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Thursday, 26 September 2013


Last week I had a horrible bout of flu.  It was dire.  I spent days in bed, too weak to get the next lemsip or even press repeat on the Steel Magnolias DVD.   Sad times in the Rose Household.

By Sunday I was well enough to desire something other to eat than Heinz tomato soup and toast, and I was craving something to make me feel a bit better.  So inspired by watching several episodes of Saint Jamie Oliver I decided to make a Cottage Pie. 

I didn't just want any old cottage pie though, I wanted a low GI pie, packed with vegetables, strong tasting, satisfying and hearty. 

This is what I came up with.  I loved the orange and green mash - it livened up the dish a lot.


Lean minced beef
1 leek
2 onions
4 cloves of garlic
4 carrots
1 stick of celery – not essential
Sweet potatoes
Frozen peas
Few white potatoes
Worcester sauce
Tomato puree
Can of chopped tomatoes
Fresh herbs (I used tarragon and flat leaf parsley)


1)  heat up your oven to about 180 degrees

2)  on the hob, warm up frying pan with slug of olive oil. 

4)  gently soften the chopped onions, garlic, carrots, leek and celery and simmer for about 15 mins. 

5)  While you are waiting start chopping the potatoes – both the sweet and white – skins on or off, however you like.  Place in boiling water with good slug of salt for about 25 mins till really soft.  I like skins on as it is more vitamins, but for guests I would probably peel.

6)  chuck in the mince to the pan and brown it slowly. Add the herbs now.

7) for the sauce:  in a cereal sized bowl put in 2 table spoons of tomato puree, 1 table spoon of yellow mustard, 4 table spoons of Worcester sauce.  Mix up so you have a couple of inches of the sauce in the bottom of your bowl.  Top up with a little water if you like a very saucy pie.  Add to the meat and veg mixture.

8)  Chuck in can of chopped tomatoes with a sprinkle of sugar on the top to cut the acid and simmer it all together for about 5 mins. 

9)  Lay on the bottom of your dish.  Should cover it completely. 

10)  Open a bottle of red wine – pour out 2 glasses – one for you and one to cover the meat mixture.  It's important not too add the wine before this as you don't want to cook off all of that lovely booooze.

11)  Boil some frozen petit pois for a few minutes till soft.

12)  mash the potatoes together with dollop of butter, slug of milk – liberal salt and pepper.  Mash the peas into the potatoes, but not so much that the peas smaulch – the effect you are going for is orangey potato green speckles

13)  pop the mash mix on top of the meat. Use a fork to make a nice pattern on top so it goes crispy in the oven.

14)  Sprinkle a good handful of good handful of strong cheddar on top.  You can leave this out if you are being good.

15)  pop in the oven for about 45-50 mins till top is golden and crispy and the sides are bubbling.  Serve with greens and the rest of the red wine. 

YUM.   The best thing about this pie is the leftovers, once it has rested in your fridge for about 24 hours it became even tastier. 
Sweet Potato Cottage Pie

Saturday, 7 September 2013

A new love affair

Signs that I am in love with a new man:

1)  My iPhone battery is constantly running low so I can talk about him with all of my friends and family
2)  When I have a quiet moment I run through the pics I have on him and stare into his dark blue eyes, longing to give his smooth face a stroke
3)  I have had 20 minute long discussions with bored colleagues about which of his pictures I should put on the fridge
4)  I wonder what he sounds like
5)  I think how cute he would look in certain outfits
6)  I've been making collages of his face with a sweet little app on my phone

So yes - I admit I am in love.  Cousin LL had a baby last week and he might just be the most darling thing I have ever seen. 

We'll call him Baby Boris to protect his identity when Working Title make a film about my us all.  Baby Boris is the cutest thing I have ever seen.  Sadly we have not met yet, as Cousin LL has moved to Germany.  Yep that's right - in 18 months she has got engaged, got married, got knocked up and moved to Germany.   It is indecent.  But a lot of fun. 

And after a very tricky pregnancy and birth, she has produced a darling little boy, who looks so cuddly and cute I can't tell you.  We are all thrilled and so excited about the Next Generation.

Rose xx