Real Family Recipes from coming soon! All your kitchen gadgets, utensils and accessories in one stop

Monday, November 05, 2007

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Brownies

Competition Winner!

There’s an excellent opportunity for some child labour here because the pistachios taste so much better if they’re the shell-on salted kind (trust me, the salt really works), so enlist the help of your small people to shell enough pistachios to end up with 4oz. They’ll love you for it, I promise:

A bar and a half (225g) of Green and Black’s 70% dark chocolate
6 oz butter
3 eggs
8 oz caster sugar
4 oz plain flour
4 oz shelled salted pistachio nuts (roughly chopped, or don’t bother if you’re really idle)
So, help your child melt the butter and chocolate in a bain-marie (bowl over saucepan of simmering water – yes, I know you knew that, but just in case…). Take it straight off when it’s nearly there as you only need it just warm – you should be able to put your finger in it - any hotter and you’ll have scrambled eggs. Let them mix up the eggs and the sugar in a bowl(you don’t need to whisk or anything, just until they’re combined), then add in the butter/chocolate mixture, the flour and the nuts and mix. Bung it in a greaseproof paper-lined tin (I used my lasagne tin which is rectangular (11x7x1.5) and bake for about 35 mins at 180C/350F/gas 4 until it looks all shiny and cracked on the top, but still deliciously squidgy in the middle. Cool, then stuff into face. Magic! - Becky Wiggins

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pear & Almond Clafoutis from Ballyknocken Cookery School

Thanks to Catherine Fulvio and her team in Ashford, Co Wicklow Andrew and I had a fantastic day at this hands on Cookery School. As well as a beautiful setting, excellent recipes and realxed atmosphere - Catherine was keen to show us knife techniques, alternative versions of all 7 (!) recipes using different ingredients and treated us to a tour of the herb garden. The day was rounded off with a late lunch as prepared by all those attending. Well worth a visit!

You will need:

butter for greasing

6 Pears

For the Batter:

2oz Ground Almonds

2 tbsp Plain Flour

4oz Golden Caster Sugar

2 Eggs

2 Egg Yolks

9floz Double Cream


Heat the oven to 190C

Peel, core and roughly chop the pears

Butter the ramekins and scatter the pears over the base

Mix all the batter ingredients in a blender until smooth, pour it over the pears and bake for

15-20 minutes until risen and golden brown. Serve warm with cream whipped with Amereto & Icing Sugar.

Exceptionally easy and just gorgeous to eat!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Easy Mediterranean Pizza

Friends came over last Sunday for lunch and this quick pizza received rave reviews:
We fed (with salad) 6 adults + 4 toddlers using a deep oven tray to Take all the toppings!

For the dough you will need:
2 pkg. active dry yeast
2 cup warm water (50% boiled 50% from the tap)
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. Olive oil
5 cups of flour

2 cups of tomatoe Passata
1/2 Thinly Sliced red onion
2 Garlic cloves finely diced
1 Teaspoon of Oregano
Thin strips of 1 red & 1 orange pepper
8oz Grated Cheddar
40z Sliced Mushrooms
1 Packet (5 slices) Parma Ham
2 Packets of Mozzarella Balls

  • Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in remaining dough ingredients; beat vigorously, about 20 strokes. Allow dough to rest (about 10 minutes)cover bowl with a tea towel.
  • Heat oven to 200C. Prepare toppings/sauce.
  • Stretch dough into shape and place on lightly greased baking sheets (flour your fingers)
  • Spread passata evenly on dough surface.
  • Sprinkle with oregano.
  • Arrange your choice of toppings on top and dot with Mozzarella balls
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is brown and filling is hot and bubbly.
    Makes one large or two round 2 pizzas.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Banana Muffins

Sunday 10th June - just proved too hot for me & my assistant so we decided to recycle some old bananas!

You will need:
9oz Plain Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Bicarbonate / Bread Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon ground Ginger
1/4 Teaspoon grated Nutmeg
3 Large Ripe Bananas
1 Egg
2.5 oz Dark Brown Sugar
2 fl oz (50ml) Vegetable Oil


1) Preheat the oven to 190C. Take a deep muffin tray and fill with baking cases (scooby-doo in this case)
2) In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt, ginger & nutmeg - set to one side
3) With an electric mixer mix up the peeled bananas until mashed, add in the egg, sugar & oil
4) Beat in the dry ingredients gradually on a low speed, until just blended
5) Fill each case to two thirds full and then bake in the oven for 20-25mins until springy to the touch and golden brown.

Serve with freshly brewed tea for a sunday afternoon treat!

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, April 30, 2007

Easy Smoked Haddock Tartlets - For 6

Having neglected my blog it was important to make a mouth watering comeback!

You will need:

Thaw 500g Packet of shortcrust pastry
8oz Smoked Flaked Haddock (left overs are fine)
2 Eggs
2 Good Pinches of Fresh Dill + 1 Pinch to Garnish
280ml Single Cream
Salt & Pepper

Preheat the oven to 200c
Cut the pastry into 6 pieces, rolling out to fit 6, 10cm (buttered) shallow tart dishes, which should be lined with grease proof paper and a layer of baking beans.
Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 mins, remove the paper and beans, pop back in for 5mins until golden - Remove
Lower the oven to 180c, sprinkle the haddock flakes into the pastry cases.
Whisk the eggs with the dill, then whisk the cream in with the salt & pepper
Pour over the fish and bake for 15 minutes until the filling is a light gold & set. Serve warm with a mixed salad & lemon wedge.

Hooray for summer!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Winter Warmer Winner - Melanzane Alla Parmigiana

4 Large Aubergines
Vegetable Oil
1 Jar of Tomato sauce
Half onion (diced)
3 tablespoons olive oil
125 gr. Parmisan cheese
250 gr. Mozzarella
Salt & pepper


Slice the aubergines lengthwise , sprinkle with salt and leave them for 1 hour (this ensures the aubergines are not soaked with oil when frying).

Dry off the aubergines, dust them with flour and fry them.

Let them drip-dry on kitchen paper.

In the meantime you need to prepare the tomato sauce.

Pour the olive oil into a pan, add the onion, a sprig of parsley and fry for a few minutes. Add the tomato sauce and cook for 20 minutes. Add the basil during the last five minutes.

Cover the bottom of a deep oven dish with the tomato sauce.
Place one layer of aubergines over entire dish area, cover again with tomato sauce, add parmisan cheese and mozzarella. Repeat this process until all the aubergines have been used.

Place in the oven at 180°C for 30 minutes. Serve hot with ciabatta bread


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Winter Warmer - Stove Top Chicken Soul

This is a good winter dish that is quick and easy to make, and if like me
you don't like to much beef is a good change for stew.

You need; 4 fillited chicken breasts, carrots, onion,mushroom,s stock cube,
packet of your fav chicken soup,some cream[this can be left out] and

Cut up chicken and fry it until sealed, fry onion and mushroom,s, dice
carrots, peel and quarter potatoes, Make up stock cube and soup add all the
veg and chicken, bring to the boil, then simmer until veg cooked. this is
best made early and reheated when needed. Just before serving add the cream
if using. Enjoy - Jeny

Winter Warmer - Cream of Celeriac Soup with Champagne

This recipe came from being inspired at the farmer's market.My mother in law happened to point out an extremely ugly vegetable at Sunday's farmer's market in Marylebone and said, "I've always wanted to make celeriac soup." I had to admit that this life ambition had rather passed me by, until that moment. However, I rose to the challenge, and tucked a couple of the nasty-looking tuberous roots in my bag and brought them home. Whereupon they reposed in splendor on my countertop while I ignored them and cooked other, more familiar things. Finally, though, their obstinate presence made me feel guilty, so before I could lose courage, I produced this.

Cream of Celeriac Soup with Champagne(serves four, unless you have a straw and don't tell anyone you've made it, then it serves one)
2 tbsps butter
2 bulbs celeriac, peeled and cut into smallish chunks
3 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
3 cups chicken stock
1 good splash champagne (mine was rather old and flat, leftover)
1 tsp celery salt
1/2 cup single cream

I am not kidding here: simply throw all this, except for the cream, in a stockpot and boil gently for an hour. Then pulverize with a hand blender and add the cream.DIVINE! Where I thought it might be stringy, like celery soup which has to be strained, it was velvety. Where I thought it might taste as boring as it looked (white), it was complex and interesting. And where I thought it might be simply weird, it was perfect. Comforting, creamy, perfectly smooth.thanks, and I hope you enjoy it!Kristen

Winter Warmer - Ciara's Best Banoffi Pie

Easy peasy Banoffi pie (what I wanted those springform tins for)

To serve 8-10
12 ounces uncooked shortcrust pastry1.5 tins condensed milk (13.5 ounces each)

1.5 pounds firm bananas

375ml of double cream

Half a teaspoon powdered instant coffee

1 dessertspoon caster sugar

A little freshly ground coffee


Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 (400F, ). Lightly grease a 10in x 1.5in flan tin. Line this with the pastry thinly rolled out. Prick the base all over with a fork and bake blind until crisp. Allow to cool.The secret of this delicious pudding lies in the condensed milk.Immerse the cans unopened in a deep pan of boiling water. Cover and boil for 5 hours making sure that the pan does not boil dry * (see CAUTION) .

Remove the tin from the water and allow to cool completely before opening. Inside you will find the soft toffee filling.

MethodWhip the cream with the instant coffee and sugar until thick and smooth. Now spread the toffee over the base of the flan. Peel and halve the bananas lenghtways and lay them on the toffee. Finally spoon the cream and lightly sprinkle over the freshly ground coffee.

*CAUTION It is absolutely vital to top up the pan of boiling water frequently during the cooking of the cans.

5 hours is a long time and if they are allowed to boil dry the cans will explode causing a grave risk to life, limb and kitchen ceilings.

Hint - Banoffi is a marvellous "emergency" dessert once you have the toffee mixture in your store cupboard. I suggest that you boil several cans at the same time as they keep unopened indefinitely.

Winter Warmer - Tuscan Bean & Sausage Soup

Tuscan Bean and Sausage soup

2 tblsp of olive oil
2 red onions
2 garlic cloves
100g of pancetta chopped (you can buy it in packs prechopped)
1 carrot finely chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1 can of cannelli beans
3 spicy italian sausages ( I sometimes use 4)
1 litre of chicken stock
1 bay leaf
a bunch of flat leaf parsley
Sea salf and freshly ground black pepper

Put the oil in the saucepan (i use a big deep le Creuset casserole)
and heat well. Add the onion, garlic, pancretta, carrot and celery and cook over low heat for about 10 mins until softened but not browned. Add the sausages, beans, stock, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer for 30 mins. Skim off any excess fat. Then remove the sausages with a large spoon or tongs. Slice them into chunky pieces and return to the soup. Add the parsley and Serve in large bowls.

Delicious served on its own or with garlic bread or Focaccia - Ciara

Winter Warmer - Liz's Family One Pot Wonder

700g/1.5LB Irish Pork Pieces
Vegetable Oil
2 Large Onions Sliced
2 Large Carrots Sliced
Turnip Peeled & Diced
40g/1.5Oz Plain Flour
300ml/0.5Pint each Cider (Or Apple Juice)& Water
1Tbsp Cider Vinegar (or Wine)
2 Large Cooking Apples Sliced
Can of Butter Beans or Haricot
700g/1.5Lbs Potatoes Sliced
2 Tbsp Chopped Parsley

Preheat oven to 180c
Brown the Pork on a pan lift out and set aside
Over Low Heat add Onions, Carrots, Turnips, for 5 mins.
Sprinkel in the flour & Stir for 5 mins
Gradually add in Cider & water
Bring it to the Boil
Add in Vinegar, Apples, & Beans
Add back in Pork and Boil for 5 mins. more

Transfer the lot in to a Large Casserole Pot
Put Sliced Potatoes on top
Get a sheet of grease proof paper wet it and put on top potatoes
Then seal with Casserole lid and leave in oven for about 1.5 hours

When Ready take lid off, leave in oven 15 Mins.,to let potatoes brown

Serve with some Broccoli

Really easy to make, full of healthy goodness & everyone loves it!


I decided to send you a soup recipe, as it's a bit unusual, and somehow, if people want to experiment with a new recipe, a soup is a safe bet. Everyone has their own fail-safe casseroles that they're likely to fall back on..

I have been making this divine soup for several years, and only in Winter - it is seriously luxurious comfort food..
By the way, we ordered the waffle maker from you for our 12 year old son for Christmas, and it's fantastic. We had fresh waffles every morning for two weeks!

Kind Regards

This soup is a luxurious twist on the classic French onion soup. It looks delicious with a rich purple colour. If you've guests, it makes an impressive and substantial supper or lunch dish, or a much-appreciated starter - say before your Sunday roast..(It is so richly flavoured that it wouldn't be a good idea to follow it with delicately flavoured food such as fish or fragrant food such as Thai)

The soup has got quite a solid amount of veg in it, and is so well flavoured that you can easily increase the quantity without comprising the quality by adding extra stock. It will freeze really well, so if you're only using some of it, you can have some extra lunches lined up.

It's very easy, needing no skills except slicing and chopping, and apart from occasionally stirring and adding things in, is more or less left to stew away on its own.

4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
900g (2 lb) Red Onions, quartered and finely sliced
4 fat cloves garlic
Half teaspoon salt
2 x 400g (2 x 14oz ) cans tomatoes - chopped
1 bay leaf
6 sprigs fresh thyme
Strip of orange skin about as long and wide as your thumb
(peeled so you don't get the white part)
2 wineglasses red wine
900ml (11/2 pints) stock made with good quality vegetable stock cubes or Marigold bouillon powder
Salt & Pepper
Parsley or thyme leaves to garnish
Heat the oil in spacious heavy pan with a well-fitting lid, and saute the white onion about 10 minutes until soft and beginning to caramelize
Add sliced red onions, stirring to coat with the oil, and cook slowly 30 minutes until soft and wilted, stirring occasionally.
When onions are softened, add tomatoes, salt, crushed garlic, bay leaf, thyme, orange peel.
Cover pan and leave to stew for 15 minutes.
Add the wine, and boil vigorously until liquid is reduced by half to cook off the alcohol.
Pour in the stock and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes. At this point, you can decide if you want to add extra hot stock to stretch the soup
Season with salt and pepper
Serve with hot crusty bread.
If this is a lunch or supper dish, you can offer more substantial breads such as ciabatta, or foccacia with toppings, and offer something to top the soup with such as grated parmesan, a dish of soft goat's cheese to blob on top, or creme fraiche.