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.

Monday, 31 October 2016

French Bread Taco Pizzas

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When my children were growing up it was terribly difficult to get them to eat anything at all for supper on Halloween. They were far too keen to get out and about Trick or Treating.  As a mom, however, I really wanted them to eat something nutritious before they went out, or at least something that wasn't candy and so I used to try to tempt them with things that they really enjoyed, like pizza, tacos, or spaghetti, etc.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Cinnamon Rolls for Two

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When I was a child one of the favourite things that my mother would make for us as a treat on cooler autumn and winter nights was her version of Cinnamon Rolls.  Not the yeasty bready kind of cinnamon rolls, but the quick bread/biscuit/scone type of Cinnamon Rolls.  Oh boy but they smelled so good when they were cooking, and they tasted even better.  Heavenly Bliss.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

French Toast Crumble

We only ever very rarely have a big breakfast at breakfast time unless we are eating out, which never happens unless we are on holiday.  More often than not, something like this delicious breakfast casserole happens for supper.  So . . . I guess I am a breakfast for supper kind of a gal!   This french toast casserole is exceptional I have to say . . .  what is it about calling something a crumble that automatically makes it taste twice as delicious?

Friday, 28 October 2016

Loaded Chicken and Potato Casserole

I had some leftover chicken to use up the other day, so I must apologise in advance for showing you yet another chicken recipe.  I am sure you will soon tire of me and all my chicken.  Its just so affordable and in all honesty we each more chicken in this house than anything else.  It's adaptable and makes for a delicious variety of  delicious dishes like this tasty casserole! 

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

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After his hospital procedure today I wanted to make Todd something he would really enjoy for his tea.  Apparently he was talking about stew and dumplings in the operating theatre and how good my stew is that I make.  I didn't have any stewing beef or lamb in the house, and no way of getting to the shops to get any,  but I did have some leftover cooked chicken, and another of Todd's favourites is a nice and creamy soup.  I had found this recipe on the net the other day and thought it looked pretty good and so I decided to make it, but with a few adaptions.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Pumpkin Escalloped Potatoes

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I like to push the boundaries from time to time.  I had some leftover cooked pumpkin and so I decided to do something savoury with it instead of something sweet.  Lord knows I don't need any more sugar in my life!  This savoury potato dish turned out really lovely.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Harvest Casserole

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This is a recipe I have had written down in my notebook for yonks and yonks.  Its really delicious.  Every so often I dust it off and we have it for a side dish with chicken or fish.  Harvest Casserole.  The original recipe calls for diced butternut squash, courgettes (zucchini) and swede (rutabaga).  A tasty combination.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Bumbleberry Pie Tray Bake

What is a Bumbleberry? Ahhh . . . I think I might know the answer to that. A bumbleberry is a Burple and Binkel berry (amazing colours you know), one berry being sweet and the other tart. The two colours, when cooked together, creating a flavour that is fantastically gloriously delicious! (of course!)

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Steamed Cherry Bakewell Pudding


Oh I do so love when the cooler temperatures arrive and I can get down to the business of cooking comfort foods again. So does Todd.  He does enjoy my salads, but he is a WW2 baby and he likes his stodge much more than those leafy greens and veg.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Halloween Bark

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I recently put together some little Halloween Gift bags for the children of a friend of mine.  I wanted to do something special for them because just a few weeks ago on FHE (Family Home Evening) they had popped over with some lovely cookies for us.  It really touched our hearts that they would do something like this for us and so I wanted to do something nice in return.  And so I did what any mom or nan would do at this time of year, I made them some Halloween treats!

Friday, 21 October 2016

Christmas is coming!

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Christmas is coming, Christmas is coming and I am getting in the mood for picking up some gifts now for family and friends.  One of my favourite places to get quirky, unusual and delightful well priced items is dotcomgiftshop!   I've been buying from there for several years now and have always been well pleased with the choice and what I have gotten.  They carry everything from dedicated Christmas items to gifts for women, men, children and yes, pets . . .  household items, vintage look items, craft items,etc.  I love their hobby section, but then as dedicated hobbiest, I would!

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This is a fabulous apron.  I just adore the vintage look print and the quality of it is excellent.  100% cotton duck, and very affordable at £12.95.

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It is so cheerful!  I love it.  And they have a whole kitchen line which follows the same cheery design.

I recently ordered some kitchen items from them.  I love their Japanese designs and their vintage kitchen items.

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I love the quirky designs of these Japanese ceramic mugs.  Just the right size, and these retro kitchen items, the sugar pourer and the salt and pepper shakers.  Just what I was looking for.    The mugs are priced at   £4.95 each and the sugar pourer was £3.95 and the salt and pepper shakers were also only £3.95.

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I also ordered myself an enamel basin.  I had fallen in love with the photograph and the price was just right.  £8.95  It arrived chipped however, but a quick e-mail to them, and lo and behold a few days later . . . 

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A brand new one arrived and in perfect condition!

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This is now going to be my dedicated bread mixing/rising basin.  It reminds me so much of my mother's basin which was my grandmother's before hers and I am feeling very, very nostalgic about it.

Some of the reasons I like dotcom giftshop are:
  • The prices are very reasonable, providing fairly good value for money spent.
  • Delivery is quick and reasonsable, often free on orders over £20 in the UK.
  • They have an incredible variety of gift items to choose from, for any age and gender!  As well as for the home, for the crafter, for the holidays, etc.
  • They have a dedicated wish list, so you can pop your favourites into it for shopping later on.  (I hate it when I have really liked something in an online shop and then can't find it again very easily.) 
  • All items are well packaged and usually arrive intact, but if they don't, they quickly replace anything which has been damaged in transit.
  • I adore their Vintage lines of, well . . .  everything!  Sewing, kitchen, toys, crafts, etc. 

In short, I love dotcom.giftshop and I think you will too.  They make online shopping a pleasure.

Note - I was sent a free apron and a gift certificate to purchase anything I wanted.  I was not required to write any review at all. They were simply sent to me because I had been a previous customer in the past and I have a blog.   I couldn't help sharing with you however because I . . . to be totally honest, do love the shop.  Nothing was required of me in the least.  End of.

Sausages with Mustard and Apple

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Todd is so happy that the cooler weather has arrived, not because he likes the cold, but because he knows there will be fewer salads on the menu and more meat and potatoes, and my Todd, he is a meat and potatoes kind of guy!  Especially when it is a tasty entree like these Sausages with Apple & Mustard.   How much more autumnal can you get!

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Windfall Crumble Cake

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This is the perfect cake to make with the apples and pears that fall off your trees before they are totally ripe and is the perfect use for those hard ones you pick up at the Grocery store before they are ready to eat.  In fact, I have had apples and pears that I bought in the shops that never quite ripen.  Most annoying!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

SACHER TORTE, the Betty's Way Part Two

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 Its now Great British Bake Off Season here in the UK, and in honor of that each week Betty's will be sharing a delicious recipe, plus a video and their baking tips to go with each recipe. The kind of thing you won't find in any cookery book! Here is week Nine of their delicious hints and tips and recipe.

 SACHER TORTE, the Betty's Way Part Two


1 X 15 cm deep baking ring


For the chocolate glacage (Mirror glaze):
50g caster sugar (1/4 cup fine sugar)
100g liquid glucose (1/4 cup)
50ml water (scant 1/4 cup)
220g dark chocolate (8 ounces)
100g butter, chilled and diced (7 TBS)

for the Torte:

50g apricot jam (1/4 cup)

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In a heavy based pan, bring the caster sugar, liquid glucose and water to the boil until all the ingredients have dissolved into a syrup.

Take off the heat, add the chocolate and the butter to the syrup and stir until completely dissolved to achieve a glossy finish.

Assemble the torte by slicing the sponge in half horizontally.  Tyrn upside down so the flat base becomes of the top of your torte.

Spread all the apricot jam over the middle of sponge, then add 2 to 3 TBS of the chocolate glacage before sandwiching together.

Place in th baking ring.

Now to press it down.  Cover the torte with a sheet of baking parchment and place a large pan on top of it.  Place some tin cans inside the pan for extra weight.

Place in the refrigerator, wighted down, for 2 hours, or ideally overnight.

To fnish the torte gently reheat the remaining glacage over a low heat until it's fluid, but not too runny.

Remove the pressed torte from the baking ring.

Place the rote on a cooling wire with a sheet of paper beneath the wire.

Pour the glacage over the torte, allowing it to flood naturally over the top and sides.  Leave to partially set for 15 minutes.

Use the excess chocolate glacage from beneath the cooling wire to fill a piping bag, then pipe the word Sacher onto the top of the torte.  Leave to set.

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Tempering Dark Chocolate


Make sure you're feeling happy and relaxed - it's a delicate task which can be affected by a bad mood!  As we like to say, "Chocolate's in charge".

Switch off your phoe and prepare your working area fully.  You won't have time to move things around or respond to calls.

Be aware that the weather can afect your chocolate work.  It's very  sensitive to temperature.


Chocolate has a memory - it will take on the qualities of the surface it touches.  A shiny surface makes a shiny chocolate, so use a glass bowl to warm the chocolate.

Glass it good for another eason:  cereamic and metal are better conductors of heat and can over-heat the chocolate.

If using a bar, break the chocolate ino similar sized pieces so they melt easily.

Use more chocolate than you need.  The larger volume means it changes temperature more slowly, giving you more time to work with it at specific heats.


Create a bain marie with a couple of centimetres of water simmering in a pan under the glass bowl.  Don't let the water touch the bottom of the bowl.

Work the chocolate with the back of a wooden spoon against the bowl.

Keep checking the temperature, but make sure your thermometer doesn't touch the surface of the bowl itself, or the temperature measurement may be wrong.  Keep it moving around the chocolate, as some spots can be hotter than others.

Heat to 45-48*C, but remember - nearly there is there enough.  Take it off at around 39-40*C as the temperature will continue to rise.  If it does need a little more heat, use the bain marie in ten second bursts to stay in control.


Now bring it down to a tempered temperature of 25-27*C.

Work the chocolate by movvin it around on a flat surface, gradually taking the temperature down.  A marble or granite surface is best. Plastic or wood can dull the chocolate, so avoid that if possible.

When the chocolaate reaches 25-27*C, scoop it back into the bowl, place back over the bain marie and take it back up to 29-31*C.  It's now ready to use.

Come back next week for the final part of our recipe for Sachertorte and to find out how to use your tempered chocolate to create stylish decorations.  For more Betty's Baking Secrets visit

Fruity Chicken and Rice Pilaf

You can pick up some tasty little goodies in the grocery store, and I'm not just talking about food. For years now I have been collecting little recipe cards, pamphlets and booklets that I thought had tasty recipes in or on them.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Ferment Pickle Dry, a review

I was particularly interested when I was recently offered the chance of reviewing a new cookery book entitled, Ferment Pickle Dry, by Simon Pottley and Gaba Smolinska-Pottley.  (Published by Frances Lincoln)  There is something very Mother Earthly about wanting to grow what we eat and also to preserve what we eat, a deep seated desire which probably hearkens back to the very roots of mankind's beginnings.

Of course today we can go to the shops any time we want and pick up whatever we want, in season or not . . .  but I think a certain sense of joy and accomplishment has been lost  along the way.  As a dedicated foodie, I want my food to mean more.

The authors of this very special book are passionate about growing, preserving and cooking using traditional techniques which they share and teach at their Walthamstow workshop, The Fermentarium.

Well organized and presented, this book is divided into three sections, or methods of preservation . . .  Fermenting, Pickling and Drying.

Fermentation involves a metabolic change that converts sugars to acids, gases or alcohol. Many of the fermented foods you are familiar with have a distinctive sour taste that is down to the lactic acid produced by fermentation – foods like yoghurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. Most of us enjoy the fermentation of sugar to alcohol that creates beer, cider and wine.

Pickling uses an acid solution to preserve the produce within it by killing or vastly inhibiting the growth of the bacteria that cause food to spoil. In some cases, pickles are also partially fermented, and salt also contributes to the preservation process.

Drying foods simply means removing moisture, either by use of the sun, or man made heating. Since most of the bacteria and yeast that cause food to spoil or change thrive in moisture, dried foods discourage such spoilage.

In each section, you will find a very varied selection of recipes taking inspiration from the preserving traditions of countries all around the world. For each of these recipes, the authors also provide ‘partner recipes’ which offer clever and delicious dishes making use of the various preserves.

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In the Ferment section, plain live yoghurt is used in blackcurrant yoghurt ice cream, fermented gherkins & grapes are used in a sour grape pickletini and in fermented gherkin & nasturtium caponata, long-fermented pizza dough is used to make peppe rosso 10-inch pizza onto which several fermented toppings are also used, cabbage & apple sauerkraut is used in sauerkraut bubble & squeak, preserved lemons feature in preserved lemon cous-cous and amazake is used in drunken rice pudding. This section also includes guidance on sourdough starters followed by a selection of sourdough bread recipes.   Everything sounds positively delicious and looks simple enough to execute.

The Pickle section includes a vast array of pickled fruits and vegetables. Pickled cherry tomatoes feature in a Greek salad, pickled plums are used to great effect on a pickled plum flammekueche, pickled oranges lift a dish called pickled oranges, spice cuttlefish & squid ink linguine. The honey-pickled garlic starts my taste buds to tingling, and the recipe for pulled pork with swede mash, grilled nectarines & honey-pickled garlic sounds positively heavenly.  I also love the sound of miso pickled mushrooms and miso pickled eggs both of which are used in misozuke and soba noodle salad. There are also  recipes for herrings pickled in a variety of different ways. Most recipes in this section are savoury,  but there are also dried fruit pickled in brandy which are shown to be used in a decadent coffee meringue cake.  *Nom* *Nom*

The Dry section includes funghi, vegetables and fruit. I  have my own dehydrater,  which I sadly haven't used but I am looking forward to breaking it out to make dried wild mushrooms, which are a premium price ingredient in the shops, and there are recipes for using them in both wild porcini soup and dried mushroom sauce. The variety of vegetable ‘barks’ such as sweet potato crackling (which then features in a potato crackling fritata) sound very intriguing. A honey-glazed Chinese beef jerky has also sparked my interest. Many dried herbs are used to great effect in a variety of infusions and teas.  I have a fondness for herbal teas.  There are also methods for drying fruit and then using them.
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There are a fair amount of photographs, (Photography by Kim Lightbody) not as many as I normally like, but the ones that are there are great!

Preceding the recipes, the introductory chapters of the book provide suggestions for basic equipment needed, a guide on how to sterilise and seal correctly, and an introduction to a few key ingredients. These, together with the straightforward recipes, make this a suitable book for those new to preserving, as well as those who simply want to expand their repertoire.  I, myself, am looking forward to getting stuck into some of the recipes and methods!   I have a bunch of apples and pears that I want to dry, and those apple and pear crisps are sounding pretty tasty!

This is a lovely book which teaches you how to preserve foods using the ancient methods of fermenting, pickling and drying. Its packed with recipes showing you how to use your newly preserved ingredient in everyday meals. From pickled oranges transformed in a squid and linguine dish, to dry kale and pickled celery incorporated into a vibrant stir-fry, the duel recipes in this cookbook will ensure you never end up with jars of forgotten and unloved preserves.

Ferment Pickle Dry, ancient methods, modern meals
By   Simon and Gaba Poffley
Photography by  Kim Lightbody
Publish by Frances Lincoln, September 2016 (£20)
Hardcover, 256 pages, colour
ISBN-10: 0711237786
ISBN-13: 978-0711237780

Many thanks to Frances Lincoln for sending me a copy to review.  I was not required to do a positive review.  Any opinions are my own.

Scalloped Tomatoes with Herbs

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 We had a windstorm a week or so ago and our tomato plants all blew over.  I was force to pick them all.  Most were green.   I had thought to make some green tomato chow, but alas time got away from me and they ripened in the bowl before I could get that done.  That was okay however because I love tomatoes and I am never at a loss as to what to do with tomatoes!

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I quite simply love tomatoes and have been collecting ways to use them for years and years and years.  This recipe today comes from a small green notebook which is filled with lovely home style old fashioned recipes, laboriously copied by myself years ago from books I took out from the local library.  Unfortunately I was not quite so good at keeping a record of which book they came from.  I can date this notebook to the years I was living in Meaford, Ontario, and I think it might have been from a book called Canadian Cookbook by Elizabeth Baird, but I could be wrong, so do forgive me if I am.  In any case it is a delicious recipe.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Apple Butterscotch Pudding Cake

When I was really small my mother used to bake us delicious goodies several times during the week . . . there was always fresh baked cookies in the cookie jar and the occasional pie and cake. She went back to work when I turned 11 though, so all the baking stopped . . . or homemade baking at any rate . . . .at least until I was trusted and allowed to experiment in the kitchen on my own.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Banana, Cranberry and Walnut Loaf

One day last year I was baking this lovely loaf and I went out the front door to check on something and the wind from the back door blew the front door shut. This was somewhat of a disaster as if the front door closes and you don't have a key . . . you can't get back in. There I was stuck in the front garden, with a loaf in the oven, a small puppy at large inside, no cell phone on my person . . . and a padlocked 10 foot tall back gate that I had no hope of scaling. Thank goodness it wasn't raining.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Raisin Bran Muffin Tops

I am having real issues with photographs. I have always stored my images on photobucket, and pay a premium price to do so. As of yesterday all of a sudden Blogger stopped working with my photobucket images. They just refust to show up. I can upload images individually to the page, but not drop in links. I have given up. I am hopeful that just as suddenly as they stopped showing up they will suddenly appear again, but you cannot imagine the devastation at having 7 years worth of photography just disappear. *sniff *sniff* 

Friday, 14 October 2016

Chicken with Crusty Dumplings

One of the most versatile leftovers has to be leftover roast chicken!  I just love it.  There is so much that can be done with it.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Spicy Pork Chops with Peaches

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I have been blogging in one way or another since about 2003.  I started over on My Space.  It was just a way of keeping an online journal at that time and I had hoped that it would be a way that my children could keep up with the goings on in my life after I moved over here to the UK.  I moved from MySpace over to AOL Journals because it was a bit user friendlier and then I ended up moving over here to blogger and started my Year From Oak Cottage Blog.  I hadn't been blogging for very long when I noticed that people loved it when I posted a recipe I had cooked.  So I started adding recipes to my page.  Then I decided I wanted to separate the two and have a personal blog and a cookery blog and that is when The English Kitchen was born.  I recently stopped paying for my domain at Oak Cottage since I haven't written there in several years and its been shut down, but I have wanted to move all of my recipes over here.  I cringe when I look at those early photographs.  They were really bad.  I had a lousy camera and knew nothing about taking food pictures.  But they were all really sound and delicious recipes.  I hope you will forgive me if every so often I do a post which features some of these old recipes.  Its a real mishmash today of this that and everything in between, but I think you will find a few treasures here, at least I hope you will!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Sacher Torte, The Bettys Way

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 Its now Great British Bake Off Season here in the UK, and in honor of that each week Betty's will be sharing a delicious recipe, plus a video and their baking tips to go with each recipe. The kind of thing you won't find in any cookery book! Here is week Eight of their delicious hints and tips and recipe.

Sachertorte The Betty's Way

Part One

1 X 15 cm deep baking ring

3 eggs (medium) separated
100g caster sugar (in two equal measures of 50g each)  (two measures of 1/4 cup each)
100g of dark chocolate (3 1/2 ounces)
75g butter (5 1/2 TBS)
50g caster sugar (1/4 cup)

Preheat the oven to 170*C/325*F/ gas mark 3.  Line the base of the baking rign with a disc of baking paper, large enough to cover the base and outside of the ring.  Scure the parchment paper by twisting the paper around the outside of the ring.

Separate the three eggs.  Place the egg whites into a large, clean metal bowl and the egg yolks into a measuring jug.

Using an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites to the soft peak stage. Gradually add the first measure of caster sugar, beating well until you achieve soft meringue.  Set aside.

Melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water.  Ensure the condensation from the side of the bowl does not come into contact with the melting chocolate or else the chocolate may seize.

When the chocolate has melted remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter with the second measure of sugar until pale and fluffy.  Gradually add the beaten egg yolks, being careful to avoid the mixture from curdling.

Beat in the cooled melted chocolate, using a metal spoon fold in the plain flour.

Fold in the meringue in three additions, making sure it is thoroughly combined.

Spoon into the prepared baking ring.  Bake in the preheated oven  for 25 to 30 minutes or until well risen and a skewer inserted into it comes out clean.

Leave in the tin for 15 minutes before turning onto a ire rack to cool compltely.

Our Sachertorte recipe will be continued next week, along with expert tips about tempering chocolate.



Magical Meringue

Separate the eggs using the three bowl method.
A metal bowl will help you creat volume in your mix.
Make sure that it is immaculately clean.

Always place a damp cloth under the bowl to hold it still. We call it your "kitchen helper".
Set your mixer to a slow speed at first.  This will expand the egg white to break down the protein.

Esure you work with the beaters around the entire bowl ... don't simply stay in one place.
If the mix droops off the beaters it isn't ready as its too soft to hold the dense sugar.
It it starts to look like cotton wool you've already gone too far.

Over-worked meringue will collapse and will be very difficult to fold in.
When the mix forms into firm peaks as you lift the beaters it is ready.  Stop now.
Add the sugar gradually to ensure a smooth glossy meringue.

For more Bettys Baking Secrets, including recipes for Swiss Roll and Soft White Bread Rolls and handy tips for piping, visit

Thai Chicken Tacos

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I thought I would make us some chicken tacos for tea the other night.  But not just any Chicken Tacos.  Thai Chicken Tacos.  They are one of our favourites!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Reuben Roll Ups

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As soon as I saw this recipe on Spend with Pennies, I knew it was something I wanted to make for us.   We love reuben sandwiches and we love croissants and I just knew that we would be really happy with these.   I strongly suspect that the original recipe came from Pillsbury, but that is not where I found it.  I did adapt it slightly to the kinds of ingredients which we have available to us here in the UK, but I have also included the North American ones in my recipe write up. ☺

Monday, 10 October 2016

Old Time Chicken Roast

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This is one of my absolute all time favourite chicken casseroles.   Not only is is a great way to use up stale bread, but you can also use up leftover cooked chicken or even turkey, or you can cook chicken just to use in it.  Its a recipe which I adapted from an Amish Cookery book many moons ago.  You know how that goes.  Eventually the recipe becomes your own and it is no different with this!  Its now so much my own that it only vaguely resembles the original.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Caramel Apple Mug Cake

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I decided to make Todd a treat today.   I have next to no will power when it comes to cake and so I have been trying to do mug cakes when I can.  That way he gets to enjoy a bit of an indulgence and I have nothing to tempt me.  This one turned out really REALLY lovely.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Pumpkin Pie Dump Cake

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Its Thanksgiving in Canada this weekend and this recipe is a huge shout out to all of my friends and family who will be sitting down with their loved ones this weekend to enjoy this annual feast of thanks!

Friday, 7 October 2016

Inside Out Bacon Cheese Burgers

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Every now and again Todd and I like to treat ourselves to a good burger.  I am not fond of store made burgers.  I find them too fatty and since the horsemeat scare a few years ago, I have become very suspicious of anything that is pre-pared like that.    I know it is silly and they are probably as safe now as they are ever going to be, but they are also ultra fatty.  UGH.  I hate overly fatty meat.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Plum Pudding Cake

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I baked Todd a delicious Plum Pudding Cake with the last of the plums from our tree last week.  It has taken me  week to finally get to the point where I could post about it.  Trust me when I say that wasn't because I didn't want to.  Too many recipes, not enough time!  Todd adores this tasty pudding cake.  I like it too, although I can't really eat much more than a smidgen of it.  Sigh  . . . 


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Its now Great British Bake Off Season here in the UK, and in honor of that each week Betty's will be sharing a delicious recipe, plus a video and their baking tips to go with each recipe. The kind of thing you won't find in any cookery book! Here is week Seven of their delicious hints and tips and recipe on how to make a really fabulous finger biscuits!  

Finger Biscuits

the Bettys Way

100g butter, softened (7 TBS)
100g caster sugar (1/2 cup)
1 medium egg, beaten
1 - 2 drops vanilla extract
150g plain flour (1 cup plus 2 TBS)
1/2 tsp baking powder
zest of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 175*C/325*F/ gas mark 3. 

In a large bowl, use a spoon and sugar to cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.  Gradually add the beaten egg and vanilla.  Fold in the flour, baking powder and lemon zest to form a thick paste.

Line a baking tray with baking parchment and pipe the mixture into finger shape pieces, ensuring you leave plenty of space between each biscuit.

Bake in a preheated ovn for 6 to 8 minutes until light golden brown in colour.  Cool on a wire rack.  The biscuits will firm on cooling.


Fantastic Finger Biscuits


  • Place a cloth under the bowl, its your second pair of hands.
  • Cream the buscuit mixture with a spoon to present too much air entering the mix.
  • If you get eggshell in your mix, use a half of eggshell to draw it back in.
  • Whisk the egg thin so it can be added in three small additions.
  • Once the mixture has drunk in the egg, it starts to stick to the bowl.  Time for the next addition.
  • As you get towards the last addition of egg, add less.
  • Keep scraping the mixture into the middle to create a mass.
  • If the mix starts to look siny and greasy and no longer clings to the bowl, you may have added too much egg.


  • Wash lemon in cold water to remove wax but not the essential oils.
  • Citrus should always be at room temperature to increase yield of juice and the fragrance from the essential oils beneath the zest.
  • Scuff citrus in one direction on microplae.  Otherwise it damages the microplane.
  • Don't take the 'pith' . . . it changes its flavour profile.
  • Cut the flour into the butter mixture with yoru pastry cutter.
  • Bring the dough together with your hands . . . the warmth will help bring it together.


  • When line piping, allow mix to fall from the piping bag drop like a piece of rope, rather than dragging it.
  • If your mixture is quite firm, soften it with a few drops of water.
  • If you're not sure how many biscuits will fit in your tray, test-bake one and see how far it travels.
  • Space biscuits so that they colour evenly.
  • If baking more than one batch on the same tray, cool down your tray in between bakes.


  • Biscuits Bake from the bottom up so check the underside to see if they are ready.
  • When you take them out of the oen, don't take them straight off the tray.  They're still baking as they are cooling.
  • Leave for five minutes on a cooling wire so air still circulates.  Otherwise, soggy bottom!
  • If your biscuits go stale, pop them back in the oen for five minutes to perk them up.
  • Store them in an airtight tin with a few sugar cubes to retain crispness.

For more Bettys Baking Secrets, including recipes for Swiss Roll and Soft White Bread Rolls, and handy tips for piping, visit bettysbakingsecrets

Peachy BBQ Ribs

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Ribs are something which we only have in this house once in a blue moon, in fact red meat is something we only eat once in a blue moon.  We mostly eat chicken, fish or eggs on a more regular basis.  When I do splurge on something like this I want it to feel and taste worth the splurge.  Hence . . .  finger-licking tasty-good, DELICIOUS . . . Peachy BBQ Ribs!

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Vegetable & Borlotti Bean Soup

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I do love summer and it's BBQ's and salads, but want to know what I love even more???  Autumn and it's soups and the beginnings of comfort foods.  Especially hearty soups such as this Vegetable and Borlotti Bean Soup which scream Home Sweet Home like a warm soft hug!

Monday, 3 October 2016

Chicken Breasts with Sage & Onion Stuffing

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Sometimes you just crave the flavours of a roast chicken dinner, but you don't want to wait to roast a whole chicken in order to get it.  Or maybe you are only a few people and you want a roast dinner, but don't want all of the hassle of it and the leftovers. This recipe today solves both of those issues and is totally delicious, simple to do and a very easy and economical dinner fix!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Maraschino Cherry Cake

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Maraschino cherries.  Some people love them. Some people loathe them  Some people don't consider them to even be cherries, but they are.  Highly processed, preserved, sweetened cherries.   They are bleached white and then dyed red.  This might horrify some people.  It doesn't bother me.  Its not like I am ever going to sit down and eat a whole jar of them, but they do have their places . . . cocktails, fruit cocktail (as children we used to pray that we would get the one marachino cherry in the tin) . . .  and delicious bakes like this fabulously old fashioned and delicious Maraschino Cake!

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Gingerbread Blondies

OH MY GOODNESS! If you don't want to be severely tempted by something that is so dangerously delicious that any diet plans you have now or for in the near future will immediately be thrown out the window . . . LOOK AWAY NOW!

OOOPS! Too late eh? Sorry about that folks. We were having guests for lunch the other day and I wanted to bake something that was unusual and delicious and I remembered this recipe which was in a cookbook of mine entitled Gingerbread ( by Jennifer Lindner McGlinn) for Gingerbread Blondies.  It had been a very long time since I had baked them and tis the time of year that hearts yearn for warmer food, comfort food . . . autumn food.