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Turkey Hot Browns


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These sandwiches make for a nice light and healthy supper when it gets too hot to cook, or when you are starving at the end of the day and can't be asked to cook.  Not only are they quick and easy to make, but they are diabetic friendly also!

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Marie Rayner
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A Fruity Chicken Salad with Crunch




I was looking to make us a delicious lunch today, that was not only scrumptious, but also fairly healthy.  Todd and I both are on medication for high cholesterol and I am a diabetic, so eating healthier is the order of the day around here most days.  It  is a real pain getting older, but then again its a blessing as so many people don't get the chance to do just that.

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Marie Rayner
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Sweet Corn Muffins


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Sweet Corn Muffins are the perfect addition to suppers like that delicious White Chicken Chili I showed you yesterday!   Corn and chili are a marriage made in heaven, don't you know!

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Marie Rayner
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White Chicken Chili


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There is one thing with the British weather that you can rely on for sure, and that is that it is highly unpredictable and unreliable!  Today (Sunday)  has been cold and rainy.   The perfect day to make something delicious like this White Chicken Chillie!

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Marie Rayner
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Baked Lemon Donuts


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I profess to having a certain fondness for donuts, especially the cake type.  I like those ones much more than the yeast once, although they are also certainly very good and have their place.  But give me a chocolate sour cream or plain sour cream donut over a crueller any day of the week!  Love, Love, LOVE!

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Marie Rayner
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Cherry Crumble Cake




As you probably already know, I just love, Love, LOVE cherries! During cherry season I could eat them until they come out my ears . . . and it doesn't matter how much they cost. I just can't get enough of them!


 


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Marie Rayner
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Baked Ravioli with Sweet Peppers


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I had some fresh ravioi in the refrigerator that needed using up the other day and so I created a delicious and quick casserole that went down a real treat. I used a spinach and ricotta variety and these flavours worked very well together, but I am sure they would also work very well with a cheese or a beef ravioli.


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Marie Rayner
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Kimchi Mac and Cheese


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I was recently sent a jar of Yutaka Korean Kimchi to try and I decided to put it to good use in a recipe for Kimchi Mac and Cheese that I had saved some time back.  It sounded delicious at the time and I thought it would be a great way to showcase this great product.  I was not wrong!

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Marie Rayner
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Greek Turkey Tacos


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I am a great fan of Mediterranean flavours   . . .  oregano, feta cheese, olives, lemons, tomatoes, cucumbers . . .  coriander.  Greek salad.  Yum!  Yum!

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Marie Rayner
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Gingerbread Madeleines


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I recently received a new Madeleine pan and I found a lovely recipe to bake in it.  I love French Madeleines . . .  tiny little moreish shell shaped little cakes . . . rich and wonderful for dipping into hot drinks.   I wanted to do Gingerbread ones because Todd really loves Gingerbread and I found the perfect recipe here.

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Marie Rayner
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Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins




I had some bananas here in the house that were just about to the point where they needed to be tossed . . . I hate wasting good, ripe banana . . . it's such a necessity when it comes to making banana cakes and such . . . in fact I always purposely hide a few . . . just so I can have some to bake with.

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Marie Rayner
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Summer Fresh Cherry Trifle




One of my favourite late spring/early summer fruits is cherries. When we lived down in Kent at this time of year you could find lots of cherry sellers set up on the many laybys in the area, their tables just laden with glorious cherries, of several different varieties.

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Marie Rayner
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French Yogurt Cake


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Sometimes I just have a craving for cake.   I haven't yet been able to sort out a way to make a diabetic cake which actually tastes good and has a texture that I enjoy, but I am working on it.  I have decided that a tiny taste of what  you enjoy  once in a blue moon has to be enough, and so every now and again I treat myself to a slice of cake.  Not an over the top cake . . .  mind . . .  but, beggars can't be choosers can they!

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Marie Rayner
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Father's Day Treats


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 Its Father's Day this Sunday and I thought it would be fun this morning to share with you some of the things I wish I could cook for my dad.  Unfortunately he is all the way over in Canada, so it will have to be just a wish list.  I suppose I could cook some of them for Todd, even though he's not my dad.  He probably wouldn't complain too  much!  Here are my choices and I hope you will give some of them a go yourself as well!  The "Dads" in your life are sure to appreciate them!

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Marie Rayner
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White Chicken Enchilada Pasta


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I saw this recipe on Julies Eats and Treats the other day and as soon as I saw it, I wanted to make it.  I love mexican flavours and I love pasta.  I did have to adapt it somewhat according to the ingredients I have available over here in the UK, but I was very pleased with the end results.

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Marie Rayner
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Smash Burgers


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I watched the Pioneer Woman doing something like this on the telly one day and it looked dead simple and delicious and decided to try to replicate it for us here at home.

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Marie Rayner
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BBQ Chicken Packets


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I was in the mood for something quick and easy the other night and so I threw together these delicious foil packets, BBQ Chicken Packets.  So simple to make and so tasty when done!  You can either cook them in the oven or on the BBQ.  Its all up to you!


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Marie Rayner
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Perfecting Sourdough by Jane Mason


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I recently received a cookbook for review entitled Perfecting Sourdough, by Jane Mason.  Mastering the art and science of baking with starters and wild yeast. Expert author and founder of Virtuous Bread, Jane Mason, has provided the ultimate companion for those wanting to master the art of baking with starters and wild yeast. Chapters dedicated to each type of sourdough cover everything from basic step-by-step instructions to troubleshooting tips and advice on equipment and ingredients. Perfecting Sourdough is packed with useful information to give even the most novice baker the confidence to crack sourdough!


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Marie Rayner
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Honey Mustard Two Potato Salad


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I found that I had quite a few sweet potatoes and white potatoes in the potato bin the other day and I thought to myself why not make a potato salad using both of them and this is what I came up with.  Honey Mustard Two Potato Salad!  It was delicious!


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Marie Rayner
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Apricot Sheet Cake




This is a simple cake and very easy to make. Sometimes people think that if something is simple, then it can't be very good, but they are so wrong . . . wrong, wrong!

In my experience it is quite often the simplest things that taste the best of all!

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Marie Rayner
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Strawberry and Mozzarella Salad


 

The shop shelves are starting to fill up with early British Strawberries now.  My plants in the garden have small green berries on them, but it's far too early yet for us to be eating our own.   We have had a week of just gorgeous weather this past week and I took advantage of it by making us some nice light food that we could enjoy eating out on the patio.  Dishes like this delicious salad went down a real treat and used the beginnings of the British Strawberry Season to their best!

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Marie Rayner
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71 Bloggers Choose their All-time Favourite Recipes


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AMARA has composed a list of 71 blogger's favourite recipes.  (This above is Ombre Cheesecake by  Capture From Lucy)   If you love good food and are keen to discover a new food blog that you perhaps have not yet discovered, do hop along to the The Lux Pad by Amara to find out more and drool a tiny bit! 
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Chicken Enchilada Bake




I confess to having a certain fondness for Mexican food.  I have never been to Mexico actually, no even close, but I do love the flavours of that type of cuisine   Now I don't want purists messaging me here telling me that this is nothing like Mexican food.  This may well be true, but this is what I know as Mexican and this is what I like, and well . . .  it's my kitchen, afterall!




This casserole is much simpler to make than traditional enchiladas.  I have adapted the recipe from one which I discovered on Whats Gaby Cooking.  It looked so delicious that I wanted to try it.  I have taken the liberty of using already poached chicken and changing out a few steps . . .




But that is what cooking is all about isn't it?  Finding inspiration and then using that inspiration to create something delicious depending on what is available and what you like or don't like . . .




I always have poached chicken on hand.  I use it all the time.  I probably poach a whole chicken every week., or a bag of chicken breasts or thighs, a mixture, etc.   Its a very versatile ingredient to have and it works well in impromptu salads, sandwiches and quick suppers like this!





*Chicken Enchilada Bake*
Serves 6 

Simple to make and soooooo delicious.  Even the leftovers are fabulously tasty. 

3 chicken breasts, poached and shredded
1 jar of Enchilada sauce
(I used Discovery, and sprinkled the seasoning mix included over the chicken, tossing it to coat all together)
1 TBS oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 tsp chipotle chili in adobe paste
1 400g (14 oz) tin of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 198g (about 1/2 cup) tin of sweet corn, drained
(Or the equivalent in either frozen or fresh, thawed if frozen)
6 corn tortillas
1 bag of grated four cheese mix (About 3 cups)
(I use the jack, mozzarella, edam and cheddar mix)
To serve:
chopped spring onions
sour cream





Heat the oil in a skillet.  Add the onions and peppers.  Cook stirring until softened.  Add the enchilada sauce and chipotle chili.  Simmer together for five minutes.


Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 6.  Butter a deep 9 inch pie dish.   Spoon a bit of the enchilada sauce on the bottom. Top with three tortillas, overlapping slightly in the centre.  Top with half the chicken, half of the beans and corn, half of the remaining enchilada sauce and half the cheese.  Repeat the layers, ending with cheese.


Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until heated through and bubbling.


Scatter chopped spring onions on top.  Serve spooned out with sour cream for dolloping and additional spring onions for sprinkling.  Delicious!




This was really, really, REALLY good!   It was quick to make and was something which I would make again! I served this with a simple salad.  It was fairly low in carbs, high in protein and delicious.



Bon Appetit!



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Now that's a tasty pickle!


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I just have to tell you about this delicious pickle we have been enjoying these past few weeks from the people at English Provender!  English Provender Proper Pickle, Beetroot! Naturally delicious, crunchy and all grown up, English Provender Co.’s Proper Pickle taps into the nostalgic taste of traditional sandwich accompaniments, but with an altogether more refined flavour and texture for the more discerning palate.

I have always love LOVED beetroot in any way shape or form, and I am happy to say I am loving this Beetroot proper pickle also!

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Packed full of flavour and having just the perfect amount of punch, earthy English Provender Beetroot Proper Pickle is made with authentic, natural ingredients that champion British produce, with no added preservatives, colours or flavours.  This is pickle as it should be.  If you’re looking to add a twist to your ploughman’s lunch or daily salad then Beetroot Proper Pickle could be the pickle for you. Rich and fruity, crunchy British beetroot is combined with a unique blend of pickle spices.  We've been enjoying it on sandwiches and with cold meats.   I've even been tucking into it with a spoon when nobody's looking.  Shhh . . .  don't tell anyone!

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Other flavours are Proper Pickle Chunky, Proper Pickle Finely Chopped and Proper Pickle Pickled Onion.  If they are anything near as tasty as the Beetroot one, I am sure they are gorgeous too!   I would buy this pickle.  Many thanks to English Provender Co for sending me a jar to try.

These tasty pickles are available online in the English Provender Co online store or instore at Waitrose and ASDA.

To find out more about English Provender and their products be sure to check out their Homepage.

Follow them on Facebook
Follow them on Twitter
Follow them on Pinterest
Subscribe to them on YouTube 

Note - although I was sent a jar of pickle free of charge to try out, I was not required to write a positive review.  Simply put.  I really liked this.
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Buttermilk Cake


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We are coming into Strawberry season here in the UK now, and I will put my hand up and say that Strawberry season is one of my favourite food seasons.  I purposefully do not buy strawberries at any other time of the year, or imported berries, because in all honesty . . . they just don't cut the mustard!  This Buttermilk Cake is a must during Strawberry Season because it is just so darned perfect for eating with berries and cream!

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Marie Rayner
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Egg Roll Stir Fry


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This is a quick and simple dish I have been wanting to make for quite some time now.  I originally saw it on Pinterest, attributed to a blog called South In Your Mouth, who got it from someone else, who got it from someone else and so on and so on.  You know how it goes.   I adapted it to our own tastes and we were both very happy with the end result!  This is the perfect quick and simple supper for those nights when you just can't be asked to cook!

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Marie Rayner
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Grilled Peach and Ham Salad


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I picked up some lovely flat peaches at the shops at the weekend, and they weren't too hard, and not mealy.  They were just right.  We had a couple just eaten out of hand and then I used several to make this delicious salad which we enjoyed for lunch!

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Marie Rayner
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"Grow Your Own" with Heinz Tomato Ketchup!


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Heinz Tomato Ketchup have teamed up with pothole gardener Steve Wheen, planting striking mini gardens across six UK cities, to showcase the beauty of Spring and the important journey from seed to sauce. It’s a fab way for people of all ages to get stuck in, learn about where their food comes from and grow their very own produce!

Alluring miniature gardens, planted by visionary pothole gardener Steve Wheen, have popped up across six UK cities set for the arrival of spring. The beautiful illustrations created with Heinz Tomato Ketchup are part of the ‘Grow Your Own’ campaign. Using garden equipment including tiny wheelbarrows, miniature people and green foliage the creations tell the story of how Heinz seeds start their journey, being planted in gardens at the start of tomato season.


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For the fourth year of the ‘Grow Your Own’ project Heinz Tomato Ketchup is calling on families up and down the country to get creative and plant their own Heinz tomato seeds. This year entrants will be in with a chance of having their home-grown tomatoes made into an iconic bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup, personalised exclusively for them.


Residents of London, Manchester, Cardiff, Brighton, Bristol and Birmingham will be surprised and delighted with these colourful gardens that bring the joys of spring to people around the country. Kitted out with miniature benches, wheelbarrows, bicycles and picket fences the miniature creations draw attention to the beauty of UK gardens and help families enjoy growing their own food together and learn a little bit more about tomatoes along the way.

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Chris Isaac, Brand Manager for Heinz Tomato Ketchup said “Through the ‘Grow Your Own’ campaign we’re spurring on families to get involved with planting tomato seeds themselves and with the competition this year there’s an added incentive to get planting. We’re really excited to see the results from this and hopefully the winner will be delighted with the outcome.”

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 To enter the competition*, families need to upload pictures of their efforts to the official Heinz UK Facebook page to be in with a chance of being that one lucky winner. Chosen at the end of August, the winner and their tomatoes, will be picked up by Heinz Tomato Ketchup and transported to Heinz’s Culinary and innovation Centre to be produced. The winner will then receive a special version of the classic glass bottle filled with their home grown Heinz Tomato Ketchup, complete with a unique personalised label.

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There will also be a number of runners up prizes, with gardening hopefuls having the chance to win high quality gardening tools – such as watering cans, wheelbarrows, trowels and gardening gloves – plus much more! 

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To get inspired and find out more about the Grow Your Own campaign visit: www.facebook.com/HeinzUK.


*Terms and conditions apply, see http://www.heinzgrowyourown.co.uk/terms for more details 




About Heinz: For 140 years Heinz has been dedicated to crafting the best-tasting tomato ketchup. The rich red colour, unique taste, and thick, rich texture of Heinz Tomato Ketchup only come from the specially selected tomatoes grown from seeds that we use for our unique Heinz Tomato Ketchup recipe.

The Heinz ‘Grow Your Own’ campaign aims to help families enjoy growing their own food together and learn a little bit more about tomatoes along the way. Each bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup is full of sun-ripened tomatoes grown by Heinz – every squeeze contains a quarter of a tomato, which has been carefully grown by farmers Heinz knows and trusts.

#HeinzGrowYourOwn
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Marie Rayner
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Mock Lasagne Casserole




 I took advantage of a bargain I got on some extra lean ground beef, or beef mince as it is called over here, the other day and made a huge pot of bolognese sauce to put in the freezer.  I often do this, doubling or tripling the recipe and then freezing the sauce in 2 cup containers, just the right size for me to haul out on busy days to have with spaghetti, or to use in casseroles such as this delicious one I am showing you here today!



This is such a simple casserole to make and as easy as thawing out a container of bolognese, and boiling a quantity of macaroni.  Easy peasy. Layered together with some ricotta and other cheeses, it is so quick and easy to throw together.  I used mozzarella, strong cheddar and parmigiana reggiano cheeses this time, but you can easily just use a ready grated cheese mix from the shops, or your own tasty combination.



You simply layer it all together and bang it into the oven for half an hour . . .then sit back and enjoy the accolades.   It such a simple thing and so delicious and your family doesn't need to know you didn't slave away all day on it.  In fact all the hard work was done weeks before . . .



I did this on Saturday and then we pulled it out of the fridge when we got home from church on Sunday and it was like magic.  In the time it took for us to change out of our Sunday go to meeting clothes, and make a salad, dinner was on the table.



And Todd didn't complain too much about it being pasta . . .  I think I'm wearing him down!  ;-)

(Don't worry I have both recipes on the one page.  If you click on the printable recipe beneath the Mock Lasagne title, it will print out both recipes.  No need to click twice.)




*Mock Lasagne Casserole*
Serves 6 to 8
Economically delicious with all the flavours of a lasagne, but none of the faff.  I make big batches of meat sauce and freeze it in 2 cups containers so that I have it ready when I need it just for tasty casseroles like this.


1 pint of bolognaise sauce (see my recipe)
(warmed through)
8 ounces of macaroni, cooked, drained, rinsed and drained again
185g ricotta cheese (1 1/2 cups)
6 ounces grated cheese (1 1/2 cups)
(I used a mixture of strong cheddar, mozzarella and Parmegiano Reggiano)
Preheat the oven t190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Butter a casserole dish.
Layer as follows:  Half of the cooked macaroni, half the meat sauce, 1/2 the ricotta (I dollop it over) and half the grated cheese.  Repeat with the other half of each, ending with cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbling and the cheese is golden.  Serve warm.


A Really Good Bolognese Sauce*
Makes 6 servings

Just the way I've always done it.  Simple. Delicious.  Easy.  A hearty sauce that can be used on top of spaghetti, in lasagnas and bakes, or as the Toddster enjoys it, ladled over potatoes.


500g of extra lean ground beef mince (a generous pound)
1 TBS olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 green pepper, trimmed, seeded and finely chopped
3 fat cloves of garlic peeled and minced
225ml of good red wine
1 (400g) tin of chopped Italian tomatoes in juice (14 ounce)
1 (500g) carton of tomato passata  (tomato sauce about 2 cups)
1 TBS tomato puree (tomato paste)
1 tsp good balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano flakes
2 tsp dried basil flakes
1 TBS parsley flakes
1 TBS sugar
pinch ground cloves
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 large bay leaf, broken in half
the rind of one wedge of Parmesan (never throw those away!)
(alternately you can use about 2 TBS of grated parmesan cheese)
pinch of hot pepper flakes (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.   Add the onion and peppers.  Cook, stirring for several minutes, until softened.  Crumble in the ground beef and garlic.  Dry scramble until the beef is no longer pink.  Pour on the wine.  Bring to the boil and then boil it until the wine has almost evaporated.  Add the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the Parmesan.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a very low simmer.  Set a cover on top, slightly ajar.  Simmer over very low heat for about an hour, stirring occasionally.  If you think it is getting too thick you can thin it with a bit of beef stock if necessary.  Add the cheese rind, or grated Parmesan.   Cover again and cook for another half an hour.  Prior to serving discard the rind and the bay leaf.  The sauce is now ready to use as you wish.
 

Note:  Any leftovers can be frozen in containers for up to six months.  Just thaw and reheat as needed.



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