The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Danny’s simple and succulent herb infused lamb chops recipe

Posted in Lamb | 5 comments

Danny’s simple and succulent herb infused lamb chops recipe

D generally cooks on a Friday. It used to be steak. Now it’s something a bit more economical. On Thursday I found a chunky pack of lamb loin chops in the fridge reserved for his chef spot. They’re cheaper than steak but still a big Friday night treat. When I pushed open the cottage front door he was busy with string and chops. “Don’t look. It’s a surprise dish.” My antenna has 20/20 surround vision. He was tying the chops together with string. The effect resembled an eccentric rack of lamb with chunkier chops. The result was...

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Quick no knead white bread rolls to bake from scratch for breakfast

Posted in Bread | 24 comments

Quick no knead white bread rolls to bake from scratch for breakfast

Gradually Danny and I are eating more whole grain bread. It does taste good, is better fuel and doesn’t have one dashing to the car to search for a forgotten bar of chocolate mid morning. But sometimes there’s nothing like a crusty white loaf for breakfast. We woke to an empty bread bin this morning.  I had a longing for fresh white rolls. Small warm puffs of happiness lavished with butter. So I decided to try and make some. With two hours to spare before work, I probably just had enough time to make some no knead bread dough and let it...

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Perfect easy suppers: Dressed Cromer crab with salad leaves and white oaten soda bread

Posted in Fish and Seafood | 5 comments

Perfect easy suppers: Dressed Cromer crab with salad leaves and white oaten soda bread

Every other week I shop with my mum. We enjoy a good lunch chez maman and then glide in the comfort of Danny’s car to her favourite stamping ground – Waitrose. With our save money in 2008 challenge this isn’t the top of my supermarket list for bargain store visits but over the months I’ve noticed some good, substantial offers behind the deluxe portals. As the credit crunch starts to bite with a painful rather than a playful nip, their in store offers have increased. Last weekend I shopped there for well under fifty percent of the...

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The ten minute soup challenge: Quick Asparagus and Coriander soup recipe

Posted in Starters and Soups | 8 comments

The ten minute soup challenge: Quick Asparagus and Coriander soup recipe

Danny reached for the ladle. “How can you run up a soup like this in just ten minutes? I can’t believe that it’s low fat. It’s delicious.” He didn’t mention the soup disaster that had been poured into the dogs the day before. Unbeknown to Danny I had researched soup based simply on a good stock, a few herbs and spices, a handful of fresh vegetables and some noodles. Many Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai and Indian soups use this principle of combining a stock that has simmered for hours with fresh vegetables,...

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The ten minute soup challenge: Quick hot and sour vegetable soup recipe

Posted in Starters and Soups | 5 comments

The ten minute soup challenge: Quick hot and sour vegetable soup recipe

My night time dreams have been rich and startling recently. I dreamt that my pond was full of tropical fish, molluscs and crustaceans. Bright pink and yellow scallops hung on the sides as I watched small electric blue fish swim between my toes. I woke in the morning exhausted from this adventure and longing for seafood. But we’re back on the soup for weekday lunch regime and I needed to make some while I rustled up breakfast. In the winter I’m happy to cook large batches at the weekend, freeze them and pull out a carton each night....

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Quick suppers: Portobello mushrooms with deluxe rice, bacon and spinach stuffing recipe

Posted in Rice and Pasta | 4 comments

Quick suppers: Portobello mushrooms with deluxe rice, bacon and spinach stuffing recipe

If we holiday abroad it’s generally in Italy. We love the country, the people, the fashion, and the food. Four years ago Danny gave me a week in Rome for my birthday. The perfect present. We arrived, changed into fresh clothes and immediately headed out to find a restaurant. In that magical way of happy holidays we drifted into a side street and found a wonderful restaurant, nestled behind some large ferns. Danny had taught himself the basic structure of the language as he commuted from Exeter to the cottage. Abba Gold was tossed aside...

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Embracing Magmix. Danny’s killer coleslaw recipe for foodies everywhere.

Posted in Vegetables and Sides, Vegetarian | 5 comments

Embracing Magmix. Danny’s killer coleslaw recipe for foodies everywhere.

SinceMagimix arrived by express post on September 14th 2007, Danny has watched it slice and chop and whiz. He has devoured meals that Magimix has rustled up with a flick of a switch and he has marvelled at the speed of the machine. When Magimix assisted and produced a decent coleslaw he started asking questions. “How does this machine operate? Which disk do I chose for the finest slicing?” He waved the white plastic spatula about and looked a bit crazy. “Do I press pulse or on?” I had fumbled through the same jungle....

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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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