Monthly Archives: September 2012

September Cooking Challenge: Baked Cheesburger Egg Rolls

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For my second cooking challenge of the month I decided on a recipe I found through Pinterest from a cute little mumsy food blog called Does Not Cook Well With Others. I picked this recipe purely because I thought my finance would absolutely love it and I thought I’d probably love it too. I mean it’s cheese, beef and pastry, what’s not to like!

So the recipe is pretty simple, it calls for cheddar cheese, red onion beef mince, worcestershire sauce, egg roll wrappers (I used filo pastry) and sesame seeds.

I’m proud to announce that my second September Cooking Challenge was not a disaster or a disappointment (like the last), it was really, really tasty! Making the filling was easy enough, it consisted of frying the mince and onion then combining that together with the grated cheddar, sauce and some herbs such as oregano and basil (my own addition to the recipe).

The only fiddly part was actually making the rolls. I imagine egg roll wrappers are a little thicker and sturdier than filo pastry so I eventually realised I had to be very gentle with the pastry in order to avoid it splitting and ripping. It look a while to get both the proportions right as well as the shape of the actual roll, I think maybe 2 of the 15 I made actually looked like they should. One thing I would say is that I overloaded the rolls with sesame seeds, which resulted in them falling off the rolls into the oven and creating a lot of smoke! I think next time I’ll put a tray underneath to catch the stray sesame seeds and potentially not use as many.

I’m so glad that this recipe worked out much better than my last cooking challenge as I chose both recipes because of their simplicity. It just goes to show that sometimes simplicity is the key! I served the cheeseburger rolls with a variety of dips and made a salad to go along side them to turn this into a main meal. Here are the dips I’d suggest go best with the rolls:

  • Barbeque sauce (plain and simple)
  • New Zealand’s Rocket Fuel Sauce
  • Burger sauce (basically french mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise mixed together)

I’m so so glad that this was a success, the crispy pastry worked so well with the juicy, tangy, cheesy filling and dipped in the sauces it made the perfect alternative to a spring roll! Next time I have a dinner party I’m going to serve these up to see what the larger public think, but go, spread your wings – make baked cheeseburger egg rolls!

Please give me a shout if you give this recipe a go and if you found different things that didn’t work or worked better! Thanks.  

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September Cooking Challenge: Sausage and Red Pepper Quiche

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If you don’t remember, this month I set myself a September Cooking Challenge where I challenged myself to cook three different and never-tried-before (by me) recipes throughout the month.

The first recipe I decided to tackle is the Sausage and Red Pepper Quiche, mostly because it sounded like the easiest recipe and I wanted to ease myself in. I was drawn to this recipe because I’ve never had a quiche with sausage in it before and in fact I’ve never actually made a quiche from scratch.

So firstly the recipe has surprisingly easy and accessible ingredients, pretty much all you had to do was measure out the ingredients before mixing everything together at once and placing in the oven for 40 minutes. The recipe did call for a can of ‘cream of mushroom’ soup, no seasoning and loads of eggs, which I thought was a bit odd but I went along with it anyway.

Unfortunately I think the simplicity of this recipe is what lead to its inevitable demise, the quiche was just, boring. It was very, very bland and lacked seasoning, as I suspected. It also seemed that the egg-to-other-ingredient ratio was a little off, it was just a little too eggy. I realised half way through eating the quiche (I don’t like to waste food even if I don’t like it) that it seemed to be lacking something else as well. Usually when you buy ready-made quiche from the supermarket it has a pastry case and I think I’ve got so used to expecting the buttery pastry surrounding the quiche that I was felt a little disappointed when it wasn’t there.

On reflection I’d do a number of things differently to try and give this quiche a bit of a boost. Firstly I’d cut out the ‘cream of mushroom’ soup and use a selection of chopped wild and organic mushrooms so you can actually taste the mushrooms rather than them getting lost in the recipe. Secondly, the recipe called for mozzarella cheese but I couldn’t taste it at all so I’d go with a stronger cheese, perhaps just something as simple as cheddar. Thirdly I’d add some fresh basil to the quiche mixture and give it a hefty seasoning of salt and pepper. Lastly I’d add a pastry crust to the quiche, it’s perhaps not as healthy but adds much needed texture!

Overall I’m pretty disappointed with this recipe, especially considering that in terms of quiche it sounds like a really interesting idea but in actual fact is very rather bland and meh!

Next up, Cheeseburger Egg Rolls!

Adventures in Cooking

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Even if I haven’t blogged as much as I’d like to, I’ve still been cooking, always cooking! Here are a few of my recent(ish) adventures in cooking which a) turned out the way I wanted and b) tasted incredible.


I bet you’d like to know what everything is you nosey Parker you. Here’s what they are from the left, clockwise.

  1. Black Isle Blonde beer-battered fish and double-dipped chips, with mushy peas and lemon

  2. Tri-coloured Shepherd’s Pie with butternut squash and parsley potato mash

  3. Roasted duck leg with sweet potato mash, wilted spinach and marmalade glaze

  4. Fillet of steak with roast tomato and chips

  5. Chilli chicken nachos with a pincher of homemade mojito

  6. Umami Thailand Satay curry kit

Give me a shout if you want any of the recipes, sharing is caring!

September Cooking Challenge

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After an incredibly hectic August full of weddings, engagements, parental visits, comedy festivals and birthdays I’m ready for a quieter couple of months (phew). I’m looking forward to getting experimental in the kitchen again so I’ve given myself a little September Cooking Challenge to help me on my way.

Pinterest is great website for sourcing recipe inspiration, I’m a massive fan of Tastespotting and Foodgawker too. You can search specific terms or go to the general food & drink category and browse through the mouthwatering pictures. Once you’ve decided on the most delectable picture you can click straight through to the recipe, easy peasy.

I’ve challenged myself to three recipes; a starter, main and dessert. This will also give me a wonderful reason to blog at least three times this month, documenting my cooking challenge is the only way to prove I’ve actually made the recipes! So here goes it, I challenge myself to cook these three recipes in September (thanks for the inspiration Pinterest).

Starter: Baked Cheeseburger Egg Rolls

This recipe (and photo) is originally by Does not Cook Well with Others  and I’d like to try making it purely because I think my fiancée would love it.  The blog suggests that this is perfect party food so I might make it next time the boys are round watching football. The recipe looks simple enough, although I might attempt to make the egg roll pastry from scratch rather than buying it pre-made.

Main: Sausage and Red Pepper Quiche

I’ve chosen this recipe for a couple of reasons; Firstly, usually when I have quiche I’m really naughty and I just buy it ready-made from the shop. The Tesco Finest ones are particularly tasty and it always seems like such a mission to make quiche from scratch. Secondly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a quiche with sausage in it before so I’m rather intrigued. This recipe (and photo) is originally from Pinch of Yum,  a cute foodies blog run by fellow pug lover Lindsay originally from America but blogging from Cebu City in the Philippines.

Dessert: Chai Pumpkin Spice Thumbprints

I’ve chosen this recipe because, come on, this recipe is incredible! I’m hoping if making these goes well I can serve them up at Christmas time, so this is a little practice run really. To be completely honest this recipe looks a little out of my baking league, I’ve only just perfected the art of baking bread and cupcakes so this might be a disaster. Nevertheless I’ll document this disaster in spectacular fashion, don’t you worry! This recipe (and photo) is originally from Pass the Sushi.  Now, where do I get this chai concentrate from?

I’ll document all my recipe-making attempts on the blog and I also promise to add them to my Foodie’s Dream Pinterest board for good measure. P.S. If anybody gives any of these recipes a go in the meantime, please give me a shout. Anyway, stay tuned!