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Pizza Scrolls



When my children were growing up they used to love the frozen Pizza Pockets.  I also used to make them from scratch, but in reality they took a lot of time by the time I made the yeast dough etc. so frozen was just easier.   I wish I had thought of these Pizza Scrolls back then.  It would have made life a lot simpler!
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Banoffee Pancakes



  

Tomorrow is "Pancake Day" here in the UK, also known as Shrove Tuesday it is the last day before the beginning of Lent, when traditionally people had a last feast before Lent ushered in.  It was a good and delicious way to use up the last of the eggs and fat before the fasting began.  When I was a child it was the only day of the year my mother would make pancakes.   And she didn't always make them on Pancake Day either, unless we begged her and "guilted" her into it!  Each year I try to make a different type of pancake and this year is no different.  I present Banoffee Pancakes for your perusal!!
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Squidgy Prune and Ginger Cake



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 Occasionally you run across a cake that is so squidgilly good that you either have to share it right away, or hide it and hog it all to yourself.  This delicious loaf cake falls into both those categories.   I kid you not.   At first bite you will want to run to your bestest friend or partner and share it with them, coz something this scrummy just begs to be shared . . . but then again, the glutton in you may be tempted to want to hide it and save it all for yourself!

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Apple and Blackcurrant Pie



 We are lucky enough to have a very prolific black currant bush in our back garden and so our freezer is filled with black currants for me to use all year round in tasty desserts, pies, cakes, etc.   This is one of Todd's favourite pies.  Well, apple anything is his favourite, but when you mix them with his other favourite fruits, black currants, well you have bagged a real winner!
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Cheesy Tuna Bake


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The Toddster is always after me to cook using things that we have in our store cupboard.  He is always complaining about how much we have stored.   It is useless for me to explain to him that your cupboards may be full, but in a lot of cases they are full of ingredients that you put together with other things to make a meal . . .

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Time for a Boost



Boostball is now rolling out across the world and has also been launched into the skies as Virgins Atlantic's protein snack of choice for their customers.  The company recently contacted me and asked me if I would like to try them.  I am always game for something new and so I said yes!

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Grape Nuts Bread



Grape-Nuts is a breakfast cereal developed in 1897 by C. W. Post, a former patient and later competitor of the 19th-century breakfast food innovator, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. Despite the name, the cereal contains neither grapes nor nuts; it is made with wheat and barley.  This is not something which we ever really ate as a cereal when I was growing up and it's not something I would eat as a cereal now.  It's rather hard and crunchy, but it is great for baking with!  Back home in Eastern Canada it is also used in Ice Cream.  Grape Nuts Ice Cream was always a real favourite in our house and I do belive that it is my mother's favourite kind, or at least it was.

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Sticky Gammon Steaks


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During the week, I try to cook meals which are quick and easy and not too hard on the budget.  Living on a pension means we have a very basic fixed income, and so there is not a lot of room for playing around overly much, and with way food costs are rising, it gets harder and harder each week to make ends meet and still keep our meals interesting.

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Vegetable Chow Mein




This dish is quick, easy and delicious.  It is such a simple thing and goes very well with stir fries of any kind, and if you add a bit of leftover cooked meat or poulrty can even double as a main course.  Mmmm . . . Chicken chow mein.  Who doesn't love that!
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Turkey Hash


  

 
I know what you are thinking . . .  Turkey Hash?  It's not anywhere near a holiday is it.  Well, unless you count Pancake Day (Feb 28th this year) no, it is not anywhere near a holiday.  But . . .  one of the things about writing a cookery book is that you have to cook things that you want to go into the book at odd times, and I found myself roasting a turkey one day last week, hence . . . . Turkey Hash.   I needed to do something with the leftovers!
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Vanilla Sauced Bread Pudding


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I think Bread Pudding has to be the Toddster's favourite all time dessert, next to apple pie.   So, this week, when I found myself having a bit too much bread in the house due to the Toddster's having bought the wrong kind of bread when he picked it up for me (men ARE from Mars!)  I knew exactly what to do with the excess!

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Fruited Scones



 One of my favourite experiences over here is the Cream Tea, and you will find them all over the country.   Hot pots of tea (and they can be herbal teas if you wish) served up with flakey fruited scones and butter, along with pots of fruit jam and clotted cream.  What a delicious treat this is and such a quintessentially British experience!
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Broccoli & Potato Casserole


Broccoli & Potato Casserole


One of my favourite soups has to be broccoli and cheese soup.  I just love it.  I love broccoli anyways, and when you combine it with cheese, well  . . . that is just a match made in heaven.  

This delicious casserole today had very similar ingredients as broccoli cheese soup, except it's not soup, it's a fabulous casserole that will have your family scrambling for seconds!


Broccoli & Potato Casserole


It also makes great use of leftover baked potatoes.  In fact if I am going to bake some potatoes for supper, I always throw a few extra into the oven just so that I can make this tasty casserole the day after! 

It never hurts to have already cooked potatoes on tap!

 Broccoli & Potato Casserole


 I call it Skinny Broccoli and Potato Casserole because I used to make it with full fat ingredients, but now I make it with low fat or no fat ingredients, which cuts back on the calories quite a bit. 

It is surprising how easy it is to cut back on fat and calories with just a few substitutions!

Broccoli & Potato Casserole

 And, NO, that doesn't mean you get to eat twice as much as you normally would.  You just eat the same amount as you usually do and feel good about eating a bit healthier.  Everybody wins!

Broccoli & Potato Casserole


Fat free sour cream  . . .  low fat cheddar and mozzarella cheeses . . .  skimmed milk.  Combined with chopped baked potatoes, cooked broccoli and spring onions and you are in for a real treat that doesn't taste low fat at all.  

It's every bit as rich tasting as the original . . .  which probably had a lot more cheese in it as well, but what the heck!

 Broccoli & Potato Casserole


These days I am just happy if there is any cheese in anything!  Seriously you are going to love this.  

I could eat a plate of this and be quite happy with nothing else. I really do love my veggies, and broccoli and potatoes are two of my all time favourites from the vegetable kingdom!

Broccoli & Potato Casserole


*Skinny Broccoli and Potato Casserole*
Serves 4

It's like your favourite broccoli soup in a casserole.   Delicious and simple to make. 

3 medium baking potatoes, baked and cooled
125g of low fat sour cream (1/2 cup)
60ml skimmed milk (1/4 cup)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
pinch each garlic powder and onion powder
2 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 large head of broccoli, broken into florets and steamed until crispy tender
(I peel and chop up the stem and add it as well)
60g of reduced fat strong cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
55g of low fat Mozzarella, shredded (1/2 cup)


 Broccoli & Potato Casserole

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Spray a shallow casserole dish with low fat cooking spray.  



 Broccoli & Potato Casserole

Reserve a couple of tablespoons of cheese (1 of each) and then combine all of the remaining ingredients together.   Spread into the casserole dish.  Bake in the heated oven for 15 to 20 minute.  Remove from the oven and scatter the reserved cheese over top and return to the oven just to melt the cheese.   Serve hot.

 Broccoli & Potato Casserole


The real challenge is keeping the pounds off of me!  Oh, I wish I could eat whatever without having to worry about it.  Sigh . . .  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! 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


 

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Grilled Cheese Dogs



I had the opportunity to go to Costco the other day with a friend and I stocked up on All Beef Hot Dogs.  I love hotdogs, and  I really like the all beef ones.  
 
The only place you can get all beef hot dogs over here in the UK is at Costco, so when I get the chance to go, I stock up on them and bang them into the freezer.   Their dogs are really good and have no fillers and a nice crisp skin.  
 
I know that hotdogs are not the healthiest thing you could be eating, but every now and again, a bit of what you really enjoy does a person the world of good!



My mother made the best hotdogs in the world.   She had a waffle/grill iron that you could use either as a grill or a waffle maker.  Every Friday night she would fire up the grill plates in prep for Friday night hotdog night.   
 
She didn't use quality dogs, just Larsens and they were not my favourite things . . .  ordinarily, but her treatment with them made even a Larsen's hotdog taste good.


First off the buns would be buttered on the outsides and then toasted in the grill. She did this  just like a grilled cheese sandwich.
 
They ended up all buttery and toasty on the surface, but still hot and steamy soft inside . . . delicious!


The weiners/franks would be split down the length almost all the way through so that they opened up like a book.  
 
These would be placed cut side down onto the grill and then it would be shut and they would grill until golden brown on both sides.  


If you have never tasted a weiner/frank that has been toasted in just this manner you have been missing out on something really special . . . they are quite simply wonderful.  That was her secret.  
 
Just the split weiners and the toasted buns.  We added our own toppings.  I like mustard and relish and have never ever been able to abide tomato catsup on any kind of bread!  Its just one of my quirks!


I don't have a fancy grill/press.  I did have a lovely cuisineart one, but it stopped working after using it a couple of times and I have never bothered to replace it.  
 
Too expensive.  I make do with my Pampered Chef grill pan and a baking sheet and some heavy weights.  They get the job done.



The other day I added cheese which melted down over those toasty franks gilding them to perfection . . .  I served them with sweet potato fries and we were in hot dog heaven.   
 
I confess . . .  I had one of the leftovers reheated in the microwave for breakfast the next morning and I was one very happy gluttonous camper!  


*Grilled Cheese Dogs*
Serves 6
These are a real favourite with the children and a once in a blue moon treat for the adults! 

6 soft sided, top cut hot dog buns
softened butter for spreading
6 frankfurters
12 TBS of a mix of strong cheddar and red leicester cheese
(You can use whichever cheese you like, Cheddar and Jack are also good)
Your favourite hot dog toppings to serve 

Heat a large non stick grill pan (without ridges) or a non stick skillet over medium heat.   Butter your buns on both of the outer edges.   Place each, with one  buttered side down in the heated skillet.  Grill over medium heat until golden.  Flip over and press down lightly with a spatula.  Brown on the other side.  Remove and keep warm in a low oven while you cook the frankfurters. 

Taking a sharp knife, slit each frankfurter almost all the way through down the length of them.  Open up like a book.  Place open side down in the hot pan.   I like to lay a baking sheet on top with a heavy weight on top.  Alternately you can use a panini press.   Cook until golden.  Remove the pan and weight and flip the frankfurters over.  Place the pan and weight on top again and cook until golden on the other side.   Remove the pan and weight and top each dog with 2 TBS of the cheese.   Pop under a pre-heated grill to melt the cheese.  Place into the warm toasted buns and serve along with your favourite hot dog toppings.




You know it really is the simple things in life which bring me the most pleasure!  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! 

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin


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Broccoli and Cheddar Chowder



 I scored with a bag of broccoli at the grocery store today.  Marked down to next to nothing.  I expect it had reached its sell-by date, but there was absolutely nothing wrong with it.  It was a brilliant green, and all the florets were intact.  I had to buy it.  


I decided to make a delicious and warming soup/chowder with it.   It's been freezing cold today with a bitter wind blowing. Soup is always welcome on a cold winter's day.  All you need to make a meal of it is some nice crusty bread really. 


Todd usually likes his soupls pureed.  I like a bit of texture in mine, and so this is a bit of a combination of both our likes.  I mashed some of it with a potato masher, which not only thickened it a bit, but made him happy . . . and the chunks made me happy.


I added cheese.  Broccoli and cheese are such good bed partners.   They get along quite happily.  Use a strong flavoured cheese.   A good strong cheddar works very well.  I also added some carrot for colour and additional texture.   It's really a chowder I think . . . which is more than a soup.  A chowder is a meal. 



*Broccoli and Cheddar Chowder*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

A healthy and satisfyingly delicious winter chowder recipe using up bits from the vegetable bin.  


1 TBS light olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large stalk of celery, trimmed and chopped
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 TBS plain flour
1 tsp dry mustard powder
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 pound fresh broccoli, stems peeled and chopped,
florets, separated and cut into bite sized pieces
900ml of vegetable stock (3 1/2cups)
120g strong cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)
(Lower fat cheese works fine)
(plus a bit extra to sprinkle on the finished soup when you serve it)
125ml of cream (1/2 cup) (you can also use low fat evaporated milk, undiluted.  This is what I use.)
fine sea salt and black pepper to taste 


Heat the oil in a large saucepan.   Add the onion, shallot, carrot and celery.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion and celery have softened, without browning.  Add the potato and garlic. Cook, stirring until the garlic becomes fragrant.   Add the flour, mustard and cayenne, stirring it in well and allowing it to cook for a couple minutes.   Stir in the vegetable stock along with the broccoli stems.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.  Cook for about 10 minutes.  Uncover and stir in the broccoli florets.  Cover and cook for a further 10 minutes.  Remove the cover and mash it a bit with a potato masher.  Don't mash it too much, as you want a coarse texture.  Stir in the cheddar and cream.   Taste and adjust seasoning as desired with salt and pepper.  Ladle into heated bowls.  Top with some grated cheese and serve.
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Chicken & Pancetta Stuffed Jacket Potatoes


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I had some cooked chicken breasts today that I needed to use up.   I had bought some already cooked ones  at the weekend for something and then hadn't used them all, and so today I thought I better make good use of them.   You could use home cooked chicken breasts for this, or even leftover roast chicken.  It's all a matter of using what you have on hand.

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Happy Valentine's Day Puds from Denby and Aimee Twigger


  

Love bites: over half of Brits say a dinner party is the best place to find love

Forget Tinder and dodgy bars, 51% of Brits say that their favourite place to look for love is at a good old fashioned dinner party. As part of a report by Denby Pottery examining the UK’s entertaining habits, 44% of Brits also admitted to having the most success with dating following a dinner party ‘set up’. And thankfully, there’s plenty of opportunity for love to blossom, as 87% regularly host friends for dinner.

- 60% claim they get to know a person better at a dinner party than at a bar -
- 6% of the nation has found the love of their lives at a dinner party -
- That 6% jumps to 1 in 10 for Londoners and Scots -
- 17% of people have been set up at a dinner party at least once -
- Under 35s are the most likely to be set up at a dinner party -




These stats form part of The Art of Entertaining report by iconic British brand, Denby, which delves into trends and eating habits of British people today. It reveals that while the dinner party is as popular as ever, the way we host has changed, with only 1/3 laying a formal table these days and 75% not serving a traditional full three courses. 

For those throwing a dinner party this Valentine’s Day, Denby has teamed up with Instagram foodie Aimee Twigger to come up with four desserts guaranteed to impress guests. With one in five people admitting to buying in their sweet course, these ‘Cheat’s Puddings’ taste delicious but can be made in 10-minutes or less.





(Click on the photos to enlarge!)
 



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Coffee and Walnut Creams



I have been busy developing and writing some new recipes for my cookbook which is due out the end of April.  Do you remember that there used to be a cookie called Coffee Creams?  With a crisp biscuit/cookie on the outside and a coffee cream filling inside.  They were rectangular.  You don't seem to be able to find them anymore.   With those in mind I have been trying to create a similar biscuit to enjoy. Darn it if these are even more delicious than the original!!!  (Love it when that happens!)  Oh well, back to the drawing board!
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Glazed Cherry Danish Turnovers


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I do like to spoil my husband at the weekends.  These fabulous turnovers are a wonderful way to do just that.  Simple to make and oh so delicious, they always go down a real treat with him!

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Marmalade Pudding with an Orange Infused Custard



There is nothing my husband loves more than a steamed pudding.   He loves stodge and comfort especially in the  Winter months.  He feels the cold a lot more than I do.   I have my own layer of insulation, haha, something which he is severely lacking.  Yes, he is one of those lucky people who can more than look at tasty things and never gain an ounce.  I just have to smell them and I gain a pound.  Sadly, I do a bit more than smell . . .  but that's another story!
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One Pan Pork Chop Dinner




I confess I am a great fan of one pan meals.  This Pork Chop Dinner is a one pan meal that I have had written down in a notebook of mine for a very long time, and I confess that today I made it with thick slices of the leftover pork from the other day and halved the recipe for just the two of us.  Its nice to know you can do that I think!  It was delicious!
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Roasted Bangers with Mash & Onion Gravy


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I think Bangers (sausages) and Mash has to be the Toddsters favourite meal of all that I cook for him.  He loves a good meaty sausage.  He love a nice pile of fluffy mash and  . . .  he adores a nice onion gravy.   This meal ticks all the boxes for him and he is a very happy camper when I make it for him!


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Chicken with Tomatoes and Capers





There are normally only two of us eating in this house and so I normally try to cut recipes in half for us, or create dishes which are simple and make just enough for two. It's not that hard to do really. And you can normally multiply up with no problems at all.

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Pork Loin with Sage & Applesauce




When I was a young woman, I couldn't really afford to buy cookery books.  With a growing family to care for and being a stay at home mom, cookery books were not in my budget.   I used to handwrite out recipes gleaned from library books and friends and magazines into notebooks.  This is one of those recipes and I can no longer remember if it came from a book, magazine or a friend, or if it was an exeriment of my own that worked out well.  I tend to think that it is the latter due to the simplicity of it.   Simple recipes are often the best ones don't you think?
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Hearty Split Pea Soup



One thing that I my mother always did with a wonderfully meaty bone left from a roasted ham was to make a delicious soup. In these days of austerity, it only makes sense to get as much bang as we can out of the money we spend on our food budget.   Mom's hearty split pea was fabulous.  It was done French Canadian style with whole peas, not split, but I have been unable to find them over here in the UK and so I make do with yellow split peas.  Tastes the same, but just looks a bit different!

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Walnut Slices



This is a recipe that I have been baking for years and years and years. It is one of my favourite all time bars and something which my family always loved during their growing up years. 

They were quite dangerous for me to bake as I couldn't keep myself from indulging if these were around. Yes, they are that good.



Its an old handwritten recipe that is splotched and splattered which speaks volumes as to just how very beloved and good these squares actually are! 

I can no longer remember where or who I got it from.  But wherever and whoever it was, I have been very thankful for ever since!


What you have is a beautifully moist caramel flavoured cake base. Brown sugar keeps it moist and gives it that lovely caramel flavour.
 
I would say it is very similar to a blondie base.


With a totally scrumptious walnut filled brown sugar meringue topping!You actually fold the walnuts into the meringue in this recipe. 

They kind of sink when baking into a sweet, almost buttertart/chess pie-like filling.

Walnut Slices

The two together make for total bliss.  Break out the tea pot!  You will want to enjoy these with a nice hot cuppa! 

Do you remember that childhood verse? Polly put the kettle on?  Well . . .  Polly, put the kettle on!


*Walnut Slices*
Makes one 8 by 12 inch pan

These have long been my absolute favourite bars.  I've been making these since my kiddies were kiddies!  Delicious brown sugar cake base, gooey brown sugar and nut meringue topping.  For those with a sweet tooth.

114g butter, softened (1/2 cup)
400g soft light brown sugar (2 cups packed), divided
2 tsp vanilla, divided
1/2 tsp salt
2 large free range eggs, separated
175g of plain flour (1 1/4 cups)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
115g of chopped walnuts (1 cup)



Preheat the oven to 160*C/300*F/ gas mark 3.  Butter an 8 by 12 inch baking tin really well.  Set aside.

Cream together the butter and half of the sugar (200g/1cup) until light and smooth.  Beat in the salt along with half of the vanilla and the egg yolks. Sift together the baking powder and flour.  Stir this into the creamed mixture to combine well.  Spread into the prepared pan.



Whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk until soft peaks form.  Continue to whisk, whilst adding the remaining brown sugar a bit at a time. Whisk until all is incorporated.  Stir in the chopped walnuts and remaining 1 tsp of vanilla.  Spread this mixture over the cake base in the tin.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes.  Allow to cool completely in the tin before removing and cutting into bars.


Colour these impossible to resist and quite dangerous!  Betcha can't eat just one! 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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