The Small Victories and the School Lunches

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’ve always struggled to get my oldest to try different foods. I have always refused to call him “fussy” because I think it’s unfair to label a child as fussy, which is a label that will stick and become a self fulfilling prophecy. It’s more that he’s suspicious of foods he doesn’t know, and he’s still learning confidence to try things.

And it’s not always try NEW things, it’s try things you know and love but presented to you in a different manner. For example, if give him a boiled egg (known in our house as a dinosaur egg) in an egg cup with toast “soldiers”, he will demolish a full plate of 2 eggs and 2 slices of bread. However, recently he was given that same egg, mashed up in between the bread (egg sandwich), there was no chance of it passing anywhere near his lips. But I have learnt with Arthur ways around this. I’m going to try it with the egg sandwich next to test my theory further. Get him involved in the process. If he plays a part in taking the dinosaur egg, helping to take the shell off, mash it and spread the bread, then he will have more than just my word that “it’s the same thing as your dinosaur egg”! I’ll let you know how this test goes, but I’ve always had success with getting him involved in cooking in the past, as I have blogged about before.


2C80FCA9-E70C-4ED1-89D7-1E24E5F1F6CBThat success might not look like him suddenly joining us in devouring a plate of stir fry, that might still be in my dreams. That sucess looks like him being happy to have things he doesn’t like on his plate. It might look like him scraping the potato off the top of his shepherds pie and eating it (something he wouldn’t have touched before). It might look like him being ok that he has got some bolognese sauce on his pasta and he’s still going to eat it, even though before he would have rejected that piece of pasta as yucky. And that sucess might look like him tasting a blackberry when we are picking them. Ok he didn’t like it, but the confidence to try things is massive. I would never pressure him to have another bite of something he didn’t like. But I always explain to him it’s good to try things otherwise we don’t know what we like. He recently discovered that he loves grapes, he’s partial to a jam sandwich, and when in character as peter rabbit, he can even tolerate a raw carrot.


Which brings me onto school lunches. Arthur just started primary school in September. I knew he would get free school meals being in the early years of school (and knowing that hasn’t been taken away from us just yet!), and so most of the children would obviously be having this option, well because it makes sense! I was a bit anxious as to how he would react, but decided the best thing to do was not send him in with his “safe” packed lunch that he had at Preschool of cheese sandwiches, and to throw him in at the deep end with hot lunches. I thought that 1) he wouldn’t know he had the default cheese sandwich option if I had never given him that option and

2) he was much more likely to eat food if most of the other children were sitting down to eat it.

So after the first day of having lunch at the school, back on his settling in day  before summer, I tried to hide the anticipation in my voice as I asked “did you have lunch at school today?”. His reply “yes I had a jacket potato, with beans on the potato and cheese on the beans” filled me with relief and little surprise! At home if I put the beans on the potato, he would just refuse to touch it. Everything had to be separate on his plate. What a miracle school lunches had been and it was only day 1! Since then he has happily had foods touching or mixed together on his plate, and even had beans ON toast the other day. Not beans next-to-the toast, and I will only eat the toast if it has no bean juice on it. This is a small step but a very important step in his eating journey.

I don’t know how much of his actual lunch he eats at school. He always tells me he was “too slow to eat it all”. Arthur doesn’t like food when it’s hot, and always waits till it’s nearly cold before he starts it.  So I tell him that he will have to tuck into it a bit quicker tomorrow. I know he will get the hang of it! But it’s made a huge difference to how he eats at home in a very short space of time. He even looks at the options and chooses which meal he’s going to have with me, which is nice. He has a lovely range of food available, school lunches really have changed since my day. He even had salmon fish fingers the other day! And of course, the other change we have had since starting school is that he’s really hungry by dinner time. He even empties his whole plate of dinner sometimes, before he would pick at the bit  he likes the most and not touch the rest.

FD98CFD2-FD54-4B71-BA7A-7EDE1CE795F5So small steps, but steps in the right direction! We will look back and smile when he’s an adult and eats everything under the sun, like his Mum and Dad do!

My favourite ways to demolish a squash!

When I was younger squashes were for lugging to harvest festival or for hacking to bits at Halloween. Yet in recent years we have seen their popularity grow enourmously, in all different shapes, sizes and varieties, and now it’s to be eaten!

I’m sure the key to their growing success is their versatility. So here’s my favourite ways to squash!


1. Roast it!

I have yet to find a squash that isn’t perfection when cut into chunks, drizzled with rapeseed oil, seasoned and roasted in a hot oven for 45 minutes. It’s so soft and sweet, and deliciously crisped and caramelised at the edges. Perfect accompaniment to a roast dinner, with sausage and mash, in creamy pasta dishes, with rice or quinoa, or in a veggie quiche.


2. Souperise it!

There is little that tells you it’s autumn like a hearty squash soup. It’s filling and warming and carries those autumnal spices beautifully. I cut a squash into quarters, drizzle with rapeseed oil and season and roast in the oven until the flesh is soft. Then in a pan I sauté some onion and garlic, and scrape the squash flesh off of the skin and add to the pan with some veggie stock. I add warning spice like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, season and blend until smooth. You can add a little cream for a really indulgent soup. Perfect with some buttered allotment sour dough bread!

3. Add it to Risotto!

Its a great way to use less rice, or to make your meal go further. Peel and cut the squash into small dice and add with the rice. As the stock is added and the rice gets creamy and tender, so will the squash. It makes a lovely smooth and sweet risotto.


4. Add it to veggie chillis!

Adding a squash to your veggie chilli really pads the mixture out to makes it go further, and who doesn’t love leftover chilli? It also absorbs the flavour of the chilli really nicely, and adds a little sweetness. A definite winner for our family!


5. Bake with it!

You know I’m a baker at heart! Adding squash to baking was new to me when a customer asked if I could make them a pumpkin pie about 5 years ago. But the more familiar you get with using squash the more you discover it can do. Because it’s sweet you can reduce the amount of sugar that goes into a recipe, and like with the soup it carries those autumnal spices perfectly. I roast it until it’s soft and then mash it into a pulp. The pulp can be used in cakes, pies, cookies, brownies, muffins and more!



I have had loads of sucess with squashes, these are just my favourites! I’d love to hear your best squash recipes too so please get in touch. Happy squashing and happy autumn!

“I will get time for loads more blogging” and other lies I told myself before the summer holidays!

Now I know I’m not the only one that sets themselves goals ahead of this huge 6 week expanse of time. And I’m also sure I’m not the only one that decides about one week in that most of it ain’t gonna happen. This for example, is my first blog post of the summer holidays. And the summer holidays is but a memory! I can only apologise! Here’s my roundabout of the rest of my biggest summer holiday fails!

1. I will have all my friends over for a BBQ

Ok, so this one never even got to the sending out a message to invite people stage. I settled on “I will meet up with all my friends individually”. Well with some of them (you know who you are) there’s not even a date we are all free till October! Oops! We all have young families and are all in the same boat.

2. Bedtime and our routine in general will not change

When I was putting the children to bed at 10oclock on the first day of the summer holidays, I couldn’t actually believe that I hadn’t lasted one day on this one. Summer is such a lovely time on the farm, with tractor and combine rides, and so much fun to be had. To fit it in before 7pm is never going to happen.


3. I will get school ready in plently of time

As my uniform order arrived the day before term started and I looked to the heavens and said “thank you!” I though to myself “I nailed this being organised thing!”

4. I will clean my whole house

Yeah that just didn’t happen.

5. I will get time for loads more blogging

Well as you know, that one didn’t happen. But as we start the new school term we also enter my favourite time of year for food, the autumn! I love everything about autumn food so the recipes will start coming your way again now! Here to kick things off is a mega awesome slow cooked braising steak chilli that Ben recently made for us! Thanks for the recipe Ben!


Diced Dexter Beef 500g
Onion- chopped as lazy as you like
Garlic -2 cloves
Tinned Tomatoes – organic 2 tins
Tomato purée – good few squeezes
Big Five Chilli paste- tea spoon
Green Sriracha sauce 1/2 bottle or 125ml approx
Paprika – tea spoon
Cumin- tea spoon
Kidney beans – 1 tin
Divine Dark chocolate- 30 g approx
Red wine 400ml
Beef stock cube
Water – 100ml approx


Brown onion and beef until caramelised
Add paste
Add paprika
Add cumin
Stir in to coat the beef.
Add water- this should stop it sticking.
Stir in. Once stirred in no particular order…
Add everything else
Stir in.
Simmer 3 or 4 hours and keep stirring- let it reduce. I promise it’s amazing.
Serve with rice or anything really.




How to eat well in a heat wave…

It’s so hard to know how to shop in the summer, because when it’s hot you never know what you might fancy, if anything! This is what I always have at home to help us through the heatwave that us Brits are so unaccustomed to.

1. Juicy fruit!

Because sometime you just need the refreshment. Especially if you can eat it straight out of the fridge. And when it’s reeeeally hot, some juicy berries and yoghurt suffice just fine as a meal without having had to cook!




2. Lean protein and salad

Chicken, fish or lean beef with a seasonal mixed salad is a pretty perfect meal at this time of year. It’s quick to make, nutricious and not too heavy. All you need to make it perfection is…



3. A good sauce!

Be it hummus, a nice dressing or a tasty marinade. The plainest of meals can be made exciting and delicious with a good sauce, without any standing at a hot stove needed! I would say that if you invest in good quality sauces made with “real” ingredients they go a lot further, so it’s a good investment!


4. Free Range Eggs

An all year round favourite but you appreciate just how amazing they are in the summer. Versatile, which is just what you need when you are in an “I don’t know what I fancy” sort of mood. Filling, yet not heavy. And very quick to prepare!


5. Bread/rolls/wrap/flatbreads

Because if you can wrap it up in bread, then it’s made for summer. A lot of the time I cut carbs down a lot in the summer as I don’t fancy them in the heat. Unless it’s bread. Bread is life in summer!


6. Ice lollies

Because I have children and value my sanity! I hope there’s some other parents with me here?!

7. Cake!

Tea and cake on a sunny Sunday afternoon. What a reason to be alive?!

8. Smoked Salmon

Or any meat or fish that are best when eaten cold, that can be served perfectly alongside salad, crusty bread, a nice dip, and most importantly can pack a flavour punch without any cooking!


9. Overnight oats

If you’ve ever read the blog before then you know I love my oats. But a hot sticky morning makes you really appreciate pulling a cold and refreshing breakfast straight from the fridge!


10. Homemade quiche

Because  if you are going to be eating one thing that is best served hot, quiche is that perfect thing to hit the spot in a heatwave!

And I’m sure, if all else fails, the fruit in a pimms and lemonade counts as a meal…surely?!

Stay cool!



Back to square one!


Yep, that’s how I feel today! And this face sums it up! When you run a small business you have to know (or pretend you do at least) a little about a lot of topics…

Let’s dig a little further into that…

what we love is food, and producing it. Of this subject, we know a lot. It’s our passion, it’s our life, it’s what we choose to do to support ours and our families future. We are well practiced in making food, experimenting, refining a recipe, taking it to our audience, and rolling it out. We are also immersed in the world of other business like us and have gotten to be pretty savvy at choosing other businesses that are food experts too, whose produce sits nicely within our range and would appeal to our customers.



BUT to do this we have to know a bit about health and safety, hygiene and management systems, employment law, insurance, bookkeeping, tax, banking and finance to name just a few!

Once you’ve “sort of” got around these issues and are running your business, you need to work out how to get out to more customers. So you may well do what we did today and start doing some courses to help to market yourself. Today’s was digital marketing. And like the title suggests, I am mind-blown and realise I know NOTHING! Yes, I did a degree in marketing, at a highly respectable business school. Yet, still I know nothing. But cut me some slack, when I did that degree it was 2003 I relied on dial-up, and I hadn’t even heard of Facebook, and what the heck is snapchat?! To be fair I still don’t know the latter! So today was eye-opening to say the least, and here’s to the rest of the journey of me learning that I have a lot to learn! World, Radmore Farm Shop is coming to find you…once I’ve worked out what CRM means, and what SEO is, and what a SERP is, and a GMB listing. Oh and a H1 and H2 tag. And a bumper ad…

Maybe I should go into the “need a cold drink” industry! 😂

Overnight Oats for blissful breakfasts!

Overnight oats have transformed my life! I’m sure if you follow my Facebook page you have noticed my obsession. I posted a pic of it once and a couple of people commented asking for the recipe, since then it’s the recipe that I have been told has been tested out the most (and enjoyed might I add). I have had dozens of people telling me they have tried it and loved it, all with their own twist, which is a huge benefit of this recipe. And I’ve never actually written the recipe up, this is all from a Facebook comment! Until now that is…


So why do I love them so much?

1. Well they are tasty, which has to be number one other wise I wouldn’t keep coming back!

2. They are versatile. This is a base recipe which you can enjoy on it’s own, but you can add so much other stuff to, for a different variation every day.

3. They are a massive time saver. I know I’m not the only one that’s super rushed in the morning. Having something ready prepared that you can just pull out of the fridge, grab a spoon and tuck into… is beyond amazing. Also you can make several days worth up at once. So a few minutes effort one evening buys you several ready made breakfasts.

4. They are healthy. With no refined sugar, and made all with filling Whole foods makes them a winner on the nutrition front! And I’m definitely not hungry again until lunch time.

5. The kids can help make it. It’s basically just stirring so it’s a great thing to get them to help with. If I remember to make it before their bed time that is. And they now ask if they can have some of mine every morning too. I don’t think it will be long and I’ll be converting these coco pop and weetabix fiends and making them their own pots of oats.


6. I have time to drink more. I’m guilty of not drinking much water in the morning, but not having to make a breakfast buys me time to make sure I’ve had a drink. Sometimes I even squeeze in a cup of tea!

IMG_2597The recipe:

As I said before, this recipe is a base. It’s great on its own, but it can also be added to, with loads of other combinations of fruit, nuts, seeds, spices. I’ve listed some of my faves below but I’d love to hear yours.
This makes 6 portions (although ben eats 2 at once).

2 bananas
2 tbsp meridian crunchy peanut butter
4 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp honey (not necessary if you don’t have a sweet tooth, or if you’re adding sweet fruits; it’s naturally fairly sweet anyway)
2 cups jumbo rolled oats (I use a child’s cup)
2 heaped tablespoons natural Greek yoghurt
3 cups oat milk (can use any milk)

It’s so easy:

Mash the bananas, and then mix all the rest together and then put into tubs in the fridge until morning. I make enough for a few days at once.

Some of my favourite variations, some that I’ve tried and some that others have tried and recommended to me.

1. Take out some of the honey and add some cinnamon

2. Add a chopped pear and some chopped walnuts

3. Add a tbsp of cocoa powder, and the juice and zest of an orange (use a little less milk to compensate for the orange liquid)


4. Add some cacao nibs and chopped hazelnuts

5. Add some grated apple, cinnamon and pecans

6. Top with fresh raspberries and blueberries

7. Add some chopped strawberries and sunflower seeds


8. Add some chopped apricots and flaked almonds

9. Add some raisins and cashews

10. Make in a nutri bullet for extra smoothness

Do let me know if you’ve tried it and what your favourite variations are. Happy stress free mornings!


Paprika Seed Pork Schnitzels

I hate waste! And so if I have any quantity of bread left over that I’m not going to use, I share it with the chickens! But the bit I keep I grate up into breadcrumbs and put in the freezer. So many things you make can use breadcrumbs, and most of them straight from frozen, so they are a great thing to have in stock.

The other day I had a pork tenderloin in the fridge, and pondering what to make with it, I thought of my trusty tub of breadcrumbs. Schnitzels!


So I cut the tenderloin into disks about an inch thick, and then put them into a bag and beat them with a rolling pin until they were thin, about a quarter of their starting thickness. This is so great for getting rid of the frustrations of the day!

Next I put a couple of handfuls of my frozen breadcrumbs in a bowl, with some salt and pepper, a couple of teaspoons of smoked paprika and a sprinkle of sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and mixed it together well. In a separate bowl I prepared a beaten egg.

Next I dipped each pork steak into the egg and then into the breadcrumb mix to coat,  repeating the process on any areas that looked thin.


The final stage was to preheat some rapeseed oil in a pan, over a high heat, and fry each steak for a couple of minutes on each side (or until the pork was fully cooked through). I did them two at a time so as to not overcrowd the pan, and made sure there was enough oil so that they didn’t stick. As they were very rich I served with a nice simple salad!IMG_2031

Broccoli & Chorizo Macaroni Cheese

Is there anything more comforting than home made Mac and Cheese? I love that it’s one of those things you can throw anything into. Today it was broccoli, Chorizo and Mushroom that got thrown in (I didn’t add Mushroom to the recipe title because Ben doesn’t like mushroom and this way I thought he’d never notice, heehee)! You can also vary the cheese variety you use to get a totally different experience. It’s what I call a “see what needs using up in the fridge dish”.

I also love that it’s one of the very few things that the whole family will eat! IMG_1981

So this is how I made today’s, but next time I make it, it will probably be completely different!

Ingredients: (this served 4)

250-300g garofalo macaroni (dry)

1 large head brocolli (chopped into small florets)

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 medium onion (diced)

2 cloves garlic (crushed)

About 75-100g diced chorizo

6-8 chopped mushrooms

30g butter

2 heaped tbsp plain flour

milk (250ml)

200g creme fraiche (I used 0% fat)

Cheese (grated or small diced), as much as you like! I used a medium cheddar about 40-50g…but use as much or as little as suits your taste

Malden sea salt and pepper

Godminster smoked cheddar to top


How to make it amazing:

1. Put the pasta on to cook. Instead of cooking mine in water I used some chicken stock that I had left over from when I cooked up my roast chicken bones.   Cooking the pasta in chicken stock added a bit more richness and flavour, but it’s non-essential to the dish! When the pasta was about half done, I added the broccoli into the pan too. IMG_1969

2. Heat the oil in a large pan, over a high heat and add the chopped onion. When it’s started to caramelise, add the garlic and chorizo and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring.


3. Preheat the oven to 180. Add the mushrooms and stir to combine, then reduce the heat slightly and add the butter.


4. Add the flour and stir to combine. Next add the milk, drop at a time and stirring to combine in between. If it looks very runny before all the milk is added, then don’t add it all. Similarly if it looks very thick and stodgy, add a drop more milk. Continue to heat until it starts to thicken and bubble, add the creme fraiche and stir well. Finally add the cheese and stir until melted in. Season well.


5. Strain the pasta and broccoli and stir through the sauce until well coated. Pour into oven proof dish.IMG_1973

6. Top with grated smoked cheese and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden and bubbling. IMG_1976

7. Serve for cheesy goodness heaven. I served it with an oven baked salmon fillet which I topped with Big 5 Chilli & Garlic Paste before roasting (for the adults, the children draw the line here)! The spicy kick went really nicely with the cheesiness.  Success! IMG_1978

Eat, Cambridge!

We do a lot of stalls and stands at different fairs and markets to sell our online store. But sometimes it’s really lovely to go along as a customer. And there is no better event to attend as a customer than Eat Cambridge. It’s like a social trip to catch up with old friends, meet like minded people and eat some amazing food along the way! And yes, we swore we were “just popping in” but of course, we came home with arm fulls!

What struck me this year was how many of these amazing local business’ that we stock in the shop, that we connect with on social media, that we eat and sell the produce of, that we email and call…that I had never had the chance to actually meet in person!

So here’s the highlights of the lovely stalls we saw, firstly the ones that we already had connections with!

– Sugar Smart

Lovely to be presented with Sugar Smart as we walked in. We love what these guys are doing and they had a great game where you could match up how much sugar was in different products, and see that amount of sugar weighed up in a bag! Very eye opening, even to someone who thinks they are clued up about food like me! It reminds me that a treat is a treat! Even better they had a competition whete giving away a “just add recipe” box from none other than Radmore Farm Shop!

-BeeBee Wraps

This is a product we started selling in the shop earlier this year and it’s been a great addition to our “eco-corner”; the reusable bees wax wrap. It was great to see all the different patterns and designs laid out on their stall, they are so beautiful.


– Cambridge Sustainable Food

A cause very close to our hearts and lovely to see them represented at Eat Cambridge.

-Que Rico Tapas

We have known Estefania for ages, and she often uses meat from Radmore in her dishes. She’s a born chef and it was lovely to see what tapas she had on offer at Eat Cambridge.

– The Gourmet Brownie company

We started selling these in the shop only about a month ago. They make us pre-packed signature brownies and flapjacks. But the best thing about seeing them at an event, the layered brownies! These are seriously Chunky and a serious treat!


– Allotment

We get Katie’s beautiful bread in the shop every Saturday, and it was the first time I was lucky enough to meet her! She really does know her stuff.

– Olive Olive

We love the Olive oil that these guys sell, and not to mention their halloumi. They have been firm favourites in the shop for a long time now.

– Asado Sauces

Another new one to is in the shop but one we are really excited about. Wonderfully flavoured South American sauces that are made from all natural ingredients in Cambridge. They were tasting a new sauce at the show, which was Korean inspired and very tasty indeed!


-Hot Numbers Coffee

We sell the hot numbers coffee beans in pre packs. What more can I say apart from Ben couldn’t survive without it?!


And now for the things we loved tasting!

* Ali’s Baltic Bakes*

I have to question if the event really happened if I didn’t go home with a box of Piragi! These little Baltic dough pies are a real treat. Ali makes them with both sweet and savoury fillings, and the sweet filling in particular change with the seasons. They are a real delight!



We love this shop on Mill Road. It stocks a lovely range of quality produce, as well as deli options. We bought some tasty tahini chocolate from then at Eat Cambridge! Really different and not over-sweet.

*White Cottage Bakery*

It’s the first time I’d seen white cottage bakery, and we bought 2 different loaves, both were delicious, very nicely flavoured! I’ll see if I can hint to Ben to buy me a bread making course with them for my birthday!


*Hum Closen*

Cheese mania! What a fantastic selection. I had to contain myself, and managed to only leave with some Brie and some welsh hard cheese. It was hard to to leave with some of everything!

*Ely Fudge Company*

We got the children (ahem, I didn’t eat any I promise) some fudge. It was delicious, very high quality and creamy. Not that I’d know on account of not eating any, of course!

*Cambridge Wine School*

Great to see Matt and Cambridge Wine School there!


It was a lovely event, sorry I couldn’t name everyone! Now you see why it took us so long to get around all the stalls! Well done to Heidi White for organising it all; it shows us just how happening the Cambridge food scene is, and I can’t begin to imagine how hard it must be to pull together an event of this scale! Well done!

My kitchen wouldn’t run without this…

When you think about the “must have” ingredients in your kitchen, you maybe think of onions, or chillis or rice. Maybe it’s garlic, or stock, or spices. But there has become one ingredient above all others, that our lives would feel desolate and empty without. What is this wonder ingredient? Meridian crunchy peanut butter!

There is always a 1kg tub open on our counter top, and when it’s gets to half way down we promptly order the next one (luckily we have an awesome farm shop that delivers to our door, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it, Radmore Farm Shop)😉

Our whole family love it, and it’s rare to have something that pleases everyone. So we have the standard peanut butter toast and sandwiches, but it’s sooo much more than that. We have it in our overnight oats, we add a little to porridge, we use it for sauces, we bake with it, we top pancakes with it. It’s a little indulgence that gets you through the day when you need a quick snack, and it’s a great ingredient in no sugar/low sugar bakery. We particularly love to use it in banana & oat cookies and in Quinoa bars. We have made some cracking peanut butter muffins too. It’s the wonder food in our house. What’s the wonder food in your house? Do you love peanut butter too?


Buy it here!