Category Archives: Special Occasions

Homemade Dump Truck Cake



Another homemade birthday cake. Once again from my favourite cake book: ‘The Practical Encyclopedia of Cakes and Cake Decorating’ by Beverley Jollands, Angela Nilsen, Janice Murfitt and published by Lorenz books. It was my son’s birthday cake for his second birthday, and he loved it!

The entire cake was made in a 2lb loaf tin, then cut, shaped, iced and assmbled on a cake board. It was easy and it looked good too.


Last Minute Valentine’s Day Meal Inspiration

You want to impress your beloved with a delicious meal on Valentine’s Day, but you’ve left it all a bit last minute, and haven’t got long to prepare. Don’t worry. You can still rustle up something that will impress. Here’s my suggestion…

Steak, Chips and Garlicky Green Beans


With simple meals, it’s all about the ingredients. Buy the best steak you can afford from the best butcher you can find. If you have to buy from the supermarket, go for the premium meat range.

1) Dry both sides of the steak with kitchen paper. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

2)Heat a little oil in a heavy-based frying pan. When hot, add the steak.

3)Cook for 2-4 mins on each side, depending on whether you like it rare or well done. Serve immediately.


In an ideal world, you would hand peel potatoes, slice them and fry them in hot oil. Here in the real world you’re running late and need to get dinner on the table, but don’t want to eat something that tastes awful. The key is to buy the best quality oven chips you can get your hands on. These should be made from whole potato and coated in nothing more than sunflower oil. Many supermarkets now have premium ranges that will taste great.

Garlicky Green Beans


300g trimmed green beans

2 tblsps olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped


1)Steam the green beans for around 5 min.

2)Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small frying pan over a high heat. Add the garlic and fry until lightly browned. Remove from the heat and add a pinch of salt. Place the green beans on the plates, pour over the garlicky oil. Serve immediately.