Chicken Stuffed with Blue Cheese & Mushrooms, wrapped in Parma Ham

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Hello, Munchkins!

I’m sorry I’ve neglected you! It’s been a busy start to 2016, and it doesn’t look like letting up any time soon, but I’ve still managed a little time in the kitchen!

This particular recipe is an old favourite from my pre-fatclub days, but I tweaked it a little to be healthier. It’s still not goody-two-shoes, but it certainly works within Slimming World limits! It tastes like it shouldn’t!

Anyway, it’s taken long enough to get this far, let’s not wait any longer. Get stuck in!


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Super-Cheesy Durty Eggy Bread

IMGP3128Yes! Dirty with a “u” because these are sooooo bad they’re good. There’s nothing refined or elegant about this week’s recipe. It’s an oldie I’ve been holding on to for quite some time… before I rejoined fat club!

It’s not pretty to look at, but it sure tastes good! It reminds me of being a kid, when the mothership once amazed me by putting cheese (yes, cheese!) inside eggy bread. Or French Toast as we called it.

I remember her telling me that her dad had used to make it for (maybe with) her, and so it seemed somewhat fitting for Father’s Day.

No matter what day it is, this is quick, tasty, and deeeeelicious!


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Home-made Hunter’s Chicken

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Hunter’s Chicken is one of those pub favourites that I know I can always rely on. Almost every menu carries it by one name or another, and if there’s nothing else I fancy then I’m pretty sure it will be there for me!

It’s has a really decadent feel to it, so it must be really unhealthy, right? Obviously. I mean… barbecue sauce, with all that sugary goodness/badness?! Well you know I love a challenge, so I’ve fat-clubbed it! My first attempt used a Slimming World BBQ sauce recipe that I’d found on their website, but all I could taste was red wine vinegar. So I decided just to try chucking some things together, based on what I remembered from the very naughty OMG BBQ Pulled Pork recipe, and came up with this. I’m not gonna lie, I think I’ve outdone myself.

So here you have it. A Healthy version of Hunter’s Chicken! Dig in!


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Christmas Parcels of Goats Cheese & Cranberry

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It’s the simple things that make Christmas, right? Well, you won’t get much simpler (or tastier) than these Christmas Parcels. They’re pretty easy to make, but harder to make pretty… I’ve worked hard to make these parcels look as if they were wrapped by a three year-old (ahem).

I wanted a starter for Christmas dinner that would be different from the norm (prawn cocktail, anyone?), light enough to leave room for the courses to follow, yet still satisfying… and above all, tasty!

I believe I’ve ticked all the boxes with these!


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Simple Chicken Kiev

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I’ve always loved Chicken Kiev. I think I’m of a generation that does; we all have fond childhood memories of those supermarket bought oven meals.  But my first memory of Chicken Kiev is different from the pre-packaged staple that saw me through many subsequent years.

My mum and her sisters are pretty close, but for several years (the youngest ones of my life) her older sister was absent. I’m not sure if they’d grown estranged as such, but they’d certainly not been in touch for years. Then one day, my mum announced that she was taking me on a trip to London (I don’t remember the announcement, just the subsequent trip).

I’m not sure how old I was – somewhere between 5 & 7, I’d say. So let’s call it 6. I also have no idea how they got in touch with each other again, but I’m glad they did. There aren’t many details I remember clearly; I’ve no idea about the getting there or the getting back, though I’m pretty sure it would’ve involved very long train trips. I do remember meeting a friendly, loving (cleanliness-obsessed) Auntie & Uncle, and a platoon of new cousins. I remember Raymond (he wasn’t Ray, back then) was about 16, and the coolest person on this planet. Or so he seemed, to a 6 year-old. He let me play on his computer, which was a big deal for the earlier half of the 80’s. I want to say the game was “Wimpy” but who knows.

The other very clear memory I have is going out for food. I have recollections of it being a very posh affair, but I could have that completely wrong. I had Chicken Kiev. I don’t know if I’d ever had the ready-meal kind before, but in any event I suspect that my mum expected something like that to arrive. I couldn’t have been any more wrong. An actual chicken arrived (or so it seemed). I don’t think I’d ever tasted anything like that succulent chicken, and the potent garlic butter before, but it was delicious.

And so, my gift to you, fellow foodies, is Lisa Faulkner’s take on Chicken Kiev (with a few of my own tweaks, of course). It’s somewhere in between the store-bought stuff, and that extravagant memory. Simple, but oh, so very tidy!


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Bacon & Stilton Tear ‘n’ Share with Celery Soup

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I may have mentioned this a time or two before, but I’ve always wanted to be able to bake bread. I love bread, I mean love it, but I’ve never been able to master it. Actual sad face.

Recently I bought Paul Hollywood’s book Bread from which both of these recipes are taken. As a first attempt, I was really pleased. The soup is delicate, yet tasty, and the bread is just amazing. It’s light and fluffy on the inside, with a good crust that has a bit of chew to it. Make sure you spread with unsalted butter, though, as both the stilton and the bacon are salty enough!

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Cheesy Mac Bites with Home Made Chilli Mayo

IMGP3075bI spent last week at Casa Mamma Tidy Munch, and most of that week I spent in the kitchen trying out new recipes for future blogs. Via the medium of my personal Facebook account, several of my friends had requested more vegetarian recipes. I wanted to do something for them, so explored some new ideas. (I should point out that this recipe is not vegetarian).

One of the ideas I tried was a disappointingly bland four cheese macaroni. I’d loved the thought of the recipe, as macaroni is one of those feel-good childhood favourites of mine, but the reality was just dull and far too mild for me. I did note that the sauce was particularly thick, though, and when the Macaroni was mixed through I commented to Nell that perhaps the mixture could be shaped into bites to be deep fried…

… well… guess what happened this week! I’ve changed two of the cheeses in the recipe, and tweaked the seasoning to create the best cheese sauce I’ve ever tasted (and I’m not one to blow my own trumpet!)

Despite being deep fried, these are surprisingly light, and the home made chilli mayo adds a pleasant warmth (with a kick that’s all in the after-taste) that we’re not particularly used to finding in conjunction with macaroni cheese. I like to think it’s a welcome quirk.

This one’s (ch)eeeeeeeasy – so go on, get stuck in!


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Pao de Queijo

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I think I’m in love, and if you’re a fan of cheese, you will be too! These puffy cheese delights are irresistibly crisp on the outside, and deliciously chewy on the inside. I’ve lifted this from Cabana The Cookbook again, and you’ll find out why in the Tidy Tweaks section.

The key to this recipe is the flour. I couldn’t find Cassava flour anywhere, apart from some toasted/roasted stuff that I didn’t think was the same… I thought this was more like a topping for other dishes. David Ponte, Lizzy Barber & Jamie Barber do advise that Tapioca flour is a suitable alternative… and I did eventually manage to track some of that down (in the end, I found it in the “free from” section, as it’s gluten-free!)

It’s a really simple recipe, so well worth hunting down the flour!


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