Comfort food!

(Recipe included for Allotment pie)

Why do we have comfort food? What is comfort food? When I searched for the definition of what comfort food is, it came up with this:

It is usually a food that provides a feeling of well-being, typically having a high sugar or carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking.

This would make sense because it is food associated with the security of childhood, when you were young, had no worries and had someone looking after you. In fact, that is the main reason why, when under extreme emotional stress, adults turn to food for comfort. It brings back memories of when they didn’t have to worry about anything.

Comfort food is food that provides a nostalgic or sentimental value to someone, this nostalgic affect created when eating your favourtite comfort food may be specific to an individual, or it may apply to a specific culture

The food that you eat when in those circumstances, (comfort food), are believed to be a great coping mechanism for rapidly soothing negative feelings. The interesting thing is that the food that is considered ‘comfort food’ varies from country to country. For example, comfort food for Britain include: Cottage pie, Beef stew with dumplings, rice pudding (my comfort food), Custard, Bangers and mash, and Jam Roly-Poly.

You can’t beat a lovely tasty and filling and meal on a cold and damp day, and my own recipe of Allotment pie is just that! This is a warm and satisfying food, and in these cold and foggy December days, you need something that just hits the spot…

Allotment pie

(Great for freezing)

Serves: 6 people

Preparation: 30 minutes Cook: 1 Hour 55 minutes

(This meal happens to be vegetarian but can be easily adapted to accommodate meat)

For the filling, the ingredients you will need:

  • 50 grams’ butter
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 4 carrots diced small
  • 1 head of celery chopped
  • 4 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 150 grams’ pack chestnut mushroom, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 500 grams’ pre-cooked lentils,
  • 1.7l of vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato purée
  • 150 grams soya mince

For the topping, you will need:

  • 2 kg potato
  • 85 grams butter
  • 100 millitlitres milk
  • 150 grams cheddar, grated

Method:

  1. To make the sauce, heat the butter in a pan, then gently fry the onions, carrots, celery and garlic for 15 mins until soft and golden. Turn up the heat, add the mushrooms, then cook for 4 mins more. Stir in the herbs, then add the lentils. Pour over the wine and stock – it’s important that you do not season with salt at this stage. Add the soya mince. Now season to taste, take off heat, then stir in the tomato purée.
  2. Tip the potatoes into a pan of water, then boil for about 15 minutes until tender. Drain well, mash with the butter and milk, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. To assemble the pies, divide the filling mixture between the dishes that you are using, then top with the fluffy mash. Scatter over the cheese, heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5, then bake for 45 minutes or until the topping is golden.
  4. Enjoy!

Allotment pie is a very useful dish for using up a glut of vegetables, or it’s been a long day and it’s your turn to cook that day and you don’t want to make something complicated, but something warm and tasty. I really enjoyed making this dish and it definitely warms you up. I hope you enjoy making it just as much has I did!

Bacon, Brie and Cranberry sauce Palmiers


(Audio reading available for those above who find that easier than reading)


So restrictions have now been updated in the UK, meaning that we now can have 6 people in our garden. Having people round for association means a perfect opportunity to get baking! Shout out to Delicious Table who gave me this idea with their recipe.

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Ingredients

• 1 Sheet of Puff Pastry

• 7 ounces of Brie at room temperature. Depending on preferences, you can either remove the rind or keep it on. I personally removed my rind.

•½ Crispy Bacon bits.

• 2 Tablespoons of cranberry sauce, any brand

Recipe

  1. You need to preheat the oven to 200°c.
  2. Making sure it doesn’t rip, unfold the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface.
  3. Using a spoon, evenly blob cranberry sauce on the pastry, then use the back of the spoon smooth to spread it all about.
  4. Now, sprinkle your bacon and your brie all over, making sure every centimetre has a fair share of the brie and bacon goodness.
  5. Start rolling from each side, gently squeezing as you go, making sure it is nice and tight. Roll until both sides meet in the middle.
  6. Then, cover with clingfilm or greaseproof paper and let the roll relax in the fridge for 15 mins. This means it will be easier when you come to start cutting it.
  7. Once it has been properly chilled, take it out and start slicing it with a small serrated knife. It makes it easier if you first cut it in half and then slice those halves into quarters.
  8. Place the slices onto a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper. Bake for 10 to 15 mins until gloriously golden!

Great thing about these are they can either be eaten warm or cold! I hope you enjoy. Comment below how your Palmiers turned out x

Peanut butter thins

I know that whenever I have made these cookies they have always been a massive hit and it is rare that they last 4 days. Sadly, I have a nut allergy so I am not able to scoff them but it is safe enough for me to make them. I hope you enjoy making them and eating them yourself. Please comment down below what you thought of them!

Peanut butter thins

Makes: 23     Baking time: 30 minutes

Enjoy these thins whenever. Why not, as a variation, put a peanut in the middle or a chocolate drop.

 

Ingredients:

115g butter

1 teaspoon baking powder

115g peanut butter (obviously)

1teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

140g caster sugar

115g rolled oats

50g light muscovado sugar, (Warmed up in the microwave for 10 seconds)

1 beaten egg

1 teaspoon salt

100g sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon almond essence

Method

  1. Mix the butter, peanut butter. Castor sugar, muscovado sugar together. Add the beaten egg, vanilla and almond essence too. Preheat the oven to 140C.
  2. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt into the mix and blend well. Then add the oats.
  3. Grab a small handful of the dough, roll it into a ball then cut it in half. Roll both halves into balls, place onto a greaseproof tray and flatten a little with the back of a spoon. Do this until none of the mix is left in the bowl.
  4. Put them into the pre-heated oven for 30minutes on the middle shelf. Keep checking on them. When baked, leave them on the tray for 5mins before moving them onto a cooling rack, otherwise they may break in half. Replay this step until all thins have been naked.

Let me know in the comment section below what your cookies turned out like! Feedback welcome!