Asparagus, Halloumi & Potatoes

On 26th May 2016, This was Dinner

If you plan your weekly meals as I do, this is one of those where you think ‘Did I really put that on the list this week?’. It doesn’t sound much but it is the simplicity of this dish which makes it so bloody lovely!

Get set…

  • Halve or quarter some baby new potatoes, depending on their size
  • Bash a few of garlic cloves
  • Take the woody ends of some asparagus
  • Cut the halloumi into cubes
  • Roughly chop some parsley
  • Get lemon, oil & seasoning ready
  • Preheat the oven to 190°c (fan)

Throw it together…

Put the potatoes in a baking tray and add oil and seasoning, toss well then add the garlic cloves. Pop in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes.

Add the asparagus and the halloumi and toss again then put back in the oven and cook for around another 15 minutes. (Don’t put in a small baking tray, you want everything spread out well.)

Dish it up…

In bowls with a good squeeze of lemon, a scattering of the parsley and a little more seasoning if required.


Can be found in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Five Good Things.

Balti Chicken

On 23rd January 2016, This was Dinner

We had a quick lunch in town today and then came home and took Walter for a walk. We picked up a couple of beers on the way back and then made this. Far better for you than a takeaway.

I bought some cashews for this and thought I had hidden them well but it turns out Mr S had “stumbled upon them” and they were no more. I stuck flaked almonds in instead.

To cook, it couldn’t be simpler.

Get set…

  • Thickly slice an onion
  • Finely slice a chilli
  • Prepare some chicken stock
  • Roughly chop some coriander
  • Get chicken breasts, balti paste, chopped tomatoes (tin), rice, flaked almonds, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat some oil in a pan. Brown the onion them remove and pop to one side.

Brown the chicken on each side then add back the onions. Pop the chilli in along with the balti paste and the rice. Stir everything well for a minute or so.

Add the tomatoes and the stock, bring to boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes. Check occasionally and add more water if required.

Check for seasoning and that the chicken is cooked through then add the flaked almonds.

Dish it up…

Serve with a sprinkle of coriander and a cold beer.


A balti is a ‘type of curry served in a thin, pressed steel wok called a balti bowl’ (source: Wikipedia), the balti in this instance refers to the paste I used (and the online recipe from BBC Good Food that I adapted and can be found here.)

Pork with Black Eyed Beans & Fennel

On 20th July 2015, This was Dinner

A perfect summer dish with one of my favourite flavours – fennel.


  • Heat the oven to 180ºc (fan)
  • Trim some bone in pork chops
  • Finely slice a couple of shallots
  • Cut a fennel bulb into 8 wedges
  • Cut a lemon into four. Juice another half a lemon
  • Drain & rinse a tin of black eyed beans
  • Lightly crush some fennel seeds
  • Tear some basil
  • Get white wine, butter, cherry tomatoes, oil & seasoning ready


Pop some of the oil and butter in an ovenproof pan and heat. Season the chops and add to the pan, cook for a minute each side then remove.

Add the shallot to the pan along with the fennel and cook for a few minutes. Throw in a glass of wine and let it reduce. Add the lemon wedges. Pop the lid on and transfer to the oven for 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and the beans and place the chops on top. Pop back in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes.

Remove the chops and stir through the lemon juice and fennel seeds.

Serve with the torn basil.

TWD_2007_Pork_FennelAnother BBC Good Food adaptation (July Edition).

Mushroom & Bean One Pot

On 9th June 2015, This was Dinner

I think this must be one of the best vegetarian dishes I have ever made.


  • Chop an onion
  • Chop some mushrooms, I used closed cup and chestnut
  • Chop a green chilli
  • Drain and rinse a can of mixed beans
  • Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas
  • Roughly chop some coriander
  • Get sun dried tomato paste, tikka curry paste, plain flour, white wine, a tin of chopped tomatoes, mango chutney, oil & seasoning ready


Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion, cook until starting to soften.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the tikka and sun dried tomato paste along with some plain flour. Stir well for a couple of minutes to cook out.

Turn the heat up a little and add a glass of the wine, stir well, stirring the pan as you go. When it’s almost all gone, add the tomatoes and half a can of water. Cook for 10 minutes with the lid on.

Add the mixed beans, chickpeas and the chilli. (You might need to add a little more water.) Season and stick the lid back on and cook for another 10 minutes.

Add the mango chutney and cook for a couple more minutes then serve with a sprinkle of the coriander.


We have some left, it’s not enough for another meal for us both but I’ll probably bulk it out with some potatoes and some form of meat.

On Wednesday I was feeling lazy tired so I bought a couple of pizzas from Morrisons and bunged them in the oven.

Baked Chicken & Chorizo One Pot

On 6th June 2015, This was Dinner

Well we were going to have a barbecue today as the sun had finally decided to show it’s face this week. Unfortunately there was wind, more bloody wind. It was quite a chilly wind too. So I checked the forecast and Sunday is supposed to be better (it is – I’m sat here writing this) and rather than waste a good barbecue in the cold we left our stuff marinating and made this rather delicious one pot instead.


  • Thickly slice a chorizo
  • Bash 12 garlic cloves (don’t peel)
  • Prepare some chicken stock
  • Chop some parsley
  • Half a lemon
  • Halve some new potatoes
  • Season a chicken
  • Get butter, bay leaf, thyme sprig, dry sherry, oil & seasoning ready


Heat the oil and butter in a large flame proof pan (one with a lid) and brown the chicken all over. Remove from the pan and pop the thyme, bay leaf and half the lemon in the cavity.

Cook the chorizo in the pan until it starts to release its oil. Add the potatoes and garlic. Stir then add the sherry, let it bubble down then add the stock.

Put the chicken in the pan and then stick the lid on and cook for about an hour. Making sure the chicken is cooked. Sprinkle with parsley and demolish.


Chorizo & Cabbage Stew

On 11th & 12th May, This was Dinner

There has to be an obligatory chorizo dish every so often and it’s even better when paired with cabbage! I’m definitely a fan of the veggies that [most] kids and lots of adults would ‘Urgh’ at!


  • Cut up a chorizo
  • Thinly slice an onion
  • Slice some Charlotte potatoes
  • Shred some Savoy cabbage
  • Get a tin of chopped tomatoes, a chicken stock ‘cube’, oil & seasoning ready


Fry the chorizo in a pan until it starts to release it’s oil, remove from the pan.

Add the onion with a little oil if required and fry until starting to soften. Add the potatoes and cook for a few minutes.

Pour in the tin of tomatoes with another tin of water and throw in the stock cube and the chorizo. Season, stir well, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the potato is almost done.

Add the cabbage and pop the lid back on and cook for another five minutes.

TWD_1105_Chorizo_CabbageFind the original here.

On Tuesday Mr S made a deliciously creamy chicken korma. I’ve never used the creamed coconut before, it’s a lot richer than a tin of coconut milk, that’s for certain. Mr S marinated the thighs in something first but neither of us can remember what.


Sausage One Pot (Warning: Carbs)

On 1st March 2015, This was Dinner

I knew that having a puppy would impact upon the blog at some point. Especially now he’s sleeping a little less. He has so much energy, the sooner he can go walkies the better!

This was going to be a Hungarian Goulash but just turned into this carb- loaded one pot as I didn’t have enough potato to fill it out enough so I stuck some pasta in as well.


  • Peel and slice some carrots
  • Chop up a yellow pepper
  • Finely chop an onion
  • Peel and dice a couple of potatoes
  • Roughly chop some parsley
  • Prepare some beef stock
  • Get pasta, paprika, sausages, oil & seasoning ready


Heat some oil in a pan and add the sausages, brown well and remove from the pan.

Add a little more oil if required and cook the onion until softened. Add the potato, carrot and pepper along with some paprika and stir well.

Add the stock and bring to the boil, season well, add the sausages and turn down to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes then add the pasta and cover again, cooking until the pasta is done.

Serve with a sprinkling of parsley.

TWD_0103_SausagesI’m very pleased that Walter likes his vegetable, carrots being a great source of delight to him.

Hot Dogs & Rice & Peas – Not Together!

On 23rd & 24th February 2015, This was Dinner

It’s great to see the days getting a bit longer. I’m sure it would make the fact that I have to get up for mid sleep puppy toilet breaks worse if I had to leave the house in the dark on a morning! The temperature has dropped again though and I needed my gloves.

Sometimes it’s just nice to have a bit of easy food (these are on ‘the list’), we had our hot dogs with mustard, ketchup and caramelised onions. They remind me of holidays.

Tuesday’s meal is a roll-over from last week.


  • trim & chop some dry cure streaky bacon
  • Chop a couple of sticks of celery
  • Chop some red cabbage
  • Finely chop a couple of garlic cloves
  • Chop a chilli
  • Chop an onion
  • Pick a couple of bay leaves
  • Drain & rinse some black eyed beans
  • Chop some coriander
  • Get brown rice, jerk seasoning, a veg stock pot, thyme sprigs, tomato purée, olive oil & seasoning ready


A missed communication meant we did ours a little differently, Mr S got the rice going whilst I cooked the bacon so instead of flapping I chucked the veg stock pot into the rice and let it cook until I needed it. Brown rice takes longer than white anyway.

Fry the bacon until starting to crisp then remove from the pan and set aside.

Pop a little oil in the pan and add the celery, onion, chilli and garlic.  Cook until starting to soften then stir in the jerk seasoning and a little salt and stir for a couple of minutes.

Add the thyme, bay leaves and tomato purée and stir for another couple of minutes then add the rice (including the liquid) and stir well, add a little more water if required.

Give it a stir then bring to the boil. Add the cabbage, bacon and the beans then pop the lid on then simmer until the rice is cooked. Keep a check that it’s not drying out.

Remove the thyme and bay, check for seasoning and serve with a sprinkle of coriander.


I usually make a different version but found this one on The Food Network website and wanted to give my version of it a try.

It’s clearly not an authentic Caribbean Rice & Peas, Where’s my scotch bonnet! This did have quite a kick as we used a full chilli and I went a little hard with the jerk seasoning. Good job we love it spicy!

Italian Fish Stew

Well today is my two year anniversary of starting this blog. It’s hard to believe that I’ve managed to keep it up. There have been times when I’ve got behind when life got in the way and I’ve thought of giving up but as soon as I start to type, I realise how much I love doing it. Mr S told me about an article he read and apparently, about 100 posts is usually when someone gives up blogging. This is my 711th post so I’m a little past that!

So what a great way to celebrate an anniversary? With a gorgeous seafood one pot that includes my favourite fish -sea bass. So on 22nd February 2015, This was Dinner


  • Slice a fennel bulb (save the fronds)
  • Slice a couple of garlic cloves
  • Slice a red chilli
  • Slice a couple of squid tubes into rings
  • Clean & de-beard some mussels*
  • Prepare some fish stock
  • Separate the leaves from the stalks of a bunch of basil, tie the stalks together and tear up the leaves
  • Get white wine, a tin of chopped tomatoes, raw prawns, a couple of sea bass fillets, olive oil & seasoning ready


Heat some oil in a pan, cook the fennel, garlic & chilli until softened. Pour in the wine and let it bubble for a few minutes.

Add the squid and basil stalks along with the tomatoes and veg stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes covered then 15 minutes uncovered.

Season well then turn up the heat and add the mussels, prawns and top with the sea bass, skin side up. Pop the lid back on and cook for six minutes.

Serve scattered with the torn basil and the fennel fronds.

I would also say serve with crusty bread but we made so much of a serving that we didn’t need it.



I suppose it’s only right that this recipe comes from my regular source, BBC Good Food and can be found here.

* always make sure you discard any open mussels

Shin Beef Stew / Salsa Cod Crunch

On 11th October 2014, This was dinner

I never thought I’d hear myself say this but I had a lovely morning car shopping with my Dad, who treated Mr S and I to breakfast. As he also took us market shopping along the way it was only right that I invited them for dinner so I bought extra shin of beef and made this Morrisons recipe.

It’s so simple to make with great results and even my Mum enjoyed it*


  • Trim the fat off shin of beef and cut into cubes
  • Peel & cut two red onions into wedges*
  • Deseed and cut two yellow peppers into chunks*
  • Slice a baguette into thick rounds**
  • Cut a garlic clove in half**
  • Snip some chives**
  • Get your oil, paprika, cans of chopped tomatoes, red wine vinegar, oil & seasoning ready
  • Preheat the oven to 160ºc (fan)**


Brown the beef in a large, flame and oven proof casserole dish. Do it in batches so you don’t start to boil the meat.

Remove and add the onion and peppers, stir and add the paprika, stirring a little to cook out. Pop the meat back in and add the chopped tomatoes and some water. Season well, bring to the boil and cook for a couple of hours.

Rub the baguette pieces with garlic and arrange on top of the stew. Pop in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes.

We served ours with home made oven chips. I only have the casserole photograph though.


*She’s fussy, she was worried the meat would be fatty and she’s not a fan of onion or pepper. I love my Mum!

**You don’t have to do these bits of prep until the stew has cooked for almost two hours.

On 12th October 2014, This was dinner…

I was in a terrible mood today but it’s not a tale for my blog so I’ll keep that one to myself, it had an impact on my day (even though it really shouldn’t) and this meal, as lovely as a nice bit of cod should be, did not satisfy. The (sour) cherry on top is that the photograph is crap too so that’s why I have added it to another post.

The inspiration is here with a couple of tweaks here and there.


  • Heat the oven to 200ºc (fan)
  • Peel stone and dice an avocado (pop the stone back in)
  • Juice a lime
  • Get fish, hot salsa, pitted green olives, tortilla chips & seasoning ready


Pop the fish in an oven proof dish. Season it well.

Spoon over the salsa and add the olives. Cook for about 15 minutes or until your fish is cooked.

Mix lime juice and seasoning with the avocado and spoon over the fish.

Scatter with tortilla chips.


We also served it with some rice, chatting to Mr S yesterday, it wasn’t just my mood, he said it was bland.