Stress Cooking


Tartelette, originally uploaded by jaxies.

As I’ve mentioned before I’m a bit of a stress cook, ie. I cook when I’m stressed and it makes me feel better. However, this is a slightly different method of stress cooking. This is cooking and being stressed out from the cooking. In this particular case I was told about an hour before three and a half guests were due to arrive for a dinner party (the half being the most adorable two-year-old you’ve ever seen who then spent the entire evening alternating between poking, prodding, pawing at, hugging and kissing me and yelling, “JAAAAACKIE!” every time I left the room) that I needed to come up with some kind of appetiser dish and make some potatoes to go with the main course. Oh heck.

To make things worse it was ridiculously hot, muggy and uncomfortable today, I had a very late night last night, and because I’m on antibiotics right now I was feeling very under the weather. Anyway, this is a little recipe I whipped up, prepared and then got Momma Lee to put into the oven so I could go and have a lie-down for a couple of hours. Despite that, these turned out very nicely.

Super easy to make and very tasty. We made small-ish individual ones which were just the right size for an appetiser, but you could make a big one and have it as a main course. You can also mix up the vegetable filling a little – I like it with caramelised red onions and goat’s cheese as well as a mediterranean mix. Feel free to do whatever you like here.

The other dish I prepped for Momma Lee was this side dish of roasted baby new potatoes and red onions. It’s super tasty. I actually took this before I roasted them and then forgot to take a photo when they were cooked, so, uh, sorry. But anyway, you should make these – they go great with, um, everything.

Even Kezia ate up the food we gave her – she particularly loved the tartelette and later on came up to me and asked if she could have another “piece-a-pizza”. Admittedly she was more into the pastry and cheese than the veggies, but still, win! And the food we originally offered her to eat she decided she didn’t like after licking it once, then wanted some of what everybody else was having, so I gave her a smaller portion, and when it got to time for the main course (we’d originally given her a bit of beef and potatoes) did a bit of sneaky transferring, moved her original food onto another plate and she gobbled the whole thing up. Kids are hilarious.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this as much as Kezia did. It’s good, I promise.


2 red peppers, de-seeded and sliced into strips
2 courgettes, sliced
Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
Block of feta cheese, cubed
Goat’s cheese, cubed
Handful of seedless black olives, halved
Puff pastry (frozen is fine)
Olive oil
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C.
2. Place all the vegetables on a tray, drizzle with olive oil, season to taste and roast in the oven for about 20-25 mins.
3. Meanwhile, roll out the pastry to about 2cm thick. Cut into squares and pinch the corners together.
4. Remove the vegetables from the oven and place in the middle of the puff pastry, leaving about a 2cm border all the way around. Top with the feta and goat’s cheese.
5. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 mins until the pastry has risen and is golden brown.
6. Serve hot and devour.


2 red onions, sliced
Couple of handfuls of baby new potatoes, halved length-wise
Olive oil
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp mixed herbs

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
2. Place the baby new potatoes in a saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil.
3. When par-boiled drain, then return the baby new potatoes to the saucepan, place the lid on and shake vigorously to fluff the potatoes a little.
4. Meanwhile place the sliced red onion in the bottom of an oven tray, top with the fluffed potatoes and drizzle over olive oil, making sure they’re thoroughly coated.
5. Season with salt and black pepper and sprinkle the mixed herbs on top.
6. Roast in the oven for about 40-45 mins until browned and crispy. You might want to put them under the grill at the end for about 5 mins or so.
7. Serve with anything, devour and just try to stop eating them – I dare you.

Until next time, peace and love.

Jax x

6 Responses to “Stress Cooking”

  1. islandeat Says:

    Hi, Jax. We are cosmically in sync again (Foodbuzz had our posts back-to-back, at least in my friend list). I enjoyed reading about your stress cookin' relieving or creating, that is)….

    Luv and peas to you,


  2. A Thought For Food Says:

    Got some wonderful new potatoes from the farmer's market and roasted them as well! So tasty! I understand how you could forget to photograph them once they'd been cooked.

  3. Jackie Says:

    Dan – we're always cosmically in sync, eh? I do rather enjoy having a twinnie in the Americas, though!

    Brian – they're so beautiful, eh? I love the sweetness! Lends itself so wonderfully to being roasted!

    Jax x

  4. Monet Says:

    What an adorable little girl! I love using puff pastry in meals…so easy yet so incredibly delicious. And yes, when I roast potatoes, they are gone in a snap!

  5. Chanel11 Says:

    I can completely understand how you felt – but still you soldiered on and delivered yummy food – I always find puff pastry with anything thrown on top is both yummy and super easy – I always opt for a pastry-pizza when my cooking-energy is low.

  6. Jackie Says:

    Monet – isn't she just adorable? Such a little cutie… and for two years old she was a very chatty little thing!

    Chanel11 – my mom used my recipe again and made it for a picnic she went to at her church. Apparently it went down such a treat they all kept telling her to open a pizzeria! Puff pastry is awesome :D

    Jax x

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