Spicy pinto bean stew

I got this recipe from my yoga teacher. She said it never fails to disappoint and I have to say it was pretty good!
The original recipe is actually a soup, but I didn’t read that bit & decided to use less water anyway. So, a stew!
The recipe is available here… Other than the different stock quantity, I made a couple of other adjustments to the recipe – I used a tin of pinto beans rather than dried, I didn’t have enough cumin so I put ground coriander in instead, I used chilli flakes rather than powder.
It’s a simple recipe but tasty!


I topped mine with sour cream and avocado when I first made this but for second helping I topped just with sour cream.

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(Not very) red velvet brownies with cheesecake swirl

After seeing this recipe from Oh Courtney for red velvet brownies, I knew I had to make them. But, what about this brownie recipe – from ValeriesKeepers? – it had a cheesecake swirl! How might I combine them? EASILY! So I did…

I love red velvet (who doesn’t?) but I haven’t made any in ages. In fact, it had been so long since I had made some, my red food colouring had gone out of date! As it was, there wasn’t much left, but it had gone out of date some time ago. Maybe I’d not used it since I last made red velvet cupcakes (Nov 2012)!

It was pretty easy to make (though I had an internal debate about which vinegar to use – it said white vinegar so I used white wine vinegar, as didn’t want to buy any other type – and it seems I had that same dilemma in 2012!) and all was going well until I after I added the food colouring, I forgot to replace the cap, and oops… the power cable from my hand mixer knocked it over and DISASTER!:Red food colouring

I knocked the food colouring everywhere!! Nearly the entire bottle spilt down the units… and inside too! It looked like someone had had a horrible accident. I had to down tools (mixer) quickly and clean it up before letting it linger – I had a feeling the colouring might stain if not removed fast!

After being distracted from the spillage, I completely forgot to add the chocolate chips to the mixture…. Ah well, I’ll just save them for next time/next bake.

I followed the cheesecake topping recipe from the Valerie’s Keepers recipe and dotted over the top before swirling through, and topping with a little left over brownie mix.

And into the oven! I think I put it on a little low at first (probably about 150C but should have been 175C) but turned up after I realised (20mins in) for the last 10 mins.

So, how did they come out? Not very appealing visually – the red food colouring may as well have not been added – but very tasty! Here you go:

Close up brownie

And more….

lots of brownies

They are quite gooey (ideal!) but tend to come apart where the cheesecake mix is… was quite awkward for getting out of the pan so a note to self to line the pan before to make it easier!

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Italian style baked eggs

Very impressed with this dish. Very tasty, easily made… What more could you want? It’s an M&S recipe that I saved to Pinterest ages ago. Typically takes me a while to get round to making recipes I like the look of!
Followed recipe to the letter with the addition of extra garlic clove. Would have been nice to serve with garlic bread or just some crusty loaf but I forgot to pick any up. But was filling enough on its own for a light tea.
Mine doesn’t look much like the photo in the recipe but I don’t mind that… I’ll be making this again!


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Chipotle black bean chilli

Despite being mainly only a couple of ingredients (black beans, tomatoes  mostly!) this was a very simple meal to make. I love chipotle and black beans so a perfect recipe. It came from Delicious Magazine and I came across it when they tweeted about it recently.

Very few alterations to the recipe: added mushrooms, chopped fresh tomato, ground chipotle rather than a paste, added red chilli, finished by adding coriander, some grated dark chocolate and squeeze of lime.

I also didn’t read the recipe and put the beans in at the same time as the tinned tomatoes, but I don’t think it did any harm.

Served initially just with rice:

Black bean chilli

And then here it is with obligatory toppings… can’t really have any kind of chilli without cheese… or is that me? Also a dollop of plain yoghurt.

Black bean chilli with cheese

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Sweet potato quesadillas

I made a few of these quesadillas recently from Anna Jones… Whilst not as speedy as the recipe suggests (grating sweet potato takes a while!) they were fast. I added cubes of feta to the first batch and coriander & grated cheddar to the second batch. I omitted the chilli and I didn’t have any maple syrup… I also used ground chipotle rather than the paste. Despite the modifications they were hopefully close to the original idea and tasted good! I liked the mashing of the beans with the potato – gave them a good texture. I also filled mine a lot more than Anna did!:


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Pea and mint fritters

More peas! They seem to have become a staple lately… Considering (and I’ve said before) I never used to like peas..!
So this is a quick post about a quick recipe. The fritters are more like savoury American pancakes than pea “burgers” (which is what I thought they’d be like). You mash defrosted peas with mint & spring onions (I added some garlic) and then add in batter mix of flour, milk and baking soda… They are incredibly quick to cook and very tasty! I had mine with potato salad and the roasted tomatoes the the recipe suggests. Recipe serves 2 but ate them all myself…
Recipe is from Waitrose:


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Pea, lemon and mozzarella tart

Whilst on Twitter I came across a nice looking photo of a puff pastry tart but it had no link to the recipe – just the title and the picture. So, based on this, I thought I’d make my own equivalent that involves peas, lemon, mozzarella, spring onions and a touch of mint.

Have to say, this night be my favourite recipe ever… Well, it certainly is right now. Never have I been so pleased to have so much leftovers!

So here’s the “recipe”, which is what I made up at the time… Serves 3-6 depending on portion size (6 would be a starter, 4 average dinner portion)…

Bunch of spring onions: 2 sliced diagonally, the rest roughly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed (or, as I prefer, grated using a Microplane)
1/2 lemon for zest and juice
250g peas (frozen)
Some mint leaves (optional)
1 puff pastry sheet, ready rolled
150g grated mozzarella (I bought the pre-grated kind so would not be too soggy; you could easily get away with 100g if trying to be healthier)
25g cream cheese (optional)

Heat oven to 180degrees.
Gently fry the roughly sliced spring onions (reserving the diagonally sliced ones) with the garlic. Only needs a small amount of heat to soften garlic. Add zest of 1/2 lemon.
Meanwhile cook the peas according to packet instructions.
Once cooked, drain the peas and put them (reserving some for decoration), the spring onion&garlic&lemon zest mix and mint (if using) into a small food processor with a splash of water and blitz into a paste. If too thick, add some lemon juice.
At this point I added the cream cheese to the pea puree to loosen it a bit more but I don’t think this is strictly necessary.
Roll out your puff pastry sheet and prick all over leaving a border round the edge. (I also put mine in the oven to cook a little, a bit like blind baking shortcrust pastry, but not sure this is necessary, but it stopped mine from bubbling up in the middle later).
Spread the pea puree over the pastry, and then top with the grated mozzarella, reserved spring onions and peas.


Place in the oven for about 20mins or until nicely browned on top.

Et voilĂ !


I do wish I’d remembered to reserve some peas to put on top but forgot and all of mine went into the blender. Ah well. Still tasted good!


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Butterbean, feta and spring onion burgers

Need a new veggie burger recipe that tastes great and quick to prepare (if you ignore the chilling time)? This is the recipe for you…
From The Guardian last year and meant for barbecues I made these recently. Whilst they do require a long chilling time, they were very easy to put together. And they didn’t fall apart when cooking – ideal! The recipe calls for cumin but I think whatever your preferred spice is that would also work. I’m already thinking a bit of ras el hanout would work well in them.
I used a large egg but might have been better using a medium sized one.

The picture isn’t great – I need to get better at this – and I can’t say they look amazing but here is a lonely one just before eating…


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Beetroot and goat’s cheese tart

OK, so in my last post I was already to hang up my blogging hat, but maybe not yet… Here’s a post of a recipe I made up myself! Not the most technically difficult but thought the taste was good I’d make again.
It requires:
3 ready cooked beetroots (not the ones in vinegar)
3 mini tubs of cream cheese (about 25g each – from those packs of 4 you cab buy)
1 pack ready rolled puff pastry
Goats cheese log
Nigella seeds (although caraway seeds would be good here also)

To make:
Grate the beetroot (best done wearing rubber gloves!) and mix with the cream cheese and nigella seeds.
Unroll your puff pastry onto a baking sheet and spread the cream cheese/beetroot mixture over, leaving a gap round the edge.
Slice the goat’s cheese into rounds (I sliced about 9 discs) and arrange on the beetroot mix.
Cook in the oven for about 20mins at 180 or until it looks cooked! I’m not sure I timed mine…


Worked really well and good the next day as leftovers.

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Potato and cabbage curry

One quick post about this curry from Thomasina Miers in the Guardian. I had hoped it would become my staple curry recipe to defer to but alas, the quest on that continues. The flavour was good but just not what I had hoped. And I still always suffer from the problem with re-heating potato with it ending up tasting slightly odd…

Here is the pic!

Potato and cabbage curry

I am wondering that as it has become increasingly hard to find the time to blog, and to be inspired as what to write – it used to be about what I did differently in the recipe or perhaps what I found hardto do – whether I should end the blog for good. I won’t delete it but perhaps just leave it and revisit at a later date when inspiration comes back… Or my photography skills improve! I have read many other blogs and their pictures are far more professional so my amateur shots are hardly something people to aspire to making!

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