Easy delicious home made mini sausage rolls

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melbournemummy’s home made mini sausage rolls

My baby girl is miserable with croup this week. Fortunately, we’ve been able to manage it at home and haven’t had to make any late night visits to emergency. If your child has had croup, you know it’s just awful – fever, laboured breathing, a barking cough, trouble sleeping plus a runny nose, sore throat and everything else you get with a normal cold. Little Chop hasn’t wanted to do anything much except watch The Wiggles and Alice in Wonderland curled up on Mummy’s lap under a blanket, which suits me fine after three sleepless nights.

Melbourne is cold and blustery at the moment so we’ve been staying home and keeping warm, which is what Little Chop needs at the moment, but it’s sent us a bit stir crazy. We usually head off for a walk late morning, pick up some milk, a decaf for mummy and bagels for lunch, then have a run around at the playground before heading home for a nap. Yesterday, Little Chop had her nap two hours early so I had a little time of my hands, and I was desperately craving a sausage roll from my favourite bakery. I haven’t craved much during this pregnancy except for these sausage rolls, so I decided to have a go at making something similar with what we had in the fridge. They turned out so delicious, I don’t think I’ll be needing to buy them anymore, plus I know exactly what’s in them, which means no processed meat.

For my sausage rolls you’ll need:

500 gms pork & veal mince (if your supermarket butcher doesn’t sell this, you can use 250 gms of pork mince mixed with 250 gms of beef mince)

3 sheets puff pastry

100 gms fruit chutney

1 tblsp dried rosemary

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1 tsp salt

note: You don’t have to be exact with these measurements. I didn’t measure anything out, I just threw it all in.

To make:

Preheat your oven to 220C. Prepare a baking tray by lining with baking paper or well-greased foil.

Place the pastry sheets flat on the bench to defrost.

In a large bowl, mix the mince, chutney, rosemary, breadcrumbs and salt with clean hands until well combined.

When your pastry sheets are almost defrosted, you can begin to assemble the sausage rolls.

Slice one sheet of pastry in half horizontally so you have two rectangles. Each rectangle will make a row of sausage rolls.

Take a small handfull of mince and roll it into a sausage shape. Place it lengthways along the middle of one of the rectangles and continue to shape it until it is evenly spread from end to end of the pastry. The mince strip should be about 2.5 cm (1″) round.

From the top, fold the pastry over the mince then gently roll it towards you to close the sausage roll. Trim about half a cm off the ends of the roll, then slice the roll into 4 cm pieces.  Place on the baking tray so that the bit where the pastry folds over is on the bottom.

Repeat this process with each pastry rectangle. You may not get a full roll from the final rectangle so use what mince you have left and trim off the extra pastry.

Gently brush tops with milk.

Place in oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until brown.

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melbournemummy’s home made mini sausage rolls

*As the meat cooks, the juice will come out and pool in the bottom of the tray. Don’t worry. This will evaporate and create a nice caramelisation on the bottom of the sausage rolls.

Makes about 34 mini sausage rolls.

Hint: If you want to make these ahead of time, you can par bake them until light golden then leave to cool. Freeze in bags until needed. Remove from freezer to defrost for 30 minutes while preheating oven. Bake until brown.

Enjoy!

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A lovely day and a new recipe: Mushroom and cannellini bruschetta

Today was pretty close to perfect.

The weather was mild. We had a play date in the morning and another in the afternoon. Naps and bedtime went smoothly. And, I came up with a new, very Italian, very delicious lunch recipe.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos but I’m not sure photos would have persuaded you to try the recipe because it turned out to be one of those ugly but delicious kind of things.

Anyway, if your a fan of mushrooms on toast, I urge you to give this a try.

You’ll need:

2 slices of crusty bread like pane di casa or sourdough, toasted

1/2 can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed

3/4 cup chopped mushrooms, whatever type you like

1/2 tsp fresh or squeezy thyme

1/2 tsp crushed garlic

Butter, olive oil, salt & pepper

Toast your bread and get two frypans heating on medium. In one pan, melt a knob of butter, add the mushrooms, thyme, a pinch of salt and a crack of fresh pepper – cook until the mushrooms are soft, juicy and have a bit of colour. In the second pan, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, add the beans and garlic and cook until the beans are heated through.

Roughly smash up the beans with a fork or the back of a spoon.

Spoon your bean mash onto the toast and top with the mushrooms.

Devour before small child wakes.

Fussy toddler banana and yogurt pikelets

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Hot on the tail of the popular apple cinnamon pikelet recipe I shared a little while ago comes this equally delicious offering – a new addition to my Fussy Toddler recipe arsenal.

I love pancakes and I’m always on the lookout for new recipes so when I stumbled across these ones on a foodie blog I follow I had to try them, and they didn’t disappoint.

Until now, I’d never seen a pancake or pikelet recipe quite like this one but it produces the most delicious, moist, fluffy pikelets that are sure to please even the most hair-pullingly fussy toddler’s taste buds, and maybe your own as well.

If your a fan of ricotta hotcakes, you’ll love these!

I’ve adapted the recipe to make it my own so try both versions and see which you prefer.

For my pikelets you’ll need:

3/4 cup thick natural yogurt, can be Greek, I used Jalna pot set yogurt with bush honey

1 egg

1/2 cup plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 over ripe banana

1-2 tsp milk

Mash the banana and mix with egg, yogurt, flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the milk bit by bit to loosen until you get a smooth, thick consistency.

Heat pan on medium low and add a little bit of butter. If the pan is too hot, the outside of the pikelets will burn before the middle cooks through, so a lower temperature is better.

Spoon smallish dollops of the batter into the pan, you should be able to fit 3-4 at a time, and cook until the outside is golden brown and the middle is set enough to flip. Then flip and cook on the other side until equally golden brown.

Because these pikelets are thick and the batter is heavy, they take time to cook through. Be patient – make yourself a coffee – don’t turn the heat up!

Serve warm with a little drizzle of honey and some sliced fruit like strawberries or kiwi.

Voila, happy toddler, happy mummy.

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Quick monday night dinner – creamy bacon and mushroom pasta

melbournemummy's bacon and mushroom pasta

melbournemummy’s bacon and mushroom pasta

Tonight Hubby is out doing an evening course, so after putting Little Chop to bed I whipped up this delicious bacon and mushroom pasta. I’ve had this recipe in my stockpile for a few years now and it’s a great fallback meal for when I want something simple, quick and tasty.

This recipe will feed two adults or one pregnant woman.

You’ll need:

1 1/2 cups dried pasta – penne, farfale or fusilli will work

2 cups chopped mushrooms – cup or swiss brown

3 rashers rindless short cut bacon, sliced into thin strips

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped – white, brown or red anything goes

1/3 cup thick cooking cream

1 tbs soy sauce, regular or light

1 tbs butter or olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Firstly, boil some water and get your pasta on to cook, drain when al dente and set aside.

In a pan, heat the butter/oil and fry off the bacon on med/high heat until browned and crispy. Add the mushrooms and onions and reduce heat to med. Saute the mushrooms and onions until they are soft and the mushrooms have released their juices. Stir in the cream then add the soy sauce bit by bit, checking the flavour until you reach your desired saltiness. Crack in some black pepper. Simmer the sauce and continue to stir until it thickens a little. Turn heat to low and stir the pasta through.

Serve with a generous grating of parmesan cheese.

You can also add some thinly sliced pan-fried chicken breast or toasted pine nuts if you like. Hubby likes it with the lot but I prefer the simple version. Goes great with a green salad too.

Now, someone bring me a glass of chardonnay…

I know, I know…never mind.

Mum’s treat – banana caramel pudding for one

melbournemummy's banana pudding

melbournemummy’s banana pudding

This will be my last Mum’s treat cup-cake for a little while.

I’ve been dealing with sciatica (pinched nerve) for a couple of weeks now, which my doctor and physio believe is likely to stay for the remainder of my pregnancy, and I’m worried about putting on too much weight due to my physical activity being so restricted.

So, warm gooey cup-cakes are on the way out – along with chocolate, sugary tea, Tim Tams, honey crumpets…sob.

What’s a girl to do?

For those of you who aren’t watching your calorie intake, grab a mug!

You’ll need:

1 1/2 tbs milk

1 1/2 tsp butter

1 1/2 tbs castor sugar

3 tbs self raising flour

1 tbs mashed banana

1 pinch cinnamon

1 tbs brown sugar

3 tbs hot water

Place butter and milk in your mug and microwave for 30 seconds. Mix in castor sugar, flour, banana and cinnamon. Sprinkle brown sugar over the batter and gently top with the hot water. Microwave for 60-75 seconds on high until the top looks spongey but moist and the sides look saucey. Let stand for 1-2 minutes.

Serve with cream or ice-cream.

Ah, cup-cakes, I’m going to miss you.

Fussy toddler tuna mornay with broccoli, cauliflower and white beans

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I made this for Little Chop’s dinner tonight and it got the Fussy Toddler tick of approval. Creamy, cheesy, yummy – what’s not to like? I almost got stuck into it myself!

I must admit, I don’t really use recipes or measurements when I’m cooking at home, unless I’m baking, so these quantities are estimates, but it’s not an exact science – so don’t worry! Plus, you can substitute in other veggies like pumpkin or sweet potato if you like, or use some leftover roast chicken instead of tuna.

This recipe will feed one fussy toddler, so just multiply it if you need to.

You’ll need:

1/4 cup broccoli in bite size pieces

1/4 cup cauliflower in bite size pieces

1 tbs tinned tuna

1 tbs white beans (cannellini, butter beans or even chick peas)

2 tsp butter/ margarine

2 tsp plain flour

150 ml milk

1/4 cup grated tasty cheese

Put the broccoli and cauliflower on to steam. When they’re nearly tender, add the beans and steam for a further 3 minutes or thereabouts.

Meanwhile, melt the butter on medium heat in a small saucepan, add the flour and stir in until smooth. When the mixture begins to look frothy, remove from heat and gradually whisk in the milk. Return to stove and stir over medium heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in most of the cheese – set aside a little for the top.

Stir the veggies, beans and tuna through the cheese sauce – smashing the veggies and beans a bit as you go. Spoon into a ramekin. Top with the leftover cheese and put under the grill until bubbly and a little bit browned.

Allow to cool a little as the cheese will be very hot.

Serve to your aspiring food critic.

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*I’m thinking about writing a regular post called ‘Fussy Toddler Friday’ – assuming I can come up with a new recipe every week that satisfies Little Chop’s discerning taste buds. Scrap that, it’s never going to happen.

Maybe every second Friday…

Fussy toddler muffins with blueberry, banana and oatmeal

Blueberry, banana and oatmeal muffins

Blueberry, banana and oatmeal muffins

These muffins are great to have on hand for morning or afternoon tea. Little Chop loves the blueberries and goes to great lengths to eat them one by one before eating the rest of the muffin.

You’ll need:

100g butter, melted and cooled

1 cup milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup castor sugar

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

1 ripe banana, mashed

1/4 cup frozen blueberries

1/4 cup rolled oats

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 12 hole muffin pan.

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. The batter will be a bit runny and lumpy. Spoon into the muffin pan. Bake for 25* mins.

Serve warm with some butter or jam.

*My oven is not fan-forced, so if yours is, check muffins at 20 mins.

Store the muffins in an airtight container for up to three days or wrap individually in cling film and store in the freezer.

Great for mum’s breakfast on the go, too!