Fluffy American Style Pancakes

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Hooray its pancake day. The first of the two sugar-filled, coma-inducing feast days, allowing children everywhere their first glimpse into adult life as they wake covered in vomit and shame following the previous day’s over indulgence. I, like many, will most certainly be found passed out with chocolate smeared all over my face in 6 weeks time. However, full disclosure, I probably won’t be eating pancakes today. I’ve got work and a hangover and this weird thing is going on with my eye. It’s all too much. In the words of the immortal Karl Pilkington “why am I being told when I can have a pancake? Have em when you want… Pancake Tuesday? Nah I won’t bother I’ll have a trifle.” 

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I thought I would embrace the spirit of the thing though and share this recipe because pancakes are very yummy, particularly these ones. You can have make them savoury, like the smoked salmon cream cheese and spring onion ones above, sweet, mixing blueberries or banana in with the batter, or my personal favourite sweet and savoury, with crispy bacon and maple syrup. Get creative and even slightly gross with your flavour combinations. Why not? You should only really eat pancakes once a year after all.

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Vegetarian/ Vegan Shepherds Pie

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Recently I have decided to heavily cut back on the amount of meat I eat. I do not possess any where near the requisite will power to become a vegetarian full time but I have pretty much stopped buying and therefore cooking with meat. This is in part a money saving venture but predominately I just enjoy being able to smugly reflect on the microscopic sacrifice I am making for the good of the environment every time I get on a plane or accidentally put some plastic in the normal bin.

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Actually cooking without meat is pretty hard, especially if you like trying out new things in the kitchen. At first it was an exciting challenge, but after about a month of the same 5 vegetables variously disguised as curries, chilli and stew, I was starting to get pretty bored. This shepherds pie, despite not exactly reinventing the wheel, does provide a bit of a contrast. The lentils are a good alternative to mince and give a fairly similar texture and the whole dish is comfortingly familiar; perfect for a chilly winter night.

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Simple Borscht for Flu Season

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Everyone seems to be getting ill at the moment and I am no exception. I have a cold and I hate having a cold because all I want to do is watch terrible, antiques-based day time TV, while cradling a lemsip laced with whiskey. And yet because I am not physically unable to do other things, like shower or go to work, I am expected to them, without complaint.

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Also, when I am ill, all I eat is soup. This is partly because, if I am forced to make my own meals, anything more complicated than emptying a can and microwaving is far too taxing. Additionally though, there is something supremely comforting about a steaming hot bowl of savoury liquid accompanied slabs of bread and butter. This means that even when the illness is coming to an end and I am functioning well enough to put a pan on the hob, soup is still my meal of choice.

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This recipe is really easy. It has far fewer ingredients than traditional borscht, meaning it won’t be too much of a shock to the system after being out of the kitchen for a bit. Also, the deep, earthy beetroot flavour makes a bit of a change if you’ve been living off tins of heinz for a week.

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Bacon, Apple and Potato Hash with Eggs.

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A full English breakfast is one of the world’s most glorious things. It is one of the only meals that is appropriate to eat “all-day” and it is pretty much the only thing that can truly help to cure a hangover. Whether you are a ketchup or brown sauce person, whether you love or loath black pudding and whatever accompaniments you think should be included, be they potato cakes, potato farl, tattie scones, oatcakes or lava bread, pretty much everyone loves a good fry up.

apple bacon hash3Having said that, there are some downsides to having a full breakfast every weekend. Aside from the inevitable damage to your coronary arteries, fry ups are a bit of a faff to make and they are not cheap either, due to the endless roll call of varying pork products required. For this reason, I have decided to lay off the fry ups for a bit and try out some lighter, cheaper and less complicated breakfasts for my lazy Sunday mornings.

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This hash ticks all of the boxes, it is really cheap and quick and only includes one cancer bearing pork product, which must surely be a good thing. It is also entirely made up of stuff that most of us have lying around meaning that hellish, hungover/ half-asleep traipse to the local supermarket can be avoided.

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Crispy Chicken Goujons with Homemade ‘Slaw

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Just as spring shows its first signs of bursting forth, and with easter just around the corner, I, much like Jesus Christ himself, have chosen to be born again. After 5 months maintaining the pretence of adulthood, with a real job and commuting and stuff, I have returned to Manchester and part-time work. This has allowed me far more time to both binge-watch Netflix, and re-indulge in everything to do with food.

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To accompany my glorious resurrection, I chose to make something tasty and unhealthy as a shameless two-fingers to all of those seed-munching prigs who are smugly still sticking to their new-year’s resolutions. In all seriousness though, this recipe is not actually as bad for you as it looks, because nothing is deep fried. Neither is it that much of a faff to make and yet it remains a fairly decadent mid-week treat.

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To accompany my crispy little chicken pieces, as the Americans call them, I made some coleslaw with all of the odds and ends I had in my fridge. It was pretty delicious but do not worry too much about sticking staunchly to the ingredient list, and certainly don’t go out and buy things especially.

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Mediterranean Stuffed Loaf

stuffedloaf1I have been a bit rubbish at posting recently because, although I have still been cooking like crazy, having a full time job hasn’t given me much time to sit down and write. This weekend though I found myself with a bit of time on my hands and I thought I would make a proper lazy Sunday recipe and tell you all about it.

stuffedloaf3Bread is one of those things that most people don’t even attempt to make at home. People think it is too specialist, takes too long and involves too many annoying little stages.  Well bread does take a very long time to make but it is not really specialist or fiddly. In fact, if you stick to a basic recipe it is pretty difficult to go wrong.

stuffedloaf2This recipe is a bit of a twist on a classic loaf. Stuffing a loaf like this means that it can become an entire meal rather than just a side dish. This bread is perfect thing for taking on a picnic or serving as a centre piece at a buffet or BBQ. This recipe is for quite a small loaf so double up the quantities if you are feeding more people. For the filling you can use pretty much anything, I chose these flavours to bring a bit of mediterranean sunshine to these gloomy November days but anything you have got in the fridge will probably work. Just avoid things that are quite wet because they will stop the dough from cooking.

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Easy Peasy Pasta

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I am a bit rushed for time at the moment with hundreds of essay hand-ins all arriving at once and the constant looming threat of the dreaded dissertation. Because of this I haven’t got much time to dedicate to cooking or blogging. I thought for this week that I would just share the quickest easiest recipe I know for a delicious bowl of pasta. For anybody out there who is in the same position as me this is a recipe for a lovely home-cooked dinner that won’t eat up your evening. Throw out the ready meals and take aways for just one night and give this a go.

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