The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Delicious, simple prawn and asparagus spaghetti recipe

Posted in Rice and Pasta | 12 comments

Delicious, simple prawn and asparagus spaghetti recipe

I love prawns and asparagus. At this time of year there are a lot of two for one offers on UK asparagus and we cash in. Our asparagus patch is into its second year and not thriving. However, an asparagus expert visited the garden recently, inspected the spindly spears and gave me some great advice. “Apply fish, blood and bone and bank up with earth like spuds. These roots are clearly not being fed enough!” Maybe, next year we might be cutting our first spears. Prawns are expensive but Danny often finds them half price on the *CFC. They...

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Quick and easy smoked salmon spaghetti recipe

Posted in Fish and Seafood, Rice and Pasta | 8 comments

Quick and easy smoked salmon spaghetti recipe

Sometimes I get bored with our old favourites when it comes to rustling up the evening meal. Although the freezer is full of my own ‘ready meals’ nothing appeals. I pick through the shelves and even consider a takeaway. Last night I found a pack of Atlantic line caught smoked salmon – 100g for £3.99 happily discounted to £2.50 on the CFC. Danny refuses to eat farmed salmon so I only buy the good stuff on offer and stash it away for chic canapés or scrambled eggs and smoked salmon for a very special breakfast. Last night was a...

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Danny’s yummy homemade garlic bread

Posted in Bread, Rice and Pasta, Vegetables and Sides | 7 comments

Danny’s yummy homemade garlic bread

  Spaghetti bolognaise is one of our staples. Our recipe is more like the traditional Italian one with lots of vegetables and not so much meat as the UK version. It tastes delicious, you are not aware of the vegetables and isn’t as sickly and dense as some UK recipes can be. The great thing about our recipe is that it already has loads of veggies in it so there’s no real pressure to serve veg on the side. Although I do like a really fresh green salad. Danny loves it too but insists on garlic bread. Up until last week we always bought...

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Deluxe macaroni cheese recipe

Posted in Rice and Pasta | 9 comments

Deluxe macaroni cheese recipe

  Well I wish that I’d put my tiny foot down years ago and insisted that Danny tried macaroni cheese. All those years spent out in the wilderness without my comfort food. “Why it’s just like cauliflower cheese, with macaroni instead!” He had three helpings. I did have to work on my cauliflower cheese recipe though, before he’d admit to enjoying that meal. It took a good six months but I was determined to burrow under the apprehensions and the stalwart status quo. It’s very easy to ask people to be a bit more flexible if it’s...

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Easy and deluxe prawn, spinach and gnocchi recipe

Posted in Fish and Seafood, Rice and Pasta | 5 comments

Easy and deluxe prawn, spinach and gnocchi recipe

  I adore prawns. Could eat them everyday. Two favourite recipes are Donagh’s Gambas al pil pil and Clare’s prawn gnocchi. Prawns are expensive but often there are great reductions to be found in the frozen food section of the supermarket. Yesterday I discovered through MySupermarket.com that Tesco Finest Canadian prawns were half price. Perfect. With a limitless budget I probably would have bought uncooked prawns for added flavour but the cooked prawns tasted fine. The beauty of Clare’s dish is that it can be assembled and cooked in 15...

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New flavoursome spaghetti bolognaise sauce recipe cooked in the slow cooker/crock pot

Posted in Rice and Pasta, Sauces Gravy Dressings, Save Money | 8 comments

New flavoursome spaghetti bolognaise sauce recipe cooked in the slow cooker/crock pot

  Danny is picky about pasta. Won’t eat macaroni and the thought of penne has him panicking that I might actually have finally got up the nerve to cook it for him. “I like linguine, spaghetti, angel hair.” “Tagliatelle?” “Maybe.” I don’t ever mention ravioli since this terrible disaster. We eat a lot of spaghetti bolognaise. Frozen in flat ziplock bags it takes just half an hour max from freezer to plate. We’ve been eating versions of our patent recipe for years and I decided to see if I could make it tastier. I have to let...

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Chicken and green tomato risotto recipe

Posted in Chicken, Rice and Pasta | 5 comments

Chicken and green tomato risotto recipe

  For years I thought that risottos were hard to make. I’d order them in restaurants and drool over the creamy rice with bite. I reckoned to cook the rice like that would take real skill. Oh how wrong I was. Risottos are easy. It would take ‘real skill’ to ruin the rice. Risottos are the ultimate comfort fast food. We eat a lot of risotto throughout the year. They are a delicious way of padding out very little meat. Even Danny, the King of Carnivores adores them. Completely vegetarian risottos are delicious and I don’t think that it...

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Roast and smoked duck risotto recipe

Posted in Duck Goose and Turkey, Rice and Pasta | 0 comments

Roast and smoked duck risotto recipe

  Whenever we find a free range duck on offer we squeeze it into the freezer for a really special meal. Last weekend Danny roasted a duck and served it with a blueberry and plum sauce. Superb. Incidentally we usually cook fruit with the duck to make a sort of instant sauce. This time he roasted the duck “plain” and made the sauce separately. The duckiness of the duck was so good that I think that we’ll cook duck this way from now on. “We can make a duck risotto with the leftovers. Possibly two.” Danny chortled as he cut himself...

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