Lemon And Caper Fish On The BBQ Recipe

As you can tell from the severe lack of posting around here, life is keeping me extremely busy. I’m so far behind on posting so many different things, and I’m not even sure what exactly it is that’s changed! For one thing, the girls just don’t afford me time in the day to work, since they’ve unsynchronised their naps. Then, when they’re finally in bed, I’m so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. It’s a nightmare, and I know it will change again, but for now, well… I’ll see you when I see you!

That said – we’ve had such lovely weather the last few days that we took lunch outside today, and it was so great I wanted to share it with you.

(We have this great picnic gas barbeque which means we can cook pretty much immediately. I’m a huge lover of bbq but we rarely have them because it just takes forever to get the fire ready, so since the gas bbq, it’s so much easier! This recipe can be done on either the bbq or in the oven.)


For the fish:
1 whole trout, cleaned
Coarse salt
Capers (optional)
For the potatoes:
Thinly slices potatoes
White wine vinegar

Serve with salad of your choice.  Ours was rocket and spinach leaves with mixed seeds and tomato, with a truffle oil and balsamic vinegar dressing
For the fish:

  • Placed the clean trout in foil big enough to cover the fish and create a parcel
  •  Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice from one half, and slice the other half
  • Add the salt, lemon juice and lemon slices on the fish
  • Fold the foil to create a parcel.
  • Place on a low heat bbq for 15 minutes or so, depending on the size of your Trout.
For the potatoes:
  • Heat up a little bit of oil (we used olive) and spread the potatoes evenly over the frying pan.
  • Shallow fry the thin slices, adding the seasoning as it turns crispy.
  • Just before taking it off, splash some white wine vinegar, just to flavour, not enough to boil.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper
Serve with salad and a good, refreshing glass of white wine, preferably outdoors, soaking up the last of the summer sun.

Pick Your Own And Eat It

Welcome to the August 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Farmer’s Markets

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about something new they’ve learned about their local farmers.


We receive fortnightly organic food deliveries, a frugal luxury that is essential to our family’s healthy eating. We don’t get the box with fruit, however, so every now and then, we like going to one of the many local Pick Your Own farms. Sadly, this, again, is a financial luxury, but as Ameli is growing and able to appreciate it more, I hope we’re able to do so more often.

Last week we went for a fruit picking session, with strawberries and raspberries on the menu.

I love how Ameli engaged with it. I love how initially she needed to check with me whether they were pink enough, or too white, but in the end she was picking all the gorgeous red berries.

I also love the fact that at almost three, my little girl knows where food comes from and that she doesn’t assume it comes from the shelves in supermarkets.

We picked courgette (zucchini) flowers, washed them, stuffed them with Mozzarella and anchovies, dipped them in ice cold tempura batter and deep fried for a deliciously scrumptious dinner.

Does this count as ‘real food’? I don’t know. But I do know we picked it, and we cooked it, and we ate it, and we made an afternoon of family fun out of it, and that’s pretty real to me.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon August 14 with all the carnival links.)

  • 10 Simple Ways to Make the Farmer’s Market More Fun for Kids — Lorie at Reading Confetti shares ideas and books to help kids get the most from the farmers market experience.
  • 10 Things I Want To Teach My Daughter About The Importance of Shopping at the Farmer’s Market — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares the ten lessons she hopes to impart to her daughter about the importance of shopping at local farmers markets.
  • Charmed by Two Small Town Markets — Shannon at GrowingSlower was charmed by two small-town farmers markets while on vacation.
  • The Olympia Farmer’s Market (and a giveaway!) — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes and family took a trip to their state capitol to experience a new market. See what they saw, and enter to win a book written about that very market.
  • — Exploring the farmers market by Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy writing at Natural Parents Network — with a scavenger hunt!
  • Exploring the Market … Alphabet StyleThat Mama Gretchen is in the midst of creating a learning tool for her toddler and it’s all about the market!
  • Unschooling at the Farmers Market — Megz at Aspen Mama loves building memories as a vendor at the Market.
  • Montessori-Inspired Vegetable Unit — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares links to Montessori-inspired vegetable printables and activities to help your family get the most out of a trip to the farmer’s market.
  • Markets — How sustainable mum has fitted a monthly farmers market into a weekly food shop.
  • The Farmers Market In Under An Hour (“Carl Style”) — Andrea and family at Tales of Goodness adapt their farmers marketing approach to make everyone happy.
  • Tales Of a Troubled Gardener — Sam at Love Parenting writes about her dream of self-sufficiency and her lack of gardening skills!
  • A Few {Of The Many} Reasons Why I Love Our Farmer’s Market — Even though the experience can sometimes be less than peaceful, MomeeeZen shares why she enjoys taking her family to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings.
  • Experiencing the Farmer’s Market from a Different Perspective — Emily at S.A.H.M. i AM had a great time letting her toddler lead the way at the farmer’s market…
  • Ask A Farmer’s Daughter — Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter answers questions about her life growing up on a small family farm in New England.
  • Giving Up the Grocery Store — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares her family’s summertime challenge to eliminate trips to the grocery store and rely almost exclusively on local, farm-fresh foods.
  • Urban farming and fresh food in the city — Lauren at Hobo Mama takes trips to farms, gardens, and markets within reach of a big city.
  • Market Tip: Get to Know Your Farmers — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger finally gets up the guts to talk to her farmers and learns she is among ardent food lovers.
  • New Farmer’s Market Find — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is excited to make a new find at her new farmers market.
  • “The Real World” Grassroots Edition — jessica at instead of institution takes some time out to write a love note.
  • 9 Insider Tips for Farmer’s Market Newbies — Dionna at Code Name: Mama chatted with a few farmers to bring you some insider information on how to get the most out of your local farmer’s market.
  • The Place Where I Can Say “Yes!” — Erica at ChildOrganics gives you a tour of her favorite vendors at her local farmers market and discusses the benefits of creating community through the market.
  • Raw Local Milk — Jorje shares her family’s field trip to a local dairy. Learn what you can appreciate from a small town farm at Momma Jorje.com.
  • Italian Secret Vegetable Soup Recipe — Alinka at Baby Web convinces an Italian Farmer & Cook to reveal a precious minestrone recipe and shares it with her readers.
  • Where do our eggs come from? A visit to Sucellus Farms. — Carli at One Fit Mom takes her family to meet the chickens that have been providing their daily eggs.
  • Beyond the Farm — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy and her family enjoy looking beyond the food at the local farmer’s market to see the wares of the over vendors.
  • Magic at the Market — Do you ever take time to really look at the food you eat? Amy at Anktangle enjoys marveling at the beauty (and the utility) of the foods and goods available at the farmers’ market.
  • Farmer’s Market Discoveries — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen reminisces about the discoveries she’s made at the Farmer’s Market throughout the years.
  • Are You Getting the Most out of Your Farmers’ Market? (My List of Not-So-Common “Musts”) — Sheila at A Living Family shares some uncommon ways to squeeze even more joy and connection (and yumminess!) from your local farmers’ market experience.
  • Pick Your Own And Eat It — Luschka from Diary of a First Child shares their trip to a PYO farm and the journey from picking to eating her favourite food
  • McCain Spanish Tapas – Summer Of Sharing

    It seems Andrea wasn’t the only one who decided to ‘eat around the world’ in celebration of the Olympics! McCain have actually put together a whole range of recipes for just the same thing. They have Mediterranean salad platters, French salad, American chicken, Spanish Tapas, Jamaican Jerk and British pie recipes available on their recipe page.

    We tried out the Tapas recipe a few weeks ago, I wrote a whole review and everything. Then, of course, my laptop crashed and I lost everything, including the pictures. Good times.

    I thought I’d still share the recipe with you anyway, because it was good and we had a lovely meal picking from different plates. You can find the original recipe – and the rest of the Summer of Sharing recipes – on the McCain website.

    For the patatas bravas:

    300g McCain Lightly Spiced Wedges

    1 tbsp olive oil

    1 small onion, finely chopped

    1 clove garlic, finely chopped

    1 small red chilli, finely chopped

    225g can chopped tomatoes

    1 tbsp tomato puree

    a pinch of sugar

    ½ tsp paprika

    For the tortilla:

    300g McCain Lightly Spiced Wedges

    1 onion, thinly sliced

    50ml vir gin olive oil

    6 eggs

    3 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley


    For the almond green beans:

    150g green beans

    100g unsalted butter

    75g whole blanched almonds

    Juice of 1 lemon


    For the Patatas Bravas:

    • Place the McCain Lightly Spiced Wedges on a roasting tray and cook as per pack instructions

    • To make the sauce, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and paprika and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Finally, simmer for a further 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly

    • Transfer the wedges into a number of small tapas dishes and top with the sauce and serve hot

    For the tortilla:

    • Place the McCain Lightly Spiced Wedges on a roasting tray and cook as per pack instructions

    • Heat the oil in a heavy based or non-stick 20cm frying pan. Add the onion and cook gently for

    20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and beginning to caramelize

    • Beat the eggs in a jug or bowl and add the parsley and season lightly. Add the cooked potatoes to the frying pan and gently mix with the onion. Pour in the egg mix and shake the pan to even the egg mixture amongst the onion and potatoes. Cook on a gently heat for about 15 minutes, until the egg is almost set

    • Preheat the grill and then place the tortilla under the grill to finish cooking. Leave to cool slightly and cut into bite size squares

    For the almond green beans:

    • Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the green beans. Cook for 2-3 minutes, drain and keep warm

    • Put the butter into a cold pan with the almonds. Heat up gently making sure the butter does not get too dark in colour. Add the green beans and toss gently. When the butter just turns golden brown and begins to foam, remove from the heat and pour in the lemon juice to stop the cooking

    • Place the green beans in a tapas bowl and spoon over some of the brown butter and almonds

    • Place the McCain Lightly Spiced Wedges on a roasting tray and cook as per pack instructions

    • Heat the oil in a heavy based or non-stick 20cm frying pan. Add the onion and cook gently for

    20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and beginning to caramelize

    • Beat the eggs in a jug or bowl and add the parsley and season lightly. Add the cooked potatoes to the frying pan and gently mix with the onion. Pour in the egg mix and shake the pan to even the egg mixture amongst the onion and potatoes. Cook on a gently heat for about 15 minutes, until the egg is almost set

    • Preheat the grill and then place the tortilla under the grill to finish cooking. Leave to cool slightly and cut into bite size squares


    Summer Festival Of Food: Muffin Tin Quiches

    Welcome to the Festival of Food Carnival. In celebration of summer, we’re sharing recipe ideas for healthy snacks and picnic food, or anything you could take outdoors with you. Hosted by Diary of a First Child and Hybrid Rasta Mama, you’re welcome to join us next time, or if you have a recipe you’d like to share, add it to the linky below.

    I’m terrible at having breakfast, and have been as long as I can remember. I don’t get hungry before about 10am, at the earliest, normally, which isn’t great for my girlies as they need to eat well before that.  I decided to make these muffin tin recipes in bulk, freeze them and thaw as needed. They’re gorgeous warm, or cold – although not frozen! – which makes them ideal for lunch box snacks, trips out, or picnic food. They’re also highly adaptable.

    This is not a free-from recipe. It contains eggs, gluten, meat and dairy, but is very easily adaptable.


    Makes about 12

    Preheat oven to 180C/ 325F


    • 3 round whole wheat wraps (or alternative)
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/4 cup vegetables: spinach, chives, corn, or any other vegetable that won’t give off too much liquid, like tomatoes
    • bacon, sausage, mince, chicken etc to taste
    • cheese to taste

    1. Cut smaller circles out of the wraps using a cookie cutter or tinned food can. I get about 3 rounds out of a wrap.

    2. Place the round in a greased muffin tin

    3. Put a small spoon of meat and a small spoon of vegetables into each round

    4. In a separate bowl, vigorously mix the eggs, adding any seasoning, such as chives or other herbs, salt, and pepper.

    5. Using a large spoon, scoop the egg mix into each ‘case’, covering the other ingredients, but making sure it doesn’t over flow.

    6. Top with the cheese.

    7. Place in a oven for 20 minutes.

    8. Remove, cool to edible, and enjoy, or cool completely and freeze.

    We’ve tried various options: cheese and bacon, and cheese,bacon,onion and chives, and next on our list is ricotta and spinach. What fillings would you try?

    The links in this list will be live by the end of the day, as participants in different time zones publish their contributions

    If you’d like to add your recipe to the blog hop, please do so below. You will have to add our badge to your post before you’ll be able to link up!

    Festival of Food Carnival

    Mint Cordial Recipe

    It’s a beautiful time of year, and while my dismal garden remains dismal, my mint has grown so thick and fast that the leaves at the bottom aren’t seeing the sun anymore. I decided it was time to do something about it and then to do something with the mint leaves.

    What’s lovelier on a hot summers day than a refreshing mint cordial? Well, I don’t know, but a mint cordial definitely hits the spot.


    • 2 cups fresh mint leaves
    • 500g sugar
    • 2 cups water

    Lightly crush the mint leaves to release some of the flavours.

    Add sugar and water to a heavy bottomed pot and then add mint.

    Bring the mixture to boil for five minutes, then simmer lightly for 15 minutes.

    Cover and leave as is overnight

    Strain the mixture to remove all the leaves, then decant into a bottle and refrigerate.

    You can keep this in the fridge for a few weeks. I don’t know that it will go off, but it’s not worth wasting it anyway!

    Just add to water to taste.

    Enjoy the refreshing yumminess.

    Little Cooks – Amazing Apple (Or Berry) Cake

    Issue 4 of the Little Cooks Dora the Explorer magazines brings us the Amazing Apple Cake. Unfortunately, by the time I got to actually making the cake, the black spot on my apple had turned into a gaping big hole inside. I didn’t stick around to find that worm. Instead, I found a half a cup of frozen berries in the freezer, and topped them up to a full cup with boiling water. The result was a delicious, moist berry cake that didn’t last the day – we gobbled it up in one sitting!Read more: Little Cooks – Amazing Apple (Or Berry) Cake

    Mushroom, Herb and Parsnip Pie Recipe

    There is a new favourite recipe in town, and I cannot get over how good it is. Additionally, it’s a vegetarian recipe, and for a meatless recipe to hit the spot so completely is pretty unusual in our house. This is one of the babymoon, cook-ahead and freeze recipes we did, but obviously you don’t have to cook ahead! Hope you love it as much as we did. (You can find the original recipe here, but below you’ll find our simpler version with our own adaptations – for example we didn’t have shitake mushrooms on hand!)

    Another thing – these are rough guides… if you have more parsnip or less potato, for example, it’s not going to be the end of the world. Work with what you have.

    • 850 g parsnips , chunked
    • 500 g potatoes , chunked
    • 2 carrots , sliced
    • 1 large leek , sliced
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 75 g butter
    • 1 onion , chopped
    • 250 g closed cup mushrooms , halved
    • 2 tablespoons plain flour
    • 250 ml red wine (optional, but the alcohol will burn off anyway)
    • 350 ml vegetable stock
    • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary , leaves removed and chopped
    • 4 tablespoons milk


    1. Boil the potatoes and parsnips until tender.
    2. Steam the carrot and leeks over the potato pan
    3. Meanwhile heat the oil and a third of the butter until foamy. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes.
    4. Add mushrooms and garlic and fry over a high heat until softened.
    5. Sprinkle flour on mushrooms and toss to coat.
    6. Add wine to mushrooms, along with stock, puree, cinnamon and bay leaves and bring to boil.
    7. Stir until sauce thickens and simmer for 15 minutes.
    8. Drain the potatoes and parsnips
    9. Melt the remaining butter and gently fry the rosemary – this releases the sweetest, most amazing fragrance.
    10. Add the seasoned butter to the potatoes along with the milk and mash until smooth.
    11. Add the carrots and leeks to the mushroom mix and season.
    12. Place the mushroom mix in your freezer containers, then top with the mash. If you’re cooking immediately, grill it in the oven until it’s golden on top.
    13. If you’re freezing, wait for it to cool and freeze.

    When you’re ready to eat it:
    1. Transfer to oven proof dish
    2. Defrost
    3. Heat grill to high, and grill until golden brown, and serve with salad or vegetables.

    English Cottage Pie With Cheese And Leek Topping Recipe

    We have been getting so many leeks in our winter vegetable boxes that I’m starting to feel a little ‘leek-ed’ out, if I’m honest! I thought I’d try something different from the usual, and this recipe turned out to be an amazing winner! You’ll find the original recipe here, but here’s how we made and adapted it.

    Cottage Pie Filling

    • 600 g lean ground beef or 600 g cooked beef , shredded
    • 2 onions , peeled and diced
    • 1 large carrot, diced
    • 1 ounce butter (25g)
    • 1 -2 tablespoon fresh mixed herbs, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon flour
    • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or similar
    • 250 ml beef stock (OR 250 ml red wine mixed with 2 teaspoons sugar. We went for the wine, since the alcohol boils off anyway)
    • salt
    • pepper

    Cottage Pie Topping

    • 1 kg potato , cut into small even sized pieces
    • 2 large leeks, cleaned and sliced into rings
    • 2 ounces butter (50g)
    • 2 -4 tablespoons milk
    • 4 ounces mature cheese, grated (100g)
    • salt
    • pepper



    1. Fry the onions and carrots in the butter until they are soft.
    2. Add the minced/chopped beef and cook for about 10 to 20 minutes or until the onion and carrot have browned and the minced beef has taken on some colour and is firm.
    3. Season well with salt and pepper, then add the mixed herbs. Stir in the flour, and mix well.
    4. Mix the tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce with the stock or wine and add it to the meat mixture, bringing it all to simmering point. Simmer until the stock has reduced by about a third, and take off the heat. Set aside whilst you make the topping.
    5. Boil the potatoes in slightly salted water then mash them well, adding half of the butter and all of the milk gradually. Season to taste. We don’t peel potatoes and carrots, because so much of the ‘good stuff’ is in the skin.
    6. Fry the leeks gently until soft and slightly coloured then stir the cooked leeks into the mashed potato mixture and give it all a good mix.
    7. Put the meat mixture into a large and deep well greased baking dish and spread the potato mixture on top; then sprinkle with the grated cheese. I put these into freezer containers, and left to cool, then put in the freezer.

    To cook:

    1. Transfer into ovenproof dish.
    2. Defrost, then put into a pre-heated oven, 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for about 25 to 30 minutes until the topping is crusty, golden and bubbling.
    3. Serve with an assortment of fresh seasonal vegetables and a jug of gravy or eat as is.

    Batch Cooking For The Freezer: A Babymoon Menu

    I’m really bad at OAMC – that’s once a month cooking for us novices – and once something’s made it into the freezer, it’ll stay there for ever and a day. We do prefer our fresh food, but obviously that’s not always convenient.  With our recent sickness the vegetables have been stacking up, and I had to do something with them all – that’s two weeks worth of veggies – so I decided to stock up the freezer with some healthy meals to give us a cooking break when we’ve had our baby and our family have been and gone.

    Here are a few items off the menu I cooked in preparation for our babymoon.Read more: Batch Cooking For The Freezer: A Babymoon Menu

    Fun Mother’s Day Recipes

    It’s Mother’s Day in the UK soon, and there’s little nicer than waking up to breakfast in bed. So, my advice, Mamas, is tell dads or older children to glance over here for some healthy, simple, child-friendly recipes brought to you by the HGCA. These recipes are so simple, children could make them (with supervision please!) and even not too kitchen savvy dads should manage!

    Before I lose you completely in the gooey yumminess of pancakes and brownies, here are some interesting facts about something we all know, but know little about: Rapeseed Oil.

    • Rapeseed oil is produced from the oilseed rape plant and comes from the same Brassica family as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.
    • Rapeseed, along with linseed, are the only oils grown and bottled in the UK making them the best oils for those trying to lower their carbon footprint and eat local.
    • Sometimes labelled as ‘vegetable oil’, rapeseed oil is lower in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like omega 3 and 6 that can help to lower cholesterol when consumed as part of an overall healthy diet.

    Add a flower and a Mother’s Day Card and it’ll be a treat indeed.


    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cook time: 25-30 minutes

    Makes 12

    • 3 medium eggs
    • 200g soft brown sugar
    • 150g self-raising flour
    • 50g cocoa
    • 100ml rapeseed oil
    • 50g dried cranberries
    • 25g milk chocolate chips (optional)

    Preheat the oven to 180oC, gas mark 4. Base line a 22cm square tin.

    Whisk the eggs and sugar together until pale and creamy. Sieve the flour and cocoa together and gently whisk into the eggs, then whisk in the oil.

    Pour into the prepared tin, scatter over the cranberries and chocolate chips if using. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool slightly before turning out of the tin. Cut into 12 pieces.

    Cook’s tip

    Replace the cranberries with any other dried fruit such as apple or chopped dates. For an extra healthy option, replace the flour with self-raising wholemeal flour.

    Estimated total cost: £2.44

    Estimated cost per brownie: 20p


    Prep time: 5 minutes

    Cook time: 10 minutes

    Serves 4

    • 150g self-raising flour
    • 2 medium eggs
    • 2 tbsp honey
    • 150ml buttermilk
    • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil + extra for frying
    • 100g fresh blueberries or raspberries

    Place the flour in a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs and honey then gradually whisk in the buttermilk and 1 tbsp oil to form a thick batter. Stir in the fruit.

    Heat a little extra oil in a frying pan and using a tablespoon, spoon some mixture into the pan to make 4 pancakes. Cook gently for 1-2 minutes each side until golden and cooked through. Repeat to make 12 pancakes.

    Cook’s tip

    For an extra healthy option, use self-raising wholemeal flour. Ideal drizzled with honey or maple syrup and scattered with fresh fruit.

    Total cost: £1.76

    Cost per serving: 44p

    And Happy Mother’s Day, Mamas!

    ** This post was originally posted on April 2nd 2011. This is a repost.