Chilly Chilli – A great freezer dinner

Some days even I can’t be bothered to cook.  That’s when it’s great to have something nice to take from the freezer.  One of the best freezer meals is Chilli con Carne.  I’ve been doing this recipe for years – it’s a take on a Jamie Oliver recipe.  The secret – a cinnamon stick.  Make it a few days in advance of eating it to let the flavours get even better and freeze it in portions for eating on a lazy day.

For 8 portions of Chilli con carne, you will need: Continue reading


Nan’s BBQ sauce

My Nan Alice, was a legendary cook.  Back in the day when women stayed at home and took care of their children, she worked as a confectioner, ran a restaurant and raised 8 boys. She made a fantastic barbecue sauce which sadly went with her to the grave. As a tribute to my Nan, I’ve created this recipe for a barbecue marinade. The special ingredient is the smoked paprika which gives the sauce a great flavour, even before it hits the coals.

You will need:  Continue reading

Molly’s Blog – Only cows can eat grass….

My favourite food is grass, then peaches, then scrambled eggs.  I really like it when I am allowed to have my lunch outside like a picnic.  Mum puts out the rug and ties a huge muslin around my neck so I look like a cartoon character.  Then she lays my lunch out in front of me; little pieces of cheese, bread, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado and some ‘froot’ at the end.  When she’s not looking, I snatch pieces of grass from the lawn and have those too.  Yesterday, she caught me with some grass sticking out of the side of my mouth. I couldn’t get it down me fast enough. It will be so much easier to chew when the rest of my teeth arrive.  Mum says ‘only cows are allowed to eat grass’ before she pulls it out of my mouth.  Seems unfair really, all that free grass out there going to waste.  Perhaps she’ll let me have some at the weekend.  That’s when we are all allowed to have special treats (Mum = cake, Dad = beer, Molly = grass).

Watermelon delight

It’s finally gloriously hot in London.  So hot, it’s possibly too hot to eat much but salads and fruit.  In weather like this, there is nothing better than a piece of watermelon taken directly from the fridge.  If you get adventurous, you can make a great snack by putting chunks of watermelon and feta cheese on cocktail sticks and drizzling them with a balsamic vinegar reduction (just bubble up some balsamic vinegar in a pan and it will reduce and go sweet and sticky).  Really nice with a glass of white wine for Mum & Dad.

You will need:

  • A watermelon (in chunks)
  • Feta cheese (in chunks)
  • A few spoons of balsamic vinegar reduction


Chop, chop, put on stick, bubble, bubble, drizzle….  done.

Smells like home

Making jam really isn’t that hard and nothing reminds me of growing up in Ireland more than the smell of freshly baked scones and home-made jam. When we were old enough to carry a bucket, we were sent out to pick blackberries from the hedgerows where we lived.  I may remember this with rose-tinted glasses but I could swear the weather was better back then.  This week when I saw cheap blackberries at our local greengrocer, I couldn’t help wanting to relive the good old days and have been going around with stained fingers and a smile on my face ever since.

For 2 pots of blackberry jam you will need: Continue reading

The best Lasagne in the world?…

It’s a bold claim, but we’ve been told this time and time again….  This is the best lasagne I’ve ever tasted.  Granted it takes a bit of effort but you can freeze it once assembled (before you put it in the oven – just let it defrost before you put it in) or you can leave it in the fridge a few days before cooking it (make it on a sunday when you have time and eat it on a tuesday night as a treat).  It can also be frozen in portions once cooked.

The Bolognese sauce is adapted from a recipe by John Burton Race.  It’s great on it’s own with spaghetti but making a bechamel sauce and turning it into a lasagne makes it extra special. Don’t be surprised by how few ingredients are in there….  it is simple but delicious!   Continue reading

When only a peach will do (by Molly)….

Because I don’t like spoons, Mum gives me bits of food to eat off the table and out of my hand.  She and I have had our share of frights as sometimes things get stuck on my throat when I’m eating but she’s learning to trust the fact that I can cough it up and spit it out now.  It took me a while to master that.

My favourite thing is when Mum gives me ‘froot’ after my meal and my top ‘froot’ at the moment is a donut peach.  I’m not allowed donuts but I’m sure they can’t be anywhere near as good as these peaches.  I love to suck out all the nice stuff from the inside before spitting the skin on the ground (that was the next trick I learned after blowing raspberries).  Yesterday I had 4 peaches.  I didn’t want to eat anything else.  Mum says that’s ok sometimes as there are days when all she wants is a gin (I haven’t had that either – I wonder if it’s a ‘froot’?)