Thursday, 26 February 2015


I haven't cooked this much in a long time. Another day, another goat's cheese recipe….Arabella and my bones must be getting super strong from all the calcium.

I love recipes with only a few ingredients, especially when it is pouring with rain outside and you don't want to have to go to the shops. Luckily I had all I needed in my fridge and cupboard to make this yummy dish.

Ingredients for 2 people:

1 tbsp olive oil
Half an onion, halved and thinly sliced
160g lardons
5 tbsp of breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
125ml single cream
100g goat's cheese, crumbled or chopped into small pieces
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200 C / gas mark 6.

Place a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the oil, onion and lardons and cook until the onion is translucent - around 5-10 minutes (it took me 7 minutes to be precise).

When it is ready, tip the bacon and onion mixture onto a plate and set aside.

In a bowl, beat the eggs and cream together until combined.

Then stir through the goat's cheese and some pepper. I didn't add salt as the lardons are salty however you can if you want.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the base of the frying pan.

Scatter the bacon and onion mixture on top.

Finally pour the egg and goat's cheese on top.

If your frying pan is oven proof, put it in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the eggs are set and the top is golden. I was unsure whether our pan was oven proof - I just risked it and thankfully it was fine! If you don't have a oven proof frying pan, you can grill the tart with the oven door open and the handle sticking out (for the same amount of time as above).

When ready, remember the frying pan handle might be hot, remove from the oven and eat up!

I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by this recipe - it actually tastes like a quiche but lighter and better (and easier to cook). Arabella and I both enjoyed it and it would go perfectly with a green salad. If you were a vegetarian, you could always substitute the bacon for spinach and you could even serve this for breakfast or brunch as well as for dinner. 


I am sure I have mentioned on this blog previously that I am following the 5:2 diet. I had originally tried it last year but it didn't work as I was too impatient, I didn't stick to it completely and I would go totally crazy on my "5" days and consume about 4000 calories!! 

I started it again in January and this time it is much more successful - the weight loss is slow but it is consistent and on my two 500 calorie days each week I feel really good to be so disciplined plus I end up eating a lot more fruit and vegetables than I used to. Now I just have to continue to stick at it.

On a "2" day I tend to eat either soup or plain fish and vegetables rather than cooking something new. However Arabella had been asking for fish cakes for ages and I was pleasantly surprised when I realised that if I made them myself they are only around 245 calories when served with 85g of peas - a great healthy 5:2 meal!!

Ingredients for 2 people:

150g potatoes, peeled and chopped
150g cooked smoked trout 
Finely grated zest and juice of half a lemon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp of fresh chives
1 big tbsp dried polenta
Olive oil or fry light

Optional Sauce (I didn't bother with this and Arabella had mayonnaise)
2 tbsp half fat creme fraiche
1 tsp Dijon mustard

First of all boil the potatoes until cooked and then drain, mash and leave to cool.

While the potatoes are cooking, flake the fish into a bowl. My trout was annoyingly full of bones so do take care. I would be tempted to use salmon next time in hope there were less bones.

Add the lemon juice and lemon zest of half a lemon.

Next add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and some salt and pepper.

Finally snip in the chives.

Add the mash and mix well.

Be prepared to get your hands dirty as you form the mixture into 4 patties. It is easier if your hands are very slightly damp and keep your eyes open for any missed bones.

On a plate or bowl spread out a heaped tablespoon of polenta.

Then coat the patties in it.

Cover and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. I actually chilled them for longer, around 3 hours but it all depends on your timing.

When you are ready to eat, heat either the olive oil or some fry light in a frying pan and then add the patties.

Fry over a medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through.

Finally serve and tuck in. If you fancy the sauce just mix together the creme fraiche and Dijon mustard or you could even use just mayonnaise or tartare sauce.

Delicious - really simple and healthy and I love the fact that you know exactly what is in them….not always the case with pre-prepared fishcakes bought from shops. Arabella and I both really enjoyed our supper and it added some variety to my "2" day of 500 calories. Like with lots of recipes you could mix it up by adding some spring onions or using different fish like salmon or tuna. It is also possible to make a big batch of these and freeze them, a great freezer staple for the days when you can't be bothered to cook but still want to eat well.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015


Arabella is a goat's cheese fanatic and would literally have it with every meal. I see it as a good way of increasing her calcium intake as she hates milk. Therefore I have a whole array of goat's cheese recipes…it helps that I also adore it!!

This is a very quick easy meal that can be adapted for taste but this is how we did it and we absolutely loved it!

Ingredients for 2 people:

6 ripe tomatoes
160g spaghetti (or you could use any type of pasta).
85g chorizo, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
80g goat's cheese, chopped
A handful of fresh basil or snipped chives

According to this recipe the whole cooking process should take 5 minutes but that certainly wasn't the case for me. The tomatoes took longer to prepare however they were worth it.

Boil the kettle and then pour boiling water over the tomatoes, cover and leave for one minute.

Then drain and remove the skins (they literally fall off) and seeds, and chop into small pieces. This was an extremely messy process! Also slice the garlic.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet's instructions (mine took 10 minutes).

While the pasta is cooking, fry the garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil for a couple of minutes and then add the tomatoes, chorizo and season.

If necessary, add another tablespoon of olive oil (I did) and then cook gently for around 8 minutes.

Drain the pasta and mix together with the tomato and chorizo sauce.

Stir in half the goat's cheese until it is mostly melted.

Finally serve with the remaining goat's cheese and a sprinkling of chives (or basil).

This was delicious - Arabella and I both adored it and ate every last morsel. We will be adding this to our regular cook list. It was so simple yet so tasty. You could mix it up by using bacon instead of chorizo or using mozzarella or blue cheese instead of goat's cheese. We sent a picture of it to Pascal who is in France and he had serious food envy….not surprising though!!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015


Arabella decided that she wanted to do some baking this afternoon. I then thought it was the perfect opportunity to make the Cadbury's creme egg brownies I have been thinking about since finding the recipe on the Internet a couple of months ago. Although in typical fashion I ended up doing all the cooking and all the eating - she chose barbies and haribo - and now I feel like a heffalump!!

This wasn't my most successful recipe as I didn't use the right size dish and I had to cook the brownies for lot longer than suggested and they didn't look as "pretty" as I was hoping. However if you like chocolate, you certainly won't be disappointed!!

Ingredients for around 12 brownies:

185g unsalted butter
185g best dark chocolate
85g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
3 large eggs
275g golden caster sugar
6 Cadbury creme eggs, cut in half (easier said than done)!

Preheat the oven to 170 C and grease a 20cm square baking tray (as I mentioned my tray wasn't big enough). I also added a layer of baking parchment as it is easier to remove the brownie at the end.

Melt the dark chocolate and butter together either in the microwave or in a bowl over boiling water (what I did).

Break the 3 large eggs into a bowl (Arabella's job!) and add the 275g of sugar.

With an electric mixer on maximum speed, whisk the eggs and sugar until they look thick and creamy like a milkshake. This should take about 5 minutes and the egg and sugar mixture should have a paler colour and have doubled its original volume. I was very excited to use my new hand mixer for the first time!

Once the chocolate and butter is melted and cooled, fold it into the eggy mousse.

Next sieve the cocoa and flour over the chocolate and eggy mixture, shaking the sieve from side to side, to cover the top evenly.

Then gently fold into the mixture.

Then pour into the baking tin.

According to the recipe you cook for just 15 minutes before you add the creme eggs however I found this was no way long enough. Instead I would suggest cooking for 25 minutes.

Then take out the oven and press in the halved creme eggs (due to my smaller dish I could only fit in 4.5). These were pretty messy to cut!!

Then according to the recipe you are meant to cook for just another 5 minutes however I cooked for another 15 minutes. I would suggest checking after 10 minutes and seeing how it's doing.

Finally set aside to cool and then cut into squares and enjoy!

No marks for presentation but 100% chocolately!! Wow! I added a little bit of vanilla ice cream and it was totally delicious - obviously I overdid it so am feeling like a fat little piglet but it was worth it. I will admit I prefer my Break-Your-Diet-Brownies but these are a great alternative and perfect for Easter. I don't know how I am going to resist them tomorrow as I am having a 500 calories day….I might have to lock them in the safe!!

PS It is even better the next day after being in the fridge….I think I am going to overindulge today!!!