Recipes – How to make…

Cheats Chicken Pie for 4

Pack of chicken thigh or breast fillets
Pack of mushrooms
1 can of Campbell condensed chicken soup
1 small tin of sweatcorn
1 small onion
Roll of ready to roll puff pastry (or perhaps a block if you doing this recipe for the first time as the amount you need depends on the size of your pie dish. 1 roll does a small ish pie dish)


This is not a detailed method. I am assuming my audience has made a pie before.  This is just information on an easy variant!

  1. In one pot, brown the onion, mushrooms and cook the chicken. Then add soup and sweetcorn.
  2. Roll out the pastry so you have enough to line your pie dish and do a top. Line the pie dish.
  3. Pour the cooked ingredients in and then with a knife chop off the extra pastry.
  4. Kneed and roll this out for the pie top. I don’t bother using egg to make the edges sticky but I’m sure its a good thing to do if you can be.
  5. Voila. Pie done!

Put in the fridge when cooled and cook for 30mins when you need it. Temp is on pastry box.. Tip: I sometimes leave the pie mixture to cool before putting in the pie as it cools quicker.

Moroccan spiced beef stew (serves 4)

This recipe is from a book called ‘The slow cooker’ A celebration of the slow cooker.


2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
225 ml red wine
700g chuck steak, cut into 5cm pieces
130g dried apricots, diced
2 tbsp honey
125ml water
Chopped fresh coriander to garnish
Cooked couscous, to serve


1. Heat the oil in a large fry pan, add the onion (and carrots/ celery if including) and cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Add the salt & pepper, cinnamon, ginger and cumin, cook, stirring for 1 minute.
2. Add the wine and bring to boil, cook for 1 minute. Transfer mixture to the slow cooker.
3. Add the beef, apricots, honey and water, stir to mix. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 9 hours, until the mean is very tender.
4. Serve hot with couscous, garnished coriander.

Bacon, mushroom, leak creme fraiche pasta (serves 4)

I don’t have an official recipe for this, I tend to throw in the amount of ingredients that look right for the number of people I want to serve.

Approx 6 rashers of bacon (chopped) You could use pancetta or bacon lardons
1 large leak (finely chopped)
Standard tub of mushrooms
Small tub of creme fraiche (I use half fat)
Parmesan (but the recipe works fine with cheddar)
Pasta of your choice

  1. Put the pasta on to cook
  2. In a large pot gently sweat the leaks then mushrooms then add the bacon.
  3. Once cooked add the creme fraiche and heat through.
  4. Stir in the cheese and cooked pasta then serve.


Quick Cottage Pie (serves 4)

500g mince
1 small onion
standard tub of mushrooms
415g tin baked beans
Couple of carrots
Beef gravy
4/5 large potatoes


  1. Peel and chop potatoes and put on to boil until tender enough to mash
  2. Peal and chop carrots and put on to boil until just tender
  3. In a large pot sweet the onions, mushrooms and cook the mince
  4. Once cooked add the tin of baked beans, cooked carrots and about 1/3 of a mug of thick beef gravy
  5. Give it a good stir and transfer the mixture to a casserole dish
  6. Top with the mashed potato

Tomato and Sausage Pasta

Pack of sausages
Large tin of chopped tomatoes
Small tin of tomato puree
Small onion
Mushrooms, red pepper if you fancy it


  1. Put the pasta on to cook.
  2. Sweat the onion and whatever veg you are using
  3. Chop the sausages into chunks and add to your veg. Cook
  4. Once cooked add the chopped tomatoes and puree. Season and add a few herbs if you fancy. I sometimes add a small teaspoon of sugar. Simmer for as long as you have.
  5. Serve on top of the cooked pasta. A bit of cheddar on top goes down well with the kids.

Tuna and sweetcorn pasta (for 2 kids)

Tin of tuna
Small tin of sweetcorn
Basic cheese sauce: teaspoon of butter, flour, bit milk and cheese


  1. Put the pasta on to cook
  2. Make the basic cheese sauce by gently melting a teaspoon of butter, then add the same amount of flour. Mix and then let it bubble for a minute before poo

Lancashire Hot Pot (from Mary Berry)

The recipe states it serves 4 but I find our 2 kids eat nearly half of it so there is not much left for my husband and I! That said, I use one lamb neck so maybe I’m not using enough meat, I didn’t weigh it…

2lb lamb neck (or other cut for slow cooking)
2 large potatoes
2 large carrots
2 onions
1 tsp sugar
1 bay leaf
1 rosemary sprig
600ml lamb or chicken stock


  1. Heat the oil (in a casserole dish that can go in the oven and also has a lid). Brown the lamb then remove and set aside.
  2. Soften the onion and carrots for 5 mins.
  3. Add the lamb back in then add the herbs/seasoning putting the rosemary sprig and bay leaf in the middle so you can easily remove it when serving.
  4. Layer the potatoes overlapping them to cover the top of your casserole.
  5. Add the stock so it comes up to the potato layer.
  6. Cook on 160 degree’s C for 2 1/2 hours with the lid on. If you are in, you can remove the lid half hour before the end and increase the temperature to brown the potato topping.