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Grandmother's Oatmeal Cookies


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We have an elderly friend that I like to bake things for from time to time.   We usually go to visit her a couple of times a week and  I usually bring her something I have baked on one of those occasions.  I get to enjoy the pleasure of baking something and she gets to enjoy the pleasure of eating what I have baked.   As a diabetic I am not really supposed to be eating a lot of baked goods, so it works really well for me as I love to bake. Its a win/win situation really!

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Lemon Blueberry Buckle


Lemon Blueberry Buckle

Lemon Blueberry Buckle. This is one of my alltime favourite blueberry dessert recipes.

I just love LOVE blueberry season.  Its one of my favourite crops.  I do eat them all year round, but nothing tastes better than a fresh blueberry picked off of one of your own bushes. 

 I do miss the wild blueberries that we used to pick in Canada, but one must do what one must do and so we grow our own cultivated berries here and dream of the wild . . .


 Lemon Blueberry Buckle

This is one of my favourite ways to serve them.  Its a recipe I have adapted from a dessert book entitled "Rustic Fruit Desserts," by Cory Shreiber and Julie Richardson.  

This is a great book.  I've made just about every recipe in the book and each one has been a winner/winner!

Lemon Blueberry Buckle

This dessert consists of a lovely lemon flavoured cake batter, studded with lovely blueberries, topped with even more berries, and then sprinkled with a delicious lemon flavoured buttery streusal toppingprior to baking!

Lemon Blueberry Buckle

The end result is moist and totally delicious.

Lemon Blueberry Buckle

With just enough berries  . . .  and lemon flavour . . .  and that buttery streusel topping is just to die for.  

There is even more lemon flavour from a warm Lemon Syrup which gets poured over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven, for full on lemony goodness!  (It soaks into the cake and increases what is already moist and delicious!)

 Lemon Blueberry Buckle

  My husband enjoys his warm, with a bit of cream poured over top.  Me . . . I'm an ice cream gal.

That mix of cold melting vanilla ice cream and that warm blueberry cake is a combination made in heaven.  Pure Heavenly Bliss!

Lemon Blueberry Buckle

*Lemon Blueberry Buckle*
Serves 8
A delicious family classic with a tender buttermilk cake, stogged full of lovely blueberries with a lemon flavoured streusel topping, glazed with a lemon syrup after baking.

For the topping:
70g plain flour (1/2 cup all purpose)
63g of granulated sugar (1/3 cup)
pinch salt
the zest of one lemon
60g butter (1/4 cup) chilled and cubed
For the cake:
225g plain flour (1 1/2 cups plus 2 TBS)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg
6 TBS butter, room temperature
145g of granulated sugar (3/4 cup)
the zest of one lemon
125ml buttermilk (1/2 cup)
2 large free range eggs, beaten
300g fresh or frozen blueberries (unthawed) 2 cups)

For the syrup glaze:
the juice of 2 lemons
63g of granulated sugar 

Pouring cream or ice cream to serve.


Lemon Blueberry Buckle


Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter a 9-inch square baking pan really well.  Set aside.
Make the streusel by rubbing the lemon zest into the sugar until it becomes very fragrant.  Stir in the flour and salt.  Drop in the butter and then rub together until the mixture resembles a crumble mixture with bits the size of peas.  Place in the refrigerator.


Make the cake by beating the sugar, lemon and butter together until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.Sift together the flour, baking powder and soda.  Stir in the nutmeg and salt. Stir into the creamed mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, making three dry additions and two wet.  Fold in half of the berries.  Spread into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle the remaining berries over top.  Remove the steusel from the refrigerator and sprinkle it over the top of the berries.    Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the cake tests done and the cake is golden brown.  It should be firm to the touch.


While the cake is baking make the syrup glaze.  Put the sugar and lemon juice into a saucepan.  Cook over  low heat, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes  Once it begins to bubble watch closely and stir more often. It should be somewhat thickened.  If you think it is thick enough, remove from the heat and keep warm.   Pour this over the hot cake as soon as it is removed from the oven.  Serve warm, cut into squared with some pouring cream or ice cream.

Lemon Blueberry Buckle


This keeps well at room temperature for up to three days.

Lemon Blueberry Buckle

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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Fermented Foods At Every Meal - Book Review


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Fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha are becoming very popular offerings on blogs these days and an important staple in many peoples' diet, and with good reason!  Not only do they nourish our bodies with probiotics, but they are also quite delicious!  My sister has been after me to start fermenting food for a while now.  I struggle with Diverticulitis and IBS, and fermented foods are very good for people with digestive problems.  That's why I was really excited to be sent this book, "Fermented Foods at Every Meal," by Haley Barisa Byczek!

Fermented Foods at Every Meal introduces core fermented-food recipes and teaches readers about the science and health benefits of incorporating fermented foods into your diet.

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Nourishing Noodles, Book Review


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I received a new cookbook recently, just in time for the inevitable bounty of cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and other summer produce!  This new book is all about turning those vegetables into healthy noodles. Nourishing Noodles by Chris Anca of Tales of a Kitchen has more than 150 pages of pasta-less noodle recipes and ideas and includes recipes for non-summer produce as well, such as beets, potatoes, and carrots. There are even recipes for using up those broccoli stalks!

There are seven beautifully photographed chapters for recipe which range from the simple to the elaborate, along with helpful information about what Spiralizing is, what you need to do it, how to get started, etc.

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Cheesy Fish Sticks & Rice Supper




I am sharing a super easy, quick and delicious supper with you today for Fish Friday, something which the children will love.  Big kids too.  In truth the whole family will love it!



It's also very economical, and makes a great use of store cupboard ingredients. I love store cupboard meals, don't you?



I bet you have everything in your house to make these right now!  Or maybe not. I always have fish sticks in the freezer.  I like the cod ones.  They are really handy to have on hand, even if all you are going to make is a fish finger butty.





I also keep packs of ready cooked rice in the cupboards, for those times when I need rice at the last minute.  Sometimes I have the flavoured packs but mostly I just have plain and brown basamati.  We also feed our dog rice (along with poached chicken and vegetables) every day.  She loves it.   And she thrives on it along with a multi-vitamin just for pooches.



But I digress . . .  I also keep packs of frozen vegetables in the freezer.  Usually green beans, broccoli and cauliflower, petit pois and then some  mixed vegetables.  They are the closest thing to fresh picked.  I only buy fresh veg from the shops if I am going to cook them right on the day.   They seem to always go off within a few days of me bringing them home. (Other than root vegetables, they seem to be alright.)



In any case, I hope you will try this tasty dish.  I am sure you will love it.





*Cheesy Fish Sticks and Rice Supper*
Serves 4 

This is delicious.  You can make it lower in fat by using low fat cheese and evaporated skim milk instead of cream.  Its a great store cupboard meal as well and a real kid pleaser! 

250g pouch of cooked rice (1 1/2 cups cooked rice)
250ml cream or half and half (or evap milk, 1 cup)
12 frozen fish sticks
180g grated strong cheddar cheese (1 1/2 cups)
(I use the Kerry Low Low which is 33% lower in fat than regular cheese)
1/2 tsp each dried oregano, dried parsley, salt and black pepper
1/4 tsp each onion powder, garlic powder
2 cups cooked vegetables
(I use two single serving pouches of mixed frozen steam vegetables with
carrots, broccoli and cauliflower in them, and it is just perfect.  Cook them for 2 minutes first in the microwave)



Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Butter a 9 inch square casserole dish.  Mix together the rice, cream, half of the cheese, spices and vegetables until well combined.  Spread into your prepared casserold dish.  Top with the frozen fish sticks.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake for about 30 minutes until heated through and golden.   Serve hot.




Simple.  Delicious. Quick.  Easy and nutritious. Economical and family pleasing.  You can't ask for better than that!

Bon Appetit!

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Ultimate Chicken Caesar Salad


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Oh, I do so love  a good Caesar Salad, but more often than not, unless I make it myself, I am always always disappointed.   Limp lettuce.  Stale croutons.  Too much dressing.  I don't understand why most restaurants get it so wrong, when it is such a simple thing.    I refuse to pay a small fortune (and they charge a small fortune) for something which is so poorly executed, but no matter.  I just make my own at home, and then I am always, always happy with it.

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Rickshaw Rice


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When I was much younger and still at school, many moons ago, I collected a series of Better Homes and Gardens Cookery books.   It was like a mini encyclopedia of cookery.  I used them a lot in my younger years and I still dig them out from time to time.  Just because the recipes are old, it doesn't mean that they aren't still useful or delicious.  Recipes like this RickShaw Rice which I garnered from the Speedy Skillet Meals book!

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Peanut Butter & Banana Overnight Oats


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I am late coming to the overnight oats party.   I discovered the delights of them just the other day and I am in love!     This recipe is a riff on one I found on Crunchy Creamy Sweet.  I made it exactly as described the first night and I have been playing with it ever since.

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Pizza Express Pasta's





With instantly recognisable Pizza Express names such as Sloppy Giuseppe and American Hot, the people at Pizza Express have developed  a new range of pasta dishes that have been inspired by flavours of their famous restaurant pizzas!!

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Pollo Ad Astra Totelloni -  One of PizzaExpress' best-selling pizzas, the Pollo Ad Astra, has been transformed into a pasta dish combining chicken with a pepperdew pepper filling inside free range egg pasta tortelloni.

American Hot Ravioli - Capturing the famous flavours of the American Hot Pizza, these beautiful ravioli are stuffed with a pepperoni and hot pepper filling, all encased in a free rang egg pasta.

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Sloppy Giuseppe Tortelloni -  Free range egg pasta tortellini encases a sloppy Giuseppe filling combining spic hot beef and pepper.

Margherita  Tortelloni - Sometimes there's nothing better than the simple yet satisfying taste of mozzarella and tomato, which have been combined perfectly in small Tortellini, to create delightful bites of cheesy goodness.

I was sent a pack of each of these to try out and this is what I thought . . .  as Todd doesn't like Pasta at all, his opinion didn't count.  ☺

Of the four my favourite was the Margherita  Tortelloni followed closely by the Pollo Ad Astra.  The Margherita was simple and well flavoured.   I loved the flavour of the Peppadew peppers with the  chicken in the Pollo Ad Astra.  I love Peppadews, so no surprise there!  I also enjoyed the American Hot, but then I like pepperoni and hot peppers.   My least favourite was the Sloppy Giuseppe, but I am not overly fond of beef fillings anyways, and spicy beef has to be one of my most unliked things to eat.  So, for me it wasn't a favourite but if you like spicy beef, you might really enjoy it.

All of them were well filled and very simple to cook.  We ate each of them, quite simply buttered and dusted with some Parmesan cheese so as not to adulterate the flavours of any of them with anything else.  Unfortnately I did not get any photographs as I accidentally deleted them from my camera.  oops!!  (It happens from time to time and I am really annoyed when it does!)

The range  can be found at a Waitrose near you or through Waitrose.com.

Many thanks to Pizza Express for sending me these new filled pastas to try.

Note - Although I was sent the pasta free of charge for review, I was not required to write a positive review.  Any opinions are entirely my own.



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Chianti Baked Meatballs


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I've been in the process of downsizing my book collection for a number of weeks now, this involves going through all of my books and making the agonizing (for me) decision of which ones to keep and which ones to give away.   The ones I give away go to the charity shop.  Of course most of them are cookery books . . .  and that makes it even more difficult to decide, and it takes a lot of effort on my part and yes, sacrifice.  I have decided though that if there are not more than one or two recipes in a book that I would actually cook, no matter how beautiful it is, it has to go.

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Streusal Topped Brownies


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I confess to having a certain fondness for Brownies.   Little fudgy bites of chocolate gooey-ness that I have a difficult time to resist.  The Toddster could take them or leave them.  (He's not human!) I don't make them very often as a result of that because if I do, then I am the only one in the house that will eat them, and I don't need to be eating them!   I do often bake them if we are having company.


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Jam Filled Thumb Print Cookies




I have a special friend who is celebrating a birthday today and I wanted to bake her something special to help mark the day and celebrate it in a special way.

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Beetroot & Goats Cheese Salad w/Orange Marmalade Vinaigrette



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I just adore beetroots.   I picked up a couple of nice bunches when we were in town the other day at the Green Grocers . . . a bunch of regular ruby coloured ones  and a beautiful bunch of golden globes.  Call them heirloom if you must . . . but . . . they're beetroot and they're tasty, and they're pretty to look at.

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Strawberry Buttermilk Pancakes with Honey & Vanilla Butter



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We are getting down to the end of our strawberries for this year.   We are only getting about a handful a day now.  Not quite enough to make jam or a pie, but good enough for tasty little treats like these fabulous pancakes that I made for our breakfast.
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Cooking At The Manor


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As most of you will know, I worked and cooked on a beautiful Manor Estate down in Kent for a number of years.   This was a wonderful experience for me and I learned a lot while I was working there.  I got to cook with the finest equipment and ingredients in one of the most beautiful environments anyone could ever want to work in.

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From simple every day meals, to beautiful luncheons with the ladies, to silverservice dinner parties and everything in between, I did it all, and never had any complaints from either my employers or the guests, especially the guests.  It was a job I really loved.   I have been asked for many years would I do a booklet about my experiences there and I have finally finished Volume one of my experiences as a Manor chef.  There was far too much to put into one cook-booklet alone!

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In this one you will find the menus and recipes for the very first Dinner Party which  I cooked for them,along with their Thanksgiving Menu, several ladies luncheons,  every day suppers, a special brunch, a Birthday Dinner for the Mr, and a lot of other bits and bobs, including the roll recipe which I used for every party, some favourite nibbles, etc.  49 pages of recipes and antedotes, including photographs of the Manor Grounds, a few of the rooms, table settings, etc.  I think this is a booklet everyone will enjoy . . .  a small peek into how the other half lives.

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Some of the secrets to success are right here, and it's available to you now for the same low price as all of my others at only £5. ($6.58/American Dollars or $8.59 Canadian Dollars)  This will be delivered to your e-mail as a downloadable PDF file, ready to print or store on your computer as you desire within 24 hours of your payment clearing. If ordering please make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Reader enabled, and that my e-mail address is in your safe folder! Also as the file is rather large make sure you have enough room to receive it!

To buy now please click on the link below.  I also have other cookbooklet titles available to do click on the Cookbooklet Tab at the top of the page!


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Bistro Potato Salad


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I am just loving this summer heat wave we are having.  We have had several really poor summers in a row here in the UK, so this sunny warm weather is lovely to see! 

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History You Can Sink Your Teeth Into


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The world’s largest Original Newspaper archive, Historic - Newspapers.co.uk has launched a new range of Vintage Recipe Cookbooks, showcasing recipes & cookery ideas throughout history.

These newspaper books are perfect for any food lover, or for those who want a slice of history with a more niche focus. The contents include landmark food news, such as the implementation of rationing, recipes and popular food options from selected decades as well the appearance of famous celebrity faces who are still followed today.

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A Croque Madame



A Croque Madame

This isn't a supper dish for the faint of heart. It is loaded with fat and calories.  Every once in a blue moon, however,  it's nice to treat yourself to something special like a Croque Madame.  

And just what is a Croque Madame?  Well, to make a long story short,  it's a Croque Monsieur with a fried egg on top.


A Croque Madame

A Croque Monsieur is a glorified ham and cheese toastie!  Only the French could make a ham and cheese toastie more decadent and tastier than it is.

They have added a layer of rich bechamel to the top of the sandwich. Sprinkled  grated Parmesan over that. Finally they popped it under the grill. until the bechamel is bubbling and gilded golden brown In spots.

A Croque Madame

But, this cheese toastie is anything but an ordinary cheese toastie. There is a smattering of Dijon mustard inside, along with some  thinly sliced ham.

 Add to that gooey rich and nutty Gruy√®re cheese. (Similar time Swiss)  You toast that Ham a
And  Cheese sandwich  first in a skillet .  Once it is golden brown and the cheese has melted,  you ladle the bechamel over top and pop the whole thing under a hot grill. 

A Croque Madame

But it's not just any bechamel (which happens to be one of the easiest sauces to make and a base for many others).  This bechamel is flavoured lightly with thyme, Worcestershire, nutmeg (traditional) and . . . wait for it . . . brandy.   

Yep . . . there is just the merest tiniest hint of brandy which will have your eaters wondering just what that elusive flavour is . . . 

A Croque Madame

In France a Croque Monsieur is known as a bar snack . . . a quick bite.  

The name loosely translates to crunchy mister.  hmm . . . tasty no matter the origins . . .

A Croque Madame

Adding a fried egg to the top is said to help it resemble a ladies hat??? Well, I don't fancy wearing a hat that looks like a fried egg, but  . . . I don't mind eating a Croque Madame, no matter what it is called. 

Rich, crisp, salty, cheesy, butter, smokey. This sandwich has it all.

A Croque Madame

This is a hearty lunch for even the halest of eaters.  I can't imagine it being a bar snack or a quick bite for anyone. 

As a once in a blue moon indulgence . . . it went down a real treat. I served them with hot chips! That’s what they call fries here in the U.K.!

A Croque Madame


*Croque Madame*
serves 4

Printable Recipe

A traditional ham and cheese toastie, topped with bechemal sauce and a fried egg.  Delicious!

5 TBSs butter
2 1/2 TBS flour
1 3/4 cup milk

1 TBS brandy
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
pinch  thyme
pinch of grated nutmeg
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 slices of sturdy white sandwich type bread
4 tsp Dijon mustard
4 ounces of Gruyere cheese, grated
12 ounces of leftover ham, sliced
1/2 ounce of Parmegiano-Reggiano, finely grated
4 large free range eggs, at room temperature  

A Croque Madame  

Melt 2 TBS of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat.  Whisk in the flour, whisking constantly until it begins to turn beige in colour.  Slowly whisk in the milk, iin a slow and steady stream.  Cook and whisk constantly until it is smooth and thickened and slightly bubbling.  Whisk iin the brandy, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from the heat and set aside, whisking now and then to help prevent a skin from forming.

Position your broiler rack 4 inches from the heat and heat the broiler to high.  Spread 4 slices of the bread on one side each with 1 tsp of Dijon mustard.  Top with the slices ham and then the cheese.  Place the remaining 4 slices of bread on top. 

Melt 1 TBS of the butter in a 12 inch non stick skillet over medium heat.  Cook 2 of the sandwiches until brown and crisp, turning once, halfway through the cooking to brown the remaining side.  Place on a rimmed baking sheet and repeat with another TBS of the butter and the remaining 2 sandwiches.  

A Croque Madame  

Melt 2 Tbs. of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and continue whisking just until it turns beige, about 20 seconds. Whisk in the milk in a slow, steady stream; continue whisking until smooth, thickened, and slightly bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the brandy, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Whisk for 30 seconds; then remove from the heat and set aside, whisking occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.  Ladle the bechamel sauce over top of the sandwiches.  (It will run down the sides, but that's ok.)  Sprinkle with the Parmigiano Reggiano.  Broil until bubbling and lightly browned.

Melt the remaining 1 TBS of butter in the skillet over medium heat.  Crack in the eggs and fry them sunny side up until the whites are set, but the yolks are still runny.

Transfer the sandwiches to serving plates, placing a fried egg on top of each.  Sprinkle with salt and a good grinding of black pepper and serve.  

A Croque Madame


 I suppose if you were a vegetarian you could leave out the ham altogether and it would still be delicious.  But what would you call it then????  Any suggestions???  A Croque Infante??    

Oh, and the purpose of the chips???   Why to dip into that gorgeous runny yolk.  Oh, I am a naughty girl. ☺

Note - this is a repeat, but some things are just so good they need to be repeated.  I've been suffering from a particularly bad bout of Diverticulitis today so am not all that well.  Sorry about that!


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