Slow Cooked Sausage Casserole

Slow Cooked Sausage Casserole

I love my slow cooker. In fact I have a confession: I have two. There is something really satisfying about knowing that when you get home at the end of the day dinner is already sorted and all you have to worry about is setting the table and organising some drinks. “It’s nice to know that you get just that little bit of extra time to spend with family or to relax and enjoy a cuppa .

One of my favourites and all-time go-to recipes is a sausage casserole. I usually have all of the ingredients in the cupboard or fridge, it doesn’t take much time to prepare and it smells delicious as it is cooking. I posted a picture of it a few days ago and after receiving a request for the recipe I am here to share the love. I hope you like it as much as my family do.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 4 hours on low
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6-8 of your favourite quality sausages. I like to use Salsiccia sausages but something like Cumberland would also work
  • 3 shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 8 -10 new potatoes cut in half or quarters, if necessary
  • 400g cannellini beans washed and drained. These can be replaced with kidney, borlotti, butter beans or chickpeas
  • 400g tinned tomatoes with herbs
  • 60ml stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional mustard and parsley leaves to serve

    Method:

  1. Preheat a large pan on medium/low/high heat and add the oil
  2. Pop in the sausages and cook/fry them until they’re browned all over – approximately five minutes (if you know, this helps). If your pan is not large enough, cook the sausages in batches, transferring them over to the slow cooker as they become ready.
  3. Remove half of the oil, add the shallots and cook them for three minutes/until glazed, stirring continuously.
  4. Add the garlic and fry it with the shallots until soft, then place everything into the slow cook over the sausages
  5. Add the beans, potatoes, tomatoes, stock and bay leaves and season with pepper and Worcestershire sauce.
  6. Cover the cooker with the lid and cook on low for 4 hours until the sausages and potatoes are cooked through. Remove the bayleaves from the casserole and season with Worcestershire sauce and pepper to taste.
  7. Sprinkle with parsley leaves and serve with mustard.

 

3 thoughts on “Slow Cooked Sausage Casserole

      • krissie says:

        just popped back to say that I made the casserole tonight for supper, and theres plenty left over for tomorrow night too! it was delish!! I did add a can of lentils to it too, and we loved that. I took some photos but when cooking the dish doesnt look very photogenic, but . . . I wish I could photograph the smell of it cooking! yum! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

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An open letter to my children; why I must teach you to hygge


You know what happens on a Sunday in our house. You always hope I’ll forget but I never do and today was no different. Screen Free Sunday. Not for the whole days mind. Just for a few hours.

At first, it was a battle of wills & snatched hidden viewing, but it’s getting easier isn’t it? Well, as the weeks go by you both show less resistance. I feel, as your parent, that you deserve to know why I think it’s so important.

It’s hard being you these days. I mean, really, really hard. I think you have it a lot tougher than we did.

Take my childhood home for example. When I was your age, once I got home I may as well have lived in a fortress. No one could reach me unless it was through the landline (we only had one) or through the front door, usually with Nanny or Grandad as gatekeeper.

But you live in no such cocoon. When you were little I made you a promise that we would have full parental controls, on one computer in the main family room. You would be protected, only technology beat us to it.  You’ve got snapchat and Instagram on your own iPad & phones and you’re happiest lying on your bed circumnavigating the channels du jour. Devices that we bought you ourselves. Devices that always make me feel like we are one step behind.

You think that this is a splendid isolation because you don’t yet understand that there is nowhere to hide and nor do you recognise that nagging “fear of missing out” (fimo) for what it really is. You will have forgotten the freedom of being unconnected because the pressure to be connected is immense, if not overwhelming. And You won’t see this as a bad thing at all. 

And then take the tv. Bear with me because this is where you’ll think that I am really, really old; something that you have always suspected. Up until my mid teens we had four channels and certain things were on at certain times. Children’s tv was 6 – 11:30 weekend mornings and 3:15 to 5:30 after school. Then along came channel five & sky. And then whoosh. Suddenly it all became a lot more… busy. You could, given half the chance, watch tv for twenty four hours a day and I couldn’t even tell you how many channels there are and there still won’t be enough for you’ve come to expect tv on demand.

 YouTube may well be your guru, but it won’t encourage you touch the velvet beauty inside a broad bean pod or to pull down the wild honeysuckle for you to sniff, nor lift you up to pick the juiciest blackberry off the highest bramble to taste. 

Instead I’ve taught you how to build and light a fire where we’ve  toasted marshmallows and I’ve taken you to campsites with no onsite entertainment where I may have told you a bit of white lie about the wifi. Sometimes  there will be no “site” at all and this is where the magic really happens.

And when was the last time you received a letter? When I was little, the excitement of receiving a letter from a pen pal was something to be bottled. Apart from birthday cards and odd post cards, I remember you receiving very little. Whilst at university, receiving a penned letter or card from gap year friends and elderly relatives  lessened my initial homesickness. Will a snapchat be as an effective medicine?

I watch as your generation take the easy option. Don’t learn to play a musical instrument, play guitar hero instead. Don’t read a novel, read unedited endless soap-books. Watch someone else become famous overnight and aspire to that generally unachievable (and unfulfilling?) dream wearing those brands forgoing privacy and no doubt inducing anxiety.

I urge you to be strong. Try new things in the real world. Be inquisitive. Be challenged.

Does this sound a bit of a “in my day”  whinge that we all detest? Maybe it is. Maybe it needs to be. 

Right now, the buzz word is Hygge but trust me my darlings when I tell you this. I’ve always known how it felt. I just never had a word for it but now You do.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t want to stop you being a part of this world; indeed I think it is vital that you are, but in moderation and so I too must be strong. 

It’s the easiest thing in the world to get on with my own distractions when you are engaged / hypnotised by your screen so I’m sorry kids but you will be feeling the aches of trudging up the tors with your currently under utilised muscles, because I know that you’ll feel that sense of elation when you’re on top of the world. 

You will get your hands mucky planting those shoots because you’ll never taste anything as equisite as peas straight from the pod that you’ve nurtured yourself (and you will have to water them.)

You will help me to prepare dinner because maybe you’ll notice how beautiful a red cabbage cut in half really is and how velvety the inside of a broad bean pod is. You already love uncooked cake mix as much as I do even though it’s got raw egg in it. 

One day, you’ll have your own family and want to prepare meals around the table, catch up on their days, sometimes with guests or maybe just your little, perfect unit eating in that cosy comforting silence that being part of a family delivers. 

And I’m sorry if it’s annoying that I won’t let you take your iPad to bed. But I will read to you and then you’ll read to yourself, learn the power of escaping into a book and oh my darlings, the places that you might go. Your imagination is yours to own and yours alone. You’ll learn to comfort yourself and sooth yourself too.

Look what you’ve achieved today. Your rearranged room looks fantastic. Your idea has now opened up so much space. The banana bread you baked was the best you’ve ever made. 

It’s my job as a parent to lead you down these paths with subtlety because I love you so much & believe that you deserve to know about the wonder of experiencing the value of the little things. I’ll protect you as far as I can from cyber bullies and indeed, the temptation of your own unkind words borne from behind the screen bravado.

You see, this parenting malarkey is no population contest at all. I’m not out seeking followers or likes. In fact, there will be times when you wish you could unfollow me. Your time will come.

So Actually, sorry, not sorry at all. I’m just doing my job. And I’ll try really hard not to get sucked in to because even as an adult, those things are out to get me too. 

PS. I’ve put a screen ban on this years Christmas presents and told all the family. And I’m not sorry about that either.  

4 thoughts on “An open letter to my children; why I must teach you to hygge

  1. LEONIE ROBERTSON says:

    Bravo! You’ve said exactly what I feel in this post and I couldn’t agree more. So bravo! Bravo to you for being a fantastic parent.

  2. Emma AKA Size15Stylist says:

    Perfect reminder as my four year old learns to appreciate nature…she asks about more trees than I know…but we’ll learn their names together, by looking up their leaves in a book. An actual non-Google resource. Just need to remind Mr S15S to unglue his eyes from the screen once in a while ?

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The book of hygge ; A review of a serious book

First impressions are that The book of hygge by Louisa Thomsen Brits is an earnest one. The cover is sleeveless, of simple design and without pictures. Hold it in your hand and the paper of a thick quality that says that this is serious business.

The book of Hygge, the danish art of living well

The book of Hygge

What this book is not is a coffee table book. There are occasional pictures, each one beautiful as if selected sparingly and carefully considered.

The pumpkin orange ribbon says “slow down. You’re not going to read this in one sitting. Take Your time.” I can see myself using this book as a reference and source of inspiration to pick up and put down and the structure of this book makes that possible.

Divided into six sections ; belonging, shelter, comfort, wellbeing, simplicity & observance I quickly notice that each would feature on the lower rungs of Maslow hierarchy of needs and as this model pertains, these are all states of existence that should be satisfied & maintained before any higher status in life can be achieved.


In a year of living hygge, I often felt that hygge was something that was on loan from the Danes. As we say on our own website, hygge isn’t just for Winter and isn’t just for Danes. As Brits, we always knew how it felt but never had a word for it and I am grateful to Louisa for reinforcing this. In her Note from the author we have an instant list of examples of how Louisa lives a hygge life – all year round and across continents. Her wish for her readers is that they too will “discover hygge that already exists in their life and become attuned to its presence” and sharing these well wishes are hygge in itself. I think this is why this book bears no images on its own front page. Louisa wants to tell us that hygge is a very personal thing. There is no prescribed lifestyle.

Frequented by quotes as carefully selected as the photos themselves, interjected amidst intelligent prose, Louisa examines hygge from a variety of angles; togetherness, independently, familiarity, architecture, home, time management, choice, celebration, ritual & craft to name but a few. If anyone thought that hygge was just about candles and hot chocolate it’s an education.  Instead, we are gently guided through the symbolism of candlelight and beyond to finding hygge in everyday life.
I’m reminded of mindfulness & the law of attraction, which are, in my mind both cousins to hygge. I’m also pleased to have the use of hygge demonstrated in various forms of the eight parts of speech; as an adjective, a verb and a noun in itself. I’ve often wondered if I may have attracted any Danish scorn in my own writing. Thankfully, it would appear not.


That settled, I conclude that if hygge is all about mindfulness, and about being & not having, which I happen to think it is, then in this fast paced life of have and have nots, hygge is a very serious business indeed. The Book of hygge is a very handy manual for life itself, a perfect coming of age accompaniment as well as a reminder of what’s important to those in their prime. Everyone should have one.

3 thoughts on “The book of hygge ; A review of a serious book

  1. Jenny says:

    Following on from your home is an emotional state I see my bed as den. There no harm can come and no obligations to be met. I have even been known to kiss my pillow. ? (Disclaimer – except if insomnia strikes)

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