Recipe – Homemade Chilli

Today I didn’t have a traditional Sunday Roast, I really fancied a chilli. I cooked it from scratch and shared on Instagram and people asked for the recipe I had used so here goes!



Approx 300g minced beef

Five large mushrooms, diced (as an ostomate I have to cut these really small so they don’t affect my stoma but it’s also good for if you have picky kids – mine ‘dont like’ mushrooms but I put them in all sorts and they always eat it!)

Red pepper, diced

Large onion (I used two as they were small), diced

Two cloves of garlic, minced

Can of chopped tomatoes

Two tbsps tomato puree

1 tsp cumin

A cup of beef stock

Two tsp chilli powder (I used one hot and one mild, but do this to your taste depending on how spicy you like it)

You can also add a can of red kidney beans – I didn’t as my stoma doesn’t like them!

How To Make It

  1. Spray a large saucepan with spray oil and brown the mince
  2. After tipping off any excess fat, add the onion and garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until softened
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, stock, tomato puree, pepper, mushrooms, chilli powder, cumin and red kidney beans (if using). Reduce to a simmer, stir and cook for 15-20 minutes
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste, stir and serve
  5. I served with tortilla chips and a sour cream and chive dip but you could also serve with white rice or over baked potatoes

This has made two decent sized portions and I’ve saved the rest to have with a jacket potato tomorrow. You could easily increase the amount of mince to 500g without having to change the sauce ingredients to make this a family sized meal, you could also bulk it out with more veggies.

What did you have for Sunday dinner today? A traditional roast or something a bit different? Let me know in the comments below,

Recipe – Cheesy Brussel Sprout Bake – Seasonal (Jan)

So, I have a confession. Mum – you are going to love this! My name is Natalie and I recently became a brussel sprout convert. I have hated these little green fart cabbages (my affectionate nickname) for my whole life. It has always been a rule that I have at least two on my plate every Christmas. A rule made by my mum who LOVES them! Lately, I have tried them on a pizza in Pizza Express and from that came this recipe which I made for my tea on Monday. With all the cheese it isn’t exactly diet worthy, but it certainly gave me fruit and veg intake a boost!

Eating In Season

I have decided that this year I would like to post a recipe every month using something that is in season in the UK. Vegetables and fruits that are in season are generally tastier and cheaper. This makes it the perfect time to try something you wouldn’t normally, as it will be at it’s best!

In Season In January

  • Apples
  • Beetroot
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac
  • Celery
  • Chicory
  • Jerusalem Artichokes
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Pears
  • Spring Greens
  • Spring Onions
  • Squash
  • Swede
  • Turnip

This list is full of some of my winter staples and perfect for your stews and casseroles which are so comforting at his time of year. What is your favourite from the list? What have you never tried? Let me know in the comments below!

Recipe – Cheesy Brussel Sprout Bake

What You Will Need

  • 2 shallots
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Small pack of bacon lardons
  • Grated cheese (I used Parmesan)
  • Tub of Philadelphia style cheese spread
  • Knob of butter

How To Make It

  • Pop the bacon lardons in a pan and cook until crispy
  • Prep your sprouts by cutting off the bottom and removing the outside leaves
  • Dice the shallots. As an ostomate, onions can be tricky so I use my handy chopper to make sure they get really small. Mine is years old but I have recently seen them being sold in Asda for just £6. They are also really handy if you have arthritis, as they are a lot less stressful than chopping with a knife on your hands

  • Once the bacon is cooked pop it onto some kitchen roll on the side. Add the butter, shallots and sprouts to the pan and cook for around 8 to 10 minutes
  • Pop the sprout mixture into a baking dish and add the bacon and around half of the packet of soft cheese. This is the one I used (note – the light version!). I didn’t use any extra herbs because of this being flavoured, but I think if you used a plain one, adding some cayenne pepper would be lovely!

  • Sprinkle some cheese on top and pop into the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden (gas mark 5, preheat the oven before starting)

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! I think my mum is going to fall over when she reads this, but it really was yummy! I look forward to next month and a new, in season, recipe. Please let me know if you give this a try and like my idea.

10 Halloween Paper Plate Craft Activities For Kids

So half term is upon us!  My boys were off last week but I think the majority of children have this week off.  I thought I would share some cheap and easy activities for you to do.  These are all activities you can do with a paper plate – I picked u[p a pack of 30 for just £1 so it really is something you can do even when you have little money.

1 – Spiderweb Threading

The boys loved getting a go with the hole punch for this one!  Punch holes around the outside of the plate and then cut out the middle.  Take some wool and thread it to make the spider web pattern in the middle of the plate.  I picked this awesome black/purple wool from Poundstretcher and you can also get wool in Poundland.

2 – Witches Hat

Kids can let loose and decorate their hats any way they would like – paint, glue, colours – let their creativity roam free!

witch hat

Photo by Cutesy Crafts

3 – Spider

I picked up these awesome googly eyes from Wilkos and they are perfect for Halloween crafts!  Add some pipe cleaner legs and you are all set!

4 – Night Scene

This is one for older kids.  They look fantastic displayed on a window for the light to shine through.  Cut out the skyline, add in some tissue paper and then a few shiny stars.  Ta da!


5 – Design A Pumpkin

The paper plate is a perfect shape for practising your pumpkin design on!  Leo did a fantastic drawing of a Fortnite character on his – probably a little bit to detailed for me to cut but he did an amazing job so it is now displayed on the kitchen door!


Picture by Clare’s Little Tots

6 – Halloween Mask

Another simple idea as kids can use whatever they have at home to create a super scary mask ready for Halloween.  Colour, paint or glue, the choices are up to you!


Photo by Housing A Forest

7 – Halloween Wreath

A great activity to do after an Autumn walk – collect leaves on the way and then make a pretty Autumnal wreath.


8 – Toilet Roll Bat with Paper Plate Wings

Another great thing for crafting with kids – the toilet roll tube.  Paint it black and cut out two wings from your paper plate.


Photo by Crafty Morning

9 – Paper Plate Ghosts

These are great to hang outside and see blowing in the wind!


Picture by Odd Socks and Lollipops

10 – Paper Plate Skulls

Another really simple make for those that aren’t crafty by nature!  Children can have some good practise with their cutting skills on this one too


Photo by Glued To My Craft

Hope these ideas will give you some inspiration and help you keep the little ones busy for a few hours!  Let me know what other kid craft ideas you would like to see in the comments below and I will do some more of these type posts in the future

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

Recipe – Slow Cooker Sausage Casserole

#Blogtober Day 2

Good morning and happy Tuesday.  Today I am sharing a recipe with you for a sausage casserole.  One of the best things about the arrival of Autumn is the re-ermerging slow cooker!  I love mine and it is really easy and convenient to use.

Slow Cooker Sausage Casserole


What You Will Need

Pack of 8 Sausages (I used Lincolnshire)

Onion, diced

Leek, sliced

2 large carrots, sliced

One red or orange pepper

Worcestershire Sauce

Large handful of mushrooms, peeled and sliced (OSTOMATE TIP – chop your mushrooms really small to get the taste but not risk a blockage)

I used a Sausage Casserole packet mix for this recipe and 300ml water – easy and cheap, most supermarkets do these packet sauces on offer.


If I didn’t use this I would also use

A tin of chopped tomatoes

250ml water

Stock cube (I use beef, but you could use a vegetable one)

Gravy granules to thicken sauce if needed

A teaspoon of mixed herbs

How To Make It

I always like to brown the sausages first to give them some colour and add flavour.


I then threw everything in the slow cooker and popped it on high for 4 hours to cook.

About half an hour before it finished I got Ste to make me some dumplings and pop them in.  This is personal choice and you can leave these out!  I served the casserole with some fresh, crusty bread and butter and it was the perfect Autumnal tea!

I haven’t shared a recipe for a while but hope to do some more in the coming weeks.  This one is a firm favourite for me though, and the ultimate comfort food.  Enjoy!

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

Recipe – Spaghetti Bolognaise (Hidden Veg)

Good morning everyone.  Just wanted to say a big thank you for everyone who was so understanding of me taking a time out while I had the boys for the Easter break.  We had a lot of fun and I am sure some of our adventures will find their way into posts.  Today I thought I would post a recipe as I haven’t in a while and this is one of the boys favourites – even though they don’t know there is a bunch of veggies in there they ‘don’t like’ apparently!

Spaghetti Bolognaise (Hidden Veg)


You will need

One red pepper

One red onion (although a brown one is fine too)

Half an average sized pack of mushriooms

Two garlic cloves, crushed

500g lean beef mince

One carton of passata (or a tin of chopped tomatoes)

A beerf stock cube

Tomato puree


Tagliatelle (or your choice of pasta shapes to serve)

Grated cheese (optional)

How You Make It

  1. The key with the veggies is to chop them really small.  My boys do not like peppers, mushrooms or onions yet, when  they are served my spag bol cointaining all three, they wolf it down without a second thought!  In the past I have also cooked aubergine, carrots etc and blended them into the sauce to add even more goodness. This is also a great tip for ostomates.  The smaller the veg, the less risk of blockages and if you still can’t manage that, the pureed aubergine etc will give you a vitamin boost without the risk!
  2. I use spray oil so pop in a couple of squirts to my pan, then brown the mince
  3. Add the veggies and garlic cloves, cook for around 5 minutes till soft
  4. Tip in the passata and turn down to a simmer.  Add a small amount of boiling water to dissolve the stock cube and add to the pan.  Squirt in a decent amount of tomato puree (to taste) and a sprinkle of herbs (I often used mixed herbs or basil in this)
  5. Leave to simmer for around 15 minutes, stir occasionally
  6. Cook pasta separately to serve with the bolognaise.  We always like to add a sprinkle of cheese to the top and some garlic bread to eat with it

This is a really simple recipe but super tasty and the boys love it.  It will always go down a treat and I know they are getting a good amount of their 5 a day in it – and no moaning!  Please let me know if you try it and what you think!  Also, in the comments below, share your sneaky tips on how to get more fruit and veg in your children, I would love to hear more ideas.

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy