RDK V Food

If you’ve seen the TV show ‘Man V Food’ you’ll know what the concept of it is. Massive meals and a time limit to eat it in. We love the show in this house. I’ve always wanted to do a food challenge (especially if the gorgeous Adam Richman was there!) So I came up with the idea of a HUGE burger with loads of sides. A Man V food challenge without the time limit was on the cards for our dinner tonight.

It consisted of:

A mahoosive burger with a chunk of cheddar in oozing out of the middle

Gigantic burger buns

Lashings of bacon


Caramalised onions

Cheese sauce


Butternut squash chips

Smoked paprika beans


And finally Corn on the cob!!


Now where to begin….

I started out by making the dough for the buns. The recipe I used was from here: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/beautiful-burger-buns-recipe Instead of making 8 buns, I made 4 and used 2 buns for each burger.

Whilst the dough was rising, I made the burgers.


400g Lean minced beef


1 Green chilli

As much as you like of:

Chilli powder

Garlic granules

Smoked paprika

Ground cayenne

Ground black pepper

Texas smokey BBQ spices

Mixed herbs

Cajun spices

BBQ sauce

Cheddar cheese

1. In a bowl, put all of the herbs, spices, BBQ sauce, chilli and garlic and mix together.

2. In the bowl, chop up the minced beef and mix with the spices

3. Form into 4 equal balls and flatten into a burger shape.

4. In the center of each burger, make a slight dent.

5. In the dent of two burgers, put a chunk of cheddar cheese in.

6. On top of the burgers with the cheese in, put the ‘plain’ burgers on top and mold so that the cheese is fully covered.

7. Wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge. Allow to rest until ready to cook.

2. Pour in the evaporated milk, chopped chilli and sprinkle in black pepper

3. Leave until later.

Prepare the onions. In a frying pan, pour a little oil and some light brown sugar. Slice the onion into rings and put in the pan. Gently cook until nearly done. Then leave on the hob to cool.

Now, boil the chips for 4 minutes, then drain and put on a tray. Spray with oil and put in the oven at gas mark 3, turning every 30 minutes for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

15 minutes before the chips are ready, it’s time to get serious

1. Wrap corn on the cob in foil with some butter and put in the oven for 15 minutes

2. Cook the burgers under the grill, turning occasionally

3. On a slow heat, gently melt the cheese sauce. Add in the food colouring to make it orange. Hmmm it looks kinda radioactive!

4. Finish off the onions

5. Fry the bacon

6. Heat the beans with smoked paprika sprinkled in

7. Put the coleslaw in pots

Time to serve!

1. On the burger bun at the bottom, spread your choice of sauce

2. Place lettuce and sliced tomatoes on the buns

3. Then the burger, bacon, onions and cheese sauce

4. To keep the burger together put a skewer through the middle (I added a mini cupcake wrapper to put sauce in)

5. Now dish up the chips, beans, coleslaw and corn on the cob

It doesn’t show just how big it actually is!!!

I barely made a dent!!

What I did manage though, was delicious! The burger was so flavoursome, juicy and tender. The bread was perfect and it was all just so yummy. If only we had another 6 or so people around, it may have all gone! I have new found respect for the lovely Adam Richman.


Mexican feast!

I absolutely love Mexican food. Fajitas being my favourite. They are so easy to make and are a really filling meal. They are great to make if you’ve got a crowd over or are fab for just a cosy meal for 2.

To make these for 2 people, you will need:

3 peppers

1 large onion

2/3 chicken breasts

Cajun spice mix

Fajita spice mix




Sour cream

Refried beans



Tortilla wraps

1. Wash and thinly slice the peppers and onion

2. chop the chicken into small pieces then sprinkle over some Cajun seasoning

3. Put the peppers, onion and chicken in a frying pan with a bit of oil. Cook on a high heat until slightly charred

4. Whilst the chicken and veg are cooking, prepare the rest. Put lettuce and sliced tomatoes into a bowl. Grate some cheese, and sort out the sour cream, guacamole and salsa.

5. When the chicken and veg are nearly done, put the refried beans in the microwave for about 1 minute, then the tortilla wraps for about 30 seconds.

Now it’s time to dig in and build your fajitas!

What’s great about fajitas is that you can make them any which way you want.

Then it’s time to wrap!



The World’s best ever share ‘n’ tear garlic bread and pizza plait

Woah, that’s a big statement! The World’s best ever garlic bread?! Well maybe not (as I’ve not tried them all!) but my husband says it is and I think it is….so it must be right?!

I came across this recipe on Pinterest, one of my most favourite and the most addictive website ever! (I’m full of the big statements today huh?)

Here’s the website which the photo on Pinterest linked to (which I adapted slightly): http://www.consultantdietitian.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=125:garlic-pull-apart-bread&catid=41:breads-muffins-and-biscuits&Itemid=68

As well as the garlic bread, I was making a pizza plait along side it. I doubled the dough recipe from here: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4683/pizza-margherita-in-4-easy-steps

Here’s how I made them-

Garlic bread ingredients:

Half of the dough recipe from the BBC good food link above (remember I doubled it to make the pizza as well, so really it’s one quantity of the dough recipe)

Approx 4 tablespoons butter

1 beaten egg

Lots of grated Parmesan and extra mature cheddar

4 cloves of finely chopped garlic

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons dried parsley

1. Make the dough from the above link and knead for 10 minutes. Allow to rise for 1- 1 1/2 hours.

2. After the dough has risen, divide it into two for the pizza and garlic bread and put one aside. Pull off small pieces and roll into balls. Arrange in a lightly buttered dish/tray.

3. Make the garlic butter. In a bowl/jug, put in the butter and mix in the beaten egg, chopped garlic, salt and parsley, and cheeses.

4. Spread the butter mixture all over the dough balls.

5. Cover with cling film and allow to rise again. (I went out to the supermarket for an hour or so and left it to rise) It should double in size (mine filled the dish and was bursting at the seams!)

6. Cook in the oven on gas mark 4 for approx 30 minutes or until its golden brown.

Here it is in all its glory! I will seriously never buy garlic bread again. Truly scrummy.

Pizza plait:

I made this when the garlic bread was rising.


The other half of the dough

Tomato puree

BBQ sauce

Extra mature cheddar


Half and onion

A little egg to seal the sides

1. Roll the dough out onto a greased baking tray. Lightly with a knife, divide (only marking not cutting) the dough, evenly into three sections. On the outer sides, cut 8 even slits. (you can roll it out better than mine, I was just in a rush to get it ready)

2. In the middle section, spread over BBQ sauce and tomato puree, then add the grated cheese, pepperoni and onions (you can use whatever you want obviously, I was just using what we had in)

3. Lightly brush over beaten egg on the ends of the strips so that they stick together. Then, starting from one end, carefully criss cross the dough sections, taking one from one section and then folding one from the other section over. Repeat until it’s all plaited.

(again not very good as I was in a rush!)

(Hehe it looks like a mouth with teeth!)

4. Wrap the tray loosely in cling film and allow to rise. (The garlic bread and pizza were both left to rise when I went out and then cooked together when I got back)

5. Cook in the oven at gas mark 4 for approx 30 minutes or until golden brown.

I accidentally cooked mine a little too long… it was rather hard but still really yummy.



Pink! Double layer strawberry cupcakes

As a ‘typical’ girly girl, I love pink. Everything would be pink if I ruled the World… Okay, maybe that’s too far, so not everything. So I had to make something pink.

I had a couple of punnets of strawberries that I was going to use for a cheesecake but someone <cough> my husband <cough> ate the whole pack of digestives I was going to use. So I had to come up with something else to make. I thought cupcakes are easy enough to whip up quickly (having lots of chores to do 😦 )

Here’s what I did:


110g butter/margarine

110g caster sugar

2 eggs, beaten

200g self-raising flour

Strawberries, mashed

Red food colouring gel

Strawberry jam

For the buttercream:

140g softened butter

280g icing sugar

1 tbsp milk

A little bit of food colouring

Strawberry jelly sweets

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases

2. Weigh the butter and caster sugar and beat until pale and creamy

3. Fold in the sieved flour using a large spoon

4. Mix in the mashed strawberries and a little bit of the food colouring gel (until you get the colour you desire)

5. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until they are half full

6. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes (check that a skewer comes out of the cake clean) Remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool. Loosen the wrappers, so they’ll come away easily, then bake the next batch (the mix makes 24 little cakes)

7. When the cakes have cooled, take them out of the wrappers and spread a little jam (I used strawberry) with a small pallette knife over one of the top of the cakes and place another cake on the top. Repeat with all the cakes so that you have 12 ‘double cakes’ Then put them in a new wrapper.

8. Now it’s time to make the buttercream. Beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth, then add the remaining icing sugar with one tablespoon of milk (you can add more if necessary) until the mixture is smooth but firm enough to pipe

9. Add in the food colouring and mix until it is totally combined (I wanted mine to be pale pink)

10. Prepare the icing bag, choosing the nozzle of your choice (I used a star shaped nozzle). Fill the bag (I place the bag into a bag to make filling it easier) and swirl from the outside, inwards

11. Finish the cake with a strawberry sweet in the center

The Humble Crumble

This has to be one of the easiest and most delicious desserts you can make.

Just wash/peel/chop whatever fruit you fancy- I had lots of apples near their best before that I used.

Sprinkle over some sugar, water and some lemon juice (to stop the apples from browning) over the fruit.

Make the topping with approx 200g flour, 110g golden caster sugar and 110g butter. Rub with the tips of your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs then spread over the fruit.

Cook it ’til it’s golden brown and serve with custard, cream or ice cream. Easy peasy.

For this crumble though, instead of sprinkling over water; I boiled the apple peel with sugar and cinnamon, then strained away from the peel and poured over the fruit for extra flavour.

Chicken, roast potatoes & vegetables with a Stilton sauce

This is my current* favourite meal.

It has everything that I love. Chicken, a creamy sauce, roast potatoes, cheese, veg…

This would make a fabulous romantic meal for two or just a really great midweek/weekend meal.


Serves 2

Chicken breasts

White wine (optional)

Green beans

2 Carrots


New potatoes


Cream (I use double)



Sea salt

2 lemons

  1. Prepare the veg. Peel the carrots and cut into batons. Slice the ends of the green beans and snap the asparagus. Put into a pan of water. Slice a lemon and squeeze into the veg and water. Place the slices into the pan. Set aside.
  2. Wash the new potatoes and slice in half. Put them into a roasting tray along with some olive oil, as much garlic as you like, rosemary and sprinkle on some sea salt. Slice the other lemon and squeeze over the potatoes. Then chop the lemon and arrange in the tray.
  3. Cut the blood/fat off the chicken breast and place in another (small) roasting tray. Pour over the white wine until the breast are covered (if not using wine, you could use water with a stock cube in). Wrap the tray in foil.
  4. Turn the oven onto gas mark 4. Put the potatoes on the middle shelf and the chicken on the bottom.
  5. Turn the potatoes after half an hour and set the timer for another 30 minutes.
  6. In a large frying pan, pour in the cream and put some chopped garlic in. Crumble the Stilton into the cream. Leave to marinate for 15 minutes.
  7. After 15 minutes, Bring the veg to the boil.
  8. Turn the potatoes.
  9. When the vegetables are nearly ready (depending if you prefer them al dente or soft) turn the cream in the pan onto a low heat. Keep stirring until the Stilton melts and the sauce is warm. Do not boil the cream.
  10. Now, if you want too, you can quickly fry the chicken on a high heat to brown it or just dish it up.
  11. It’s time to plate up! Serve the chicken with the Stilton sauce on with the crispy potatoes and veg on the side, you can remove the lemon if you so wish.

If anyone tries this, I really hope you enjoy eating it and the smell if gives, as much as I do 🙂

*This could change at anytime :p

Chocolate Vodka!

Let me start this post by assuring you that as I’m writing this post at 12.35pm on a monday afternoon, I am not tasting this drink. Well I will be, but not for another approx 8 hours 🙂

I was watching Superscrimpers on channel 4 (http://www.channel4.com/programmes/superscrimpers) the other night, when they were doing a section on cocktails on the cheap. They made this drink up in under 10 minutes so I thought ‘hey! this would make a fab Christmas drink’ (thinking it would taste like a well-known Irish drink which is nice over ice…)

So, when I visited Ikea over the weekend and saw nice glass bottles for I think about £1.50, I got one to test it out.

Here’s the recipe http://www.channel4.com/programmes/superscrimpers/episode-guide/series-3/episode-4 Scroll down to the comments and you’ll find it.

I used 10 snack sized chocolate bars as they worked out cheaper than the regular sized ones, and I got the cheapest bottle of Vodka I could find as I knew the chocolate would be flavouring it.

I had the tiniest bit (well I had to taste it) and confirmed to myself, that not only is it SO easy to make, it does taste pretty much like that Irish drink.  I will definitely be getting more glass bottles soon to make more (and try different flavours) as gifts for Christmas. Some pretty labels would complete the look…

Here’s the finished product-

Wholemeal bread rolls

For the first bake on my blog not that I just had to bake something so I could make my first post asap. Me excited?! Oh no! I thought I’d start with something simple I hoped. We needed some bread but as we didn’t need a whole loaf, I thought rolls/baps would be ideal.

I may have cheated not made these totally by hand, as I could not use my ever trusty bread maker. My bread maker came with a recipe booklet and as I’ve not made rolls before, I thought I’d use one of the recipes as a guide. As I never totally follow a recipe, I adapted it. (Thanks to Morphy Richards for the recipe http://www.morphyrichards.co.uk/Pdf/IB48321.pdf)

I know most of you will know how to make them, but I’ll post the recipe anyway…

Here is the recipe and I’ll write in what I changed/added:

(The bread maker came with a measuring cup which I have lost, oops. So I just use a mug.)

Water 1 1/4 cup/mug

Skimmed milk powder 2 tbsp

Melted butter 2 tbsp

Honey 2 tbsp (I substituted this for 2 tbsp of golden caster sugar)

Brown sugar 1 tbsp (I left out)

Salt 1 1/2 tsp

Strong whole wheat bread flour 3 1/4 cup/mug

Fast action yeast 1 1/2 tsp

I added a small handful of oats and a couple of tbsp of sunflower seeds.

When It’s done it’s thing in the bread maker, knead and shape into 6 rolls. Place on a greased tray, brush lightly with melted butter. Cover to let the double in size for 20-25 minutes, glaze again. Bake for approx for 15-20 minutes at 190C/375F/gas mark 5)

Here’s what they look like:

Now, I know they’re not exactly perfect. But, they taste pretty darn great!

About me

Helllllooo to anyone out there in the mass expanse of cyber space!

Well, where do I start?

I had a little go of blogging before,which I really enjoyed. (at http://zolsasbakesandcakes.wordpress.com/ I only had my iPad camera then so excuse the rubbish photos!)  Now though, I have a lot more time on my hands (I now have the official title of ‘Housewife’ Yay!!) I’ve decided to give it a proper bash.

Why Raspberry Diva Kitchen? Well, I can assure you that I am neither a raspberry (arf) or a diva (well most of the time anyway *polishes halo*) So where did it come from then, you may ask (though probably not… *tumbleweed*)

Paint. Yes, it’s the colour of the feature wall (natch) in the kitchen. Oooooh, exciting then.

Anyhoo, moving on…

Who am I?

I’m Zoe, 22, domestic goddess…(well I’m working on it)

I love cooking and baking for my husband and extended family. Most of the bakes I make some how end up at my husband’s job, shared out between his colleagues (do you ever experience that thing where you spell a word, but you’re not sure if it’s right and it totally doesn’t look right, so you say it over and over and it sounds so wrong but after all that, it is right? I had to google how to spell colleagues… And then looked how to spell it again just then. Gah. I need caffeine.)

I will be mainly blogging about any decent lunches/dinners I make. Anything (that turns out reasonably okay) I bake. Sometimes, if I don’t chicken out as people may think I’m weird. Well, more weird than usual anyway. I may take photos of the food I order in restaurants.

Erm…I not sure what else to say right now… So yep, that’s a bit about little (okay not so little, I like cake too much!) moi.

Until I make a mess in the kitchen again,


Ps. I’ve made a Facebook page for my blog. So to stay tuned to what I’m cooking, please ‘like’ here: https://www.facebook.com/RaspberryDivaKitchen?ref=hl

Thank you 🙂