Category Archives: Recipes

Carb Free Pork & Courgette Pasta

carb free pork and courgette pasta

Ok….before I get started…I have to tell you all that I am not a food nazi who hates carbs, in fact I love carbs more than is healthy….Full loaves of bread swiftly disappear under my watch as does mammoth amounts of pasta.

The reason I end up making a carb-free dinner is the abundance of courgettes I often find myself with at this time of year from my two raised bed veggie garden. I’m a bit slack at collecting the little blighters on a regular basis so I often find myself with something resembling Arnold Schwarzenegger in courgette form.

I have found however that courgette peeled with a peeler and flash fried in some sort of homemade dressing is a great carb replacement…and that folks is fact because even Mr Pigeon doesn’t complain about the substitution….and he’s pretty carb obsessed too.

This entire dinner takes under 10 minutes to cook so it is a great workday meal to throw on the table when you are too tired to think.

Ingredients (for two)

2 pork chops

1 large courgette (green or yellow…let’s not be fussy)

2 tbsps of French Dijon Mustard

A glug of cider vinegar

Go ahead and peel your courgette, skin and all. You want all that courgette-y-ness in a bowl ready to flash fry after you’ve done the pork chops.  You will need to pop your oven on to warm, this is just to keep your chops hot as you fry the courgette.

You will get to a point in the courgette where you hit seeds (if you let them get marrowy like I do) so stop otherwise it’ll be all pippy and horrid…I normally chuck the center in with the chickens as they go mad for it!

I love courgette as they taste of nothing and they can be melded into whatever you want in a dish. I make a mustard sauce for this dish as it goes well with the pork.

(Does it really count as a sauce if it’s two ingredients? Probably not…)

Pop the pork chops in a frying pan with a little glug of oil and get them cooking. They will only need about 4 minutes a side.

Whip up your mustard sauce by popping the mustard in a bowl, giving it a good stir and slowly adding cider vinegar until you have a runny dressing. I use a teeeeny whisk for this as I like to pretend I’m Nigella at this point….she always has a teeny whisk on the go.

Once your chops are done, pop them in your warmed oven on plates.

Throw all the courgette into the hot pan with all the pork juice and poke them around a bit until they are all covered and are heating through. Pour over your mustard concoction and gently mix. Poke about for about two minutes before getting your plates back out of the oven and serving up the veg from the frying pan.

Any sauce left in the pan can be drizzled on your pork chops and courgette on the plate and enjoy with a glass of something, whilst feeling smug that you aren’t having carbs.




Blue Cheesed Butternut

There are few things in my kitchen that excite me more than when I am cubing up a butternut squash. I know that sounds a bit like I’m a mental person , but if I’m cubing a butternut squash then I’m prepping on of my favourite meals.

I think it is one of my favourites as it is so so simple. You whack it in , get on with some stuff in the garden or some housework and then eat it down wrapping yourself around the bowl as you scoff it.

All you need is a butternut squash, a good hunk of blue cheese, a handful of pine nuts and a splash of oil.

roast butternut squash with blue cheese and pine nuts receipe

Simply peel and chop your butternut squash into inch square chunks, drizzle with oil and bung in the oven to roast. I normally put them in for half an hour on 200.

My chooks love when we have butternut squash as they get all the seedy insides!

roast butternut squash with blue cheese and pine nuts receipe

Once roasted, sprinkle with bue cheese and pine nuts and devour with a spoon.

The salty blue cheese mixes so well with the sweet butternut squash. I normally use one butternut squash for two people, but I could be tempted to do this just for me and eat a MASSIVE bowlful!



How To: Make Cranberry Jam

How to make cranberry jam recipe

If you have NEVER made jam before this is child’s play.

I normally buy my cranberries in the New Year, when they are half price, freeze them and store them all year, making jam as I go….eat, make jam, rave, repeat…if you will…

Cranberries are high in pectin (the stuff that makes jam set) so this jam doesn’t need special jam sugar. Don’t let folk tell you otherwise….and scare you with their ‘special jam sugar’ talk.

You will need an amount of cranberries….then weigh out the same amount of sugar, regular ‘pop in your tea’ sugar is fine. Then combine in a large pan, stirring constantly over a low heat until all the cranberries pop, it boils and then thickens.

How to make cranberry jam recipe

Pour into sterilised jars (ones JUST out of the hot dishwasher cycle or that have been popped in a 100C oven for 15 minutes) and screw the lids on whilst warm.


Jam is honestly that easy to make.

Some recipes will call for a splash of lemon juice to ‘allow the scum to rise to the surface’…I personally don’t do this…mainly because I wash my fruit beforehand and have never found cranberries particularly scummy…and mine has always turned out ok!

I use cranberry jam (and cranberry sauce for that matter) in Victoria Sponges, as I find the sharp tang of the cranberries override the super sickly sweet taste of buttercream icing.

Have you made jam before? Why not?!


REVISIT: Autumn Fairy Cakes


Hi guys! I am back on Monday with some ‘live’ posts post wedding…yaaaay…here is a little cake based post that I will be making this week!

I love cake almost as much as I love books. FACT

My Autumn Fairy Cakes (or my AFC’s as I like to call them) are perfect for when the nights are drawing in and you need something a little heartier than a summer treat.

Give them a spin yourself!

ShinyP’s AFC’s

Ingredients (easily doubled or in my case TRIPLED!)

  • 6 oz Self Raising Flour
  • 4 oz Butter
  • 4 oz Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp of milk
  • 2 tbsp of cinnamon
  • A large handful of raisins


  1. Preheat your oven to 190ºC.
  2. Cream your butter and sugar together
  3. Add your eggs and beat furiously
  4. Mix in your flour and cinnamon, and then add the milk.
  5. Beat well and then chuck in the raisins.
  6. Stir and spoon into cake cases.
  7. Bake for 15/20 minutes till golden brown and risen.
  8. Devour alongside a mug of hot cider.

Puff Pizza Pie

puff pastry pizza

This is honestly one of my favourite meals to make. It takes no time, as long as you remember to defrost your puff pastry! This is such a good combination of pie (the puff pastry) and pizza (the toppings) that it makes me drool just writing about it.

If you can…save some for the day after…it is the BEST lunch ever…. true story.


500g block of Puff Pastry – don’t make pastry…life is too short.

3 tbsps of Tomato Puree mixed with 3 tbsps of tinned tomatoes.

A whole heap of cheese (my favourite measurement of cheese)

A choice of toppings (we use salami, olives, chillies, capers and mushrooms)

puff pastry pizza

Firstly roll out your pastry so it will almost cover your baking tray. You don’t need to grease it or anything, as long as it isn’t one you have been using out in the garden…  but you will need to preheat your oven to 220°C (200°C for fan ovens).

Spread your tomato mixture across the rolled out pastry using the back of a spoon, leaving a 1 cm gap round the edge.

Pop in the oven for 10 minutes

Now chop and prep your favourite toppings and grate a whole heap of cheese. I can’t honestly give you a measurement for the cheese as we would quite happily use over 200g….we have a slight cheese problem.

Pull the Pizza Pie out of the oven, pop on your toppings and then your cheese and then whack it back in the oven for a further 10 minutes….then job is a good’un.

Puff pastry Pizza

Excuse me whilst I wipe up the drool on my keyboard….


How To: Make Easy peasy chocolate fudge

We all have that moment when we want to swear loudly because we thought our Christmas shopping was done….and then you realise you forgot someone.
But never fear! I am here to help sort you out.
Here is a super simple recipe for whipping up some very yummy chocolate fudge.

How to make easy chocolate fudge

Pop them in a little bag or box and give them to someone who deserves scrumptious goodies.


  • 400g dark or milk chocolate (about 50% cocoa solids)
  • 397g can Condensed Milk
  • 25g butter
  • 100g icing sugar
  • Nuts/sprinkles etc for topping

You will also need…

20cm square tin, lined with baking parchment (I used my silicone tin because it was soooo easy to pop out after)


  1. Break into small bits and place in a pan with the condensed milk and butter. Melt the ingredients gently over a low heat, stirring occasionally until smooth and lovely.
  2. Put in the icing sugar and mix thoroughly. I don’t sieve my icing sugar because by missing this time-consuming step, the sugar leaves lovely little spots throughout, like a sprinkle of snow.
  3. Press the fudge into the tin, smooth over the top with the back of a spoon.  Sprinkle decorations into the surface, if using, pressing nuts down so they stay stuck.
  4. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour until set, cut into squares. It will stay nice in airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks….if it lasts that long.


REVISIT:- Chocolate Chip Cookies – The Pigeon Way

Hi guys, I have previously given out this recipe, but since I have been off work for the summer holidays I have been making trays upon trays of these, because they are P’s favourites and I felt they needed resharing.
We call them ‘Cakies’ (cay-keys) in our house because they should have a cake like texture in a cookie shape.

If you make the choc chips too small they sink to the bottom, ensure you make ’em big!


(Makes 16 oversized cookies)

125g of butter (soft)
185g of soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 lightly beaten egg
1 tablespoon of milk
215g of plain flour, mixed with 1 teaspoon of baking powder
250g of chocolate (pre-broken into squares or smaller if you wish)


1 – Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas mark 4). Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

2- Cream the butter and sugar together.

3- Stir in the vanilla extract, and then gradually add the egg, giving it a good beating.

4 – Stir in the milk, and then add the flour and baking powder, till it becomes a wet dough.

5 – Add the chocolate chips/chunks (I don’t skinny chip…I chunky dunk!)

6 – Roll the cookie dough between your hands in large walnut sized globes. Pop them on the baking tray trying to leave a good 4cm around each cookie as they will spread….as I found out!

7 – Bake for around 15 mins or until lightly golden.

8 – Leave to cool for a little while on a wire rack if you can before you munch away,  else you’ll burn your mouth on lava-like chocolate!

My cookies become speckled with chocolate on top and hold the gooey choccy goodness in the centre and bottom, as in the piccie above, because I tend to whack everything through my mixer, so don’t worry if you get larger pieces of chocolate breaking through the top of the cookies. (I’m sure you’ll survive somehow!)