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.
Spring is Natures way of saying "Let's Party!"
~Robin Williams

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Swedish Meatballs

 photo DSCN1462_zpsbvetfvdq.jpg

Believe it or not I have only ever been to Ikea once in my whole life.   I went with a couple of mates to the one in Warrington a couple of years back.  I do have lots of furniture in my house from Ikea, but it was all delivered.  The one time I did go, I had to try their Swedish Meatballs.   I had heard so much about them, and they were pretty good, but I have to say . . .  they weren't as good as my homemade ones.

Monday, 20 April 2015

A Trio of Delicious Soup Recipes





























 We are great soup lovers in this house.   Homemade soups for the most part.  I only ever rarely buy a ready made soup.  My mother was a fabulous soup maker.  I grew up with wonderful homemade soups.  I am not afraid to make my own soup.  It's something which I find very easy to do and we often have a bowl of homemade soup and some crusty bread for a simple and easy supper.  I was recently sent a lovely vegetable box and some of the new Covent Garden Souper Booster's to try out and spent several days last week experiementing with them to see what I could come up with.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Jam Crostata

 photo DSCN1447_zpsk9hseldh.jpg

I love beautiful tarts like this Jam Crostata I am showing you here today.  A Crostata is an Italian type of baked pie or tart . . .  but the pastry is very rich and almost cake-like.  It contains baking powder, egg yolks and lotsa lotsa butter . . .  which makes it very rich and crumbly.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Fabulously Affordable and Beautiful Gifts . . .

 photo oersadvrech8lhggkzhj_zpsumj5jbq4.jpg
As you probably noticed in my earlier post I was recently contacted by Flamingo Gifts and asked if I would like to review a few gifts from their magnificent gift site!   Flamingos stock a varied and unique range of gifts to suit everyone and all occasions. From kitsch to traditional, from adults to children, there is sure to be something on their pages to suit just about every taste. Really, really  lovely things.  I was hard pressed to pick a few items as there were just so many nice items to choose from!  After a couple of days of perusal I managed to narrow my wish list down to a few and within 24hours of my voicing my wish list . . .  a big box arrived on my doorstep.  I have to say that delivery was quick and everything arrived well packed and undamaged in transit.  Perfect packaging and delivery.  Positive number one!

 photo DSCN1434_zpswrguuvnk.jpg

I showed you the lovely Folklore Coffee Pot earlier today.   It's on sale right now at 10% off the regular price.  You can read what I thought about it here.  So cute!


 photo zurb_show_00_zpstwb3n935.jpg

I am a big fan of Orla Kiely anything.  I adore her fresh designs, with their very distinctive patterns, colours and texures.   I fel in love with this set of Three Herb Pots On a Tray.  The patterns used are Flower Stem, Scribble Stem and Daisy Spot.  Ideal for growing herbs, each pot fits comfortably on the tray, which makes it very easy to water them from below.

 photo DSCN1439_zpsbrw2cehi.jpg

Mine have been planted and are sitting on the windowsil in the dining room, where I am eagerly awaiting in anticipation of something green showing up.  Oh, I know  . . .  I could have just gone and bought already growing herbs, but experience has taught me that those herbs you can get in the pots at the shops are not meant to last for very long.  Seriously.  Orla Kiely deserves much more than a flash in the pan.  These are also on sale right now at 10% of the regular price.   Check them out!

 photo DSCN1443_zpsk84seehc.jpg

Another item which I fell in love with was this Sparrow Serving Set, which consists of 4 serving utensils (spaghetti server, Ladle, Slotted Spoon and Solid Spoon) and a unique tree branch holder (which slides apart for flat storage.)  You all know how much I love watching the sparrows at play in my back garden and this caught my eye from the get-go.  The sparrow server set would look great in any kitchen and is ideal to leave on the side.  This pretty set of kitchen utensils looks like 4 sparrows sitting on a tree.  Pretty and fun.

 photo DSCN1441_zpseqceqfht.jpg

Made completely from recycled materials this set is great for cooking or serving.  Very stylish.  It's out of stock at the moment, but you can ask to be notified for when more stock arrives.   I just love it!  Check out more details here

 photo DSCN1445_zpsnor6ej6e.jpg

Finally I chose the Abode Egg Cups.  This lovely set of four porcelain egg cups is the result of a collaberation with Mengsel and features Luzelle van der Westhuizens illustrations of 4 animals each on an egg cup of their own.

It's super cute,  and would make a lovely gift for any special occasion or birthday.  It comes in a sturdy and attractive box.  From the abode range, they also have stacking tins, plates and espresso sets. The cups are also dishwasher and microwave safe.  These are also on sale at 10% off at the moment.

I really love all of the items I received and feel that if you are looking for a gift for that special occasion or someone, or even as a treat yourself, you could not find a much nicer site to get it from than Flamingo Gifts.  They cater for every budget and offer the lowest prices possible for extremely high quality goods, with a top class service and a simple mission, which is to provide amazing gifts to you at a great price and quickly, and to deal with any problems even faster so you enjoy your splurge!

Many thanks to them for indulging my wish list.   I really am thrilled with all my goodies.

Maple Blueberry Pudding Cake



 photo DSCN1433_zpsm5xp5y0g.jpg

You would be forgiven for thinking this is a somewhat ugly dessert . . .  but this is one dessert where you don't want to judge the book by it's cover, for it's fabulously delicious!

Friday, 17 April 2015

A Gratin of Haddock or Cod

 photo DSCN1333_zpsdc3dtuwr.jpg

I have to say I am especially fond of Cod or Haddock, responsibly sourced of course.   I grew up with salt cod which is what we used to make fish cakes with back home . . .  and I will guarantee that were you to take any one person in my family out for a meal, dollars to donuts . . .  they'll choose either cod or haddock and chips.  It's a given.  It's our celebration meal of choice!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Jam Filled Scones

 photo Scones_zpsrvzevas0.jpg

Today I baked Todd's favourite Jam Filled Scones.  You know we love jam in this house . . .  I make no secret of it, and I always have lots of it in the cupboard and refrigerator. I have several varieties that I prefer over others . . .  Strawberry being my top favourite, followed closely by seedless raspberry and Blueberry.  Cherry jam is also a real love of mine.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Chocolate & Almond Glazed Jam Biscuits (Cookies)

 photo DSCN1386_zpsla6zjzbf.jpg

One thing that Todd and I are both really crazy about is Jam.  We eat a lot of it here.   I use it for baking and all sorts, and sometimes when we are both feeling really lazy we have nothing but bread and jam for a light supper.   We both really enjoy it and it feels like a real treat.  Especially if I have some crusty or homemade bread in the house!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Chicken Saltambocca Style, A Crispy Cod with a Gazpacho Salad and Farmer's Choice



 photo Farmers Choice logo_zpsi4gf5nli.png 

Farmer’s Choice are an online butchers, green grocers and deli that deliver completely free range, British meats and produce to homes across the UK.  As a guest author on their page today I am offering up several delicious recipes that will come in handy with the fabulous weather and Spring temps we are now enjoying!  We are just about ready to shelve comfort foods for a few months and light and lucious is the order of the day! 

  

















First up there is a recipe for a delicious Chicken Saltimbocca Style.   Tender chicken breasts are rolled around a mix of  ham, cheese and basil, then dipped in buttered parmesan crumbs and baked   Deliciously simple and  fab with a salad on the side for a light supper or some rice and veg for something more substantial.  You can find the recipe here.  

  




















Next is a fabulous recipe for Crispy Cod with Gazpacho Salad.   Mild flavoured Cod is a real favourite in this kitchen all year round but when the warmer weather hits it goes down a real treat when seasoned, lightly browned until crisp and then served on top of a refreshingly light Gapacho Salad!  You can find this delicious recipe here.   

 Not only both delicious recipes but they are also really simple to make and of course you can purchase almost all of your ingredients from the people at Farmer's Choice.  

You will find this and many other recipes on the Farmer's Choice site.   All the convenience of online grocery shopping with the added pleasure of supporting your local farmers.  Quality ingredients at a good price, British sourced and home grown.  You can't get much better than that!

Skillet Aubergine (Eggplant) Parmesan (Gluten Free)

 photo DSCN1342_zpsewl7a6uw.jpg

 I love skillet type of meals . . .  one dish affairs that you can cook and bake all in one skillet.     This Aubergine (Eggplant) Parmesan is a real favourite of ours.  It's a meatless dish . . .  just the aubergines, cheese and a delicious sauce in this one.    It is a bit lower in calories also as there is no breading and frying involved which also makes it gluten free for those of you who are into that sort of thing.