Tag Archives: milk

Mega Macaroni Cheese With Pancetta


This recipe is a life saver if you need to plan ahead or feed in bulk!

The quantities are LARGE, I use an 8 litre stock pot for the final mix through but you end up with truckloads of yummy mac cheese, perfect for during the holidays when you might want a night off as it freezes really well. I also freeze it in a variety of sized trays, family, three portions or teenage boy portions!

The mac cheese in the foreground has just been baked, all the rest are heading into my freezer.

Serves 14-18 depending on your portions.


500g pancetta, speck or smoked bacon, rind removed and finely diced

1 kg macaroni

300g butter

200g plain flour

2 litres milk

1kg cheddar, grated

salt and pepper to taste


In a large frying pan, cook the pancetta over a high heat until the fat renders and it is crispy, set aside.

Cook the pasta as per the packet instructions in a very large pan, that’s the 8 litre one I use!

In another large pan, I use a 6 litre pan, melt the butter, add the flour and stir while bubbling for one minute.

Pour in the milk and use a whisk to combine well.

Continue whisking the milk until it just comes up to the boil and thickens.

Take off the heat and add 750g of cheese, stir well until melted.

Drain the pasta and return it to the enormous pan! Add the pancetta and rendered fat if you like.

Pour the cheese sauce over and stir well to combine.

Spoon the macaroni into your oven proof dishes, I tend to use foil dishes for in the freezer.

Sprinkle over the remaining cheese.

If freezing, allow to cool, cover with lids or foil and freeze.

If cooking, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade and pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is golden.

Smoked Fish Chowder with Sweetcorn and Potato


I know that chicken noodle soup is renowned for its curative powers around the world, but, I think this soup is up there too, comfort and nutrients in a soothing bowl of chowder!

I was brought up with this soup being made with smoked haddock, now, I use a smoked cod that my fishmonger has, the fillets are a similar size to haddock, I just need to take the skin off.

Now the cheat for making the best stock for this soup……. Use fresh corn, remove the kernels and set aside, pop the cobs and the onion outer skin into your soup pan, top with water, bring to the boil and simmer covered for 30mins, drain and set the stock aside. This stock only needs a little seasoning to make it delicious and I love the no waste factor, once I’ve boiled the cobs, I cool them down and then they go out to the chooks for a good pecking!

Serves 6-8.


500g smoked  cod or similar, cut into 2-3cm pieces

600 g fresh sweetcorn, about 4 ears

1 onion, finely diced

60g butter

500g potatoes, peeled and diced, 1cm

700mls stock, sweet corn or vegetable

300mls cream

500mls milk

salt and pepper


In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft.

Add the potatoes to the pan and cook for 2 mins, stirring frequently.

Add the sweetcorn, stock, cream and milk.

Bring gently up to the boil and simmer for 10mins.

Add the fish and simmer for 5-7 mins. Season with salt and pepper

Tofu, Broad Beans and Paneer in a Spicy Tomato Sauce


Bit of a long name for this one I’m afraid!

This started life as a Mattar Paneer but over the years has developed more to suit our tastes and what I have to hand in the kitchen.

This is not a hot curry, it’s full of flavour and I think, only needs some rice to go with it. This quantity serves 8-10 on its own but if you serve with another curry and dhal you have enough food for 25-30!

I have made this up until the paste has been made, allowed the paste to cool and stored it in the fridge for a couple of days to make at a more convenient time.


6 large tomatoes, chopped

50g peeled, fresh ginger, cut small

5 garlic cloves, skin removed

200mls water

4 tablespoons ghee

4 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 cinnamon sticks

6 cloves

8 peppercorns

2 large onions, peeled, halved and sliced thinly

1 green chilli, deseeded and cut into small pieces

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

4 teaspoons ground coriander

3 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons Kashmiri chilli powder

750mls milk

500g firm tofu, cubed

500g broad beans, blanched and skins removed

200g paneer, cubed


Process the tomatoes, ginger, garlic and water, I use my stick blender, set aside.

Heat the ghee in a large frying pan over a medium to high heat, add the cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns and fry until the cumin seeds are darkening.

Add the onion and chilli and cook until the onion is soft, this will probably take 15-20 minutes.

Add the turmeric, coriander, ground cumin and chilli powder, cook until fragrant.

Pour the tomato mix into the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly until all the water has evaporated and a paste is left in the pan with the ghee leaching from it.

Now, pour in the milk and stir well.

Bring up to the boil and simmer, uncovered for 5 mins.

Add the Tofu, cook gently for 5 minutes.

Add the beans and paneer, cook gently for 5 minutes.

Serve with rice.


Strawberry and White Chocolate Muffins


Strawberries are in season again and the boys love them so I’m back to making these lovely muffins.

Yummy straight out the oven but also great for lunch boxes.

If you would rather avoid the chocolate chips, replace with a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Makes 12.


225g plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

100g caster sugar

1 egg, beaten

80g butter, melted

125g Greek yogurt

125mls milk

250g fresh strawberries

100g white chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Line a 12 hole muffin tin.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and sugar.

In a jug measure the melted butter, yogurt, milk and egg.

Prepare the strawberries, wash, dry, core and cut into small chunks.

Add the strawberries to the yogurt mix, followed by the chocolate chips.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mix quickly and fill the paper cases.

Bake for 30mins and cool on a wire rack.




Cranberry Scones


I find scones such a handy thing to have in the cake tin or freezer! Best eaten on the day they are baked I also freeze them that day for quick lunch box treats for later in the week.


450g plain flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

110g butter, cubed to 1cm

75g sugar

100g dried cranberries

300mls milk

1 egg, beaten


Preheat the oven to 210degrees Centigrade.

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

In a large bowl, pour the flour and add the cubed butter.

With your fingers, rub the butter in, it will take a while! By the end it should look like breadcrumbs.

Add the sugar and cranberries and mix through.

Add the milk and mix gently to form a dough.

Flour a surface and very lightly form the dough to 3-4cm thickness.

Either use a cutter or cut potions with a knife.

Place on the baking sheet and brush with a little egg.

Bake for 7-10mins, keep an eye on them!

Eat warm or allow to cool on a wire rack.

Bacon and Egg Pie


This recipe manages to sneak some spinach into fussy kids with the flavours of bacon and cheese disguising a vegetable.

I make two pies at a time and freeze one, great for lunch boxes and picnics. Using a cake tin allows for more depth so I use a 20cm fixed base tin.

The pies in the picture have been made with home made pastry, only because I didn’t have any frozen at home! Frozen butter puff pastry works well and usually I have some in the freezer, frozen spinach is very handy too.

Over time I have changed the layering depending on what the boys aren’t eating at the time so feel free to mix it up, bacon on top, cheese through the spinach mix, whatever works for your family!

Serves 6


500g block of puff pastry, defrosted

150g bacon, diced

125mls sour cream

125mls milk

7 eggs

1 egg beaten

150g frozen spinach, defrosted and all water squeezed out

Freshly grated nutmeg

salt and pepper

50g finely grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Heat a pan over a medium heat and cook the bacon, set aside.

In a jug, combine the sour cream, milk, spinach, 3 eggs, grated nutmeg to taste and salt and pepper.

On a floured surface, cut 2/3 of the pastry off and roll out until it fits the tin including the sides, leave any overhang.

Spread the bacon on the pie base, pour over the spinach mixture.

Gently crack the four remaining eggs on top, try to keep them a little separate.

Sprinkle the cheese on top.

Roll out the remaining pastry, until slightly larger than lid required.

Brush the beaten egg around the edges of the pie base, top with the lid.

With a fork, gently press all around the pie to seal.

Take a sharp knife and gently remove any excess pastry, giving you a smooth edge against the tin.

Make two slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Brush the lid with beaten egg.

Place on a baking tray, just in case it leaks.

Bake for 40 mins until golden.

Allow to sit for 20mins before cutting.