The perfect steak Diane is pan fried steak with a creamy tangy sauce with mushrooms and onions. Eating it will transport you into the realm of luxury.

Steak is a meal that always brings a sense of occasion. When I was little my mum would cook steak for birthday meals. Steak and chips always meant a celebration. Even today we have steak for special occasions. If we eat out the meal one of us will normally choose steak. Steak is not something I prepare often. When I do I like ensure that I cook the perfect steak. It is hard to get the perfect mixture of tenderness and flavour to make a meal everyone will enjoy.
The other day I made Steak Diane. This is a rather retro dish but still very popular. The tangy mushroom and onion sauce with a hint of cream is the perfect addition to the steak.  With the side dishes of sweet potato fries and coleslaw it made a great meal. The steak was meltingly tender and the whole family enjoyed it.


Steak Diane


How to cook the perfect steak

A few simple steps will ensure that you get the perfect steak every time.

Choose the right cut

Picking the right type of steak can be difficult. There are lots of different cuts out there and the variety can be confusing. This is a quick guide to some of the different types of steak:
  • Sirloin steak – this is the cut most people are familiar with. This comes from the middle back of the cow and is tender and marbled with fat.
  • Rib eye steak – is from the rib section of the cow and is very tender with a rich flavour. Pockets of fat can be found though out which give it more flavour.
  • T bone steak – cut from the lower part of the cow. It contains a bone with fillet on one side and sirloin on the other. It gives you the best of both worlds but it is harder to cook as the different steaks cook at different rates.
  • Fillet steak – often known as the ladies steak, this is cu from just under the middle back. It is very tender but does not have as much flavour.
  • Flat iron steak – this steak comes from the shoulder and has a moderate beef flavour. It is great for marinading.
  • Rump steak –  cut the rump of the animal and is full of flavour. It is usually a large cut and is lovely and tender.

Choose great quality meat

As well as getting the cut right you need to choose a good quality steak. Recently I was sent a steak selection pack from the Great British Meat Co. This is a lovely selection of different steaks. The pack includes rib eye, sirloin, flat iron and rump along with two pork loin steaks. It is a great selection of meats for a family steak night.
The Great British Meat Co. source their meat from local farms, and cattle markets in North East England. By trading directly with the farmers they get the freshest and best quality meat. By buying from the Great British Co. you are helping support British farmers. The taste of the meat reflects the quality as it is full of flavour.


Steak selection pack from the Great British Meat Co.

Cooking  the steak

When cooking steak it is best to choose a heavy duty frying pan with a non-stick coating. This will distribute the heat evenly to the steak giving them a slightly charred taste. Make sure the pan has an even spread of oil and that the oil is hot before you add the steak. The golden rule for cooking steak is to sear it over a really high heat, then cook it until it reaches your liking. Finally the steak should be let to rest for four or five minutes before serving. The meat will relax enhancing the flavour.

A rare steak will take about 2 minutes to cook on each side while a well done steak will need about four to five minutes. The time will vary depending on the thickness of the steak. You can easily test by prodding the steak with your fingers. A rare steak will feel soft, medium rare will feel bouncy whilst a well done steak will be firm. Be careful not to over cook the steak or it will become tough.

STeak Diane

Making the Diane sauce

A tasty sauce can enhances the flavour of a good steak and Diane sauce does that. It is one of my favourite steak sauces along with peppercorn sauce.   The origin of the name Diane is a mystery.  We do know that in the 19th Century a creamy sauce “a la Diane” were an accompaniment to venison. The Roman poet Ovid tells the story of the young hunter Actaeon. Whilst he was hunting he accidentally came across Diana, the Greek goddess of the moon and the hunt. She was bathing naked in her secret grotto and being seen this way upset her. As punishment Diana transformed Actaeon into a stag. His hounds tore him to pieces and ate him.
Steak Diane is a twist on this venison dish. It seems to have originated in New York. It is a very tasty sauce that has stood the test of time and is a great accompaniment to steak.

Diane sauce recipe

The sauce is easy to make. Cut the onions, garlic and mushrooms into small pieces  and fry on a moderate heat until soft. Add some Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard to the pan along with any meat juices from the steak. If you wish you can also add a little brandy at this point and turn the heat up high until it burns off. Finally, add the cream and heat the sauce until it is thick. Pour over the steak and serve with any accompaniments. I chose sweet potato fries, celeriac coleslaw, onion rings and grilled mushrooms and tomatoes.


Diane Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 15 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A tasty and tangy mushroom sauce perfect for serving with steak


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 15 g butter
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 50 ml brandy  (optional)
  • 200 ml double cream
  • Salt and pepper


    1. Peel and chop the onion and garlic into small pieces
    2. Chop the mushrooms
    3. In a frying pan heat the oil. Add the onions and cook until soft
    4. Add the garlic, mushrooms and butter and cook for a couple of minutes.
    5. Pour any meat juice from the steak to the pan along with the Worchester sauce and mustard
    6. If you are using brandy add this and turn up the heat
    7. Let the alcohol burn off then turn down the heat and add the cream
    8. Cook until the sauce thickens
    9. Season to taste and serve over the steak.

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How to cook the perfect steak Diane.


What is your favourite way to serve steak? Let me know below.

I was sent a steak selection box to try out and create a recipe. I was not obliged to say anything nice and my opinions are my own.


Why not try Middle Eastern style roast lamb this Easter? Full of flavour, it cooks slowly in the oven giving you more time to spend with your family.

Will you be sitting down to a roast dinner with your family this Easter Sunday? What will you be eating? Traditionally most people serve lamb for their Easter meal. Roast lamb with mint sauce is perfect for an Easter roast.

Lamb is also a symbol of Christianity. It goes back to the days of the Old Testament when a blood sacrifice was given at God’s altar to allow sins to be forgiven.  In those days sheep raising was prominent so the sacrifice was usually a lamb. At Easter Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead, a lamb represents this sacrifice. Meeting a lamb at Easter is said to be a lucky omen. It is the one animal form that the devil can never appear as.

Middle Eastern Style Roast Lamb

Food tends to follow fashion, in the same way clothing does. At the moment middle eastern flavours and cooking methods are becoming more popular. When visiting food festivals and markets you will often find more of these exotic flavours on offer. Lightly spiced grilled meats with salad in a flatbread makes a flavoursome meal.

Global cuisines usually have a range of herbs and spices that help create their unique signature. Splice blends help create the unique taste of middle eastern cuisine. You will commonly find different mixes of cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, tumeric and paprika in Ras el hanout, a traditional spice. Chilli will add a little fire along with garlic and caraway seeds. Preserved lemons are often found in stews. Pomegranite molasses is another sweet flavouring that is used to flavour meat.  Recently Leisure Range Cookers challenged me to come up with a middle eastern twist on a traditional Easter roast.  The result was middle eastern style lamb.

Middle eastern style roast lamb

Middle Eastern Style Lamb Recipe

Middle eastern lamb is perfect for an Easter Sunday lunch. It has a light spicy taste coming from a marinade of spices and lemon juice. Slashes are made in the lamb to allow the flavour to seep though while it marinades overnight. The lamb  cooks slowly in the oven allowing it to become meltingly soft with a crispy skin. It takes a  few hours to cook allowing you to enjoy Easter with your family without spending all the time in the kitchen.

Middle eastern style lamb

When the lamb is ready just cut it into slice it up and serve it with flatbreads and other sides. Serving the dishes buffet style will allow you to enjoy the warmer days outside in the garden with your family. It also makes an unusual and delicious lunch that will encourage conversation.

Middle Eastern Style Lamb

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 4 hrs
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A slow roasted lamb with middle eastern flavours.


  • 1.5kg leg lamb
  • 2 cm fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 250ml water


  1. Peel and crush the garlic cloves
  2. In a small bowl mix together the spices, garlic, ginger, lemon rind and juice with the olive oil.
  3. Score the lamb with a knife making slits so the marinade can sink in
  4. Marinade the lamb with the spice mix overnight
  5. Preheat the oven to 150C
  6. Put the lamb into a roasting tin with the water.
  7. Cover with silver foil and roast for 3½ hours until the meat is tender
  8. Remove the foil and increase to 18oC
  9. Cook for thirty minutes, until the skin is crisp

Sides to serve with the middle eastern style roast lamb

A lovely succulent lamb needs delicious sides to accompany it. Pitta bread is great for stuffing the slices of lamb into and to go along side it I made celeriac coleslaw and a cucumber and mint salad. Celeriac is in season and adds a little more flavour to the coleslaw. The cucumber and mint salad is a great accompaniment to the spiced meat as it adds a hint of coolness to the flavour. When biting into a pitta bread with a mixture of fillings you get a great sense of flavours and textures. A traditional Sunday roast would normally have roast potatoes so I made some patatas bravas. This is a traditional Spanish tapas dish but the tomato sauce with a hint of paprika works really well with the middle eastern style lamb.

Cucumber and mint salad

Cucumber and mint salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 10mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A light cucumber and mint salad in a yoghurt dressing.


  • ¼ cucumber
  • 5 leaves mint
  • 3 tbsp Greek yoghurt


  1. Peel and chop the cucumber into small pieces
  2. Chop the mint leaves
  3. Mix together with the yoghurt

Celeriac Coleslaw

Celeriac Coleslaw

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 2hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • ¼ of a celeriac
  • ¼ of a white cabbage
  • 1 carrot
  • 3 spring onions
  • 2 tbsp mayonaise
  • 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  1. Peel and grate the celeriac and carrot into a bowl
  2. Finely chop the cabbage and mix with the celeriac and carrot.
  3. Chop the spring onions and add to the mixture
  4. Add the mayonaise, yohurt, honey, mustard and black pepper and mix together.

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Middle Eastern Style Roast Lamb - perfect for Easter

If you have any lamb left over you can use it to make lemon and cumin lamb fajitas. For an impressive dessert you could make a Cadbury Creme Egg inspired mousse.

What are you planning to cook this Easter? Let me know below.

This is a collaborative post




Looking for some recipe inspiration? Why not prepare mid-week meals with Dolmio?
When Wednesday comes round do you ever feel you lack inspiration for making the evening meal. If your week is anything like mine Monday and Tuesday are really busy.  By Wednesday the midweek slump has hit and you can’t be bothered.  Working full time, looking after a family and running a blog all take time. The family still need to eat and want something tasty and nutritious. This can be a real challenge.
I plan meals every weekend so usually know ahead of time what I will be making. There are always occasions when something happens and you need to change your plan in a hurry. For these occasions jars of ready made cooking sauce can be a lifesaver. I usually have a couple of these in my cupboards and bolognese sauce is one that is useful for many different dishes.
Dolmio bolognese sauce

#ThankGoodness Mid-week Meal Challenge with Dolmio 

BritMums have teamed up with Dolmio and challenged bloggers to create a #ThankGoodness mid-week meal. They sent a hamper of ingredients along with a couple of jars of their Dolmio Bolognese sauce.  I had to create something delicious that the whole family would enjoy from the ingredients and include the bolognese sauce in the recipe. Dolmio Bolognese sauce is free from artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or sweeteners.


The sauce is 100% natural. Inside each jar you will find at least 10 juicy diced tomatoes, a dollop of tomato puree, half an onion, a tablespoon of sunflower oil, a couple of cloves of garlic, a handful of herbs including basil, a teaspoon of cornflour, a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of pepper, two teaspoons of added beet sugar for taste, a squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of water and nothing more. In fact most of the ingredients I would use to make my own bolognese sauce. Even better  a family of four with one of their 5-a-day each.

Mid-week Meal ideas

Have you ever watched Ready, Steady, Cook? When opening the hamper of ingredients I felt like I was on the show. There were plenty of everyday store cupboard ingredients, enough to prepare a tasty spaghetti bolognese and plenty of other recipes. Mushrooms, courgettes, onions, garlic and aubergine made me think instantly of ratatouille.  Chopping up these vegetables and cooking them in tomato sauce is always nice with rice or as a side dish with meat. 

The addition of chicken and baked potatoes gave me other ideas. Baked potatoes with a chilli style sauce would work well. The mince and kidney beans would be perfect for this. In the end I made two different meals, spaghetti bolognese and a Mediterranean  style chicken.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti bolognese

Traditional spaghetti bolognese is always a crowd pleaser and is really quick to make with Dolmio bolognese sauce. Just chop some mushrooms, onions and garlic and cook them in a pan until soft. Add the mince and brown it. Finally, add the Dolmio bolognese sauce and simmer for a few minutes until ready. Serve over spaghetti with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. If your family is particularly hungry you can add a side salad as well.  Traditional spaghetti bolognese can take a while to make, this is a great time saver with all of the taste.

Spaghetti bolognese

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A quick and tasty spaghetti bolognese.


  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 mushrooms
  • 500g minced beef
  • 1 jar Dolmio bolognese sauce
  • 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • Spaghetti


  1. Peel and chop the onions and garlic
  2. Chop the mushrooms into small pieces
  3. Heat some oil in a pan and gently cook the onions, garlic and mushrooms until soft
  4. Add the minced beef to the pan and cook until brown
  5. While this is browning bring a pan of water to the boil and add the spaghetti
  6. Add the Dolmio bolognese sauce to the mince and simmer until the spaghetti is ready
  7. Drain the spaghetti and serve with the bolognese on top and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Mediterranean  style chicken

Mediterranean style chicken.

This Mediterranean  style chicken is inspired by rataouille but adds a twist by including a spoonful of cream cheese into the tomato sauce to make a rich mellow taste. It is really easy to make, just chop up onions, garlic, red pepper, aubergines and courgettes and fry them gently in some oil. Add some chicken pieces and cook until brown. Finally stir in the Dolmio bolognese sauce and a tablespoon of cream cheese and simmer until the cheese melts. This is delicious served with rice or spaghetti and could even top a baked potato.

Mediterranean  style chicken

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A quick and tasty spaghetti bolognese.


  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 courgette
  • ½ aubergine
  • ½ red pepper
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 jar Dolmio bolognese sauce
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese


  1. Peel and chop the onions and garlic
  2. Chop the red pepper, mushrooms and aubergine into small pieces
  3. Dice the chicken
  4. Heat some oil in a pan and gently cook the onions, garlic, red pepper, courgette and aubergine until soft
  5. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until brown
  6. Add the Dolmio bolognese sauce to the chicken with a spoonful of cream cheese
  7. Simmer until the cheese melts into the sauce

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Quick and easy midweek meals made using Dolmio bolognese sauce

What is your favourite mid-week quick meal to make? Let me know below.

This post is an entry for the #Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge, sponsored by Dolmio”


Spicy rhubarb vodka chicken is a tasty and delicious chicken recipe with a slight kick. It is very quick and easy to make.

Mother’s Day will soon be here. It is a great chance to treat your mum and buy her a gift to show how much you appreciate her. Why not venture into the kitchen and cook a special meal for her? Most mums spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking. What could be nicer than giving your mum the evening off to relax and enjoy a meal made for her? It is a great way to get your kids into the kitchen and learning about cooking as well. After all everyone needs to know how to cook.

If you really want to spoil your mum you could also make a lovely cake for dessert.  Hummingbird cupcakes are also really easy to make and the perfect cupcake for Spring. The blend of pineapple and banana makes a lovely sweet end to a meal. If you are really clever you could ice little hummingbirds on them and really wow your mum. You may also want to get your mum a gift for Mother’s Day so why not have a look at some of my ideas for luxury Mother’s Day gifts.

Spicy Rhubarb Vodka Chicken

If you really want to impress your mum with a flavourful main course why not try making spicy rhubarb vodka chicken. It is really quick and easy to make but tastes as if you have put lots of work into it. Children could help to make this as it is so easy. The key to the flavour is in the preparation. The marinade should be made well ahead of time and the chicken left in it to soak it in. It is best to leave the chicken to marinade overnight. If that is not possible soaking it a few hours will let the flavours develop. After the chicken has been marinaded you just need to cook is slowly in a frying pan. The marinade will reduce and form a sticky coating on the chicken which tastes amazing. It goes really well with a serving of sweet potato fries.

Spicy rhubarb vodka chicken

The secret to the marinade is the addition of vodka. In this marinade my vodka of choice was Chase Rhubarb Vodka from 31 Dover. Chase Rhubarb vodka has a stunning pink colour which comes from the slow cooked Herefodshire rhubarb infused into it. This gives is a lovely subtle sweetness which works really well in this chicken recipe. It is also nice in a cheeky cocktail as well. Mix with a little champagne and a vanilla pod to create a cocktail that tastes like rhubarb crumble.
Vodka chicken make with Chase Rhubarb Vodka
The perfect Mother’s day meal should be accompanied by the perfect drink. 31 Dover, the online drinks delivery company, have a great range of drinks that will suit any mum. They do next day delivery as well so you can even get a last minute gift. Whether your mum likes champagne, gin or wine you will find something perfect for her.


Spicy Rhubarb Vodka Chicken Recipe

Spicy Rhubarb Vodka Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 mins plus marinading time
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A light fresh delicately spiced chicken recipe.


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 3 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 80 ml rhubarb vodka
  • 80 ml soy sauce
  • 80 ml Kecap Manis or sweet chilli sauce


  1. Peel and chop the garlic into small pieces
  2. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl
  3. Chop the chicken into chunks and stir into the marinade
  4. Leave to marinade in the fridge overnight
  5. Heat some oil in a large pan
  6. Add the chicken and marinade and cook slowly until the marinade is absorbed and the chicken is cooked.


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Spicy rhubarb vodka chicken. A really easy chicken recipe where the chicken is marinaded in a mixture of vodka, soy sauce and honey for a gorgeous taste


What are you cooking for your mum this Mother’s day? Let me know below.

I was sent the rhubarb vodka to try out in a recipe. My opinions are honest and my own.


Baked bean lasagne is a delicious and easy meal that can be made from store cupboard ingredients. It is low in calories as well so perfect if you are on a diet.

There are always times when there has been no chance to go shopping and the hungry family need a meal. What do you do when these times occur? Have a search though your store cupboard and see what you have in. The contents of packets and tins often come together to create delicious meals. Baked bean lasagne is one of these recipes.  Made using ingredients from the store cupboard it can be put together quickly and left to bake. The oven will work its magic creating a delicious meal to feed the family. Serve with a side salad for a tasty dinner.

Baked bean lasagne

Baked Bean Lasagne

Baked bean lasagne is a dish that was born when I was a student. When you are a student you do your best to look for cheap budget dishes that fill you up whilst being tasty and quick to make. Often you need dishes that will feed a crowd for little money. Pulses such as lentils and beans are great fillers and can be made into a variety of tasty dishes. Lentil soup or lentil stew are two of these survival dishes. They are really cheap to make, perfect when you are coming to the end of a term and are running short of money.

Everyone is familiar with lasagne. Who hasn’t made this Italian dish, delighting in the layers of pasta, meat and mix of tomato and bechamel sauce. Lasagne is always a crowd pleaser and the hot steaming dish makes a great centre piece on the table. Baked bean lasagne is made with baked beans in the place of meat. Adding passata to the baked bean sauce adds flavour making for a delicious meal. Baked beans are naturally high in protein and fibre as well as being low in fat. This makes baked bean lasagne a great dish if you are dieting. It will keep you feeling full whilst being low in calories.

Baked bean lasagne

Heinz No Added Sugar Beanz

Are you trying to cut back on sugar? If so you are not alone. 34% of UK households are trying to cut back on eating sugary foods. It can be hard to do this as many foods contain hidden sugar. You really need to check the labels carefully. Heinz are trying to help and have recently launched No Added Sugar Beanz. The sweet taste is added naturally with stevia plant extracts. As well as having less sugar Heinz No Added Sugar Beanz contain 25% less salt than the standard beans. They still have the same great taste. I was recently sent a couple of cans of No Added Sugar Beanz to try and they made a great base for my baked bean lasagne.

Heinz no added sugar beanz

Baked Bean Lasagne Recipe

This tasty baked bean lasagne does not take long to prepare and get into the oven.

Baked Bean Lasagne

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 1 hr
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A delicious lasagne made with baked beans.


  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red pepper
  •  400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tins baked beans
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 300ml milk
  • 75g grated cheese
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 10 sheets lasagne
  • black pepper for seasoning


  1. Peel and chop the onion and garlic into small pieces.
  2. Remove the seeds from the pepper and cut into small slices.
  3. Heat some oil in a pan and gently cook the onions, garlic and pepper until they are soft.
  4. Add the tomatoes and baked beans into the pan with the herbs.
  5. Set to one side.
  6. In another pan make the cheese sauce.
  7. Melt the butter in a pan and gradually add the flour to make smooth paste.
  8. Add the milk a little at a time whilst stirring to make a smooth sauce
  9. When the sauce bubbles and thickens stir in the cheese letting it melt
  10. Remove from the heat
  11. Preheat the oven to 180C, gas mark 4
  12. In an oven proof dish add a third of the bean mixture
  13. Top with sheets of lasagne then add more bean mixture and half the cheese sauce
  14. Add another layer of lasagne and pour the rest of the cheese sauce on the top
  15. Sprinkle some grated cheese on top
  16. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.

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Baked bean lasagne. A tasty and declious meal that is low in calories

What are your favourite tasty and delicious budget recipes? Let me know below.


I was sent some baked bean to try out but my opinions are my own.