Tag Archives: Recipe

Camping Cooking: Chicken Noodle Soup

chicken noodle soup

I love camping! The fresh air, the sunshine (hopefully!) and the ability to do all your cooking outdoors make it one of my most favourite things. I love trying to cook more adventurous things when I am outdoors such as Fish in a Bag! and lots of wonderful dishes when Jo’s Kitchen became Jo’s Field Kitchen!

At the moment I am really enjoying Asian flavours and one of my most loved and healthiest dishes is chicken noodle soup. It is very easy to prepare all in one saucepan, whether you are after an easy after work supper or want to cook something easy but different from the norm when camping.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Leftover chicken or 400g boneless and skinless chicken thighs, chopped into chunks
  • 4-6 spring onions, chopped
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 de-seeded chilli, chopped finely
  • 2 balls of dried egg noodles
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
  • 1 tablespoon of Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • Small bunch of coriander, chopped


  1. Put the oil in a saucepan and heat up. Add the spring onions, garlic, ginger and chilli and fry until softened.
  2. If using uncooked chicken, add it in now and fry until it is white all over and starting to go golden brown.
  3. Add in the stock and allow the chicken to cook for a few minutes, then add in the noodles and cook according to the package instructions.
  4. Finally, add in the cooked chicken (if using) and finish with fresh coriander. Serve and enjoy!

Please let me know if you try this recipe. I really hope it will become one of your family favourites like it has for us.

This post is in association with Thomson Alfresco

Disclosure: I received payment in kind of products from Lakeland in exchange for doing this post.


Easy Easter Nest Cupcakes


Easter is just around the corner and to get you in the mood, I have some inspiration for some easy Easter nest cupcakes that children can easily decorate themselves.

The chocolate cake is actually Nigella Lawson’s Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake recipe. The version I used is here. The recipe makes a massive quantity of cake mix and easily makes 30 cupcakes. I adjusted the cooking temperature to 175 degrees as I have an electric fan oven and baked them for 20 minutes until a knife comes out clean. The mix is very runny and it is easier to pour it into the cake cases before baking. I let the mix stand for an hour before baking and it thickened up slightly, making it easier.

Once cooled, I made up some chocolate buttercream (250g unsalted butter, 500g icing and 100g dark chocolate melted) and decorated the cupcakes using a grass/hair nozzle to give it a twig effect. The grass nozzle is very forgiving and you are almost given permission to not be perfect for the nests as the messier the better! This nozzle is perfect for children to learn basic piping techniques as they can hardly go wrong. This method of decorating does not use as much buttercream as you think and I ended up with some leftover for use another day. I finished the decoration off with my favourite Easter chocolate, Mini Eggs. I am impressed with myself that all the Mini Eggs made it onto the cakes! Where I found the willpower from not to eat them all, I do not know!

What are you baking this Easter? I would love to find out :-)

PS: I am taking these to Blue Door Bakery’s Cake Club tonight. I am looking forward to talking about cake, cake and even more cake!

spring carnival

The Best and The Laziest Brownies In The World!!

As it is the new year and everyone has lots of resolutions to drink less, eat healthier and get fitter, I decided to do the complete opposite of that and share with you, the best and the laziest brownies in the world recipe. These brownies are so good and so easy to make, I am sure they will counter any back to work/school January blues!!!

I originally discovered this recipe through Twitter/Instagram where a couple of blogging friends were discussing something called 'Slutty Brownies'. Even the name seemed intriguing to me and I knew I had to find out more. I was pointed to the apparent source for the original recipe on The Londoner blog. The recipe only contains three ingredients; chocolate cookie dough mix, chocolate brownie mix and Oreo cookies. Anyone can make them as they are so easy. They are called slutty as they are made with ready mixes/packages but I am sure you could make your own brownie and cookie dough mix if you like. My version of the recipe is below. For other versions, please see my fellow blogging friends:

Mari's World

The Boy And Me

Slutty Brownies


  • 1 packet of chocolate brownie mix
  • 1 packet of cookie dough mix
  • 1 pack of Oreos
  • Eggs or water to make up packet mixes as described on the packet
  • A greased foil tray, a normal tray lined with tin foil or a greased silicone tray (The Boy And Me used a loaf tin which I think I will do next time)


  1. Make up the cookie dough mix and chocolate brownie mix as per the package instructions
  2. Put the cookie dough as a thick layer at the bottom of the tin
  3. Top with as many Oreo biscuits as your tin allows
  4. Pour the chocolate brownie mix over the top and bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C for 20-30 minutes
  5. Eat and enjoy!!

I really urge everyone to give this recipe a go. It is so easy and delicious. It really feels like a treat which is perfect to sort out any case of the January blues!!


Slow Cooker Sunday: Chilli For A Crowd

For absolutely ages now, I have been wanting to join in the Slow Cooker Sunday linky hosted by Mediocre Mum. I have finally been given the opportunity this weekend as it is Thomas’ 1st Birthday tomorrow and we hosted a large family party for him yesterday.

As the weather has turned noticeably colder over the last week, I wanted a dish that would warm people up and that was very easy to make. I decided to make chilli to go along with the roast pork and roast glazed ham sandwiches I was doing as well. Here is my recipe. As I was making it for so many people I didn’t want to make it to hot.

Ingredients (feeds a crowd!)

  • 1.7kg of steak mince
  • 4 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 4 packets Schwartz Chilli Con Carne seasoning mix
  • 1 tablespoon Worcester Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 3 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml beef stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1) Put all the ingredients into the slow cooker, give them a stir and leave on low for at least 12 hours
2) Remove the fat off the top. I used a ladle and a sieve to get onions back and put them back once I had removed the fat.
3) Eat in a big bowl with garlic bread and rice


Baking Mad With Eric Lanlard

Unless you have lived under a rock for the last month, you cannot have failed to notice that the second series of Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard is currently in Channel 4 on weekday lunchtimes. Before the series started, I was lucky enough to be given a sneak preview of some of the recipes from this series and have the opportunity to make one myself. I chose the toffee and apple sauce muffins as I do not usually make muffins and these sounded super yummy!

The series is sponsored by BakingMad.com, an online community of over 100,000 members sharing a wealth of information, recipes, hints, tips and advice on baking. They very kindly provided me with some of the ingredients to make the muffins. I only altered from the recipe once as I saved the caramel that the apples were cooked in and poured it over the warm muffins to serve. The ladies at my work loved them when I visited with Thomas a couple of weeks ago! :-)

Toffee and Apple Sauce Muffins

Ingredients (makes 12)

  • 275g plain flour
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 75g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125ml whole milk
  • 100g fudge pieces
  • Approx. 2 tbsp cinnamon sugar (2 tbsp light muscovado sugar mixed with 1 tsp ground cinnamon)

For the apple sauce

  • 300g Bramley apples (approximately 2 medium apples)
  • 150g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp calvados


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/ gas mark 6. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with muffin papers.
  2. To make the apple sauce, peel and core the apples and cut into small cubes. Place the diced apple in a saucepan with the sugar, cinnamon, calvados and 1 teaspoon of water. Cook over a low heat until the apples are tender and of a compote consistency. Drain the apples and leave to cool.
  3. Sieve the flour, sugar and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl beat the butter and eggs together then add the milk. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture until just incorporated and smooth. Put on a high speed and beat for 2-3 minutes until light. Finally, add the fudge pieces and mix.
  4. Spoon half the mixture into the muffin cases then spoon over the apple sauce. Ensure that the sauce is the same consistency as the batter so that it doesn’t sink into the cakes. Cover with the remaining muffin batter and sprinkle with lots of cinnamon sugar.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes then cool on a wire rack and serve.

Coffee and Cake: Kenco Millicano Product Review

Hello everyone. I am back. Did you miss me? I missed you all. Thomas is doing fantastically and I am loving motherhood. You can follow my progress as a new mum on my sister blog Jo’s Nursery. I have a backlog of posts to get through so I will do my best to post regularly from now on, however please bear with me if I do not. A 4 week old can be quite demanding!

Today I would like to tell you about an amazing new coffee I have discovered. It is called Kenco Millicano and is the best tasting instant coffee that I have ever found. The reason it is the best tasting instant coffee is because it contains 15% finely milled roast and ground coffee, making it taste like freshly brewed coffee. With a newborn in the house and a distinct lack of sleep happening, a good cup of coffee to get me going in a morning is a must. Since finding Kenco Millicano, I have not looked back and I highly recommend it.

Kenco Millicano have spoken to over a thousand women across the UK to find out what the hottest trends for 2011 were. One of the most interesting trends for foodies is the ‘retro recession’ with people trying to be more cost conscious and frugal with their food purchases.

The report features the biggest upcoming trends for food such as:

  • Scandi-Style: There’s a new interest in the clean, fresh tastes of Nordic cuisine, with herring, lingonberry jam and Västerbottensost cheese enjoying a surge in popularity
  • Olde worlde recipes will continue to inspire nostalgic cuisine. Heston Blumenthal’s new venture, Dinner, interprets dishes from as far back as the 14th century, likewise at Marcus Wareing’s Gilbert Scott the menu features old school offerings like Mrs Beeton’s snow eggs with Everton toffee. 17th century grog cocktail anyone?
  • Inexpensive but tasty food: Jay Rayner’s latest discovery BBQ Shack smokes brisket and pork shoulder over hardwood pits for 18 hours, transforming the taste and texture. While stocks of salmon and cod dwindle, so too does our appetite for them, but coley and pouting will surge in popularity.

As part of the inexpensive but tasty food trend, Kenco sent me a frugal fruit cake recipe to try. I was really impressed with the recipe. It is delicious and you can hardly tell it is frugal at all. It smelled so delicious I would of eaten the cake mix uncooked if I had not of been pregnant when I made it.

Frugal Fruit Cake


  •  150 ml (¼ pt water)
  • 100 g (4 oz) sultanas
  • 125 g (5 oz) caster sugar
  • 113 g (¼ lb) butter
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150 g (6 oz) plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
  2. First grease and line a 1 lb loaf tin, then grease the paper.
  3. Take a large, thick based saucepan and put in the water, sugar, sultanas, butter and bicarbonate of soda. Place pan on a medium heat, stir ingredients together and bring to the boil, then boil for 10 minutes exactly, but don’t go away – if the temperature isn’t controlled it may boil over.
  4. When the 10 minutes is up remove pan from the heat and allow mixture to cool. Then add the beaten egg, and the flour and baking powder, sifted together. Mix well then place in prepared tin and bake on the middle shelf for approx 1½ hours.
  5. This dark and sticky cake is a family favourite and gets even better if kept for a few days.

Many thanks to Joanna for sending me the coffee to review and the fruit cake recipe. It is much appreciated :-)

Fresh From The Oven: Cinnamon Rolls

Claire from Things We Make read my mind this month with the Fresh From The Oven challenge. I was watching Man Vs Food and saw these absolutely massive cinnamon rolls covered in lots of thick icing. They looked amazing and I thought, I could make them (in a smaller scale of course!) So I was so pleased when I checked what the challenge was for this month and saw it was cinnamon rolls. Woo hoo!

Due to being pregnant and having a lot on generally, I have been very poor over the recent months in doing the FFTO challenges, I hope everyone will forgive me. I am hoping to get better in the new year once the baby has arrived and we have settled into our new roles as parents a bit.

I really enjoyed making the cinnamon rolls. The recipe was simple and easy to follow and I will definitely make them again! The ladies at my coffee morning loved them.

Many thanks to Claire for hosting this month’s challenge :-)

Cinnamon Rolls


  • 400g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 2 Sachets of instant yeast (14/15g)
  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 250ml Lukewarm Milk
  • 50g Melted Butter
  • 1Tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt


  • 150g Very Soft Butter
  • 50g Brown Sugar – muscovado or demerara
  • 1Tsp Cinnamon
  • A Handful of Sultanas (optional)

Icing (optional*)

  • 2 Cups of Icing Sugar
  • 1 Tblsp Melted Butter
  • 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Water to Mix


  1. In a jug mix the yeast, warm milk and tablespoon of sugar.
  2. Leave to froth for 10 minutes if you have time then add the melted butter and egg yolks.
  3. Mix this into the flours, with the salt.
  4. Knead for 5-10 minutes on a floured surface or in your food mixer with a dough hook for 5 minutes.
  5. Put in a large bowl with a plate on top and leave in a warm place until doubled in size (1-2 hours)
  6. Knock down and flatten out until it’s about the size of a large baking tray.
  7. Slather with the very soft 100g of butter.
  8. Sprinkle with the mix of brown sugar and cinnamon, and the sultanas.
  9. Roll up so you have a long Swiss roll type thing.
  10. Slice into 2″ slices and place in a deep cake tin
  11. I used a 26cm Kaiser tin, with a bit of butter rubbed into it.
  12. Allow to rise for another 1/2 hour. Tuck in any sultanas so they don’t burn.
  13. Bake at 200c for 10 minutes
  14. Cover loosely with foil and bake for another 15 minutes or so.
  15. At this point I brush it with a little melted butter and put it back in if not quite cooked through but it’s probably not necessary. I am a born fiddler.
  16. Tip out straight away – using a plate to tip it onto then back onto a 2nd plate.
  17. Top with the warm buttery icing and leave to cool….as long as you can bear it.
  18. They are still good on day two (and even better when warmed for 20 seconds in the microwave)

Happy Cooking! :-)

The Pink Whisk October Challenge: Apples

This month, Ruth from The Pink Whisk is challenging us to bake something using one of the ingredients of the moment- apples. I love cooking, baking and drinking apples so I knew I had to take part in this challenge. There are many things you can make with apples including cakes, tarts, crumbles, pies and so forth.

For me, the simplest and the best thing to do with apples is make a crumble. It is one of the first things I was taught to make as a child and was left on my own to make as I got older. I know it is not really original or fancy but my opinion is, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! My recipe is very traditional. It does not use oats or anything in the crumble mix. I do not even put any cinnamon in with the apples. If you have good local apples like I did, you should just let them speak for themselves. My recipe below is a bit vague as it depends on how many apples, you have and the size of your baking dish as to how much you need. You just need to use your own judgement and don’t forget you can freeze any left over crumble mix for another time.

Apple Crumble


  • Apples, local if possible, chopped into chunks (1 large or 2 medium sized apples filled up my little Le Creuset dish above)
  • 125g butter, unsalted, cut into small chunks
  • 250g plain flour (always do half fat to flour, however much crumble you make)
  • 125g caster sugar plus a couple of extra tablespoons for the apples
  • Lemon juice


  1. Put the apples in your baking dish and add some lemon juice in with them to prevent them from browning.
  2. Put in a couple of tablespoons of sugar in with the apples and lemon juice and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, make the crumble mix by rubbing in the butter into the flour until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. This may take a few minutes depending on how soft your butter is.
  4. Add in the sugar and mix well.
  5. Top the apples with the crumble mix (don’t do it too neatly- rustic looks better) and bake in a moderate oven until golden brown and bubbling. Eat with custard, cream or ice cream and enjoy!

Happy Cooking! :-)

Tesco Real Food BBQ Challenge: The Recipe

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about the Tesco Real Food BBQ Challenge. While I was in Cornwall on holiday over Bank Holiday, I cooked a recipe using local fish and produce and have submitted into the BBQ Challenge. I decided to cook ‘Fish In A Bag!’ as you can use whatever fish/vegetables you would like, its very easy and simple and can also be cooked in the oven should the weather change and you cannot cook outside. While in Cornwall, I used Whiting that I brought from Armenack Fisheries in Falmouth but you could use any firm white fish or salmon to make this recipe.

We were camping near St Ives and while I got the dish ready to go onto the BBQ kindly supplied by Tesco, I let Stuart heat up the charcoal and get the BBQ ready to use.

Fish In A Bag!

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 2 fish fillets of your choice, boned and skinless if preferred
  • 8-10 new potatoes, cooked until tender, chopped into halves or quarters depending on size
  • Half a red onion, chopped into medium sized chunks
  • Small bunch of parsley, chopped finely
  • 50g butter
  • Large drizzle of olive oil
  • 50ml white wine
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper
  • Half a small sized lemon, juiced


  1. In a roasting bag or make the bag yourself using tin foil, add in all the ingredients leaving the liquids until last. Seal the bag/tin foil.
  2. Put the bag on a preheated BBQ and leave it to cook for 10-15 minutes, depending on size of fish with the lid down. If at home and using the oven, cook at 180 degrees C for 15 minutes.
  3. Cut open the foil bag and serve with good bread, salad and large glass of white wine.

As you can see this recipe is very easy and if I can make it on a windy camp site in Cornwall, you can most certainly make it in your back garden at home.

Many thanks to Helen for inviting me to take part in this challenge :-)

Happy Cooking or BBQing! :-)

PS: A few weeks ago, I went to handmade burger Co in Birmingham to sample their food ahead of them coming to the Bullring as part of the Spiceal Street development. You can see what I thought on the Browse Bullring site here.

Tesco Real Food BBQ Challenge

This summer, Tesco has part of their Real Food campaign is asking Britain’s guys and girls to take part in a BBQ challenge. They are hosting a battle of the sexes to find out who rules the roost when it comes to cooking on the BBQ. I have been invited to take part and have been lucky enough to sent a portable suitcase BBQ and some Ipod speakers so I can party while I am cooking my dishes to take part in this challenge.

There are lots of categories that you can enter dishes into including burgers, chicken, fish and desserts. The judges are looking for dishes that provide a twist on a BBQ classic and stand out from all the others. The competition is running for 3 weeks with the first weekly winner being chosen on Wednesday 24th August and last being chosen  on Wednesday 7th September. Each weekly winner will receive a gas BBQ worth up to £250. It will be up to you to decide whether the guys or the girls by the number of likes you give the recipes on the BBQ challenge Facebook page.

What are you waiting for? Come on girls! Lets show them that BBQ cooking is not just a male thing. We can do it just as well and probably better. Here is one of my favourite girlie tunes to get you inspired to get in the garden and get cooking! Sisters are doing it for themselves!! :-)

I will be back in a week or so with my BBQ recipes that I am submitting for this challenge.

Many thanks to Helen from Tesco for inviting me to take part in this challenge :-)

Happy BBQing! :-)