Sunday, 31 July 2016
We have an elderly friend that I like to bake things for from time to time. We usually go to visit her a couple of times a week and I usually bring her something I have baked on one of those occasions. I get to enjoy the pleasure of baking something and she gets to enjoy the pleasure of eating what I have baked. As a diabetic I am not really supposed to be eating a lot of baked goods, so it works really well for me as I love to bake. Its a win/win situation really!
Saturday, 30 July 2016
I just love LOVE blueberry season. Its one of my favourite crops. I do eat them all year round, but nothing tastes better than a fresh blueberry picked off of one of your own bushes. I do miss the wild blueberries that we used to pick in Canada, but one must do what one must do and so we grow our own cultivated berries here and dream of the wild . . .
Friday, 29 July 2016
Fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha are becoming very popular offerings on blogs these days and an important staple in many peoples' diet, and with good reason! Not only do they nourish our bodies with probiotics, but they are also quite delicious! My sister has been after me to start fermenting food for a while now. I struggle with Diverticulitis and IBS, and fermented foods are very good for people with digestive problems. That's why I was really excited to be sent this book, "Fermented Foods at Every Meal," by Haley Barisa Byczek!
Fermented Foods at Every Meal introduces core fermented-food recipes and teaches readers about the science and health benefits of incorporating fermented foods into your diet.
I received a new cookbook recently, just in time for the inevitable bounty of cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and other summer produce! This new book is all about turning those vegetables into healthy noodles. Nourishing Noodles by Chris Anca of Tales of a Kitchen has more than 150 pages of pasta-less noodle recipes and ideas and includes recipes for non-summer produce as well, such as beets, potatoes, and carrots. There are even recipes for using up those broccoli stalks!
There are seven beautifully photographed chapters for recipe which range from the simple to the elaborate, along with helpful information about what Spiralizing is, what you need to do it, how to get started, etc.
Thursday, 28 July 2016
Oh, I do so love a good Caesar Salad, but more often than not, unless I make it myself, I am always always disappointed. Limp lettuce. Stale croutons. Too much dressing. I don't understand why most restaurants get it so wrong, when it is such a simple thing. I refuse to pay a small fortune (and they charge a small fortune) for something which is so poorly executed, but no matter. I just make my own at home, and then I am always, always happy with it.
Wednesday, 27 July 2016
When I was much younger and still at school, many moons ago, I collected a series of Better Homes and Gardens Cookery books. It was like a mini encyclopedia of cookery. I used them a lot in my younger years and I still dig them out from time to time. Just because the recipes are old, it doesn't mean that they aren't still useful or delicious. Recipes like this RickShaw Rice which I garnered from the Speedy Skillet Meals book!
Tuesday, 26 July 2016
I am late coming to the overnight oats party. I discovered the delights of them just the other day and I am in love! This recipe is a riff on one I found on Crunchy Creamy Sweet. I made it exactly as described the first night and I have been playing with it ever since.
Monday, 25 July 2016
With instantly recognisable Pizza Express names such as Sloppy Giuseppe and American Hot, the people at Pizza Express have developed a new range of pasta dishes that have been inspired by flavours of their famous restaurant pizzas!!
Pollo Ad Astra Totelloni - One of PizzaExpress' best-selling pizzas, the Pollo Ad Astra, has been transformed into a pasta dish combining chicken with a pepperdew pepper filling inside free range egg pasta tortelloni.
American Hot Ravioli - Capturing the famous flavours of the American Hot Pizza, these beautiful ravioli are stuffed with a pepperoni and hot pepper filling, all encased in a free rang egg pasta.
Sloppy Giuseppe Tortelloni - Free range egg pasta tortellini encases a sloppy Giuseppe filling combining spic hot beef and pepper.
Margherita Tortelloni - Sometimes there's nothing better than the simple yet satisfying taste of mozzarella and tomato, which have been combined perfectly in small Tortellini, to create delightful bites of cheesy goodness.
I was sent a pack of each of these to try out and this is what I thought . . . as Todd doesn't like Pasta at all, his opinion didn't count. ☺
Of the four my favourite was the Margherita Tortelloni followed closely by the Pollo Ad Astra. The Margherita was simple and well flavoured. I loved the flavour of the Peppadew peppers with the chicken in the Pollo Ad Astra. I love Peppadews, so no surprise there! I also enjoyed the American Hot, but then I like pepperoni and hot peppers. My least favourite was the Sloppy Giuseppe, but I am not overly fond of beef fillings anyways, and spicy beef has to be one of my most unliked things to eat. So, for me it wasn't a favourite but if you like spicy beef, you might really enjoy it.
All of them were well filled and very simple to cook. We ate each of them, quite simply buttered and dusted with some Parmesan cheese so as not to adulterate the flavours of any of them with anything else. Unfortnately I did not get any photographs as I accidentally deleted them from my camera. oops!! (It happens from time to time and I am really annoyed when it does!)
The range can be found at a Waitrose near you or through Waitrose.com.
Many thanks to Pizza Express for sending me these new filled pastas to try.
Note - Although I was sent the pasta free of charge for review, I was not required to write a positive review. Any opinions are entirely my own.
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Labels: Pizza Express
I've been in the process of downsizing my book collection for a number of weeks now, this involves going through all of my books and making the agonizing (for me) decision of which ones to keep and which ones to give away. The ones I give away go to the charity shop. Of course most of them are cookery books . . . and that makes it even more difficult to decide, and it takes a lot of effort on my part and yes, sacrifice. I have decided though that if there are not more than one or two recipes in a book that I would actually cook, no matter how beautiful it is, it has to go.
Sunday, 24 July 2016
I confess to having a certain fondness for Brownies. Little fudgy bites of chocolate gooey-ness that I have a difficult time to resist. The Toddster could take them or leave them. (He's not human!) I don't make them very often as a result of that because if I do, then I am the only one in the house that will eat them, and I don't need to be eating them! I do often bake them if we are having company.
Saturday, 23 July 2016
Friday, 22 July 2016
I just adore beetroots. I picked up a couple of nice bunches when we were in town the other day at the Green Grocers . . . a bunch of regular ruby coloured ones and a beautiful bunch of golden globes. Call them heirloom if you must . . . but . . . they're beetroot and they're tasty, and they're pretty to look at.
Thursday, 21 July 2016
We are getting down to the end of our strawberries for this year. We are only getting about a handful a day now. Not quite enough to make jam or a pie, but good enough for tasty little treats like these fabulous pancakes that I made for our breakfast.
Wednesday, 20 July 2016
As most of you will know, I worked and cooked on a beautiful Manor Estate down in Kent for a number of years. This was a wonderful experience for me and I learned a lot while I was working there. I got to cook with the finest equipment and ingredients in one of the most beautiful environments anyone could ever want to work in.
From simple every day meals, to beautiful luncheons with the ladies, to silverservice dinner parties and everything in between, I did it all, and never had any complaints from either my employers or the guests, especially the guests. It was a job I really loved. I have been asked for many years would I do a booklet about my experiences there and I have finally finished Volume one of my experiences as a Manor chef. There was far too much to put into one cook-booklet alone!
In this one you will find the menus and recipes for the very first Dinner Party which I cooked for them,along with their Thanksgiving Menu, several ladies luncheons, every day suppers, a special brunch, a Birthday Dinner for the Mr, and a lot of other bits and bobs, including the roll recipe which I used for every party, some favourite nibbles, etc. 49 pages of recipes and antedotes, including photographs of the Manor Grounds, a few of the rooms, table settings, etc. I think this is a booklet everyone will enjoy . . . a small peek into how the other half lives.
Some of the secrets to success are right here, and it's available to you now for the same low price as all of my others at only £5. ($6.58/American Dollars or $8.59 Canadian Dollars) This will be delivered to your e-mail as a downloadable PDF file, ready to print or store on your computer as you desire within 24 hours of your payment clearing. If ordering please make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Reader enabled, and that my e-mail address is in your safe folder! Also as the file is rather large make sure you have enough room to receive it!
To buy now please click on the link below. I also have other cookbooklet titles available to do click on the Cookbooklet Tab at the top of the page!
I am just loving this summer heat wave we are having. We have had several really poor summers in a row here in the UK, so this sunny warm weather is lovely to see!
Tuesday, 19 July 2016
The world’s largest Original Newspaper archive, Historic - Newspapers.co.uk has launched a new range of Vintage Recipe Cookbooks, showcasing recipes & cookery ideas throughout history.
These newspaper books are perfect for any food lover, or for those who want a slice of history with a more niche focus. The contents include landmark food news, such as the implementation of rationing, recipes and popular food options from selected decades as well the appearance of famous celebrity faces who are still followed today.
This isn't a supper dish for the faint of heart . . . it is loaded with calories, but once in a blue moon it's nice to treat yourself to something special like a Croque Madame. And just what is a Croque Madame? Well . . . it's a Croque Monsieur with a fried egg on top . . .
Monday, 18 July 2016
Todd is a real fan of this fruit loaf we can buy in the shops over here, it's low in fat and kind of squidgy. I forget what it is called. I buy it because I recognise the packaging. Myself, I am not too, too fond of it, but he loves it, especially cut and spread with butter. This recipe today is one that I had been eyeing up in a baking book of mine for a very long time now. The book is a little chunky food book by Murdoch books entitled Sweet Food, and it's filled with lots of lovely bakes, including this lovely Apricot &Raisin Bran Loaf.
Sunday, 17 July 2016
Our soft fruit is going great guns in the garden at the moment. It all seems to be ripening at once. We have never gotten so many strawberries as the bumper crop we are enjoying this year! We moved them into large pots on the patio, which seems to have agreed with them. Trust me when I say that I am not complaining!
Saturday, 16 July 2016
I freely admit that I can be rather lazy when it comes to cooking. I know, it's hard to believe but it's true. I got enough of having to cook fussy complicated recipes when I worked as a personal chef. Now that I am retired I like to do simple things as much as possible.
Friday, 15 July 2016
I love to watch shows on the Cooking Channel like Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, and You Gotta Eat Here. I often take notes and try to replicate what I have seen that sounds pretty delicious. This channel is a result of that, except that I lost my notes and so I had to try to remember what went into this delicious looking Panini I saw on the show last weekend. I can't remember where he was eating, but this sandwich looks fabulous and so I tried to make one here at home, with most delicious results!
Thursday, 14 July 2016
Coconut Oil is something which I have been using in my kitchen from time to time, although I am not entirely sure that I have ever used it correctly. Duh. I was recently sent some lovely Raw Organic Coconut Oil from Kirley Sue's kitchen and I learned a lot more about what it is, the benefits of using it, and how you can use it.
Did you know for instance, that raw Coconut oil has a multitude of health benefits, which include but are not limited to skin care, hair care, improving digestion and immunity against a host of infections and diseases??
Skin care: Coconut oil is excellent massage oil that acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skin, including dry skin. Unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin from the application of coconut oil. Therefore, it is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. It also delays the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of skin, which normally accompany aging.
It helps in preventing degenerative diseases premature aging due to its well-known antioxidant properties. It also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. For that exact reason, coconut oil forms the base ingredient of various body care products like soaps, lotions, and creams that are used for skin care.
Hair care: Coconut oil helps in healthy growth of hair and gives your hair a shiny quality. It is also highly effective in reducing protein loss, which can lead to various unattractive or unhealthy qualities in your hair. It is used as hair care oil and is used in manufacturing various conditioners and dandruff relief creams. It is normally applied topically for hair care.
Coconut oil is extensively used in the Indian sub-continent for hair care. It is an excellent conditioner and helps the re-growth process of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing and healing damaged hair. Research studies indicate that coconut oil provides better protection to hair from damage caused by hygral fatigue.
By regularly massaging your head with coconut oil, you can ensure that your scalp is free of dandruff, even if your scalp is chronically dry. It also helps in keeping your hair and scalp free from lice and lice eggs.
Heart diseases: There is a misconception spread among many people that coconut oil is not good for heart health. This is because it contains a large quantity of saturated fats. In reality, it is beneficial for the heart. It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in actively preventing various heart problems like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Coconut oil does not lead to increase in LDL levels, and it reduces the incidence of injury and damage to arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis. Study suggests that intake of coconut oil may help to maintain healthy lipid profiles in pre-menopausal women.
Weight loss: Coconut oil is very useful for weight loss. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. Research suggests that coconut oil helps to reduce abdominal obesity in women. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and endocrine system. Further, it increases the body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas, thereby burning more energy and helping obese and overweight people lose the weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who use coconut oil every day as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.
Coconut oil is a very versatile product as the strap line "one jar, hundreds of uses." We are no longer afraid to include coconut in our diet, however many are unaware of the uses for coconut oil which include acting as an antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory. Coconut oil is perfect for healing nail fungus, bug bites, chapped lips, kills topical yeast infection, acts as a makeup remover and a good moisturiser, oil pulling for gum protection, soothes eczema and psoriasis, prevents stretch marks, cracked heals and of course cooking, baking, frying. So the list goes on, making it truly a useful product for an all-round healthy lifestyle.
All this and a whole lot more. Look it up on Google, you will be amazed.
Vegan Cook, Vegan Expert, Author and TV presenter Kirly-Sue has launched her own brand of organic coconut oil with the brand name Kirly-Sue's Kitchen Raw Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. Kirly-Sue who has a vast social media following including 15,000 plus followers on Facebook is known for her recent media appearances as a vegan expert on BBC Radio London, London Live TV and Scottish TV.
Kirly-Sue's Kitchen Raw Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is sourced from the best in Sri Lanka. "It was important to me that there were no chemical fertilizers or pesticides used so I sourced the best coconuts which are grown and processed according to strict rules for organic agriculture and more importantly the environment is protected to keep the natural balance intact". All ingredients are certified organic and are grown and processed in accordance with the EU & USA organic standards.
Available on Amazon.co.uk, Kirly-Sue's Kitchen raw organic virgin coconut oil comes in a 500ml glass jar wrapped in a lovely organza bag.
In addition, customers get a free recipe booklet with every purchase.
Vegan Coconut Cupcakes
10 oz, 300 g or 2 cups self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 oz, 40 g or ½ cup grated or desiccated coconut
4 oz, 110 g or ½ cup dairy-free soya margarine, cold
12 oz, 275 g or 11/3 cup white granulated sugar
½ pint, 250 ml or 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
3 tsp egg replacer powder combined with 4 tbsp, 60 ml or ¼ cup hot water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350oF, 176oC or gas mark 4.
· Line 16 muffin cups with liners and set aside.
· In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and coconut until mixed. Set aside.
· In a larger mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer, mix the dairy-free soya margarine with the sugar until the mixture is creamy and fluffy. Add the coconut milk, egg replacer mixture and apple cider vinegar, and beat until combined.
· Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring until just combined. · Portion the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into one of the cupcakes emerges clean.
· Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting with dairy-free coconut frosting or other dairy-free frosting of your choice.
You can buy Kirly-Sue's Kitchen Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil on Amazon.uk
Kirly-Sue (aka Susanne Kirlew) is a vegan cook, TV presenter, vegan expert and author, born in London to Jamaican parents, her Jamaican heritage is reflected in her cooking and baking.
There is so much lovely fresh and local produce available in the summer time. I really, really enjoy it and love to make the most of it. Dishes like this simple one pan supper make it really easy! I love, LOVE Gnocchi and recently picked up some fabulous Dell'Ugo Spinach Gnocchi and I thought it would be perfect for this.
Wednesday, 13 July 2016
I made us a deliciously light supper tonight of some golden, tender and moist . . . lightly sauteed chicken breasts and a fabulous avocado and tomato salad! It is a recipe meant to feed only two, but could very easily be doubled if you have more to feed, but you might want to use two skillets for sauteeing the chicken. Easy peasy.
Tuesday, 12 July 2016
This is a delicious recipe I adapted from one of my cookerybooks entitled "Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook" by Phyllis Pellman Good. Its perfect for those hot summer nights, when you don't want to heat up the kitchen but you want something just a tad bit heartier than a salad! And . . . no surprise here . . . its fabulously delicious!
Monday, 11 July 2016
These Chicken Caesar Wraps make a really lovely and quick light supper or lunch for those days that its just to hot to cook, or when you are lacking in time and inspiration. Wit a bit of salad on the side, you have a delicious meal that is really very simple to make.
Sunday, 10 July 2016
I don't know why, perhaps it's because I am staying away from sugar, or at least trying to at the moment . . . but I have had an awful craving lately for Bounty Bars . . . you know what I mean . . . those candy bars that have the scrummy coconut filling, and a milk chocolate coating. I'm not pregnant, (Heaven forbid!!), so there's no accounting for it really!
Saturday, 9 July 2016
Usually at the weekend I like to do something a little special for Saturday morning breakfast . . . sometimes it's a nice big fry up, or pancakes . . . and sometimes it's a tasty muffin like these Jaffa Cake Muffins!
Friday, 8 July 2016
One of the herbs I grow in my garden is Lemon Verbena. I just adore it. I love it so much that I cannot resist brushing my fingers up and down it's stems whenever I walk past it. The smell is heavenly . . . and quite intoxicating . . . well, at least it is to me.
Thursday, 7 July 2016
I recently received a copy of the cookery book Easy, Tasty, Healthy by Barbara Cousins for review. The book features recipes are quick and simple to prepare using easy to obtain ingredients whilst creating food that is both healthy and delicious. Easy. Tasty. Healthy. features everything from refreshing salads, tasty tray bakes and crowd pleasing pizza and pasta dishes, as well as a number of sweet goodies, which are sure to please.
This book is particularly recommended for those with food tolerances and those wishing to improve their weight and health. Cutting out foods such as gluten, dairy and sugar is a lifestyle choice that can be life enhancing. These recipes embrace this and provide a huge variety of meals that are full of flavour.
Included are a wide variety of options to take you from Breakfast through to Lunch and Dinner, not to mention Desserts and Sweet Treats, but with a healthy twist and free from alot of things which more and more people are having to avoide these days such as gluten, dairy, soya, eggs, sugar and yeast.
Fabulously healthy breakfasts such as Power Porridge, Meusli, etc.
Or how about a tasty Smoked Salmon Tray Bake?
Delicious lunches . . .at home or on the go, such as Courgette and Broadbean Soup . . .Chicken, Sweetcorn and Bacon Salad pot, to name just a few . . .
The Salad Pots all look gorgeous, but then everything in this book looks gorgeous. The photographs are magnificent!
Fancy some pasta? It's not off the menu . . .
Neither is Pizza . . .
With substantial Salads (Smoked Mackeral, New Potato and Orange Salad) . . .
Healthy Stir Fries . . . (Cardamom and Lemon Chicken Stir Fry) . . .
Delicious One Pot Wonders . . . (Speedy Vegetable Paella) . . .
And fabulous roasts . . .
There is something for every taste and want . . . ragouts, chilies, casseroles and stews . . . its all here.
Plus tasty options for your leftovers.
And yes, even something for your sweet tooth, with cakes and bakes, ice creams, crumbles, etc.
And tasty snacks for noshing that are healthy . . .
Like these fabulous looking energy balls.
This book is quite simply packed full of easy to follow recipes which range from breakfast, lunch on the go, past& pizza, salads & stir fries, one pots wonders (Sausage & lentils stew is delicious!), cakes and desserts and loads more. A practical way of viewing cooking,with a simple and no nonsense approach which I love. Very little fiddling around but with facts and insights around nutrition and eating well.
I highly recommend, but here is a recipe which you can try and decide for yourself for a gluten free and tasty Apricot and Ginger Frangipane Pie.
*Apricot and Ginger Frangipane Pie*Serves 6
Place the date mixture in a food processor with the almond extract, lemon juice, oil and 150ml (5 fluid ounces) of the milk or water and blend until smooth. Add the flour mixture and process again, adding a bit more liquid if needed, to make a very soft, dropping consistency, almost like a thick batter.Spoon the mixture carefully on top of the apricots, level the surface and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until brown on top and springy to the touch. Serve while still slightly
I really like this book because it has recipes which are simple to prepare, using easy to obtain ingredients. In short, they are very doable, and yes healthy and delicious.
Barbara Cousins is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and the author of three bestselling recipe books in her series Cooking Without.
Easy. Tasty. Healthy. by Barbara Cousins
Published by Thorsons
ISBN - 978-0-00-815683-1
£16.99 UK/ $26.99 CAN
Many thanks to Harper Collins Publishers for sending me a copy for review. Any opinions are my own.