bacon and brie bake

bacon and brie bake

When we go to Lidl – either here, or in Slovenia, which is probably the closest one to us – and they have a Special Week, we often stock up. When it’s Greek Week, the trolley is full of smoky tuna, halloumi, pitta breads, olive oils. Spanish Week and it’s olives, Manchego, tortillas, chorizo. Italian Week – and well, we’re just in heaven so everything gets chucked in, even though we can be in an Italian supermarket in Trieste in forty minutes. Recently, alongside French Week – Brie overload! – the store was also having an Irish Week. And there, staring out at me from the cooler section – packs of rashers of smoked bacon. Now, we don’t eat a lot of meat at all, but a smoked bacon butty is utterly irresistible and so with a use by date at the end of September, we bought a few packs to keep us going. And with a glut of bacon and brie, I set about finding a recipe which would use these ingredients, and found this delicious bake online.

With very few ingredients, and little to prepare, it is the most mouth-watering recipe. Perfect for this time of year, as still quite light but with a hint of autumn about it. If you’re a lover of bacon and brie, I’d definitely recommend giving this a go…


  • pack of smoked bacon rashers
  • about 8 medium sized potatoes, very thinly sliced
  • brie, sliced up, with rind left on
  • tub of single cream (500ml)
  • about 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper, to season


  • Pre-heat the oven to 200°c;
  • Place a large, oven-proof frying pan over high heat then fry the bacon until crisp and golden;
  • Remove from the pan, leaving the rendered fat and add olive oil as necessary (so that your first layer of potatoes don’t stick to the bottom of the pan);
  • Layer the potatoes, brie cheese (reserve a few slices for the topping), bacon and garlic in the pan, seasoning the layers as you go;
  • Season the cream with salt and pepper then pour over the potatoes, and sprinkle the fresh thyme across the top;
  • Cover the potatoes with foil/a lid and place in the oven;
  • Allow to bake for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are soft;
  • Top with the remaining brie cheese then place back in the oven and allow to bake until golden brown on top;
  • Remove from the oven and serve.


This recipe – and more – can be found here. Photos of the bake also come from the original recipe, as once served, this was so, so tasty, we wolfed it down, without even thinking of taking any snaps. Served with warm, crusty bread, it was just perfect and will be definitely made again in our house.


courgette fritters

courgette fritters

Like a lot of our garden, now that autumn – and the rains – have finally arrived after a very long, hot summer, our vegetables seem to be growing at quite a pace. From seeds, we’ve got a bit of a bumper crop of courgettes, so having done a few soups, we decided to try fritters. I don’t know why I always assumed these would be tricky to make – because they’re not, at all. If you have all of the ingredients to hand, they are quick and very easy. And, if you have an excess of fritters, they can be easily frozen for next time.


  • 240 g courgettegrated
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 65 g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Feta (or parmesan or cheddar – in fact, any cheese which takes your fancy. 40g is recommended but we added waaaay more than this!)
  • Freshly chopped mint
  • Peas (if frozen, just run boiling water over then to thaw them)
  • Olive oil


  • Grate the (medium sized for two people) courgette and then squeeze out the excess liquid and discard. Set the grated courgette aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and then add the flour and baking powder and season, with salt & pepper
  • Add the courgette, peas, cheese and fresh mint and gently mix it in to form a batter.
  • Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan and then add spoonfuls of batter to make fritters around 10cmin diameter. Fry for about 5 minutes each side – the thickness of the fritter will dictate the frying time, but you want then to be crispy and brown on the outside.

Served with tzatziki & oven baked rosemary and garlic potato wedges, this was another winning autumn dinner dish. We’re only just really getting into growing our own vegetables and still have a long way to go to be producing enough for us to actually live on, but what we are getting from the garden at the moment, is enabling us to be a bit more experimental in the garden, and not so reliant on the supermarket. And, nothing really beats popping out of the front door and into the garden to pick a courgette or two for dinner!


spaghetti al limone – a taste of summer…

spaghetti al limone – a taste of summer…

Spaghetti dishes are often our go-to meals, especially if we’re a bit short on time. Current favourite is just flash frying, in olive oil, chilli flakes and garlic and mixing through spaghetti, and sprinkling with parmesan. Done in less than 10 minutes. But recently, on one of my favourite Twitter accounts – Beauty From Italy – I spotted this alternative and had to give it a go.

Spaghetti Al Limone

On first reading, this recipe looks easy-peasy but  you do need to set a little bit of time aside for prepping and it’s also not a one pan meal. But, go for it – it’s absolutely deliciously decadent. And, surprisingly, when you taste it, there’s not a drop of cream in sight. The recipe below will serve four, but we couldn’t find our scales so we guesstimated and it all worked out OK, so we think you don’t need to fret over quantities too much.

* about 400g dried spaghetti
* 2 organic small/medium lemons – we used a mahoosive lemon & the end result was very “lemony” so maybe go for small ones if you don’t want it too tart
* 160g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
* 80g finely grated parmesan cheese – no weighing out of parmesan in this house so think we’d have used way beyond 80g. You can’t restrict your use of fresh parmesan…
* freshly cracked pepper
* extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

Bring a large salted pot of water to the boil. While it is boiling prepare your other ingredients; squeeze the lemons and keep the lemon halves to one side; finely grate the cheese and set aside; chop the butter. Cook your spaghetti, then transfer it, using tongs, to a second pan – liberally splash in the water it’s been cooking in. Then add the chopped butter and lemon juice and stir until it becomes very creamy. At this stage add in the parmesan and stir. And, it’s ready.

Pile onto warmed bowls, sprinkle with a bit more parmesan – because why wouldn’t you? – and black pepper. Keep your halves of lemon handy in case you need a bit more zest to squeeze over. And, enjoy…