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The cooking Journal

Posts in 'Recipes'

Prawn & Mushroom Chinese Dumplings
In celebration of Chinese New Year, we're sharing our prawn & mushroom Chinese dumplings! Making dumplings in for Chinese New Year is a tradition in many Asian households. The process of making them can involve the whole family, from creating the different fillings to the precise folding techniques of the dim sum wrappers. Dumplings are usually filled with ground meat and chopped vegetables but in this version we've gone for prawns. 
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Vegan and Vegetarian Christmas Dinner Recipes
Whether you’re a seasoned veggie, this is your first Christmas as a vegan or you have a vegetarian or vegan guest for Christmas, there's no reason the main dish can't be as flavoursome and impressive as a classic turkey version!
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Three Alternative Turkey Recipes
There are classic Christmas turkey recipes for a reason - they're tried and tested and always a crowd pleaser, except for the part where you have to fight over who gets some of the crispy bacon which enrobes the turkey during cooking. But why not shake it up and spice it up this Christmas by serving up a turkey that is equally as delicious but with an altogether different flavour profile. Read on for three alternative ways to serve up your fantastic festive bird.
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How to cook the best turkey of your life!
Whether you know your Christmas turkey recipe like the back of your hand or it's your first time in charge of cooking up the festive lunch, I'm sure you'll want to know a little secret to cooking THE best turkey of your life!? We've all been there - the long hours lovingly cooking a turkey, basting it regularly to make sure it turns out perfectly only for it to come out dry as a bone. It's heartbreaking. But we've learned about a life-changing tip, popular in America, that will put an end to dry turkey forever! It doesn’t involve braising it in coke or cooking it upside down- the secret is brine.
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Vegan Sticky Toffee Pudding
Sticky toffee pudding is such a British classic, and perfect for those cold winter evenings. What if we told you it can be made vegan, without scrimping on the delicious toffee sauce! The combination of medjool dates and different spices make for a rich aromatic sponge. This recipe will not disappoint!
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Apple and Chilli Jelly Recipe
One of our chefs recently brought in a bounty of apples to the cooking school, chef Sarah Leary spent her weekend creating jars of apple and chilli jelly ready in-time for national apple day to make the most of this much-loved ingredient.
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DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe
Not only is this a real treat, the spices also have a nutritional boost. Cinnamon is a rich source of iron and calcium and has the highest antioxidant strength of all food sources, ginger is a circulatory stimulant with anti-inflammatory properties and nutmeg is a good source of minerals. So it tastes good and it does good!
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Tiramisu Desserts with Conker Coffee Liqueur
Tiramisu is a classic Italian dessert that in my eyes never goes out of fashion it's that gorgeous. Tiramisu is Italy's 'pick me up', a rich burst of coffee flavour and a little alcoholic edge, so it's the perfect dessert.
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Spiced Pumpkin Soup
One of our favorite Autumnal ingredients is pumpkin. This velvety pumpkin soup is mixed with a little harissa for added spice, no doubt it will warm you up!
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Quick lunches in jar
These mason jar salads are perfect for a healthy office lunch, which can also be filling. There are so many variations of salads you can make, and it doesn’t have to be complicated either. This quick and simple mason jar hack will save you time, effort, and money! Prepare them all on a Sunday and you’ll be set for a week’s worth of lunches.
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Healthy Banana, Walnut and Dark Chocolate Loaf
According to research undertaken by UK Harvest bananas is one of the top 5 most commonly wasted ingredients in British households. So if you're looking for a way to reduce your food waste then this recipe is a great way to use up those browning bananas. It's quick and simple and incredibly moist!
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Cheers! Happy National Prosecco Day!
Move over Champagne, Prosecco has well and truly become the most popular fizz around. From 2013-2014 the consumption of this Italian sparkling wine has doubled in the UK. Not only is it one of the bestselling alcoholic beverages in nearly every supermarket, but there are even festivals for like-minded fizz fanatics to rejoice! The UK is now the biggest consumer of the drink behind its native Italy! So why not pop the cork and try out a couple of our favourite cocktail recipes…
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Roasted Beetroot, Red Pepper, Kale and Feta Galette
Beetroot is a superfood known for its deep, earthy flavour and shocking purple colour, yet not only a brilliant vegetable to add vibrancy to a summer salad, it has a whole range of health benefits meaning it’s a food we simply cannot ignore. Its nutritional value is outstanding. Non-existent in fat and low in calories, it’s perfect for when watching your weight.  In contrast, it has a high fibre content, therefore valuable in aiding digestion.
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Morello and Black Cherry Jam
The recipe is simplicity itself and takes very little time to prepare. It’s gorgeous spread thickly onto scones, delectable stirred through Greek yoghurt and really elevates a Victoria sponge.
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Butter Bean & Parsley Dip with Pitta Crisps
This recipe is about simplicity and easy eating.  Don’t be concerned by the use of olive oil with the butter beans, good oil will help you digest pulses and lubricate your joints. The liberal use of parsley is excellent for a boost of vitamin C and parsley is plentiful and delicious at this time of year.
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Spiced Pumpkin Easter Biscuits
These Easter Biscuits are a fun Easter Activity to keep young ones occupied!
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Chilli Bean Sin Carne
This heart 'Chilli Bean con Carne' is perfect for your meat free mondays or even any day of the week. Its quick and simple and pack full of goodness!
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Cinnamon Spring Lamb
Spring lamb is coming into the shops and this tender meat is traditionally eaten at Easter.   Our recipe for cinnamon spring lamb is a great way to serve lamb.  It uses a formidable list of spices, but don’t be daunted by that as they are all working to making you work better and the lamb even more delicious.
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Banana and Blueberry Pancakes with a Gooey Peanut Butter Centre
If you’re a peanut butter addicted like me then this recipe is the one for you. Filled with fresh blueberries but with a cheeky twist to indulge in!


  • 100g fresh blueberries

  • 150g spelt flour or oats

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 150ml milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed

  • 1 tsp peanut butter per pancake

Optional Toppings

  • Greek Yoghurt

  • Raspberries

  • Maple Syrup


  • In a mixing bowl, combine the spelt flour with the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Make a well in the centre.

  • In a second bowl, beat the egg, milk, vanilla and mashed banana together. Pour into the well in the first bowl and mix lightly to form a batter. Stir in the blueberries.

  • Alternatively; add the bananas, milk, egg, vanilla, baking powder and spelt flower in a food processer and mix together.

  • Then stir the blueberries into the mixture

  • Put a frying pan over a medium heat. Brush the surface lightly with oil and add a small ladleful of batter into the centre of the frying pan. Add the tsp of peanut butter into the centre of the mixture and cover with another tbsp of batter.

  • Cook for a couple of minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface and the undersides are lightly browned. Flip over and cook for a further minute or so.

  • Repeat to make 10 pancakes in total. Serve the hot pancakes in stacks of 3 with a dollop of fresh yoghurt, raspberries and a drizzle of maple syrup.

  • Slice into the middle to reveal a gooey peanut butter centre! Enjoy!

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Pancake recipe
Pancakes are really easy to make and delicious with a sweet or savoury topping.

100g plain flour
2 eggs
300ml semi-skimmed milk
1tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for frying
pinch of salt

  1. Put the flour and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.

  2. Crack the two eggs into the middle and pour 1 tbsp of oil and about 50ml of the milk into the well and gradually draw the flour into the eggs, milk and oil.

  3. Once the flour is incorporated, beat until you have a smooth and thick paste with no lumps. Add a little more milk if it is too stiff to beat.

  4. Gradually add the rest of the milk, whisking until you have a batter that is the consistency of slightly thick single cream.

  5. Allow the batter to rest for at least 30 minutes to allow the gluten to develop.

  6. When you are ready to cook your pancakes, heat a frying pan over a moderate heat and add a little oil.

  7. Ladle some of the batter into the pan, tilting it to spread the mixture around to create a thin even layer. If you have too much batter in the pan, pour it back into the mixing bowl.

  8. Leave to cook for about 30 seconds without disturbing the batter. After about 30 seconds, the pancake should turn golden brown on the underside and be ready to turn.

  9. Slide a palette knife under the pancake and quickly lift and flip it over so it is flat on the frying pan. Cook on this side for 30 seconds, then it turn onto a warm plate.

  10. Continue until you have used up all the batter. Stack the pancakes on the warmed plate and cover with foil or greaseproof paper to keep them warm.

  11. Serve with lemon and sugar, golden or maple syrup, jam…. The list is endless.

Chef’s tip 1:  You can make the mixture in a blender by putting all the ingredients in the jug together and blending until smooth.

Chef’s tip 2:  You can freeze pancakes for 1 month, layered with greaseproof paper and wrapped in cling film.
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