Polenta & Chilli Muffins

Lovely ‘little breads’ boasting a warm herbaceous flavour.

With Hubby spending so much time on the road driving the truck, muffins are the ideal fuel to keep him motoring along. They’re also jolly well nice with a cup of tea!

For these wee beauties you’ll need to start by setting your oven to 200c to pre-heat whilst we crack on with the batter. These muffins are really quick & easy, bursting with fabuliciouz flavour!

Line a muffin baking tin with patty pan papers & set aside.

Into a large mixing bowl goes, 175g of Self Raising Flour along with 175g of Polenta, 85g of caster sugar & 2 teaspoons of baking powder. Give them a mix up then add in 55g of grated cheddar cheese, a good sprinkling (about a tablespoon worth) of dried mixed herbs & 3 teaspoons of chilli paste (I use the Korean Chilli Paste from our local Asian Grocer – it wallops a heck of a lot more punch!). Stir all of that together & set aside.

Meanwhile, grab yourself a mixing jug & pour in 1 cup of milk before cracking in 1 egg & adding 1 teaspoon of mustard (I use a mild German mustard to balance out my chilli paste, but by all means, use a good English one if you really want to hurt!). Melt 85g of butter gently on the stovetop & add that into the wet ingredients in the mixing jug in a slow trickle, whisking the entire time so that you don’t accidentally cook that egg!

Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients & pour your wet ingredients in. Stir it all until it’s just combined into a batter, don’t over-mix it.

Divide the batter evenly into the prepared patty pans & pop it into that 200c oven to bake for 20 minutes.


Berry Pops

Looks Naughty, but it’s actually Nice.

A fun way to start your day with a healthy breakfast treat.

This is a definite Kids in the Kitchen recipe where Mini-Me simply loves to help out, making her breakfast icy-pops. They’re fun, They’re fast & They’re absolutely fabuliciouz!

But these 3 ingredient wonders aren’t just for kids! This is also a fantastic way for you grown-ups to get a healthy start to your busy days too when you’re on the run.

Nothing could be easier! Simply pop into a mixing jug 250g of any type of delicious berry that floats your boat & give it a good old whazz up with Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender), before decanting 340g of Coconut Yoghurt into the jug, along with a teaspoon of local raw honey. Give it another jolly good mix up, then pour into awaiting icy pop moulds & pop into the freezer to set.

Now you have no excuses to not get that great, healthy start to your day!

Tanz Tip – I have allergies & with having moved around the country so much, the very first thing I do in a new area is to seek out a jar of local raw honey! It’s the quickest way to expose my body to the local pollens & it’s absolutely fabuliciouz too.

Easy Peasy Chicken Bake

Some day’s you just gotta stop at the shop for a BBQ chook on the way home!

But here is what you can do with it when you get there.

Firstly, shred that BBQ chicken, make sure to get all the meat off it before disposing of the carcass. If your fam-bam is anything like mine, they’ll happily devour the skin for you!

Next, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a frypan & then sauté off 6 finely diced bacon rashers along with 2 finely diced onions. When they’re all lovely & cooked down, add in the shredded chicken. Combine that lot before pouring in 3 cups of chicken stock, give it a jolly good stir, then leave to simmer away for 5 minutes.

Season ever so generously with salt & white pepper, then pop in enough cooked rice to thicken the sauce up. Set it aside to cool a wee bit while your oven heats up to 180c.

Pour the filling into a pie dish, then top with whatever crumb floats your boat before crowning with shredded cheddar cheese & a nice sprinkling of Parmesan cheese too.

Bake in the 180c oven for 20 minutes.

Strawberry & Cream Muffins

Delicate delights to tempt your tastebuds with over a cup of tea.

It’s nice to be just a wee bit naughty sometimes. Mini-Me joyously licked the beaters dripping with frosting & Hubby’s eyes lit up like it was Christmas when he plodded in from a hard day’s work to find these awaiting him. It’s these little moments that mean the absolute world to me. No matter what else life may be throwing my way, I am always grateful for my wee Fam-Bam & cherish these simple memories the most.

Time is my most valued luxury.

Pre-heat your oven to 200c so it can get nice & warm whilst you make the batter. Also ensure you’re prepared & ready to go by lining  a 12 cup muffin tray with pretty paper cases.

To start these gorgeous wee muffins, grab a mixing bowl & in goes 225g of plain flour along with 1 teaspoon of baking powder then stir in 140g of caster sugar with a wooden spoon.

In a mixing jug, pour in 100ml of milk before cracking in 2 eggs. Then gently melt 140g of butter over a low heat & ever so slowly trickle the melted butter into the milk & eggs. The trick to doing this without cooking those eggs is to grab a balloon whisk & get a good solid stirring action happening before you start the butter trickling in. It is imperative that you keep that whisk moving the entire time & for a wee bit after all the butter is incorporated in. In the spirit of a certain blue fishy, “Just Keep Whisking, Just Keep Whisking”.

Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients then start pouring in your wet ingredients a little at a time, stirring it in as you go. Just be mindful not to over-mix it.

Spoon a blob of batter into the bottom of each patty case then plop just a teaspoon of strawberry jam into the centre of each one before dolloping the rest of the batter on top of each to seal the surprise inside.

Pop those in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. When they’re firm to the touch, lift them out to set aside on a cooling wire.

To make the gorgeous simply must have frosting, grab another mixing bowl & in goes 50g of softened butter, 85g of icing sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk & a squirt of Vanilla Paste (that would be about 1/2 a teaspoon for the more accurate among us). Using your hand held electric beaters, beat that lot until it’s nice & smooth, finger dip-able lusciousness!

Spoon over a wee bit of frosting onto the top of each muffin & decorate with a half strawberry.

Pork & Lemon Dumplings

Fresh citrus enlivens the mouth in a light pork meatball.

Delicate enough to serve at a dinner party yet substantial enough to be a firm fam-bam fav, these wee morsels of fabuliciouz-ness are sure to be a hit on your menu!

Grab a mixing bowl & pop in 500g of pork mince along with 150g of crumb (whatever type floats your boat), 2 tablespoons of thickened cream, 1 finely grated onion, the zest & juice of a lemon (I absolutely love having our own lemon tree to pick fresh from!) and for the last part you will need to take just 6 tablespoons of chicken stock out of 600ml before setting the rest of it aside for later. Season it all generously with salt & white pepper.

Get your hands in their to give that lot a jolly good mix up, then shape into balls & set aside.

Pop a large frypan onto your burner & throw in 1 large chopped up carrot along with 1 large chopped up leek then cover those with the rest of that chicken stock you set aside. Carefully add in the balls, pop on a lid & gently simmer it all for 15 minutes.

Serve the dumplings over creamy mashed potatoes, remembering to scoop out the veggies & ladle over the soupy sauce!

Who says meat & 3 veg is boring?!?!?!


A traditional English offering of a Pork Meatball wrapped in Bacon.

The traditional English Faggot has been around for generations! Originally, it was made from offal & wrapped in the caul (stomach lining) to hold it all together whilst cooking. Over the years, as conditions improved, so did the contents of the Faggot, however, the traditional method still calls for an extraordinary amount of fat in it so I have somewhat amended my version to make it a wee bit leaner but you still couldn’t count it as an everyday healthy meal.

I start by popping into my large mixing bowl 500g of pork & veal minced meat along with a finely sliced bacon steak before adding the following seasonings ~ 110g of breadcrumbs, 1 finely chopped onion, 1 teaspoon of allspice, 2 tablespoons of chopped dried parsley, 2 finely chopped sage leaves, a generous handful of dried chilli flakes & finally salt & white pepper.

Mix that lot up thoroughly with your hands before rolling into rissole sized balls. Wrap each ball in a slice of streaky bacon, this will give the necessary fat to keep the meatball moist during baking but also holds it together.

Place each wrapped ball with the seam side down (to keep it secure) onto a baking paper lined tray & pop it in a 170c oven for 1 hour.

Faggots are served with creamy mashed potato, mushy peas & rich gravy.

Toblerone Fondue

Sweet strawberries dipped seductively in Decadently rich chocolate

~ have I got your attention? 

This one goes out to all the lovers! For those who adore the simple pleasures unashamedly. Those who wish to indulge quickly, without too much build-up ahead of the main event. It’s a classic for good reason.

To keep this one Gluten Free, I use the Mountain Bars available from Aldi, but if you don’t have any dietary requirements then the original recipe calls for Toblerone Bars.

I use 4 Mountain Bars which is 400g, but I believe the Toblerone Bars may work out at 375g as the closest.

Set yourself up a Bain Marie, which is a pot of gently simmering water over which you set a heatproof bowl, being very mindful to never allow the water to touch the bottom of the bowl.

Break up the chocolate into the bowl & add 150ml of luscious Double Cream. Then just stir that until it melts into a glorious dark liquid.

Have chilled strawberries at the ready for dipping & you’ve got yourself some instant romance!

Tanz Tip ~ using the Toblerones or Mountain Bars, elevates this chocolate fondue to a whole new level with the nutty, nougat bits spread throughout.

Chicken Mornay

This absolute Classic Comfort Food has been somewhat lost to the

inferior supermarket frozen cardboard box variety.

Well, no more!

You will be amazed at just how much more flavour you will enjoy from making the

proper, old skool, recipe at home.

I love busting out my old recipe books from the 1970’s to take a gander about the food from my childhood & then introducing fond classics to Hubby & Mini-Me. Being a farm kid, we did things a wee bit differently to the city folk, but simple food is quite often the best food.

Start off by dicing up 2 succulent chicken thighs into small, bite sized pieces. Heat a splash of oil in a fry pan, drop in a teaspoon of minced garlic to gently warm through before adding in the chicken. Season it ever so generously with salt & white pepper then cook it off properly & set aside.

Next, into a large saucepan goes 1 tablespoon of butter. Gently melt that over the lowest heat setting possible then remove & add in 1 tablespoon of plain flour along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Give it a jolly good stir to incorporate before popping back onto that lowest heat setting & continue stirring for a minute or so to cook off that flour taste. Pour 1 & 1/4 cups of milk into the pot slowly, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lemon & then season with salt & paprika to your taste (if you have a Hungarian Hubby, you’ll be heavy handed on the paprika!).

Add the chicken to the sauce & stir through. You may like to increase the heat to a medium flame at this point, just to give it a wee bit of thickness.

Pop the mix into a heatproof oven dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs & finally crown with shredded cheddar cheese & grated Parmesan.

That goes into the oven just to brown lightly & melt that luscious cheese.

Serve your Classic Chicken Mornay with rice on the side.

I like to boil my rice in chicken stock with a handful of frozen veggies thrown in & allow the grains to absorb all the liquid to plump up full of flavour!

Croquettes with Spiced Aioli

Golden crisp crunch gives way to soft fluffy potato complimented perfectly with a bold flavoured dipping sauce.


Potato Croquettes are an absolute crowd pleaser & are the perfect vehicle to carry a plethora of fabuliciouz flavours! This is my base recipe which pairs wonderfully well with my strong Spiced Aioli.

You’ll need to start this one the day before you want to serve it.

I begin by steaming 750g worth of peeled & chopped up tatties. I prefer to steam, rather than boil, so the potatoes don’t get waterlogged. It just makes it even fluffier!

Once they’re tender, grab a masher & give them a good squish up. It’s really important that you don’t mash them in a food processor because they get way too smooth for this recipe.

Next, add in 2 tablespoons of butter along with 1 lightly beaten egg, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg & season generously with salt & pepper. Stir it all in to mix well then spread the mash out onto a flat plate, cover it in tin foil & pop in the fridge overnight.

The following day, divide your chilled mash up into equal sized portions & roll into sausage shapes. Then comes the good old crumbing production line!

  • Bowl 1 – plain flour
  • Bowl 2 – 2 lightly beaten eggs
  • Bowl 3 – whatever kind of crumb floats your boat

Once all of your Croquettes have been through each bowl, add them to a tray which you then need to cover with tin foil & pop back in the fridge for another 2-3 hours to firm up again.

Deep fry time! Get your oil nice & hot before carefully sliding in each croquette to turn a beautiful golden colour. Drain the excess oil from them & they are good to greedily devour!

But Wait! There’s More!

I promised you a fabuliciouz Spiced Aioli to dip those deep fried potato pillows of loveliness in.

This is where my food processor I got in the Christmas sales has been an absolute game changer!

Into the bowl goes 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 12 drops of tabasco sauce, 2 teaspoons of salt & 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Give that lot a jolly good whazz until it’s all blended up nicely. Now, with the machine still running, start to pour in a slow, steady stream of 1/2 cup of olive oil until it’s gorgeously smooth. Add in 8 cloves of crushed garlic & process it until it’s also smooth & Voila! Instant Aioli! Pour into a pretty bowl to serve with your Croquettes.

Peppermint Patties

A refreshing sweet treat to enjoy with your cuppa.


Well hello & Welcome to 2018! I’m back! This year, I intend to step up the blog to the next level! Don’t worry, I will be staying true to my core identity here of Few Ingredients, Maximum Flavour BUT this year, I shall be moving beyond the basic into more fabuliciouz territory whilst maintaining SIMPLICITY as the key to my recipes. I do hope you’re as excited as I am to get cracking in the kitchen cranking out home-made goodness.

For my first recipe of 2018, I’m taking a look at what to do with all those leftover candy canes from Christmas! Why, you bake biscuits, of course!

Grab yourself a mortar & pestle to pulverise a dozen leftover candy canes. Now if you don’t have one of these wonderful kitchen tools, then pop the candy canes in a heavy duty plastic bag & whack them good with your rolling pin! Just think of all the angst you’ve just been through with any difficult times during the festive season & you’ll have those things fully crushed in no time! Then just set that aside.

Into a mixing bowl goes 1/2 cup of softened butter along with 3/4 cup of caster sugar. Cream those together before adding in 2 eggs & giving it a jolly good stir. Pop in 2 cups of self raising flour & get that incorporated into a lovely dough.

Right, back to those crushed candy canes. Scoop out 3 tablespoons & set that aside for later, then add all the remainder into the biscuit dough. Make sure you really mix it in well so that gorgeous minty-ness spreads right throughout the whole thing!

Next comes the fun part! Rolling balls! Simply break off bits of the dough & roll into balls between the palms of your hands before placing on baking paper lined trays. Make sure you leave a decent amount of room between each ball as these bikkies spread!

Pop those into a 175c oven for 15 minutes to turn a lovely golden shade.

Meanwhile, remember the reserved candy cane dust??? Mix 3 tablespoons of icing sugar through with it & keep at the ready.

When the biscuits come out of the oven, leave them on the trays for a couple of minutes to firm up & you also don’t want to burn your fingers! When they’re cooled slightly to be able to pick up, just press the top of each biscuit gently into the spiked up icing sugar mixture to coat it generously before popping onto a wire cooling rack.

Seriously, these Peppermint Patties are so absolutely fabuliciouz, you’ll be stocking up on extra candy canes just to be able to make them!