Posts Tagged ‘oven bake’

Helllooooo ūüėÄ

Hope you are all good!¬† How bloody quick are these weeks flying in?¬† I wish time would slow down a bit.¬† Anyone found the formula for squeezing extra hours into the day yet?¬† I’m honestly grudging the hours I spend sleeping, feeling¬†I could be doing something more productive!¬†

“Sometimes I feel that life is passing me by, not slowly either, but with ropes of steam and spark-spattered wheels and a hoarse roar of power or terror.¬† It’s passing, yet I’m the one who’s doing all the moving.”¬† Martin Amis, Money

(Note – I haven’t read this book yet, but it’s on my To Be Read list after a quote like that!)

But that’s enough about me…

Last week, I spoke about the Honey Mustard Chicken recipe I made.¬† Here it is, in all it’s splendour.¬† It’s an excellent midweek¬†meal, and one I have made twice already (in the space of about a month).¬† I got it from the BBC Good Food Website (see the original recipe here).

The thing I like most about this recipe (apart from the taste), is that I can bung everything into one dish and get on with other things.  The first time I tried it, I used parsnips, as per the recipe, and cooked it on the hob, in my big soup pot.  This time, however, I used carrots (there were no parsnips), and made it as a casserole. 

I only had 2 chicken breasts on this occasion (which was fine, as I was only cooking for two), but kept all the other ingredient measures the same.  I now have a lovely tub of honey mustard carrots in the freezer, which I will serve with the Steak & Ale Pie I intend to make tomorrow (and will post about next week!)

Heres is what I did:


2 chicken breasts

3 carrots, cut into even sized sticks

2 onions, diced

300ml vegetable stock (I used a veg Oxo cube)

2 tbsp wholegrain mustard

2 tbsp clear honey

1 tsp dried rosemary 

First, I preheated the oven to 180 degrees.

In my casserole dish, I placed the carrots, onions and chicken.  I seasoned well with salt and pepper, and sprinkled over my rosemary.

In a jug, I mixed together the stock, mustard and honey.  The picture goes for your eyes, doesn’t it?

I poured the liquid into my casserole dish and gave everything a good stir.¬† It‚Äôs now ready for the oven; I let it bubble away for 1 ¬Ĺ hours ūüôā

I served this with some potato & swede mash and a helping of marrowfat peas.  Delish.

This is a good, hearty, cheap meal.¬† I’m sure you could serve it with something fancy (like my Boulang√®re Potatoes, perhaps? ūüėČ Or what about couscous?) if you are out to impress.

Oh‚Ķ remember when I said ‚Äúthat‚Äôs enough about me‚ÄĚ?¬† I lied.¬† I just want to thank everyone who wished me luck on my Philosophy exam.¬† I passed! ūüėĬ† Now, when I drunkenly ponder the meaning of life, I can pretend to have substance behind my words. ūüėČ

Have a lovely week everyone x


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In my last post, I served my Balsamic chicken¬†with Boulang√®re Potatoes.¬† It was divine!¬† As promised, here is the potato dish recipe, in all it’s glory.

Anyone who regularly reads my posts will know of my tottie¬†addiction.¬† This is my healthy alternative to potato dauphinoise¬†(wouldn’t it be amazing if we could have dauphinoise every day?¬† I’d probably never get fed up of it).

Recipes vary and can get quite fancy, but I prefer mines nice and basic.  Here is what I did:

Ingredients (Serves 4):

1kg potatoes, sliced thinly

2 onions, sliced thinly

300ml chicken stock

salt & pepper to season

a couple of knobs of butter for the top (optional)

I went to town with my Mandolin slicer again!¬† Theres something very therapeutic about setting upon a¬†mound of totties with a sharp blade…

My layer sequence was:

1/3 potatoes

1/2 onion


1/3 potatoes

1/2 onion


1/3 potatoes

I covered it with stock, until it almost came up to the surface, but didn’t quite reach.¬† I seasoned once again, dotted a few wee knobs of butter over the top and covered with foil.¬†

Then I put into a preheated oven (200 degrees) for 45 minutes.  I removed the foil, then baked for a final 15 mins.

If I were cooking for one, I suspect I’d probably still¬†make enough for four.¬† I wouldn’t even make an accompanying dish; a tray of boulang√®re¬†totties and a fork = One Happy Catherine.

It tastes even better the next day, if it manages to last that long.  It freezes well too!

Enjoy! ūüôā

In other news, I have decided to only post on Wednesdays from now on.  This is so I can work on my writing commitments (which I have viciously bestowed upon myself), but I hope to still browse my favourite food blogs throughout the week (usually in the depths of procrastination; we may be seeing a lot of each other).

Till next Wednesday then! x

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Hiya ūüôā

This recipe was discovered as a result of my penchant for those “Daily Recipe” emails I sign up to.¬† Honestly, I get about 20 emails a day from the many¬†recipe sites I browse.¬† So many, in fact, that it’s somewhat overwhelming and I don’t make the time to look at them all.

But this one stood out for me. 

It’s from the Food Network¬†website.¬† Is anyone else addicted to their TV channel?¬† I could watch Barefoot Contessa all day (although Colin now hates Ina, after I told him about her refusal to take part in the Make a Wish Foundation¬†– say it aint true, Ina ūüė¶ ).¬†

This recipe, however, is from another TV Chef, Giada¬†De Laurentiis.¬† She’s sickeningly beautiful and an amazing¬†cook.¬† Not fair!¬† But I’ll forgive her, since this recipe was just too delicious.¬† And after reading all the rave reviews, I just had to try it.

This is my first attempt at using the Americanized “cup” method of measuring ingredients.¬† It was very simple ūüôā

The recipe can be found here, but here’s my step by step account:

Ingredients (Serves 4, but I made dinner for 3 and froze the rest in a tub)

3 chicken breasts

1 cup balsamic vinegar

3/4 tomato ketchup

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

I preheated the oven to 180 degrees, then roasted my chicken for 25 mins.

Meanwhile, I combined all the ingredients in a pot, brought to the boil then simmered for 20 mins to reduce.

I brought the chicken out of the oven, covered it in the Balsamic BBQ mixture, and returned to the oven for a further 15 mins.

I served this up with some boulang√®re¬†potatoes (which I will post about next time!), and green beans.¬† It was scrumptious ūüôā

Next time, I will¬†definitely¬†marinade my meat in this mixture overnight!¬† I completely understand why there are so many excellent reviews and I’m sure this will be a regular feature in my Meal Planning ūüôā
Give it a bash and let me know how you get on!
Enjoy ūüôā x¬†


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So many people are scared of Black Pudding, and I used to be one of them.¬† Nowadays, I just play¬†ignorant and enjoy it, without¬†thinking about what it actually is (come on… it’s better this way!).

I was throwing a¬†wee dinner party¬†and knew my guests all liked black pudding¬†(it would have been a bit of a risk otherwise!), so I decided to make Pork Stuffed with Black Pudding, wrapped in Prosciutto.¬† I’ve made this once before for Colin, and he loved it ūüôā¬†although I used pork tenderloin and black forest ham the last time.¬† I felt the ham was too overpowering for the dish.¬† This time, I used loin steaks instead of tenderloin.

This is a perfect dish for a dinner party; you might even convert a few black-pudding-phobes if they’re brave enough!

Ingredients (Serves 5)

5 pork loin steaks

4 slices of black pudding (or 230g)

2 packs prosciutto ham (about 4-5 thin slices per steak)

First, I placed each steak¬†in turn on a piece of cling film.¬† I covered it with another piece of cling film.¬† Then I beat it to… eh…death, thinking aggressive thoughts.¬† This flattens it out and makes it easier to roll later!

Serene once more, I took 1/5 of the black pudding (which I’d bashed with a fork into a bowl to break down a bit), and I spread it across the pork like this:

I rolled it up and placed it on a bed of prosciutto.

I wrapped the prosciutto¬†around it, then covered each one in clingfilm¬†into a wee sausage shape.¬† I put them¬†in the fridge to keep their shape.¬† I done it¬†overnight, but I’m sure an hour would do if you’re pushed for time.

I baked it for 30 mins in a preheated oven (180 degrees).  I served it with Clapshot (which is mashed potatoes & turnips, cream and chives.  I also made it for Burns Night. Delicious!) and honey glazed carrots and green beans.

I smothered it in a gravy made from: the meat juices, a glass of red wine and 2 Oxo cubes, reduced to a thickness I liked.

I love the way it looks when you cut into it! ūüėÄ

I hope you give it a try! ūüėÄ

In other news…

I Googled “Noble Nourishment”¬†and noticed the 8th result down was “An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume”.

That is what I just studied in my Philosophy class!  Is that spooky, or what?!

Hope you’re all having a lovely day/evening, wherever you are! ūüėÄ x

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I am¬†a big fan of the MoneySavingExpert site (although I’m a silent lurker), and I could honestly spend HOURS on their Complete Cooking Collection .¬† Ok, I admit it. I already have spent hours on the cooking collection, plenty of them.

There’s a forum thread where people post recipes that cost no more than 50p¬†for two people*.¬† You’d think that would be quite difficult, but nay, there are 16 pages worth of suggestions!¬† That’s where I found the recipe for this potato, bacon and onion bake.¬† You can find the original recipe here, but I have scaled up my recipe to feed 3 greedy potato fiends:


4 baking potatoes, sliced thinly

8 rashers bacon, unsmoked (I cut the fat off cos I hate the texture *boak*)

2 onions, slices thinly

200ml milk, I used semi-skimmed

As you can see, I went to town with my Mandolin slicer; it’s BETTER than sliced bread, I tell ye.

I layered them in the following order: Potatoes (season with salt & pepper), onions, bacon.

I done that twice, then finished with a layer of totties:

I poured over the milk, seasoned, then baked this at 170 degrees for about an hour and 15 mins.¬† I would recommend the slower baking, as it really intensifies the flavour!¬† I covered it with foil about half way through as it was getting burnt on top (next time I’ll cover it with foil from the start, then remove for the last 15 mins or so):

So, do I serve the delicate purple sprouting broccoli?  The medley of Julienne vegetables?

Of course not.  This type of dish deserves baked beans, and plenty of them.

This is cheap, cheerful, extremely easy and utterly tasty.¬† There’s a time and a place for fancy food.¬† This is comfort food at it’s best.

You could substitute the milk for cream if you want to increase the richness, or top it with cheese to make it more indulgent.¬† It doesn’t need it though.¬† The salty bacon seeps through and flavours everything beautifully and the potatoes are deliciously moreish¬†with a light crispiness.¬†¬†I salivate¬†in remembrance.¬†

Next time, I’m making enough leftovers for lunch the next day.¬† I’d never tire of this.

Try it ūüôā x

*The thread was started in 2006, so¬†50p probably wouldn’t apply these days with the inflation.¬† But still¬†great value for money!

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On Friday night, I went to a dinner party at my brother’s new house.¬† I offered to make the starter and bring it with me, as I had my eye on a particular recipe for what seems like years now.¬† This was the perfect excuse to make it!

I spotted the recipe when I was laying on the couch, one hungover¬†Sunday, watching the Come Dine With Me marathon.¬† One of the contestants made “Terrine¬†of Spring Onion and Chicken in Parma Ham”.¬† I drooled all the way through the program and vowed to make it one day.

Terrine¬†is actually the name of the type of dish that it was traditionally cooked in, apparently.¬† I used to always think Terrines were a type of Pate, in my blissful ignorance! ūüôā

I adapted the recipe slightly, by using Black Forest Ham instead of Parma Ham.  They had a special deal on in Lidl, so why not? 

I also amended the amounts to have enough for 6 servings.¬† I had a terribly idiotic moment, when I realised my loaf tin wouldn’t hold enough for 6 servings.¬† I went into a panic and started conjuring up these images of making individual parcels instead,¬†using Tupperware dishes as temporary templates.¬† My friend Michelle took on the role of Oracle, by suggesting that I just use one of the bigger dishes in the cupboard instead of the loaf tin.¬† Crisis averted!¬† Silly me… *blush*.

Here’s my¬†adaptation of Ingredients (Serves 6):

3 chicken breasts

1 chicken stock cube

4 eggs, beaten

1 bunch of spring onions, roughly chopped

150g self-raising flour

2 x 200g packs of Black Forest Ham (about 20 slices)

4tbsp milk

150g vintage cheddar, grated

Heres what I did:

First, I crushed up a chicken stock cube in a little olive oil, then rubbed it over the chicken.  I roasted the chicken in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 40 minutes.

While the chicken was roasting away, I lined my baking dish with the ham.¬† It looks a bit obscene, somehow, doesn’t it?

I mixed the flour, eggs and milk together.¬† Then stirred in the chicken (which I’d cut into small chunks) and cheese.¬† I put half the mixture into the dish.

I sprinkled the spring onions over, then topped with the rest of the mixture and folded the ham over the top, sealing it all in.  I baked it in the oven for 1 hour at 180 degrees, covering it with foil after about 10 minutes, as I felt it was browning too quickly.

Some of the mixture managed to escape through the spaces in the ham, but I turned it out onto the chopping board and the underside was perfectly flat and sealed.

I made this ahead of the dinner party, and reheated it when we got there, in the oven at a low temperature for about 20 mins (whilst we had some tipples!).

I sliced the terrine¬†into 6 pieces and served on a bed of rocket salad, balsamic¬†vinegar and a dollop of tomato chutney on the side.¬† Everyone was starving so I didn’t have the nerve to faff about taking photos of it.¬† Apologies!

The main course was Steak Frites with Diane sauce, and we had Apple Pie & Cream for dessert.  It was phenomenal.

I started feeling bad about not having taken a photo of the end result, and my boyfriend said I should make it again and take photos.¬† Confirmation that he’d eat it again… I’m counting that as praise for the dish! ūüôā

If you’re stuck for a tasty starter dish, you can’t go wrong with this one;¬†its delicious and easy!

Enjoy ūüėÄ x

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Well hello Stranger!¬† I‚Äôve missed you all muchly! ūüôā

It feels like an age since I last posted, or leisurely perused my favourite food blogs.¬† When I opened my Google Reader, there was the inevitable ‚Äú1000+‚ÄĚ declaration of unread blog posts waiting for me. ūüė¶

I contemplated clearing out my RSS feed list, saving only my favourite food blogs (like this, this and this…), but as I leafed through each of them, I couldn’t bear it.  They are all too wonderful and I feel I would be depriving myself of wonderful recipes and enjoyment.  Nope.  No blog cull for Moi. 

As I said in my previous post, I have started evening classes.  One for Philosophy and the other for English Literature.  I am thrilled to say that both are going really well and it feels great to use parts of my brain again, that I’d left behind at college some years ago.

Last weeks English Lit class was focused on English Sonnets.  We analysed and discussed 6 sonnets, but one in particular stuck out for me, and I would like to share it with you. 

Shakespeare, Sonnets 130

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;

Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;

If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

I have seen roses damasked, red and white,

But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

And in some perfumes is there more delight

Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

I love to hear her speak, ye well I know

That music hath a far more pleasing sound;

I grant I never saw a goddess go;

My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.

And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare

As any she belied with false compare.

At first, I felt outraged on behalf of this poor ‚Äúmistress‚ÄĚ who was paling beyond all comparison.¬† But then I realised, all these ‚Äúideals‚ÄĚ (such as having eyes like the sun and snow white skin), were actually being mocked. ¬†That being less than perfect was more endearing and special than any of these stereotypes.¬†

How utterly refreshing.  As someone who has recently cancelled her gym subscription due to lack of time to go (and feeling a tad out of shape now, huff), reading this was very comforting.  I hope anyone reading it now can also take some comfort, since I’m taking a leaf out of Shakespeare’s book and declaring perfection a falsity! 

Anyways… onto the grub!¬† I did this cheesecake at my Come Dine With Me night¬†a while back.¬† I used ginger snaps for the base last time, which was gorgeously stunning, however, I decided to follow the recipe (almost) properly this time, and the results were excellent.¬† If you make this cake, prepare to be heftily¬†praised! ūüôā

This is a cake from Nigella’s website.  Find it here.


For the base:

150g x chocolate digestives

50g butter, melted


175g x chocolate, roughly chopped (I used Cadbury’s Dairy Milk mmmm)

600g x soft cream cheese

150g x caster sugar

1 tbsp x custard powder

3 x eggs

3 x egg yolks

142ml x pot of sour cream

¬Ĺ tsp x cocoa (I used Cadbury hot chocolate powder to keep in line with the dairy milk)


75 g x chocolate (Dairy Milk, naturally)

125ml x double cream

1 x tsp golden syrup


Crush the biscuits to within an inch of their life (I used a rolling pin and plenty of aggression) and mix with the melted butter.  Press into the bottom of a springform tin, then shove in the freezer whilst you make the filling.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Melt the 175g chocolate (I melted it in a glass bowl, placed over a pot of boiling water, but you can microwave if you prefer).  Put aside to cool.

Beat the cream cheese (I used my hand mixer).  Add your sugar and custard powder and beat again.  Beat in your eggs, egg yolks and sour cream. 

Dissolve your cocoa powder in a few tbsps hot water.  Add that to the mix, along with your melted chocolate.  Mix it all into a smooth, even consistency.

Take the springform tin out of the freezer and line the outside of the tin with a good layer of clingfilm, and then another layer of strong foil over that. This will protect it from the water bath.


Sit the springform tin in a roasting pan and pour in the cheesecake filling. Fill the pan with just-boiled water, to come about halfway up the cake tin, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. The top of the cheesecake should be set, but the underneath should still have a wobble to it.


Peel away the foil and clingfilm¬†wrapping and sit the cheesecake in its tin on a rack to cool. Put in the fridge once it’s no longer hot, and leave to set, covered with clingfilm, overnight. Let it lose its chill before unspringing the cheesecake to serve.

To make the glaze, melt your 75g chocolate, then add the cream and syrup.¬† Take off the heat and whisk thoroughly, until it starts to look like a smooth sauce.¬† Resist eating it all with a spoon at this point. ūüėČ

Nigella likes to ‚ÄúJackson Pollock‚ÄĚ the sauce over the cheesecake.¬† To be fair, this was my original intention.¬† I completely ballsed it up, however, hence my decision to just cover the entire surface of it with chocolate.

I sprinkled a bit too much cocoa powder over the top.  It’s not much to look at, admittedly.  But you and I both know that anything containing THAT much dairy milk in it is bound to be a success.


Enjoy!¬†ūüôā¬†And have a good weekend! x

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