Sunday, 20 November 2016

Salted Chocolate Fudge


Wow it's been a really busy weekend!  Daughter Iona came back from Glasgow early Saturday afternoon then we did a bit shopping and since my Zumba night out was cancelled we just had a nice chillaxed evening.  Today Iona had extra cheer practice in the morning followed by carol singing with her performing arts school, lunch out, Christmas shopping and then 3 hours of dancing.  I'm exhausted and I was just the taxi!

Ok, my recipe today is another I made for the Children in Need bake sale - Salted Chocolate Fudge!  I'm usually a bit wary of making anything like this as another similar experiment trying to make Baileys Fudge in the microwave went horribly wrong lol.  Anyway, this recipe from Tesco magazine seemed to be more or less foolproof so I decided to give it a go!  I took some to work too and everyone loved it so confectionary success at last!

Salted Chocolate Fudge

Makes 60 cubes

400g milk chocolate, chopped
1 x 397g tin Carnation Caramel
25g salted butter
1/2 tsp sea-salt flakes, crushed
100g icing sugar, sifted

Line a 20x20 cm square tin with non-stick baking paper. Put all the ingredients except for the icing sugar into a pan.  Heat gently, stirring often, until the mixture is smooth.  Do not allow to boil.  Remove from the heat and beat in the icing sugar.

Pour into the prepared tin, level the surface and cool.  Chill for at least one hour, or overnight, until set.

Cut into 60 cubes.  Keep chilled in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Ah well back to work again tomorrow, it's been a blast!

Hugs, Shona xx

Friday, 18 November 2016

Vanilla Cupcakes


A late post from me tonight to share some cupcakes I made for the Children in Need bake sale at my daughter's school yesterday!  Rather excitingly she is in Glasgow tonight having taken part in the children's choir in the live show.  Here she is at rehearsal earlier which was shown on Reporting Scotland, she is wearing the number 36 top!

So back to my cupcakes - I have used a Mary Berry Vanilla Cupcake Recipe you can find the original here and given them a Pudsey Bear makeover with yellow buttercream and coloured chocolate bean spots!

Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes 12


  • 175 g butter (at room temperature), cut into large pieces
  • 175 g self-raising flour
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 175 g butter (at room temperature), cut into lare pieces
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • 350 g icing sugar, sifted
  • Yellow gel edible colouring
  • 3 large eggs
  • Chocolate beans, to decorate


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cupcake or muffin cases.
  • Put all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk or a wooden spoon until smooth and evenly mixed. Divide the mixture evenly between the paper cases.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and firm on top. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Meanwhile, make the icing. Put the butter, vanilla extract, two tablespoons of the milk, and half the icing sugar in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining icing sugar, and pour in the rest of the milk if needed to make the icing the right consistency.
  • Colour the icing yellow with the edible colouring. Carefully spoon this into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.  Twist the end of the bag to seal the icing in.
  • Pipe swirls of the icing on top of each cupcake. Scatter with the chocolate beans, to decorate.

More information

Recipe, Mary Berry’s Cookery Course by Mary Berry (DK)

That's all from me tonight it's been a long day!

Hugs, Shona xx

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Nando's Inspired Syn Free Spicy Rice

Hello again,

I'm back briefly with the other half of tonight's dinner - Nando's Inspired Syn Free Spicy Rice!  I have had this before at Nando's but it was ages ago and I can't remember how close it was to this recipe but in any case it's very tasty and best of all it's Syn Free!

I found this recipe on Pinterest and it originally came from a blog called Slimming World Survival it's perfect served with the Piri-piri Chicken recipe I posted!  The recipe makes 2 portions but it's easy enough to double the quantities for 4.

Nando's Inspired Syn Free Spicy Rice

Serves 2

Syn Free on Slimming World


150g Rice of your choice
500 - 600ml of Water
2 Chicken stock cubes
1/2 an onion - finely chopped
1/2 finely chopped red pepper
A handful of frozen peas
1 green chilli or chilli of your choice deseeded and finely chopped
Chilli power - depending how spicy you like it
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Turmeric


  1. On a medium heat spray a pan with some frylight and dry fry the rice for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Once the rice starts to brown slightly, Add some water, (just the bare minimum to cover the rice) chilli power, crush chicken stock cube and turmeric.
  3. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently until the rice is fully cooked and all the water has been absorbed. Stir often to avoid it sticking to the pan!
  4. In a separate pan sprayed with fry light, add the onion, red pepper, frozen peas, green chilli, crushed chicken stock cube, cumin and paprika.
  5. Once everything is cooked add to the rice and stir thoroughly.
That's all from me tonight it's definitely bed o'clock!

Shona xx

Piri-piri Chicken

Good evening,

I've been feeling a little Mondayish today.  Probably because I didn't get much of a chance to relax over the weekend.  Still, the thought of what I was making for dinner tonight got me through the day lol!

So, tonight's recipe is Piri-piri chicken.  The recipe is from Prima magazine and the only thing I've changed is that I've used low calorie spray cooking oil instead of normal olive oil.  I served it with 'Nando's Inspired' syn free spicy rice which you can link to here.

Piri-piri Chicken

Serves 4

Syn Free on Slimming World

1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
Low calorie cooking oil spray
4 skinless chicken breasts
1 each red and yellow pepper, cut into strips
Large handful fresh coriander or parsley, roughly chopped
For the Piri-piri sauce:
1 red onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

Preheat the oven to 200C.  Put onions in an ovenproof dish (large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer), add toss through with some spray oil.  Roast in the oven for 15 mins.

Meanwhile, make the sauce.  Put all the ingredients into a blender with some seasoning and whizz until smooth.  Set aside.

Slash the top of each chicken breast.  Take the dish with the onions out of the oven and carefully add the chicken, sauce and peppers.  Toss everything together to mix, then arrange the chicken, cut side up, in the dish.

Cook for 25-30 mins or until the chicken is cooked through.  Garnish with the coriander or parsley and serve.

Remember to link over to my take on Nando's Inspired Syn Free Spicy Rice for the perfect accompaniment.

Shona xx

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Minestrone Soup

Hi there,

It's a dark, wet day here in the North of Scotland so perfect weather for a warming bowl of soup.  Today's recipe is for Minestrone Soup, it's one I've made for a number of years and originally came from a magazine although I can't remember which one, I've now even lost the piece of paper I had it written on!  It's also a brilliant recipe for Slimming World as it has lots of 'speed' veg and protein from the bacon and beans, and is very filling!

Minestrone Soup

Serves 6-8

Syn Free on Slimming World

Low calorie spray oil
4 bacon medallions, chopped,
2 onions, chopped
1 x 450g pack ready diced carrot & swede mix
100g french/green beans cut into short lengths
250g brussels sprouts or savoy cabbage, shredded
2 medium potatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1.2 litres ham stock
50g spaghetti broken into short lengths
2 x 420g can baked beans in tomato sauce
salt, pepper and artificial sweetener to taste

Heat the spray oil in a large pan and add the bacon and onion.  Cook for around 5 mins until the onions are starting to soften and the bacon is beginning to brown.  Add the carrot & swede, french beans, brussels sprouts or cabbage, potatoes and garlic and cook for another 5 mins stilling frequently.  Add the basil, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and stock.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 mins until the vegetables are tender.  Add the spaghetti and baked beans and continue to cook for another 10-15 mins until the pasta is cooked.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and a little artificial sweetener to take the sharpness off all the tomatoes.

This keeps in the fridge for a few days, and also freezes well, and is great for a lunchtime meal.  I've just had 2 bowls of it!!!

Shona xx

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Bacon, Leek & Mushroom Crustless Quiche

Hi there,

I'm not long back from my first time going to a craft club.  I really enjoyed having 2.5 hours to myself to craft.  I took 2 images to colour and  my whole collection of Promarkers as well as the baby blanket I'm knitting.  I will definitely go back again.

Today's recipe is one I made for lunch for myself and my husband today.  I'm sure it will do us tomorrow too if it lasts that long!  I tried out a similar recipe last week for our Slimming World 'Taster Night' but using Smoked Salmon & Asparagus and following a recipe from Pinch of Nom and it went down very well.  This time I've changed up the flavours and gone larger mainly because the only size of silicone cake mould I could find was a large square one and my first attempt was a little flat.  I've used a little bit of reduced fat cheese in the recipe but feel free to leave it out if you don't want to use any of your Healthy Extra A

Bacon, Leek & Mushroom Crustless Quiche

Serves 4-6

1/4 - 1/6 Healthy Extra A per portion

Low calorie cooking oil spray
1 leek, sliced
6 medallions of bacon, chopped
250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp dried chives
12 eggs
3 tbsp quark
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
40g reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated

Heat the spray oil in a frying pan, add the leek and bacon until the leek is soft and the bacon is turning golden.  Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 mins or so until they have softened.  Add the chives.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs and quark together and season well.  Spray an ovenproof silicone cake mould with a little spray oil then place the leek, bacon and mushroom mixture on the bottom.  Top with the egg and quark mixture then sprinkle over the grated cheese.

Bake in a preheated oven at 190c for 35 mins.  Leave to cool in the mould then transfer to a plate or chopping board to cut up to protect your mould.

Serve warm with Slimming World chips and veggies or even better the next day cold with a salad.

This recipe could be adapted for lots of different flavours.  I think my next one might involve some Slimming World sausages - watch this space!

That's all from me tonight.

Hugs, Shona xx

Fish Pie

Hi there

It's a little late but I'm here with the recipe for the fish pie I made this evening.  I'm loving the idea of comfort food right now - it must be the weather!  This recipe is one I made up myself to fit the Slimming World 'food optimising' plan.  A word of warning though make sure the dish you use is big enough.  Mine spilled over the top, thank goodness I put a baking sheet underneath it!

Fish Pie

Serves 4

2.5 Syns & a Healthy Extra A per Portion

1 x pack fish pie mix containing salmon, smoked and white fish (I used Tesco)
200g raw king prawns (without shells)
150g frozen spinach
2 x pack Schwartz white sauce mix
600ml 1% fat milk
80g reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated
Large pinch of saffron
1.3 kg potatoes (suitable for mashing), peeled and cut into chunks
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Place the fish and prawns on a microwavable plate and cover with cling film.  Cut a couple of small vents into the cling film then microwave on full power for 3-4 mins until fish and prawns are just cooked.  Set aside.  

Meanwhile boil the spinach in lightly salted water for 5-6 mins then drain thoroughly, squeezing out as much liquid as possible.  In another pan make up the white sauce with the milk and cook according to the packet instructions.  Off the heat add the saffron and all but a small handful of the cheese as well as seasoning.  Place the fish, prawns and spinach in a large ovenproof dish then pour over the sauce.  

Meanwile boil the potatoes in salted water until tender then drain and mash really well ( I didn't add any butter or milk to them).  Place on top of the fish mixture then rough up with a fork so it will go crispy in the oven.  Sprinkle over the remaining cheese then bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 30-40 minutes until the top is golden brown and everything is cooked through.

Serve with as much veggies as you like.

I'm off to bed now as I am back to work in the morning :(

Take care,
Shona xx

Tuesday, 8 November 2016



Blah my four day weekend is coming to an end and it's back to work tomorrow for me but at least it will be a short week!  Today I'm blogging last night's tea which was a Scottish classic - Stovies!

This is the first time I've made it since I started Slimming World but it's coming to that time of year that you need a bit of comfort food.  I got to thinking I could quite easily adapt my usual recipe to be a little more SW friendly.  As there's only onions in the way of 'Speed' veggies you'd probably be best to serve this with extra veggies or have some fresh fruit for afters.


Serves 4

Approx 1.5 syns per serving

Low calorie spray oil (I used sunflower)
3 small onions, halved and finely sliced
1.5 kg white potatoes, cut into small chunks
300g leftover roast beef (more if you have it)
1 x pack schwartz classic roast beef gravy mix (4.5 syns)
200ml beef stock
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Heat the spray oil in a large heavy bottomed pan and fry the onions until beginning to brown.  Add a little water if they start to stick.  Add the potatoes and cook until starting to soften, stirring frequently.  Add the beef, gravy and stock and cook with the lid on until the potatoes are tender, stirring regularly.  Use a potato masher to break up some of the larger potato chunks.  Season to taste and serve with oatcakes if liked for extra syns.

That's all from me just now.  I'll be back later with my fish pie recipe!

Shona x

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Beetroot & Potato Boulangere

Good evening

Tonight's recipe is one I came across when I was looking for ideas to use up some cooked beetroot I won in a Slimming World raffle prize.  I had intended making a soup of some kind but this caught my eye!  I decided to make it tonight to accompany our Sunday roast beef as a change from our usual roasties and it was delicious!  Original recipe from Poppy & The Bees via Pinterest and tweaked by me.  If you want to make it Syn free substitute the wine for more stock.

Beetroot & Potato Boulangere

Serves 4

1.5 Syns per Serving

Low calorie olive oil spray oil
1 x pack of vacuum packed cooked beetroot, sliced finely
5-6 white potatoes, sliced finely (I used Maris Piper)
2 small onions, halved and finely sliced
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
125ml white wine
200ml vegetable stock
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Preheat the oven to 220C.  Spray a shallow ovenproof dish with the spray oil then layer up the beetroot, potato and onion slices.  Doing this vertically looks pretty and also the veg cooks more evenly.  Sprinkle over the herbs.  Combine the wine and stock and pour over the vegetables.  Season well.  Cover the dish with foil to make a 'lid' and place in the pre heated oven for 40-45 mins until the vegetables are cooked through.  Remove the foil from the dish and return to the oven uncovered for another 15-20 mins until golden and the vegetables are beginning to crisp.  Remove from the oven and allow to stand for around 10 mins before serving.

That's all for now, enjoy the week ahead.

Shona xx

Friday, 4 November 2016

Mushy Pea Curry!

Good evening,

Another Slimming World inspired recipe tonight!  This one has a couple of 'hidden' ingredients lol.  The recipe was passed on by one of the lovely members at my SW group when we had a taster night earlier in the week, she made us taste it before she told us what was in it!  Sadly, I had a wee 1lb gain this week so 2st 13.5lb total weight loss to date but I'm back on track and having a good week so far!

Slimming World Inspired Chicken Curry with Mushy Peas

Serves 4 (with leftover sauce)

Free on Slimming World

Cooking oil spray (I used sunflower)
4 chicken breasts, cubed
125g mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 tbsp frozen peas
2 x 300g can mushy peas
1 x 425g can baked beans in tomato sauce
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp mild curry powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp chilli powder
Salt & pepper to taste

Fry the chicken in the spray oil until cooked all over and just starting to brown, add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes until beginning to soften.  Add the frozen peas to the chicken and mushrooms.  Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and puree with a stick blender until everything is blitzed and has a thick but quite smooth consistency.

Add about half the sauce mixture to the chicken, mushrooms and peas and cook until bubbling and cooked throughout.

Serve with plain boiled rice.

The leftover sauce would be fab heated up and served with Slimming World chips!

Have a great weekend folks!

Shona xx

Saturday, 22 October 2016

I'm back - with Slimming World Friendly Lasagne!

Good evening,

I can't believe it's almost a year since I last blogged a recipe on here!  I have decided to resurrect Homecooked by Hamill although a lot of my recipes will now be tailored towards Slimming World as I am following their plan.  I have had a very successful journey with them so far losing 2 stone 13 lb since I started mid May!  I still have quite a way to go but I'm in it for the long haul! Don't worry there will still be some non Slimming World recipes along the way!

Ok on to my Lasagne!  This recipe came about as I didn't fancy making any of the lasagne recipes I'd seen online or in Slimming World magazines, recipe books, etc.  Most of them contain quark and/or fromage frais and I'm not keen on either.  In the past pre SW I'd often used packet white sauce mixes for a quick hack when making mac & cheese or lasagne so I calculated the syns in a packet to see if they would be a viable option and thankfully they are!


Serves 4

2.5 Syns & 1 x Healthy Extra A on Slimming World

6-9 dried no pre cook lasagne sheets (depending on the size of your dish)
500g minced beef (5% or less fat)
2 smoked bacon medallions,  chopped 
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
250g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
500g carton passata
1 white wine stock pot
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground mace
pinch of sweetener
salt & freshly ground pepper
2 x 25g sachets Schwartz white sauce mix
600ml 1% fat milk
80g reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated

Place the minced beef, bacon, onions, carrot and celery in a shallow, lidded saucepan (without the lid at this stage) and cook until starting to brown all over, approx 15 mins, stirring frequently.

Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for a further 5 mins, stirring frequently.  Add the tomato puree, passata, stock pot, herbs, mace, sweetener and seasoning and mix thoroughly.  Bring to a gentle simmer and cook with the lid on for around 20 mins stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile combine the milk with the sachets of sauce mix in another pan and cook according to the packet instructions.  

Assemble the lasagne in a large square or rectangular oven proof dish starting with a small drizzle of the white sauce then a layer of lasagne sheets followed by a layer of the mince mixture and another drizzle of white sauce.  Repeat the layers then add a final layer of lasange sheets and top with the rest of the white sauce and the grated cheese.

Bake at 200C for approx 40 mins but this will depend on the dish you've used and your oven so check it frequently and cook it for longer if needed.  it should be nicely browned and a little bit crispy on the top.  

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Shona x