My Kitchen my friend


my kitchen my friend



kitchen work space blog

(This post is for the “My Kitchen story” Linky Challenge, sposored by Fairy Platinum)

i heart fairy

My Kitchen is;

my partner in crime – and where I like to spend most of my time.

Its seen my tears of joy and tears of pain, my ups my downs my many frowns.

Its shared a drink – good times

Mornings of coffee and telephone rings.

Its fed my children and many friends – its not up-date and bucks ‘the trend’

It might be tired and in need of an update, its wonky walls and lack of cupboard space –

But it still remains my favorite place

I’m in it now……whist the husbands whisks up lunch


whisk textpointing down arrow transparent

Peeling, chopping, slicing, frying – in the pot, stir, steam – served piping hot.

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HOWEVER…………the messy messMy husband who is the chef (alas) makes a total mess….and I who is KP (Kitchen Porter) would cry if it was not for Fairy!

i heart fairy(Fairy Platinum All In One)


Cinnamon Toast Sunday Breakfast! :0)


(Above kilner jar(s) Illustration bkb90’schild – photo found

This morning a rainy old Sunday morning I decided to make us some comfort food – Cinnamon Toast!

Now ‘totally’ aware that sugar is now the devil of the modern world ditto bread this recipe is “I guess” walking on the WILD side of life!

Although cinnamon is actually – OR so I’m told the champion of spices helping to control blood sugar (I know a very ironic point in relation to the nature of this recipe) prevent diabetes and maybe

even cancer!

cinnamon toast jar ON OWN

Anyway…so with the coffee pot on I begin to concoct the Cinnamon toast – a recipe ingrained in my brain from time working in a day cafe)

Below is how I do it;

Cinnamon Toast

Slices of Brown bread

50g of butter (brought to room temperature)

1 and half table spoons of sugar (I use brown but white is fine)

1 and half teaspoons of Cinnamon.


Mix the butter, cinnamon and sugar together, until the buttery mixture looks brown.

Spread evenly on to the bread and pop under the grill until the butter starts to bubble and the edges of the bread toast.

(Beware the the topping will be pipping hot so leave to cool for a minute – whist you pour a coffee or make tea then slice and serve)

cinammon toast x1

(Above Image found


xbcoffee cup



Morrisons Bank Holiday Monday Middle Eastern Feast


tom and orange copymorrisons title

Don’t you just LOVE’ a bank holiday! – especially if (like me) you decided to shun the (not so lovely) traffic jams, full of caravans and instead spend the extended weekend at home :0)

Excitingly though this bank holiday I had also been invited by Britmums to be a #morrisonsMum! (Whoop) – Celebrating their ‘I’m cheaper range’


As I had already invited friends over for Sunday lunch I decided to put my £80 Morrisons vouchers towards the Lunch.

And armed with the vouchers I couldn’t wait to get to our local Morrisons and get shopping – to see what we could buy!! :0)

morrisons butcher pic

Already fond of Morrisons meat and their market street butchers – I took full advantage and opted to buy a beautiful whole shoulder of Lamb, which would later become a delicious Lamb Tagine.

morrisons veg pic

I’m also a fan of Morrisons ‘market street’ greengrocer and after a visit to this section of the supermarket (looking out for the yellow ‘I’m cheaper stickers’) the trolly heaved with fresh produce and hues of yellow, orange, red and green……….

A few more supermarket sections later I had finished my shop. I had managed to find everything I needed (and a bit more) and despite a buxom trolly including 2x bottles of Rioja and a case of Peroni happily our bill came under budget at £70!!!!!

Thrilled that we had received ‘back’ a £10 voucher – Finn (aged 7) suggested eagerly that we ‘could’ spend the left over voucher on football cards?! Ha “nice-try” we didn’t, but I did go back in store to buy some extra veg and a naughty bottle of Prosecco! (sorry kids)

morrisons shopping

tagine colours

morrisons title

After a swift unpack my husband #chef began to prep for

‘Johns Lamb Tagine’ served with Cous Cous and Garlic, herb pitta breads.

(recipes below)

Morrisons oranges red pepper chilli

morrisons veg frying x2

Chop, chop, stir

johns tagine copy

(Serves 6 people – cost per person £4.00)

Shopping list

2kg Lamb shoulder

Olive oil

3x Red peppers

3x Red Onions

4x Cloves of garlic

Half teaspoon of cinnamon

1x tsp Cumin powder

1x tsp Turmeric

1x tsp Smoked paprika

Zest of one un-waxed lemon

1x Pinch of Saffron (optional)

1x tin of god quality tomatoes

1x Tube of good quality tomato puree

750ml of Chicken stock

Fresh Mint

Flat leaf parsley

Fresh corriander

A handful of raisins – that have been steeped in hot water.

A handful of dried apricots

A handful of Whole almonds

2x whole chillies (optional)

Salt and pepper for seasoning


  • Dice the Lamb in to chunky cubes, season with salt, pepper and olive oil, And in a heavy based pot brown the meat off in small batches.
Frying off the meat

Frying off the meat

  • Put the meat to one side and using the same pan (with all the pan browned juices from the meat) fry off the peppers (cut in to 2 inch chunks) the 3 chopped red onions. when the peppers and onions are softened add the;
Adding Spices

Adding Spices

Garlic, cinnamon, cumin powder, turmeric, smoked paprika and the zest of the un-waxed lemon (a waxed lemon can make the tagine taste bitter).


(If you have a waxed lemon, simply place in boiling water 1 minute before zesting)

  • Then put in the pinch of saffron and cook out the spices for a few minutes before adding a tube of tomato puree, stirring frequently.
  • Now return the lamb (and any meat juices) adding also the tin of tomatoes and chicken stock, scrapping the bottom of the pan to release any meat caramelisation.
  • Add the apricots (quartered) and the steeped raisins.
  • Then toast off a handful of whole almonds (the texture of whole almonds is better than flaked) in a pan – when cooled break them up with the end of a rolling pin.
  • To the pot then add the finely chopped mint (only a small amount as too much will overpower the tagine), finley chopped corriander and almonds. If you like your tagine hot also add some chopped fresh chilli.
In the pot

In the pot

  • Gently cook the tagine in a casserole dish with lid on at 160 degrees for 2.5hours.

The meat will be done when it is soft to eat- if it is not return it back to the oven until it is soft.

To finish add the chopped Flat leaf parsley and season to taste.

Serve with Cous Cous and Garlic, herb pitta bread.

Johns Cous Cous

We like our Cous Cous jeweled with fruit, but you can have it plain if you prefer.

Dice 1 x Red onion, and 1x Red pepper 1x clove of garlic 1x chilli

Gently fry the above with a little salt and pepper, add the 250g of cous cous and just enough chicken stock to cover ensuring the cous cous doesn’t catch on the bottom.

Add some raisins and chopped apricots, a squeeze of lemon juice and a handful of chopped parsley.

Take off the heat and stir in 75-100ml of extra virgin olive oil. Allow the cous cous to ‘rest’ by covering the pan until ready to serve. Season to taste.

Pitta Breads

For the pitta breads we like rubbing them with roasted garlic;

The easiest way is to throw in a head of garlic, rubbed with oil, salt and pepper to the oven before you begin the tagine.

roasting garlic x1

When it is done rub it on to the pitta breads and using a very hot chargril (or grill if you do not have a chargril) grill the pitta breads until they puff slightly in the middle.

Cut the pitta bread in to slices (about 3 slices) and toss with chopped parsley – EAT ENJOY :0) XXXXX

Garlic herb pitta breads

Garlic herb pitta breads

morrisons end plate pic morrisons after cook bake tray


The vanishing condiments in my house (Mango Chutney)


(Illustration French Jam)

The list of stuff that vanishes quickly in my house (via moi)

  1. Coffee (drink bucket loads)
  2. Green vegetables (I eat bucket loads)
  3. Condiments – OR anything in a jar IE;
  4. Jam (any/every variety) Mango chutney, Mayonnaise (eat it with EVERYTHING ), pickles, ketchup, brown sauce, honey, mustard, peanut butter (eaten by the spoon) – all decanted in to a kilner jar (I have a Kilner jar obsession)
  5. Vinegar (addicted to it esp cider)
  6. Dried fruit
  7. Peanuts (eat about a packet a day!!! ;0/ oops)
  8. wasabi peas /seeds/nuts (of any variety)
  9. Red Wine (obv’s)
  10. Prosecco (no explanation needed)
  11. Dark Chocolate covered raisins
  12. Dark chocolate (an 11am must – with coffee and chocolate covered raisins)
  13. Sparkling water

The list of stuff that doesn’t vanish (because moi does not consume it)

  1. Breakfast tea (can’t stand real tea)
  2. Milk (can’t drink it)
  3. Cheese (ditto above)
  4. Advocaat (Vile- tastes like alcoholic custard)
  5. Custard powder
  6. Biscuits (never eat them)
  7. Iced cakes/iced cup cakes (the icing makes me sick)
  8. thursday cakes
  9. White wine (can’t drink it)
  10. Rose wine (allergic to it)
  11. Crisps

Tonight we are eating an Indian and the Husband just asked me “do we have Mango chutney”

(That would be ‘NO’ – because – basically “well” I have just eaten the last of it with my lunch :0/ “Soz Hub”  – oops)

But we do have custard and Advoccat! Ha

Happy Friday Folks! XB



Salad chef


(Images ©Illustration By Beth Kevill-Byrne)

Now I do not/cannot claim to be a chef – or even a whizzy cook and I’m defiantly NOT a baker!!

And before marriage and children (embarrassingly) my cooking repertoire consisted of (in order)..Opening wine bottles, making porridge, buttering ryvita, making salad (full stop).

As fate would have it I went on to marry a chef the – Irish equivalent of Jamie Oliver – who had cheffed at Michelin level and could make a ‘Risotto con porcini’ in his sleep (whilst I could barely spell it). He loved cooking for us, so I let him and I continued to make my contribution of  ‘opening the wine’!

This said 10 years on my cooking repertoire is now a marathon distance better, I’ve learnt alot living with a chef. And although I’m still not au fait with cooking meat my years of vegetarianism (and a few Vegan) have left me with a strong penchant for salad making – as my Husband puts it I ‘eat more green stuff than the Guinea pigs’ (who have their own penchant for green stuff)  – I’m actually quite good and thus I have been promoted to ‘salad chef//wine bottle open (hoorah!) “I’m chuffed”!

So anyway – in light of my promotion (“whoop-la”!) I though I would share with you two of my most favourite salads. The first is inspired by the Indian salad Chucumber and the second by a traditional sauerkraut.

‘A take on Chucumber’

I love this salad its a lovely refreshing salad, great with both Indian and non Indian food. We tend to eat it with homemade tandoori chicken, naan breads and yogurt but is equally as great with grilled meats or fish :0). Once you have the spice mix I find it a versatile salad, adding extra’s that work for you. I usually add Avocado and cashews nuts (salted/roasted) to mine – :0) Although my salad is tweaked the original – tradional recipe for this North Indian salad can be found here ‘The food of India’ an amazing book I would very much recommend.   

1 red onion

2 small cucumbers

2/3 ripe tomatoes

1 ripe avocado

Fresh coriander

Fresh flat leaf parsley

1 red&1 green chilli

Juice of 1 lemon

pinch of salt – to taste

125g of salted (or unsalted) peanuts

Half teaspoon of; cumin&turmeric

1 teaspoon of garam masala

(*Tip*  cut the onion first and leave steeping in the juice of the lemon and some of the salt – to ‘cook’ it)

‘Sauerkraut with a fruit twist’

I’m in love with cabbages they are such an amazing underrated veg! (and most of us can find one lurking at the back of the fridge). To echo the above i.e… ‘I eat more green stuff than the Guinea pigs’ I do and probably single-handedly eat my way through three cabbages a week!! I’m totally obsessed with home-made Sauerkraut and luckily for me so are the children and I’ve been making my own Sauerkraut for about 5 years. In that time, usually influenced by what I have in the fridge, I’ve come up with a few versions. Below is my favourite, its fabulous with grilled meats, burgers (veg or meat) – we eat ours with a home-made Chicken Schnitzel and fat potato wedges chips.

1 quarter of a white cabbage

1 quarter of a sweetheart cabbage

1 quarter of savoy cabbage

Fresh dill – chopped

Fresh flat leaf parsley

1 white onion

1 eating apple

1 to 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar

1 dessert spoon of Rapeseed (or non strong flavoured oil)

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of sugar

white pepper to taste.

(*Tip*  cut the onion first and leave steeping in vinegar, salt and sugar for about 10 minutes)

(*Tip* try to and shred the cabbage as finely as you can :0) )

Happy weekend folks XB

happy plate food 6