Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

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We had beautiful weather at the weekend.  Gorgeously sunny and warm.    The perfect Bank Holiday weekend.   I had some chicken breasts which I poached and then threw together this delicious Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad for us to enjoy on one of the days.  It went down a real treat.  All the flavours of Buffalo Wings, except its a delicious salad.  I used some pasta which I had gotten in my latest Degustabox delivery, the May box.  I will tell you about the salad in a little bit, but first I want to tell you about what else I got in my May Degustabox.

Monday, 30 May 2016


Fasten your seat belts and get your taste buds ready because Cadbury Dairy Milk gets the chocolate on the road with the UK’s first ever Monster Truck Taxi. This impressive vehicle was especially created to help celebrate the launch of the new Cadbury Dairy Milk Big Taste bars and  to bring us British big chunks of deliciousness and a ride to remember.

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Dwarfing all other cabs on the road, the Big Taste Monster Truck Taxi is a humongous  9ft tall and weighs an incredible  1.5 tonnes. Adorned with the iconic Cadbury purple, the car will open its doors to chocolate fans all over the country  to help introduce them to the thrilling taste sensation of the new bars in the range: Cadbury Dairy Milk Big Taste Toffee Whole Nut, Cadbury Dairy Milk Big Taste Oreo Crunch and Cadbury Dairy Milk Triple Choc Sensation.

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Sitting at over 2 meters in height passengers are sure to be in for a treat when they climb inside the cab. The Big Taste Monster Truck Taxi takes to the streets of London on 27th May 2016 and will then set off on a journey across the country, making a stop in Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool where it will give chocolate fans the chance to enjoy an exhilarating experience inside the cab, as well as sample some of Cadbury's delicious new products.

Big Taste Monster Truck Taxi will be touring the nation on the following days:

-27th May – London, King’s Cross
-29th May – Liverpool, One Paradise Place
-31st May – Manchester, Wellington Statue
-2nd June – Birmingham, Bullring

Gemma Flanigan, Cadbury Dairy Milk Senior Brand Manager at Mondelez International, said: “As part of our new “Tastes Like This Feels” campaign, we wanted to bring to life the unique feeling and the big taste sensation that Cadbury Dairy Milk Big Taste bars deliver. What better way to do this than by creating Britain’s first ever Monster Truck Taxi and inviting chocolate fans on board to experience a new and epic ride – the perfect metaphor for the feeling that Cadbury Dairy Milk Big Taste bars evoke. Sitting at over 2 meters in height passengers are sure to be in for a treat when they climb inside the cab and we can’t wait to take it on tour!”  

To keep up to date on exciting news about Cadbury, visit

Twitter @CadburyUK

Note - I received a free bar of chocolate for promoting this Cadbury Campaign.  Toffee Whole Nut.  It was good., tooooooo good.

Chicken Parmo

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Chicken Parmo . . .  no, that is not a mistype.  I meant to say Chicken Parmo.  Are you ready for some full on decadence Middlesbrough style?   Lock away the calorie counters because I am going to show you something today which is totally off the scales tastewise, not to mention caloriwise!   Fastfood chicken as only the people in the North East of England, Teesside . . .  do it!  Hang onto your hats, you're in for a real treat!

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Warm Blueberry and Almond Muffins


Yayy!! It's the weekend!!  And a Bank Holiday weekend at that!  I know I don't work full time anymore and don't really have all that many pressing issues in my life during the week, except for whatever work I make for myself and my church duties, but I still like to pull out the stops a bit at the weekend, like anyone.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Pasta Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Spring Asparagus

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I just love fresh Spring asparagus.  I don't eat asparagus any other time of the year because there is just no comparison in flavour.   I believe in eating seasonally.   I don't think asparagus that has been shipped over from Peru in the depths of winter has any flavour at all really.  The taste never justifies it's high price in my opinion!

Friday, 27 May 2016

BBQ this Bank Holiday Weekend with Newman's Own!

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There is nothing us Brits love more than a good old-fashioned BBQ. Whatever the weather, nothing beats gathering friends and family together to enjoy tasty grilled treats. This year’s BBQ Week runs from 23rd – 29th May, coinciding with the Bank Holiday in May and Memorial Day in the US,  providing the perfect opportunity to experiment with a variety of recipes, and lucky for you, Newman’s Own is here to lend a helping hand.

With a selection of sauces, rubs, marinades and dressings from Newman’s Own, you won’t want to BBQ without them. Get to the grill this BBQ Week and impress your guests with a selection of mouth-watering recipes ranging from honey turkey burgers to fiery bourbon chicken wings. (All the post-tax profits from Newman’s Own products go to the Newman’s Own Foundation, with over £1 million already being donated to a wide range of charities in the UK alone and over £250 million donated worldwide.)

Let's start off with Fiery Bourbon Chicken Wings served with a cooling Blue Cheese Dip!   I adore chicken wings.  If chicken wings are on the appetiser menu, they are my choice every time!

Parmesan Chicken Breasts with Crispy Prosciutto

I am always up for chicken. Its not something I ever get tired of. I could eat it every night of the week. I'm not fussy about which part I eat either . . . I love the thighs, I love the breasts, I love the wings. I adore roasted chicken, fried, baked, simmered . . . I just love chicken in any way shape or form!

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Homemade Pirate Cookies

Any guesses on what my absolute favourite cookie of all time is??? No, it's not custard creams, oreos, chocolate chip or even shortbreads . . .

It's the humble, peanut butter filled, peanut butter flavoured oat cookie from Canada called . . . "Pirate Cookies!" I just love that wholesome crisp oatmeal cookie (slightly peanut butter flavoured) and that yummy peanut buttercream filling. Oh, nothing on earth tastes better with a glass of milk.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Stuffed Baby Sweet Bell Peppers


I found the cutest little baby bell peppers in the store today and I just couldn't resist picking them up! I am such a sucker for baby anything . . . kittens, puppies, duckings . . . baby vegetables!!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Healthy Speedy Suppers by Katriona Macgregor, cookbook review

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Another cookery book I received recently for review is Healthy Speedy Suppers, by Katriona MacGregor. Bursting with quick, simple and deliciously healthy recipes, Healthy Speedy Suppers will inspire anyone who feels too tired or busy to cook at the end of the day.

Katriona MacGregor started her Speedy Weeknight Suppers column for The Telegraph online in 2013, after a move back to exhausting London office life caused a slump in her diet. Resolving to break away from eating ready meals and cheese on toast every night, she began developing recipes that took no more than 40 minutes to make, were packed with good quality, wholesome ingredients, and tasted fantastic.

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It is brimming over with advice for those who are short on time but stillwant to eat nutritiously and how to stock a healthy larder.  There are Six tasty chapters of recipes including . . .

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Soups and Salads - Nineteen delicious recipes including such fabulous delights as Little Gem, Cucumber and Rocket Soup, Asparagus, Broccoli and Proscuitto Salad wih Caper and Herb Dressing, Roast Carrot, Tomato and Dill Soup, Prawn, Courgette and Coriander Salad.  Who knew healthy could be so delicious!

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Poultry - Fourteen Tasty Delights . . .  Soy Roast Chicken Legs with Butternut Squash and Red Peppers, Pheasant, Coconut and Tamarind Curry, Honey and Mustard Glazed Poussin, Duck Breasts with Peaches and Balsamic Vinegar to name but a few.   Totally tempting to the tastebuds.

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Meat - Sixteen tantalizingly delicious sounding meaty meals including Pork, Courgette and Broccoli Stir Fry, Paprika Pork with Red Peppers, Corned Beef Hash with Roast Tomatoes, Lamb with Bashed Peas and Tomato & Mint Salsa.

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Fish -  Fifteen Oceanic Delights including  Sea Bass with Thai Vegetables, Moroccan Fish Tagine, Spicy prawn and Tomato Spaghetti, Garlic Roast Salmon with Courgettes and Olives.  Can't wait to get stuck in!

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Grains, Pulses & Vegetables - 18 delicious recipes using these as their main ingredient.   Fabulous sounding dishes such as Chickpea and Black-eyed Bean Chilli, Courgette, Cherry Tomato and Goats Cheese Frittata, Quinoa, Courgette and Herb Cakes,  Butternut Squash, Chestnut and Sage Risotto to name but a few. 

And finally  . . .

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Dips, Sauces & Dressings - Eight different dips, sauces and dressings including Butterbean and Pumpkin Seed Hummus, Grainy Mustard Mayonnaise, Beetroot and Walnut Dip and Watercress Sauce, just for starters.

No surprise . . .   no desserts.  Boo Hoo, but then again, unless you are talking about eating a fresh piece of fruit there are not too many healthy desserts are there really.

The recipes are fresh, seasonal and nutritious and showcase a broad range of influences from around the world. Ingredient lists are short, prep is kept to a minimum and the methods are relaxed, often featuring one-pot or one-tray cooking. All of them have been put to the test at home after a busy day in the office, and the ingredients are easy to find and can be scooped up on the way back from work. Ranging from the summery Strawberry, Fennel & Chicken Salad, to warming Aubergine & Red Lentil Curry and zesty Sea Bass with Thai Vegetable Noodles, there is something here for every mood, diet and seasons.

Most of the recipes are wheat and dairy free, and are all naturally low in fat, sugar and refined carbohydrates. Also included are a guide to larder essentials, suggestions for leftovers, ingredient substitutions and simple variations.  This is truly a one-stop cooking resource for stressed, busy people.

I, for one, can't wait to get stuck in!


Food writer and chef Katriona MacGregor has been cooking, thinking and writing about food since she was able to wield a wooden spoon. Leith’s trained, she has worked all over the country in restaurants, private houses and cookery schools both cooking and designing recipes.