Tuesday, 24 June 2014


Cheating is something that I do a lot during the week when it comes to cooking family meals.  I'd love to have the time to cook everything from scratch but that's just not practical when you work full time.  I don't mean cheating in a ping it in the microwave sort of way, I mean using ready made or prepped ingredients that are going to aid in a speedy dinner.

One of my favourite things to have in are these herb and spice paste tubes from Sainsbury's that you keep in the fridge ready to give a flavour boost to your dish.  I'm always buying fresh herbs for things, using half then scraping them from the bottom of the salad box.  These tubes last for a month in the fridge once you've opened them.  I always have the chilli and ginger tubes in but for this recipe I've tried the Thai Herb Paste.

Everything I used in this recipe were things I either had in the fridge of store cupboard and it took less than half an hour to put it all together - didn't someone write a book about recipes like that!   My other convenient ingredients were a tin of coconut milk and a bag of frozen mixed seafood that you cook straight from the freezer.  You can freeze the remaining coconut milk for next time.

Getting the veg ready was probably the most time consuming. I served mine with a stir fry of pak choi, spring onions, red and orange peppers and carrot but there's no reason not to buy one of those ready prepped stir fry packs.

Mixed Seafood Thai Curry

(Serves 2)

1 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Sesame Oil
200g Frozen Mixed Seefood
2 tbsp Thai Herb Paste
1/2 Tin Coconut Milk
1 tsp Fish Sauce

Put your rice on to cook whilst you make everything else.  In a pan or wok heat the oils then add the seafood and herb paste, keep string till the prawns turn pink then add the coconut milk and fish sauce.  leave on a very low heat to keep warm while you cook the veg.

Heat a pan or wok with 1/2 tbsp oil and 1 tsp sesame oil.  When it starts to smoke add your stir fry veg.  This takes just a couple of minutes to cook and they should be slightly charred and still a little crisp.

Serve everything with a scatter of fresh coriander.

We ate this with a Vino Verde, also from Sainsbury's which went superbly with seafood.  It had a light fresh summery taste that calmed the heat from the curry perfectly.  I'm no expert on wine, but those who are have given it 3 awards recently
. It's also a winner on price at just £4.75

Tuesday, 17 June 2014


I'm sure you would agree that every child deserves a birthday cake and I have recently been working with a UK charity called Free Cakes For Kids who are a great group of volunteers that donate a birthday cake for children whose families would usually find it difficult to provide one.
Children are referred by local groups and organisations with details of the child's gender, age and interests and a volunteer from their local community makes the cake.

There are Free Cakes For Kids groups all over the country which you could get involved in.  You are under no obligation and can bake as little or as much as you like and don't worry about your decorating skills not being up to parr, a child receiving a birthday cake will love it.  There are other ways to help too, perhaps delivering a cake or promoting your local group.  Or do you know a group that could work with FCFK.

It such a lovely cause to be part of and brings so much happiness.