I’m Back!!! And I’m Bringing Ribs! Barbecue Ribs with Garlic & Smoked Paprika

I haven’t blogged for a very long time. I am terribly sorry, but I do have a really good excuse. I’ve spent the last 6 months frantically finishing my PhD thesis. I finally submitted at the end of May and have spent the past few weeks recovering and generally avoiding my laptop unless I wanted to watch a dvd.

Now, however, I feel suitably recovered to start blogging again and get back into cooking. I have to admit over the last couple of months my culinary exploits didn’t go much further than roasting a chicken, and a lot of my meals were derived from the contents of my freezer, and we’re talking totally prepared and processed. Needless to say being tied to a desk for months and eating more pizzas a week than I’d generally have in a month I have also piled on the pounds, so I’m back on the Slimming World Diet again, so a lot of the recipes over the next few months will be diet-compatible, but I thought I’d start with something a bit more decadent: Barbecue Ribs with Garlic & Smoked Paprika.


Equipment: large bowl, spoon, cling film, baking tray, tin foil.


Pork ribs – 1.5lb/750g

Smoked paprika – a couple of teaspoons, depending on how hot you like it.

Mustard Powder - a couple of teaspoons.

Ground ginger - a couple of teaspoons.

Garlic – 4-5 cloves (minced or finely chopped.

Barbecue sauce – a couple of tablespoons.


  1. Put the pork in a bowl with the spices and garlic, and coat well. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  2. Add the barbecue sauce, mix well, recover and return to fridge. Leave for as long as you can.
  3. Preheat oven at (200°C/Fan 180°/Gas 6). Arrange ribs on baking tray, cover with foil and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove foil, turn the ribs and cook for another 20 minutes. If you like your ribs sticky you could brush with more barbecue sauce at this stage. Alternatively, you can stick them on the barbecue to finish them off at this point.
  5. When cooked, remover from the oven and place the ribs on a wire rack to allow some of the fat to drain.
  6. Plate up and eat!
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Happy New Year & 2013 in Review

Happy New Year to all my followers and readers! 2013 was another great year for my blog and I’m hoping 2014 will be even better with all your support.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 170,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 7 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Croissant

This is a delicious, quick and easy yet classy breakfast or brunch dish. It would be great to have on Christmas morning when you want to be a little decadent but don’t have the time to prepare anything too time consuming, also there’s next to no washing up!DSCF2405[1]

With light and airy croissants a little smoked salmon goes on long way so it’s not too hard on the budget either.


Croissant – 1 per person

Cream cheese – spread as thinly or thickly as you like

Smoked Salmon – approx. 1 slice per croissant


  1. Heat the croissants as per the instructions on the packet.
  2. Split in centre, spread with cheese and add the smoked salmon.
  3. Heat in the oven for another minute and serve.

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Christmas is Coming!

It’s that time of year again, and if you’re looking for some easy recipes, tips on preparing dishes ahead and classic Christmas recipes take a look at the recipes in my Christmas Category for lots of delicious recipes including Roast Goose, Beef WellingtonYorkshire Puddings, Chocolate Yule Log and lots of roast meat dishes, vegetables and trimmings!




Giant and Medium Yorkshires

Giant and Medium Yorkshires



Radio Silence & Syn Free Carbonara with Parma Ham & Chilli

Regular readers may have noticed that I’ve not been posting as regularly as I used to, in fact I’ve been downright rubbish at keeping up with my blog over the last few months! I do have a good reason though, I’m coming to the end of my PhD, and although I’m still cooking I’ve been falling back on old recipes I’ve already posted that are quick and easy to prepare. There’s been lots of ragus and roast chicken or pork, and I’m having lentil or tomato soup for lunch most days, not exactly exciting blog material. Even the diet is suffering a bit, I’ve been keeping to the Slimming World principles when I can but sometimes I’ve just had to stick a frozen pizza in the oven to having something hot, quick and filling!

I do still keep an eye on the blog though, it’s not neglected completely, and I’m pleased that the readership hasn’t been affected by my radio silence. I’ve also been really pleased at the wonderful comments I’ve had about my Garlic, Soy & Honey Slow Cooked Pork Belly Slices recipe, it’s great to know other people are trying my recipes and liking them.

Anyway, back to this recipe! It’s another super quick and easy recipe for the Slimming World diet, and makes a great lunch served with a salad.IMG-20130521-00034


Pasta – 75g (I used wild garlic pasta, hence the green) Long pastas are better than shapes, tagliatelle, linguine, or spaghetti

Egg – 1 large, all the yolk and half the white

Parma ham – 40g (I cut little chunks from a joint which was great, but you could use ready sliced)

Chilli flakes – to taste

Equipment: Large pan, sieve, bowl, wooden spoon


  1. Cook the pasta as per instructions on the packet.
  2. In the bowl beat the egg with the chilli flakes and most of the Parma ham.
  3. Drain the pasta, place back in the pan, though not over the heat, and pour in the egg mixture, stirring constantly until pasta is coated and sauce has thickened.
  4. Serve with the remainder of the Parma ham scattered on top.

Super Quick Syn Free Tomato Soup (60 Calories)

It’s no secret, I love soup. It’s especially good for dieting and is my lunch of choice most days. I’ve posted a couple of soup recipes (see below) that I’ve made from scratch, and usually it’s not that much hassle, but when it’s a hot sunny day the last thing you want to do is slave over a bit pot of simmering soup, and with my freezer running low on earlier batches I needed a contingency plan. So I improvised, or more precisely cheated! I always have passata (sieved tomatoes) and stock cubes in the cupboard, and after all what more do you really need for a soup that tomato and stock? I adding a bit of water to loosen up the passata, and some spices for flavour and I had what can securely be described as soup! And best of all it’s really cheap (c. 20p) and completely syn free!IMG-20130822-00321

It is quite thin, but adding an ounce of cooked pasta and a little ham and you have a filling lunch.,


Passata – 250g (half a carton)

Water – 150g

Chicken stock cube - ¼ cube

Seasoning – whatever you like, I’m a fan of garlic powder and hot sauce

Equipment: Pan, scales, spoon


  1. Put the pan on the scales and reset to zero.
  2. Add the right quantities of passata and water.
  3. Place on the hob on a medium heat.
  4. Add the seasoning and cook, stirring occasionally until the soup is piping hot.

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Roast Leg of Lamb – Syn Free (if you like)

I’m a big fan of roast lamb, and judging by the hits on my other lamb posts (see below) lots of other people are too. I generally use shoulder, it’s fairly cheap and cooked correctly can be wonderfully tender and tasty, but I do like leg. Leg is a lovely lean cut, and with the fat removed before cooking can be eaten on the Slimming World Extra Easy Diet as syn free!


Cooking time – I calculate the cooking time for medium-rare lamb as 20 minutes per 1lb/450g plus 20 minutes. For rare knock off a couple of minutes per lb or for well-done add about 5 minutes per lb.


Leg of lamb – 4lb/1.8kg

Garlic – 4 or 5 cloves, thinly sliced

Seasoning – salt, pepper, dried rosemary

Equipment: Knife, chopping board, roasting tray, trivet, tin foil


  1. Remove the lamb from the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking to allow the meat to come up to room temperature.
  2. Stud the lamb with the garlic, and fresh rosemary sprigs if you have them, and season.
  3. Place in the roasting tray on the trivet and cover loosely with tin foil.
  4. Put in a preheated oven at 220°C/Fan 210°C/Gas 8 for 20 minutes.
  5. Turn the oven down to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4 for the remainder of the cooking time, and remove the foil for the last 20 minutes to allow the lamb to brown and crisp.
  6. Remove from the oven, recover with the tin foil and leave to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

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