Lauren Gemmell

Food, Fitness, and Technology

Tag: winter

Venison Casserole

It’s less than three weeks till I get married now, the hen night was a success, the invitations are out, and I am in a quiet period before things start to get really stressful again.

As the leaves are starting to turn and it is starting to get pretty cold and nasty out there it seems the perfect time to get a casserole in the oven. While I love a good old beef casserole, I wanted something a little different, and Venison is one of the mains at our wedding meal.

Venison Casserole

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Roasted Vegetables

Vegetables ready for the oven

On a Sunday I like to roast some vegetables for dinner, I always roast too many so they can be used in other recipes during the week. Especially for week nights where if I did start to roast a vegetable, dinner would be after 8 o’clock.

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Easy Minced Beef Pie

For me perfect winter food is warming, rich and easy to make, there is less hovering over the stove, less stress. This “pie” is exactly that, instead of making a meat pie incased in pastry you make the meat filling then top with a square of puff pastry on the plate!

Easy Minced Beef Pie

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Cannellini beans, Tomato and Kale Soup

I feel like being rather lazy this weekend, to hibernate away from the cold drizzle. On days where you need the main light on during the peak sunlight hours, I find it particularly difficult to remember that Spring does come. That soon I won’t come home from work in the dark, and that I’ll venture outside without a jacket on – but today that feels awfully far away.

Cannelloni, Tomato and Kale Soup

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Slow Baked Steak

Everyone has their standard method of cooking a steak, usually I fry mine, some people grill them (or broil them), my mother-in-law* bakes them.

On New Year’s Day my she made steaks for 13 people by baking them! These are a definite crowd pleaser, and are much simpler than if you wanted to fry or grill that many steaks.

*(almost) mother-in-law, it might feel like it, but we aren’t married yet 🙂

Cherry and Almond Mince Pies

Christmas isn’t Christmas without the buttery pastry and spicy dried fruit filling of a mince pie.

Mince Pies

Mince pies are one of the best desserts at Christmas time, they are great warmed with cream and ice cream, wonderful with a cup of coffee and amazing for breakfast!

Growing up in my family they were plenty of festive tiffins, tablets and meringues to snack upon which everyone loved, but my favourite was always the mince pie. I loved the spicy flavours and the dried fruit, and the smell! To some people it’s the smell of pine, to others mulled wine, but to me its freshly baked mince pies, that smell like Christmas.

Cherry and Almond Mince Pies

~ should make around 20 (with leftover mince meat).

  • 1 batch of Cherry and Almond Mincemeat
  • 1 package of pre-made shortcrust pastry
  • 100 ml of milk, for brushing the top of the pastry with.
  • Cinnamon sugar, optional
Pre heat the oven to 180 oC and grease a fairy cake tin.

Roll out the pastry till it is about 1cm thick. Using a cookie cutter cut out circles, which will form the base of your mince pie, and stars that will form the top.

Gently press the circles into the tin, filling each with around 2-3 heaped teaspoons into each pie. Top each pie with a pastry star.

After you have completed all the pies, use a pastry brush to lightly cover each star with a little milk. If you have it sprinkle each pie with cinnamon sugar before baking.

Leave the pies in the oven for around 15 minutes, until they have turned golden, leave them to cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes.

Writing this post on a full stomach is one of the hardest things I have had to do, I just absolutely could not eat another mince pie. Still thinking of the smells and the textures is making my mouth water.

Maybe in half an hour I’ll be able to eat one more…

Chicken with Cranberry Sauce

Christmas decorations, food and music shouldn’t be played before the 4th of December. For the past couple of years I have stopped using shops that started “celebrating” too early, unfortunately this now means I can’t set foot in a shopping mall until December.

So you may wonder why I am blog a cranberry dish so early in November? Well the truth is when I saw these fresh cranberries in the supermarket, I had such a hankering for this recipe, I just had to make it.

Chicken and Cranberry Sauce

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Slow Cooked Lentil and Vegetable Curry

Getting up early isn’t one of my strong points, so you know I must be excited about a new recipe when I jump out of bed to get it started. (I have only done this once before, for my ill-fated bba bagels.)

Cooking before work is a strange experience, I always end up in the twinned positions of being rather smug that I have been so productive but also cutting it very very fine for my first meeting of the day. With slow cooking however you have little choice, if you want a slow cooked meal ready for coming home to – you have to make sacrifices.


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