Italian style shakshuka or eggs and beans

Hello lovely people 😉 I haven’t done a post in an age, even though there are quite a few drafts just waiting here for my attention – oops! This one is a very handy and tasty one pot wonder which is enough for four for a light lunch or brunch or two hungry people for dinner!

2 tblsp olive oil

1 red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 red pepper, chopped

2 portobello mushrooms, chopped

1 tsp italian dried herb mix

1 tsp tomato puree

2 tins cherry tomatoes

2 tins cannellini beans, drained

handful of baby spinach leaves

4 large eggs

salt pepper and grated parmesan

Heat the oil in a large shallow pan – I love using my cast iron 30cm pan which comes with a lid and is probably my favourite piece of kitchen equipment. Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, pepper and season, allowing the veg to soften but not colour too fast.

Add the dried herbs, puree, tinned tomatoes and beans and stir to combine, allowing them to simmer for a few minutes. Follow by adding the spinach, more than you think you need as it shrinks to nothing! Once the veg base has reduced a small bit and is looking good – about five minutes, make 4 wells and crack an egg into each. Season and let this gently simmer with the lid on (use a baking tin if your pan doesn’t have a lid) until the eggs are set – about five minutes.

Sprinkle with parmesan and serve with toast.

or bacon on the side 🙂

Ricotta Pancakes with Peaches and Honey Butter

This is a little celebratory breakfast dish for the long weekend as Treacle turns 1! There are a few more steps to this one but I promise it will be worth it. The pancakes are light and fluffy and peaches are one of my favourite fruits if they are ripe (if they are mediocre you can sub them for another fruit or pan fry them briefly) The browned honey butter is fully credited to Deb Perelman and if you haven’t tasted it, well you have been missing out in the most major of ways!

Makes around 12


250g ricotta
4 eggs separated
180ml milk
2 tblsp melted butter
200g flour
1tsp baking powder
25g sugar
1 peach sliced into wedges

Honey butter:

113 g butter

2tblsp honey

flaky sea salt

First make the honey butter. Melt half the butter in a small saucepan, letting it melt, then go nut brown and allowing it to smell nutty and delicious but not burn. It may not win any beauty contests but it will be amazing. Let it cool, not to solid state but it needs to be cool as you’re going to add it back in to the other half.  Now take the other half of the butter at room temperature and whip it until it’s pale and creamy and then gradually add in the brown butter beating all the time and then add in the honey. Scoop into a small container and top with a little salt and leave in the fridge to chill.

Now the pancakes!

Beat the ricotta, egg yolks, sugar, milk and melted butter in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix the flour and baking powder.


Add the dry ingredients into the ricotta mixture and mix well to combine. Now in a bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold them into the batter.

Heat a large non stick pan and use a very small bit of oil. I don’t cook these over a really high heat – medium/low works better so they don’t burn. Spoon the batter into the preheated pan and cook for one to two minutes until firm and fluffy then flip over and cook the other side. Repeat for the rest while you keep the batch warm in the oven.

Pan fry your sliced peaches in smidge of butter if they are not amazing. If they are fab just leave them be.☺

Serve a stack of pancakes with fruit and a pat of honey butter on top and resist the urge not to share with your family! Have a lovely bank holiday weekend!




Coconut Cashew Granola

The kids are back and the mornings are more rushed and we all have to be more organised. This naturally leads to a little more planning in advance for breakfasts and less options and choice (doesn’t it just sound like fun?!) I like to have some things on standby that I actually like to eat on weekday mornings so that I don’t fall into the rushed piece of soggy toast trap that leaves me starving by 10am. Most mornings this is porridge, but granola makes for a nice treat before the mornings get too chilly. Lots of the shop bought granolas, as you know, are full of sugar and really belong more on your dessert plate than in your breakfast bowl. On the other hand who really wants to chow down on cardboard and pretend to like it? Not me, life is too short. If I’m doing that, I’ll moan about it or I’d rather not bother at all. This strikes a balance somewhere between the two. Full of goodness with seeds, nuts and oats and quinoa flakes and a little sweetness delivered by the maple syrup while the egg white lets the clusters form without the need for a motherload of sugar. I have resisted adding any dried fruit to this one, but feel free to add your own combination if you like. I like to eat it with some greek yoghurt and fresh fruit.


Coconut and Cashew Granola – Makes enough to fill 1 mason jar of about 1 litre volume

150g oats

50g quinoa flakes

pinch maldon sea salt

2 egg whites

60mls maple syrup

zest 1 orange

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger

1 tsp coconut oil

25g linseeds

25g flaxseeds

50g pecans

50g cashew nuts

50g coconut flakes

Melt the coconut oil and the maple syrup together with the spices in the microwave – try 30 second bursts  -it should not take very long. You just want to loosen up the syrup and melt the oil. Whisk it to combine. Preheat the oven to 150c and line a baking sheet with parchment. Mix the oats, quinoa flakes, seeds and nuts in a bowl. Mix in the oil/syrup well to coat. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form and then fold the egg whites into the mix until fully combined.

Spread on to the baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden. Check halfway through cooking – you may want to stir to prevent it over clumping and to allow it to bake evenly, but you want some crunchy clusters to remain. Remove and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight jar for up to two weeks.

Almond Crêpes


This was a lovely breakfast idea I spied in Goodfood Magazine a while back – and so easy! It can be made per person or per crêpe and so it is even doable on a midweek morning. It’s lovely and filling and can be used as a vehicle for healthy or not-so-healthy toppings. The crêpes tend to stick a little and don’t behave quite like the tradtional ones, but I was prepared to accept that once I tasted them! With a little greek yoghurt and fruit, it does feel like a treat.

Per crêpe:

1 large egg

1.5tblsp ground almonds

1 tblsp water

I decided to be novel and gave the kids a jar to each shake their own (I know!) but feel free to beat the ingredients in a bowl, unless of course you’d like to do that too!

Heat a medium pan with a spoon of oil and when the pan is medium hot, pour the beaten egg mix in and swirl it around to coat the pan. Don’t let the pan get too hot. Now leave it set for a minute or two, then it is done (no flipping this one!) Turn carefully out onto a plate and eat with your favourite accompaniments.

We have tried berries and coconut yoghurt (Glenisk is yum), diced apple and raspberries or cherries with a dash of maple syrup, and blueberries with greek yoghurt swirled with a spoon of lemon curd. All delish!

Breakfast Pancakes

Pancakes are a favourite weekend breakfast here (and sometimes midweek if I am feeling motivated!) They are very easy to make and you can incorporate all kinds of fillings and toppings to please everyone! The recipe below would be a nice hit this Sunday (hint hint!) These are US style puffy pancakes as opposed to the crepe style ones and are especially yummy with maple syrup and your favourite fruits, or even bacon if you are going to come over all Canadian! Best place for purchasing maple syrup is Aldi or Lidl – it’s the best value and pure 100% with none of that maple flavour golden syrup rubbish, which I am sure is a crime somewhere.


Pancakes (makes roughly 12- 16 depending on size, which serves about 2 adults and 2 kids who aren’t totally ravenous!)

1 and 1/2 cups plain flour (I sometimes use half plain and half fine wholewheat, no-one notices and I feel virtuous)

1 tblsp sugar

pinch salt

scant 3 tsp baking powder (i.e. use just under the third teaspoon)

1 large egg beaten

1 and 1/4 cups milk

2 tblsp melted butter, plus extra for the frying pan

Ideas to add to the pancakes: A mashed banana added into the batter after it rests, before cooking (maybe a few choc chips!) … some blueberries … my fav – very thinly sliced apple with a little sprinkle of cinnamon placed on top of the uncooked batter in the pan just before you flip it over … toasted nuts … I could go on but you get the picture!


Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk the milk and egg together and gradually add into the dry ingredients and mix well. Don’t worry too much about the lumps, but do make sure there’s no flour lurking in there.

Leave this mix to sit for 10 minutes – use this time to prep the fruit you’ll serve.

Now whisk in your two spoons of melted butter (and mashed banana if using). Heat a little butter (with a touch of oil to stop it burning) in a large pan to medium/high and pour about 2-3 spoons of batter in per pancake.  (When they have set a little, then is the time to carefully place your really thin apple slices on top if using) They will be done on one side when little bubbles rise to the surface of the batter, so flip over and cook through for a minute or two more.

Keep the first batch warm (or feed everyone while you make more!)

Serve warm with maple syrup and any fruit of your choice. Also serve with lots of coffee if it is Father’s day and you are up making this breakfast very very early!