Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Full Irish Pasta Bake

The Full Irish Pasta Bake..... I know it sounds wierd but I'm never one to waste food, and this is surprisingly delightful and comforting. The other day I'd  a full house, so I threw down a few sausages, rashers and pudding couple of minutes before hand in anticipation that I'll have a few Full Irish takers. Often guests just opt for bacon and eggs, or my Irish Pancakes, which was the case this time. This left me with a few cooked breakfast leftovers. I hate to throw food away, hate hate it. So I decided to cool the leftover sausages, rashers and pudding and use in a pasta bake for the evenings supper for my husband. This is not a low fat dinner, so I won't pretend it is, but it certainly hits the comfort spot in the belly, and the men in your life will go crazy for this carb meat feast!!!!

Serves 2 (or 1 hungry man)

  • 2 cooked sausages (cut into slices)
  • 3 cooked rashers (cut into strips)
  • 4 pieces of black and white pudding (cut into pieces)
  • 100g of penne pasta
  • 1 tin of cherry tomatoes
  • Half a diced onion
  • Half a diced clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp of chilli flakes
  • Salt/pepper
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp of red wine
  • 3 tbsp of cream
  • 1 tsp of oil

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  2. Cook pasta in boiling water for 10 minutes
  3. Cook the onion and garlic in a little oil until translucent
  4. Add the tomatoes, sugar, oregano and cook down for a few minutes
  5. Add the chilli flakes and season.
  6. Add the red wine and cook for a further 5 minutes
  7. Add some of the cooking water from the pasta, stir and continue to cook
  8. Add the chopped meat and the cream and stir well.
  9. Transfer to a roasting dish and bake in the oven for 15 minutes
Feel free to add some mozzarella to the pasta before baking, I didn't as my husband isn't fond of cheese, but It would be scrummy. 

Or 6 minutes before the bake is finished make a little hole in the bake and gently break in an egg and return to the oven until the egg has just set.

This is a little on the sinful side so be mindful that perhaps a salad the following evening might make up for it. Why are wicked things the most pleasing!!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Egg Free, Nut Free Banana Muffins

It's only when guests come to stay with us with a food intolerance/allergy that I actually appreciate the fact that I am able to eat everything and anything I want to. I simply take it for granted!!! Today I had a lovely family visit us, with both egg allergies and nut allergies! Scary biscuits!! I never think about not being able to eat eggs, breads and cakes!!!! My breakfast's foundation seems to be my Beaufort eggs, be it in the Full Irish Breakfasts I cook, or the pancakes I make, or even the muffins and breads I bake. Being allergic to eggs has automatically eliminated alot of my dishes from the choice for my guests!!!

Always one to please everyone, I set about baking something that all my guests can enjoy! So thus came the arrival of my Egg-Free, Nut Free Banana Breakfast Muffins. I normally adapt my Banana & Walnut Muffin recipe from Jamie Olivers Spiced Banana Muffins, so I've made a few changes to make my Egg & Nut Free version today.

Makes 12 muffins


  • 2 bananas
  • 6 tbsp of sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 75g of brown sugar
  • 200g of self raising flour
  • 125g of buttermilk
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon

First, preheat oven to 200 degrees and place 12 muffin cases in a bun tray.


  1. Mash 2 very ripe bananas together.
  2. Add 6 tbsp of sunflower oil and 1 tbsp of honey
  3. Add 75g of brown sugar and mix well. 
  4. Measure 125ml of buttermilk and add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and mix
  5. Add the buttermilk mixture to the banana mixture and combine
  6. Finally, sieve in the flour and gently fold
  7. Divide the mixture amongst the muffin cases and bake in the oven for 20 minutes
  8. Take out of oven and place on a cooling rack.

Low Fat Morrocan Inspired Meatballs & Couscous

Yes I do realise that its been FOREVER since I blogged, but the business has got me kept!! Business is good, can't complain, lots of lovely guests from all different and interesting backgrounds!!! This has resulted in putting the blogging on the back burner!!! Seriously though guys, each day I look at the clock and its evening time again!!! Time has yet again escaped me and my blog writing!!! Each day I promise to finish that sushi blog or  a blog about how the B&B is going! Writers block has seemingly affected me on those grounds, but in a return to tradition, over the weekend I cooked a really low fat morrocan inspired pickn'mix dinner!!!

It was very low in fat, yet I felt it was satisfying and felt like a 'treat dinner' all the same.  My meatballs are (as always) made from turkey meat, keeping the fat down and the protein high!!! The other 'pick n mix' options are salads, cous cous, and a yogurt sauce!!!

Serves 3-4 people

Apricot & Cumin Turkey Meatballs


  • 400g turkey mince
  • 2 crusts of bread (whizzed to breadcrumbs) - any leftover bread will do
  • 1 egg
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 5 dried apricots
  • 1 clove of garlic, diced
  • 4 tbsp of chopped coriander
  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and whizz until combined
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
  3. Place a sheet of baking paper on a tray
  4. With damp hands roll balls of the mince mixture between your hand (I use an icecream scoop to measure the quantity)
  5. Place all the meatballs on the tray and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, turning once.

Carrot & Coriander Salad

This doesn't require instructions really, simple strip a carrot with a vegetable peeler, and sprinkle chopped coriander over the strips and drizzle with lemon juice. Fast, and yum! (zero calorie points)

Saffron Almond & Chickpea Couscous Salad


  • 100g of cous cous
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of ground cumin
  • salt/pepper
  • 115 ml of boiling water mixed with 2-3 strands of saffron
  • 1 tin of chickpeas (washed and drained)
  • 40g of toasted flaked almonds
  • Lemon Juice from one lemon
  • Chopped coriander and/or flat leaf parsley
  1. Place the cous cous grains in a bowl, and rub in the cumin, juice from half a lemon, salt, pepper, oil and ground cumin
  2. Add the hot saffron water, cover the bowl and leave for 15 minutes
  3. When the cous cous has soaked up all the water, fluff up the grains with a fork (don't use a spoon)
  4. Add the remainder ingredients and stir to combine well.

Quick Yogurt Sauce

Blitz 100 mls of natural yogurt, with 3 tbsp of fresh coriander, juice from a lemon and season with salt and pepper. This sauce is a great quick accompaniment to the meatballs. You may wish to include some pitta breads or flat bread with this dinner!!!!

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