28 May 2020


Avocado, Turmeric, Sour Cherry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Flaxseed and Chia seeds.

This is a one jar wonder, soooo good for you and so delicious you’ll have to limit how much you drink!
My geeky good for you nutritional science bit below...

(serves two medium ball mason jars)
All Organic
1/2 avocado
1/2 lime
100g blueberries 
100g raspberries 
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp flax seeds
1 tbs chia seeds
500ml + sour tart cherry juice
6 ice cubes crushed

Place all the ingredients in a blender and pulse, blitz until liquid, pour in to you mason jars with a straw and enjoy straight away, that's it!

Cherries decrease oxidative stress, inflammation LDL cholesterol, lower blood pressure, relieve arthritis symptoms and can improve sleep, this is due to their high levels of antioxidants that fight free radical damage and protect our cells.  Cherries also remove excess body fat and increase melatonin.

Research suggests that cherries reduce the concentration of fats in your blood too.  Consuming cherry juice will reduce inflammation and lipids in the blood lowering chances of heart conditions.  The antioxidants found in cherries improve cardiovascular health and reduce risk of stroke due to the fact that cherries activate peroxisome proliferator activating receptors (PPAR’s) isoforms in many of the body tissues.

PPAR’s regulate genes that are involved in fat and glucose metabolism and when modified they can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, there are prescribed medications the do the same but come with serious side effects.

Anthocyanins and fiber in cherries contribute to heart health by reducing metabolic risk factors, improving LDL cholesterol levels and benefiting glucose metabolism.

High source of antioxidants, anthocyanins and cyanidin are two components of cherries that provide powerful antioxidants.  These work better than the anti inflammatory activity of aspirin.  This high level possess activities to inhibit tumour development in the growth  of colon cancer cell lines.

While both raspberries and blueberries are some of the most promising foods to eat with the ability to fight against cancer they both bring strength together to the table.  Blueberries are highest in Vitamin K, while raspberries give 54% of your RDA of Vitamin C and are much higher in fiber.

Vitamin C, full of photochemical caroteroids, antioxidant, anti inflammatory, rich compounds.
Natural super foods, compounds help your liver protect your body from free radicals and oxidative stress, these are linked to disease and ageing.  Anthouyanin and polyphenols inhibit the proliferation of disease cells in the liver.

Antioxidant, anti inflammatory, boosts heart health, lowers risk of coronary heart disease, helps with weight loss, increases metabolism, low on glycemic index with little impact on blood sugar, high in fiber, helps protect against cancer, eases arthritis pain.

Vitamin B6, K, C, E, 67% mono un-saturated fats as oleic acid, 19% palmittic acid and linoleic acid, 14% saturated fat, potassium, folic acid, high fibre, folate and omega 3 fatty acids.  Perfect food, compounds help the liver to cleanse toxins, lowers blood cholesterol, eaten with spinach and carrots will increase absorption of impressive carotenoids, these are fat soluble and aid absorption of carotenoid nutrients, anti inflammatory, helps arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular health, protects blood vessels and promotes blood sugar regulation.

If like me you love your avocado's daily and like to keep a stack in the fridge, some un ripe waiting to ripen later and others ripe and ready to go, this post is for you if you find as I used to, Unripe, Unripe or rotten!  This has taken some trial and error and now I never have any avocados that go rotten, I really detest food waste.  This ripening system is working really well and it is the avocados secrets that tell you what stage of ripeness they are at if you just know what to look for.

Turmeric is super good for you, but more important is the need to eat turmeric with black pepper, why?  The curcuma longs L in turmeric is not utilised in our body due to its rapid metabolism in the liver and intestinal wall, combining consumption of piperine a know inhibitor of intestinal absorption found in black pepper significantly increased the concentration of curcumin up to 2000% in turn extending the absorption time.

Turmeric 1500mg RDA
Turmeric is one of those little spices you should try and eat every day, helps control high blood sugar, great if you have or are pre disposed to diabetes, anti inflammatory, anti oxidant helps protect against ageing, anti atherosclerotic, heart protecting and weight reducing actions, another great benefit for diabetes and reducing complications from associated diseases.  Important role of curcumin a key component in turmeric in the the prevention and treatment again of diabetes and associated disorders, neuroprotective and anti infections actions.  Helps protect against Alzheimer's.  Vitamin B6, manganese, iron, fibre, copper, potassium.

Livers favourite spice, boosts liver detox by assisting enzymes that actively flush out dietary carcinogens, curcumin compounds heal your liver aiding detoxification and strengthening your whole body.  Antioxidant, controls blood cholesterol levels, anti carcogenic, powerful medicine in anti inflammatory, supports flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest, pain and colic. 

Just to start 28g of Flaxseed will give you over 6000mg of omega (ALA)-3, 8g of fiber, over 30% of Vitamin B1, Manganese, Magnesium, 19% Phosphorus and 10% Selenium, along with good amounts of B6, Iron, Potassium, Copper and Zinc.

Flaxseed is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, maybe the orgional first Super Food!

High in fiber and low in carbs, the seeds have a high level of mucilage gum, a gel forming water soluble fiber which is beneficial to the intestinal tract.  Also high in insoluble fiber which supports colon detoxification.  Flaxseeds provide food for the friendly bacteria in your colon that can help cleanse waste from your system.  3 tbsp flax seed oil with a glass of carrot juice can act as a natural constipation relieve.

The ALA fats in flax seed support healthy skin, nails and hair by providing essential fats and B vitamins, can help to improve acne, Rosales and eczema, and dry eye syndrome.  Even better is flax seed oil, 2 tbsp daily in your diet increases the concentration of healthy fats.

Lowers cholesterol, the soluble fiber content of flax seed traps fat and cholesterol in the digestive system so that i is unable to be absorbed, soluble fiber also traps bile which is made from cholesterol in the gall bladder, bile isexcreted through the digestive system which forces the body to make more using up excess cholesterol in the blood and lowering cholesterol overall.

Packed with Antioxidants (Lignans), these are a unique fiber related polyphenols that provide us with antioxidant benefits, these support anti aging, hormone balance and cellular health.  Lignans are also high in anti viral and antibacterial properties, therefore may offer protection agains colds and flu.

Digestive Health the ALA in flax seed can help protect the lining of the digestive tract and maintain GI health.  It has been shown to be beneficial for people suffering from Crohn's disease and other digestive ailments, can also help reduce gut inflammation.

Flax seed and Cancer, there a studies that links time and time again that flax seed may decrease the risk of breast cancer, prostate, ovarian and colon cancer, the three Lignans found in flaxseeds can be converted by intestinal bacteria into enterolactone and enterodiol which naturally balance hormones which may be the reason flax seeds reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Have a natural phenolic (antioxidant) concentration and the antioxidant activity is shown in studies to stop up to 70% of free radical activity, this speeds up the body's response to repairing damage in turn this prevents further cell damage.

Very high in fiber, 28g has 11g of fiber thats half your RDA, fiber not only supports healthy gut and colon but is essential for your body's ability to balance insulin levels.  A natural blood sugar balancer due to their high fiber content and healthy fats.

Chia seeds ability to reverse inflammation, regulate cholesterol and lower blood pressure make them extremely beneficial to consume for heart health, by lowering and reversing oxidative stress you are less likely to develop atherosclerosis.

Fatty Acids, linoleum acid helps the body absorb fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K, for such a tiny seed Chia is incredibly high in healthy fats boasting more omega 3s then salmon.  Omega 3s work to protect inflammation, lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol.

Bones, just 28g of chia seeds has almost 20% of your RDA of calcium, fundamental to bone health.  A great protein.

High in alpha lipoid acids (ALA) a omega 3, ALA is found to limit the growth of cancer cells in both breast and cervical cancers.  It causes cell death of the cancer cells without harming the normal healthy cells.

Packed with calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A and zinc chia seeds are also great for your teeth and tooth health.  Zinc prevents tartar by keeping plaque from mineralising on to your teeth and has an antibacterial effect that keeps bad breath germs at bay, vitamin A and phosphorus are important for strong teeth and a healthy mouth.

24 May 2020


Best Ever Crackling
A real family crowd pleaser, crispy pork crackling, succulent juicy pork belly and loin with a fennel, apple and sage sausage meat stuffing.  Perfect crackling is easy to achieve, it’s a simple method that works every time, bring your pork out of the fridge 2 hours before cooking, pat the skin really dry with paper towel, score the skin only fat deep and generously rub sea salt all over.  Cook in a very hot oven for 30 minutes then lower the heat until the pork reaches 70 C / 158 F.  

Prep time 10 minutes / Cooking time 2-3 hours

(serves 6)
(plus thinly shaved leftovers for sandwiches)

1.5kg belly pork skin on
1 kg pork loin skin off
Himalayan sea salt
2 carrots roughly chopped 
1 onion roughly chopped 
2 clove garlic crushed
500ml cider

Apple Fennel Stuffing 
500g minced belly pork
8 rashers streaky bacon diced
1/2 fennel bulb finely diced
1 small onion finely diced
1 clove garlic finely diced
1 apple finely diced
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp fennel seeds
12 fresh sage leaves
2 sprigs thyme
1 lrg pinch Himalayan sea salt 
1 lrg pinch fresh ground black pepper 

To make the stuffing combine all the ingredients, if you want to test for seasoning, take a teaspoon full of the mixture and pan fry.

Stuffing The Porchetta
Lay the belly pork skin side down, spread the stuffing all over, place the pork loin in the centre of the belly pork, place 5 individual 1 meter lengths of butchers string under the belly pork equally spaced, starting with the middle string tie up the pork as tight as possible.

Place the onions, garlic, carrots and cider in the roasting tin, take the tied up pork joint, pat the skin dry, generously rub with the sea salt and place in the roasting tin, pop in the pre heated oven 220 C / 428 F for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 160 C / 320 F until the center of the pork is 70 C / 158 F, remove from the oven, cover with foil or a cloth and leave to rest for at least 20 minutes.  Pour off the cooking stock through a sieve and this is your awesome gravy.

That’s it serve generous slices for a roast dinner, keep the remaining roast joint chilled in the fridge and thinly slice for deli meats.

22 May 2020


Goats Cheese Croutons 

This is just a bowl of heaven, deep rich bone marrow beef stock, sweet onions, a dash of wine and a crispy garlic rubbed buttery sour dough crouton topped with gooey melted goats cheese every spoonful is delight.

(serves 4)

50g butter + 1 tbsp for the croutons 
1 glug olive oil
3 garlic cloves finely chopped 
800g Spanish onions finely sliced
1 heaped tbsp plain flour
2 ltrs beef stock (recipe below)
300ml dry white wine
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
6 slices sour dough loaf
180g goats cheese
Himalayan sea salt 
Fresh ground black pepper

Melt the butter and oil in a sauce pan on medium low heat, add the onions and two of the garlic cloves, soften for 30 minutes allowing the onions to go a deep brown and caramelise releasing all their natural sweetness.  

Add the flour and stir in throughly, slowly add the white wine and stir until smooth stirring all the time, bring to a simmer, add the beef stock and bring back to a gentle simmer.  Add the bay and thyme and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Rub the remaining garlic clove over the sour dough slices, brush with butter and bake in the oven for 10 minutes until crisp, place 30g of goats cheese on each croutons and pop back in the oven to melt for 5 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs from the soup, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to your liking, serve your onion soup in deep bowls and float your goats cheese croutons on top.

Bone Marrow Beef Stock
1 glug olive oil 
2 marrow bones
Various bones from the butchers
(or left over roast beef bones)
2 carrots roughly chopped 
1 rib celery roughly chopped 
1 onion roughly chopped 
1 clove garlic chopped
1 leek roughly chopped 
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf

If you are making your own stock do this the day before so you can leave the stock to very gently simmer for 8 hours to maximum the flavour.  I like to roast all the bones for 1 hour to increase the flavour and colour of the stock.  Heat the oil, add the carrots, leeks, onion, garlic and celery and soften for 5 minutes, place the rest of ingredients into your stock pot add water to cover the bones and leave to gently simmer for up to 8 hours, strain and return to the pan, taste and season with salt and pepper, or reduce the volume to intensify the depth of flavour.

15 May 2020


Gorgeous comfort food, slow braised ham hocks that just melt in your mouth with a deep slow braised stock broth, rustic vegetables and homemade pease pudding a glorious hug from a bowl.  A really cheap hearty family meal that delivers so much depth of flavour and warmth.

2-3 hrs unattended cooking
Overnight soaking in water split yellow peas

(serves 4)

Pease Pudding
500g split yellow peas
1 glug olive oil
3 tbsp butter
1 small onion finely diced
1 clove garlic finely diced
1 carrot finely diced
1/2 stick celery finely diced
1/2 tsp turmeric 
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
Himalayan sea salt 
Fresh ground black pepper 
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Braised Ham Hocks
2 ham hocks
1 glug olive oil
4 ltrs chicken stock
2 ribs of celery finely chopped
4 carrots roughly chopped
1 large onion finely diced 
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 leek finely chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Himalayan sea salt 
Fresh ground black pepper 
2 cups petits pois peas
12 new potatoes

Cook the pease pudding at the same time as slow braising the ham hocks.
In a large casserole dish medium hot add the olive oil, onions and garlic soften without colour for 10 minutes, add the celery, carrots and leeks and soften for a further 15 minutes.  Add the thyme, chicken stock and ham hocks, the stock should just cover the ham hocks.  Pop on a lid and once up to a simmer lower the heat to a gentle simmer and leave to cook for 2-3 hours.  Your ham hocks are ready when the meat falls of the bone with no effort.  

Meanwhile make the pease pudding, in a pan place the olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter, gently soften the onions, garlic, carrots and celery without colour for 10 minutes.  Add the split yellow peas, turmeric, bay, thyme and 1000ml of water, bring to a low gentle simmer, pop on the lid and leave to cook for 2-3 hrs.  You may need to add approx 500ml more of water but I like to add this as stock from the cooking ham hock liqueur.  Once the split peas are soft and loosely thick in consistency blitz with a hand blender to a smooth consistency, stir in the vinegar, remaining butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the ham hocks and carrots from the stock, cover to rest and keep warm reserved to one side, strain the stock and return to the pan, pop in your potatoes to cook for 15 minutes.  After 10 minutes add the peas.  In your serving bowls pull off the ham hock meat and place in the bowls along with the reserved carrots, lift out the new potatoes and peas and divide between the bowls, ladle over the hot stock and serve with a generous serving spoon of pease pudding.

10 May 2020


This is my first attempt at making wine, I’ve read the book and I am familiarising myself with the new language, like pitch and aeration, simply means stir and add a ingredient along with hydrometer and measuring the specific gravity, well it’s a good thing that I love science as specific and final gravity measurements are a indication of the amount of sugar in your must (a wine prior to fermentation), it’s not complicated once you understand the mathematical formula, however user error can change all that.  The hydrometer is calibrated to Be used at 20C / 68F when measuring the specific gravity, if used a degree above or below you will record misleading results leading to a incorrect alcohol content measurement.

On this occasion I am being very Kristi and I have decided to wing it and not to test the specific gravity due to not having a hydrometer and being way to impatient to wait for one to arrive in the post...But I have read the book and know what I’m supposed to do and will do on the next batch.

Family History...
It is at this point I am laughing to myself with the memory of my Grandad Seaford who always made his own wines and beers, his parsnip wine which turned out to be almost a whisky rendered my grandad and dad completely and utterly inebriated to such a level it was never drunk again!  But that’s not the funniest part, my grandad Seaford who was retired occasionally took night work to buff up the coffers, on this occasion grandad was working for The Bank Of England as a security guard, he and his work colleagues set up a still in the loft of the building and started making their own personal alcohol, but on one fateful night the still exploded, I absolutely love my families history and can do attitude.

I will find out in a years time the alcohol content the old fashioned way the wine will either blow me off my feet or become day wine!

Rhubarb Wine Fermenting
Stage One

I’m fermenting 2 batches of 5 litres rhubarb syrup water with 1.125 kg of wine sugar.
A specific gravity calculation will give you your approximate alcohol content in the finished wine.  Most must’s, a wine before fermentation, specific gravity will be around 1098, knowing how much sugar is in your must will give you a fair indication of how much alcohol will be in your finished wine.  So I should end up once fermented (in 2 months time), with a specific gravity around 990.  This is known as the Final Gravity.

Science Maths Bit...
To achieve a approximate alcohol content you just use the specific gravity and final gravity figures then x 0.13

(SG) 1098 - (FG) 990 x 0.13 = 14.4% Ye-har !!!

Adding more sugar will not make a stronger alcohol content because yeast can only consume a certain amount of sugar, this will leave a residual amount of sugar in the finished wine, making a sweet wine.

Cleanliness Is Key To Success
I cannot stress this enough there is no point going to all the effort of making your wine and then ruining the whole batch due to contamination from micro-organisms.  Now yes, yeast is a micro-organism but it’s the organism that you have chosen to grow, a good organism that will produce a beautiful wine, not the other type which will spoil your hard work.  In order to avoid the unwanted organism sterilisation is require IN ALL STAGES.

Sterilising Your Equipment
I have used a sterilisation solution called Milton, it is what us mums used for our babies bottles.  Following the instructions I make a water solution and leave my Demi Johns to soak along with the bungs, air locks, siphons, caps, bottles, brewing buckets and anything else that is going to touch your wine.

1 bottle sterilisation fluid
2 x 10 litre fermenting buckets
4 x 5 litre demi johns with bung and airlock 
1 fine mesh sieve 
1 x 2 litre measuring jug
1 siphon 
12 x 75cl bottles with caps or corks

Rhubarb Wine Recipe
Makes 12 bottles

2.8kg rhubarb stalks
2.25kg wine sugar
500ml bottle white grape juice concentrate 
2 x 5g sachets Sauternes yeast
2 tsp yeast nutrient 
2 tsp pectic enzyme
2 Campden tablets crushed

Wash the rhubarb throughly and using a food processor with a thin slicing plate slice all the rhubarb, placing in to your sterilised fermenting bucket along with the sugar, stir well, place the lid on and leave for 3 days, stirring every day.

Strain the rhubarb syrup in to a second fermenting bucket through the fine meshed sieve, return the sliced rhubarb back to the original fermenting bucket and add 4 litres of cold water, stir well and place the lid back on, leave for a couple of hours then strain again.  Repeat this one more time. 

To the rhubarb syrup bucket add the grape concentrate and top up the total volume with 1.5 litres to 10 litres.  This is the point you will check the specific gravity.  You don’t have to do this it just means you will not know your alcohol content until it either blows you off your feet or is a day wine!

Adjusting Specific Gravity
1092 - 1098
This you do by adding more sugar to increase or dilution with water to lower.

To your rhubarb syrup add the yeast nutrient, crushed Campden tablets, pectic enzyme, stir in, pop on the lid and leave for 24 hours.

Stir in the yeast, pop the lid on and leave for 5 days, stirring once every day.  On day 5 siphon in to your demi-johns and fit the bung and airlock.

Leave at room temperature for 6 - 8 weeks until fermentation has ceased.

How Do I Know Fermentation Has Ceased?
One way is to watch the air lock, once bubbles cease is a most probable sign that fermentation has ceased this can be anywhere from 3 - 8 weeks.  If your yeast runs out of food (sugar) then fermentation will cease.

Using your hydrometer measure the specific gravity of your wine, for a dry wine like this one you want a reading of 0990 - 0995, a reading of 0995 would indicate a 0.2% sugar content which is considered dry.  A sugar reading of 1 % + would indicated a sweet wine, and if fermentation has not stopped you run a high risk of fermentation continuing in the sealed bottle which would most possibly lead to bottles exploding!

Once fermentation appears to have ceased siphon off in to your second demi-johns and leave at room temperature until your cloudy pink rhubarb wine is clear, it is now ready to be siphoned off in to your 12 sterilised wine bottles.  Date and label your bottles, place in your wine store or rack and leave for one year before enjoying the fruits of your labour.

Why is there a carpet of dead yeast cells at the bottom of my Demi John?

This is dead yeast cells that have falling to the bottom of the Demi John and will rot there!  This is called autolysis.  Now this is an important part of champagne making and a good thing as it helps achieve a subtler flavour in your wine, but you can have too much of a good thing!  Rack the wine off in to fresh sterile demi johns leaving the sediment behind.

This in its self will now cause a problem, this is a rookie error I have made and if I’m honest I think my first batch is going to fail!  But I have learnt a lot from this experience and am now on my second batch with zero errors so far.  You want the most minimum air gap left in your racked off demi John, as air is the destroyer of wine by encouraging the wrong bacteria.

This was my fermenting demi john and as you can see my original recipe came up about 250ml short in liquid, at this point I was unaware that having a gap was not ok, it would increase the chance of failure due to possibly allowing the wrong bacteria to grow.

Not enough sugar to feed the yeast can result in early fermentation.  Again I wanted a really dry wine as my husband is diabetic and sugar is a absolute NO!  So I lowered the sugar content by 10% to ensure that the yeast would eat all the sugar turning it into alcohol and resulting in a very dry wine.  This I now know 4 weeks on that my fermentation stopped at the end of week 3, not unusual but I expected 6 weeks.  

I have racked off into 2 fresh demi johns leaving the carpet of dead yeast which then left my bottles with a deficit of 500ml, so I topped up the must with a sugar water of 3 parts water to one part sugar.

This re started my fermentation again, which is how I know I my yeast run out of food.  I have no idea what this will do to the wine or vinegar ! Until next year but the must smelt like a sharp rhubarb wine, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Fermentation has finished and must racked off in to 2nd demi johns waiting to go clear before racking off in to bottles

8 May 2020


Succulent juicy seared pork steaks slow braised with apples in cider, served with a calvados apple brandy Dijon cream sauce and crispy butter fried sage leaves this is a family favourite, with the addition of our own organic raised pork and a gorgeous layer of old fashioned fat this is a winner dinner all round.  Serve with buttery mashed potatoes and I mean buttery 250g butter to 1kg of potatoes is the rule in this kitchen.

Prep time 5 minutes / Cooking time 20 minutes

(serves 4)

40g butter
1 glug olive oil
Himalayan sea salt 
Fresh ground black pepper 
5 tsp Dijon mustard
4 pork leg steaks
1 apple
1 ltr dry cider
100ml double cream
25ml calvados apply brandy
12 sage leaves

Pre heat your oven 180 C / 356 F.  Heat a skillet hot, season the pork steaks, spread 1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard on each side of the pork and season generously with salt, pepper and pour over some olive oil, put 25g of butter in the skillet, sear the pork steaks each side for one minute including the edge with the rind on.  Remove from the pan immediately, leaving the pan for use later, place the pork in a roasting tin with the apples and cider, pop in the oven, braise for 7-10 minutes then remove from the oven and leave to rest in the tin while you make the sauce.

Take the skillet that you seared the pork steaks in and place on a medium heat add the calvados brandy and bubble for a few seconds then add 200ml of the cooking liquor cider from the roasting tin and reduce by one third, add the cream and a tsp of Dijon mustard and bring to a simmer season to taste.

Melt the remaining butter on a medium heat and fry the sage leaves crispy.  Serve with buttery mashed potatoes.

7 May 2020


Juicy tasty butter seared chicken stuffed with crispy bacon, butter wilted spinach and roasted cherry tomatoes, I was being slightly good (ignore the amount of butter 😆) otherwise I would have also stuffed a gooey melting cheese in there too!  Simple to make and a one pan cook this is a lovely dinner, serve with broccoli and butternut squash buttery (yes more butter!) mash.

Prep time 5 minutes / Cooking time 15 minutes

(serves 2)

2 chicken breasts
2 x 2ft lengths of string 
Olive oil
6 cherry tomatoes
2 vines of cherry tomatoes approx 7 on each vine
200g spinach 
100g butter (I like salted) 
6 rashers of unsmoked streaky bacon
Himalayan sea salt 
Fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp coriander chopped
To Serve
1/2 butternut squash peeled and diced
1 tsp apple cider vinegar 
1 head broccoli in florets

Pre heat your oven to 180 C / 356 F.  Place the two chicken breasts in a bag or cover with plastic wrap, using a rolling pin bash the chicken until to thicker part is the same thickness as the thinnest part.  

Heat a little olive oil and pan fry the bacon until crispy along with the loose cherry tomatoes, remove both and roughly chop the bacon.

Melt 25g of butter in a saucepan, add the spinach, season with salt and pepper and wilt for 1 minute, remove from the heat immediately.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and a good glug of olive oil, lay the string 3/4 to one side under the top of the widest part of the chicken, place some bacon, spinach and 3 tomatoes in the centre roll the top and bottom over the filling lightly encasing, tie your string up over the wrapped up chicken then repeat twice more in the middle of the chicken breast and the bottom of the chicken breast, don’t pull tight as this will squeeze the stuffing out.

Heat a skillet medium hot, add a good glug of olive oil and 50g of butter, place the chicken breasts in and sear a lovely golden brown crust on all sides, remove from the heat, add the 2 cherry tomato vines and pop in the oven for 12 minutes to finish cooking.  The centre of the chicken should be 75 C / 167 F.  Leave to rest in the hot skillet for five minutes and spoon over all the buttery resting juices several times.  Once served spoon over the chicken any left over pan juices.

At the same time as the chicken goes in to the oven place your butternut squash on to boil for 15 minutes, once fork tender drain and leave to steam for five minutes, season with salt and pepper, add back to the pan with the remaining 25g of butter, the apple cider vinegar then mash.

Steam or boil the broccoli for three to five minutes until fork tender, drain, season and serve.  Enjoy.

3 May 2020


A rich and hearty breakfast or brunch, rich sumptuous meaty marinara sauce with Italian chicken sausage layered on top of butter wilted spinach and topped with a rich creamy duck egg, a divine spoon in every mouthful, also easy to cook for a large family in one easy serving.

Prep time 15 - 45 minutes / Cooking time 18 minutes

(serves 4)

400g Italian seasoned chicken sausage meat OR
(Heck Italian chicken sausages, remove from casings)
200g spinach 
1 tbsp butter
4 duck eggs
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 jar of store brought marinara sauce or make your own...

The Marinara Sauce
50ml olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 small onion finely diced
2 cloves garlic
2 tins of tomatoes crushed
1 tbsp tomato purée
100 ml good red wine
50 ml dry white wine
1/2 tsp Italian herb seasoning 
Pinch Himalayan sea salt 
Pinch fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp sugar (optional if needed)

Pre heat your oven 180 C / 356 F.  If using store brought marinara place in a saucepan and bring up to a simmer, add your raw chicken sausage meat, stir in evenly and leave on a low simmer to cook for five minutes.

Making your marinara, heat a pan medium hot add the olive oil and butter once melted add the onion and garlic and soften for eight minutes, add the tomato purée and cook for a couple of minutes, the add the wine and bring to a bubbling simmer, add the tomatoes and leave to cook on a low simmer for at least 30 minutes if you can, this is to cook out the acidity of the tomatoes.  No time to simmer then adding the sugar will cut the acidity.  

I use Italian San Manzano tomatoes as they are less acidic.  I also often make my marinara the day before making a big batch and leaving it to slowly cook out for several hours.  This is the also the base for many other meals.

Add the sausage meat to the marinara, stir in evenly and simmer for five minutes.

Heat the olive oil and butter medium high add the spinach and wilt for 45 seconds, divide between your four ramekins.  Top the spinach with the sausage marinara, make a well in the centre and crack in a egg, season with salt and pepper.  Bake in the oven for 16 - 17 minutes for a just set white and runny yolk, finish with parsley.