Sunday, March 15, 2009

Easy Cheesecake recipe

Ingredients for cheescake

1 packet of digestive biscuits, crushed
140g creamed cheese (philidelphia is good)
150 mls cream
1 packet of jelly, lemon or strawberry is nice
50g margarine
1 cup of hot water


  • Melt the margarine over a low heat
  • Add the crushed biscuits and mix well
  • Press biscuit mix into a loose bottomed cake tin
  • Refridgerate

  • Melt the jelly in one cup of hot water
  • Allow to cool but not set
  • Whisk together the cream and cream cheese
  • Add the jelly gradually and blend
  • Pour mixture over the biscuit base and return to refridgerator until set.
Cheesecake image by Foodista

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Barbecue chicken drumsticks recipe

This recipe can be oven baked or cooked on a barbecue


  • 8 Chicken legs
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 pepper finely chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 dessertspoons of tomato ketchup
  • 1 dessertspoon of worcestercher sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder


Oven baked method (can be barbecued)

  1. Pre heat the oven to 190C
  2. Mix all ingredients except the chicken to make a sauce
  3. Place the chicken in a casserole dish
  4. Spoon the sauce over the chicken
  5. Cover and bake in the oven for an hour

Learn To Cook Part 2

Freezing and thawing food

Guidelines to freezing and thawing food at home

  • All frozen food should be sealed - no open wrappers, if you open bread for example but you want to freeze the rest, put it in a new freezer bag.
  • Your freezer should be kept at -18C or less
  • Always follow your freezer manufacturer storage guidelines on how long food can be kept, many people do not follow these guidelines but it is important to do so as the frozen food will deteriorate after the storage date
  • For the above reason you should always mark the bag or container with the freezing date before you freeze it.
  • Frozen food must always be fully thawed before cooking especially chicken unless the packaging states it can be "cooked from frozen"
  • Defrost frozen food in the fridge - the bonus to this is it can actually help to cut the running cost of your refridgerator as the frozen food keeps the temperature in your fridge lower, meaning your fridge has to work less to maintain the required temperature
  • Freezers should be defrosted regularly
  • Never re-freeze food that has not been first fullycooked
  • Do not freeze food that is still hot, allow it to cool first before freezing
  • Never use hot water or other methods to defrost food, allow time to defrost in the fridge.

Later in this learn to cook series I will be posting about
  • the different cuts of meat and their common uses,
  • Baking terms and an introduction to pastry, and a very useful list of recipe ingredient substitutes for when you run out of one ingredient essential to your dish

Posted with LifeCast

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Vegetarian Lasagne Recipe


1 onion sliced
2 peppers chopped
12 mushrooms sliced
3 medium carrots finely chopped
1 can of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons of tomato purée
Box of lasagne sheets
Grated red chedder cheese
Salt and pepper to season
250 mls vegetable stock
Mixed herbs

For the white sauce ( a jar of white sauce can be used instead)
25g margarine
25g flour
430 mls milk
Salt and pepper
Grated cheese


To make the cheese sauce

Melt the margarine in a pan and add the flour
Cook on a low hear for 1 minute stirring all the time
Remove from heat and cool
Add the milk, salt and pepper and beat
Return to the heat and bring to the boil, keep stirring
Add a small handfull of grated cheddar
Reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes

To make the lasagne

Pre heat oven to 200 celcius
Fry the onion, peppers, mushrooms and carrots for 5 minutes
Add the tomato, tomato purée and vegetable stock
Place a layer of the pasta sheets in the bottom of your caserole dish for the base
Add your ingredients in this order as layers:
Vegetables followed by lasagne sheets followed by white sauce ending with the last of the white sauce on the top of your lasagne
Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and bake in the oven for half an hour

Posted with LifeCast

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Vanilla Fudge Recipe


450g granulated sugar
50g butter
150 mls evaporated milk
150 mls milk
Vanilla essence


Grease a shallow baking tin
Put sugar, butter and milks in a saucepan and hear gently until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted
Bring to the boil, stirring occassionaly until mixture reached a soft ball
Remove from the hear and place on a cold surface
Add a few drops of vanilla essence and beat until thick and creamy
Pour into the baking tin
Let cool
When firm cut into squares with a sharp knife

Posted with LifeCast

Friday, February 6, 2009

Irish Tea Brack Recipe

This is a simple recipe, however you do need to do a little preperstion the night before you want to make it


1 cup of strong tea
180g brown sugar
250g plain flour
450g mixed dried fruit
1 beaten egg
1/2 level teaspoon breadsoda


Preheat the oven you 180 degrees celcius
Put the tea, sugar and dried fruit in a bowl, cover and leave to soak overnight
Grease a 2lb loaf tin
Add the beaten egg to the fruit mixture
Sieve the flour and breadsoda together and fold into the mixture
Place the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes
Cool on a wire rack and serve sliced with butter or jam

Posted with LifeCast

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Chocolate Eclairs Recipe


70g plain flour, sieved
50g hard margarine
150 ml water
2 slightly beaten eggs
200 mls Fresh cream
Cooking chocolate


Sieve the flour on to a sheet of kitchen foil
Melt the margarine in the water in a pot
Remove from heat
Tip in all the flour at once
Beat well with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a smooth lump in the center of the pot
Add a little of the egg mixture and beat again until mixture sticks in a smooth lump again
Continue adding the egg in small amountd and beat after each addition until mixture is thick and shiny
Put the mixture into a piping bag and stand for 10 minutes
Pipe lines about 3 inches long and 2 inches apart on a damp baking tray
Bake at 220 degrees celcius for 30 minutes or until golden and firm

Once the eclairs are baked, remove from the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack.
Take each éclair and cut along the length to let the steam escape (otherwise they will sink)

Once cooled fill with whipped cream and drizzel the top of each with melted chocolate (let the chocolate cool but not set, before you pour on your eclairs)

Posted with LifeCast

Friday, January 30, 2009

Tomato Soup Recipe


15g butter
1 red onion finely chopped
1 leek chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 carrot peeled and chopped
1 potato peeled, washed and chopped
300 mls vegetable stock
500g tomatoes chopped (tinned is fine)
1 tablespoon tomato purée
150 mls milk
Salt, pepper and sugar


Fry the onion, leek and garlic in a little butter in a large pot until soft
Add the carrot and potato and cook for 3 minutes
Add the tomato and purée and simmer for 15 minutes
Add a pinch of salt and pepper and a large teaspoon of sugar
Cook for 2 minutes and remove from heat
Add the mill and warm through
Transfer soup to a blender and blend until smooth
Return to pot and heat

Posted with LifeCast

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pork/chicken Satay Recipe

Ingredients (note peanut recipe)

450g pork or chicken cut into cubes
2 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter
1 tablespoon peanuts crushed
2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon of soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of peanut oil
Ponce of chili powder
Dash of Tabasco sauce
125 mls water


To make the sauce

Put the peanut butter, peanuts, soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice, oil, chili powder and Tabasco in a saucepan, warn over a moderate heat until smooth

Slowly stir in the water to make a creamy consistency and put aside

Turn on the grill and set to high
Thread the meat cubes onto small skewers and brush with some of the sauce

Place under the grill and cook for 6 to 8 minutes on each side

Brush with more sauce halfway through grilling
Warm the remaining sauce and serve with the skewers as a dip

Posted with LifeCast

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Learn To Cook Part 1

Identifying and buying fresh fish

It can be hard to know if the fish you are about to buy is really fresh and there is a lot of talk lately about how buying frozen fish is actually fresher and while to a certain extent this can be true, it is still possible to get fresh fish which in my opinion is a better option, I think something is lost when you freeze fish.

Here are a few tips to help you when choosing fresh fish

First and obviously, buy from a clean fish shop, although fish shops will naturally smell of fish, the smell should not be overwhelming. Look around you and make sure of the following

There should only be a slight sea smell from the fish, if it smells too fishy, it's not fresh

Fish should be bright and slippery looking in apperance

The white underskin of white fish should look really white, not tinged yellow

The skin should be moist and unbroken

Scales should not come off easily

The eyes should be bright and bulging

The gills should be bright red

The flesh should be firm to touch

Markings should be bright and clear

Although it is not a legal requirement I prefer when the employee wears gloves, many don't and cooking the fish will get rid of any bacteria etc but if you prefer, don't hesitate to ask them to put on gloves, I am sure they have some!

Posted with LifeCast

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Plain Scone Recipe

This recipe makes around 10 scones


225g self raising flour
50g margarine
1 large egg and 5 tblsp of milk mixed


Preheat oven to 220 degrees c

Note- when making scones you need to work quickly, add liquid all at once and knead lightly.

Lightly grease a baking tray
Sieve flour into a mixing bowl and rub in the margarine
Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture
Add the beaten egg and milk
Mix to a soft dough using a fork
Turn onto a floured board and knead gently
Roll out to a thickness of about 1 cm
Cut with a floured cutter
Place on the baking tray
Brush the tops with a little beaten egg or milk
Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutesuntil well risen and golden

Serve warm with jam and cream

Posted with LifeCast

Learn To Cook And Bake

Oven the coming weeks I will be posting some basic steps and tips to help you in the kitchen as well as many recipes for you to try out.

Look of for:

Oven conversion temperatures
Baking terms and what they mean
Food storage guide
Different cuts of meat
Buying guide for fresh fish
Types and uses of pastry
Recipe substitutes
Weight conversions for baking

And many more

I will also be reviewing some of my favourite cookbooks I have accumulated over the years

Posted with LifeCast

Apple Tart Recipe


200g shortcrust pastry
4 cooking apples
4 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 egg to glaze

Take your pastry and divide into two equal halves
Roll out one half of your pastry and place on a greased plate
Peel, core and slice the apples
Place the apples on the pastry
Sprinkle with the sugar, adjust sugar to suit your own taste
Brush around the rim of the pastry with water and cover with the second half (rolled out) of the pastry
Press the edges of the pastry together with the back of a fork
Trim the edges around the plate and prick the top of the cake several times with a fork
Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with a little sugar
Bake in a hot oven around 220 degrees celcius for 10 minutes
Reduce temperature to 190 degrees and cook for a futher 30 minutes or until nicely browned

Serve warm with cream, custard or ice cream

Posted with LifeCast

Friday, January 23, 2009

Crunchy Chicken Drumstick Recipe


75g crushed cornflakes
1 egg
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
Salt and pepper
4 chicken drumsticks


Pre heat oven to 190 degrees celcius
Mix cornflakes, salt and pepper and herbs in a bowl
Beat the egg in a seperate boel
Dip chicken in the egg, then in the cornflakes, press on well
Place on a baking tray and bake for one hour or until cooked

Serve with salad and chips

Posted with LifeCast

Homemade Vegetable Burger Recipe


1 leek or onion finely chopped
1 Clove garlic, crushed
5 mushrooms, chopped
1carrot finely chopped or grated
2 dessertspoons chopped parsley
5 potatoes cooked and mashed
Salt and pepper
1 dessertspoon vegetable oil


Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion/leek until soft
Add the garlic, mushrooms and carrot
Strain off any liquid
Place in a bowl with the mashed potatoes and parsley
Season with salt and pepper
Divide into 8 and shape into rounds
Press each burger into the breadcrumbs until well coated
Grill or fry until golden

Posted with LifeCast

Homemade Beef Burger Recipe


450g minced beef
110g breadcrumbs
Pinch of mixed herbs
1 onion finely chopped
1 egg
Salt and pepper
Plain flour


  • Mix the mince and onion in a large bowl.
  • Add the herbs and breadcrumbs and seasoning. Mix together
  • Whisk the egg slightly and add half to the mince, this binds the mince to stop your burgers falling apart.
  • If mixture is too wet add a little flour, if too dry add a little more egg.
  • Divide mince and shape into burgers
  • Fry gently or grill on a low heat until well browned
  • Ensure mince is cooked all the way through

You can also make the portions smaller and roll the mince into rounds for meatballs

Posted with LifeCast

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Easy Carrot Cake recipe


225g castor sugar
1/2 cup cooking oil
225g grated carrot
2 eggs
259g self raising flour


  • Pre heat the oven to 190 degrees celcius
  • Mix sugar, carrot, eggs and oil in a bowl
  • Fold in the flour
  • Pour mixture into an 8 inch loose bottomed cake tibake in the oven for 50 minutes
  • Decorate with vanilla flavoured butter icing

Posted with LifeCast

Sunday, January 18, 2009

No Egg Chocolate Cake recipe

A no egg recipe for chocolate cake for those with egg allerigies or no eggs!


125g butter
100g dark cooking chocolate
180 mls of milk
150g self raising flour
75g plain flour
165g castor sugar
2 tblsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract


Pre heat the oven to 150 degrees celcius
Grease and line your cake tin
Melt the butter, chocolate, milk and sugar over a low heat (do not let it boil) until smooth
Allow to cool until it is just warm
Add the flour, extract and cocoa and whisk until smooth
Bake for one hour ( if browning too quickly cover with tin foil)

Cover with your favourite egg free frosting

Posted with LifeCast


Saturday, January 17, 2009

More Recipes To Come

I hope you have found my first few recipes usefull, I will be posting lots more recipes frequently, subscribe by email and you can get all my recipes emailed to you so you never miss any, but don't forget to check in now and then too, I would love to hear your thoughts about the recipes or you can read other peoples thoughts on them.

If you have any suggestions or feedback please comment or if you have any recipes you would like to share you can contact me by email. Please don't post recipes in the comments, if you have a recipe to share, email me and I will post it, you will be given full credit for your recipe in the post, and a link to your blog if you have one. (You must be a subscriber to have your recipe posted.)

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Posted with LifeCast


Spicy Potato Wedges

This recipe is easy to make and if you want you can make them plain, without the spice


6 large potatoes (or as many as you require)
A packet of spice mix
Cooking oil


Firstly, wash your potatoes with the skin on
Cut your potatoes into wedges (leaving the skin on)
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius
Rinse the wedges an strain
Lightly grease a baking tray and put in the oven
You need a deep fat fryer for this step, if you don't have one skip this step (I just think they are nicer this way)
Deep fry the wedges for 2-3 minutes, remove and drain.

Toss the wedges in a little cooking oil and sprinkle a little spice mix over them, mix again until all the wedges are coated.

Place the wedges on the baking tray and spread the out.
Bake in the oven until crispy.

Serve with salad, garlic bread and onion rings

Posted with LifeCast


Homemade Vegetable Soup

A quick and east recipe that keeps in the fridge for 3 days and can be frozen for longer storage

Adjust quantity as required


2 large potatoes
4 carrots
1 large onion
1 large leek
1 vegetable stock cube
1 bay leaf


Chop all the veg
Put a little oil in a pot and add the carrots
Fry for 2 minutes and add the leek and onion
Fry for another 2 minutes and add the potato
Mix your stock cube with 500 mls of hot water and add to the pot.
Bring to the boil and turn down to simmer
Add the bay leaf and a pinch of salt and pepper
Simmer for 30 minutes or until all veg is soft
Remove the bay leaf
Blend with a liquidser and add a little milk or cream (optional)
Thin with boiling water if required

Serve with fresh brown bread

Please note this recipe is ideal as a weaning food for babies (once blended) and can be frozen and stored in small portions as needed.

To reheat once frozen it can be microwaved or defrosted in the fridge overnight.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Homemade Chicken Dipper recipe

A really simple recipe that's great for a snack, as part of a meal or as party fingerfood.

Ingredients (makes 16)

4 chicken fillets
6 slices of white bread made into breadcrumbs
2 eggs (milk will work if you have none)
A small bowl if plain flour
Spice mix (optional- mix into breadcrumbs and flour for spicy dippers)


Cut your fillets into 4 strips lenghtwise
Crack the eggs into a bowl and best slightly
Dip each chicken strip into, first the flour, then the egg and lastly roll in the breadcrumbs

Place your coated chicken on a baking tray and put in the oven at 200 degrees celcius for 20 minutes or until browned.

Serve with any dip, salad or roll in a fajita to make a crunchy chicken wrap.

Posted with LifeCast


Irish Stew recipe

This is a simple recipe and great to warm you up on cold days

750g stewing beef
3 large carrots (peeled and thickly sliced)
1large cooking onion diced
1beef stock cube
350mls hot water
1 tsp cornflour
Tomato purée
Salt and pepper to season
Medium sized potatoes, peeled and washed

Note- this can be made in a large pot on the hob or in a casserole dish in the oven.

Heat 2 tsp cooking oil in a large pot
Add the chopped carrots and onion and fry for 2 minutes
Remove vegetables from pot and put aside (for oven method place in your casserole dish)
Put the diced beef in the pot and fry until brown add 2 tblsp cold water and fry for 30 seconds
Remove the beef leaving any juices in the pot and add the beef to your vegetables.
Mix 1 tblsp if cornflour with a small amount of cold water and add to the juices in the pot, stirring quickly as it will thicken immediately.
Remove from the heat.
Add your beef stock cube to your 350mls of hot water and mix, add salt and pepper and half a tsp of tomato purée.
Return your pot to a low heat
Gradually add your stock to the juices, stirring constantly
For the hob method add your meat and veg to the juices in the pot, cover and cook on a low heat for 2 and 1/2 hours, add the potatoes for the last hour of cooking
For the oven method, pour your juices over the meat and veg in your dish and cover. Place in the middle of a pre heated oven, around 170 degrees celcius and cook for 2 1/2 hours adding the potatoes for the last hour,
Check hourly to make sure there is enough juice, if it seems to be drying out add a little extra hot water.

Posted with LifeCast


Thursday, January 15, 2009


Welcome to Family food and recipes

I am an Irish mother of three who has worked in the food service industry for 10 years. As a mother I know that planning your family's meals is not always easy for many reasons, such as:

Changing/growing children's needs
New family additions
and many more

I have made this blog to share my knowledge and recipes with you and the aim of this blog is to provide useful recipes that are affordable, easy and that include everyday ingredients. Who wants to shop at five different stores just to get the ingredients for one meal? and who can afford to?

I hope to post recipes under the following:

family meals
party food
special occasion food
allergy free recipes
Irish dishes (well I am Irish!)
School lunches

I hope this blog is a useful resource to you and please if you like what you see dont forget to subscribe and digg!

Best wishes


Family food and recipes

Recipes and cooking tips for family meals that are easy, quick and inexpensive for busy families