Author Archives: rachael

March Recipe – Easy Ham and Cheese Quiche

Simple and filling, a quiche is a wonderful dish that can be served hot or cold. This is a recipe for a ham and cheese quiche but can be modified in any way you like: You can add vegetables such as peas and spring onions, substitute ham for whatever you fancy, make it crustless or with a crust! A quiche is a great way to really use leftovers needing just a few simple ingredients.

And for those who need a recipe for a shortcrust pastry, well, our Healthy Cooking team, working diligently from home, have went ahead and concocted a quick and simple recipe for that too!


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup Milk or half-and-half (Milk and cream )
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups diced ham ( or any meat, fish or vegetable alternative fillings)
  • 2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Short crust pastry or 1 deep dish Pastry case

* (pastry not required if making a crustless quiche).


Preheat oven to 190 °C/ fan °170 or Gas 5

1. Line a 8—10 inch flan dish with shortcrust pastry or *grease proof paper for a crustless quiche.

2. Melt butter in a small non stick pan and cook onion until soft. Let this cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Milk or half-and-half, salt and pepper.

4. Stir in ham (or meat alternative) and cheese (setting aside a small amount of cheese to sprinkle on the top).

5. Stir in cooked onion

6. Pour filling into pie crust or *lined quiche dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top

7.  Set on a baking sheet and place in oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set.

Serve warm or chilled.


Updated Contact Details: Affordable Warmth Team

Due to arrangements in regards to working from home, the contact details for our Affordable Warmth team have changed.

The team is still able to take and handle queries in regards to energy saving, saving money on energy bills and a lot more in regards to affordable warmth.

The team can be messaged as a whole from

The mobile numbers to contact for all non-emergency queries are:

Wendy Temple –  07415158713

Jen M – 7940786914

For emergency heating, Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Stay Safe & Warm scheme can be contacted on 01429 874063, providing electric blankets, heaters and more as necessary.

South Tees Affordable Warmth Partnership Action Plan 2020

Covering both Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland, the South Tees Affordable Warmth Action Plan 2020-2022 sets out how we can all combat the scourge of fuel poverty across the South Tees.

The impacts that fuel poverty has on physical and mental well-being cannot be understated. Likewise, the scale at which this area is experiencing it cannot be understated: Currently in Redcar & Cleveland, 12.1% of households are in fuel poverty; in Middlesbrough this rises to 15.4%. In total, this means that around 16,567 homes are in fuel poverty across South Tees.

This action plan should give some healthy insight into the steps being taken, and that will be taken, into combatting this complex problem. You can download the PDF via clicking the link below.

STAWP Action Plan 2020

Let’s Go Tees Valley – 2019 In Review

2019 was a highly successful year for Let’s Go Tees Valley! Thanks to you, more people travelled greener, more people had a #HappyCommute and more people walked and cycled to and from school and the workplace! This video highlights the fantastic 2019 Let’s Go Tees Valley had.

Special thanks to Let’s Go Tees Valley for this fantastic video!

Festive Recipe – Luxury Mincemeat Biscuits

These biscuits are crispy, fruity morsels of goodness: Perfect for festive celebrations…or at any time of the year, really! Bake up a batch and enjoy across the festive season with a cup of hot chocolate, tea or coffee!

100g butter
150g caster sugar
2 small free range eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
75g chopped walnuts
200g sweet mincemeat

1. Preheat oven to 180 °C/Gas Mark 4 and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
2. Cream the butter, sugar and eggs together, then beat in the vanilla.
3. Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda together, and add to butter mixture. Mix until well blended.
4. Stir in the nuts and mincemeat, mix well.
5. Drop 20g of the biscuit mix onto the prepared baking trays. Use a fork dipped in plain flour to press the biscuits down to even thickness. Please make sure you leave enough of a gap between the biscuits as they do spread.
6. Bake the biscuits for 8 to 10 minutes until light but golden brown for a soft eat, if you prefer a crispy crunchy biscuit bake them for 12 – 15 minutes, dust them with icing sugar and leave them to cool on a cooling rack.

Festive Recipe – Orange and Ginger Stained Glass Biscuits

These fantastic spiced biscuits make for lovely treats at Christmas or…anytime, really! With just the right touch of spice and that hit of sweetness, these biscuits are certain to become everyday favourites!


Sunflower oil for greasing
175g plain flour, plus extra
1 tsp ground ginger
Zest of 1 orange
100g cold butter, cut into chunks
50g golden caster sugar
1 tablespoon milk
12 fruit flavoured boiled sweets
Icing sugar to dust
About 120 cm ribbon to decorate


1) Heat oven to 180 degress celsius/fan, or gas mark 4. Grease 2 large non stick baking sheets with oil.
2) Whizz the flour, ginger, zest and butter with 1/2 tsp salt to fine crumbs in a food processor.
3) Pulse in the sugar and milk, then turn out and kneed briefly on a floured surface till smooth
4) Wrap in cling film, then chill for about 30 mins
5) Flout the work surface again, then roll out the dough to the thickness of a  £1 pound coin. Using a 7cm cutter cut out main shape of cookie, then using a 4cm cutter to cut out the middles. Re-roll leftover pieces. Make a hole in the top  of each biscuit, then carefully lift onto the baking sheets
6) Crush the sweets into their wrappers with a rolling pin, then put the pieces into the middle of the biscuits—the sweets should be level with the top of the dough.
7) Bake for 15-20 mins until golden and sweets have melted
8) Leave to harden, then transfer to rack to cool.
9) Make some icing and decorate or just dust with icing sugar.

Festive Recipe – Creamy Carrot and Parsnip Soup

Don’t chuck out your vegetables, don’t waste that cream and don’t toss out that butter: This creamy carrot and parsnip soup is a fantastic, warming treat that makes the most of root vegetables this winter! Soups are perfect for making use of leftovers, and this soup is certainly an indulgent treat!


1 tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1 cm cubes
450g carrots, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp freshly grated root ginger
600 ml boiling water
1 stock cube
Grated orange rind
100 ml single cream
Salt and pepper
Dried chilli pepper flakes or paprika to garnish


1. Melt butter and fry onion until soft. Add the carrots and parsnips, fry for 3 minutes.
2. Add stock, ginger and orange rind to pan.
3. Simmer for 30 minutes until carrots and parsnips are soft.
4. Remove from heat and blend with hand blender.
5. Stir in cream, season with salt and pepper.
6. Warm through and serve with crusty bread.



Festive Recipe – Winter Vegetable Crumble

This wonderful Winter Vegetable Crumble is a hearty delight that is perfect for tea-time! The mustard, creme fraiche and thyme give it a wonderful flavour, while the crumble topping adds extra substance to a flavourful dish. It’s certainly one to try!


400ml vegetable stock
450g celeriac, peeled and diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion chopped
3 small potatoes, peeled and diced
2 leeks, sliced
200ml tub crème fraîche
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp thyme

Crumble Topping

50g butter, diced
100g plain flour
50g strong cheddar,grated
25g flaked almonds

1. Pour the stock into a pan and bring to the boil. Tip in the celeriac, carrots and potato, then add the leeks. Cover the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes.
2. Beat the crème fraîche with the flour and mustard. Stir into the vegetables until thickened, then add the thyme and season. Remove from the heat.
3. For the crumble, rub the butter into the flour. Season, then stir in the cheese and flaked almonds. Spoon the filling into small ovenproof dishes and scatter the crumble on top. If freezing, wrap in cling film, then foil. To defrost, thaw overnight in the fridge.
4. To cook, heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and bake for 30-35 mins until golden.