“Slow-Roast Pork Belly with Rosemary” and “Caramelised Onion and Rosemary Bread” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALove pork belly? Want to have it for Sunday lunch? Then click through on this sentence to find the recipe reprinted in Red magazine.

Nicholas (10): Pork belly for the win!

Maureen: That’s right. You asked for this specially. Who doesn’t love pork belly, especially when you’re talking about Sunday lunch?

Andrew (14): We all love it, that’s for sure.

Tim: How did this compare to the usual Gennaro Contaldo one that you make?

Maureen: This one you marinate, and then roast for longer at a lower temperature. It also includes instructions for making gravy. I don’t think you need gravy with it.

Andrew: But the gravy is nice on the mashed potatoes.

Maureen: That’s true.

Tim: I think I like this better than our usual one.

Maureen: That’s funny, because I think I like our usual one.

Nicholas: A house divided against itself can not stand! Abraham Lincoln said that.

Maureen: Thanks, Mr. History. Now what about the bread?

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“Slow-Roast Pork Belly with Rosemary” and “Caramelised Onion and Rosemary Bread” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

“Raspberry Upside-Down Cake” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you want to make this, please click through this sentence to find the recipe on UK’s Good Food Channel. Trust me. It’s good.

First, an important note. This photo doesn’t do this cake justice. While it may look more like a big blob of dark red on top of cake, or even, dare I say it, an edible blood clot, it tastes better than it looks.

This is a perfect cake to make when you’re short on time, which frankly, is much of the time. I’ve now made it twice– once for the grand finale of a Sunday lunch, and again last night for my book club. Both times it was a winner.

The cake is such a resounding success because of the simplicity of the ingredients. There’s no running around to specialty shops to find something obscure. It’s just sugar, butter, eggs, self-rasing flowers and raspberries. Even the raspberries are frozen, which I easily found at my local Co-Op.

Making the cake itself is also a doddle. I finished last night in less than 15 minutes, which a real win.

One thing to note if you do decide to make this– the quantity of raspberries is a bit miserly, only 250 grams. The first time I made this, it didn’t really cover the bottom of the pan. Last night when I made it, i went a bit overboard and added 600 grams of raspberries, which was too much. So maybe 500 grams would do it, but 250 grams is definitely not enough.

All in all, a triumph.

“Raspberry Upside-Down Cake” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

“Lamb Kofta Tagine”, “Golden Couscous” and “Butterscotch Apple Pudding” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

Louis: Aunty Woffy meatballs! Louis eat meatballs with Aunty Woffy!

Kate: I’m flattered to be associated with meatballs.

Anna: Kofta actually. But he knows meatballs, so that’s what I’ve told him they are. I’ll be interested to see if he eats them.

Peter: This is nice.

Anna: How many meatballs would you like Louis?

Louis: Two.

Anna: How much couscous?

Louis: No. No couscous.

Kate: Well I like it. In fact I’ll have a few more meatballs.

Anna: The pudding is a bit of a failure I’m afraid.

Peter: It tastes fine.

Anna: But there’s no sponge to speak of. It’s a sweet soggy mess. I think the cooking apples gave off too much moisture. It’s similar to Bill Granger’s banana butterscotch pudding recipe but doesn’t work as well. Oh well.

“Lamb Kofta Tagine”, “Golden Couscous” and “Butterscotch Apple Pudding” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

“Chicken and Ham Pie” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

Peter: Still no photo.

Anna: I’ve explained that.

Peter: It looks like a pie again. In fact, it looks like the fish pie from last week.

Anna: That will be the mashed potato on top. Your mum made this with the leftover roast chicken, as Rachel suggests. I like the fact she added in the leftover carrots from the meal too.

Peter: You know I like a good pie. This pie is no exception.

Anna: I have had some of the leftovers and it’s really quite yummy. Must be the double cream!

Peter: Did Louis have any for lunch today?

Anna: He did, and he loved it! Like father, like son. Pie.

“Chicken and Ham Pie” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

Roast Chicken Pieces with Lemon and Herb Aioli from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

Kirstin: Well I’m always up for making an aioli. And this one worked first time! I don’t have to go to work tomorrow, so those 4 cloves of garlic are just fine with me!

Tom: What’s the magic ingredient in the aioli?

Kirstin: You have to add a little of the gravy to it. It’s delicious!

Ella: I prefer our normal roast chicken recipe.

Kirstin: That will be the Gwyneth recipe. But I think I might make the aioli with it to mix things up a bit next time as it’s just out of this world. I can’t wait for the leftovers tomorrow too. And I just about snapped this picture before the it became dark which means the evenings are slowly getting lighter. Yippeee!


Roast Chicken Pieces with Lemon and Herb Aioli from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

“Smoked Haddock Pie” from “Rachels’s Everyday Kitchen”

Peter: No photos.

Anna: Nope. I’m afraid there are no photos for a while. Trying to cook and serve a meal with an impatient toddler doesn’t lend itself to photography.

Peter: This looks like a fish pie. Pie. Yum.

Louis: Nana’s fish casserole!!

Anna: Yes, we’ve had this before. Nana made it last time. You love it don’t you Louis?

Peter: Bacon and smoked haddock make a pretty good combination.

Anna: It’s the saltiness that makes it so nice. As with all fish pies I used virtually every pan in the kitchen to make it, but I can get past that. We’ve fed four adults and have about 6 portions leftover for Louis. I will make this again!

“Smoked Haddock Pie” from “Rachels’s Everyday Kitchen”

“Quick Chicken Casserole” with “Pilaf Rice” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”


MAKE THIS! It’s great! For the recipe in order to make that happen, click through on this sentence.

Andrew (14): Yum.

Maureen: I agree: Yum.

Nicholas (10): Yes, this is good.

Maureen: The rice is sort of like the Cowboy Rice I make, like they used to eat when they were out on the ranch, but this one doesn’t have oregano.

Andrew: This one is good too.

Nicholas: I’m giving it a thumbs up.

Maureen: There’s lots of good things about this. It doesn’t have any exotic ingredients and I had most of them on hand. It used up leftover roast chicken in a new and interesting way. And most of all, you like it, which is a big bonus.

“Quick Chicken Casserole” with “Pilaf Rice” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

“Roast Chicken with White Wine, Leeks and Carrots” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

CBAMRoastChickenMaureen: You’ve got to love roast chicken.

Andrew (14): And I do.

Maureen: What do you think?

Nicholas (10): There’s not much that’s different you can do with a roast chicken, though.

Maureen: You are absolutely right about that, Nicholas. Every recipe is more or less the same, with minor variations.

Nicholas: I still like it though.

Andrew: So do I.

Maureen: If you’re wondering, and I’m quite certain that you’re not but I have the conch shell so I will proceed, the difference with this roast chicken is I cooked it for longer at a lower temperature. Also, I didn’t use much butter– far less than I usually do– but I think it’s good.

Andrew: Yes, I like it.

Maureen: I don’t think I like this version substantially more than how I usually make it, though, so I’ll probably stick with how I usually do it.

Nicholas: It is nice to have a roast on a weeknight, though.

Maureen: I agree.

Cook’s Notes: As noted above, the two major differences in this recipe compared to others I’ve made is you roast it at a lower temperature (180C/350F) for at least 90 minutes and you don’t use much olive oil or butter to baste it. It worked fine, I suppose, but I prefer my usual method of 400C for one hour with a combination of olive oil and butter. 

The one big revelation, though, was that it’s actually quite easy to make a roast chicken on a weeknight– particularly this method when you put the vegetables in the bottom of the roasting pan. I will try to do this more often if I can engage in some forward planning, which can be difficult, but not impossible.

“Roast Chicken with White Wine, Leeks and Carrots” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

“Thai pork noodle soup” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

Tom: Well this was just what I needed for my cold.

Kirstin: I gave you most of the chillies to help with that too!

Tom: Thank you!

Ella: I don’t like the noodles!

Kirstin: They’re just noodles. How can you not like them?

Ella: I just don’t like the consistency of them.

Miles: I like the meatballs!

Kirstin: I cheated and whizzed up a lot of the ingredients rather than chopping them finely as she suggests. Yes, I would definitely make this again.


“Thai pork noodle soup” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

“Spinach, Bacon and Gruyere Frittata” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

CBAMFritataMaureen: Meat Free Monday!

Andrew (14): Well, not really. Isn’t there bacon in this?

Maureen: Yes, there is. If I was really faithful to Meat Free Monday I would have substituted red pepper for the bacon, but I didn’t. I just can’t turn down bacon.

Nicholas (10): I’m glad you put in the bacon, but why did you have to put in the spinach? You know how I feel about spinach?

Maureen: Yes, I do know that, which is why I showed you the recipe for approval before I made it. Spinach is in the title! It’s hard to miss!

Nicholas: But I missed it, and now I have to eat around it.

Maureen: Why eat around it? Why not just eat it? I love spinach.

Andrew: Come on, Nicholas, this is really good. Give it a try.

Maureen: Yes, I like it too. It was quick, we had most of the ingredients on hand, and, it’s delicious. As a bonus, you can have bacon sandwiches for breakfast tomorrow because I bought too much bacon.

Andrew: Bacon Sandwiches For The Win!

“Spinach, Bacon and Gruyere Frittata” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”