Recipe: Baked Eggs in Cheese

Whether you are eating breakfast, brunch, or lunch; baked eggs in cheese is a delicious option. This simple recipe takes just minutes to make and is even easy enough for cooking novices. It is budget-friendly and suitable for vegetarians. Here is a simple recipe for baked eggs in cheese.

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 3-5 minutes

Ingredients for Baked Eggs in Cheese

  • 4 free range eggs
  • 6 oz crumbly cheese
  • 2 oz cheddar
  • 8 tbsp milk
  • Black pepper
  • 2 slices of bread

How to Make Baked Eggs in Cheese

  • Preheat oven to full heat.
  • Crumble the crumbly cheese (your favorite variety) equally into two ramekins or individual serving dishes.
  • Sprinkle four tablespoons of milk over each dish.
  • Add black pepper and stir.
  • Break two eggs into each dish.
  • Grate the cheddar or any other hard cheese before sprinkling over the eggs or around the edges of the bowl.
  • Put both dishes into the oven for between three and five minutes or until the cheese is melted, the white is set, and the yolk is cooked to your liking.
  • Meanwhile, toast two slices of your favorite bread.
  • Remove the baked eggs and cheese from the oven and put on a plate.
  • Slice the toast and add to the plate before serving.
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Astronomical Cost of Christmas Food in the UK

christmas dinner

Once again, the people of the UK have spent an astronomical amount on food for the Christmas period. Following the trends of previous years, Christmas food costs continue to rise. Studies show that Brits spent a whopping £4.24 billion on food and drink for the festive season in 2018, which is a staggering £1 billion more than food and drink spending for the previous year.

Food is a significant part of the cost of Christmas for most people. Experian broke down these figures further by identifying how people spent their money and which regions of the United Kingdom spent the most and least on Christmas groceries.

The Highs and Lows of the Cost of Christmas

Leicester came out top as the biggest spenders on groceries for Christmas. People from this city were even willing to spend over £20 on a decent cheese board for the holiday period. At the other end of the scale, Bradford and Wakefield were the most budget-conscious cities and the cost of Christmas was much lower in these cities. The people of Bradford spent less on chocolate than people from any other city in the UK.

The Cost of Christmas Drinks

The people of Leicester were also the biggest spenders when it came to filling up their drinks cabinets. The average person in Leicester spent £65.19 on alcoholic beverages, with a fairly even split between their expenditure on wines and spirits. To the other extreme, those who live in Cardiff spent an average of a mere £43.68.

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/dec/12/uk-christmas-shoppers-record-spend-food-and-drink

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jan/09/morrisons-christmas-premium-food-sales-soar

https://www.experian.co.uk/xmas.html

RECIPE: Spinach and Roasted Cauliflower Curry

Although not a vegetarian, I occasionally like to eat vegetarian food. I love to experiment with different variations of curry, including this spinach and roasted cauliflower curry which is entirely of my own creation. It’s easy to make and totally delicious. Here is a simple recipe for spinach and roasted cauliflower curry. 

Ingredients for Spinach and Roasted Cauliflower Curry

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 4 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 chillies
  • 2-inch piece of ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 5 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp dried cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

How to Make Spinach and Roasted Cauliflower Curry

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C.
  2. Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and break into florets. Cut any larger florets in half.
  3. Put the florets on a baking tray, drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Put in the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until cauliflower is beginning to turn golden.
  5. Roughly chop the chillies, ginger, garlic cloves and onion before putting in a food processor with the dried spices and a little water. 
  6. Blitz in the food processor until a paste is created.
  7. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat. 
  8. Add the paste and cook for five minutes. 
  9. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree.
  10. Stir and turn down the heat of the pan so the mixture simmers.
  11. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and add to the pan.
  12. Add the spinach and stir through to ensure the cauliflower is completely coated in the curry sauce and the spinach is wilted. 
  13. Serve with pilau rice, raita, and flatbreads.

WATCH: Fun Food Hacks for Vegans

Although I am not a vegan, I am a fan of eating plenty of fruit and vegetables in my diet and trying new things. I also make a couple of meals per week that are plant-based meals and am always on the lookout for new ideas. Today, I came across this interesting video of food hacks for vegans. I thought it may interest not only vegans but also people who enjoy vegetarian food and those who are trying to reduce the amount of meat they include in their diet. 

RECIPE: Ham, Mushroom, Cheese and Leek Pie

 

ham pie 3

When I cook a ham joint, I make a joint large enough to last for two meals. I use the leftover ham in lots of different ways and this week, I created a new dish that I have mot made for my family before. It was a hit with everyone and my teenager even described it as restaurant quality. Therefore, it is a dish that I will make again and wanted to share on my blog. It is a ham, mushroom, cheese and leek pie. This might start a bit of a debate about what constitutes a pie; whether it should be completely encased in pastry or just have a pastry lid. Strictly speaking, I would argue that the former is true, but this recipe just has a pastry lid as it is quicker to make and I am a busy working mum. However, you can adapt this recipe by making more pastry and creating a pie that encompasses the filling with the pastry. Here is my simple recipe for how to make ham, mushroom, cheese, and leek pie.

Recipe for Shortcrust Pastry

  • 8 oz plain flour
  • 4 oz lard
  • 4 oz butter
  • Salt
  • 1 beaten egg for glaze

Recipe for Ham, Mushroom, Cheese, and Leek Pie Filling

  • Leftover ham- approximately three slices, shredded
  • 10 button mushrooms, quartered or sliced
  • I leek, finely sliced
  • 4 oz cheese, grated
  • 1 x 400g tin of condensed mushroom soup
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 oz butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Black pepper to season

How to Make Ham, Mushroom, Cheese, and Leek Pie

  1. Prepare the pastry using this recipe (see here) and then keep in the fridge until ready to roll.
  2. Preheat the over to 180/ gas mark 4.
  3. Add the butter and olive oil to a large pan and put over a medium heat.
  4. Add the sliced leeks and mushrooms to the pan and cook until softened.
  5. Add the condensed soup and milk and bring to the simmer.
  6. Add the shredded ham, parsley, cheese, and black pepper.
  7. Cook for a further five minutes.
  8. Transfer the mixture to a large oven dish.
  9. Roll out the pastry and then cover the dish.
  10. Use a pastry brush to glaze the pastry with the beaten egg.
  11. Transfer the pie to the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the pie is golden brown.
  12. Serve with your choice of potatoes and veg.

I served this with princess potatoes, broccoli and carrots.

 

 

 

 

How to Elevate Mashed Potatoes

mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes are one of the simplest side dishes to make. It is a fantastic accompaniment to both meat and fish dishes and is a popular dinnertime choice in many homes. Not only do most people know how to make mashed potatoes, it is a good choice for people who have a limited budget. However, most people do not want to eat the same things over and over again, so it makes sense to change the way that you serve up this accompaniment if you can. Here are some ideas for elevating mashed potatoes. 

How to Make Mashed Potatoes

Although I am sure that most people already know how to make mashed potatoes, I am just adding brief instructions for the benefit of those who don’t.

  1. Wash and peel potatoes then cut into quarters.
  2. Put in a pan and cover with water, add a little salt.
  3. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.
  4. Cook until potatoes are soft enough to easily push fork prongs into.
  5. Drain potatoes thoroughly before returning to a pan and putting over a low heat.
  6. Add a large knob of butter, a dash of milk, and season with pepper.
  7. Use a potato masher to make the mashed potatoes.
  8. For really creamy and smooth potatoes, you can then whisk with a whisk or a fork if you wish.

Adding Flavours

Cheesy mash– This is something my children love and is really easy to make just by adding grated cheese and stirring through.

Horseradish mash– This variation works best with dishes such as steak, roast beef dinners, or steak pie. Just add a few heaped tablespoons of horseradish to the mashed potatoes and stir through.

Mustard mash– There are several variations of this depending on which type of mustard you use. Just add three to four teaspoons of wither English, French, wholegrain, or Dijon mustard. This works well with both beef and ham dishes.

Herby mash– Add two teaspoons of dried mixed herbs or a herb that complements the rest of the meal, i.e. rosemary goes well with lamb, parsley is great with fish dishes etc.

Garlic mash– This works well with most meals but don’t just add raw garlic to the mash. Instead of adding a knob of butter to the mashed potatoes, melt it in a pan over a medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent the butter from burning and then add crushed garlic. Cook for a few minutes before transferring the garlic butter to the mashed potatoes and stirring through.

Onion mash- Similarly, you can add finely chopped onion or spring onions (scallions) to mash if you cook them in the butter first and then transfer.

Other Things to Make with Mashed Potatoes

Princess potatoes- Make the mashed potatoes and then use a piping bag to create swirls of mashed potato on a greased or lined baking tray. Cook in the oven on a high heat until the edges of the potatoes are turning golden and crispy.

Tuna fishcakessee the recipe.

 Bubble and squeaksee the recipe.

Corned beef fritterssee the recipe.

These are just some ideas for completely transforming mashed potatoes into a new dish with different flavors. If you have any other ways of adding flavor to your mashed potatoes or ways of creating a dish with them, then feel free to add your ideas into the comments box below.

RECIPE: Bubble and Squeak

bubble and squeak

The other day I posted a recipe for loaded potato skins and mentioned ways that you can then use up the leftover potato. Next, I posted a recipe for tuna fishcakes that I made using my own leftover potatoes. I planned to write a few more recipes for ways to use up leftovers, including one for bubble and squeak. It is like the people over at the Daily Post read my mind with today’s prompt which is ‘bubble‘. 

Bubble and squeak is a British dish that is traditionally made using leftover mashed potatoes and cabbage. However, you can make it using any leftover vegetables and will taste different depending on which vegetables you use. I have written this differently to my other recipes in the sense that it does not have specific quantities, it is just what you have leftover. It is really easy to make and ideal for those on a budget. It is also suitable for vegetarians. Here is a recipe for bubble and squeak.

Ingredients for Bubble and Squeak

  • Leftover mashed potatoes
  • Leftover cabbage and any other leftover vegetables
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper

How to Make Bubble and Squeak

  1. Combine the mashed potatoes and leftover vegetables in a mixing bowl.
  2. Season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.
  4. Fry the onions for five minutes until softened.
  5. Spoon the onions from the pan into the mixing bowl with the vegetables and stir in well.
  6. Transfer the mixture to the frying pan and press down with the back of a spoon.
  7. Cook for 7-10 minutes until the bubble and squeak is golden brown and crispy.
  8. Flip it over in the pan using a flatfish lift and repeat so both sides are golden.
  9. Transfer to a plate and cut into slices to serve.