Tag Archives: Recipe

Recipe: chorizo, chicken & chickpea casserole

Sometimes, I have to make the dinner in our house although mostly, I am The Baker & Ass Monkey is The Chef. He’s SO good at it, that whenever he delivers one of his amazing lunches or Xmas hams, my family take turns threatening me that they will in fact disown me if I ever break up with him. And I believe them – the man has a flair.

I, however, do not. I do not have the same connection to cooking savory foods that I have to making and baking things that are laden with chocolate and sugar. In fact, I’ve actually been known to burn soup. BUT! I have been trying a lot more in recent months to make some positive changes – partly because I’m mortified at my shortcomings, and mostly because I have a growing family to feed. The days of calling a Chipstix ‘n’ cheese bread bread roll and a bottle of wine ‘dinner’ are over. OH-VAH.

So here’s a nice easy and quick recipe, that even a dinner-making-challenged wotsit like me can handle. Enjoy! x

IMG_31731. Brown 3/4 x medium-sized chicken breasts in the frying pan with a bit of cooking oil chucked in. When they are done, pop them in a dish into a warm oven until you need them again.

2. In the same frying pan, cook 1 x chopped onion, 1 x garlic clove & 2 x chopped carrots for 5 mins.

3. Add 1 x tin of chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil. Cook for 5 mins, then add 200ml chicken stock and bring to the boil again.IMG_3174

4. Separately, fry some copped chorizo in oil until it is crispy (about half a packet – I love it but too much gives me the dreaded heartburn!)

5. Now add the cooked chicken, chorizo and 1 x tin of rinsed chickpeas to the veggie and stock mix.  Simmer for 20-25 mins.

IMG_31766. Eat!! It’s really nice with some toasted bread & butter.

Recipe: Easy Lemon & Vanilla Shortbread

I like doing a little bakey-bakey with Jacob. Especially if we’ve been up since 7am, have gone through having breakfast & putting everything away and he’s gotten so bored with his Thomas The Tank Engine track that he’s started to deliberately shove Thomas off the railway bridges and saying ‘Oh no…’ in a really unconvincing way.

Last week, we made shortbread for the first time. It would have been the usual cupcakes scenario that I know Jacob has the adequate attention span for, but we hadn’t one single solitary egg in the house. We delved into our recipe books and Jacob pointed out ‘That one!’ to the shortbread page. Thankfully, no eggs, and as I usually like, shag-all effort needed! BOOM!



Mix 4oz plain flour, a pinch of salt and 2oz castor sugar in a bowl. Takes all of 10 seconds.

Split 1 x vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the vanilla seeds. This usually wrecks my head – I find if you squeeze it on both sides between your fingers, it makes it a little ‘fatter’ and easier to split open with a sharp knife. Chuck in the seeds along with the grated rind of 1 x lemon.

Chop 4oz butter into small pieces into the bowl and get your hands in there until the mixture resembles a soft dough. (I usually give Jacob a tiny bit in a separate small bowl so that he can ‘help’. It’s REALLY HELPFUL when it ends up in his or Pearl’s hair… but it is fun for him, so no matter!).IMG_2176

Press the dough into the tin of your choice – I used the back of a dessert spoon to flatten it down. Press a fork around all the edges to give it a little fancy design (much like our grannies used to do on the edges of apple tarts!)

With a sharp knife, mark the dough out into the pieces/shapes that you would like to have in the end, and prick it all over with the tip of a fork. Lightly is best, so probably don’t let your two year old get involved on this one ;o)

Bake in a preheated oven on 150 degrees celsius for 45-50 mins. Cool it in the tin for a few mins, sprinkle with a little more castor sugar. After another couple of mins, cut out the portions and leave it on a wire rack to cool completely.

The smell of sugar and lemon in the kitchen was deeeelicious, and Jacob and I really enjoyed scoffing them after lunch! Furthermore, Thomas lived to see another day….





RECIPE: Pumpkin Pie

The last time I made pumpkin pie, I’m pretty sure was about ten years ago when I worked in Luigi Malones in Temple Bar, and my co-manager Kate who is from LA, gave me the recipe. Kate is also an amazing baker and cook and continues to shame me with the photos of her amazing family dinners on Facebook. By comparison, if I were to post photos of my family dinners (especially on Fridays), you would generally have nothing to ‘Ooh’ and ‘Ahh’ over other than how well placed the chips are in between the slices of batch bread.

IMG_1853Anyhoo, as it happens, Ass Monkey now informs me that he is a fan of the pumpkin pie (5 and a half years on? I’m pretty sure he makes this shit up) and so Jacob and I have made a valiant attempt on his behalf. I would like to note that I am not a fan of pumpkin pie, it is nowhere near sweet enough for me, but had no major argument against making it because it’s one of those recipes that I love – you chuck it all into one bowl. Amazeballs.

For the butter crust, I threw 2 x cups plain flour, a pinch of salt, 3 x sticks of butter and 1 x egg in together. When the dough formed, I popped it in the fridge for a few mins.

I always hit YouTube and All Recipes for baking ideas if I haven’t a bog what I’m doing (which is pretty frequently, let’s be honest!). I flick through until I find a recipe that I can manage and have all the ingredients for, and usually go with that. All Recipes was my source for the ‘Perfect Pumpkin Pie’ recipe this time too. Here’s what you need:

1 x can pumpkin (IF you’re mental, you can buy a fresh pumpkin, carve out the insides and then blend them down to use instead)

1 x can condensed milk

2 x eggs

1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, nutmeg and salt

Chuck them all in together and whisk away. Pour into the crust. Cook in a 225 degree pre-heated oven for 15 mins, then reduce heat to 180 degrees for a further 40 mins (or until you shtick a knife in there and it comes out clean).

Enjoy! xxx