Trina’s Sausage Rolls

Do you want the recipe for Trina’s Sausage Rolls? Well, I think you need this one in your life. This is my go-to sausage roll recipe and I made them over the weekend so I thought it was time I shared it with you.

This time I made Trina’s Sausage Rolls to take as our pot luck dish to a family lunch (we struggled to not eat them straight out of the oven!). They make a delicious lunch for adults and children alike. See a previous lunch ideas blog post over here. I also mentioned my sausage rolls in a blog post about preparing for guests in your home over here.

My sausage rolls have a few sneaky vegetables in them for added nutrition. I also include a grated apple for moisture and natural sweetness. Adding chicken stock powder, Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce give the sausage rolls their yummy flavour.

Best sausage rolls

If you have ninja knife skills then I’m sure you will be able to dice your vegetables nice and finely, however my knife skills are pretty ordinary.  This is why I prefer to use a food processor to finely dice the vegetables for my sausage rolls. It is also really quick so you know that appeals to me too!

Here is the recipe for Trina’s Sausage Rolls:

Trina’s Sausage Rolls

Trina’s Sausage Rolls

Ingredients

  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 tsp chicken stock powder
  • small bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 apple, grated
  • 1 egg (+ 1 egg for glazing)
  • 1/2 - 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • squirt of tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 sheets of frozen puff pastry

Instructions

  1. Lay out the puff pastry on the bench to thaw.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 deg C. and line a tray with baking paper.
  3. Finely dice the onion, celery, carrot and zucchini (I use a food processor).
  4. In a bowl, combine the diced vegetables, chopped parsley, beef mince, chicken stock powder, lightly beaten egg, apple and sauces.
  5. Combine well with your hands.
  6. Slice each puff pastry sheet in half lengthwise. Distribute the sausage roll mixture evenly along each pastry strip.
  7. Roll pastry around the mixture and brush with extra beaten egg to seal.
  8. Slice into small sausage rolls and place on prepared tray.
  9. Dock with a fork and brush with egg.
  10. Bake in oven for around 30 minutes or until cooked and pastry is golden.
  11. Serve warm with tomato sauce on the side.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/trinas-sausage-rolls/

Print this recipe out and keep it with your favourites. Your family will love it.

Whenever we have guests coming who have traveled a long way, I like to make these so that they are ready for when they arrive. They seem to hit the spot and are easy to keep warm in the oven until they get here.

Do you have any great sausage roll variations? Sometimes I make sausage rolls using chicken mince but these beef ones are the best. What are your secret ingredients?

Trina xx

 

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“Lone Wolf” by Jodi Picoult

This morning I finished reading “Lone Wolf” by Jodi Picoult. This is the third Jodi Picoult book I’ve read recently and I noticed some common themes in her writing. See my posts reviewing “Small Great Things” and “The Storyteller”.

Lone Wolf quote

“Lone Wolf” is about a family separated by divorce and circumstance. The father, Luke Warren, is a well-known wolf expert. He became obsessed with living with the wolves, so much so, that he left his family and spent two years living with a wolf pack in the wild. This changed him. Luke struggled to resume life with his human family and to live back in the world he left behind.

"Lone Wolf" by Jodi Picoult

Luke and Georgie’s eldest son Edward left the family and the country after telling his mother that he is gay and having an argument with his father. Then there was the divorce and Georgie went on to remarry and have a new family. This leaves their daughter, Cara. With her mother busy with new twins, Cara decides to live with her father Luke and shares him with his beloved wolves who he cares for in captivity.

One night, Luke and Cara are in a serious car accident. Cara drags Luke from the car. She has hurt her shoulder. Luke is in a coma. After being overseas and disconnected from the family for six years, Edward returns home to be with Cara and his mother once he hears of the accident.

Here’s where the story gets controversial. After brain surgery, Luke remains in a vegetative state and the doctors tell the family that the chances of him ever recovering fully are non-existent. The chances of him waking up at all are extremely slim. Cara clings to a sliver of hope and is advocating that he be kept on life-support for as long as possible. Edward, however, believes that Luke would want to be allowed to die and donate his organs.

The story is then about the struggle within the family, the struggle within each family member individually and the court case that they find themselves involved in to decide who becomes Luke’s medical power of attorney.

"Lone Wolf" by Jodi Picoult book review

For me, the courtroom side of this story became a bit laborious and although there were a couple of good twists, the story was quite predictable.

However, like all of Jodi Picoult’s novels, this one got me thinking. What would I choose for a family member in this situation? What would I want for myself? How does God fit into this? This topic is huge.

So if you want to read a book that gives you something for your mind to wrestle with, then this one will do that!

Have you read it? What did you think?

Trina xx

 

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Trina’s Handy Hints

This blog post might be worth reading! I’m going to share with you some of my Handy Hints. You might just find a game-changer in here.

Trina’s Handy Hints might be all things that you always do already and if that is the case, then a big high-five to you from me! Or, you might scan through the list below and it will be confirmed for you that I am a bit crazy. Either way, thanks for reading this post.

Here’s today’s list of Trina’s Handy Hints:

1. Use Baking Paper in the Work Sandwich Press.

I’ve listed my best tip straight up. This is a game-changer at work. Work kitchen areas are usually pretty disgusting and once word gets out, all the mice in town come and join the party. For some reason, staff don’t like to clean the work kitchen area and wiping up after yourself becomes a foreign concept. Enter: Baking Paper! The rule is that everyone wraps their sandwich in baking paper and then you toast it in the sandwich press. Then nobody has to clean any mess and there is nothing around for the mice to eat. Try it!

Baking paper in sandwich press

2. Make Lists.

I love lists. This blog post is a list. If I make a to-do list I feel a huge sense of achievement as I cross things off. Writing a list can help clean your brain. Then you don’t need to store it in there anymore – and you are less likely to forget things.

My favourite lists are to-do lists, meal planning lists (see how I meal plan over here) and grocery lists (always write in rough order of supermarket shelving layout of your store. This makes your grocery shopping more efficient.).

Sitting down to menu plan

I also make a list of gifts for family and friends. Read about that over here.

3. Keep a microfiber cloth in your car.

I keep a microfiber cloth in the driver’s door of my car. My daughters are busy teenagers and I am always driving them places. Often when I pick them up from somewhere, I end up waiting for a few minutes in the car. Instead of wasting time on my phone, I pick up that microfiber cloth and wipe down the dash, the steering wheel, the knobs and display screen, basically anything in my reach. This keeps my car a little bit shiny on the inside!

4. Use laundry bags.

Cloth laundry bags are my friends. I keep a pile of them in the cupboard next to the washing machine. As I load the washing machine I can place necessary items in the laundry bags. They are great for lingerie, woolens, pantyhose (no more tangled legs!) and anything delicate. Then I simply throw these items in the washing machine and when they come out they have been carefully washed, as though I had hand-washed them. They also help prevent pilling and stretching of garments. I have these laundry bags in different sizes. Large ones are great for woolen jumpers.

5. Keep track of what’s in your freezer.

This is harder to do than it sounds. The freezer gets so full sometimes and things at the back tend to stay at the back….sometimes for a very long time! Keeping track of what’s in the freezer will save you time and money. I used to keep a bit of a list but these days I use an app. Read about the app and my freezer hacks over here.

Items in my Freezer App

6. Put your pj’s in you bed with your electric blanket on – in Winter!

I don’t think I really need to explain this one. Just do it about an hour before you are ready to wear your pj’s and you will understand how great warm pyjamas feel.

7. Schedule time in your day to do something you love.

Our lives are so busy and it can be easy to flit from one thing to the next and then get to the end of another day feeling exhausted and drained. Doing something you love doesn’t have to take a long time (but it can if you want it to!). Little things like listening to your favourite song, putting on some delicious hand cream, making a cup of tea, having a bath or ringing a friend are all ideas that can help make your ordinary day a little bit special. Make a list of things you love!

Well friends, I hope you found a nugget in amongst Trina’s Handy Hints! Let me know if you have a game-changer that I need to know about!

Trina xx

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Healthy tomato soup

This week our Meatless Monday meal was my Healthy Tomato Soup. We love the flavour of this soup so I thought I’d share the recipe with you. I think you will like it too!

This tomato soup recipe has lots of sneaky vegetables which are disguised so nobody will ever know how healthy and nutritious it is (and the kids can’t pick out the green bits!). I think this is a great soup for a cold winter’s night. I like to keep our bodies well so that we can resist any colds and flus that are floating around work and school.

Here is the recipe that I use for this Healthy Tomato Soup:

Healthy tomato soup

Healthy tomato soup

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 2 broccoli stems, finely chopped
  • 1 400g tin diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup pumpkin or sweet potato, diced
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tin full of water with 1 tsp chicken stock powder
  • 100ml cream

Instructions

  1. Heat a pot over medium heat. Add oil.
  2. Once oil is warm, add onion, garlic, carrot, celery and broccoli stems. Saute for 5 minutes or until vegetables have softened.
  3. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sweet potato or pumpkin, vinegar, stock and water.
  4. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  5. Blitz with stick blender or in a blender until smooth.
  6. Return to the stove and add the cream. Stir to combine and warm through.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/healthy-tomato-soup/

I like to serve my Healthy Tomato Soup with cheese toasties. Comfort food at it’s best!

The flavour of this soup relies on the natural sweetness of the vegetables so no sugar is added. I find that the chicken stock provides enough salt so I don’t add extra but you  might like to taste the soup at the end of cooking and season with salt and pepper if you think it needs it. I like to add a dollop (or two!) of sour cream to serve.

Healthy tomato soup with sour cream

This soup freezes well and is perfect for busy weeknights (take the leftovers to work for lunch the next day). I’ve also added it to my list of possible weekend lunches with last-minute visitors. Make them the cheese toasties to go with it and they’ll think you are a legend – because you are!

Give this Healthy Tomato Soup a go at your place this week. I’m sure you’ll be making this recipe again and again for your tribe.

Trina xx

 

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Crunchy popcorn veggies

Sometimes a delicious side dish can be difficult to come up with. That’s when I reach for these yummy Crunchy popcorn veggies. Everyone in our house loves these veggies so they are becoming quite a frequent item in my meal planning.

Tonight we are having “Baked Fish with Lemon Cream Sauce” from over at Recipe Tin Eats. Click for recipe. (Note: with this fish recipe I lightly coated my fish with Plain flour before putting them in the baking dish. It makes the sauce thicker…..just so you know.) I like this website because Nagi uses lots of pantry staples (and she’s in Australia so the ingredients are easy for me to find and the measurements are metric). Go check her out (but look at these veggies first!).

Baken fish with popcorn veggies

The baked fish will be the hero of tonight’s meal, but I reckon these veggies might give it a run for it’s money!

Here is how I make our Crunchy popcorn veggies:

Crunchy popcorn veggies

Crunchy popcorn veggies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 a cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • enough chunks of carrot and/or pumpkin for your family
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme or oregano, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 deg C.
  2. Cook veggies until just tender (either in microwave or in boiling water or steamer on stove top).
  3. Drain well.
  4. Transfer veggies to a large bowl.
  5. Stir in the egg (add a second egg if you are using lots of extra carrots & pumpkin).
  6. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, paprika and herbs.
  7. Add the herbs to the veggies and toss to coat well.
  8. Arrange the mixture in a single layer on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  9. Spray well with olive oil spray. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Bake, turning occasionally, for 30 mins or until veggies are golden brown and crisp.
  11. Serve warm.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/crunchy-popcorn-veggies/

Of course the quantity of veggies I have included above are not exact.  You can use the type and amount of veggies that suit you and your family.

This recipe is a keeper. It even makes sausages taste special!

So when you already have the hero of a dish in mind (the roast or the chicken or the fish) and you don’t want to serve up boring steamed vegetables yet again (but you don’t want a time-consuming recipe either), whip our this little gem of a recipe and give them something different. I can guarantee that your family will ask you about the veggies! They are good!

Popcorn vegetables

Let me know how you go with this one. Also, if you have a great side dish, share it in the comments! I’d love to hear about your favourite side dishes.

Trina xx

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