Olives Et Al Review & Recipe

Olives Et Al Review & Recipe

With Christmas now looming on the not so distant horizon, it is a good time to start thinking of gifts and there are a lot of online companies that sell food hampers all year round, but they would also make perfect presents for Christmas too. If, like me, you or the special person in your life, enjoy cooking then a foodie hamper would make an ideal gift.

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Pork & Apple Meatballs

Pork & Apple Meatballs

Until about a year or two ago I would never have considered buying pork meat because asides from sausages, ham and bacon I thought I did not like it. This is because growing up we never ate it at home as my Mum did not like it so it was not a meat we would have. However, my OH’s MUm invited us for tea one day a couple of years ago, and she had made a cottage pie using pork mince  – eeeeeek! I thought but, because I am always telling Burton and Jenson they should try new things, I felt I could not make a ‘thing’ of the fact that I do not eat pork, so I ate some. And I liked it and so did the boys, and now I use pork mince quite a lot  for cottage pies and bologneses .

At the weekend,  I decided to try something a little different and make some pork and apple meatballs as I had a large pack of pork mince bought reduced (yes,I cannot resist a bargain), 3/4 of which I made a cottage pie with and the remainder I used to make these meatballs, which were really easy and only required 5 ingredients.

Pork & Apple Meatballs
Makes 15 Meatballs
Recipe type: mains
Serves: 4
  • 200g pork mince
  • 1 large eating apple, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 100g breadcrumbs - I used Finn Crisp Original Crispbread
  • I roasted:
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 onion
  • ½ head of broccoli
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 x 540 g bottle of Cirio passata
  • pinch of sugar
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • enough pasta for your dinner guests, I used Garofalo pasta
  1. Place the pork mince in a bowl and add the grated apple, sage and black pepper and using your hands squish it all together.
  2. Break the crispbreads up - I used the end of a rolling pin and smashed them up and used my fingers to break them up even more
  3. Add the crushed crispbreads to the mince and with your hands mix it all together
  4. Then make 15-16 meatballs from the mixture and place in a container and chill in the fridge for a few hours/over night to firm up
  6. Place the vegetables chopped into chunks in a roasting pan with the oil, herbs and garlic
  7. and roast in an oven (200oC / 180oC (fan)) for about 20 minutes
  8. Place the Cirio Passata, the sugar, pepper and the roasted veg into a blender and blitz until smooth
  9. TO SERVE:
  10. Pre heat the oven to 180oC / 160OC (fan)
  11. Heat the oil in a non stick pan and brown off the meatballs and then transfer to the oven for 20 minutes to finish off
  12. Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the pack
  13. Drain the water and add the tomato and vegetable sauce and heat gently and then stir in the meatballs
  14. Serve with grated cheese if you wish




These meatballs were very easy to make and you could even get your children involved in making them  as I am sure they would love squishing the ingredients together!  They tasted great too and the apple adds a lovely subtle sweetness and keeps the meatballs moist, and makes for a lovely caramalised coating after cooking.

I used 3 ingredients from this months Degustaboxuk  to make these meatballs. Degustaboxuk is a monthly subscription where for just £12.99 a month a box like this will be sent to you which includes the shipping, and all items included are made by well known brands and arive to your front door at the end of each month. You can see what was inside my box here (I forgot to take a photo!)


For more information about Degustaboxuk please visit their website . They also have a facebook page which you can find here and you can follow them on twitter too

I was sent a Degustaboxuk for the purpose of this review. The recipe is my own as are my comments which are honest.

Cheesy Courgette and Carrot Balls with a Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce (Vegetarian)

Cheesy Courgette and Carrot Balls with a Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce (Vegetarian)

One of my New Year resolutions this year was to attempt to be more frugal and budget better with my house keeping money. I can’t say I have done very well at this, but I have told my OH that one way to keep costs down is to make the odd vegetarian meal as there is always something that can be made from the odds and sods I have in the bottom of my fridge. Being the staunch meat eater it is not easy to sway my man to eat a meal without any meat in, so when I do try the meal needs to be filling and tasty so he does not feel he is missing out too much by not having anything meaty!! Read More

Little Dish Filled Pasta – A Review

The one meal that both my boys love and eat the most of is pasta. I can get various meats and vegetables (all cleverly hidden by Mummy of course) within a pasta sauce and I think they would happily eat ‘pasta bolognese’ all the time!
Something they have never tired is filled pasta. I on the other hand really like it and I am wondering why I have never made it for them before – maybe its just because I know I am on to a good thing with penne pasta or fusilli pasta or spaghetti that I stick to what works! Anyway, I was recently asked if the boys would like to sample some new free range egg pasta from Little Dish which are available to buy in two varieties. 
Being Little Dish products you know as a parent that the quality of ingredients used are healthy and nutritious and the food is toddler friendly.

 I cooked the spinach and ricotta ravioli for lunch today – funnily enough of all the varieties stocked in supermarkets this is the one I always select for myself. 

They only take 6 minutes to cook and you simply drop them into boiling eater and let them simmer away for the allotted time

Once cooked, the little square filled pasta parcels plump up and you just need to drain them off before adding your pasta sauce. 

Or you could just top with grated cheese and stir through. For Jenson I added a simple sauce of tomato and basil (made from tinned tomatoes, onion, basil and of course love!! ) which I mixed with the ravioli and topped with some grated cheese

So I presented the plate of food to my boy and to begin with he looked quite interested and took a few mouthfuls

 However, sadly for the Little Dish ravioli and my lovingly made pasta sauce, Jenson handed me his plate after 3 mouthfuls and pointed to the kitchen for something else! 

BUT thats ok because as I mentioned earlier in this post Mummy loves filled fresh pasta so she finished his plate and maybe the rest of the bag of ravioli *ahem* and do you know what? It was really scrummy! I would go as far to say that it tasted nicer than the ones I have bought for myself before. The spinach and ricotta cheese filling was tasty and the pasta was not chewy or hard but light and fluffy – well as fluffy as pasta can be of course!

Your loss Jenson is Mummy’s gain!

If you would like to try the new fresh filled pasta range from Little Dish for yourself   your little ones they are available to buy now from 

Waitrose and Ocado. 

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Thank you xx