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Recipe Index

Healthy, tasty & easy recipes on a budget

Ahoy there busy mums! You don't need bags of time, experience & money to make great meals. Check out my easy-to-follow tasty and easy budget recipes. When you feel the pinch look out for 'Credit Munch' recipes. Delicious, nutritious and easy budget recipes below £1.25 per serving!



The best gluten and dairy free chocolate cake ever

No exaggeration - this is literally the best, most delicious and most easy gluten and dairy free chocolate cake recipe ever. It's so good I make it more than regular chocolate cake. It's moist and gooey and rich and fabulous and I love it. Warm with vanilla ice-cream it's just divine. 

I have found coconut flour is the best gluten free flour for this cake, for it's texture and flavour. If you're not keen on coconut, ground almonds work well as a substitute, but you will need to use 125g as they are more coarse. You can use plain gluten free flour, but it can make the cake a little dry.

The best gluten and dairy free chocolate cake ever: Makes 10 slices

Time:  15-20 mins prep + 25-35 mins baking
Cost:  18 per slice (based on 10)
Calories:  308 per slice (based on 10)


  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 150ml boiling water
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150ml sunflower or vegetable oil (plus extra to grease)
  • 200g caster sugar
  • Good pinch of salt
  • 100g coconut flour (see notes above)
  • Icing sugar to dredge


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C / 160 fan / gas mark 4. Line a 23cm round spring-form tin with grease-proof paper and grease well with oil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth. Leave until completely cool. You can leave the whisk in the bowl as well as you will be using it later.
  3. Crack the eggs into the cocoa mixture and whisk until smooth and well combined. Add the vanilla, oil, sugar and salt. Whisk again until well combined and completely smooth.
  4. Finally add the coconut flour. Sometimes it has clumps so you may wish to sieve it first or break up the lumps with your fingers. Whisk the flour into the mixture until smooth and well combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. If the mixture still has a wobble bake for a further 5-10 minutes. When it's cooked it will be firm but not dry. If you insert a skewer and it comes out with a few crumbs stuck to it, rather than raw batter, then it's done. 
  6. Leave to cool for ten minutes before running a knife around the edge between the tin and the cake. When it has cooled considerably remove it from the tin, place on a serving plate and dredge with icing sugar. This cake will last for up to three days and still taste as good as on the day it was baked.

Corned Beef Hash with Stilton

Princes asked me to create a recipe for corned beef hash with a regional twist for their Corned Beef Hash Clash campaign. As we live in Berkshire, the home of her majesty the queen, I've given my “Berkshire Hash” a royal twist. I've used some lovely locally grown Charlotte potatoes, in honour of the new princess, and finished the dish with some crumbled Stilton for a touch of luxury. 

The flavour combinations work a treat – it’s delicious. Stilton and beef are always good together and sautéed onions add sweetness. I love charlotte potatoes and always get them when they are in season, but either Jersey royals or baby new potatoes make a perfect substitute.

With only four ingredients, corned beef hash with Stilton is a quick and easy dish, ideal for a speedy evening meal or special brunch. Corned beef is versatile, good value for money and also has a long shelf life. Princes corned beef is made with 100% beef so it’s a great one for the store cupboard.

Corned Beef Hash with Stilton: Serves 2

Time:  10 mins prep + 15 mins cooking
Cost:  94p per serving
Calories:  583 per serving


  • 450g charlotte potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion
  • 200g Princes corned beef (chilled in the fridge for a few hours)
  • 50g stilton cheese, crumbled
  • Ground black pepper to serve (optional)


1. Bring a pan of water to boil for the potatoes.

2. Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces.

3. Pop the potatoes in the water simmer for around 6-8 minutes until tender. Drain well when cooked.

4. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan.

5. Peel and slice the onion.

6. Fry the onion over a medium heat for around 3-4 minutes until opaque and slighted brown but not burned.

7. Meanwhile, open the corned beef. Tins of Princes corned beef come with a little key that make them easy to open.

8. Dice the corned beef into 1cm cubes. It’s much easier to slice if it has been chilled in the fridge for a few hours before use.

9. Add the cooked potatoes to the frying pan along with the corned beef.

10. Fry everything for around 5 minutes until crisp. Use a spatula to turn the mixture over but be careful not to break up the corned beef too much.

11. Transfer to a serving dish and immediately sprinkle over the crumbled up Stilton cheese so it melts. Top with some ground black pepper if you wish and serve straight away.

This is a sponsored post.


Living with stillbirth 10 months on

It's Baby Loss Awareness Week. Today, 15th October 2015 at 7pm, people all over the world will be lighting candles in memory of the babies who were lost through miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant death.

It's been just over ten months since we lost our beautiful little girl. She should be here. But she's not. She's in heaven. She wouldn't want to come back if she had the choice. Oh how I miss her so much. I know I'll see her again one day, for now I just miss her and I wish she was here with me.

I can't believe it's been ten months since that terrible time. Live does goes on and life does gets easier. But the loss never goes away. It's like having a deep cut. Eventually the bleeding stops, the cut heals over and leaves a scar. It doesn't hurt anymore, but the scar leaves a mark forever.

Stillbirth. Wow, what a thing. You get through it but you never get over it. We both have a very strong Christian faith and we are part of an incredible church. That's got us through, but it doesn't change what's happened. I have seen people get mad at God and turn away from their faith in very tough times. I have heard people say they can't believe in God because of all the bad things that happen in the world. It's true. Bad things happen, much worse that what I have been through.

Do I believe God is Sovereign? Do I believe God could have intervened? I believe both these things. One day, when I am fully healed up, I will share in detail about how I reconcile my faith with the loss. All I know right now is that God has helped me and healed my broken heart. If I had ditched my faith in Jesus I would be in a very different place right now. Anyway, this is all for another post for another day.

This time last year I was heavily pregnant and packing up for a house move when I saw the baby loss awareness campaign on social media. It's so sad to see pictures of lit candles in memory of lost little ones. I didn't think that just weeks later my precious girl's heart would stop beating two days past her due date. 

On December 2nd 2014 at 5.34pm I was one of 17 ladies that day who suffered a stillborn. We took home an empty car seat from the hospital. We had to unpack the tiny pink clothes from chest of drawers in her room. We had to sit down with our two boys, age 6 & 3, and explain to them that their little sister, Annaliesa Gabriella, had gone to heaven straight from mummys tummy.

I was blessed that I was able to sleep most nights - I'm convinced it was an answer to prayer. During one of those early nights when I couldn't sleep I lay on the floor hugging and kissing her little clothes. I just longed for her so desperately. I was afraid I would forget what size she was or what she looked like. It was the darkest, saddest, lowest of times.

Those first few weeks were so incredibly tough. So incredibly dark. For me, there was no hope, apart from to cling to the only thing in which I knew, deep down, there was hope. Every day I made time to cry. I sobbed each day for an hour, crying out to God to help me. Sometimes I was angry. I was always real with my feelings. The carpet was soaked with tears each day. The bible says 'The Lord is close to the broken hearted' and I found this to be true. But each new day brought new pain. A new day to face without her.

The funny thing about stillbirth is that because you go from being pregnant to having no baby, sometimes you think you're still pregnant. I don't know if this is true for all ladies, but it was certainly true for me.

Boxing Day 2014. It had been barely three weeks since we lost her. Rich and I went shopping in Reading, wondering around like two lost souls. My post-partum tummy made me look about six months pregnant. My regular clothes still didn't fit but I couldn't face wearing maternity things. I lived in leggings and long oversized jumpers during that time. At least I'd started to wear make-up again, which helped disguise my puffy face.

Going round the Oracle with no real agenda I looked pregnant. People held doors open for me as they noticed my tummy. I avoided looking at prams and anything pink. I needed some new boots, so we had some sort of purpose for the trip.

"I want something smart but a bit sensible" I said to Rich, as I browsed the shoe sale of House of Fraser. "I don't want to look scruffy, but I do need something comfortable when I'm pushing a pram around."

Rich looked at me with deep compassion but said nothing. Then it dawned on me. There won't be a pram, because there's no baby. I felt cross with myself for allowing myself to trick myself. I couldn't make a decision about any of the expensive boots that were on sale so I got cheap boots in New Look.

Grief is a horrible thing. It's debilitating. You have to fight to carry on. We are blessed we had the boys, they gave us a reason to carry on - we had no choice in the matter. I was grateful for that, but at times I so wanted to be alone so I could just sob. I had very little capacity for anything other than the minimum that was required of me. 

Pastor Wes, senior pastor of our church, lost his wife to cancer 13 years ago this year. He wrote a book about it, (and the incredible story that followed) called Hope and a Future which I have read several times. He told Rich and I "grief is like a game of snakes and ladders, one minute you're feeling good, and the next you come crashing down." I found this to be very true. One minute I was OK, but the next I would feel the grief come over me like a dark cloud. Sometimes it felt like it was choking me and it made me feel physically sick.

Something else that grief robbed me of (for a time) was my ability to make decisions. Just like with the boots, I felt unable to make a decision about anything without consulting at least one person. We moved into our new house 3 weeks before the loss. I had great plans about how we would decorate it but I lost the desire. I also lost the ability to make a decision about anything. I could not think creatively at all.

My beloved food blog, Gourmet Mum, which was in it's fourth year remained untouched for three months. My kids love of pancakes inspired me to blog again so on 16th February 2015 I posted a recipe for Mini Hamburger Pancakes. It was a milestone and a great achievement that I was confident to make enough decisions about a recipe that I was proud enough to share it. That sounds so silly when I read it back, but it was a big deal for me.


It was about 6 months on while having a coffee with my friend Christelle in the dining room that I first started to excited about doing the house again. She had lots of ideas about how we could do up the kitchen and dining room on a shoe string. I was pretty blank at first but after browsing through a few pinterest boards I started to catch the bug. "You need to be in a creative space to be creative" she told me. "And then you'll get back into the blogging because you will be more inspired." She was right. 

One room led to another and it wasn't long before every room in the house had a short and long term plan for transformation. Every room but one. Annaliesa's bedroom. Once the clothes were unpacked and sent away the room became a dumping ground. A room with no identity. It's still like that now, and I like it that way. We are not hard on ourselves to make decisions about anything. Even ten months on we are still taking one day at a time.

Everyone is different, but for me I found I hit a very bad patch every three months-ish. It's a bit like seasons - in fact, the time periods have almost matched the actual seasons. The first three months, December to March were like winter, dark and cold. I had a very rough week around the three month mark - all I could think about was what she would be doing if she were here. We also got the results of the postmortem around that time. She died because the final villi of the placenta failed to grown and she didn't get the oxygen she needed. The odds of this are 500 to 1. The post mortem said 'healthy' and 'normal' with regard to everything else. It felt like such a waste, but I was partly glad that it was something out of my control. For some reason I was terrified it was something I had done. I was also grateful we had some sort of explanation as many stillbirths are unexplained.

March to June was like the season of spring in terms of grief. It was still cold, but there was hope. It wasn't quite as dark. We took a trip to South Africa in March with friends. It was a very significant time of healing for us. We also had the opportunity to present the money from Annaliesa's memorial fund to the kids at Kinder Kerk, the charity we had chosen to support which helps the poorest township children in South Africa. It was a deeply emotional experience, but an incredible milestone for us.

I will never forget standing outside in the sunshine after presenting that cheque. I sobbed because I missed my baby girl, but I also sobbed because her life was blessing these other children who were so in need. We had raised over £2000 in donations which goes a long way in South African Rand.

After another tough week in June, the 6 month mark, I felt like I had personally come to a whole new place. I was much brighter, I was back in (some of) my old clothes, back to blogging, fundraising at the boys school and mostly feeling back to normal. But I still missed her, and thought of her every single day. We had our annual church conference around that time. The theme was 'a new beginning' and it felt like a new beginning for us as we approached summer.

June to September was brighter in many ways. I was still taking things easy and quietly. I mostly spent time playing with the boys in the summer holidays. We had much to work through with them too. But when September came so did a rough patch for me. As the kids went back to school all I could think of was that I would never see my baby girl on her first day of school. It felt so painful and so unfair. During these times I would just keep a low profile, be easy on myself and make plenty of time to pray and to cry. 

And now it's October. The Autumn. The time of the harvest. I have sown many, many tears but I am now seeing fruit of peace and joy in my life. Ten months since I brought a baby girl into the world I had to leave in the hospital. Life goes on and life does get easier, but she's always missing. The pain and grief, while it does come in stages and waves, does get more bearable.

She should be here, but she's not. She's in heaven and she wouldn't want to come back if she had the choice. And I have peace about that. I still have questions, but I just have to put those questions on the 'why' shelf and move on. There's nothing I can do or change about the past.

I miss her. I wish she was here, but she's not. I know I will see her again one day. I'm not ready to go to heaven yet, but when I do I am so excited to see her. I can't wait to give her a hug and to see what colour eyes she has. I bet she is so beautiful. I hope she likes the name we chose for her.

I'm not one for sharing very personal stuff on my blog - I'm usually writing recipes! However I wanted to share my story of what life is like now, ten months after suffering a stillbirth, in honour of baby loss awareness week. I'm surprised at how much writing this out has helped me. I hope, that if you're reading, it has helped you in some way too, particularly if you have lost a little one. Please get in touch if it has. Leave a comment or tweet me

Lots of love, 

Filipa x 


One Step Creamy Turkey Bake

Here's a brilliant mid-week recipe which I recently developed for British Turkey with minimal prep and washing up. This one step turkey bake is inspired by my friend Carrie (who is also incidentally founder of The Rosewater Bakery - Berkshire basked afternoon teas, cakes, catering and more to die for. She is incredibly talented, check her out. Had to get that in there!)

Carrie made a very similar dish for the kids when we were having a playdate at hers. Here's what's awesome about it - there's no pre-cooking like with lots of pasta bake recipes - everything is thrown in together and baked. Just 15 minutes prep (which you can do ahead) before leaving it in the oven for 45 minutes. It's just 332 calories per serving and completely delicious. 

One Step Creamy Turkey Bake: Serves 4-5

Time:  15 mins prep + 15 mins cooking
Cost:  £1.45 per serving
Calories:  332 per serving


  • 300g tub of full fat crème fraise
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage (or 1 tsp dried)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 600g fresh turkey breast, diced
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into thumb sized florets
  • 250g mushrooms, sliced
  • Boiled new potatoes or crusty bread to serve


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C / 160 fan / gas mark 4.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the crème fraise, milk, garlic, mustard and sage. Season well to taste with salt and pepper and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the diced turkey, small broccoli florets and mushrooms to the sauce and mix together really well so everything is coated with the sauce.
  4. Pour into a large oven dish and bake for around 45 minutes until the turkey is cooked through and the broccoli is tender. If the sauce splits a little, give it a mix when it comes out of the oven, and it will come together again. Serve with new potatoes or crusty bread.

Gino D'Acampio's Pizza Making Tips #BakeWithMe

We have two sacred weekly food traditions in our house. The first is Saturday morning pancakes, which means our weekend starts with two small boys jumping on us at 5.30am. The second is Friday pizza night where the boys are allowed to choose a movie and eat pizza on the sofa in their PJ's under a blanket.

When we started pizza night, I used to make dough in my breadmachine, roll it, make sauce and get the kids involved choosing the toppings. It was messy, but the pizza was good, and the kids loved it. Then my bread machine went into storage while we sort out the kitchen. I used those packet mixes for a while, but got lazy and started buying ready-made pizzas.

So I was particularly interested when I heard about a new product which seems like the perfect compromise between ready-made and home-made. Gino D'Acampio and the team at Highgrove foods have spent the past 18 months developing a range of ready-made chilled dough pizza bases. They work in the same way as ready-made pre-rolled pastry, but you can use them straight from the fridge.

The ready-made pre-rolled dough, which contains a live yeast extract, has a shelf life of two weeks. It simply needs to be unrolled, topped and baked. It already comes on a piece of baking paper which can be placed directly onto a baking sheet and placed in the oven. Like a ready-made pizza it's clean, easy and convenient, but the beauty of it is that the kids can still get involved choosing the toppings, and I really like that.

Last Tuesday, along with some other bloggers, I was invited to Gino's house to have a sneak preview of his new ready-made bases. Gino is warm and very funny. His kitchen is spectacular, huge and gleaming with five ovens plus an outdoor pizza oven!

Gino made simple tomato and mozzarella pizzas topped with basil and parma ham. He also shared lots of pizza making tips. The process certainly is easy, fuss-free and clean. Washing up was limited to a pastry brush, a bowl for the sauce and a spoon. The baking paper kept the baking tray completely clean.

When the pizza came out of the oven we had a taste. It was very good indeed - sure it's never going to taste like a pizza you had on holiday in Rome but I'd choose it over a ready-made pizza any day, especially when I heard the retail price is just £1.50 for the 200g round base. He also made nutella and banana rolls with the dough - but I'll save that recipe for another post!

Gino's Pizza Making Tips:

  • When spreading the sauce, leave a 1cm gap around the edge of your pizza. A good tip is to brush the edge of your pizza dough with olive oil to crisp it, but not so much that it fries.
  • Gino says passata seasoned with oregano is all you need to make pizza sauce. I have tried this in the past and my pizzas have ended up quite soggy! I make pizza sauce by simmering 1 part tomato puree with 5 parts passata seasoned with oregano. I expect Gino uses a better quality passata than I do!

  • Fresh pizza should be baked in a hot oven, between 200 - 220 C. If your oven is too cool your pizza could turn out soggy.
  • Don't use buffalo mozzarella for pizza, it's too wet. Cows milk mozzarella is much better. Also don't use too much cheese (Gino says the Brits use too much cheese on their pizzas) or your pizza will turn into cheese on toast! 

  • This is a great tip for pizza toppings. Delicate ingredients such as rocket, basil and parma ham should be added to the pizza a minute before the cooking time ends or they will dry out. Robust toppings, such as peppers mushrooms, olives and pepperoni can be added with the mozzarella as they can withstand the heat.
  • What's Gino's favourite pizza? He keeps things simple. Plain mozzarella drizzled with extra virgin olive oil with a sprinkling of with basil is his pizza of choice served with cold meats (on the side) and a glass of chilled prosecco.

Gino's 'Bake with Me' pizza base range is avalible from Asda this week. There's three products - 200g round base, 400g rectangle base and a 'kit' which is a base and jar of sauce. Try them now for the bargainous introductory price of just £1.

Thank you Gino for having us round and for sharing your pizza making tips!


Food photography tips with Lucy Heath #BlogCampRiverCottage

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the Foodies 100 Blog Camp held at River Cottage HQ in Axminister. River Cottage is a real-life working farm, restaurant and cookery school as well as the location of the TV series with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

The cottage itself is a beautiful 17th-century farmhouse, restored 9 years ago by the River Cottage team. Nearby, the newly converted barns are used for cookery courses, dining and weddings. Set in 66 acres of rural Devon countryside, River Cottage made a picturesque location for the event.

One of the highlights of the day for me, as well as seeing Hugh's kitchen, was the food photograph session with Lucy Heath of the award winning Capture by Lucy. Not only is she one of the sweetest bloggers I know, she's also one of the most talented - just check out her gorgeous Instagram feed for inspiration.

Lucy recently shot her first cook book which she described as 'photographing a wedding everyday for a week' - not too stressful then! She shared lots of brilliant food photography tips she picked up along the way, many of which I have shared in this post.

  • In photographs, direct sunlight is not flattering for people. The same goes with food. An overcast day is ideal for shooting food in natural light. Use a white board to reflect light.
  • Pictures of food can often look quite sterile and still, so it's really nice to add movement through props such as screwed up napkins or pieces of cloth, flowers, cute scissors or sprinkled herbs.

  • For overhead shots, it's really important to think about the height difference of objects. A mug and a tall vase next to each other won't work. Swap the vase for a jam jar filled with flowers. 
  • This is a another great tip for overhead shots. Prop up the dishes so they angle towards the camera and when you look above they will all look flat. I have tried this recently using little bits of folded paper and it worked very well indeed. You can see in the pictures below how this works.

  • Avocado oil is great for making food look shiny as it's less runny and less greasy than other oils. In the past I used olive oil or a water spray to create shine, which work fine but it can be a little messy.
  • For perfect griddle marks heat up a metal skewer and singe your meat. Previously I have used a screaming hot griddle pan and barely cooked the meat - it's a bit hit and miss!
  • Food needs to be photographed cold but you can create steam by soaking a tampon in boiling water and placing is behind the item you're photographing.
  • Melt cheese with a blowtorch for controlled melting. Cheese never melts in real life how it melts in photos. I've tried this and it works a treat, as you can see in the photos below.

  • For condensation that sticks to glasses, spray on a mixture of glycerine and water.
  • Use the colour wheel to match props with food. Use colours opposite each other, e.g. red & green go well together, so choose a greeny plate for tomatoes. Avoid dark and white together as this can give bluey tones which are not flattering.
  • Pin things together with cocktail sticks to stop them moving around. I've used this trick for shooting wraps and burgers. Works a treat, especially for a wrap, which tends to unwrap!

  • Cutlery is a great prop for food photography, but not if it's shiny! Rub it with a little toothpaste or mess it up with some of the food your shooting. Use the same number of forks or spoons as you have dishes. Get vintage and tarnished cutlery from charity shops.
  • When photographing food, think in miniature. Use small plates, small dishes, small cutlery. Instead of using a dinner plate use a side plate. Everything looks so much bigger in a photo! I made this mistake so many times in my early days of food blogging. You may be suprised that the fork in the shot on the left is just 12cm long, and the plate in the shot on the right is actually a side plate. I have no idea why, there must be a reason, but everything seems to look so much bigger!

  • Finally, work in odd numbers (e.g. one item or three items) and use matt backgrounds. Wrapping paper and wallpaper make good backgrounds.

Big thank you to Foodies 100 for inviting me to Blog Camp River Cottage. This is not a sponsored post.