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, 21 February 2017

Vegetable Chow Mein



This dish is quick, easy and delicious.  It is such a simple thing and goes very well with stir fries of any kind, and if you add a bit of leftover cooked meat or poulrty can even double as a main course.  Mmmm . . . Chicken chow mein.  Who doesn't love that!

Monday, 20 February 2017

Turkey Hash

  

 
I know what you are thinking . . .  Turkey Hash?  It's not anywhere near a holiday is it.  Well, unless you count Pancake Day (Feb 28th this year) no, it is not anywhere near a holiday.  But . . .  one of the things about writing a cookery book is that you have to cook things that you want to go into the book at odd times, and I found myself roasting a turkey one day last week, hence . . . . Turkey Hash.   I needed to do something with the leftovers!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Vanilla Sauced Bread Pudding

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I think Bread Pudding has to be the Toddster's favourite all time dessert, next to apple pie.   So, this week, when I found myself having a bit too much bread in the house due to the Toddster's having bought the wrong kind of bread when he picked it up for me (men ARE from Mars!)  I knew exactly what to do with the excess!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Fruited Scones


 One of my favourite experiences over here is the Cream Tea, and you will find them all over the country.   Hot pots of tea (and they can be herbal teas if you wish) served up with flakey fruited scones and butter, along with pots of fruit jam and clotted cream.  What a delicious treat this is and such a quintessentially British experience!

Friday, 17 February 2017

Broccoli & Potato Casserole

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One of my favourite soups has to be broccoli and cheese soup.  I just love it.  I love broccoli anyways, and when you combine it with cheese, well  . . . that is just a match made in heaven.  This delicious casserole today had very similar ingredients as broccoli cheese soup, except it's not soup, it's a fabulous casserole that will have your family scrambling for seconds!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Grilled Cheese Dogs


I had the opportunity to go to Costco the other day with a friend and I stocked up on All Beef Hot Dogs.  I love hotdogs, and  I really like the all beef ones.  The only place you can get all beef hot dogs over here in the UK is at Costco, so when I get the chance to go, I stock up on them and bang them into the freezer.   Their dogs are really good and have no fillers and a nice crisp skin.  I know that hotdogs are not the healthiest thing you could be eating, but every now and again, a bit of what you really enjoy does a person the world of good!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Broccoli and Cheddar Chowder


 I scored with a bag of broccoli at the grocery store today.  Marked down to next to nothing.  I expect it had reached its sell-by date, but there was absolutely nothing wrong with it.  It was a brilliant green, and all the florets were intact.  I had to buy it.  


I decided to make a delicious and warming soup/chowder with it.   It's been freezing cold today with a bitter wind blowing. Soup is always welcome on a cold winter's day.  All you need to make a meal of it is some nice crusty bread really. 


Todd usually likes his soupls pureed.  I like a bit of texture in mine, and so this is a bit of a combination of both our likes.  I mashed some of it with a potato masher, which not only thickened it a bit, but made him happy . . . and the chunks made me happy.


I added cheese.  Broccoli and cheese are such good bed partners.   They get along quite happily.  Use a strong flavoured cheese.   A good strong cheddar works very well.  I also added some carrot for colour and additional texture.   It's really a chowder I think . . . which is more than a soup.  A chowder is a meal. 



*Broccoli and Cheddar Chowder*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

A healthy and satisfyingly delicious winter chowder recipe using up bits from the vegetable bin.  


1 TBS light olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large stalk of celery, trimmed and chopped
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 TBS plain flour
1 tsp dry mustard powder
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 pound fresh broccoli, stems peeled and chopped,
florets, separated and cut into bite sized pieces
900ml of vegetable stock (3 1/2cups)
120g strong cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)
(Lower fat cheese works fine)
(plus a bit extra to sprinkle on the finished soup when you serve it)
125ml of cream (1/2 cup) (you can also use low fat evaporated milk, undiluted.  This is what I use.)
fine sea salt and black pepper to taste 


Heat the oil in a large saucepan.   Add the onion, shallot, carrot and celery.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion and celery have softened, without browning.  Add the potato and garlic. Cook, stirring until the garlic becomes fragrant.   Add the flour, mustard and cayenne, stirring it in well and allowing it to cook for a couple minutes.   Stir in the vegetable stock along with the broccoli stems.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.  Cook for about 10 minutes.  Uncover and stir in the broccoli florets.  Cover and cook for a further 10 minutes.  Remove the cover and mash it a bit with a potato masher.  Don't mash it too much, as you want a coarse texture.  Stir in the cheddar and cream.   Taste and adjust seasoning as desired with salt and pepper.  Ladle into heated bowls.  Top with some grated cheese and serve.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Chicken & Pancetta Stuffed Jacket Potatoes

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I had some cooked chicken breasts today that I needed to use up.   I had bought some already cooked ones  at the weekend for something and then hadn't used them all, and so today I thought I better make good use of them.   You could use home cooked chicken breasts for this, or even leftover roast chicken.  It's all a matter of using what you have on hand.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Happy Valentine's Day Puds from Denby and Aimee Twigger

  

Love bites: over half of Brits say a dinner party is the best place to find love

Forget Tinder and dodgy bars, 51% of Brits say that their favourite place to look for love is at a good old fashioned dinner party. As part of a report by Denby Pottery examining the UK’s entertaining habits, 44% of Brits also admitted to having the most success with dating following a dinner party ‘set up’. And thankfully, there’s plenty of opportunity for love to blossom, as 87% regularly host friends for dinner.

- 60% claim they get to know a person better at a dinner party than at a bar -
- 6% of the nation has found the love of their lives at a dinner party -
- That 6% jumps to 1 in 10 for Londoners and Scots -
- 17% of people have been set up at a dinner party at least once -
- Under 35s are the most likely to be set up at a dinner party -




These stats form part of The Art of Entertaining report by iconic British brand, Denby, which delves into trends and eating habits of British people today. It reveals that while the dinner party is as popular as ever, the way we host has changed, with only 1/3 laying a formal table these days and 75% not serving a traditional full three courses. 

For those throwing a dinner party this Valentine’s Day, Denby has teamed up with Instagram foodie Aimee Twigger to come up with four desserts guaranteed to impress guests. With one in five people admitting to buying in their sweet course, these ‘Cheat’s Puddings’ taste delicious but can be made in 10-minutes or less.





(Click on the photos to enlarge!)
 



Coffee and Walnut Creams


I have been busy developing and writing some new recipes for my cookbook which is due out the end of April.  Do you remember that there used to be a cookie called Coffee Creams?  With a crisp biscuit/cookie on the outside and a coffee cream filling inside.  They were rectangular.  You don't seem to be able to find them anymore.   With those in mind I have been trying to create a similar biscuit to enjoy. Darn it if these are even more delicious than the original!!!  (Love it when that happens!)  Oh well, back to the drawing board!