Saturday, 18 September 2010

Herbs and Spices!

These are some mixtures that will be popping up in my recipes quite a bit as they're pretty much in everything I make!! Get some jars (I use old coffee ones) and make these! All you need to do is mix them together and then you can make so many different dishes and it's SO much cheaper than buying the stuff from the supermarkets! I suggest going to your local market to buy the herbs and spices :)

Other than my Dad I have no idea where these recipes originally came from...sorry!

Fajita spice mix

3tbsp cornflower
2tbsp chilli powder
1tbsp salt
1tbsp paprika
1tbsp sugar
2 1/2tsp crushed chicken stock cube (I just crushed a few at the beginning and went from there)
1 1/2tsp onion powder (or dried flakes if you can't get powder)
1/2tsp garlic powder (or flakes/chips whatever is available!)
1/2tsp cayenne pepper
1/2tsp cumin

Put this into an air tight jar then repeat until the jar is full! (Or as full as you think you will need it to be) Now you never have to buy packets of fajita mix again!! If, like me, you really like the BBQ fajita mix just add some BBQ sauce while you're cooking the meat and vegetables.

Italian Seasoning

3tbsp dried basil
3tbsp dried thyme
2tbsp dried marjoram
2tbsp dried oregano
1tbsp dried sage
1tbsp dried garlic flakes (or powder)
1tbsp dried rosemary

Again put these into an air tight jar until it is full. A tsp of this mixture can replace the dried herbs in any of my previous recipes! However if I run out of this and can't make any more up I do resort back to my mixed herbs and dried basil.

Friday, 10 September 2010


Oh yes!! Remember that bolognese sauce recipe I posted a bit ago? Well here's something else that you can use it in!

Please don't be put off by how long this recipe is!!! It's really not difficult! :)

Lasagne (serves 3-4)

Bolognese Sauce
250g lean beef mince
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1/2tsp dried mixed herbs
1/2tsp dried basil
1tbsp tomato puree
1 beef stock cube
salt and black pepper

Béchamel Sauce
50g butter
30g plain flour
450ml milk
salt and black pepper

Fresh/dried lasagne sheets (doesn't matter which but I tend to use dried)
Cheese! (whichever you like the most!)
A medium/large casserole dish to bake it in!


Preheat the over to 220°C

Bolognese sauce (incase you can't remember/be bothered looking at the other recipe)
1. Dry fry the mince until it's cooked.
2. Add the chopped onion and fry until it is soft, then add the garlic.
3. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and add the herbs, basil, tomato puree and stock cube (and a little water if it's too thick).
4. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Béchamel Sauce
1. Melt the butter in a pan on a low heat.
2. Once melted add the flour and stir this to form a roux. (It should look glossy and I'll post a pic in here when I have one...)
3. Pour in the milk and bring the heat up a little.
4. Whisk the sauce until it thickens sufficiently. (Whisking disperses any lumps easier than stirring.)
5. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

1. Add a thin layer of the bolognese sauce to the bottom of the dish you're using.
2. Now add a layer of pasta sheets.
3. More bolognese sauce but this time add some béchamel before the pasta.
4. Repeat step 3! (Until you have no more sauce left...)
5. On the last layer don't put pasta on top of the béchamel. Instead sprinkle a little cheese over it (I've found it can go oily if you use a lot of cheese so be careful of this) and put it in the oven.
6. Leave it to bake for about half an hour and then serve!

Sunday, 5 September 2010


Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables (serves 2..unless you're me)

1 large red onion
2 peppers
6-8 cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
dried mixed herbs

1. Chop the onions and the peppers roughly. (I normally chop the onion into 8ths and break it up and chop the peppers into rough bite size pieces)
2. Crush the garlic cloves and roughly chop.
3. Chuck all of this into a roasting dish along with the washed cherry tomatoes.
4. Drizzle some oil over (or spray some oil if you liked my last post!) and sprinkle over about 1tsp of the mixed herbs.
5. Make sure all the veg is evenly covered in the herbs and garlic.
6. Roast in a preheated oven (250°C) for about 40mins or until everything is cooked.
7. Serve and eat!

You can pretty much do the same thing with any vegetable you like. It's nice with courgettes in too!
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