The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Revisiting oven baked cheese toasties

Posted in Kitchen equipment, Snacks Breakfast Lunch, Vegetarian | 6 comments

Revisiting oven baked cheese toasties

  I was going to write about Darina Allen’s toasties and when I looked the recipe up on the Internet I discovered that I’d written about them before. On Friday, faced with two crusts of bread, a lump of cheese and two bantam eggs I made them again using Andrew this time. They were scrummy. If you are going down the Andrew route put the toasties on the metal tray on the lowest rack and grill for 12-15 mins at 200c. Just enough time to have a shower and dress before brunch! And of course, cheese on toast is the perfect excuse to tuck...

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Best recipes for leftovers: Cauliflower cheese with mashed potato

Posted in Kitchen equipment, Leftovers, Pork Ham Bacon Sausages, Vegetables and Sides | 9 comments

Best recipes for leftovers: Cauliflower cheese with mashed potato

  Danny likes our cauliflower cheese especially when I add ham and tomatoes and serve it with garlic bread. Quite often I pick up 6 pints of milk from the Tesco CFC and make it into white sauce, ladled into plastic zip lock bags and frozen flat in the freezer. This takes the strain out of making CC as the palaver of making the sauce is already done. The sauce can be gently heated from frozen in a sauté pan. Then all you have to do is add the cheese. I discovered that my cauliflower bought in the market with suspiciously long leaves was the...

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Dehydrator update and The Waiting Room game

Posted in Cottage tales, Kitchen equipment | 22 comments

Dehydrator update and The Waiting Room game

  Our cheap and basic dehydrator continues to delight us. I’m reaping the rewards of dehydrating fruit and vegetables when they were on offer or marked down on the CFC. As all the chopping and preparation has been done prior to dehydrating a slow cooked meal can be prepared very quickly. This week I had to go for blood tests. I think that the doctors in Newmarket might be suffering from blood testitus as the clinic is always packed and you have to arrive early to get in the queue. I wanted to make our slow cooked skirt of beef stew but...

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Halogen oven recipes: Making brunch with Andrew

Posted in Kitchen equipment, Snacks Breakfast Lunch | 25 comments

Halogen oven recipes: Making brunch with Andrew

  “What do you think of breakfast?” “It’s not nearly as good as yesterday. Are they the same sausages? They taste cheap.” We’ve had Andrew around for a few weeks now. He always makes us weekend brunch with delicious results. This morning he was busy defrosting a chicken so I had to use the conventional grill (broiler) on our old oven to prepare the sausages and homemade bacon. It was a palaver – I had to keep on pulling out the grill tray to turn the sausages – in Andrew you can see what’s going on in the giant glass bowl,...

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Andrew James premium halogen oven plus accessories: a review

Posted in Kitchen equipment, Reviews | 61 comments

Andrew James premium halogen oven plus accessories: a review

I want to introduce you to Andrew. He is our new kitchen assistant. When he arrived he was given the night off but in the morning was up early to cook a perfect full English breakfast. It took the same time to cook as using the conventional oven but instead of using two hob rings, the grill and the fan oven Andrew took care of the sausages, hash browns, tomatoes, mushrooms and bacon. Leaving me to make the fried eggs and work out how much electricity we were saving. Andrew is quite chunky. With his 12 litre bowl he takes up a fair amount of...

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Healthy eating appliances

Posted in Kitchen equipment | 23 comments

Healthy eating appliances

  An email flew into my inbox this morning from Amazon. Its title puzzled me – “Healthy Eating Appliances” – what did that mean? Teeny weeny knife, fork and spoon sets so we can’t take big wolfish bites? A rowing machine that powers a small fan for cooling food the healthy way? Or could it be something much more basic such as a spade in these grow your own times. Intrigued I opened the email and discovered that healthy eating appliances are things like slow cookers, juicers and the  Coopers Halogen Oven. What on earth is that? I ...

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The slow cooker chef: Chicken and red pepper casserole recipe

Posted in Chicken, Kitchen equipment, Save Money | 1 comment

The slow cooker chef: Chicken and red pepper casserole recipe

  The best piece of kitchen equipment that I bought in 2008 was my slow cooker. I found mine in a sale at Tesco and had no idea how much more flavoursome slow cooking can be. So why did I buy one? I had been seduced by Angela and the thought of slow cooked steak and kidney. Initially I reckoned that I would just use it in the winter but it’s used all year round now and saves us lots of cash as the electricity used to run it is minimal. And most things do taste better when they are slow cooked. Now I’ve got to grips with how to cook with...

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Quick piquant turkey stir fry with Romano peppers and button mushrooms recipe

Posted in Duck Goose and Turkey, Kitchen equipment | 5 comments

Quick piquant turkey stir fry with Romano peppers and button mushrooms recipe

  My food dehydrator is turning out to be a winner. For years I’ve often had the frustration of running out of an essential ingredient and having to adapt my cooking plans. I now have access to a large range and choice of ingredients. I can do off the cuff cooking which is fun. As long as I remember to bung them into the slow cooker for an hour to rehydrate I can throw a meal together in minutes as all the chopping and preparation has been done prior to dehydrating. My dehydrated fruit and veg are stored in ziplock bags in a vast carrier...

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