Chicken Stir Fry

Stir Fry
This delicious stir-fry dish is not only healthy, it is quick and easy to prepare – and it’s cheap!  
 The tender and crisp vegetables retain more nutrients than if they had been boiled, and the fat content is extremely low as the dish only requires a small amount of oil. I used Frylight Olive Oil Spray, 190 ml cooking spray  as it only contains one calorie per spray.
Stir-frying is a Chinese cooking technique in which ingredients are fried in a small amount of very hot oil while being stirred in a wok
The technique originated in China and in recent centuries has spread into other parts of Asia and the West ( – stir frying).
The term “stir-fry” was introduced into the English language in Buwei Yang Cheo’s book’How to Cook and Eat in Chinese’ (1945) to describe the chao technique. Chao being the modern word for stir-fry.
Chicken Stir Fry


Place the Linguini into a saucepan of boiling salted water and cook until tender.

Put the butter and olive oil into a wok over a moderate heat and allow to heat up.

Cut the chicken breast into 2cm dice and add to the wok. Allow the chicken to cook for about 10 minutes until there is no sign of pink flesh. Add the garlic, tomato puree and seasoning and cook for a further 5 minutes.


250g Linguini
500g Chicken Breast
25g Butter
4 tbsp Olive Oil
2 Chopped Cloves of Garlic
1 tbsp Tomato Puree
640g Stir Fry Vegetables
180g Plum & Hoisin Sauce

Serves 4

Total cost:  £7.28

Price per Portion:  £1.82

Drain the linguini and then add to the chicken,  stirring in to thoroughly cover the linguini in juices. 

Then add the stir fry vegetables, again thoroughly mixing all the ingredients and allow to cook for 5 minutes.

Finally, add the plum and hoisin sauce and mix well.

Serve immediately.

More recipes can be found by clicking here.

Is Kindness Enough?

Kindness helped a lot of people this Christmas – from food banks; gifts of warm clothing and toiletries; to free meals, shelter and company. But what happens now?  The problem has not gone away.  Kindness will not eradicate poverty. Are we helping by providing temporary relief or are we distracting those responsible from finding a solution?  Would the government be more likely to focus on dealing with poverty if they weren’t being helped by charities?

Continue reading “Is Kindness Enough?”

Delicious Christmas Cake

Delicious Christmas Cake
Delicious Christmas Cake Slice

Christmas Cake

If you are not keen on rich fruit cake, this recipe is ideal. Whilst filled with delicious ingredients it is not iced, it's lighter, more moist and costs less.


Line a 20cm round false-bottomed cake tin.

Pre-heat your oven to
150 degrees C.

Cream the butter or margarine with the caster sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.

Beat in the golden syrup and gradually add the eggs, one at a time, beating all the time.

Stir in the lemon and orange rinds.

Fold in the flour, salt and milk, then add the sultanas, apricots and cherries.

(For the best dispersement of ingredients it is a good idea to snip the apricots into smaller pieces and cut the cherries in half)

November 1979



225g Butter or Margarine
125g caster Sugar
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
4 Large Eggs
Finely grated rind of 2 Lemons
Finely grated rind of 2 Oranges
300g Self Raising Flour
Pinch of salt
1-2 tbsp Milk
400g Sultanas
100g Dried Apricots
100g Glace Cherries

Recipe Cost:   £6.08

Regular Christmas Cake retail:  £10

You save approximately £4 

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, raising the mixture around the outside to produce a slight hollow in the middle. This will help to make sure your cake becomes level as it bakes.

Place a double sheet of greaseproof paper to act as a lid, on top of the cake before you put it into the oven.

Cook on the middle shelf of the oven for 1 hour.Click here forThen reduce the temperature of the oven to 130 degrees C and bake for a further 1.5 – 2 hours.

To test if your cake is fully cooked, poke a pointed knife into the centre, if it comes out clean, remove from the oven and place on a wired tray to cool. If not, give the cake extra time (Check every 10 mins) and test again.

(Do not try to remove the paper linings from the cake until it is perfectly cool)

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Christmas – A time for laughing and sharing

Christmas will soon be upon us. Amidst the festive build up and associated stresses and financial concerns, I thought I’d share with you some amusing experiences and things that make me laugh.  I love Christmas. For me, it’s all about being with family and friends; it’s a time to forget (for a short period) the problems our world is facing and to simply enjoy being alive.  I will reflect upon past Christmases: happy times spent with my parents (now deceased), the beaming smiles on my children’s faces following Santa’s visit, and will look forward to the different kind of magic that Christmas brings now.

Continue reading “Christmas – A time for laughing and sharing”

Scrumptious Italian Christmas Pudding Cake

Italian Christmas Pudding Cake
Italian Christmas Pudding Cake

Italian Christmas Pudding cake

It just keeps getting better. This, trust me, is an indulgence you simply cannot do without. It bears absolutely no comparison to a Christmas Pudding but as an alternative, it wins hands down!! It is a delightful Italian Christmas dessert, light and fluffy and has the appearance of something aristocratic with all the scrumptious flavours of Christmas all rolled into one. Miss this and weep! Sheer Bliss!


(To make this cake you need a 22-23cm Springform cake tin.)

Cut the panettone into 1cm slices and use a third of these to line the bottom of the tin, making sure there are no gaps. Drizzle 2 tbsp of the Kahlua over the panettone so as it becomes moist.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together until very frothy. Then slowly whisk in the mascarpone and double cream then slowly add the marsala. Carry on whisking until the mixture is thick and more firm.

Nigella Lawson
Truly one of the most influential charismatic cooks of our time.


625g Panettone
6 x 15ml tbsp Kahlua Lq
2 Eggs
75g Caster Sugar
500g Mascarpone
250ml Double Cream
125ml Marsala or Sweet Sherry
75g Glace Cherries
125g Chocolate Chips
100g Pistachio Nuts
2 x 15ml tbsp Pomegranite Seeds


£1  per portion: 

12 – 14 Slices

Remove a good cupful of the mixture and store in the fridge for later. Add the glace cherries to the mixture followed by 100g of the chocolate chips and 75g of the chopped pistachios and fold in.

Now use half this mixture and put on top of the tin lined with panettone.

Now use a further third of the panettone slices to cover the mixture you have just added and remember, no gaps. Drizzle with a further 2tbsp of liqueur.

Now place the remainder of the filling on top and cover with the remainder of the panettone slices. Use the final 2tbsp of liqueur on this final layer.

Cover the tin with clingfilm and press down on the cake to make sure all the layers are well seated.

This can then be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days until needed.

Before you serve, remove from the springform tin, place on a presentation dish and add the cupful of filling you saved to the top surface, levelling as best you can.

Now scatter the remainder of the nuts, and chocolate chips over the top, adding the pomegranate seeds.


Food Allergies & Intolerances: Are they fashionable obsessions?

“We are a kitchen, not a hospital” (Raymond Blanc).  On the BBC Good Food Show Raymond Blanc argued that it is now ‘fashionable’ to have a food intolerance. He is not the only chef to have complained about customers claiming to have food allergies and intolerances. In July this year an Australian chef vented his anger on Instagram with customers ‘who aren’t honest about what they can eat’.  He gave an example of a customer who had a ‘shellfish allergy but loves oyster sauce’. He said “you make it really damn hard for people with actual allergies and dietaries to go out to eat. Are they right?

Continue reading “Food Allergies & Intolerances: Are they fashionable obsessions?”

Christmas Rocky Road

Christmas Rocky Road

For all Chocoholics!! If it’s a little festive indulgence you’re looking for this year – this is the recipe for you. Ideal for those intimate parties and family get-togethers, this rich passionate finger-licking treat will please everyone. Packed with your favourite goodies – how can you go wrong​

Nigella Lawson
Truly one of the most influential charismatic cooks of our time.

Nigella Christmas


250g dark Chocolate
150g Milk Chocolate
175g Soft Butter
4 x 15ml Tablespoons of Golden Syrup
200g Amaretti Biscuits (Not the soft ones)
150g Shelled Brazil Nuts
150g Red Glace Cherries
125g Mini Marshmallows
1 x 15ml Tablespoon of Icing Sugar


45p per portion

24 Bite Size Bars


Chop up both types of chocolate small and put into a pan with the butter and syrup over a gentle heat.

Put the biscuits into a freezer bag and bash them to get various sized crumbs.

Put the brazil nuts into another bag and repeat the above action.

Take the pan off the heat and add the biscuits, nuts, place cherries and marshmallows making sure all the ingredients are coated with chocolate.

Tip into a foil tray (236mm x 296mm)smoothing the mixture as best you can. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Remove the slab mixture from the refrigerator and place on a chopping board. Sift the icing sugar over the top.

Cut the chocolate slab 6 x 4 and place on a presentation dish.


How to encourage customers to donate money to a charity without embarrassing them

Charity begins at home.  Many believe this proverb means that you should look after your family and friends first, but I would argue that it means that charity begins in the home where your children learn what charity really is. One of my daughters, a student, sent me this photograph a couple of days ago:

How to encourage customers to donate money to a charity without embarrassing them
Wish for Water Mexican restaurant called Ojo Rojo, where customers can donate to the charity

She explained that small boxes have been placed on each table at a Mexican restaurant called Ojo Rojo, where customers can donate to the charity ‘Wish for Water’. She told me that she and her friends put their loose change into the box. She said that she was happy to donate because although she could only afford to give away her loose change, she did not feel embarrassed at not being able to donate more.  There was no pressure to donate – just the opportunity.  Our conversation inspired me to write this post.

Continue reading “How to encourage customers to donate money to a charity without embarrassing them”

Caterers and Food Waste – what can a caterer do?

How caterers can help people suffering from food poverty and help save the environment.

Caterers tend to be very busy this time of year – ordering and preparing food to serve to their customers who are celebrating the advent of Christmas. But how much of this food will be wasted? How much will end up in landfills? Could some of the food be given to the homeless or others suffering from food poverty? I’m writing this blog because there are caterers who divert food destined for the landfill and make it available to those people in need, and I thought it might be of interest to you.

Continue reading “Caterers and Food Waste – what can a caterer do?”