Cheese and Bacon Muffins

Amazing little bites of cheesy bacony goodness that go great with a chili sauce to dunk in or as a picnic bite


Goes well with a

Chili Con Carne

Spaghetti Bolognese


  • 1 egg
  • 100ml milk
  • 250g mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp fresh chives (optional), finely chopped
  • 1 tsp herbs (optional), dried
  • 4 rashers of bacon , chopped


Preheat oven 200’C/Gas mark 6

  1. Mix egg and milk in a jug or cup.
  2. Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
  3. Add the egg and milk and fold in gently (the mixture is supposed to be lumpy!)
  4. Spoon mixture into a greased muffin tin, or muffin cases in a muffin tin
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes until firm and golden brown
  6. Once cooked, allow to cool for a couple of minutes and then remove from the tin

Spice Rubbed ribs

For this ribs recipe you will need plenty of paper towels for after you have eaten.

I always like to try different spice blends. This time the rub was applied an hour before putting on the BBQ.

A BBQ sauce was applied during the last hour.


Goes well with:

Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Peppers

Onion rings

Beast of a burger


1 Side of belly pork, skin off

For the Rub

1 Tbsp Black Pepper

2 Tbsp Cumin Seeds

1 Tbsp Fennel Seeds

3 Tbsp Smoked Paprika

5 Tbsp Soft Brown Sugar


For the BBQ Sauce

200g Ketchup

good splash of Cider viniger

2 tspn Mustard Powder

2 Chillis (finely sliced)


  • Mix all the rub ingredients in a bowl and then rub the mixture into the ribs
  • Leave for at least an hour wrapped in cling flim
  • Set the BBQ for indirect cooking and at about 150 degrees
  • Put the ribs onto the BBQ for around 3 hours till the internal temperature reaches 95 degrees c
  • Wrap in tinfoil with half a pint of cider and seal as best you can for an hour
  • Put all the BBQ sauce ingredients in a small pan and bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes
  • Unwrap the ribs and baste with the sauce every 15 minutes till its all used up
  • Remove from the heat and serve.

Chili Jam

Although this is chili jam, dont think that it’s the sort of thing you’d spread on your toast at breakfast (though smeared inside a bacon sandwich, it could be a real help one hungover morning) but rather a chili jelly that glows a fiery, flecked red and is fabulous with cold meats or a cheese plate. And just a small pot of it makes a gorgeous present.

Ive listed this under BBQ as its incredible as a sticky glaze on BBQ chicken or pork.


Goes well with:

Sticky BBQ Chicken

Cheesy Chicken Wings 

Beast of a Burger


  • 150 grams long fresh red chilli peppers
  • 150 grams red peppers
  • 1 kilogram jam sugar
  • 600 millilitres cider vinegar


You will need 6 x 250ml / 1 cup sealable jars, with vinegar-proof lids, such as Kilner jars or re-usable pickle jars.

  1. Sterilize your jars and leave to cool
  2. Put the cut-up chillies into a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the chunks of red pepper and pulse again until you have a vibrantly red-flecked processor bowl.
  3. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a wide, medium-sized pan over a low heat without stirring.
  4. Scrape the chilli-pepper mixture out of the bowl and add to the pan. Bring the pan to the boil, then leave it at a rollicking boil for 10 minutes.
  5. Take the pan off the heat and allow it cool. The liquid will become more syrupy, then from syrup to viscous and from viscous to jelly-like as it cools.
  6. After about 40 minutes, or once the red flecks are more or less evenly dispersed in the jelly (as the liquid firms up, the hints of chilli and pepper start being suspended in it rather than floating on it), ladle into your jars. If you want to stir gently at this stage, it will do no harm. Then seal tightly.

Braized Hogget Pie

Now this isn’t a pie but is quite possibly the best thing you will learn to cook, Its easy and has the most flavorsome taste you could wish for and the leftovers will give you the very best ragu for a Lasagna, or shepherds pie. I originally got this recipe from James Martins “Home Comforts” but have tweaked it a little to my tastes but most of the credit must go to him for this one.

I sometimes use Lamb necks when I can get them as they give a very good flavor but you may want to add a little extra time on the cooking.

You may have to ask your butcher to order the Hogget in for you because not many butchers will stock it. As its an older meat, it will have done more work through its lifetime. Because of that it is tougher, but carries more flavor as well so needs cooking slowly to tenderize it


Similar to:

Lamb and mint mini pies

BBQ Leg of Lamb



  • Half shoulder of Hogget (Lamb necks will also do)
  • 2 medium Carrots
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 2 Sticks Celery
  • 5 or 6 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato puree
  • 1 bottle Shiraz or Merlot red wine
  • 1/2 pint Chicken Stock


  • Season the Hogget with salt and pepper.
  • In a heavy casserole pot Brown the Hogget shoulder on all sides, be sure to get a good color on it.
  • Lift out the Hogget and set aside for now.
  • Add the carrots, onion, Garlic, Celery and tomato puree and cook out the till the onions are translucent
  • Return the Hoggit to the pan and add a small bunch of Thyme and a bottle of wine and chicken stock.
  • Put the lid on and put into the oven preheated to 170 degrees for 2 hours.
  • Remove from the oven and remove the Hogget from the pot and shred as best you can with two forks and return to the pot juices and mix well.
  • Peel and slice some potatoes and layer and cover the meat in the pot.
  • Brush with melted butter and season with more salt and black pepper.
  • leave uncovered and return to the oven for 30-40 minutes till the spuds are nice and brown and cooked through.

Thats it, simple

Any leftovers will make an excellent ragu to make a lasagna with

Click the link below to watch James Martin cook his version

James Martin Home comforts


Strawberry Fresh Cream Cake

Flavor doesnt have to be complicated, this cake is simplicity itself just a basic 2 layer sponge cake with fresh strawberry’s and fresh cream. Decorated with a few mint leaves and edible flowers.

We went and picked our own Strawberry’s from the farm down the road, but I must admit to tasting more than a couple before putting any in the basket.


Similar to :

orange cake

chocolate orange cake


5 eggs minus the shells, weighed

= Weight of Self raising flour.

= Weight of Caster Sugar

= Weight of salted Butter

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1 Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

600ml Double or whipping Cream


Put a bowl on the scales and zero the scales.

Crack the eggs into the bowl and weigh them.

then add equal weights of flour, caster sugar and butter, along with the salt, baking powder and vanilla extract.

Whisk till all is combined and smooth.

Poor into 2 lined 200mm tins and cook at 170° in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Reliece from the tin and place on a cooling rack.

When cooled, level the cakes with a cake saw.

whip your cream and spread a thin layer of cream on the bottom layer and cover with thinly sliced fresh strawberry’s add more cream on top of the strawberrys and spread out evenly.

Add the second layer of cake and cover with the rest of the cream, taking your time to get an even coating.

Place strawberry’s every where you think needs them.

If you have some edible flowers, and a few tender mint shoots they will make your cake stand out.


A lovely bread that goes exceptionally well as a tear and share with some cold cuts and salads.

Easy to make and a great flavor full of herbs olives and tomatoes etc.

Even if your not a fan of olives they give off a great flavor to the bread, And to have a nice tasting bread at the center of the table for everyone to rip a bit off is amazing, and the aromas it  will release when you tear it will fill your room with herby goodness.



Goes well with :



Coq Au Vin


500g Bread Flour.

320ml Tepid Water.

1 Sachet Yeast.

1 tsp Salt.

1 Glug Olive Oil.

2 tsp Herbs De Provence.

1 Jar Sun Dried Tomatos.

Handfull of Olives.

Couple of sprigs Rosemary.


  • Place Flour yeast salt and herbs du Provence in a mixing bowl ensuring the salt and yeast are on opposite sides of the bowl as the salt will start to kill the yeast.
  • Mix in the water and olive oil and mix with your fingers until all ingredients are combined into a rough dough ball.
  • Throw some olive oil onto a work surface and spread it about liberally and tip the dough ball onto it and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, this will take around 10-20 minutes.
  • Put the dough ball into an oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel or Clingfilm to prove, and double in size, this will take around an hour – hour and half.
  • This time flour a work surface and tip the dough ball onto it  and knock the air out of it, and fold in half the olives and half the roughly chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • Shape the dough ball by cupping your hands under the dough ball repeatedly whilst tightening the skin of the dough ball and place in an oiled cast iron Dutch oven or clay casserole pot and cover and leave to prove again for an hour to hour and a half.
  • Lightly press the remaining olives, tomatoes and rosemary into the surface of the dough and drizzle a little olive oil over the dough.
  • Put the lid on and put into a screaming hot oven and turn down to 180 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Berry Cheesecake

Who doesnt like a great pudding, the only rules are that its sweet and look awsome, This cheesecake uses Hobnobs instead of the traditional Digestives and gives it a unique taste that will take your guests by surprise.

Berry Cheesecake

Other great sweets

Chocolate Orange Cake

Raspberry and White Chocolate Loaf

Mars Bar Cookies


  • 1 packs Hobnob biscuits.
  • 75g Butter.
  • 1Tbsp     Honey.
  • Zest & Juice of half a lemon.
  • Zest & Juice of 2 limes.
  • 1 Punnets Blackberys.
  • 300 g sugar.
  • 2 Tubs Mascapone Cheese.
  • 300ml    Double cream.



  • Crush the Hobnobs into crumbs.
  • Melt the butter and honey in a small saucepan over a low heat. Mix together the biscuit crumbs and melted butter, mixing thoroughly.
  • Press the biscuit crumb mixture into a large, loose-based flan tin, and place in the fridge for an hour.
  • Place the cream cheese in mixing bowl. Add the sugar, zest and juice of half the lemon and lime zest and juice. Mix together thoroughly.
  • Whisk the double cream until soft peaks form. Fold the whisked cream into the cream cheese mixture. ( the stiffer the peaks the firmer your cheesecake will be).
  • Optional: you can add some pureed berries to the mixture at this point or whole berries if you wish.
  • Put the combined mixture into the loose-based flan tin lined with biscuit crumb mixture.
  • Chill overnight in the refrigerator until set.
  • Whizz berries in a blender to make a puree and spread over the top of the cheesecake.

Chicken Soup or Cream of chicken soup

In need of a hug? Feeling under the weather? Or just need something tasty

Chicken soup has acquired the reputation of a folk remedy for colds and influenza, and in many countries is considered a comfort food.

Chicken Soup

Goes well with:


  • 100g Potatoes.(peeled and chopped small)
  • 2 Sticks Celery.
  • 1 Medium Carrot
  • 1 Knob of Butter.
  • 1Large Onion.
  • 1 Bunch Parsley.
  • 1 chicken carcass.
  • 1 ltr Chicken stock.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 150ml Cream (for cream of chicken soup)


  • Roughly chop the celery, carrot and onion and sweat in the butter for 10 minutes.
  • Poor in the Stock and add the carcass and potatoes
  • Season and simmer for 30-40 minutes check your seasoning and remove the bones and blitz with a food processor or stick blender to the consistency you desire.
  • Season again and add  chopped parsley, Oregano and Thyme and simmer for a further 10 minutes
  • Serve with cream or double cream.

  • As an alternative you can poor the soup through a muslin cloth to give a clear type soup without losing flavour.
  • or add a little heavy cream and blitz the lot to make a smooth cream of chicken soup


Plum Syrup / Jam

Awesome flavor in these little jars of Plum syrup. Pored over pancakes or drizzled over pork chops in the final minutes on a BBQ this is a definite winner, especially if you found yourself a plum tree.

If you substitute the sugar for jam sugar, guess what? you will make jam instead of syrup.

Plum Syrup



Plums (as many as you have collected)

Sugar (granulated)

Lemon Juice

Procedure :

Day 1

Wash the plums in a bowl and discard any rotten plums, leaves, twigs or debris.

Put them in your largest stock pot and add 1/4 inch water to the bottom of the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the plums have broken down to a mush. ( do not fill more than a 1/3rd the pots capacity).

Put a colander lined with a muslin cloth over another large pan and poor the plum pulp into it and leave overnight (cover the lot with a net or large cloth to keep dust and fly’s out.

Day 2

The following morning take the juice and measure it back into the pan and for every cup of plum juice add a cup of granulated sugar and a tsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice and bring to the boil while stirring continuously.

Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes

There will probably be a thin pink film on top by now remove this and discard it by poring the syrup through a muslin cloth again.

Ladle into sterilized jars and seal.

Burger Buns / Crusty Rolls

The next time you hold a BBQ, how impressed do you think your friends would be if you made your own burger buns. Crispy on the outside and light and fluffy in the middle.

Burger Buns


500g Bread Flour.

320ml Tepid Water.

1 Sachet Yeast.

1 tsp Salt.

1 Glug Olive Oil.


  • Place all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl ensuring the salt and yeast are on opposite sides of the bowl as the salt will start to kill the yeast.
  • Mix in the water and olive oil and mix with your fingers until all ingredients are combined into a rough dough ball.
  • Throw some olive oil onto a work surface and spread it about liberally and tip the dough ball onto it and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, this will take around 10-20 minutes.
  • Put the dough ball into an oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel or Clingfilm to prove, and double in size, this will take around an hour – hour and half.
  • This time flour a work surface and tip the dough ball onto it  and knock the air out of it.
  • Divide into six even pieces shape the dough into balls and put onto a baking sheet, dust with flour then cover with a polythene sheet. Leave to double in size again.
  • Dust again with flour and snip the tops in a cross with a good pair of scissors. Place the baking tray with the bread on it in the oven along with an old tin with some hot water in it, and turn the oven immediately down to 180 degrees.

Check on your buns after 15 minutes then again every 5 minutes, but it should be a lovely golden brown all over and have a hollow sound if tapped with your finger on the base.