Monday, 31 December 2012

Top 12 Recipes of 2012


New Years Eve is without a doubt a time for celebration. A time to celebrate all the good that has happened over the year, and a time to celebrate the fact that although bad things may have happened, we all came out the other side and live to tell the tale!

2012 has been one hell of a year, not just for me personally, but for the country as a whole.

I graduated the University of Nottingham with a 2.1 in Law; I received a training contract offer from a top City law firm; and started law school. We also saw the Olympics and the Queens Jubilee which meant that there was always a reason to get friends and family round to have a party.

Some people have suggested that it may be hard to top 2012 as it was such a momentous year but I know I am certainly going to try as I will be moving in with Jon at last!

But, before we look to what 2013 may or may not have to offer, I think it’s time to share with you the top 12 recipes from 2012.


I am very proud that the most popular recipe of 2012 was my Chocolate Bread with Home-made Chocolate Spread. It was one of those recipes that really develops right before your eyes as you cook it, and you have absolutely no idea how it will turn out. (No, it wasn’t an accident...)

With a romantic weekend with my boyfriend on the cards I wanted to come up with something truly decadent and this recipe really hits the spot.


Although this year has been about eating healthy as much as it has been about celebrating, I would be lying if I didn’t say that baking was a huge part of my life. My cooking story begins aged 7 cooking fairy cakes with my Gran and Mum every Sunday. By 10 years old I had memorised the recipe and no longer needed any help (except perhaps with getting the trays in and out of the hot oven!)

Ever since, I have been famous for my cupcakes and have tried coming up with new and exciting flavour combinations and ways of decorating them.

It seems that in every possible way England does what America has already done just a year or so down the line, and these Oreo Cupcakes are no different. After taking the American blog world by storm I thought I would give them a go, and they didn’t disappoint.


From a young age, I have been fascinated with Chinese culture and more importantly their food. Although we have no oriental roots in our family, my Dad cooks an amazing Chinese feast and we have always celebrated Chinese New Year in style!

This year also saw a few firsts for me in terms of Chinese cuisine as I finally visited a Dim Sum restaurant in Nottingham and had my first taste of delicacies such as Chickens Feet.

In between visiting various Chinese restaurants, I found time to cook up my own Chinese inspired recipes including Sesame Chicken and Steamed Prawn Wontons, but your favourite of my creations was my Sweet and Spicy Pork Stir Fry.

This stir fry is as quick and simple as you would expect, but jam packed full of fresh and vibrant flavours. Once you have tried this recipe you won’t be tempted to reach for the local take away menu again.


My regular readers will know that this blog started off as a distraction at university. I have always loved cooking, but as I moved into my first real house and had a kitchen practically all to myself (the 5 other girls I lived with preferred the prick and ping method of cooking...) my love for all things food EXPLODED. And so the blog was born.

It will come as no surprise then that in the top 5 this year is my Gourmet Tuna Pasta Bake, a recipe that I developed in my final year of university. It has all the simplicity of a student’s favourite meal, but with the addition of a few more fancy ingredients creates a dish that will be loved by people of all ages and wages!

Number 5: Mincemeat

Quite simply, at Christmas I am in my element! The popularity of this home-made mincemeat proves just that. Posted earlier this month its popularity has astounded me and I have had many wonderful comments from readers as well as friends and family who have all tried the recipe.

At the beginning of next year, you can expect a recipe or two which use the mincemeat in a new and interesting way.


Unfortunately for me, 2012 didn’t get off to the greatest start in terms of my health. I was plagued by cold after cold and although I was fortunate enough that none of them developed into anything worse (stay away flu!) it did mean that revising for my exams was that little bit harder!

But, every cloud has a silver lining, and after rummaging around in the picnic basket full of goodies that I was given for Christmas, I stumbled across some Japanese noodles and whipped up a huge pan of Japanese Chicken Noodle Soup! I don’t know what I would have done over the first few months of the year without this recipe. The soup is warming, fresh, and comforting, exactly what you need when you’re feeling under the weather.


Do we ever REALLY need an excuse to bake a cake? For me, the real reason for baking this cake was to try and replicate an amazing cake I had tasted at my favourite tea house in Nottingham.

(Rosie Lee you are missed dearly!)

Those of you who have visited the tea house in question will probably notice a difference or two, but I was really pleased with the way this cake came out. The flavour combinations were so delicate and the floral tones made this the perfect Spring/Summer celebration cake.

For anyone looking to experiment with spices in their baking I think this recipe is a great place to start!


My recipe for baked pasta Florentine was only posted on the blog this month, but it has been so popular it has rocketed on to my top 10 recipes of ALL TIME!

It really is a fabulous dish so its position is truly justified. With fresh greens, carbohydrates, fats and plenty of protein, it’s a well balanced plate of food that is full of flavour!

The novelty of the egg on top is also a fun way to impress your guests, or to keep the family entertained.

Number 9: Bakewell Muffins

When the idea for a bakewell tart in muffin form came to me, I knew it was going to be something special!

I had never baked cake with ground almonds before but had heard so much about the rich flavour it gave and how it kept the cakes super moist so it seemed like an exciting new challenge.

With almonds, you have to have cherries and icing (all three ingredients even find themselves in Christmas cake...they’re a match made in heaven) and so the Bakewell Muffin was born!

These muffins will be loved for adults and children alike.


Sometimes the best recipes are the most undemanding

Chocolate chip shortbread is a simple and versatile recipe that can be made for any occasion, whether you are having friends round for a cup of tea, or entertaining at Christmas. It’s also a great recipe to use to introduce children to cooking.


This year eating a healthy and balanced diet has become increasingly important to me. With my final year at university coming to an end, I didn’t want to step out into the big bad world with a tired and unhealthy body, and a million and one bad habits. So the blog took a slight turn as I attempted to come up with more health conscious dinners.

This Turkey and Sweet Potato Pie was one of my favourite dishes of 2012 as it helped me discover the joys of super lean turkey mince! Turkey mince is an incredibly versatile meat and is great for anyone who wants to trim down. Combined with the sweet and soft sweet potato toping, this dish feels oh so naughty, yet oh so nice!



More often than not, the motivation behind my developing a new recipe is that I am bored... For the first part of this year I was limited by my student bank account, and for the second half, I was limited by the simple fact that I don’t control what food goes into our shopping trolley. As a result, week on week I find the same old ingredients lurking in the back of the fridge and I get bored! It’s not a crime is it?

So, one day when yet again a pack of chicken breasts was staring at me from the depths of the fridge, I grabbed a ball of mozzarella, raided the veg drawer and tried to come up with something new! The recipe didn’t disappoint and is often requested by the rest of the family mid-week!

I wonder how long it will take me to get bored of this? If ever!


We may not know what 2013 has in store, maybe there won’t be as many big reasons to celebrate like the Jubilee or the Olympics, but I’m confident that with all the happiness that 2012 has brought over the next year we will be more able to find the good and the reason to celebrate in the little things over the coming year.

This is my last post of 2012 so let me wish you all a very happy New Year!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies


This recipe is dedicated to a rather special niece of mine!
Phoebe, I hope you enjoy cooking these with Daddy.

Forgive me for not calling this something super exciting. You may think there’s not much razzle dazzle in a recipe simply called Chocolate Chip Cookies, but this recipe my friend, does what it says on the tin!

In the UK at Christmas we tend to leave out mince pies and brandy for Santa Claus, other countries however seem to think Santa would prefer milk and cookies... I thought this year I would give him the option and so I set about developing a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies that were fit for the big man himself – Father Christmas!

America to me is the home of cookies. Any American food blog will have a wide variety of cookie creations, from the plain and simple, to those bedecked with sprinkles and glitter, some will have grown up flavours, and others will be jam packed with kid’s favourite sweets. I needed a happy medium.

America also has one great advantage over England in the cookie stakes, and it’s something I’m seriously envious about...Green and red chocolate chips! When making a chocolate chip cookie for Santa, I didn’t want to just use plain chocolate chips, and after a day or two trawling the internet discovered I would have to have festive ones shipped in.

I appreciate for all of my English readers, paying a fortune for chocolate chips to be flown over from America is far from ideal, or even a realistic option, so feel free to substitute in ANY chocolate chips you feel like! I have tried this recipe with every chocolate chip going and they taste amazing no matter what.

Once my American chocolate chips had arrived to the party, it was simply a case of making them...easier said than done when it’s Christmas Eve and you have been at work since 7am, still have to make the Christmas Day starter, stuffing, mince pies, home-made ice cream and MORE!

But hey...Santa deserves the best!

I took another tip from America when baking these cookies and this time it wasn’t advice on the type of chocolate chip to use, it was about the baking method.

In the past, I have tried spooning my mixture on to the tray and letting the cookies cook somewhat “free form”. But higgledy piggledy cookies won’t suffice for Santa. They had to be perfect rounds. So here’s my tip, from America and me to you. Roll out an inch of the cookie mix into a ball in your hands, and place on your cookie sheet (or baking tray) roughly 1-2 inches apart and bake! You might be thinking – “but I don’t want cookies balls” – but as they cook they will sink down and spread out into perfectly circular cookies. Genius!

Once you’ve given them their cooking time (don’t be tempted to cook for longer than golden brown) and they have been left to cool, you will be presented with the perfect chocolate chip cookies, fit for Santa (or any other guests for that matter...)


Thursday, 27 December 2012

Bubble and Squeak


The 27th of December - for me, the first day I finally get to sit down and rest. (Well as much rest as can be achieved while revising for Law School.)

The Christmas period is certainly a busy one. Tonight we are entertaining my sisters new boyfriend who is visiting from Nottingham - aka Christmas 2. Tomorrow I will be at Jon's house for Christmas 3 as his sister and brother-in-law come to stay. On Saturday there's another family party to attend before yet MORE family coming to stay on the 30th! And despite all of this, we still seem to have WAY too much food in our fridge! You'd think we didn't feed our guests.

Taking a little respite today, my mother and I decided to try and make a dent on the leftovers in fridge.

We came across cooked parsnips, peas, sweetcorn, roast potatoes and loads of carrots. This means one thing in our house - bubble and squeak.

For those of you who don't know, bubble and squeak is a traditional English a shallow fried potato cake filled with other vegetables leftover from a roast dinner.

For those of you who believe in the saying "waste not, want not" this recipe is for you!


Sunday, 23 December 2012

Gingerbread House


There are two types of people that reveal themselves at Christmas: those who are painfully organised, have their presents bought in August and have all of their Christmas baking finished before Christmas eve and those who have ribbons and bows attached to their clothes, burnt cookies in the oven and friends and family unexpectedly knocking on the door.

I usually fall in the latter category!

I must admit...it’s Christmas Eve Eve and I am still yet to finish one of my parents’ presents, wrap ALL of the presents I’ve bought, make truffles for my Grandad, bake two different batches of cookies, make ice-cream for dessert Christmas Day, make the starter for Christmas Day, BUY and write Christmas cards to my family, and I have to complete all of this on Christmas Eve when I will be working from 7am. Can anyone spot a problem?

Despite all of this, I did manage to do something pretty damn impressive at the beginning of the week. I made my first ever gingerbread house.

It was so much easier than I first thought, though I’m not going to lie to you, it is time consuming.

So, if you are one of these super women who was planning on pouring herself a snowball and watching it’s a wonderful life tomorrow, I challenge you to instead bake yourself the ultimate of Christmas table centre pieces – the ginger bread house!

The basic premise is that you make a ginger flavoured dough, roll it out, cut out the various shapes, and stick together with royal icing before decorating with all sorts of yummy sweets and chocolates.

Easy peasy right?
 
Well hopefully, by following this recipe you will find making your gingerbread house just as easy as I did.



Thursday, 20 December 2012

Christmas Buffet - Spinach and Ricotta Pie



Just a few days ago I shared with you my Christmas Canapés! They went down a treat at our first Christmas party, but I’m sure you’ll all agree a few blinis won’t fill anyone up.

As my family has gotten older and all of the children have become adults in their own rights, the choice of food at our Christmas buffets has gone from chicken nuggets and slices of pizza, to cheeseboards, blinis and quiches.
This year we thought we’d reduce the amount of food that comes out of the freezer even more, and I wanted to cook something that would look impressive in the centre of the table and would be great for sharing.

After flicking through countless food magazines dedicated to Christmas party food, I settled on a Spinach and Ricotta pie from the Good Food Magazine.
I’ve adapted it here and there. Changed the quantities slightly and changed the method to show what worked well for me. The pie truly was a show stopper and everyone loved the simple flavours and crisp pastry.


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Christmas Canapés – Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese / Brie and Cranberry Blinis



Morning guys and girls! Has anyone else noticed? Christmas party season has begun!!!

Canapés on the Christmas buffet table
We kicked off the party season on Sunday evening with our first festive party of the year. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and Grandparents all came round to celebrate my Granddad’s birthday and the beginning of the Christmas celebrations.
It will come as no surprise to you guys that my family does Christmas big time. For Christians there is truly something worth celebrating at Christmas and although all of the children of the family keep getting older and older (heck, I’m one of the youngest and I’m 22 next month) Christmas gets bigger and bigger every year! Who said Christmas was just for kids?!
With 20 people descending on our house on a Sunday afternoon/eve food was going to require a bit of preparation. So I sent the parents off to church (it is advent after all) while I stayed at home to get on with the cooking.
This is the first a series of posts. Next to come is a Spinach and Ricotta Pie, and mini-Christmas cakes (the perfect bite sized treat to finish off any Christmas buffet!) But I must admit I do feel a little cheeky posting this “recipe” at all! I think it could probably be better described as arty assembly. Nonetheless, I’m a firm believer that the key to a successful buffet is keeping the cooking simple, but the flavours exciting! You want every mouthful to memorable and hopefully I achieved that this weekend.
So...what are my Christmas Canapés?
I chose to do my canapés in two different flavours. Although smoked salmon and cream cheese is a classic this time of year (I don’t think I know anyone who DOESN’T have smoked salmon as a starter on Christmas Day) I wanted to provide a choice, in particular for those guests who are vegetarian. What’s more Christmassy and veggie friendly than brie and cranberry?


Monday, 17 December 2012

Review: Japanese Canteen, Holborn

Japanese Canteen – visited twice in the last month…will most definitely be back in the New Year!
83 High Holborn
London
WC1V 6LS
020 7405 4540
By way of introduction, Japanese Canteen kind of does what it says on the tin! It offers freshly cooked Japanese food in a canteen-style restaurant.
So…what more do you need to know?!
There are ten Japanese Canteens in total all over London. Now I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting any of them other than the Holborn branch just yet so I can’t comment on the restaurant business as a whole, but I can tell you a little bit about what to expect from the Holborn branch and why I will keep going back.
The first thing that caught my eye about Japanese Canteen, was not the branding or restaurant decoration (a bit more about that later), but that every morning when I was walking to Law School there would be crates and crates of fresh vegetables being delivered to their store. The website boasts how they cook hot fresh food daily and that ingredients are locally sourced. Though I can’t vouch for where the vegetables come from, they certainly are fresh! Brownie point number 1!
Chicken Katsu Curry!
The menu is also pretty extensive for such a small Canteen! Each shop has its own independent kitchen and therefore the menu may differ depending on which branch you are in. But the Holborn branch in particular can offer everything from freshly made sushi, bento boxes, katsu curry, donburi and more! You could keep going back every week for a year and I genuinely believe you would never get bored.
But it’s not just the variety on offer that impresses. The food is cooked at lightning speed to your order and comes beautifully presented. It’s piping hot because it’s been cooked and bought out to you so quickly and the tastes are amazing! Every component part of the dish seems to jump out at you as clean and fresh, yet they work so well together to form a complete flavour experience. This is what I love about Japanese food. They take just a few favours that they can deliver in a refined way so that they don’t lose any of their own personality when matched with other flavours.
The first time I went, I had their Chicken Chilli Fried Rice. If you aren’t a fan of chilli heat you may want to shy away from this one. But when I was suffering from a cold, this was exactly what I needed. I could taste the chilli, the spring onions, the chicken, ginger and more! It seemed like each flavour had picked one of my taste buds and was doing a little dance!
The portion sizes weren’t bad either! It was really busy when I first went in (it always is at lunch time) so I chose to take it away. By the time I got back to law school the food was still piping hot and had lost none of its pizazz. I don’t know whether they had been extra generous with my portion, or whether my cold had got the better of me, but I actually couldn’t bring myself to finish it! Something I hate doing when something tastes so good.
On my second visit just two weeks later I decided to visit the Canteen a little later on – around 2pm – to try and miss the lunch time rush. It worked! And on the plus side student discount can only be used after 2pm! (More on that later…)
I chose the Chicken Katsu Curry and waited for my order. One thing about it being a Canteen is that although they serve their dishes beautifully if you eat in, you still have to stand and wait at the counter to collect it! Would it really be that hard to get a member of staff to walk those extra five steps to serve at the table? The store is tiny!
Nonetheless, I wanted to see what all of the fuss is about with Katsu curry.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Baked Pasta Florentine


These last few weeks really have been all about clearing out the cupboards and fridge – partly in preparation for all of the yummy Christmas food that we’re slowly starting to build up. Over the last two weeks I’ve posted two risotto recipes, one for Chicken and Tomato Risotto and another for Sausage and Asparagus Risotto both of which went down really well! But with Christmas shopping, Law Exams (Im officially two exams closer to being a solicitor!) and keeping down a part time job, it's been really hard to stick to any sort of meal plan and our fridge is looking a little sad and lost.

 Yet again this week we had a number of ingredients sat at the back of the cupboard that desperately needed eating up in particular spinach and eggs. I’ve always thought that spinach and eggs were a GREAT combination! Whether you’re making eggs Benedict, a spinach omelette, or even on a pizza... Who else loves the Fiorentina pizza in Pizza Express? And it seems that the people of Florentine agree so this dish is inspired by them. It may not be traditional, but it’s my twist on their way of cooking.
With all of these dishes in mind I decided to come up with a pasta dish that would be rich and filling, without going straight to your hips. Portion control is key with this dish; with the cracked egg oozing on top you don’t need to pile your plate high with the pasta underneath, and a little cream goes a long way. We are not looking to have a thick sumptuous sauce, but instead a flavoursome coating which brings all the ingredients together. If you are extra careful and make substitutions like 1 cal spray instead of olive oil, and use a low-fat cream this doesn’t have to spell the end of a diet.



Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Chicken and Tomato Risotto


I overheard my parents talking the other day...they were wondering what they’re going to do when I leave home for good. Food-wise that is! I’m sure they’d love to have their house back; it would be clean, tidy and quiet. But they can’t deny one thing – they eat much better when I’m around!
We’ve nicknamed Mum’s cooking cordon bleu because it couldn’t be further from the truth! She’s well aware that she only has a few recipes in her repertoire that don’t involve packets of frozen food but having said that what she can cook isn’t half bad. When she's not cooking fish fingers it's probably a Chicken Supreme or a Bolognase!

Dad’s a much better cook and he’s probably where I get my cooking skills from. Every now and then he’ll decide to cook a Chinese feast from scratch, or whip up a curry. He’s also not half bad at puddings! It’s just a shame he’s not in the kitchen more often when I’m not around.
I don’t think my Mum is half as bad as we make her out to be. I think a lot of being a good cook is about having the confidence to try new things and the imagination to create something different when faced with the same old ingredients in the cupboard. A couple of weeks ago I cooked a sausage and asparagus risotto for the first time. It was completely unplanned and was based on what I could find in the fridge, but it worked so well we’ve tried it a few times and it now has pride of place on my blog. This recipe isn’t too dissimilar. Not only is it a risotto recipe, but it uses up all of those ingredients you usually have lurking at the back of the fridge; chicken breasts, tomatoes, stock, tomato puree and rice. Nothing here – bar the basil if you don’t grow your own – is special or fancy, they are every day flavours that when combined together make something really quite special!


Sunday, 2 December 2012

Spiced Cranberry Chutney



An extra large jar of Spiced Cranberry Chutney
ready for some cheese!
This is my second venture into the Christmas kitchen this year and yet again it involves a couple of jars!
I’ve been thinking about “dabbling” in preserves since the summer. In the past we’ve ended up with a huge glut of fruit and I was looking forward to attempting to make jam for the first time. But, summer came and went, and in true British style the weather was disappointing. We had hardly any raspberries on our canes this year so my new jam thermometer never got a look in.

But, as we get ever closer to Christmas, I’ve begun to find festive uses for the jam jars I have collected.
First I attempted my own mincemeat perfect for mince pies and other festive favourites. The recipe was super simple, and I managed to get an airtight seal! Woo hoo! Not too bad for a first attempt.

This time I thought I’d try something a little bit different.
At Christmas my family gets through an UNHOLY amount of Cheese; cheeses of all kinds, from soft to smelly, sheep to goat. Last year my Dad’s present from my sister and I was actually a Cheese hamper complete with 5 types of cheese 2 chutneys and a plumb bread. You can buy these hampers from farmers markets and supermarkets alike but I started to think...how hard can it REALLY be to make chutney?! As it turns out, it’s not very hard at all.

When coming up for the flavour combination, I wanted something that didn’t just go well with cheese, but something that well and truly said CHRISTMAS! So my starting point was cranberries. As I searched the internet for basic cranberry chutney I was a bit concerned about how I would actually find fresh cranberries. Turns out...that’s also pretty damn easy! Who would’ve thought they can found in the fresh fruit isle of Sainsbury’s in a plastic bag by the nuts.
Well that was the first hurdle overcome. Next I had to decide what else I would but in the chutney. For a truly festive flavour it had to be cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of ginger. This combined with the basic chutney mix (the fruit, red wine vinegar, a little onion) seemed like a good place to start, but I didn’t want to play it too safe. So, to give the chutney an extra kick, you can also find a red chilli in the ingredients list. This works really well to give the chutney a bit of excitement without drowning out the mellow Christmas spices.



6 Weeks of Christmas Linky!

On the 6th week of Christmas my true love sent to me a linky of festive recipes...

Shhhhhh....want to know a secret...rumour has it I’m not the only one planning my Christmas Cooking!

In fact, it seems there are people up and down the country planning everything from their mincemeat, how to decorate their Christmas cake, down to the dishes that will be adorning their table on the big day!

If that’s you, then look no further as I’m bringing you a linky of some of the best Christmas recipes the internet can find. Some can be made weeks in advance; others can be prepared on the day itself.

So look no further for you Christmas Culinary Inspiration!

To be included in the list simply send me an email with the link to the recipe and if you would like, send me a picture to include allongside it. The only rule is that it MUST be Christmas related and I request that you do not spam; the same recipe can only be added once, but you are more than welcome to add more than one different recipe from the same blog.

Please send all emails to emmafwalton@gmail.com and I will create a gallery below. In the email please leave the name of your blog so that I can leave a caption with the photo.

Enjoy!

[Due to a few technical hitches the Simply-Linked widget would not work. If you previously attempted to submit using this widget please give me an email and I'll update the list to include your recipe!]

The 6 Weeks of Christmas Linky List:

1. Mincemeat by
Kitchen Goddess (in training)
1. Mincemeat for mince pies
Submitted by Emmyw @ Kitchen Goddess (in training!)

Submitted by Solange @ Pebble Soup

Submitted by Kerry @ Kerry Cooks


8. Festive Red and Green Six Layer Cake
with Cream Cheese Frosting by Kerry Cooks

Submitted by Karen @ Lavender and Lovage

Submitted by Beth @ Jam and Cream

Submitted by Emmyw @ Kitchen Goddess (in training!)

7. Traditional Christmas Cake
by Kitchen Goddess (in training!)
Submitted by Kerry @ Kerry Cooks

Submitted by Kelly @ An American Cupcake in London

Submitted by Choclette @ Chocolate Log Blog



Just 3 weeks to go until the big event! Keep sending me your Christmas Cooking Ideas to be included in the list.

Cranberry and Cinnamon Muffins
from Blue Kitchen Bakes

Submitted by Jen @ Blue Kitchen Bakes

Submitted by Emmyw @ Kitchen Goddess (in training!)
Submitted by Jen @ Blue Kitchen Bakes


14. A twist on the Roulade (Cranberries and Satsumas)
Submitted by Lauren @ A Baked Thesis

15. Christmas Biscuits from
Blue Kitchen Bakes




Thursday, 29 November 2012

Sausage and Asparagus Risotto



Updated: 19/04/2013

When I first posted this recipe I highlighted the age old issue of buying food that you just don’t get round to eating.


I told you how in my house we ALWAYS have a pack of sausages just sitting there waiting to be used. Unfortunately this hasn’t changed since my original post…

I also bet every single one of you can look in the fridge on a weekly basis and find that ONE thing you seem to buy no matter what. No matter how dedicated you are to meal planning, and using up everything so that you don’t create waste, there’s always something lurking in the back of the fridge that just sits there. It’ll be something that you just don’t really know what to do with, but that you love nonetheless.

We also tend to buy a lot of asparagus. And, it is a pretty expensive vegetable to be buying when you have no plans to use it.
I’ve tried a whole range of recipes. From griddled asparagus with almond butter (yet to make it’s way to the blog) to simply steamed alongside salmon. But the more times you have it steamed, or with butter, it starts to get boring.

Luckily for me it seems sausages and asparagus work quite well together!

At university I used to love coming up with sausage dishes mainly alongside pasta as always had some in the cupboard. Sausages are so versatile they can be put with the spiciest of tomato sauces and the creamiest of white sauces .

Here are just a few examples:
Before I came up with this recipe, at home (meaning my parent’s house), our sausage experiences are a little more conservative...usually toad in the hole, or sausages and mash! Not that I’m complaining! They are two of the best comfort foods.
Now, this recipe makes it’s way on to our dinner table every couple of weeks! And I’ve managed to stop the ‘rents buying sausages if we don’t have any need for them. It’s a miracle!







Until my original post a couple of months ago, I’d never really thought of pairing sausage and asparagus together before but the more I considered making a creamy sausage dish, the more it just made sense! So with the addition of some onion, mushroom, stock and risotto rice I soon had a new and exciting midweek meal.
To balance out the creaminess of this dish add to give it a bit more personality I find a good helping of pepper really helps, so don’t be afraid to give the pepper mill a good twist or two…or three…or four. You get the picture.

So, if you ever find yourself left with the odd pack of sausages and bunch of asparagus give this a go. If they’re not two ingredients you often find in your fridge then this is something you definitely have to try – head down to the supermarket now and treat yourself!




 


Total based on Asda’s own unless otherwise specified:

Sausages £1.38, onion 15p, asparagus £1, mushrooms 40p, aborio rice 75p, Knorr chicken stock (from cube) 16p, pepper 1p = £3.85

Per person = 96p!

Calculated on or before 29/11/2012

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