• Cranberry almond Granola Bars

    So on this healthy new eating regime I have been trying out all sorts of tasty snacks to “keep the wolf from the door” as my mother would say. So I found a recipe and tweaked it as you do so it has the flavours and textures we liked. Can’t tell you how long these stay fresh as they just don’t last around here.

    cranberry almond granola bars

    2c pitted dates
    1c water

    Cook together over medium heat until they form a paste…so smush them together in a pan! Smush is so technical….to me it’s the only way to describe the action needed to make a paste.

    1/2c almond or whatever nut butter you fancy
    1/4c coconut oil

    Add to paste and stir until smooth and melted. Then add the following and mix well.

    2t vanilla extract
    1t cinnamon

    Get a big bowl and add the following to the bowl

    2c oats
    1/2c ground oats (whiz oats up in a food processor)
    1T chia seeds
    1T chopped almonds
    1T chopped dried cranberries
    1t flaxseed
    1/4c cocoa nibs
    1/4c pumpkin seeds
    1/4c omega sprinkles you can use sunflower seeds or whatever seedy type you like!

    Mix all the dry stuff together, then pour the wet, gloopy mushy stuff over the dry and mix well. Press into a parchment lined 8×8 pan and let cool and set for at least an hour before slicing and eating! Keep in a covered container….bet the lid isn’t on much!

  • Chili Cod Fillets

    Sustainable fish…latest thing…actually it’s the tastiest thing. We got a lovely BIG piece of sustainable cod from Costco. Atlantic line caught no less. Now I can’t imagine that there’s a bunch of little men sitting with fishing poles catching cod one by one but I’m guessing it’s something ethically better than whatever the other way of catching cod is!

    Moving swiftly on….the other half is a bit picky when it comes to eating…but he’s way braver than he has been and much more willing to try things so I found a recipe for cod fillets that didn’t look too scary! Plus it’s quick and easy…two of my favorite words when it comes to cooking!

    2 cod fillets about 200g each
    1t chili powder
    1/2 mixed herbs
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    30g butter
    1/2t cumin
    1 lime…juiced

    Pre heat the oven to 200C. Get a pan….pop the cod into the pan. Mix together the chili powder, mixed herbs and salt. Dust the top with the spice mixture. pop in the oven for about 7 minutes…depends on the thickness of the filet….fish is done when it’s opaque. Meanwhile while the fish is cooking melt the butter in a small pan and add the cumin and lime. when the cod is cooked place onto a plate and drizzle with the butter mixture. Easy peasy lemon (lime really) squeezy! I had the pan in the oven already with some cherry tomatoes, sliced courgettes and par boiled baby new potatoes. I drizzled them in oil and seasoning and precooked them for about 20 minutes before popping the cod on to the tray. Enjoy…gotta love one tray/pan/pot meals!

    Chili Cod compressed

  • Back with a vengeance!

    Soooo…hey there….not seen you for a bit. My bad! Looked at the site and thought…shit…I’ve not posted since July! So with a new focus and determination let’s get back to rocking in the kitchen!

    So my focus is shifting to trying to eat healthier…wait…don’t run away 🙁 It doesn’t mean that we’ll no longer have tasty recipes. They’ll be just as tasty but good for you as well with the odd naughty sinful tasty scrummy tidbit thrown in.

    Me personally…..I’ve made a change in my focus with food. I’ve decided to change my eating habits. No diet for me….for years whenever I have dieted…I lost it and then gained it…and more. I hear ya you say…sooooo I’ve now adopted a healthier balance and feel soooooooooooooooooo much better for it and I’m slowly losing weight without feeling like I’m be denied or hungry or pissed off. IT’S GREAT…yup…all capitals. I’m shouting it from the rooftops.

    Ok…I can get a bit “preachy” if I’m not careful. But I’m excited….really really excited…like a kid on Christmas Eve excited! If I get really bad just slap me! So the change is to try to replace what we love with healthier alternatives that don’t taste like cardboard! It all started with watching a documentary, Hungry for Change, on Netflix one Saturday afternoon. Eye opening to say the least….so off to purchase a Nutri Ninja and LOADS…I mean LOADS of fruit and veg and away we went. So the new morning ritual involves smoothies to go for breakfast and yup…..you’ll get the recipes for the good ones. Then we found more and more cookbooks and websites to investigate.

    It’s been fun trying out new ingredients and recipes and now we’re going to start throwing them at ya…so get ready…join us for the journeySteel Panther…The Kitchen Rocks is back! Leaner and meaner and ready to rock!

  • Vanilla Pannacotta with roasted Rhubarb and Strawberries


    Always wanted to try making a pannacotta but after watching Masterchef it was one scary dessert to try! but I cracked it and wow! Simple, elegant and tasty…perfect way to finish a meal. Especially when you love vanilla as much as we do!

    70 ml whole milk
    2 vanilla pods
    zest of 1 lemon
    380 ml double cream
    1 1/2 leaves of gelatine soaked
    70 g icing sugar
    200 g rhubarb
    2 T caster sugar

    Heat the milk, vanilla pods (split and seeds removed), vanilla seeds, lemon zest and half the cream into a saucepan and simmer gently for about 10 minutes…let it reduce by about a third. Turn off the heat and add the soaked gelatine and stir til the gelatine is dissolved. Let it cool for a bit and then pop into the fridge…check on it and stir it now an then and when it coats the back of a spoon like custard then it’s ready. Whip the remaining cream with the icing sugar…hint here…sift the icing sugar it will make the cream smoother. Then take the vanilla pods out and mix the two together. Pop into 4 serving moulds and refridgerate for at least an hour…longer is fine.

    While the pannacotta is hopefully setting….cut the rhubarb up into pieces about 2″ long…if your strawberries are quite big then cut them in half and pop them on a tray sprinkle with caster sugar and roast until lightly browned…I had our oven at about 190c and it took around 10 min. If you’re feeling fancy you can follow Jamie Olivers lead and take some champagne or prosecco grate a little fresh ginger and sprinkle cinnamon in it and heat gently then pour over the fruit and let sit for about 30 minutes.

    Pop the pannacotta out of the molds and decorate with the fruit and gently pour the champagne around…..mmmmmmmmmmmmmm yummy!

  • Clementine/Satsuma/Orange Cake

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    This is based on a Nigella recipe…love the great flavours…I’ve made this a couple of times with different types of oranges successfully every time…just a slightly different taste. And it’s gluten free..all the rage right now…as long as you use gluten free baking powder.

    400g oranges about 3-4 medium sized
    6 eggs
    225 g caster sugar
    275 g ground almonds
    1 t baking powder…again for this to be a gluten free cake then you must use gluten free baking powder.

    Pop the oranges into a fairly large pan and fill with water….for about 2 hours. Keep an eye on the pan….the first time I tried this I let it run dry. Mmmmmm burnt oranges…not! Drain the oranges, then let the oranges cool…they will be rather soft and squishy. When cool, split them open and take the seeds out then pop the whole thing…yup peel and all into a food processor and whip away! Preheat the oven to 190c. Prepare an 8″ pan. After you have pureed your oranges add the rest of the ingredients and whip until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan and pop into the oven for about an hour or until a knife comes out clean. I served this with fresh orange segments and double cream whipped with a bit of Cointreau…you can add orange juice to the cream if you want a non alcoholic cream :}

  • Where does the time go?

    Just looked at the last post on here and it was 6 weeks ago! My bad….where on earth does the time go. Best intentions are there and then something comes along and wham…that weeks over…then the next then the month then….you get it! I need to catch you guys up as we’ve had some great food to tell you about…both out and about and made at home. So without hesitation…I must crack on!

    Got the opportunity to see Elton John at the Metro Radio Arena with my daughter and her friend at the beginning of July. That man can still sing and tickle the ivories! He played a great selection of tunes played for 2 1/2 hours….not bad for 63!


    Then I’ve also had a couple of cakes to do…one for a friends daughters 18th

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    An Under the Sea theme….obviously! And then a country garden wedding cake!


    Then, we had a couple of meals out, one at Jamie’s Italian in Manchester and one at Farenheit 321 in Sheffield. I’ll let him do the reviews for those. I had a champagne tea with a friend followed by some cocktails that I’ll fill you in on and at home we have sampled Hello Fresh! and now I’ll crack on with some recipes we’ve done lately!

  • Healthy Banana Oat Nut cookies

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    Now these haven’t photographed very well…but they taste great! Honest…I wouldn’t lie to you guys! Having rescued some bananas that someone was throwing out at work because they had gotten too dark, I needed to make something tasty, and with healthy eating being on the agenda I had also bought a LARGE tub of coconut oil from Costco so the two needed to be used together. Cookies are easy to make, easy to transport and definitely easy to eat so a batch beckoned.


    150 g coconut oil
    220 g dark brown sugar
    1 egg
    125 g mashed banana (about 1 decent sized banana)
    2 t vanilla extract
    125 g plain flour
    1/2 t baking soda
    1 t salt
    2 t cinnamon
    1/2 t allspice
    250 g oats
    60 g chopped walnuts
    70 g raisins

    Preheat oven to 180c. Get your baking trays ready…grease, line, silpat…even non stick. Cream together oil and sugar, add egg, banana and oil and mix. Sift in the flour, baking soda and salt…sprinkle in the spices and mix until combined. Mix in the oats, walnuts and raisins until distributed evenly. Pop onto the prepared baking trays leaving room for spread. Pop into the oven for about 10-12 minutes…depending on how big you made them. They need to cool before you take them off the trays as they are soft and chewy cookies.

  • Porridge…like Mum makes

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    Now I know this is a pretty boring thing but my Mum always makes me porridge when I go visit…even my kids ask for Grandma’s porridge when they go visit. It’s very easy to make and much nicer than the instant oats stuff. I use rolled oats and water…1 cup of water to every 1/2 cup of porridge and that’s a decent serving per person. Pop it into a saucepan on low…and slowly mix with a wooden spoon until lovely and creamy. Add whatever you like to top it. We always had brown sugar and a bit of milk and when Mum/Grandma isn’t looking you sneak on some golden syrup too! Now seeing as I’m trying to be a bit healthier I had a chopped up Anjou pear and some omega sprinkles on mine!

  • Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

    So here is the first berry from our, first ever, crop of strawberries! So the idea of recipes using strawberries came to mind 🙂 So here’s a really tasty light recipe that I made with my mini helper in Canada for her mummy….Daddy got the Guinness Brownies so Mummy got the cupcakes!

    2014-06-10 10.00.13

    As you can see baking with a 3 year old requires military precision and lots of patience! (On her part…she was desperate to put the sprinkles on!)

    2014-05-13 11.24.092014-05-17 18.18.37

  • Stuffed Baked Potatoes

    Now after deciding I was going to cook steak for the crowd appearing at my son’s while I was on holiday, the next issue was what to cook as a side dish that was easy to prepare ahead of time and really yummy and filling! Voila! Stuffed baked potatoes came to mind. Me and my mini assistant were doing another batch of the Guinness brownies for her Daddy and some Ginger Molasses cookies for Mommy so the oven was going to be on anyway and it made sense to use it to our advantage!

    2014-05-21 16.39.51

    I judged it on one potato per person…1/2 for mini folk and light eaters as they are quite filling!

    So the ingredients are

    potatoes (as above)
    spring onions/green onions (depends on country)
    bacon bits/panchetta something small and tasty from the pig family 🙂
    sour cream/creme fraiche (depending on country)
    cheese…I used a medium cheddar but you could use sharp or mild or blue cheese or whatever cheese takes your fancy!

    Scrub potatoes, prick with a fork, wrap in foil and pop in the oven until soft in the middle. I used an oven at 180c and put them in for about an hour. The cooking time depends on the size of the spud and the heat of the oven. If you can stab it with a pointy knife and it goes in easily it’s ready. Take them out of the oven with oven mitts or asbestos hands unwrap them and pop them onto a cooling rack to cool. When cool cut them in half and scoop out the middles leaving about 1/2 cm of flesh around the edge or the skins will fall apart. Put the innards into a big bowl and either mash them with a potato masher or if you are posh like us…use a potato ricer. Add milk, butter and sour cream/creme fraiche and seasoning as though you are making mashed potatoes. When the potatoes are thoroughly mashed and are lovely and creamy, taste them and season appropriately. Then add as much or as little bacon, cheese and green onion as you’d like. Scoop this mixture into the shells and then sprinkle more cheese over the top. Pop them back into a 180c oven for about 20-25 minutes so that they are heated through and the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown! Never got a chance to take a photo of these when they were cooked as they vanished in a whirlwind of hands! Maybe next time!