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Roussillon Baked Potatoes



Every once in a while when I was growing up my mother would make us stuffed baked potatoes for our supper. Oh boy but they were a real treat.  She would bake the potatoes, and then carefully scoop out the filling which she would then mash together with butter milk, salt, pepper and a bit of chopped onion. Nothing fancy, but still out of the ordinary and a bit more special than the usual boiled or mashed or baked potato.



What I wouldn't give to be able to sit down with her now and eat one of her stuffed potatoes, as simple as they were.  You can make a meal from a stuffed baked potato . . . and I don't just mean because of what you choose to fill it with.  Happy memories are great food for the soul, and there are none so tasty as those which involve food.  Preparing food for the ones you care about is a deep expression of love after all  . . .


The recipe I am sharing with you today is a bit fancier than my mother's baked stuffed potatoes.  I adapted it from Diana Henry's book entitled, Food From Plenty.  I love Diana Henry's recipes and way of cooking.  She cooks like I want to eat. She is a bit like me in that she can make a really tasty dish from just about everything . . .  like a simple baked potato  . . .



These baked potatoes are stuffed baked potatoes, but they are a step above the ordinary stuffed baked potato  . . . they are like the aristocratic/upper class version of stuffed baked potatoes  . . .


Not surprisingly you begin with baking some potatoes in the oven. I vary from her method actually. I aways just wash, dry, prick and then bang them into a hot oven, right on the oven racks.  That way the air can really circulate around them and the skins get nice and crispy.


Which is just how I like them  . . . crisp on the outsides and nice and fluffy inside.


Once they are tender and cooked through you let them cool a bit.  Just until you can comfortably handle them.  You can hold them with an oven mitt if you want.  Cut them in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a bowl.


Her recipe uses bacon.  I softened some onion in a bit of butter and added finely chopped baked ham to them . . .



This gets mashed into the potato flesh . . .  along with some blue cheese.


She recommends something like a Gorgonzola  . . .


I used Stilton because that is what I had and what I felt would go well with ham . . .


I used plenty of freshly ground black pepper and then I tasted it to see how salty it was.  It needed a little bit but not a lot . . .  so do taste it before you add any salt.


Then you beat in a beaten egg . . .  the egg kind of makes them puff up like souffle's.


They are ready to bake then. She lays a slice of bacon on top of each prior to baking, but I just added a thin sliver of butter  . . .  oh boy but these were some tasty!

Yield: 2
Author:

Roussillon Baked Potatoes

When I was growing up it was something to really look forward to when we knew mom was making stuffed baked potatoes. This kicks them up a notch!

ingredients:

  • 2 large baking potatoes
  • fine sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 30g butter (1 ounce)
  • a couple thick slices of baked ham, chopped
  • 2 rashers of uncooked streaky bacon (optional) (alternately you can dot with butter)
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
  • 20g blue cheese, crumbled (1 ounce)
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • 1/2 TBS finely chopped fresh parsley

instructions:

How to cook Roussillon Baked Potatoes

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Wash the potatoes, dry and prick all over with a fork. Place into the oven right on the rack. Bake for 50 minutes or so. They are done with a knife will go easily into the centre. Remove and allow to cool until you can handle them comfortably.
  2. While the potatoes are baking melt the butter in a skillet. Add the onion and chopped ham. Cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened but not browned. Remove and set aside.
  3. Have the potatoes and carefully scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/4 inch shell all round. Mash the flesh together with the onions and ham. Stir in the cheese, egg, parsley and pepper. Taste and season with salt as needed. (You may not need any as the cheese and ham are salty.) Pile back into the potato skins. Place into a baking dish which will hold them all in a single layer. Top each with 1/2 rasher of streaky bacon or dot with butter.  Return the filled potatoes to the oven and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Created using The Recipes Generator



I served these with some corn on the cob and a nice mixed salad.  They went down a real treat! 

Up Tomorrow: White Batter Rolls



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Chicken Satay Skewers and Rainbow Salad



I recently created a delicious recipe for the people at Chef Knive's Expert.  This time it was a deliciously different and yet healthy recipe for Chicken Satay Skewers served with a fabulous Rainbow Salad.


Tender pieces of chicken breast meat are marinated in a lush peanut dressing and then loaded onto bamboo skewers along with cubes of pineapple, then popped under the grill until they are a tasty golden brown. 


These are served with a fabulously tasty and crunchy Rainbow salad with red cabbage, two type of sweet bell peppers, sugar snap peas and carrots, all in a tangy & tasty vinaigrette dressing that goes so very well with the chicken skewers!!



Deliciously healthy, colourful.  A veritable rainbow of textures, colours and flavours that the whole family will love! You can find the recipe here




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Back to School & On the Go



Every month I am the lucky recipient of a Degustabox.  Once a month, around the middle of the month, I am gifted with one of these lovely boxes which contain a delicious assortment of all things foodie.  I just love these boxes. Opening each one is tiny a bit like opening a Christmas gift. Always a surprise, and always filled with things that pique my interest and desire to try. Degustabox is a monthly foodie subscription service that sends out a range of 10 to 15 specially selected foodie products. I even have a code that  can give you which will  give you a £5 discount off of your first box. I will tell you about that at the end.


There's always a great mix of new products that I haven't tried before, as well as plenty of treats from more established brands. Quite often you will have the opportunity to try  new products before they arrive in the shops, so it can be a bit of a sneak peak! Each Degustabox costs only £12.99, delivery costs are included in the price, and there is no fixed contract involved. You can cancel at any time. I love getting these boxes! In my opinion, they are great value for money spent.     
 The August box had a Back to School and On the Go theme! 

Normally I have a recipe or two that I have cooked with the contents of the box, however the August box was a bit late arriving and the next one is due to arrive tomorrow, so for this month I will just let you know about the contents of the August Box.


PURE LEAF - Green Tea with Mint/Black Chai/Green Tea with Jasmine  3 X £3.99

At Pure Leaf, everything they do begins and ends with the perfect cup of tea in mind. Their teas have been blended using only the finest long leaves paired with natural ingredients such as herbs, flower petals and real fruit pieces to create unique teas with distinct character. 

I don't drink black or green teas, but do use them in cooking from time to time. My daughter Eileen loves green tea and I am sure she will enjoy these when she is here next month.

HEINZ - Beef Ravioli 1 X £1.25 

Heinz Ravioli has been a family favourite for over 50 years, with delicious beef pasta parcels in a rich and juicy tomato sauce. Ready from the tin to table in under 5 minutes.  Sure to bring smiles to your mealtimes.  We quite like something like this every now and then for a quick lunch or a quick supper.

Available at all major supermarkets 

NUTTVIA Hazelnut Spread 335g 1 X £3.99

Nutvia delivers the same rich flavour and creamy texture of other brands, but with 97% ess sugar and zero palm oil, they are the smart choice for health and the ethical choice for the planet.  Enjoy on toast, ice cream, crepes, fruit and much more.  

This is really delicious. I have been enjoying a bit spread onto a tea biscuit cookie every now and then. I wanted to make cookies with it, but never had the chance.

Available  at Whole Foods, Ocado, Amazon and Morrison's


BLOSSOM HILL Pale Rose 1 X £6.50 

Winner of Product of the Year 2019, Bossom Hill Pale Rose is a firm favourite! Refreshingly dry with delicate floral aromas and notes of summer fruits, you can see why. Best served with friends - try over ice with sliced strawberries for a refreshing summer cooler. 

We don't drink alcohol, but my next door neighbour does, and she was very happy to get this.  She loved it.

Available at Asda 

MANILIFE MINI Original Crunchy/Mini Deep Roast Smooth 2 X £0.59 

Manilife is made from fresh peanuts sourced from a single-estate in Argentina. These beauties are naturally sweeter and with a fat profile more akin to olive oil, better for you too.  Roasted to perfectly and blended in small batches to create a life changing peanut butter. 

I enjoyed these very much on some toast one night. I love toast and peanut butter. My favourite was the deep roast smooth!  Really peanutty tasting!

Available at Waitrose, Ocado, Amazon, Holland & Barrett and many independant coffee shops. 

UFIT Chocolate Protein Drink 1 X £2

Ufit is a delicious high protein milkshake with no added sugar, the only sugar present is naturally occurring from the milk. Designed to cater for mainstream health conscious consumers that are looking for a healthy alternative. Not just for young guys that go to the gym. 

I can't stand chocolate flavoured drinks myself, but Todd really enjoyed this cold from the refrigerator one afternoon after he had mowed the lawn.

Available at Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Boots and Holland & Barrett


ATTACK A SNAK 1 X £1.50

Attack a Snak lets you snack it your way, and now we're bringing that to Nachos, with this new Nachos Snack Kit.  With crunchy nacho chips, tangy salsa and creamy nacho cheese, Attack A Snak Nachos Kit is perfect for after school.  Top em, dip em and snak em your way. 

True confessions. I had this for breakfast one morning.  This was really tasty and quite spicy actually!

Available at all supermarkets. 

MIGHTY FINE Dark Chocolate/Dark Chocolate Raspberry Skinny Coated Almond Dips 1 X £1.39

In 2014 they began creating treats in a cool, little shop in Camden that were all handmade, always tasty & packed with great ingredients. Just like these Almond Dips, a lightly roasted almond, skinny coated in chocolate and dusted in cocoa powder. 

These be mighty fine. Yummy!

Available at Ocado, Whole Foods and www.mightyfine.co 

FRUIT BOWL Unicorn Flakes, Yogurt Raisins, Strawberry Yogurt £0.49 per pack

At fruit bowl they are all about making sure the snacks that end up in little hands are packed with fruity goodness.  Bursting with flavourful fruitiness, individually wrapped portions are perfect between meals and you can take them anywhere. 

I enjoyed sharing these with Ariana and Grace.  They loved them and I felt good that they were eating something healthy.

Available at all major supermarkets.




JELLY SQUEEZE Jelly Pouches £0.50 per pouch

The easy, squeezy way to enjoy jelly. With no added sugars or artificial sweeteners as well as being suitable for vegans. Available in three delicious flavours. Apple & Blackcurrant, Orange and Strawberry.  No mess and the ideal addition to any back to school lunchbox.

I also shared these with Ariana and Grace.  They enjoyed them, especially Grace.

Available at Asda, Ocado Booths, Nisa.  

KIT KAT Senses Bars 2 X £0.85 

Kitkat senses bars, available in two sumptuous flavours, Salted Caramel and Hazelnut. Offering the perfect combination of chocolate and wafer with an indulgent layer of filling, these bars are perfectly packaged for your next moment of "me-time." 

What can I say, Kit Kats are my favourite bars. Nummy yummy!

Available at major retailers from September. 

STRINGS & THINGS Cheeshapes 1 X £1.50

Strings & Things Cheeshapes is the amazing new product from the brand that brought you cheesetrings. Cheeshapes Randoms are bags of real cheese pieces, shaped into completely random shapes & iconic faces. You never know which one you're going to get! Perfect for the lunchbox of after school. 

I received a redeemable voucher good for one pack. Strings & Things are a real favourite of Mitzie's!



I really do make great use of and enjoy many of these fabulous products I am sent each month to try out. 
Many thanks to Degustabox UK for gifting me this box. I have to say I really look forward to getting my box each month. There are always lots of things in it to enjoy and new products to try out. I highly recommend. You can also tailor the boxes to your own likes and dislikes by filling in your own Taste Profile.  If you like the sound of this box, why not sign up now! I find them to be really good value for money spent and I really enjoy trying out new products that I have not tried before.   Included is also a detailed information card  which tells you all about each product included, and other extras such as recipes, etc.   

Follow them on Facebook 

Follow them on Twitter  
 
 So, that was the August Degustabox - a nice selection of products as always. We loved it. The price of each Degustabox is £12.99 (including delivery). To order your box, visit www.degustabox.com 

Use the code 2ROE0 to get £5 off your first Degustabox, free delivery – enjoy! 
     
I was gifted with the box free of charge, however any and all opinions are my own. 

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Pork Fried Rice



I had a huge piece of leftover roast pork loin after Todd's Birthday lunch with friends the other day and I wasn't sure what to do with it.  You know the whole time I grew up we never had hot roast pork.  My father didn't like hot roast pork, so my mother always cooked it the day before we had it for dinner and then we would have it sliced in thin slices with mustard for our supper.


This might sound awful, but I quite liked the texture and taste of the cold white fat on it . . .  ever the glutton.  I do have to admit however as an adult I prefer my roast pork hot, and I don't eat the fat.


I could have made a casserole with it, but I also had a quantity of leftover cooked vegetables as well. Carrots, swede, Brussels sprouts.  I used them in this recipe, along with a chopped onion and some frozen veg.


Normally I would use chopped raw vegetables, but where I had these and they needed using I just used them. I did chop up the carrots and Knive-shred the sprouts.  The swede (rutabaga) was mashed but coarsely, so a handful of that worked well also.


Fried rice is a very forgiving dish to make. It will work with just about whatever you have to throw into the pan.  Pork, chicken, beef, ham . . .  shrimps  . . .  I have even made it with Spam and it was really good, let me tell you!


I save the frozen vegetables and add them at the end.  Today I used peas and corn, but most times I only use peas.


Its flavoured with garlic, ginger, five spice powder and dark soy sauce . . .


I also like to use some of my homemade Ketjap Manis and Hoisin Sauce.  I like the salty sweetness of the Ketjap Manis and the spiciness of the Hoisin sauce.


Ketjap Manis is an Indonesian thick and sweet soy sauce. If you have never tried it or made your own, you really should do. Its very easy to make and so delicious. You can find my recipe for it here.  I would not be without it.


A bit of toasted sesame oil also adds an authentic flavour which we love . . . along with garlic of course.


We enjoyed it along with some oven baked chicken tenders.  Crisp and delicious.  I created a simple Oriental flavoured BBQ sauce to dip them in.



This sauce is as easy as whisking a few tasty ingredients together and is really yummy!


Yield: 4
Author:

Chinese BBQ Sauce for Dipping

This is great for dipping  chicken nuggets and tenders into. Delicious!

ingredients:

  • 4 TBS Peach, Plum or Apricot jam (I like Bonne Maman)
  • 4 TBS tomato ketchup
  • 4 TBS BBQ sauce (use your favourite kind)
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 TBS Rice wine vinegar

instructions:

How to cook Chinese BBQ Sauce for Dipping

  1. Measure the jam into a microwave proof bowl.  Put into the microwave and cook on high for about 60 seconds. Whisk  in all of the remaining ingredients until smooth and let sit about half an hour prior to using.
Created using The Recipes Generator



The rice along with the chicken tenders and sauce made for a very delicious supper indeed!

Yield: 4
Author:

Pork Fried Rice

This is one of those meals that uses up whatever vegetables and meat you have in the fridge that need using up, and tastes great!  I love little bit of this and little bit of that meals!

ingredients:

  • a bit of oil
  • 2 cups of chopped cooked roast pork
  • 4 cups of chopped raw vegetables (cabbage, carrots, swede, peppers, onions, cauliflower,
  • broccoli, courgettes, bean sprouts, beans . . . in other words just about any vegetable you have to hand)
  • 1 family pack of cooked rice (one that gives 4 servings)
  • a large handful of frozen peas, or frozen peas and corn
  • 1 TBS dark soy sauce
  • 1 TBS Ketjap Manis (Indonesian Soy sauce)
  • 1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • a good dollop of hoisin sauce (according to your taste)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

instructions:

How to cook Pork Fried Rice

  1. Heat a large skillet with a lid over medium high heat. Add a splash of oil and once it heats up toss in the meat and the garlic. Cook and stir until heated through. Add the chopped raw vegetables. I chop the ones that take longer to cook smaller and leave the ones which cook fairly quickly in larger chunks. Sprinkle with the  1 TBS of the soy sauce, the garlic,   the ground ginger, and the Chinese five spice, stirring it all through. Cover with the lid and cook over medium low heat, until the vegetables are crispy tender. Remove the lid and add the rice from the package, crumbing it in and stirring it all together. Add the peas, the ketjap manis, hoisin sauce and sesame oil. Cover and heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Created using The Recipes Generator



It always makes me really happy when I can use up my leftovers in a tasty and unique way.  Nothing boring here.  I've never had any complaints anyways! 

Up Tomorrow: Roussillon Baked Potatoes





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Apple Pie Danish



I always like to bake Todd a treat at the weekend.  Because we are both retired, the weekend can easily blend into our weeks, so I like to do something which marks these two days apart from the other five.  It is so easy to lose your weekend when you are not working any longer.  I try to mark Saturday and Sunday as still being special days in our lives. 



For the most part (with a few exceptions) I only bake at the weekend.  Sunday is set apart because that is the day we go to church.  We don't shop on Sundays or order takeaways, we have designated Sunday as our day of rest.


I usually try to make Todd something special to enjoy with his early morning cuppa. I am not one much for hot drinks, but Todd he is so British . . . .   he really needs his morning hot cuppa. 



That can be a barley cup, or a hot chocolate, sometimes an herbal tea.  So long as it it wet and hot, he is happy.  Adding a tasty bake into the mix increases his joy factor two-fold!


Especially when it is something as delicious as these Apple Pie Danish!  Yum yum!


These quick and easy drop Danish are bound to become a real favourite of yours as well.  I confess they use a prepared Baking Mix.  I make my own from scratch and keep it in the freezer (as it is sometime I don't use really often.)  You can find my recipe for that mix here


If you are not keen to make your own from scratch, you can use Bisquick or Tea Bisk, which is what I used to use many moons ago. Do they even still make it?  Or has Bisquick taken over?  



You add some sugar and cinnamon to the baking mix and then you cut in some butter.  Milk is stirred into give you a thick yet still drop-able mixture.  Not as thin as cake batter, but not so thick that you feel the need to roll it out. 


You then drop the dough by heaped dessert spoons onto a lined baking sheet.  If you look at these spoons above the second spoon from the left is a dessert spoon.  (The others are from left to right, Soup, Tea and Coffee spoons.)



I use a small damp teaspoon to make a dip in the centre of each mound of dough.  I dampen it so that the dough doesn't stick to it.  Makes it a lot easier.


The centre is filled with chunky applesauce.  I make my own but you can use any good store brand chunky applesauce. If you want to make your own you can find my recipe here.



I like it to be a bit chunky so I don't mash the apples up too much. It is lightly sweetened.  You can add cinnamon and nutmeg to it, but I like it just plain.



You spoon a bit of this applesauce into the hollows and then you bake them.  Don't be overly generous with the applesauce, but don't be stingy either.  Bear in mind that sauces like this can expand when baking, especially if they have sugar in them.


You bake them for about 15 minutes, until they are puffed and golden brown all over and especially on the bottoms.


Scoop them off onto wire racks to cool just a bit and then glaze with a cinnamon glaze.  Easy peasy.


Todd really  REALLY enjoys these.  I think apple anything is his favourite thing! 


Yield: 12
Author:

Apple Pie Danish

ingredients:

  • 280g of baking mix (2 cups)
  • 1/4 tsp each cinnamon & ground nutmeg
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 65g of butter, softened (1/4 cup)
  • 156ml milk (2/3 cup)
  • chunky applesauce (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp each cinnamon & ground nutmeg
For the glaze:
  • 90g icing sugar (2/3 cup confectioners sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 TBS warm water
  • few drops vanilla extract

instructions:

How to cook Apple Pie Danish

  1. Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7. Lightly butter a baking sheet.
  2. Measure the baking mix, sugar and spices into a bowl. Whisk to combine. Drop in the butter and using a fork, cut it in until crumbly. Stir in the milk. You should have a nice stiff but drop-able dough. Drop by rounded dessertspoons onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each one. Using the back of a damp spoon make a well in the centre of each. Drop one heaped teaspoon of applesauce into each well.
  3. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown, and browned on the bottoms. Remove from the oven. Whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle this over top of the danish while still warm and serve immediately
Created using The Recipes Generator



I confess that I really enjoy them also, even if I really shouldn't.  I know  . . . . Me<----- little="" nbsp="" no="" or="" p="" willpower.="">

Up tomorrow: Pork Fried Rice and Chicken Tenders with Oriental BBQSauce.



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