Scallop, asparagus and tomato pasta…

IMG_3640Until a few days ago, I had only had scallops in Coquilles St. Jacques, from Marks and Spencers… we had them last valentines day, and really enjoyed them but having heard horror stories about how difficult it is to get scallops right we didn’t attempt to recreate the dish at home. fast forward a few months, and I was in Tesco and noticed that they had fresh scallops that weren’t too expensive. They then sat in my freezer for a little longer as I wondered what to do with them until I watched an episode of the pioneer woman cooks and noticed she paired them with tomato pasta. This recipe, is a pretty simple tomato sauce jazzed up with the mushrooms, asparagus and scallops. If (like in my house) someone doesn’t eat mushrooms, cook them in a seperate pan to the sauce in a little butter. These scallops are Lillee approved so this dish is looking to become a new family favourite in our house!

  • 1 pack of fresh scallops (about 300g)
  • asparagus (3-4 spears per person)
  • carton of passata
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 10 mushrooms, sliced
  • pinch of sugar
  • olive oil
  • Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 300g pasta
  • 1tsp mixed herbs

Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, soften the onions in a large pan with a little oil. When translucent, add the garlic, herbs and mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes and stir in the passata, Worchestershire sauce and sugar. Leave to simmer on a low heat. Heat a griddle pan or frying pan, and add the asparagus. Cook until lightly browned on one side before turning over and browning the other side. it should take 5-10 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, drain and stir into the tomato sauce. Heat a frying pan with a small amount of oil. When hot, add the scallops cook for 1-2 minutes until starting to brown. Turn over and cook for another minute. Serve on top of the pasta with the asparagus.

Serves 4.

Hope you enjoy it!

Emma-Jayne xx

Creamy Vegetable Pasta…


In our house, pasta always goes down well. This dish is pretty simple and great for using odds and ends in the fridge, I’ve used everything from broccoli and sprouts to sweetcorn! It’s also really good for using up any leftover meat or fish. We usually have it with pork or chicken stirred through but its just as nice on its own, with salmon or any thing else you fancy!

You will need:
.500g of pasta
.1 onion finely chopped
.2 leeks sliced
.4 carrots diced
.1 courgette diced
.2 sticks of celery sliced
.10 mushrooms sliced
.a tin of sweetcorn drained
.250g frozen peas
.1 tbsp olive oil
.2 tbsp plain flour
.1/2 pint skimmed milk
.2 chicken/vegetable stock cubes
.2 cloves of garlic

Heat the oil in a large pan, and add the onion, celery and carrots. Cook untill the onion is translucent then add the garlic and the rest of the vegetables. Cook for a few minutes then stir in the flour. Cook for another 2 minutes then slowly add the milk stirring constantly until thickened. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, while the sauce simmers stirring it occasionally to stop it sticking. Drain the pasta and stir into the sauce. Season to taste.

Serves 6-8

Emma-Jayne xx


Chinese Feast…

This was such a yummy dinner! We had chicken noodle soup, adapted from here, followed by chicken dim sum, adapted from Jamie’s 15 minute meals. It went down really well with Dan and Lillee, and so much cheaper and healthier than a takeaway! Try it to see what I mean.

Chicken Noodle soup…

  • 1 raw chicken breast
  • a pack of fresh rice noodles
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • a little olive oil
  • a tablespoon mixed spice
  • 1 litre of water
  • 2 stock cubes
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 spring onions

Heat the oil in a large pan, then gently fry the garlic and mixed spice for a few minutes. Add the stock cubes and water and stir until dissolved. Put in the chicken, and leave for around 20 minutes or until cooked through then remove and leave to cool slightly. Stir in the noodles and soy sauce to the stock, then slice the chicken into strips and stir back in. Serve topped with finely chopped spring onion.

The Chicken Dim sum Is adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe, and is actually the first one I’ve tried from the 15 minute meals book! although it takes a little longer than it would if you were a professional chef, the recipe can easily be made in under half an hour so it’s pretty fast!

Chicken Dim Sum…

For the buns:

  • 400g tin light coconut milk
  • 2 coconut milk tins of self-raising flour

For the chicken:

  • 2 skinless chicken breasts
  • 140g mixed mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp. hoi sin sauce (plus extra to serve)
  • 2 limes
  • 200g tender stem broccoli
  • salt
  • 3 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 limes

Put the coconut milk in the food processor with the flour and a pinch of salt, and blend until it becomes a dough. tip out and work into a sausage shape. cut into eight pieces and place each one into a double layered cake case and sit into one layer of the bamboo steamer. place on the wok over 5cm of boiling water with the lid on and leave to steam.

Cut the chicken into 1cm strips and toss with the mushrooms, hoi sin sauce, juice of half a lime and a little salt. Tip into the second steamer basket with the broccoli. Place under the first basket and leave for around 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan, and serve in a small bowl with the chicken and buns in there baskets. Serve a small bowl of extra hoi sin sauce and some lime wedges alongside too.

Hope you enjoy!

Emma-Jayne xx

Sausage Pasta Hotpot…

sausage pasta hotpot
This is a recipe that my nan passed onto my mom and then she passed it on to me! Its really yummy and really filling. Plus its cheap, and easy to make using mostly store cupboard ingreadients!

You will need:
.500g dried pasta
.2 tins chopped tomatoes
.1 tbsp tomato puree
.1 onion, finely chopped
.3 cloves garlic finely chopped
.1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
.mixed herbs (optional)
.8 good quality sausages
.2 stock cubes (chicken or vegetable)
.2 courgettes, sliced
.1 tin of sweetcorn, drained

To make it:
Soften your onion in a little oil. When soft, add the garlic and tomato puree and cook for a few minutes. Then add the tinned tomatoes, stock cubes and Worcestershire sauce. (At this point the sauce can be blended to make it smooth and then put back in the pan, but I usually just leave it chunky). Add in the courgette and sweetcorn and leave to simmer stirring frequently. While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta according to packet instructions, and either grill or roast the sausages. If they are good quality there will be little or no fat. When everthing is cooked, drain the pasta and stir into the sauce. Slice the sausage (I usually hold each one with tongs and use kitchen scissors so I don’t burn my fingers) add to the pasta and sauce and combine well. season generously with black pepper.

Serves 8

sausage pasta hotpot on plate

banana “icecream” with chocolate chips..

bannana icecream

So, at the moment i’m trying to loose weight and get healthy you can follow my progress here! Anyways, this “icecream” was so yummy i had to share it with you!

you will need:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • chocolate chips

Mash the banana, and stir through the chocolate chips (I used green and blacks maya gold chopped into small pieces) put the mixture into a freezer proof bowl, lined with cling film. Cover the top and freeze for 3-4 hours. pop out of the bowl and enjoy!

What I loved about it, was that the texture and creamyness of the icecream was there but with zero guilt! Super yummy, try it!

Emma-Jayyne xx

Hot chocolate…

I made this gorgeous hot chocolate courtesy of Mr Jamie Oliver

2 Pints of semi-skimmed milk (serves 8-10)

* 2 tablespoons Horlicks
* 2 tablespoons cornflour
* 3 tablespoons icing sugar
* 4 tablespoons quality organic cocoa
* 100g quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely grated
* a pinch of ground cinnamon
* a pinch of sea salt

1. Pour the milk into a large pan, and bring almost to the boil over a medium heat.

2. Meanwhile, add all the chocolate mix ingredients to a large jar and give it a good shake to combine. You need around 10 heaped tablespoons of the chocolate mix for this amount of milk. Simply spoon the chocolate mix into the hot milk, give it a good whisk and leave to bubble away for a few minutes before serving. You’re looking for that gorgeous, thick, almost claggy, knockout texture.

Emma-Jayne xx

Homemade butter….

Today, for the first ever time i made butter. I can’t believe i’ve never done it before it was so easy!

You will need:

double cream

salt (optional)

then, you whisk the cream until it goes clumpy, and butter milk is released. Then, drain away the buttermilk

If adding salt, weigh the drained butter and add 2% of the butter weight in salt.

put into cold water, form into a ball and then wrap in graseproof paper.

Thats it! essentially, butter is just over whipped cream. But it was so yummy. It will keep a couple of days in the fridge without salt, a little longer with.

Emma-Jayne x

something nice for tea…

when we really can’t be bothered to cook one of our standbye meals is cheesy mushroom pasta. its so easy to make…

you will need:
cheese spread
salt and pepper
meltable cheese either sliced or grated

what to do:

cook pasta in boiling water until tender
drain pasta
put butter in the pan to melt
add mushrooms and garlic and saute until cooked
mix in cream cheese and seasoning
put in bowls, top with cheese and microwave until melted.

thats it! so nice and easy to make. its also yummy with other vegetables and bacon added. or even just the cheese. enjoy!

Emma-Jayne x