• Servings: 4

meatloaf This is a really simple recipe to make.

Add some rice or mashed potatoes with vegetables and/or salad for a tasty dinner.


  • 3/4 lbs. lean ground beef, or use ground turkey
  • 1/3 c. oats
  • 1 egg white beaten
  • 1-2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c. salsa or tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper


  1. Mix all together in a bowl.
  2. Place in a loaf tin and bake at 350F/175C/Gas 3-4 for 60 -75 min.

Allotment 2013 – seed order

I havent been able to get onto the plot to do any more as it has been so wet, we had snow last week which has now been washed away.
Its been so long since I went, I am quite nervous to go down there for the first time this year, as my imagination is running wild with what may have been happening since my last visit.  Will the lovely neighbours have donated another sofa or bed for me to clear away, did the fireworks of November and December leave any debris, have my onions shallots and garlic started growing or withered away, have all the weeds returned vigorously to the ground that I turned over?
I am also very reluctant to start pushing my spade in the soil again, as I know there were frogs and I understand that they bury themselves for the winter, and I would hate to accidentally chop any.
I must make the effort and get myself down there though, stop procrastinating.  Even if it is just for an hour.
I have however been drooling over the seed catalogues, and finally took the plunge with a big order from DT Brown –
the Ultimate Allotment Collection >
and the Beat Food Inflation Vegetable Seed Collection >
What is in these 2 collections:

Broad Bean Bunyards Exhibition
French Bean Safari
Mangetout Pea Delikata
Runner Bean Galaxy
Beetroot Wodan F1
Calabrese Aquiles F1
Cabbage Minicole
Cauliflower All The Year Round
Carrots Chantenay Red Cored
Carrot Maestro
Courgette Zucchini
Lettuces Tom Thumb
Lettuce Soleison
D.T. Brown Salad Mix
Rocket Skyrocket
Leek Lyon (Prizetaker)
Parsnip White Gem
Pepper Antohi Romanian
Radish Fluo
Spinach Swan
Spring Onion Elody
Spinach Harrier
Sweetcorn Swift
Tomatoes Bejbino
Tomatoes Ferline
Runner Bean, Equator
French Bean, Montano
Broad Bean, Bunyards Exhibition
Pea, Oregon Sugar Pod
Beetroot, Boltardy
Calabrese, Ironman F1
Brussels Sprout, Nautic F1
Cabbage, Tundra F1
Cabbage, Golden Acre
Cauliflower, All Year Round
Carrot, Early Nantes 5
Carrot, Autumn King
Courgette, Defender F1
Cucumber, La Diva
Salad Leaves, Mixed Salad Leaves
Lettuce, All Year Round
Lettuce, Barcelona
Salad Leaves, D.T. Brown Salad Mix
Leek, Porvite
Spring Onion, White Lisbon
Spring Onion, North Holland Blood Red (Redmate)
Parsnip, Javelin F1
Peppers, D.T. Brown Sweet Pepper Mix
Squash, Butterboy F1
Radish, Fluo F1
Spinach, Swan F1
Sweercorn, Swift F1
Swede, Tweed F1
Turnip, Market Express
Tomato, Sweet Million F1
Tomato, Ferline F1
Onion Sets, Hercules
Shallot, Topper
Garlic, Solent Wight
Potatoes, Pentland Javelin
Potatoes, Charlotte
Potatoes, Maris Piper

Substitute varieties may be supplied.

I ordered these 5 days ago and they are supposed to arrive between 7-10 days so I hope to receive them any day now, and cant wait to get sowing.  I will start with the broad beans. And hopefully be able to blog about my successes and not failures.

The initial outlay is quite substantial, but I figure it has almost everything that I intended to grow this year and works out to about £1.44 per week, and will probably give me way more value than buying what I need from the shops each week, (everything seems to cost £1 a pack these days)  if I can manage to keep things going for the full 52 weeks or even 45+ weeks, and providing I manage to grow any of them, of course.  I reckon with all the problems with the weather and economy the prices will continue to rise way above what I am prepared to pay for my veggies, so with a bit of effort and good fortune I will be well fed for less £££.   I may even have too much — well I can dream cant I.   With a bit of luck I will be able to reduce my meat bill too, as I will be so stuffed with veggies and not have room for meat.
I must get my camera going again too.

The Sunday Roast

3 large potatoes
2 tbs oil
Chicken from yesterday
1 dsp seasoning
2 cloves Garlic
sprigs of Thyme
cup of pasta
1-2 tbs Pesto
Gravy reserved from yesterday
Cornflour (optional)
seasonal vegetables


Wash the potatoes. Do not peel them.
Cut them into quarters ready for roasting.
Place in an oven proof dish.
Use a spoon of oil to massage over the potatoes.
Place in oven.
Cook on Gas 7-8 for approximately 40 minutes.

Take the chicken from yesterday out of the fridge.
Use one spoon of seasoning and a splash of oil.
Massage over the cooked chicken.
Place the sliced garlic and a sprig of thyme inside and outside the chicken and put in the oven with the potatoes for about 20 minutes.

Cook the pasta per packet directions, drain and add one or two spoons of pesto.
Take the liquid saved from yesterday’s soup, add half a spoon of seasoning, a splash of water, bring to the boil and thicken with cornflour if necessary.

Steam the vegetables and serve

Chicken Stoup with Dumplings

Its -5 and the snow is thick on the ground today, so its a good day for some hot soup to warm us up.

But this is not soup in the way you probably know it – I call it stoup because it is half stew and half soup, this is a thick, rich and filling meal that is guaranteed to fill you up. Try it!


One whole chicken –  * The main part of the chicken will be reserved for the roast dinner tomorrow
3 dessert spoons of seasoning *
One large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
One medium potato, thinly sliced
2 carrots, sliced
Large sprig of thyme

Cornflour (optional)
handful of pasta (optional)


90 g Self Raising flour (or plain flour + 1 tsp of baking powder).
A large pinch of salt
30 g fat, lard, margarine, butter, shortening … whatever fat you have to hand.
90 ml milk
Frozen peas

* (a dessert spoon = approx. 2 teaspoons, about 2/3 of a tablespoon)

Brown the chicken in the pot that you will be making this dish. It does not have to be perfect.
Add the seasoning, onions, garlic and the other vegetables.
Then pour over hot water from the kettle until the chicken is almost covered.
Bring to the boil, stir, cover with the lid and turn the hob right down and leave it to cook for half an hour.

At that point give the soup a stir, add more seasoning and a little salt if you require it.
Cook for another half an hour.
Warning: lift out the chicken carefully by placing a wooden spoon inside the cavity of the chicken and use a spatula to support it.
Place aside to cool completely before chilling overnight ready for tomorrow’s roast dinner.
Remove from the chicken the two drumsticks from the legs.
With a ladle, remove two lots of the soup in order to use it as stock for tomorrow’s meal.
Shred the meat and put back into the soup pot (you can blend the mixture at this stage if you prefer smooth soup). I used a potato masher to roughly mash down some of the ingredients, as I like it more rustic.

Continue to cook. Prepare your dumplings (see below).
Add the pasta here if you are using it. If required you can mix a little cornflour with some water and add to thicken the stoup.
Drop in your dumplings
Cook in the soup for another 20 minutes, add frozen peas for the final minute, stir well and serve.


90 g Self Raising flour (or plain flour + 1 tsp of baking powder).
A large pinch of salt
30 g fat, lard, margarine, butter, shortening … whatever fat you have to hand.
90 ml milk

Cut up the fat into small pieces and drop it into the flour, using a knife, just mix the flour and fat together until it’s as small as possible.
Add the salt and mix through.
Slowly add the milk into the mix until your dumplings are firm, but not wet. If you add too much milk, then just throw in a spoonful of flour. This is where most mistakes might occur, you really need to move the dumpling mix around in your bowl to get it all mixed up, rather than feeling lazy and putting in too much of the milk.

Using floured hands, or a large floured spoon, make your dumplings (I put them onto a plate ready to drop into the liquid.) They should be firm, but not compressed/squashed.

Bring your soup to the boil, making sure there’s enough liquid for the dumplings to swim in
Drop the dumplings into the liquid and bring back to the boil, cover the saucepan with a lid. After 10 minutes carefully flip each dumpling over and put the lid back on.
After another 10 minutes the dumplings should be ready to eat…. and lovely and fluffy.
If they turn out a bit solid, then try to use a bit less milk next time, or make sure you’re not squashing your dumplings too tight, or make sure there’s enough liquid for them and enough room for them to expand. if they’re a bit squidgy in the middle, then the same rules apply, or maybe they need another 5 minutes!




There is a lot of stuff shared on my facebook page that I have found which don’t appear here on the blog. Go ahead and like on facebook to get to see all those too.

Salsa Chilli

Serves: 2 – Prep time: 5 mins – Cooking time: 15 mins


  • ½ lb lean beef mince
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tub salsa
  • ½ lb red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

To Serve:

Rice or tortillas, Sour cream & chive dip, Green salad


  1. In a non-stick sauté pan, dry fry the mince, pepper and onion for about 10 minutes until browned.
  2. Add the salsa and beans with a little water; cover and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened and reduced.
  3. Serve spooned over rice or in a tortilla wrap and finish it with a dollop or two of sour cream and chive dip.
  4. Serve with a crisp green salad.


BBQ Pork Ribs

Servings: 6

4 lbs pork ribs

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper/cayenne

2 cups of your favourite barbecue sauce


1          Preheat oven to 300 F/150C/Gas 1-2.

2          Peel off tough membrane that covers the bony side of the ribs. (I didn’t bother doing this and they turned out fine)

3          Mix together the sugar and spices to make the rub.

4          Apply rub to ribs on all sides.

5          Lay ribs on two layers of foil, shiny side out and meaty side down.

Lay two layers of foil on top of ribs and roll and crimp edges tightly, edges facing up to seal.

(I just layed them in the deep baking tray with another tray on top to keep the moisture in and they turned out fine, watch out for the juices bubbling up the sides of the pan though, it didn’t go over the top, but in a shallower dish it might of done)

7          Place on baking sheet and bake for 2-2 1/2 hours or until meat is starting to shrink away from the ends of the bone.

8          Remove from oven.

9          Heat grill (I didn’t bother, just put them back in the hot oven for 10-20mins more, turned up to Gas 5/6)

10        Cut ribs into serving sized portions of 2 or 3 ribs.

11        Arrange on grill pan, bony side up.

12        Brush on sauce.

13        Grill for 1 or 2 minutes until sauce is cooked on and bubbly.

14        Turn ribs over.

15        Repeat on other side.

I served this up with steamed vegetables – carrot, sprouts, shredded cabbage – and couscous