Food & Drink

Rosemary Crusted Lamb Chops

Rosemary Crusted Lamb Chops recipeCooking for two? A romantic dinner perhaps? Consider the lamb chop—delicate, tender, juicy, and so easy. Rub with some chopped herbs, garlic, salt and pepper, and olive oil, let them sit for a bit, sear all over on high heat, let rest a few minutes, and serve. A lamb chop is such a lovely tender cut of meat, you just don’t have to do much to it. In fact, the only thing you really don't want to do is over cook them.


1 pound lamb double rib chops 

2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

4 Tbsp olive oil, divided


(1) In a small bowl, mix the rosemary, salt, pepper, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil together. Coat the lamb chops with the mixture, massaging it into the meat with your fingers. If you are working with double rib chops, cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes. 

(2) Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in an oven-proof sauté pan over high heat. When the oil is shimmering hot, sear the lamb chops on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. 

(3) At this point, if you want your lamb chops rare, they are likely to be cooked enough. Remove them from the pan, cover them with foil and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. If you would like your chops more cooked, you can put them in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or keep them in the hot pan, remove from heat, and cover the pan for a few minutes. Then remove from the pan to a plate or cutting board, cover with foil and let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Melt in the mouth Shin Beef

Melt in the mouth Shin BeefWith Autumn well under way and the weather decidedly dull today, it's time for some comfort food. Shin beef is one of those cuts which is very-much under rated. Cooked slowly it's got a depth of flavour you'll not find in other cuts such as steak. Your butcher will be able to supply shin beef and it's an in-expense cut.


olive oil

2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped

3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

3 sticks celery, trimmed and roughly chopped

4 cloves garlic, unpeeled

a few sprigs fresh rosemary

2 bay leaves

1 small handful dried porcini

1 stick cinnamon

1 kg quality shin of beef, bone removed, trimmed and cut into 5cm pieces

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon flour

2 x 400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes

1/2 bottle Chianti


Cooking a shin of beef or any good stewing cut this way gives you some really fantastic comfort food. Just letting it slowly simmer away in the oven, with the sauce becoming more and more intense, is the nicest sort of cooking there is. Delicious served with some mashed root veg – like carrots, potatoes, a bit of swede, some turnips maybe?

Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. In a heavy-bottomed ovenproof saucepan, heat a splash of olive oil and gently fry the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, herbs, porcini and cinnamon for 5 minutes until softened slightly. Meanwhile, toss the pieces of beef in a little seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Add the meat to the pan and stir everything together, then add the tomatoes, wine and a pinch of salt and pepper. Gently bring to the boil, cover with a double-thickness piece of tinfoil and a lid and place in your preheated oven for 3 hours or until the beef is meltingly tender and can be broken up with a spoon. Taste and check the seasoning, remove the cinnamon stick and rosemary sprigs and serve.


DIY Toffee Apples for Bonfire Night

DIY Toffee Apples for Bonfire NightIf you're not keen on the shop offerings, here a simple recipe for Toffee Apples. After all they're likely to be so much better freshly made.


15 small apples, red or green

4 cups white sugar

1 tsp white vinegar

1 cup water

1 tsp red food colouring


Lightly grease a baking tray. Wash and dry the apples and insert chop sticks, thick wooden skewers or ice pop sticks into each apple. 

Combine sugar, vinegar and water in a small heavy based pot. Bring to the boil and stir in the food colouring. 

Heat to 150C or simmer for about 20 minutes or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water reaches crack stage – it should set hard and be hard enough to crack with your fingers. 

Remove pot from the heat and stand in a baking dish of water until the mixture stops bubbling. 

When the mixture has stopped boiling, hold an apple by its stick, dip into the syrup, tilt the pan (and the apple) until the whole apple is covered. Rotate the apple and let it drain a little then place on a baking tray to harden.

Repeat with the remaining apples.

The ultimate Toad In The Hole

The ultimate Toad In The Hole - Submitted by Mary JessopSubmitted by Mary Jessop


140g plain flour

1 tsp English mustard powder

3 large eggs

300ml milk

4 tbsp sunflower oil

2 large onions, sliced

85g pack breadcrumb stuffing mix

small handful sage leaves, chopped

8 sausages

For the gravy

2 tbsp plain flour

500ml beef stock


(1) Whisk together the flour, mustard powder, eggs and milk with a good pinch of salt until smooth. You can leave the batter to rest.

(2) Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a small pan. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and cook for 10-15 mins until really soft. While the onions cook make up the stuffing following pack instructions, adding the sage. Scoop out a quarter of the onions and add these to the stuffing mixture. Leaving the rest in the pan for the gravy. Heat oven to 230C /gas 8.

(3)Shape the stuffing into 8 golf ball sized balls. Pour the remaining oil into a large roasting tin or dish and brush it all over the bottom and sides. Add the sausages and stuffing balls, and cook for 15 mins.

(4) Remove the tin from the oven, loosen the sausages and stuffing from the bottom of the tin if they have stuck, then pour over the batter. Return the tin to the oven on a middle-high shelf, but give it space to rise. Bake for 35-40 mins until puffed and golden – don’t be tempted to open the oven door any earlier.

(5) While the toad-in-the-hole is cooking, make the gravy. Cook for 2 mins until bubbling, then pour in the stock, bit by bit, stirring continuously so it doesn’t go lumpy.

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Sugar Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Sugar Spiced Roasted Pumpkin SeedsSpecially for JasmineLivesina House Via Facebook “ I carved my pumpkin today so have all the insides left. What can I make with them that taste nice? I have a sweet tooth so something sweet would be nice? “ Here's an idea for the seeds.


1 cup pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon melted butter or vegetable oil

1 tablespoon granulated sugar, or more, to taste

1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon allspice


Rinse seeds well and get as much of the pumpkin pulp off of them as possible. Some of the small pieces are going to adhere, but they won't hurt the seeds at all, and might even add a little more flavour. Pat dry with paper towels. Don't let them dry completely on the paper towels, because they might stick.

Toss seeds with the butter, sugar, and spices.

Heat oven to 300°. Spread coated seeds in a shallow baking sheet (I line a baking sheet with nonstick foil to make cleanup easier), turning from time to time, for about 45 to 60 minutes, or until nicely browned and crunchy.



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