Search for your favourite recipe

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

A Tart With a Tart

A tart with a tart!
Hello food.....

Nicola has been creating the Detest yet Respect Mushroom Tart Recipe and it looks pretty successful to me!

Make sure all you freaks (otherwise known as mushroom lovers) out there give this a go, as it seems to be going down pretty well! :D



'Like' the Jess's Messes Facebook Page

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Gorgeous Gnocchi Bakey Bake

Hello food.....

Gnocchi Making
I have to include this recipe on here, as there have now been 2 posts - DriveWorks Masterchef and Dave's Gnocchi Good Times - about it on the blog and now actual guide as how to make it. So here we go:



  • 4 Large Waxy Potatoes
  • 175g Plain Flour
  • 75g Semolina
  • 10g Fresh Basil
  • Salt and Pepper


  • 10ml Vegetable Oil
  • 1 White Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 400g Tomatoes
  • 100g Spinach
  • 10g Basil
  • 100g Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 big ball Mozzerella
  • Salt and Pepper
  • (200g Sliced Mushrooms / 2 Diced Chicken Breasts optional)
    Making Sauce

1.      Make your gnocchi - boil the potatoes and mash until as few lumps as humnaly possible
2.   Add potato to semolina and flour and tear basil into mix, combine together into a smooth dough and shape into little 2cm big spheres.
3.   Bring water to the boil and place gnocchi in the pan, when it rises to the top, strain and place in the baking dish.
4.   Make the sauce - Finely chop Onion, crush garlic and fry in oil and salt slowly, until softened. Add chicken or mushrooms if using.
5.      Chop tomatoes into large chunks and add to onions. Cook until tomatoes have released juices.
6.      Add basil, spinach and seasoning until  slightly wilted and then add to baking dish.
7.      Make sure gnocchi and sauce all mixed together well.
8.      Cover with grated cheese, tear mozzerella and place over mixture and ground black pepper and bake in oven at 180˚c/ Gas Mark 5 for 20 minutes.
9.      Serve!
Yumety yum yum!

DriveWorks Masterchef

Hello food.....

Bossing about

The team!
  Last night was the first Jess's Messes cooking lesson, with the girls from work! I took in a copy of Jess's Messes - The Cookbook, the 'students' chose the food they would like to eat and then it began.

So the food choices:

1. Pleasy, Cheesy Souffle
2. Gorgeous Gnocchi Bakey Bake
3. Le Fondant du Chocolat
4. Unctuous, Creamy Custard

Everyone got here after work and the madness began. My flat at the moment is lovely, yet the kitchen is a little bit teeny weeny for 5 people. However, I set the 4 of them off with their different tasks, and felt very odd bossing people around, "You do this, you do that" it was strange but meant in the end we all had a lovely meal that everyone had worked hard to create!
Gnocchi making

The favourite dish by far was the Pleasy, Cheesy Souffle and luckily it didn't sink - as shown in the picture!

The after effects though, well first there was the reason it is called Jess's Messes, the amount of time it takes to clean up after, even with 4 helpers I manage to get everything utterly everywhere and then the clean up mission is ridiculous. But also, everyone was soooo full, Jane and Sarah collapsed on the sofa before dessert was even served, but it was good pain. Enjoyable pain!

It was such good fun and I can't wait to do the next one. I've taught 4 people now, how unbelievably easy it is to make a 3 course meal completely from scratch and now the mission is to tell more, spread the word and get more people cooking from scratch.
They rose!

To see more pictures of this event and others to come just 'like' the Jess's Messes Facebook Page and I will keep you updated on other such events!!

Happy times!!!!!

Enjoying the food
The after effects

And people ask 'Why Jess's Messes'

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Cooking Lessons

Jess the Chef (imaginary food - was this posed at all?)
Hello food.....

The first Jess's Messes cooking lesson takes place tomorrow. We will be cooking:

  • Pleasy Cheesey Souffle
  • Gorgeous Gnocchi Bakey Bake (vegetarian and chicken version)
  • Le Fondant du Chocolate (avec Unctuous Creamy Custard)

Keep a look out for the photos and reviews and 'like' the new Facebook Page!

What I Couldn't Cook Without!

The Flavour Thesaurus - Jess's Messes Bible
Hello food.....

This is the beat creation in the world, actually the best book ever invented! Whenever I have an idea, I can consult this to see if the flavours make sense. If I want to create and only have one ingredient I can go to it for inspiration.
Watercress and Goats cheese?
Sometimes I decide to create things even if the Flavour Thesaurus does not necessarily suggest, but in general, this is my bible!

I recommend to all!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Recipe of the week: Spinach, Watercress and Wensleydale Soup

Green is good!

Hello food.....

Green, very green!
I was driving back from Mum and Dad's on Sunday night trying to think what on earth I would have for lunch at work this week. I had some spinach, oooo a salad - bit boring, some Leek and Pottato soup that had ended up just tasting of celery, yuk, some wensleydale, yes excellent, but what with? Then it struck me. Just add to the soup I already had. So this recipe was born.

It's an interesting colour, but I believe it actually works quite well. See what you think:

  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Leek
  • 2 Sticks Celery
  • 1 White Onion
  • 2 Cloves garlic
  • 10ml Vegetable Oil
  • 5g Thyme
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 500ml Chicken/Veg Stock
  • 200g Spinach
  • 75g Watercress
  • 100g Wensleydale Cheese
  • The fear after the first explosion
  • Salt and Pepper

  1. Roughly chop carrot, leek, celery, onion, garlic and cook on a medium heat in the oil for about 5-7 minutes, until everything softens. Add salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaf.
  2. Cover in the chicken/veg stock and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes, so all flavours are released.
  3. Add Spinach and watercress and remove from heat, stirring until both are wilted.
  4. Zjuszh up in blender until nice and smooth (make sure the lid is on so you do not get a green kitchen as I did!)
  5. When the soup is still warm, but not boiling hot, crumble chuncks on Wensleydale in and stir so it melts slightly.
  6. Check for seasoning to your taste.
  7. Serve.
I'm not going to pretend that with the cheese it is the healthiest soup ever. But there's plenty of veg and Spinach is always good for you. Popeye agrees!

Enjoy! Please let me know if you try it. or

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Dave's Gnocchi Good Times!

Hello food.....


For Christmas the wonderful Wheatcrofts got a copy of the Jess's Messes cookbook, as their prvious copy was eaten by the most fantastic dog in the world Gary. That clearly shows how tasty the recipes are, the book itself is eaten trying to get at them.

Today, Dave created the 'Gorgeous Gnocchi Bakey Bake' that looks absolutely fantastic, to be honest, I'm a bit jealous as it looks better than when I made it!

Dave with the Bakey Bake
This recipe is a great quick and easy option, so you can have speedy, yet tasty tea (or dinner, whatever you call your evening meal)! Also, you can make this vegetarian, as it is in the book, or non-veg by adding meat or fish of your choice! :D

If you would like a copy of this recipe, just give me an email: and ask for that. Or, more excitingly ask me for a copy of the book and I can sort one out for you!

Thanks for reading and keep your eyes peeled for the next recipe of the week: Spinach, Watercress and Wensleydale soup!

Also I have a NEW Facebook Page. Make sure you 'Like' it to keep up to date with everything that's going on!!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Hello food.....

The reason the Detest yet Respect Mushroom Tart recipe was created was clearly not for me to enjoy! However, I wanted to make more vegetarian recipes and having 2 handy vegetarians at my work I asked them what they like. Mushrooms were mentioned, and so the recipe was created.

Now this recipe has been attempted by previously mentioned vegetarian Jane and look at what a success it was. It works out well for me people trying out my recipes, as I can then make sure it is written down for people to completely understand, but also it's really interesting and exciting to see the finished results.

So a massive round of applause for Jane, I really am truly impressed with this effort, the pastry looks FANTASTIC and she assured me it was really tasty also! Congratulations!

If anyone else makes a recipe, from the book or the blog, please either upload the pictures to the Jess's Messes Facebook Page, or email, and I will be sure to do a feature on here about you!:)

Thank you Thank you!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Reviews please

Hello food.....

Yesterday I had the first Jess's Messes complaint. I say complaint, I use the term loosely. A friend was creating one of my recipes and noticed that I had beansprouts in the recipes, but no where in the method did they appear. This has been rectified in the book now and I will go through and check everything.

However, now the time has come that I need people to test my recipes. If you decide to use one and find there is a similar issue, please let me know!

But most importantly if you try a recipe then please let me know what you think. If you could get a photo of you with your finished product too I would love to see it. I've bought the website but until I have that up and running properly, if you just post the picture on your Facebook and 'tag' Jess Messes in it then I will be able to see it and I can feature you on this blog!

Any other comments or feedback would also be massively appreciated!

Thanks for your support!


Detest Yet Respect: Recipe of the week

Hello food.....

I hate mushrooms, always have and always will (probably). However, this does not stop me wanting to have a teeny-weeny restaurant called 'Not Mushroom' courtesy of Noel Barrowclough's wonderful sense of humour. However, as much as I do not like mushrooms, I do respect them, they are the perfect replacement for meat if you are a vegetarian as they at least have a little something extra to them, they don't feel like your average carrot/spout/other generic vegetable.
The time has come anyway to create more vegetarian recipes, so this evening I have created a mushroom tart, which I detest, yet still respect.

I would say this is best served with new potatoes and salad, however really could be had by itself at lunch, or even as a snack. You could even make teeny weeny ones as canape type things!

  • Shortcrust Pastry
    • 55g Butter
    • 80g Plain Flour
    • 45g Parmesan Cheese
    • 20ml Water
    • Salt
  • 200g Chesnut Mushrooms
  • 100g Oyster Mushroom
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 White Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 10ml Oliver Oil
  • 10g Thyme
  • 125ml White Wine
  • 100ml Double Cream
  • 2 Handfuls Spinach
  • 50g Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Make the pastry - Rub together butter,  flour, parmesan cheese, salt and make into a soft dough (add water slowly if needed).
  2. Chill in fridge.
  3. Slice mushrooms, onion, leeks and crush garlic. Place Olive Oil in frying pan/wok and heat slowly, add the veg (not spinach) and cook on medium heat with thyme, salt and pepper until everything is softened.
  4. Add wine and cook until almost all the liquid has disappeared.
  5. Add cream and spinach. Leave to simmer slowly for 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile roll out pastry into 15cm discs. Place in tart molds (not on baking tray as picture shows).
  7. When cream has thickened add more black pepper and spoon into pastry shells.
  8. Grate cheddar cheese on each tart.
  9. Place in oven at Gas Mark 6/200C for 15 minutes (until pastry browned)
  10. Serve!
I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Let me know if you give it a go on the Jess's Messes Facebook Page, it could be generally just detest, but hopefully (even if you're not a mushroom fan) you will see the respect side too!