Everyday Meals

January is under way.
 All my children are back at their studies, Charlie goes back to work on Monday and I will have the house to myself again. I am looking forward to listening to one of my Christmas presents.

It's nice to get back to everyday cooking in these post Christmas days.
These are pretty much the type of meals I throw at my family every day.
They're the sort of dishes that can be adapted to suit the ingredients you have on hand.


 Chorizo and chickpea rice.
Cook rice, while that's happening fry some chopped red onion in some olive oil, add diced red peppers and a ring of chorizo, sliced. Fry until the chorizo starts getting crisp. Add chickpeas and peas (I added mine straight from the freezer). Stir in cooked rice.


Smoked mackerel, orange and beetroot salad.
Scatter some salad leaves on a serving dish, grate some beetroot over the leaves. Peel and segment an orange and throw that over the beetroot. It's easiest to do this over the serving dish so that the orange juice drips onto the salad. Break some smoked mackerel fillets into large pieces and add to the dish.
Make a dressing with olive oil, wine vinegar, mustard and honey.
This would be good with feta or goat's cheese instead of the mackerel.
My children will not eat smoked mackerel or beetroot. They had fish fingers.
Charlie wanted to know why he didn't get fish fingers as well.


Leek, ham and potato pie.
Inspired by this.
Roll out pastry into a large rectangle. Put a layer of mashed potato on top leaving a margin of about 3cm.
Cook some finely sliced leeks in a little water, drain well and place on top of the potato.
Scatter chopped ham on top (bacon is good too). Finish with a handful of grated cheese.
Brush the edge with milk or beaten egg and roll out another piece of pastry. Place on top of the filling and press the edges together and brush the top with more milk or egg. Bake in a hot oven for 35mins.


Barley stew with parsnips, carrots and squash and bacon.
Fry a chopped onion or some veg hash, add some chopped bacon. Let it colour a little, then add barley and diced parsnips, carrots and squash. Pour over stock, enough to make it look like a broth. Bring to the boil then turn it down to a simmer, cover and let it cook until the stock is absorbed and the barley cooked but still with some bite.

This is the cake I intended for Christmas morning. I finally got round to making it.
Lovely served warm.



  1. I wonder if your Christmas present will inspire you to start making some? I loved that book ... you could taste the chocolate.

  2. I like beetroot, can I come round for dinner?

  3. I love your cooking!! I want to come to dinner but I'd have to leave my husband home. He's such a party pooper...lol. Thanks for the great recipe ideas!

  4. You see that is what we jaded Mums need, new ideas for feeding the hoardes. I have now got the kitchen super organised, including starting a housekeeping book!. Next comes a repertoire of home cooked meals that are easy and good to eat. Thank you - more of the same PLEASE.

  5. Now Christmas is over you have inspired me again!
    Julie xxxxxx

  6. Sue, I have found myself popping by to be inspired when I am stuck for ideas for dinner. I do love your blog. Could you please pop some ideas under the heading 'pasta' in your categories list though as I spent ages here on a search for a pasta dish (note my excuse here for the fact that I have loads of cookery books but just wanted to read through your blog!!!) x

  7. The leek and potato pie looks good - I might have to give that a go.

    Any chance of a receipes heading on your heading lists - please.

  8. Thanks very much for sharing. Also wanted to say how much I love your calendar.

  9. I wish I'd read the thing about the leek pie earlier. People kept endlessly bringing us cooked hams this year. I was running out of ideas.

  10. Anonymous1:20 pm GMT

    Oh my, it all looks wonderful, and it's every day food in your house! If I ate it I'd be the size of a house!!!

  11. Thank you for sharing these delicious wintry recipes in this still very New Year! I look forward to trying some of them soon.

  12. How do you do it - keep coming up with ideas I mean? So clever.

  13. Lovely meals, the leak pie would be my favourite.
    Carol xx

  14. laughing at my spelling of "leek"!

  15. As usual lovely pics of lovely food , will be trying the chorizo rice soon :)

  16. I am often lost for words reading your posts as I can't get past Yum!

  17. give me one your home cooked meals any day over an architecture on a plate type restaurant meal..

  18. Anonymous1:34 am GMT

    Oh my goodness those dishes look divine! Been looking for some new meal inspiration, thank you!

  19. I love the pie recipe. How come I had to read this just minutes after starting my careful recording of calories? Aaargh. Not fair.

  20. Mackeral and beetroot salad wow I have to make this, love it thanks for sharing.

  21. Pati from London9:51 am GMT

    Morning Sue, I will try to make the pie... It looks yum. Have a nice week. It's good to go back to normal, isn't it? x Pati

  22. I have leek and ham quice on the menu this week but its being replaced but that pie - much more substantially rib sticking for January. Is it made with puff or shortcrust pastry please

  23. I didn't specify which pastry because it doesn't matter! Whichever you please.

  24. Thanks - shortcrust it is

  25. Just discovered your blog via Yarnstorm. The meals look gorgeous and are inspiring in these dull dark new year days. I shall enjoy popping in here from time to time.

  26. I was just wondering what to make for our dinner - bacon and leek pie it is! Any sort of pastry goes down well with everybody here. I've just been up to the allotment and cleared the last leeks, don't know why I didn't think of it myself... Thank you :)


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