Ham and Cheese Savoury Muffins

These are really simple savoury muffins, which make for a great and different lunchtime snack.  They go well with a light salad, but are just as fantastic on their own as a snack.

These didn’t bake without mishap for me however… Just as I was finishing putting the muffin batter into the cases, BAM. My oven broke. It didn’t go up in a puff of smoke or anything (now that perhaps would’ve been a better story…), it simply made a small clicking sound, and then powered down, light, heat and all.  So I had to quickly run down to the flat below mine, and beg the owner to use his oven (luckily we get on well, so he agreed, on condition he have one muffin – I gave him two!)

They turned out really well, and had a fantastic flavour to them, so I’ll definitely be cooking them regularly, and encourage everyone to give them a go!*

* They work just as well as Cheese and Onion savoury muffins, simply omit the ham…

Ham and Cheese Savoury Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 280g self raising flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (yes, you read right!)
  • 1 tsp mustard (this brings out the cheese flavour, so don’t leave this out, even if you’re not keen on mustard, you can’t taste it at all by the end!)
  • seasoning (I used 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper)
  • 7 fl oz. milk
  • 3 fl. oz. vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 50g cheddar cheese
  • 50g soft goats cheese / brie
  • 50g ham
  • 1 onion

  1. Preheat the oven to 200’C.
  2. Dice the onion finely.
  3. Cube the goats cheese (or brie), and finely grate the cheddar.
  4. Measure flour, seasoning and baking powder into a bowl and mix.
  5. Measure milk, oil and mustard into a jug, and add the egg, then beat the mixture.
  6. Add the liquid to the flour mix, and stir a couple of times.  Add the diced onion, goats cheese / brie, and all but 1 tbsp of the grated cheddar (leave this little bit for sprinkling on the top!).  Add the chopped ham.
  7. Mix together carefully, making sure not to over-mix.  It’s easy to do this with muffins, but they only need a couple of stirs (even though they look all floury and messy).
  8. Divide up into muffin cases, sprinkle the leftover cheese on top, and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. When taking out of the oven, leave to rest for 5 minutes in the muffin tin before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool.

These were really yummy hot as well – I had a couple for tea with a small rice salad and a large helping of lettuce and tomatoes!

These will keep for 2 – 3 days out of the fridge, but make sure you keep them in a cool place.

Leek, Spinach and Potato Bake

Last weekend I didn’t go food shopping… and so I was stuck on Saturday night at 7pm as to what to cook for my dinner.  After rifling through my kitchen cupboards, I found some old potatoes, an onion, and a little bit of leek and broccoli hiding away in my fridge.

So I pottered about by my hob, and made this up as I went along.  It turned out really well though, and was a good hearty, very easy – and cheap – meal to cook in the evening.

Leek, Spinach and Potato Bake

2 leeks, chopped diagonally
200g fresh spinach (or use frozen as a cheaper option)
500g potatoes, cut into smallish cubes
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
Handful of grated cheese for topping
100ml milk
Several small sprigs of broccoli (I added quite a lot as I like broccoli, but this could easily be replaced by frozen peas, cauliflower or left out if you wanted)
Seasoning

1) Brown the diced potatoes with a little oil, pepper, salt and rosemary in a pan.

2) place onion, leek and garlic in a separate pan and fry in a small amount of oil (you can avoid the oil if you use a nonstick pan).

3) Once leek an onion have browned, tub down the heat and add the broccoli, and spinach.

4) combine potatoes and vegetables in an oven-proof dish, add the milk, and sprinkle the grated cheese on top.  Cook at 200’C for 20 minutes. Serve immediately with a side salad.

This dish provided me with 4 meals, and didn’t cost me a penny due to me having leftovers in the fridge and old potatoes in the cupboard. However, if you bought the ingredients from the supermarket, this meal would cost you approximately £1.60 for 4 portions (which makes each serving only 40p!) Ah if only I could make meals that cheap all the time…

Apple and Cinnamon Toasties

Now that Winter is a-coming, ushered in rather grandly by Autumn’s recent fierce rain and blustery winds (which is all well and good when you’re sitting at home cozied up with a mug of tea, but not so lovely when you’re fighting said torrential rain and gales to get to work at 8am in the morning)… Anyway, having the hint of coldness on the air makes me revert to making comfort food and using spices when cooking.  I’ve recently been very busy so have been eating my main meal in the office, which means I only have to make a small snack for tea when I get in at 6pm each day.  I’m not a massive fan of having sandwiches for tea, and – as my parents brought my trusty, slightly battered from student-days toastie-maker down a couple of weeks ago when they visited – I’ve been using this to concoct a yummy warning snack for myself in the evenings.  My all time favourite definitely has to be an apple and cinnamon toastie.  Super easy to make, healthy, warming and altogether a comforting tea.

Ingredients

2 slices of bread, very thinly buttered on one side

1 bruised / battered / seen-better-days apple (I have plenty of these as I always carry an apple around in my bag in case I get peckish, but often they get replaced, as they get battered quite quickly!)

½ tsp cinnamon

… And, if you need a little sweetness, a teeny tiny dusting of sugar

Recipe

  1. Switch on toastie maker.
  2. Whilst the toastie maker is heating up, peel and core the apple, then slice thinly.  Place the bread butter-side down, layer the slices of apple on top of the bread (they will all fit… they will!), sprinkle the cinnamon – and sugar if required – over the apples, and place the second slice of bread on top, butter side-up.
  3. Put in toastie-maker for 5 mins (or until the bread is nice and golden and crispy).  Remove it carefully, and then let it sit for 3 minutes before eating (I’ve learned the hard way, as I’m often impatient.  A burnt mouth does not a good snack make).
  4. Enjoy!