Mackerel Pate

January 22, 2017

I posted this recipe a few years ago, way back in the beginnings of Holly Likes to Cook. But as it something that in my fridge so often I wanted to post an updated recipe with a couple of tweaks.

Once of the killers for me when I'm trying to eat a little healthier is convenience- even more so now with the kiddos.

I would much prefer to eat toast smothered in smoked salmon & creme fraich or cashew ricotta & pesto. To satisfy my munchies with a fresh made salsa & corn chips or pitta & pea hummus dip... But when there's only moments left of nap time (if you've been following me on instagram stories you'll understand) it seems a lot easier to grab a slice of leftover pizza and chug a coke.

I've upped my game on batch cooking to limit how much left over pizza is in my fridge, so now I've got to stock up with easy to grab lunch options and mackerel pate is one of my favs.

This updated recipe uses a lower fat content cream cheese, dill instead of tarragon, and does away with the butter crust. Tarragon is delicious with mackerel and I'll definitely switch up the herbs I use when making batches of this pate, but the cream cheese tastes no different and I don't miss the butter topping- which saves me a few fat filled calories!

I'm no evangelist when it comes to healthy eating (i'm writing this right now with a Dominos box next to me.. so there will be left over pizza in the fridge tomorrow #babysteps). I think that a 'everything in moderation' approach is the way to go, you can ramp up the indulgence in this recipe by using full fat cream cheese and topping the pate off with melted butter and it WILL TASTE AWESOME. 

You can also swap out some of those heavy hitters for equally delicious lighter alternatives which will give you a little wiggle room on treats for the rest of the week. Have your cake (or pate) and eat it.


12oz mackerel- i've previously used smoked mackerel but I tried this recipe with tinned and it came out fab, just be sure to check for bones
8oz Neufchatel cream cheese
juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 heaped tablespoons chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper
toast, to serve 


Drain the tins of mackerel of excess oil and add to a mixer or food processor. You can make this by hand but it's SO much easier to use a gadget! 

Add the cream cheese, lemon juice and zest. (If you are going to make this by hand let the cream cheese stand at room temperature for half an hour or so to let it soften. It'll make it easier to mix)

Mix well until completely blended. When you have the texture you like add in the dill. It's better to wait until the end to add the dill, other wise it can get over blended and give the pate a green hue.

The pate will store in the fridge for a week in waiting for you to heap it on to taste whole grain bread. 

It goes brilliantly with beetroot, radish and avocado as well!

If you fancy adding the butter topping to individual potted portions of pate, check out my original post (from nearly five years ago?!) here.



January 16, 2017

If you're trying to turn over a new healthy leaf in 2017 hop on over to the Mac and Mia blog where I've shared some of my favourite recipes to get you on the right track.

There's no need to cut out flavour, go hungry or live off lettuce to feel healthy (in fact you'll feel anything but- an pretty miserable to boot). Pizza, meatballs and pasta, & roasted port with creamy bean stew are all on the menu, whilst fitting into your healthy eating plan.

I've been trying to get more active this year. Now the boy are happy in a big kid stroller instead of their car seats, it's easier to take them on walks somewhere other than the mall or grocery store!

We've been covering some ground recently (in all weathers!) thanks to our new Baby Jogger Summit X3 (#notsponsoredjustawesome) keeping the kiddos on the move, and my Rockport boots (sponsored but still super awesome) keeping my toes toasty warm. Take a peak at why I love my #madeformovers Rockports, and proof that we do tramp through the snow to meet our daily step goal over on my last blog post.

What's your key to keeping (or getting) fit? Do you have new goals for 2017?

Find the full recipes for these three dishes over on the Mac and Mia blog now!


Hello January + Rockport Shoes: Made for Movers

January 11, 2017

Hello January! The month of New Years resolutions and good intentions... that usually fall by the wayside a few weeks later.

My favourite time of the year has always been September; It's always felt like a new start. I think it must be a hangover from school days, but that feeling of a new (school) year, new stationary, new projects, the next chapter, always made me feels excited and renewed.

As I get further away from my school years (yikes!) January has snuck into performing that 'fresh new start' feeling for me. 

My husband calls me Scrooge because of it, but I do love taking down the Christmas decorations right after New Years Eve and seeing the house look so clean and comparatively uncluttered. It's a slightly different feeling this year as the absence of decorations has revealed more of the new home we are living in, more walls to be painted and DIY projects to completed; though that in itself is quite exciting.

Like most, I want to get fitter this year, not just because of the excess of the holiday season but to get my body back to where I'm comfortable after the birth of my boys.

I may be one of the only women who put on weight AFTER the birth of their twins! Though the boys were thankfully unaffected by it, I struggled to gain weight during my pregnancy. I think I put on about 20lbs during the entire pregnancy due to hyperemesis gravidarum up until 15 weeks, then the absence of appetite once the sickness dispersed.

Post birth, the stress and focus of the boys being in the NICU whilst I breastfed/pumped milk had me rushing around and not really taking much notice of what I was eating. As such, I was at my slimmest of the last ten years about six weeks after the boys were born.

Once they were home and our stress levels mellowed a bit, the pounds started creeping on through a combination of comfort foods, little cardio exercise (unfortunately getting up eight times a night and changing twenty diapers a day didn't count!) and being too exhausted to care!

Now I'm ready to get back into shape, my focus is on fitness rather than appearance (though having just booked our first summer holiday in five years, feeling happy in beachwear wouldn't be an awful side effect!).

Now that i've treated ourselves to a fancy new stroller (the Baby Jogger Summit X3 Double) and snagged Charlie's hand me down FitBit, walking has become a regular feature of mine and the babies day. Daddy joins us on the weekends for something a little more adventurous and further afield.

I have fibromyalgia, so I find that gentle exercise in well supporting gear is best for me. I've never really taken the time to invest in my footwear, previously I've been more likely to be in ballet pumps or Ugg boots- cute, but neither offer much support for active folks.

I'm wholly embracing #mumlife, but theres a limit- I'm not ready for run of the mill tennis shoes. Supportive of ones knees and back though they may be, i'm not about that life.

Then along came Rockport. Their Made for Movers (#madeformovers) campaign "celebrates the freedom of movement and the inspiration behind it, spotlighting the passionate shoemakers at Rockport and the ever-moving people who wear them." 

Knowing that their "customers are constantly on-the- go, doing what they love... want[ing] to look good and feel good without a second thought" they offer supporting, quality shoes without compromising on style.

I chose their Cobb Hill FreshExcite boots to add to my closet. I loved that they looked like stylish hiking boots, something I could wear on the trail or at the grocery store with my skinny jeans.

I've be stomping around in these babies for a month or two now, pretty much the only time they aren't on my feet is when I'm in bed. Not only were they great when we went to choose our Christmas tree on a chilly but dry day in December; they've proven not to be a case of style over substance as my toes have been kept toasty warm during our snowy January.

Rockport have an awesome sale on over on their website where my booties are down from $160 to just $99! (This isn't an affiliate link or money earner for me, just a heads up on how to treat yo feet).


I'll keep you posted on the success of my winter walking campaign (anyone want to hold me accountable and be a FitBit friend hit me up!) and be posting a little review of the Baby Jogger Summit X3 Double once I've given it a bit more of a test run.

What are your New Years Resolutions? Did you find it tough fitting in exercise to your new #mumlife/#momlife? Let me know if you get yourself a pair of Rockports!

Thank you so much to Rockport for gifting me the most amazing boots my feet have ever had the pleasure of hanging out in. Whilst I did not have to pay for my shoes, I was asked to offer my genuine opinion of how they performed in return. I did not guarantee a positive review so these options and experiences are my own honest ones. Though I did receive compensation in the form of goods for this post I only work with brands and products I genuinely enjoy. 

If you would like to work with me please feel free to reach out at