That leaves two items that are going to have to start to work a LOT harder, the slow cooker and the Actifry. I've made a start on the slow cooker...... no, I've not actually cooked anything in it. But I have pinned an awful lot of recipes to try on my Pinterest recipe board. Well, it's a start, isn't it?
That leaves the Actifry. The poor machine doesn't see the light of day very much. I make chips in it. I cook sausages in it (have you ever cooked sausages in one? They come out really evenly browned, it's by far my favourite way to cook them). And that's about it. I'm aware it can do so much more, so I'm going to play with it a lot more often.
For my first "playtime" I added baby potatoes, halved Chantenay carrots, a chopped shallot and some chopped fresh thyme, drizzled over a tablespoon of rapeseed oil and cooked for 35 minutes. The result was a delicious roast root mixture
To go with this, I cooked some duck breasts skin side down over gentle heat until the fat had run off, then finished them in the oven. I tipped off most of the fat from the pan (and saved it for roast potatoes) then added a chopped onion and softened it. Then I threw in a handful of cranberries, a good slug of post and a bit of chicken stock and cooked it until the cranberries were soft.
Finally I served up the meal with some tiny and delicious Brussels Sprouts, fresh from the garden.