Awesome in September

Awesome in September

Awesome in September

If you looked at the photos on my phone, you’d think we didn’t do anything all month, but the truth is we had plans pretty much every weekend. From house parties to weddings, to dog sitting to birthdays, we’ve been all over the place this month. No wonder I’m so tired.

For sure the best thing about September was that I had some lovely friends over for a night in which gave me an excuse to make Swiss & Bacon Dip, which, in case you didn’t know, is the greatest food of all time. Seriously, if you haven’t made this recipe yet, you need to stop what you’re doing right now and make it happen. Greatest of all time!

We also caught up with friends and family at a wedding last weekend in Clitheroe. It’s just the cutest little town. I can’t take it.

Among the most intriguing food on the internet this past month was this Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. I watched Zoe make this on her Instagram, and I knew I needed to have it. 

These Mulled Spiced Apple Cider Doughnuts also look extremely rad. 

Tis the season for Chili-Stuffed Mini Meatloaf. Put my next to a giant pile of sweet potato fries.

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Your favorite recipes in September were Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels, Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies, and Peanut Butter Fudge because you have excellent taste.

October is coming our way, and autumn is officially unavoidable. Let’s get bundled up and be awesome.

Chicken & Ham Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Chicken & Ham Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Chicken and Ham Pie

Chicken & Ham Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We’ve had a dog for seven months now. Everybody said I would fall in love with her immediately, but by the end of the first week, she had eaten my diary, and a cookbook, shattered the glass in our living room door, and peed on the rug where I do my yoga. We did not hit it off early.

Since then, her behavior has improved, but she still can’t be trusted to be left alone within reach of our food. Once I spent a half our slicing cheese for an epic cheese board. Turns out I didn’t latch the kitchen door all the way. By the time I realized it was entirely too quiet in the living room, about a third of the cheese was gone. 

Chicken & Ham Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The first time I made this Chicken and Ham Pie, we left the leftovers out on the counter to cool down a bit before stashing them in the fridge. Who left the kitchen door open? We’ll never know, but Eevee, naturally, did not fail to notice and took advantage of this opportunity to eat about half of the remaining pie. My complete disappointment at the lack of leftovers confirmed how much I really liked this pie. It’s unusual for me to love a recipe that’s loaded with vegetables and doesn’t have any cheese, but this Chicken and Ham Pie was crave worthy, so I had to make it again for you.

This is definitely a weekend dinner project. Nothing is complicated, but there are a few different elements, and the prep work is a little time consuming. I used store-bought shortcrust pastry to make things a little more simple, but if you want to really go all out, you could make your own. 

Chicken & Ham Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Chicken and Ham Pie will be closely guarded from marauding dogs. It’s just too good to share. But even though she’s mischievous sometimes, I think we’ll let the dog stay. I have to admit, she’s sorta awesome.

Chicken & Ham Pie
Serves 4
This Chicken & Ham Pie is so good, you won't want to share it with anyone.
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped small
  2. 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  3. 1 stalk celery, chopped small
  4. 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  5. 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
  6. Salt and pepper
  7. 850 ml chicken stock
  8. 50 grams butter
  9. 3 green onions, thinly sliced from the bottom up to the point where the green leaves split off
  10. 50 grams flour
  11. 300 ml whole milk
  12. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  13. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  14. 150 grams thinly sliced ham, chopped
  15. 500 gram pack shortcrust pastry
  16. 1 egg, beaten
Instructions
  1. Chop your carrot, potatoes, celery, and chicken and add it to a large pot. Add half your fresh thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken stock and place your pot over high heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Place a colander over a large bowl, and drain your chicken and veg mixture, reserving the stock. Set the chicken and veg aside, and strain the stock into a large measuring cup. You'll need 600 ml, so either top up with water, or discard any excess.
  3. To the pot you were just cooking in, melt your butter over medium heat. Add the green onions and cook for a few minutes until tender.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and onions, and stir to combine. Cook for a minute or so until it starts to smell nutty.
  5. Slowly whisk your reserved chicken stock into your flour mixture a little at a time, making sure the mixture is lump-free before adding more. Add your milk, bring the mixture up to a simmer, and cook for two minutes.
  6. Remove the sauce from the heat, and stir in the lemon juice, remaining thyme, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add your chopped ham, and your reserved chicken and veg to a pie plate or casserole and give it a little toss to mix it together. Pour your sauce over this. Mine went right up to the top of the pie pan.
  8. Allow this mixture to cool ever so slightly while you preheat your oven to 200C or 400F.
  9. When your oven is hot, unroll your pastry, and give it a light roll to make sure it will cover your pie pan. Cut a few thin strips off the end your your pastry, and press them around the edge of your pie pan. Use a pastry brush to brush a layer of your beaten egg onto the strips of pastry, then lay the rest of your pastry over your pie. Trim the edges, and press them into the rim of your pie plate to seal. Brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg, and cut a few slits into the pastry to vent steam.
  10. Bake your pie for 25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
  11. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Adapted from BBC Good Food
Adapted from BBC Good Food
http://awesomeon20.com/
Red Currant Glazed Ham | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Red Currant Glazed Ham | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Red Currant Glazed Ham

Red Currant Glazed Ham | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I was supposed to write about Red Currant Glazed Ham about a week and a half ago. Every day I’ve looked at my to do list and saw “write red currant ham post” at the top and thought to myself, “ugh, I don’t have anything to say about ham today,” then I skipped to something else. It’s time to stop. 

Look, I still don’t really have anything to say about ham, other than it’s awesome and you shouldn’t wait for a holiday to make it. Just get a small one, and use the leftovers in everything ever. This ham has a lightly spiced, slightly sweet glaze that makes it extra awesome. Go get it.

Red Currant Glazed Ham | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

In other news completely unrelated to ham, one of my long time favorite bloggers, Jessica from How Sweet Eats, has started a series on blogging with a massive post about building an audience. I’ve been writing this blog for over five years now, and I still don’t have an audience, so clearly, no amount of advice is going to help me, but I’ve still found it inspiring. 

One of her first bits of advice is to create content you like. You’re saying, well duh, Jessica. But it’s easy to get caught up in wanting to please people or wanting to attract attention so people will notice you. Part of embracing my failure as a blogger and accepting that I’m writing this mostly for myself is remembering that I should just write about what I want. Nobody’s reading anyway, so what difference does it make? 

Maybe I’ll write more general life nonsense. Maybe I’ll start writing about how I don’t understand makeup the way the rest of the blogosphere seems to. Maybe I’ll start being boring because that’s who I really am.

Red Currant Glazed Ham | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I still don’t know what I’m talking about, but I have to just say something and stopped being paralyzed by a self-imposed need to be interesting. Sometimes it’s the simple things, like Red Currant Glazed Ham, that are really the most comforting and perpetually awesome. Who knows.

Red Currant Glazed Ham
Serves 6
No need to wait for a holiday. Red Currant Glazed Ham is awesome enough to be served up any day.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 kilogram gammon or ham joint
  2. 1/4 cup red wine
  3. 1 onion, quartered
  4. 1 clove garlic
  5. 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  6. 1/4 teaspoon peppercorns
  7. 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
For the glaze
  1. Whole cloves for studding the ham
  2. 2 tablespoons red currant jelly
  3. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  5. 1/4 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Instructions
  1. Take all the wrappings off your ham and pop it into a pop where it can be completely submerged but otherwise fits relatively snugly if possible.
  2. Add all the ingredients (not including those for the glaze) to the pot with your ham, then top it up with cold water until the ham is covered.
  3. Clamp a lid on and bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat to gently simmer for about 90 minutes. Your ham should cook for 30 minutes per 500 grams plus an extra 30 minutes, so just check to see how big your ham is, and do the math.
  4. When the time is up, gently removed your ham to a board and allow it to cool a bit (long enough so that you can handle it without incinerating your fingers) before cutting away the rind and most of the fat on the outside.
For the glaze
  1. While your ham is cooling, make your glaze by adding the jelly, cinnamon, paprika, and red wine vinegar to a small saucepan. Heat and whisk until it starts to bubble. Allow it to bubble away for a minute or two to thicken and get properly glazey.
  2. When you're ready to bring your ham and glaze together, preheat your oven to 400F (200C) and cover a baking sheet with foil. Your glaze will get really sticky, so make your clean up life easier with the foil. Transfer your ham to your foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. Use a sharp knife to cut a shallow diamond pattern in the thin fat layer of your ham. Pierce the corners of your diamonds with a whole clove.
  4. Use a pastry brush to cover the whole thing in your red currant glaze.
  5. Pop this in the oven for about 12-15 minutes or until your glaze goes sticky with a few deliciously burny bits.
  6. Allow your ham to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. This will be delicious hot, cold, or anywhere in between
Adapted from Nigella Christmas
Adapted from Nigella Christmas
http://awesomeon20.com/
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