Tag Archives: Recipe

Thai Red Curry

thai red curry



First things first, I have to apologise to any purists out there because my Thai curry was a bit of an experiment, I wanted to make sure that Baby Gourmand could eat this as well as us so it has very mild heat to it, If you are after a kick use hot chillies rather than mild.

You will need:

3 Red Chillies seeds removed (add an extra chilli for heat)

3 Teaspoons of Coriander seeds

2 teaspoons of Cumin seeds

3 stems of Lemongrass chopped

2 teaspoons of fresh ginger

4 Shallots

5 cloves of garlic

zest and juice of 2 limes

2 tablespoons paprika (use hot paprika for a kick)

4 chicken breasts

handful of Asparagus and baby corn

Can of coconut milk


Split the chillies in half and discard the seeds.  Add the coriander and cumin seeds to a hot frying pan and toss them around roast them and draw out their flavours (don’t add any oil).  After about 4-5 minutes pop them into a mortar and crush them finely to a powder.

Place the chillies, spices and all the other ingredients in a food processor and turn them to a coarse paste.

You will only need 2 tablespoons to serve 4 people so freeze the rest for next time ( I find it difficult to make this paste in smaller quantities so prefer to make more than I need)

Place your chopped chicken breasts in a pan and start to brown, once brown add the paste you made earlier and cook for a couple of mins.  Add the tin of coconut milk and bring the mixture to a simmer, cook for 10 mins.

Add the vegetables to the pan and cook for a further 4 mins until everything is cooked through.  Serve with boiled rice

thai red curry_rice


This dish is mild enough for babies to eat and Baby Gourmand demolished his portion in record speed!



Mackerel, Fennel, Pepper and Olive Pizza



Now Baby Gourmand is eating his meals with us I have been trying to find new ways to introduce different flavours to him, this pizza was received well by all family members so will definitely be getting made again.

The pizza dough was made using this recipe from a previous blog post.  I added some tinned chopped tomato with herbs to the base and topped that with mackerel, braised fennel, black olives and red pepper.  When I went to the fridge for the cheese I realised I had forgotten to buy Mozzarella so had to make do with a mild cheddar which actually worked well.

Baby led weaning definitely doesn’t have to be boring and bland, it’s so much easier making a meal for the family rather than cooking two separate dishes.


Saag Paneer – Suitable for Baby Led Weaning

This post is actually inspired by a recipe I read in the River Cottage Baby & Toddler cookbook, I found the recipe in there to be a little bland and the quantity made was less than I would have liked so I’ve amended the recipe slightly to suit our tastes.  Baby Gourmand ate his Saag Paneer on it’s own but we added a home made Chicken Biryani to ours.


saag paneer



  • 750g Spinach

  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil

  • 1 large onion sliced finely

  • 1 tsp of fresh ginger grated

  • 1½ tbsp finely chopped garlic

  • 1/2 red chilli chopped (optional)

  • 1 tsp ground coriander

  • 250g paneer cut into cubes

  • 2 tsp garam masala

  • 6 tbsp double cream

Wash the spinach, drain and blanch in the water that clings to it for three minutes or until wilted. Drain into a colander and run cold water over it until cool. squeeze out any excess water then chop finely and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan (I used a Tefal Ingenio pan). Add the onion and fry over a low heat for about six minutes, until soft. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and cook for a further minute.

Add the ground coriander. Cook for another 30 seconds then add the spinach and a splash of water if necessary. The mixture should be loose but not watery. Bring to a boil and then simmer for three minutes.

Add the paneer cubes, garam masala and cream. Stir and cook for a few minutes or until the spinach is nice and creamy. 

Chocolate Beetroot Brownies

beetroot brownies


I’ve been experimenting with vegetables in cakes and sweet treats for years now and Beetroot is always a favourite of mine to use as it adds a special sweetness and earthy flavour to a dish.  I have so many different recipes for Chocolate Beetroot Brownies and never seem to use the same one twice.  Sometimes I like to ice brownies, sometimes I like to add different types of chocolate and sometimes I like to keep them plain.

This recipe is adapted from a River Cottage version, I like to use dark and milk chocolate and golden caster sugar.  My brownies seem to take longer than Hugh’s version but that could be down to my cake tin as it’s not as wide as the one suggested.

You will need:

  • 250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 150g 70% dark chocolate and 100g good quality milk chocolate broken into pieces
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 250g beetroot, boiled until tender, cooled, peeled and grated.  I used mixed beetroot so I had one purple and one pink.



Grease and line a baking tin, I use a square 20cm tin.

Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water until the chocolate and butter start to melt.  One melting has started stir until everything has mixed together and there are no lumps,

Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl until combined then beat in the melted chocolate and butter until smooth. Combine the salt with the flour, sift them over the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in with a large metal spoon. Fold in the grated beetroot until everything is mixed.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes; when the brownies are done, a knife or skewer inserted in the centre should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. If the mixture is still runny pop back in for a 5 min intervals and keep checking for firmness.  Remove the tin from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool before cutting in to squares.



The end result is a very moist brownie that will last for 4 days if you can keep them that long!




We’re currently trying Baby Led Weaning with Arthur so I’m looking for more and more dishes that we can eat as a family, I had pretty much forgotten all about Kedgeree but it’s a great way to introduce strong flavours like smoked fish and curry powder for a baby.


700g Smoked fish (we used haddock) make sure you buy fish without the dye.

110g unsalted butter

1 onion diced

1 Tablespoon curry powder

225ml long grain rice (use a jug to measure)

4 eggs hard boiled and chopped

2 Tablespoons flat parsley chopped

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Handful of frozen peas



First place the fish in a saucepan and cover with 570 ml of cold water. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer gently for about 8 minutes. Drain off the water into a measuring jug and reserve, you will need this for the rice. Transfer the fish into a dish, cover with foil and keep it warm.

Melt 50g of the butter and soften the onion in it for 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, cook for half a minute, then stir in the rice and add 450 ml of the fishy cooking water. Stir once then, when it comes up to simmering point, cover with a lid and cook, very gently, for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.

When the rice has been cooking for 10 minutes pop the peas into the pan, flake the fish into bite size chunks. When the rice is ready, remove it from the heat and fork in the flaked fish, hard-boiled eggs, parsley, lemon juice and the remaining 50 g of butter, stir well and serve.

This dish went down very well, it served Myself,  Mini Gourmand and Baby Gourmand with a portion left over for my lunch the next day.


The Kids Only Cookbook By Sue Quinn


Mini Gourmand is almost a teenager and is often asking if she can use the kitchen to cook a dish, I’ve tried to show her basic cookery skills but I worry about her when using sharp knives, hot ovens etc.  The Kids Only Cookbook is filled with safety information and advice when cooking and is packed with 50 simple, delicious and fun recipes containing easy-to-follow captions and 300 photos in a unique cartoon-style to inspire children of all ages to get busy in the kitchen.


I particually like the sections which show a how to, each project is original and creative and inspires adults never mind children!  Kids will learn as they go along; each recipe contains a culinary technique such as beating, whipping, piping or baking and ‘Adult alerts’ appear throughout the book and ensure the recipes are all easy and safe to make. This is a book which will become treasured as it helps children to discover the endless fun to be had in the kitchen and to learn skills which will stay with them for life.

Mini Gourmand particularly liked the way the book was written and the colours used, phrases are used like “Epic Fail” which is one of Mini gourmands favourite set of words when something goes wrong!

We were not only provided with a copy of the book but also a kick’n’roll tin can to make ice cream, unfortunately Mini Gourmand went to Portugal on holiday with her grandparents with her camera and memory card containing her video of ice cream manufacture.  It was really quite simple : pack a large tin can with ice and rock salt, insert a sealed ziplock bag containing cream, sugar and vanilla and kick it to the park or the beach…within 25 minutes…homemade ice cream!

Mini Gourmand has already made a number of dishes out of this great book, I had a couple of pictures saved on my phone and have made the video below to give an idea how easy it is for children to follow the instructions themselves.


Once Mini Gourmand returns from her holiday we will share our ice-cream making with you, for now though you can see how it’s done in the video below.


We currently have post it notes stuck on the pages of the book that we wish to cook dishes from, I will try to either get pictures or video footage of Mini Gourmand cooking these dishes.  On our current to try list are Chinese Fried Rice, DIY Fish Parcels, Sticky Toffee Pudding In A Jar, Fancy Lamb, Sherbert Dips and Rocky Road.
If you are looking for present ideas for children age 7+ this would be a perfect choice and hopefully the child in receipt of the book might make you a thank you dish!

*Disclaimer* I was provided with a copy of this book for review purposes, as always my reviews are honest and impartial and all thoughts are my own.

Lamb Kofta and Chapati

The following recipe is extremely simple and doesn’t require a great deal of preparation or cooking time making it perfect for a midweek dinner.



You will need:

300g Lamb Mince

1tsp Ground Ginger

1tsp Garam Masala

1/2 tsp Chilli powder

2 cloves of garlic

handful of mint leaves

handful of coriander leaves

1tsp salt

Place everything in a food processor and blitz until smooth.  With wet hands form the mixture into small balls.  Fry in a hot pan for 7-10 mins until cooked through.  With the last batch fry off some onions and peppers.


This was my first attempt at making Chapatis, I can’t believe how easy they are to make and if you have never tried before I urge you to give it a go!

450g Chapati flour

250ml cold water

Ghee for spreading


Set aside 200g of the flour and reserve for shaping the chapatis.  Add the water to a bowl containing 250g flour, a little at a time, kneading as you go, until you have a soft, elastic dough. The longer you knead the dough the softer the chapatis will be.   Sprinkle a little of the reserved flour onto a flat surface or board. Divide the dough into eight and shape each piece into a ball. Flatten the balls slightly, then place one onto the floured board. Roll it out into a flat disc flouring the board when necessary.

Heat a griddle or a shallow frying pan. Lay the chapati on the griddle or pan and cook for about 20-30 seconds or until the surface is bubbling. Turn it over and cook the other side for 10-15 seconds. As soon as brown spots appear on the underside, the chapatti is done.  Repeat with the other seven balls, using the remaining flour to roll them out. Stack them up as they are cooked, placing a sheet of kitchen towel between each one to absorb any moisture.  Spread melted ghee over one side for added taste.

Peri-Peri Salmon

peri-peri salmon

Sometimes I find salmon incredibly boring, to jazz things up a little I decided to marinate some steaks in a peri-peri sauce which was made as follows:

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp chili flakes

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp garlic

¼ tsp ground coriander

¼ tsp english mustard

½ tsp fresh ground black pepper

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp oregano

1 tsp grated ginger

A good glug of olive oil

Mix all of the ingredients together and coat the salmon, leave in the fridge overnight so the salmon absorbs the flavour.  When ready cook in a hot pan.

I served this peri-peri salmon with actifry roasted veg and seasonal vegetables.

Popcorn – Actifry Style


When you think of the Tefal Actifry, popcorn probably would be the last thing you would think about cooking in it.  Popcorn is actually very good for you (minus all of the butter) it’s a delicious snack and something that we eat regularly as a snack.

Making popcorn in the Tefal Actifry is probably the easiest thing you will ever cook, there is no real recipe for this so I’ll just list below how I do it and if you like popcorn as much as I do you can make some for yourself.

Take a couple of handfuls of popping corn, add this into the Actifry bowl, add to this a 1/4 of a spoon of oil.

Turn the Actifry timer to 20 mins, it will not take as long as this but it’s best to be on the safe side as the amount of corn added affects the cooking time.

Sit back and watch the corn start popping

Once the popping has slowed down I like to add a knob of butter and some dried herbs or some chilli powder, you can experiment with different herbs and spices to suit your tastes on the day.

Have you tried making popcorn in your actifry before? Do you have any recipes I can try?

tefal Innovation Panelist

*Disclaimer – I am a Tefal Innovation Panelist, I was provided with the Actifry free of charge, this has in no way affected my opinion of the brand and as always my thoughts are my own and are honest and impartial*

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

This is a tried and tested recipe, I do sometimes make it with/without raisins and I have also been known to make it into a loaf cake and cupcakes depending on the occasion but regardless of how it’s made it always tastes delicious.

carrot cake close Carrot Cake inside

150g melted butter
150g soft light brown sugar
3 Medium eggs
200g self raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp grated nutmeg
Zest of 1 orange
100g sultanas
200g carrots, peeled and grated (I did this in the Tefal Fresh Express)
100g Walnuts roughly chopped, plus extra to decorate

For the icing:
150g full-fat cream cheese
50g light brown soft sugar
Zest of ½ lemon and a squeeze of juice

 Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line the bases of 2 x 18cm sandwich tins.

 Put the butter, sugar and eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk well until the ingredients are combined.

 Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices and fold gently into the liquid mixture.  Fold in the remaining ingredients and divide between the tins. Bake for about 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Beat together the icing ingredients and refrigerate. When the cakes are cool enough to ice, remove from the tins, top one with half the icing, and then top with the other cake. Ice the top, and decorate with the remaining walnuts.