided to give them a whirl.

Thursday, 8 December 2016


When Sunday rolls around and you can't be bothered to cook there is only one thing left to do; head on over to the local pub and get that Sunday roast cooked for you instead. When we discovered that The Lion And Lobster was just a stones throw from our hotel and was indeed serving this traditional British feast we just knew that we had to go and check them out. Painted bright red, Lion and Lobster's quirky exterior is hard to miss. With its traditional cartoon pub sign it really couldn't get any more quintessentially British. Stepping though the door is like stepping back to a time when the pub landlord was king and everyone came down for a sing song and a gossip down at the local boozer.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016


Sometimes when your googling a city to find out the best places to eat you'll get the same places popping up time and time again. "Award winning" you will hear or "best in the city" but it's when even friends start telling you about somewhere that you start thinking that this place could be particularly special. That is what happened with The Chilli Pickle in Brighton, we kept hearing such amazing things that we knew we had to give them a visit.

Thursday, 1 December 2016


You can't really visit a British seaside resort without taking a stroll along the prom and treating yourself to a portion of battered fish, chips and mushy peas. During our recent weekend break to glorious Brighton and having walked a gazillion miles hunting the brilliant Brighton Snow Dogs we decided to take a little break to enjoy a lunchtime nibble. The arches under the prom that line the seafront is home to  Lucky Beach and as we strolled past we couldn't help but be enticed in by their tasty looking menu.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016


Sometimes when you're visiting a new city you might spend ages researching places to eat, getting
recommendations from friends and family or trawling the internet looking at reviews and pictures on Instagram. Sometimes though you should just wait until you get there and you never know what you might stumble across. That is what happened with The New Club, which we walked past on our way to our hotel in Brighton. It looked nice inside and the menu sounded delicious so we decided to walk back in the evening and give it a shot.

Monday, 21 November 2016


So I realized on Sunday just gone that this would be the last weekend of the year we are actually going to be spending at home until the actual Christmas weekend (we are very busy people don't you know!). I couldn't let this weekend pass me by without baking a little something before we head off on our various travels. At the same time, I didn't want to spend all day in the kitchen so for me, there was only one cake to bake; the simply classic lemon drizzle loaf cake! Well as I always say, the oldies are the best aren't they?

Saturday, 19 November 2016


Why we booked a table at Grafene earlier this month is still a mystery to us? Not in a bad way you understand but its just we can't remember where or how we discovered it! Having booked said table weeks in advance for a pre-theatre dinner we ventured up to King Street in the Deansgate area of Manchester city centre on quite a wet and windy Friday evening to see if there was method to our apparent madness.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016


You can't have Christmas without a good old cheese board and you can't have a cheese board without a pickled onion or two. Making your own batch of plump pickled onions is so easy to do and also makes a great gift to hand out to friends and family as part of a homemade Christmas hamper. Take a slow, stress free day to prepare these bad boys, packed full of chili and other spices to really give them a kick. These little globes of pickled goodness are so much more delicious than any version you can buy in a supermarket.

Sunday, 13 November 2016


Having been blessed to be given the opportunity to give away a copy of the brilliant Liverpool Cook Book produced by Meze Publishing, I have also been granted permission to share one of the books fabulous recipes with you in the hope that it will inspire you to head out and purchase a copy of the book for yourself. The first recipe to instantly jumped out at me from the pages was Crosby Coffee's mocha brownies. Not only did they look divine in the book but I can confirm upon making them that they taste equally as delicious!

Thursday, 10 November 2016


On a horrible rainy week like the one we are having in Liverpool at the moment, sometimes all you want when you get in from work is a big plate of cheesy pasta. This doesn't have to be at the expense of your waistline though. By using a low fat cream cheese you can make a low calorie version that doesn't have to scrimp on flavor with the addition of chili and garlic to keep those taste buds dancing. Finish with some veg and a grating of parmesan and you can have this dish on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Sunday, 6 November 2016


I've whipped out another classic Christmas chutney recipe for you now with the return of my deliciously sticky and sweet caramelized red onion chutney. It's makes an amazing foodie gift to give to your friends and family. One thing to remember is that this onion relish is for life not just for a Christmas so keep some for yourself to spread on bacon butties or hot dogs throughout the whole year. This recipe will give you 1.5 litres worth of the gooey good stuff, just make sure you have the patience to let it brew for 1 month before digging in.

Saturday, 5 November 2016


 Released on October 20th, The Liverpool Cook Book brings together the very best of the city’s burgeoning food and drink scene; from a fantastic array of independent restaurants, to caf├ęs, pubs, delis, producers and suppliers. The book is the 16th in the series of regional ‘Get Stuck In’ guides by Meze Publishing, who were recently crowned Best Newcomer at the Independent Publishing Awards and I'm very excited to be able to offer you all chance to win your very own copy of this fabulous book:

Wednesday, 2 November 2016


I've been getting more adventurous with my flavorings recently and this Sunday I decided that I would try using some lemons to flavor my vegetables. No biggy you might think but I've always had a bit of an aversion to using lemons in savory dishes after a bad lemon chicken incident in a restaurant once. I'm glad that I gave it another go at home though as the lemon, mint and mustard dressing that I mix through this selection green beans, leeks and peas really does give the greens a lully little lift.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016


If you are not a fan of spending time in the kitchen then you probably have herbs and spices in your pantry that you bought yonks ago that are now sitting unloved in your cupboard. Set your spices free people! A curry made from scratch is so much more fragrant and tasty than a jar from the supermarket and is a great way to use up all those odds and ends. Once you've made your spice mix, all you need to make this curry is some fresh vegetables, garlic, ginger, tomatoes and chickpeas (of course!) and you are onto a winner.

Sunday, 30 October 2016


Mincemeat can be very dividing. A lot of people love it but I know a lot who can't stand the stuff. If there is anything that will ever convert people to the joys of mincemeat it will be this recipe! More fresh and fruity than the jarred varieties that are rushed out onto supermarket shelves at this time of year, it's another treat you can add to your Christmas repertoire. It takes literally minutes to whip up a batch which you can use on the same day or store in sterilized jars to really intensify the flavor before baking.


There is always two firm camps when it comes to gherkins and pickles. There are those who will see one on a burger, instantly pick it off and throw it twenty miles away like its the dirtiest thing they have ever come across and there are those like myself who would happily sit and eat their way through a whole jar of them. With Christmas just around the corner, we thought it would be a good time to make another batch of Jon's yummy cucumbers pickled with oodles of dill and spices. Are they as good as shop bought pickles? They are better!

Sunday, 23 October 2016


We're back in the big smoke this weekend and with tickets to see a show at the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park we needed to find somewhere nearby to have  pre show nibble. How lucky for us then that Street N4 should be located right next door. When we saw that it sold burgers and burritos we were instantly sold so off we popped on the tube to go and see if the food tasted as good as it sounded.

Thursday, 20 October 2016


If you took a look on here late September time you would of seen my 4C and 1G Biscuit Bites. These little treats really went down a storm when I made them so I decided to give them another spin and this time I gave them a little twist by swapping out the tinned caramel so that the coconut in the biscuit filling really becomes the star of the show. When you cover that filling with some proper good quality mint chocolate then you have a little nibble that is a great alternative to those famous after dinner mints (you know, those ones!).

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


A Friday night visiting Manchester for a little boogie at it's famous arena meant that it was time to give another of the city's new food and drink offerings a whirl and this time it was the turn of Albert's Schloss in the trendy Deansgate area of the city centre that caught our eye. Inspired by the Bavarian and Bohemian areas of Europe; it boasts on its website of being the first Tankovna in Manchester as well as having its very own bakery and "cook haus". I didn't know what what a Tankovna was but it sounded intriguing so off we went to go check it out.

Friday, 14 October 2016


It was time for some more foodie adventures in Liverpool now with a trip to Miyagi. This Asian restaurant located in the city centre up the thriving foodie hot spot that is Bold Street specializes in street food treats from the Far East. A glance at the menu shows traditional nibbles sitting alongside classic dishes with modern twists. Miyagi's namesake is a legendary movie creation, would the food be able to stand up to the name?

Monday, 10 October 2016


Our adventures in Croatia continued when we took the ferry from our base in Lopud over to Dubrovnik. When we got there we took a trip up the famous cable car and little did we know that at the top we would find Panorama Restaurant And Bar. Lunch now seemed like a no brainer.

Saturday, 8 October 2016


A simple classic can sometimes be as great as any over the top baking showstopper. Call it a "Tarte Au Citron" if you want to make it sound fancy but really all you have here a cracking perfectly baked shortcrust filled with a zesty lemon custard. Not only is it tasty and delicious but everyone is going to think that you are amazing when you tell them you made it from scratch. Follow the recipe below and you can have a classic lemon tart made from scratch turning yourself into a classically trained pastry chef in an instant!

Thursday, 6 October 2016


If you read the first part to my review of Mandrac, located on the island of Lopud just off the Croatian coast you will remember how I said  it was so good we would have too go back for a second time before we left! On the last day of our wonderful holiday this is exactly what we decided to do. Was the first magnificent visit to Mandrac just a spectacular fluke or would this small family run restaurant be able to deliver the goods again and really show itself off to be a glorious jewel of the Adriatic sea?

Wednesday, 5 October 2016


So I've just returned from a week away sunning myself on the beautiful island of Lopud, just off the coast of Croatia. During this week of rest and relaxation I had some of the best food of my life including two meals at this little restaurant called Mandrac. Situated on the same stretch of seaside strip as our hotel we discovered this little beauty on our first day and enjoyed it so much we went back on our last day. Let me tell you in this post about our first meal and exactly what made us fall in love this amazing restaurant.

Monday, 19 September 2016


Whilst the warm weather hangs around making summer in the UK last for just that little bit longer, here is a gorgeous dish that you can pop into your slow cooker and leave to work it's magic whilst you enjoy the remaining sun. This red lentil dish is an Italian favorite that uses a tin of tomatoes and chili, garlic, a variety of herbs, red wine vinegar, a pinch sugar and a good blast of seasoning to great a vibrant side that is a little bit sweet and a little bit spicy, bringing those summer vibes right into your kitchen.

Sunday, 18 September 2016


So, what's in a name? Well, let me explain what these 4C and 1G biscuit bites are all about. The 4C's are coconut, cinnamon, caramel (used in the biscuity filling) and chocolate (used to coat the bites). The G is ginger which you also add into the biscuit filling to give it a warming spiced lift. Makes perfect sense now doesn't it? Well, I could of called them my dark chocolate coated caramel, coconut, cinnamon, ginger spiced biscuit bites but that's a bit of mouthful really isn't it? One thing I do know is, whatever you call them they are moreish and delicious!

Tuesday, 13 September 2016


The inspiration for fabulous food ideas coming from My Kitchen Rules Australia this year continues with these delicious quinoa coated Quorn fillets. Now don't be put off by the quinoa, I always thought that I didn't like this stuff either but having given it a second chance I was blown away. By cooking and then toasting the quinoa you get a delicious crunchy toasted nutty type texture and flavor to the crust of these Quorn fillets once they are shallow fried. It's such a great alternative to just frying the fillets in breadcrumbs.

Monday, 12 September 2016


Now that the kids of gone back to school I think they deserve a little treat. It can be very daunting heading back to the world of education so these sweetie topped biccies are the sweet treat that is going to put a smile on any kids face. Also, I think some parents might think they deserve a little treat having putting up with their little cherubs for five weeks (admit it, you gave out a sign of relief didn't you!). This simple biscuit recipe will give you 12 yummy biccies that you can top with whatever choccies you wish!

Sunday, 11 September 2016


Pizza can often get a bit of bad reputation in the foodie world, whether that's because they have now become associated with dodgy takeaways you'd only dream of going too at 3am in the morning after a night out on the ale or because of the uninspired versions that get churned out at chain restaurants up and down the country. It can be really hard to find the real McCoy but Crust Liverpool hopes to change that perception by "pushing boundaries" with the Italian classic. Quite a bold statement I thought so when I feeling peckish one lunchtime and was passing by it seemed like a good idea to try to see if the goods matched up to the claims!

Thursday, 8 September 2016


The Cake & Bake Show in Association with Argos is the UK’s only dedicated baking show and arrives at ExCeL London on 7-9 October and EventCity Manchester on 10-13 November. Online entries are flooding in for one of the key highlights, the prestigious Official Show Cake and Bake Competition, where keen bakers from around the UK compete for a much-coveted winning rosette awarded for Best in Show, then Gold, Silver and Bronze within each category, along with a host of fabulous baking related prizes from Bosch and Kenwood, supplied by Argos. 

Tuesday, 6 September 2016


The Cake & Bake Show, in association with Argos, brings the nation’s best loved bakers, chefs, TV personalities, cake experts and enthusiasts together under one roof in a celebration of all things baking. Arriving at ExCeL, London from 7-9 October and EventCity, Manchester from 10-13 November, the UK’s only dedicated baking show promises a delicious array of culinary activity, inspiration and entertainment. Five of the biggest celebrity names in the baking world will be headlining the show this year and visitors will be able to see them on live on stage, sharing their skills and expertise;

Monday, 5 September 2016


So you've made a big batch of my Slow Cooked Tuscan Style Butter Beans for your BBQ and even though they were super delicious you still had a load left over at the end of the evening. No one wants to throw away perfectly good food now do they so why not transform your leftover's into a delicious soup which you can either eat straight away or freeze and enjoy as a quick supper at a later day. All you need is a few vegetables and some garlic to act as the base of your soup, some fresh herbs to give the flavors a kick up the bum and a good vegetable stock.

Friday, 2 September 2016


You might look at this red velvet cake and think it doesn't particularly look like the bright red creations you might see up and down the land in cake shops and bakeries. This is because I think that they look quite gaudy and artificial. My take on the red velvet cake gives a more dark red appearance that is more in line with the chocolate flavor of the sponge. The vanilla cream cheese frosting that holds the two sponges together and adorns the top keeps things moist and scrummy making for a delightfully delicious afternoon treat.

Thursday, 1 September 2016


I'm having a bit of a love affair with butter beans at the moment. Ever since I used them in my Thai Veggie patties and for my Tasty Thai Crab Cakes I've realized what an underrated gem they are. This recipe inspired by a Tuscan style of cooking uses just a few ingredients to make the beans the star of the show. By slow cooking the butter beans, they become really beautifully soft, creamy and infused with the flavors of garlic, sage and rosemary which they are simmered with. A fantastically simple recipe perfect for a lazy weekend.

Saturday, 27 August 2016


If I go to any Chinese restaurant or down to the chippy and I'm looking for a soup as a starter there is only one option; chicken and sweetcorn soup. It such a unique soup to the cuisine and one that I had never tried to recreate at home. That was until this week when I gave this meat free version a whirl and I was so surprised at how quick and simple it was to create this classic dish. What's even better is that its tastes so much fresher than the potentially MSG laden versions you can find in more dodgy food outlets.

Sunday, 21 August 2016


I hadn't made biscuits in a long time and this Saturday I really felt in the mood to make some little nibbles to enjoy with a nice cuppa whilst watching comforting weekend movies on the TV. If you look back at some of my old recipes you'll notice that lemon is possibly my favorite flavor when it comes to sweet treats and so when it came to deciding what biscuits to make it really wasn't too difficult decide. These little lemon biscuits covered in a zingy citrus icing are so buttery and crumbly that it's like they are giving you a warm hug.

Friday, 19 August 2016


My Kitchen Rules Australia is really giving me some food inspiration. First with the beetroot hummus I made a few weeks ago and last week I veggiefied another recipe to make these middle eastern spiced Quorn mince filo rolls. I finally got to use my pot of baharat spices that I've had for ages as well so it was win win all round. These crispy sesame seed sprinkled filo rolls are also stuffed with salty feta, soft sultanas, fresh spinach leaves and crunchy sunflower seeds . They were quite the yummy and I can see why they were marked so highly on the show!

Sunday, 14 August 2016


Many months ago I made these delicious oaty bars as an alternative to my Fab And Fabulous Flapjacks. I decided to revisit them this weekend as, after all my tray bake tales recently I was feeling a bit caked out. Last time I made them with strawberry jam however, this time round I had a jar of lime and mint curd from Scarlett and Mustard and it complimented the coconut mixed in with the butter, flour, oats, sugar so well that I had to revamp the recipe and share it with you all. These bad boys have gone up another level and you are going to love them!

Saturday, 13 August 2016


My next tray bake tale takes inspiration from the bakewell tart by using flaked almonds and almond extract to create a delicious moist sponge that has a little surprise hidden inside. A layer of cinnamon coated apples is baked inside the cake that adds an extra dimension to the more traditional plain tray bake sponge. This hybrid of an apple pie and the bakewell tart is another baked treat that you can add to your repertoire of tray bakes that you will keep coming back to time and time again. Served warm with a dollop of ice cream, well that's perfection!

Sunday, 7 August 2016


I haven't revisited a classic recipe for a while but a few weeks ago I made this gorgeous cauliflower cheese from scratch and I just had to share the recipe with you. My previous cauliflower cheese recipe was an easy peasy version for those of you who are maybe in a rush or not confident to make it from scratch. This one shows you how to make a delicious sauce using butter, flour, milk, Dijon mustard and cheddar cheese. It's surprisingly easy actually and is even better when you add in some bashed up bread sticks, herbs and onions to the mix.

Saturday, 6 August 2016


It's time for Part 5 of my selection of classic tray bakes and this one is definitely one of the nations favorites. It's the coffee and walnut tray bake! A combination that has been wowing people for years, you really can't beat this iconic pairing of flavors. I have added my own little twist though by decorating the top of my tray bake with some crushed chocolate coated coffee beans as opposed to the more traditional walnut halves. They add an amazing chocolaty crunch to the cake making it the perfect afternoon pick me up

Thursday, 4 August 2016


OK I'll admit it, sometimes a tin of Heinz cream of tomato soup is all you need to sort yourself out if you're a bit chilly or got a touch of man flu. It's lazy but it's so so good! If you have time however you can make this delicious homemade version using tomatoes, celery, onions roasted in garlic, honey and herbs and blitzed into a sensationally smooth souptastic treat. I can't promise you it's better than its tinned brother but it will clear away those cobwebs in no time. With this revamped recipe, I can promise you that for sure!

Tuesday, 2 August 2016


It was curry night in our house again last weekend and with a slow cooked veggie "butter chicken" on the go I had a bit of time on my hands to have a go at making some bread to serve alongside it. I'd tried making naan bread before so I thought I'd give another Indian bread a whirl, chapatis! They are so simple to make especially as there is no yeast involved which can be so hard to work sometimes. All you need is some flour, salt, oil, water, a super hot griddle pan and just over an hour of your time and you'll have 8 fabulous flat breads for the dinner table.

Monday, 1 August 2016


Here is a spruced up side for you to really give your Sunday roast a lift this weekend. We have all had our mashed carrot and swede but it can be ever so dull to have week after week. So, spin it on it's head by chucking some delicious Chedder cheese, grated nutmeg, butter and milk into the mix along with your softened carrot and turnip, mash it all together and then bake. Sounds simple but it really does make a difference. Why not give it a go and really surprise yourself and your guests with a fabulous twist on a Great British classic!