Tag Archives: picnic

Recipe: Easy, Cheaty Sausage Rolls

When it comes to throwing together a quick lunch or picnic; sandwiches and sausage rolls are always the order of the day. Being able to serve up a still warm, freshly baked batch of homemade sausage rolls will earn you the kind of domestic goddess style brownie points that a trip to Greggs simply cannot match.

I always keep the ingredients to make these sausage rolls in the freezer, so I can whip up a quick batch if I need to. If you can defrost the ingredients overnight before making your sausage rolls, then so much the better. These sausage rolls are really easy to put together. I admit that they are quite cheaty, but they are miles better than any shop bought sausage rolls.

Recipe: Easy, Cheaty Sausage Rolls

Easy, Cheaty Sausage Rolls

Ingredients:
1 packet of ready-made puff pastry
8 of your favourite sausages, or equivalent weight in sausage meat
100mls milk

Method:
Preheat your oven to 220° and grease a large baking sheet.

Unroll the puff pastry. You may need to use a rolling pin to roll it out a little thinner if that’s your preference. Cut the pastry with a knife into 8 equal parts which are long enough and wide enough to wrap around a sausage.

Squeeze the sausage meat out of the skin and place the sausage meat in the middle of each piece of pastry, discard the sausage skin.

With a brush, brush along one edge of the pastry and roll it into a sausage roll shape, using the moistened edge to seal it shut. It doesn’t really matter if the sausage meat is peeking out from the ends of the roll.

Once you have made all of your sausage rolls, score the top of each one. I used 3 or 4 slashes, and then brush them with milk.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool slightly before eating. I think they’re nicer warm, but they can be eaten cold and are perfect for a quick lunch or a picnic in the park.

If you’re catering for a party, you could cut your sausage rolls into smaller, bitesize pieces before baking. Make sure you reduce the cooking time slightly if you do this. You could also swap out the meat sausage for a good veggie sausage if you’re catering for vegetarians.

Recipe: Easy, Cheaty Sausage Rolls

Review: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Barbecue Glaze

One of my favourite things about summer is getting the barbecue out, knocking up a few salads and inviting some people round for a feast. It is casual dining at its best. There’s not a lot in life that’s better than relaxing with a glass of something chilled while the men debate about when to put the steaks on the barbecue.

As a veggie my barbecue experience is often a bit meh. I usually have barbecued corn on the cob, a pile of nice salad and a veggie burger, which is fine, but my meal is usually cooked first so they can get on with the important business of burning meat, so I do feel a bit left out of the main scoffing. Moan moan moan!

What I do love is a nice barbecue sauce, I actually prefer a barbecue sauce to a dollop of ketchup. Barbecue sauce seems to have really come on in leaps and bounds these last few years, with lots of new recipes and flavours flooding the market. About 6 years ago I first discovered the Jack Daniel’s Barbecue sauces, at the time I think they only did one, but it was by far the nicest one I’d found. These days there are a lot more sauces on the market, but I was sent the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Barbecue Glaze to try out.

We waited until the sun came out, and by ‘eck the sun came out last week. So we invited some people round. I knocked up some salads and him indoors got busy burning some meat. I casually left the bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Barbecue Glaze on the table next to the ketchups and relishes to see what people thought.

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey Barbecue Glaze

I was first to give it a try, mainly because my food was ready about an hour before everyone else. I liberally dosed my veggie burger with the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Barbecue Glaze and tucked in.

The Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Barbecue Glaze is based on the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey liqueur, which I’m a big fan of, the drink is sweet and smooth so I suspected the sauce would be good too. The glaze is slightly runnier than a traditional barbecue sauce, sweet but not too sweet, with a little gentle barbecue heat. It was so good I poured some more on my plate to dip my burger in.

The barbecue carnivores soon took an interest, when their burgers were ready they tried it too, and did exactly the same thing as me, adding extra to their plate for dipping purposes. Even hubs who doesn’t really like barbecue sauce went back for seconds. This is a sauce which will definitely find its way into our shopping trolley again.

You can marinate chicken or meat in it prior to barbecuing, but we didn’t, not this time. I reckon it’d also be pretty good in a bacon butty or to dip your chips or wedges in. It’s a very definite thumbs up from us!

Note: We were sent a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Barbecue Glaze free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Three go mad at Dunham Massey

I wouldn’t say the sun never shines in Manchester, on the contrary, it’s often really quite beautiful weather. But we don’t often get that rare combination of factors which allows us a full family day together.

Today we’ve had a busy day, we’ve managed to squeeze an awful lot of outdoorsy activity into a relatively short time, and managed to feel like we’ve had a nice relaxing day. It’s a modern miracle!

We packed a picnic and headed off to one of our local and more child friendly National Trust properties, Dunham Massey. We had a little walk, the small boy did some scooting on his scooter and we kicked a ball around. The sun was blistering, so we sought some shade, rolled out the picnic blanket and had our lunch.

Dunham Massey

As we did so, some of the deer walked nearby and stopped to munch the grass and soak up some sun. We couldn’t resist edging closer to them to take some pictures. I really didn’t expect to get too close to them, I was at most two metres away from them at one point, but they didn’t even flinch. It was quite amazing.

Dunham Massey

The sun was getting a bit too harsh, so we decided to go home and get the paddling pool out, which we did. We spent a happy few hours under the shade of a parasol, splishing and splashing in the pool. The water was ice cold, but it was exactly what we needed.

Later we invited my Dad round and sparked up the BBQ. We sat in the evening sunshine drinking homemade cordial and soda water and just nattering, it was effortlessly relaxed. We all ate and ate well and watched as the sky darkened and the heavy clouds gathered. We dashed inside moments before the rain came. And just like that, our glorious outdoorsy day was over.

Dunham Massey

A Picnic in Delamere with Roberts Bakery

Ever since spring turned into what passes for summer round here, the small boy has been putting in constant requests to go for a “nicnic”. To those unversed in small boy speak, he wants to go on a picnic. Well if it makes him happy, and if it allows us to eat nice things in the sunshine (?), then who are we to refuse?

We were therefore really excited when Roberts Bakery invited us to a nicnic/picnic in Delamere Forest. There’d be storytelling and fun for the kids, whilst the mums were put to work making some fun, healthy sandwiches.

Roberts Bakery have been baking beautiful loaves and treats since 1887 in Northwich, Cheshire. I’ve long enjoyed their bread, but putting taste aside, I love that they’re relatively local, and I’m all about local products from local businesses.

This month they’ve been busy launching “50 Days of Summer” which is a family guide for the holidays, packed with ideas and inspiration to keep the little ones entertained over the long, long summer holidays. A brilliant idea, and one I’ll be delving into regularly for small boy entertainment.

We arrived by train at Delamere and had a little explore before we tracked down the Roberts Bakery team. Wellies on (for this is England) the small boy had a good run around with some of his new friends, then toddled off to be entertained by Storyteller Ian Douglas.

We then set to work making some healthy sandwiches for us all to enjoy. Roberts Bakery have recently launched a 50% white 50% wholemeal bread which as well as being a lovely loaf, contains protein, complex carbohydrates, calcium, iron and B vitamins, as well as thiamin, niacin and riboflavin, as well as being a major source of fibre.

We made lots of different kinds of sandwich, but the big hit with the small boy was the SLT – sausage, lettuce and tomato. I’ll share the recipe below, but it’s a low fat, healthy sandwich, easy to make and great for those who enjoy a really filling, hearty butty.

The SLT

Ingredients:
4 Roberts 50% white 50% wholemeal rolls
8 low fat sausages (we used Quorn sausages, because I’m veggie)
3 tbsp fat-free Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise
4 tomatoes, sliced
2 little gem lettuces
Freshly ground black pepper

Method:
Grill the sausages and leave to cool, then slice them lengthways. Combine the fat-free Greek yoghurt and mayonnaise, grind in some black pepper. Split the rolls and spread with the yoghurty mayonnaise. Lay your sausages on the bread roll (I found three halves per sandwich was sufficient). Top with your tomato slices and then your little gem lettuce leaves, then pop the top of the bread roll on and enjoy.

Roberts Bakery

I really enjoyed the lightness of the yoghurt and mayonnaise mixture and I think you could easily use rocket instead of little gem, though I enjoyed the textural crunch of the lettuce.

We ate the fruits of our labour, whilst Ian the storyteller regaled us with the tale of the giant Finn McCool. It was a really lovely day, a nicnic we will both remember very fondly.

The Roberts Bakery 50 Days of Summer download pack is available from 20th June and daily ideas will be shared on their Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the holidays. Fingers crossed the sun shines!

Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Roberts Bakery, we have not been financially compensated for enjoying our nicnic.