Still Lemonade

I had this one lonely lemon in the fridge and fancied trying a drink. The quick lemon squash is not very exciting so opted to try the still lemonade

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Believe it or not but we don’t have a potato peeler in the house! I think I broke the last one and just haven’t replaced it. So I was using a knife to peel the lemon which was strangely difficult!! I don’t think I peeled it particularly thin, but decided that didn’t matter to much as it’s all being strained anyway..

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I was a only using one lemon so thirded the sugar and water. It does seem like a lot of sugar but then most lemonades do have a ton of sugar in them!

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When the boiling water is added it smells to me like lemsip!! So not particularly appealing!

After about an hour it had cooled so I strained and then left in fridge for a while.

I know this isn’t a very exciting recipe but still determined to try everything from the book! So when I actually tried this I was really surprised how nice it is! It’s really refreshing and yes it’s sweet but not overly sweet!

So am thinking I need to get myself some ice and gin and I have myself a nice Saturday night cocktail!!

Would I make this again? Yes I would!

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Bacon Pasties

I don’t actually think I have ever eaten a pastie, but after watching the Great British Bake Off I fancied giving these a go..

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This may make me sound crazy or just very organised but I actually made the pastry this morning before work! It’s the shortcrust pastry recipe from the book that I’ve posted a few times now and it’s really easy.

I decided not to roll into just 4 pasties so I made 8 and I made them various sizes..

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I then started on the filling, I was making the full quantity and it seemed like loads!

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I did my best to fill and shape as neatly as possible but was still really worried they were going to split open in the oven!

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I didn’t give these the full cooking time the recipe suggests, I reckon they had about 45 minutes in total and by then they were looking nicely browned and according to my daughter they were smelling like pizza!

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These pasties were fab! The pastry is good, can’t really go wrong with a bit of pastry, and there was no soggy bottom! The filling is great too! We all loved these, but maybe more a lunch than dinner!

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Overall these are great, although I don’t think I’d be winning star baker with them!!

Would I make these again? Yes, brill

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Potato Whip and Puffles

Sounds like a totally made up name! I’ve never heard of either potato whip or potato puffles before, was very intrigued!

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The first part of this recipe is easy enough. I am often pretty lazy when it comes to mash and end up with loads of lumps! I did allow the potatoes to cook until they were soft but even then I still had a lumpy mash. I don’t have any fancy mashers, just an old metal hand one I’ve had for years, will blame the lumps on that! Anyway before I even added the other ingredients I would say the mash is pretty stiff..

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I then added the other ingredients and attempted to whip. I think I had more of a beating action but the consistency did change after a good few minutes of beating. It’s hard to demonstrate that in a photo but it did feel different..

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This where I then went wrong, I assumed the recipe meant I was to use some of the whip mix that hadn’t been in the oven to make the puffles, so I kept back a few spoonfuls. I then put the whip in the oven and heated the oil to make puffles. What a mistake. The minute I put the mix in the hot oil it started to disintegrate and I ended up with a pan full of potato oil that looked revolting! I then realised the recipe just mean you deep fry any leftover cooked whip! So I thought I’d wait and try that after, if there was any left!

After 15 minutes it was only just lightly golden but I took it out the oven anyway..

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The texture of this as I spooned it out is so light and almost mousse like. I am liking the texture of that the egg gives the potato.

We had the whip with some venison sausages and homemade onion gravy..

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I think my 6yr old is turning into a bit of a foodie, as after she had taken one mouthful of potatoes she asked of there was egg in it!!

The potato whip is maybe the best mashed potato based dish I’ve had in a long time!! It’s crispy on top and the really light and fluffy underneath. It’s tastes great as well and prefect with sausages and gravy. I have to say we did not have enough whip left to make any puffles – there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write!!

Would I make this again? Yes definitely, and next time I’ll make more so we can have puffles!

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Nut Refrigerator Cookies

Fancied a bit of midweek baking, but we started these and then realised they needed a few hours in the fridge to chill! I felt I couldn’t cut back on fridge time due to the name of the cookies so these were baked way after my daughters bed time, more cookies for me….

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Once the flour had been added the dough did feel very dry, then adding the nuts made me start to think this was never going to come together..

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I had to get my hands in and form into a dough, and that worked a treat. I did have to use the cling film to help mould into a sasauge shape but was looking pretty even going into the fridge..

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After about 2.5 hours in the fridge I cut into slices. It did feel really firm and cut into slices very easily..

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After 12 minutes in the oven they had spread out slightly and were a nice golden brown..

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I had opted to just use walnuts for this, I did have both almonds and walnuts but fancied trying with just the one! I couldn’t wait for them to cool before trying..

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Warm form the oven these are great! They obviously are still soft but once cooled they are still quite soft which I quite like. The walnuts in them are fab! Have to say these didn’t last long!

Would I make these again? Yes, fab cookie recipe!

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Hamburger Pie

Surprisingly there are no actual hamburgers in this!!

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I’m not very savvy with the photo app thing I have so couldn’t figure out how to get the recipe in one photo! It’s split over two pages so I had to just take a photo of the two pages!

Anyway this recipes reads more like a cottage pie than anything to do with hamburgers!

I was tempted to put something else in with the mince, even just a dash of Worcestershire sauce! I stuck with the recipe and left the mince as instructed..

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The mash is easy enough although I didn’t whisk it! I don’t have an electric whisk and didn’t have the muscles to whisk it by hand! I did then try and do some fancy piping but it was hard to squeeze through the nozzle I was using, so it’s not as pretty as I’d hoped!

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After 30 minutes in the oven it was looking nice and crisp on top and well browned..

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I really don’t see how this differs from the cottage pie recipe that I’ve already made! It is another good dinner, the mince is nice enough and then the mashed potato on top is great as well.

Would I make this again? Yes, although think I’ll refer to as cottage pie rather than hamburger pie!

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Vanilla Souffle

I’ve made a couple of soufflés so far, both have involved fish! So decided tonight to try basic sweet soufflé..

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I think soufflés are one of those recipes that I expect to be quite complicated but actually it’s easy to prepare. I had decided to make two individual ones, but didn’t think I could half the ingredients. So I decided to split everything into two thirds! I have electronic scales now so can accurately measure two thirds of an ounce!

I couldn’t decide how fill to make the ramekins, so I chose to pretty much fill to the top!

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Am hoping I’m not going to regret that! So I ended up using pretty much all the mixture.

I then couldn’t decide if I should cut back the cooking time because they were individual. I kept a close eye on them and they did brown quite quickly but kept rising at a very lopsided angle!! After 25 minutes they were looking done I thought!

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It was a rush to get a photo as they do start to sink quite quickly, I was going to sprinkle over some icing sugar but really didn’t want to do anything that would affect the rise!

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After about 2 minutes out of the oven they had sunk back a fair bit but still looked quite good!

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The smell from these is amazing, I had used a really good quality vanilla and you can really smell the differnce.

I was going to take a photo of the inside of these but they were eaten so quickly that I forgot! They are lovely and light and the vanilla flavour is really great.

Would I make these again? Yes, I know I’ve said this about soufflés before but I should try one big one next time to see how I get on with that

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Casseroled Chicken and Rice

I can make one heck of a mess when cooking sometimes so it’s quite nice when I make something like this that is all done in one pot!

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I’ve no idea what a boiling chicken is, I just assumed regular chicken would do! I also opted to use only chicken thighs rather than attempt to joint a whole chicken!

I was making this for just the three of us so I halved everything. Although the volume of liquid did not seem enough. I had made 4oz of rice and I really didn’t think quarter of a pint of liquid was going to be enough.

After my earlier failures at finding pimiento I now have a local deli that stocks jars of it! I also used chicken stock rather than soup and I did opt to use the wine.

There wasn’t much layering in my dish, I managed 2 layers of rice and chicken and just sprinkled the celery and pimento over the chicken at each layer..

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I couldn’t decide at first if the bay leaf and cloves should be strained off or added to the dish with the chicken. I decided to add them as I thought they wouldn’t have imparted much flavour in the few minutes they were in the liquid heating.

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I did check this regularly and ended up adding more liquid. I added a bit more wine and bit more stock as after about 40 minutes there was no free liquid left. I also didn’t let this cook for the full 2.5 hours. After just under 2 hours the chicken was well cooked and the rice was really soft so I removed it from the oven.

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So this was dinner for us, it’s pretty much a meal all in one. The chicken is really soft and almost falling apart and the rice is very soft. I did think the rice was verging on stodgy but I actually quite liked it like that! I do think it could be cooked in much less time. I guess it depends which cut of chicken you use but really don’t see the need for all that cooking time.

Flavour wise it’s great, the pimiento and celery and actually really nice in this and the flavour from the clove and bay leaf really do come through.

Overall a great family dinner!

Would I make this again? Yes, easy and tasty!

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