Orange appeal!


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Oh Daily Express, how wrong you are




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The humble custard cream: a haiku.

The humble custard cream

The humble custard cream

Oh yellow biscuit
With Victoriana swirls
One bite and you’re gone.

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Jamie’s (slightly more than) 30 minute meals – satay chicken

Yesterday I cooked another delicious recipe from Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals – the chicken satay with fiery noodle salad. While it really did taste good, it took me a little longer than half an hour to get it on the table. Actually it was more than twice that. And once again, I didn’t manage to fit in the dessert.

But part of this was because I couldn’t get the blimmin’ lid off the soy sauce – eventually having to break to lid off with my teeth – thank you ASDA. And then there was a slight incident as I couldn’t find the metal spike which goes in the centre of the food processor. I did try without, but apparently this is an intrinsic piece, without which there is no spinning. And no chopping. So, I can probably take about 15 minutes off my total time.

All in all it was a good experience and I felt incredibly pleased with myself as I dished it out. Even not-quite-two-year-old Lizzie was up for trying it and wolfed down a whole bowl of noodles (without the cashew nuts and chillies) and half a portion of satay chicken – which was actually quite spicy. But this may have been because she was ravenous as it was gone 6 o’clock by the time we sat down (we had to appease her with a Peppa Pig DVD and some grapes or she would’ve been gnawing at the kitchen cabinets).

We ate all slap-dash with our hands – Jamie style – something which Lizzie caught on to very quickly. And I was really impressed by the flavours. Especially the cashews in the fiery noodle salad which were sweet and toasted.



But once again, after I’d cooked it looked as though a small but very effective bomb had gone off. And I would like to ask Mr Oliver how on Earth he manages to cook such complex dishes, in just a seemlingly slapdash way, and yet still have a show-kitchen???

Is there an edited out team of borrower-sized clearer uppers who rush in to wipe the sides down after every splash? If so, where can I employ such a team?

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Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals – cheat’s pizza

Today I set myself a challenge – to cook one of Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals within his specified half hour time frame. I chose the cheat’s pizza option and I’m proud to say that not only did I manage it in 37 minutes – close enough 🙂 – but that it actually tasted good! Although in the book Mr Oliver somehow manages to fit a marscapone dessert in as well. But that, I suppose, is why he’s a pro with his own TV series.

So, as a mere mortal with a love of food, I’ll take the glory of three edible salads and a pizza from scratch like he’d accept a Michelin star.

As a side note, I’d like to thank Jamie for introducing me to the delights of red, white and balsamic vinegar. Not to mention countless lugs of extra virgin olive oil. These ingredients truly do transform a boring salad into a slightly less boring salad.

However, I’m less appreciative of the state of my beautiful kitchen, which has never witnessed such chaos, as in this fraught attempt to beat the clock. But I guess mess is all part of the parcel of cooking. Especially when you’re cooking at speed, flinging basil and black pepper about with gay abandon.

Please see the kitchen carnage below…


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Peppa Pig the tapir

Introducing Lizzie’s friend, the tapir who she christened Peppa Pig on our outing to Tropiquaria over Easter. Her guess was as good as any of ours!image

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Aldi carbonara; quick, easy, cheap and tasty

As a full time working mum it’s often important I can whip up something tasty and quick that’s suitable for adults and children alike.

As you probably know, I’ve been cost cutting by shopping at Aldi. Today we had a tea made solely from Aldi-sourced produce and it was extremely tasty. Better even the Dolmio version. The whole meal cost about £3.

It comprised of:
1 jar of Cucina carbonara sauce
1 red onion
A handful of mushrooms
Bacon lardons

I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you in detail how to make it as it’s pretty self explanatory (boil pasta, heat sauce, fry everything else and whack it all together in a bowl).


But I have to say, it tasted great. And was just the ticket after a long day at work.

I’m not sure how healthy it is but unfortunately you can’t have everything. Maybe I’ll go on a long walk now with Lizzie and Ben and burn off some calories :].

What are your favourite quick, cheap and easy meals?

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