Tag Archives: recipe

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


So here we are…..A


Well here we are A in my kids foodie education.

They decided they didn’t want apple fritters after all..so I made muffins.

They were delicious, although a little more messing about on a morning then I would like lol. Next time I shall pre make them and just reheat. I am not a morning person, and beginning the day looking for damn baking powder didn’t help my pre 2 cups of coffee mood :S

In line with the whole learning thing, I intend to buy one of each kind of apple available in the supermarket, and find its origin on a map. Hey we might even buy and plant another tree. We are also going to look behind the prices of them and why they might be priced differently. (This wont be today..hey it is the school holidays .. I am breaking them in gently).

If you don’t already know I am considering going back to home education…simply because I cant see what they are learning at school. I am not knocking schools..but beyond basic Maths and English, I can’t see a love of learning developing, and I certainly can’t see rounded life learning. It also surprises me that although I left school with my 8 GCSEs, I really know nothing..so I can learn too. I haven’t committed yet..but we shall see.

So now…well now I am going to go end enjoy my children and the sunshine….life is for living..Enjoy

Love Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com

Recipe for apple muffins


an Amazon link to apple things…generating a few pennies for us 🙂

I hate long, long lists of ingredients…



I hate long, long lists of ingredients….

I have to say, as you are probably aware, most of the time I love cooking. I must say though I like to keep things small in effort, big in taste.

I am no Nigella swanning round the kitchen with an aura of calm. I confess I do wear my heels when cooking as it makes the worktops easier to reach. I occasionally remember to wear an apron (after ruining a very nice white top with a pasta sauce 🙂 ) . But that is as far as it goes..There is often washing up in the sink…flour dusting the table and homework on the go. As I frequently tell my children…I am one woman with one pair of hands…I never aspired to be perfect.

Anyway back on the subject…. I am big on flavours but low on patience, I always love to make a roast at the weekend. This week it was a chicken. I will be honest I used to buy the corn fed free-range birds. (I keep chickens so these things matter to me.) But I have been so damned disappointed in them lately that I cannot justify the £8 plus for a small chicken. I paid £5 for a semi happy bird in sainsburys and decided to cook it in a pot.

I have only recently fallen in love with coronation Chicken after tasting a well-made version at a farm shop. It had a smooth sauce that coated succulent slices of meat. (I have to say I am not a massive sultana fan though) So after flicking through my mountain of under used cookbooks I adapted an old Good Housekeeping recipe and came up with this.

When I was making it I cursed at the amount of faffing for the sauce. I swore I wouldn’t make it again….until I tasted it.

Suddenly it was worth the effort. The chicken is wonderfully moist. (And I got two good portions of stock from the cooking liquid, which I stuck in the freezer.) The sauce was quite frankly delicious…

I thought it could get no better…until yesterday when I used the leftovers as a pancake filling..Oh my…I guess sometimes it’s worth the effort.

The recipe should be on my recipe pages…Well Worth it Coronation Chicken

Let me know if you try it. and what you think

Happy Eating and lots of love

Sky @ http://www.skybendelow.com

You can never own too many dishes 🙂

Are you a Tosser? Happy Pancake Day



So here we are…Shrove Tuesday, originally a way of clearing the treats from the cupboard for the start of lent. Or Pancake Day as it is now named.

Gone are the days of frugal plates of hot steaming pancakes, maybe topped with a little lemon and sugar. We seem to have created a whole army of fantastic feasts. From sweet chocolate filled creations to extravagant seafood, which sounds fantastic.

My own problem with pancakes is my ability to devour them..And at speed. It is a rare occasion when I get as far as pre making them and making savoury sauces as fillings. Simply because I adore them drizzled with Golden syrup, and gobbled up whilst still at the stove.

Happy Pancake Day…enjoy
Love Sky @ http://www.skybendelow.com

My very quick easy peasy pancake mix..

Personally I use a coffee cup to measure amounts of

Eggs (full cup for savoury pancakes, 3/4 cup for sweet)
Plain flour

Stick it all in a jug and blitz with a hand blender.

To cook simply wipe a small frying pan with kitchen roll moistened with cooking oil.

Spoon in some batter, swirl it around to cover the pan and fry.
When bubbles start to appear on the top turn it over and cook the other side until golden.

You can now follow us @ http://www.skybendelow.com

All things Pancake 🙂

Ready meals??


So I’ve been a busy girl this week. I’ve decided to make my own ready meals…just for me, well and the family. I am not branching out lol. But it does save a small fortune and you know what is exactly in them. I am not just talking about the meat content either. I am fast becoming aware that many foods that are prepared, canned or frozen have lots of salt, sugar, and stuff that to be quite honest, well I don’t know what it is.

So this week I am testing out new ideas, and then freezing half so I can be really lazy next month.

Pizza dough is a doddle to make and freezes beautifully; Beef Bourguignonne is another fab one, as are fish pie, shepherds pie, even homemade chicken nuggets. Soup is another great make that freezes well and a great way to up your veg intake. And It’s a lot cheaper too..In the long run.

I don’t expect the world to change overnight…we have got sucked into the easy food market…but just an idea. Can we pull ourselves out…one meal at a time??

Will add some recipe ideas on http://www.thesideplate.com over the next few days.
Would you be interested in a cookbook??

Go on give it a go..You know you want to.

Happy cooking

Love Sky @ thesideplate.com

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Ready Meals??

Skys’ Italian meatball and burger recipe


Skys’ Italian meatballs

Makes 16 or 2 large burgers.

300g rump steak
1 onion
2 gloves of garlic
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp grated Parmesan
½ tsp dried oregano
Good pinch of white pepper

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until well chopped and mixed.

Form into balls or burgers and cook until no longer pink in the middle.



Get Yourself Some Balls!


Get yourself some balls!

I will eat most things. But I do like to know what it is that I am putting into my mouth. I am not a lover of mystery meats or processed foods. However I do love meatballs, burgers and sausages.
They can be wonderful delights. Ultimate comfort foods.
A well-constructed sausage in a soft roll topped with fried onions and a splosh of ketchup, is a simple feast that is guaranteed to please everyone in our household.
A moist burger made from rump steak or chicken thighs, or pork or lamb for that matter, is such a simple thing to prepare if you are lucky enough to own a food processor. (If not ask a friendly butcher to mince it for you.) Simply mixed with seasonings, possibly an egg and some breadcrumbs to make our mixture go even further. Cooked in a hot pan or under the grill and served on a toasted bun.maybe with melted cheese or good quality mayo is another favourite tea. And if we make these things ourselves they are actually massively healthier than the pre made often frozen offerings.
And Meatballs…a dish of succulent meaty balls, drowning in a delicious sauce or gravy then nestled on a bed of pasta or mashed potato…if that is not foodie heaven. I don’t know what is.

Check out the new recipe, which is hopefully on the recipe page. (I’m still getting to grips with all this technology :S )

Happy Munching

Love Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com

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It was one of those nights…


Last night was one of those nights when we had food in the fridge, but after a day of writing about food and cooking, there was no imagination left in my head.

Turns out I create some of my best recipes that way 😀

We started with some cubed pork loin, which had been marinated in vinegar. (It was for a different recipe, but we had some left.)
There was a bottle of cider on the shelf; a couple of apples in the fruit bowl…a lonesome carrot and sweet potato lingering in the bottom of the fridge. The cupboard contained onions. It always does…as a cook I panic if I am onionless.

We chopped the onions and sautéed them, adding half a teaspoon of Bicarbonate of soda to them, to speed up the cooking time. (It was another of those evenings when dinner was meant to be at 9, but was served at 10 oops.)

The pork was then added and cooked quickly to brown the outside. The chopped sweet potato and carrot were quick to follow, then we simply poured in the cider and left to bubble. After half an hour I thickened the sauce with some cornflour and left it to simmer for five minutes more.

My wonderful partner provided his speciality of very mashed, mashed potato.
I may be biased, but it was divine. (The potato was pretty damned good too) I shall make more next time so I can test its freezability.

Dinner by Sky
Mash by Pod

Happy Friday from all @ thesideplate.com

is it all in the timing??


Timing is not my strongpoint,

I often eat delicious dinners at midnight. They are never planned this way of course, but when a new recipe is in progress I kind of go with the flow.

I always underestimate the time taken to make a risotto, (so my partner claims anyway lol ) I say dinner will be at 9, but then a friend calls for a chat, or a cheeky monkey that cant sleep decides to tug my apron and heart strings. Last night I was just disorganised and forgot to factor in the sautéing of the onions, then 40 minutes for the rice.

It was one of those recipes that started out with my saying “we have left over roast chicken, what kind of meal do you fancy?” (Lucky for me he didn’t say steak and chips.)

Risotto was the choice and it kind of evolved from there. I do usually put Parmesan in this lovely soothing dish, but I also had some prawns loitering in the freezer, so instead we tried something new.

Try it; it was pretty damn tasty…however long it takes to cook.

Happy Cooking

Sky @ thesideplate.com

all things rice

As usual, its still a work in progress, so here’s a vague recipe.

Large mug of paella rice (I would normally use Arborio, but its hiding somewhere at the back of the cupboard, and It was already 9pm)

Large mug of leftover roast chicken

Cup of raw king prawns

Cup of frozen peas

An onion finely chopped

½ bottle of dry white wine

250ml chicken stock

25g unsalted butter

I tsp of preserved lemon (lemon juice may work?)

½ tsp smoked paprika

¼ tsp white pepper

Fried Parma ham to serve.

Sauté the onion in the butter until soft but not browned,
Add the rice and cook for 5 mins, stirring to coat the grains.

Add the white pepper and paprika and give it a good stir.

Pour in a quarter of the stock and stir until absorbed into the rice.

Add the rest of the butter and the lemon and another quarter of the stock

(You should technically keep stirring, but I do generally find time to keep nipping into the lounge to annoy my boyfriend with inane chatter)

Once this is absorbed add the rest of the stock and the chicken and cook for about 10 mins.

Once the rice has absorbed all the stock and has been cooking for about 35 mins, throw in the prawns and the peas.

It will be ready, when the prawns are pink and the rice is just soft.

I topped it with a bit of fried Parma ham, because I was feeling fancy.

How’s that for Timing (ish)

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