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Turnip and Carrot Dish


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I've always been a big lover of vegetables.  There are not too many I don't like with the exception of tinned peas.   This goes back to when I was a child.  Other than carrots and turnips, we mostly had tinned vegetables at home, and my mother found a dead cricket at the bottom of a tin of peas once, after we had already eaten half the tin.  You couldn't get me to eat a tinned pea after that.   In fact, in all truth I am very fussy about my peas.  I only like tender small ones.  Once they get big and woody textures, I can't stand them, and I don't think I am alone in that!


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Pumpkin Puddings


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Ahh . . .  Pumpkin Season is upon us.  Autumn.  That time of year when we start to long for food that is a bit stodgier than the summer fare we've been eating the past couple of months.  Bring on the bonfires and . . . the Pumpkin delights!


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New Bits for the Kitchen


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Hi there peoples!  I wanted to tell you about some of the equipment I've been using in my kitchen over this past month.  You know a cook is only as good as the tools she uses and I have been very blessed to have nice things that are really useful.

A few years when I was over in Canada, the Toddster wore out our tin opener and had to buy a new one. I have never been fond of the new one he bought.  (Sorry Todd!)  I recently got this new One-Touch Automatic Can Opener.

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I've never had a battery operated can opener before.  At first I wasn't quite sure how to use it.   The handy instruction leaflet which came with it soon dispelled any mystery.

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You simply place the can opener on top of the can with it's rim positioned in the groove between the cutter and the drive wheel.  With the tin on a flat surface you press the button for about one second and release and then it goes to work, cutting the can all the way around.  You then press the button again to reverse the cutter and it reverses and stops.

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You then lift the cutter off the can, and the magnet on the can opener will pick up the lid for convenience.  Easy Peasy, lemon squeezy!  I tried to take a video of it in action, but I need a teenager around to show me how to use my camera.  Sigh . . .  all I got was the picture you can see at the top with the opener on top of the can and my finger going in to touch the button!


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I've also been using these Colour Works Utensils.   The  Masher is made from Nylon and is dishwasher safe and suitable for nonstick surfaces.  Heat resistant to 210*C/410*F.,  it carries a five year warantee.

The Silicone Spoon Spatula is also dishwasher safe, hygenic and very flexible.  It's stain resistant and suitable for non-stick surfaces.  It is heat resistant for up to 260*C/500*F and also comes with a five year warantee.

What can I say?  They do their job and I love that they don't scratch my pans and are dishwasher safe.

All of these items can be purchases at Next Day Catering, a leading online catering supplier providing a range of high quality catering equipment and hotel supplies in in the UK. They have been the UK’s favourite catering suppliers for 20 years now, supplying quality products from top name brands including KitchenAid, Dualit, Panasonic, Samsung Victorinox and more. Their next day catering supplies are used across the UK by bars, hotels, restaurants, caf├ęs, bed and breakfasts, schools, office canteens, bistros and other professional kitchens and hospitality businesses.  With a quick delivery,  great prices, and a full stock selection, they are my first port of call when it comes to finding the right tools to do what I love to do, and that is  . . .  cook.

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Chilli Bean Soup with an Avocado Salsa


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I have to say that although I found the prospect of ever being able to eat anything delicious a little bit daunting at the first of my Diabetic journey . . .  a week later and I think I am finally beginning to understand things a bit better.  I am a long ways from an expert by all means . . .  but I've learned a lot.  I am looking forward to the class I am going to take at the hospital which will hopefully teach me a lot more.    I have also discovered that there is a wealth of information on the www that is very helpful and informative.

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Popcorn Popping with Portlebay Popcorn!




Image courtesy of Portlebay

I really do get sent the nicest things.  I was recently sent a box of some really delicious cracklecorn from Portelbay Popcorn.  Portlebay is a small company in the depths of Devon,which creates all of their products by hand.   I was sent both the Chilli & Lime and the Wasabi & Sweet Ginger flavours to try.

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These are really unsual flavours.  I am not normally that fond of overly spicy things.  What would I think of these???


Chilli & lime: I was a little bit unsure about this flavour on the approach.  I normally find red chillis much to hot for my taste, and even the sweet chilli sauce can burn my taste buds, but I have to say I was pretty amazed. It was sweet yet spicy from the chilli, with an almost salsa like taste which the lime cut through, ensuring that it wasn’t too sickly sweet.  I found the heat not at all unpleasant.  It was crunchy and just sweet enough, with a bit of a nice but not overwhelming heat.


Wasabi & Sweet Ginger:   I have a special fondness of Wasabi Peas.  It's the one snack I can eat that the dog doesn't beg me for, so I can enjoy them without being stared at the whole way through.  They can be hot, but not so hot that I don't like them.   I have to say that this is most deliciously different and exciting popcorn I’ve ever tasted. It really was unusual, but quite tasty.  The Wasabi wasn't overwhelming, but there was a really nice Ginger taste which I would say was the predominent flavour in this. It wasn't quite as sweet as the Sweet Chilli and Lime. I quite liked it as well.

Both would be fab snacks to break out for watching the footie or rugby!

portlebay

Of course these are only two in the wide range of flavoured Kracklecorn that Portlebay produces.   There are also Applewood Smoked Cheddar, Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup and the Original Cracklecorn flavours.

There are a quite a few companies out there at the moment who are trying to bring something new to the world of popcorn, but it's been my experience that most of them don’t deliver on flavour.  It either gets lost as a mere dusting over the corn, or drowned in a candy coating.   Portlebay Popcorn, on the other hand,  is without doubt packed full of flavour.  Popped in the pot with raw cane sugar to give it a more brittle, crunchy texture, and then sprinkled with  a little sea salt along with their specially developed natural seasonings, this Krackle Corn is designed  to tingle your tastebuds in a really special way!  I highly recommend this if you are looking for a snack which is delicious, wholegrain and naturally  high in fibre.

They also do a range of sweet popcorns, which I have never tasted but which sound really scrummy, with flavours such as Lemon Sherbet, Cinnamon Swirl, Very Berry and Cappuccino!

They come in small packs which are made for snacking, or  big bags which are perfect for sharing with friends. Available at Tesco's, Booths and Budgens across the country as well as a network of independant shops and stockists.

To find out more check out  http://www.portlebaypopcorn.com/
Follow them on Facebook
Follow them on Twitter



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Pumpkin Muffins Two Ways, Diabetic Friendly


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 I decided to play with one of my favourite Pumpkin Muffin recipes the other day to see if I could replace the sugar in it with a sugar substitute suitable for baking, and replace the regular cooking oil with coconut oil, which is better for you.

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The Great Cornish Food Festival 2015
















 

The Great Cornish Food Festival – the largest event anywhere dedicated 100% to Cornish food and drink – is back for its 12th year on Truro’s Lemon Quay from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th September. 

With a packed timetable of hands-on masterclasses, sampling and kids’ activities, and loyal supporter GWR taking the headline sponsor spot for the second year, get ready to enjoy three days of tastings, culinary titbits and food-loving fun for all ages. 

Celebrated seafood chef Nathan Outlaw is confirmed to host the grand finale on Sunday afternoon, following a tantalising programme of masterclasses and demonstrations across two different stages, in company with a host of Cornwall’s top chefs and food experts.

Visit the festival all three days and you’ll be treated to an array of demonstrations on everything from filleting fish to wine tasting, AGA-cookery to coffee brewing, and as always, everything on sale from festival exhibitors will have been produced in Cornwall.

Around 60 producers and 40 chefs and food experts are taking part, with an exhibitor line-up that includes everyone from household Cornish names like Rodda’s and Sharp’s Brewery, to artisan producers such as Fowey Valley Cider and Buttermilk Confectionery, just some of the businesses making serious waves across the UK food scene.

Here you’ll find all the info on what to buy, what to see and how to get here – so take a look around, and start planning your visit to the biggest food event in Cornwall.

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To that end I was sent a lovely food Hamper by the Sponsors of this year's Cornish Food Festival,  Great Western Rail, which was filled with  a whole bunch of Cornish Goodies, including Portlebay Popcorn, a couple of Luscomb Crushes, a bottle of Admiral's Ale (destined for a pie),  My  Little Black Book of Seafood by Mitch Tonks, some tasty Furniss Choc Chip mini Cookies,  a packet of Mr Filbert's Cornish Sea Salt Mixed Nuts, some Tregothnan Tea and a couple of Cornish Saffron Cakes and some Cornish Biscuits.  Yum!

Also issued was a challenge to make some Cornish Pastys!

 

Yum!  Yum!  Who doesn't love a good Cornish Pasty!



*Cornish Pasty Recipe*
Makes 6 good sized pasties
 

Traditional.   Make sure you plan ahead as the pastry needs to sit for 3 hours prior to rolling out.  Delicious meat hand pies! 
 

For the pastry:
500g strong bread flour ( it is important to use a stronger flour than normal
as you need the extra strength in the gluten to produce a strong
pliable pastry) (3 1/2 cups, plus 2 TBS)
120g lard or white shortening (1/2 cup plus 1 TBS)
125g of Cornish Butter (1/2 cup)
1 tsp salt
175ml cold water (3/4 cup)
For the filling:
450g of good quality beef skirt, cut into cubes (1 pound)
450g potato, peeled and diced (1 pound)
250g swede, peeled and diced (1/2 pound rutabaga)
200g onion, peeled and sliced (about 1 large onion)
salt andblack pepper to taste ( 2 to 1 ratio)
beaten egg or milk to glaze 
 

Sift the flour into a bowl and rub both fats into it until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Add the water and bring the mixture together.  Knead until the pastry becomes elastic.  This will take longer than ordinary pastry, but it gives the pastry the strength it needs to hold the filling and keep a good shape.  

Cover with cling film and leave to rest in the refrigerator for 3 hours.   
 

Roll out the pastry and cut into circles, approximately 8 inches in diameter.  Layer the vegetables and meat on top of the pastry, adding plenty of seasoning.  Bring the pastry around and crimp the edges together.  Glaze with beaten egg, or an egg and milk mixture.  Bake in a pre-heated 165*C/325*F/ gas mark 3 for 50 to 55 minutes, until golden. 
 
 
 

Tips:
The american equivalent of skirt steak is flank steak.  Cut from the udnerside of the belly of the animal, it has no gristle and little fat, cooks in the same amount of time as the raw vegetables and it's juice provides a delicious gravy.  Use a firm waxy potato, such as a Maris Peer.   A floury potato (baking or mashing) will fall apart on cooking.
How to Crimp:
1.  Lightly brush the edge of the pastry with water.
2.  Fold the otehr half of pasry over the filling and squeeze the half circle edges firmly together.
3.  Push down on the edge of the pasty and using your index finger and thumb, twist the edge of the pastry over to form a crimp.  Repeat this process along the edge of the pasty.
4.  When you've finished crimping along the edge, tuck the end corners underneath.
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Plum and Hazelnut Crumble Slice




When we lived down in Kent we were really spoiled. We were surrounded by Orchards and in the autumn had our pick of windfalls . . . several varieties of apples, and pears . . . not to mention hedgerows filled to over flowing with sloes and blackberries


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Almond Crumbed Cod


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We love fish in this house.  We don't eat it as often as I would like to, mostly because of the expense, and partially because I am not fond of mystery fish.  I like to know what I am eating and although there are cheap options at the shops, they are all covered in batter or fried, or the type of fish used is not exactly spelt out on the package.   I confess . . .  I don't like fish that tastes . . .  well . . .  fishy!


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Zippy Red Slaw


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The challenge with this new diet will be keeping my own sugars in check, and losing weight myself, without Todd losing weight.  He had his yearly check up today and he is in perfectly good health, except he has lost some weight. This means that I either have to cook two separate meals or add some extra's to his.  The latter is the more preferable one, because I don't have the time  to cook two separate meals, nor do I have the inclination, but a few extras for him, I CAN do!

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Keeping it Real in The English Kitchen, my first Lesson in Controlling Diabetes


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Hello everyone.   Last Friday I was diagnosed as having Type 2 Diabetes.   I don't know how someone goes from being normal to Type 2 overnight, but that's what happened.   I only know that I had not been feeling really well for a long time.  I was very tired and experiencing blurred vision from time to time.  In the Spring, I experienced an Posterior Vitreous Detachment, or PVD, in my left eye, which was somewhat worriesome.  When I had the first scan of back of my eye,  the Opthamologist told me that there were signs that I had experienced an aneurism at the back of my eye,  and that an artery was blocked had probably been so for some time as it was all white.  But then, magically . . .  when I went back a few months later for  a re-test, it had fixed itself.   Still worriesome, but not as bad I suppose.  I was also experiencing periods of giddiness or feeling faint if I went overlong without eating, etc.

In any case, I didn't exhibit any of the usual symptoms . . .  excessive thirst, frequent loo breaks,  acidic fruity breath, and I definitely had not suffered from weight loss!  (More's the pity!)

When I went for my yearly check up a few weeks ago and had fasting blood tests done I was completely shocked to find out that (after two conclusive tests) I am now a Type 2 Diabetic.

Also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes melitus (NIDDM), this is  more common than Type 1.   Being overweithg is a risk factor for developing this type of Diabetes, along with poor diet and lack of exercise.  Heredity is also a factor.   (My father is diabetic as is my middle son, but I did not know until last Friday that, almost all of my father's siblings are also diabetic and some of my cousins as well.  Knowledge is key.  I wish I had known this sooner.)

With this type of diabetes, insulin production is reduced (not ceased), so the rise in blood glucose levels is more gradual.  Some insulin is being released, but not enough to process sufficient glucose for the system to function normally.

The bad news . . .  I will always have it.

The good news  . . .  with a change in diet and exercise it can be managed.  I have also been put on a low dose (to start and hopefully stay with) of metformin, one 500mg pill a day.

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I confess . . .  after the diagnosis and talk with the nurse, when I got back to the car, I cried a little bit.   I love food and I love to cook.  I also love to eat, which is probably what got me into this mess!  Too many treats!!  My life changed in an instant.  I am only 60 years old, which to you youngsters might seem pretty old, but I conceivably should have another 20 or so years of life left in me, maybe more . . .  and I want them to be the best and the healthiest they can be.  Obviously something has to change, and with that in mind I will be changing the focus of The English Kitchen to healthier food and options in the future.   Diabetic friendly options.  Along the way I will be learning and I am hoping that you will all come along on the journey with me.  The old recipes will still be here, and of course there will be the occasional treats.  What would life be worth, if not for the occasional treat!!! For the most part, however,  we are getting down and dirty with healthy eating here from here on!

It's going to be fun actually, as I am going to be trying to revamp my old favourites into something I can eat, coming up with new favourites and hopefully getting healthier along the way.

I haven't cooked anything new in the house since I got the diagnosis as I have been trying hard to figure out what I should be eating and what I shouldn't.  But you can look for some new things soon.

In the meantime, here is what I have learned thus far!

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This is my dinner plate from last night.  This is a 9 inch plate.  For portion control this is what is recommended and actually what I have been using all along.   They recommend that you use a 9 inch plate, and a 1 cup glass (225ml) for milk, a 1/2 cup dish for fruit or desserts (125g approx.) and a 1 cup bowl for cereal or soup. (225ml)

If you look at my plate, you can see it is roughly divided this way . . .  one whole half of the plate is non starchy vegetables ( green beans, broccoli and cauliflower) , then in the top right hand quarter of the plate, I have something starchy (a kid sized baked potato with a dollop of plain yogurt on top, instead of sour cream.)  You could also have a whole grain rice or pasta or some other whole grain starch.  Corn, peas and beans also count as a starchy food.  Beans are also protein. (Fibre is important). The lower right hand quarter is reserved for protein.   I have a half of a pork cutlet, which is protein. (DON'T look at the breading!  It's all I had until I went shopping and I had to eat!  I could have eaten a whole one, but only ate a half, so it's not so bad as it could have been.)  Ideally you should choose lean meat.   I was told by the nurse to eat red meats sparingly, so the wisest choices would be chicken or fish.  Tofu, eggs, cheese and nuts also count as proteins.

In addition to the full plate, I could enjoy a cup of fat free milk or light yogurt (plain) and a small piece of fruit or 1/2 cup (125g) canned (in juice) fruit on the side.

Keeping to low fat choices, a meal with these sides and each of the three plate components totals 55 to 60 grams of carbohydrate and approximately 350 to 400 calories, just so long as you don't pile the food up to make up for the smaller sized plate.  No more than about the thickness of your index finger should do the trick! Non-starchy vegetables should be the tallest section.


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Don't panic.  Eating to control your diabetes doesn't have to be boring.   You can use the same plate method with mixed dishes such as casseroles, pizza, tacos and sandwiches too.  You just need to think in terms of the ingredients separately, which isn't such a stretch really.

  • A salad with grilled chicken and croutons, could easily cover every section of the plate:  greens, carrots, and tomatoes for the non starchy vegetables, Chicken for the protein, and croutons/pasta/rice/etc. for the starch or grain. 
  • In casseroles, you can assemble them in layers first, so that you can see how much protein versus vegetables and starches you are getting.  So if you layer the casserole with 1/2 non starchy veg, 1/4 protein and 1/4 starch, you should be okay.  And a low fat milky sauce, etc. could be counted as one of the extras, so long as you keep the proportions right, ie.  for four servings, only 2 cups of sauce would be ideal.
Anyways, I think that is enough to digest for today and hopefully you have learned something along with me.   I'll be back tomorrow,  ideally, with a new recipe!  I do hope you will all come along on the journey with me.  I promise you it will be as delicious a journey as I can make it!



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I do get sent the nicest things . . . Chocolate Delights!


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I do get sent the nicest things.  Look at what dropped through my letter box recently!  Cadbury's latest smash hit . . .  Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Smashables!  These two new bars are available in two deliciosu flavours;  the ever popular Jelly Popping Candy and the all new Rocky Mallow Road.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Smashables are the perfect sharing treat for all the family to enjoy.  The bars have a completely new and unique design, which has been created to make them easy to smash in the middle and then break up into fun shaped pieces.

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Simply flip the bar, smash in the centre and share out amongst loved ones and friends  . . .  or use as a fun family game whilst watching your favourite Saturday night TV shows!

Brand new Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Smashables Rocky Mallow Road is filled with an assortment of delicious flavours including mini-marshmallows, sweet strawberry flavoured jellies and crunchy biscuit pieces (yum!0 topped with a layer of Cadbury Dairy Milk; a bar which is sure to send your taste buds into overdrive.  This new delicious bar is joined by the much loved flavours of Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Smashables Jelly Popping Candy, which combines smooth Cadbury Dairy Milk with chewy jellies, colourful sugar coated cocoa pieces and curiously crackling popping candy.

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Matthew Williams, Marketing Activation Director at Mondele International said:  "The new Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Smashables range is a really fun and exciting addition, especially with the new Rocky Mallow Road.  We know how important family time is and we really wanted to introduce a joyful ritual that everyone can enjoy." 

Movie Night just got a whole lot better!   The Toddster has really been enjoying this, while I look on with longing . . .

Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Smashables are available in 180g family sized bars with an rrp of £2.49 and in the smaller individual 47g sized bard with an RRP of £0.61.

For more information visit www.cadbury.co.uk
Find them on facebook at www.facebook.com/CadburyUK
Tweet them @CadburyUK 
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Brioche Chinois


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I had never heard of Brioche before I moved over here to the UK, let alone Brioche Chinois.  You would be right in thinking this is not English . . .  it's French in origin, but it brings the Brioche a step beyond a normal Brioche . . .  this is "Translated literally," a Chinese Brioche.  Nothing Chinese about this however.  I have been told by a French baker here in the UK,  that the word Chinois  simply means a conical shape. What I can tell you  for sure is that they are delicious!


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Amy's Kitchen . . . made with love


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This September Amy's Kitchen is supporting Soil Association's Organic September and encouraging you to switch to organic which can have huge benefits for people, animal welfare and the environment.  The buying decisions you make are a simple but powerful form of direct action, and your actions really can make a big difference!

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Amy's Kitchen is a family owned business which was founded by husband and wife team Andy and Rachel Berliner  in 1987, and named after their daughter Amy.  It al started with a mission to create tasty, satisfying vegetarian food that was full of organic ingredients and home cooked flavour, but  also was quick and easy to prepare.  Rachel and Andy are just as passionate about this mission today as they were back then.

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Amy's Kitchen makes handcrafted froen meals and tinned soups and chillies for people who are too busy to cook, and yet  . . . at the same time . . . don't want to compromise on their values.

Works for me!  Why not start making small organic changes to your life this month?

For more information visit:

Amy's Kitchen
On Facebook
On Twitter 

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Their chunky tomato soup went down a real treat the other day for a light supper along with some grilled cheese.  Hand's down the BEST tomato soup I have ever eaten, and I don't say that lightly.  I normally only ever buy another brand, but I can tell you I will be buying Amy's from now on, it is that delicious.   Seriously.  I'm so happy I had the opportunity to try it!   This was really tasty, and I love that its organic and gluten free!  Colour me chuffed!
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Chicken with Lemon and Thyme


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I normally eat chicken breast meat, but the other day I got a package of chicken drumsticks for a pretty good price.  A price I simply could not resist, and so I did what anyone who lives on a limited budged does  . . .  I brought them home with me!

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Lemon Ricotta Cake




You would be quite forgiven if, upon closing your eyes and taking a bite of this lovely cake, you imagined you were eating a baked cheesecake. In fact with that delightful crack on top, and underlying creamy taste, it really does resemble a cheese cake.


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Pains Aux Chocolate




One of the nice things I loved when we were living down South was being so close to the tunnel and the ferry over to France and the continent . . . France, France, France, home of my forebears . . . land of the black beret, garlic, the macaron, the Eifle tower, beautiful baguettes, tasty cheese . . . and these . . . little lovelies . . .


 


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Pork and Piccalilli Pies, Cheese and Caramelized Red Onion Muffins and Mustard and Horseradish Beef Cobbler


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The Rugby World Cup 2015 commences today, Friday the 18th of September and will be hosted this year on home soil.  The England team need the support of home fans and whether you're watching from home or make it along to the hallowed grounds of some of ruby's most inspiring pitches, you'll need some very English sustenance to keep you going.   To that end, The English Provender Co has come up with some of the best recipes for snacks and nibbles to watch each match,  beginning with these delicious Pork and Piccalilli Pies!

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Summer Harvest Pasta and Degustabox


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I love this time of year when we have so much fresh local fresh produce to use.  Fresh courgettes (zucchini) and fresh tomatoes.   We'll soon be resorting to imports, so I am really enjoying using what we have locally at the moment while I still can!   I had seen this recipe on my friend Monique's blog and as soon as I saw it I wanted to cook it, and then when I saw my Degustabox I know that this recipe was perfect for using up some of the ingredients in this months's box!


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A Blueberry Pie to Write Home About


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I was checking on here the other day and I couldn't believe that I didn't have my blueberry pie recipe on here!  Not surprising really as when I first moved over here in the year 2000, blueberries were not an ingredient that was readily available.  Thankfully that has changed now and we have tons of them, and at reasonable prices.  In fact, Todd and I now grow our own.


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Savoury Sausage Breakfast Bake and Sausage, Kale and Sweet Potato Gratin


Savoury Sausage Breakfast Bake

Sausages . . .  or Bangers, no matter what you call them . . .  they are a real favourite in our home.  If there is one thing which the Toddster really loves it's a good Banger.   I completely adore British Bangers, but not all sausages are created equally.  

 

I like a quality banger . . .  well flavoured and meaty without a lot of nasty fillers, which is why I really like debbie & andrew's sausages.   This is sausage made the old fashioned way, using natural products and generous amounts of lean, juicy pork taken from the best cuts of meat produced on British farms. Provenance at it's very finest.  

 

 I have been busy creating a few recipes over the past few days to highlight the best of these quality bangers and I hope you will agree with me when I say that I did myself proud.  The first dish I did was a Savoury Sausage Breakfast Bake . . .

Savoury Sausage Breakfast Bake

This is a simple breakfast casserole that comes in very handy when you are having overnight guests.   You put it together the night before and then leave it in the refrigerator overnight. 

It is ready to pop into the oven first thing in the  morning so that you can enjoy a leisurely beverage and some time with your guests instead of sweating it out in the kitchen.

 Savoury Sausage Breakfast Bake

You start by browning the sausage meat.   I simply slipped the skins off and then crumbled it into a hot pan to brown. 

 I used the caramelized red onion ones for this, but any of their varieties would work well in this. Even an ordinary breakfast sausage works well.

Savoury Sausage Breakfast Bake

The browned sausage meat is then layered between flakey buttery croissants along with some sauteed mushrooms, spring onions and cheese, with an egg custard being poured over.

 Savoury Sausage Breakfast Bake

It bakes up with an almost souffle texture inside with a crispy croissant crust and delicious flavours within of that gorgeous sausage, veg and rich cheese.   I like to roast a few springs of vine ripened cherry tomatoes along side for the perfect garnish!

Savoury Sausage Breakfast Bake


*Savoury Sausage Breakfast Bake*
Serves 4


Buttery croissants stuffed with browned sausage,  cheese, mushrooms, spring onions and eggs. It needs to be made the night before so plan ahead. Fabulous!  


4 plain butter croissants
400g package of meaty, quality sausages (about a pound)
(I used Debbie and Andrew's Caramelized Red Onion Sausages)
250g punnet of closed cup mushrooms, sliced (2 cups)
one bunch of spring onions, washed, trimmed and sliced (about 6)
4 large free range eggs
250ml milk (1 cup)
salt and black pepper to season
4 ounces grated emmenthaler cheese (1 cup)
4 ounces grated mozzarella cheese (1 cup)
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup)

Savoury Sausage Breakfast Bake

Butter a large rectangular glass casserole dish. Split the croissants in half horizontally and place the bottom halves into the bottom of the casserole dish, cut side up.  Reserve the tops.

Remove the skins from the sausages.  Crumble them into a skillet and brown them all over until golden and cooked through.  Scoop out into a bowl and set aside.  Add the mushrooms to the drippings and cook, without disturbing, until they begin to brown.  Add the spring onions and cook until both are tender, stirring occasionally.  Set aside.

Savoury Sausage Breakfast Bake

Beat together the eggs and the milk.  Season judiciously with salt and black pepper.  (Remember the cheese will add salt as will the meat.)  Pour half of this mixture over the croissant halves in the baking dish.  Top the croissants with the mushroom/onion mixture, crumbled sausage meat  and cheeses, dividing equally amongst the 4 croissants.  Lay the top halves of the croissants on top, cut side down, and then pour the remainder of the egg mixture over all.  Cover with cling film and place in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning take out of the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.  Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the eggs are set and cooked through. (If it begins to brown too much, cover with foil.)  Serve immediately.  Delicious!

Debbie and Andrews

 The debbie & andrew's sausages which I used in this casserole were their Caramelized Red Onion Pork Sausages.   We love these, next to the cumberland they are our favourites. Made with select pork cuts, red onions are pan fried perfectly to caramelise for a really deep flavour, with muscovado sugar added to bring out the natural sticky sweetness as the onion reduces. 
To really get the taste buds going, Balsamic vinegar is added towards the end of the process, making the onions darker and even more delicious. That natural sweetness of the caramelized onions goes perfectly with the natural sweetness of pork, to create a really really tasty sausage.  !00% British Farmed pork, usig only Prime Cuts and created with passion.

Sausage, Kale and Sweet Potato Gratin

The next recipe I created was a delicious Sausage, Kale and Sweet Potato Gratin.   Sausage and sweet potatoes go really well together!   I often make a sweet potato mash to serve with our bangers, so I thought that sweet potatoes would go perfectly in this easy and tasty gratin.

Sausage, Kale and Sweet Potato Gratin

I chose to use debbie & andrew's cumberland sausages in this as I thought their delicious pepperiness would work really well.   I was right.  (I love it when that happens!)

 Sausage, Kale and Sweet Potato Gratin

Once again, I slipped the sausage meat out of the skins and browned it in a skillet, which I also used to  first ... steam the sweet potatoes, and then sautee them until light golden brown.

Sausage, Kale and Sweet Potato Gratin

Some deliciously healthy kale (it's all the rage now) and a cheese sauce completed the gratin along with a cheese and crumb topping.  I really love LOVED this dish!  Rich, creamy, peppery, sweet and earthy.    This was a real treat.

 Sausage, Kale and Sweet Potato Gratin

*Sausage, Kale and Sweet Potato Gratin*
Serves 4

This delicious gratin is loaded with lovely flavours and colour.   You will want to use a nice and flavourful sausage for this.  I used Debbie and Andrew's Cumberland Sausages.   You have the sweetness of the sweet potatoes, the spiciness of the sausage, the earthiness of the kale and a lucious cheese sauce, with a bit of buttery crunch on top.  What's not to like? 

400g of well flavoured, meaty quality sausages (a generous pound)
(I used Debbie and Andrew's Cumberland)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 a (200g) bag of shredded kale (about 2 cups)
salt and black pepper to taste 

For the sauce:
2 TBS of butter
2 TBS flour
225ml of chicken stock (1 cup)
225ml of milk (1 cup)
salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
115g of grated gruyere cheese (1 cup) 

To finish:
6 salted crackers, crushed and mixed with 1 tsp melted butter


Sausage, Kale and Sweet Potato Gratin

First make the sauce.  Melt the butter in a sauce pan.   Whisk in the flour.  Whisk together to combine and cook for one minute.  Whisk the stock and milk together.  Slowly whisk this mixture into the flour and butter.  Cook, whisking constanty, over medium low heat,  until the mixture boils and thickens.  Whisk in almost all of the cheese, reserving a small handful for the top.  Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.   Remove the skins from the sausages and crumble them into the pan.  Brown all over, until no longer pink and cooked through.   Scoop out and set aside.  Add the sweet potatoes to the pan.  Toss to coat with the drippings.  Cover and allow to steam for about 10 minutes.  Remove the cover and continue to cook, until golden.  Add the kale and stir fry for several minutes.  Add the browned sausage and toss together.   Pour this mixture into a lightly buttered shallow baking dish.

Sausage, Kale and Sweet Potato Gratin


Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Pour the cream sauce over top of the mixture in the baking dish.   Mix the buttered cracker crumbs with the reserved cheese.  Sprinkle over top.  Bake the casserole for 15 to 20 minutes until bubbly and golden.   Serve warm.

photo perfect-cumberland-sausages_zpsza4rj826.png

The sausage I chose to use in this recipe was debbie & andrew's Perfect Cumberland Pork Sausages. To give this Cumberland a contemporary flavour, it is studded with green and pink peppercorns that provide a fresh quite floral taste alongside a good hit of heat. This sausage cooks up beautifully on the barbecue, is perfect for picnics and makes a delicious sausage supper.    100% pork, gluten, wheat and dairy free.

photo 8Ms_CerG_zpsy7bagq87.jpeg


Everyone at debbie&andrew’s works with the philosophy of its founders, a farming couple who’s wellie boots are still proudly featured on everything we do. They had an inspiring idea and it is still inspiring us today – simply to make satisfying and succulent sausages that offer ‘A Real Taste of the Country’.   Their  Harrogate 97%, Caramelised Red Onion and Perfect Cumberland Sausages are available nationwide at Asda.  Their Perfect Pork and Perfect Cumberland Sausages are available at Sainsbury's. You can also buy Harrogate 97%, Perfect Pork Sausages, Butcher's Classics Pork Sausages and Butcher's Classics Cumberland sausages at Tesco, and the Harrogate 97% and Perfect Cumberland Sausages at Morrisons!

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Marie Rayner
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