Chicken pies

Today I decided to prepare for what will be a busy run up to Chrismas, by getting some freezer dinners lined up. Chicken pie is a winner, always popular, quick and easy, and actually quite fun.

Chicken, bacon, leek pie


  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • 3 leeks, cut in rounds
  • some fresh thyme
  • A little oregano
  • 6 died rashers bacon
  • About 300g of chicken- you can take it from breasts, thighs etc
  • 2 Tablespoons of wholemeal flour (plain is ok too)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 250ml crème fraiche
  • Salt and pepper
  • Puff pasty (I suggest cutting corners with the packet, pre-rolled kind)

The how to bit:

Set your oven to 180.

Start with the leeks, sweat them gently in the butter with salt and pepper, for about 12 mins. Then add the flour and wine with the thyme and oregano until it thickens.

In another pan fry up the bacon, then and died chicken parts until they are soft and cooked through. Add the crème fraiche and mix though, then add the leek mixture.

Put aside to cool.

Add the filling to the baking containers, either line with pastry first, or just add lid if you’re willing to keep the carbs down!

Beat and  egg and brush the pastry top, and bake for 25-30 mins. Tah-dah!


Lemon curd & memories

I found I had a surplus of lemons, and although usually I would congratulate myself on this happy accident and crack the gin, on this occasion I refrained.

I remembered a family friend that would leave a jar with a checkered cap filled with lemon curd on our doorstep once a month, the jar of yellow happiness that would mark the start of badgering my mother to make lemon meringue pie.

I realised that I have never attempted to make lemon curd (or lemon butter as I knew it), assuming it came form the dark caverns of cooking knowledge that only the experts of the past possess (include here christmas pudding brandy sauce and bearnaise sauces that were made with much fuss at family dinners).

Turns out that I was completely wrong, and this simple addition can be added to the ‘look mum no hands’ category of cooking, where you feel quite cocky that it is hard not to get right and for others to be impressed.

There are a number of recipes kicking about, but the easiest one I found went thus:
Continue reading


Posh Brownies… with mayonnaise?

I shall begin this tale of cookery back to front, not to try my hand at revealing a recipe Memento style (although I can see that being very funny) but actually so that I can assure you that these brownies were an insane hit.

I gave them to ten people for taste testing, and all ten not only liked them, but also complimented them… and were quite impressed with the fact they were eating mayonnaise sweets (nothing like a bit of novelty).

This will now be my preferred recipe, mostly because they stay moist and fluffy, and I can feel guilt free because the butter version had 55% more saturated fat than the mayonnaise replacement.

Rewind to the beginning and as if by magic, a hamper of brownies-to-be arrived on my doorstep, complete with a lovely pink mixing bowl and spatula.

I strongly recommend you try this recipe at home:
Continue reading