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Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad


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We had beautiful weather at the weekend.  Gorgeously sunny and warm.    The perfect Bank Holiday weekend.   I had some chicken breasts which I poached and then threw together this delicious Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad for us to enjoy on one of the days.  It went down a real treat.  All the flavours of Buffalo Wings, except its a delicious salad.  I used some pasta which I had gotten in my latest Degustabox delivery, the May box.  I will tell you about the salad in a little bit, but first I want to tell you about what else I got in my May Degustabox.

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CADBURY DAIRY MILK BIG TASTE UNVEILS THE UK’S FIRST EVER MONSTER TRUCK TAXI




Fasten your seat belts and get your taste buds ready because Cadbury Dairy Milk gets the chocolate on the road with the UK’s first ever Monster Truck Taxi. This impressive vehicle was especially created to help celebrate the launch of the new Cadbury Dairy Milk Big Taste bars and  to bring us British big chunks of deliciousness and a ride to remember.

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Dwarfing all other cabs on the road, the Big Taste Monster Truck Taxi is a humongous  9ft tall and weighs an incredible  1.5 tonnes. Adorned with the iconic Cadbury purple, the car will open its doors to chocolate fans all over the country  to help introduce them to the thrilling taste sensation of the new bars in the range: Cadbury Dairy Milk Big Taste Toffee Whole Nut, Cadbury Dairy Milk Big Taste Oreo Crunch and Cadbury Dairy Milk Triple Choc Sensation.


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Sitting at over 2 meters in height passengers are sure to be in for a treat when they climb inside the cab. The Big Taste Monster Truck Taxi takes to the streets of London on 27th May 2016 and will then set off on a journey across the country, making a stop in Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool where it will give chocolate fans the chance to enjoy an exhilarating experience inside the cab, as well as sample some of Cadbury's delicious new products.

Big Taste Monster Truck Taxi will be touring the nation on the following days:

-27th May – London, King’s Cross
-29th May – Liverpool, One Paradise Place
-31st May – Manchester, Wellington Statue
-2nd June – Birmingham, Bullring

Gemma Flanigan, Cadbury Dairy Milk Senior Brand Manager at Mondelez International, said: “As part of our new “Tastes Like This Feels” campaign, we wanted to bring to life the unique feeling and the big taste sensation that Cadbury Dairy Milk Big Taste bars deliver. What better way to do this than by creating Britain’s first ever Monster Truck Taxi and inviting chocolate fans on board to experience a new and epic ride – the perfect metaphor for the feeling that Cadbury Dairy Milk Big Taste bars evoke. Sitting at over 2 meters in height passengers are sure to be in for a treat when they climb inside the cab and we can’t wait to take it on tour!”  



To keep up to date on exciting news about Cadbury, visit www.facebook.com/cadburyUK

Twitter @CadburyUK
#TastesLikeThisFeels 


Note - I received a free bar of chocolate for promoting this Cadbury Campaign.  Toffee Whole Nut.  It was good., tooooooo good.



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Chicken Parmo


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Chicken Parmo . . .  no, that is not a mistype.  I meant to say Chicken Parmo.  Are you ready for some full on decadence Middlesbrough style?   Lock away the calorie counters because I am going to show you something today which is totally off the scales tastewise, not to mention caloriwise!   Fastfood chicken as only the people in the North East of England, Teesside . . .  do it!  Hang onto your hats, you're in for a real treat!

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Warm Blueberry and Almond Muffins


 

Yayy!! It's the weekend!!  And a Bank Holiday weekend at that!  I know I don't work full time anymore and don't really have all that many pressing issues in my life during the week, except for whatever work I make for myself and my church duties, but I still like to pull out the stops a bit at the weekend, like anyone.

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Pasta Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Spring Asparagus


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I just love fresh Spring asparagus.  I don't eat asparagus any other time of the year because there is just no comparison in flavour.   I believe in eating seasonally.   I don't think asparagus that has been shipped over from Peru in the depths of winter has any flavour at all really.  The taste never justifies it's high price in my opinion!

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BBQ this Bank Holiday Weekend with Newman's Own!


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There is nothing us Brits love more than a good old-fashioned BBQ. Whatever the weather, nothing beats gathering friends and family together to enjoy tasty grilled treats. This year’s BBQ Week runs from 23rd – 29th May, coinciding with the Bank Holiday in May and Memorial Day in the US,  providing the perfect opportunity to experiment with a variety of recipes, and lucky for you, Newman’s Own is here to lend a helping hand.

With a selection of sauces, rubs, marinades and dressings from Newman’s Own, you won’t want to BBQ without them. Get to the grill this BBQ Week and impress your guests with a selection of mouth-watering recipes ranging from honey turkey burgers to fiery bourbon chicken wings. (All the post-tax profits from Newman’s Own products go to the Newman’s Own Foundation, with over £1 million already being donated to a wide range of charities in the UK alone and over £250 million donated worldwide.)

Let's start off with Fiery Bourbon Chicken Wings served with a cooling Blue Cheese Dip!   I adore chicken wings.  If chicken wings are on the appetiser menu, they are my choice every time!
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Parmesan Chicken Breasts with Crispy Prosciutto




I am always up for chicken. Its not something I ever get tired of. I could eat it every night of the week. I'm not fussy about which part I eat either . . . I love the thighs, I love the breasts, I love the wings. I adore roasted chicken, fried, baked, simmered . . . I just love chicken in any way shape or form!

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Homemade Pirate Cookies






Any guesses on what my absolute favourite cookie of all time is??? No, it's not custard creams, oreos, chocolate chip or even shortbreads . . .


It's the humble, peanut butter filled, peanut butter flavoured oat cookie from Canada called . . . "Pirate Cookies!" I just love that wholesome crisp oatmeal cookie (slightly peanut butter flavoured) and that yummy peanut buttercream filling. Oh, nothing on earth tastes better with a glass of milk.

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Stuffed Baby Sweet Bell Peppers


 

I found the cutest little baby bell peppers in the store today and I just couldn't resist picking them up! I am such a sucker for baby anything . . . kittens, puppies, duckings . . . baby vegetables!!

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Healthy Speedy Suppers by Katriona Macgregor, cookbook review


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Another cookery book I received recently for review is Healthy Speedy Suppers, by Katriona MacGregor. Bursting with quick, simple and deliciously healthy recipes, Healthy Speedy Suppers will inspire anyone who feels too tired or busy to cook at the end of the day.


Katriona MacGregor started her Speedy Weeknight Suppers column for The Telegraph online in 2013, after a move back to exhausting London office life caused a slump in her diet. Resolving to break away from eating ready meals and cheese on toast every night, she began developing recipes that took no more than 40 minutes to make, were packed with good quality, wholesome ingredients, and tasted fantastic.

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It is brimming over with advice for those who are short on time but stillwant to eat nutritiously and how to stock a healthy larder.  There are Six tasty chapters of recipes including . . .

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Soups and Salads - Nineteen delicious recipes including such fabulous delights as Little Gem, Cucumber and Rocket Soup, Asparagus, Broccoli and Proscuitto Salad wih Caper and Herb Dressing, Roast Carrot, Tomato and Dill Soup, Prawn, Courgette and Coriander Salad.  Who knew healthy could be so delicious!

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Poultry - Fourteen Tasty Delights . . .  Soy Roast Chicken Legs with Butternut Squash and Red Peppers, Pheasant, Coconut and Tamarind Curry, Honey and Mustard Glazed Poussin, Duck Breasts with Peaches and Balsamic Vinegar to name but a few.   Totally tempting to the tastebuds.

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Meat - Sixteen tantalizingly delicious sounding meaty meals including Pork, Courgette and Broccoli Stir Fry, Paprika Pork with Red Peppers, Corned Beef Hash with Roast Tomatoes, Lamb with Bashed Peas and Tomato & Mint Salsa.

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Fish -  Fifteen Oceanic Delights including  Sea Bass with Thai Vegetables, Moroccan Fish Tagine, Spicy prawn and Tomato Spaghetti, Garlic Roast Salmon with Courgettes and Olives.  Can't wait to get stuck in!

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Grains, Pulses & Vegetables - 18 delicious recipes using these as their main ingredient.   Fabulous sounding dishes such as Chickpea and Black-eyed Bean Chilli, Courgette, Cherry Tomato and Goats Cheese Frittata, Quinoa, Courgette and Herb Cakes,  Butternut Squash, Chestnut and Sage Risotto to name but a few. 

And finally  . . .

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Dips, Sauces & Dressings - Eight different dips, sauces and dressings including Butterbean and Pumpkin Seed Hummus, Grainy Mustard Mayonnaise, Beetroot and Walnut Dip and Watercress Sauce, just for starters.

No surprise . . .   no desserts.  Boo Hoo, but then again, unless you are talking about eating a fresh piece of fruit there are not too many healthy desserts are there really.

The recipes are fresh, seasonal and nutritious and showcase a broad range of influences from around the world. Ingredient lists are short, prep is kept to a minimum and the methods are relaxed, often featuring one-pot or one-tray cooking. All of them have been put to the test at home after a busy day in the office, and the ingredients are easy to find and can be scooped up on the way back from work. Ranging from the summery Strawberry, Fennel & Chicken Salad, to warming Aubergine & Red Lentil Curry and zesty Sea Bass with Thai Vegetable Noodles, there is something here for every mood, diet and seasons.

Most of the recipes are wheat and dairy free, and are all naturally low in fat, sugar and refined carbohydrates. Also included are a guide to larder essentials, suggestions for leftovers, ingredient substitutions and simple variations.  This is truly a one-stop cooking resource for stressed, busy people.

I, for one, can't wait to get stuck in!

 

Food writer and chef Katriona MacGregor has been cooking, thinking and writing about food since she was able to wield a wooden spoon. Leith’s trained, she has worked all over the country in restaurants, private houses and cookery schools both cooking and designing recipes.

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Ultimate Family Wellness by David Kirsch, a review


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I wanted to tell you about a new book I recently received today, entitled Ultimate Family Wellness, by fitness guru and trainer, David Kirsch.   The No-Excuses program for Diet, Fitness and Lifelong Health.

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David Kirsch is the trainer behind Jennifer Lopez’s killer physique, and in this book he delivers easy-to-follow tips for leading a healthier life. This fabulous guide is a wonderful go-to source for five-minute workout fixes and delicious, yet efficient, fat-burning meals.  His 5-5-5 exercise and nutrition philosophy (follow it and lose five pounds in five days) is definitely one to note.

It is divided into 5 Main chapters.

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What is the 5-5-5 Program and the Ultimate Family Wellness plan - This chapter outlines the plan, explaining all the details of the plan and how to implement it in your life.

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Chapter 2 - Exercising and Activities.   Exercises for the 5-5-5 program.  Detailed photographs and in-depth advice for a wide variety of exercises and activities designed to get both you and your family off your bums and on the road to fitness.

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Chapter 3 - Nutrition Food and Family.  The importance of family rituals, Five rules for optimimum nutrition, the ABC's of  Nutrition, Debunking Food and Nutrition Myths, David's Top Ten Superfoods.

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Chapter 4 - Cooking with Your Kids   (My favourite chapter)  This is the recipe chapter, containing a multitude of Nutritious and Healthy recipes to take you and your family from breakfast on through to dinner with healthy snacking options. (Berry Yogurt Parfaits, Oatmeal Banana Brulee, Roast Turkey Avocado Salad, Turkey Kale Soup, Tuna Spinach Bowls, Crispy Samon Nuggets, Stir fries, dressings, dips, etc.)  There is a wealth of really delicious sounding and photographed meal options in this chapter, designed to maximize nutrtition and create appeal for even the fussiest child.

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 Chapter 5 - Management and Maintenance Made Easy -  How to manage the five day plan, keep a record of your exercise, recommended meal plans and cheats, Rules for to live by and how to maintain the momentum once you get going on this fabulous plan.  This chapter aims to inspire you on to success.

With over two decades of experience uncovering and harnessing the powerful connection between mind, body and spirit, David Kirsch has become a leading authority on achieving optimal health and wellbeing at any age or fitness level. Throughout his years as a sought-after trainer, David has transformed the bodies and lives of countless devotees through his signature combination of mind-body conditioning, multi-tasking workouts and smart nutrition. From founding New York's award-winning Madison Square Club to developing unprecedented supplements, classes and techniques designed to maximize workouts; David has been a pioneer in the wellness field throughout his long career.

Trusted by some of the world's most visible celebrities and influencers, David is the man with whom many A-listers train when they need to get in shape fast. One of the unique aspects of training with David is his expertise in reading different body types and his ability to target different parts of the body. In addition to authoring five books, including the bestseller The Ultimate New York Body Plan, David has appeared on numerous television shows, including The Today Show, E! and CNN World News, Dr. Oz, Live with Regis and Kelly and The View. Additionally, as a single father of four-year-old twin girls, he has expanded his wellness empire to include areas such as family and child fitness, nutrition and wellness. His website, DavidKirschWellness.com, represents a passport to the complete David Kirsch lifestyle.

Altogether this is a fabulous book for those who are wanting to get themselves and their family back in shape and to promote good nutrtion and family wellness together.  If this is your goal and something you are really wanting to aspire to, then this book is for you!

Ultimate Family Wellness, by David Kirsch
224 pages
Colour, and soft covered
ISBN - 978-1-59233-709-5
Published by Fair Winds, A division of Quarto
$22.99/US  $27.99 /CAN  £14.99/UK

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Spaghetti Pizza Pie


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This recipe came from a clipping that I have had in my Big Blue Binder for a very long time.  It was one that I thought looked delicious and that I wanted to make some day.  It's only taken me twenty years I am sure.  I can't see a date on the clipping or the name of the magazine I got it from, so I cannot say for sure, but I have lived over here for sixteen, so it has to be at least that and then some!

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Asian Slaw with a Spicy Peanut Dressing


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I love LOVE these types of salads.    There is just so much going on here.  They are interesting and they are delicious, with plenty of crunch and a really fabulous dressing!  Mmm! Mmm!

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May Cakes with a Vanilla Buttercream


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As I write this (Saturday morning) I am expecting a big crowd of youngsters to come later on today for a BBQ.  We are going to christen the new BBQ which we purchased last weekend and which the Elders so kindly helped Todd to put together!  Younguns love cupcakes and so I baked these lovely May Cakes to go along with all of the other goodies.

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Apple and Prune Crumble


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My Todd just adores apple desserts . . .  pies, cakes, puddings, crumbles . . .  I decided to make him a crumble the other day, but this is a crumble with a difference!   It has the addition of sticky prunes and a lovely hazelnut and oat crumble topping!

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Confetti Rice Salad


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We've had some really nice weather this week, a bit cool, but the sun has been shining and that's always a plus in my book!  The other day I made us a delicious rice salad to go with some grilled chicken for our supper.  We had spent a bit of time working in the garden, so quick and easy was the order of the day!

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Twice Baked Cheese Souffles


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Today I took advantage of having a somewhat quiet day (until tonight that is) and made something for our dinner that I had not made in a very long time.  Twice Baked Cheese Souffles.  I used to make these at least once a week for the Mr when I cooked at the Manor.  

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Crunchy Cheese Potatoes


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We had the Sisters for dinner the other nice.  I made them my Meat Loaf Pie with  these delicious CrunchyCheese Potatoes on the side.   Carrots, cauliflower, salad, rolls and my Speedy Berry Cake rounded out the menu.  There were NO complaints.  Not that there would be anyways.  These girls and guys are always so grateful for the opportunity for a nice homemade meal, and as you know I love, LOVE feeding them.

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Garlic Fried Rice and Degustabox


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Fried rice is one of those dishes I love to prepare.   It makes great use of leftover vegetables if you have them and leftover rice as well, but don't worry if you don't have leftover rice.  There are some fabulous packs of already cooked rice on the market today which mean that so long as you keep some in your cupboard, fried rice is only ever just a few minutes away!   There was some VeeTee Cooked rice in April's Degustabox and as soon as I saw it fried rice came to mind!   I'll tell you all about that at the end of this post, in the meantime have a read of what all I got in my April box!

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Layered Cobb Salad


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I am a real salad lover.  I could eat a salad for every meal of the day.  Todd, he's not so fond of salads, but he does admit that salads are a lot tastier and more interesting since he met me.   No lettuce leaf with a few limp slices of tomato, cucumber and no dressing . . . my salads are filled with colour and crunch and, yes . . .  interest!

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Yorkshire Rock Cakes


Yorkshire Rock Cakes

Yorkshire Rock Cakes. Also known as Fat Rascals, these delicious rock cakes have been made pretty famous by the Iconic Betty's Tea Room in Yorkshire.  

A fat rascal or a rock cake is a delicious baked bread that is a tasty cross between a scone and a bun. Packed full of dried fruits.

From what I can tell the only difference between Yorkshire Rock Cakes and regular rock cakes is the addition of glace cherries and blanched almonds on top.  Some people call them fat rascals, but they're not fat rascals at all.  These are fat rascals (see photo below), and as you can clearly see, they are not the same animal at all.

 Fat Rascals

They are very, very different, not only in looks, but also in texture and ingredients.  You can find my fat rascal recipe here.


Yorkshire Rock Cakes

These are exceedingly good cakes . . . easy to make . . .  buttery . . .  crumbly. Perfect with a hot cuppa.

I have never had a Yorkshire Rock Cake from Betty's but I dare say these are probably even better. Homemade always is.

 Yorkshire Rock Cakes

 Stogged full of dried currants, sultanas (golden raisins), raisins and candied peel . . . with just a touch of mixed spice.  You can find my recipe for mixed spice on my make your own page. You can find that here. It is filled with a variety of make your own herb, spice and baking blends. (You may want to bookmark it!)

It's a warm baking spice  . . .  with cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, cloves and ground coriander.  Very nice.

Yorkshire Rock Cakes

Topped with blanched marcona almonds and a glace cherry, these make a very moreish treat with a nice cold glass of milk or a hot cuppa.  

They make the perfect  Sunday afternoon teatime treat!   If you are feeling especially hedonistic you can split and butter them.   Also very tasty!

Yorkshire Rock Cakes


*Yorkshire Rock Cakes*
Makes 6 large ones

Somewhere between a bun and scone, these are moreishly delicious.   You will want to enjoy these warm with an ice cold glass of milk or a hot drink.  Rock Cakes are said to be Harry Potter's favourite food. 

150g of plain flour (1 cup + 1 1/2 TBS)
150g self raising flour (1 cup plus 1 1/2 TBS)
pinch salt
1 tsp of baking powder
125g of cold unsalted butter, cut into bits (1/2 cup)
100g of golden caster sugar (1/2 cup)
the finely grated zest of both 1 orange and 1 unwaxed lemon
1 tsp mixed spice (see my side bar for the recipe)
150g mixed dried fruit (1 cup)
(this is a mix of fruit containing sultanas, raisins, currants and mixed peel)
1 large free range egg, beaten
4 to 5 TBS milk 

To finish:
1 free range egg yolk beaten with 1 TBS water
6 glace cherries
18 blanched marcona almonds


Yorkshire Rock Cakes

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  Line a baking tray with baking parchment.  Set aside.


Sift both flours into a large bowl along with the salt and baking powder.  Drop in the cold butter.  Rub the butter into the flour mixture, using a snapping motion with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles fine dry bread crumbs.  Stir in the sugar, citrus zests, mixed spice and dried fruit.  Beat together the egg and 4 TBS of the milk.  Add all at once to the mixture and stir in to form a soft dough.  If you need the additional TBS of milk to do this, then add it now.

Yorkshire Rock Cakes

Divide into six equal parts and shape into a ball.  Place each ball onto the prepared baking tray leaving plenty of space in between each.  Gently flatten slightly with the palm of your hand until each are only about 3/4 inch thick.  Brush the top of each with some of the beaten egg yolk/water mix.  Push a glace cherry into the centre of each and then place 3 almonds arouond the centre decoratively .

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until well risen and golden brown.  Remove from the oven.  Leave on the tin for five minutes then scoop off to a wire rack to cool. 

Best served warm from the oven, although they can be frozen and then gently reheated at a later date.  You may also split them and spread them with butter if you are feeling especially hedonistic!

Yorkshire Rock Cakes

Traditionally Tasty!  Bon Appetit!  

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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Date & Walnut Coffee Cake


Date & Walnut Coffee Cake

This isn't a coffee flavoured cake, but a dense cake which is meant to be eaten with a hot drink, and sometimes split and buttered.   They are not really sweet like regular cakes or soft like normal cakes, but are sturdier and meant to be eaten warm . . . at the weekend . . .  for brunch possibly.

 They fall somewhere in between being a cake and being a bun/scone, if that makes sense!    Generally speaking they will have a crumb filling or a crumb topping, or sometimes even both. 

Whatever . . .  I've never met one I didn't love!!!

Date & Walnut Coffee Cake

 This one is especially nice!   It has a lovely sweet and nutty/buttery date and walnut filling, which lies in the middle of two buttery layers of cake/bun/scone.

Date & Walnut Coffee Cake

I just adore dates and they lend an almost caramel flavour to this filling  . . .  and of course the brown sugar/butter forms little pockets of candy like caramel as well . . .

Date & Walnut Coffee Cake

 And then there is the crunch of walnuts . . .  I like to  toast my walnuts, personally.  I think it lends an extra crunch to them and layer of nuttiness.   

In any case . . .  they are in the middle and sprinkled over the top.

Date & Walnut Coffee Cake

This is a cake that was meant to be shared!  You are going to absolutely love LOVE it!  Adapted from a recipe in the old Purity Flour Book from way back when, so you just know its going to be good.  

When I bake things like these . . .  I sure wish I wasn't a diabetic because my cake loving soul just wants to plunge right in and enjoy.  

Sigh . . . well, perhaps just one tiny smidgen of a taste.  That can't hurt too much.  They do say a little bit of something nice does a body good.

Date & Walnut Coffee Cake

*Date and Walnut Coffee Cake*
Serves 6 - 8

A delicious cake meant to be eaten with a hot cuppa.  Moist and buttery with a delicious date and walnut filling.  This cake also freezes well. 

210g of plain flour, sifted (1 1/2 cups)
65g of sugar (1/3 cup)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
60g butter (1/4 cup)
1 large free range egg, beaten
160 ml of milk (2/3 cup)

Filling:
100g soft light brown sugar (1/2 cup lightly packed)
1 TBS plain flour
30g chopped walnuts (1/4 cup)
75g chopped dates (1/2 cup)
60g of butter melted (1/4 cup)

You will need an additional 30g(1/4 cup) chopped walnuts


Date & Walnut Coffee Cake


Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7.  Butter an 8 inch square or round cake tin.  Set aside.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl.  Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs, using your fingetrips and a snapping motion.    Make a well in the centre.  Stir in the egg and milk to combine well.    Combine all of the filling ingredients together well.   Spread half of the batter in the prepared tin.  Sprinkle the date/walnut mixture over top.  Spread the remaining batter over this to cover.  Sprinkle the additional chopped walnuts over top.

Date & Walnut Coffee Cake


Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until risen and golden brown.  Serve warm.  Cut into wedges or squares.

Date & Walnut Coffee Cake

Now that's a weekend bake you can really sink your teeth into!  Bon Appetit!  

 Date & Walnut Coffee Cake

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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