Thrifty Sausage Casserole

This recipe was an absolute godsend at university. Aside from the slightly time-consuming process of chopping a ton of veg (which is a lot easier if you club together), this is an easy one pot wonder that can feed a crowd and provide a vitamin hit while remaining on a tight budget. Because it bubbles away for a while, it means that if you’ve got some sorry looking veg at the bottom of your fridge it’s so easy to use up those last bits and adapt to whatever you’ve got in.

It’s important that you use some half-decent fat¬†sausages in this, Wall’s just won’t do. For spending that little extra bit of cash, you’ll get such a meaty and herby flavour that makes this that little bit special.

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Technical Difficulties!

Like the complete and utter klutz I am, I have managed to both lose to USB cable to connect my camera to my laptop and break my card reader, boo! Consequently, I have a backlog of recipe photos but no ability to use them, which is very frustrating!

However, I’m just going to go old-fashioned (well only kind of, considering this is being written via the internet) and publish all the recipes and leave the finished images up to the imagine. Anyway, I love reading my mum and gran’s old recipe books, before the ages of immaculately styled photographs and step-by-step stages. I like being able to imagine what the finished product should look like just from a description after all, and it’s always good to channel our creative side every so often!

Once I (finally) get a grip and invest in some half decent technology I’ll update the posts with photos, promise!

Autumn Breakfast Muffins

As a new season and new term starts, it’s time for a new recipe. I made these in the slight hope of making a dent in the enormous quantity of apples we now have stacked in the garage after a particularly autumnal wind brought them all down from some of the trees in the garden. Even after stewing and pie-ing and eating, it still looks the same! Apples, raisins and a hit of cinnamon make these muffins deliciously seasonal.

These fruit-packed muffins are ideal for when mornings get the better of us and a grab-and-go breakfast is essential. Despite the misleading title, they are also brilliant for lunches as they are a bit more robust than the usual muffin – they can be slung in the bottom of a rucksack for the day and still come out looking like a muffin! Like most muffins, these freeze well and can double up as an ice pack in a little one’s lunchbox, defrosting (hopefully!) just in time for lunch.¬†

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Pistachio Pops

These arose from the annual glut of courgettes. After having them grilled, fried, baked, and in soup and chutney, and still having a never ending supply from the veg patch, I started looking for more creative ways to use them up.

I first heard of Harry Eastwood and her vegetable adventures on BBC Breakfast (while in a hotel room in Iceland, bizarrely) a few years ago, and subsequently bought her book, the gorgeously named Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache. However, as often happens with cookbooks, it had been pushed to the back of the shelf and largely forgotten about until my courgette quest led me to turf it out. It’s such a beautifully written and photographed book that it’s worth a read even if you never intend to make any of the recipes, but on discovering the dregs of a packet of pistachio nuts I had to experiment.

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Power Brunch: Poached eggs two ways

Eggs are definitely one of my favourite ways to start the day. Not only are there so many ways to cook them (Poached, fried, boiled, scrambled, baked blah blah), but they manage to keep me full until at least elevenses, which in my opinion is impressive. Eggs have had a fair bit of bad press lately due to the fairly high cholesterol in the yolk, hence the anaemic and kind of gross looking egg-white omelettes that are popping up all over the internet. Not only are these poor people missing out on the most flavoursome part of the egg, in my frugal Yorkshire it also seems a huge shame to be wasting half an egg for silly reasons, especially as that’s the part that contains some pretty important vitamins. As well as this, recent research has indicated that saturated fat, rather than dietary cholesterol, is the bad guy (you can have a gander over some egg facts here). So, if it’s good enough to grow a little yellow chick from scratch, I’m pretty sure it’ll be alright for me!

Anyway, I digress, back to breakfast. Here’s a little recipe for a power pack of vitamins and nutrients to start the day. I only intended to use avocado to snuggle my egg on, but I found some leftover beetroot hummus in the fridge (as you do) so I decided to experiment. Firstly though, is the base of the dish: toast. If you can, make sure you use some nice wholemeal, seeded or sourdough bread or muffins, even if it’s been lingering at the bottom of the bread bin for a bit too long it’ll toast up beautifully. Light and airy white bread (think the kind perfect with a ham sandwich) is pretty useless here, as it tends to lose all form and smush onto the plate. This recipe is great if you’ve got a slightly over-ripe sorry looking avocado, because as you’ll be smashing it up and covering it with an egg the beautifully sliced and uniformly green type will be wasted here.

(There’s a very high chance your egg will look more attractive than this, I dropped mine!)

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