Recent Posts

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.

Chickpeas with lemon & garlic

Chickpeas with lemon & garlic

This recipe for Chickpeas with lemon & garlic is a perfect accompaniment to a whole host of dishes. It really needs to be made with dried chickpeas for the best results so a little planning ahead is required.

The broth that is created whilst cooking this dish is fantastic and can be eaten straight from the pan hot, or my preference is to let it cool in the fridge overnight. The next day, the flavours will have intensified and you really get the lemon and garlic coming through.

Braised Ox Cheeks

Braised Ox Cheeks

Ox Cheeks when cooked slowly over a period of 3 – 4 hours are absolutely amazing! The fat renders down, and results in an absolutely crazy rich gravy. Strong, deep flavours within the meat and a very comforting unctuous quality to each and every forkful. You must try this recipe!

Chicken Tagine

Chicken Tagine

This Chicken Tagine recipe is a brilliantly quick and easy way to cook a hearty, healthy, winter warmer of a dish.

Tagine is Moroccan and is both the name of the dish, and the vessel that it is traditionally cooked in. There are numerous different recipes that you can follow, but they generally all include meat (normally Chicken, Lamb or Beef), vegetables and fruit or olives.

Pistachio, Coconut & Blueberry Cake

Pistachio, Coconut & Blueberry Cake

The recipe for Pistachio, Coconut & Blueberry Cake is amazing! The recipe uses mostly ground nuts for the cake with only a small amount of flour. This makes it extremely moreish and I can guarantee that it won’t be left sitting in your kitchen for long! The Blueberries are like little jam bombs inside the cake and the addition of the chocolate ganache adds a little bit of luxury.


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

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!

Lamb Koftas

Lamb Koftas

Yesterday’s lunch was a last minute affair, me and the kids had headed over to Tynemouth to see a pal, and before long conversation turned to what was for lunch. After a quick brainstorm and a trip to the local supermarket we were back in the kitchen rustling up some really tasty lamb Koftas.

With 2 keen cooks working away, lunch was ready within about 25 minutes, and the result was a really tasty, low-carb (January diet) and really very healthy lunch.