Category Archives: Snacks & Sides

Snacks & Sides are some of the best recipes to have in your repertoire. Sides can turn any meal from great to good and who doesn’t love a snack?!

Side dishes are so versatile and can be used to elevate a number of dishes. The same side can also be used for so many dishes which means a good recipe is invalid. 

Snacks can be sweet or savoury, but always delicious. I think of them as tasty in-between meal treats!

Popular Snacks & Sides are:
Easy Sausage Meat Stuffing 
Roasted Parmesan Tenderstem Broccoli 
Cheese, Bacon & Mustard Twists
Chicken Balti Pies 

Cheese & Marmite Palmiers

You will either love or hate these Cheese & Marmite Palmiers! Flaky puff pastry with the tasty flavours of cheese and Marmite – I am certainly in the love team!        

Do you love or hate Marmite?

These Cheese & Marmite Palmiers will definitely not be for everyone. As the saying goes, you either love or hate Marmite and I am obviously in the love team. 

Cheese and Marmite are a classic combination. I remember my Dad making my sister and I Marmite and cream cheese sandwiches for school which we both loved. I must admit this isn’t a sandwich filling I tend to have very often anymore, but I did want to recreate the flavours.

Cheese & Marmite Palmiers are perfect for a picnic

We are hopefully going to be getting some more Spring-like weather now which means we can start enjoying picnics and eating outside. Picnics are a great British institution but unfortunately we don’t always have the weather to make the most of them! These Cheese & Marmite Palmiers make a great snack for lunch and are easily portable if the weather does stay good enough for a picnic!

Cheese & Marmite Palmier baking tips

You can use whichever cheddar you prefer, but if you would like my recommendation it would be extra mature cheddar. It has a delicious saltiness which works really well with the Marmite and will make it very hard for you to stop eating them!

I first made these using a silicone baking mat – don’t! The butter mixed with the Marmite seeps out as you would expect during cooking and the silicone mat stops this draining away from the palmiers and means they sit in a puddle of butter. As delicious as this may sounds, it stops them from becoming deliciously crisp. So make sure you just spray a baking tray with oil and you will have perfect palmiers!

These palmiers are homemade and I don’t think there is anything wrong with them looking that way. Not all of mine had the perfect palmier shape but they still looked good and they definitely tasted yummy!

 

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Cheese & Marmite Palmiers

You will either love or hate these Cheese & Marmite Palmiers! Flaky puff pastry with the tasty flavours of cheese and Marmite - I am certainly in the love team!   

Keyword Cheese, Pastry, Marmite
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill time 10 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 116 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 375 g puff pastry ready rolled
  • 100 g cheddar cheese grated
  • 40 g butter softened
  • 2 tsp Marmite
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Spray oil

Instructions

  1. Unroll the pastry and using a rolling pin, roll until it is 2-3mm thick keeping it on the baking paper it comes with
  2. Make sure your butter is very soft - you might need to put it in the microwave for 20 seconds so that it is really soft but not melted. Mix the butter with the Marmite until it is a smooth paste
  3. Spread the Marmite paste across the pastry and then sprinkle with the grated cheese
  4. Starting from the long end closest to you, tuck the pastry over as tight as you can. Then using the baking paper roll the rest of the pastry to the middle of the pastry sheet
  5. Then repeat with the other long end to the two sides of the pastry meet in the middle
  6. Leave to chill in the fridge for 10 minutes
  7. Preheat the oven to 190ºC (fan assisted 170ºC non fan) and spray 2 trays with oil

  8. Take the pastry out of the fridge and slice into rounds around 1cm in thickness
  9. Place the pinwheels on the oiled baking trays and brush with the milk or egg
  10. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the pastry is golden brown

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is given as a guide only and my vary.

Nutrition Facts
Cheese & Marmite Palmiers
Amount Per Serving
Calories 116 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 8mg3%
Sodium 92mg4%
Potassium 24mg1%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 83IU2%
Calcium 32mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Chilli Cheese Hearts

My Chilli Cheese Hearts are the perfect treat for that special someone in your life that is more in love with cheese than chocolate. They also have a subtle chilli kick because everyone needs a little spice!

Chilli Cheese Hearts

Do you love cheese more than chocolate?

I know a fair few people that love cheese more than any other food. Those people shouldn’t miss out on Valentine’s Day and  have to make do with chocolate. They want cheese so that is what they should get!

Obviously these Chilli Cheese Hearts aren’t only for Valentine’s Day. You can make them at any time of year and make them any shape you like. I’ve made these at Christmas before and cut them into hearts which looked lovely.  If you’re a cheese fan, make sure you check out my Cheese Scones and Cheese & Marmite Palmiers

Simple to make and incredibly delicious

I’ve been making Cheese Straws for as long as I can remember. They were one of the first thing I remember baking as a child. They are incredibly easy to make because you don’t need a mixer and it is easier to make them by hand. My Chilli Cheese Hearts are an elevated version of the original recipe which is even more addictive.

These are incredibly moreish and you will find it very hard to stop yourself from eating the whole batch. If you are making these for  group of people, I would definitely recommend doubling the batch as they will be gone in the blink of an eye. 

These have a warmth of chilli – they aren’t too spicy but you can taste the chilli which is the whole point! If you use a large red chilli, then this will be milder than using a smaller chilli. Also you can dictate how spicy the Chilli Cheese Hearts will be by the chilli powder that you use. I used chipotle chilli powder which is quite mild but you can use a hotter chilli power if you are a fan of spice.

Chilli Cheese Hearts baking tips 

When you are rolling the dough, make sure you handle it as little as possible.  The more you handle it the higher the risk of it becoming tough. If you didn’t want to cut them into any shape at all, just roll the dough out and cut it into rectangles. 

The size of you cutter will obviously dictate how many hearts you will make. I used a medium sized cutter and made 22 hearts. These will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days; but lets face it, they will be gone the day you bake them!

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Chilli Cheese Hearts

My Chilli Cheese Hearts are the perfect treat for that special someone in your life that is more in love with cheese than chocolate. They also have a subtle chilli kick because everyone needs a little spice!

Course Snack
Cuisine British
Keyword Chilli, Cheese, Pastry
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 22
Calories 55 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 100 g self raising flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp mustard powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 50 g margarine
  • 100 g stong cheddar cheese grated
  • 1 red chilli finely diced
  • 1 egg
  • Splash of milk

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 180ºC (fan assisted or 200ºC non fan) and line a baking tray with baking paper or a silicone mat

  2. Mix together the flour, salt, mustard, cayenne pepper and chilli powder
  3. Add the butter and rub into the flour mix using the tips of your fingers and your thumbs until you get the consistency of breadcrumbs
  4. Stir in the half of the diced chilli and cheese keeping roughly 15g of the cheese back. Add enough egg to form a stiff dough – depending on the size of your egg, you may not need to use all of it so add a little at a time
  5. Lightly dust your surface with flour and roll the dough until it is a couple of millimeters thick

  6. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out hearts and lay them on the prepared baking tray
  7. Gather up and re-roll the dough as few times as possible but also cutting out as many hearts as possible
  8. Once all of the hearts are on the baking tray, brush them with what is left of the egg. If there isn't much, or none at all, use a splash of milk
  9. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of each heart and then finish by sprinkling the remaining chilli
  10. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden
Nutrition Facts
Chilli Cheese Hearts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 55 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 7mg2%
Sodium 78mg3%
Potassium 14mg0%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 129IU3%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 2mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Mincemeat Pinwheels

Mince pies but without all of the cutting and assembling. My Mincemeat Pinwheels are really quick, very easy but still everything you want from a mince pie. 

A different take on a mince pie 

There is lots of food that is associated with Christmas here in the UK with mince pies being one of them. For those of you that aren’t familiar with mince pies, they are shortcrust pastry filled with mincemeat which is a sweet mixture of raisins and other dried fruit with suet. It might sound a little strange but it is very tasty. 

I love a mince pie, but making them can be a bit fiddly even using shop bought pastry. Maybe it’s just me being lazy, but you have to cut out rounds of pastry and put them in the tin, fill them with mincemeat and then cut out the lids from pastry. I know what you’re thinking, this is by no means complicated but when you are making lots of them and with all of the other baking and cooking at this time of year, it can feel like a bit of a chore. 

Due to my laziness, I am always looking for new ways to still get my festive mincemeat fix, but in a more simple way. Last year I made Frangipane Mince Pie Slices, and this year I came up with these Mincemeat Pinwheels. 

Mincemeat Pinwheels are so simple to make 

These are so easy it is almost cheeky to call them a recipe. I make them even easier by using shop bought ready rolled pastry. You can obviously buy the pastry in a block and roll it yourself, but rolling pastry has never been a skill of mine. If you’d like to and plan ahead slightly, you can also make your own mincemeat. 

You can also make these and freeze them to bake later. When you have cut them into pinwheels, place them on the baking tray and put them in the freezer. After an hour or so, they will be frozen enough for you to put into a container or bag and freeze fully. When you want to bake them, cook them as below but for an extra ten minutes. 

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Mincemeat Pinwheels

Mince pies but without all of the cutting and assembling. My Mincemeat Pinwheels are really quick, very easy but still everything you want from a mince pie. 

Course Snack
Cuisine British
Keyword Mincemeat, Pastry
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chill time 10 minutes
Servings 22
Calories 131 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 375 g puff pastry ready rolled
  • 260 g mincemeat
  • ½ orange zested (optional)
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • spray oil

Instructions

  1. Unroll the pastry and using a rolling pin, roll until it is 2-3mm thick keeping it on the baking paper it comes with
  2. Spread the mincemeat evenly over the pastry leaving roughly one centre of pastry uncovered on one of the long sides
  3. Scatter some orange zest (if using) across the mincemeat

  4. Starting from the long end closest to you, tuck the pastry over as tight as you can. Then using the baking paper roll the rest of the pastry up to create a long roll
  5. Leave to chill in the fridge for 10 minutes
  6. Preheat the oven to 190ºC (fan assisted, 210ºC non fan) and spray 2 trays with oil

  7. Take the pastry out of the fridge and slice into rounds around 1cm in thickness
  8. Place the pinwheels on the oiled baking trays and brush with the milk

  9. Bake for 17-20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown
  10. Allow to cool on a wire rack

Recipe Notes

Keep in an airtight container for 3 days. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only and my vary.

Nutrition Facts
Mincemeat Pinwheels
Amount Per Serving
Calories 131 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 109mg5%
Potassium 16mg0%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 7IU0%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 4mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Turkey & Cranberry Sausage Rolls

Crispy puff pastry filled with the flavours of Christmas. Delicious as a light lunch or as a nibble to serve to guests at a party, these Turkey & Cranberry Sausage Rolls are really easy which is good because after you’ve made them once, you’ll be asked to make them again and again.  

Does anyone else always have sausage rolls at Christmas?

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without sausage rolls in my opinion. My Mum made them for as long as I can remember at Christmas and they have always been very popular in my family. This meant that when I moved out, I carried on the tradition much to Mr Curly’s delight as he is a very big fan. 

I love traditional sausage rolls made with pork sausage meat, but I also like the idea of making slight tweaks to make them more exciting. One variation that my Mum makes uses pork sausage meat with a fresh slice of mango. This might not sound like it would be delicious, but believe me it is. You may also like my Mustard & Sage Sausage Rolls

Turkey and cranberry – the perfect Christmas flavours

When thinking about flavours I associate with Christmas, turkey and cranberry sauce obviously came to mind. Turkey isn’t usually my favourite choice of meat to have as a roast because it can be a little bland. I do like using turkey mince in dishes that I can add lots of flavour to as it is a healthy meat option because it is low in fat. In large supermarkets I have noticed that you can now buy turkey breast or thigh mince.

My preference would always be the thigh mince because it has a little bit more fat than the breast which I think adds flavour and helps keep it moist. However I ran out of time and did a home delivery for these ingredients and they only had turkey breast mince. I thought that was an advantage though because if it was tasty with the breast mince, it would be even more tasty with the thigh mince!

As I mentioned previously, turkey can be a bit bland which means it really welcomes flavours to be added to it. Don’t be afraid to add lots of herbs and seasoning to your mince because it will make the end result tastier. 

Don’t be afraid to make your life easier!

I have heard cooks and chefs say too many times that they don’t usually make their own pastry. I am all for making your life easier when it comes to pastry! Not only do I buy my pastry, I buy the ready rolled version. Is it just me that really struggles to roll out pastry?! It always ends up misshapen for me. That is ok if you’re making something like mince pies, but not ideal for sausage rolls! 

I have also used a jar of cranberry sauce as a great time saver. If you want to make your own obviously you can, but do not feel like you have to! 

These are delicious served warm or cold and can be kept in the fridge for up to a five days. 

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Turkey & Cranberry Sausage Rolls

Crispy puff pastry filled with the flavours of Christmas. Delicious as a light lunch or as a nibble to serve to guests at a party, these Turkey & Cranberry Sausage Rolls are really easy which is good because after you've made them once, you'll be asked to make them again and again.  

Course Snack
Cuisine British
Keyword Turkey, Cranberry, Pastry
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 159 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 400 g turkey mince
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 375 g ready rolled puff pastry (1 pack)
  • 130 g cranberry sauce
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Spray oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC (fan assisted or 210ºC non fan)

  2. Add the turkey mince into a large bowl and add the thyme, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix thoroughly to distribute the seasonings, I find it easiest to do this with your hands

  3. Unroll the pastry and cut the pastry in half length ways. Spread half of the cranberry sauce down the middle of each strip of pastry
  4. Form the turkey into two long sausage shapes and place on top of the cranberry sauce
  5. Brush one of the long edges of each piece of pastry with the beaten egg or milk
  6. Roll the pastry closest to you tightly under the turkey mince and then roll over so the sealed edge is on the bottom
  7. Cut each long roll of pastry into individual sausage rolls
  8. Spray two baking trays with oil and place the sausage rolls on the tray. Brush each sausage roll with the beaten egg or milk
  9. Using scissors, make roughly three cuts into the top of each sausage roll
  10. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Once out of the oven, transfer the sausage rolls onto a wire rack as soon as possible and allow to cool

Recipe Notes

Keep in an airtight container in the fridge 2- 3 days. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only and my vary.

Nutrition Facts
Turkey & Cranberry Sausage Rolls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 159 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 19mg6%
Sodium 165mg7%
Potassium 56mg2%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 42IU1%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 8mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Honey & Mustard Cocktail Sausages

Sticky and sweet sausages with a very slight bite from wholegrain mustard. These Honey & Mustard Cocktail Sausages are very addictive and will disappear very quickly!

What is your favourite sausage?

I love sausages, and I especially love all of the different flavours and varieties you can buy these days. My all time favourite sausages have to be pork and apple though, there is definitely something about them – what’s yours? I really love the sticky sweetness the apple brings to the sausages which helped inspire this recipe. 

Honey and mustard are one of my favourite flavour combinations. Other types of mustard aren’t really for me, but wholegrain mustard in recipes is definitely my cup of tea. It also works really well with the sweetness of the honey which helps it stick to the sausages better. 

The perfect canape or nibble!

This recipe is ideal for gatherings anytime of year, but especially at Christmas. The days between Christmas and New Year always blend into one and no one really knows which day it is. I love these days because they are typically days when you graze on food without necessarily having a full meal. 

One of the reasons there is a lot of grazing is because these days are typically spent with friends and family and people are already in a bit of a food coma from their Christmas meal days before. These Honey & Mustard Cocktail Sausages are great to whip up if people want a tasty snack (that isn’t a leftover turkey sandwich). They would also be great to serve as part of a buffet for a New Year’s Eve gathering. 

They’re particularly great for gatherings because they can easily be eaten with a cocktail stick – no cutlery needed and also only require one hand which is good because there may be a festive tipple in the other;and also because they are bite size (or two if you’re dainty). 

Be warned though – if you make these for a group of people, make plenty. They are so delicious people will keep coming back for more and they will be gone before you know it! 

Tips for cooking Honey & Mustard Cocktail Sausages

I like my sausages dark and crisp, but if you would prefer them slightly less crisp, cook them for 25 minutes. I would recommend soaking your baking tray as soon as you have taken the sausages off though because as you can see some of the sugar burns and will be much easier to was off after a soak!

 

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Honey & Mustard Cocktail Sausages

Sticky and sweet sausages with a very slight bite from wholegrain mustard. These Honey & Mustard Cocktail Sausages are very addictive and will disappear very quickly!

Course Snack
Cuisine British
Keyword Mustard, canape, Sausages
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 231 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 270 g pork cocktail sausages (18 sausages)
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 ½ tbsp runny honey
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 210ºC (fan assisted, 190ºC non fan)

  2. Put the sausages in a bowl and add the mustard, honey and salt
  3. Stir to make sure the sausages are evenly coated in all of the honey and mustard
  4. Lay the sausages onto a baking tray in one layer and spoon all of the mustard and honey mix on top
  5. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, turning the sausages half way through. Coat the sausages in the juices from the tray when you turn them

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Honey & Mustard Cocktail Sausages
Amount Per Serving
Calories 231 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 188mg8%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 1g2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Nutella Pinwheels

Crispy pastry with layers of sweet Nutella and roasted hazelnuts, these Nutella Pinwheels are great as a canape at a party or if you just fancy a sweet treat. 

Nutella Pinwheels are so simple to make

These pinwheels really are quick and easy to make. This is especially true if you use not only shop bought pastry, but ready rolled pastry too. Now I know this may seem really lazy to some people, but I often buy shop bought pastry because it is so much easier than making it yourself. The ready rolled pastry obviously makes things quicker, but it also means you get a perfect rectangle. Unfortunately my rolling skills are not good enough to achieve a perfect rectangle just yet, so ready rolled is the safest option for me. If you did want to make your own puff pastry or use shop bought pastry in a block and roll it yourself, please do.

Because of how simple they are to make, they would be great to get children to help with. It doesn’t matter if they don’t turn out perfectly rolled. 

Nutella Pinwheel baking tips 

The main tip to remember is don’t get too carried away with the Nutella. I know it is tempting to add a lot but you are really just looking for a layer 1-2mm in thickness so that when you roll it, it doesn’t squidge out of the sides.

You also want to make sure you roll the pastry as tightly as possible so you get a nice number of swirls in your pastry. It doesn’t matter if your rolling isn’t neat at all. If you roll your pastry more loosely they are likely to spread when they are baked. This won’t change how tasty they are though! 

Do I have to use Nutella?

I love Nutella, but I am conscious that is includes palm oil. If you would like to use a different hazelnut chocolate spread that is palm oil free, Gü do a great option. 

If you don’t like Nutella, you can use any chocolate spread. Supermarkets have so many different chocolate spreads available these days. You can decide whether you would like to include the hazelnuts or not if you choose another spread. 

If you’re looking for a festive option, have a look at my Mincemeat Pinwheels

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Nutella Pinwheels

Crispy pastry with layers of sweet Nutella and roasted hazelnuts, these Nutella Pinwheels are great as a canape at a party or if you just fancy a sweet treat. 

Course Snack
Cuisine American, British
Keyword Pastry, Nutella, Pinwheels
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chilling time 10 minutes
Servings 22
Calories 129 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 375 g ready rolled puff pastry
  • 160 g Nutella
  • 4 tbsp hazelnuts roasted and chopped
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • spray oil

Instructions

  1. Unroll the pastry and using a rolling pin, roll until it is 2-3mm thick keeping it on the baking paper it comes with
  2. Spread the Nutella evenly over the pastry leaving roughly one centimetre of pastry uncovered on one of the long sides

  3. Scatter the hazelnuts evenly over the Nutella
  4. Starting from the long end closest to you, tuck the pastry over as tight as you can. Then using the baking paper roll the rest of the pastry up to create a long roll
  5. Leave to chill in the fridge for 10 minutes
  6. Preheat the oven to 190ºC (fan assisted, 210ºC non fan) and spray 2 trays with oil

  7. Take the pastry out of the fridge and slice into rounds around 1cm in thickness
  8. Place the pinwheels on the oiled baking trays and brush with the milk

  9. Bake for 17-20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown
  10. Allow to cool on a wire rack

Recipe Notes

Keep in an airtight container for 3 days. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only and my vary.

Nutrition Facts
Nutella Pinwheels
Amount Per Serving
Calories 129 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 3mg0%
Potassium 42mg1%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 11mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Cheese & Bacon Loaded Fries

Crisp skin-on fries with a slight spice covered in delicious melted cheese and bacon. These Cheese & Bacon Loaded Fries are a real indulgent treat to be enjoyed responsibly!

What are loaded fries?

Loaded fries are a delicious and indulgent treat. They have become a lot more popular in recent years. When I was growing up the only loaded fries I was aware of were cheesy chips! Since then with an American influence, loaded fries have become a lot more extravagant. You see them topped with all sorts of things like chilli and steak but all of them have cheese. 

I kept my Cheese & Bacon Loaded fries relatively simple with the toppings. Instead I added more flavour to the actual fries with chilli powder and garlic. 
 

How to cook your fries

There are quite a few ways you can cook your fries for this recipe. My preferred way to cook them is in an air fryer. It doesn’t use too much oil and they are deliciously crisp. If you have an Actifry this works in a similar way. 

If you don’t have either of these, you can cook your fries in the oven. I would cook them at 190ºC (fan assisted, 200ºC non fan) for 20-30 minutes until they are crisp. Make sure you turn them half way through cooking. 

If you wanted to make these Cheese & Bacon Loaded Fries even easier, you could use shop bought oven cook fries instead. It couldn’t get much easier than that! 

Adapting your Cheese & Bacon Loaded Fries  

This is such an easy recipe to tweak to your preferences. I have used ancho chilli powder because it is one of my favourites. If you don’t have this, you can use whatever chilli powder you have. Or if it not your thing, leave it out altogether. 

When making this, I really don’t expect you to weigh your cheese out. Use as much as you like! I have learnt that reduced fat cheese doesn’t melt as well as normal cheese so bear that in mind if you want to make a healthy swap!

These Cheese & Bacon Loaded Fries are really easy to make to cater for a crowd. If you are making these for a lot of people you might want to use a baking tray rather than an oven proof dish. This would make it a lot easier for people to help themselves. 

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Cheese & Bacon Loaded Fries

Crisp skin-on fries with a slight spice covered in delicious melted cheese and bacon. These Cheese & Bacon Loaded Fries are a real indulgent treat to be enjoyed responsibly!

Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Bacon, Fries, Chips
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 427 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 500 g potatoes
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ancho chili powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 4 rashers of streaky bacon
  • 50 g cheddar cheese grated

Instructions

  1. After cleaning the potatoes, cut them into slices and then each slice into strips to form fries

  2. Add the fries to a bowl and toss with the oil, chilli powder, garlic powder and salt so they are evenly coated

  3. Add the fries to your air fryer and cook for 20 mins at 200°C , turning half way.

  4. When the fries are cooked, add to an oven proof dish while you cook the bacon

  5. Add the bacon to your air fryer and cook for 6-7 minutes at 200°C, turning half way.

  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan assisted, 200°C non fan)

  7. Mix half of the cheese and most of the bacon with the fries. Finish with the rest of the cheese and bacon

  8. Cook in the oven for 5 mins or until the cheese has melted. Eat whilst hot.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is given as a guide only and my vary.

Nutrition Facts
Cheese & Bacon Loaded Fries
Amount Per Serving
Calories 427 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 26mg9%
Sodium 1352mg59%
Potassium 1057mg30%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 399IU8%
Vitamin C 29mg35%
Calcium 255mg26%
Iron 8mg44%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Tenderstem Broccoli with Oyster Sauce & Garlic

Deliciously crisp Tenderstem Broccoli with Oyster Sauce & Garlic is a quick and tasty side dish or light meal in its own right. 

Have you tried Tenderstem Broccoli before?

I am obsessed with Tenderstem broccoli. Absolutely obsessed. It started about six months ago when I was watching what I was eating as part of my wedding diet. I’ve always liked broccoli, but Tenderstem broccoli is on another level. The stems are delicious and as the same suggests – tender! It also has a slightly different taste to normal broccoli which is hard to describe so you will need to try it for yourself if you haven’t already. I haven’t eaten normal broccoli in years!
 

A quick and easy recipe 

This is such a quick and easy dish. It really takes no time at all which makes it a great side dish for a midweek meal. I think it would go particularly well with simple grilled meat or fish. I have also had it numerous times for a light lunch. 

If you’re looking for other Tenderstem broccoli recipes, have a look at my Roasted Parmesan Tenderstem Broccoli

Can this be made gluten free and vegetarian?

Yes it can be. You can buy gluten free oyster sauce which I believe is become more readily available in large supermarkets. If you would like to make this vegetarian, you can buy vegetarian oyster flavoured sauce. You may have to visit your local oriental supermarket to pick this up though. 

Tenderstem Broccoli with Oyster Sauce & Garlic cooking tips 

I am a huge fan of adding salt to vegetables when they are cooking. For this recipe, don’t be tempted to add any. The oyster sauce is quite salty itself which is all the seasoning you need. 

You can add as much chilli garlic sauce as you like. I only wanted a slight heat so I only put a small amount in. If you want to add a bit more heat I would add half a teaspoon. If you don’t have any chilli garlic sauce you can always finely slice a red chilli. 

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Tenderstem Broccoli with Oyster Sauce & Garlic

Deliciously crisp Tenderstem Broccoli with Oyster Sauce & Garlic is a quick and tasty side dish or light meal in its own right. 

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword Tenderstem Broccoli
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 87 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 150 g Tenderstem broccoli
  • 2 tsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp finely diced garlic
  • 1 ½ tbsp oyster sauce
  • ¼ garlic chilli sauce
  • Sprinkling of sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat and when hot, add the Tenderstem broccoli. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes allowing the stems to get slightly brown and toasted
  2. Add the garlic, oyster sauce and garlic chilli sauce and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add a splash of water if the broccoli tops are getting a bit too crisp

  3. Garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is given as a guide only and my vary.

Nutrition Facts
Tenderstem Broccoli with Oyster Sauce & Garlic
Amount Per Serving
Calories 87 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 375mg16%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Garlic

Crispy bacon with charred sprouts with a delicious hint of garlic, my Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Garlic are not a boring side dish.

Are you a  brussels sprout lover?

Brussels sprouts have quite a bad reputation here in the UK and a lot of people don’t seem to like them. Like a lot of people in Britain, I used to only eat brussels sprouts at Christmas. They were put on my plate so I didn’t have much choice and I had to eat them. When we have them at Christmas, they are usually just boiled so they aren’t the most exciting vegetable. I have never disliked them as much as other people, like my sister; but they weren’t something I particularly looked forward to. 

Brussels and bacon are a classic combination 

Brussels sprouts and bacon is a well known delicious combination. The two work so well together and the bacon really elevates the sprouts. Also frying the sprouts is a very important step. Even without the bacon, frying the sprouts makes them so much tastier. I like my bacon to be crisp and also for my brussels sprouts to get crisp and charred too. 

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Garlic make great leftovers 

I have become so obsessed with these Brussles Sprouts with Bacon & Garlic that I make them weekly. It has also got to the stage that when I go on holiday, I look forward to making them as soon as I get home. 

I also often try to make extra so I have leftovers for the next day. However this is rarely successful because Mr Curly loves them as much as I do. This means we usually end up eating them all and there are no leftovers! The recipe below can feed four people but I regularly use more brussels sprouts for just the two of us! If you do manage to keep some for the next day, you can reheat them in the microwave until they are piping hot. 

One word of warning if you are considering taking leftovers into work…they have a bit of an aroma. I used to take these into work and people weren’t too keen on their smell in the office! 

What to eat these Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Garlic with

These go so well with so many dishes! They are particularly good with some grilled meat. I like to serve them with a pork chop, tenderstem broccoli and Potato & Thyme Stacks

They are also great as part of a roast dinner. I personally would use less garlic if I was serving them as part of a roast dinner because you don’t want the garlic to overpower the rest of the dinner. 

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Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Garlic

Crispy bacon with charred sprouts with a delicious hint of garlic, my Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Garlic are not a boring side dish.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine British
Keyword Bacon, Garlic, Brussels sprouts
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 149 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 500 g brussels sprouts
  • 200 g bacon lardons
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil

Instructions

  1. Trim the sprouts and get rid of any outside leaves that don't look great. Cut each sprout in half and cook in salted boiling water for around 10 minutes so the sprouts are just cooked but not soft. Drain the sprouts and set aside
  2. Cook the bacon in a frying pan on a high heat until crisp
  3. Add the sprouts to the bacon along with the oil and stir occasionally
  4. Once the sprouts have started to get crisp, turn down the heat to medium and add the garlic and allow to cook for a five or so more minutes

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is given as a guide only and my vary.

Nutrition Facts
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Garlic
Amount Per Serving
Calories 149 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 613mg27%
Potassium 486mg14%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 943IU19%
Vitamin C 107mg130%
Calcium 55mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Guacamole

Healthy, fresh and a great accompaniment to so many things. This is my sister’s favourite guacamole recipe that is really quick and packed with great flavours.

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My sister, Ally, is definitely a fan of avocado. She had this tasty guacamole when she went to Wahaca in London and raved about it. She then ‘Mexican Food Made Simple’ by Thomasina Miers so she could make the guacamole herself as well as other tasty recipes.

Ally made this recipe for our Mexican Feast we cooked our Mum for Mother’s Day (I’ve been meaning to blog this recipe for a while as you can see!). The guacamole went perfectly with the nachos, chilli con carne and quesadillas we made as part of the feast.

Avocados are packed with healthy fats, vitamins and fibre which makes guacamole a perfect healthy snack.

1 – 2 green chillies, finely chopped
½ red onion, very finely chopped
1 small garlic clove
1 – 2 tsp sea salt
3 ripe Hass avocados (the dark green bumpy skinned ones)
juice of 1 – 2 limes
small handful of coriander, chopped
1 ripe tomato, de-seeded and diced 
freshly ground black pepper 

  1. Test the heat of your chillies by biting the tip off one. If they’re quite hot you may want to use less or remove the seeds
  2. Put a quarter of the onion, the garlic, half the chili and salt into a both and mush with a fork
  3. Remove the stones from the avocados and scoop out the flesh and add to the bowl with the roughly mashed ingredients. Mash the avocados adding half of the lime juice as you go. When you have a good rough texture, add in the rest of the onion, lime juice and chillies along with the coriander and tomato
  4. Season with plenty of black pepper. Taste the guacamole and add more lime juice, salt and coriander if needed

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