Momma’s Beef and Apple Tagine | Skint Momma

Momma’s Beef and Apple Tagine


I recently treated myself to this little gem from Home Bargains for just £8.99. Of course, I could just use my slow cooker, but there is something so exotic about using a tagine to make…well…a tagine!

It is basically a fancy slow cooker that you put in your oven. I hope it’s not something that I use a few times as a novelty and then resign it to the dusty spot at the back of the kitchen cupboard.

This beef and apple tagine recipe was actually very simple, and absolutely delicious. It is one that I will certainly be making again very soon.

If you would like to make it yourself…

You will need…

  • 1 small beef roasting joint
  • 4 chopped apples, cut into roughly 1 inch chunks
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 roughly chopped cloves of garlic
  • 1 beef stock pot or crumbled oxo cube (you could use any beef stock cube, I just find the cheaper ones harder to crumble)
  • 1 tsp of garam masala
  • 1 tsp of ginger
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 3 tsp of dried coriander
  • 300 ml of boiling water
  • Salt and pepper to season

You will need to…

  • Put all of the ingredients, in the order that I have listed, into the tagine and gently mix everything around the beef
  • Put it into a hot oven, preheated to 150 degrees celcius for 4 hours.
  • Shred the beef with 2 forks
  • Serve with some lovely, fresh tiger bread or rice (or a bit of both!)



Skint Momma xx


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Momma’s Spaghetti Pasta Bake | Skint Momma

Momma’s Spaghetti Pasta Bakepasta-bake


This is a little twist on plain on spaghetti bolognese. It is super quick to make and the kids absolutely loved it! If you want to make Momma’s Spaghetti Pasta Bake too…

You will need…

Serves 4

  • 400g lean mince
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 chopped cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 a chopped white onion
  • 1 tbsp of mixed herbs
  • 2 tsp of onion salt
  • 80g of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Enough spaghetti pasta for 4 people
  • Salt and pepper to taste (optional if you have young kids)
  • Cooking oil/spray (your choice!!)


What you need to do…

  • Boil your pasta in a little salted water, drain and set aside
  • In a hot pan, with a little olive oil, fry the garlic, onions and mince until the mince starts to brown
  • Sprinkle in the mixed herbs, onion salt and salt and pepper if you wish (the onion salt is usually enough)
  • Stir well, then add the chopped tomatoes and fry until the mince has cooked through (about 10 minutes on a medium heat
  • Take a medium sized casserole dish, pour in the pasta, separating it carefully with a fork if it has gone a little sticky. You can also give it a little rinse through a colander with some boiling water to un-stick it.
  • Pour the mince sauce over the pasta and press it down gently so the sauce goes right to the bottom, to stop it drying out.
  • Sprinkle the Parmesan on top
  • Put it in the oven for 10-15 minutes, at 180 degrees Celsius,  or until the cheese has turned golden



Skint Momma xx



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Our trip to Castle Espie | Skint Momma


In August 2016, my family and I visited WWT Castle Espie wetland centre.

If you and your family love exploring, discovering different types of birds and learning about all things nature, then THIS is the place for you!

On our adventure…

We saw lots of birds, we went on an adventure in the woods, we played in the wildwood play area, we went on the zip-line, and we jumped in lots of  muddy puddles (thanks Peppa Pig)!

We had a little toilet stop at the Limekiln Observatory on our walk, and then afterwards, we stood at the huge windows to look out over Strangford Lough. There were headphones to listen to stories, and a telescope to look out far over the lough to try and spot anything in the water.

It was a fab day out that we all thoroughly enjoyed.

Here’s a little snippet of our day trip…

Points to consider for your visit…

  • You can spend the whole day there, so it is worth the entry fee
  • Bring a picnic to save money
  • A coffee shop is available
  • There is a soft play area indoors for the little ones
  • Wear your wellies and raincoat (or at least bring them just encase)
  • Take lots of photos
  • Be prepared to get your feet muddy
  • Check out the website for any events they may be running
  • Book online for a 10% discount
  • Don’t forget to pop over to the sensory garden for a look before you leave
  • Make sure you follow the map so you don’t miss ANYTHING!

It cost £7.45 (without giftaid) for each adult and both our children under 4 went free. They have a concession rate of £5.73 (without giftaid) for students, unemployed, 65+ and disabled visitors, and carers go free!

I will certainly be back, I felt that it was worth the money for the visit as there is plenty to see and do!

Skint Momma xx

Please note – any prices where correct at time of writing (Sept 2016), Skint Momma is not affiliated in any way with Castle Espie WWT, just simply a mum and her family who enjoyed their visit! 

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The Giants’ Lair at Slieve Gullion Forest Park | Review





Whether you are from Northern Ireland, or just visiting, Slieve Gullion Forest park – home of the Giant’s Lair – is the perfect FREE family day out!



Located in Meigh, Newry, Slieve Gullion Forest Park provides the perfect setting for the wonderfully magical land of fairies and giants.


The forest itself has a couple of different walking trails. The one we chose was of course ‘The Children’s Story Trail’. Perfect for little and large kids alike.

giants lair

I have to say, the view from the top was spectacular. You can really appreciate the beauty of our wee country from up there!


When you first arrive at the park, there are plenty of parking spaces and a cafe/restaurant (closed), with toilet facilities available (which were still open). There was also a quaint little coffee bar within the grounds of the restaurant. (I can’t comment on either as I didn’t purchase any food or drinks).

Next we arrived at the entrance to the magical Giant’s Lair – The Children’s Story Trail. I was glad that we didn’t have to walk miles before the magic began!


Here we discovered the homes of all the fairies…

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giants lair

and the giants too…

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…and the amazing Fairy Kingdom


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At the end of the trail there is a huge play park. It is complete with a disability swing, adult fitness area & sensory play equipment. Along with toilet facilities too.


There is a huge picnic area in the park for those who prefer to save a few pounds on food (like me)!

There was also an ice cream van and hot food van there (I don’t know if that’s available all the time though).

The trail was certainly pram friendly and I assume wheelchair friendly (please contact the park first to check), providing you stick to the path!

All in all, we had a great day and would certainly return again.

My top tips for visiting –

  • Wear comfy shoes 
  • Bring a bottle of water for the walk
  • Bring your camera. That’s a must!

giants lair

Skint Momma xx
Info correct at time of writing (22/03/16) Skint Momma is not affiliated with Slieve Gullion Forest Park in any way. Please contact them directly for any updated info.


Capturing Moments


Momma’s Fakeaway Salt and Chilli Chicken

theAnother great wee recipe to beat the craving for a takeaway, just have a fakeaway!

I came up with this recipe tonight after going through my cupboards and fridge drawers to see what I could work with.



OK, I won’t mess about, here’s the recipe…


You will need (serves 4) –

for the chicken…

3 x chicken breasts cut into strips

1 x packet of instant mash (I use Asda smart price, it has a finer, more floury texture than others I have used)

3/4 tbsp of salt

1 tbsp of fine black pepper

1 tbsp of garlic powder

3 x eggs, beaten in a small bowl


Mix all the dry ingredients together and spread onto a plate. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg mixture, then roll onto the dry mixture until each piece of chicken is thoroughly coated. Spray a casserole dish with oil spray, then lay the chicken strips onto it evenly and cook for 25-30 minutes at 200 degrees celcius. 


for the sauce…

1 x green pepper, finely sliced

1 x white onion, chopped

4 x mushrooms, sliced

2 x garlic cloves, chopped

1 tbsp of chilli powder (I used HOT, but this is entirely up to you)

1/2 tbsp salt

3 x tbsp soy sauce

2 x tbsp balsamic vinegar


fry off the garlic, onions, mushrooms and pepper in a little oil spray with a splash of water until they are softened. Sprinkle the chilli powder and salt on top and stir for a minute or two. Pour over the soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low until the chicken is ready.




Skint Momma xx

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