Sunday, March 27, 2011

What to do with the leftovers?

I'm always up for trying out new things with leftovers, as I hate to waste food, but my greed always forces me to make too much.  Last night I still had quite a large amount of a Beef joint leftover from the meal the night before and really did not fancy just making a roast with it, as of course I wanted to do that on Sunday  like I said it was very large joint).  I only really had pasta or potatoes to work with too.  But the resulting dish was a success and this is always a moment of joy for me when that happens.  It may need a little tweaking as I used ingredents that just happened to be around but a pleasure to eat all the same.  I will take a picture next time that this dish comes my way as I was a little rushed to feed everyone last night, but so excited I just had to share it.  Quanities are not very precise as I was winging it a bit and didn't weight anything, so just adjust to how much you need and to taste.

In a large pan bring water to the boil and add the Pasta of your choice.  Once in, melt some Butter in a seperate pan and then add Flour to make a roux, about 2 tbsp of each.  Then slowly add in Beef Stock until to get a sauce that is just a bit thicker that double cream.  In another pan heat 1 tbsp of Butter and Oil and Gently soften Half an Onion, sliced.  Once softened add 1/2 tsp Mustard Powder, the leftover cooked Beef, cut in to strips, 1 Clove of Garlic, 2 tsp Fresh Tyhme, a good couple of handfuls of sliced Mushrooms and plenty of Black Pepper and heat through.  Just before the pasta is ready add some Cream to the sauce, I used a good dollop of Clotted Cream, as that's all I had in the fridge, but Double Cream would be great also.  Drain the pasta and return to the large pan, add in the Beef and Sauce and mix well.  Serve x

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dinner for Two

A few weeks ago now my lovely Hubby suggested getting the kids to bed early and having a nice Venison dish with the meat still in the freezer from New Year.  So as the Venison defrosted I set about trying to find the prefect dish for our late evening meal the following day.  After much trawling through the internet and the mass of cook books scattered around the house, I settled on a Blackberry Sauce recipe.  After all I still had a good stash in the freezer and what a nice change to use them in a savoury dish instead of Crumbles and Blackberry Vodka, which is where they normally end up.  I served the Pan-Fried Venison and Blackberry Sauce with neeps and tatties and baby carrots.  Well it was to die for, especially with a nice big glass of Red to help it down.  The following evening, however, all cosy on the sofa for my weekly dose of Masterchef, the dish I devoured the previous evening was being lovely made by the contestants to feed the hungry Scots!  I made the dish again last week with Broccoli and Celeriac and Potato Mash, so that I could post a picture to wet your appetite and hopefully get you in the kitchen to try it out.  I have only written out the recipe for the Venison and Blackberry Sauce as you can serve with whatever veg tickles your fancy on the day xx

Pan-Fried Venison with Blackberry Sauce

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

  • 2 Thick Venison Steaks

  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

  • 150 ml Beefstock (I used 2 tsp of Beef Stock Concentrate)

  • 2 tbsp Redcurrant Jelly

  • 1 Clove of Garlic, crushed

  • 85 g Blackberries (Fresh or frozen)

While the pan is heating up, oil and season the Venison Steaks.  Pan-fry for 5 minutes on one side then turn and cook for a further 3-5 minutes.  Set the steaks to one side to rest while you prepare the Sauce.  To the pan that you fried the steaks in, add the Balsamic Vinegar, then the stock, Redcurrant Jelly and Garlic.  Stir over a quite high heat to blend everything together, then add the Blackberries and cook until softened.  Serve with the veg of your choice.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Clotted Cream Fudge

Being of the Cornish persuasion, I like nothing more that nice slab of Clotted Cream Fudge.  I have tried a few fudge recipes in the past, and although delicious, are not a spot on the one that I tried out yesterday.  I tend to try and make Fudge so that my husband can take it to work and share it at 'crib'.  However, it got left behind this morning... Guess I will have to make more for next week, as I don't think this batch will last the day, nevermind the weekend!  Give it a try, I found it to be the simplest, quickest and easiest fudge recipe that I have tried.  Also I have added the link to the original recipe and a video with Gizzie Erskine in the Recipe section.  I will also add that in the recipe it states 1/2 tsp of Vanilla and Gizzie says 1 tbsp in the video, so I went on the safe side and just added 1/2 tbsp, and found it to be enough, but have a try and add more or less as you feel it needs it.

  • 275g Golden Caster Sugar

  • 100g Light Muscovado Sugar

  • 225g Clotted Cream

  • 1/2 tbsp Vanilla Extract

Firstly weight out all the ingredients and place in a large saucepan.  Place on a gentle heat and allow all the ingredients to melt together and the sugars to full dissolve.  Then turn up the heat and bring to the boil, cover with a lid and let simmer for 3 minutes.  Now check the temperature with a sugar thermometer, it should be at 116c or soft ball.  If needed allow to simmer with the lid off until it reaches soft ball.  Remove from the heat and beat until the mixture becomes matt, thick and creamy.  Pour into a greased 20cm tin and set aside to cool.  Once fully cooled cut into chunks and store in an airtight container.  And don't for get to leave one or two pieces out for quality control x

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pancake Day!

This year for Pancake Day I thought that something a little more special was in order.  And when I saw the link for a Chocolate Praline Pancake cake, I thought what could be better, Pancakes, Chocolate and Cake all in one... Brilliant.  I did however fancy changing just a couple of things, and that was to use Clotted Cream in place of the Double Cream and Whisky instead of Rum or Brandy.  The resulting Chocolate Sauce turned out so delicious, I just hoped that I would not eat it all before I could put together the pancake cake!  The Cake did get made and was a real hit with all the family.  If you'd like to have a try at this awesome recipe for yourself then check it out in the Recipe section of my blog.  Who needs Pancake Day anyway....Treat yourself. x

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Most Moreish Cookies

Ever get that craving for those big soft and gooey in the middle, crunchy on the edges, with total sugar hit cookies that you buy from the shops and bakeries, but are hard pushed to find the motivation to leave the house.  Then this recipe is guaranteed to satisfy those urges we all tend to suffer with from time to time.  And this hunger could not be fed by anything more than these cookies minutes from the oven.  Just keep these  store cupboard essentials in stock and you'll never be far away from heaven with a soft centre.  And for those who are super organised, simply roll up your dough into a cling filmed sausage, freeze and then whenever the moment is required, just take from freezer, slice and bake.  Instant satisfaction!


  • 250g Plain Flour

  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 170g Butter

  • 200g Soft Brown Sugar

  • 100g Caster Sugar

  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

  • 1 Egg

  • 1 Egg Yolk

  • 300g Chocolate Chips ( Dark, Milk, White... You decide, or mix them up )

Pre-heat your oven to 170 c ( 325 f, Gas Mark 3).  Line and grease your baking trays.  Now put your butter in a saucepan over a low heat and allow to gently melt.  Whilst you waiting sift together the Plain Flour, Bicarbonate of Soda and the salt into a bowl.  Place the Soft Brown Sugar and Caster Sugar together in another bowl or food mixer and add the melted butter.  Mix together until fully combined.  Then add in the Vanilla Extract and Eggs.  Continue to mix for another minute, then add your dry ingredients.  Now remove from the mixer and stir in the chocolate chips.  If you want to save your dough for another day, now would be the time to place the cookie dough onto some cling film and form into a sausage about an inch thick, twist up the ends and place into your freezer until required.  If you can't wait, then gently drop approx 4 tbsp of dough onto your baking sheets, keeping about 8cm apart.  There is no need to shape the dough as the cookies will form perfectly in the oven.  Place in the oven and allow 15-17 minutes to cook.  Once your cookies are removed from the oven, leave them to rest for a couple of minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  The only thing to do then is enjoy the fruits of your labour.

If you have frozen you cookie dough then remove from the freezer and cut slices of approx 3-4cm thick and lay on your baking sheet.  Allow 15-17 minutes in the oven.

As always, variety is the spice of life!  So feel free to experiment with different flavours.  I also love White Chocolate and Cranberry.

Welcome to my Kitchen

First of all I thought I would say Hello and Welcome.  Pour yourself a cuppa and make yourself at home. x