Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??

Pieday friday easter recipe for mini toad in the hole


Leave a comment

Pieday Good Friday ~ Mini toad-in-the-hole recipe for Easter

Here’s an easy but impressive recipe for your Easter roast lunch – mini toad-in-the-hole. These are also great for parties and evening meals so give it a try with this easiest ever batter recipe and let me know how you get on!

Pieday friday easter recipe for mini toad in the hole

Ingredients: Chipolata sausages (the long ones, not cocktail sausages), 140g plain flour, 4 eggs, 200ml milk, pinch of salt

Brown the chipolatas in the oven at a temperature of 230C/fan 210C/gas 8 and the fat from the sausages will grease the base of the tin, ready for you to pour the batter into. The browning should only take about 10 minutes.

Mix together the flour and eggs in a bowl using an electric whisk until smooth. Gradually add the milk and carry on whisking until the mix is completely lump-free. Pour the batter over the hot sausages, distributing evenly into each muffin/brownie space and working quickly so that the temperate of the pan doesn’t drop. Cook for 20-25 minutes without opening the oven door and you should have puffy golden-brown toad-in-the-holes for your Easter lunch at the end of the cooking time!

great recipe for mini toad in the hole

party recipe for cheese and ham pastry canapes


3 Comments

Pieday Friday ~ Cheese & ham pastry rolls

Does anyone else feel like there’s a celebration on the horizon? Perhaps it’s the school holidays or the long Easter weekend, or maybe it’s hubby’s birthday, my impending 1000th blog post or the May bank holiday? Whatever it is, it’s making me want to invite the family over and bake party food! I’ve just got that urge and I had to give in to it this week when I made one of my party favourites – cheese and ham pastry rolls. These little bites of joy are my festive speciality and they are great for taking on picnics or for light lunches too. They are super-easy to make and might be good to try out over the Easter holidays if you’ve got the children at home because they can help you sprinkle the cheese and roll up the pastry.

It’s a little too simple to call a recipe really  because I like to buy ready-made puff pastry – and if you’re feeling super-lazy, you can even buy ready-rolled like I have! – but feel free to make your own rough-puff pastry if you prefer. So here’s what I do:

  1. Roll out the pastry on a sheet of baking parchment (this will make it easier to roll up into a tube).

pieday friday blog receipe for cheese and ham snack rolls

  1. Spread the pastry with cream cheese before laying out slices of ham all over.

  2. Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese all over then lift the baking parchment and use it to roll the pastry into a tube lengthways.

recipe for making cheese and ham puff pastry rolls

  1. Slice the long roll into bite-size pieces and place onto a greased baking tray.

  2. Brush with a little milk before baking in the oven according to the pastry instructions

party recipe for cheese and ham pastry canapes

 

Ta da! Impressive ‘homemade’ party snacks made in minutes! Let me know if you have a go at making your own pastry rolls and tweet me a photo @Cassiefairy.

One more thing - I have a Freebie Friday giveaway running on Twitter today to win this gorgeous Bon Prix dress in navy chiffon (worth £29.99) to add to your Spring wardrobe! Click here to see the competition tweet and enter by simply RTing & following me :)

frebie friday navy dress giveaay pic

 


Leave a comment

Light my fire & win solar lighters!

A few weeks ago I investigated the concept of solar cooking during one of my Pieday Friday cooking blog posts and I discussed how the sun’s power can be harnessed to achieve a solar-powered oven to barbeque meat, cook a casserole or even bake a cake! There are lots of different types of solar devices for cooking outdoors and most work like a BBQ; directing heat towards a central cooking rack. The solar ovens look like something from outer space with futuristic fins and reflectors channelling the sun’s rays into the middle, which can reach conventional oven temperatures and safely cook a meal for the entire family.

As you probably already know I’m keen on anything that can save energy and therefore save me money but I was sceptical about these devices until I watched the many YouTube videos and saw a sponge cake being cooked on a solar BBQ! There are entry-level pop-up cookers available (which would be good for camping!) which would be a cheaper way to try out solar cooking at home, but I’m starting even smaller and trying out a solar lighter to see how I get on with that!

bfly solar lighters

My B*Fly solar lighters from IDCook (see previous model here)

I got these B*Fly solar lighters and they are just like a mini-version of a solar cooker; they have two reflectors which direct sunlight into the centre point and anything in the middle of the lighter will be ignited by the heat. I tried out the lighter by stuffing the centre with some dry twigs and pointed it towards the evening sun. Even though the sun was already setting, the reflectors seemed to intensify the sun’s glare and it was easy to see where the hot point is – it was glowing! Within a few seconds the twigs were smouldering and caught on fire – pretty cool huh?! These lighters would be great for camping because you can use anything flammable that you have to hand; dry leaves, grass, newspaper, charcoal etc – they all burn well in one of these lighters. I watched a video online which shows all the types of materials being lit by the sun’s rays and it is pretty impressive – check it out here:

As you can see, it’s quite straight-forward to use one of these solar lighters and I’ve added one to my camping kit, one with the BBQ and one in the kitchen so I’ve always got one to hand for every eventuality! If you wish to see more cool videos have a look here too: http://www.youaresolar.com/

And the great news is that you can win a set of three solar lighters! I have three B*Fly lighters to give away to one lucky winner (colours may vary) so if you’d like to win 3 B*Fly solar lighters, simply RT my competition tweet here and follow @Cassiefairy and @IDCOOK. The winner will be picked at random from all the entries on Friday 28th March! Good luck!


Leave a comment

Pieday Friday ~ British Pie Week

British Pie Week runs from the 3rd to the 9th of March and I see that as the perfect excuse to bake a pie over the coming weekend. I’ve listed a few of my favourite pie recipes so perhaps you’ll try out one of these tasty dishes below and treat the family to a hearty and sometimes surprisingly healthy meal – just click on the pink links for the recipe:

Ham and asparagus pie in a loaf tin

pieday friday ham and asparagus pie recipe on cassiefairy blog

Traditional fish pie with tasty cheesy topping

IMG_0553

Slow-cooked beefy pie - stew in a crust!

pieday friday beef stewy beefy meat pot pie recipe cooking

Spiced turmeric chicken pie - surprisingly yummy!pieday friday turmeric chicken pie cassiefairy

Leftover roast dinner Cornish pasties – which could easily be a pie in the right dish!

pieday friday recipe for pastry and cornish pasties

Shepherds pie crammed full of veg

steaming shepherds cottage pie recipe pieday friday cooking method

And if you like the look of these recipes, you can find many more recipes on the blog AND in my new Pieday Friday e-book, which I have been working on using  Blurb’s BookSmart programme. I will be launching the book this week completely free and it includes tons of recipes including soups, snacks and sweet treats !


Leave a comment

Pieday Friday ~ Chilli cheese pancakes

Wow it’s Shrove Tuesday next week – how did we get this far into the year already?? I love pancakes and can’t get enough of them, whether it’s Pancake Day or not! So today I thought I’d share one of the ways that I like to use pancakes in a main meal – as a chilli cheese wrap. It’s really easy to make and will impress friends and family if you have any guests over for a Shrove Tuesday meal on the 4th March. Here’s how it’s done:

Pancake ingredients: 100g plain flour, 2 eggs, 300ml milk, pinch of salt

Whisk the ingredients together in a big bowl until you have a thin batter mixture. Use a non-stick frying pan (such as small my copper-bottomed pan from Dunelm) and spray with fry light. Heat the pan before pouring in a couple of tablespoons of the batter. Swirl it around the pan to coat the bottom and cook for about 30 seconds before flipping over (or using a spatula like I did!) and cooking the other side for another 30 seconds – keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. Pile up the pancakes on a plate with another plate on top covering them to keep warm.

pieday friday recipe for perfect pancakes

Chilli ingredients (enough for approx. 10-12 wraps): 250g Beef mince, sliced red pepper, sliced green or yellow pepper, diced white onion, 2 cloves crushed garlic, 2 tbsp mild chilli powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp paprika, 2 tbsp. tomato puree, 200g tin of red kidney beans or mixed beans, 200ml beef stock, tin of chopped tomatoes

Brown off the mince and cook through the onions and peppers until soft. Stir in the spices, garlic and tomato paste and fry for a minute or two but don’t allow it to stick on the bottom of the pan – when this happens add the tinned tomatoes and beans. Cook off for a little longer before adding the beef stock and allowing to simmer for 20 minutes or slow-cook it in the oven at 180 degrees to bubble away for 30 minutes or as long as you like – this will reduce the stock and make the meat lovely and moist. Get it out of the oven when you’re ready for it and you can serve it at the table for guests to wrap up their own pancake wraps or spoon the chilli into the centre of a pancake, sprinkle with grated cheese and roll up like a sandwich wrap. Serve with rice and sour cream if you like :)

pieday friday recipe for chilli cheese pancakes for shrove tuesday

I hope you’ll have a go at making a savoury dish on Shrove Tuesday and I’d love to find out what your favourite pancake creations are – leave me a comment or tweet me @Cassiefairy.