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.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Magic Chicken Pie

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This is a delicious dish that I like to make every now and again. Todd really loves it, but then again he is somewhat of a pie man.  I like to make my own pies and whilst this isn't like your traditional type of pie, it is still very satisfying and quite, quite tasty!


Monday, 26 September 2016

Caprera, where good food is more than just a label

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I wanted to tell you about a new online marketplace where ‘good food’ is more than just a label.  It is called Caprera.


‘Finest’, ‘Extra Special’, ‘Taste the Difference’. Is a clever label all it takes to convince us about the quality of the food we eat? When we buy ‘British’, ‘farm-raised’ produce, are we happy to settle for this vague idea of where our food comes from? We all like to believe that we are discerning shoppers, choosing only the freshest and the best of what is on the shelf. However, the truth is that most of us purchase without truly giving a second thought about quality and traceability, and are content to accept things at face value. We never stop to consider that being the best on the shelf does not necessarily qualify as being good to begin with. Is there really any way to be certain about how “good” ‘good food’ actually is?

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Caprera aims to change that. It is the largest network of independent food and drink producers in the UK. After a successful trial period, the marketplace has now officially launched, targeting UK consumers who care about the quality and traceability of their food, and who know that this is not something they can get at supermarkets.  

For Caprera, careful sourcing does not mean compromising on convenience. This is great news for the busy modern-day consumer, who wants all the convenience of getting his food in one place. In addition to offering delivery throughout mainland UK, the online marketplace also offers a single delivery system. This enables customers to order a variety of products from multiple independent producers throughout the UK, yet receive it all in one convenient delivery.

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According to Caprera’s founder and CEO, Jeremy Hibbert-Garibaldi, “For too long, ‘good food’ has been reduced to nothing more than a slogan that supermarkets exploit for their own commercial benefit. We believe that customers deserve so much better, and we want them to realise this. We want ‘good food’ to actually mean something again.”

Caprera sets high standards for its producers, all of whom are vetted and handpicked against select criteria. They operate a series of strict policies that includes a ban on the use of artificial substances, GMOs and synthetic growth hormones. This allows the online marketplace to guarantee that all their products are grown and produced by independent producers who mindfully source their ingredients and reject mass production.

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By offering an affordable, convenient way to access traceable, quality food; Caprera is looking to change customer expectations in terms of what should and what really shouldn’t be classed as good food. The site can be found at https://caprera.com/.

Note - I am hoping to try the site out for myself in the near future and will be able to give you my own personal view of the service and products.  Watch this space!

Lamb and Damson Stew

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Here in the Western world putting fruit in with meat isn't something which we do very often . . .  however having said that we do like our pork with applesauce and our cranberry sauce with turkey . . .  but fruit in a stew, its not a really common thing.  In the Middle East it is a fairly common thing . . .  just think of a Tagine with apricots or dates . . . really delicious dishes.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Peanut Butter Cake 4 One

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It's been almost a year since I was diagnosed as a Type 2 Diabetic and I would be lying to you if I didn't say that it has been a real struggle.  Coping with this along with Diverticulitis, IBS and other health issues means that putting anything into my mouth is a bit like playing Russian Roulette.  No fun.  It definitely hasn't been easy.  I have managed to keep the Diabetes under control and take myself back to pre-diabetic glucose levels . . .  the other things I never know from one day to the next what is going to set things off.   I just think I got a handle on it and bingo!  Surprise, surprise, something else will trigger an attack.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Cherry Kuchen

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They have some lovely frozen cherries at the grocery shops and I often pick up a pack and stick them in the freezer so that I can bake a pie or something when the mood strikes.  The other day I decided to bake a delicious Cherry Kuchen with some.  We both love Kuchen/cake.   Kuchen is German for Cake.  In any language it is delicious.  This recipe is loosely based on one which is in my old red plaid covered BHG cookery book.  I have adapted it to make my own cherry filling.  You can use a tin of cherry pie filling instead of the freshly made filling, but I love the homemade cherry filling best of all.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Indian Made Easy

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One type of food that I have really come to adore since moving over here to the UK is Indian Food.  It is a type of food which I had had a very limited experience with prior to that.  Back when I was a much younger woman I had a British friend who had cooked a curry for us one night and I thought it was gorgeous, but that had been my only experience.  I was of the opinion that it was complicated and much to difficult, and in all truth it sometimes can be, often using ingredients that are unknown and very difficult to find.

Over the past sixteen years I have become very fond of Indian food.  My mouth waters at the thought of some gorgeous Onion Bahji's I had at an Indian friend's home one day . . .  and I have made a few very delicious curries here in The English Kitchen as well.  That's why I was really excited when I was given the opportunity to review this new cookery book, Indian Made Easy, by Amandip Uppal.

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This collection of over 140 recipes presents a fresh approach to cooking Indian food, taking you on an amazing spice journey that fits a fast-paced lifestyle. You'll find quick, uncomplicated recipes for Butter Chicken and Prawn Curry, tempting vegetarian dishes, as well as Lamb Kofta with Saffron Creme Fraiche and slowly simmered Beef and Potato Curry. Complete your meal with homemade chutneys, pickles and infused rice, then finish off with a decadent dessert or spiced chai. Special features guide you through making paneer, yoghurt and flatbreads, plus there's a fabulous menu planner and information on pantry staples, must-have spices and alternative ingredients. Indian Made Easy has what you need to create everything from a simple, sumptuous dish to an opulent feast - all filled with the wonderful flavours of India.

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I found the very indepth information on spices and other ingredients to be very informative.  I like knowing about the ingredients I am going to use.  Knowledge is power, and knowing how to use and store things is really important to me.  I hate waste.

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Blendingtraditional and contemporary Indian cuisine, Amandip's recipes breathe a new lease of life into well-known dishes whilst holding true to tradition at the same time.  Broken into tasty chapters entitled Light Bites; Vegetables and Lentils; Fish, Meat and Poultry; Breads and Rice; Salads; Pickles and Chutneys; abd Desserts and Drinks, Indian Made Easy contains quick uncomplicated recipes for every occasion, as well as information on pantry staples, basics, and must-have spices, as well as a fabulous menu planner to help you put together opulent feasts and wonderful combinations of tastes, textures and flavours.

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Cook up Lamb Kofta with saffron creme fraiche and Tamarind rice with onion; learn how to make coriander (cilantro) stuffed naan and sesame and ginger chicken skewers; please the veggies with dishes like Aubergine with Chilli Pomegranate Dressing (see above photo) and a cheat's Dhal Makhani; ad sate your sweet tooth with a pistachio kulfi or a Pomegranate and rosewater granita.

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Everything is photographed beautifully and in all honesty I cannot wait to get stuck in and start cooking with it!  Indian Made Easy is a beautiful and delicious cookbook that brings Indian cookery up to date for the modern and busy cook.

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UK based author Amandip Uppal is a former stylist and writer. She  worked for many years at The Times, and later became Deputy Fashion Editor of Conde Naste Traveler.  Drawing on her life-long love of design and food, she created ChilliHotChocolate.com . . .  an online kitchen and dining emporium.

Indian Made Easy, by Amandip Uppal
Photography by Lisa Linder
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Murdoch Books (8 Sept. 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1743368585
ISBN-13: 978-1743368589

Many thanks to Murdoch Books for sending me a copy for review.  Although I was sent a free copy I was not oblidged to write a positive review.  Any opinions are entirely my own.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Chicken Salad Pie &Cauliflower Cheese Fritters



I am a person that really loves vegetables. I always have done, and none more so than those in the brassica family . . . cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower . . .

I think of them all cauliflower is my absolute favourite. All white and tasty, I love it raw and I love it cooked, on it's own, or in a soup. Anyway you cut it, or cook it, I just love cauliflower.



It's not a vegetable that I ever had when I was growing up. We never had broccoli either. I was an adult before I had either one, and I think my first taste of broccoli was in a Chinese stir fry, and it was absolute love at first bite.

Farm Market Pasta

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When I saw this recipe for a One Pan Farmers Market Pasta on The View from The Great Island, I knew it was something I wanted to make.  It looked so fresh, delicious and healthy.  Just one problem.  Hubby loathes pasta and isn't overly fond of a lot of vegetables either.  He was brought up on School Dinners and rationing and our modern vegetables/combinations/pasta dishes don't excite him in the least.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Sparkling Spun Sugar, The Betty's Way GBBO

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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 five of their delicious hints and tips, and week four on how to create a delicious Croquembouche.

NOTES IN THE MARGINS

Sparkling Spun Sugar, The Betty's Way 

 

Make a Mess


Create Spun Sugar in a friend's kitchen.
Why?  It's messy

Golden Syrup 


Temperature is important

It mix is too cold, the strands will be too thick.  If too hot, they will be too thin.

The ideal consistency is like warm Golden Syrup.

 

Stand Up Tall 


You'll need a little height to work with the sugar. (In the film, Lisa is stood on a kick stool!)

Don't make it too early, it will only last for an hour or so.

Cleaning Up 


Cleaning up can be tricky, but not if you do this:  Fill the pan with water, bring it to the boil, then tip it away.

Sparkling!

If only washing up was so easy.



This is the final part of our series about how to create a Croquembouche. Find out how to create spun sugar to decorate your masterpiece in next week's episode of Betty's Baking Secrets.

www.bettys.co.uk/bettysbakingsecrets


Shepherd's Pie Buns


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 Do you remember these delicious Crusty Lasagna Buns?  Tasty meaty lasagna sauce, stuffed into a bun, slathered with cheese and baked until the cheese oozes and the sauce is bubbling up.  Oh so good with a salad on the side.  Nom!  Nom!