Tag Archives: Recipe

Recipe: ‘Moroccan’ spiced rump steak

On Tuesday night I got to spend a lovely evening chilling at the flat with one of my favourite people, the fabulous Morna! Every time she comes to visit we enjoy a few glasses of wine and stuff ourselves full of great food. Like me Morna loves fresh, tasty eats and trying new things…so I thought I’d try out a marinade (very loosely) based on Moroccan flavours. It turned out to be incredible with the steak we paired with it, but I think it would go equally well with pork or chicken.

‘Moroccan’ spiced rump steak

2 tsp cumin (whole)
1 head wet garlic or 3 cloves dry, finely chopped
1 tsp Harissa
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp geared ginger
4 tsp chilli infused olive or rapeseed oil
0.5 tsp cayenne
Juice of half a lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
4 rump steaks

Combine all marinade ingredients and cover the steaks thoroughly with the mixture. Set aside and chill until needed, at least 30 minutes (though as we were having a late dinner I let the flavours develop a couple hours).

Grill or pan-fry the steaks, about 3-5 minutes each side for medium rare. Serve with couscous. We added roasted vegetables, ras-al-hanout, sautéed red onions, chopped pistachios and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to ours but really you can add any flavours you like.


Incredibly tasty, and so simple to make! We had such a fun time catching up whilst making dinner as well, which is really what counts isn’t it? You can’t beat good eats with good friends!

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Recipe: strawberry, banana and spinach smoothie

Banana, strawberry, spinach smoothie
1 banana
A handful of spinach
A punnet of strawberries
1 apple
Fresh mint
Ice (optional)

Again I used my awesome Vitamix blender to whip up this concoction, which was tasty but wasn’t the most…photogenic. Our trusty colour wheel tells us that red+green+yellow = brown, if you can imagine!

I whipped this one up at the weekend in an attempt to perk myself up following a lovely day spent sipping prosecco in the sun…

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Recipe: Virgin piña colada smoothie

My friend Rach recently introduced me to the fabled Juice Cleanse, which cleared up her psoriasis and has given her a fabulous glow. I have to admit I’ve been enjoying an…erm…
enthusiastic social life since the sun made its first appearance a few weeks ago. Not to mention my murky past as an events coordinator seems to have caught up with me and I’ve been asked to help out with a few wee ‘dos’ in Glasgow! I like to joke I have three jobs, but only one requires me to leave the house!

Now Rach has far more willpower than I do, and knowing myself quite well I’m positive I’d find it nigh on impossible to stick to a full on cleanse. So I decided to start off each day with a fresh juice made by my own fair hands, followed by a ‘clean’ lunch and dinner. Plenty of steamed or grilled fish, no wheat, no dairy, no refined carbs (ie white rice, pasta etc). I’m on Day Two and I’ve been feeling great so far, so I thought I’d share a recipe for my Virgin Piña Colada smoothie.

Virgin Piña Colada
1 whole fresh pineapple
1/2 can coconut milk
A splash coconut water
A handful of mint

Rach gave me the incredibly generous gift of a Vitamix blender last week so we could ‘juice together’, so I just dumped everything in whole and blitzed that baby up! If your blender isn’t the kind that can chew through golf balls, maybe chop the pineapple ;-).

Now just imagine you’re lying on a beach somewhere sipping that piña colada…maybe add a tiny umbrella as garnish.

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Lambstravaganza recipes: Roast leg of lamb

I’m finally getting around to posting my recipes from Lambstravaganza…a fortnight late! It’s been a busy few weeks with birthdays and nights out, but here we go…oh and to make up for the tardiness here’s a few photos from the night!





Stuffing for roast lamb
A head of garlic, cloves separated and roughly chopped
100g anchovies, drained and roughly chopped
20g rosemary, leaves only

Mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.


Roast leg of lamb
Leg of lamb (tell your butcher how many are coming for dinner)
Lamb stuffing mixture (see above)
Rapeseed oil
Chilli jam
Glass red wine
Red currant jelly
Beef stock

To stuff roast leg of lamb, make deep slits on the top side with a sharp knife (about 10 slits). Stuff mixture into the slits and rub skin with rapeseed oil. Roast at 180’C (check roasting times depending on the size of your piece).

30 mins before cooking time is up, glaze with some chilli jam using a silicone pastry brush. Return to oven.

To make gravy, after meat is removed to rest covered (I placed it in a cooked oven wrapped in foil), strain off excess oil and deglaze with a glass of red wine. Get the crispy bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon! Add some beef stock and a little red currant jelly.


Serve with roasties!

And watch this space for my lamb and red wine stew (slow cooked for 24 hours, yum!) and my Moroccan lamb shanks! X

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Recipe: ridiculously simple roast Moroccan lamb

I promised my friend a roast today in exchange for taking my Christmas tree down. Fair exchange? Any sized piece of lamb will do (add more or less liquid as needed), this is a slow cook job which I stuck in the oven for hours whilst I ran other errands.

Moroccan roast lamb with apricots
Leg of lamb
Half bottle red wine
2 tbsp Ras-al-hanout
2 beef or lamb stock cubes
3 shallots, diced
5 cloves garlic
2 tbsp chilli jam
A few handfuls dried apricots
Chicken broth or stock
Fresh parsley

In a heavy pot (I used a Le Creuset) sauté onions and garlic until softened, season with salt and pepper. Place lamb on top of the onion bed, scatter dried apricots and pour over the wine, stock cubes with about a mug of water. Add Ras-al-hanout and brush meat with chilli jam. Cover and Roast at 150’C for 3.5-4 hours.

Before serving bring a mug of couscous to one tin of chicken broth (or stock equivalent) and plenty of fresh chopped parsley to the boil, cover and remove from heat. This should only take 5 minutes.

Easy peasy!

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3 ridicuously easy things to do…with steak

I’ve been on a meat kick recently; craving steak and egg, sauteed cabbage, simple food.  Maybe it’s the impending kitchen renovation in three weeks time, and I’ve packed away all but the storecupboard essentials.  Though I’m dreading the length of time I will be without a kitchen, I know it’s going to be worth it in the end. 

So in anticipation of 3-4 weeks with only a Tefal grill, a 2-ring electric hob/toaster oven combo and a fridge (yikes!), I have prepared a…er…trio of ridicuously easy ‘recipes’ with steak. 

Sweet Chilli Fillet Steak with braised greens: Braise any greens you like (mustard, cabbage, pak choy etc) in a splash each of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and water (or stock), plus a sprinkling of black onion seed.  Sear a lovely, juicy fillet steak (oiled) quickly to seal in a grill pan, brush both sides with about 1 tsp chilli jam, season with sea salt and sear each side again.

Brown sugar and mustard glazed steak: In a bowl, mix roughly 1 tbsp each brown muscovado sugar and smooth dijon mustard until smooth (per steak).  Sear an oiled rib-eye steak in a grill pan to seal, season with sea salt and immediately spread or brush glaze on and give the steak one more turn.  Serve immediately with mashed potatoes.

Whiskey peppercorn steak: Oil a ribeye steak and rub generously with crushed peppercorns.  Sear in a grill pan to seal then add a dram of single malt to dglaze and flambe in the pan.  Add fresh peppercorns, double cream, the tiniest pinch of beef stock.  Serve with mustard mash or colcannon.


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Recipe: ruby red veal tail stew with port

We have been subjected to some less than balmy weather in Scotland this summer, and at a time of year we should be sitting in gardens sipping bubbles and barbecuing it feels like warming soup and stew weather instead!

I managed to get my hands on some beautiful ruby veal tail (similar to oxtail but with more of the meltingly gelatinous goodness) from Peelham farm that I was dying to do something with. Originally I had intended to get Madeira for the soup, but found the remnants of a bottle of port lurking in my drinks cabinet (in my house that’s the area under the shelf in my kitchen).

Ruby veal tail stew

1kg organic ruby veal tail (or oxtail)
Rapeseed oil
3 medium onions, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
1 glass port
2 beef stock cubes
750 ml water

Dust veal or ox tail with plain flour and brown in a casserole with a couple of tbsp rapeseed oil. Remove and set aside.

Sauté the onions and carrots until softened, then return the tail to the pot. Add the port and reduce, then add the stock cubes and water.

Once the stew has come to a boil reduce the heat and continue to simmer with the lid on at a low heat for 2-3 hours. Or as I did, until you remember about the stew and realise it’s been bubbling away gently for rather a long time!


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10-minute ‘instant’ beef chilli noodles

I woke up feeling dire this morning, and all I wanted was something quick, easy and dare I say it, a little trashy. I mean instant noodles, the only processed food I sometimes have a craving for.

This was the next best thing. Meaty, filling and full of flavour, minus the MSG and other nasties. And best of all, ready in 10 minutes!

10-minute ‘instant’ beef chilli noodles

Flat rice noodles
1 large ribeye steak
Soy sauce
1 tbsp chilli jam
A splash raspberry vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil

Cut steak into bite sized pieces. Stir in soy sauce, chilli jam and raspberry vinegar and marinade whilst the noodles are soaking. Meanwhile prepare the noodles according to packet instructions (soak in boiling water until soft).

In a wok heat a little rapeseed oil, add steak and brown the meat before adding the noodles, stir frying until everything is nicely tossed.

So simple I can get back to more important things. Like lying on the sofa with the dog and catching up on some telly. You could probably add some vegetables and fresh chillies if you’re feeling a little less lazy than I was this morning…


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I haven’t made brownies in years, probably the last time was when I still lived in my old flat! I thought about them all the way home from Glasgow and googled a few recipes for ideas. One thing I’ve learned today? There’s a lot of freaking brownie recipes out there!

Once I’d written out my ingredients, I realised this was going to very much be a ‘make do and mend’ kind of recipe! I couldn’t get the scales to work, for one thing, so I had to measure the flour with a measuring spoon. No idea if that’s worked! Then I had no baking tin, do a ceramic oven dish had to do. Oh and I only had parchment circles to line the dish, so I came up with some creative laying of the circles!

It’s an easy recipe, prep time was fairly minimal and you can of course add things to the batter before baking. I went with walnuts, chocolate chunks of the milk and dark variety, and a drizzle of butterscotch.


200g butter
250g dark chocolate (I used valrhona noir at 68%)
85g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
50g milk chocolate, chopped
50g dark chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs
200g caster sugar
75g dark muscovado sugar
75g chopped walnuts
Butterscotch or dulce de leche

Melt the chocolate and butter in a bain marie (place a bowl over a pot of simmering water). Allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 180’C. Grease and line a tin, or in my case a roasting dish!

Sift flour and cocoa into a bowl. In another bowl combine the eggs and sugars, beating with an electric mixer until fluffy – this should double in size. Fold in the melted chocolate and butter. Now sift the flour in and fold it on as well. Add chopped chocolate and nuts.


Pour the batter into the lined dish and drizzle with butterscotch.


Bake about 30 mins until top cracked and the mixture no longer jiggles when you shake the dish! They should still be gooey in the middle. Now my oven is on its last legs so it took far longer than it should, but for this recipe about 30 minutes should do it.


Allow to cool and cut into squares. Devour. Share if you must.

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Recipe: Couscous salad with peppered mackerel, orange and artichokes

Ah, Environmental Science, thou art my kryptonite!  I’ve been trying to get my head around it but it’s really just all gibberish to me…

In the meantime, I ‘borrowed’ this idea for a great summery salad from a friend.  She made it that one lovely, sunny day last week…I love it when the fresh fruit and veg come out to play in spring, and I wish I had waited to wolf this down and taken a photo.  Where she used tinned tuna, I threw in some great peppered and smoked mackerel from Creelers.  Oh, and there are no measurements; this is very much a ‘throw it all in the bowl and toss’ sort of recipe.


‘Israeli’ couscous (however, I made this the next day with regular couscous and it was just as nice)

Hot-smoked peppered mackerel fillets

Juice of 2 oranges

A splash of water

1 orange, roughly chopped

Fresh parsley

Artichoke hearts, halved (tinned is ok)

Black olives, sliced

Capers (the big ones with the tails)

Salt and pepper

1 avocado, cubed

In a pot, combine the couscous, orange juice and enough water.  Bring to the boil and cook as per the directions on the box.  Meanwhile combine the other ingredients.  Once the couscous is ready, toss.  Simples.

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