Monday, November 29, 2010

Home made Lemon Curd

Home made Lemon Curd

I am copying this recipe from Delia Smiths website. It is the most yummy thing ever! I have never liked lemon curd ever, but I cant get enough of this home made stuff. I thoroughly recommend trying this! It is especially nice with homemade lemon cheesecake or lemon merange pie :)

You will need:

Grated zest and juice of 4 large Lemons
4 large eggs
350g Golden Caster Sugar
225g Unsalted Butter
1 level desertspoon of Cornflour

Two or three 350ml Jars - sterilse your jars by putting them in the oven, Gas mark 4 for 15 minutes.


1. Begin by lightly whisking the eggs in a medium-sized saucepan

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and place the saucepan over a medium heat.

3. Whisk continuously using a balloon whisk until the mixture thickens – about 7-8 minutes.

4. Lower the heat to its minimum setting and let the curd gently simmer for a further minute, continuing to whisk.

5. Then remove it from the heat. Now pour the lemon curd into the hot, sterilised jars, filling them as full as possible, cover straightaway with little circles of baking paper.

6. Seal while it is still hot and label when it is cold. It will keep for several weeks, but it must be stored in a cool place

This is so delicious you might eat it all at once :)

NB: for the original recipe see

(p.s. I tried this again but using brown sugar instead, and it resulted in quite a weird brown mixture... not as appetizing as the normal golden yellow! so be careful)

Stew with Perfect Dumplings

I have decided to update this blog to include a recipe for a simple stew as well :)  Stews are brilliant because they are very easy to whip up and you can use whatever you have around.  They are also great for when you have skipped a lot of vegetables that you want to use up quickly!

The stew

You will need:

Lots of vegetables! - Potatoes, carrots, leeks, swede, parsnips, courgette, onion.. whatever you have
Tinned good - Butter beans, peas, sweetcorn... etc
Meat - chicken or turkey is good.  You can use left overs, just cut into small bite sized bits, or alternatively cook up the meat you prefer first in the oven, chop up and add to stew

50-100g Pearl Barley (if you fancy it)
Stock cube
Seasoning - mixed herbs, black pepper, sage, thyme.. etc


1. Chop up the onions and leeks and fry in some butter in a big saucepan

2. Chop up all the veg, and meat if using, add to pan and fill with water until all veg is covered.

3. Add the stock cube and seasoning, bring to boil then leave to simmer for an hour or so, stirring occasionally

4. Dont forget to add the dumplings about 20mins before its done :)


Ever wondered how to make the perfect fluffy, squishy dumplings to accompany a stew? Well its very simple and just requires one secret ingredient - Vegetable Suet. It might not be something you have in your store cupboard, but its very cheap and a box will last you ages so its well worth it! Also, as the suet is vegan, dumplings make an excellent way of adding something extra to a vegetarian stew - but its extra wicked in meat stews too :)

All you will need:

100g Self Raising Flour (or plain flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder :)
50g Vegetable suet
Black Pepper and herbs (sage is a good one for this)


1. Mix the flour and suet together in a bowl and season well

2. Slowly add a table spoon of cold water at a time and still until it becomes a firm dough.

(remember you can always add more but you cant take water out! It doesn't need much so go slowly!)

3. Put on a floured surface and lightly roll out (or just pat out with your hands :)

4. Cut into 8 - 12 balls and roll in flour. Remember they will expand when cooking so make them fairly small

5. Place dumplings on top of your stew and cook for 20minutes or so until expanded and fluffy

6. Enjoy!

Basic Cheese Sauce

Basic Cheese Sauce

I cant believe that you can buy this in jars at the shop when its so cheap and easy to make! So for those who dont know here it is a simple fail safe recipe :)

You will need:

50g Butter
25g Plain White Flour
250ml Milk
Around 50-100g Cheese depending on taste


1. Melt the butter gently in a saucepan

2. Add the flour and stir to make a thick paste

3. Take off the heat and gradually add the milk. Not too fast or youll get lumps! And stir constantly

4. Once all the milk has been added it should be smooth and runny

5. Put onto a moderate heat on the hob, and stir like mad! Dont stop for a second or itll burn!

6. After about 5 minutes it should start to thicken up nicely. Be patient with it, it does take a while.

7. Turn the heat very low and stir in the cheese and some black pepper :) Enjoy!

Serves 2 over pasta or in a lasagne

NB: This is a basic white sauce, you can replace the cheese with herbs or even tomatoe puree :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What to do with your left over egg whites...

What to do with your left over egg whites...

Gooey Chocolate cookies

You know how it is, you make something that requires 2 egg yolks and you have 2 egg whites left and you cant be bothered to make mirange or something, well here is a simple and tasty solution!

You will need:

2 Egg whites
200g Ground Almonds
30g Cocoa Powder
175g Icing Sugar


1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6

2. Mix the Egg whites and almonds

3. Add the cocoa powder and icing sugar. Mix and it should become a very gooey consistency

4. Use a teaspoon to scoop out small walnut sized balls, roll in your hands and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. (this is very sticky! So you may wanna wet yours hands)

5. Bake in the oven for 11 minutes. You should be able to make about 15.

6. Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds

Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds

Dont throw away your butternut squash seeds! When roasted they become a delicious snack which tastes a bit like popcorn and will satisfy a craving for crisps

You will need:

Butternut Squash Seeds
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
Black Pepper


1. Remove most of the squash fibres from the seeds - if a little is left over dont worry, it just adds to the flavour :)

2. Place seeds in a bowl, sprinkle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper

3. Spread seeds out on a baking sheet lined with baking paper

4. Bake in a very low oven, about gas mark 1, for 15 minutes or so.

5. Enjoy!

Once youve tried this you can experiment lots with different seasoning flavours, and roast for longer or shorter according to taste :)

Simple Butternut Squash Supper

Simple Butternut Squash Supper

This is a very simple way to enjoy a butternut squash, and is a tasty alternative to a baked potato :)

You will need:

1 Butternut Squash
Teaspoon of Olive oil
Knob of Butter
Black Pepper

Sage (optional)
1 clove finely chopped Garlic (optional)
Cheddar Cheese (optional)
Chopped nuts (optional - use anything like mixed nuts, walnuts, pecans etc)


1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5

2. Slice the squash in half length ways

3. Scoop out the seeds and fibres (dont throw away - see next recipe for roasted seeds, yum!)

4. Place a knob of butter in the hole, and if you like add some garlic too.

5. Brush the top with olive oil and season with black pepper, and sage too if you have it

6. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about an hour :)

7. Test to see if its ready by poking it with a knife, it should be very tender and smell delicious!

8. If you cant wait then eat it now!

9. If you can wait.. scoop out the middle with a spoon and put in a bowl, leaving a 1cm thick layer of flesh around the edge.

10. Mash it up and mix with grated cheese, and a small amount of mixed nuts if you like and season a bit more

11. Put the mash back in the squash, top with cheese and a few more nuts

12. Bake for a further 20 mins, or until the cheese is lovely and golden

13. Enjoy! I have mine with baked beans and salad yum yum :)

Red Thai Chicken and Mango Curry

Red Thai Chicken and Mango Curry

This recipe is adapted from Nigella Lawson's 'Nigella Express' cookbook. The original recipe features prawns instead of chicken and many fancy ingredients which I dont own and are unnecessary. My version is much more straight forward and very delicious indeed :)

You will need:

1 Tablespoon Oil
1 Onion finely chopped
1 1/2 Tablespoon Thai Red Curry Paste
2 Chicken Breasts
1 Medium Butternut Squash - chopped into 1/2 inch chunks (nb: dont worry about peeling it, it really doesnt matter at all and the skin is yummy)
2-3 Sweet Potatoes - chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
1 Fresh Mango or 1 Tin of Sliced Mango in Syrup (chop up into big 2 inch chunks)
250ml Chicken Stock
400ml Coconut Milk


1. Cook the Chicken on a baking sheet in the oven on Gas mark 6 for 25 mins (whilst its cooking you can chop up the onion, squash and potatoes ready for later)

2. Once its done, chop it up into good sized chunks and leave to one side.

3. Heat up the oil in a pan and fry the onion.

4. Add the chicken breast, followed by the curry paste. Stir it well so the chicken is well covered in the curry paste.

5. Add the coconut milk and chicken stock.

6. Add the butternut squash and sweet potatoes and bring to boil.

7. Bring the temperature down and leave it to simmer for 20 mins or so until the veg is tender.

8. Stir in the Mango and cook for another 5 mins.

8. Serve over rice or with noodles!

This serves 2-4. You can use half a squash, less potatoes and half a tin of coconut milk if your just on your own.. but this is so yummy you'll be pleased to have plenty of left overs for a delicious lunch the next day :)

NB: Alternatively you can slice the chicken up and fry it up with the onions at the start if you dont want to cook it in the oven. It doesnt matter too much. I prefer the oven because I want to be sure its cooked through, and because it gives me time to chop up the veg. But frying it is much faster :)

Deliciously Simple Chocolate Cookies

Deliciously Simple Chocolate Cookies

This recipe is taken and simplified from Nigella Lawsons "Nigella Express" cook book :)

It is delicious and super easy to make, just a bit of light stirring and you will have amazingly gooey cookies with melted chocolate pockets:)

All you need is:

100g Butter
150g Sugar (I use light demerara sugar which I think makes a big difference, but caster is ok)
150g Flour
35g Coco powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 egg
100g Chocolate Chips (or chopped up chocolate bar - this is essential to gooey lovely choccy bits in the middle so use whatever you can!)


1. Cream butter and sugar together

2. Add the egg and mix together

3. Add the Flour, Coco powder, Baking Powder to the butter/sugar/egg mixture

4. Fold in the Chocolate Chips

5. Scoop out teaspoon amounts, roll into a ball and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Makes about 15 good sized ones :)

6. Bake in a preheated oven at gas mark 4 for 12 minutes

7. Enjoy! :)


Hi there

I'm starting this blog because I love cooking, and I believe in good, honest, simple food.

You will find a mixture of my own recipes, plus ones I've taken and simplified/improved, as well as preserves, cooking tips and general food recommendations :)

I am improving this blog all the time, and am saving up for a camera so I can add better quality photos to the recipes! So please bare with me :)

If you have any questions or suggestions about anything on here feel free to leave a comment or send me a message. I would love to know if you have tried any of my recipes!

Charlotte x