The World’s Most Comforting Cider Sausage Bake

So my lovelies, this little wonder of a recipe came to me for two reasons. 

  1. I had an epic sausage breakfast at the weekend and had 4 Cumberland sausages in the fridge to use
  2. I DESPERATELY needed carbs (cold, long, rainy day in London… need I say more?)

So I was trundling back from a doctors appointment in the rain, thinking, what am I going to do with those damn sausages. I wandered into Sainsbury’s and on offer right in front of me were cans of hipster cider. Some call it fate, I’d call it a divine (literally) intervention! 

So I wandered round, picked up some crème fraîche, some cheese and a leek and decided to head back to my teeny kitchen and see what I could rustle up. 

Sometimes I do impress myself, and this to be quite honest with you is one of those times. Never have I had such sensational results from a first time recipe. But anyway, enough of my ramblings…

Ladies and gentlefolk, may I present to you… the world’s most comforting cider sausage bake.*

*1 out of 1 Millies that tasted this meal agreed. 

The World's Most Comforting Cider Sausage Bake

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large red onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 large leek finely chopped
  • 4 large cumberland sausages chopped into bite size chunks
  • 250 g bacon lardons
  • 330 ml apple cider
  • 250 ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp wholegrain dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small chopped courgette
  • 5 chopped closed cup mushroom
  • A handfull of cherry tomatoes
  • 150 ml crème fraîche
  • Cheddar cheese for sprinkling or any cheese of your choice

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Soften the onion in a pan on a low heat for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a further two.
  • Add the leek and the sausages. Cook on a low heat browning the sausages for 5 minutes.
  • Add in the lardons and cook for a further two minutes, before adding the cider, stock, mustard and vinegar.
  • Add in the pasta and simmer for 10 minutes on a low heat until most of the liquid has reduced and the pasta is al dente. You may need to add water as it simmers, depending on how big your pan is.
  • Add in the courgette, tomatoes and the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  • Stir through the creme fraiche and transfer to an oven proof dish. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Dish up and devour!
P.S. I made so much of this that I have enough left over to take to work tomorrow #winning #adulting

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Brilliant Bolognese

Bolognese traditionalists LOOK AWAY NOW!

This little number is my tried and tested recipe for the most brilliant bolognese (even if I do say so myself!). It’s a stable in my diet, and I’ve been having it for years with pasta, in stuffed peppers, on baked sweet potatoes… really the list of accompaniments is endless – partly why it’s so brilliant. 

It’s also packed full of veggies, which makes it technically healthy whilst being the most warming comfort food ever!

So buckle up, be excited and get stuck in team.

Brilliant Bolognese

Millie
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 1 red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 250 g lean mince
  • 500 ml passata
  • 200 ml water
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh chilli
  • 1/2 tsp onion granules
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 red pepper finely sliced
  • 2 handfulls of chopped mushrooms
  • 1 carrot peeled, finely sliced into circles and then quartered
  • 1 small courgette
  • A handfull of cherry toms
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 glass of red wine - optional
  • Parmesan

Instructions
 

  • Soften the red onion, fresh chilli and garlic cloves in a pan, before adding the mince. Cook for 1-2 minutes until browned.
  • Add the passata, tomato puree, stock cube, balsamic, onion granules and garlic salt to the pan and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Add the water (the red wine if using) and all of the veg (except the cherry toms) and simmer on a low heat, stirring regularly for 35-40 minutes.
  • In the meantime cook whichever accompaniment you've decided to go with.
  • Add the cherry toms to the mix, and simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes. You may want to add a bit more water at this point if the sauce is drying.
  • Dollop a big spoonful onto your pasta/potato/pepper, sprinkle with a good dose of parmesan and enjoy!
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My week with Eat First

This week I’ve been crazy crazy busy at work. I always like to make time for me time during the week, which mainly consists of making myself nice food and doing some exercise. But some weeks, and this week was one of those weeks, I just don’t have the time!

So without wanting to sacrifice the exercise (bootcamp is a GREAT stress reliever), I decided to give Eat First a go after they sent me an email a few weeks ago!

It was a ridiculously simple process actually. I ordered my three meals (and a cookie) on their website, chose a delivery slot (8:00-8:45pm) and payed via paypal. All done in about 2 minutes flat!! It was also q pretty reasonably priced for delivery food, the whole lot came to £25.75 exactly. So not massively stretching the purse, 

The next day my driver arrived just after 8pm and handed me over this little bag of delights!

I unpacked my feast and then had to decide what to eat first (GEDDIT? #puntastic).

I eventually decided on the butternut squash quesadillas created by Chef Ben Hodges. Which were grilled quesadillas with “pulled” butternut squash, black beans and mozzarella. Served with tomato salsa, coleslaw and sour cream. 

Handily, cooking instructions are included in the lovely little envelope you get sent when your food arrives. So I whacked them in the oven for 8 minutes, sat and watched the mozzarella oooooze, and waited for them to crisp up nicely.

And boy did they crisp up! Check out the cheese porn…

I had to season them a little bit to my taste, but other than that no complaints. A lovely light meal, which left me feeling satisfied but not bloaty – not easily achieved for me with delivery food!

Anyway, enough about my digestive system… ON TO NIGHT TWO!

The second night I went for this super beef protein salad, by Chef Ben Hodges again. This was by far the best meal I had. A TASTE SENSATION.

The salad is made up of super-seed blend of organic quinoa, kale, lemon, pumpkin, edamame, mint and lentils is mixed with white cabbage, dried apricots, and pumpkin seeds. Served with an orange honey dressing and fresh salsa verde on the side.

JUST LOOK AT IT!

Coooooor *drools slightly*

The final night was Moo Ping Thai Pork which was created by KraPow LDN! The little box of wonders contained small pieces of pork collar, marinated overnight in Thai spices and flazed with a sweet Nam Jim Jaew sauce. It came with brown jasmine rice, mint and cucumber and extra sauce (which was very welcome, the sauce was delicious!). 

This was probably my least favourite of the three meals, but still went down very nicely (I would have perhaps liked a bit more salad and less rice, but I’m not great with rice, so I’m sure others would disagree!)

Unfortunately I didn’t get a cooking instructions card with this one, but the clever people at Eat First had that covered, with full instructions available on their website. 

Again very easy to put together, with very little hassle. Grab an eyeful below!

All in all I really rate Eat First as a concept. The meals are tasty, easy to order and get delivered, and very easy to put together on the night. It’s essentially mid-way between Deliveroo and Taste Made, for those that want to cook, but don’t really want all the hassle!

I’ll definitely bear them in mind again when I know I’ve got a busy week ahead. It’s a great way to still ensure you eat healthily and won’t break the bank.

If you feel like giving it a go, put my code 238COZWO in at the checkout to get £7.50 off your first order!

So the final verdict…

Food: 4/5

Service: 5/5

Overall Total: 4.5/5

Price: ££

Difficulty: Very easy 

 

And the crucial details…

 

Website: www.eatfirst.com

Instagram: @eatfirst

Facebook: 

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The Piano Works, Farringdon

On Saturday the lovely people at The Piano Works invited me and a plus one to try out their bottomless brunch.

Never one to turn down complimentary food or alcohol, I decided to take my best pal (who you’ll all be well acquainted with if you follow me on Instagram) for her birthday. 

We were a bit unsure about what to expect… but oh my god was it good!

Walking in dazed and confused we were shown to our table and introduced to our amazing waiter Issa. 

He briskly got us a bottle of prosecco and we set about looking at the menu and working out how we could request as many embarrassing songs as possible!

Before I go on about what a fantastic time we had… let me start with the food. My god it was so good! I really wasn’t expecting it to be, because I thought the focus would be more on the music and the experience, rather than what people were actually eating. I STAND CORRECTED!

I went for the classic… Severn wye smoked salmon, burford brown eggs scrambled, rocket on sourdough toast and Char went for ‘love me or hate me eggs benedict’, which for those of us who have no idea what that would be it’s Burford brown eggs poached, bacon, marmite hollandaise sauce on an english muffin. 

GOOD GOD IT WAS GOOD. 

So… the lighting was terrible for a photo novice like me, so CJ had to improvise with our phone torches. 

(shout out to Paul the photographer for catching this perfectly!!)

And here was our lovely little set up… not too shabby at all, I’m sure you’ll agree!

After demolishing our breakfasts, we continued on with the cheesy requests and sinking far too much prosecco!

Yes I did request 50 Cent – Candy Shop (massive props to the band for actually playing this) and The Ying Yang Twins Whisper Song #sorrynotsorry.

A few people came up to us and asked why we’d come in a two and how we were having so much fun (apart from the fact we’re massive bloody legends).

I have to say, this is not something you need to save for a special occasion and you absolutely do not have to be in a big group. We had the best best time just the two of us, so please don’t think you have to wait for 20 of you to finally coordinate your terribly busy diaries. Go in a two man team and sink three bottles of prosecco (or as many bloody Mary’s as you can handle – the other bottomless brunch option). You know you want to!

Shoutout to Paul again for that beauty!

As you’ve already gathered, we had an absolute whale of a time! We far outstayed our 2 hour welcome and hid in the back until the band re-started at 5pm.. muahaha!

We thought we were the only weirdos doing it… but we found two other groups who’d had the exact same idea and joined forces!! Needless to say the afternoon escalated from there!

Remember Issa I mentioned at the start? WELL HERE HE BLOODY IS! (Thanks for this beauty too Paul)

Some serious shapes were also thrown on the dance floor…

And when we finally left 6 hours later… we were horrified to find out it was still BROAD DAYLIGHT!!

However, the friendly door staff were on hand to occupy the ladies while I hailed the uber!

I think it’s safe to say they got on famously!

What a day! I would recommend this to ANYBODY. We had so much fun, the singers were amazing, the atmosphere was amazing and we just had an absolute hoot. 

I’ve already frantically texted as many friends as possible so I can arrange another visit soon!

So here’s what you’ve all been waiting for… The final result… And I’m sure you won’t be surprised!

Food: 5/5

Service: 5/5

Ambiance: 5/5

Overall Total: 5/5

And the crucial details…

Where to find them: 113-117 Farringdon Road, Corner of Ray Street, Farringdon, London EC1R 3BX

Website: http://pianoworks.bar/

Instagram: @thepianoworks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thepianoworks

Price: £

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Chunky Saturday Morning Shakshuka

Chunky Saturday Morning Shakshuka

If you’ve followed me on Instagram for a while you’ll know already that my favourite type of food is a mish mash of middle eastern and mediterranean dishes.

I’ve got worse at eating the food I love since moving to London, but this morning I thought NO. I want shakshuka. And I’m not going to go and pay £19286836418 for it in a London brunch spot. I’m gonna make the damn thing myself!

So here it is, my recipe for a chunky old pan of shakshuka love!

Chunky Saturday Morning Shakshuka

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp tomato puree
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 100 g Feta but really just use as much as you want - I like a lot!
  • 2 eggs
  • Fresh coriander
  • Crusty bread

Instructions
 

  • Slice the onion and pepper into thin but chunky slices - about 0.5cm wide.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan, and add the onion and pepper. Soften on a low heat for 15 minutes until they've reduced in size.
  • Add the finely sliced garlic cloves and cook for 1 further minute.
  • Add the spices and mix into the galic, peper and onion. Immediately add the tin of tomatoes and tomato puree to the pan and season well with salt and pepper. Simmer for a further 10 minutes until all the liquid reduces and the sauce is thick.
  • Crumble in the feta and stir.
  • Make two holes for the eggs and crack them in. Cook for 1 minute still on the heat and then transfer to the oven to cook for 5-7 minutes until firm.
  • Sprinkle on some coriander, slice up some crusty bread and slather with butter, dunk it in and enjoyyyyy!
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