Great balls of fire

This recipe is perfect for a night when you just can’t think of what to make for dinner, and don’t want to spend too long in the kitchen. I saw this recipe over on Poppytalk Handmade months ago, but I can’t find the original post! Sad face. So it’s not possible for linkage, apologies. This is my non-vegetarian version {made with lamb mince} with a kick of spice. Dip those mothers right into a cool dip, and cut the richness with some sticks of fresh veg to make your mama proud. 

Ingredients – meat balls
1 pack of lamb mince {500g}
3 or as many cloves of garlic as you like, diced
6 chopped papadom peppers {any spicy peppers}
Chili flakes {if you like}
1 egg
2 tablespoons of flour
Salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mush with your hands. Roll the mixture into balls about the size of a  mushroom and place in a hot pan. Ignore your temptation to add oil to the pan since lamb mince is fatty and before you know it will be bubbling away. Cook for 5 minutes / until the meat is cooked through. Transfer onto a paper towel to get rid of excess grease, serve along with cool dip, and eat with a fork to achieve maximum dip coverage.

Ingredients – dip
1 small tub sour creme
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper

Mix and serve in a cute bowl. 

Apple, cheese and Guinness soda bread. For real.

When I saw Hugh Fearnley-Whittingshall make this bread, I made a mental note that this would be a great pre-St. Patrick’s Day recipe to try out. And is it ever good.

Before you get intimidated by the word ‘bread’, it took me 10 minutes to make this bread – and that’s including peeling two apples and grating cheese. Nothing puts me off the idea of making bread more than the thought of dealing with yeast – letting it rise for hours and having to kneed it? No thank you. But when I saw Hugh making this bread, I knew I could handle it. This is lazy as hell bread. And it tastes gorgeous. 

The Guinness really adds an earthy taste to the bread. You wouldn’t immediately think “oh god, this bread tastes like Guinness” because it’s not recognizable. The apple and cheese also wonderfully justifies devouring a quarter of the loaf in lieu of a meal. It’s got apples and cheese. And Guinness. Guinness is good for you. 

Recipe details included after the jump … 


250g strong white flour
200g spelt flour {I used half white flour and half rice flour}
50g oats 
10g fine salt 
20g baking powder 
100g roughly chopped dessert apples,
75g grated Cheddar 
50ml sunflower oil
100ml buttermilk
250ml Guinness

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line your baking tray with parchment, or butter / flour it in preparation. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, oats, salt, apple and 50g of the grated cheese. Mix and make a well in the center. 

Begin to add your wet ingredients. The next stage is the most important part when dealing with soda bread – the less you handle the mixture, the better. ‘Feather’ your hand out like a giant fork and gently combine the ingredients. This should take no more than a minute and the mixture should only just be combined. 

Flour your work surface, and tip your mixture on to it. Roughly shape the dough into a round {don’t knead it, just pat into shape}. Transfer onto your baking sheet and top with the remaining cheese. Bake in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes until golden brown and well risen. 

See an example of Hugh’s wonderfully lumpy bread below. I luckily read the comments section on the Channel 4 website before I made this bread, because Hugh’s original recipe calls for waaaay too much liquids. So I didn’t include half as much as the recommended amount. 

Matroyshkas meet kitchen

While sitting at my desk last week, I was e-mailed a press release featuring these M-cups {matroyshka measuring cups by Fred and Friends}, and I needed them. I don’t impulse buy often these days, so this was a rare treat for me. See, I have a thing about all things Russian. Multi-purpose matroyshka dolls you say? A bit cheeky? And they’re measuring cups? It didn’t take much convincing. 

I just think they’re a dangerous mix of adorable and quite clever. Seriously, how cute are they? The top of the largest piece {far right} is 1 cup, followed by 3/4 of a cup on the bottom, followed by half cup etc.

Welcome to my kitchen 🙂