Tag Archives: Delicious

3 Easy Weekday Dinners

Easy weekday dinners

Weekdays can be incredibly busy, but that doesn’t mean we have to resort to supermarket ready-meals.

Here, I have selected three recipes that take half an hour or less to prepare, so they are perfect for rustling up after a busy day at work.


Chorizo Fried Rice

Chorizo Fried Rice

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 476 per portion
Fat 24g (11g sat) per portion


  • Butter 15g (½oz)
  • Garlic 1 clove, peeled and crushed
  • Mushrooms 50g (2oz), wiped and sliced
  • Microwave basmati rice 250g packet
  • Chorizo 75g (3oz), chopped
  • Egg 1, beaten
  • Frozen peas 75g (3oz)
  • Frozen sweetcorn 75g (3oz)
  • Soy sauce 1–2 tbsp


  1. Melt the butter in a wok or frying pan over a medium heat and sauté the garlic and mushrooms for 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the rice in the microwave according to the packet’s instructions.
  3. Add the chorizo and egg to the pan and cook until lightly scrambled.
  4. Add the peas and sweetcorn and cook for 2 minutes and then add the rice and mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes until everything is hot.
  5. Serve on warmed plates sprinkled with soy sauce.

Cook’s tips You could replace the mushrooms with peppers, if you prefer. For an even more cost-effective meal you could cook your own basmati rice rather than using the microwave version. It will just take a little longer to prepare.


Mushroom Pancakes

Mushroom Pancakes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 413 per portion
Fat 26g (12.7g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians


  • Plain flour 110g (4oz) plus 2 tbsp
  • Egg 1
  • Milk 700ml (1 pint 4fl oz)
  • Vegetable oil for brushing
  • Butter 75g (3oz)
  • Mushrooms 450g (1lb) button or mixed, wiped and sliced
  • Mustard ½ tsp
  • Chopped parsley 2 tbsp
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cheddar cheese 50g (2oz) (optional)
  • Green salad to serve (optional)


  1. To make the pancakes, sift 110g (4oz) of flour into a bowl and break in the egg. Gradually add 125ml (4fl oz) milk, beating to form a smooth batter. Pour in another 125ml (4fl oz) milk and beat until smooth.
  2. Brush a non-stick frying pan with oil and pour in enough of the pancake batter to coat the base. Cook until the pancake moves freely, turn and cook until golden. Repeat until you have 8 pancakes. Keep warm.
  3. Melt 50g (2oz) of the butter in a deep frying pan over a medium heat and fry the mushrooms for 4–5 minutes, until softened and starting to brown. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
  4. Melt the remaining butter in the pan and add the 2 tbsp flour. Cook for 1–2 minutes, then gradually add the remaining milk, beating well and allowing the mixture to come to the boil between each addition of milk. Simmer the sauce gently for 2 minutes, then stir in the mustard, parsley, mushrooms and seasoning.
  5. Preheat the grill to hot. Divide the mushroom mixture between the pancakes, and fold or roll each one up. Place them on a buttered dish, sprinkle with cheese if you like and then place under the grill until the cheese melts and turns golden. Serve immediately with a green salad, if using.

Cook’s tips If you have any bacon in the fridge, chop up a few rashers, fry them and
add to the mushrooms. You could use tarragon in place of the parsley.



Salmon, Lemon & Asparagus Pancakes

Salmon, Lemon & Asparagus Pasta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 655 per portion
Fat 35g (20.8g sat) per portion


  • Tagliatelle 300g (11oz)
  • Asparagus tips 100/125g pack, halved
  • Butter 25g (1oz)
  • Frozen peas 150g (5oz)
  • Crème fraîche 250ml pot
  • Milk 4 tbsp
  • Lemon 1, grated zest only
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Ready-cooked lemon and herb salmon 185g packet, flaked


  1. Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the tagliatelle and cook for about 10–12 minutes, or according to packet’s instructions, until just tender.
  2. Add the asparagus tips during the last 4 minutes, then drain well.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the peas, then stir in the crème fraîche, milk and lemon zest (reserving a little for garnish). Heat gently, stirring, for about 3 minutes, then season to taste.
  4. Drain the pasta, then return it to the saucepan and add the sauce, stirring gently to mix. Divide between 4 warmed bowls. Scatter with the salmon flakes and lemon zest and serve at once.

Cook’s tip Use unwaxed lemons if possible, otherwise just scrub ordinary ones thoroughly before grating the zest. Remember to use only the yellow part – the white pith has a bitter flavour and will spoil the taste of the dish.



Fantastic Food For Less cookbookAll of these scrummy recipes are taken from our cookbook, Fantastic Food for Less.

This is one of the cookbooks that I refer to most and I can highly recommend it.

Click here for more information or to order.





5 Favourite Easter Recipes

Easter gives us the perfect excuse to get together with friends and family and enjoy some quality time.

Try one or two of these delicious recipes – they’re sure to meet with your guests’ approval.


Baked Salmon recipe

Often informal gatherings are the best. Serve a couple of salads, some buttered new potatoes and this gorgeous salmon for an effortlessly delicious lunch.

Baked Salmon

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 465 per portion
Fat 35g (11g sat) per portion


  • Salmon fillets 4, each approx. 150g (5oz), skin removed
  • Lemon ½, juice only
  • Fresh dill 15g (½oz)
  • Butter 20g (¾oz)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cucumber ½, thinly sliced
  • White wine vinegar 2 tbsp
  • Caster sugar 1 tsp
  • Chives 15g (½oz), finely snipped
  • Chopped watercress 2 tbsp, plus sprigs to garnish
  • Soft cheese 110g (4oz)
  • Light mayonnaise 2 tbsp
  • Steamed new potatoes to serve (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°fan/Gas 4. Line a large baking tray with foil.
  2. Place the salmon fillets on the foil, drizzle with the lemon juice, sprinkle with a little torn dill, dot with the butter and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Enclose the salmon in the foil then bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the fish flakes easily and is even in colour when pressed with a knife.
  4. Meanwhile, add the cucumber slices to a bowl with the vinegar, sugar and a little salt and pepper. Reserve a few more dill sprigs for garnish, chop the rest and add half to the cucumber and the remainder to a second bowl. Add half the chives to the cucumber and the rest to the second bowl. Gently toss the cucumber together and set aside.
  5. Add the chopped watercress, soft cheese and mayonnaise to the bowl of herbs and stir together until well mixed. Spoon into a serving bowl.
  6. Stir the cucumber once more then spoon onto a large shallow platter. Arrange the cooked salmon on top then garnish with the watercress sprigs. Serve with the sauce and new potatoes, if using.

Cook’s tips
Thick cut pieces of smoked cod loin could also be cooked in the same way in the foil then served with the sauce on a bed of stir-fried or microwaved spinach.


Lamb Crown Roast

This show-stopping lamb dish will be sure to impress on Easter Sunday.

Lamb Crown Roast

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 429 per portion
Fat 30g (13g sat) per portion


  • Racks of lamb 2, with 6–8 cutlets each
  • Butter 50g (2oz)
  • Onion 1 large, peeled and chopped
  • Garlic 2 cloves, peeled and crushed
  • Celery 3 sticks, sliced
  • Dried apricots 50g (2oz), chopped
  • Dried cherries 50g (2oz), chopped
  • Pistachio nuts 50g (2oz), chopped
  • Fresh breadcrumbs 110g (4oz)
  • Chopped mint 3 tbsp
  • Lemon 1, grated zest and juice
  • Egg 1, beaten
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Steamed new potatoes and vegetables to serve (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°fan/Gas 6.
  2. Bend the racks to form a crown, fat side inward, and secure with string.
  3. Melt the butter in a pan and fry the onion, garlic and celery for about 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the chopped apricots, cherries, pistachios, breadcrumbs, mint, lemon zest and juice, egg and seasoning. Leave to cool slightly, then fill the crown centre.
  4. Weigh the filled crown, then transfer to a roasting tin, cover with foil and roast, allowing 15 minutes per 450g (1lb), plus 15 minutes. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before carving. Serve with new potatoes and a selection of vegetables, if you like.

Cook’s tip
To make gravy, transfer the lamb to a warm plate and keep hot. Pour off any fat to leave the juices then stir in 2 tbsp plain flour, cook briefly then stir in 300ml (½ pint) lamb stock, 150ml (¼ pint) dry white wine and 1 tsp Dijon mustard. Season, bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes then strain into a gravy boat and serve.


Strawberry Puffs recipe

A favourite of our Divisional Manager, this creamy pastries are a real treat.

Strawberry Puffs

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

Calories 356 per portion
Fat 25g (14g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians


  • Ready-rolled puff pastry 320g pack
  • Icing sugar 50g (2oz), plus 1 tbsp, plus extra to dust
  • Mascarpone 250g (9oz)
  • Fromage frais 200g (7oz)
  • Lemon 1, grated zest and juice
  • Strawberries 450g (1lb)
  • Caster sugar 25g (1oz)


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°fan/Gas 7. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. Roll out the pastry to about 36 x 23cm (14 x 9in), then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of icing sugar. Cut into 16 equal-size rectangles. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until risen and golden. Cut into two lengthways and leave to cool.
  3. Mix together the mascarpone, fromage frais, 50g (2oz) icing sugar and the lemon zest. Chop one third of the strawberries and stir into the mascarpone.
  4. Put the remaining strawberries in a food processor with the caster sugar and lemon juice and whizz to a purée, then sieve.
  5. Sandwich four pastries with three layers of the mascarpone mixture. Repeat to make eight puffs. Drizzle each serving plate with the strawberry coulis, add a strawberry puff, dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.

Cook’s tips
Vary the fruits depending on what’s in season; autumn blackberries with a little chopped fresh mint, or forced rhubarb mixed with frozen strawberries in early spring.


Dairy Diary Favourites CookbookAll of these recipes are taken from our iconic cookbook; Dairy Diary Favourites, which is available to buy here for just £8.25.

Use the code DDPR and you can get free P&P (a little Easter treat from us).



Simnel Cake recipe

A classic for Easter.

Simnel Cake

  • Servings: 11
  • Print

Calories 722 per portion
Fat 30g (13.2g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians


  • Butter 250g (9oz), softened
  • Light muscovado sugar 250g (9oz)
  • Eggs 4
  • Plain flour 300g (11oz)
  • Baking powder 1 tsp
  • Ground mixed spice 2 tsp
  • Ground almonds 50g (2oz)
  • Luxury dried mixed fruit 500g (1lb 2oz)
  • Lemon 1, finely grated zest and 2 tbsp juice
  • White marzipan 500g (1lb 2oz)
  • Apricot glaze or sieved apricot jam 2 tbsp


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2 and line a 20cm (8in) cake tin with baking parchment.
    Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour along with each egg. Sift in the remaining flour, baking powder and spice and fold the almonds, dried fruit and lemon zest and juice into the mixture. Spoon half into the cake tin and smooth the surface level.
  2. Roll out one third of the marzipan until it’s a circle, just smaller than the cake tin, and lay it on top of the mixture in the tin. Spoon the remaining mixture over the top and level the surface.
  3. Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for 2–2¼ hours, or until a skewer comes out clean after being inserted into the cake. Cover with a sheet of baking parchment if it starts to brown. When cooked, remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool.
  4. Remove the cake from the tin and peel away the lining paper. Spread the apricot glaze or jam over the top. Roll out half of the remaining marzipan to fit the top of the cake. Place it on the cake and smooth down, taking care not to trap any air pockets underneath. Pinch around the edges.
  5. Divide the remaining marzipan into 11 pieces and roll each into a ball. Brush a little apricot glaze or jam onto the base of each and evenly space around the top of the cake. Place under a hot grill to brown the marzipan lightly. Remove from the grill and leave to cool before serving.

Cook’s tips
The cake will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.
If you have a choice of marzipan, choose white marzipan, which has a more natural flavour than golden marzipan.


 Chocolate Lolipos

Looking for something to make with little ones? These ‘sheepish’ chocolate lollies are great fun. 


Chocolate Lolipops

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 231 per portion
Fat 12g (7.4g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians


  • White chocolate 200g bar, chopped
  • Lollipop sticks 8
  • Giant chocolate buttons 10-11
  • White mini marshmallows 50g (2oz)
  • Black and pink gel food colour to decorate


  1. 1 Using the base of a mug, draw eight circles on a sheet of baking paper. Turn over paper and weight each corner.
  2. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water.
  3. Spoon chocolate onto drawn circles. Place a lollipop stick onto each, turning once to coat. Place a button onto each circle near stick and snip remaining buttons into ear shapes and place one on each side of each button. Snip marshmallows in half with scissors and gently push into chocolate in concentric circles. Use gel to create eyes and mouth. Leave to set.




Best Ever Family Recipes: Speedy Chocolate Sponge Puddings

Speedy Chocolate Sponge Puddings

Best Ever Family Recipes:
Speedy Chocolate Sponge Puddings


Rich, chocolatey and moist sponge puddings with vanilla ice cream.

What’s not to like? These easy puds are great fun to make and always go down a storm. Sometimes, we mix it up a bit and serve with mint choc chip ice cream – mmmmmm.

Fantastic Food For Less cookbookThis scrumptious recipe is taken from one of my favourites books;
Fantastic Food for Less, which has 100 absolutely gorgeous dishes.

There are two types of recipes:
Quick & Easy – can be on the table in 30 minutes or less.
Take it Easy – allowing you to do something else while they cook slowly.

Now that is helpful!

And at only £5.99 it’s an absolute steal.

Click here for more information.



Speedy Chocolate Sponge Puddings

Speedy Chocolate Sponge Puddings

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 655 per portion
Fat 40g (23.8g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians


  • Unsalted butter 150g (5oz), softened, plus a little extra for greasing
  • Caster sugar 110g (4oz) plus 2 tsp
  • Self-raising flour 110g (4oz)
  • Baking powder ¼ tsp
  • Cocoa 2 tbsp
  • Egg 1 large
  • Vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • Dark chocolate 110g (4oz), broken into small pieces
  • Milk 3 tbsp
  • Vanilla ice cream to serve (optional)


  1. Thoroughly grease individual pudding basins or microwave-suitable teacups with butter. Place 110g (4oz) of butter and 110g (4oz) of caster sugar in a mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa into the bowl, then add the egg, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of water. With an electric hand-held mixer, whisk the ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Divide the chocolate mixture evenly between the pudding basins or teacups, loosely cover with cling film and microwave on high for 4 – 5 minutes, until the sponge is well risen and springy to the touch. Remove from the microwave and allow to stand while making the sauce.
  3. To make the sauce: Put the chocolate in a small bowl with the 2 tsp sugar, the remaining butter and the milk. Place over a saucepan of gently simmering water and stir until smooth.
  4. Run a palette knife around each pudding to loosen, trim the tops level if necessary, then turn the puddings out onto individual plates and coat with the chocolate sauce. Serve with ice cream, if you like.

Cook’s tip

For marmalade puddings, omit the cocoa and vanilla and replace with the zest and juice from 1 orange. Spoon 50g (2oz) marmalade into each cup or basin before adding the sponge mixture. There’s no need to make the sauce, simply serve with custard.






Best Ever Family Recipes: Easy Chicken Curry

Best Ever Family Recipes

Years ago, pre-children, I remember a food stylist and mum telling me one of the most stressful things about being a parent is trying to get children to eat well.

Three children later and I can relate to this adage more than I ever imagined. Despite the best of intentions, home-cooked pureed Annabel Karmel recipes and several desperate calls to my health visitor, my little tykes – one in particular – are unbelievably fussy.

Never EVER did I think I would allow my child to eat ketchup sandwiches (albeit, reduced salt/sugar on wholemeal bread) and serve fruit instead of vegetables. But I have to confess, that sometimes I do. Life has got so busy that I make meals that meet with the least resistance.

But! It’s a new year and a new
start: time to introduce those
finicky creatures to new tastes.

I’m going to enlist their help with this challenge as they always seem more likely to try new foods when they have cooked it themselves.

So for mums, dads, aunties, uncles, grannies and grandads everywhere, here’s the first (of many) #BestEverFamilyRecipes. I hope you and your little lovelies enjoy it.

Please feel free to share your family favourites; the more the merrier (use #BestEverFamilyRecipes).



Recipes from the Dairy Diary

This curry is mild and sweet enough for little ones, and even sneaks in some butternut squash (chop the veggies really small).

The recipe is taken from the 2017 Dairy Diary. If you haven’t yet bought your copy, it’s still available and is perfect for planning all your family activities. BUY

Easy Chicken Curry

  • Servings: Serves 4 adults or 2 adults and 2-3 children
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 417 per portion
Fat 17g (8.5g sat) per portion
Suitable for freezing


  • Butter 50g (2oz)
  • Onions 2, peeled and chopped
  • Dessert apples 2, peeled, cored and chopped
  • Butternut squash 300g (11oz), peeled and diced
  • Curry paste 2 tbsp
  • Plain flour 2 tbsp
  • Ground ginger 1 tsp
  • Ground cinnamon 1 tsp
  • Milk 450ml (3/4 pint)
  • Mango chutney 2 tbsp
  • Cooked chicken 350-2450g (12-16oz), cut into chunks
  • Cooked basmati rice, naan bread to serve, optional


  1. Melt butter in a saucepan and add onion, apple, squash and curry paste. Cover and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Add flour, ginger and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
  3. Pour milk into pan, then add mango chutney and cooked chicken. Bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  4. Serve curry on a bed of rice sprinkled with almonds and with naan bread, if using.








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