Category Archives: Recipes

Chili con carne with baked beans recipe

chili con carne recipe

My wife was back at work yesterday and as our daughters were still off school we decided we’d make tea for us all. Our eldest has recently started cookery lessons at senior school and had made a vegetable chili con carne so she was head-chef! We made a meat chili con carne with baked beans. I know that not everyone adds baked bins to their chili but we do and my mum has always done too. As you can see from the photo this is very much an ad-hoc recipe! Here it is:

Chili con carne with baked beans recipe
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: CutleryDrawer
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
Minced-beef chili con carne made with kidney and baked beans.
  • 2 onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 portion fresh lean-minced beef
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili powder
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin baked beans
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • half tin water
  1. Peel and chop onions and garlic
  2. Saute in large sauce pan
  3. Add minced beef and brown
  4. Add chili powder – adjust to how hot you like it
  5. Add tin of tomatoes
  6. Add tin of baked beans
  7. Wash kidney beans and add to pan
  8. Rinse tomato and baked beans tins with qtr can of water and add to pan
  9. Add tomato puree
  10. Leave to simmer for around and hour, stirring occasionally
  11. Allow to cool and flavours will merge and enhance.
  12. Serve with rice, baked potato, tortillas etc


What’s the difference between cottage pie and shepherd’s pie?

cottage pieSo what’s the difference between the two classic dishes cottage pie and shepherd’s pie?

The answer is simple – the meat inside them is the decisive factor. Cottage pie (pictured – source: BBC Good Food) is made with minced beef and shepherd’s pie is made with minced lamb. Both pies – they’re actually not pies in the traditional sense as there’s no pastry – are typically topped with mashed potato and baked in the oven. Other ingredients can include onion, carrot, tomato, celery and garlic. You can top with cheese if you prefer or add a dash of curry powder, chillies or balsamic vinegar to spice things up a little. A spring of herbs on top of the mash can look and taste good too. We have cottage pie with gravy and it’s a fabulous dish!

Both are great, family-favourite dishes and freeze well. Ideal as a winter warmer meal …so with all this snowy weather you should be making one. Here’s a recipe for cottage pie from the BBC Good Food team.

Historically these dishes were made from the leftovers of a Sunday roast dinner. There’s also a suggestion that cottage pie was made from the slaughtered dairy cow that farmers kept for milk.

An easy way to remember which pie is made from which meat is to call it sheeperd’s pie!

What’s your favourite of the two?

Recipe for all-in-one sponge cake

Recipe for all-in-one sponge cake

Author: Delia Smith
  • 4 oz self-raising flour
  • 4 oz margarine or butter (at room temp)
  • 4 oz caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • To make bigger sponges multiply quantities by 1.5
  1. Pre-heat oven to 170c
  2. Grease, line and then grease two 7 inch sponge tins
  3. Sift flour and baking powder into large mixing bowl
  4. Add remaining ingredients
  5. Mix thoroughly
  6. Share mixture between two tins
  7. Bake for about 30mins
  8. Leave for just 30seconds, then remove from tins
  9. Carefully peel off greaseproof
  10. Allow to fully cool
  11. Add filling
  12. See Delia Smith for more info.


Recipe: Flapjacks

flapjacksHere’s a tray that we prepared earlier! Flapjacks are almost part of our staple diet as everyone loves them and they’re pretty darn easy to make. Ideal as lunchbox treats or in my case a post-run sugar boost!

I find that a large mixing bowl works best to work in the oats with a wooden spoon. Any old rectangular baking tray will suffice – or heck, treat yourself to one of our lovely non-stick ones.

The flapjack recipe below is quite flexible in that you can swap margarine for butter if you like yours rich and rather than 50/50 white and brown sugar try just brown.

Keep the flapjacks in an airtight container for a couple of days and they become lovely and sticky with a crisp top. Very moreish. Awesome 🙂

Recipe: Flapjacks
Recipe Type: Cake
Author: CutleryDrawer
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 24
The classic oats, syrup and sugar treat. These flapjacks are easy to make and can be made with the cheapest oats that you can buy from the shops. When kept for a couple of days the flapjacks become deliciously gooey. How many servings you get depends entirely on how big you like them!
  • 225g margarine or butter
  • 2 tbsps golden syrup
  • 460g oats
  • 112g white sugar
  • 113g soft brown sugar
  1. Put the butter and syrup into a saucepan and melt gently over a low heat.
  2. Put the oats in a large mixing bowl and mix in the sugar.
  3. Pour the melted butter and syrup over the oats, mixing well with a wooden spoon until evenly coated.
  4. Put the mixture in your (30x20cm approx) baking tray and flatten well with the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake in the centre of a pre-heated oven; 180c/350f for about 30-35 mins until golden brown on top.
  6. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for just a couple of minutes and then mark into squares. Run a knife around the edge of the baking tray too.
  7. Leave until nearly cold before removing from the tray otherwise they’ll break up when you try and remove them. Store in an airtight container.


Recipe: Chocolate Biscuit Cake

chocolate biscuit cake

Chocolate Biscuit Cake
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: CutleryDrawer
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 16
An easy treat to make with children. Always a big hit with friends and family. Cut into squares and enjoy! It’s quite rich especially when made just with plain chocolate.
  • 8oz Digestives or rich tea biscuits
  • 4oz Butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 level tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp syrup
  • 6oz Plain Chocolate or ½ milk choc/½ plain
  1. Place biscuits in a thick plastic bag and break up into small pieces with a rolling pin. Place in a bowl.
  2. Put butter, sugar,coca powder and syrup in a pan and melt over a low heat.
  3. Add to biscuit crumbs and mix.
  4. Press the mixture into a 8inch square tin/container.
  5. Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of water.
  6. Cover the biscuit mixture and mark it with a fork.
  7. Refrigerate until cold and set.
  8. Cut to whatever size squares you fancy with a warm knife to slice through the hard chocolate. Store in an airtight tin. Or in the fridge.