Sausage Casserole

I do quite like a good sausage casserole and the ones I’ve made in the past usual involve some form of lentil or bean! I’ve not made one quite like this before..

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I didn’t have streaky bacon so just used back bacon, and I am going to admit it was actually quite tempted to make an extra bacon wrapped sausage for me to eat while this was cooking!!

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Once cooked I put in the casserole and covered with the veg..

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I just added a little water rather than either defrost some stock or make up an entire cube just for a couple spoonfuls!

After 30 minutes the sausages were looking cooked but there was a lot of liquid still in the dish, so I put back in the oven to give it the full 40 minutes.

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Doesn’t look very appealing at this point! I decided to serve this with some mashed potato. The veg are all really soft and there is loads of sauce which I poured over the plates..

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So don’t judge this on it’s looks (yet again I am struggling to make my photographs look appealing!!), as this is a really good sausage casserole! The sausages are good, veg all good and it’s perfect with the mash and all that lovely sauce poured over!

Would I make this again? Yes I would!!

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Curried Eggs

This does not sound like a very exciting dinner and it doesn’t look like much either!

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I used to find it a bit annoying that I didn’t like eggs; they’re low fat, cheap and quick to cook in various ways. I’m still not loving basic egg dishes but I actually thought I may enjoy this due to the fact that the egg is getting smothered in a curry sauce!!

The sauce is quite a typical curry sauce for this book, although I’m surprised there’s no raisins or sultanas thrown in! I was halving this and found that the sauce thickened very quickly..

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After simmering for only 10 minutes the sauce was starting to stick to the bottom of the pan, so I added a touch more water. Making rice and boiling an egg isn’t exactly very taxing!!

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I had opted to make individual positions just for the two of us. The sauce doesn’t look very appealing and yet again I think my photos are such a disappointment! Think I’m going to start using props to make the food I cook look better!

Anyway I did sprinkle with paprika but had to omit the parsley, my stash in the garden has pretty much been used up!

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So this was dinner and I have to say it really was a rather tasty dinner! I was so surprised how much I enjoyed it! The sauce is great, nice and thick with a really intense flavour. I guess the egg is just a vehicle for the sauce, but this is a really low cost dinner and good for those days when there’s now much left in the cupboards!

Would I make this again? Yes I would!!

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Veal Birds

So I know this may not appeal to very many people but I did actually quite like the veal I cooked for the very first time earlier this year. I did have to call my gran and ask her if she ate veal a lot as there is a chapter full of veal recipes! She has never had veal, so not sure how popular these recipes would’ve been back at the time of this book.

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I started with the stuffing (think the term forcemeat sounds revolting!!) and I was using one slice of regular bread and a small egg, but it did all look a bit disgusting..

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Then I didn’t have streaky bacon so just used regular which I assume won’t really make much of a difference..

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Next I spread on some of the scrambled egg like stuffing and then attempted roll into neat parcels! Once tied up with string they were looking relatively secure..

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Then they were quickly browned in a pan..

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For the tomato sauce stage I just used a whole can and didn’t bother to add any water. I was thinking that an hour and a half was an awful long time for this to be simmering so I decided an hour was long enough!

Yet again there is a photo with this recipe and it looks like the birds are served on pasta! I thought that seemed like a very modern way to serve veal! I couldn’t decided whether to go with mashed potatoes or spaghetti, but then I left it to late to make mash so spaghetti it was!!

After just over an hour the birds were looking well cooked and the sauce had reduced a fair bit, the whole dish was actually smelling pretty good!

So I served this on a bed of spaghetti..

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It looks nothing like the picture but I wasn’t wasting any of the lovely sauce! After cutting off the string the birds did hold their shape..

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So how did this taste? We both really really enjoyed this. The sauce is amazing! It’s such a simple sauce really but I think a lot of flavour from the stuffing is absorbed into the sauce and was brill with the spaghetti. Then the veal birds were actually really good too! The meat is lovely and soft and the combination of the stuffing and bacon is fantastic with it. Overall this was a really great dinner!

Would I make this again? Yes, a bit of effort but well worth it!

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Madeira Cake

I actually made this yesterday but didn’t try a bit myself until today! I made this to take to my gran who loves a good sponge!

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As you can see there is a photo with this recipe but I do actually know what a Madeira cake should look like! I’d rather have a photo with one of the more unusual recipes!!

Anyway it’s easy enough to prepare, but the Madeira recipe that I normally use is all plain flour with baking powder rather than a mix like this. Will be interesting to see if that makes a difference.

I actually forgot to take any photos before it went in the oven but cake batter isn’t that exciting to look at anyway!!

I was making the basic cake so did the bit with the lemon peel. I couldn’t figure out how it had been cut looking at the photo but I just used a peeler to get thin slices and plonked 3 on top very quickly after 30 minutes.

After another hour it was ready and smelling pretty good..

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The lemon bits were looking a bit weird though!

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I don’t think it looks any different to cakes I’ve made using my usual recipe, I’d say it’s risen just as much.

I left to cool before slicing in half to take to my gran..

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The cake did get great comments from my gran yesterday! You can’t really beat a good slice of Madeira cake! I tried today and it’s great, perfect with a cup of tea!

Would I make this again? Yes, good cake!

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Steak and Mushroom Pie

I really felt like making a pie this weekend so opted to try this recipe..

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I used to think making a pie was a bit of a faff but there’s really not too much involved. The recipe does say shop bought puff pastry so that’s what I used!! I did think I had some made puff pastry already in the freezer but realised it’s actually a sweet pastry so ended up buying some!

I actually decided to cook the meat and onions in the slow cooker. It doesn’t look very exciting at this point and it’s hard not to add some stock or herbs or wine, but then I suppose that takes away from the simplicity of it all

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We came home to a rather nice smell this afternoon! I actually felt a bit bad for leaving the dog in alone with the nice smell of the meat cooking!

Anyway it didn’t look very nice at this stage! I lifted out the meat and onions and put in my grans pyrex dish with the mushrooms..

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The recipe says to pour over the gravy which I assume means the watery liquid the meat has been cooking in. I decided that it didn’t look that good so needed a bit of attention; I poured into a saucepan, added some wine and thyme and left to reduce while I rolled out the pastry.

I rolled out a sausage shape of pastry to put round the edge.

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After about 15 minutes of simmering I decided the liquid looked more gravy like and I poured over the meat.

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I then put a circle of pastry on the top and decorated with some stars..

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Next was brushed with beaten egg and then in the oven..

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I had a peek in the oven after about 10 minutes and felt like crying! All the pastry had sunk off the sides of the dish and was lying all soggy looking on the meat! I was sooo annoyed! Wasn’t sure if that happened because the pastry was too heavy or if there was too much of a gap between the meat and pastry. I had to just leave it and hope for the best..

After the 40 minutes it was actually looking ok!!

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The pastry has certainly risen but a bit of the liquid has burst through so am not hopeful that the pastry is going to be lovely and crisp!

The filling inside was great! The meat is really tender and the sauce is good too. The pastry is a bit of a letdown as it does have a layer of soggy pastry underneath! I had to scrape that bit off!

Overall though it’s a good pie, a nice simple pie to start off with!

Would I make this again? Yes but need to address my pastry issues!

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Chocolate Baked Sponge with Chocolate Sauce

We don’t often have a hot pudding but tonight I really fancied making the simple plain baked sponge. I then read out the suggested variations to my daughter and it turned into a chocolate pudding, with chocolate sauce obviously..

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I do make a lot of sponge cakes, but don’t often make sponge puddings. The start of this chapter talks about the popularity of hot puddings and how it may be due to the climate! It’s says that on a cold damp day there’s something peculiarly comforting about a steaming hot pudding!! Can’t agree more!

So I had a little helper with this one, she did the stirring while I did the measuring..

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The mixture was done and in the dish in a matter of minutes..

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This was then put in the oven and we started with the sauce. To be honest I wasnt that excited about the sauce, not sure if it’s to do with the cornflour element to it or that I didn’t think the sugar content seemed very high for a sweet sauce! It was simple enough to make and actually thickened more than I expected.

So after 35 minutes the pudding was ready and smelling pretty good!

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It does have a bit of a crust on it but underneath was looking lovely and soft..

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Then the sauce was poured over..

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Well I have to say this is a damn good pud!! The sponge bit is fab, lovely and soft with a bit of a crust which I loved and it has just the perfect amount of chocolatey flavour! Then the sauce is pretty good too! I was actually pleasantly surprised! It’s just sweet enough and perfect with the sponge!

Would I make this again? Yes!

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