The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Lunch brunch snack recipe – easy, fast and delicious

Posted in Snacks Breakfast Lunch | 1 comment

Lunch brunch snack recipe – easy, fast and delicious

This ham, cheese and tomato brunch snack was ridiculously easy to make. Five star comfort food. The secret of course is putting grated cheese and tomatoes under the ham as well as on top. This gives a glutinous squish that perfectly counterbalances the crisp underside of the toast. I really enjoy making savoury snacks and came up with the cheese under the ham idea this morning whilst I was lying in bed thinking about brunch. Perhaps I need to explain a little more about why we eat brunch everyday. It’s an important meal – we eat just that...

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Recipe for rare fillet steaks with a green peppercorn and cream sauce

Posted in Beef and Steak and Veal, Sauces Gravy Dressings | 14 comments

Recipe for rare fillet steaks with a green peppercorn and cream sauce

I spotted a fillet of beef joint on the Tesco butcher’s counter. It had a good dark colour and I reckoned that it would taste great. As a payday treat I asked for two small fillet steaks about 2cm/0.8 inches deep. I rushed home with the bounty – Danny would cook the steaks and I’d make the green peppercorn and cream sauce. Green peppercorns are sold ‘wet’ in small jars of brine. They are crunchy and reasonably hot but don’t have the kick of dried black peppercorns. I love them. One of the easiest sauces to make is a...

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Succulent meatloaf recipe

Posted in Beef and Steak and Veal, Pork Ham Bacon Sausages | 9 comments

Succulent meatloaf recipe

“Have you ever cooked meatloaf, Conchita?” Meatloaf sounds so vile. It has never jumped out of the cookbook pleading “Cook me, eat me.” “What I mean is that we haven’t got a meatloaf recipe on the website. I had it once in America and it was good. It’s supposed to be economical…” “OK I’ll give it a go.” I have a vague memory of being served cold meatloaf as a child. The hostess whipped off its cover with a flourish. It lay on a giant oblong serving plate, looking very large and brown and dead. I can remember the pattern...

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Raspberry recipes on The Cottage Smallholder site

Posted in Desserts, Fruit, Liqueurs | 6 comments

Raspberry recipes on The Cottage Smallholder site

I love raspberries. Could eat them every day. When I was working in London and dining out a lot, I would often order fresh raspberries with a sprinkle of castor sugar for dessert. Friends tucking into waist expanding desserts would think that I was mad or on an impromptu diet. They didn’t realise that each savoured mouthful took me into the heart of a long summer’s day. Luckily for me, raspberries are packed with vitamins and minerals and are classed as a super food. But the time that it takes to harvest them makes them rather expensive to...

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Recipe for oven braised celery – how to love/hate celery

Posted in Vegetables and Sides, Vegetarian | 10 comments

Recipe for oven braised celery – how to love/hate celery

Celery is so good for you. Apart from many other benefits it helps to lower blood pressure naturally. Danny suffers from high blood pressure but actively avoids celery. Even when I buy a delicious blue cheese and munch it on beautifully prepared sticklets of washed and de-strung celery to try and tempt him to give celery a go, he reaches for the crackers to enjoy his share of the blue cheese. “I just hate celery. The crunchiness, the strings – everything about it. Yuk!” It was an impasse until I introduced him to stove top braised...

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Update on the superb easy Yorkshire pudding recipe

Posted in Vegetables and Sides | 7 comments

Update on the superb easy Yorkshire pudding recipe

I was waiting in a check out queue at Tesco yesterday when I spotted that the check out lady looked familiar. I was 95% certain that this was the person that had shared her foolproof Yorkshire pudding with me. I was impatient to get to the top of my queue, not to check out my shopping quickly and motor home but rather to thank her for the recipe and find out her name. “Were you the generous lady that shared your Yorkshire Pudding recipe with me?” She was initially a bit evaisive. “It could have been me.” “The fabulous recipe with the...

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The ultimate spaghetti and meatballs recipe in a rich tomato sauce. Slow cooker/crock pot method

Posted in Beef and Steak and Veal, Rice and Pasta | 7 comments

The ultimate spaghetti and meatballs recipe in a rich tomato sauce. Slow cooker/crock pot method

“Wow! This is the best spaghetti and meatballs that I’ve ever tasted.” Danny was reaching for seconds before he’d even finished his first portion. Now before you reach for your shopping list I just want to make one thing clear. I have never sampled American spaghetti and meatballs. My recipe tasted pretty good to me too but this recipe is just how I imagined perfect American spaghetti and meatballs should taste. As a child I’m certain that we didn’t eat spaghetti with meatballs. I’ve always thought of it as an American dish....

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Easy recipe for Yorkshire puddings – the puffiest in the world

Posted in Basics, Vegetables and Sides, Vegetarian | 18 comments

Easy recipe for Yorkshire puddings – the puffiest in the world

I’ve always been rather proud of my Yorkshire puddings. But this recipe new puts my usual offerings totally in the shade. These puds puff up, keep their shape and are 100% guaranteed to be a success. I was given this recipe by a checkout lady at Tesco many months ago. It is such an easy, no fuss recipe that I didn’t even bother to write down the measurements of ingredients. This weekend I decided to finally test it out. I put the trays into the oven to heat up. It’s well known that the secret of great Yorkshire puds is to have the fat or...

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