Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is great for the kids lunch boxes and to add to make it even more appealing why not make double the mixture and freeze half of it for next time or if ou are ever stuck it will come in really handy


150g Self Raising Flour

75g Porridge Oats

125g Softenened Butter

1 egg and I teasp of Vanilla Essence

125g Light Muscvado Sugar

100g chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 190deg.


1. Cream the butter and sugar together in the mixer until nice and smooth.

2.  Add the egg and Vanilla Essence.

3. Stir in the flour, porridge and Chocolate Chips.  Don’t worry if the mixture is very stiff.  Its supposed to be.

4.  Place spoonfuls of the mixture on the baking tray leaving space in between to allow for them to spread during cooking.

5.  12/15 mins in the oven or until the start to brown.  The might seem soft in the middle but cookies continue to cook while the are cooling.

6.  Store in an airtight container if the last that long.

As I said a real hit with the lunch boxes and the cookie dough can be frozen so make enough for next Sunday   when you are planning the lunches for the week ahead.

Enjoy, x

Apple and Blackberry Pie

With the spell of an Indian Summer showing we had a wonderful Sunday morning lately out picking the Smeara Dubha (Blackberries) so here’s just a short post on our results.

Firstly just to say after a bit of research I discovered that the little black fruits are packed full of antioxidants and vitamin C.  While the tiny seeds are packed full of fibre and salicylates which is a group of analgesics that include the active ingredient in Aspirin … so next time the kids are up your back don’t reach for the coffee …. throw back a handful of blackberries. …

Obviously the blackberries we got are wild but you can buy them frozen in most supermarkets.  According to my local expert in Blackberry picking If picking them wild its best to pick them off the main road as sometimes they may be open to fumes from traffic … so climb over that field gate and head off.  YOu’ll soon begin to see the differnce between a small not so ripe Blackberry and a nice plump one.  The rounder and plumpier the better,  more juice and flavour but if you need to buy in the shop just check the end of the punnet isn’t to squishy looking with stains from burst berries.

They freeze brilliantly.  I just pop them in a tubberware box and take them out as I need them.  Make sure to always wash the berries.  Personally I think they are a fragile fruit so I just rinse through gently with a sieve.

Here’s our take on Apple and Blackberry Pie


8oz Plain flour

4oz butter  

150ml cold water approx

4 large cooking apples

Handful blackberries 

iLittle sugar to sweeten the apples


1. add the softened butter to the flour and mix untilmit resembles fine breadcrumbs. 

2. gradually add water bit by bit until lit starts to come together 


Salmon and Potato Gratin

I hit one of those moments this morning when I decided I was sick of making the same ole same ole for dinner.  So after a of browsing and concocting in my head I’ve come up with this dish.  Its currently in the oven.  Here’s hoping I get it all down on paper as it were before I’m called away by hungry little men.


3 salmon fillets

4 large potatoes (I used Roosters)

Few florets of brocolli

Cup of frozen peas

1 veg stock cube dissolved in 150 mls of water

Some grated cheese to sprinkle over the top.


The recipe I found had cream in it so I knew my boys wouldn’t go with that so I used about three heaped desertspoonfuls of Philadelphia Garlic and Herb Cooking sauce instead.



  1.  Dissolve your stock cube in water so it can be cooling.
  2. Peel and slice the spuds into about 5mm thickness, bring to the boil and then leave simmer for 5 mins.  Watch the time here – because they’re sliced so thinly they cook quite quickly.  Strain


Place a layer of the sliced spuds on the end of pyrex dish,  scatter with brocolli and peas.  I suppose you could add any veg you like.  Spread the salmon over the top and layer with a final layer of spuds.



The stock cube in water should be cooled a little by now.  Add in the Philadelphia cooking sauce and stir for a few minutes to combine.  Pour over the contents of the pyrex dish.




Sprinkle with grated cheese

Into oven 190 degrees – 50 mins to an hour.

Pray they eat it .





Iced Orange Cake

To say this goes down a treat in our house is an understatement.  As you can see from my “messy” pictures I hardly got the chance to let it cool and get the icing on !

cake 1

Again its such an easy one to try, especially with all these wet days and the kids can’t get out.


100g butter

2 eggs

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

100g of Caster Sugar

100g of icing sugar

125g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder


Preheat oven to 180 deg.  Butter and flour the sides of a loose bottom cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.

Melt the butter gently in a saucepan and set aside.

Whisk together the eggs, grated orange zest, caster & icing sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy.  Stir in the melted butter.

Sift in the flour and baking powder.  Fold it all together gently.

Pour mixture in prepared tin.  and bake for 35-40mins or until skewer comes out clean.

Unlike what I did as you can see from the mess leave to cool on a wire rack.

To make the topping, sift 100g icing sugar in a bowl with just enough freshly squeezed orange juice to make a paste.



Ditching the Porridge for the Summer Hols

Bricfeasta – the most important meal of the day they say.  Over the past few days I’ve found myself saying to himself – getting sick of this porridge.  I’m looking down it and all I’m getting back is “Nah” !

I can safely say I’ve had porridge 300 out of the last 365 days and I’m usually good to spruce it up.  I am the traditional type when it comes to porridge.  Make it with water the night before and leave it steeping.  I always add something to my porridge, whether it’s fruit or Granola or a few Chia seeds.  I must admit I’m gone off grapes lately.

Now the kids get holidays on Monday, life will be a “little” bit more relaxed.  Note I stress the word little.  I’ll probably be tearing my hair out by 1st August.

So here are just a few alternatives I’m going to try and include for himself and the two boys over the next few weeks (10 weeks to be exact ! I get a shiver just typing it !)

For starters, especially at weekends the boys in our house will be gone down the stairs before I’m out of the shower ! I’ve given you a run down on himself in the morning on my Fathers Day piece so forget that  ! Read it here Enough said ! I do like to let the odd roar for them to eat before they head outdoors.  Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t.  I have seen the small lad hold an apple between his teeth kicking the ball out of his had before 7.30a.m.

1.  Get the kids involved in making a smoothie the night before.  At least if they pour a glass before they head out you know they have something on board.  We’re loving watermelon, strawberries and blueberries in our house at the moment.  Sometimes I put in a drop of Almond Milk.

Watermelon, Strawberry & Blueberry Smoothie

Watermelon, Strawberry & Blueberry Smoothie

2. Blitz some Raspberries with some natural yougurt, pour into a bowl and top with sliced banana and Chia Seeds (I love this one )

3.  For a weekend treat or late breakfast try this novel way with your rashers and eggs.  How impressed would your in-laws be when they’re on hols when you produce this ! Grill some mushrooms and spinach on the side.

Use your ramekin dish for this one.  Very easy to do

Use your ramekin dish for this one. Very easy to do

4.  Scrambled Egg on a slice of McCambridge toasted is always nice I think.  Grill some tomatoes.  I often have it for lunch.

5.  Another treat, which the boys love, is a toasted pancake (the small ones) with some Nutella spread on top.

6.  Finally there’s always a cereal box in  the back of the press and admit it they do come in handy for children.  Just read the label and make sure you choose wisely.

Would love to hear any other breakfast ideas you have for kids over the holidays.


Roast Chicken, Caramelised Onion and Goats Cheese Pizza; Plus Pepperoni Pinwheels on the Side

This sounds awesome people … Courtesy of homemade with mess !

Homemade With Mess

Whenever I make pizza dough I always purposefully make a bit too much so that we can enjoy an extra treat on the side with the left over dough. It’s not great for your waistline but it will make you incredibly happy. I will often make dough balls or garlic bread, but have made it my mission to get a bit more inventive and try out some other delights, and these pepperoni pin wheels were officially awesome! If you are feeling the need to reward yourself, or just enjoy a good meal then this spread is officially the recipe for you!

jars 080

Serves 2-3

For the dough

  • 200g strong white bread flour
  • 1 tsp easy blend dried yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 120ml warm water

For the Pizza Sauce

  • 1 clove garlic – crushed and finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • Pinch sugar
  • 1 tsp oregano

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Baked Eggs – Packed full of goodness

A few simple ingredients and you can pack yourself a healthy and nutritious lunch or snack in a few minutes.  

Ingredients:  Bacon, Onion, handful spinach, tomato, egg, cheese, S&P

Saute the bacon rashers and some onion. Place them at the end of your remekin dish.  Add some spinach and some tomato.  Crack the egg over it and sprinkle with some cheese.  

Place in a bain marie of water and bake in the oven for approx 12 mins or until the egg has set to your liking. 

Ladies this is just so good and nutritious for everyone in the house. You can change it around.  Add mushrooms or indeed any other veg you have handy.