Lime Chilli Chicken

IMGP3747Well, you know how sometimes you just try something and it works first time? This wasn’t one of those occasions. It’s not unusual for me to have a kitchen disaster on the way to finding something I consider blogworthy. What is unusual, though, is for me to have two failures, yet still stick with it! I’m glad I did stick with it though…. it hasn’t turned out quite as I had imagined it, but tasty none the less!

So why had this one caught my imagination so much? Well, it all started last Christmas, when my Auntie & Uncle gave me a “grow your own chilli plants” kit, containing Scotch Bonnet, Jalapeño, and Cayenne Pepper seeds. There have been many adventures over the last 10 months, but it’s only recently that actual real-life chillies have started to grow, and only very recently that any have ripened. Well. First was this monster Cayenne that I really wanted to use in a recipe

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He was huuuuuuuuge! For a small person, I don’t have particularly small hands, so you get the idea. I eagerly chopped him up to try in this recipe… of course I had to try a bit raw. It wasn’t overpowering, but there was a pleasant “background” heat, and an unexpected fruity quality that I’m putting down to the freshness. Very pleasant overall. So I was gutted when the recipe failed, and the amazing chilli was gone forever!

The second attempt, with super-market bought Scotch Bonnet, also bombed, but now I’m proud to present the third attempt, with store-bought Habaneros.


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Fantabulous Feta Pasta Lunch

IMGP3588Good day, Munchkins!

Today’s recipe is a an attempt to reverse engineer a Feta & Semi-Dried Tomato Pasta that I found myself purchasing almost daily from Tesco. At £2 a pop, it’s not exactly a bank-breaker, but I was sure I could make a saving by recreating it myself! Especially as I was actually adding it as a part of their £3 meal deal.

The fact that I was eating it almost every day should be testament to the quality of the original version, but I’m pleased to say I mastered it on my second attempt! (Although the third wasn’t as good muahahahaha!)


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Tidy Toffee Pudding

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Happy Birthday, TidyMunch!

Yay, we’re a year old! And what birthday would be complete without cake?! Well, technically, it’s a pudding, not a cake. And I’ve taken liberties with the title. It’s a Scrumptious Sticky Toffee Pudding, and the recipe is courtesy of Jamie Oliver in his Comfort Food book (with a small tweak from Nell).

It was my birthday a few weeks ago, so we made this for the occasion – but I decided to hold back blogging it until TidyMunch’s birthday!

I’ve never baked anything that was so easy, yet so rewarding… you owe it to yourself, your friends, family, and various other loved ones, to make this immediately. Go!


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Sweet Corn Fritters

IMGP3472Why did nobody ever tell me how amazing (and how amazingly easy) Sweet Corn Fritters are? This version is courtesy of Lisa Faulkner in her The Way I Cook. There’s hardly any prep, and they’re really quick to make. Light, fluffy, and tasty to the max, I thoroughly recommend getting stuck in straight away! In fact… please excuse me while I go rustle up another batch!


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Sweet Potato Rosti with Goats cheese & Caramelised Red Onion

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I haven’t had it too many times in my life, but I seem to remember particularly enjoying rosti. I also particularly like sweet potato, and recently had a couple of baked sweet potatoes with goats cheese. They were nothing short of amazing, so I thought I’d blog them… then thought that maybe it was a little too simple for a full-on post…. so I got my thinking cap on, and decided to try a rosti version, with a few other twists!


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Sweet’n’Sour Fanta Chicken

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I wish I could take credit for this one, but sadly I can’t! I don’t even know who to credit this one to, either, as I found it in a folder of “anonymous” recipes in my first ever fat club group.

Now, I’ll admit straight away that this shouldn’t work. The idea of it should horrify you, initially, but hopefully also intrigue you enough to give it a go. And I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

This very quickly became one of my favourite meals – I go through loooong phases of having it once a week, then we have a break for a few weeks… but it’s never for long! Give it a whirl, and you’ll find out why!


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Meatballs in a Sweet, Sour, and Spicy Tomato Sauce

IMGP3062This one’s a treasure! It looks like a bit of a faff, but didn’t feel so in the doing!

I found this in Honey & Co. Food From the Middle East by Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich. Another beautiful-looking cookbook with some fascinating recipes. I found it somewhat mesmerising to read the introduction and the first few pages of recipes – personal experience of their life together and early days of launching their own restaurant are weaved around and throughout the recipes to create a narrative that reads almost like fiction. No matter how many of the recipes I get around to trying, I’ve a feeling I’ll read the book cover to cover, which I don’t think can be said for many cookbooks!

Back to the recipe itself, this is almost a straight take on it. I’ve suggested some tweaks later as I always do, but the version presented here is fairly true. It is indeed sweet, sour and spicy. It’s also very filling and satisfying. So go go go!


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Ifits Sweet & Spicy Beef Stir-fry

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My mother is one of those people who always has a fully-stocked kitchen. The fridge and freezer are always over-flowing, as are the cupboards. If there is a blizzard, my parents will not starve. If there is a tropical heatwave, there will be cool drinks. In a Nuclear Apocalypse, they’ll outlast the cockroaches. On judgement day, there will be nachos.

I’m not one of those people.

I plan my week’s meals, and I buy the ingredients for them. A week at a time. If I’m craving chocolate, I have to walk to the shops, and convince myself that I’m burning off the calories I’ll be consuming.

Once in a while, things go wrong – one of the ingredients will have gone off, I’ll have forgotten something, or I just (shock) won’t feel like cooking (most often, it’s more accurate to say that I won’t feel like cleaning up after). Those days are known as Eff-it days…. as in “eff-it, I’m having a take-away!” Those who know me, will know that this happened far too often.

Lately, I’ve been trying to lose some lbs and save some £££s, so the Eff-it days have greatly dwindled, to be replaced with what my friends Trudy & Julian call Ifits days – “If it’s in the cupboard, that’s what we’re having!”

So, despite my propensity towards Mother Hubbard-dom, I can honestly say that the beef itself is the only ingredient from Ifits Sweet & Spicy Beef Stir-fry that wasn’t already in my cupboards. The whole Idea of this recipe is that many of the ingredients can be replaced by anything else!

So what are you waiting for? Get your sleeves rolled up, and get up to the elbows in the cupboard!

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