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Blog Archive

Ghoulish Eyeball Pasta With Blood Red Sauce

Ghoulish Eyeball Pasta With Blood Red Sauce
We don't make a huge deal of Halloween here but I do allow the kids to go Trick or Treating to a few neighbours houses. We'll also be tucking into this ghoulish eyeball pasta with blood red meatball sauce on Saturday evening whilst we watch the rugby. It's super easy to make, especially if you use ready made meatballs (I'm all for time saving) and if you can't find spinach tagliatelle just use plain pasta and stir in some pesto sauce to make it green.

The spider is optional!
Ghoulish Eyeball Pasta With Blood Red Sauce


| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 25 Minutes | Total Time: 35 Minutes |


  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, chopped
  • 4 rashers of Bacon, chopped
  • 20 ready made meatballs
  • Jar of Passata
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • Mini Mozzarella (about 20)
  • A few Basil leaves
  • 1 TBSP Tomato Ketchup
  • Green Spinach Tagliatelle to serve


  • Step 1: Bring a pan of water to the boil ready for the pasta.
  • Step 2: In another pan fry the onion, garlic and bacon for 5 minutes, turn up the heat then add the meatballs.
  • Step 3: Once browned add the passata, sugar, turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes
  • Step 4: Cook the pasta according to instructions.
  • Step 5: Make the mozzarella eyes by placing a small but of basil on each mozzarella then dip a cocktail stick into the tomato ketchup and make veins on the mozzarella eyeballs.
  • Step 6: Drain the pasta and divide into dishes. Put a large spoonful of meatballs on the top of each then place the eyeballs around the sauce.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 30th October 2015 |

Beth Sachs
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Halloween Gingerbread Men

Halloween Gingerbread Men
This is a great Halloween project for the kids to do this half term. I made up my usual gingerbread dough recipe then spread the cooled, cooked gingerbread men with buttercream (you can make it yourself or buy it ready made in a tub) - this helps the icing stick. The kids then rolled out some ready to roll icing (Renshaws) and used a knife and gingerbread cutters to cut out the shapes they wanted. We made ghosts, zombies, witches and mummies....and they tasted yummy!

Be as creative as you dare!


| Serves: 20 | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 12 Minutes | Total Time: 22 Minutes |


  • 350g Plain Flour
  • 1 TSP Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 2 TSP Ground Ginger
  • 1 TSP Ground Cinnamon
  • 125g Butter
  • 175g Light Soft Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 4 TBSP Golden Syrup
  • Ready to Roll coloured icing
  • Ready made buttercream in a tub (or make up your own)


  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 180c and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  • Step 2: Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and put into bowl of a food processor.
  • Step 3: Add butter and pulse until you get breadcrumb consistency.
  • Step 4: Add the sugar,egg and syrup and pulse until mixture comes together.
  • Step 5: Tip dough onto lightly floured surface, give it a quick knead then wrap in clingfilm and chill for 15 minutes.
  • Step 6: Roll the dough out to 0.5cm and cut with gingerbread men cutters.
  • Step 7: Bake in the oven for 12 minutes, cool on wire rack.
  • Step 8: To decorate spread each gingerbread man with buttercream and decorate with the ready to roll icing.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 29th October 2015 |

Beth Sachs
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Yoghurt and Lemon Curd Fool

Yoghurt and Lemon Curd Fool
I've got another quick and easy dessert for you today - Yoghurt and Lemon Curd Fool! There is so much flavour in these little things and no culinary skills required in the making, unless you want to make your own lemon curd (I have my Mum).

I was recently sent a Hansells yoghurt maker to test out and I managed to make 1 litre of creamy natural yoghurt on my first attempt - it was ridiculously easy! There is only so much yoghurt you can dollop on your Muesli though so I decided to try and incorporate some into a super quick but tasty dessert. Natural yoghurt is quite tangy so pairing it with a buttery sweet lemon curd worked really well. The blackberries I grabbed from my garden but any berry would do - raspberries would be nice.

For a bit of added crunch I sprinkled on some crushed ginger nut biscuits but if you had the time, some homemade shortbread would turn this simple dessert into something special.

The fools can be made up to two days ahead and kept in the fridge until needed.
Yoghurt and Lemon Curd Fool


| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: - | Total Time: - |

Ingredients (for 1 portion):

  • 6 TBSP of Natural Yoghurt for each shot glass
  • 3 TBSP Lemon Curd for each shot glass
  • 5 Blackberries
  • Sprinkling of crushed up ginger nut biscuits


  • Step 1: Layer the yoghurt and lemon curd into the shot glass, place the blackberries on top and finish with some crushed up ginger nut biscuits sprinkled on top

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 21st October 2015 |

Beth Sachs
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Chicken Tikka Masala in theTefal Cook4Me

Chicken Tikka Masala in the Tefal Cook4Me
I love my slow cooker (REALLY love) so I met the Tefal Cook4Me with rather a lot of scepticism. It claimed to make delicious curries, chilli's and casseroles in 10 minutes and steam vegetables to perfection in ultra quick time. I honestly thought I'd be disappointed with the results - just another gadget to be consigned to the back of the cupboard. How wrong was I!

The Tefal Cook4Me comes with 50 pre programmed recipes all ready in less than 15 minutes and guides you step by step to cook meals for up to 6 people (you have the option of 3 portion sizes). It has 5 cook settings - pressure cook (I've always been scared of pressure cookers and I still have the one my late grandmother bought me in its packaging), steam, brown, simmer and reheat.

I thought I'd start with something pretty easy - a Chicken Tikka Masala. The recipe book that accompanies the Cook4Me lists the ingredients needed (or you can just refer to the digital screen), with amounts dependant on how many you want to serve. The digital screen guided me through the cooking process with ease. In a nutshell the oil preheats for a few minutes, you then add the ingredients you want to brown, in this case the chicken and onion -and it even tells you how long to brown them for. After that it's just a case of chucking everything else in - for this recipe it was tikka paste, tomato puree, water and double cream. It tells you to lock the lid and that's it. Three minutes later (yes really) and the curry was ready. I promise you it was that quick. I couldn't believe how meltingly tender the chicken was with a silky smooth, perfect consistency tikka masala sauce. I was amazed - so was my husband. In fact I'm hopeful it might encourage him into the kitchen.

I've since steamed vegetables for Heidi's baby mashes and it was far quicker than boiling or roasting them in the oven. The only disappointment was that the instructions advised against cooking Bramley Apples due to their tendency to go frothy -  a shame considering we love our apple crumbles. Maybe I'll find a way around that one?

The Tefal Cook4Me is currently on offer at Lakeland for £199, which some might say is a bit on the pricey side. For parents who are time poor though, this gadget really could revolutionise meal times. I'm almost certain I'll be using this as much as my slow cooker and I'm already thinking of ways I could utilise it at Christmas...sprouts maybe?

I was given a Tefal Cook4Me to review. All thoughts are my own.
Beth Sachs
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Giveaway: The Art of Conversation (Food)

The Art of Conversation Food

The Art of Conversation (Food) is an award winning game which makes a great present for food lovers or a brilliant addition to any Christmas dinner table. Fun cards with questions like "what is the most embarrassing item in your pantry" get people talking and laughing whatever their age. The Art of Conversation (Food) is available from all good bookshops and online retailers for £9.98.

I have one Art of Conversation game to giveaway to a Jam and Clotted Cream reader. To enter all you need to do is fill in the Rafflecopter widget below. UK entrants only please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beth Sachs
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Honey and White Chocolate Traybake

Honey and White Chocolate Traybake
These were meant to be blondies but weren't quite the right texture - definitely more traybake than blondie! Nevertheless, they turned out moist and moreish and were quickly gobbled up by the kids.

I tried out Marriages Golden Wholemeal flour which gave the traybake a subtle nuttiness, a nice contrast to the sweet chocolate. Next time I may try drizzling melted white chocolate over the cooked traybake instead of putting chunks into the unbaked batter (a couple of pieces had burnt slightly) ...blueberries would be a good addition too. Options are endless and its a lovely basic recipe that you can play with.

Have a lovely weekend.
Honey and White Chocolate Traybake


| Serves: 16 squares | Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 25 Minutes |


  • 150g Butter
  • 150g Set Honey
  • 150g Golden Syrup
  • 1 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 200g Plain Flour - I used Marriages Golden Wholemeal
  • 2 TSP Baking Powder
  • 75 White Chocolate Chunks


  • Step 1: Preheat the oven to 190c (170 fan). Grease and line a 30 x 20cm traybake tin with baking paper.
  • Step 2: In a large pan melt the butter, honey, syrup and vanilla over a medium heat. Once melted set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Step 3: Stir in the eggs then sift in the flour and baking powder. Stir to combine.
  • Step 4: Pour the batter into the lined tin then scatter with the white chocolate chunks.
  • Step 5: Bake for 20 minutes, cool then slice into squares.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 16th October 2015 |

Beth Sachs
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Aged Havarti Cheese, Prosciutto and Rocket Pizza

Aged Havarti Cheese, Prosciutto and Rocket Pizza

Castello have recently launched a new cheese onto the UK market. Aged Havarti is based on an authentic Danish recipe dating back to 1952 and is matured for 12 months. Added cultures give the cheese a lovely crumbly texture and salt crystals (which I could definitely taste) provide a unique contrasting flavour. Stronger than the average cheddar - probably on a par with extra mature cheddar in terms of strength - Aged Havarti is now available in the UK at Waitrose.

Castello kindly sent me some Aged Havarti to sample and I decided to try it out on a pizza. The cheese melted really well and complemented the salty prosciutto perfectly. It's a lovely punchy cheese and one I will be using a lot more of in the future (it's also great eaten in chunks with toasted fennel seeds!).

Note that I make the pizza dough in my breadmaker and the quantities I give are for 3 medium pizza's.
Aged Havarti Cheese, Prosciutto and Rocket Pizza


| Serves: makes 3 pizza's | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 8 Minutes  | Total Time: 18 Minutes |


  • For the pizza dough - which I make in my Breadmaker 
  • 1/2 TSP Fast Acting Dried Yeast
  • 300g Strong White Flour
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1/2 TSP Salt
  • 170ml Water
  • Topping (for 1 pizza)
  • 3 TBSP ready made pizza sauce
  • 150g Aged Havarti, crumbled
  • 4 Slices of Prosciutto
  • Handful of Rocket


  • Step 1: Make the pizza dough in a breadmaker, turn out onto a floured surface and cut into 3 pieces.
  • Step 2: Preheat oven to 220c/200 fan. Roll out the base to about 20cm diameter and prick the base with a fork.
  • Step 3: Spread the pizza sauce onto the pizza and top with the crumbled cheese.
  • Step 4: Cook for around 8 minutes.
  • Step 5: Once the pizza comes out of the oven top with the prosciutto and rocket.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 14th October 2015 |

Beth Sachs
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Spiced Lamb Curry

Spiced Lamb Curry
Today marks the start of National Curry Week which runs from the 12th -18th October 2015. To celebrate, I've created this delicious curry using diced shoulder of Welsh Lamb with heaps of fragrant Indian spices.

A mild chicken korma is usually the preference in these parts as I know it's something the kids will eat it! It was therefore quite refreshing to try something a bit different with the spices notched up a peg or two. It's spicy but not hot  - I just served some natural yogurt alongside for the kids. If you do like your curry a little bit hotter though just add another red chili to the equation.


| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 90 Minutes | Total Time: 1 hr 45 Minutes |


  • 1kg Diced Shoulder of Lamb
  • 2 Onions, chopped
  • 25g Fresh ginger, peeled
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, peeled
  • 1 Red Chili, deseeded
  • 2 TBSP Ground Cumin
  • 2 TBSP Ground Coriander
  • 1 TBSP Turmeric
  • 1 400g Tin of Tomatoes
  • 150ml Beef Stock
  • 3 TBSP Honey


  • Step 1: Preheat the oven to 150c (130 fan).
  • Step 2: In a large casserole heat a glug of olive oil then brown the diced lamb in batches - remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Step 3: Add another glug of oil to the pan and gently soften the onion for 5 minutes.
  • Step 4: Whilst the onion is cooking, put the ginger, garlic and chili in a food processor and whizz to a paste.
  • Step 5: Add the paste to the pan alongside the ground spices and stir for a minute.
  • Step 6: Put the browned lamb back in along with the tomatoes, beef stock and honey, stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper then put a lid on the pan and pop it in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Serve with plenty of rice and poppadoms.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 12th October 2015 |

Beth Sachs
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Caramel Amaretti Cheesecake Cups

Caramel Amaretti Cheesecake Cups
Happy Friday everyone - it's come around quick! If you're on the look out for a super easy dessert recipe to make this weekend then look no further. These Caramel Amaretti Cheesecake Cups are so simple (even my husband could manage it) but taste absolutely amazing. If you aren't keen on almond flavours then swap the amaretti for chocolate digestive biscuits instead. I've also cheated and used caramel from a tin, but if you had the time then why not have a go at making your own?

The ingredients I give below make 4 teacup size cheesecakes - just double the recipe if you're serving a crowd.

I'll be back on Sunday with my weekly meal plan. Have a good weekend whatever you're cooking.
Caramel Amaretti Cheesecake Cups


| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: - | Total Time: - |


  • 100g Amaretti Biscuits, roughly broken
  • 2 x 180g tubs of Cream Cheese (full fat)
  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 6 TBSP Caramel (I used tinned)
  • Flaked Almonds, toasted for decoration 


  • Step 1: Crush the amaretti roughly and divide between 4 teacups.
  • Step 2: In a large bowl beat together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix through 4 TBSP of the caramel.
  • Step 3:  Spoon the caramel mixture into the teacups then swirl through the remaining caramel and top with the flaked almonds.
  • Step 4: Chill for up to 12 hours in the fridge.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 9th October 2015 |

Beth Sachs
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Giveaway: Eisberg Alcohol Free Wine

It's no secret that I enjoy a glass of wine, as does my husband  (just don't tell his mates!).  Living in rural Cornwall though means that if we want to eat out, one of us has to drive - unless we want to pay a £30 taxi fare. A couple of our favourite local restaurants are 'bring your own' and on a recent meal out I took along  a bottle of Eisberg alcohol free Sauvugnon Blanc. It was a really good substitute for the real thing and made me feel like I wasn't missing out too much.

Eisberg have kindly given one Jam and Clotted Cream reader the chance of winning all four bottles in the Eisberg range. To be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is fill in the Rafflecopter widget below. UK entrants only please.

Good Luck

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Beth Sachs
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Chicken Pestorella Burger (Marley Spoon Review)

Chicken Pestorella Burger
Recipe box delivery service Marley Spoon are launching a new family meal box service in November. The plan is specifically tailored to British families offering fast, easy and healthy recipes, delivered with the exact ingredients needed to cook them at home. Every week five new recipes are available to choose from with recipes such as this tasty Chicken Pestorella Burger (recipe below), meatballs, pork chops, chilli, tagines.... with lots of tasty veggie options too.

Marley Spoon kindly sent me a box to try out myself. The box arrived promptly with all of the non perishable ingredients grouped into large brown bags - a separate bag for each recipe and the fridge ingredients in a refrigerated pack. Most of the packaging could be recycled and all of the ingredients were in a good condition upon arrival. Recipe sheets were also included and I noticed they even have a hotline to phone for any recipe box related culinary emergency!
I tried one of the recipes for lunch today to see if it tasted as good as it looked in the photo! I opted for the Chicken Pestorella Burger which took minimal effort to prepare and didn't let down on taste. It was delicious.

Marley Spoon have indicated the family style dishes will be big enough to feed 2 Adults and 2-3 Children and start from £4.35 a portion with options to cook 2, 3 or 4 times a week. A little pricey maybe, but for a busy working family it might just be the ideal solution to the mad panic at the end of the working day when you find yourself rooting around for something quick and healthy for tea.


| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 10 Minutes | Total Time: 15 Minutes |


  • 4 Chicken Breasts, butterflied
  • 1 Ball of Mozzarella, sliced
  • 4 Ciabatta Rolls
  • 4 TBSP Pesto
  • 2 Tomatoes, Sliced
  • Salad Leaves


  • Step 1: Slice the ciabatta rolls open and toast.
  • Step 2: In a frying pan, fry the butterflied chicken for about 4 minutes a side. Top with the mozzarella and take off the heat.
  • Step 3: Spread the pesto over the halved ciabatta rolls, lay on the salad leaves and tomatoes and top with the mozzarella chicken.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 7th October 2015 |

I was sent a box to review, all thoughts are my own.
Beth Sachs
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Sherry Braised Pork Cheeks

Sherry Braised Pig Cheeks
I'd never cooked or eaten pig cheeks before, so when Greys Fine Foods emailed me and asked if I'd like to try creating a dish with their Spanish Pig Cheeks and a bottle of Fino en Rama Sherry I immediately accepted the challenge.

After a bit of internet research I decided to braise the pig cheeks in sherry and beef stock adding the smoky spices of smoked paprika and cumin to the mix. The pig cheeks turned out meltingly tender and the Sherry sauce was a lovely flavour - a very pleasant surprise. I served the pork with mashed potato, which was perfect for soaking up the lovely juices.


| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 2 Hours | Total Time: 2 Hours 10 Minutes |


  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 600g Pig Cheeks, cut in half
  • 1 TBSP Seasoned Flour
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1 TSP Cumin
  • 1 1/2 TSP Smoked Paprika
  • 150ml Sherry
  • 500ml Beef Stock
  • Parsley and Flaked Almonds to serve


  • Step 1: In a large pan heat a glug of oil and gently cook the onion until soft (about 10 minutes) - spoon the onions onto a plate and set aside.
  • Step 2: Heat some more oil in the same pan, quickly toss the pig cheeks in the flour then brown them in batches.
  • Step 3: Return all the pork and onion to the pan and then add the garlic, cumin and smoked paprika. Stir to combine then add the sherry.
  • Step 4: After the sherry has reduced a bit, add the stock, bring to a low simmer and cook for 2 hours. Serve the pig cheeks with parsley and flaked almonds scattered over. 

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 6th October 2015 |

Beth Sachs
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Apple, Caramel and Walnut Crumble

We've had two glorious weeks of sun here on the North Cornish coast but today it's turned decidedly Autumnal - I don't mind, I love Autumn. After a night of heavy rain and strong winds I woke to find loads of my Bramley apples had fallen off the tree, so out I trotted in my dressing gown to rescue them before the wildlife started helping themselves.

Caramel is used instead of sugar in this crumble recipe and I think it gives it a wonderful flavour along with the nuttiness of the walnuts. Despite living in Cornwall where clotted cream is king, I'm a custard with crumble kind of girl! But either is fine, whichever you prefer.


| Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Total Time: 40 Minutes |


  • 6 large Bramley Apples
  • 6 heaped TBSP Caramel (I used tinned caramel)
  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 100g Butter
  • 30g Walnuts, chopped


  • Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200c (180 fan).
  • Step 2: Peel, core and chop the apples then pop them in a large pan with a splash of water and gently cook until starting to soften (takes about 5 minutes). Stir 3 TBSP of the caramel into the apple, take off the heat and spoon into a 1.5 litre oven proof dish.
  • Step 3: In a large bowl rub together the butter and flour until you have 'breadcrumbs' then stir in the chopped walnuts and remaining caramel. Scatter over the apples.
  • Step 4: Bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until the crumble is brown on top.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 5th October 2015 |

Beth Sachs
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Spiced Lamb with Saffron Spinach Rice

Spiced Lamb and Saffron Rice
Throughout October Waitrose are celebrating Britains warmest dishes and asking people to share their favourite #AutumnWarmers recipes. To help kick off the campaign, Waitrose asked me to cook one of my favourite Autumnal recipes with a local Cornish twist.

This harissa spiced lamb and saffron rice dish is delicate yet hearty and is perfect for the chilly evenings that are now upon us. Saffron is most famously used in these parts for Cornish Saffron Buns, but it also adds a lovely depth of flavour to rice. I added spinach and peas to the rice to give it a nice colour but courgettes and peppers would also work.

To be in with a chance of winning some amazing prizes, all you need to do is share your own Autumnal recipe on Twitter or Instagram using the #AutumnWarmers hashtag and include @Waitrose handle. Good luck!


| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 25 Minutes | Total Time: 35 Minutes |


  • 4 Lamb Chops
  • 2 TBSP Harissa Pasta
  • 250g Basmati Rice
  • Pinch of Saffron
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, chopped
  • Bag of Baby Spinach 
  • 150g Frozen Peas


  • Step 1:  Rub the lamb chops in the harissa paste and leave to one side while you cook the rice
  • Step 2: Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the saffron strands then the rice. 3 minutes before the end of cooking add the peas, Drain and set aside.
  • Step 3: Preheat the grill and grill the lamb chops, about 4 minutes a side.
  • Step 4: Whilst the lamb chops are cooking, fry the onion and garlic in a little oil until softened, then add the rice and spinach. Stir to combine then serve with the grilled lamb chops.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 2nd October 2015 |

Beth Sachs
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