The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


The slow cooker chef: Light summery vegetable soup recipe

Posted in Starters and Soups | 3 comments

The slow cooker chef: Light summery vegetable soup recipe

We should be sylphlike by now. We were gradually shedding the pounds with the new half veggie diet and soup each day for lunch. The dangerous thing about losing weight with little effort is that you can start to take it for granted and assume that whatever you eat will have no effect on your size. Unlike multi national corporations, we didn’t want to grow. Gradually we’ve slithered back to sandwiches for lunch. Chocolate bars, biscuits and the occasional ice cream treat on a hot day have tempted us. “Gosh, you’ve put on...

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The slow cooker chef: Vegetarian Comfort Pie recipe

Posted in Vegetarian | 15 comments

The slow cooker chef: Vegetarian Comfort Pie recipe

Last week was wet and cold and gloomy. I fancied some winterish flavours and felt inspired to try my hand at creating a new vegetarian dish. I wanted to make something that would avoid the palaver of many veggie dishes. A dish that I could leave bubbling in the slow cooker for hours, that didn’t need loads of preparation, required no frying off and wasn’t packed with tomatoes, chilli, cheeses and sweet peppers. I wanted the subtleness of deep English wintery flavours. A vegetarian dish that I could imagine being served in an...

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The slow cooker chef: comes to the rescue. Tasty, easy, low fat leek and potato soup recipe (vichyssoise)

Posted in Starters and Soups | 3 comments

The slow cooker chef: comes to the rescue. Tasty, easy, low fat leek and potato soup recipe (vichyssoise)

When I pointed out that soup was on offer at Waitrose my mother’s reaction was instant. “Who’d want to eat soup at this time of year?” Well, Danny and me for starters. We’ve stopped eating soup for lunch for the past month or so and now the weighing scales are in danger of collapsing when we step on board. Soup is so easy to make – why does it seem such a palaver? I’ve been working much nearer home so lunch boxes are no longer planned. I swoop home grab some Boston Baked beans, a chunk of polenta bake...

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Sunday roast: Melt in the mouth slow baked breast of lamb stuffed with chicken livers, apricots and pine nuts recipe

Posted in Lamb | 5 comments

Sunday roast: Melt in the mouth slow baked breast of lamb stuffed with chicken livers, apricots and pine nuts recipe

We have halved our paper bill by cancelling the Sunday paper (we are just weekend readers). We actually read the Saturday paper now rather than glancing at it and turning it into fire briquettes a week later. The one article that I always read is Mark Hix’s recipe ideas as we are eating our breakfast and Danny is chortling through the sports section of the paper. This week he had a tempting recipe for slow baked breast of lamb. A pretty brave move as everyone is probably planning to invest in the more expensive cuts of lamb for Easter...

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The slow cooker chef: Recipe for lazy, tasty Pheasant and Venison casserole à la Beastley

Posted in Pheasant and Game | 15 comments

The slow cooker chef: Recipe for lazy, tasty Pheasant and Venison casserole à la Beastley

Sometimes I have to accept a decorating job that I don’t want. I sense on the initial visit that I will not be happy there and make my excuses. I can’t say, “I don’t like you and I don’t want to work for you.” So I explain apologetically that I have a one year waiting list at the moment. Sometimes I treble my quote. The ‘bad job’ radar blipped on my reccy visit to a couple that I will call The Beastleys. They were just a bit too charming and gushy. I trebled my hourly rate and placed them at the...

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Slow cooked Boston Baked Beans recipe

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages | 24 comments

Slow cooked Boston Baked Beans recipe

“American baked beans are different from yours. Heinz are so bland. We have loads of different ways of making beans. Hot, with molasses, with sausage or bacon. There’s real variety in the States.” Mike was giving his beans a final stir before their 8 hour simmer in his crock pot. I’ve never been a baked bean fan. Danny likes me to buy those tiny tins of beans for his weekend brunch. The Min Pins will wolf down any leftovers but Great Aunt Daisy Beatyl is like me, she’d eat them if there was nothing else left in...

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The slow cooker chef: Sweet potato and acorn squash soup recipe, topped with red Romano pepper, spinach and sweet corn

Posted in Starters and Soups | 13 comments

The slow cooker chef: Sweet potato and acorn squash soup recipe, topped with red Romano pepper, spinach and sweet corn

I had the whole weekend off – the first for weeks. Mainly catching up and tackling a few jobs that have been crying out for months. This afternoon, I lolled in the luxury of a few hours to experiment and make the soup for next week’s lunches. By chance the theme was orange. I made an intense carrot and coriander (cilantro) using an Italian recipe as a starting point and also a sweet potato and acorn squash soup. The latter was inspired by a post on a great blog that I have recently discovered. Clare sometimes comments on the...

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The slow cooker chef: Delicate parsnip soup spiced with Garam Masala recipe

Posted in Starters and Soups | 25 comments

The slow cooker chef: Delicate parsnip soup spiced with Garam Masala recipe

Parsnips were on sale – 2 for 1 in Tesco’s last week. Great, I thought, I’ll make parsnip soup. The parsnips had knocked about on the larder floor for so long that even Danny had given up asking what I was going to do with them. It was time to make the soup. When D was secreted in the Rat Room upstairs, I peeled, diced and popped them into the slow cooker with some rich chicken stock, onions and a teaspoon of Garam Masala. I love this light combination of spices, not too overpowering to kill the sweetness of the parsnips....

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