24 Apr 2015


Since giving up grains a year ago, I never thought I would get to the day when I would prefer the substitutes and really enjoy them, but I do! so now I know I will never go back.  I love the great crispy crunch from the iceberg wrap that is loaded with a juicy pan fried blackened spiced chicken breast, topped with gorgeous zesty lime and hot chilli mayo, and just for me more finely shredded iceberg lettuce, these also work well for a packed lunch.

(serves 2)

2 chicken breasts bashed out
2 tbsp blackened spices
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 iceberg lettuce
2 chillies chopped
1/2 lime juiced
1 tbsp chopped coriander

Home Made Mayo
(3 minutes to make and gorgeous)
3 egg yolks
300ml organic rapeseed oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of white pepper

Place the chicken breasts in a food bag and using a rolling pin bash the chicken breasts thinner, so that they are the same thickness all over, toss in the blackened spice and coat well.  Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan and sear the chicken breasts, slightly catching the spices, hence the name blackened, turn down the heat and continue to cook until cooked through.

Meanwhile take the core out of the iceberg lettuce and gently tease off the outer leaves keeping them whole, if they break just over lap two split leaves to make one.

The Mayo
Place the egg yolks, white wine vinegar, dijon, salt and pepper in  a large bowl and whisk together, start to drizzle the oil in very slowly at first, whisking gently as you go, once your mix emulsifies you can start to add the oil a little faster, once all your ingredients are incorporated add the lime juice, chopped chillies and chopped coriander

Take your iceberg lettuce leaves and place your blackened chicken in the centre, top with lashings of your zesty chilli lime mayo and some finely sliced iceberg lettuce and enjoy this gorgeous iceberg parcel of flavour.

16 Apr 2015


A fabulous detox cleansing, fat and cholesterol elimination salad, not only great tasting but mainly thanks to the great and amazing fennel and its plant chemicals, this salad contains essential oils which are mildly diuretic also helping you to loose excess fluid, fennel's oils are also a great support in maintaining hormone balance.

This is an easy assemble of glorious gorgeous ingredients that brighten up your plate and sing to your tastebuds, a really good food for you salad without any compromise on flavour.

Prep time 5 minutes

(serves one)

The Dressing
1 orange juiced 30ml
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp Dijon whole grain mustard
50ml olive oil
3 tsp white wine vinegar
Sea salt and pepper

The Salad
1 ruby grapefruit peeled sliced
1/2 bulb fennel sliced
1/2 red onion sliced
1 handful watercress
1 handful spinach

First place all the dressing ingredients in a jam jar, pop the lid on and shake away, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Place your watercress and spinach in a bowl and layer the rest of the ingredients in the centre of the bowl, drizzle over a little of the dressing and enjoy, keep the left over dressing in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks.

13 Apr 2015


Fabulously fun to make and great to give as gifts to friends and family with dogs!  Simple easy recipe and if you don't have a dog bone cookie cutter no worries, any shape will do, I can assure you the dogs won't mind one bit.  My guys love these treats and it is a joy baking them for them.

Prep time 15 minutes / Baking time 15 minutes

(makes approx 40 treats)

 500g rolled oats
100g milk powder
100g peanut butter smooth
1 cup hot water
100g coconut flour for dusting and rolling

Optional Ingredients
(keep biscuits in the fridge if they have meat in them)
Beef mince

Place the peanut butter in the bowl and stir in the milk powder to form a smooth paste, add the oats and then the water and bring together to form a stiff dough.  On a coconut floured surface roll out the dough to the thickness of a quarter of an inch.  Cut out your canine cookies and place on lined baking tray and bake for approx 15 minutes at 180 degrees, remove from the oven and allow to cool before treating your best friends.

10 Apr 2015


I love every meal that comes completely from our garden, having a bunch of self sufficient meals that I have grown ourselves fills me with such satisfaction and rewards the passion for growing our own food.  This year I have been quite successful in growing, onions, garlic, leeks, celery, beetroots, carrots and parsnips over winter, it has been a daily joy looking down the garden and still having half the vegetable beds full of food, now I have a logistic's issue on where to start of half my summer vegetables, solution more beds!  Who needs grass anyway!

Prep time 10 minutes / Cooking time 15 minutes

This is my first year of successfully growing winter vegetables, I planted garlic, onions and leeks in September and they grew a little then slowed down for winter and come March they have really picked up on the growing and are almost ready to start using young now as the rest mature.  The leeks, beetroot, parsnips, carrots and celery I planted in July have over wintered in the garden beautifully, I did have a mild panic when we had several light dusting's of snow and some big frosts, some of the vegetables froze, however they have all been fine, next winter I will probably bank up the vegetables with straw as a blanket insulator, then chop mulch that in to the beds before spring.

(serves 2-3)
4 carrots peeled and diced
4 parsnips peeled and diced
1 leek finely chopped
3 sticks celery finely chopped
1 potato peeled and diced
1 sprig thyme
1 ltr homemade chicken stock (recipe below)
1 tbsp butter
sea salt and white pepper

Homemade Chicken Stock
(Place everything in a saucepan and gently almost simmer for 2hrs, strain and season)
1-2 chicken carcasses
2 carrots rough chopped
2 celery rough chopped
1 onion halved 
1 leek rough chopped
2 bay leaves
1.5 ltr boiled water

The Soup
Really any garden ingredients you have will make a gorgeous soup
Put all the ingredients in a sauce pan except the salt and pepper and bring to a gentle simmer, cook until the vegetables are fork tender, add the butter then season to taste, you can serve this soup chunky like I have or using a potato masher crush the vegetables a little to make the soup a little thicker with flecks of vegetables or using a stick blender blend to a smooth thicker bodied soup,   Serve with a fabulous hunk of fresh sour dough with lashings of thick creamy butter.

8 Apr 2015


One of my top favorite dinners, really fab fun eating with family and friends, I love the gorgeous flavours from the soft aromatic spiced chicken with the zesty fresh lime and freshness from the sour cream, loaded with fresh creamy guacamole and spicy raw tomato chilli and coriander salsa that just resonates on my taste buds making me want more more more!  The great extra bonus from this style of sharing food is the family interaction over this meal, creating great times and memories over food.

Prep time 10 minutes / Marinate/proving time 1hr / Cooking time 7 minutes 

(serves 4-6)
6 chicken breasts free range organic 
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 cloves garlic sliced
1 handful of fresh coriander rough chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp ground corinader
1 small pinch fresh ground black pepper
1 small pinch sea salt
2 limes juiced
1 red pepper deseeded sliced
1green pepper deseeded sliced
1 onion peeled sliced

(Makes 8)
500g 00 flour
15g dried yeast
50ml olive oil cold pressed
10g sea salt
320g tepid water

(Place all ingredients in a blender and blitz)
1 tin of tomatos 
1 onion
1 lemon juiced
2 red chillies
1 small bunch coriander
50-100g tomato purée
Sea salt
Black pepper

(Mix all the ingredients together)
2 ripe avocados mashed
2 spring onions finely chopped
1/2 red pepper finely chopped
2 cloves garlic grated
1/2 lime juice
1 small bunch coriander chopped
1 large tomato deseeded finely chopped
Sea salt and black pepper

First make the dough so that it can prove covered on the side for later, minimum of one hour, you can also make your dough the day before, cover and leave to prove in the fridge for 24hrs, allow the dough to come up to room temperature, out of the cold bowl, before using.  

Very simply just place all the ingredients in a large bowl and combine, knead for seven minutes until the sticky dough becomes smooth and springy, I like to knead by stretching the dough away from me and rolling it back up towards myself, turn 90 degrees and repeat, this incorporates air in the dough helping the rise and softens the texture.

Chop the chicken into large pieces and place in a bowl, add the lime juice, cumin, chilli powder, ground coriander, garlic, salt and pepper and leave to marinate for at least half an hour.

While your chicken is marinating cook the flatbreads, divide your dough in to eight balls, on a floured work top roll out each ball to a approx 8" circle, heat a non stick frying pan medium hot and dry fry each bread for approx one and a half minutes on each side allowing the bread to catch a little, wrap the breads in a tea towel tom keep warm.  Next make the salsa and guacamole as above.

Heat you pan or wok medium hot, add the coconut oil then the marinated chicken, reserving the marinating juices for later, stir fry until your chicken is almost cooked, approx four minutes, add the reserved marinade, peppers and onion and stir through for a minute so until hot but still keeping a slight crunch in the peppers and onion, sprinkle in the fresh coriander and serve with the warm flatbreads, sour cream, guacamole and salsa.

3 Apr 2015


Gorgeous garden frittata, another self sufficient meal our urban small holding has provided, eggs from our girls, rocket, spinach and peppers from the vegetable beds and what we are most proud of is the ham and chorizo from our own pigs.  Every mouthful prides us with satisfaction for all our efforts in trying to grow our own greener food, lower our demand on mother earth and becoming more sustainable in our daily ways.

Prep time 5 minutes / Cooking time  7-10 minutes

(serves 2)

6 free range organic eggs
1 handful of spinach leaves
1/2 red pepper roughly chopped
1/2 green pepper roughly chopped
1 handful rocket leaves
100g ham
50g chorizo
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil

A very quick and simple one pan cook, made even easier by popping under the grill to finish off.  In a large bowl or jug crack in the eggs and lightly beat, add all the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine roughly, season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Pre-heat your grill to high and then heat your frying pan medium, add the coconut oil once melted pour in the eggs, cook on a medium heat for around five minutes or until the centre looks like is is setting from underneath, take off the heat and place the frying pan under your pre-heated grill and cook for a couple of minutes.  Serve with a side of leafy salad.


Gorgeous twist on the Spanish Tapas Gambas Pil Pil, the prawn, garlic and chilli infused oil that the prawns are cooked is the star of this dish, drizzling this oil over the finished dish takes your rice to another level.

Prep time 5 minutes / Cooking time 15 minutes

(serves 2)

 10 large shell on cold water ocean prawns
200ml groundnut oil
1 whole bulb garlic sliced
2 red chilli's pierced
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp fresh coriander torn
1 coffee mug of Thai rice

Marinate The Prawns

Place the prawns in a bowl with the oil, garlic and chilli, leave to infuse for a hour or longer if you can.

First get the rice cooking, rinse the rice twice in cold water, place the rice in a saucepan with a lid, using the same coffee mug that measured the rice add two mugs of water, bring the rice to a simmer and pop the lid on, turn the heat down slightly and cook for 8 minutes, do not take the lid of at all, remove from the heat after the 8 minutes and leave to one side for 10 minutes for the rice to finish cooking, while you cook the gambas prawns.

In a large wok add the oil and prawns, reserving the garlic and chillies for later, stir fry the prawns shell and head on until cooked, I had to do this in two batches, place on a plate, and peel the head and shell off the prawns, meanwhile add the chilli and garlic to the wok and cook until the garlic is a light brown, this will give the garlic a gorgeous brown nutty chewy flavour, add back the peeled prawns and the white wine vinegar, stir fry for just a moment and serve on top of a bed of rice, drizzle over all the cooking oil from the pan making sure you also scrape off any bits from the pan as this adds that extra depth of flavour to your dinner.  


Such an easy recipe, the real key to success every time is in the method!  This batter likes to be made around an hour before it is needed and left resting at room temperature, I have tried so many various methods with hit and miss results and since I found this one it has never let me down, I use this recipe for yorkshire puddings, toad in the hole and as a base for pancakes.

Prep time 5 minutes / Resting time 40 minutes / Cooking time 20 minutes

(makes 10)

200g free range organic eggs
200g plain whisked flour
200g room temperature full fat milk
pinch of sea salt and white pepper
10 tsp dripping

Take the eggs and with a balloon whisk beat in a large jug, add the whisked flour, whisked saves you having to sieve, it does the same job without the mess, whisk until you have a thick smooth mixture, add the milk, salt and pepper and gently whisk until completely incorporated, if you want to ensure no lumps at this stage you can strain through a sieve.  Leave to rest on the side at room temperature for around 40 minutes.

about twenty minutes before you are ready to cook the yorkshires, pre-heat your oven to 200-220 degrees, when you are ready place a tsp of dripping in each batter tin and place in the oven to get really hot, now the next part is very important to ensure successfully high risen light and crispy yorkshire puddings.

When you are ready to add the batter to the tin, have the batter jug ready to hand, remove the batter tin from the oven as fast and safely as possible, remember hot fat, close the oven door quickly keeping all the heat in, pour in the batter in to the yorkshire tin again as fast as you can and gently without bashing the batter tin pop it back in the oven closing the door gently! Phew!  

Under no circumstances can you open the oven door!  If you do your yorkshire puddings will drop and become heavy batter puddings.  If you have cranked your oven up to 220 degrees, after 5 minutes turn the heat to 200 degrees no lower, these gorgeous light crispy yorkshire puddings should be ready around 18-20 minutes later, you can tell without opening the oven door, you are looking for a medium light brown even colouring all over and twice the height of the tin.

You can use these as an alternative to bread, tear one open and layer in some medium rare beef and drizzle over some horseradish mixed with creme fraiche and some crispy fried onions.


Gorgeous Gorgeous Gorgeous Roast Rib Eye of Beef, this is one of my most favourite roasts, the gorgeous memories of nan and grandad and the old fashioned smell of clean grass feed fat roasting and basting the meat as it cooks enhancing that gorgeous and glorious rib of beef, the anticipation is just mouth wateringly beautiful, I or my taste buds do confess to having a hankering to the hot crispy salty seasoned fat on the top of the joint, to me this is the very best, the flavour is un-believable and very naughty, but once in a while perfectly acceptable!

Prep time 15 minutes / Approx oven roasting time 2kg 50 minutes blue / 55 mins rare / 60 mins med rare / 70 mins med / 1hr 25+ mins well done / plus 15 mins resting time.

Approx Timing Guide
9 mins per lb Blue/Rare 55 degrees plus resting
12 mins per lb rare/rare 60-65 degrees plus resting
15 mins per lb well done 70-75 degrees plus resting

(serves 4-6)

2 kg rib of beef on the bone
1 tbsp sea salt & fresh ground black pepper for the beef
2 kg potatoes peeled and halved placed in water
100g semolina
Sea salt and white pepper for the potato's
6 tbsp beef dripping
4 carrots peeled rough chopped
2 heads of broccoli florets
1 sweetheart cabbage finely sliced

The Best Ever Roast Beef Gravy
500ml beef bone stock
200ml Madeira
All the resting juices from the beef
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
Sea salt and black pepper

Fabulous Yorkshire Puddings
(Makes 10)
200 ml eggs beaten
200 ml milk
200 ml plain flour whisked
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper

Roast Beef
First job is to get the beef in the 190 degree pre-heated oven for the required cooking time, I cooked our beef rare which was 60 minutes at 190 degrees adding a minimum of 15 minutes for resting time, out of the oven, this resting time gives you the time to make the gravy, cook the yorkshire puddings and vegetables while the roasting potatoes finish off, I allow 1hr to roast my potatoes gorgeously crispy and light and fluffy in beef dripping and by giving the beef a 10 minute head start from the potato's you will have every thing ready to serve at the same time.

Roast Potato's
Peel the potato's and cut in half, place in a pan of water with a pinch of salt and bring to a simmer, simmer for five minutes and then take off the heat and leave to stand for a further five minutes, drain and gently shake the colander to fluff up the edges of the potato, this will give you extra crispy potato's, season with sea salt, white pepper and sprinkle over the semolina, add to your roasting tin and toss in the dripping coating the potato's all over pop the tin back in the oven, these beauties are going to be basting in the glorious roasted beef fat that is rendering down as the beef roasts, the potato's will only need turning once at the half way point around 30 minutes.

Yorkshire Puddings
Next make the yorkshire batter so that it can rest on the side for three quarters of an hour or so, place the eggs and flour in a large jug and with a balloon whisk, whisk until you have a creamy smooth mixture, add the milk, salt and pepper and whisk again until all incorporated and lump free, you can pass this mixture through a sieve if you want, leave on this side at room temperature until needed.

Crank the oven up to 200 degrees and in a yorkshire batter tin place a tsp of beef dripping in each tin, section, pop in the oven for 5 minutes to get super hot, now this bit is important for successfully high yorkshires, have your batter jug ready to pour, take the tin from the oven, close the door and as fast as is safe pour the batter into the tins, get this back in the oven as fast a possible and close the door! Phew!  Under no circumstances can you open the oven door for the next 18-20 minutes, if you do the puddings will flop, while this is not the end of the world it means your yorkshires will be more of a heavy batter pudding rather than a light airy crispy puff of a yorkshire pudding.

The Gravy
Pour off any fat into a dripping bowl, reserving any juices in the pan, pop the dripping in the fridge ready to use for the next roast, place your roasting tin on the stove and add the beef stock and Madeira, bring to a rolling simmer and reduce by a third, add all the resting juices from the beef and using a whisk be sure to scrap off all the flavoursome bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan adding further depth to this gorgeous old fashioned honest gravy.  Take the soft almost melting butter and mix in the flour, this will thicken the gravy to your choice, start with half the mix and add to the simmering gravy, whisk in well until smooth, taste and season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper if needed, if you want a thicker gravy add more of the beurre manie butter flour roux.

Serve with the steamed or boiled vegetables, crispy fluffy roast potato's and your beautiful full flavoured gravy.

2 Apr 2015


So easy to make and only takes five minutes this is another great addition towards our self sufficient and sustainable life style, all natural ingredients fair trade and organic.  Every little we can do to lower our families carbon foot print makes us feel great, making this ourselves considerable lowers the need for packaging and as I brought the ingredients in bulk and they have multi uses in our other homemade cleaning products, this then in turn lowers the impact on landfill, a winner all round.

Prep time 5 minutes / Cooking time 5 minutes
Costings approx £1.00 / 125 days worth

(makes approx 250ml)

3 tbsp shea butter
1/4 cup hazel or nut oil
1 tbsp kaolin clay
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup aloe vera
1/4 cup liquid castile soap
4 drops grapeseed extract

In a mason jar add the shea butter and hazel nut oil, fill a saucepan with enough water that when you place the mason jar in the pan the water is only one third of the way up the jar, bring the water to a simmer and melt the shea butter, do not over heat the mixture, as soon as most of the shea butter has melted remove the mason jar from the hot water and place on the side, stir well.

Add the rest of the ingredients and with a small whisk, whisk for around three minutes until the mixture is thicker and creamy in texture, pour into your choice of container for use, that's it!

1 Apr 2015


Outstandingly gorgeous another recipe that is a keeper, at this rate I am going to need more days in the week so that I can cook and eat more dinners!  sumptuous juicy chicken thighs marinated in my madras spices and coconut milk, grilled or BBQ'd and slightly charred then served on a spiced coriander flat bread with home made garlic and lemon mayo drizzle.  I love watching my husband eat this, his total oblivious enjoyment is obvious with the vocal mmmmmms and the lip smacking shoving of the folded kebab in to his mouth makes me want to cook this again and again!

A great bonus you can serve this family style all the finely sliced cabbage, onions and carrots can be placed on the dinner table along with a bowl of garlic lemon mayo next to a stack of warm just cooked flat breads and a pile of chicken skewers, this is a great family way to serve, make and build your own kebabs enhancing a great family connection over food, you never  know how much these memories will influence your family in their future.

Prep time 10 minutes / Proving time 1hr / Cooking time 10 minutes

(serves 4-6)

8 skinned and boneless chicken thighs halved
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch fresh ground black pepper
200 ml coconut milk
1 lime juiced
2 carrots julienned
1/2 white cabbage finely sliced
1/4 red cabbage finely sliced
1 lrg onion finely sliced
1 handful fresh coriander torn

Flat Breads
(proving time 1 hr)
500g 00 flour
15g dried yeast
10g sea salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 handfuls chopped coriander
50g olive oil
320g room temperature water

Garlic Lemon Mayo
3 egg yolks
1/2 juice lemon
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch white pepper
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic grated
300ml organic rapeseed oil

The Flat Breads
First make the flat bread dough, place all the ingredients in a large bowl or mixer with a dough hook and bring together to form a ball, knead for seven minutes, I like to stretch the dough out and roll it back up turn ninety degrees and repeat, keep repeating and in seven minutes your dough will feel soft, silky and springy, place back in the bowl and cover, leave somewhere warm for one hour.  Once proved divide the dough in to six equal ish balls and roll out on a lightly floured surface in to eight inch circles, heat non stick frying pan medium high heat and cook each bread for approx one minute on each side allowing some of the surface to toast, wrap in a tea towel to keep warm while you cook the chicken.

Marinate The Chicken
Next marinate the chicken in the curry powder, turmeric, coconut milk, salt and pepper for at least thirty minutes, you can do this 24hrs in advance, the longer the marinate the deeper the flavour.

The Mayo
Place your three egg yolks, 1/2 juice of lemon, 1 tsp of Dijon mustard, pinch of salt and white pepper in a large roomy bowl, add a tiny dash of your oil and start to whisk, you don't have to whisk terribly fast, keep adding a very small drizzle of oil and whisking, you will see the mixture start to thicken, once your at this stage you can add bigger glugs of oil until you have a lovely thick mayo, add the garlic and taste, adjust with more lemon juice if needed.

To Cook and Serve
Heat your grill to a high heat, take the marinated chicken and place two pieces long ways on each skewer, you will need eight skewers, place on a baking tray and pour over the remaining marinade, pop under the grill for around three minutes each side, its great to let some of the chicken just start to catch adding more character to the flavour.  Once cooked I like to turn the grill off and shut the door for a couple of minutes while I set the table, this is to ensure really juicy chicken because for the few minutes the chicken is resting it is also getting a steam bath from all the condensation that is forming in the oven.

Place bowls of the carrot, cabbage and onion on the table along with the bowl of garlic lemon mayo, place the meat skewers in a pile on a wooden chopping board and sprinkle over the torn coriander, then set a stack of flat breads next to that and just let the family build their own.