Cheese Straws

I made cheese straws at the weekend. I think the last time I made these was during a food technology lesson at school. I think I was probably about 11 at the time. Anyway I had definitely forgotten how easy these are to make and also how good they tasted. Like seriously good. All crumbly pastry and strong cheddar. Nom nom nom!

As I’ve already mentioned these are super easy to make. You’ll need just 2 ingredients, ready made puff pastry and cheese – I used cheddar as it’s my favourite! Yes that’s it.

The first thing to do is to grab your pastry and cover it in half of the grated cheese. I used half a sheet of pastry and grated about a third of a block of cheese. Now fold the pastry in half and roll out the cheese pastry to the thickness of a pound coin.

The next thing to do is to cut the pastry into strips about 1cm wide. 

Now twist them and place them onto a baking tray and sprinkle them with the rest of the cheese.

Bake in the oven at 220C for 12 minutes.

Now that I’ve rediscovered the wonderfulness that is the humble cheese straw I think they will be making quite a regular appearance in my kitchen (and my tummy)! What about you all, any pastry favourites? Also if you fancy some other delicious pastry things then checkout our pastry pinwheels post.

Happy baking, Lau

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A super-duper soup pie

So yes many of you might be thinking I’ve lost the plot judging by the title of this post, a soup pie, I hear you cry! But I promise you I haven’t and what I’m about to share with you will undoubtedly become one of your staple meals – just for the simple fact that it’s just so darn easy and tasty. I may have mentioned in the past that one of my all-time favourite meals is my Dad’s chicken and ham pie. It’s one of those meals where seconds are mandatory and where my sisters and I fight over who gets to carry the bowl over to the sink to be washed up as it gives us precious seconds to scoop left over sauce out the dish (or perhaps that’s just me…). However one thing stops me from making the pie often and that’s that I can never really be bothered with making a white sauce. Yeah I know lazy indeed!

Anyway this problem is solved by the genius that is a tin of Heinz condensed mushroom soup. You fling this into the pie dish with your other ingredients – pre-cooked chicken, ham, fried mushrooms and leeks and stir it up and gently place your pastry on top and you’re done. The world’s easiest pie – what’s not to love?

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I’d heard the waffling about soup being used as a sauce in the past but I’d never thought to give it a whirl, and now that I have it has revolutionised my life. Now I can’t stop thinking of what else I can use soups for – perhaps a tomato one for a cheats lasagna or a fajita sauce. And maybe I’ll even try a chicken soup as a pie filling in the future, that’s got to work too right?! What about you have you ever used a magic soup as your sauce and if so I need details please!

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Happy pie making! Fi xx

Pulled Pork

A couple of weeks back it was Super Bowl Sunday and this just happened to coincide with our trip to the Peak District to see the littlest Evans. We decided to celebrate this serendipitous event by having an US themed dinner of pulled pork wraps and rice, followed by the American wonder that is the humble m&m. Before I go any further can I just say: bloody genius idea right there! That menu is basically heaven on a plate, well two plates.

Now pulled pork is a new thing for me, not eating it – I’m well practised at eating it and find it delicious. But when it comes to cooking pulled pork, actually creating that wonder from scratch, well that’s another matter. Thankfully the wonderful internet saved my bacon and after a few clicks we had a plethora of information at our disposal. Which we promptly ignored as we came up with our own way that didn’t include twenty-seven different utensils or six hours of cooking time – I’m sorry but I’m not well-known for my patience so that would never happen. Anyway our recipe is below, but before you get started just two useful bits of information you might want to bear in mind…

  1. Aldi sell pork shoulder for just £3.50 and it’s enough to feed three VERY hungry sisters, so you should most definitely check that out.
  2. When cooking in a new oven it’s probably best to check that you’ve turned it on properly and that it is not in fact cold 50 minutes after you start. Just a thought as that moment when you realise dinner will be a whole extra hour away is not the best moment of your life. Also the wise-cracks and teasing for the rest of the night – not fun.

Ingredients:

  • One pork shoulder
  • One onion (cut into eighths)
  • A bottle of Paul Newman’s BBQ sauce AKA the best BBQ sauce ever invented
  • 1 pack of wraps
  • 1 box of left over takeaway rice

And the method….

  • Pre-heat the oven as per the instructions on your pork (ours said 200°C)
  • Rub your pork shoulder with a spoon of BBQ sauce and place on the roasting tin surrounded by the onion
  • Cook the meat until it’s cooked as per the instructions (ours took two and a half hours)
  • Remove the pork and break it apart with two forks, it should pull apart really easily.
  • Throw the meat back into the roasting tin and add half a bottle or so of the BBQ sauce and give it a good old mix.
  • Bung (yes a technical term used by Michel Roux et al) it in the oven for another half an hour until it smells divine
  • Serve in wraps or on top of the rice and enjoy.

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So tell us have you ever tried pulled pork and was it a success? Don’t you just want to eat it everyday for the rest of your life?!

– Fi x

January 2014 Eats

Hello lovely people and welcome to our little update on what foody delights have been occurring with us this month. Wow January has been a long month, but as you can see we’ve mainly managed to survive it by eating lots of yummy things! Yay to us right.

January Eats

Cooked
Kedegree
RSC#5 – Cod with bacon and a tomato sauce
Butternut squash pasta
Butternut squash risotto
Steak and potato wedges – the stuff of dreams!

Baked
Apple and Blackberry Crumble
Bourbon Biscuit brownies (as see on this rambling corner)
Avocado brownies
Bread & Rolls
Granola (coming soon I promise!)

Eaten
Dinner at Five Guys
Pizza and quiz fun at the Elephant on the Hill
Brunch at Tom’s Kitchen. Look out for a post about this soon.
Drinks at the Tinder Yard
Dinner at The Seahorse Pub (One of our favourite places ever – their sticky toffee pudding is to die for)
Lunch at Denbies Vineyard

What about you lovely people? What have been your food highlights this month?

Lau xxx

Butternut Squash Pasta

Greetings my little food lovers. I hope this day is treating you well. Yippee for it being Friday hey!

Today I wanted to share a delicious dinner idea that Fi and I had earlier this week. Let me start by giving you a bit of background; Fi has been wanting to make this recipe from Country Living for ages and ages and on Tuesday we finally got around to doing it. We changed things a bit so I’m going to add what we did below, so you can either use our version or use the real recipe linked above (it’s for two people).

Ingredients – 

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup of double cream
  • 30 grams grated parmesan
  • 150 grams of penne pasta
  • salt and pepper

What to do –

1. First off roast the butternut squash. Peel the vegetable and cut it into chunks, then mix with some olive oil and put into a roasting tin for 40 mins at 200C. [We actually did this the night before so that the squash was all ready to go the next day].
2. Once the squash is roasted set your pasta to cook as per the pack instructions. Meanwhile blend the cream and roasted butternut squash together with a bit of seasoning to make a paste. *At this stage you will have quite a lot of the paste. As there was only the two of use eating, we decided to freeze half of the paste for another day.*
3. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and return it to the saucepan. Now add in half of the parmesan and the butternut squash paste and mix together.
4. Put the mixture into a ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
5. Place in the oven on 180C for about 20 minutes. Basically you want the cheese on top to melt.
6. Now eat!

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Guys, I honestly can’t explain how good this tasted! Especially as it was consumed after some half marathon training in the cold and windy weather. I think that made us both appreciate it that extra bit more!

If you try this then do let us know your thoughts.

Lau xx

p.s. we’re planning on using the leftover butternut squash paste for a risotto or something similar, so of course we will update you on how that goes.

Cook, Bake and Eat do Ready Steady Cook #5

Hello lovely people and welcome to the first round of Ready Steady Cook in 2014. This time it was Fi’s turn to choose the five key ingredients that I had to cook with. For some reason I was really looking forward to getting stuck into this challenge – I think because I didn’t do much cooking in December, so I was itching for a chance to get going. The five ingredients that Fi picked are below…

 

broccoli / cod / passata / brown rice / bacon lardons

As soon as I saw these ingredients I was grinning as it seemed like the perfect chance to create something warm and delicious for dinner. So that’s exactly what I did on the first Sunday of January. Aside from the ingredients that Fi gave me I also used 1 red onion and 3 tablespoons of double cream as we had some in the fridge already.

Here’s what I did to create cod with bacon and tomato sauce on brown rice.

1. Fry the chopped onion until slightly soft, then add the bacon lardons (NB we only used half of the bacon in this pack) and continue to fry. While this is cooking, cook the broccoli in the usual way. Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C and place the cod in some oiled foil ready for the oven.

2. Once the bacon is cooked add the carton of passata sauce and some herbs. I went for some mixed herbs as I wanted an italian flavour to the dish. I don’t have amounts as I just did it by taste and smell as I went along (sorry). Once you’ve started the sauce you can cook your rice – I did this in the microwave as I could leave it alone for 18 minutes, only stirring every now and again. Once the rice is in put your cod in the oven for 17 mins.

3. Once the sauce has thickened add in the double cream, this makes the sauce really creamy, but isn’t strictly necessary. We had some leftover in the fridge so I figured I may as well throw it in! Leave the sauce to simmer until your fish is cooked.

4. The rice, cod and sauce should all be ready at around about the same time, so now just construct your plate of food and enjoy!

Just a quick note to make – This gave us twice as much sauce as what we actually needed, so next time we would use half the amount of passata, the bacon and the cream.We’ll definitely be making this again as it was scrumptious!

Lau xx

p.s. Check out the new banner that Fi made for this series in 2014. I love it 🙂

December Eats

Greetings chums, here’s a quick round up of what we managed to cook, bake and eat in December. It was the time of Christmas cheer and food so it was quite a lot obviously! Here’s hoping January doesn’t look quite this bad!

Cooked
Sherry log
Sticky ginger cake (yes again)
Turkey Enchiladas

Baked – fyi, most of these are mentioned in the Christmas baking post.
Reindeer cupcakes
Mince pies
Mince pie fudge
Vanilla fudge
Snowman bread
Gingerbread star tree
Sausage Rolls
Baby shower cupcakes – with homemade chocolate buttons

Eaten
Bill’s Christmas lunch
Bill’s brunch
Zizzi’s
Busaba Eathai
Wooton Hatch
60th Birthday Cake
Christmas Sandwiches
Christmas Dinner
Honey glazed gammon
Chicken, Ham and Leek Pie
Vol-au-vents
Mulled Wine

I also need to tell you about a rum liqueur we discovered over Christmas. Some of our Australian family gifted us this Bundaberg rum liqueur that is chocolate and coffee flavour – they live in Bundaberg so it was an inspired gift idea. Now first impressions; rum? yuck. Smell? Yuck, but taste wise this is absolutely delicious with coke (or diet coke if your us). I highly recommend it, my sisters and I managed to get through most of the bottle over the Christmas period and we even got other family members trying it too.

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Phew, that’s an awfully long list! Mostly sweet stuff and eating out it seems, but hey it was December which is always a busy month full of eating out. The fact of the matter is that when we weren’t out and about we were basically just exhausted and not fancying cooking. That and soup this time of year, is just one of my favourite things! What delights has everyone else been cooking, baking and eating?

Lau xxx

p.s. sorry about the lack of photos, we both took loads over the holiday break, but none seem to be of food!