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After my race yesterday I was starving all day!! Running really takes it out of you. As soon as we got home we made lunch, even before I had showered! I made my new favourite lunch – two fried eggs with cheese on an English muffin.

NOM!

OMG it was delicious! Tim had two of them (without the cheese) and declared that they were homemade versions of the Egg MacMuffin you can get from MacDonalds! I bet my versions are slightly more healthier for you…I hope so anyway! I also had a cup of coffee and a little bit of chocolate after that. It was much needed. I thought that it would hold me over until dinner but I was so wrong. I was soooooo hungry by about 5pm!

Even though I had a busy day, I still made dinner – what a good girlfriend I am! I am so glad that I chose to make Chicken Vegetable Pot Pie as it was the perfect thing to eat and quench my hunger. It has all the ingredients that I love – chicken, vegetables and pastry! The pastry is so the best part of this dish. The top layer is crunchy and the layer on the bottom is so soggy, just the way I like it! (Hope you don’t think I’m too weird!)

This meal takes about an hour and a half to make so is the perfect thing to make at a weekend. The prepping of the vegetables takes the longest but once that’s done you just stick the pie in the oven and leave it to cook. The recipe below serves 4 – 6 people but as usual I cooked the full recipe! Tim had two MASSIVE portions and I had two medium sized portions – we both had extra pastry! I definitely loved this meal, it was so worth all the effort!

This x 2!

Chicken Vegetable Pot Pie (Serves 4 – 6)

  • 300g potatoes, peeled and diced
  • Small butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 chicken breasts, diced
  • 50g butter
  • 100g flour
  • 240ml milk
  • 700ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • green beans
  • peas
  • two sheets puff pastry
  1. Place the potatoes and butternut squash in a pot of water and boil for 15 – 20 mins until soft. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Place the onions, butter and chicken in a large pot and cook for 15 mins / until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Add in the flour, turn the heat down and cook for 3 mins.
  4. Add in the milk, chicken stock, basil and oregano and turn the heat up. Allow to boil and thicken.

    Stock, Milk, Sauce

  5. Add in enough green beans and peas that you want, along with the carrots and boiled potatoes and butternut squash. Stir together and add more water if too thick.
  6. Place a sheet of puff pastry on the bottom of an ovenproof dish and prick with a knife / fork.
  7. Pour the chicken vegetable filling into the dish, distributing it evenly.
  8. Place the second sheet of puff pastry over the filling, crimping it at the sides to seal. Brush all over with some milk.
  9. Cook in the oven for 40 – 45 mins. Enjoy!

Before I start gushing about Overnight Oats I have a confession……I failed to take ANY pictures last night! I am such a bad food blogger I know. When I got to Tim’s parents the food was ready to eat so everyone was diving in. I felt a bit silly standing there with my camera and not getting food so I didn’t take any pictures. I suppose I could have taken one of my plate but people were passing stuff across me. Excuses, excuses! The BBQed food was really good though. I had: a sausage in a roll with cheese and onions, Israeli couscous, a chicken breast in a bun with cheese, salad and Tim’s potato skin with sour cream! He ate the filling and left the skin so I thought waste not, want not and promptly devoured it!

After the high that was the food, the football was very disappointing. It was like England never turned up and looked like their hearts weren’t in it. Everyone is blaming the manager for playing people out of position, we are so not going to win the World Cup. I picked England in my work sweepstake as well so that will be £20 I don’t win!

Anyways, onto the highlight of my day yesterday – Overnight Oats! I can’t believe it has taken me so long to try them, they were delicious. I mixed together my base on Thursday night – 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup fromage frais.

Oats, Milk, Yogurt

Mixed together

Oooops, spillage! I then covered the mix and left it in the fridge overnight. The next morning I was so excited to see what they looked like and had a quick peek before I got in the shower! The mixture was definitely larger as the oats had soaked up a lot of the moisture.

Overnight oats, the next morning

In the morning

I topped my oats with a banana and a handful of chopped almonds. That combo is definitely a winner! The oats were very creamy and the almonds added just the right amount of crunch. Next time I might up the amount I put in at the start as it didn’t really hold me over until lunctime. Maybe more oats are needed!!

I’ve had such a horrible day at work today. I have been busy from the moment I say down this morning until I left at 5.30pm, yet I feel like I haven’t achieved anything! There was a massive change of pages with one of the publications I’m doing and the designer who was doing it for me was useless! I spent a lot of time changing the pages myself, which probably wasn’t the best idea. Maybe I should change jobs! When lunch time rolled round I wasn’t even hungry as I had no idea what the time was. But once I had run over to Asda to get supplies for dinner I was starving. I devoured my lunch – chicken salad sandwich, banana and a little pot of mixed nuts and raisins.

It was really nice to come home and cook after my bad day, it really helped to relax me. I took out all my anger on the vegetables when I was chopping them! At least this stopped me from ranting to Tim about everything! For dinner this evening I made Chicken, Chorizo and Chickpea. I first made this whilst I was at uni and the method that I have written down is different to how I make it now. The original calls for a lot of different pans, too many to juggle on our small stove, so I now just make it all in one pot. This is so much simpler and in my book, simple is the best!

We haven’t had this for ages and I had forgotten how nice it was. The chorizo adds such a Spanish smoky flavour to it which I love, and the sauce is a great red/orange colour. I also love the veggies in this – red pepper and carrots. Carrots are NOT my favourtite vegetable but I’m happy to eat them with other things if their flavour is disguised! They were quite hard today and this was a nice contrast to the soft pepper and chicken. This recipe is perfect for an overcast day, like today, as the warming taste of Spain really comes through in this dish.

Chicken, Chorizo and Chickpea (Serves 4)

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 chicken breasts, chopped
  • 150g chorizo, sliced then quartered
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 400g can chickpeas
  • tomato puree
  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, then add in the onions, garlic and chicken and cook for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked.
  2. Add in the chorizo, pepper and carrots and cook for another 5 mins.
  3. Add in the chopped tomatoes, stock and chickpeas and cook for another 3 mins.
  4. Add in a good squeeze of tomato puree, then leave to simmer for 15 – 20 mins until the mixture has thickened.
  5. Serve with long grain rice. Enjoy!

    Dinner!

For dessert I think we will make a start on the chocolate that Tim bought from Marks & Spencer today. When he text me about work I said I wanted to come home and eat chocolate. Luckily he was passing town on his way back from work so popped in to M&S to get us some. I think he needs it as much as I do, he’s really been suffering with hayfever today. Hope you all have great evenings.

M&S Chocolate - yum!

My ‘relaxation’ giveaway ended at 6pm last night so thanks to all of you that entered. A winner has been chosen with the help of my own personal random number generator – Tim!! When I first posted about the giveaway, he read it and volunteered to by the random number generator. How could I turn him down! So last night, after our fabulous dinner, I wrote down the names of all of the entrants and asked him to pick a number between 1 and 11. This is what he chose:

Number 8

I consulted my list and no 8 was…...

...Faith!

This is Faith’s answer to how she relaxes after a long week at work:This is very similar to how I relax actually! A run clears my head from work worries, a magazine is always a good idea and I always catch up on blogs in the evening too! Faith please email me your address and I’ll get your goodies sent over to you!

So onto my day, this morning I had a very early start as I had a dentists appointment at 9.20am. The dentist is over an hour away so I had to leave the house at 8am. For my breakfast I inhaled a big bowl of oats.

In the mix was: a cup of oats (prob more!), two handfuls of raisins, 12 almonds chopped, enough milk to cover it and a sprinkling of Cheerios! It was delicious!

After a quick trip to the dentist for a check up I went into work. I only missed an hour so it wasn’t too bad. The day seemed to go very quickly though, always good for a Monday! My lunch – chicken salad sandwich, banana nd the remainder of my chocolate covered almonds –  went unpictured (again, sorry!) as I didn’t have time to take any pictures this morning and I ate it at my desk so my colleagues would have been very intrigued as to why I was taking pictures of food!! Do you take pictures of food in front of people who don’t know about your blog? If so, what do they say!

Dinner this evening was my task and I tried out a new recipe – Sausage, Tomato and Bean Bake. This was taken from BBC Good Food magazine August 09 issue. I cut it out nearly a year ago so I’ve had my eye on this for ages! It is a very simple recipe and packed full of flavour. It is perfect for a cloudy day like today!

Sausage, Tomato and Bean Bake (Serves 3 – 4)

  • 6 – 8 large sausages
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp sage
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can cannelloni beans
  • 400g can haricot beans
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan and fry the sausages for 5 – 10 mins until the are lightly brown and sealed. Set aside.
  3. Add 2 tbsp oil to the pan and saute the onions and sage for 10 mins, until the onions are soft.
  4. Add in the chopped tomatoes and simmer for 5 mins until the sauce thickens.
  5. Stir in the beans.
  6. Put the tomato/beans into an ovenproof then top with the sausages, burying them into the mixture.
  7. Bake for 25 mins until the sausages have cooked. Enjoy!

Before I go here are some great things I’ve found in the blog world recently:

  • If you are new to blogging or want to improve your blog, definitely check our Meghann’s Blogging 101 posts. There are four of them geared toward improving the content, design, photos and marketing of your blog. I’ve picked up so many good tips from these posts and they are a great place to learn so much about blogging.
  • Tina is hosting a great giveaway on her other blog Trading Up Downtown – if you want to win some Lara bars head over to have a look.
  • Angela and her husband Eric have just completed their first triathlon. They both did really well and should be so proud of themselves. To read about it click here (swim) and here (bike and run). Massive congratulations!

We are now drinking coffee and eating custard creams to celebrate Tim being made permanent in his job (we so know how to celebrate!) – well done baby!

***Don’t forget to enter my fab giveaway – it closes at 6pm tomorow***

It is so HUMID here, I am actually tired out from the heat! I think the temperature was meant to get up to 29C in London today and I’m sure it did! It was so sunny for most of the day except for about half an hour in the afternoon when the heat must have got too much and it started to chuck it down with rain – it was so loud! But I think it was needed as it’s a bit cooler now, yet still very warm!

You can even see the rain!

So what have I done on the hottest day of the year so far…..relax??? No! Today has been quite busy, no wonder I’m tired! This morning we went to the gym, probably not the best idea on a hot day. When we first got there we could tell the air conditioning was on but after 2 mins on the treadmill I was sweating loads! I upped the treadmill to 9.5km/hr (I usually do 9km) and was all set to bang out a 3km run….but I was too hot that I had to stop at 2.5km. I suppose it wouldn’t have been too much longer to do another 0.5km but I really couldn’t do it. For the rest of my time at the gym I was sweating continuously and really couldn’t wait to leave and get in the shower!

For my lunch today I had the best sandwich ever – tuna and sweetcorn with cucumber and romaine lettuce on seeded wholegrain bread. But being as hungry as I was I finished eating it before I realised I hadn’t taken a picture! I’m such a bad food blogger – I promise I’ll do better from now on! (It was a great sandwich though!)

After lunch I set out on my second hot task – food shopping. Tim didn’t come with me as he is going to Tooting for the evening so I had to do the shopping by myself. It wasn’t too bad and I managed to get round in about 20 mins. The hard part came when I had to get the shopping from my car to our flat…..up 2 flights of stairs and 2 heavy doors! I managed to get all the bags from the car to our building but had to take it up to our flat in two trips, I miss my strong man!

Look at all this!

I did get myself a little treat – on the recommendation of Debs I bought some Fromage Frais. It is such good value, 85p for 500g!! I am really looking forward to incorporating this into my meals and into my breakfasts especially. It will be so refreshing in the morning.

After putting the shopping away I then started my third hot task – hoovering! This was such a stupid idea! Even though I had all the windows flung open, after hoovering the whole flat I was actually sweating. It is so true that cleaning is a great workout. As well as hoovering I cleaned our kitchen. I love it when the kitchen is clean and tidy as I just want to get in there and start cooking!

Finally, after all that, I made my dinner – Pasta with Aubergines and Feta. I’ve had my eye on this recipe for ages now and as Tim’s away, tonight was a perfect time to make it – he hates aubergines with a passion!

All that you need

I really enjoyed this meal, the aubergines were really soft and went really well with the feta. I loved the fact that you add a can of chopped tomatoes to make the tomato sauce, it’s so quick and simple. But if you want you can easily add any homemade tomato sauce – in fact I’m sure it’ll add to the final dish. I didn’t finish the portion I took as it was way too big and very filing. It was really delicious though and such a great vegetarian dish.

Pasta with Aubergine and Feta (Serves 4)

  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 aubergines, cubed
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp parsely
  • 350g pasta (any kind)
  • 100g feta, grated
  1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan and saute the onions with a little salt for 5 mins.
  3. Add the aubergine and saute for 10 mins.
  4. Throw in the garlic and chilli flakes. After a quick stir, add in the chopped tomatoes and 100ml water. Simmer for 10 mins.
  5. Add in the parsely and a little black pepper.
  6. Drain the pasta, then add in the aubergine sauce.
  7. Serve with the feta sprinkled over the top. Enjoy!

Well today has been a mixture of the good and the bad. Don’t worry, it’s been mainly good so lets get the bad out the way first.

Bad – The bad part of today was my run. As I found out by reading Tina’s blog, today is National Running Day. In honour of this I really wanted to get a good run in this evening. I decided that I was going to do 2 loops of the 1.65 mile route so set off in eagerness.

Looking stern!

However, after about 10 mins, and 1 hill later, I wasn’t feeling good. My chest hurt, my legs felt stiff and my lower back was in agony. I had to stop and walk for 2 mins before jogging home. I managed to do the route in 15.55 mins which isn’t actually too bad! I just feel a bit disappointed in myself as I was so geared up to do a longer run. Maybe it was because I did 3km on Monday and I’ve had quite a hectic week. I’m going to have 2 days off and go to the gym on Sat for a long run (hopefully!)

Anyway onto the good parts of my day. First of all I found out that a project I was down for at work isn’t actually mine at all. This now means that I only have 4 projects going to press by 8th July and not 5 like I originally thought (ok 5 is still a lot but at least it’s one less to worry about!)

I also found out today that I am going to the British Formula 1 again with work! I am so excited. My work creates most of the programmes for the F1 season and a large group of us go each year to sell them. I did this last year and it was so hardcore!! We had to get up at 4 am and work until 7pm when the track shut! I was shattered by the end of it. I also got sunburnt on my face and I had been wearing my glasses for 3 days, so had a “cool” glasses tan line! I have no idea how it was ever sunny as it was freeeezing standing around selling programmes! This year though I have gone up in the world and am going to be sorting out the money. That is a huge responsibility and one that I am really thankful of. I’m so pleased that my bosses think that I am trustworthy enough to do this.

Looking good...?!

The final good part of my day was my dinner – Red Grape Pizza. Now I know that Jess would be appalled at the fact I am using a fruit in my dinner but I had to try this recipe. There was NO way Tim would have eaten it as he hates fruit in savoury things. I had to make some changes to the original recipe though – it calls for pizza dough to be used but I didn’t have any and didn’t have the time to whip a batch up. I looked in the shop for a plain base but there wasn’t any. So I branched out a bit and got a pack of four English Muffins.

These were a great substitute and the edges got nice and crispy when cooked. I cut two up and had three halfs for the pizza and the last spread with some peanut butter (lush!) This pizza is actually really sweet (maybe Jess would approve!) thanks to the grapes and tsp of honey added to each half. The sweetness of the grapes goes really well with the sharpness of the hard cheese. I recommend this recipe as a great light supper. You can either cook mini pizzas or one big one, it’s up to you!

Red Grape Pizza

  • 1 pizza crust (uncooked) – to be split into mini pizzas or kept as one
  • 2 – 3 sprigs rosemary or 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 handfuls red grapes, halved
  • 4 tsp honey
  • 1/2 cup Peccorino cheese / Parmesan, shaved
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Bash the rosemary in a pestle and mortar, then add the olive oil and bash again.
  3. Place your dough onto a baking sheet. Brush the crust / each crusts with the rosemary oil, then sprinkle with the halved grapes.
  4. Drizzle the crust / crusts with the tsps honey, then sprinkle over the Peccorino / Parmesan shavings.
  5. Bake for 10 – 15 mins until the crust(s) are cooked and the cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Oh and look at what Tim had for dinner….a massive greasy pizza! He’s going out this weekend with his friends so is probably preparing himself for the awful food he’ll be eating then! But he seemed to enjoy it though so that’s all that mattered!!

Greeeeasy!

This morning I was so productive (more so than usual if that’s possible!) and managed to get a lot of things done before I went to work – I am so working the domestic goddess look!. Behold my list:

  1. I was really craving salad for my lunch today so I put together a mammoth one. In it there was: romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, chicken slices and a handful of peanuts, all mixed with a tbsp mayonnaise.

    Can you see the peanuts?!

    I had seen that Caitlin had used pecans in her salad yesterday so, inspired by her, I decided to give the nuts ago. I loved it! They added a little crunch to the whole salad and went really well with the chicken. I might make nuts a more regular addition to my salads – I think walnuts and pecans will work really well too.

  2. The second part of my lunch was a defrosted banana muffin.

    Before...

    However, I decided to make it fabulous by melting some chocolate, spreading it over the top and adding chopped walnuts. Easy…..or not! Being in a bit of a rush (and craving breakfast!) I put the chocolate in a huge bowl over a small pan of boiling water. The steam sort of melted the chocolate but the majority of it escaped up the sides of the bowl! The end result was a half melted, lumpy chocolate that was quite difficult to spread on top of my muffin! Despite this I half spread / half squashed it on, then pushed in some chopped walnut pieces.

    ...After!

    Even though it didn’t turn out how I expected, I was quite happy with the end result. My muffin was delicious and just the sweet treat I needed on a Friday afternoon (especially as I did a 9 hr day!!).

  3. Then after that I decided (foolishly) to put away the clean washing that was hanging in our flat. I wish I had taken a picture to show you but we have been surrounded by drying horses draped in bedding all week and I finally got tired of walking round them! Let me tell you though, trying to fold up a king-size bed sheet by yourself is not easy!
  4. So finally, after preparing my lunch and tidying up, I ate breakfast (I thought I had a picture but my camera must have eaten it! So here is a pic from the internet)…..well I wolfed down breakfast as I was absolutely STARVING! I normally eat at 8 in the mornings but today I didn’t eat until 8.30 (shock!). I know that half an hour isn’t a major wait but when you looooove breakfast as much as I do it was torture delaying it! I had a massive bowl of Shreddies with cold milk – cereal really is lovely in the morning! This was definitely needed after my busy morning.

And to rock my domestic goddessness (is that even a word??) I wore a nice dress to work. I love this dress, it’s such a simple cut yet looks great. It was a little short for work but as they say ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’ – recently I’ve been growing to like my body more so I thought why not!

For dinner this evening I had my second salad of the day – Rice Salad. This is a much more substantial salad than the one I had for lunch, probably the only reason why the BF will eat it – it has rice, beans, bacon and chicken in (got to get the meat in!) and we have it with pitta bread. I was actually craving bread all day after my salad! When I have a salad at lunch I really miss my carbs and have been known to get home and cut hunks off the bread we have to satisfy myself!!

Rice Salad

There isn’t really a recipe for this as you can use whatever you want. You can choose to add meat or not as well so can easily be a vegetarian dish – below are a few suggestions:

  • Rice – long grain / wild rice
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Beans – whatever type you want
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Bacon
  • Chicken
  • Pepper
  • Sweetcorn
  • Anything else you want!

    Enjoy!

I hope you’ve all had a good start to the week. Monday is never my favourite day and I always look forward to the end of the working day. It can’t roll round fast enough, especially today as it was a gorgeous day outside and I did NOT want to be stuck indoors in front of a computer! It is the perfect evening to go for a run but as I went to the gym yesterday I’m giving myself a day off today. I’ll definitely be going tomorrow though – got to keep the mileage up!

So instead of focusing on the fact that it’s Monday (again!), the start of another week, being stuck inside whilst it’s sunny, I’ve decided to bring you a list of good things that I’ve seen in the blog world and from my day today. Yes there are good things about a Monday!

  1. The first has to be a massive congratulations to Caitlin and Jenna for completing their 100 miles bike ride (Echelon Gran Fondo) through the Napa Valley in aid of the LiveStrong Foundation. They are both such inspirations to me. [Pic Source]

    Jenna & Caitlin

  2. My lunch was fab! It definitely hit the spot after a busy morning at work. When 1 o clock came round I was STARVING but I had to make a dash to Asda to get some lettuce so didn’t eat until 1.30!
  3. My lunch consisted of a ham salad sandwich, a banana and a few mixed nuts and raisins. I had the nuts / raisins more in the afternoon to pick me up, I was definitely flagging in the hot weather!
  4. The warm weather meant that I could wear one of my favourite summer dresses without tights! I love this dress as it’s so colourful!
  5. It was a colleagues birthday at work today so in honour of that I had half of a Rolo cookie that she had bought in.

    The packets they come in

    There was a lot of goodies that I could have chosen from but I only really wanted half a cookie to carry me over until lunch. I am so pleased actually that I didn’t devour the cupcakes, iced fingers, lemon muffins etc and only stuck to a small treat.The cookie was ok….nothing special but it was a nice hit of sugar.

  6. Another great find on Caitlin’s blog – Tips on preparing yourself for a race. These are so good and so comprehensive I really recommend that you read them. Even if you are preparing for a 5k (like me) or a 100 mile bike ride (like Caitlin), these tips will really help you out.
  7. Finally, I’ve discovered these really motivational quotes. I love quotes and used to have loads written on little cards and stuck on my wall when I was about 15! I’m always on the lookout for new ones so if you have any good ones let me know!
  • “Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself”
  • “Commitment is what you do when no one else is looking.”

Dinner this evening was Toad in the Hole. You might think that we are crazy for having a big, hot meal in this weather – 25 degrees plus! – and to be honest I was craving a salad all day, but when the time came to eating it, I was hungry and devoured my portion! A lot of people say that eating / drinking hot things when the weather is hot will acclimatise your body to the heat and cool you down…..not sure if that’s true! Toad in the Hole is one of my favourite foods. There’s just something so childish about eating the crunchy batter with the sweet baked beans, I love it! This recipe will feed 3 people (2 sausages each) or, like I used to do when at uni, 2 people (3 sausages each!) Thank goodness times have changed since then!

Toad in the Hole

  • Pack of 6 sausages
  • 115g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 300ml milk
  1. Heat the oven to 220C/Gas mark 7. Prick the sausages all over with a fork / sharp knife and place on a baking tray. Cook in the oven for 10 mins.
  2. Whilst the sausages are cooking make the batter – in a mixing bowl, stir together the flour and salt, then whisk in the eggs until combined. Gradually add in the milk, whisking all the time, until incorporated and there are no lumps left in the batter.
  3. Take the sausages out of the oven and place them into a lightly greased ovenproof dish. Pour the batter over them and put back in the oven.
  4. Leave to cook for 40 – 50 mins until the batter has risen and is golden brown. DON’T be tempted to open the oven door to check on it as this will cause the batter to sink!
  5. Serve with baked bean (my personal choice!) or vegetables. Enjoy!

    My portion + another spoonful of beans!

Over a week ago now (!) I did a weekend of manic cooking and baking. See my posts from the 10th and 11th May for more info about what I made. After a busy week last week and a hectic weekend I’ve finally got round to posting about the lush pie I made on Monday last week – Cheese, Leek and Potato Pie. The title of this post refers to something that my brother says. When we were small we always used to eat chicken pies for our tea and he always used to say “Pie get it” and we had to reply “Pie got it“! I have no idea where he got the saying from but we still say it now!!

I’m not sure where I first saw this recipe, I think it was on one of the food blogs that I read. I should really note down where I get recipes from as I’m sure I’m breaching copy-write by not sourcing them properly. So if you read the recipe below and realise it’s yours, please let me know and I’ll credit it to you.

So what can I say about this pie…?? It is DELICIOUS!! The potatoes and leek went so well with the mature cheddar I used.

The original recipe called for a smoked cheese, like Wensleydale, but I decided to use mature cheddar as I love a nice strong cheese! Every now and again you got little pockets of creamy, tangy cheese – amazing!! I also used shop brought shortcrust pastry as I didn’t have to time to make my own (a sin I know but shop brought is there for these sort of emergencies!) I was a bit worried about rolling it out big enough to fit the dish but not too thin that it would break. But I managed it and the result was perfect.

The bottom of the pie!

I made the pie in a new dish that I brought from Asda. It is meant to be a flan dish but as it was only £3 I got it anyway and it was brilliant! There was just enough space for the filling and it wasn’t too big that the pastry broke. I can’t wait to use it again (how sad am I?!)

The dish

We had half the pie on the Monday night just by itself. I was going to make a salad to go with it but after cooking dinner for a small army the night before I decided I couldn’t be bothered! It was fine by itself, a little dry maybe. Then we had the other half cold on the Wednesday night. This time we boiled up some frozen peas and sweetcorn to go with it. It was very nice actually and in a way all the better for sitting in the fridge for 2 days! I love the fact this can be eaten in so many ways – hot, cold, with a salad, with vegetables or by itself. It is perfect for a light dinner or you can cut it into slices )or take it whole) and take it to a picnic.

Cheese, Leek and Potato Pie (Serves 6)

  • 350g shortcrust pastry
  • 3 leeks, sliced
  • 700g potatoes, parboiled
  • chives, snipped
  • 150g hard cheese, grated – eg. smoked, mature Cheddar
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5. Line a pie dish with two-thirds of the pastry.
  2. Slowly soften the leeks in butter. Season.
  3. Slice the potatoes, then add put back in the pan you boiled them in.
  4. Ad the leeks, chives, cheese and black pepper to the potatoes and mix to combine.
  5. Pour the mixture into the lined pie dish. Roll out the remaining pastry for the lid. Drape over the filling and crimp the edges to seal.
  6. Brush all over with milk.
  7. Bake for 25 mins / until browned. Enjoy!

I’ve just got back from a very nice weekend at home. My bf went to Brighton with his friends for the whole weekend so I took this as an opportunity to visit the folks! It was really good to see my mum and dad and my brother came down with his girlfriend. We went to the pub on Friday night, where I had 2 much needed gin and tonics! (!), and had a good gossip. Then on Saturday I went to Waitrose with my mum. I love going there, especially because the one she goes to has the Quick Check service so you scan the barcodes with your own personal scanner as you go round. I love it!! We then picked up my brother and his girlfriend from the station before going out in the evening to a concert he was playing in. He had won a competition to compose a piece for Bedford Town Band and it got it’s world premier on Sat night!

My bro is the middle one

Then on Sunday I went to church in the morning (my dad was preaching, it was really good), ate a quick roast dinner (yum!), then went to a choir rehearsal with my mum. We had great fun together!

So after a quick recap of my weekend, on Friday evening. I was home alone when I got in as my parents were in London. Nearly everytime I go home actually, my parents are never there! But I was more than happy to try out this recipe alone, there would be no questions asked! Before I came home I looked through my Nigella Express cookbook for inspiration. I love this cookbook as there are many great recipes I want to make. I picked out about 4 that I could possible do but finally decided on Green Eggs and Ham (from the breakfast section!)

There was only one problem with this…..I don’t really like green pesto! However, recipes aren’t created for use to stick to religiously, we can adapt them to our own needs. So I decided to substitute the green pesto for red pesto.This recipe is definitely a keeper. I’m not sure whether I would have it for breakfast as the pesto is quite strong but it’s a great quick meal dish. It’s just like making pancakes really – you mix your ingredients together to form a batter, then fry spoonfuls of it until cooked. Nigella says that you can get 5 “pancakes” out of this but I only managed 3. The last one was quite thick so I could have stretched it to another one I suppose…

Bubbling away!

The best thing about this is the rich red/orange colour that the pesto adds to the batter. I love colourful food so much and this dish is certainly that. In my “pancakes” I had ham, cheese, then ham AND cheese! I really enjoyed it for my dinner and was very satisfied afterwards. Three was a good amount for me but if you do manage to get 5 out of the batter, maybe split them with a friend…..unless you want them all to yourself! (And I wouldn’t blame you for that!)

Red Eggs and Ham (Makes 4 – 5 / Taken from Nigella Express)

  • 100ml milk
  • 75g red pesto
  • 1 egg
  • 75g flour
  • 5 slices of ham
  1. In a jug, whisk together the milk, pesto, egg and flour until combined.

    Ready to be mixed...

    ...all mixed

  2. Oil a frying pan and place over a medium heat.
  3. Ladle in approx 100ml of the batter, swirling it instantly to thinly cover the pan.
  4. Leave to cook until the top becomes dry and the edges lift away. Then flip it over to cook the other side.

    Cooked and ready!

  5. Place on a plate whilst you repeat the process until the batter is used up. Layer the ‘pancakes’ between sheets of baking paper.
  6. When all are cooked, place a slice of ham in each then roll up or fold, whatever you want. Enjoy!

Hi! I'm Helen, 23 and from the UK. I love food, keeping fit, going out with friends, wine, gin, having fun, laughing and living life to the max! Motto for this year is to say YES to everything and see what happens!

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