Bloody Halloween Cocktails

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A friend recently said to me 'Katie, in your house every day is Halloween.' She wasn't wrong! We're big fans of October 31st in this household and this year we'll be handing out candy, watching my favorite psycopath stalk his innocent camp councellors and sipping on these bloody beauties.  It'll be a graveyard smash!

A delicious mix of vodka, chamboard and pomegrannet juice these babies will have you in the Halloween spirit in no time.  You'll be itching to get out and party with those skelletons.

Bloody Halloween Cocktails
  • 100ml Vodka
  • 50ml Chamboard
  • 250ml Pomegranate Juice
  • 4 Tinned Lychees
  • 4 Blueberries
Cooking Directions
  1. To make the eyeballs simply pop a blueberry into the hollow of a tinned lychee and skewer two eyeballs onto a cocktail stick.
  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake together the vodka, Chamboard and pomegranate juice.
  3. Strain into two ice filled glasses (top up with any remaining pomegranate juice)
  4. and garnish with your gruesome eyeballs. Enjoy.

Robert Welch Knives & Camembert Pie

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The most important tool to a chef, or home cook, is a decent knife.  You can cook a stew over an open fire in the garden; but if you've got a rubbish set of knives you're not only adding time to your preperation, you're also dicing with the tips of your fingers.  A good set of knives has been high up on my kitchen wish list for quite some time, so when Steamer Trading got in touch askinng if I'd like to try out some of their best selling knives, I jumped at the chance.

Santoku Knife vs Cook's Knife, which do you prefer?

I was sent a 7" Santoku and a 5.5" Cook's knife from the Robert Welch collection.  To really put these babies to the test I decided to whip up a pie from this months Tesco magazine that contained the scourge of the chopping world, the butternut squash. Dun dun duuuun!!

Santoku Knife vs Cook's Knife, which do you prefer?

First I put the Santoku to the test.  I have to say, I much prefer this knife to the chefs kinfe.  It's much weightier and I feel I could really do some damage with this bad boy. No veg is too much for the Santoku.  The blade sailed through the tough flesh of the butternut squash, considering my old knife would get stuck around an inch in and I'd be forced to bash the squash on the bench to get the knife through.  Much better.

Santoku Knife vs Cook's Knife, which do you prefer?

The cook's knife is much smaller and lighter in the hand.  Where I feel I could take on any job with the Santoku I think I'd save the chefs knife for smaller, more delicate work.  I think dicing an onion with this little babe would be a dream come true!

Santoku Knife vs Cook's Knife, which do you prefer?

For me, I much prefer the Santoko to the cooks knife as I just enjoy the nice weighty feel in my hands.  I know alot of home cooks are more partial to a smaller knife, my mother for example only works with those tiny paring knives, what's up with that?!  What do you guys prefer?

Santoku Knife vs Cook's Knife, which do you prefer?

Find the recipe for this kick ass pie here.

Spicy Tofu Ramen

There is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of steaming hot ramen on a cold day.  Granted we're still waiting for that beloved Autumn chill up in Newcastle, but that won't stop me willing the leaves to turn amber and the nights to draw in dark.  I long for hats, jumpers and cosy mittens. Long walks in the brisk Autumn air and settling down in front of an old movie with a huge bowl of spicy tofu ramen.

Crispy tofu pieces in a deliciously spiced broth topped off with a soft boiled egg. What's not to love?!

Since our household became mostly meat free (I still sneak some animal into my portions from time to time), I've really came to enjoy tofu.  Almost to the point where I don't miss the meat in most of our favorite meals.  I actually prefer these little cubes of beancurd in fajitas to chicken these days, I never thought I'd say that!  

While I am enjoying eating tofu, preparing it is a bit of a ball-ache. Pressing out  the excess liquid is a task I can do without after a hard day at work.  That's where Cauldron* marinated tofu pieces come in. Pre-squeezed, pre-chopped and pre-marinated, they're my little lifesaver.

Crispy tofu pieces in a deliciously spiced broth topped off with a soft boiled egg. What's not to love?!

There's one thing you simply must not skip when making this ramen, and that is the soft boiled egg.  Yes, peeling a soft boiled egg is as close to hell as you can get but I promise it's worth the effort.  I'll even go as far as to say it's my favorite part of the whole meal.

Crispy tofu pieces in a deliciously spiced broth topped off with a soft boiled egg. What's not to love?!

Spicy Tofu Ramen
Adapted from Pinch of Yum 
  • For the Ramen:
  • 1 Onion
  • 1tbsp Red miso paste or powder disolved in 125ml boiling water
  • 1tbsp White miso paste or powder disolved in 125ml boiling water
  • 3tbsp Sambal Oelek - chilli paste found in Asian supermarkets
  • 6 Garlic cloves
  • 2" Piece of ginger
  • 3tbsp Mirin
  • 2tbsp Olive oil
  • 1tbsp Sesame oil 
  • For the Broth:
  • 1 pack Cauldron marinated tofu pieces
  • 1tbsp Olive oil
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 150g Chestnut mushrooms
  • 1ltr Vegetable stock
  • 350ml Unsweetened soy milk
  • 200g Ramen noodles - Thin egg noodles
  • 4 Spring onions
Cooking Directions
  1. Put all of the miso paste ingredients and pulse until it forms a thick, spicy paste. You'll only need around half of the mixture so pop the rest in a tupperware box and freeze for a later date.
  2. Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a large, deep frying pan and brown the tofu until crispy. Add 3tbsp of the miso paste and stir to coat the tofu. Fry for another minute then tip it out on a plate for later.
  3. For the broth, tip the sliced mushrooms into the tofu pan and fry until brown. Add 1tbsp of the miso paste and fry for another minute. Add in the soy milk and stock and bring the broth to a simmer. Place the remaining spicy miso paste in a metal sieve and lower it into the broth. Using a spoon stir the paste around the sieve, pushing the juicy bits through until most of it has dissolved. Discard whatever remains. Don't just tip the paste right into the broth as this will make the soup lumpy and thick, eww! Give the broth a little taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
  4. Bring two pans of water to the boil. In one pan cook your ramen noodles to the packets instructions. Pop the 4 large eggs in the other pan, boil for 7 minutes before removing from the pan and running under cold water to stop the cooking process. Peel the eggs carefully and set aside.(I usually do this under running water as the shell comes away a little easier)
  5. Divide the cooked noodles between four bowls and top up with the mushroom broth. Top each bowl with a handful of tofu, some chopped spring onions and a boiled egg cut in half. Drizzle with a little sesame oil and enjoy. 

*Not sponsored, just really like the product :)

Apple Pie Granola

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it's something you hear countless times during your life. Despite having this drilled into me, I'm still guilty of throwing down a couple of Jammy Dodgers with a cuppa while staring at the laptop. Or even skipping the meal altogether in the hope I'll save a few calories. Very bad adulting!

Whip up a batch of this delicous granola on a Sunday evening to keep you feed all week long.

In a effort to kick my bad habits I like to make a batch of homemade granola on a Sunday to last me the week.  Granted, my good intentions usually only last till Tuesday but it doesn't stop this granola from being some of the tastiest I've ever made.  If anything has the capacity to get me eating breakfast, it's this.

Whip up a batch of this delicous granola on a Sunday evening to keep you feed all week long.

I like to add mixed dried fruit to all of my granola but feel free to leave it out if you're not a fan, I just love the little pops of colour.

Looking for more breakfast inspiration? How about giving this Pumpkin Spice Granola a whirl, or for something a bit naughtier this Chocolate and Coconut Granola is simply delicious.

Whip up a batch of this delicous granola on a Sunday evening to keep you feed all week long.

Apple Pie Granola

  • 350g Rolled oats
  • 100g Coconut oil, melted
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 1tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp Ginger
  • 1/4tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1/8tsp Nutmeg
  • 50g Brown sugar
  • 100g Apple sauce
  • 50g Honey
  • 150g Dried apples, chopped
  • 75g Pecans, chopped
  • 100g Mixed dried fruit (optional but delicious)

Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 175C and line a large baking tray with grease proof paper.
  2. In a large bowl mix the oats, salt, spices, apples and nuts together and set aside. In a pan over a medium heat melt together the coconut oil, brown sugar, honey and apple sauce. Pour the wet ingredients over the oat mixture and mix until fully combined.
  3. Spread the oaty mixture over your prepared baking tray and bake for 30 minutes, stirring the granola every 10 minutes to prevent burning.
  4. Let the granola cool before mixing in the dried fruit and transferring to a large jar ready for the week ahead.


I have a bit of a thing for baked eggs, they're a weekday staple in my house and always go down a treat.  I usually reserve eggs for a lazy morning; lounging around the living room in pajamas, listening to Beetles vinyls or reading the papers.  Nothing beats those mornings. 

Shakshuka is a whole new level of baked eggs.  A meal not just reserved for lazy mornings but a hearty dinner served with lashings of bread and butter.  The ingredients for this meal rarely differ, eggs baked in tomatoes, onions and peppers with a few spices thrown in for good measure.  My version however incorporates feta cheese and a nice helping of fresh chili.  What can I say, I like a kick.

Shakshuka - the perfect one pan meal

Did I mention this dish is completely one pot!  Yep, minimal washing up, as if it can get any better.

Shakshuka is a traditional dish served all over the Middle East, originating in Israel.  It is made up of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce.  The best thing is you probably have all the ingredients needed in your cupboards as we speak.  I know right, I don't need to sell this bad boy to you any more.  What on earth are your waiting for?!

As always, I love to see your creations so please make sure you tag me in your Instagrams.  You can find me right here!

Shakshuka - The perfect one pan meal

Shakshuka - Israeli Baked Eggs

  • 1 medium sized red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 red chili peppers, depending on how spicy you like it
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 100g feta, crumbled
  • 4 medium, free range eggs
  • coriander for serving
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat two tablespoons of oilve oil in a large skillet or frying pan over a medium to low flame. Slice your onion and pepper into thin strips and fry for around 20 minutes until really soft and caramelized, stirring regularly. Once soft add the garlic and chillies and fry for 2-3 minutes, add the spices and fry for another minute. Pour in the chopped tomatoes, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.
  2. Stir in the feta cheese, reserving a little handful, and make 4 little holes in the sauce. Carefully crack the eggs into the holes. Sprinkle over the remaining feta and cover the pan with a tightly fitting lid. Simmer for 7-10 minutes depending on how you like your eggs. Sprinkle over the chopped coriander and serve straight from the pan with loads of bread for dipping.
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