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Chicken Fajita Skillet Supper


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The other day I found myself with a couple of boneless chicken breasts and some peppers plus a pot of leftover pasta in the refrigerator.  I needed to use the peppers and the chicken and I didn't want to have to throw the pasta away and so I decided to throw them all together and make a simple and quick supper for us.

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Cherry Tomato and White Bean Salad


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Because of my present eye problems, I did an online grocery shop at the end of last week.  I just didn't feel like pushing a grocery cart through a shop with all the poor lighting etc.   I don't mind shopping online . . .  but this time most of my fresh items arrived with short use by dates.  That I DO mind.  YES I am one of those annoying people who pick the produce etc. from the back of the row where it is fresher when I am shopping!

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Roasted Bone In Chicken Breasts


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We eat a lot of chicken in this house.  Here in the UK we are very lucky that chicken is probably one of the most affordable source of protein when it comes to meat of any kind.  I love the versatility of it, which means you can actually eat it more than once a week and never really get tired of it.

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Sweet Freedom


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I have been wanting to tell you about two lovely products I was recently sent to try out.  I've spent several weeks using them and I can't let another day pass without telling you all about them.  Sweet Freedom is a company here in the UK which has developed these fabulous little undulgences which taste fabulous but are actually a lot better for you than you might think.   Naturally sweetened with fruit extracts combined with other natural ingredients, their products are naturally lower in calories and low GI, which make them a dieter's dream.

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These liquid shots of flavour come in a variety of flavours and a convenient flip top container, which is very handy for carrying with you when you are on the run, at work, etc.   They have won Great Taste Awards three years running and no wonder!

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WE've been enjoying the Sweet Freedom Porridge/Tea/Baking one as a healthy alternative to using other syrups drizzled over our breakfast oats and pancakes.    Low GI, 100% natural, GM & Gluten Free, and at only 13 calories per teaspoon this is a great and healthy alternative.  It's delicious and because it's made 100% from fruit, it's naturally better for you than artificial sweetners and sugar.  You can find it on the sugar shelf in Asda, Waitrose, Ocado, and Holland & Barrett for approximately £2.99 rrp.

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The other product we I have been enjoying is their new Choc Shot Liquid Chocolate in the Coconut Flavour!  Tastes just like a bounty bar.  I've been enjoying it as hot chocolate, drizzled over ice cream . . .  and I confess  . . .  I have even just eaten it by the teaspoonful just to keep me from indulging in real chocolate.  Sigh . . .  I do love my chocolate.  Like the Sweet Freedom it is also 100% natural,  Low GI/GL,  GM, Dairy and gluten Free.  Stir into hot milk for a faff-free hot drink with no powdery lumps or residue, drizzled over ice cream, brownies, etc. and once again only 14 calories per teaspoon.  Available from Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Waitrose, Co-op and Ocado, on the Hot Chocolate Shelf for £3.59 rrp.



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Chard and Cheese Tart




I have to confess that Chard . . .  Swiss Chard, or Silver Beet as it is also called, is one of my favourite vegetables.  I do so love greens.  My mother used to cook us beet greens . . .  with a bit of butter, vinegar, salt and pepper . . .  they were so delicious.

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Sauteed Apples with Vanilla Mascarpone



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We spent all afternoon today wandering around Tatton Park. What a gorgeous place that is! The gardens were so beautiful and we walked our not so little butts off! (ok . . . hmm . . . MY not so little butt.)

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Almond Gingerbread



Almond Gingerbread

If I had to pick a flavour I love above all else, I would have a very difficult time doing so. I just love sooooo many flavours.

A lot of what I eat depends on what type of mood I am in, or the weather, or even what's in the refrigerator. I guess you could say I just love food, full stop!


Almond Gingerbread

I do have a serious thing for ginger though . . . I love it's warmth and spice . . . that peppery heat, that goes so very well with lots of things . . . tart lemons, sweet fruits and berries, nuts, breads, chicken and pork! Dark Chocolate!! (ohhh . . . I am hungry now! Dang!!)

Almond Gingerbread

I do love a good gingerbread and I have some great recipes for quite a variety of them. The ones I've already posted you can find here. I have many, many more, trust me . . . but they will be revealed to you one at a time as time goes by, and according to my cravings. (I am such a glutton and a tease!)

Almond Gingerbread

I just adore this particular gingerbread. It's light . . . and moist . . . and mild. Just perfect for those times when I am craving a gingerbread, but not looking for anything too heavy.

Almond Gingerbread

There are more almonds in this than there are flour, which makes for a very light cake, and also a very moist cake. It's also chock full of lovely little bits of preserved stem ginger. I use Opies, which I like. If you are so inclined you can even get it steeped in a whiskey syrup. Just sayin is all . . .

Almond Gingerbread

Anyways, this cake is lovely. You get a fabulous crunch on top from the flaked almonds, all toasty and nutty, and then brushed with some of the ginger syrup when warm, giving them a bit of sweet heat. Moist cake, with tangy little spicy sweet bits of ginger throughout. All in all . . . F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!

Almond Gingerbread

Trust me. Have I ever lied to you? I thought not!

Almond Gingerbread

*Almond Gingerbread*
Serves 8 to 10
Printable Recipe

A gently flavoured gingerbread, moist and topped with the wonderful crunch of flaked almonds and ginger syrup.

3 1/2 ounces butter (7 TBS), softened
5 1/2 ounces dark brown sugar (3/4 cup packed)
4 large free range eggs
2 ounces of stem ginger in syrup, plus 4 TBS of the syrup (2 1/2 knobs)
7 ounces of almond flour (2 cups)
3 ounces self raising flour (3/4 cup)
1 ounce flaked almonds (scant 1/2 cup)

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Butter a 9 inch square baking pan and line with baking parchment. Butter the parchment. Set aside.

Whisk together the butter and brown sugar until light and creamy. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each one is added.

Finely chop the stem ginger. Add to the butter mixture, along with 2 TBS of syrup. Fold in the ground almonds and flour. Spread in the baking tin, smoothing the top over. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cake is firm to the touch and a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. (If the almonds begin to brown too much, cover lightly with a sheet of foil.)

Remove from the oven when done. Gently heat the remaining ginger syrup and brush over top of the warm cake. Leave to cool, then cut into slices to serve. 

Almond Gingerbread

This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at: mariealicejoan at aol dot com Thanks so much for visiting. Do come again! 

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Roly Poly Rhubarb Pudding



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When I was a child I could hardly wait for Rhubarb Season to roll around. My mom would make us our favourite rhubarb pies. They were so tasty, served warm with vanilla ice cream all melting down into that buttery crust and the sweet/tart juices of that beautiful fruit . . .

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Breakfast Sausage Patties


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Sometimes we like to have breakfast for supper.   On the weekends, we might splurge and have a big breakfast on occasion, but more normal than not . . . we have a big breakfast for supper . . . and by that I mean bacon and eggs, or sausage and eggs, or egg chips and beans, egg and chips, or even a full on proper fry up! It makes sense to have something like that for supper instead of breakfast.  At least it makes sense to me!

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Mrs Crimble's and Coeliac and Allergy Awareness Weeks













Allergy Awareness Week, April 28th to May 4th,  Coeliac Awareness Week, 11th to 17th May 2015

Did you know...?

50% of young people in Britain suffer from one or more allergies* and more than a third of all parents believe that their child has a food allergy or sensitivity of some sort**.

Nearly a third (31%) of households contain someone who has a food allergy or intolerance, the majority being self-diagnosed.***

Over 1 in 5 (22%) of the population consider themselves to have a food allergy or intolerance (an increase of 5% compared to 2011).***

Happily though, Mrs Crimble’s, the much loved gluten free British bakery brand, is proving that people who are gluten intolerant can still enjoy snacks, cakes and other treats that taste every bit as yummy as the mainstream alternatives. They are also succeeding in making sure that their products are widely available – from supermarkets and convenience stores to department store cafes, airline snack boxes, delicatessens and local fine food stores. 

Mrs Crimble’s reputation was built on the huge success of their Coconut and Choc Macaroon products but has now grown to include savoury snacks, home bake mixes, crackers and individually wrapped products such as flapjacks that can be enjoyed on the go. 

They are also succeeding in making sure that their products are widely available – from supermarkets and convenience stores to department store cafes, airline snack boxes, delicatessens and local fine food stores.

Mrs Crimble’s products enable people with allergies to enjoy products with all of the taste and none of the gluten – ensuring families and friends can enjoy great food together.

* According to a recent survey
by the charity, Allergy UK
** According to the NHS Choices Website
*** YouGov: Understanding food allergies and intolerances – the consumer viewpoint (September 2014)

Here are a few of the Mrs Crimble's products I enjoy (aside from their Macaroons which are just the best thing ever!).

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Mrs Crimble's Chocolate Coated Rice Cakes
 Mrs Crimble's new chocolate coated rice cakes are delicious. Made from puffed rice, they are baked and not fried then topped with delicious chocolate.  And only 81 calories per slice.   A great snack option.

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Mrs Crimbles Cheese Crackers
Mrs Crimble's Cheese Crackers come in a variety of flavours, Original, Rosemary and Onion, Tomato and Pesto and  Hot Chilli Cheese.   There is something for every taste.   Crispy, crunchy, baked not fried and deliciously gluten free.  Four crackers = 82 calories

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Mrs Crimble's Cakes and Biscuits
These come in four different indulgent flavours.  Bakewell Slices.  Double Chocolate Brownies.  Lemon Slices.  Country Fruit Slices.   Calories Vary. 

My favourites are the Country Fruit Slices ( A classic recipe with a moist sponge filled with juicy raisins, cranberries and apricots with a pastry base and topped with sugar) and of course the Lemon Slices (A light moist lemon sponge layered with a tangylemon filling and topped with icing).  Both are of course gluten free.

I think it's just wonderful that celiacs and allergy sufferers have these delicious options available for them today.   They need never feel deprived.  In days gone by it would have been very frustrating to have a person with these dietary concerns in the home, but thankfully more and more products are becoming available for them all the time.


Mrs Crimble’s started over 30 years ago and today their products can be found in all good independent farm shops, health stores, delicatessens and supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose, Morrisons, Co-op, and Tesco. Mrs Crimble’s can also be found in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The company is the Official Free From Sponsor of England Netball, in particular supporting the Back to Netball scheme which encourages female players of all ages to get active and re-introduced to the much loved school sport.

 Mrs Crimble’s are Official Gluten Free Partner to Breast Cancer Campaign which involves support of the successful University Fundraising initiatives, donations via promotional packs during October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) and many other activities.

In response to consumer feedback, Mrs Crimble’s have launched an online shop providing consumers with a convenient location to access the complete range. The website also features Mrs Crimble’s blog and a regularly updated ‘Where to Buy’ tab at www.mrscrimbles.com.
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Simple Vanilla Cupcakes


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 I thought it would be fun today to show you my simple "go to" cupcake recipe that I use all the time when I want to make vanilla cupcakes.  They are easy to make, always turn out and delicious.  In short . . .  they are the perfect vanilla cupcake.

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Swedish Meatballs


Swedish Meatballs

Believe it or not I have only ever been to Ikea once in my whole life.   I went with a couple of mates to the one in Warrington a couple of years back.  I do have lots of furniture in my house from Ikea, but it was all delivered.  

 

The one time I did go, I had to try their Swedish Meatballs.   I had heard so much about them, and they were pretty good, but I have to say . . .  they weren't as good as my homemade ones.

 Swedish Meatballs

This is a mix of trial and error which began with a recipe from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook back in 1979.   This was my base and throughout the years I have tweaked the recipe here and there and this is my final version and the one that I use all the time now.

Swedish Meatballs

The end result is tender and flavourful meatballs . . .  a mix of beef and pork and spices . . . whole wheat bread crumbs . . .

 Swedish Meatballs

Browned and then simmered in a simple gravy in the oven, which is enriched during the final fifteen minutes of baking with some rich cream . . .

Swedish Meatballs

The gravy alone is to die for.  And there's plenty of it.   Can you ever have too much gravy?

Swedish Meatballs

I think not.    Mmmmm . . .  moist, tender, flavourful meatballs . . .  rich creamy gravy . . .  served atop a nice pile of buttery noodles.

 Swedish Meatballs

Of course Todd always has his with potatoes, which works well also.   I hope you will give them a go.   I would be surprised if you didn't think these were the best Swedish Meatballs ever.

Swedish Meatballs


*Swedish Meatballs and Gravy*
Serves 4-6

Delicious meatballs in a fabulously rich gravy.   So tasty!  Apologies to Ikea, but I think these are better.  Delicious with noodles. 

For the meatballs:
3/4 pound of ground beef (I like to use extra lean)
1/2 pound ground pork
3 slices of whole wheat bread, crusts removed and made into crumbs
1 large free range egg, beaten lightly
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp ground allspice
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 TBS oil for frying 

For the gravy:
1 TBS plain flour
300ml of chicken broth (1 1/3 cup)
1 TBS dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp honey
300ml of double cream (1 1/3 cup whipping cream)
salt and pepper to taste
chopped parsley to garnish
buttered noodles to serve

Swedish Meatballs 


First make the meatballs.  Mix together all of the meatball ingredients, with the exception of the oil for frying,  until well combined. Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls.  Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Brown the meatballs lightly all over in the hot fat.  Put them into a casserole dish.  Whisk the flour into the pan drippings.   Whisk in the chicken broth, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and honey.   Bring to the boil, whisking constantly.   Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pour this over the meatballs in the casserole dish.

Swedish Meatballs


Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Put the casserole with the meatballs in it into the preheated oven.  Bake, stirring occasionally for about 25 minutes.   Whisk in the cream.   Bake for 15 minutes longer.  Serve hot garnished with parsley flakes along with some buttered noodles.
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A Trio of Delicious Soup Recipes






























 We are great soup lovers in this house.   Homemade soups for the most part.  I only ever rarely buy a ready made soup.  My mother was a fabulous soup maker.  I grew up with wonderful homemade soups.  I am not afraid to make my own soup.  It's something which I find very easy to do and we often have a bowl of homemade soup and some crusty bread for a simple and easy supper.  I was recently sent a lovely vegetable box and some of the new Covent Garden Souper Booster's to try out and spent several days last week experiementing with them to see what I could come up with.

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Jam Crostata


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I love beautiful tarts like this Jam Crostata I am showing you here today.  A Crostata is an Italian type of baked pie or tart . . .  but the pastry is very rich and almost cake-like.  It contains baking powder, egg yolks and lotsa lotsa butter . . .  which makes it very rich and crumbly.

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Fabulously Affordable and Beautiful Gifts . . .


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As you probably noticed in my earlier post I was recently contacted by Flamingo Gifts and asked if I would like to review a few gifts from their magnificent gift site!   Flamingos stock a varied and unique range of gifts to suit everyone and all occasions. From kitsch to traditional, from adults to children, there is sure to be something on their pages to suit just about every taste. Really, really  lovely things.  I was hard pressed to pick a few items as there were just so many nice items to choose from!  After a couple of days of perusal I managed to narrow my wish list down to a few and within 24hours of my voicing my wish list . . .  a big box arrived on my doorstep.  I have to say that delivery was quick and everything arrived well packed and undamaged in transit.  Perfect packaging and delivery.  Positive number one!

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I showed you the lovely Folklore Coffee Pot earlier today.   It's on sale right now at 10% off the regular price.  You can read what I thought about it here.  So cute!


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I am a big fan of Orla Kiely anything.  I adore her fresh designs, with their very distinctive patterns, colours and texures.   I fel in love with this set of Three Herb Pots On a Tray.  The patterns used are Flower Stem, Scribble Stem and Daisy Spot.  Ideal for growing herbs, each pot fits comfortably on the tray, which makes it very easy to water them from below.

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Mine have been planted and are sitting on the windowsil in the dining room, where I am eagerly awaiting in anticipation of something green showing up.  Oh, I know  . . .  I could have just gone and bought already growing herbs, but experience has taught me that those herbs you can get in the pots at the shops are not meant to last for very long.  Seriously.  Orla Kiely deserves much more than a flash in the pan.  These are also on sale right now at 10% of the regular price.   Check them out!

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Another item which I fell in love with was this Sparrow Serving Set, which consists of 4 serving utensils (spaghetti server, Ladle, Slotted Spoon and Solid Spoon) and a unique tree branch holder (which slides apart for flat storage.)  You all know how much I love watching the sparrows at play in my back garden and this caught my eye from the get-go.  The sparrow server set would look great in any kitchen and is ideal to leave on the side.  This pretty set of kitchen utensils looks like 4 sparrows sitting on a tree.  Pretty and fun.

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Made completely from recycled materials this set is great for cooking or serving.  Very stylish.  It's out of stock at the moment, but you can ask to be notified for when more stock arrives.   I just love it!  Check out more details here

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Finally I chose the Abode Egg Cups.  This lovely set of four porcelain egg cups is the result of a collaberation with Mengsel and features Luzelle van der Westhuizens illustrations of 4 animals each on an egg cup of their own.

It's super cute,  and would make a lovely gift for any special occasion or birthday.  It comes in a sturdy and attractive box.  From the abode range, they also have stacking tins, plates and espresso sets. The cups are also dishwasher and microwave safe.  These are also on sale at 10% off at the moment.

I really love all of the items I received and feel that if you are looking for a gift for that special occasion or someone, or even as a treat yourself, you could not find a much nicer site to get it from than Flamingo Gifts.  They cater for every budget and offer the lowest prices possible for extremely high quality goods, with a top class service and a simple mission, which is to provide amazing gifts to you at a great price and quickly, and to deal with any problems even faster so you enjoy your splurge!

Many thanks to them for indulging my wish list.   I really am thrilled with all my goodies.
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Maple Blueberry Pudding Cake




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You would be forgiven for thinking this is a somewhat ugly dessert . . .  but this is one dessert where you don't want to judge the book by it's cover, for it's fabulously delicious!

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A Gratin of Haddock or Cod


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I have to say I am especially fond of Cod or Haddock, responsibly sourced of course.   I grew up with salt cod which is what we used to make fish cakes with back home . . .  and I will guarantee that were you to take any one person in my family out for a meal, dollars to donuts . . .  they'll choose either cod or haddock and chips.  It's a given.  It's our celebration meal of choice!

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Jam Filled Scones


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Today I baked Todd's favourite Jam Filled Scones.  You know we love jam in this house . . .  I make no secret of it, and I always have lots of it in the cupboard and refrigerator. I have several varieties that I prefer over others . . .  Strawberry being my top favourite, followed closely by seedless raspberry and Blueberry.  Cherry jam is also a real love of mine.

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Chocolate & Almond Glazed Jam Biscuits (Cookies)


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One thing that Todd and I are both really crazy about is Jam.  We eat a lot of it here.   I use it for baking and all sorts, and sometimes when we are both feeling really lazy we have nothing but bread and jam for a light supper.   We both really enjoy it and it feels like a real treat.  Especially if I have some crusty or homemade bread in the house!

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Irish Chicken and Red Candy


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My sister made this recipe that she found on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago and put a picture of it on her facebook page. It looked so good that I immediately wanted to try it myself.   We love cabbage and potatoes in this house and the recipe incorporated both of those along with some onions, chicken pieces and bacon!  If it's got bacon you just know it's going to be good!

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Marie Rayner
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Golden Syrup Dumplings with Custard



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We normally have our Sunday Dinner on Saturdays.  Sundays I never have the time to cook a big meal.  We spend half the day either getting ready for church or in church and then when I get home, I have phone calls to make to Canada, etc. so Sunday is usually catch as you can.  Saturday is the day I make us a Sunday type of dinner, complete with dessert.   Today I treated Todd with one of his favourites  . . .  the most hedonisticly scrumptious dessert ever . . .

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