3 in 1 Pancakes


It’s pancake day.. and funnily enough National Scouse Day too. Living in Liverpool, Scouse is a big thing here…. But today we are just doing all things pancake…. Three ways in fact: Sweet Pancakes, Spinach pancakes and Pancakes you can toss.

I only ever used to make pancakes on Shrove Tuesday because you have to and we only ever had them with lemon and sugar. Fresh lemon though not Jif…can you still get those yellow plastic squeezy bottles shaped like a lemon these days?

Once I had kids I found myself making pancakes all the time.. for special breakfasts (crepes and nutella), for easy lunches (pancakes with ham and cheese), for quick dinners (spinach pancakes) and for simple puddings (pancakes with bananas and caramel sauce).

Spinach pancakes have been in my life for over 10 years…. my friend Emma told me about them.. and her sister in law Sally told her. They are a brilliant way to get your kids eating healthy greens without realising it. It doesn’t matter that the pancakes are green… kids love these and they actually ask for these as a special request dinner… so you can imagine that pretty soon every mum in the toddler group was churning out these little green babies for their toddlers to munch on…my kids still love these now

After a few disasterous pancake tossing sessions with the kids, where the poor pancake was in shreds before everyone had even had a turn…I came up with the recipe for pancakes you can toss. A really thick batter makes a super duper toss resistant pancake that you can play with for hours. These ones are obviously not for eating… they end up all over the place and tend to pick up dust!!

Pancakes are very easy and they are really quick to make.

What do you need to know:

  1. The first pancakes always go a bit wrong.. something to do with seasoning the pan, pan not quite hot enough yet.. butter not quite melted…who knows but everyone agrees.. the first pancake usually goes wrong – so if yours is not quite as crisp as you want.. move onto pancake two.. we all do… someone will still eat it!
  2. The pan needs to be nice and hot
  3. Only lightly grease the pan and pour off any excess butter or the pancake will go for a swim instead of crisping up
  4. Only use enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan in a thin layer.. not too thick

And that’s it..

This recipe is for 3 pancakes from one mix: Spinach pancakes, Sweet pancakes and Pancakes you can toss.

What you need

12oz plain flour

3 eggs

900ml milk

butter to cook


2oz extra flour

2 nuggets of frozen spinach

1 tbsp oil

grated cheese

What to do:

Put the flour in a bowl.

Add the eggs

Then whisk in the milk until it’s like double cream

Divide the mixture into 3 bowls.

Leave one as it is – this is the sweet pancake mix

Add 2oz more flour and a tbsp oil to one

And mix until very thick

This is the pancakes you can toss mixture

Then defrost 2 nuggets of spinach in a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes

Add to the bowl

And blitz with a handblender until green and smooth (no bits)

Now you can start cooking.

Melt a knob of butter in a non stick frying pan

Pour off any excess butter into a cup and add a ladleful of batter to coat the bottom of the pan

Leave it to cook for a few minutes until golden and flip over

Add some grated cheese

Roll up and serve

For the sweet pancakes, it’s the same process and you can just wipe out the pan to remove any cheese before cooking them.

Squeeze over lemon or lime and sprinkle on sugar

The Pancakes to toss are cooked in the same way but as the batter is thicker they look different in the pan.

Cook for a few minutes until golden as before and flip over

Put in a cold pan and let the kids go crazy tossing these as high as they can. The thickness means they don’t break as easily and can be used to play great games like pancake pan toss.

What you’ve never heard of it… well just get two people with two pans on either side of the kitchen. Chuck the pancake to each other catching it in your pan…. so much fun. The pancake will hit the ceiling, land on heads, get lost on the top of the fridge and will generally take a beating…

Let me know what you think via the comments and if you make it tag a photo #sixmixtricks on instagram

Love Livs



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Egg Fried Rice


This is  a staple dish in our house. I just love rice. If I had to choose between pasta, potatoes and rice…. rice it would be.  Although this recipe is for egg fried rice, you would use the same recipe to make ordinary rice, just leave out the egg and peas.

I usually make egg fried rice as a side dish but it’s also a great recipe to know for a quick simple dinner too. It’s a balanced meal in 15 minutes.

This is not strictly egg fried rice, it’s more like rice with fried egg in it but I prefer it this way because then the rice stays soft and fluffy.

It was my dad who taught me how to cook rice using the absorption method i.e. you end up with no water left in the pan…. just lovely cooked rice. He used to go all out putting a damp tea-towel over to the top of the pan to help it to steam…. I don’t. This is a very simple method using a very simple pan.

Rice can go horribly wrong but it won’t as long as you use the right rice.  Cheap rice = broken kernels = stodge. Good rice is a bit more expensive but it’s worth the extra money to avoid having to wash the rice a hundred times to remove all the excess starch and still ending up with your rice all stuck together. To get fluffy separated grains of rice, you need to use good rice, it’s as simple as that. Tilda is a good make, Amira is another.

What you need:

3 eggs
75ml milk
300ml basmati rice
600ml boiling water
a handful of frozen peas (&/or sweetcorn)

What to do:

Coat the bottom of a large pan (with a lid) with oil

Measure out the rice

Add it to the pan and stir to coat in the oil

Measure out the water

And add it to the pan

Bring the water to the boil, then turn down the heat to the lowest setting, put on the lid (if your lid doesn’t have a steam hole in it – put it three quarters over and leave a gap for the steam to escape and simmer for 15 minutes.

Then add a few knobs of butter

While that cooks:

Heat a knob of butter in non stick frying pan until melted

Mix the eggs and milk together in a bowl until combined

and pour into the pan.

Let it cook for a minute and then start pulling the egg in from the edges to the centre

until it’s all set. It should take about 2 minutes in all.

Microwave the peas and sweetcorn for 3 minutes

and add to the pan.

Stir to combine and serve.

Let me know what you think via the comments and if you make it tag a photo #sixmixtricks on instagram

Love Livs


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This has to be one of my all time favourite dinners. It’s easy to make, it tastes good, it’s very comforting and it can be used for both everyday and entertaining. I often rely on this dish when I’ve got a crowd coming for a get together because you can make a huge amount and it can be prepared advance. It’s also a great recipe for doing a big bulk batch to freeze so that you’ve got something delicious to pull out and re heat on those nights when you’re tired and can’t be bothered cooking.

You can do a quick pan version which is ready in 30 minutes or you can bung it in the slow cooker and let it simmer away all day (my favourite). It’s better slow cooked and even better reheated the next day when all the flavours have had a chance to develop. Chilli is generally made with minced beef but a mix of beef and pork is good and I like to do a turkey mince version because it’s healthier. Sometimes I make my own tomato sauce and sometimes I don’t. You can use tinned beans or you can soak dried beans overnight. It doesn’t matter which beans either: red kidney beans (for a bowl of red), pinto beans (cowboys favourite) or black beans (for black bean chilli. You can do an all-bean chilli and leave out the meat for vegetarians. You can keep it mild with just the taco seasoning or you can add in extra fresh finely chopped chillies at the end.

The point is, this dish is very versatile. It can be dead easy or super special. It’s up to you.

The best bit about chilli for me is all the yummy toppings that go with it. That’s what makes it taste so good. You’ve got to have some creamy guacamole, some cool sour cream, fresh coriander, a squeeze of zesty lime, finely chopped red onion or spring onion, lots of grated cheese and some crushed tortilla chips on top. And you need a big mound of buttery basmati rice to pile it on (see separate post)

What you need:

2 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 tbsp cornmeal
300ml tomato sauce
300ml water
1lb minced beef
a tin of beans (red kidney, black or pinto)
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
2 tsp taco seasoning
a handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped

What to do:

Put the oil in a pan, add the beef, onion, peppers and celery and cook for a few minutes until golden brown.

Add the taco seasoning

Then the cornmeal

Then the tomato sauce and water

Then the beans

Then fresh coriander

Then let it simmer for 30 minutes or slow cook all day.

Serve in a bowl it with a pile of rice and a selection of toppings.

Let me know what you think and if you make it tag a photo #sixmixtricks on instagram

Love Livs


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