Lamb shanks in red wine dinner for two

Posted by Muriel Hedgcock

Every now and again it is special to have a Romantic candlelit supper with your husband. Make it a memorable event. You can create your very own cozy Restaurant at home. Slow cooked Lamb shanks in red wine is one of my husband's favourite meals. For the entire family it's not the most economical dish but is ideal for a special date with your hubby. Set the table and create a lovely atmosphere with candles, serviettes, flowers and romantic background music. Plan your special evening. The children could also look forward to having a fun supper of pizza or macaroni cheese and watch their favourite movie. The older siblings could babysit and read their favorite book. Whatever suits your family situation. Plan all the detail necessary and enjoy time together.


2 Lamb Shanks
1 Onion ( peeled & chopped)
2 clove Garlic ( crushed or finely grated)
2 Bay Leaves
1-2 tsp herbal salt
6 peppercorns
1/2 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp tomato puree
250ml red wine
little cayenne pepper
2 carrots ( peeled and sliced)
Olive oil for frying

Heat the oil in a medium sized heavy based pot.
Brown the shanks on all sides. Set aside.
Put chopped onions into the pot, fry until golden.
Add garlic, tomato puree, mustard, rosemary,
salt, peppercorn, bay leaves, wine and stir.
Place Lamb shanks in red wine sauce in the pot.
Bring to the boil then turn down heat& simmer.
The red wine sauce should almost cover the meat.
Turn the meat every hour or to make sure the lamb
shanks do not stick to the bottom of the pot and that
each side of the meat gets a chance to sit in the gravy.
Add a little water if sauce reduces too much during cooking time.
Simmer on lowest heat for about 3 hours until soft & tender.

If gravy is too runny thicken by making a paste
with a little corn flour & mix with water.
Add to gravy and bring quickly to the boil.
The rich gravy will then have more substance.

Serve lamb shanks with mashed or roast potatoes, creamed parsnip and roasted vegetables. It is totally irresistible!

Millet with stewed Apples, Raisins, Cinnamon and Cream

Posted by Muriel Hedgcock

Millet is the only grain that is alkaline. It is rich in iron and makes a healthy and delicious breakfast. Served with apples, cinnamon, raisins and cream it makes a wonderful start to the day. Millet seeds are a source of fibre which can help maintain a healthy digestive system.
My family love this breakfast as it reminds them of apple pie. So its both tasty and healthy.


1 cup millet washed
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 apples peeled & chopped
1 large handful of raisins
1 -2 Tbsp sugar

Thick Cream

Rinse millet in sieve under running water.
Cook millet as per instructions on the packet. It normally takes 30 min to cook.
To Stew the apples:
Bring 200ml- 250ml water to the boil. Add sugar and simmer. Add raisins and cinnamon.
Peel, core and chop the apples and add to the simmering liquid. Stew for 5-10min.
Apples should be soft but not mushy.

Dish up cooked millets in 4 individual bowls.
Divide apples mixture and spoon on top.
Garnish with generous amount of cream and extra cinnamon.

Can also be served with milk and honey drizzled on top.

Coq au vin

Posted by Muriel Hedgcock

Coq au Vin "Rooster in wine" is a well know French chicken dish. Chicken pieces are usually used for this dish but I opted to cut skinless chicken breasts instead as they are low in fat for those who are watching their waist line.


5 Chicken breasts chopped into pieces
8 Rashers lean bacon chopped
10 shallot peeled
2 potatoes peeled & chopped
4 clove garlic finely chopped
340g button mushrooms
2 celery sticks sliced
2 carrots sliced
1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
1 bay leaf
fresh thyme ( Optional)
200ml red wine
500ml- 750ml chicken stock

Salt and black pepper

In a large pot use a little oil and fry chopped bacon ( the easiest way to cut bacon is with a pair of scissors.) Add shallots and brown. Then add chicken pieces fry until golden brown. Add garlic, carrots, mushrooms, celery, bay leaf, potatoes, 1Tbs vinegar. Add red wine, and enough chicken stock to cover the chicken and vegetables.
Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 25min.

If too runny thicken the gravy by making a paste with 1 tsp cornstarch or flour with 50ml water. Add to the chicken bring quickly to the boil until it thickens. Remove from heat.
Dish up on a bed of rice.

Homemade Mayonnaise thick and creamy

Posted by Muriel Hedgcock

When I was growing up we never bought mayonnaise from the shops, my mom always made her own. It was creamy, oh so French and so delicious. My mom used sunflower oil and French mustard, but you could use olive oil or any preferred oil and any mild mustard. Everything tastes better with homemade mayonnaise, whether you are making rice salad, potato salad or coleslaw.
It truly is worth the 15 min spent whisking.


1 egg yolk ( room temperature)
1 heaped tsp mustard
( Dijon or French)
1 tsp salt
500ml Oil
( sunflower or olive oil)
1-2 tsp lemon juice or vinegar

Place mustard and egg yolk into a bowl and mix together
with a fork.You can use a whisk but I just prefer using a
fork the way my mom did.
The secret to making a really great creamy mayonnaise is to
add the oil little by little mixing after each addition.
Be particularly careful at the beginning until it takes.
Do not add too much oil at once at this stage, as it tends to flop.
Pour approximately 1-2 Tbsp oil at a time into the egg yolk and mustard and mix until completely mixed in before adding more.
The mayonnaise will start to thicken.
Squeeze a little lemon juice and then continue to mix in a circular motion with a fork.
The mayonnaise will turn a lighter shade and start to
look more like the mayonnaise you buy in the shop.
Drizzle the oil a little at a time mixing continuously.
When the mayonnaise gets too thick add another
tsp of lemon juice or vinegar.
Add salt to suit your taste.
Mix mayonnaise until all the oil has been used .
The consistency should be thick and creamy.

This recipe will make 500ml thick and creamy mayonnaise.
Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator until needed.

Homemade Chicken & Mushroom Pie

Posted by Muriel Hedgcock

This chicken pie is really easy to make and it tastes so deliciously home made. I guess buying ready made pies would be easier, but I personally never buy pies. Somehow I never feel good after eating one, and that makes me wonder why. Making this chicken pie for your family will take you 35 min to prepare and 45 min to bake, but it will be well worth it.

Ingredients: Serves 4

4 chicken breasts cut into cubes
1 punnet mushrooms cleaned & sliced
2 potatoes peeled and cubed
200ml water
1 tsp salt or Herbamare
100ml cream or milk
1 Tbsp flour
1 packet Rolled puff pastry
Ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 200C
Melt butter and cook chicken pieces for about 5-7 min.
Add chopped potatoes, sliced mushrooms & seasoning.
Stir. Cover with just enough water and bring to the boil.
Turn down the heat and simmer until potatoes are soft.
Sprinkle flour over chicken, mushrooms, & potatoes. Stir.
Add the cream. Turn up heat until white sauce thickens.
Pour chicken and mushroom filling into a pie dish.
Grind black pepper on top ( Optional)
Roll out pastry and cut approximate size, and place
on top of pie dish. Cover pastry snugly to cover
chicken. Finish off edges and cut off
excess pastry. With offcuts make
leaves and place on top of your pie.
Brush with a little beaten egg.
Use knitting needle & poke holes
here & there for the steam to escape.
Turn oven down to 180C
Bake for 45 min or until cooked
and golden brown.
Keep an eye on the pie so the top of
the crust does not burn.

Spinach so nutritious!

Posted by Muriel Hedgcock

Spinach is such a brilliant vegetable. High in Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Folic acid and super charged with Vitamin A.

500g Baby Spinach leaves washed
a little butter or oil
1 large or 2 small onions chopped
1-2 clove garlic grated or crushed
1 Tbsp tomato puree ( or 1 chopped tomato)
1 flat tsp Herbamare
or Salt & Pepper

Melt butter and cook onion till golden then add garlic. Add wet Spinach leaves, Herbamare or salt and tomato puree. If the Spinach is wet enough you should not need to add water. Cook quickly for 5 min. The Spinach will have reduced in size and will be limp. Using a hand blender blend quickly here and there. The Spinach should still be chunky not runny.

If you like things extra tasty and slightly richer add a little cream about 50ml-100ml and stir.
Serve as a side or as a filling for baked potatoes and top with feta or grated cheese.

Baked Potatoes with crunchy salted jackets

Posted by Muriel Hedgcock

This is a nice change to the ordinary jacket potato, coated with a crunchy salted crust

Preheat oven to 180C
Wash potato and scrub if necessary
while still wet sprinkle salt over potato
allow the salt to stick to wet potato

Place potato into the oven
Cook for about 1 hour or until soft

Make a cross on the top of baked potato
press down with 4 finger for potato to split
and pile your favorite topping

Sprinkle with grated cheese,
feta cubes or Mozzarella circles
Place under grill for 5min for cheese to melt

Creamed Parsnip

Posted by Muriel Hedgcock

A flavorsome way to eat parsnip is mashed with cream and horseradish sauce.
It is the only way to eat parsnip and ask for seconds. Really good!

250g parsnip peeled & cut
50ml cream
2 tsp creamed horseradish
salt or herbamare
ground black pepper

Cut parsnip lengthways into quarters and slice.
into shorter pieces ( approx 3cm)
Place parsnip in a pot cover with
a little salted water and bring to the boil.
Simmer for about 10min or until soft.
Drain excess water and mash parsnip.
Add cream and horseradish sauce
continue to mash to a smooth consistency.
Serve with a little ground black pepper.

Absolutely delicious with roast beef

Tip: For Larger family double all the ingredients.
If your family is not keen on horse radish reduce to 1 tsp

Gingerbread men

Posted by Muriel Hedgcock

These biscuits are such fun to do with the kids. Let them be creative. My children have made all sorts of fun things with the dough, horses, dinosaurs.....


3/4 cup soft butter
3/4 cup Organic sugar ( or Healthy alternative)
3 Tbs Honey
2 and 1 half cups self raising flour ( I used gluten free)
1 egg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp all spice with cloves ( optional)
choc chip chocolate for eyes & buttons
cut liquorice string for mouth

Cream butter and sugar until creamy
Add honey and egg.
Beat until smooth
Sift dry ingredients and
add to the butter mixture
Mix together,
Form into large ball of dough
Add flour if dough is too sticky.

Roll into small balls the size of a 50 c coin
You will need 3 balls to make each
gingerbread man, so don't make them too big.
Roll sausage like shapes out of 2 of the balls
As illustrated shape your men and
press in the eyes, buttons & mouth.
Flatten on greased baking tray.

Bake at 375F or 180 C for 8 to 10 min.

If you like biscuits extra crunchy,
Place baking tray back into cool oven and leave until completely cold.
Transfer biscuits into a airtight container.

Flatten some of the balls and make a few ginger biscuits for dad to enjoy. :-)

The gluten free flour tends to make the biscuits a little dry and crumbly but are still very tasty and they are much better for my slightly gluten intolerant family.

If you do not have liquorice string cut strips from liquorice twists instead.
Let your children be creative and have fun !

Versatile Vegetarian Stew

Posted by Muriel Hedgcock

The secret to making vegetarian dishes tasty is to brown the vegetables in batches, in the same way that you would brown meat and onions to enhance the flavors and make a delicious dish. Use the same concept with your vegetables.
This basic recipe can be used to make many other tasty dishes.
For example, turn this stew into a Vegetarian Curry by adding curry spices and serve with rice and chutney.
For a Chili Con Carne substitute the lentils with baked beans, grate carrots and add chili.
For a pasta topping use tomatoes, onions, garlic, red & green peppers, mushrooms & tomato puree. Then grate cheese on top.

Your options are endless. Be as creative as you want to be. :-)

Basic Ingredients:

1-2 Onions peeled & chopped
1-2 tomatoes chopped
1-2 Tbsp Tomato puree
2 carrots peeled & sliced
1-2 cloves garlic peeled & crushed
1 red pepper chopped
1 quarter cup lentils rinsed
1 green pepper ( optional)
1-2 baby marrows ( courgette)
1 aubergine ( optional)
1-2 potatoes peeled & chopped
green beans topped& tailed
Olive oil or butter for frying
Seasoning or

Use a large pot to brown vegetables in batches.
Heat oil and brown sliced carrots.
Add onions and cook until golden brown.
Set aside into a side dish large enough to hold all
the vegetables as they have been browned.
Add more oil and brown potatoes, lentils set aside.
Brown the courgette and peppers, set aside and
continue until all the vegetables have been browned.
Return the vegetables to the large pot and mix together.
Add tomato puree, seasoning and
Add enough water to cover vegetables.
Bring to the boil then turn down heat.
Simmer for 35-45 min or until vegetables are soft.

The gravy should have evaporated and stew should be thick.

Serve in a bowl and garnish with Parmesan cheese and if you like, ground black pepper.

Tip: Lentils are high in protein. I use the little black lentils as they are quick to cook and you do not need to soak them overnight.

This recipe was posted for Jessica.
Happy vegetarian Cooking :-)

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