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, 27 February 2017

Banoffee Pancakes


  

Tomorrow is "Pancake Day" here in the UK, also known as Shrove Tuesday it is the last day before the beginning of Lent, when traditionally people had a last feast before Lent ushered in.  It was a good and delicious way to use up the last of the eggs and fat before the fasting began.  When I was a child it was the only day of the year my mother would make pancakes.   And she didn't always make them on Pancake Day either, unless we begged her and "guilted" her into it!  Each year I try to make a different type of pancake and this year is no different.  I present Banoffee Pancakes for your perusal!!

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Squidgy Prune and Ginger Cake


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 Occasionally you run across a cake that is so squidgilly good that you either have to share it right away, or hide it and hog it all to yourself.  This delicious loaf cake falls into both those categories.   I kid you not.   At first bite you will want to run to your bestest friend or partner and share it with them, coz something this scrummy just begs to be shared . . . but then again, the glutton in you may be tempted to want to hide it and save it all for yourself!

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Apple and Blackcurrant Pie


 We are lucky enough to have a very prolific black currant bush in our back garden and so our freezer is filled with black currants for me to use all year round in tasty desserts, pies, cakes, etc.   This is one of Todd's favourite pies.  Well, apple anything is his favourite, but when you mix them with his other favourite fruits, black currants, well you have bagged a real winner!

Friday, 24 February 2017

Cheesy Tuna Bake

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The Toddster is always after me to cook using things that we have in our store cupboard.  He is always complaining about how much we have stored.   It is useless for me to explain to him that your cupboards may be full, but in a lot of cases they are full of ingredients that you put together with other things to make a meal . . .

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Time for a Boost


Boostball is now rolling out across the world and has also been launched into the skies as Virgins Atlantic's protein snack of choice for their customers.  The company recently contacted me and asked me if I would like to try them.  I am always game for something new and so I said yes!

Grape Nuts Bread


Grape-Nuts is a breakfast cereal developed in 1897 by C. W. Post, a former patient and later competitor of the 19th-century breakfast food innovator, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. Despite the name, the cereal contains neither grapes nor nuts; it is made with wheat and barley.  This is not something which we ever really ate as a cereal when I was growing up and it's not something I would eat as a cereal now.  It's rather hard and crunchy, but it is great for baking with!  Back home in Eastern Canada it is also used in Ice Cream.  Grape Nuts Ice Cream was always a real favourite in our house and I do belive that it is my mother's favourite kind, or at least it was.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Sticky Gammon Steaks

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During the week, I try to cook meals which are quick and easy and not too hard on the budget.  Living on a pension means we have a very basic fixed income, and so there is not a lot of room for playing around overly much, and with way food costs are rising, it gets harder and harder each week to make ends meet and still keep our meals interesting.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Vegetable Chow Mein



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

Monday, 20 February 2017

Turkey Hash

  

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

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Vanilla Sauced Bread Pudding

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

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Fruited Scones


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

Friday, 17 February 2017

Broccoli & Potato Casserole

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

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Grilled Cheese Dogs


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

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Broccoli and Cheddar Chowder


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


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


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


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



*Broccoli and Cheddar Chowder*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

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


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


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

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Chicken & Pancetta Stuffed Jacket Potatoes

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

Monday, 13 February 2017

Happy Valentine's Day Puds from Denby and Aimee Twigger

  

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

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

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




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

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





(Click on the photos to enlarge!)
 



Coffee and Walnut Creams


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

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Glazed Cherry Danish Turnovers

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I do like to spoil my husband at the weekends.  These fabulous turnovers are a wonderful way to do just that.  Simple to make and oh so delicious, they always go down a real treat with him!

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Marmalade Pudding with an Orange Infused Custard


There is nothing my husband loves more than a steamed pudding.   He loves stodge and comfort especially in the  Winter months.  He feels the cold a lot more than I do.   I have my own layer of insulation, haha, something which he is severely lacking.  Yes, he is one of those lucky people who can more than look at tasty things and never gain an ounce.  I just have to smell them and I gain a pound.  Sadly, I do a bit more than smell . . .  but that's another story!

Friday, 10 February 2017

One Pan Pork Chop Dinner



I confess I am a great fan of one pan meals.  This Pork Chop Dinner is a one pan meal that I have had written down in a notebook of mine for a very long time, and I confess that today I made it with thick slices of the leftover pork from the other day and halved the recipe for just the two of us.  Its nice to know you can do that I think!  It was delicious!

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Roasted Bangers with Mash & Onion Gravy

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I think Bangers (sausages) and Mash has to be the Toddsters favourite meal of all that I cook for him.  He loves a good meaty sausage.  He love a nice pile of fluffy mash and  . . .  he adores a nice onion gravy.   This meal ticks all the boxes for him and he is a very happy camper when I make it for him!


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Chicken with Tomatoes and Capers




There are normally only two of us eating in this house and so I normally try to cut recipes in half for us, or create dishes which are simple and make just enough for two. It's not that hard to do really. And you can normally multiply up with no problems at all.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Pork Loin with Sage & Applesauce



When I was a young woman, I couldn't really afford to buy cookery books.  With a growing family to care for and being a stay at home mom, cookery books were not in my budget.   I used to handwrite out recipes gleaned from library books and friends and magazines into notebooks.  This is one of those recipes and I can no longer remember if it came from a book, magazine or a friend, or if it was an exeriment of my own that worked out well.  I tend to think that it is the latter due to the simplicity of it.   Simple recipes are often the best ones don't you think?

Monday, 6 February 2017

Hearty Split Pea Soup


One thing that I my mother always did with a wonderfully meaty bone left from a roasted ham was to make a delicious soup. In these days of austerity, it only makes sense to get as much bang as we can out of the money we spend on our food budget.   Mom's hearty split pea was fabulous.  It was done French Canadian style with whole peas, not split, but I have been unable to find them over here in the UK and so I make do with yellow split peas.  Tastes the same, but just looks a bit different!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Walnut Slices


This is a recipe that I have been baking for years and years and years. It is one of my favourite all time bars and something which my family always loved during their growing up years.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Apple Pan Dowdy



I wanted to make a special dessert for Todd the other night. He is awfully fond of apple desserts.  I think apple desserts are one of his favourite types of desserts when it comes right down to it.   He loves to wax on about his mother's apple pies . . . but in truth . . . I have never been able to make an apple pie to come up to his mother's exacting standards.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Cheesy Butternut Pasta Bake


Today was "Torture Todd with Pasta Day."  I know, I am a really meanie.  He is not fond of pasta.  I love pasta.   Sometimes I just need to indulge.  

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Cherry Granola Breakfast Buns



I love bread for breakfast . . . muffins, tea breads, pancakes, waffles and tasty little gems like this recipe here today.

Delicious Cherry Granola Breakfast Buns.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Rice Pudding For Two


My Todd is an old fashioned guy.  There is nothing fancy smancy about him.  He likes simple things, which is probably why he likes me so much.  😉  There is nothing fancy smancy about me either!  And I, too, like simple things.  Things like thie simple baked rice pudding please us both on many levels.


Not only is it delicious, but it is very easy to make and well suited to using up that little bit of leftover rice from last night's dinner.
 


It is just the right size for just two people, which means it is just the right size for our wee family, or for a very hungry Todd.


No, it is not pretty, but you could certainly dress it u with a dab of jam if you wished or a dollop of softly whipped cream.  It is very comforting . . . 


Almost nursery food  . . . warm hug food.  Little nuggets of rice encircled by rich milky custard.  I love the skin on top.  It's my favourire bit.  This is perfect food for the winter blues.  Enjoy . . . 


*Baked Rice Pudding For Two*
Serves 2
 
This is a simple and comforting delicious dessert, perfectly sized for two people. 

1 large free range egg
180ml whole milk (3/4 cup)
1/4 tsp each of salt and cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3 TBS granulated sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
120g of cooked rice (3/4 cup)




 Preheat the oven to 165*C/325*F/ gas mark 3.  Butter a small 5 inch square baking dish.  Set aside. 


Whisk together the egg and sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.  Whisk in the milk and vanilla. Stir in the milk and rice.  Pour into the prepared dish.   


Place the dish with the pudding in it into a larger pan and pour hot water into the pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the dish holding the rice pudding.  Bake in the preheated oven for 55 minutes or until golden and set.  Serve warm with or without whipped cream.



There were years when I had a hard time cooking for just two people, especially having had to cook for a large family and then my employers etc. for a number of years.   I am getting used to it now, and am becoming very good at it.   You could of course double this if you wished, but if you are only two, then this is the perfect winter pud for you.  Bon Appetit!