Monday, 13 April 2015

A little mini-cooking and a fail ...

The sun is shining here and it looks lovely right now, but it's ****** freezing ... !   typical Spring weather I suppose.

I've been playing with my new mini-oven and have realised there are some adjustments to be made i.e. because the heat is contained in such a small space, food cooks much quicker which is going to be a real money-saver when it comes to electricity, however, it's clear that because of this, temperature settings that would be appropriate in a large conventional oven, don't apply.

I made some lovely savoury pies, four fitted inside the mini with no difficulty:

You  can see the element glowing brightly here and it's set for just 140o which normally would not be hot enough to cook pastry.  They cooked in no time.  One was for my dinner, the other three are in the freezer.

I also made a sunflower cake, I had some sunflower seeds in the cupboard, I just ground them up and added them to a basic cake mixture with a little extra milk and it too turned out very well and fitted into the space without difficulty.

It tastes as good as it looks.  I cut it in half, and put one half in the freezer.

Now the only problem that I can see is the fact that the 'bottoms' of the pies and the cake were 'overcooked' still edible but not soft.  That's obviously because of the close proximity to the heating element, I'm going to have to remember that and try cooking them over a longer period of time on a lower setting.
Conclusion ... ?  excellent, quick to cook and a money saver, it will be well used.

I went foraging yesterday and got goose-grass.  I'm introducing new foraged foods every other day so my system can get used to them.
I gathered a lot because I'd read that it 'cooks down' like spinach.

Here it is straight from the field, I washed/soaked/washed/soaked it three times to make sure it was clean  (excuse the grotty looking sink, this house is rented so I have no say in the 'fittings')

Here it is chopped and ready to steam.  It did cook down to about one third of the starting amount.  It smells like freshly cut grass.  However, I didn't like it.  I decided this wouldn't be on my list of foraged foods, but then realised it was the texture I didn't like not the taste.  The taste was very pleasant.  So after I threw it away (duh!) it occurred to me that it would be very nice blitzed and added to other recipes, i.e. soups, stews, lasagne, pasta bakes etc.,  It's very high in vitamins A,B Complex, D and C, so I'm going to have to learn to enjoy it !
Lucy wasn't impressed and kept out of the way
and Sopicat and Itty the Kitty were so bored they decided to have a nap.
They are on the bed in the spare room, sometimes they have difficulty moving around so I feed them on the bed, hence the towel.  (underneath is an electric blanket !)
It's shopping today, I'm going out early to get the staples, and later tonight I hope to get some bargains.


  1. Came across this web site which has lots of ideas of cooking with a mini oven, I tried goose grass a few years ago and didn't like the texture either :-)

  2. Dawn, that is so kind of you. I've saved that site, have looked at a few of the recipes and they all look 'do-able' with everyday ingredients, which is what I like.
    I'm off shopping now so will check back later.
    Thanks again.



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