Savoury Nut Roll

This recipe comes from the diet and calorie count chapter, I’m not really on a diet but not sure this counts as a low calorie meal! I guess it’s low sugar, high complex carbs, protein and saturated fat, so if that’s the type of diet you’re on then this is one to try!!

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I had a bag of mixed nuts so blitzed up 4oz of that..

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Then added the parsley, onion and seasonings..

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Then the cooked rice is added along with the egg and tomato sauce..

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It’s all a bit wet so not easy to shape..

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I had to use the tea towel to help shape into a sausage and then tied the ends..

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This went into a big pot and I opted to have it simmering in some chicken stock, not sure if that will make much of a difference!

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While that was simmering I made a basic tomato sauce; garlic, onion, tomatoes, stock herbs and seasoning. It was left to simmer for half an hour and then blended.

So after an hour and a half I removed the roll from the pan. I managed to actual unroll it quite successfully, but it just doesn’t look very appealing..

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Looks a bit better with the tomato sauce poured over..

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I think my husband and daughter are now used to coming to the dinner table and seeing something a little unusal! I expected a few remarks on this looking awful but was quite surprised when neither of them had any objections to this!!

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I just served each of us with a slice of this with sauce poured over, it may not look like much but it’s really filling..

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It’s packed with the rice and nuts and is actually quite nice! I do think the fact that the sauce is really good does help, I’m not sure how much I could’ve managed with no sauce! We all polished off this one and there’s plenty left for lunch tomorrow..

Would I make this again? Yes, would try adding a few more different herbs or veggies next time..

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Crunchy-Topped Tea Bread

This recipe comes from the recipes around the world chapter and is apparently from Belgium..

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I made this yesterday and didn’t start until the evening, it does take a bit of time so was quite late by the time it was ready!! Seems like quite an unusal recipe. First I mixed the yeast, flour and milk. I didn’t have fresh yeast but I used a yeast conversion calculator to work out I need half a teaspoon of dried yeast!!

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I left it to rise for 45 minutes but didn’t look like too much had happened! I gave it a bit longer and still hadn’t risen much..

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I added the rest of the milk, flour and eggs and attempted to beat, but it’s really thick and sticky so not very easy!

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So the recipe says to roll it out onto a board, but there was no way I was going to be able to do that with this, it’s far too sticky. So I just poured it into the tin..

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While that was left to rise I stated with the topping..

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That all creams together and looks like breadcrumbs..

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The dough did rise significantly at this stage, so I sprinkled over the topping and then into the oven..

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After the full cooking time it was looking good, nicely golden and crunchy on top and had risen well..

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Last night we had to try a slice warm from the oven with butter..
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It is really soft inside although perhaps a touch doughy so maybe could’ve done with a bit longer in the oven, but despite that it’s really good! It’s like a sweet bread and the topping is brilliant!!

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This morning once it had fully cooled I had a couple of slices with jam..

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It still tastes really good, I did give it a few seconds in the toaster as it’s still a bit doughy. Overall though it’s a lovely tea bread, especially the topping!!

Would I make this again? Yes..

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Crispy Noodles with Pork and Water Chesnuts

We do like a pork stir fry which this pretty much is, but not sure about the crispy noodles!!

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On reading the ingredients it’s an awful lot of noodles and not very much pork!! I had a tenderloin of pork but 4oz worked out as about a third of it. I had also picked up a can of water chesnuts.

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So I decided I was not making all those noodles, I opted for half of a 375g packet and even that seemed a lot..

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Once the noodles had been cooked and drained I started on the pork..

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Once the pork had been cooking for a couple of minutes I added all the veg and was regretting my pan choice!

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While the pork and vegetables were cooking, which was way longer than the recipes suggests, I attempted to deep fry the noodles. I don’t have a frying basket so used 2 sieves! It was all a bit messy and fiddly as the wok was to wide and I had to keep turning the two sieves and then one of my sieves which has plastic handles started to melt!! After over 5 minutes I did have slighty crispy looking noodles..

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Meanwhile I had mixed the cornflour, soy and some water..

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…that’s added to the pork and veg and stirred through. I did manage to get the noodles out of the sieve but was not very nest like..

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The pork and veg is piled on top..
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It’s all a bit bland looking. I served this on the one plate and we all cut out bits of noodles which were really crispy in some bits but then still a bit soft in others. I’m glad I didn’t make a whole pound of noodles as that would’ve been way too much..

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Well it’s not very exciting to look at but we were really hungry and polished the lot off. It definitely needs more pork! I also found the noodles a bit too greasy, I had let them drain for a few minutes after frying but still were a bit oily. I did quite like the crispy bits of noodles as it added some texture, but I think would be better if either all crispy or all just boiled as the mixture of wet oily noodles and crispy ones wasn’t the greatest! In saying that we did eat the lot!

Would I make this again? Possibly..

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Winter Salad

Salads aren’t usually associated with winter but have to be honest, this summer hasn’t exactly felt like salad weather! No idea what makes this a winter salad anyway!

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The only reason I picked this recipe to try today is because I had some cooked beetroot that needed eating!! So beetroot, apple, celery and onion chopped..

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That’s all mixed together with some good old salad cream! We did have that in the house often when I was young, my sisters favourite sandwich was cucumber and salad cream!

Anyway as expected the minute I added the salad cream and started mixing it turned a lovely bright pink!

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I opted to use the walnuts..

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So that’s it! A bright pink winter salad!

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We were having steak and sweet potato chips with this salad on this side and was a great dinner! The salad is good, a nice combination of sharp and sweet and the walnuts add a good extra crunch! Overall it’s the best salad I’ve had this summer..

Would I make this again? Yes..

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Beef and Watercress Soup

This isn’t a soup recipe I’d ever consider trying, I guess that’s one of the good things about doing this blog and cooking from this book is that I’m trying a lot of new and interesting recipes!!

So this one was for tea tonight..

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The recipes says to use a chicken broth which I kind of have made already and is in the freezer! I did loosely follow this recipe for that..

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…but I didn’t add the rice and left as a clear broth. I had just under half a pound of rump steak so reduced the liquid a bit to about 1.5 pints.

The beef is diced finely..

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Then mixed with the soy, salt and oil..

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While that’s left to marinade I washed and removed the stalks from the watercress..

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Once the liquid is boiling I added the watercress..

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Then the beef..

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So it looks a bit like dirty pond water at this point!!

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After about 15 minutes I decided it was done. Yet again this is another recipe that tastes way way way better than it looks! We all really enjoyed this. Yes it’s very watery and light but the flavour from the beef, watercress and soy in the broth is really good. The meat is lovely and soft and I do think more of it would be good.

Would I make this again? Yes!

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Hamburger Pilaff

This recipe comes from the teach your child to cook chapter but on reading it am not sure if I’m teaching her much…

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I’m trying to keep up my organised cooking so we looked out everything first. That’s when we realised we didn’t have ham so decided some cooked sliced turkey would do..

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The peppers are optional but my daughter loves peppers so insisted both went in. So the recipes specifies frozen hamburger, so that’s what I bought! I can honestly say I don’t ever remember buying them! I think we did sometimes have them as kids. I was tempted to ignore the recipe and make some but felt that wasn’t in keeping with the recipes intentions!!

So the rice and veg all go into an ovenproof dish..

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Then enough stock to cover..

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Then the lovely hamburgers on top..

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After 45 minutes in the oven the burgers on top are cooked and the rice has absorbed all the stock..

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Not really sure if I’m looking forward to this, although my daughter was intrigued by the idea of a frozen hamburger!! So this was dinner and we both did eat the lot! I had halved all the ingredients except the burgers and only put on one each, but after scoffing the burger she was asking for another!!

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It’s not exactly very exciting and not sure if I’m really teaching my child much about cooking but we ate it and we did enjoy it!

Would I make this again? Possibly, do still have half a box of burgers in the freezer…

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Lemon Chiffon

I’m trying to do more cold puddings and I liked the sound of this one, although I am always slighty wary about raw eggs!!

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As much as my husband and daughter are up for trying things I was only making this for me!! I don’t think this appealed to them and I didn’t want to end up eating the lot myself, so I was only using one egg and one ounce of sugar..

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Which after a good beating does quickly turn pale and creamy..

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Then I added what I thought was a third of the rind of a lemon..

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Then I slowly stirred in my estimated thirded juice of a lemon..

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So next I put it over a pan of water and stirred until it thickened. This stage did take quite a while, I think I had this on the hob for about 15 minutes before it felt thick. I was wary of it curdling but wasn’t sure if it should be like a lemon curd consistency or more like a thick cream..

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Once it had cooled a bit it did thicken even more and became very sticky..

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Next I whisked the egg white..

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That was then carefully folded into the lemon mix and then poured into one of my very underused cocktail glasses..

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After a few hours in the fridge I finally got to try this and it’s delicious! I gave my daughter a spoonful and we ended up fighting over it! It is quite sweet so could maybe use less sugar but the lemonyness is perfect!! It’s super light and almost frothy like. I couldn’t help but think about the raw egg white initially but after a few spoonfuls I forgot about that and quite happily ate the lot, minus a few spoonfuls to my daughter..

Would I make this again? Yes, loved it..

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