Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Spicy Golden Rice and Chicken

Quick and tasty. Serves 4 (probably with leftovers)

This mildly spicy rice can make a small amount of chicken go a long way - one or two breasts or two or three thighs will seem like loads

Chop the chicken into small pieces and gently cook in small amount of oil or butter/spread in a pan for a few minutes until all white on the outside. (As it will continue cooking, you don't need worry about whether it is still pink in the middle.)

Add one or two finely chopped onions, some crushed garlic (up to about half a bulb according to how garlicy you like things) and some chopped peppers (I usually add a red and a green one to contrast the colours a bit) and cook gently until they are softened.

Then add the spices:

3 tsps ground coriander

2.5 tsps ground cumin

1.5 tsp turmeric

1 tsp paprika 

1tsp cayenne pepper 

(you can vary the amount of paprika and cayenne if you prefer it milder or spicier, eg 1.5 paprika and just half cayenne will be milder) 

Stir the spices through on a gentle heat for a couple of minutes and then add 8 oz of rice (I usually use basmati), stir to coat the rice and then add 15 fl oz of boiling water and one or two tablespoons of lemon juice. (You can also add half or a whole chicken stock cube if you like, especially if you are using less chicken).

(If I want to make sure of leftovers for lunch the next day I usually add 10 oz of rice and just under a pint of boiling water)

Bring to the boil, then turn the heat right down and leave with a lid on for 5 minutes. Stir well and put the lid back on for another 2-3 mins, and check and stir again and repeat. When the rice is soft and the liquid all absorbed it is ready (Usually about 10-15 mins total cooking time for the rice)

It tastes great as is, but serving with some yoghurt (plain or greek) really enhances it.

1tsp = 5ml
1tbsp = 15ml

15 fl oz is about 425 mls

You might also like

Rice with chorizo, prawns/chicken

Spicy Chicken Drumsticks

Chicken and Bacon Casserole

Things to have with Poppadoms
For more ideas, follow me on twitter @Tyne_Teas

Please visit my Intro post for more about my blog and me - I hope you enjoy my recipes : )

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Pork Rib Marinade

This will comfortably do 1.5kgs of ribs.

(It is not a particularly hot marinade despite the quantities of spices)

Mix together

6 tsps of paprika (half plain and half smoked paprika is also nice)
0.5-1tsp of cayenne pepper
0.5-1tsp of black pepper
big pinch of thyme
small pinch of salt
5 fl oz honey (a half cup)
2.5 fl oz red wine vinegar (a quarter cup)
4-5 cloves of garlic (finely crushed)

I usually leave ribs marinading for a couple of hours, then take off any excess marinade and put them in the oven for 30-40 mins. About half-way through cooking I pour off the meat juices, mix with the marinade, and simmer gently in a pan to reduce down a bit. I then thicken it (mix about a teaspoon of cornflour with a little water, add a bit of the sauce to this, mix together then return to the pan and give it a whisk) as a sauce for the ribs, which I serve with potato wedges

For more ideas, follow me on twitter @Tyne_Teas

Please visit my Intro post for more about my blog and me - I hope you enjoy my recipes : )

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Stuffed Peppers

Put the oven on to about 200 c/GM 6

Cut the peppers in half (lengthways) and remove the stalk and seeds. It's nice to have a good mix of colours and each person will probably eat three or four halves. 

A pound of mince (450-500g) will stuff up to about ten peppers (I usually don't stuff this many, typically five or six and then either put the remaining mince out for people to help themselves to some more or have it with a baked potato or some bread for a lunch later in the week.)

Put the peppers in an oven dish (the best size is so they all fit in one layer next to each other without gaps) and put in the oven while you make the filling. (Peek into the oven from time to time though as you want them to soften but not char!)

Brown about 1lb of mince and then drain off the fat (but leaving the meat juices). Add one or two finely chopped onions and about half a bulb of crushed garlic and cook for three or four mins until soft.

Add about a teaspoon of paprika (half and half smoked is nice) and about half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper (adjust if you like it more or less spicy!) and stir through for a minute or two. Then add two or three teaspoons of vinegar (balsamic is nice and rich, but malt will be fine too) and give it a good stir getting the spices off the bottom of the pan. 

Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and a big pinch of oregano and some black pepper and bring gently to the boil. (You can add half or a whole beef stock cube if you like.) Add a good squeeze of tomato puree (about a tablespoon) and leave to simmer for a few minutes to thicken a bit while you slice/grate cheese to go on top.

I usually use mozzarella but anything melty (eg mild cheddar) would be fine. How much cheese you use is up to you. I can usually get eight to ten reasonable slices (ie four to five peppers worth) out of a 125g mozzarella ball.

Spoon mince into each pepper-half, pushing it flat then top with cheese.

Put back in the oven until the cheese is as melty and bubbly as you like it (usually about ten minutes)

Serve with crusty bread or garlic bread

(In a hurry? Chop the peppers and cook with the onions, serve the mince with rice, or baked potato and grated cheese)

For more ideas, follow me on twitter @Tyne_Teas

Please visit my Intro post for more about my blog and me - I hope you enjoy my recipes : )

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Something for Nothing

Some easy ways to make a few bob or receive free things!

Paid surveys

There are plenty of sites offering money or entries into prize draws, however in my opinion some are quite frustrating as they ask loads of screening questions before deciding too often that you don't quite match the profile for who they are wanting info from on this occasion.

My favourite is YouGov as they only seem to invite you to take surveys they do actually want you to take, you typically get 50p - £1 per survey and usually get invited to a couple a week so it quickly adds up (you do need to remember to click at the end of each survey to say you want to be credited with the cash and not convert it to a prize draw entry though). Once you get to £50 you can get the cash transferred to your bank . The surveys are usually to do with current affairs/news/politics and usually take 5-15 minutes, and are easy to do when travelling or half watching tv.

You can join YouGov here

Panelbase seems quite reasonable too

Free Things
There are lots of websites which notify you of offers for free samples. Personally I only register for things I am genuinely interested in, like toiletries (I do quite well for little tubes of toothpaste particularly, which are handy for travelling), food things and cosmetics (because I don't think it's fair to either take something I'm not that bothered for the sake of it, particularly if it is costing a small company, a not-for profit organisation or something limited availability where it will deny the opportunity to someone else).

My favourites are Money Saving Expert and Free Stuff


If you have something to share that other people might be interested in, you can do worse than have a blog! There are plenty of free to use blogging sites (like Blogger) and on many you can add things like Adsense which will display adverts determined from the reader's own internet use and if they click on any that interest them to find out more it will earn the blogger pennies.

Loyalty Cards

Even if you don't shop at a particular store often or at all, it can still be worth having their loyalty card.

For example with Nectaryou can get points for ebay purchases, supporting Oxfam, using their internet search engine (up to £1's worth a month), then spend them at places like Argos without ever having set foot in Sainsbury's!

I also use Qmee which sits quietly in the background and occasionally when I am searching for things (either through the usual search engine or on sites like ebay or Amazon) will politely offer via a sidebar some pennies if I am interested in looking at their suggested alternatives. You can get the money paid whenever you like (no minimum) to a paypal account.

Free Postcode Lottery

Free daily competition - register your postcode, check the site and if it is drawn you can claim a prize. Free to enter with winnings paid from ad revenue generated - good luck!

Free Daily Draw

Register, check daily, you may win £50 : )

Street Lottery

Register, check daily, good luck


There is a free version of this treasure hunt game. Register and you get 50 free digs a day. Choose where you dig and the pennies add up. (Update - free game does not always run)

None of these are going to bring you life-changing riches, but it all adds up : )

You might also be interested in Easy Ways to Support Good Causes

For more ideas, follow me on twitter @Tyne_Teas

Please visit my Intro post for more about my blog and me - I hope you enjoy my recipes : )

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Favourite Things

Some of my favourite sites (with absolutely no local bias whatsoever!) - will add more as I remember them... (and feel free to share yours)

Wensleydale Creamery
Home of Real Wensleydale Cheese. My favourites are the garlic and chive, and the ginger. Well worth a visit too!

Northumberland Sausage Company

Northumberland Cheese Company

Boulevard Cuisine - North Shields
Smoked Oils and Peppers

British Beef Jerky
Jerky and Biltong from Northumberland

The Garlic Farm
On the Isle of Wight. Was recently given some smoked and elephant garlic : )

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Traditional and independent

Eat the Seasons
UK seasonal food information and tips

For more ideas, follow me on twitter @Tyne_Teas

Please visit my Intro post for more about my blog and me - I hope you enjoy my recipes : )

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Carrot and Cucumber Ribbon Salad

light and simple

Chop some red chilli - about a quarter. (I usually stick my hand in a sandwich bag, cut the stalk off, cut in half lengthways, scrape the seeds out and then use a rocker-chopper (mezzaluna) to chop without getting covered)

(If you don't want it hot, see below for an alternative)

Add 2-3 tablespoons of wine vinegar (red or white), about a teaspoon of white sugar and a grind of black pepper. Add more sugar and pepper to taste (or fish some pieces of chilli out if it's getting a bit strong!) after it has stood for about 10-20 minutes.

Peel one or two carrots and then use a potato peeler to cut lengthways into ribbons. Add to the dressing. 

Then cut a cucumber in half and slice it lengthways using the potato peeler (up to you if you cut the half in half and scoop out the wet seeds with a teaspoon)

The carrot can be left to soak in it for a little while, but the cucumber (especially if you leave the seeds in) is best going in just before serving.

(I was asked on Twitter after posting this if there was a more child-friendly version. I suggested red pepper instead of the chilli, either chopped up, or long thin ribbons along a cut edge. I have made this without the chillies or sugar, and adding fresh basil leaves)

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Nice with salmon, grilled chicken or burgers

You might also like:

For more ideas, follow me on twitter @Tyne_Teas

Please visit my Intro post for more about my blog and me - I hope you enjoy my recipes : )

Saturday, 28 June 2014


Not so much recipes as ideas...

I make burgers for flavour not bulk, so leave out breadcrumbs and egg. (I don't care whether this means I make patties or whatever, not burgers!)

I tend to just use mince without adding breadcrumbs. As far as I can tell, while breadcrumbs add bulk, they just absorb the fat and I would rather have smaller meatier burgers!

Since I don't use breadcrumbs, I also don't need to add egg to bind everything together either.

My basic burger mix is just oregano/basil (dried or fresh), and black pepper (and maybe some parsley).

This is tasty in itself, in a bun (either soft white or ciabbata) with mayonnaise, or relish or with tangier sauces on the bun like Reggae, peri peri or sweet chilli...

I mix it up, divide into however many and cook (usually on a george forman grill).

Other variations include (mix and match!)

grated onion
crushed garlic
chopped chillies
coriander leaf

dash of Worcestershire sauce
dash of Tabasco

pinch of cumin
pinch of ground coriander seed

Adding a little pocket of cheese or crunchy mustard in the middle of the burger. (Make two small burgers, push a dent into the centres, add filling then squish together)

You might also like:

Citrus Cake

Barbecue Ideas

Chilli Beef Stew

Beef in Beer

Kofta Curry

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Stuffed Peppers

For more ideas, follow me on twitter @Tyne_Teas

Please visit my Intro post for more about my blog and me - I hope you enjoy my recipes : )