Sunday Rest Day Recipe Round-up

Sunday’s are officially rest days in our household. We don’t do anything major, and most of the time, don’t make any plans either. It’s a day to be lazy, guilt-free. And one of the best parts about a Rest Day Sunday is the food! We have time to make a roast dinner if we want, we have time to make something that requires yeast and proving if we want, or, if we want to chill out, we can throw some meat, veg and alcohol in the slow cooker and turn it on. It just depends on what we feel like and how tired we are from the week’s activities.

The recipes below are a collection of some of the food we’ve made these last few weekends, perfect for Sunday Rest Days. They aren’t my own, but instead come from some of my favourite cook books and websites for recipes. Let’s start with breakfast!

Sexy Swedish Buns
*From Jamie Does… (Spain, Italy, Sweden, Morocco, Greece, France), pg. 168

Try my sexy Swedish buns? This recipe oozes Jamie Oliver: a cheeky name, fresh, simple ingredients, and messy as can be! I’ve been wanting to go to Sweden for ages now, and the Sweden section of this book reaffirms why it’s a place I need to visit. The food is fantastic, and the land is so reminiscent of the Canadian Shield, perfect for this homesick foodie. This recipe makes 8 buns.

For the dough:
1 x 7g packet of yeast
375 mL warm milk
1 heaped teaspoon ground cardammon, (or about 20 cardammon pods)
2 large eggs
a pinch of salt
200g caster sugar
50g melted butter
800g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
15g unsalted butter
75g demerara sugar

For the filling:
400g blueberries
75g caster sugar
1 orange

1. [For the dough] Stir the yeast into the warm milk in a bowl, then put it aside. If using cardammon pods [like me], lightly bash them in a pestle and mortar, then pick out the husks and pound the seeds to a fine powder. Beat the eggs and salt in a large bowl, then add the cardammon, caster sugar, melted butter, 500g of the flour and the milk and yeast mixture. Whisk constantly as you add everything so you end up with a quite thick, gluey consistency. Mix in the remaining 300g of flour until you have a dough. Use clean floured hands to bring the dough together, then dust the top with flour. Cover the bowl with clingfilm [plastic wrap] and leave in a warm place to prove for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size and is full of air pockets.

2. [For the filling] Meanwhile, put the blueberries and caster sugar into a bowl. Finely grate the orange zest and add most of it to the bowl, along with a good squeeze of orange juice, then mash together with a potato masher. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper, then dot the paper with knobs of the [unsalted] butter and sprinkle over half the demerara sugar.

3. Dust a clean surface and your hands with flour, and gently stretch and pull the risen dough out until it’s a bit bigger than an A4 piece of paper [standard 8 1/2 x 11 paper]. This next bit is pretty messy, so have a bowl of flour on hand to help you handle the dough and don’t be alarmed if it seems quite wet. Use a slotted spoon to move half the mashed blueberries on to the dough. Try not to include too much juice. Use the back of the spoon to spread the blueberries around the dough. Pull the sides of the dough up and into the middle like an envelope, and keep turning and pushing the dough together.

4. Cut the dough into 8 equal portions, then pull and stretch each one into a long, thing sausage shape, twisting them around on themselves so you get a sort of rough knot. Arrange them on the tray, leaving enough room between for them to spread as they cook. Push your fingers into the top of each one to make a little well, then spoon in a few of the remaining mashed berries and gently push them down. Spoon over a little of the blueberry juice from the bowl, then sprinkle the rest of your demerara and reserved orange zest. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for about 20 minutes in a warm place.

5. Preheat your oven to 180’C/350’F/gas 4. Once the buns have risen, put them into the oven and cook for 25 minutes [mine took about 35 minutes, but could’ve been cooked longer], until golden and crispy. Serve them, hot and delicious, by themselves of with warm custard.

These buns were amazing! Pat really loved them as the cardammon reminded him of his early backpacking days in India. The buns are also quite filling! I would only have half of one at time. This recipe is a keeper, and will be added to the Sunday cooking repertoire.

 To be enjoyed with the best part of my morning, my Taylors Coffee espresso with warm skim milk and Starbucks vanilla syrup.

After a nice, relaxing start to the day with a delicious breakfast, we chill out with our laptops or read a book. We have a small lunch. Sometimes there’s yoga, and usually, an afternoon film. Then it’s time to prep dinner.
I’m a big fan of the BBC Food website for recipes. It’s got a vast collection of recipes from all of their broadcasted cooking shows. You can search recipes by the TV programme, the chef, the occasion, or the ingredient. Some are complicated, but most are straight forward, easy and delicious. I also use this website for recipes to make with my students, and like how you can print out a shopping list with each recipe.
One Sunday, I was in the mood for beer can chicken, so after a quick search of the internet, settled on this recipe for BBQ ‘beer-can’ Chicken. I’d never made beer can chicken before, and wanted something flavourful, but still easy to make. This recipe fit the bill, and it took less time to cook than a regular roast chicken.
Beer can chicken going in the oven…
The only ingredient I couldn’t get from the grocery store was the malt extract, so I left it out (I think I’d have to order from Amazon anyway), and rather than marinade the chicken over night then rinse the marinade off, I marinaded for about two hours, then put it straight in the oven.I would also recommend lining your roasting dish with foil, we had a hard time cleaning ours afterwards.

Beer can chicken coming out of the oven

 We served this with roasted asparagus and boiled potatoes. And yes, it was amazing.

Another great Sunday Rest Day practice is slow cooking. You have enough time in the morning to prepare a meal that can then cook for the next 8-ish hours, and make your house smell lovely.We received a slow cooker for Christmas from my sister-in-law Kate, and we’ve used it a few times. The recipes I’ve made and read are delicious, but always require some cooking before hand, rather than the simple chop your veg, put it in the pot, put your meat in and add some liquid (stock or alcohol). It’s for this reason that I don’t use my slow cooker as often as I could. Then I had a craving for slow cooked beef, so again, I searched the BBC Food website and found this gem, Slow Cooker beef brisket with cannellini bean mash. It is hands down the easiest and most delicious recipe I’ve ever made! 
The recipe calls for 1.5 kg of beef brisket, but considering it was just Pat and I eating, I only bought 800g of brisket instead. It is a cheaper cut of meat, coming from the chest of the cow, and is full of connective tissue and fat, thus requiring it to be slow cooked for a while (ours took 7 hours). The result was pure heaven. And the bean mash, consisting of sauteed leeks, white beans, garlic, creme fraiche and salt and pepper, was rich and satisfying. I also added carrots and celery to the brisket. My husband, who doesn’t love beef as much as I do, described this dish as the look of fine dining due to the plating (it’s full of protein, so you don’t need a ton of it), and the taste of home cooking. See for yourself:
Heaven in every way possible
If you’re going to try any recipes from this post, the beef brisket is the definite one to do first. I can’t say enough positive things about this dish. It will definitely be a dinner party dish in the future, but also be added to my repertoire.
And finally, dessert! This year, for New Year’s Day, my mother-in-law made a most delicious almond cake with citrus flavours. When I was ill with the flu, the thought of food was revolting, but for some reason, I craved that cake. After visiting my sister-in-law (and slow cooker lover) Kate and her family in Germany, and looking through her Jamie Does… cookbook, I ordered my own, along with the Jamie’s Great Britain book, a double dose of simple yet tasty recipes to make at home. In the Great Britain book, I found a similar recipe for ‘My Nan’s St. Clements Cake,’ which seemed similar to my mother-in-law’s cake. I vowed that once I was feeling better, I would make that cake.

This lengthy post started with a recipe from Jamie Does… and will finish with a recipe from Jamie’s Great Britain. We don’t have a small round cake tin, which the recipe calls for, so instead, as per Jamie’s recommendation, I made cupcakes. This recipe will make either one small round cake, or about 15 cupcakes.

St. Clement’s Cake
*From Jamie’s Great Britain, pg. 164, 165

For the cupcakes:
125g unsalted butter, softened
225g golden caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs
1 large orange
200g ground almonds
100g self-raising flour

For the lemon icing:
225g icing sugar
1 lemon

1. Preheat your oven to 180’C/350’F/gas 4. Line your cupcake tin.

2. Beat the softened butter with 125g of the caster sugar until it’s light and creamy, then crack in the eggs, one at a time, beating each one un well before adding the next. Finely grate the orange zest, and put most of it in your batter; keep the rest in a bowl covered in clingfilm for garnish. Fold in the ground almonds and sift in the flour. Mix gently and combine everything, then spoon the batter into each cupcake liner, and bake for 15-20 minutes until risen and lightly golden. To check that the cupcakes are cooked through, poke a skewer or cocktail stick into the centre of the sponge. It it comes out clean, it’s done. If not, cook for a few more minutes. Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tin while you make the orange syrup.

3. Put the remaining 100g of caster sugar into a pan and add the juice of the zested orange. Place the pain on medium heat for a few minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. While the cupcakes are still hot, poke lots of holes in the top of each with a cocktail stickand pour syrup all over each one. Once the syrup has been absorbed, move your cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and grate in most of the lemon zest. With the rest, add them to the reserve orange zest for garnish. Squeeze the lemon juice over the icing sugar and mix, adding more juice if needed until you get a good drizzling consistency. Keep aside until the cupcakes have completely cooked, then transfer to a serving plate and pour that lemony icing all over the top, letting it drizzle down the sides. Sprinkle over the remaining orange and lemon zest, and serve.

Pure heaven

These cupcakes were so fresh and mildly sweet. I recommend eating them about two hours after being iced, to let the syrup absorbe; otherwise, they’ll be a little soggy inside still. I also suggest eating them within a day or two, because although they taste delicious, they’ll become quite heavy with the almonds inside. Definitely a fresh treat to welcome spring! (wherever it may be!).

If you’re interested in more Sunday Rest Day recipes, check out the links to previous posts below:

Full of vegetables Chilli Con Carne

Kate and Will’s Wedding Pie of beef and barley

Blackout Cake

Pork Stew with Yorkshire Puddings

Cinnamon Sticky Buns

And interestingly enough, all those recipes, aside from the Cinnamon Sticky Buns, are from my vast Jamie Oliver collection, (the buns are from the first Great British Bake Off book). Should I do a focus piece on the self-made boy from Essex?

To finish this epic post, a gratuitous shot of my favourite dogs who stayed with us this past week:

Have a lovely Sunday, stay warm, and make some good food!


6 thoughts on “Sunday Rest Day Recipe Round-up

  1. Go to Sweden! I've only been to Stockholm, but it's a beautiful city with lots to do. I don't eat beef, but I think I'll try my hand at the cannellini bean mash, sounds good! Did you guys get hit by the snowstorm that's been on the news?

  2. I definitely want to go, hopefully late August? That bean mash was fantastic, so rich and creamy, and incredibly easy and quick to make.

    Oddly enough, we in north east Scotland seem to be the only ones not hit with the horrible snowstorm. We've got patches here and there, and dustings every now and then, but that's it!

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