Yummy Scrummy Chocolate Brownies

Today I had my first attempt at making brownies, aided by the wife who also had never made them – sounds like a recipe for disaster right? Well it actually turned out pretty good. The smell that has filled our house is mouth watering, I daren’t open a window as the whole street may flock around my house, drooling, like a hungry scene from The Walking Dead.

Anyway seen as though we struck lucky with our first attempt I thought I’d share my success and give the recipe I used.


3 Large Eggs

275g Caster Sugar

85g Plain Flower

185g Bourneville dark chocolate (any dark chocolate will do, I just had this in already)

185g Unsalted Butter

40g Cocoa Powder

50g White Chocolate and 50g Milk Chocolate (again this doesn’t have to be the expensive stuff, I bought a 100g bar of Cadbury’s Winter Wonderland Chocolate which was already mixed as it was on offer )


Chop the unsalted butter into cubes (easier to melt) and break the dark chocolate into individual pieces.

Add both to a bowl and begin to melt over a pan of boiling water.

Once melted, take the bowl off and leave the mix to cool down to at least room temperature.

Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 4.

Cut out some grease proof paper and put it to the bottom of a shallow tin.

Mix the flower and cocoa powder and sieve them into a bowl to make sure no lumps are left.

Chop the chocolate into smallish pieces.

Mix the eggs and sugar in a bowl with an electric whisk. You will know this is done when the mixture becomes really pale.

Pour the cooled down chocolate mixture over the egg and sugar mixture and slowly begin to start folding it in. Use a figure of 8 formation with the spatula, do this in different directions or alternatively turn the bowl as you fold it together. Do not rush this as the air needs to stay in the mixture.

Once the mixture is complete and all one colour (brown) start to sieve in the cocoa and flour mix. Again, slowly fold this in as you do it.

Pour your finished mixture into the tin that you prepared earlier. Place it in the already pre-heated oven on the middle shelf for 25 minutes.

Once 25 minutes has passed gently pull out the tin and gently shake – if the middle of the brownie starts to wobble then place back in for a further 5 minutes.

Don’t worry if the top looks like its cracking around the sides like this, this is normal (apparently)

Brownies Out of the Oven

Now leave it to cool, resist the temptation to cut into it until it is completely cold.

This is what our finished ones looked like cut up

Chocolate Brownie


Diet Coke Chicken

I’d never heard of Diet Coke Chicken before until a couple of days ago, I was looking to cook something different and we had stumbled across this. It was mainly blogged about on health and dieting sites, so it wasn’t bad for you either – bonus!

The original dish was to reduce the sauce down to a sticky sauce that coats the chicken but as we were serving it with rice I left a bit of the sauce –  for me nothing is worse than plain rice. I also added soy sauce and Chinese 5 spice to it which gave it that nice oriental flavour, but this is something you don’t have to do.

Anyway these are the ingredients you’ll need if you are to follow the dish that I made:

500g stripped chicken

12 tbsp.’s passata

1 1/2 regular size cans of diet coke

2 tspn’s of Worcester sauce

2 tspn’s of soy sauce

1 heaped tspn of 5 spice

2 red peppers

2 onions

Mushrooms ( I used chestnut mushrooms but you can use any)

2 tspn’s of Very Lazy garlic


Before you start cooking you’ll need to mix your sauce together, add to a jug the coke, passata, Chinese 5 spice, Worcester sauce and soy sauce and mix. Leave in the jug till later.

Add a good glug of olive oil to your pan and let it heat. You probably want to use a deep pan as a frying pan will be too shallow.

Mix your finely chopped onions, peppers and garlic, let them cook for a few minutes then add your mushrooms – cook for another 3-5 mins.

Add your chicken and let it cook through, don’t worry about the juices in the pan from the other ingredients this will reduce with the sauce.

Once the chicken is about cooked add the sauce that you mixed earlier.

Let it reduce down but make sure you keep stirring as it will stick to the bottom of the pan.

Reduce it down to whatever your preference is and serve with rice and/or vegetables for a delicious tasting meal, guaranteed to be a family favourite and so easy to make – Enjoy. Diet Coke Chicken

Roman Cookies

Our 9 year old son has recently been set some homework from his school which he had to choose a subject about the Romans. All his friends were doing sports and leisure so we said why don’t you do about Roman feasts and we’ll find a recipe to make so he could take it in. We didn’t realise how tricky it would be as we don’t have the ability to roast a wild boar or make ostrich ragout, we are in short supply of both wild boar and ostrich in the North of England. Luckily we did a Google search and came across this fantastic little recipe courtesy of EatingPlaces (a blog here on WordPress, click for the recipe).

We went out and bought the few ingredients needed to make these tasty little treats and set to it. It only takes about 1.5 hours and an hour of that is to let the dough set in the fridge.

They have turned out really well, and they are delicious. I’m sure they’ll be a big hit with his class and more importantly his teachers.

So thanks for posting the great recipe EatingPlaces. Here are a few pics of our finished cookies.

Roman Cookies 1 Roman Cookies 2

3 This Week

This week my wife gave me a challenge to find 3 meals to cook but 2 had to be something I haven’t done before.

So yesterday I thought I’d get the easy one out the way first, even though I hadn’t cooked it from scratch before, I went for Chilli Con Carne. I went to the shops and bought what I needed, came home and began to prep.

I didn’t take any photo’s but it was very tasty, I will do a post on each dish soon.

The other 2 dishes I have chosen are Diet Coke Chicken and Pork and Apricot Hotpot. I will discuss these when I have done them, I am making the Diet Coke Chicken on Wednesday so some photo’s, the recipe and a review will be uploaded.


Delicious Homemade Burgers

Making burgers is so easy, although it’s cheaper to buy shop bought ones nothing beats seeing the satisfaction you get from seeing your guests or families faces as you serve them a homemade one with their favourite ingredients in them. Make up your own barbeque sauce and add a bowl of fresh salad to the middle of the table and watch them dig in and enjoy the healthy burger.

I made these for the first time a few weeks ago and now my kids keep asking me to do them again.

Ingredients You’ll Need

1 packet of lean beef mince ( I think I got 750g which made 6 very chunky burgers, I could have possibly made more if I’d have made the patties a bit smaller)

1 onion (you can use spring onion or chillies if you like)

2 egg yolks

1 tspn of Very Lazy chopped garlic

Cheese squares

Olive oil



3-4 tbsp. of mayonnaise

BBQ sauce


Salad ingredients – Lettuce, red onions etc. (Your choice)


Start off by finely chopping your onion, you may not want to add the whole onion depending on your preference.

In a bowl begin breaking up your mince with your hands add the onions, and garlic and mix together. Remember you can add your own ingredients and spices here, its your burger so have fun and go for it.

Make your patties, remember they will constrict when cooking so don’t make them too small. Make sure they are nicely patted together and put on a plate.

Once all patties are on the plate pick each one up and rub olive oil on them. Not too much, just enough to make them slippery.

Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper over the patties and place in the fridge for 1 hour. This will help them to not fall apart during cooking.

Add a small dash of olive oil to a pan and heat, once the oil has heated add the patties. At this point you want to pre-heat the oven to its lowest setting, so we can keep the cooked patties hot while we cook the others.

The recipe I followed said to brown off each side and then cook for 5-6 minutes for medium or 8-9 minutes for well done. My family aren’t big fans of pink meat so I gave it a few minutes longer just to make sure.

Once cooked add to a tray, place your cheese on the top and pop it in the pre-heated oven.

While the cheese melts begin to make up your BBQ mayo. Add 3-4 tbsp. of mayo, a good squirt of BBQ sauce and a dash of ketchup. Mix together, taste and add more to suit your own taste buds. It should taste like the sauce that McDonalds use for their Big Tasty burgers.

Once all the burgers are done and the cheese has melted add them to a bun, plop on a bit of the tasty mayo and serve, letting your guests add their own salad at the table.


This really will leave the people around your table with big smiles on their faces, and if your a parent this is a great way to earn brownie points with your kids.Homemade Burgers