English Pizza Rustica | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

English Pizza Rustica

English Pizza Rustica | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Somehow Instagram seems to know that I’m super stressed out because it’s been showing me a bunch of ads for meditation apps. Do any of you use these? Do you find them helpful? Do they actually work? I admit, I’m intrigued, but I also know I would absolutely fail. 

I am an accomplishment junkie. Maybe it’s an oldest child thing. I don’t know. Every moment I spend not ticking something off a to do list, I feel absolutely terrible about myself. I’ve got to be consuming information or producing work of some type to keep the guilt at bay. And quiet my mind? Please, you’ve got to be kidding. I cannot do that. Like at all. So, if I downloaded one of these apps, I know “meditate” would just become another item on my to do list. I’d only do it so I could tick it off the list. What’s wrong with me?

English Pizza Rustica | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Lucky for you, one of my many lists is new recipes to test, and this English Pizza Rustica was an especially delicious accomplishment. I’ve already shared the Italian version, and this one is at least as good, if not better. It’s got ground pork, bacon, and cheddar cheese all wrapped in a flaky, savoury crust that just so right. 

My favorite thing about English Pizza Rustica is that it’s possibly better on the second day than it is fresh out of the oven. Not only does your pie hold its shape better, the flavors seem to harmonize better as time goes on. I actually look forward to leftovers. It’s a real thing.

English Pizza Rustica | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I hope you add English Pizza Rustica to your to do list. And clear some space in your busy mind to really enjoy it. It’s awesome.

English Pizza Rustica
Serves 6
English Pizza Rustica is a glorious savoury pie with all your favorite English flavors.
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
55 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. For the pastry
  2. 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  4. 2 egg yolks
  5. 2 tablespoons water
  6. 1 teaspon salt
  7. 1 tablespoon sugar
  8. For the filling
  9. 500 grams minced pork
  10. 7 ounces bacon
  11. About a tablespoon of reserved bacon fat, optional
  12. 8 ounces cheddar cheese
  13. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cottage cheese
  14. 2 green onions, chopped with scissors
  15. 1 clove garlic, grated
  16. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  17. Black pepper
  18. About 1 tablespoon dried bread crumbs
  19. For the glaze
  20. 1 egg yolk
  21. 2 tablespoons milk
  22. Pinch of salt
For the crust
  1. Put the flour and butter together in a dish and stash it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Stir together the egg yolks, water, and salt, and put that in the fridge as well.
  2. Once everything is well chilled, place your butter and flour as well as the sugar into a food processor and pulse until you've got a mixture that looks like wet sand. Add the wet ingredients and process until the dough starts to come together but is still a bit loose. I sometimes have to add a bit of extra water, but just add a teaspoon at a time.
  3. Tip the mixture out onto a clean counter and press it together with your hands. Divide the dough 60/40 into two discs (you'll need more dough for the bottom than the top), wrap in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge while you get on with your filling.
For the filling
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C), and if you have a baking sheet that your 8-inch springform pan can rest comfortably on, pop that in the oven to heat up as well. If you don't have one, it's not the end of the world, your bottom crust will just be a little more wet.
  2. Add your bacon to your food processor and pulse to grind up your bacon.
  3. Heat your bacon grease in a skillet and add your minced pork and chopped up bacon. Cook, stirring frequently, until your meat is cooked through, then transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
  4. To your pork and bacon, add your remaining filling ingredients except for the bread crumbs. Gently mix it all together.
  5. Roll out your larger disc of dough between two layers of plastic wrap until it's big enough to cover the bottom of your 8-inch springform pan and come up the sides. It's okay if it hangs over a bit. Sprinkle the bottom of your pie with the breadcrumbs. Don't worry about measuring. Just sprinkle until you have a fine layer across the bottom. Pour in your filling and spread it evenly over the crust.
  6. Roll out your second disc between layers of plastic wrap until it is big enough to cover the top of your pie. Place it on top of your pie, then fold over any overhanging dough to seal in your filling. Press the edges down with a fork, and poke several holes in the top of your pie with your fork for ventilation.
  7. In a small dish, whisk together your glaze ingredients and use a pastry brush to brush it evenly over the top of your pie. This will give it a lovely brown shiny top.
  8. Place your pie into the oven, on the hot baking sheet if you have it. Bake for 10 minutes at this temperature, and then lower the heat to 350F (175C) and bake for another 45 minutes.
  9. Allow your pie to cool for at least 10 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife before removing the collar and slicing into it.
  10. Store any leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator. It will be totally awesome the next day.
Adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess
http://awesomeon20.com/
Buche de Noel | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Cranberry Bakewell Tart | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
Buche de Noel | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Buche de Noel

Buche de Noel | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve been digging deep for that Christmas feeling. I’m counting the days until I get a break from work so I can go into full relaxation mode. We bought our Christmas Tree last week. I even made Geoff take me on a date to the Christmas market so I could eat a Yorkshire pudding wrap and drink hot chocolate with Bailey’s. We took the route home that has a walk past the most twinkling lights possible. I’ve been finding a few moments of holiday zen, and it’s delightful.

Of course, I still have a bunch of presents to buy, and the idea of wrapping them is close to sending me over the edge. Practical geometry was never my strong suit. Then there’s the Christmas menu to finalize. Geoff’s requested this turkey recipe, along with some other British Christmas classics. As for me, I’m more interested in what cocktail to serve. A poinsettia is always a good choice.

Buche de Noel | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

If you’re looking for a deceptively impressive dessert this Christmas, may I suggest you make this Buche de Noel? The first time I made this, I thought it would definitely be a disaster. I don’t have the patience or fine motor skills to make fancy cakes, and I had never tried to make a rolled cake before. It all came together surprisingly easy, and it was so chocolaty and tender, I couldn’t stop eating it. 

You don’t need to worry if your cake cracks a bit as you’re rolling it up because the fluffy chocolate frosting will cover up any problems. And you don’t need to be Van Gogh to make it look like a log, either. All you need is a toothpick and an unsteady hand. Squiggly lines are a bad artist’s best friend. A few fresh cranberries and a couple of snips off of a sprig of rosemary, and you’ve got yourself a guaranteed masterpiece.

Buche de Noel | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Maintain your holiday bliss and impress your family with a Buche de Noel this Christmas. It’s gonna be awesome.

Buche de Noel
Serves 8
A Buche de Noel is a great way to impress your family this Christmas without adding any stress to your life.
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
20 min
For the cake
  1. 6 eggs, separated
  2. 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  3. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  4. 1/2 cup cocoa powder
For the frosting
  1. 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (about 60%)
  2. 2 cups powdered sugar
  3. 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  4. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  5. Pinch of salt
For the cake
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Give yourself plenty of paper to hang over the edge, and fold it up in the corners to give it a bit of structure.
  2. In a large, very clean mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to whisk your egg whites until they're nice and foamy. With the mixer still running, add in 1/4 cup of your sugar and continue to whisk until your have stiff peaks.
  3. In another mixing bowl (I used my stand mixer for this part) whisk your egg yolks with your remaining 1/2 cup of sugar until the mixture is pale and thick. Ditch your electric mixer at this point.
  4. Add the vanilla to the egg yolk mixture, then sift over the cocoa powder. Fold this all together with a rubber spatula.
  5. Next, fold in your egg white in three batches. A few streaks aren't the end of the world. The egg white are all you have to leaven this cake, so don't overwork it.
  6. Pour your cake batter into your waiting jelly roll pan and gently spread it evenly with an offset spatula. Bake for 20 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, the use the overhanging edges of your parchment paper to lift out the cake and allow it to cool completely.
For the frosting
  1. Melt your chocolate by breaking it up into pieces and microwaving it for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each go until it's completely melted and smooth. Should take about a minute. Allow this to cool for a few minutes.
  2. Add your powdered sugar to the bowl of your food processor and pulse a few times to make sure you get rid of any lumps.
  3. Add the butter to the food processor and process until smooth. Add the vanilla and melted chocolate and process until smooth and incorporated.
To assemble
  1. Once your cake is completely cool, spread a layer of your frosting over the entire top of your cake.
  2. Use your parchment paper to help you roll your cake. You want the short end facing toward you as you roll away from you. Don't panic if you have a crack or two. It will all get covered up with the frosting.
  3. If you want to have a stump or two coming out of your log, slice the ends of your roll at a gentle angle. This will also give the ends of log a cleaner look. You can then use a bit of your frosting to stick this slices onto the side of your cake. Once they're covered in frosting, they'll look like stumps of branches. It's almost too easy.
  4. Don't be afraid to use all of your frosting to completely cover all parts of your cake. No need to make it smooth. The rougher it is, the more it will look like bark.
  5. To complete the look, us a toothpick or skewer to to make some wobbly, bark like lines down your cake. Make some rough concentric circles at each end to resemble tree rings.
  6. If you want to get extra artsy. add a few cranberries and some rosemary to make a few sprigs of holly. If you want it to snow on your log, sprinkle it with some powdered sugar.
Adapted from Feast by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants

Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I write my blog posts in the evening, which is probably a mistake. At about 7:00 pm, I hit a productivity wall that I often find insurmountable. It’s 7:40 right now, and I’m like words? What are those?

I’m also supposed to make a cake later so I can frost and decorate it in the morning and shoot it before going out to an early dinner. It’s an extremely safe bet that this cake will not get made tonight. I probably won’t even pick up the cookbook. The last dregs of my energy are going into this drivel right here. 

That being said, there’s a somewhat decent chance I’ll manage to drag myself down the stairs and around the corner for chips. I’m hungry.

Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

It just so happens I have a very lazy recipe for you today. Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants are the perfect thing to offer any drop in holiday guests or offer up as a light breakfast for family or friends who might be staying over. Or you could just scarf them all yourself. That’s what I did.

These Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants are super easy to make and you can easily keep all the ingredients on hand to have them fresh out of the oven whenever you need them. Unroll dough, sprinkle cinnamon sugar, snap a chocolate bar, roll up, sprinkle again, brush, bake. Easy peasy.

Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Let’s all be lazy together. Let’s eat Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants while we do it. Productivity is overrated.

Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants
Serves 8
Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants are a delightful sweet treat you can bring together in a flash.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/6 cup sugar
  2. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  3. 1 sheet puff pastry
  4. 1 egg, beaten
  5. 8 pieces of dark chocolate (I just snapped small chunks off a bar of dark chocolate, but you could use chunks or chips, whatever you have)
  6. Pinch of sea salt flakes
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
  3. Unroll your sheet of puff pastry. Mine was wrapped in parchment in the package, so I just left it on that, but if yours doesn't come with, slide some parchment paper underneath. Use a pizza cutter to cut your pastry sheet in half.
  4. Brush one half of your puff pastry sheet with your beaten egg. Sprinkle most of your cinnamon sugar over your egg wash, holding a little bit back for sprinkling over the top at the end. Place the other half or your puff pastry on top of the cinnamon sugar side, and pinch the edges together to seal.
  5. Cut your new rectangle in half in both directions creating four rectangles, then cut each of these rectangles in half diagonally, creating 8 triangles. Place a chunk of chocolate at the wide end of each triangle, then roll it up toward the point. Tuck the edges under and give a light pinch to keep all the chocolate goodness inside. Place each mini croissant on your baking sheet. Give them room to grow.
  6. Brush each croissant with the remaining egg wash, sprinkle on the remaining cinnamon sugar, and add a light sprinkling of sea salt.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. These are best served warm but are still pretty awesome the next day if kept in an air tight container.
Adapted from Homemade Decadence by Joy the Baker
http://awesomeon20.com/
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