Recent Posts

Chicken & Mushroom Pie

Chicken & Mushroom Pie

This Chicken & Mushroom pie never disappoints, and is really quick and easy to make. The simple flavour combinations work well here, the sweetness of the chicken along with the slightly acidic reduced white wine and fresh thyme, and salty pancetta really get the taste buds tingling. And there is only one thing that can make this combination better?….flaky, buttery pastry!

This is another family favourite in our household, it normally forms part of one of our Autumn or Winter dinners, however, with a cold snap here in the North East this week, we felt we needed some comfort food!

Roast Ham with Honey Mustard & Chipotle

Roast Ham with Honey Mustard & Chipotle

The ham and pease pudding stottie is Traditional to the North East and Northumberland. It is the perfect solution to a rumbling stomach after a day of fresh air and a bit of graft!

Sometimes it is the most basic of foods that can be the most satisfying, a simply boiled joint of gammon finished off in the oven with a tasty glaze, carved thickly and served in a freshly baked stottie and pease pudding….delicious!

Chicken Katsu Curry

Chicken Katsu Curry

After a long week at work, Friday night tea this week was inspired by the one and only ‘Jimmy’ Oliver. His recipe for Chicken Katsu Curry never disappoints, and with a little effort you end up with a delicious dinner for the whole family.

The good thing with this recipe is that it really satisfies in terms of the crunchy marinated chicken breast, liberally covered in panko breadcrumbs and then deep fried, along with a rich and spicy curry sauce. However, not particularly hot, which means the kids love it!

Spanish Tortilla

Spanish Tortilla

Spanish Tortilla is a fantastic lunch time dish to feed your hungry family. In terms of ingredients, you can’t get any simpler – good quality eggs, potatoes and onions – that’s it!. When cooked correctly the sweetness of the onions really hits home along with the comfort of the soft, starchy potatoes & egg. Delicious!

Herby Paprika & Chilli Chicken

Herby Paprika & Chilli Chicken

This recipe for Herby Paprika Chicken is a really delicious way to use up any spare bits of chicken you may have in your fridge or freezer. It is another very versatile recipe and is great with either thighs or breasts.

It is influenced by many of the flavours of the Middle East and is lightly spiced to create a really flavoursome, comforting dish.

Corned Beef Pie

Corned Beef Pie

Corned Beef Pie really evokes strong food memories in me from my childhood. It was one of those staple recipes that would be served up on a weekly basis through the Autumn and Winter months in our household, and I absolutely loved it!

The really great thing about this corned beef pie is that it is so affordable to make! You can literally feed a family of four for well under £5 and still have leftovers for the next day!

Chipotles en Adobo

Chipotles en Adobo

Chipotles en Adobo is a smoky, sweet yet spicy puree that delivers an intense flavor of chipotle chillies.

It is made from the dried & smoked jalapeno pepper and is an amazing addition to any marinade, sauce, dip or dressing. A small teaspoon of this amazing mixture will totally transform any dish.

Lamb Tagine with Spiced Chickpeas

Lamb Tagine with Spiced Chickpeas

Lamb Tagine is an absolutely brilliant recipe/method of cooking to really get all the flavour out of a cheaper cut of lamb. It is really easy and as long as you have a clay tagine and a heat diffuser to go on your hob you can’t go wrong!

Using Lamb instead of chicken, adds a lot of extra depth of flavour to the finished dish, and it really benefits from the addition of a sweet and sticky element. Many recipes will use dried apricots (which work really well), however, on this occasion I went for prunes instead. Over the hour or so that the tagine is cooking, they break down creating a really rich and flavoursome sauce.

Awesome Taco’s

Awesome Taco’s

I absolutely love Taco’s! Not only do they look amazing, layers of vibrantly coloured morsels piled on top of each other….but they also taste divine! The great thing with Taco’s is that there is a countless combination of potential toppings. There will always be a tasty option for the meat eater and vegetarian alike.

Corn Tortillas

Corn Tortillas

This simple recipe for Corn Tortillas will totally transform any Mexican inspired meal. This recipe is really pretty simple and with a bit of practice you should be able to bang out a dozen or so of these tortillas without too much effort.


Eating Out

The Fish Shack – Amble

The Fish Shack – Amble

Amble is a regular destination for our family on the weekend, situated on the gorgeous Northumberland Coast, this still working fishing town is fast becoming a fantastic place to visit for some great quality, locally sourced sea food.

The town has recently under gone some development works to the marina and harbour village, with a number of wooden pods being installed to host quirky local traders  selling everything from local artisan bread, ice cream, Northumbrian cheeses and a number of the mandatory trinket and souvenir vendors. Along with this was the introduction of the purpose built seafood market which hosts a lobster hatchery for the kids to have a look around and a small fish counter.

As a result of this development, and the year on year increase in tourists visiting Northumberland, a number of quality operators have landed in the town and this has provided some fantastic eating and drinking opporunities.

Todays visit was to the Fish Shack – the name describing the venue perfectly!  This is one of 4 local businesses owned and ran by the Old Boat House Food Group which is headed up by Ruth & Martin Charlton. An upturned old wooden fishing boat (The Sea Quest) catches the eye as you approch the hut which is situated a 100 metres or so down from the main harbour. It was a freezing cold, windy day and the 4 of us pushed our way through the entrance and suddenly stepped back in time into what felt like an old fishermans lodge. rough wooden panelled walls, bare floorboards, reclaimed wooden tables  and fishing nets & nik naks adorning the walls – along with a rather scary lobster!

Moving through into the back room there was more of the same, a slightly cosier feel and small bar area which had a great range of local cask ales on offer. We sat in the front area and looking through the menu opted for fish & chips all round. Service was prompt and efficient, which was good, as it was rather cold during our visit, everytime the front door was opened an icy blast hit us, however, this was the type of place where it was definitely ok to keep your coats on!

We didn’t have to wait long for our food and we were soon tucking into our fish & home made chips. The quality and presentation were excellent, the meal being served on a rectangular metal tray with lashings of chunky homemade tartare sauce, minted pea puree and some of the best homemade chips I have had in along time. The fish itself, was fresh, perfectly cooked and in a light crisp batter. The portion size was just right and at £10.50 represented really good value.

Looking through the menu there are also plenty of great sounding dishes to keep you wanting to come back – including Swallows of Seahouses Smoked Kippers, North Shields dressed Crab,and some absolutely fantastic sharing platters that include whole lobster, crab, and even a bottle of fizz!

In summary we had a really enjoyable family lunch out at the Fish Shack, the service was good and they looked after us well. The venue is brilliant and there is plenty of quirks to keep you interested and the view of the harbour is beautiful (even on a cloudy, windy day!) – This will absolutely be a regular haunt for us through the Spring and Summer months.


Delicious Dinners

Chicken Katsu Curry

Chicken Katsu Curry

After a long week at work, Friday night tea this week was inspired by the one and only ‘Jimmy’ Oliver. His recipe for Chicken Katsu Curry never disappoints, and with a little effort you end up with a delicious dinner for the whole family.

The good thing with this recipe is that it really satisfies in terms of the crunchy marinated chicken breast, liberally covered in panko breadcrumbs and then deep fried, along with a rich and spicy curry sauce. However, not particularly hot, which means the kids love it!

Herby Paprika & Chilli Chicken

Herby Paprika & Chilli Chicken

This recipe for Herby Paprika Chicken is a really delicious way to use up any spare bits of chicken you may have in your fridge or freezer. It is another very versatile recipe and is great with either thighs or breasts.

It is influenced by many of the flavours of the Middle East and is lightly spiced to create a really flavoursome, comforting dish.

Corned Beef Pie

Corned Beef Pie

Corned Beef Pie really evokes strong food memories in me from my childhood. It was one of those staple recipes that would be served up on a weekly basis through the Autumn and Winter months in our household, and I absolutely loved it!

The really great thing about this corned beef pie is that it is so affordable to make! You can literally feed a family of four for well under £5 and still have leftovers for the next day!

Lamb Tagine with Spiced Chickpeas

Lamb Tagine with Spiced Chickpeas

Lamb Tagine is an absolutely brilliant recipe/method of cooking to really get all the flavour out of a cheaper cut of lamb. It is really easy and as long as you have a clay tagine and a heat diffuser to go on your hob you can’t go wrong!

Using Lamb instead of chicken, adds a lot of extra depth of flavour to the finished dish, and it really benefits from the addition of a sweet and sticky element. Many recipes will use dried apricots (which work really well), however, on this occasion I went for prunes instead. Over the hour or so that the tagine is cooking, they break down creating a really rich and flavoursome sauce.

Chicken with Sumac & Preserved Lemon

Chicken with Sumac & Preserved Lemon

This recipe of Chicken with Sumac & Preserved Lemons is in my opinion a perfect introductory dish into the wonderful world of Middle Eastern cuisine. It is really simple and easy to make, and will reward you with some absolutely amazing flavours and aromas, both whilst preparing and cooking it, and most importantly whilst eating it!