Monthly Archives: December 2013

Farewell 2013


So here it is…


Another new year, fast approaching, a new year with a new moon. Somewhat of a rarity it seems…and a very different celebration…a giving of thanks to the passing days.and a warm welcome to those that shall come.


I have decided instead of doing the whole dashing to the shops and adding to the already groaning fridge, I shall instead have a feast of the last of the stores. A little like Pancake Day before lent. We have left over brisket cooked in ale…cold turkey as we had a belated Christmas dinner yesterday….there are pickles and cheese…enough apples for a crumble. A quiche in the making…homemade bread.we only need some ginger beer and it could be a famous five new year..Six in our case. A celebration of sharing my home and food with five other wonderful souls.


Happy New Year…it’s going to be a good one!

I need your help with…banana cake


I have a lot of recipes…I have created a lot of recipes..yet still I do not have a good use for my over ripe bananas.

can any of you lovely people please send me your banana cake recipes??? Please…xx

love Sky .whose has six bananas that need help lol xx


Christmas dinner for two


Christmas Dinner for two

No pressure…but took just as long J

I could not abandon my traditional prawn cocktail. This year it was just some good prawns. Proper cherry tomatoes. Mixed leaf salad and sauce…eaten wearing a silly hat…to be honest it was delicious. I should have stopped there; with a slice of granary bread it would have been enough. But I’m stubborn so a feast followed.

One of the luxuries of spending Christmas without company is you can make just what you want. So this year I broke with tradition and bought a turkey thigh. For the princely sum of £3.95 (I wont lie I have a fully turkey waiting for when the kids come home…Christmas x2, as seems to be the case for a lots of us nowadays) I stuffed it with paxo, butter and cranberry sauce…wrapped it snugly in pancetta and roasted it in white wine. It was awesome even If I do say so myself. We had slow cooked pork in cider too. I have to say from now on my Christmas dinner will feature crackling…the veggies were roast….my partner mashed thespuds for me because he is so much better at it then I ….Brussels with chestnuts..Bacon rolls and sausages, sauce and stuffing. And very lovely gravy made with the juices of the pork.

My only advice on making a Sunday and Christmas dinner is..Buy one of those jugs that’s separates the meat juices (and cider) from the fat, worth every penny for the best gravy.


However you are spending this festive season..Love hugs and good eating.

Sky xx

So…what do a piece of steak, an onion and a tomato have in common?


The answer is my kids would never eat them…

To be fair, my daughter would eat a small morsel of steak but my son who has aspergers and is a very fussy eater would not touch any of them.

Today is not a recipe…as I am still perfecting it and I enjoy messing around with ingredients. But just a general idea… I turned a couple of slices of bread into breadcrumbs…one handful I put in the burgers…the rest I put in the bottom of the oven to crisp for another day.

I bought two pieces of rump steak …about 300g in total. And put them in my food processor with a handful of onion a shake of salt and pepper and a shake of granulated garlic (I am learning and it must be good for their immune system surely 😀 ) I gave them a ride around the blade until it was minced. Once blitzed I took it out and rolled it into 6 burgers.

I baked them rather than grilled, simply because they tend to stay together.

After 20 mins I put them in a bun, topped with an in progress homemade ketchup and called dinner.

They are a bit soft and mushy for my taste, but the kids had 2 each with sliced peppers and cucumber and a side of chips. I personally consider that an ok dinner.

Once I am happy with the recipe I will make 20 and stick them in the freezer, and have a new page for my book.

Happy dining…….its been a long day…but its nearly bedtime yay

Thanks for reading

Sky xx

Roast chicken for one..


Family are a funny thing…and when I have a table full I adore feeding them. Even the fussy buggers..But there are odd occasions as a single parent, that you find yourself on your own on Sunday. And Sunday is my day. I am never happier than when there is a roast in the oven. A glass of wine for the cook. And if I can persuade them a few tweenies helping with the veg and pudding. But today is one of those alone days. So I am catching up on the chores and my writing…but still, I cannot put a roast in. Today it is a chicken. I would usually smother a Sunday bird in butter and bacon, we would be eating it hot so don’t need to consider leftovers with our lot. But butter in cold leftovers tends to go a bit grainy, so not good for my Monday sandwiches. My bird today has been lovely placed in a pot with whatever I could find…an onion, two cloves of garlic, half a withering chilli, a lemon…and because I was feeling generous a glass of wine. I’ve topped it up with water and introduced it to the oven where it can enjoy its bath for an hour and half. My lovely bird will feed me today and maybe a few days more converted to a toastie, salad or croquettes if I am feeling brave, very brave.

Sunday greetings from Sky @

Flapjack…..Why don’t I make it more often?

Flapjack…..Why don’t I make it more often?

Been a rough day today, what with winter colds and a broken car, so we stayed in and chilled. Managed to make a flapjack though. I really don’t know why I didn’t double the recipe…there are only two pieces left :S

200g oats

100g butter

70 g sugar

25g golden syrup

Put the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan and gently melt together.

Stir into the oats.

Put on a greased baking tray or dish and bake for 30 mins at 160 degrees.

When you take it out of the oven slice it before it cools…because otherwise it’s a swine to cut 😀

Half a chopped apple or a few chopped dried apricots would make it even better.

More ideas to follow in the book

Enjoy, love from

No more boring cheese on toast at


It has been a delicious but heavy week at the side plate office. I have eaten well, very well. So I decided to have something quick and simple for lunch today.

Cheese on toast. Ah, but I couldn’t just make cheese on toast could I, it would have been a bit of an anticlimax after the foodie food I have eaten this week. And there happened to be a box of curry powder by the grill, a bit of mango chutney in the fridge, and it had been quiet a good week for the hens this week, so we had a bowl of fresh eggs too….


So my simple slice of white and two cheese slices were transformed into something magical.

And it took 5 minutes.

The recipe is below, try it out and let me know.

Thanks for reading, Sky x

1 Slice of soft white bread

2 slices of jarlesburg cheese…or whatever you have in

A splash of olive oil

A pinch of mild curry powder

Couple of drops of water, cider or beer

A big dollop of mango chutney

A free-range egg.



Heat the grill and toast one side of the bread.

Turn the bread over and top the untoasted side with the two slices of cheese so that the bread is covered. Grill until it just starts to bubble.

Remove from grill and add small dollops of your mango chutney. Place back under grill until cooked how you like it. Remove from grill.


Heat a small frying pan and place the oil and curry powder into it. Give it a good stir and leave for about 30 seconds, then add a splash of water. Stir and give it about another 30 seconds.


Crack your egg into the pan and cook.

I cook mine on one side until the bottom is set then flip it over and cook the other side…. but that’s just the way I do it.


Liberate the egg from the pan and introduce it to its new home on top of the toast.



The Sun was shining in Flockton – a lunchtime review.


There is something special about lunch with a friend. Not a grab a sandwich type of lunch, but a sneaky long lunch that starts at midday, and only ends when you have to collect the kids and make them dinner. The kind of lunch that makes you feel like you are bunking off school (not that I would have ever done such a thing) A lunch where you can gently put the world to rights whilst consuming something delicious that you didn’t have to make yourself.

I had never eaten at The Sun inn, Flockton, Wakefield, before…despite it being stones throw from home, but as I needed to be close by this afternoon, we took a stroll to see what they could offer.

What can I say? I will be honest I wasn’t expecting much, if I had been served a decent sandwich and a cheeky glass of vino, I would have been happy.

I was thrilled by the warm welcome we received In this modern day it is always lovely to feel that your custom is welcomed, and welcomed we were.  A roaring fire,friendly staff and some cheery Christmas music. I was already happy that we had stopped by.

I would have been pleased to have been served a decent sandwich, however as our cheery host showed us to our table, we were told if we required anything from the evening menu, the chef would be happy to oblige.

Everything sounded delicious, but when confronted with Confit duck with Dauphinois potatoes nothing else stood a chance of selection. And oh my, what a choice.

The duck melted in my mouth, the potatoes…. well suddenly I knew why Dauphinois had been created, this was a gratin like I had never devoured before, rich, creamy, soft and with just a hint of thyme. I was in heaven. The vegetables that were served alongside this wondrous creation…well I actually ate them. (Please don’t tell my children I don’t generally eat my veggies when they aren’t there to watch.) They were tasty and cooked to perfection…the veggies not the children.

I will be totally frank with you, I am not sure what my good friend ordered, it was something vegetarian so I lost interest after that, however it did look wonderful, and by the noises of appreciation, and the fact that we both left very clean plates says everything about her choice too.

Will we go back? Oh yes.

Could it have been better? Only if the coffee had been a little hotter and in bigger cups…but the mints, sugar and tiny pot of cream that came with it were a delight in themselves.

Would I recommend it? I certainly would, I can only assume it was quiet because of the lack of publicity or the time of year, so everyone else was out shopping. Make time to visit. It was delicious.

christmas chutney sort of


I shall be honest I don’t know the technical definition of chutney. In my head it is something that can be eaten with fresh crusty bread, a piece of cheese or leftover roast, at my mothers it was only called pickle.

I have not made a keeper here I have simply used what was in my kitchen to spice up a bit of gammon. Its not exact but if you feel like a bit of alchemy in the fruit department…please let me know how it went.

A large onion, roughly chopped

A splash of olive oil

2 tsp vinegar

7 plums, stoned and chopped, each one into about eight pieces,

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp ground allspice

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

45g of fresh cranberries

200ml red wine

100g sugar

couple of twists of black pepper.


Put in a pan and stir

Bring to a slow bubble, stirring every now and then,

Don’t be alarmed when the cranberries pop.

After an hour it should be ready…if you are going to eat in the next few days, put it in a dish in the fridge, if you want to keep it you are going to have start sterilising jars.


Enjoy…. and let me know 😀

Crispy pork…for one or more


Recipe for one…. or more…


I think I may be selfish, or maybe I just love to eat. But on most occasions …I will still cook. Even if it is just for me.

Sometimes cooking for just myself generates the best of my recipes. I tend to tinker and adapt. I can make it just to my own taste, and occasionally I even engineer leftovers on purpose.


This is a great recipe for one, but is very easily multiplied. The first night I make it, I tend to stick some spuds and veg in the oven at the same time for a complete meal. If there are any leftovers (unlikely, but I try) the next day I stick the shredded pork and a bit of crackling in a bap (I’m from Yorkshire…if you aren’t use a bread roll, barm cake, call it what you will.) add a bit of apple or chilli sauce…whatever takes your fancy, I’m not about to tell you how to make a sandwich, but most of all enjoy.




Crispy, juicy belly pork


A piece of belly pork…. preferably from a butcher. (I used 600g because it looked about the right size)

200 ml of white wine (I normally use dry cider…but I couldn’t find the bottle opener :S)

Drizzle of oil

Couple of pinches of salt



Turn on your oven to the maximum setting.


Take the pork and place in a dish, skin side up…it doesn’t really matter what size but this works best if it’s quite a tight fit so that it sits in the cooking liquid

Pour in the wine or cider Pour it down the side of the meat, not over the top so the skin stays quite dry.)

Drizzle the top with oil

Add a pinch of salt


Place the pork in the oven for about 15 mins until the top starts to crisp, then reduce the temperature to about 140 degrees / gas mark 1

Leave for at least an hour, longer will not do it any harm, especially if it is a bigger piece of pork.


When you are ready to eat…. turn the heat back up to make sure the crackling is really crispy…this will take about 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave in the dish for 5 minutes before serving.

Slice and serve with any liquid that is left in the bottom of the roasting dish.