In the Kitchen: Macaroni Cheese Recipe

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Macaroni Cheese is one of those comfort foods that, when I’m feeling blah or just uninspired in the kitchen, I know I can make and I know I’ll enjoy.  I have a number of go to recipes but this is the easiest to make and, nine times out of ten, I have all the ingredients in the cupboards so it’s also stress and shopping free. Continue reading

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Banana Raspberry Smoothie Recipe

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I wrote a while ago about the benefits of breakfast and how I had started to try and mix up my breakfast routine.  That included making smoothies, my favourite of which was a chocolate peanut butter one.  Recently, it’s had competition in a raspberry and banana smoothie that seems to go with the lighter mornings and sunshine that (occasionally) comes through the kitchen window.  It feels fresher than the chocolate and peanut butter smoothie and – dare I say it – a little bit healthier.   Continue reading

Made it Myself: Breadcrumbs (a wonderful way to be less wasteful)

seeds-2908636_1920As much as I try not to waste food, sometimes there are things that just didn’t get eaten.  When there are, the search is on to try and figure out if there is anything I can do with them before they get thrown away.

Bread is a perfect example.  We don’t eat enough to mean that, sometimes, it doesn’t go stale before it gets eaten.  There are tons of ways to use up stale bread, including bread and butter pudding, a personal favourite, but today I’m looking at the simplest, making breadcrumbs.   Continue reading

Simple carrot cake recipe

seeds-2908636_1920Carrot cake is one of those cakes that I either love or hate – and I never know until I actually take the first bite.  When it’s good, it is amazing.  Not too sweet, moist and flavourful.  When it’s bad, it’s bad.  Dry, bland, often with overly sweet frosting.  There never seems to be an in-between.  And when it’s good, it’s one of my favourite cakes ever (coming second only to red velvet, another it’s hard to get right). Recently, I have made it my mission to come up with – for me – the perfect carrot cake.  A mix of a number of recipes, I think I’ve finally cracked it! Continue reading

Cutting Food Waste (and cutting food bills)

According to the Food Standards Agency, in the UK we threw away over 7 million tonnes of still edible food last year and about half of it came from homes, not shops and restaurants.  It is such a shocking figure, especially when you think that so many people are going hungry and relying on food banks.  It’s also expensive.  The estimated cost of those 7 million tonnes is £13bn and the average cost per household is £470.  Cutting back on food waste, and your food bills as a result, is easier than you think. Here are five easy  ways to do it… Continue reading

What I learnt about the cocoa bean (when I decided to make craft chocolate)

With Easter days away, it’s impossible to not see chocolate everywhere I turn. I’m not complaining, I love chocolate and think it should be its own food group but, recently, I’ve started to look for something different in my chocolates beyond your standard name-brand hollow egg.  I’ve even been thinking that I might make my own.

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Craft Chocolate UK has a great blog post that told me everything I needed to know about making my own chocolates.  It also told me things I didn’t know or didn’t expect – like I might want to think about roasting my own beans. I’m not sure what I thought I would be doing when I made my own chocolates, but it definitely wasn’t that.  Continue reading

Cheats veggie chilli recipe

seeds-2908636_1920Most days, I try and be good and cook my meals from scratch. I don’t always succeed and, the further through the week I get, the harder it is to stay motivated. It’s the same when I have lots on, fresh food goes by the wayside.

In the warm weather, it’s not too bad – salads are always a quick and easy option – but on cold, dark, nights, it’s harder to not resort to soup or heat ‘n’ eats. This chilli is quick, simple, and veggie so stops me feeling too guilty about not slaving over a hot stove. It takes about 10 minutes to get everything in the pan and another 15 to cook and will easily serve 4 people.  The photo took doesn’t do it justice but I was in a bit of a rush…. Continue reading

The benefits of breakfast

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I’m sure there isn’t anyone out there that doesn’t know that breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day.  I grew up with the slogan “go to work on an egg” and have read too many articles to count on why I should have a healthy breakfast to start me up right for the day.

There are so many benefits to breakfast.  You are more likely to avoid certain health conditions, you are less likely to put on weight, and you are more likely to feel energised enough to make it through a day at work.  Continue reading

Made it myself: Leek, pepper, and egg “bake”

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Sometimes (actually, a lot of the times), I really don’t want to slave away over the stove.  I want something quick and easy.  Other times, I really crave comfort food, something that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.  This week, the two came together in a dish that I call a bake, even though it’s mainly made on the stove top, because I’m not sure what else to call it (ideas on a postcard or in the comments section please as it would be nice to have a more appropriate name).

I’m not sure when I started making this – it’s been at least ten years – or where the idea came from – most likely a cooking show, one of those where people give the chef random ingredients and ask them to make a gourmet meal because you can’t get ingredients more random than this.  Regardless, though, it tastes great and is quick and easy to make.  Plus, my family love it as much as I do, which makes it an win-win on lazy cooking nights.  Continue reading