October Foodie Review

October Foodie Review

Welcome to my October Foodie Review.    As usual I’ve been busy eating and trying out some new products along the way.    As it’s half term and quite a busy time I’ve chosen just three to showcase this month.

Cooks & Co Sweety Drop Red Peppers

I’ve been buying Cooks & Co products for quite a while and am a big fan of their roasted red Peppers but this month I have also tried their Sweety Drop Red Peppers.   These are small tear drop shaped peppers.  They are a little bit crunchy with a sweet and sour  flavour.  I’ve tried them cold in  a salad and also baked in a casserole and both ways worked.  If you’re looking for an easy way to bring a bit of colour and flavour to a salad then they are a great choice.

They are £2.49 for 235g from Cooks & Co and most supermarkets.

Bulgur wheat salad with Cooks & Co Sweety Drop Red Peppers

Monty Bojangles Milky Mischief Cocoa Dusted Truffles

Who can say no to a chocolate truffle?  Unfortunately none of my family and so these Monty Bojangles Milky Mischief Cocoa Dusted Truffles disappeared far too quickly!   They are not as bitter as some truffles and my husband even declared them to be the best truffles he’d ever eaten!  I have to say I loved the whimsical pictures on the packaging too.   Not surprisingly both the chocolates and the packaging have won awards.  I’d love some more of these for Christmas if anyone is reading!

A 200g box of these chocolates costs £4.00 and can be bought online or from most supermarkets.

Monty Bojangles Milky Mischief

Love Food Box

This month I tried my first Love Food box.   It arrived perfectly through the letterbox containing all the ingredients I needed (except the egg and butter) to make my very own S’mores Brookies – delicious chocolate cookies sandwiched with grilled marshmallow and melted chocolate.   The concept is that every month you receive all the ingredients you need to bake something yourself.   Because everything is already weighed out it cuts down on preparation time but you still get the fun of baking.   And if you enjoy baking but don’t bake very often then it reduces waste as you don’t buy lots of ingredients that go out of date before you have time to use them. I normally make slightly healthier treats for my family so my husband especially was delighted with my first box and the children were pretty happy too!

You can buy an individual box for £8.99 or sign up for three months for £26.   There is also an introductory discount to get your first box for £4.50 with the code FIRSTBOX.

Love Food Box S'mores Brookies

That’s all for this month but do let me know if you’ve also tried any of these products and what you think of them.

Disclosure: These products were provided for review but the opinions are my own.


October Foodie Review
pumpkin apple muffins

Pumpkin and Apple Muffins

If you’ve ever wondered what to do with a pumpkin then why not have a go at these spiced pumpkin and apple muffins?   They’re easy to make and a great way to use up seasonal autumn produce too.
pumpkin apple muffins

Every year I go and pick at least one pumpkin.   Last year I made a pumpkin and chickpea stew and the year before, a pumpkin spinach and feta quiche,  but this year, inspired by many of the international blogs that I read, I’m focusing more on sweeter recipes like these pumpkin and apple muffins and some oaty pumpkin bars that I hope to blog about soon too.

Even though these are muffins, they are not the type of overly sugar loaded ones you buy in the shops.   I’ve used enough sugar to make them sweet but not enough to give you a sugar rush!   If you have a very sweet tooth, feel free to add a little more to the mixture.   Some muffin recipes have more sugar than flour in them!  At least these ones contain apple and pumpkin too so there are some healthy ingredients in there!

I made my own pumpkin puree by roasting slices of pumpkin in the oven.   After it had cooled I cut the skin off and blended the flesh to a puree in the food processor.   I made a big batch and used some for this recipe and kept the rest to use another day.   It will keep for a few days in the fridge or you can freeze it to use later.   Alternatively you can now buy pumpkin puree in some supermarkets including Tesco.

Last year I remember sadly throwing away half my pumpkin as I didn’t manage to use it all before it started going mouldy.   This year I am determined not to let that happen and will be making pumpkin everything over the next couple of week and most probably freezing some too!

Do let me know in the comments how you like to use up any excess pumpkin.  I’ve still got a quarter left and plan to pick another one soon too!

pumpkin apple muffins

Pumpkin and Apple Muffins

Yield: Makes 18

Spiced apple and pumpkin muffins perfect for making with seasonal autumn produce


  • 210g plain white flour
  • 90g plain wholemeal flour
  • 160g soft brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250g pumpkin puree
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 3 apples, (weighed 240g after being peeled, cored and chopped)


  1. Put all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices) in a large bowl. Stir together.
  2. In another bowl lightly beat the eggs then add the pumpkin puree and oil.
  3. Add the pumpkin mixture to the bowl with the flour and stir until just combined.
  4. Stir in the pieces of apple.
  5. Divide into 18 muffin cases.
  6. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 160C for 30 minutes. Test with a skewer and if it come out clean they are ready.
  7. Sprinkle a little icing sugar over the top to serve if desired


For an alternative topping you could mix some cinnamon and brown sugar together and sprinkle over the top of the muffins before baking.

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I am linking these to Treat Petite hosted by The Baking Explorer and on alternate months by Cakeyboi. I am also linking to Tea Time Treats at Jo’s Kitchen, Lavender and Lovage and Travels for Taste.  They are also my #BakeoftheWeek for Casa Costello and I’m linking to Cook Blog Share at Easy Peasy Foodie, Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too and Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum.

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Pumpkin and apple muffins
Greek quiche

Greek Quiche

This beautiful vegetarian quiche inspired by the flavours of Greece is perfect for feeding a family of four for at least two days.  Filled with feta, spinach, tomatoes and olives it’s both tasty and filling and great for a packed lunch too.

Greek Quiche

I was inspired to make this Greek quiche by my Secret Recipe Club assignment this month, Nic at I am a Honey Bee.   Nic loves baking, animals, all types of challenges and travelling, which is how this quiche came about.   In the midst of a cold winter a couple of years ago she got a new pie plate and inspired by a Greek holiday she ended up creating this lovely dish full of Greek flavours.

I also wanted to use my own pie dish a lovely blue Le Creuset one.  It may not be new.   I’ve had it for a couple of years after winning it in a competition but I’ve never used it.   However, there was something in Nic’s post about getting a new pie dish that reminded me of my own one sitting alone in the cupboard and suddenly I really wanted to use it.

To make this recipe easier and quicker you could use a bought pastry case to make the quiche in.   I made my own pastry using a mix of white and wholemeal flour as I like the crumbliness and rusticity that wholemeal flour gives and adding some wholegrain goodness to a recipe is never a bad idea.

Greek Quiche

I also wanted to make a quiche as after making this mince and tomato crumble recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the type of recipes I grew up eating.   I’m starting to want to make more and more of them and my mum probably made a quiche at least once a week and sometimes with sliced tomatoes on top too!

So for me this recipe neatly combines memories of childhood and holidays and although you might not find a real quiche quite like this in Greece, you would struggle to go to Greece and not eat tomatoes, olives and feta!

I have to say, there were lots of other recipes on Nic’s site that I wanted to make too.  If I hadn’t just made this Greek quiche when she published these amazing Chorizo Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers then today’s post could have been quite different!  I also loved the sound of this simple edamame salad.

Greek Quiche


Greek Inspired Quiche


    For the pastry
  • 300g plain flour (I used 1/3 wholemeal and 2/3 white flour)
  • 100g butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • A little cold water
  • For the filling
  • 11 eggs
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 280g frozen leaf spinach, defrosted
  • 200g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • A few olives (optional)


  1. Add the salt to the flour then rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips or put it in the food processor. Add a little water to bring the mixture together. Knead briefly then wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Roll out the pastry and put it in the pie dish. Prick the bottom with a fork a few times. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 180C
  3. Put the eggs in a bowl and beat lightly.
  4. Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as you can then break it up and add it to the eggs. Add the salt, black pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes.
  5. Pour this mixture into the pie dish. Add the crumbled feta evenly over the surface then top with a few sliced tomatoes and the olives.
  6. Return to the oven and continue to bake for 45 minutes.
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I am also linking this Greek Quiche to my own #CookOnceEatTwice linky as it’s perfect for more than one meal.  It’s also my #RecipeoftheWeek at A Mummy Too and I’m sharing with #CookBlogShare at Hijacked by Twins and Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum.  As it’s World Egg Day on 14 October and this quiche contains a lot of eggs, I am linking to the #TheFoodCalendar at Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen.

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Greek Quiche
Brazilian Fish Bake from Jamie Oliver's Super Food Family Classics

Jamie Oliver’s Brazilian Fish Bake

This Brazilian Fish Bake recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Super Food Family Classics is an easy meal that the whole family can enjoy.   It’s a great healthy meal good enough for a dinner party but also easy enough for a simple midweek meal.

Brazilian Fish Bake from Jamie Oliver's Super Food Family Classics

I have been a huge fan of Jamie Oliver ever since I started cooking.   I love the fresh flavours, the down-to-earth approach and more recently, his focus on healthy recipes, first with Everyday Super Food and now his most recent book, Super Food Family Classics.

The Olympics was on when I made this dish and I was looking for a Brazilian recipe to make.   As soon as I saw the bright colours of the vegetables and the scattering of herbs over the fish I knew it would make me feel healthy and energetic.  Although unfortunately not quite turn me into an Olympic athlete!

There’s something about tomatoes, peppers, red onions and chilli peppers that just feels like summer and this Brazilian Fish Bake was the perfect summer traybake.  It’s so easy to prepare as you just need to slice the vegetables, layer everything up and put it in the oven.   My traybake was a little different from Jamie’s.   I’ve got a scallop allergy so of course I left them out and rather than using a mixture of fish and seafood I just used haddock fillets and I left them whole rather than chopping them up.  I’m sure any white fish or mixture of shellfish and fish would work well.    The other difference was mainly aesthetic.  My tomatoes were all red rather than mixed colours but I still got a lovely vibrant dish in the end.  We really enjoyed it and were almost licking the plates clean!

Brazilian Fish Bake from Jamie Oliver's Super Food Family Classics

The Brazilian fish bake recipe came from the traybakes section of the book and I did like this section.   As Little Miss Spice is about to start school, I know that traybakes are going to become very popular for tea as  I can prepare them in advance and then just put them in the oven at the right time.  And of course lots of these types of meals will have enough leftovers for another day too so are perfect for #CookOnceEatTwice.

Another recipe I made from the Traybakes chapter was the Chicken & Chorizo Bake.  It was the first recipe I made and I’m afraid I haven’t got a great picture of it but we loved it.   The chorizo sauce makes the chicken and potatoes so tasty and the children gobbled it up too.   The only issue I had was that some of the potatoes were still a little bit hard so I would cook it for a bit longer next time before adding the chicken.

chicken chorizo bake 1

One of the best things about this book is that my children were happy to try the recipes too.   They can both be quite picky and often they will just refuse to try something that I know they would like if only they would taste it.   It may be that this is just the right time and they are growing up a little.   As I said earlier, Little Miss Spice is about to start school and after the last few weeks and her growing adventurousness I am feeling quite positive that one day soon we might all be able to eat the same thing.

Another success was these smoked salmon poached eggs.   The children helped me wrap them in cling film before poaching and it was the first time in a long time that I’d been able to get Little Miss Spice to eat egg.

Salmon poached egg on toast 1

The only vegetable that Little Miss Spice will normally eat is tomatoes but she now loves chickpeas and will eat cauliflower if it’s in a curry sauce after I made this Veggie Gurkha Curry. The fact that both children will eat curries make me very happy indeed!

Veggie Gurkha Curry Jamie Oliver

From time to time I do buy rye bread but it’s not a real favourite of mine.  However, in Super Food Family Classics there are 18 variations for avocado on rye and so I did get some to make this lovely cream cheese, avocado, chilli pepper and toasted sunflower seeds combo.   I loved the topping and although I didn’t mind the rye bread, I think I’ll stick with putting it on top of my favourite seeded loaf in future.

Jamie Oliver avocado sunflower seeds and sliced chillli peppers on rye bread

These are the only recipes I’ve made so far but there are a lot more that I really do want to make. The pictures are drool-worthy and like many of Jamie Oliver’s books, I look through it and want to eat almost everything I see!

The ingredients for these recipes are easy to find in the supermarket and if you are trying to count calories or be aware of your sugar or fat intake then each recipe contains the nutritional information so you don’t have to work it out yourself.

There is also a Health and Happiness chapter at the end which explains Jamie Oliver’s philosophy and approach to healthy eating in a simple and straightforward way that makes healthy eating seem an achievable goal.

Finally I would just like to share the recipe for my slightly adapted version of Jamie Oliver’s Brazilian Fish Bake.

Brazilian Fish Bake from Jamie Oliver's Super Food Family Classics

Brazilian Fish Bake

Yield: Serves 2 - 3


  • 2/3 fillets of fish
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 lime
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 peppers (I used 1 red,1 yellow)
  • 1 red onion, sliced into rings
  • 3 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 chilli pepper
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • Small bunch of coriander, about 15g
  • Rice (to serve)
  • Yoghurt (to serve) optional


  1. Put the fish in a bowl and grate the zest of the lemon and lime over the fish. Then squeeze the juice over the top. Add the paprika and a little salt and pepper. Rub into the fish well.
  2. Lightly oil an ovenproof dish. Put a layer of tomatoes on the bottom then a layer of peppers and onions. Put the fish on top. Top with the remaining vegetables.
  3. Pour over the coconut milk and any of the extra lemon and lime juice from the dish the fish was in. Top with the sliced chilli pepper and some of the chopped coriander.
  4. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 180C. Take the foil off and continue baking for another 15 minutes.
  5. Serve with rice, a little extra coriander and a dollop of yoghurt on the side.
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I am linking this to #CookBlogShare hosted this week by Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie and to Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum.

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Brazilian Fish Bake - A Jamie Oliver Recipe
Caribbean Beef Patties for Caribbean Food Week

Caribbean Beef Patties for Caribbean Food Week 2016

It’s time to celebrate Caribbean Food Week 2016 and what better way than to make some make some delicious Caribbean inspired recipes like my Caribbean beef patties, marinated chicken legs or spicy skinny curly fries.

caribbean pasties 1 (2)

In the UK Caribbean Food Week runs from 22nd to 29 August and so what better time is there to cook up some spicy Caribbean recipes?  And if you’re in or near London then why not head down to Brixton for the Caribbean Food Week Festival at Windrush Square on 26th-27th August? There’ll be loads of amazing Caribbean street food as well as live cookery demonstrations, music and other entertainment.

I won’t be able to get to the festival but  I’ve been lucky enough to receive a hamper full of lovely Caribbean products  from Grace Foods in order to create my own tasty street food party at home.

Caribbean Food Week Hamper 2016

I’ve created three easy recipes that would work just as well served from a street food stall as they would if you prepared them for a simple meal at home.

The first recipe is for Caribbean beef patties.   These are simply minced beef and potato pasties but with the addition of some hot pepper sauce in the filling.   You can make them as hot as you like and a little extra hot sauce on the side when you serve them just gives them an extra kick!

I have to admit that I allowed Little Miss Spice and Master Spice to help make the pasties and so they are a little rough around the edges and in the chaos of cooking with the children I forgot to glaze them.   Even so, they tasted great and make great street food! The recipe is at the end of this post.

Caribbean beef patties

The next  dish was the Jerk marinated chicken drumsticks.    They are so simple to prepare and cook that you don’t need a recipe.  I just marinated the chicken legs overnight in a couple of tablespoons of Dunn’s River Jamaican Jerk Seasoning.   The next day I baked them in the oven till they were cooked through (about 35 minutes).    If you can cook them on the barbecue they’d be fabulous too!

I must warn you though, these chicken legs were very very hot.   I think the marinade is almost completely made up of chilli peppers.  The little bits of charred marinade on the skin of the chicken are only for those who really can take the heat!

Jerk marinated chicken drumsticks - Caribbean Food Week 2016

If you want a slightly less fiery chicken dish then use the marinade a little more sparingly and mix it with some yoghurt.   You could also scrape the excess marinade off the drumsticks before cooking them.

The final dish was almost as simple as the chicken drumsticks and was a clear favourite with both Little Miss Spice and Master Spice.   It was these spicy skinny fries made from sweet potato and normal potato.

Skinny spicy fries

I got my spiraliser out to make the  fries  and so they are long and curly like spaghetti.   I then added a heaped teaspoon of Dunn’s River Hot and Spicy Jerk Chicken Mix and tossed it with the fries before deep frying them.

So if you’ve got an unused spiraliser  hidden in a cupboard, this really should be the recipe to make you get it out.  I know it’s not the healthiest spiralised recipe but they really are so so worth it! I don’t very often deep fry anything but these spicy skinny fries are certainly going to get made again.   And again.

skinny spicy fries

Caribbean Beef Patties

Yield: Makes 4


  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250g beef mince
  • 1 potato, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1-2 tsp hot pepper sauce (Use more for really hot patties!)
  • For the shortcrust pastry
  • 450g plain flour (I used a mix of 100g wholemeal and 350g white flour)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 200g butter, diced


  1. Cook the onion gently in a little oil until softened. Add the crushed garlic and cook for a minute.
  2. Add the mince and cook, breaking it up until it is browned on the outside.
  3. Add the turmeric, the potatoes, the tomato puree and 200ml of water.
  4. Simmer for 15-20 minutes till the potatoes are cooked through and the sauce has reduced.
  5. Stir in the hot sauce. Add a little at a time and keep tasting so you get the level of heat just right.
  6. Leave to cool.
  7. Make the pastry. Mix the salt into the flour then either rub the butter into the flour using your finger tips or use a food processor. Stop as soon as it is rubbed in and the mixture is like breadcrumbs.
  8. Add a couple of tablespoons of cold water and knead the mixture together to form a dough. Add a little extra water if it is too dry.
  9. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and put in the fridge for half an hour.
  10. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each one out into a circle. Put a tablespoon of the mince mixture on one side and fold the other side over to form a parcel. Press the 2 sides together.
  11. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes at 200C.


I had quite a bit of leftover mince so you could easily make more patties by increasing the quantities of pastry. For a more attractive finish, brush the uncooked patties with a little beaten egg or milk before baking them.

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To find out more and join in with Caribbean Food Week 2016 then take a look at Caribbeanfoodweek on Facebook or Twitter @Caribbeanfoodwk #CFW2016

We ate these Caribbean beef patties the next day too so I am going to share them with my own #CookOnceEatTwice event as well as linking to the #TheFoodCalendar at Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, #CookBlogShare at Sneaky Veg and Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum.

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Caribbean Beef Patties
Banana fudge ice cream

Banana Fudge Ice Cream

This creamy homemade banana fudge ice cream is so good you’ll want to keep the recipe!

banana fudge ice cream

Last summer I made the best banana fudge ice cream ever.   It was simply a banana ice cream studded with little pieces of chocolate covered fudge.   It was so easy to make I could make it for guests and only needed to spend a few minutes getting it started in the ice cream maker and then 20 minutes later it was ready to eat.  I made it more than once too.

Of course I wanted to make it again this summer.   I definitely wanted to eat it again and so I did what any food blogger does when wanting to remake a favourite recipe.   I searched my blog for the recipe.

I knew I’d made it a couple of times so I was confident it would be there.   It wasn’t.   I wondered if maybe I’d noted the recipe down in my drafts folder but it wasn’t there either.  What could I do?  Well, I knew I had to make that ice cream again.   That banana fudge ice cream was so delicious that it could not just disappear like that!

I had to try to remember the recipe.   Well, luckily I knew the main ingredients were bananas, cream and chocolate covered fudge bars.  The quantities?   Well,  I tend to be quite flexible with quantities anyway.

Banana fudge ice cream

The important thing is to keep tasting the mixture as you’re blending the ingredients together.   If it tastes amazing  before it’s frozen, it should taste good when frozen too.  In fact, it’s hard to give exact quantities as the bananas can vary in sweetness.   For ice cream you can get away with using slightly overripe bananas and of course, the riper they are, the sweeter they’ll make the ice cream.   I still needed a little bit of icing sugar to get the right level of sweetness but you may find you’ll need more or less depending on taste.

You could easily adapt this recipe.   I’ve called it banana fudge ice cream as one of the main ingredients is chopped up fudge bars (I used Cadburys Fudge) but  you could make a completely different ice cream just by using a different chocolate or candy bar.   Personally I quite fancy adding a crumbled up chocolate Flake another time!

I used my ice cream maker to make this ice cream as it’s so easy to use but if you haven’t got an ice cream maker then don’t let that stop you, although I haven’t tried them, you can read here about 6 ways to make ice cream that don’t involve going out and buying a machine!

Banana fudge ice cream

Doesn’t it look tasty in these  Ravenhead sundae dishes?

Banana Fudge Ice Cream


  • 2 bananas (they weighed 210g after being peeled)
  • 300ml double cream
  • 110ml milk (I used semi-skimmed)
  • 60g icing sugar (feel free to use more or less depending on how sweet you want the ice cream to be)
  • 100g chocolate covered fudge, chopped
  • Extra sticks of fudge to serve (optional)


  1. Mash the bananas thoroughly with a fork until you have a puree.
  2. Add the cream, milk and icing sugar and mix together with the fork.
  3. Turn the ice cream maker on and pour the banana cream mixture into it.
  4. After about 10 minutes when the ice cream is beginning to set, add the chunks of fudge and let the ice cream maker continue beating for another 5 minutes.
  5. Scoop the ice cream into a container and put in the freezer until you're ready to eat it.
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If you’re looking for more easy ice cream maker recipes then do take a look at my recipes for gooseberry ice cream,  raspberry and white chocolate ice cream or  even kiwi fruit ice cream.

I am linking this to #CookBlogShare hosted this week for the first time by Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie.  I am also linking to #RecipeoftheWeek at A Mummy Too and Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum.

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Banana Fudge Ice Cream
courgetti salad

Courgetti Salad

This simple healthy courgetti salad flavoured with lemon juice and baharat spice mix makes  a perfect bbq side dish or side salad for an easy weeknight meal.

courgetti salad

This month The Recipe Redux challenged us to ‘get your fruits and veggies in shape‘.   After all, this time of year really is the best for enjoying freshly picked fruits and vegetables.  There’s so much in season at the moment and everything tastes so much better than in the middle of winter.

You don’t even need to put in a lot of effort to enjoy all the fresh produce.  This courgetti salad for example, uses spiralized raw courgette (zucchini) and it’s so quick to make that it really is worth getting the spiralizer out of the cupboard for.  But even if you don’t have a spiralizer, a simple vegetable peeler would make a perfectly acceptable substitute.

courgetti salad

This salad is a seasonal mix of courgette and spring onion, tossed with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing but with the addition of Barts baharat spice mix, which is what really gives this salad its lovely spiced flavour.

Baharat is a peppery spice mix from the Middle East that combines paprika, coriander, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cloves and nutmeg.   It’s great to add a little bit of heat to a salad dressing, lovely in a stew and delicious as a rub for foods that are going to be cooked on the barbecue.   Or in my case, inside on the griddle pan.   I’m using baharat a lot at the moment although this is just my first recent blog post to feature it.

This recipe represents quite a success in my own little world.  Mr SearchingforSpice does not like courgettes.  Even if I hide a few cooked ones in a  pasta sauce he will pick them out and refuse to eat them.   More for me!  He’s rather good at picking out vegetable pieces he thinks he doesn’t like.  Well, I fully expected him to not even try this courgetti salad but he not only tried a little, he ate rather a lot.  I just wonder how soon I can get away with making it again.   I may even be able to remake this lemon and courgette spaghetti one day!

courgetti salad

Courgetti Salad

Yield: Serves 4

A simple spiralized courgette salad with a lemon and baharat dressing.


  • 1 large courgette
  • 2 spring onions, sliced lengthwise and then into pieces about 5cm long
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp baharat seasoning
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed


  1. Spiralize the courgette or if you don't have a spiralizer you could slice it into thin strips using a vegetable peeler.
  2. Put the courgetti and spring onion in a bowl
  3. In a small bowl or jar mix together the remaining ingredients for the dresssing. Mix well or shake.
  4. Pour the dressing over the courgetti and toss together.
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I am linking to Fiesta Friday hosted this week by Jhuls at The Not So Creative Cook and Colleen at Faith,Hope, Love & Luck. I am also linking to No Croutons Required hosted by Lisa’s Kitchen and on alternate months by Tinned Tomatoes, linking to Eat Your Greens hosted by A Seasonal Veg Table and on alternate months by The Veg Hog. I am also joining in with Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum and Cook Blog Share at Snap Happy Bakes.

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courgetti salad


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

gooseberry ice cream

Homemade Gooseberry Ice Cream

There’s nothing better than freshly picked berries and ice cream in summer so why not combine the two with this recipe for tangy homemade gooseberry ice cream?

Gooseberry ice cream

I love summer and I love all the fresh fruit and vegetables that are around right now.  One of my favourite activities to do with the children is to go and pick our own fresh fruit and vegetables at Garsons Pick Your Own Farm, which is where I picked these gooseberries.

If you’re not familiar with gooseberries they are tart green berries about the same size as grapes. You can sometimes eat the very ripe ones uncooked and without sweetening them but usually they are too sharp and need to be cooked and sweetened before they can be eaten.

Freshly picked gooseberries

I grew up on a farm and we used to pick them in some of the hedgerows so we always had a lot of gooseberry pies and crumbles at this time of year.  I’ve made a few crumbles myself and last year I made a delicious gooseberry cobbler.   This year however, I fancied trying something a little different.  I fancied gooseberry ice cream.

I was initially thinking along the lines of a gooseberry crumble cake and I still want to make that but I need to go and pick more gooseberries first!  I was then given the idea of making ice cream. Now I love my ice cream maker in summer but it was still sitting in the cupboard since last year. I just had to get it out, especially as I keep coming across so many tempting ice cream and frozen yoghurt recipes online.

I have had my ice cream maker for a few years now and seems to be out of stock but as far as I can see it is exactly the same as this Andrew James Ice Cream Maker , which is currently the number 1 bestseller on Amazon.   It only costs £27.99 at the moment so there really is no reason not to treat yourself!

Gooseberry ice cream freshly churned in ice cream maker

I haven’t used exact quantities in the recipe as the amount of sugar needed for the gooseberries does very much depend on how tart they are and also on how sweet you like your ice cream to be.   I love tart fruits to keep their sharpness but I know that not everyone feels like that!  Add some sugar or another sweetner to the gooseberries as they are cooking and then when they are almost ready taste them and add a little more if necessary.   Once the gooseberries have been mixed into the cream then you might also need to add extra sugar.   I add icing sugar at this stage as it dissolves more easily.

You can see from the pictures that there is still some texture in the gooseberry ice cream from the fruit.   I love to get lumpy fruity pieces in my ice cream but if you want it to be smoother then you could puree the gooseberries after stewing them.   You could even then pass the mixture through a sieve to remove pulpy bits and seeds.

gooseberry ice cream

I went for a plain gooseberry ice cream this time but you could also add some spices to the gooseberries as they are stewing to get a more complex flavour.  How about gooseberry cardamom ice cream?  That’s a recipe for next time!

I found that this gooseberry ice cream kept well in the freezer and didn’t go too hard.  It was possible to scoop it as soon as it came out of the freezer without having to wait for it to soften a little first.

If you’re looking for more homemade ice cream recipes then do take a look at my other ice cream recipes:  vanilla ice cream and affogato, kiwi fruit ice cream, cardamom and pistachio ice cream and raspberry and white chocolate ice cream.

I have to say I am also very happy with my new quick release ice cream scoops and Ravenhead sundae dishes which you can see in the picture below:

Gooseberry ice cream

Gooseberry Ice Cream

Yield: Serves 4-6


  • 300g chilled stewed and sweetened gooseberries
  • 300ml double cream
  • Icing sugar or sweetener (optional)


  1. Mix the gooseberries and cream together in a mixing jug.
  2. Taste and mix in a little icing sugar or an alternative sweetener if the mixture is not quite sweet enough.
  3. Follow your ice-cream maker's instructions. Pour the gooseberry mixture into the ice cream maker and let it stir it for about 15 minutes when it should be fairly stiff. Transfer to a freezer container and place in the freezer. Or eat straightaway.


I haven't given instructions for stewing the gooseberries as they can vary a lot in sweetness. I added 150g or sugar to 800g of gooseberries but it is a matter of taste. Keep tasting and adding extra sugar until they are right.

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Do you make your own ice cream?  If so then please leave a comment and inspire me with your favourite flavour combinations.

I am linking to Tasty Tuesday at Honest Mum, Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too and Cook Blog Share hosted this week by Sneaky Veg.

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Homemade gooseberry ice cream
hungarian beef goulash #CookOnceEatTwice

Cook Once Eat Twice June 2016 and May Round Up

Welcome to June’s #CookOnceEatTwice and to the May round up.

Thank you to everyone who joined in with #CookOnceEatTwice in May.   We’ve had 19 fantastic entries so hopefully you’ll find lots of inspiration if you’re hoping to save time in the kitchen by preparing enough for more than one meal at a time.   At the end of this post you’ll also find out which recipe I’ve made from last month’s entries as well as the linky for June.

The first entry was these gorgeous homemade Porcini and Polenta Sausages by The Veg Space. They look like a great comfort meal!

porcini and polenta sausages

Next was Easy Peasy Foodie with a delightful Slow Cooked Chilli Beef dish.  I love the use of stewing steak rather than mince and my mince-hating husband would definitely like it!


I love making soups and especially veggie packed ones like this Roasted Sweet Potato and Vegetable Soup by From Plate to Pen.


Then our first sweet entry was this beautiful strawberry No-bake Cheesecake by Hijacked with Twins.  Cheesecake is always a crowd-pleaser and this one is perfect for summer!

no bake cheesecake

Next were these perfectly cooked Chorizo Scotch Eggs from the Why Chef.  They have all the flavours of chorizo in them and beautifully runny yolks.


Then Food Bod made a gorgeous spice mix which she turned into a Chickpea and Kale Curry.   It was perfect to eat for three days and the leftovers also made 2 further meals as well!  How fantastic is that!

food bod

Next up were these Caribbean Spiced Turkey Mince Pittas from The Why Chef.  Packed with vegetables and lean turkey mince, they make a really healthy meal option.


The next entry was this tasty White Bean Hummus with Homemade Pesto by Maison Cupcake – a great way of using dried beans and it keeps so much better than shop-bought hummus.


Then Fix Me a Little Lunch contributed this delicious Chicken, Asparagus and Roasted Garlic Pizza.  I just love roasted garlic and this looks so morish!


Then Feeding Boys shared this lovely Caramelised Onion and Rosemary Malted Loaf. Homemade bread is always such a treat and it’s definitely made me want to get my breadmaker out again!


My own entry was next.   This harissa-marinated lamb salad is full of flavour and you can prepare it in advance too!

Lamb Salad

Then The Why Chef was back with these yummy Haddock Fish Bites.  I love fish and these sound beautiful.


I was so tempted by the next entry – these gorgeous Croque Madame Muffins with Asparagus by Only Crumbs Remain.  So delightfully cheesy looking but with the lovely salad alongside to balance the richness out!

2 Croque Madame w asparagus

Next was Roast Chicken and A Country Walk with some Potato and Goats Cheese Patties.  You can make them with leftover mashed potato but I think they’d be worth just making the mashed potato for!

Goats cheese and potato patties

I can never resist a good curry and love the flavours in this Feel-Good Fish Curry by Family Friends Food.

feel good fish curry

Then Only Crumbs Remain shared the only other sweet entry this month: this beautiful Homemade Lemon Curd.  I’m sure it wouldn’t last long and is so much nicer than bought lemon curd.

lemon curd

Allotment 2 Kitchen shared this lovely Miso Minestrone Soup.  I have never had miso in this type of chunky vegetable soup but it sounds like a wonderful combination of flavours.


I almost always make enough pasta to last for two meals and this beautiful Baked Aubergine and Pepper Pasta Sauce with Smoked Paprika from Everyday Healthy Recipes would even please those who don’t like aubergines.  I love aubergines and the addition of the smoked paprika must give this a  a lovely almost Spanish flavour.

aubergine pasta

Finally The Gluten Free Alchemist shared this glorious Goose Egg Frittata with Spiralized Roasted Veg.  I really would love to get my hands on some goose eggs soon to have a go at it!

goose egg frittata

Now, as usual I also picked one of my favourite recipes from last month to make for my family. This time I picked Easy Peasy Foodie’s Hungarian Beef Goulash.  It was just as delicious as it sounded and even my pickiest eater, Little Miss Spice was happy to eat the pieces of beef from it without me having to take the sauce off!   That is definitely a success.

hungarian beef goulash #CookOnceEatTwice

If you haven’t discovered Eb’s blog then please take a look as it is full of amazing family friendly recipes and I honestly don’t think I’ve seen anything I wouldn’t want to eat!

Cook Once Eat Twice

Please come and link up your recipes for June and here’s a reminder of the rules:

  • Include a link in your post to Searching for Spice and include the badge.  Add your link to the linky.
  • Tweet @Corinthecook using the hashtag #CookOnceEatTwice and I will retweet all that I see.
  • Include the source of any recipe if applicable and use your own photos.
  • I will pin all entries onto the Cook Once Eat Twice Pinterest board.  I also stumble and yum the entries.
  • It’s acceptable to link up old posts but please update them with the link and the badge so they fit the rules of the challenge.
  • Feel free to link up to other blogging events as well, as long as it is within their rules.
  • Please take the time to visit some of the other links that catch your eye.
  • The closing date is the 28th of the month and the roundup will be posted soon afterwards.
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I am linking this to Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum.

brilliant blog posts

Lamb Salad

Harissa-Marinated Lamb Salad

This tasty easy lamb salad is a perfect weeknight meal.  Made with roasted vegetables, spicy couscous and tender harissa-marinated lamb, it can be prepared fully or partly in advance and is equally tasty the next day.

Lamb Salad

First lets talk about marinades. A marinade can be complex with lots of herbs and spices or it can be as simple as opening a jar.   This marinade is almost the later.  Don’t even think of making this salad if you haven’t marinated your lamb.    It may be tempting to take a short cut but I promise you the marinade really ups the flavour in the lamb and this one is so easy it won’t take more than a minute or two the day before.  Or you could make it in the morning before going out to work.

Just a little bit of forward planning is all this salad needs.   Of course, you could roast the vegetables in advance too and even make the couscous the day before, although I have to admit I do prefer the vegetables to be freshly roasted.

You could say I’ve taken a few short cuts with this salad.   I could have made up a marinade myself rather than using harissa and lemon juice, but harissa and lemon juice makes an incredible marinade for lamb so why not?   I could also have used my own blend of spices in the ras el hanout couscous but again, the ras el hanout spice blend saves so much time and works perfectly in this lamb salad.  For midweek meals you have to make life easy for yourself!Lamb Salad

As you can see, I used lots of yoghurt (I love it but you could use less!) and although it isn’t mixed into the salad, it is the equivalent of a dressing.  I used fresh mint in the yoghurt, although coriander would also have been lovely.  You could even stir some chopped fresh mint through the couscous or sprinkle some more over the top.   I actually had some sprigs of mint in the fridge that had dried out so I just crumbled them up between my fingers and sprinkled the dried leaves over the lamb salad.

We thought  this made a really tasty filling salad and you could even cook the lamb on the barbecue in summer.

I am entering this recipe in the #LoveLambChallenge to create a tasty easy lamb recipe perfect for midweek eating.  For more inspiring lamb recipes then follow @TastyEasyLamb on Twitter or Facebook.

You might also be interested in my Tasty Easy Lamb Stir Fry, Mint and Lamb Meatballs or Lamb and Spinach Curry.

Lamb Salad

Lamb Salad


  • 2 tbsp harissa
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 4 lamb steaks
  • 1 aubergine, cut in half
  • 2 courgettes, cut in half
  • 2 sweet potatoes, quartered
  • 2-3 tbsp rape seed oil
  • 300g uncooked couscous
  • 1 tbsp ras el hanout
  • 400ml stock (I used chicken stock)
  • 500ml natural yoghurt
  • 5 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • A few sprigs of dry mint (optional)


  1. Rub the harissa and lemon juice into the lamb steaks and put them in the fridge to marinate for 24 hours.
  2. Put the vegetables on a baking tray and drizzle with the oil
  3. Roast in the oven at 180C for 25-30 minutes. Cut into smaller pieces after they have cooked.
  4. Put the couscous in a bowl and stir in the ras el hanout. Pour in the hot stock and cover for 5 minutes. Fluff up with a fork.
  5. Mix the fresh mint into the yoghurt.
  6. Brush a griddle pan lightly with oil. Cook the lamb steaks for about 3 minutes on each side. Cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes before slicing thinly.
  7. Assemble the salad by putting a couple of spoonfuls of couscous on each plate, followed by some vegetables and lamb. Put a few dollops of yoghurt on each plate. Crumble some of the dry mint leaves in your hands and sprinkle over the plates.
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I am linking this to my own blogging event, #CookOnceEatTwice, to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, to #CookBlogShare hosted by Sneaky Veg and Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too.

Cook Once Eat TwiceTasty TuesdaysCook Blog ShareRecipe of the week