Bolognese Pasta Bake

Layers of creamy, rich comfort!

I am sure this fam-bam favourite will be a regular at your home too.


This is a simple recipe but takes some multi-tasking skill in the kitchen so get organised & your tastebuds will definitely thank you for it.

Start with popping a pot of water onto the back burner to come to the boil, before salting & emptying an entire 500g packet of pasta in to cook.

In a large frypan, heat up a wee glug of oil to brown off 500g of pork mince (or whatever type floats your boat), remembering to season the mince well with salt & white pepper. Pour in a 700g jar of passata, stir through then season again with salt, white pepper, paprika & dried mixed herbs. That can now set aside.

Onto the white sauce! In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over low heat. Once melted, remove from the heat to add in 1 tablespoon of plain flour & 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir that well to incorporate with a wooden spoon then pop back onto the low heat to stir for another minute. Slowly start adding in 2.5 cups of milk whilst stirring constantly. When all the milk is added, turn up to a medium heat & keep stirring until it thickens lusciously.

Ok, back to that pasta! Drain it off & then pop it back into the saucepan. Pour just a smidge of the white sauce onto it along with 2 whisked eggs, just enough to toss the pasta through to coat it evenly. This is a wee trick to add that extra luxury to the pasta that nobody quite knows why yours is so much better than theirs 😉 Season it with salt & white pepper!

Now for the layering up fun bit!

On the bottom of your baking dish, place a layer of the pasta, then a layer of the bolognese mince. Keep layering that up in your dish before reaching the top & pouring all that gorgeous white sauce over it. Finally crown your culinary creation with a copious amount of grated cheddar cheese & grated parmesan cheese which will form a lovely crust.

Whack that into a 180c oven for 20 minutes & It’s Chompin Time!


Swedish Cream Sauce

A fabuliciouzly versatile sauce with countless applications!

An absolute must in your culinary arsenal.


To have a variety of sauces up my sleeve has saved me so very many times from kitchen disaster! The ability to create a fam-bam pleasing meal from standard pantry & fridge items is both totally satisfying to me & their tummies!

For this gorgeous sauce, start by melting 1 tablespoon of butter in a saucepan over low heat before adding 1 tablespoon of white flour & then whisk it until it turns a lovely golden colour, just to make sure that the flour is cooked out.

Next, pour in 1 cup of beef stock, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of thickened cream & a good splash of soy sauce. Give that lot a jolly good stir before seasoning well with salt & white pepper.

Turn up the heat to thicken up the sauce to your liking & use it any which way your imagination can dream up!

In the photo here I’ve teamed this Swedish Cream Sauce with pasta & meatballs. These basic meatballs I’ve shared before but just a quick reminder of what’s in these ones.

Into a bowl place 500g of either pork or chicken mince (whichever floats your boat) along with 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of Maple Syrup, 1 teaspoon of mixed herbs, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper & then season generously with salt & white pepper. Mix it all up well with your hands then roll into balls. Heat up a little oil in a pan & fry them off until cooked through.

Spinach & Mushroom Cannelloni

Boasting Spinach, Mushrooms, Tomato & Mince,

this is not-your-average meat & 3 vege!

Yes I am well aware that Tomato is a fruit & Mushroom is a fungi, but let’s not ruin my joke here 😉

This is such a fabuliciouz mince bake meal that it’s sure to be just as big a hit with your fam-bam as it is with mine.

Bonus is, it’s deadset easy & you can even prepare the filling earlier to speed up dinner time.

Start by heating a good glug of oil in a large frypan & bunging in 250g of sliced up mushrooms to cook off. Then add in 500g of whatever mince floats your boat to brown. Remember to season the meat with salt & white pepper as soon as it hits the pan. Pour in an entire 700g jar of passata & give that lot a jolly good stir. Let it bubble away on a simmer for a good 10 minutes.

(Now this is the bit that you can pause at if you’re pre-preparing ahead, otherwise, press on.)

Meanwhile, pop a pot of water onto the boil & gently wilt off an entire 150g bag of baby spinach leaves. Drain them well & stir them into the sauce.

Grab your baking dish & ladle in some of the sauce over the bottom, then start filling your cannelloni tubes using a teaspoon to help you get the saucy goodies in there. Lay each filled tube, side by side, into the baking dish. Ladle all the leftover sauce on top of the filled tubes before spreading the contents of an entire 250g tub of mascarpone cheese over the top. Finally crown your culinary creation with a handful of whatever crumb floats your boat & a generous handful of parmesan cheese too.

Whack that lot into a 200c oven for 30 minutes.

Layered Tatties

This is a recipe from my Mother in Law, which I’ve adapted.

Traditionally, in Hungary, they use cabbage rather than potatoes.


Start by steaming some peeled whole potatoes until they’d pass for par-boiled then slice them up into thin discs.

Heat a wee splash of oil in a frypan & brown off 500g of mince (I use chicken mince but whatever type floats your boat is fine) along with a teaspoon of minced garlic. Remember to season generously with salt & white pepper.

Pop 1/2 cup of rice into a pot of boiling water & once cooked, drain & bung in with the mince, combining well.

Grab a nice baking dish & let’s layer up – tatties on bottom, then mince/rice mix, more tatties, more mince/rice mix etc making sure you end with tatties on top.

Next, make the sauce by simply combining 1/2 cup each of thickened cream & sour cream seasoned with salt, white pepper & paprika. Pour over the layers then simply drizzle extra thickened cream around the edges of the dish to ensure it remains nice & moist.

Whack that into a 200c oven for 40 minutes.

Taco Bites

This is my spin on reinventing a classic to make it finger food friendly.


Most people love tacos, the spiced meat, luscious sour cream, a tang of cheese & a splash of sauce usually are a crowd favourite. But it’s just a wee bit messy sometimes trying to juggle a drink whilst scoffing down even the daintiest of ‘cocktail’ tacos as you try to remain the epitome of elegance. So, I have played in my kitchen to come up with this Taco Bite to give you all the fabuliciouz flavours of a Taco in the easy to handle form of a ball. You may applaud me now & call the Nobel Prize people.

Brown off 500g of chicken mince before seasoning with a 30g packet of Taco Seasoning Mix which you’ve blended in 3/4 cup of water. Give that lot a jolly good stir then allow to simmer gently whilst you crack on.

Next, bring a pot of water to the boil, add salt & cook off 1 & 1/2 cups of rice. When done, drain & bung in with the chicken mince, stirring well.

Throw in 2 handfuls of grated cheddar cheese along with a whole tub (300g) of sour cream. Mix that lot well then allow to cool & refrigerate overnight.

The following day, crush up a bag of plain salted corn chips to crumb consistency then place in a dish.

Retrieve the meaty taco mixture & roll chunks of it into whatever sized balls float your boat, then coat them in the corn chip crumb before placing them onto a tray. When all done, put the tray of taco balls into the fridge to set for about an hour.

When your guests arrive, heat up some oil in a fry pan & shallow fry the balls to golden perfection before draining on some paper towel & serving with salsa dipping sauce.

Chicken Mousaka

This traditional layered dish is Greece’s answer to the lasagne & it is every bit as fabuliciouz! 


This is a really easy dinner to prepare, it’s all about stages so just run with me here guys.

First, peel & slice an eggplant into thin rounds before placing on a tray & giving a liberal layer of salt. Set those aside for 15 minutes. The salt will draw out all the bitterness from the eggplant so you will notice them sweat. When time is up, simply dry them off with a paper towel & pan fry those babies.

Next, bung into a large mixing bowl 500g of chicken mince, 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, 2 teaspoons of dijon mustard, 2 well beaten eggs then season ever so generously with salt, white pepper & dried oregano. Get you best kitchen utensils, aka your hands, in there to give it a jolly mix through before setting aside as well.

Finally, it’s a simple cheese sauce to knock together. In a saucepan, over the lowest heat setting possible, melt 2 tablespoons of butter then remove from the heat to add in 2 tablespoons of plain flour & 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix it together before returning to the lowest heat to cook off that flour, keep stirring it the whole time though. When you’re happy that the flour has been cooked off, basically the clumpy mess has turned nice & smooth again, start adding in ever so slowly 2 & 1/2 cups of milk. The trick to this is slow & steady wins the race – be the tortoise! Never stop stirring it so you avoid those icky lumps. Once all the milk is in, throw in a couple of cups worth of grated cheddar cheese. Crank that heat up to a steady medium to melt it in & slightly thicken the sauce.

Now it’s assembly time!

Into your oven proof dish goes half that fabuliciouz cheese sauce, then a layer of half of the pan fried eggplant rounds followed by the entire amount of seasoned chicken mince, top that with the rest of the eggplant rounds & then pour over the remainder cheese sauce. Crown your creation eloquently with yet more grated cheddar cheese & some grated parmesan just for good measure before whacking into a 180c oven for 45 minutes!

Outback Burgers

A flavour packed meat pattie that’s sure to round up your taste buds!


Not to be outdone in the kitchen, this is a recipe which hubby has come up with all by himself! These would be awesome on the alter of burnt offerings (aka BBQ) but were just as fabuliciouz in our grill pan.

Start by bunging 500g of beef mince along with 500g of pork mince into a large mixing bowl before seasoning generously with salt & white pepper. Next crack in 1 egg, splash in 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce, a handful of whichever type of crumb floats your boat, a handful of grated cheddar cheese & a copious amount of chopped up jalapeño chillies (whatever heat you can handle!). Give that lot a jolly good mix before forming into large balls, about tennis ball size.

Heat up your lightly oiled pan or BBQ, then whack the balls on before flattening with the back of your spatula to form the meat pattie.

Hubby turns these numerous times during cooking to keep them nice & juicy moist!


Pancake Rolls

These wee rippers are absolutely amazing for dinner, brunch or picnics!

Wrap your laughing gear around them & you won’t be disappointed!

They’re a sausage roll wrapped in pancake instead of pastry then crumbed & fried!



Start with making your basic pancakes by bunging in a mixing bowl 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, 1 egg & a good pinch of salt then giving it a jolly good whisk to form a smooth batter. Gently heat up a flat bottomed pan, spray with some oil & pour enough of the batter to thinly coat the pan base, you’ll probably need to channel your inner chef with some fancy wrist swirling action. When bubbles appear all over the surface, the pancake is ready to carefully flip. Allow the other side to colour slightly before sliding out onto a plate. Crack on with the rest of the batter to make all your pancakes.

Whilst the pancakes are cooling, grab another mixing bowl to make the filling. In goes 500g of your favourite mince (we like a blend of pork & veal) along with 1 teaspoon of minced garlic & 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Then season it ever so generously with my kitchen trilogy of salt, white pepper & paprika, along with a sprinkling of dried mixed herbs. Mash it all up to combine really well before forming into sausage shapes.

Next it’s production line time!

Station 1 is the mince sausage shapes.

Station 2 is the pancakes.

Station 3 is a bowl of flour.

Station 4 is a bowl of egg wash.

Station 5 is a bowl of crumb.

I think you can all see where this is going, right?! Take a mince sausage shape, place it on the third of the pancake that’s closest to you then fold over the small pancake section to encase the sausage before tucking in each side of the pancake & rolling up fully. Basically, use the pancake exactly the same as a Rice Paper round. Dust the roll in the flour ever so carefully as the little blighter will be fighting to unfurl before dipping in the egg wash, this is where it all holds together & finally coat in the crumb. Line them all up on a waiting tray or plate as you get on with it.

Heat up a solid glug of oil in a frypan over the lowest setting possible & shallow fry each roll gently, turning to get a good colour. This will take about 10 minutes on each roll, then whack them in a 150c oven for about another 10 minutes just to ensure the middle is cooked all the way through.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Every Christmas my fam-bam looked forward to my Savoury Vol-au-Vents,

since discovering Gluten issues, however, these pastry favourites have been missing from our festive fare ~ Until Now!

Gorgeous Portabello Mushrooms make the perfect Gluten Free alternative to carry my luscious, slightly curried, mince filling.


Start with 2 cups of water in a mixing jug & add in 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce, 3 tablespoons of gravy powder, 1 tablespoon of curry powder, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic & a jolly good sprinkling of dried mixed herbs. Combine that lot well & set aside.

Heat a glug of oil in a frypan & cook off 500g of chicken mince, remembering to season ever so generously with salt & white pepper for flavour.

Pour the liquid mixture over the mince & stir well. Next, throw in a cupful of mixed frozen veggies & let it all simmer away to soften them up.

Then comes the kicker……..chuck in a good solid handful (about 1 cup) of grated cheddar cheese to melt through which will thicken it all up slightly.

Now, the fun bit – drizzle a wee bit of oil on a baking pan & brush it all over before lining up your mushrooms. Gently push the stalks away from you with your thumb until you hear them break then pull back again slightly to pop them out cleanly. Put your mushroom cups on the oiled tray, fill them with the mince mixture & then crown them gloriously with more grated cheddar cheese.

Whack that lot in a 180c oven for 15 minutes & It’s Chompin Time!

A simply stunning way to kick off Christmas morning.

Kiev Logs

This one is a wee bit of a fancy pants snag really, taking inspiration from that classic of Chicken Kiev.


So all I do for this fabuliciouz mutation is let a 250g block of butter soften before flavouring it with minced garlic (I use 3 or 4 heaped teaspoons but it really does depend on how much floats your boat) & bunging in a generous amount of dried parsley flakes.

Give that lot a jolly good mix up, then shape into little sausages & place on a baking paper lined tray. Whack them in the fridge to firm up nicely or until you’re ready to use them.

Next, season 500g of chicken mince with salt & white pepper. Also set up a shallow bowl of crumb seasoned with salt, white pepper, more parsley flakes & a good handful of grated parmesan cheese.

It’s production line time!

Take a garlic butter log, encase it in the seasoned chicken mince then roll it in the spiked up crumb. Keep going until you’ve got them all done.

Heat up a good glug of oil in a frypan & shallow fry the logs off on all sides to a beautiful golden crunch.