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February Cottage Cooking Club, Apple and cheddar cheese toastie


Welcome to the February edition of the Cottage Cooking Club and our twenty-second month cooking together from the cookbook: “River Cottage veg everyday!” by British cookbook author and television personality, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

The aim of our international online group has been to incorporate more fresh, local, and seasonal, vegetables into our daily meals while preparing from among a broad range of creative dishes, including perhaps switching out some ingredients according to what might be freshly available in our residing regions.

Our monthly recipe selections from the book are picked by our fearless and talented leader, Andrea, of the Kitchen Lioness, Notes from a very small German Kitchen, with members of the group then preparing from among the choices, and later gathering together at months end to share our preparations.



The dishes are generally very easy in their preparations, as well as delicious, and for the most part though I generally prepare between 3 and 5 of the recipes from the list, with assorted food projects going on over the month it sort of set the ball into the air with the timing of things, and so I only prepared one of the dishes this month, Apple and blue vinnie toastie. The Dorset Blue Vinny is a blue cheese that I am not familiar but according to the recipe any blue cheese works just fine. Well, all except if you are out of Blue Cheese. I was. Apple works lovely with cheddar cheese too of which I had a nice sized chunk for shredding and so I set to its use. Hence my title name ‘Apple and cheddar cheese toastie.’


The recipe calls for shredding 2 small tart eating apples but with a nice large sized crispy Fuji apple at hand, I grated it up, tossing it together with the grated cheddar, and, some chopped pecans which the recipe also did not call for, but whose photo placed to the side of the alternate page within the cookbook, Squash and walnut toastie, did include nuts, and so let’s just say it inspired me. Toasted on whole grain crusty loaf slices, the bread is then swiped with a slice of garlic before topping off with the mixture, baking until melted, then quick broiling to a golden final finish. This single dish reminded me of the saying, ‘sometimes less is more’ and so with just one single recipe chosen for the month, the Apple and blue vinnie toastie among fewer recipes prepared, was in itself, a highly flavorful, uniquely exceptional choice.

You check out what other members of the Cottage Cooking Club prepared here.

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  1. Posted February 29, 2016 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Apple and cheddar do marry well. My mom has a slice with apple pie on the rare occasion she eats apple pie. Congratulations on 22 months of recipes!
    Kelly recently posted…A Lovely Romantic Getaway: Stonecroft Country Inn, a Select Registry PropertyMy Profile

    • Posted February 29, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kelly, so true, apples and cheddar are a lovely combination. Cheddar on apple pie is rather popular around some parts of the country, though while it is a good sweet and salty combo, in this case for me the sweetness of the apple with cheddar (without the addition of the sugar in pie) seems enough balance for my own taste, so I guess this is a matter of regional or personal preference. Thanks on the Congrats, can you imagine 22 months? We are nearly through the book now and moving on to another in April! See you soon and Big Hugs out to you!

  2. Joanne
    Posted February 29, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    This looks delicious Peggy, the combination is really different. It looks easy to make and I have some cheddar so maybe I’ll make a couple this week. Congratulations on 22 months with your Cottage Cooking Club.

    • Posted February 29, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Hi Joanne, thanks so much, and on the Cottage Cooking Club! I think you will love the apple and cheddar toastie. Email me if you want the actual recipe, though it is rather easy to access with the simple description.

  3. Posted February 29, 2016 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    I am going to have to indulge in a toastie soon – seeing everyone’s photos of theirs is making me want this for lunch one day. I love the structure of this group. Being able to choose between one and ten recipes per month makes it so easy to fit into our schedules, no matter how busy it may get. And I love the photo of the grated apple, especially. It makes me want to get into the kitchen and start cooking.
    Teresa recently posted…Cottage Cooking Club – February 2016My Profile

    • Posted February 29, 2016 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Hi Teresa, I’m fairly certain you will enjoy the toastie and cheese with apples ‘pares’ well no matter which cheese you use. I do enjoy the flexibility of the group in our monthly choice preparations, particularly in months where perhaps there are many things going on. Thank you on the photo, the Fuji was certainly a large, crispy fruit to shred, very easy. Loved you post this month and your selections! See you soon.

  4. Posted March 1, 2016 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Hi Peggy, love what you did with the cheese toastie, looks delicious. i could make a meal out of them with a little salad on the side. Cannot believe it is March already, time is flying by. Take care!
    cheri recently posted…Cottage Cooking Club Three Recipes Month of FebruaryMy Profile

    • Posted March 3, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Hi Cheri, thanks so much, quite delicious I think! I could definitely make a meal of these (and would have little room left for a salad on the side, lol.) I know time is flying by and shortly we shall be finishing River cottage veg everyday, I can hardly believe it! Take care too. See you soon.

  5. Posted March 1, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I love the toasties in this book, Peggy. I made this one twice, once with blue cheese and once with cheddar. I actually preferred it with cheddar. And next time, I’ll take a cue and copy your genius addition of pecans. “See” you next month!
    Betsy recently posted…Cottage Cooking Club: February 2016My Profile

    • Posted March 3, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Hi Betsy! I like the toasties in the book too, lots of creative ideas. I still hope to give the blue cheese with apple a try but shall still include the pecans because I really like the addition. See you soon!

  6. Posted March 1, 2016 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Simple and delicious is an apt description for the recipes in this book. My family and I also made apple and cheddar toasties and enjoyed them but I think your addition of pecans would have made them even better.
    Zosia recently posted…Pumpkin Soup with Spicy Seeds – Cookbook CountdownMy Profile

    • Posted March 3, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Hi Zosia. Agreed. Simple and delicious is key to River Cottage veg everyday and I’ve found over this past couple of years that the recipes have been easy enough to put together in a pinch, even in month’s where perhaps I was not able to prepare dishes I wanted until closer to posting time. The addition of the pecans was a nice little extra and I would include them again, even if preparing the toastie with Blue Cheese. See you soon!

  7. TheKitchenLioness
    Posted March 2, 2016 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Dear Peggy, I love it when recipes work out. When substitutions like the cheddar for the Dorset blue vinny make sense, are tasty and make us all happy! Love that easy recipe for a nice toastie – even if it is not really for the younger eaters – I believe they prefer their apple “on the side”.
    Love what you did with this recipe!
    And big fat thanks fro yoru continued support of the Cottage Cooking Club – I really appreciate it!
    “See” you very soon, my friend!
    P.S.: And if ever you have the time to look up that blue vinny, here it is:

    • Posted March 3, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Hello Andrea, so wonderful to see you. I know what you mean on recipe tweaks working out, and in this case the variation was quite simple, I did love the toastie as did my taste testers (who by the way have enjoyed most every bready item of Hugh’s thus far!) It has been a lovely experience being a part of the Cottage Cooking Club and getting to know so many wonderful people through the group. Thanks for all you continue to provide as we move forward into our next adventure in April, or is that May? oh well, whichever it is! See you soon and big hugs to you across the pond!

  8. Mary Hirsch
    Posted March 2, 2016 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    I love blue cheese so when I make this Toastie the first time I will go with the blue cheese/apple combo. Since I always have cheddar in my fridge and an apple in my fruit basket I will probably use your version more often. That’s what I really enjoy about this group – so many variations to each recipe. Andrea has encourage us to use what’s in season and what’s on hand and we have. We are good followers!

    • Posted March 3, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Hi Mary, I too am a Blue Cheese fan and generally always have a nice size chunk in my fridge, although this time not when preparing the recipe, still I do believe I would enjoy the Blue Cheese variation as well. The cheddar worked beautifully and the toastie sure is easy enough. I do love the ingredient flexibility among the recipes while still keeping it simple. CCC has certainly been a fun adventure, and I’m so happy I’ve gotten to know you through the group! See you soon.

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  • Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
    Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.