Sunday, 1 July 2012
Days without agenda
I love days like these, free days, days when I am committed to no-one but me, a day to do exactly as I please (well kind of). I started the day early, cut hubbies hair, now I am no hairdresser but he is, shall we say, folically challenged ha hum J and all it takes is a number 3 over his barnett once every 4 weeks, it looks grand after and saves an easy £70 - £80 per year.
Whilst hubby was in the shower I whipped through the downstairs with the hoover, tidied the house, loaded the dishwasher, made the bed and generally put everything in order. I then showered and got ready before we went to mass.
Returning home I decided to do some batch cooking, I made cottage pie and sausage and bean hot pot to stock up the freezer, along with making hubbies couscous salad for this week’s lunches (only 4 this week as he’s taking his kids on a field trip on Friday so I will be making him butties for ease), before tackling the ironing.
Now all of this may not be everyone’s choice of a free day, but whilst I have been as busy as the busiest bee it has been completely my choice, I could have just curled up with a book – something I plan to do after posting this, it was the choice that is the liberating thing.
Cooking master class – well more amateur class
There are a million different tweaks to this recipe, this is just mine, I love cottage/shepherd’s pie, its filling, hearty and nourishing, real soul food and considering we seem to be still in winter, is a suitable recipe for this time of year.
So I start by gently sweating one large chopped onion
I then chop 10 carrots and half a swede, but just add whatever amount you want
Add a pack of mince; this one is 800g and brown
Add a dollop of tomato ketchup; this really gives the mix a kick and mix through
Sprinkle a large tablespoon of plain flour and mix and cook out
Slowly add 800ml of stock (2 beef stock cubes with boiling water) mixing all the time
Add seasoning and some mixed herbs, pop the lid on and simmer on a low heat for 30 mins before portioning out into dishes
Now you can make a batch of mash, but I really couldn’t be bothered and decided to top the pies with thinly sliced (half a cm) potatoes, bake in the oven for 25 mins, quick, low fat and easy. This batch has made 7 hearty portions.
Sausage and Bean Hotpot
I really enjoy this recipe, again hearty winter food; it’s healthy, nourishing, and low cost and tastes so good. This makes 2 meals (4 portions) on the ratio of hubby has 3 sausages to my 2. All you need to add is a wedge of bread and you have a cracking supper,
Select 10 sausages, try and make them quality sausages, I would rather eat less meat i.e. reduce the quantity of meat and have several veggie meals a week than reduce the quality. Mine are finest pork and herb
Gently colour in a pan with 2 large onions sliced
Add 2 cans of chopped tomatoes, chicken stock (400ml made with one chicken stock cube), herbs, a good pinch of chilli flakes and seasoning
Rinse two tins of Cannellini Beans and add, stir, cook without lid on for 20 mins
And portion up