Wednesday, July 17, 2013

London Broil - our weekly must have

London Broil steaks are fast as lightening to cook and high on the wow tastes good factor - so we eat them every week! Here's a good recipe for a flavor kick - serve with green beans and boiled potatoes for an easy dinner in half an hour or less.


3 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 pounds London broil (top round)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter


Combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and oil in a freezer-type zip-top plastic bag. Add the steaks. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bag. Place the bag in a medium bowl in the refrigerator to marinate overnight, turning bag several times for even coating.

Heat a grill.

Drain the steaks, reserving the marinade. There will not be much. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan. Rinse the bag with 1/4 cup water and add to marinade. Simmer 4 to 5 minutes and stir in the butter.

Grill steaks to medium-rare, about 2 minutes each side.

Let stand 4 to 5 minutes before slicing. Thinly slice at an angle across the grain, which runs up and down the short side of the steak. Bring the marinade-butter mixture back to a boil, pour over the meat, and serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Love this - we substitute bacon for ham and spaghetti for whatever pasta is in the pantry - just as lovely. Takes around 30 mins so as good for midweek as it is for Saturday night!


  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ lb bacon, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup freshly grated pecorino-romano cheese (parmesan may be substituted)
  • 2 cups of frozen peas


  1. Fill a large soup pot with cold water and add a handful or so of Kosher salt. Stir and taste; it should taste like seawater. Cover the pot and heat the water until it boils.

  2. Add the diced bacon to a cold sauté pan and cook slowly over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels.

  3. Drop the spaghetti into the boiling salted water and cook according to package instructions, about 6 to 9 minutes or until al dente or tender but still firm to the bite. Add the peas for the last minute.

  4. While the pasta cooks, combine the eggs, cheese, cream and olive oil in a bowl and beat with a whisk until completely mixed.

  5. Drain pasta, toss with the egg and cream mixture, then add the cooked bacon and chopped parsley. Serve right away, with additional grated cheese if desired.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Not your takeouts Chicken Fried Rice...

So very often I call upon this quick meal - total time is less than 20 mins start to finish and it goes down a treat with adults and kids of all ages! This serves around 6 bump up or down ingredients for your family size - this freezes reasonably well too.

1 tablespoon canola oil
4 Tablespoons of minced garlic (I like the big squeezy bottles of it - can never have enough garlic!)
2 pound chicken breasts cut into long thin pieces
2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper sliced into thin strips
2 cups sugar snap peas
1 cup of frozen peas
2 cups frozen broccoli florets
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 packs of microwaveable rice


Heat oil in a very large skillet or a cast iron pot (my preference) over medium-high heat. Add garlic and brown without burning. Add chicken and cook until it starts to brown. Add onions and peppers and cook until the onion catches a bit - approx a minute. Throw in the broccoli, snap peas and green peas and cook just until the broccoli is tender.Put in the soy sauce and the microwaved rice and mix as it cooks a further few minutes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Shepherd's Pie - a crowd pleaser in this house!

This is my children's favorite school night dinner so it's a good one to start with.  If you add veg to this as I often do - it becomes Cottage Pie. Also traditionally this dish is made with lamb, but with 7 mouths to feed I prefer the cheaper but equally as delicious beef recipe. Enjoy!

  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 900g/2lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 16fl oz beef stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the mashed potatoes
  • 1½lb potatoes
  • 2fl oz milk
  • 4oz butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. In a large pan add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook the onion until browned
  3. While that is sizzling away add the rest of the oil to a large skillet, and fry the ground beef, breaking up any clumps as you go until browned all over - some crispy bits add flavor!
  4. Add the flour to the onions, mixing well to thicken the juices.
  5. Pour the stock into the onions, holding a touch back to deglaze the beef pan, and add the Worcestershire sauce.
  6. Combine the cooked beef into the onions and then pour the rest of the stock into  the beef pan, scrape off any leftover beef and add the deglazed mixture to the onion pan.
  7. Bring the whole thing to a boil, and simmer for about 20 mins, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Boil the potatoes, and drain them into a big bowl. Add the milk and butter mash it up seasoning with salt and pepper.
  9. Pour the meat into an ovenproof dish and spread the mash on top, smooth over, then use a fork to scratch up the surface to make some peaky bits for added brownness!
  10. Put the dish into the oven and cook until the surface is bubbling and golden-brown.

    Serve with peas or your choice of vegetable - you can add sliced carrot and peas to the meat mixture, just remember to reduce stock slightly, to avoid bubbling over! We like this with a big dollop of steak sauce in light of the fact I have a hard time finding HP Sauce - the traditional British condiment for this dish. Enjoy!


Hello and welcome to my new blog! I'll be running this daily dose of delights to go along with my new book coming out in the Fall - "Keep Calm And Cook On - Hasty Dinners for the Homework Hustle".  It is exactly what is says on the cover! I'm going to be helping you out with lots of quick, easy and delicious school night dinners. As a Mother of 5 children aged 8 and under, I've become pretty accustomed to making dinner in as fast a time as possible, and with some picky eaters in my brood - I've had to fine tune a repertoire of go-tos for my midweek madness. So sit back, relax for a few minutes and enjoy!