Winning Recipes

You may remember some time ago my recipe for Singing Hinnies was one of six short listed to go into the Intu Great Taste Cookbook. The recipes then went to public vote, the three recipes from each region with the greatest amount of votes were chosen to feature in the recipe book. I was delighted to find out that my recipe was one of the ones chosen to feature in the book, which was available at all Intu shopping centres this weekend as part of the Great Taste weekend. I want to thank everyone who voted for my recipe.

I went over to the Metro Centre at the weekend to pick up a copy of the cookbook and find out what my recipe looked like when it had been professionally photographed. This is the page from the book.

Singing hinnies

It is really exciting to see my name in print next to my recipe. As a blogger I have to be a professional photographer, editor, features manager, seo consultant and many other things for my blog. I am learning new things every day and it is nice to know that a professional can take my ideas to a whole new level and make them look really great. The other exciting news I received over the weekend was that my Banoffee Pie Ice Cream recipe was a runner up in the Kelly’s Creative Kid’s in the Kitchen competition. My recipe was taken, made and professionally photographed by Kate Whitaker and I was sent the resulting photographs. I have to say I am really delighted with how my recipe now looks.

Banoffee Pie Ice Cream

Banoffee Pie Ice Cream

Banoffee Pie Ice Cream

I would love to know what you think. I would love to take a photography course, but will have to be content with learning as I go. In the meantime it is great to have these photographs to give me something to aim for.

Turkey Al Kabsa

Some time ago I took part in the Red Tractor Recipe challenge where I was challenged to come up with recipes using Red Tractor ingredients. In case you are not aware products bearing the Red Tractor logo show that the food has been produced in the UK on independently inspected farms and has met food assurance standards for food safety, hygiene, animal welfare and many more. It covers all sorts of products from meat, to vegetables to cooking oil. Now British Turkey have combined with Red Tractor to come up with a new Blogger Recipe Challenge. Bloggers have been challenged to create a recipe using British Turkey and two Red Tractor approved ingredients, the theme is Arabian Nights.

When I think of Arabian Nights I think of the tales from one thousand and one nights, where a Persian King marries a different woman every night and has her executed in the morning to prevent her being unfaithful. When he marries Scheherazade she tells him a story but does not end it, he needs to keep her alive in order to hear what happens the next night. Needless to say she survived. The stories are all full of magic, flying carpets, genies and magicians and make me think of meals served in tents, with dancing girls. Arabian cuisine is full of spices and easy to share. I decided to make a Turkey Al Kabsa, based on the traditional dish. It is a mix of spices, turkey, tomatoes and rice but also uses grated carrot and onion, which were my two extra Red Tractor approved ingredients.

Turkey-al-kabsa-4I am not sure how traditional my version is, but it tasted really nice. The turkey worked really well with the spices and the grated carrot added a lovely texture to the dish. I got complements from my family after making it so will definitely be trying it again.

Turkey-al-kabsa-2I served the dish with a green salad which worked well. The Turkey Al Kabsa is actually quite filling and the salad complemented it perfectly. It would also be nice served with flat bread to mop it up which would be more traditional. All I was missing was the tent and the dancing girls.


Turkey Al Kabsa
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  1. ½ tsp saffron
  2. ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  3. ½ tsp mixed spice
  4. 1 tsp black pepper
  5. ½ tsp cumin
  6. ½ chilli powder
  7. 35g butter
  8. 1 tbsp lime juice
  9. 1 onion
  10. 3 cloves garlic
  11. 250 g turkey breast steaks
  12. 2 tbsp tomato purée
  13. 400g tin tomatoes
  14. 2 carrots
  15. 25g ground almonds
  16. 400 ml chicken stock
  17. 65g rice
  18. Flaked almonds to decorate
  1. Mix together the saffron. cinnamo, mixed spice, black pepper,cumin and chilli powder in small bowl.
  2. Chop the garlic and onion into small pieces
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic and cook until soft.
  4. Chop the turkey into pieces and add to the pan. Cook until browned.
  5. Add the spice mixture and coat the turkey and onions.
  6. Add the tomato purée and the tin of tomatoes.
  7. Grate the carrot and add to the pan with the lime juice and chicken stock.
  8. Add the rice and cook until the rice is soft, stirring as it cooks.
  9. Cook until the rice is tender.
  10. Place on plates and sprinkle with flaked almonds
Dragons and Fairy Dust

If you would prefer something a little lighter for a hot day why not try my warm mexican turkey salad

This is my entry into the British Turkey and Red Tractor Arabian Nights competition.

Walkers Crisps Announce Flavour Finalists

You may remember a while ago I told you about a competition that Walkers Crisps were running where people were invited to “Do Us A Flavour“. The idea was that people would send in their ideas for new crisp flavours and Walkers would choose six finalists. These six final flavours would then be made so we could try them and vote for the one we liked best. The judges David Walliams and Marco Pierre White have been busy testing flavours and have finally chosen the six finalists.

Walkers Crisps Flavour FinalistsThe flavours are:

  • Ranch Racoon
  • Chip Shop Chicken Curry
  • Hot Dog with Tomato Ketchup
  • Pulled Pork in a Sticky Barbecue Sauce
  • Cheesy Beans on Toast
  • Sizzling Steak Fajita


These are now on the shelves and you can vote for your favourite flavour at The person who designed the flavour that wins will receive £1million and the five runners up with win £10,000 each.

Walkers crisps sent me the finalist flavours to try out and see what I thought. I have to admit to being intrigued by Ranch Racoon. Racoon is not something that I have ever tried but the flavour is very tasty, you can really taste the ranch dressing. I can’t say how authentic the racoon taste is but I think this was my favourite flavour. My second favourite was the Pulled Pork in a Sticky Barbecue Sauce, it manged to combine the pork taste with a subtle hint of the barbecue in the background. My husband loved the Chip Shop Chicken Curry, he said it had a nice curry taste that was not overpowering. He was not as impressed by the Sizzling Steak Fajita though, he thought that was a little bland. My son took his job as flavour tester very seriously and decided that the Hot Dog with Tomato Ketchup was his favourite and the Cheesy Beans on Toast was his second favourite.

There was a lot of debate about which flavour was our favourite within the family so it will be really interesting to see which flavour is crowned flavour millionaire. Voting closes on 17th October 2014 so you have plenty of time to try all the flavours and decide which you like best. I may have to buy some more before I make a final decision.

Disclosure: I was sent the flavour finalists to try out in return for an honest review.

Make Summer Amazing and Win £100 Amazon Voucher

It is Summer, long warm days stretch ahead filled with promise. Children are looking forward to the time off school, but parents may be wondering how they are going to fill the time. I have memories of spending long hot summer days in the garden, as a child,  watching clouds or sitting in a tent painting a picture or making bugs out of stones with paint and glue. Activities do not need to be expensive to be memorable, an imaginative idea can fill a day with smiles.

TentHillarys Blinds have come up with a great list of ideas to help you “Make Summer Amazing. All you need is a little imagination and a bit of time. Some take minutes, some take all day but all are guaranteed to get your smiling and fill your days with fun.

Win a trip to Ireland by writing a blog post

In conjunction with the list of ideas they have also launched a fabulous competition for bloggers. The prize is a trip for two people to experience the magical Wild Atlantic Way (WAW) and includes:

  • Return flights to Ireland  for two people
  • Car hire for two people (mid standard car including insurance etc)
  • Two seperate overnight packages (in two different parts of Ireland along the WAW) consisting of two nights B&B and one evening meal. The total break is four nights/five days in total.


It is an amazing prize and I am really excited to be involved as a judge. To enter the competition all you need to do is to blog completing one of the ideas on the make summer amazing list. Take gorgeous photos and try and capture the essence of how amazing you are finding the Summer. All entries need to be completed before 11.59pm on Monday 25th August and a link to the blog post emailed to The winner will be judged on a number of criteria including quality of writing, quality of images, how engaging the article is, and how well the spirit of the #MakeSummerAmazing list has been captured. You can find the full terms and conditions, including a complete breakdown of the prize at I am really looking forward to seeing the entries.

If I was to choose an item from the list I would choose to look at the clouds until I spot something funny. There is nothing nicer than lying on the lawn looking up at the sky and the clouds often make interesting shapes. For some reason I always spot dragons in clouds. How is this for an amazing dragon?

Dragon CloudHow about making lemonade on a hot summer day, nothing more tasty and refreshing? There are plenty of other ideas on the list so choose one and get blogging.

Win £100 Amazon Voucher

Hillary’s blinds have given me £100 Amazon voucher to give to one of my readers to help make summer amazing for them. To enter all you need to do is to go and look at the list of ideas to Make Summer Amazing and let me know which of them you will be trying in a comment below. When you have done this come back and fill in the rafflecopter widget so that your entry is registered. This entry is mandatory. There are other optional entries for following on twitter, facebook and tweeting if you like that sort of thing. Good luck and don’t forget to enter the blogger competition as well

Winner: Rob G. Well done!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Rules

  • There is 1 prize of £100 Amazon voucher – the prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
  • Open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding employees and relatives of Dragons and Fairy Dust and Hillary’s Blinds
  • Closing date for entries is on 11:59pm BST on 25th August 2014
  • Only one entry per person
  • Entrants must log into rafflecopter and leave a comment on the blog to say what item they would choose to do from the Make Summer Amazing list on the Hillarys Blinds website
  • Optional entry methods are to follow on twitter, facebook and  tweet on twitter
  • The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
  • The winner will be informed within 14 days of the closing date and will need to respond with a postal address within 28 days or a new winner will be chosen.
  • The winner’s name will be available on request.
  • Hillarys Blinds is responsible for prize fulfilment. The prize will be sent within 28 days of receiving the winner’s address.
  • This is a joint promotion between Dragons and Fairy Dust and Hillarys Blinds
  • Entry to this confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.

My Kitchen Story

The kitchen, the heart of my home and a place of memories. A place where I can escape and relax by cooking up meals and cakes for the family to enjoy. A place where I can look into the garden and watch birds, see the flowers grow and watch the seasons change.

KitchenI haven’t changed the kitchen since I moved in, it is getting a little worse for wear and needs a good overhaul. It is full of the clutter of day to day living, cupboard stuffed to bursting with packets and tins. It is a light airy place with a skylight in the roof and quite roomy. Whilst it is starting to look a little dated it is spacious and a happy place.
KitchenWe have lived in this house for many years and I have lovely memories of spending time with my son in the kitchen when he was younger. He loved cooking and nothing was better than making a cake. Now he is a teenager he still loves to bake, but licking the bowl and eating it afterwards are much preferable.

The kitchen is where we met our dog for the first time. My son and I had been visiting my parents and my husband hid the dog in the kitchen. We sent my son in to get something and he walked in unsuspecting. When he saw the dog he stopped, his foot in mid air, totally surprised. They have been great friends ever since and my dog still has a basket in the kitchen, although he has been known to sneak into the washing basket. At first he was going to be called Fluffy but Eddie suits him much better.

DogMy kitchen is filled with gadgets, I love my slow cooker it had made life so much easier. There is nothing better than coming home to a warm meal after a long day at work. Fairy Platinum is great at cleaning my dishes as well, I can bung them in the dishwasher and know they will come out shiny.

Fairy PlatinumI love my kitchen, it has so much of my personality in it. Although some may be tidier and smarter, this kitchen is perfect for me.

This post is an entry for the “My Kitchen Story” Linky Challenge, sponsored by Fairy Platinum