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!

Pancakes – what else?

On 17th February 2015, This was Dinner

Not only was it my first day back at work but it was our first day of leaving him entirely alone for an hour or so. Talk about separation issues (me, not him!). Luckily he settled in his pen straight away and was really well behaved, which calmed me a little. Getting home from work and being smothered in excited kisses, I can really see why they are ‘Man’s Best Friend’.

On the plus side of being back at work, one week and the mornings are lighter!

It’s Shrove Tuesday so pancakes are on the menu. This was a given when I was younger but has only really become a tradition since I started the blog. I had sweet pancakes last year and Japanese vegetable pancakes the year before.

This is our new pancake recipe since we had the Gallettes Soubises before Christmas. We decided to have these with bacon and maple syrup. Here’s something – I’ve NEVER had pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, so this was a new one for me!


  • Sift 125g each of plain and buckwheat flour into a bowl with a tsp of salt
  • Measure out 300ml of milk and 125ml water in the same jug
  • Get 2 large eggs ready
  • Melt 30g of butter
  • Get bacon and maple syrup ready (or indeed whatever you fancy


Cook the bacon the way you like it.

Make a well in the bowl of flour. Beat the eggs with the milk and water then gradually pour in, whisking as you go. It helps if you have a chief whisker like Mr S, then you can just pour.

Whisk well then add the melted butter and leave to rest a while.

Heat a tiny amount of oil in a pan and add a ladleful of the batter. Cook until browned then flip and cook on the other side.

When all cooked, serve as you like.


I saw a recipe on Facebook for pancakes for your puppy and funnily enough they recommended buckwheat pancakes. Walter had a little nibble of one and loved them.

The pancake recipe is credited to Diana Henry in her Roast Figs Sugar Snow – Food to Warm the Soul.

Turkey Meatball Korma Soup

On 16th October 2014, This was dinner

The inspiration for this came from trawling through my vast back catalogue of recipes torn from the pages of my old magazines. I had some Korma paste lying around but here’s the Thai original if you want it.


  • finely chop a garlic clove
  • roughly chop a yellow pepper
  • get some turkey mince, fish sauce, Korma paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, limes, frozen stir-fry vegetables, egg noodles & seasoning ready


In a bowl, mix the turkey, garlic and a dash of fish sauce. Form into small balls of about 3cm in diameter.

Heat the curry paste in a large pan with a splash or two of water.

Add the coconut milk, stock, lime juice and a little more fish sauce, bring up to the boil and add the meatballs. Cook for a few minutes.

Add the pepper and the frozen veg and cook for another five minutes or so. Add the noodles and cook until the noodles are done.


Very nice indeed, Mr S picked the meals for this week and apart from the salsa cod blip they have all been really good. I might allow him to do it again 😉

Mushroom in the Hole

On 15th October 2014, This was dinner

A two day mushroom frenzy but lets face it, you can’t go wrong with a mushroom can you?


  • prepare & chill a Yorkshire pudding mix*
  • chop some large flat mushrooms
  • finely chop a garlic clove
  • heat the oven to 190ºc (fan)
  • get some oil, dried sage, crème fraîche and wholegrain mustard ready


Heat some oil in your preferred Yorkshire pudding tin, get it hot.

Throw in the mushrooms and just pop back in the oven for a couple of minutes to heat up again.

Pour over the pudding mixture and sprinkle with sage. Get it straight back in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes.

Just before it’s ready, mix together the garlic, crème fraîche and wholegrain mustard and gently warm through.

I have no link as once again, this is from the 25th anniversary BBC Good Food.


We served it with steam savoy cabbage and a good dollop of the crème fraîche dressing.


Although Mr S had reservations – “well if I’m making something ‘in the hole’ I might as well add sausages”, we both enjoyed this immensely. It;s been three for three really good meals this week.

* you’ll never use any other measurements again if you go with this one – credit to Jamie Oliver on the weight ratios who finally steered us away from the ratios we’d used forever.

  • plain flour 200g
  • eggs 4
  • milk 200ml
  • salt (a pinch)

Pop flour into a bowl and add the eggs, whisk well, slowly add the milk, whisk again until light airy and ‘unlumpy’.

The main rules according to Lisa:

  • Good whisk action with plenty of bubbles in the mixture
  • Rest in the fridge for at least an hour
  • Take out at least 15 minutes before you need it
  • Oil should be HOT HOT HOT
  • Don’t open the door

Oh and credit to Mr S for being YP maker extraordinaire.

Stilton & Spinach Pancakes with Egg

On 14th October 2014, This was dinner

(Mood level – great!)

I really should start making a note of which cheeses I am buying, this blue Stilton was really good and I’d like to give it credit.


  • Roughly chop some chestnut mushrooms
  • Chop (or crumble) some Stilton
  • Bash a couple of garlic cloves
  • Get some spinach, butter, oil, eggs, ready-made pancakes* & seasoning ready


Cook the spinach in a dry pan to wilt. Pop in a sieve to cool and squeeze out the excess water.

Melt the butter in the pan and cook the mushrooms with the garlic and some seasoning. When they are cooked to your liking add the spinach and Stilton.

Fry the eggs to your liking and warm the pancakes according to the instructions.

Serve the mushroom mixture on top of the pancake, top with the egg and a little seasoning.


I managed two of these.

The Delicious magazine recipe can be found here.

* I know it’s simple to make a pancake but these were only £1.50 from Sainsburys and it saved having to clean three pans.

Smoky Bacon Pasta with Savoy Cabbage

On 13th October 2014, This was dinner

I came around a little today. You have to channel your inner Kermit, take a sip on something nice and say “other people are dicks but that’s just not my problem!”

The idea came from the latest BBC Good Food Magazine Smoky Bacon & Kale Pasta but as I couldn’t get my hands on any kale I just bought a savoy cabbage instead.


  • boil the kettle
  • chop some good smoked bacon into lardons
  • finely chop a couple of garlic cloves
  • slice a red chilli
  • juice a lemon
  • finely slice half a savoy cabbage
  • grate some Parmesan
  • get some cream cheese, oil, wholewheat pasta, pine nuts & seasoning ready


Cook the pasta in boiling salted water.

Heat the oil and cook the bacon until crisp and golden.

Add the pine nuts, garlic and chilli until the garlic is softened and the pine nuts are lightly toasted.

Add the cabbage with a splash of water and pop the lid on to wilt.

Drain the pasta and add to the bacon mixture along with cream cheese and lemon juice.

Season and serve with a little Parmesan.


It’s the first time I’ve had wholewheat pasta even though the pack has been in my cupboard for ages. It’s nicer than I imagined.

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.