Cheeseburger Quesadillas

On 11th June 2016, This was Dinner

What an idea! The cheeseburger quesadilla. I thought these were great but Mr S was a little underwhelmed.

Get set…

  • Slice some pickled gherkins
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Get minced beef, tortillas, mustard, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat some oil in a pan and add the mince. Give it a good season and cook through. Wipe out the pan.

Spread some mustard on the bottom of a tortilla, scatter with the beef, add some gherkins and sprinkle the cheddar over. Place another tortilla on top then place in the hot pan and squash down. Carefully flip over and cook on the other side.

Repeat until you have used all of the mince.

Dish it up…

Cut into quarters and serve. A dash of ketchup wouldn’t go amiss either.


I’ll try and convince Mr S of their greatness by adding some onion and some spice next time.

Find this and lots of other great recipes in John Whaite’s perfect plates.

Spiced Meatballs with Fiery Tomato Sauce

On 11th May 2016, This was Dinner

Sticking with the new cook book. Why wouldn’t I? These jumped right off the page at me. I’m a huge fan of the meatball and in a delicious spicy tomato ‘soup’, yes please!

Mr Whaite must have access  to the juiciest tomatoes as I had to improvise a little with an additional tin otherwise my sauce would have been the size of one of those sachets you get in pubs. I also changed a few of the spices too just because I have unused spices falling out of the pantry.

Get set…

  • Quarter some tomatoes
  • Preheat the oven to 190°c (fan)
  • Get a few butter, red chillies, sour cream, beef mince, sumac, cayenne pepper, ground cinnamon, tin of chopped tomatoes, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Spread out the tomatoes and chillies on a baking tray and sprinkle with salt. Leave at room temperature for about half an hour to macerate.*

Mix the mince with the spices and some salt and pepper and form into meatballs, it should make around 16 if you use 500g mince. Leave to chill.

Pop the tomatoes and chillies in the oven and roast for around 15 minutes then pop the meatballs on the tray and cook for another 10 minutes.

Cover the meatballs in foil to keep warm. Put the charred tomatoes and chillies and any juices into a processor (remove the stalks from the chillies) and add the butter. Whizz up and add the tomatoes if yours is as dry as mine.

If you have added the tomatoes you will have to warm it through.

Dish it up…

Place the meatballs on the sauce and serve with a dollop of sour cream.

TWD_1105_Meatballs.jpg* To be fair I probably rushed this bit too.

Mackerel & Beetroot Salad

Well this is daunting with 17 posts (photo only, at the moment) in my drafts folder. I’ll probably still be doing this by July! Is it really June? Although I may have lost my mojo it doesn’t stop me from buying new books and I recently purchased Perfect Plates in Five Ingredients by John Whaite. If you are looking for a new cook book I would thoroughly recommend it.

So Hugh uses three, John uses five, Jamie uses too many to count. I might write a cook book – This was Dinner with Four. Four hasn’t been done yet has it?

On 9th May 2016, This was Dinner

Get set…

  • Slice some beetroot
  • Flake some smoked mackerel
  • Toast some hazelnuts
  • Cut up some lettuce
  • Get sour cream, wholegrain mustard & seasoning ready

Throw it together…


Mix the mustard with the sour cream.

Roughly chop the nuts.

Dish it up…

Arrange the lettuce on a plate then add the beetroot and the mackerel. Scatter with the nuts and serve with a dollop of the sour cream. Season to taste.


This recipe is definitely more ‘inspired by’ than ‘taken from’ Perfect Plates. John Whaite’s is far more colourful than mine with his variety of beetroots. Try finding that in a Doncaster Morrisons along with his raspberry vinegar! Mine is definitely a more rugged version 😀

White Chocolate & Raspberry Cake and Chinese Custard Tarts

If you read the blog regularly you will know I am not much of a baker. A couple of times I have made a cake it’s been a little on the heavy side. When Mr S and I tried this we declared it the best one ever! Having looked back on my blog I think we might have both been a little hard on me. I’ve made some pretty decent cakes! OK I won’t win prizes for presentation but then again, I’m not trying to either.

This is a John Whaite recipe that I’ve had in my torn out BBC Good Food recipes file for ages. I thought it was perfect for those who are coming to the party and had given up chocolate for lent. I also had some raspberries in the freezer.

My eggs and butter were at room temp.

Preparing the cake:

  • Cut butter into small cubes (200g)
  • Break white chocolate into pieces (100g)
  • Measure out caster sugar (200g) and self-raising flour (200g) & frozen raspberries (175gish)
  • Get 4 large eggs ready
  • Grease & line 2 x 20cm loose bottomed cake tins
  • Preheat the oven to 160ºc (fan)
  • Boil the kettle

Making the cake:

Pour the boiling water into a saucepan and leave on a low simmer. Put the butter and chocolate into a heatproof bowl and set over the water. Let it melt slowly and stir occasionally.

Remove from the heat and let it cool for a couple of minutes. Transfer to your mixer if, like me, that is what you are using.

Beat in the eggs and sugar then gently fold in the flour and raspberries.

Divide between the two tins and bake for 20-25 minutes. Stick a skewer in and if it comes out clean, it’s ready.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then turn on to a wire rack to cool completely.

Preparing the ganache:

  • Chop up some white chocolate (200g)
  • Measure out the double cream (250ml)
  • Boil the kettle
  • Get icing sugar ready for dusting

Making the ganache:

Pour the boiling water into a saucepan and leave on a low simmer. Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl with 100ml of the cream and set over the water. Let it melt slowly.

Allow to cool to room temperature then beat in the rest of the cream.

Spread all over the base of the cake then place the other on top. I took my icing sugar with me to dust with just before serving. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of the cake when it was cook but take my word, it was very good.

TWD_Baking_CakeI have had these tarts bookmarked since February over on the wonderful Food Daydreaming.

I can confirm that they were delicious but I never got to take a photograph of them once I had dusted them with icing sugar and this is just a quick phone snap.

Chinese Custard Tarts