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.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Granny's Beef Enchiladas

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One of my children's favourite meals when they were growing up was enchiladas.   It was not something we had very often, but a rare Tex Mex treat.   I always made Turkey ones after Thanksgiving and Christmas and occasionally I would make these delicious beef ones.   They loved them both.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Mexican Pizza

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I always pick up extra tins of beans and chili when they are on special at the shops.  They make great store cupboard ingredients.  Sometimes its kidney beans, or cannelini, borlotti or chick peas . . . and sometimes it's refried beans.   They always come in handy.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Toenail Pudding

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When I take the extra effort to make a pudding like this for afters . . . the Toddster is one very happy man.  There is nothing he loves more than stodge . . . and he especially loves steamed puddings . . . served up with lashings of custard of course!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Cheddar Pan Biscuits

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I have never been much of a bread maker.   Bread and I don't get along very well, and that is kind of sad to me . . . for after all, isn't bread considered to be the "Staff of Life?"

I don't make bread, I make doorstops.  Nice, heavy, doorstops.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Maraschino Cherry Cake

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We're having a few people  over for supper tonight. I'm baking a ham that I bought from Piper's Farm and I have a Pork Pie from Piper's Farm as well, and am doing an assortment of side dishes . . .

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Turkey & Stuffing Casserole

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This delicious casserole is the perfect way to use up some of the leftovers from your Christas dinner, using up some of the turkey (of course) stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc.   It's delicious and there is also cheese in the mix.  Oh but it is some good!

Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas


The English Kitchen 

Many thanks for your loyalty over
the past year, your lovely comments, 
your faith in my culinary abilities.
Thanks also for sticking with me throughout
the good, the bad and the ugly!

May your holiday be filled with lots of love,
family, great friends, good food, good health
more blessings than
your cup can hold.

Catch you on the flip side!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Mince Pie Muffins

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Here I am with a last minute idea for a muffin you could make for Christmas morning or even on Boxing Day, using up some of the oodles of mincemeat you no doubt got in for the holidays!

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Skinny Layered Mac & Cheese

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I know what you are thinking  . . .  skinny mac and cheese?  Can it be possible.  Well, in all truth, there is no such thing as truly skinny mac and cheese, and a better name would probably be skinnier mac and cheese, but hey!  If you can cut the calories in a dish like this and not lose any of the flavour, and end up with a dish that still tastes somewhat indulgent, then I would say job well done!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The Beautiful Book Company Giveaway Winner

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 First of all thanks to all my UK readers who took the time to enter the Giveway sponsored by The Beautiful Book Company.  There were 38 comments and I really wish that each of you could win something, but alas, it's not possible. 

Using a random number generator, I put in numbers 1 to 38 and it came up with number 7.

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 Number 7 happens to be Ali Congratulations Ali, you are the lucky winner!
Love a good read curled up on the couch with a good book so please count me in and yes I too am from the UK.

 Ali if you will contact me on mariealicejoan at aol dot com with your personal details (e-mail address etc.) I will pass them onto the Beautiful Book Company and they will be in touch soon!

Many thanks to all who entered!

Skinny Sprout & Carrot Gratin

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It's not surprising when you start to add up all of the calories in all of the dishes, mains and sides, that people in the UK and other Western countries take in by eating Christmas lunch alone we are talking at a massive amount of caloric intake, for just one meal, not to mention the whole day through . . .  as the feasting begins in the morning and continues on up into the night!   I have tried to come up with a few sides this year that won't break the calorie bank, and yet are still delicious and which feel luxurious.  This Skinny Sprout and Carrot Gratin I am showing you today is one of them.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Orchard Fruit Chutney and Walnut Scones

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I am a little bit late getting to my Degusta box this month, but I promise you it will be well worth the wait, especially when you try out these delicious Orchard Fruit Chutney and Walnut Scones I made using ingredients from the November box.  This was a really great box!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Christmas Muffins

Well, the big day is just five days away. Is everyone all ready? Are all your gifts bought and wrapped? Cards written and sent?? Food ordered, puddings, cakes and pies baked?  We are now down to the crunch!

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Savory Holiday Nibbles and Sweeties for the Kiddos

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I've recently been sent some tasty savory nibbles which would be fabuous to serve with drinks at any Open House Parties or Get-togethers you might be throwing over the upcoming Holiday period.  I am running out of time and with my recent illness I have decided to tell you all about them at once.  I hope you will all forgive me!  I just want to tell you about them before you finish up all of your holiday food shopping!

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Dell'Ugo Focaccia Italiana in two flavours . . .  Cherry Tomatoes & Basil Pesto, and Goat's Cheese & Red Onion.  These light and airy breads are like nothing currently on the market, definitely NOT dense, stodgy or greasy, they even have the traditional baker’s thumb impression on the top!

These are lovely warmed and then cut into little squares, just the perfect size for nibbles with drinks or on finger food tables or appetizer trays.

 Dell'Ugo is the longest established fresh pasta brand in the UK, creating delicious and innovative pastas since 1929. These amazing Focaccia Italiana come in three flavours Goats’ Cheese & Red Onion, Mixed Olive & Tomato and Cherry Tomatoes & Basil Pesto.

Dell'Ugo products are available in Waitrose, Wholefoods, Costco, and online at Ocado.

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Wonderful Pistachios from California are perfectly seasoned for a delicious flavour with a satisfying crunch. Sun-ripened and 100% naturally opened, Wonderful only offer the largest available nuts that are equally roasted, without added oil.  This is due to their unique rotary roasting technique.

Wonderful Pistachios not only taste delicious, they are also a great all-natural, healthy snack alternative to fully enjoy while relaxing with friends and family or just by yourself. And above all, they are great fun to crack open!

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Wonderful Pistachios are available in four tasty flavours:  Roasted Unsalted, Roasted Salted, Salt and Pepper, and Sweet Chili.  I am awfully fond of the Salt and Pepper ones myself and I have to say our Mitzie is just fond of Pistachios full stop!

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Wonderful Amonds are a delicious bite sized snackHarvested exclusively in their California Orchards they also come in several flavours.  Roasted and Salted, Blanched and Roasted Natural.   I was sent the Roasted and Salted, which make the perfect drinks nibble.

These products are available at grocery shops throughout the UK.

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Indulge in some Christmas magic with this new sweet and spicy Limited Edition Gingerbread popcorn from Butterkist. Perfectly popped with a deliciously warming flavour they're the perfect way to share the festive spirit.  I really like this, and at 103 calories per delicious 25g serving, it's not a bad snack.  High in fibre and whole grain.  Deliciously gingery this would make the perfect snack for all your holiday movie viewing.  (Let me say, that it can pack a bit of a wallop as some of the pieces are quite, quite gingery.)

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 Why not treat the children to a Candyland Sweet Champions Tin over the holidays?  This 500g tin contains an assortment of some thirteen different children's favourite sweeties, and I sare say a few adults love them as well. There is a little something here for everyone and every sweet taste.  Available all over the country at a variety of retailers.

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While you are at it why not pick up some stocking stuffers.  Candyland  Fruit Salad Chews and Wham Originals in 108g and 105g packets, perfectly sized for stuffing into stockings.  I have seen them in all the shops selling for about £1 each.   Made with natural flavours and colourings.

Cranberry and Pinenut Biscotti

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Well here we are on the last Saturday before Christmas.  Hasn't the time gone by quickly. There was ever so much I had planned on cooking this month to show you, but alas, circumstances and time have just not allowed for that, and I have to say in all honesty, the shingles have also put somewhat of a damper on that for me.  Oh well, there is always next year and I do have a couple of days that I might be able to catch up, but making no promises!  Today I wanted to show you these fabulous Cranberry and Pinenut Biscotti I baked last weekend!  I don't know about you, but I just love LOVE biscotti, and these ones are especially festive!

Friday, 18 December 2015

Nerdy Nummies!

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I was recently sent a new cookbook to review,  The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook, written by Rosanna Pansino, the creator and host of the most popular baking show on youtube.  The Nerdy Nummies is quirky, charming and fun, featuring the recipes behind Rosanna Pansino's celebrated, one-of-a-kind creations.

Christmas Pudding Sundaes

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I was recently sent all of the ingredients to create a delicious Christmas Holiday Dessert from the people at Carte D'Or.  Christmas Pudding Sundaes.  Because of my diabetes, desserts are pretty much off the menu for me, but there is nothing at all to stop the Toddster from enjoying all the desserts he wants.  Life just isn't fair sometimes!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Samosa Hash . . Gorgeous Leftovers!

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I was going to make a shepherd's pie with the leftovers from the roasted lamb the other day but instead I decided to make a hash, but not just any kind of hash . . .  a Lamb Samosa Hash!  Lamb is a common filling used to make Samosa's and so I thought why not make a hash which incorporates the flavours which go into a Samosa and all I can say is  . . .  GREAT CALL on my part, because it was fabulous!

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

A Perfectly Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb

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Living here in Chester we are situated right on the border with Wales.  In fact right now they are harvesting their leeks on the farms which surround the housing area where we live and the air smells just gorgeous.   The Welsh are known for their leeks, but they are also known for a lot of other deliciousness as well!   Today I want to tell you about a fabulous online Shop which delivers Welsh Food right to your door called the Bodnant Welsh Food Centre.     I was asked if I would like to try some of their products and I was quite happy to do so!

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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Bake Like a Pro & Collect an Expert Tool Kit

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I am really excited to tell you about a brand new subscription box for bakers which is launching in early January 2016!  Bake Box is the brand new subscription box designed for blossoming bakers to build up a brilliant repertoire of new skills as well as a collection of great baking equipment.

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Foodie Gifts for the Spanish Food Enthusiast!

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I was recently sent an amazing Hamper of Spanish Food from the people at Basco's.    At Basco's they are passionate about Spain's foodie culture, it's gastronimic heritage and unique style of eating.  Having had Ariana live with us for almost a year it was very obvious to us that the Spanish have a very different way of eating.  Tapas and small meals are the order of the day!

Basco's source all of their products from small niche producers, family businesses and boutique wineries from across the whole of Spain, importing them directly into the UK.  Stylish and unconventional, Basco's products are recognised as being some of the best Spanish products available in the UK.

Basco's Fine Foods has a Spanish hamper to suit all tastes from various sized Spanish food gift baskets of varying budgets to our alcoholic Spanish hampers catering for Red Wine Lovers, Sparkling Wine Lovers, Sherry Lovers or all three! If you really want to make an impression with one of their Spanish food hampers, the Basco's Deluxe Gourmet Spanish Hamper contains only the best Spain has to offer making it one of the highest quality Spanish food gifts in the UK anyone could hope to receive. All of their Spanish Hampers and Spanish gifts come with the option of a gift message, making it the ideal Christmas gift for any Spanish food lover!

The hamper which I was sent was their most popular hamper, Basco's Food Hamper.

Hunter'sChicken and Chips

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These last couple of days before Christmas (it's coming up on us quickly now!) are bound to be a bit manic and filled with more things to do than you can shakea stick at. Quick and easy meals are the order of the day.  Delicious throw togethers such as this Hunter's Chicken and Chips which I am showing you today.   I threw it together today with stuff I had in my freezer and fridge and it was absolutely fabulous!  And so simple as well!

Monday, 14 December 2015

Great Tea ...More than a bag or a few leaves and hot water

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I was recently sent some tea to review from the people at Bellevue Tea.  I had specified that I only drink herbal blends, however I was sent both Green and black Breakfast Teas, so I have been unable to try them myself, but I am able to tell you about them.  (As a Latter Day Saint, we don't drink regular tea or coffee, but only herbal blends.  It's a tenant of the Word of Wisdom which is a health law we live by.)

Bellevue Tea is an independent, expert tea company based in London, bringing thirty years' expertise and exerience at the heart of the tea trade to deliver first class products and service.

Bellevue Tea know virtually everything there is to know about the tea business, from plantations around the world, via producers, brokers and tasters to the current trends and tastes of tea drinkers here in the UK.  They know how to source the very best teas and infusions an their carefully packatged tea bags and carefully sourced leaf teas will add value to any retain environment, caterer or cafe.

Sugar Plums

Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the house . . .
not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse!
The children were nestled,
all snug in their beds . . .
While visions of sugar plums,
danced in their heads . . .

"A Visit From Saint Nicholas" by Clement C Moore, has long been a favourite Christmas verse of many. I had a little Golden Story Book, beautifully illustrated, of the poem when I was a child, and one year I memorized the whole poem to recite during our local village's Christmas Pageant.

I can still remember how excited I felt about that . . . I did put my whole heart and soul into it. 'Twas a wonderful experience indeed! I was no Shirley Temple, but I did my best.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Snowflake Whoopie Pies

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 I do so hope that you won't laugh too much at what you see here today, and that you won't take one look and decide these aren't for you, coz if you do you will be missing out on something really special.  These cookies are fabulously delicious.  Presentation has never been my strong point . . .  and these just prove my point!

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Leona's Peanut Butter Balls

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We are having a special broadcast of the First Presidency's Christmas Message at our chapel on Sunday evening with a "Munch and Jingle" afterwards.  I thought these Peanut Butter Balls would be the perfect thing to take.   Everyone always loves these.  They aren't low sugar for sure, but I won't be the person eating them so it's all good.  It just more for those who can eat them.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Ferment Your Vegetables

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 I was really excited to receive this latest cookery book, Ferment Your Vegetables, by Amanda Feifer.  My sister has been fermenting for a long time now, making her own kraut and kim chee, etc. and I have been very keen to try it myself, so I was really interested in this book!  I confess that I have been a bit afraid to try my own in the past, but with this book, I feel quite confident that I can do so safely!

Fermented vegetables are a great, healthy addition to anyone's diet. Abundant in probiotics, enzymnes, vitamins, minerals, and more, research continues to reveal the many ways that these foods positively contribute to our well-being. From kimchi and sauerkraut to pickles and kvass, fermented foods have been part of the human diet for millennia and are rightfully reclaiming their place at our daily table.

Pecan and Fruited Cheese Ball

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Yes, that looks like a Thanksgiving Turkey guy up there sitting on top of a cheese ball.   I know  . . .  you are probably asking yourself right now what the heck is a Thanksgiving Turkey guy doing sitting on a cheeseball after Thanksgiving!!  Here's my answer.  I am having serious issues with my left arm right now.  In short, I am in a lot of pain with it.  I've been given some tablets to take, but I made the mistake of reading the paper insert that came with them . . . .

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Rachel's Christmas Cupcakes

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The people at Rachel's sent me a couple of festive recipes a week or so ago and asked me if I would like to try them out.   I took one look at these delicious Christmas Cupcakes and I said why not!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Holiday Beef Tenderloin and a few other bits

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I was recently sent some Knorr products and asked to create some recipes for the holidays using them.  This is part two of what I did with them.  I hope you like what I have come up with and find something here you can use in your home for the holidays!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Ice Cream Vans Get a Warming Hot Chocolate Makeover!

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With the prospect of crisp white snow, putting on our matching hat, gloves and scarf and wrapping up in that brand new furry winter jacket, research launched today by Cadbury Hot Chocolate – the ultimate winter warmer – shows half (50%) of Brits actually get as excited about the cold winter months as they do summer scorchers.

So to give Brits everywhere an extra bit of joy over the winter months, Cadbury Hot Chocolate is giving summer-favourite ice cream vans a makeover to create the first ever Mr Sippy hot chocolate van. This new-look van will be giving out warming cups of Cadbury Drinking Chocolate during the cold British winter. With over half of Brits (52%) wondering where ice cream men actually go in winter, Cadbury is encouraging ice-cream vans to come out of winter hibernation and get involved in dishing out some wonderful winter goodies.

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Dominic Abruzzo 50, from Bristol has become the first ice cream van man to swap cones for cups, dishing out steaming mugs of hot chocolate goodness to Brits. Alongside delicious Cadbury Drinking Chocolate, Dominic will be offering indulgently ingenious toppings for everyone to try including the classic Cadbury ‘99 flake, fluffy whipped cream, and even aromatic cinnamon sticks to really add to the festive feel.

Dominic Abruzzo, Cadbury’s Mr Sippy van man says “I always wish away the winter months, waiting for that first summer day. This year I had the chance to bring as much joy to people in winter which was brilliant. As soon as I got the call from Cadbury I dusted off my slippers, put down the paper and fired up the van!” Indre Nagyte, Brand Manager for Cadbury Hot chocolate says “We wanted to bring some joy into winter and bring our fans some warming goodness over this freezing period.

We know everyone needs a warming, comforting cup of delicious hot chocolate sometimes so this is a great way to make sure it is delivered in a joyful way.”

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To that end Cadbury's sent me a lovely little Christmas pack so I could enjoy a delicious Cadbury's Festive style Hot Chocolate at home!

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*Toasted Marshmallow Moment*
Serves 1
A toasty mug full of joy!
18g (3 heaped teaspoons) of Cadbury drinking chocolate
200ml cold semi skimmed milk (scant cup)
20ml (2/3 of espresso glass) of toasted marshmallow syrup (1/3 of a 1/4 cup)
Mini Marshmallows to garnish
Mix everything in a stainless stell jug, then heat and foam with a stteam arm to approximately 70 degrees (158 degrees farenheit).  Garnish with mini marshmallows and serve.

Many thanks to Cadbury for this gift pack.

The Cadbury's Website
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Sweet Potato Gnocci with Beans, Olives & Tomatoes

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I was recently sent some Knorr products and asked to create some recipes for the holidays using them.  The first recipe I created was this delicious Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Beans, Olives & Tomatoes.   This is not only delicious, with fresh flavours and textures, but pretty and colourful as well!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Build Your Own Sandwich!

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 Do you like sandwiches?   My Aunt Freda loved sandwiches and so do I. They are one of my many weaknesses!  I was really excited to receive this latest cookbook for review . . .  "Build Your Own Sandwich," by Vicki Smallwood.

Have you ever wanted to take your sandwich making to a new and higher level???  My answer is a resounding YES!  Build Your Own Sandwich promises to help you do just that!

Mrs Crimble's Tasty Party Season Products!

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The people from Mrs Crimble's, deliciously gluten-gree,  recently sent me some of the Party Season friendly products to taste.

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Ginger Winter Warmer 

Mrs Crimble’s NEW special edition Choc Macaroons with Stem Ginger

Mrs Crimble’s NEW special edition Choc Macaroons with Stem Ginger are the perfect festive goodies. Based on their best-selling Choc Macaroon recipe, the UK’s number one selling treat in the cakes category, Mrs Crimble’s have created an irresistible NEW special edition Choc Macaroon with chunks of warm stem ginger.

 Mrs Crimble’s Choc Macaroon with Stem Ginger will be available to buy from major supermarkets, convenience stores and independent speciality food retailers nationwide from October 2015, with a recommended retail price of £1.59 for the six pack.

We have always loved their regular Choc Macaroons, and we really love these!   We really enjoyed the spicy sweet ginger hit that you get from the little chunks of  stem ginger.  We would happily by these and will be looking for them in the shops.

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They also sent me a pack of their Cheese Straws

Mrs Crimble’s has unveiled festive light and crispy Cheese Straws – which are gluten free – so the whole family can share them this Christmas season. The cheesy puff pastry straws can be enjoyed straight from the packet, or for a really special treat serve them to your guests gently warmed. The foil-fresh packaging ensures that they’ll stay fresh and crisp until you’re ready to enjoy them.

NEW Cheese Straws RRP £1.99

I wasn't able to heat these in the oven to see how they were warmed up, as they arrived all smashed to smithereens!  (Oh, the perils of British Post!!) However I can say that the crumbs were incredibly flakey and very tasty!  These would be a great addition to the Gluten Free Drinks and Nibbles for Gluten free Holiday Parties.   I will be using the crumbs to top my holiday casseroles!

Many thanks to Mrs Crimble's for sending me these products to try out. 

The Mrs Crimble's Website
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