Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2016

Meal Plan 1st - 7th February 2016

It's only 2 weeks until half term apparently... so why does it feel like they've only just gone back to school? We're meant to be going to Disneyland Paris for a few days but the news of the arrest at one of the Disney hotels last week has put the wind up me a bit. I'm not going to cancel, unless we're told not to travel, but that inevitably means I'll be the lady looking uptight and on guard the whole time we're there, much like I was in Egypt a few years ago...and Tunisia too. I'm thinking Portugal for a summer holiday so if I were you I'd avoid it as trouble seems to follow me around....

Onto this weeks meal plan and I'm particularly looking forward to the creamy squash pasta on Monday and slow cooker curry at the end of the week. Tuesday is freezer food  - even food bloggers need a break sometimes.

Monday 1st February
Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta

Tuesday 2nd February
Fish and Chips

Wednesday 3rd February
Cheese, Bacon and Onion Lasagne


Fruit and Nut Breakfast Cups with Degustabox

I make sure the kids and I ALWAYS eat Breakfast no matter how much of a rush we're in. Their absolute favourite is Maple and Raisin Slow Cooker Porridge, especially during the Winter months... with toast and marmite coming a close second. Hubby on the other hand rushes out of the door every morning without eating anything. Somewhat inevitably he ends up eating his packed lunch at 10am and spends the rest of the day sat at his desk starving hungry.  So, in an effort to encourage him to eat something in the mornings as he hops in his car, I made these yummy Fruit and Nut Breakfast Cups using a couple of products from this month's Degustabox. The cups are a little bit like flapjacks but only take 10 minutes to bake. You can try different types of dried fruit and nuts - I used raisins this time but dried apricots would be nice I think. These little cups are also handy for popping into lunchboxes for snack time at school.

A little bit on Degustabox:
Degustabox is a monthly subscri…

Double Lemon Drizzle Loaf

I love the zesty sugary crust on this Double Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake. Pouring the drizzle mixture onto the cake when it's just out of the oven ramps up it's zingy lemon flavour and ensures the cake stays lovely and moist. It's a forgiving cake in many ways and will happily sit in a cake tin for up to 5 days and it also freezes well too (just wrap it in clingfilm and then foil).

I think it has to be one of my all time favourites, especially when I serve it sliced and spread with homemade lemon curd and a dollop of clotted cream. I've even made french toast with the stale ends before for a little weekend breakfast treat. Make it today - I promise you wont be disappointed.

DOUBLE LEMON DRIZZLE LOAF| Serves: 10 slices | Prep Time: 10 Minutes  | Cook Time: 50 Minutes | Total Time: 1 Hour |
INGREDIENTS:225g Butter, softened225g Golden Caster Sugar4 Eggs225g Self Raising FlourZest 2 LemonsFor the Drizzle:85g Caster SugarJuice of 2 LemonsZest of 1 Lemon INSTRUCTIONS:Step 1: Preh…

Family Favourite Spaghetti Bolognese

This Bolognese recipe, although not entirely authentic, is a real crowd pleaser for young and old alike. If you've got any leftovers it makes a lovely hearty topping to jacket potatoes the next day...or do what my Grandad used to and eat his leftover Bolognese on toast! Not tried that one I have to say but he seemed to really enjoy it.

The big Bolognese debate in this house though is not what you do with the leftovers but whether you serve it spooned on top of the spaghetti, which my kids prefer, or mix it through the spaghetti, which I prefer. I swear it tastes better my way.

SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE| Serves: 4-5 | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 1 Hour | Total Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes |
INGREDIENTS:500g Beef Mince6 Streaky Bacon rashers, chopped1 Onion, chopped1 Carrot, chopped1 Celery Stalk, chopped3 Garlic Cloves, chopped1 TBSP Fresh Thyme Leaves1 TBSP Fresh Basil, chopped1 TSP Dried Oregano2 Bay Leaves2 x 400g Tins Chopped Tomatoes with garlic and herbs1 Rich Beef Stock Pot (or b…

Meal Plan 25th - 31st January 2016

It almost felt like Spring this weekend - lovely and mild with a bit of sun thrown in too. The kids and I spent a good few hours having a tidy up of the garden - mainly raking up the tonnes of leaves that have fallen over the last few months as well as a bit of pruning. Roll on the lighter and (hopefully) warmer evenings!

In terms of cooking, I'm developing a couple of new recipes this week which I'll share on the blog if they work! Watch out for a Lemony Prawn Risotto and Smoked Sausage Pasta Bake coming soon.

Monday 25th January
Leftover Roast Chicken in a Creamy Tarragon Sauce with Pasta

Tuesday 26th January
Lemony Prawn Risotto

Wednesday 27th January
Smoked Sausage Pasta Bake with peas and sweetcorn

Thursday 28th January
Tangy Trout with Stir Fried Vegetables

Friday 29th January
Fish and Chips

Saturday 30th January
Cheese Toasties with Coleslaw and Salad

Sunday 31st January
Fridge Bottom Frittata

Nice and Spicy Chicken Curry

It's a bit on the chilly side isn't it? I know Cornwall usually gets away with the worse of the cold weather but it's pretty darn freezing here at the moment. Hubby and I are playing the thermostat game on a fairly regular basis. I turn them up, hubby turns them down, I turn them up again....and so it goes on. It's not just us is it?

Anyway, this cold weather definitely calls for hot and spicy food to warm you up and my spicy chicken curry is just about perfect. It's a bit on the hot side for small kids though so this one's probably best reserved for the adults.

For this recipe you need to make the curry sauce the night before so the flavours have 24 hours to develop - it really does make a difference to the finished dish. You can also make the curry sauce and freeze it until needed. Feel free to try different meats too, leftover roast beef would work well I think.

SPICY CHICKEN CURRY| Serves: 6  | Prep Time: 30 Minutes | Cook Time: 50 Minutes | Total Time: 1 H…

Giveaway - Ahmad Tea Keeper

Who doesn't love a nice hot cuppa, especially in this cold weather? I'm a herbal tea drinker myself (currently supping a lovely Peppermint and Lemon one) but the rest of my family like a good old fashioned builders brew.

In celebration of our nations favourite drink, I'm pleased to be collaborating with UK based Ahmad Tea, giving you the opportunity to win this fabulous Tea Keeper. The wooden tea keeper caddy contains a selection of their most popular teas including English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Green Tea, Jasmine Tea and Peach and Passionfruit.

All you need to do to enter is fill in the rafflecopter widget below. UK entrants only please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Vanilla Raspberry Cupcakes

It's my birthday today - booooo! I think I'm quite unique in that the birthday blues started early for me....when I turned 20 to be exact. I remember being an utterly miserable sod at my birthday meal, which was being held in a lovely little seafood restaurant with close family and friends. My Mum sensed there was something up (she always knows when there is something up) and when I told her the reason for my rather odd behaviour she laughed and told me to 'enjoy the journey and have a glass of wine'. I pondered what she said that night and that little conversation has stuck with me over the years. Although I'm still not keen on big 'do's', I do try and make more of an effort now for the sake of the kids. I'm generally not a miserable introverted sod any other day of the year, just in case you're wondering...and by the way I'm still quite a few years off 40 so I really shouldn't have this mindset at all. Onwards and upwards as they say.…

Meal Plan 18th - 24th January 2016

So, it's my birthday tomorrow - and the less said about that the better. We're eating out tonight at a local pub to 'celebrate' with family - and I do always enjoy a meal out, I just don't enjoy my birthday very much! The rest of the week I'm keeping fairly simple, using up some of my New Years Eve bargains I stashed in the freezer. I'm particularly looking forward to a cheesy fish pie, made extra decadent with tiger prawns and smoked salmon as well as a pot roast beef next weekend. On Tuesday it's just me and the baby to feed, so I'm going to indulge in one of my favourite meals that no-one else really likes - Tortellini with homemade Sun Dried Tomato Pesto. I'm hoping to find some time to fill the cake tins too, I'm thinking a lemon drizzle loaf at the moment but I'll see where my mood takes me. It might end up being a dark and moody chocolate cake!

Monday 18th January
Chicken Curry and Rice

Tuesday 19th January
Tortellini with Sun Drie…

Creamy Pork and Dill Meatballs

I haven't called these Köttbullar (or Swedish meatballs) because I'm sure they're far from authentic. They are REALLY tasty though, which I hope makes up for their lack of authenticity.

Lowen, Rory and even 10 month old Heidi gobbled these down and seemed to really enjoy them, apart from the extra dill I'd scattered on top (oh day they'll appreciate it). The meatballs are quite a lot lighter than my usual beef ones but if you wanted something a bit more 'meaty' replace half the pork mince with beef mince. The kids also seemed to prefer the gravy 'sauce' to my usual tomato based one. So it was a definite thumbs up from them.

If you've come to this page trying to find out how to make the famous Swedish Furniture Store's meatballs, my nearest branch is in Bristol over 2 hours away so I've never had the pleasure! If you do make them, let me know how they compare in the comments section below.


Easy Mediterranean Pasta Bake with Degustabox

Degustabox is a monthly subscription food box service, where every month you're sent a brand new box of between 9 and 14 goodies to try. I find it's a great way for discovering new brands and products and my children this month have been converted to the Happy Monkey Kids Smoothies! Rory declaring them 'the best ever'.

I however, was drawn to the Barilla Wholewheat Pasta and Barilla Vegetable Pasta Sauce and decided to make a filling and hearty pasta bake with them. There's no need to precook the pasta for this either so it's literally mix everything in a bowl, pour into a dish and bung it in the oven kind of meal. I love easy food like this, especially on a busy weeknight.

MEDITERRANEAN PASTA BAKE| Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 1 Hour | Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes |
INGREDIENTS:500g Wholewheat Pasta 1 Jar Pasta Sauce (about 400g)1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes100g Chorizo, sliced150ml Double Cream4 Garlic Cloves, crushed200ml Boiling Water2 TBSP Chopped…

Sticky Glazed Salmon

Everyone will love this tasty baked salmon recipe packed with the punchy flavours of chilli, garlic and soy sauce. It's nice and healthy for those of you on January diets, especially when served with stir fried vegetables..... and if you're not low carbing, rice too. It kept us all nice and full until breakfast, and helps stop that pesky evening snacking.

To make sure the kids would eat it, I just left the red chilli garnish off their portions. They are still a bit dubious about stir fried veg though and in hindsight I should have cooked a portion of peas for them. I'll know for next time.

STICKY GLAZED SALMON| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes | 
INGREDIENTS:4 Boneless Salmon Fillets2 TBSP Sweet Chilli Sauce1 TBSP Sesame Oil1 TBSP Rice Wine1 Garlic Clove, crushed2 Red Chilli, 1 chopped finely the other sliced thinly length ways to garnish2 Spring Onions, sliced length ways to garnishINSTRUCTIONS:Step 1: Preheat the oven to 2…

Meal Plan 11th - 17th January 2016

After school clubs resume this week so I've made sure most of the meals on the plan can be prepared in advance. The older two have got their friends over on Friday so I thought they could make their own pizza's..... not looking forward to the washing up on Friday then!

In other news, I've just started the mammoth task of reformatting all of my old blog posts dating back to May 2008. It's hard going and I've come across some real shockers - some of which have caused a few sniggers on Twitter and Facebook. I'm adding every recipe to my new Recipe Index widget in the sidebar and you might also have noticed I've added a Top 10 page to the blog, which contains the 10 most popular recipes of the month. I hope you like the changes and if you have any feedback or questions just shout.

So, here's the plan at Jam and Cream HQ. What's on your own meal plans this week?

Monday 11th January
Leftover Roast Chicken with Creamed Leeks and Sweet Potato Mash 

Tuesday 1…

Broccoli and Pea Pesto Pasta

I do enjoy sneaking extra vegetables and fruit into my children, although they still wont eat homemade chocolate cookies after the recent avocado episode. I've learnt my lesson and these days I just don't tell them, even after they've finished.

This was just plain, simple and frugal 'pesto pasta' and they gobbled it up without any questions being asked or it being poked and prodded. I think the secret is to put plenty of grana padana in (which is quite a bit cheaper than Parmesan) to make it really cheesy. Heidi who is 9 months loved spoonfuls of the 'pesto' by itself, for everyone else we enjoyed it with homemade garlic bread.

BROCCOLI AND PEA PESTO PASTA| Serves: 4-5 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes |
INGREDIENTS:1 Head of Broccoli, broken into florets3 Handfuls of Frozen PeasHandful of Basil leaves2 large Handfuls of grated Grana Padana2 TBSP Creme Fraiche2 Clove of Garlic, peeled400g Pasta - I used farfalleINSTRUCT…

Heidi's Baby Food Mash-Ups

I wrote a post when my middle child Rory was a baby about weaning (I thought I was a weaning guru I think)...reading it back, it seems quite outdated now, especially if you're following the baby led weaning route. Heidi at 9 months still has no teeth so I've been a little wary (probably too much) about giving her large pieces of food and I have a tendency to panic when I see her gagging.

Whilst she hasn't been eating big chunks of vegetables and fruit by herself yet (apart from really soft things like avocado's, banana's and these very soft Fritters), she hasn't been missing out on family meals thanks to my trusty Potato Ricer from Domu. She eats exactly what we do, I simply pass her portion through the ricer first. I've found it particularly good for slow cooked casseroles and stews as the vegetables are lovely and soft with a nice sauce. Even slow cooked sausages go through OK as long as you don't brown them first.

You could of course use a blender o…

Slow Cooker Sausage, Mushroom and Red Onion Casserole

Where are the glorious crisp cold days of winter? It's been decidedly wet, mild and murky here in Cornwall for way too long and my garden especially is getting very confused.

Wet weather like this calls for lots of comforting slow cooked food and my own slow cooker has been in overdrive these past few weeks producing lots home cooked meals for the family. This Sausage Casserole recipe was a particular hit after a very blustery walk along the coast path on New Years Day. I served it with creamy mashed potato and broccoli.

If you don't like mushrooms just leave them out and add another sliced onion instead.

SLOW COOKER SAUSAGE, MUSHROOM AND RED ONION CASSEROLE| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 8 hours in slow cooker| Total Time: 8 hours |
INGREDIENTS:12 Pork Sausages250g Mushrooms, sliced3 Red Onions, sliced1 TBSP Light Brown Sugar2 TBSP Plain Flour1 TBSP Tomato Puree500ml Beef Stock2 Bay LeavesINSTRUCTIONS:Step 1: Brown the sausages in a large frying pan until gold…

Meal Plan 4th - 10th January 2016

Happy New Year everyone! We had intended to have a quiet one but ended up with 10 unexpected guests on New Years Eve. Luckily I ventured to Waitrose earlier in the day on the hunt for bargains so we had plenty to nibble on throughout the evening. What wasn't so good was getting to bed at 1am then being woken up at 3am by middle child and not getting back to sleep. Needless to say I went to bed at 7pm on New Years Day...and slept right through until 6am!

The reduced meats and fish I grabbed (I stalked the reductions lady around the store) are going to form the basis of my meal plans for the next few weeks. I nabbed 3 free range chickens for £2 each (they were priced at £8), 6 portions of salmon for £4, 2 trout fillets for £1, 500g Pork Mince for 80p and 500g Beef Mince for £1. I'm not one for faddy diets these days but January is going to be full of healthy wholesome family meals on the blog after the excesses of Christmas. If you are anything like me you are craving some rout…