The Old Papparrr’s Mince Beef & Onion Pie Recipe

Homemade mince beef and onion pie is the first thing I ever learnt to cook as a kid. My dad, or ‘The Old Papparrr’ as many people called him, would let me help him make the pastry and I was only too pleased to. It’s a pretty simple and child-friendly recipe; a perfect start that sparked my love of cooking. Every time I make it, I get very nostalgic, and the end result is absolutely delicious! Served with some mashed or roasted potatoes, fresh veg and gravy, this is a great weekend treat! Continue reading

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The Ultimate Chicken & Chorizo Paella Recipe

If there’s one recipe to bring some Spanish sunshine onto the dinner table at any time of the year, it’s this one! Ok, so chicken and chorizo isn’t an authentic flavour for paella, but it’s a widely-known combination and I think it’s delicious. When I visited Barcelona a few years ago, I did manage to track down a chicken & chorizo paella in a tourist restaurant in the seaside neighbourhood of Barceloneta, so it’s not unheard of in Spain. There are a lot of ingredients here, but key to it is to prepare and chop all of the ingredients before you fire up the stove. If you follow this recipe to the letter then you’re guaranteed to be onto a winner! Make sure you use a wooden spoon because a metal one would break the rice apart and you’ll end up with a plate of sludge. Buen provecho! Continue reading

The Ultimate Toad-in-the-Hole Recipe

This recipe is an absolute winner in our house! It’s a recipe that I’ve been tweaking for a while and now I think I’ve got it spot on. There are a few things about this recipe that take it to another level, one of which is to use the best quality sausages you can get. I’d recommend the G. White & Co ‘Porky Whites’ sausages which are available from Sainsbury’s. Perfect served for a family Sunday lunch served with mashed potato, fresh vegetables and gravy. Give it a try this Sunday! Continue reading

Review: An Authentic Carbonara Worth The Trek @ Hostaria Romana, Rome

Any foodie who visits Rome knows that they can’t visit the city without trying one of the city’s local dishes, and for me I always have to try a carbonara. Like many Roman dishes, the carbonara is part of the now-fashionable style of cooking known as cucina povera – or ‘peasants cuisine’ – which are some of Italy’s most basic & honest dishes originating from times of poverty. The magic in these types of dishes lies in the quality of the ingredients and the skill of the chef. Carbonara is a case in point; consisting of just spaghetti, egg, pecorino, seasoning and guanciale (cured pig’s cheek). I had only 48 hours in the Eternal City, so I did a quick Google search in the hotel room for ‘best carbonara in Rome’ and found this place just around the corner. I read that they encourage diners to graffiti on the walls, so I got dressed up, drew an ‘x’ on my tourist map and set off. Continue reading

Review: Incredible Neapolitan Pizza in Rome @ L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele Trevi

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There I was, in Rome on a very last minute solo trip – I’d booked it Sunday evening, travelled on the Tuesday morning – and I was only there for 2 nights. I had so much to see & do in the Eternal City that I almost forgot about this place. This was until I suddenly remembered that Pizzeria da Michele, Naples’ most famous pizzeria featured in the movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and somewhere I’d been gasping to visit for years, have opened two branches in Rome, including one not too far from my hotel. Wahoo!

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Feature: 5 Drinks To Try For Dryathlon

After over-indulging during the Christmas period, it’s easy to do what most people do and go on a crash diet, take up a gym membership, or both! But why not choose to do Dryathlon (AKA. Dry January) instead? It’s a great way to improve your health whilst raising money for Cancer Research UK, a charity very close to my heart. It involves not touching a drop of booze for the whole of the month. Yup, not a single drop! Once you sign up, you are committed to see it through to the end and I find it very motivating, especially when the donations come rolling in. Tempted? Well, it’s easy to sign up; details of how to are at the bottom of this post. Continue reading

Feature: The Cubans Have Arrived in Southampton @ Revolución de Cuba

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You know the score by now; I get wind of a new eatery opening in my hometown and I just have to register my interest 😉 . I’ve a friend who is a DJ at the Alma de Cuba in Liverpool (another restaurant of the same chain) and I loved all the videos he posted on social media of the exciting Latin parties at the weekend. Cuban food and Latin dancing sounded right up my street, so I just had to go! Continue reading