The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Another deluxe cheese on toast recipe

Posted in Snacks Breakfast Lunch | 8 comments

Another deluxe cheese on toast recipe

Last night Danny went out for a meal with his brother Mike. “You can have your cheese on toast thing.” Danny thinks of this as a snack but it was a staple supper with me for years. Last night I supplemented the cucumber with thinly sliced raw courgette and used a mild goat’s cheddar. The result was a superb combination of flavours. The trick to this delicious light dish is to grill the layered toast very gently for about 20 minutes until the cheese layer is just melting. Its perfect partner is an ice cold beer. Deluxe cheese on toast...

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Late morning brunch: Cheesy mushrooms on toast with a dash of spice recipe

Posted in Snacks Breakfast Lunch, Vegetarian | 10 comments

Late morning brunch: Cheesy mushrooms on toast with a dash of spice recipe

To cut our carbon footprint we decided to combine the post run and the weekly shop and travel to Newmarket in the same car. This meant that Danny had to face an experience that he refers to with tight lipped horror. Saturday supermarket queues. In fact he hates any sort of queue. Even the queue for the tote to collect his winnings. I now refer to queues as moving lines. This seems to calm him. As we drove into the Tesco car park we couldn’t find a space. I knew that unusually long moving lines were already threading across his mind as he...

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Crisp fried or baked cheese recipe

Posted in Snacks Breakfast Lunch | 8 comments

Crisp fried or baked cheese recipe

“Even though we’d been vegetarians for years we sometimes had a yearning for bacon.” Teresa was running a vegetarian restaurant at the time. “What did you do?” I imagined Teresa hot footing down to the local town wearing a large brimmed hat and scoring a wad of bacon from a backstreet butcher. “We fried cheese.” Her face softened with the memory. “How on earth do you fry cheese?” “It’s easy. Grab a non stick frying pan. Heat it to a medium temperature and cut your cheese fine....

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Oven roasted cheese toasties recipe

Posted in Snacks Breakfast Lunch | 17 comments

Oven roasted cheese toasties recipe

“August has been terrible, this year. It seems to have rained every day.” My prospective client stared out of the window into the greyish, damp gloom. I’ve only had outside work for the last few weeks. I know the Met Office site better than our redundant garden table, where we used to eat our supper most summer evenings years ago. This morning I rambled through the blog archives. August was cold and wet last year and 2006 had its low points too. When summer weather turns chilly, an indulgent treat can lift the spirits in just...

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Quick and easy cheese and potato frittata recipe

Posted in Vegetarian | 9 comments

Quick and easy cheese and potato frittata recipe

The Chicken Lady dropped by on Sunday with a present of six eggs laid by her Indian Running ducks. Wonderful rounded eggs. Two creamy whitish ones and the others with a gentle bluish, greenish tinge. When I opened the lid of the box they looked almost translucent. Magical. Duck eggs are the perfect present. Softer shaped than the average chicken’s egg, they have a bigger yolk to white ratio and taste far richer. We’ve only ever eaten them once before – a memorable brunch at Alison and Richard’s house in Norwich. He...

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Brie de Meaux and fresh ripe plums

Posted in Discoveries, Snacks Breakfast Lunch | 5 comments

Brie de Meaux and fresh ripe plums

Danny loves Brie de Meaux and, unfortunately for him, I am becoming addicted too. It’s available in the UK but there is nothing like a slab bought from a French cheese shop and delivered to your door the very next day. It tastes better, fresher and even looks more tempting dressed in the chunky fromagerie paper. Then wrapped in an outer layer of delicate brown paper that has the soft, gentle crackle of a special present, wrapped with care. Supermarkets have forced out most of the small specialist shops in the UK. It’s still OK if...

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The Manchego Membrillo Combination

Posted in Snacks Breakfast Lunch | 11 comments

The Manchego Membrillo Combination

I have become addicted to the Manchego Membrillo Combination. This is not a barber shop trio but a marrying of flavours so exquisite that it had me rushing home for lunch for lunch three days this week. I added my own ingredient, Bath Oliver Biscuits. Manchego is a traditional ewe’s milk cheese from Spain’s La Mancha region. It is matured for six months. This delicious cheese, has a smooth texture with a soft flavour and is perfect eaten with a slim slice of sweet Quince Paste. As far as I remember, Cervantes’ Don Quixote...

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Transform your pastry scraps into delicious cheesy biscuits

Posted in Christmas, Snacks Breakfast Lunch | 9 comments

Transform your pastry scraps into delicious cheesy biscuits

Optimistically, I always save my pastry scraps to make these melt in the mouth cheesy biscuits. They usually lurk in the back of the fridge and are forgotten. Danny eventually hoofs the bag of tired pastry scraps and I feel really bad. We have missed out on a superb delicacy. Today I was more galvanised and made the biscuits whilst I was waiting for a tart to bake. These biscuits are simple to make and everyone loves them. They are a delicious appetiser before a supper party. At other houses they have been served at the end of a meal in lieu...

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