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, 30 April 2015

Chicken Fajita Skillet Supper

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The other day I found myself with a couple of boneless chicken breasts and some peppers plus a pot of leftover pasta in the refrigerator.  I needed to use the peppers and the chicken and I didn't want to have to throw the pasta away and so I decided to throw them all together and make a simple and quick supper for us.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Cherry Tomato and White Bean Salad

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Because of my present eye problems, I did an online grocery shop at the end of last week.  I just didn't feel like pushing a grocery cart through a shop with all the poor lighting etc.   I don't mind shopping online . . .  but this time most of my fresh items arrived with short use by dates.  That I DO mind.  YES I am one of those annoying people who pick the produce etc. from the back of the row where it is fresher when I am shopping!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Roasted Bone In Chicken Breasts

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We eat a lot of chicken in this house.  Here in the UK we are very lucky that chicken is probably one of the most affordable source of protein when it comes to meat of any kind.  I love the versatility of it, which means you can actually eat it more than once a week and never really get tired of it.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Sweet Freedom

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I have been wanting to tell you about two lovely products I was recently sent to try out.  I've spent several weeks using them and I can't let another day pass without telling you all about them.  Sweet Freedom is a company here in the UK which has developed these fabulous little undulgences which taste fabulous but are actually a lot better for you than you might think.   Naturally sweetened with fruit extracts combined with other natural ingredients, their products are naturally lower in calories and low GI, which make them a dieter's dream.

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These liquid shots of flavour come in a variety of flavours and a convenient flip top container, which is very handy for carrying with you when you are on the run, at work, etc.   They have won Great Taste Awards three years running and no wonder!

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WE've been enjoying the Sweet Freedom Porridge/Tea/Baking one as a healthy alternative to using other syrups drizzled over our breakfast oats and pancakes.    Low GI, 100% natural, GM & Gluten Free, and at only 13 calories per teaspoon this is a great and healthy alternative.  It's delicious and because it's made 100% from fruit, it's naturally better for you than artificial sweetners and sugar.  You can find it on the sugar shelf in Asda, Waitrose, Ocado, and Holland & Barrett for approximately £2.99 rrp.

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The other product we I have been enjoying is their new Choc Shot Liquid Chocolate in the Coconut Flavour!  Tastes just like a bounty bar.  I've been enjoying it as hot chocolate, drizzled over ice cream . . .  and I confess  . . .  I have even just eaten it by the teaspoonful just to keep me from indulging in real chocolate.  Sigh . . .  I do love my chocolate.  Like the Sweet Freedom it is also 100% natural,  Low GI/GL,  GM, Dairy and gluten Free.  Stir into hot milk for a faff-free hot drink with no powdery lumps or residue, drizzled over ice cream, brownies, etc. and once again only 14 calories per teaspoon.  Available from Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Waitrose, Co-op and Ocado, on the Hot Chocolate Shelf for £3.59 rrp.



Chard and Cheese Tart



I have to confess that Chard . . .  Swiss Chard, or Silver Beet as it is also called, is one of my favourite vegetables.  I do so love greens.  My mother used to cook us beet greens . . .  with a bit of butter, vinegar, salt and pepper . . .  they were so delicious.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Sauteed Apples with Vanilla Mascarpone


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We spent all afternoon today wandering around Tatton Park. What a gorgeous place that is! The gardens were so beautiful and we walked our not so little butts off! (ok . . . hmm . . . MY not so little butt.)

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Almond Gingerbread


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If I had to pick a flavour I love above all else, I would have a very difficult time doing so. I just love sooooo many flavours . . . and a lot depends on what type of mood I am in, or the weather, or even what's in the refrigerator. I guess you could say I just love food, full stop!

Friday, 24 April 2015

Roly Poly Rhubarb Pudding


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When I was a child I could hardly wait for Rhubarb Season to roll around. My mom would make us our favourite rhubarb pies. They were so tasty, served warm with vanilla ice cream all melting down into that buttery crust and the sweet/tart juices of that beautiful fruit . . .

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Breakfast Sausage Patties

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Sometimes we like to have breakfast for supper.   On the weekends, we might splurge and have a big breakfast on occasion, but more normal than not . . . we have a big breakfast for supper . . . and by that I mean bacon and eggs, or sausage and eggs, or egg chips and beans, egg and chips, or even a full on proper fry up! It makes sense to have something like that for supper instead of breakfast.  At least it makes sense to me!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Mrs Crimble's and Coeliac and Allergy Awareness Weeks












Allergy Awareness Week, April 28th to May 4th,  Coeliac Awareness Week, 11th to 17th May 2015

Did you know...?

50% of young people in Britain suffer from one or more allergies* and more than a third of all parents believe that their child has a food allergy or sensitivity of some sort**.

Nearly a third (31%) of households contain someone who has a food allergy or intolerance, the majority being self-diagnosed.***

Over 1 in 5 (22%) of the population consider themselves to have a food allergy or intolerance (an increase of 5% compared to 2011).***

Happily though, Mrs Crimble’s, the much loved gluten free British bakery brand, is proving that people who are gluten intolerant can still enjoy snacks, cakes and other treats that taste every bit as yummy as the mainstream alternatives. They are also succeeding in making sure that their products are widely available – from supermarkets and convenience stores to department store cafes, airline snack boxes, delicatessens and local fine food stores. 

Mrs Crimble’s reputation was built on the huge success of their Coconut and Choc Macaroon products but has now grown to include savoury snacks, home bake mixes, crackers and individually wrapped products such as flapjacks that can be enjoyed on the go. 

They are also succeeding in making sure that their products are widely available – from supermarkets and convenience stores to department store cafes, airline snack boxes, delicatessens and local fine food stores.

Mrs Crimble’s products enable people with allergies to enjoy products with all of the taste and none of the gluten – ensuring families and friends can enjoy great food together.

* According to a recent survey
by the charity, Allergy UK
** According to the NHS Choices Website
*** YouGov: Understanding food allergies and intolerances – the consumer viewpoint (September 2014)

Here are a few of the Mrs Crimble's products I enjoy (aside from their Macaroons which are just the best thing ever!).

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Mrs Crimble's Chocolate Coated Rice Cakes
 Mrs Crimble's new chocolate coated rice cakes are delicious. Made from puffed rice, they are baked and not fried then topped with delicious chocolate.  And only 81 calories per slice.   A great snack option.

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Mrs Crimbles Cheese Crackers
Mrs Crimble's Cheese Crackers come in a variety of flavours, Original, Rosemary and Onion, Tomato and Pesto and  Hot Chilli Cheese.   There is something for every taste.   Crispy, crunchy, baked not fried and deliciously gluten free.  Four crackers = 82 calories

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Mrs Crimble's Cakes and Biscuits
These come in four different indulgent flavours.  Bakewell Slices.  Double Chocolate Brownies.  Lemon Slices.  Country Fruit Slices.   Calories Vary. 

My favourites are the Country Fruit Slices ( A classic recipe with a moist sponge filled with juicy raisins, cranberries and apricots with a pastry base and topped with sugar) and of course the Lemon Slices (A light moist lemon sponge layered with a tangylemon filling and topped with icing).  Both are of course gluten free.

I think it's just wonderful that celiacs and allergy sufferers have these delicious options available for them today.   They need never feel deprived.  In days gone by it would have been very frustrating to have a person with these dietary concerns in the home, but thankfully more and more products are becoming available for them all the time.


Mrs Crimble’s started over 30 years ago and today their products can be found in all good independent farm shops, health stores, delicatessens and supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose, Morrisons, Co-op, and Tesco. Mrs Crimble’s can also be found in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The company is the Official Free From Sponsor of England Netball, in particular supporting the Back to Netball scheme which encourages female players of all ages to get active and re-introduced to the much loved school sport.

 Mrs Crimble’s are Official Gluten Free Partner to Breast Cancer Campaign which involves support of the successful University Fundraising initiatives, donations via promotional packs during October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) and many other activities.

In response to consumer feedback, Mrs Crimble’s have launched an online shop providing consumers with a convenient location to access the complete range. The website also features Mrs Crimble’s blog and a regularly updated ‘Where to Buy’ tab at www.mrscrimbles.com.

Simple Vanilla Cupcakes

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 I thought it would be fun today to show you my simple "go to" cupcake recipe that I use all the time when I want to make vanilla cupcakes.  They are easy to make, always turn out and delicious.  In short . . .  they are the perfect vanilla cupcake.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Swedish Meatballs

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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

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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 . . .

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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!

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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!


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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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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



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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

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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

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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)

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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

Skillet Aubergine (Eggplant) Parmesan (Gluten Free)

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 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.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Irish Chicken and Red Candy

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My sister made this recipe that she found on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago and put a picture of it on her facebook page. It looked so good that I immediately wanted to try it myself.   We love cabbage and potatoes in this house and the recipe incorporated both of those along with some onions, chicken pieces and bacon!  If it's got bacon you just know it's going to be good!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Golden Syrup Dumplings with Custard


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We normally have our Sunday Dinner on Saturdays.  Sundays I never have the time to cook a big meal.  We spend half the day either getting ready for church or in church and then when I get home, I have phone calls to make to Canada, etc. so Sunday is usually catch as you can.  Saturday is the day I make us a Sunday type of dinner, complete with dessert.   Today I treated Todd with one of his favourites  . . .  the most hedonisticly scrumptious dessert ever . . .

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Spending a tasty weekend with Corkers

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Look what arrived in the post a couple of days ago!  It's a box of assorted Corkers Potato Crisps and we have really been enjoying them this weekend!

Corker’s have given us here in the English Kitchen a fabulous opportunity to taste the full range of their brand. These hand cooked crisps are quite unique and distinctive in flavour, sporting such unsual delights as Pork Sausage and English Mustard, Sweet Thai Chili, and Red Leicester and Caramelized Onion, amongst others.  ‘Gressingham Duck & Hoisin Sauce flavour’ is one of their newest flavours.  Hand cooked in sunflower oil , Corker’s have partnered with Gressingham to combine their Naturalo potatoes and remarkable Duck. You can read more here about this new flavour and partnership.

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Best friends since childhood, Ross Taylor and Rod Garnham co-founders of ‘Corkers Crisps’, took a daring approach launching their brand during the heat of recession. With a family run farm in   since the 1800’s, Ross was passed down all the knowledge he needed for growing their tasty potatoes.  They originally sold  their potatoes to the fish & chip industry, but soon branched over into the crisp world.

These clever entrepreneurs have a good reason behind their success. Supporting British Farmers, they are growing their own product and signature ingredient . . . the Naturalo Potato.  Their perfect frying technique (in fresh sunflower oil) is what creates the unique taste and crunch unlike the average brand of potato crisps. Taylor and Garnham have so much passion for the Naturalo potato that it definitely shows in their delicious range of award winning crisps.

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Todd's been loving the Pork Sausage and English Mustard ones, but I am quite taken with the Red Leicester and Caramelized Onion ones.  They are all quite good actually and it is hard to choose a favourite.  I am not surprised they are award winners!  Many thanks to Corkers for sending us these tasty treats!

Available The crisps are currently stocked at National Trust properties, the Tate, selected Waitrose stores and also Waitrose.com 

For the full range please visit : www.corkerscrisps.co.uk
You can also support & follow Corker’s Crisps on Twitter & Facebook

Disclaimer -  Although The English Kitchen was provided these potato crisps free of charge,  we were not compelled to or required to write a positive review.

Blueberry Bliss Dessert


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I've been collecting the Waitrose Recipe Cards for years now. Every month they used to put new ones out and I would dutifully collect the ones that looked delicious to me. I haven't collected them much since I moved back to Chester, but every once in a while I like to dig them out and make something from one of them.  Today it was this quick and easy dessert made with blueberries.  You all know how much I love them!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Tuna, Cheese & Onion Pie

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I have always been a foodie.   When  I was really young my mom used to give me her old magazines and I can remember clipping recipes from them.  I can still tell you how very delicious a slice of her lemon meringue pie was . . . yellow and transparent, covered in a seemingly mile high pile of sweet and sticky meringue . . . this remembered from lunch time when I was about 8 years old.   She used to make my brother a small bowl of lemon pudding instead of pie because she didn't think pastry was good for wee ones . . .  and it probably wasn't.


Thursday, 9 April 2015

Lemon Swiss Roll



I have made no secret on here of my love of lemons. It's very clear that I can't get enough of them! Todd . . . well, he says lemon is not his favourite thing, but that fact doesn't seem to stop him from indulging in my cakes and cookies . . . it is my dream to have a lemon tree, filled to overflowing with lovely organic and unwaxed lemons . . . sigh . . .

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Golden Syrup and Oatmeal Muffins


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One of the tastes I have come to really enjoy over here is Golden Syrup. A pale thick amber coloured syrup, it is a form of inverted sugar syrup, made in the process of converting sugar cane juice into sugar. Oh, it is soooo scrummy and has a lovely caramel like, almost buttery flavour.


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Chocolate Bounty Cake


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I freely admit that one of my great weaknesses is chocolate  . . .  and it doesn't seem to matter how I get it . . .  candy bars, cakes, biscuits . . .  creamy hot chocolate.  I confess I am not a fan of really cheap powdery tasting chocolate though.  I am a bit more discerning than that.   It always disappoints.  I do have a passion for Coconut Bounty Bars . . .  that chewy coconut filling . . .  the milk chocolate coating.  The two together are simply bliss.

Monday, 6 April 2015

BLT Pasta Salad

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We've enjoyed a few warmer days this weekend.  It seems that Spring has finally sprung and I took advantage of them to create a delicious pasta salad for us.  Well . . .  our Spanish girl and I enjoyed, but Todd, well he simply tolerated it because as you know he not fond of either salad or pasta, and with this I was giving im a double socko!  Nevermind, I made up for it by getting him a nice big Easter Egg.


Sunday, 5 April 2015

Ginger Cheesecake Squares

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I have to say up front that one of my absolute favourite flavours has to be ginger. I love it in any way shape or form. It's wonderful, dried and powdered . . . and sprinkled into spicy cake and cookie batters. I love it freshly grated . . . and cooked up into wonderfully fragrant stir fries and sauces. I also like to make a delicious lemon and ginger tea with the fresh ginger root. (It's just wonderful steepedin boiling water, along with the juice and zest of half a lemon . . . and then served with a bit of honey and a great cure all for when you have the sniffles . . .)

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Elizabeth's Gingersnaps

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Whenever any of the family went to visit my ex MIL Elizabeth you could count on her having made a nice big tin of these delicious gingersnaps.   So thin and so crispy and so delicious.   These are so good, so thin and so crisp  you could eat them like potato chips.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Oven Roasted Smoked Sausage and Potatoes



 

Believe it or not this is my most popular recipe of all time (next to the Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cake.)  It's lived for quite a time now over on my Big Blue Binder and I thought it was about time I moved it over here so my English Kitchen readers can enjoy it as well.  This is a really delicious oven baked meal that will have your family scrambling for seconds.  I guarantee.  It's a bit healthier however because it is baked and not fried.  There is cheese though . . . but when is that ever a bad thing?

Thursday, 2 April 2015

A few nifty gadgets I have been enjoying

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This is one of my infamous  Thai Turkey Burgers.  We love turkey burgers in this house and I was recently sent a couple of items to help with the preparation from the people at Eddingtons.

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First off there was the Prepworks Progressive Perfect Burger Press.  

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This three piece set is designed to help you create perfect, evenly sized burgers every time.  I don't know what your children were like, but when mine were growing up, everything had to be exactly the same, or they would feel cheated.  No longer a problem with this delightful press.

  • Set includes a removable dimpleinsert, non-skid base and comfort-grip pusher
  • The dimple helps burger to cook evenly and prevents swelling.
  • This can be used with or without the insert
  • This press makes 4.5 inch (11.4cm)/6 oz (170g) burgers
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I found it created perfect sized burgers and the dimple in the centre prevented them from shrinking in and swelling up.   Great job!

The Burger Press is available from Buy Send with an RRP of  £9.49 with free postage.

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I was also sent a package of Patty Papers.   Dry Wax treated squares of paper perfect for moisture resistance and easy release.   As the package says, they prevent meat patties from sticking or freezing together.  I have always used cling film and in all honesty these are a lot better than plastic cling film.   They seemed like the same papers pretty much that the Grocery Shops use to separate their burgers.

Brand new, these papers are just arriving in the shops at an RRP of £2.99 for 24 papers.   Not bad.  Barbeque Season will soon be upon us.  These will come in very handy then!  Available at Good Cook shops and independant stores.

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Another nifty article which I have been sent and have enjoyed using over the past couple of weeks is the Oliver Hemming Spice Boy spice grinder.

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Available in three colours this award winning design represents an entirely new approach to spice grinding.

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It has a uniquely useful and practical mixing and filling bowl that allows the chef to see the mixture before it is ground.  With corrosion free ceramic parts that are guaranteed for five years the Spice Boy is suitable for all dried spices as well as sea salt and pepper.   You can use the mixing bowl to create fantastic combinations of freshly ground spices and let your imagination run wild exploring the endless possibilities.  It is not recommended that you put it in the dishwasher, but it is easily taken apart and cleaned with a soft brush, ready to grind up your next flavour combination.

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I love it's sleek appearance and the mixing bowl.   I've only been enjoying using it for  sea salt and black pepper so far, but I have plans to use it to make my own fresh Garam Masala soon.  It works fabulously!

The Spice Boy is available from Proleno at an RRP of £34.95 and is available in red, black and white.

Many thanks to Eddingtons and Miriam from Shrewd for sending me these items.   All items were sent for me for review, free of charge,  and I was not required to write a positive review.