Tag Archives: meals for one

A broken toe…not concentrating ..and a new recipe…


What can I say…

Well I was going to say most days don’t turn out as planned…but that may lead you to think I planned, and to be fair I generally don’t.
But I did think about my routine (breakfast, make lunch, drop kids at school, walk dog etc.) and it was ok…until I kicked a chair….hard…by accident lol.

I have broken my toe…pfftt dammit. And it has distracted me from my cooking.

It was spaghetti.

Now I consider myself an ok cook, and lets face it, its not hard to cook a pan of spaghetti! The pain generating from my foot must of distracted me (that’s my story and I am sticking to it).
It is hard to make carbonnara, which is my all time comfort food..in a pan with pasta stuck to the bottom of it. On a plus side we have a new recipe…I promise I will post it shortly.

After I have eaten a baked carbonara, topped with mozzarella and breadcrumbs……Oh My.

All well that ends well 🙂

Happy Eating…and don’t turn the lights off then walk through a darkened room..you may kick something..Doh xx

Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com


The Warmest of Welcomes…


The Warmest of Welcomes…

Sometimes you just need a hug. Someone to welcome you…to sit you down and feed you well…I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but this did not happen at my mothers…oh no…it was in the wonderful heart of Ossett, Wakefield. In the Mews Hotel and restaurant to be precise.

OK they didn’t actually hug me, but when I entered this fantastic haven, It felt like they had. They valued our presence. Which is often a rarity in this day and age.

It was busy…I believe it generally is, and I can see why. It is warm, a roaring fire in the corner, and they even have family photos along side some excellent artwork on the walls. It felt like a homecoming.
We were guided to a cosy table, recommended a wine. Offered a splendid selection of bread to keep us going whilst we selected from the menu.
The locals recommended the 12-hour roast pork…. there was no contest. Normally if we step out to review, we order a selection, but on this cold evening, neither of us was prepared to share.

I am showing my ignorance but it was the first time I have sampled a white Rioja, I can honestly say it won’t be the last…it was divine.

I was happy and warm and in fantastic company. What more could I want?? Then the food arrived!

Oh my. I don’t want to ramble, But OH MY. I cook make a mean roast pork, but this was heavenly, crispy, moist, meltingly tender, resting alongside a pillow of cauliflower cheese, mash, carrots, cabbage, (so good I even ate it.) A stunning Yorkshire pudding, and the most delightful roast potatoes I have ever met. The jug of gravy was so good I requested a second!!!

This was truly the most delightful of meals, a little trip to foodie heaven. Reasonably priced, fantastic service…an few hours of deliciousness.

We were so very full, so very happy..it was a wonderful evening. We ended up in relaxing by the fire with a glass of Port. Heaven.

Next time I shall try harder, I would love to sample their starters and desserts. I need to cultivate a huge appetite.

Give them a try..I promise you will not be disappointed.

Love from a very satisfied sideplate.com


A Hot date with…my griddle pan


It would seem my usual gorgeous Friday date is out gallivanting at a business dinner this evening. I guess I should be jealous. However, I know where he is going. So I’m not :S , or I should be out with the girls. But it’s January and we are all skint…and I am a bit of a homebody when it’s cold outside. (I have a wood burner…its hard to leave).

I also have a secret hiding in the fridge…not wine…. that’s not a secret here…but a delicious dinner, better than any takeaway, maybe as good as a meal out.

I guess you could call it a Yorkshire version of soulvaki; it has been bathing in its little bowl of marinade for 24 hours, and should be almost perfect. When it meets my griddle pan it will form those divine caramelised strips, yet retain its meltingly soft inner…I can almost taste it just thinking about it. Then my char grilled pork will enjoy a rendezvous with freshly made flat bread and a crispy salad. There may be roasted peppers..and an olive or two whilst I cook.

If I get really carried away I might dig out my sandals and sun top…and recreate a little Greek haven just for one…right here under Emley Mast. It’s a long way from sunny Greece…. but a girl can dream cant she?

(I have promised to save some for the wanderer when he returns …it’s going to be a tough promise to keep)

Here’s to a tasty night at home 😀

Happy Friday,

Love Sky @ thesideplate.com




Life in the freezer…


Currently I have three freezers (don’t ask,) and as it’s the weekend, I found myself sitting comfortably, thinking what relaxing pursuit should I indulge in …I strangely came up with the idea to sort out said freezers. (Note to self. Find a hobby)


I have come to the conclusion that if you are like me, we are not using our freezers very efficiently. I am currently trying to use my space wisely..in the hope I end up with just one useful freezer, which will be good for both for my electric bill and space.


My new rules are:


 Fish fingers, half eaten tubs of ice cream, my own body weight in broad beans and massive joints of meat = Bad.


Fish, prawns, summer fruits and vegetables we actually eat, and homemade ready meals = Good.


This may seem crazy at first glance, but there seems to be no point in storing things I can grab at the corner shop whilst doing the school run or make from scratch in big batches (fish fingers, chicken nuggets, chips)


Joints of meat take forever to defrost and I would be better just cooking loads all at once after a visit to my butcher, and then storing it as homemade ready meals, than spending 12 hours defrosting something to cook from scratch.


I don’t often eat ice cream, but when I do I like the good stuff, So I resolve to buy these smaller tubs when they are on offer at the supermarket, and stop housing half empty litre tubs of sub standard raspberry ripple that the kids once liked until I mistakenly gave them scoops of the good stuff. J


I have an ice lolly mould in the drawer, so have set it the task that it was designed for and filled it with juice and berries and actually put it in the freezer for an after tea treat.


There are already a couple of portions of chilli and some beef stew which will saving me cooking when I am busy and tired in the week. And tomorrow I resolve to roast a joint of beef as well as my standard pork joint so we can have a dinner or quick hot beef sandwiches when my mealtime imagination has deserted me (usually by Thursday). It’s not being the most entertaining of afternoons, but I have taken pleasure in ticking another chore off the very long list, and am sure I will thank myself during the week…. The only downside seems to be…I have developed a bit of an obsession with those foil containers and artistic labelling oh well ….they will keep me amused until I take up a proper hobby.


Stay warm and thanks for reading.


Sky @ thesideplate.com

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Another tea time…


Another teatime…pppfttt

I was going to say I always seem to be cooking, but I guess that would be stating the obvious. What I mean to say is I always seem to be cooking what I call “children’s tea”. This week we have already had the homemade nuggets. (A small sample of which are in the freezer…to see if they work as a future ready meal). We have sampled my new cottage pie recipe, (also in the freezer for a quick dinner next week.) So I think today I shall declare it sausage, egg and chip Wednesday. YAY. Sometimes the simplest things are the best. Good quality butchers sausage, eggs contributed by Peckish, Dora and Mrs Grey, and some quick homemade oven chips. I shall throw in a tin of our favourite baked beans (the one with the turquoise label..Yes turquoise not green…don’t get me started 😀 ) as one of our 5 a day and I think we will feast like kings, all be it low budget kings.

You never know, there maybe bananas and custard as a pudding…I’ve got to get my five a day somehow.

Happy Eating
Sky @ thesideplate.com

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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 @ http://www.thesideplate.com

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.