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Cheats ragu sauce

Michelle

Cheats ragu sauce: I love nothing better than to make my lovely slow cooked ragu sauce but with two children I don't always have the time, So I cheat & add a few extra ingredients to intensify a shop bought sauce. A few simple cheats to give your every day pasta sauce the intensity of a homemade ragu.20140612-222128-80488673.jpg Ingredients 500g good quality beef mince (preferably steak mince) 2 slices dry cured bacon (or a packet or diced pancetta, I prefer unsmoked) 2 mini courgettes 1 carrot 2 banana shallots 3 large cloves of garlic 2 large handfuls of mushrooms 1 jar shop bought tomato & basil pasta sauce 1/2 glass of good red wine 2 tspn lazy garlic 2 tbsp olive oil 20140612-222127-80487563.jpg Method Roughly chop the bacon, courgette, carrots, shallots & garlic Pop all of the ingredients into a food processor & whizz until finely chopped In a large sauce pan heat the oil over a medium/low flame & add the chopped vegetables Cook for 5 mins (until onion is translucent) Add the mince & continuously stir chopping the mince with a wooden spoon until lightly browned Add the mushrooms & lazy garlic, stir for another 2 minutes Add the wine Add the pasta sauce & stir well Season well with salt & pepper Simmer on a low heat for at least 30 minutes Serve with pasta of your choice & a sprinkle of Parmesan

Tip: add some good quality meatballs to the sauce (after the mince has browned), my son Oliver, adores meatballs :0)

Our good friends Claire & Danny came to dinner & their daughter Isla really enjoyed the cheats ragu sauce & I promised to share my recipe - Happy cooking Claire! Michelle X

Dairy free rice crispy cakes

Michelle

Dairy free rice crispy cakes: Rice crispy cakes are easy to make and always a favourite with children. I'm still dairy free & always looking for a sweet fix for the afternoon with my tea. Baking can be a bit of a challenge with two children so I tend to pick very quick recipes I can make with Oliver during Charlottes nap time. These are quick, easy & very delicious!20140515-213407.jpg Prep Time: 15 – 20 minutes

Ingredients 60g/ 2 oz Pure Sunflower spread (Dairy Free) 3 table spoons golden syrup 1 x 100g dairy free chocolate 90g/ 3 oz Rice Krispies 20140515-213418.jpg Method Melt the chocolate in small bursts in the microwave or over a bain marie (in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water) Tip: When melting chocolate over a Bain Marie it should take around 10 minutes the trick is to melt it slowly to ensure it doesn't split 20140515-213446.jpg Add the sunflower spread, cut in to small pieces, stir in till melted Add the syrup, stir Add the Rice Krispies and stir in to the chocolate mix, gently Spoon in to 12 bun cases Leave to cool

Enjoy! Michelle X

Chunky Guacamole

Michelle

Chunky Guacamole: This dairy free recipe is the perfect snack with a handful of tortillas & is also delicious with chilli & taco's, one of my favourite dinners!

20140311-205257.jpg Ingredients 1 large ripe tomato or a few cherry tomatoes 1 avocado, very ripe but not bruised 1/2 a lime handful coriander, leaves & stalks chopped, plus a few leaves, roughly chopped, to serve 1/3 small red onion, finely chopped 1/3 chilli, red or green, deseeded and finely chopped

20140311-205311.jpg Method Use a large knife to pulverise the tomato to a pulp on a board, then tip into a bowl Halve & stone the avocado (saving the stone) & use a spoon to scoop out the flesh into the bowl with the tomato Tip all the other ingredients into the bowl Season with salt & pepper Use a fork to roughly mash everything together Tip: pop the stone into the guacamole, this helps to stop it going brown Scatter with the coriander Cover with cling film & chill until needed

Let's be honest removing the dairy from your diet limits your snacks; however this guacamole really hits the spot! Enjoy, Michelle X

Lemon-tons

Daisy

Lemon-tons A twist on the Australian bake Lamingtons, these mini morsels are the perfect thing to whip up for parties, afternoon tea or just if you have the ingredients. Florence really enjoyed making this with me because it's really quick to throw together.

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Ingredients... 175g Butter, softened 140g Caster sugar 140g self-raising flour 50g Ground almonds 1/2 tsp Baking powder 2 Large eggs 1 tsp Vanilla extract Zest of 2 lemons, juice of 3 200g Granulated sugar 20140308-200758.jpg

Method... Heat the oven to 180C. Line the base and sides of a 20cm square tin with baking parchment. 20140308-200744.jpg Beat the butter, caster sugar, flour, almonds, baking powder, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest and the juice from 1/2 lemon with and electric whisk until smooth. 20140308-200733.jpg Scrape into the tin and bake for 25-30 minutes until a skewer pokes in comes out clean. Let cool. Turn out onto a wire rack, trim the edges and slice into 16 squares. Tip the granulated sugar onto a plate. Pour the remaining lemon juice onto another plate and very quickly, dip all the sides of the cake square, one by one into the lemon juice, then quickly in the sugar. Sit them on the wire rack to set and crisp.

Enjoy!

Daisy x

Dairy free banana & chocolate muffins

Michelle

Dairy free banana & chocolate muffins: These dairy free banana & chocolate muffins are quick, easy & utterly delicious. I serve them to all of my guests & no-one has realised they are dairy free! 20140227-222241.jpg Ingredients 4oz vitalite 4oz sugar 3/4 bananas 2 eggs 6oz self raising flour 1 tsp bicarb 20g kinnerton dairy free chocolate (chopped into small pieces)

20140227-222310.jpg Method Cream the vitalite & sugar together until pale Add bananas – whisk Add eggs – whisk Add flour, bicarb & chocolate – either fold in or whisk lightly (not too much as it’s self raising flour!!) Divide into 12 muffin cases tin and cook on 180 for 25 mins (fan oven)

TIP: Pop a skewer or knife in to the middle of the muffins and make sure it comes out clean, if it does it’s cooked!

Enjoy! Michelle X