Slow Cooked Rendang Curry (with Coconut Oil!)

Have you ever cooked using Coconut Oil? Well, I hadn’t but when I saw this fab challenge from HIBS100 to come up with a recipe using Vita Coco Coconut Oil, I decided to give it a go! Therefore, this recipe is an entry into the #Swearbyit challenge with Vita Coco. Find more great coconut oil recipes and tips on using coconut oil at

My coconut oil arrived through the post and is organic, cold-pressed and, as they say at Vita Coco, ready to impress!


This one little pot of delicious smelling divineness (ok, made up word!) can  be used for cooking, baking, nourishing hair and lots more. Once I started talking about it to people I found out I was behind the times as they’re already converted! Pah! So, here’s my catch-up lesson.

As we’re off sweet stuff (in theory) at the moment I decided to go for a savoury dish, and as I was so in the dark about coconut oil, I decided a visit to our local butcher was in order. He’s a really helpful guy who comes up with some brilliant ideas himself and who is currently working on a range of “takeaway” meals so people can eat fresh but quickly if they’re in a hurry. He’d not tried coconut oil yet either (maybe another convert?!) but between us we decided that curry seemed like a natural choice to cook up something extra tasty. To my eternal shame, when he mentioned Rendang I’d never heard of it – to the extent I had to get him to spell it out so I could write it down so I could start searching for the curry paste! I left with some beef and that hunting gleam in my eye!

Before trotting up there, I phoned the local supermarket to see if they had any Rendang  Curry Sauce – I was very pleased they’d never heard of it either and I ended up spelling it for them too! I was even more pleased that they had it in stock – aisle 5, right hand side, cashier end if you’re ever in my local supermarket…..

So, that was 2 ingredients sorted.  I decided, as Kev’s working away at the moment, with a drive home of anything from 1 1/2 hours (more depending on road and weather conditions) a slow cooker recipe seemed to be a good idea.

I gathered together some other ingredients which I thought would go well and this turned out to be my final list –


1tbsp Coconut Oil
Bunch of spring onions (You could use ordinary onion but I was going for “the look”!)
1.5lb diced braising steak
2tbsp Rendang Curry Paste
Tin of chopped tomatoes
Tin of coconut milk
Red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste



Melt 1tbsp coconut oil in a frying pan and add spring onions, cut whichever way you prefer – I went length-ways….not sure why!

Spoon onions into slow cooker and turn up heat before adding seasoned beef to the frying pan.

Flash fry beef, adding 2tbsp Rendang Curry Paste as you stir. Once the meat is browned, pop the whole lot into the slow cooker.

Lower the heat on frying pan and add the tin of tomatoes in order to de-glaze the pan and to get all the delicious flavours from the pan to the slow cooker.

Tip tomatoes into slow cooker.

Pour coconut milk into slow cooker.

You could at this point add the sliced red pepper but I decided to leave mine until an hour before the end of cooking time so that they’d have a bit more texture to them.


Pop the lid on the slow cooker and set it according to your instruction manual. As we were eating at an undetermined time, I put mine on low heat and left it on for approximately 7 hours.

As Rendang is Asian inspired (yup, afraid I was educated by the lid of the jar to start with!) I decided to serve the curry with plain long grain rice to which I added a few squishes of lime juice together with a light grating of the rind of the lime, just for another dash of colour!


Given that I’d tackled so many firsts in one go, I was SO pleased with the resulting meal. It was an absolute triumph, if I say so myself!

We’ve got lots more coconut oil left (tho some is going to go on my bumpy bits on my arms….ta to my sister for that advice!!) and some of the curry paste too so we’ll definitely be having this again. Yay! Thank you so much to HIBS100 and Vita Coco for the inspiration and for giving me a kick into trying something new – I’d forgotten how much I enjoy it! And thank you very much to my local butcher at Porkies (!). If ever you get stuck for ideas, a trip to your local independent butcher may well be your best first step too….



W is for … White Stuff #A-ZPhotoChallenge


Don’t reallyIMG_0080 need many words to explain this one, but since when has that stopped me?!

It is a lovely idea from White Stuff – they want YOU to help them raise £16K for their local shop charities by creating your own unique patch – see the photographed leaflet for details.

You can pick up your patch from your local shop and then return it, decorated, to the shop by 10th March. Your local shop will be having a tea, cake and judging event which sounds right up my street!

The winner from each shop will receive a £50 White Stuff voucher and go forward for a chance to win a crafting holiday in Italy.

BUT, the best thing is that for every patch entered White Stuff will donate £5 to your local shop’s charity AND all of the patches will become part of a cushion or quilt that will be sent to your shop’s charity. Now, that really is a win/win situation!

If you’d like to see more details, or for some inspiration, check out or pop into your store. If you can’t get into your local store to drop off your completed patch, you can submit it by post, so don’t let that stop you!

If you’re going to take part in this great challenge, I’d love to see what you come up with! #WSAreYouThready









Not sure?

Here’s a photo of the kit you can buy from White Stuff to get you inspired!  Go on, challenge yourself and raise money for charity too!


Popping Into Poole #mysundayphot


I did think I’d taken some reasonable photos of our trip into Poole. It was a lovely sunny day and the skies were blue. However, when I got home they looked washed out and grey. Fortunately, this photo taken as we were leaving, moving along, through the car window, came out much better!

As with last week’s day out, things happened spur of the moment and not entirely to plan (as I’ve said before, when do they go to plan in this blog?!). We’d driven over to Poole for my husband to look at a car. He’d phoned prior to us leaving to check it was still available and arranged to meet the sales guy, told him how long we’d take to get there (best part of 2 hours). However, he forgot to take his phone with him so we missed the phone call and text message to say that the car had been sold as we were mid-journey. After delivering the news they didn’t suggest we look at any other cars they had in stock, so we decided just to leave, cut our losses and have a look around Old Poole instead. Good choice!

The harbour area is lovely. The views are stunning. The seabirds, as you may have seen in my previous post, were eyecatching and entertaining. Lusting after the yacht-age in the harbour was mouth-watering. Imagining living in the amazing water-side houses was good fun. So, forget about cars, take a trip down to the water, a wander around town, eat fish and chips and be happy! We will be back!




Berry Head Revisited

No, we’ve not really been back, but I thought it was a shame to just leave the post there without adding more of the photos we took at the weekend. Hopefully some of those of you living nearby will be inspired to take a visit, or re-visit, yourselves (can I have commission do you think?!).

IMG_2708 You’ll be pleased to hear that you don’t just have to put up with my useless explanations of how the place works and what you can see. As well as an interactive visitors centre, there are handy information boards on the way around. There’s also the opportunity to listen in on the Berry Head Audio Trail; 15 points which take you on a journey from the tip of the headland right around the site, collecting rubbings on the way – there’s also a Children’s Trail.

Here are some more photos from around the site.


Here’s a few of The Guardhouse Cafe too, just to persuade you that it’s a good idea to pop in there!


Day Tripper – #MySundayPhoto


Sometimes unexpected and unplanned days out are the best. You have no pre-formed expectations and you’re just happy to be out and about and experiencing something new.

Kev wasn’t too happy when I suggested a trip to Berry Head. The roads to get there are often busy and at the moment it involves negotiating a huge mass of roadworks too. However, as he’d worked on the refurb of the facilities and cafe up there some years ago, the temptation was too big for him and we negotiated our way down there. His prior knowledge of the back roads was very helpful and we soon found ourselves there, wandering around in the sun on a lovely warm February afternoon.

Berry Head towers 200 feet above the English Channel and has the remains of constructions built during the Napoleonic, Cold and Second World Wars. During those times it housed observation points, anti-aircraft guns, lighthouses and 18th and 19th century naval signalling stations.

Today, as well as visiting these remains, it is a wonderful area for butterflies, insects and birds. A nicely perched bird hide allows you to watch over the coastline unseen. Even if the wildlife isn’t your “thing” the breathtaking views and plunging cliffs are well worth seeing.

We popped into the splendid Guardhouse Cafe for a lovely cuppa and superb bowl of chilli with cheesy chips and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you call in there too if you find yourself in the area. Quite handily their website will give you a good idea of the weather conditions if you check it before you leave home. If the weather’s too bad – they’re closed! If you sign up to their newsletter you’ll also be kept informed of their events at the cafe, which sound lip-smackingly tantalising.

It really was a lovely few hours away and we’ll definitely be going back. It just goes to show that when sunny days present themselves this time of year, you really should make the most of it. Lovely memories are made and it really does make the weekend seem so much longer having been out and done something.



A-Z Foodie Challenge – H is for … Hazelnuts


I’m delighted to tell you that I especially saved my hazelnut challenge for today knowing it’s World Nutella Day…..but of course I’m lying and it is in fact a very happy coincidence, although I will be celebrating World Nutella Day from now on!

I copied Linda this month and looked on Pinterest for inspiration for a recipe. I was, in all honesty, looking for a savoury recipe but when I found a recipe for The Moistest Chocolate Mug Cake and read the details (Prep Time 1 min/Cook Time 1 min!!!!) I was sold. If you’d like to check out the recipe for The Moistest Chocolate Mug Cake, it appears on the Table For Two blog here. It may have taken a MASSIVE 2 minutes to prep and cook but it took mere seconds for Holly and I to demolish it! I added a swirl of double cream and some crushed hazelnuts just to cover up for my guilt of not using the “real thing” in the recipe!


Linda’s gone down the microwave path too this time with her Microwave Nut Caramels which were absolutely gorgeous to eat and gave me a real energy boost in the afternoon when I was flagging. Check out her blog to find out all about them – this is they….

linda's nuts

Will add Frances and her culinary creation soon and look forward to I is for Icing next time.