Tag Archives: simon king

Macaroni cheese

Hubby and I were on babysitting duties, so we decided that instead of taking the easy way out and ordering in, we were going to make something. We needed something that was quick and easy and decided to turn to one of our favourite recipe books, The Hairy Bikers One Pot Wonders and seeing as our grandson loves pasta, we settled on their Macaroni Cheese recipe.

This is their thoughts on this dish:

"Yes, mac 'n' cheese all in one pot! No faffing about making a cheese sauce. The dish works because the starch from the pasta is released and combines with the milk and water to thicken the sauce. Magic!


1 tsp olive oil
15g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
100g smoked bacon, diced
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp dried thyme
500g macaroni
750 ml whole milk
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
150g cherry tomatoes, halved
200g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
salt and black pepper

How did I get on?

The first step was straightforward, heat the olive oil and butter in a large flameproof casserole dish. Add the onion and bacon and cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Turn up the heat, then continue to cook until the bacon is crisp and has rendered out much of its fat. Don’t worry if the onion browns, it will add to the flavor.

Next we had to stir in the garlic and thyme. We did get some fresh thyme out of our garden, rather than using the dried thyme. The macaroni was then added, with the milk and water, then stir in the mustard. We had some single cream left over, so we substituted some of the milk for that.

Mustard going in. We forgot the macaroni(!) so that was added after!

We had to bring this to the boil and leave it to simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the macaroni is cooked and most of the liquid has been absorbed. It needs a loose texture so you need to add a little more milk or water if necessary. Then we had to preheat the grill.

Finally, add the tomatoes and 150g of the cheese and stir until the cheese has melted, then leave the pan over a low heat for a further five minutes and the last step was to sprinkle over the remaining cheese and put the dish under the grill until the cheese has melted and browned.


This dish was very easy to make, we found that it was best to keep stirring the macaroni so it didn’t stick to the bottom of the casserole dish. The flavour was delicious, the tomatoes just popped in your mouth. This served four people, so there was plenty for us two and a little mouth and the leftovers still taste great when you have it for lunch the next day. But don’t take my word for it, Harry liked it too!

Just as an aside, we used a Le Creuset casserole dish, it may be a little more expensive than your normal dish, but it retains the heat really well, it is easy to clean and the food stays warmer for longer on the table, plus it comes in lots of amazing colours!

Le Creuset casserole dish

Bread and Butter Pudding with orange and raspberries

As hubby and I are huge fans of desserts, we decided to try out one. We recently purchased the Hairy Bikers British Classic recipe book from Amazon and on perusing it discovered the bread and butter with orange and raspberries recipe.


So, after doing a lockdown shop to get all the ingredients, here’s how we got on….


BBP-1Softened butter
10-12 slices of square brioche loaf
300g raspberries
1-2 tbsp Framboise liqueur (optional)
125g caster sugar
4 eggs
400ml whole milk
400ml double cream
grated zest of 1 large orange
1-2 tbsp demerara sugar

Even though we went shopping, we did forget to buy an orange, but then hubby came up with the idea of using marmalade, so we substituted that and I have to say, it may have even enhanced the flavour!

How did I get on?

This was a very easy recipe to do – here’s the Hairy Biker’s take on it:

“We think this is one of the all-time great British puds. We’re pretty proud of this version, which is quite glam, made with slices of brioche and flavoured with orange zest, raspberries and a splash of raspberry liqueur, if you have some in the cupboard. It’s really easy to make too and you’re gonna love it!”

BBP-2So first of all, it’s just a question of making up the dish; crushing some of the raspberries with two tablespoons of caster sugar in a bowl, arranged the first layer of brioche and placing the crushed raspberries on top, together with a few more whole raspberries.

Then top with the remaining brioche slices and arrange the remaining raspberries over the top.


You then whisk the remaining sugar and the four eggs together, add the milk, double cream and orange zest.  This is where we added the marmalade, which we had put in a microwave for about 20 seconds, just to soften it. Making sure all this mixture is combined well and then this liquid is poured over the brioche and raspberries. You then need to wait half an hour, I assume for the liquid to soak into the brioche, and then you’re ready to put in a oven preheated at 180ºC/Fan, 160ºC/Gas 4.  I have to admit when I used to do recipes and they said to leave for a couple of hours to marinate etc., I wouldn’t do this, I would just crack on with the recipe, now being older, and a little bit wiser(?) I always do this and have found the results to be much better, guess I should have listened to the experts!

After the half an hour is over, I used the time to do our main course, which was Cod, Pea and Potato Casserole, from their Hairy Biker’s One Pot Wonders recipe book, the bread pudding was put in the oven and 40 minutes later, there you have it: Bread and Butter Pudding with Orange and Raspberries.



As I said earlier, we are dessert lovers and this one certainly ranked amongst the best we have made at home. It was so easy and it smelt wonderful as it was cooking. This recipe serves six and as there is only two of us, we can enjoy this pudding over a couple of days. I will certainly make it when we can get together again as a family, it’s a good home comfort type of dessert.