Sausagey leftovers

Monday evening I cooked roasted sausages and vegetables with mashed potato.

I had three cooked sausages left over.

What was I going to do with them?

Call it snobbish/stuck-up of me if you like, but I decided that sausage sandwiches was just too boring – I’ve done that before and I wanted to create something more adventurous with my leftovers!

I took the sausages …

… and a good selection of veggies: onion, garlic, leek and carrot …

… and added a good dose of apple cider, which made the pan bubble into a foam!

After adding beef stock and simmering for a while, I stirred in whole grainΒ  mustard and tomato puree until I had a yummy gravy …

While my filling had been bubbling happily away on the hob, I had rubbed butter into flour and salt, added water and kneaded to a just-combined dough and chilled …

… I thoroughly enjoyed the rolling process (as I always do! πŸ™‚ ) …

… and ended up with a pastry-lined pie dish!! And yes, I am wearing purple catering gloves! πŸ˜‰ I have bad dermo-something skin on my hands, which makes them itchy, raw and cracked, so with food like chillies and onions, raw meat or anything with salt or lots of juice in, I wear gloves so I can at least cook without having hands burning and painful from contact with the food!! πŸ™‚

I ladled the sausage, vegetable and gravy filling into my dish, sealed a pastry lid over the top, sprinkled with herbs and grated cheese and popped it in the oven for 40 minutes.

My amazing, kind and generous Mother-In-Law brought us a massive grocery shop when she came to visit us a few weeks ago … this included a big bag of red potatoes … which last night I turned into potato wedges!

They turned out a lovely satisfying brown and crispy texture – yum!!

accompanied by some fresh vegetables …

… I served L up with this crispy, golden, leftover sausage pie!!

Yup, satisfied with my adventurous journey into Leftovers Land! πŸ˜‰

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A Sumptuous Dinner Party!

On Saturday evening L, myself and a number of our other friends went to a dinner party, hosted by our lovely friend SA, who is one of the happiest and most generous people I know!! πŸ™‚

After a glass of bubbly Cava, the food kicked off with a selection of canapes for a starter …

… Quails Eggs with Truffle Mayonnaise …

… Blinis, with Wasabi
Creme Freche and Prawns …

… Cocktail Sausages, Mini Bacon and Cheese Quiche and Spinach and Feta Quiche …

… and Crispy Pancakes topped with homemade Green Pesto, Motzeraella andΒ  … get this people! … CAVIAR!!!Β  Caviar (Sturgeon roe/Sturgeon (a particular kind of fish) eggs) is one of those things I absolutely never dreamed of tasting!!

When I was little my sisters and I played many different imaginary games, many of which involved the very highest kind of Historical English Society: ie. Champagne and Caviar and every politely historical phrase we knew thrown in to even things out …

I had, until Saturday, lived under the impression that you had to be a wealthy high-society flyer to enjoy such decadence … apparently us mere mortals can indulge in these delights from time to time! I am glad to have been so mistaken!! πŸ˜‰

The next course was slow-cooked Beef Brisket, served with all the trimmings – roast potatoes, roast parsnips, Yorkshire Puddings, carrots, cauliflower cheese and lots of thick gravy … yum, YUM, YUM!!! πŸ˜›

Oh, and not to forget the red wine we enjoyed …

… finished with homemade Apple Pie and custard …

… or kiwi and pineapple fruit salad.

After all that, we didn’t have the energy to do much more than sit on comfy sofas …

… chat …

… make silly faces (yes, that is me making the silly face! πŸ˜‰ ) …

… finish our wine and drink tea …

… and smile at the camera of course!! πŸ˜‰

We got to dress up, spend time with close friends, eat sumptuous food, laugh, enjoy wine together, have fun and relax – who could ask for a better way to spend their Saturday night?!? πŸ™‚

Soup days!

I took this photo at 5:10pm yesterday evening … yup, this was the view out of my living room window – I’m talking about how dark it is, not about the fine display of drying laundry you can see!!! πŸ˜‰

It never struggled beyond a gray, dull light all day – one of those days where you could be fooled into thinking it’s 6am pretty much the whole time … and yes, I mean light and alertness wise!! πŸ˜› I had my living room light on all day.

My mood was not improved by the frequent rain showers, the signing away of a not insignificant amount of money for the initial inspection of my poorly laptop and then having to stay cooped up all afternoon waiting for the van-man to pick up said laptop …I should be am grateful that they came at 5:45pm, when they could have left it until 7pm for the collection … !! πŸ˜‰

My spark of comfort this glum November day?

I made soup for lunch!

I loved the autumnal colours of the onion, carrot, butternut squash and bacon …

… the hearty, healthy thought of a bowl full of green lentils …

… the wonderful wafts of the bubbling soup, carried on the steam that slowly warmed the kitchen and living room …

… the satisfying sight of watching my hubby devour a bowl of my soup and lick his lips with content!

Winter Vegetable Soup

Originally seen on allrecipes.co.uk and adapted to suit our tastes.

1-2 tbsp olive oil

2 large onions, chopped

5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped/crushed

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and coarsely chopped,

good-sized pack of bacon lardons/5-7 bacon rashers, chopped

1 litre/1 3/4 UK pints/2 and a bit US pints chicken stock

125g/4 1/2 oz/2/3 (ish) cup of dried green lentils

a good splash of lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

dried basil and oregano or herbs of choice

1. Heat oil in large pan and cook bacon and all vegetables for 5 minutes or until bacon has changed colour and onion has softened.

2. Stir in the stock, lentils and lemon juice. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, half cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Cover fully and cook gently for 25-30 minutes, until lentils and vegetables are tender.

4. Use a potato masher to crush some of the vegetables into the soup, but leave the majority chunky. Season to taste and serve.

LΒ  had this with a ham sandwich, but there are so many good options in savoury scones or muffins, warm granary bread, bread and cheese, oatcakes, croutons and grated cheese …

Enjoy!

What is your favourite comfort dish for cold and glum November days?

Oh, I have a blog, don’t I?!

I ended up taking an unintentional break from blogging, didn’t I? I’m putting it down to computer and photo issues, a crazy diary during October and the exhaustion meltdown that resulted …

Ah well, I’m back!! πŸ™‚ I’m back to using L’s ancient laptop (Even though you guessed right by assuming that means a whole lot of slowness, flaky wireless connection, keys which have to be thumped to register on the screen, I am soooo grateful, trust me!! πŸ˜‰Β  I have been trapped in my flat this afternoon waiting for the courier to come and pick up my laptop to be repaired – on the afternoon of my birthday (perfect timing huh?!) I couldn’t turn it on and it has stayed dead since then! Oh the joys!! πŸ˜›

So computer problems are on the way to being sorted. Photo problems, because of the slow internet connection right now, might take a while longer …

Either way, photos or not, I’m back!! πŸ™‚

I’ve got lots to write about and will be back tomorrow with another post!!

Is there anything YOU would like me to write about?!