Roast Tomato & Garlic Soup with a Basil Mascarpone Topping

For my mam and dad's 14th wedding anniversary, I decided that I would make dinner for them as an anniversary treat. I chose this recipe from my mam's book, Apron Strings, & I added some cooked spagettii and used the soup as a pasta sauce. This soup is full of flavour and it turned out really well.

Roast Tomato & Garlic Soup with a Basil Mascarpone Topping

850g fresh tomatoes, quartered
10 garlic cloves, peeled & cut in half
1 red onion, roughly chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 teasp sugar
salt & pepper
600mls chicken/vegetable stock
handful basil leaves
150g mascarpone

To Serve
100g mascarpone
2 tbsp basil pesto
small basil leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
2. Put the chopped tomatoes, garlic cloves and onion in an over proof dish. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle over the sugar and season with a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground pepper.
3. Wash your hands and massage all the ingredients together until the tomatoes and onion are well combined with all the other ingredients.
4. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. 
5. Meanwhile in a large saucepan heat the stock, stir in the cooked roasted tomato mix and add the basil. Simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes.
6. Blend the soup until smooth with a liquidiser or hand blender.
7. Return to the heat and stir through the mascarpone.
8. To make the topping, combine the 100g of mascarpone with the basil pesto in a bowl.
9. Serve the soup in a bowl or teacup with a dollop of the basil mascarpone and a few small basil leaves to garnish.

Rachel Allen's Macaroni Cheese

Often at the weekend, I cook something nice for my family. While I was looking through Rachel Allen's Favourite Food At Home, I came across this recipe. I've always been a fan of Macaroni Cheese and when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. This tastes delicious with salad.

Rachel Allen's Macaroni Cheese
Serves 6-8

75g (3oz) butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
75g (3oz) plain flour
900ml (1½ pints) boiling milk
1-2 tsp Dijon mustard
225g (8oz) cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
300g (11oz) macaroni pasta

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter, add the chopped onions and cook gently until soft.
  2. Stir in the flour and cook for minute, then add the milk gradually, whisking all the time, and the mustard.
  3. Whisk in three-quarters of the cheese and allow to melt into the sauce, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta with a teaspoon of salt, until just soft.
  5. Drain the pasta, and then toss into the cheese sauce and transfer into a gratin dish, about 25cm (10in) square.
  6. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and pop under a grill for a few minutes to brown the cheese on top, or if you wish, put the aside for later.
  7. Put the dish into an oven preheated to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 to reheat. Leave in for about 25 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.

Knickerbocker Glory

Today my Mam went to my parent/teacher meeting and she came home delighted with my report. To celebrate, my Mam made me this super duper extra special treat.

Knickerbocker Glory

3 scoops of your favourite ice-cream per cup
4 mini marshmallows per cup
caramel sauce
hundreds and thousands
any chocolate bar of your choice, crushed

Chocolate Sauce
50ml cream
50g milk chocolate bar

  1. For the chocolate sauce, put the chocolate and cream into a saucepan over a low heat and stir until the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth sauce.
  2. Assembly your Knickerbocker Glory by putting scoops of ice-cream into a bowl or a sundae glass.
  3. Spoon the melted chocolate sauce and the caramel sauce over the ice-cream and sprinkle hundreds & thousands and the crushed chocolate bar on the top.
  4. Enjoy!

Donal Skehan's Raspberry Goddess Pie

I always love Donal Skehan's recipes so when I saw him making this on Kitchen Hero: HomeCooked, I had to try it! It was very easy to make. I used our own freshly picked raspberries loganberries and it was extremely delicious!
Raspberry Goddess Pie

225g plain flour
125g caster sugar
125g cold butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
250g raspberries
200ml crème fraîche
Handful of raspberries, to decorate
Small handful of mint sprigs, to decorate
Vanilla ice cream, to serve


1. Whizz together the flour, sugar, butter, vanilla extract and baking powder in a food processor until it forms a dough.
2. Press the dough into a lined baking tin with a removable base. Pop in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 225˚C.
4. Mix together the raspberries and creme fraiche in a bowl and then spread over the base of the pie dough.
5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Then lower the heat to 150˚C and bake for a further 15 minutes.
6. Allow to cool and serve slices with vanilla ice cream.
7. Enjoy

Pentagon Pizza

Recently, I've been really craving pizza. But one night, we had nothing to make pizzas with so I tried to use a tortilla wrap as a base. Surprisingly, it worked perfectly and it was delicious!

Pentagon Pizza

1 plain tortilla wrap
50ml passata
grated cheese
ham (optional)
onion (optional)
tomato (optional)

1. Pre-heat the oven to fan 180C/200C/gas mark 6
2. Make a circle of passata on the outline of the tortilla wrap.

3. Place some grated cheese on the passata. Place in the microwave for 50 seconds.

4. Fold in the edges with passata and cheese on them.

5. Spread passata on the rest of the tortilla wrap.

6. Cover the passata with the toppings of your choice.

7. Place the pizza in the oven for 7-9 minutes.

Bernie's Basic Bun Mixture

This bun mixture is my granny, Bernie’s, recipe. These buns are extremely easy to make and they are very delicious too.

Bernie’s Basic Bun Mixture

225g (8oz) Flora Light/butter
225g (8oz) caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 free range eggs
280g (10oz) self-raising flour (sieved)
30mls milk

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/390°F/gas mark 6.
2. Place the flora, sugar and vanilla extract into a bowl and cream together until it is a pale yellow colour.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time with a little flour to prevent the mixture from curdling. Mix well.
4. Add the flour little by little then mix well. Stir in the milk. If it drops off easily in a dollop then it is ready.
5. Take a spoonful of mixture, with a dessert spoon and scrape into the bun case using a teaspoon. Don’t fill the case to the top.
6. Bake in the oven for 20 mins or until golden brown in colour. Cool on a wire tray.


Ready for the oven
Cooling on the wire tray

Jamie Oliver's Pancakes

In times gone by it was traditional on Shrove Tuesday to make pancakes to use up flour, butter and eggs. This pancake recipe is based on Jamie Oliver's recipe. There are a lot of toppings that are very tasty on pancakes such as Nutella, maple syrup or even just a knob of butter. 

Jamie Oliver's Pancakes

150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
200ml (1 cup) milk
1 egg
pinch of salt

1. Put the flour and salt in a bowl.
2. Add the egg and combine with the flour.
3. Very slowly add the milk, whisking well with a hand whisk or fork.
4. When the batter is nice and smooth, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least an hr. (The batter can be used straight away but tends to have a better consistency when left to rest)
5. Heat the frying pan and add a little sunflower oil.
6. Either pour a thin coating of batter or thicken ones into the pan. When golden, turn the pancake over and brown the other side.
7. Add topping of your choice and enjoy!!

Movie Night Popcorn

 The Late Late Toy Show is tonight and I'm really excited. Hopefully I'll decide what I want for Christmas. My Mam made some treats for us tonight, but I wanted to make something myself.

Movie Night Popcorn

50g popcorn
handful of M&M's
50g milk/white chocolate
handful of smarties
  1. Put the popcorn and the sweets into a bowl.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.
  3. Pour the chocolate over the popcorn mix and stir.
  4. Spoon the the mixture into a large container and place in a fridge for a hour.
  5. Remove for the fridge and enjoy