Month: July 2013

Minced Beef and Potato Pie

600g lean minced beef
2lb potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tbsp semi skimmed milk
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp sunflower oil
3 tbsp plain flour
16 fl oz unsalted brown or chicken stock
115g shallots or onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp dried thyme
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 230oc or gas mark 8.
Boil potatoes in saucepan and simmer until potatoes are tender.
Drain potatoes and mash along with milk and parsley. Set aside.
Mix together 2 teaspoons of oil with flour in saucepan over a low heat. Cook paste for 1 minute.
Gradually whisk in the stock and summer until it thickens.
Remove pan from the heat.
Place onions or shallots and vinegar in a frying pan and cook over a medium heat until vinegar has evaporated and onions are limp.
Add the beef mince and brown it over a high heat, making sure you break up big lumps.
Remove from the heat and stir in the thyme, ground pepper and thickened stock.
Divide the meat mixture into separate gratin dishes or one large dish.
Top the meat with the creamed potato and smooth over the top of the mince.
Bake in the oven until potatoes are lightly browned.



Little Chefs – Apple Crumble


The monsters had a great time making this crumble.
They chose the recipe, and we headed to the shops to get all our ingredients. They seemed to feel more important as they marched around the supermarket with their list in hand, bless their wee aprons.
We hope you enjoy this simple, tasty recipe.

Serves 6

500g eating apples
6 tablespoons of water
Ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon caster sugar

For the crumble
100g plain flour
100g whole meal flour
100g butter
75g light brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 180oc/gas mark 4.

Cut the apples into quarters, peel them and cut out the cores.
Place them in a pie dish.
Add the water to the apples. Sprinkle them with a large pinch of cinnamon and the caster sugar.
Mix together both flours.
Cube the butter and add into flour mix.
Mix the butter and flour together with a blunt knife, stir and cut into flour again, until the butter is fully coated with flour.
Wash your hands and dry them well.
Rub the butter into the flour. Lift the mixture as your rubbing and let it fall into bowl.
When the mixture is of breadcrumb consistency, mix in the soft brown sugar.
Sprinkle the topping over the apple mix and spread out evenly.
Place pie dish on a baking tray in the oven.
Bake for 45 minutes until the top has went a golden brown colour.
Once cooked let the crumble cool for 5 mins and then serve with ice cream or custard.



Little Chefs

I have decided to start a weekly recipe post called Little Chefs.
I will be posting up every Friday recipes and outcomes of what my little chefs and I have been upto.

I love cooking with the little ones and they love to get new cookbooks (think Lolly is starting to get an obsession with them like me and she’s only 2 1/2!).
They chose the recipe, I write the shopping list and we all go to the shops to get the items in.

I hope you enjoy these weekly posts as much as we will be making the recipes.
I will do a linky further up the road, when I figure out if and how I can do it on here.

Our first official Little Chef recipe post will be live later on today 🙂


Chicken and Sweetcorn Herby Crepes


We had this on Monday night, using leftover roast chicken, and boy was it good!

250g chicken – cut into cubes or shredded if using leftovers
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sunflower oil

for the Crepes
8 fl oz semi skimmed milk
1 egg yolk (keep white aside)
90g plain flour
15g unsalted butter melted
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp sunflower oil

Sweetcorn filling and sauce
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 shallot, chopped
165g Sweetcorn kernels
8 fl oz chicken stock
1 tbsp double cream
125g low fat cottage cheese
2 tbsp egg white

To make the crepe batter, whisk the milk and egg yolk together in a bowl.
Add the flour in, a little at a time, whisking continuously until all the flour has been mixed in and there are no lumps.
Stir in the butter, turmeric, salt, pepper and herbs.
Heat a crepe pan (I used a small frying pan as I don’t have one) over medium-high heat.
Pour 3-4 tablespoons of the batter into the hot pan and swirl it to coat the whole of the pan.
Cook until brown – around 30 seconds each side.
Slide onto a plate. The crepe should be quite thin.
Repeat the process until the batter is finished.
Preheat the oven to 170c or gas mark 3.
To prepare the crepe filling, season the chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in frying pan over medium heat.
Sauté the chicken for 4-5 minutes and transfer it to a bowl.
Add the remaining oil and sauté the shallot for 30-60 seconds, then add in the Sweetcorn and sauté for a further 3 minutes.
Remove around a third of the Sweetcorn mix and add it to the chicken – this is the filling.
To prepare the sauce, put the stock and cream into the pan and summer for 3 minutes. Then purée in a blender.
Add in the cottage cheese and the egg white to the chicken mix and combine well.
Full each crepe with 3-4 tablespoons of the mixture and roll up.
Wipe a baking tray with some of the oil.
Place the Crepes seam down on the tray and cover with the sauce. I also topped mine with cheese.
Bake for roughly 20 minutes until filling is heated through.

Enjoy x

In my ones I used a spicy tomato sauce that I had leftover on the top of the Crepes

Meal Planning Monday – 1st July 2013

Unbelievable. July the 1st already!
I cannot believe how fast time is going these days. And of course it means its just a year and 4 days until my wedding day 🙂

With purse strings tightening that little bit more I am going to completely run down my freezer and cupboards over the next few weeks. If any of you wonderful people know or have any cheap recipes send them my way or direct me to them ;).

Some of the recipes in this meal plan have came from the recipe book below (which I got from a local charity shop for 50p!)


Monday – chicken and sweet corn crepes (we have leftover chicken from our Sunday roast)

Tuesday – it’s our 9 year anniversary!! I will be heading to M&S for their two done for £10, hope they still do it!

Wednesday – I’m at the Bon Jovi concert at Hampden, dinner will be pub food.

Thursday – minced beef and potato pie

Friday – fish and chips

Saturday – cheese, potato and veg layer

Sunday – roast, unsure what yet

Head over to Mrs M for more meal planning ideas x