See you later Tom!

See you later Tom x
On a personal note …

… I apologise for not having posted for a while – we have been having a sad time because my Real Man’s Dad who lives with us died about a week ago.  So as a tribute to him and because I know he was proud of it, here is a picture of him in his prime half a century ago – 6’4” of man!

The days have been a bit strange and disjointed and sometimes I have even been at a loss for what to eat but today I have eaten two interesting things so I thought I'd mention them before I forget …

Fudge on Toast

This was a sudden inspiration when I found a bit of Granny Wobbly’s Finest in the fridge – what a naughty breakfast but so yummy!

fudge on toast for breakfast

balsamic jelly and toast

Balsamic Jelly

The trouble is we haven’t done a proper shop for a while and I found myself bereft of spicy onion marmalade to go with my Cornish Crackler.  I did, however, find a jar of Baxter’s Balsamic Jelly – what a godsend.  I had completely forgotten buying it but there is was in my hour of need and I would like to recommend it.

Lovely stuff, so now I need to think of something more creative to do with it - any ideas?

So that’s it for now, I hope to be back on form with the leftovers soon.

Speaking of Leftovers ...

I have written a whole book on the subject, Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers.  In it I give all the information, ideas and recipes I can think of for over 450 possible leftovers. 

seriously useful leftovers cookbook
Read more here.

Yukky Gnocchi & Yummy Chocky Quesadilla

Lindt chilli chocolate

~  Menu  ~

Gnocchi in a Creamy Tomato & Boursin Sauce
Glass of Sangiovese
Dark Chocolate & Chilli Quesadilla

I am glad to say I don’t like gnocchi.  I have made them several times, been unimpressed and assumed I was doing it wrong.  For the sake of research I’ve ordered them once or twice when eating out and still no joy and today as a last attempt I cooked Tesco’s Finest Potato Gnocchi for lunch and didn’t like them either  – yukky gnocchi!  It is not Tesco’s fault, it seems gnocchi are supposed to be unpleasant; at first I though it was my cooking!  What a relief.

I sauced the gnocchi with a creamy mixture of tomato and Boursin and fried up some breadcrumbs in roasted garlic oil to add a contrasting texture (this is known as Pangrattato and is a lovely addition to many meals), they sure needed it.  It tasted fine but the gnocchi themselves are pretty well how one would imagine mashed potato and flour mixed together and boiled would be.  Similar to the "nothing special" krumplinudli I made the other day!


On the other hand I was abso–feckin-lutely delighted, as the Irish say, with my dessert.


Many, many is the time I have turned, in a professional sense, to quesadillas to use up leftovers. These lovely crisp Mexican (or Tex Mex?) versions of a sandwich are so versatile, so quick and easy and so, so delicious. Normally the filling consists of beans, or chicken, or chilli con carne, etc, with cheese and salsa; those sort of things. 

Good idea or what?
Pin it so you don't forget!

I have a pack of flour tortillas to play with for my forthcoming book on leftovers (see below) so I thought – why not a chocky quesadilla? And then the answer came to me; no reason at all. My lunch pudding was but the work of a few moments … 

~ I chopped 3 squares (just 3) of Lindt’s dark and lovely chilli chocolate. ~ Sprinkled it on one half of a flour tortilla (plain!).
~ Folded it in half and pressed down firmly so that no chocky could escape.
~ Melted a knob of butter in a non stick pan.
~ Fried my quesadilla till crisp and golden on the outside and lovely and gooey in the middle.
~ Ate it which was rather messy but had to be done – working lunch!

Forgive my fingers, they seem to have aged whilst my back was turned!


Leftover Gnocchi ...

For supper I had the rest of the leftover boiled gnocchi fried up in olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan, smoked black pepper and sea salt – this was much better, almost really good!


My Book on Leftovers

News from the future ... my book was published in March, 2013. Originally titled The Leftovers Handbook a second edition is now available called Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers.  In it I give all the information, ideas and recipes I can think of for over 450 possible leftovers. 

ultimate leftovers cookbook

Granny Wobbly's!

I am often disconcerted, when walking through Wadebridge, to see this displayed in a window!

freshly made fudge cooling and setting

~  Menu  ~

Salmon & Asparagus Hash
Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise
White Wine Spritzer
A Tad of Granny Wobbly’s Finest

Today’s lunch was very sudden yet very satisfying.  

My leftovers comprised 3 cold cooked new potatoes, about 3 ounces (oops, sorry, I mean 85g) of cooked salmon and 4 stalks of asparagus which surprised me as I thought I’d finished the lot off yesterday.  So I made ...

Salmon & Asparagus Hash

~   I snapped the asparagus into short lengths and cooked it in a non-stick pan with a little oil, salt and pepper till al dente.  I much prefer asparagus roasted, sautéed or grilled to steamed or poached; tastier and a nice texture.  I set the asparagus aside.
~   Heated a spoonful more oil and added the new potatoes which I crushed in a manly sort of way and fried over medium heat till crunchy and golden.
~   A broke the salmon into little bits and added it to the pan together with the waiting asparagus.
~   Chivvied the whole lot into a sort of cake arrangement and decanted it onto my waiting plate.

All that and I didn’t even use a knife!!

salmon, new potatoes and asparagus hash with roasted garlic mayonnaise
(I'd like to apologise for the poor quality of this picture but you get the gist!)

The roasted garlic mayo that I have been so enthusiastic with is from M & S and I love it.  Yes I could, and indeed do, make my own but this is so delicious and handy, has a long shelf life, comes in a useful squirty bottle and doesn't upset my real man with it's garlicky aroma as it does when I make my own! I have quite a passion for it with fish and potatoes.

Granny Wobbly

I went to Wadebridge the other day.  Every time I am there I assume a vague, possibly gormless, look and wander into Granny Wobbly’s Fudge Pantry where I “test” their sample fudges and hope they don’t recognise me.  I may invest in a moustache!  Having been “surprised” at the excellence of their product I then buy some as is only right and proper.

chunks of crumbly vanilla fudge
If you haven’t tried Granny’s Wobbly’s wonderful fudge and you live anywhere near Cornwall for Gawd’s sake come and get some or order it online here.

The vanilla fudge I bought was intended for some fudgy experiments for my forthcoming book (see below) but so far I haven’t got round to trying my ideas and could hear it calling to me from the cupboard.  

“Suzy – you know you want me!”

What could I do?
A bit more about the wonderful Granny Wobbly (actually there are two of them and one is a chap!) who make, on the premises, the best fudge I have ever tasted; rich, crumbly and perfect, in five standard flavours; Vanilla, Maple and Walnut , Rum and Raisin, Butterscotch and Chocolate plus a weekly mystery flavour and other specialities.  In addition to the basic flavours I myself have assiduously tried their Lemon Meringue Fudge, their Sparkly Chocolate Mint and the Christmas Pud – some while ago now.

News From Way Into the Future!

My "Forthcoming book" was published in March 2013 as The Leftovers Handbook and a second edition is now available under the new title Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers

Rather Cross about a Choc Ice

~  Menu  ~

Simple Salad with Hummus Vinaigrette
Vicky’s Bread
White Wine Spritzer
Somewhat disappointing Choc Ice on a Stick

This is just a quickie. I went to the local car book sale today with my friend Diane from next door and was starving when I got back. I decided to just have some hummus, bought in I’m afraid, on toast.

I was surprised and saddened to find I only had a tablespoon of hummus left and this is entirely my own fault; my real man wouldn’t touch it.

I’d only been panicking for a minute or so, however, when I spied a bag of mixed lettuce leaves and wondered what they would be like dressed with hummus. I stirred some of my Balsamic-Honey Vinaigrette into the hummus, that’s all, and it was a lovely lunch although I don’t think this particular dressing is suitable for keeping in your handbag!
salad dressed with hummus vinaigrette

A Little Rant about a Choc Ice

Not being quite full I hunted around for some lunch pudding and found a box of choc ices in the freezer that looked tempting, but sadly all the actual ices were not exactly as implied on the packet!  Maybe the almond crop has failed!  Never mind it tasted fine.

almond choc ice has just one piece of almond!

I’ll try and eat something more interesting for my next post but I wanted to get the above off my chest.  Now all I need to do is get it off my hips!

Krumplinudli ~ and what fun being Hungarian must be!

mashing potato with a grumpy egg masher!

~  Menu  ~

Spicy Salsa
Glass of Secret Red

Krumplinudli are mashed potato dumplings, traditionally sausage shaped, poached and coated in crunchy buttery breadcrumbs.  My sister and I used to put them on the menu a lot because they sounded funny (and tasted good, of course).

Whilst thinking about leftover mashed potato, as one does, I thought I might try making some for my lunch and, not having made them for 20 or 30 years, thought I’d just check I was on the right lines.  Googling “krumplinudli” brought up lots of pages but most were in Hungarian but it’s OK Google translated them for me and this here are some of the things I have learnt …

“Preparation of monster is actually a simple, all depends on the dose,”

“Do you have to hurry to the pedals between because if you are, you can descend, and the 'difficult to handle will be.”

“Because of the huge, with wooden kitchen table, on which long ago did these things, we rarely see”

“If you have the correct his potatoes, then "only" cooked her to be watching.”

“do not dilute your knife he bb dough”

I could go on – it must be cool living in Hungary!  

So, armed with the above information, I decided to make them up after all …


making krumplinudli from leftover mashed potato
Pin for easy reference
when you have some leftover
mashed potato!
1 medium potato, cooked and mashed with a knob of butter

1 egg
approx 120g flour (or more!)
salt and pepper
more salt
more butter
fresh breadcrumbs

~    Ideally the potatoes should be freshly cooked and mashed but … mine were a day old and also had a carrot mashed in with them!  So I reheated them.
~    Mix in the egg, some seasoning and then the flour.  You are aiming for a soft workable dough.  Add more flour till such a situation is achieved.
~    Roll the dough into snakes and cut into 50mm or so length.
~    Leave on the floured surface to dry for some while (an hour or more, although I just made about 40 minutes).
~    Boil a large pan of salted water, add the nudli to it and cook for about 5 minutes – they may well float to the surface when cooked, also they stop tasting of flour.
~    Have ready a medium hot oven. 
~    Toss your nudli in a little melted butter and then fresh breadcrumbs (guess what I sued – panko of course!) and bake till crisp and golden.

I ate them sprinkled with Parmesan and with some spicy dipping salsa, I think this idea is probably worth playing with; maybe add caramelised onions, or cheese or chopped herbs, or crumbled bacon to the leftover mashed potatoes.

dish of crispy crumbed krumplinudli

There are nine more good ideas for leftover mashed potatoes alone in leftovers cookbook, Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers, plus other ideas for leftover but not masehd potatoes.

Just think of all the ideas I have come up with for the other 450 or so ingredients in the book.  
ultimate leftovers cookbook

Leftover Dal? Leftover Porridge? No worries!

dahl pancakes layered up with salad
~  Menu  ~

Dal Roti with Cashew Nut Salad
White Wine Spritzer
 Honey Oatmeal Scones and Coffee

Having run the gamut of things to do with leftover Pease Pudding (soup, fritters and dal) I had a little of the spiced pudding, aka dal, left and was going to make myself a dal vada/ fritter of sorts when inspiration struck.  
what to do with leftover dhal pinterest image
Pin for later, perhaps?

What would happen if I mixed flour into the dal to make a dough?  

This is what happened ...

Dal Roti – Instructions

~    Mix enough flour (I used plain flour but rolled the dough out on wholewheat – probably chapatti flour would be best) into the dal to make a workable dough.

~   Roll into walnut sized balls and then roll out into thin rounds.

~   Fry in a lightly oiled pan till the first side is speckled with brown turn and do the second side.

What a nice surprise these were!  I quickly whipped up a salad, added some cashews and a simple balsamic dressing and dolloped a spoonful of Greek yogurt (fusion!) on the top.

This was all very spur of the moment – I am sure these little breads would be great used to scoop up curry or similar.

After lunch I messed around in the fridge, as one does, and came across a cup of cold porridge.  Obviously I was delighted, who wouldn’t be?  

As I was fresh from munging flour into cold dal my mind ran along similar lines and I decided to make …

Honey Oatmeal Scones

Based on an Original Idea by Mrs. Beeton!

Quite a while ago now I wrote an article for Vegetarian Living on Mrs. Beeton’s Vegetarian Cooking and this was one of her good ideas.  In my grandmother’s edition Mrs. B says to knead into cold porridge “as much flour as will enable it to be rolled out ¼” thick but that was a bit too basic and heavy for me so here is my version

300g cold porridge
30g soft butter
1 tbsp honey
self-raising flour
(or plain flour and baking powder in the rations 100g flour:1 tsp baking powder

~   Preheat oven to 375ºF/190ºC/170ºC fan/gas 5.
~   Mix together the first three ingredients and then work in the flour to make a soft, sticky but manageable dough.
~   Knead lightly then roll out on a floured board to a thickness of about 20mm.
~   Cut into rounds or other shapes and lay on a greased baking tray.
~   Brush with milk and bake for 20-25 minutes till risen and golden.

delicious scones made from leftover porridge

I have so many ideas for leftovers of all sorts that I wrote a book. Originally it was called The Leftovers Handbook but the second edition has a new cover, a new name and, best of all, a new and cheaper price. In it I give ideas, recipes, handy hints, cook's treats, storage instructions and food pairing for over 450 possible scraps and remains.

leftovers bible