Homemade Salt & Vinegar Taytos

Homemade TaytosIm a BIG lover of crisps so I said id try and re-create the salt and vinegar crisps without using a microwave (for anyone who made them with the microwave will know) 🙂

What you need

  • A Spud
  • Slicer
  • Kosher Salt & Balsamic Vinegar
  • Actifryer or Grill


  1. Slice you potato into tiny slices (I use the JML Super Slicer)
  2. Once thats done place your slices on a tray (actifryer cooking tray or baking tray)
  3. Sprinkle on your kosher salt and balsamic vinegar and cook for 10/15 mins

Actifryer Cook on 200 degrees for 14 mins (or until cooked) | Grill Cook on 160 degree for 12 mins (or until cooked)

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Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without a heaping helping of piping hot and buttery mashed potatoes. There are several ways to make delicious mashed potatoes. Here are a few variations on “mashed potato recipes”.

Old-Fashioned Mashed Potatoes

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Potato MasherMashed potatoes made with a hand potato masher, like the one above, will give you that irregular, a little bit lumpy, texture in your mashed potatoes. For those who want mashed potatoes like Grandma used to make, this is probably the way to go. Peel potatoes, boil, and drain before mashing. Add milk, butter and salt to taste.

Peel-On Mashed Potatoes

In recent years, peel-on mashed potatoes seem to have made a comeback. Scrub potatoes, remove bad spots, and then boil. Mash coarsely with a hand potato masher, add milk, butter and salt to taste, and serve.

Riced Mashed Potatoes

Riced mashed potatoes are made with a potato ricer, which gives them a grainy texture, and pellet shape, just like grains of rice. Some potato ricers include different attachments for smaller or larger rice grains.

Whipped Mashed Potatoes

Use this technique for fluffy, perfectly smooth mashed potatoes. Peel potatoes, boil, drain, and whip with a hand mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add milk, salt, and butter to taste.

Which Kind of Potatoes? Idaho russet potatoes are the usual standby for any type of mashed potatoes, but for peel-on mashed potatoes, try baby red potatoes. They have a thinner skin and smoother texture than regular Idaho potatoes. For a real treat, try Yukon gold potatoes for any recipe. They have a natural buttery color and taste, and are very smooth. Don’t forget, you can also mash sweet potatoes! They’re great with a little butter, cinnamon and brown sugar.

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Easy and Delicious Cake


This is the most easy and delicious cake recipe.


  • Dates: 100 gram, chopped
  • Apricot: 100 gram, chopped
  • Plain flour: 150 gram
  • Baking powder: 1 heaped teaspoon
  • Nuts: 75 gram, chopped
  • Glace Cherries: 150 gram halved
  • Orange: 1, zest only
  • Orange juice: 75ml
  • Mixed spice: 1 ½ teaspoon
  • Dried cranberries: 50 gram
  • Butter: 200 gram, soft
  • Whisky: 100ml
  • Eggs: 5, lightly beaten
  • Black treacle: 2 tablespoons
  • Muscovado sugar: 200 gram
  • Mixed dried fruits: 500 gram
  • Cold black tea: 225 m


  1. First of all mix the cranberries, cherries, dates, dried fruits and apricots in a bowl and then add treacle, zest, teadirect gold tea, orange juice and whisky in it. Boil it while stirring then after ten minutes remove it from heat and leave the mixture for cooling.
  2. Put the mixture for the whole night or as long as you can.
  3. Preheat the oven to up to 140 degrees.
  4. Take a 20 cm round cake tin and grease it lightly.
  5. Now put all the remaining ingredients of the cake except the nuts in a large bowl and mix them. Then fold in the tea soaked fruits and nuts.
  6. Drop the mixture in the tin that you have prepared for it. Level the top and make a slight dip towards the center. With a double thickness of brown paper cover the sides of the cake.
  7. Check the cake after 3 hours. If the surface is getting too much brown then cover it with parchment paper. Then again check the cake after 30 minutes.
  8. Leave it to cool for 15 minutes in the tin, then turn it out and allow cooling.
  9. When the cake become cool then get ready to decorate it. For decorating the cake first of all dust the surface with icing sugar. Roll the marzipan slightly larger than the cake in a round shape.
  10. Heat the apricot jam and pour it over the cake. Then put the marzipan with your hands on the cake to make a smooth and flat surface.
  11. If you want a perfect cake and you have enough time than cover the cake with tea towel and leave it for one day.
  12. Put the 150g of fondant icing on a flat surface and cut it according to your own choice in different shapes as you like.
  13. Now brush the cake with a small amount of water. Roll the remaining icing to 33cm round and put it on the cake especially on the sides. Make the uneven areas of the cakes even with your hands.
  14. In the last put the shapes on the cake that you have prepared and finish it with ribbon.
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Coffee Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

KrispieWhat a week it’s been!

The weather is changing and I get all nostalgic and stuff.

I’ve got lots of pumpkin on my mind with a side of life.  You’ve got to ask yourself–will this all matter in five years?  And the answer is, that it-will-not.

I’ve got so much pumpkin on my mind that I bought more than a few cans of it at Trader Joe’s the other night.  The very nice Trader Joe’s man pulled it out of the back for me and said that this stuff runs out fast so buy what you can.

I’ve also got Gossip Girl bags under my eyes (yes, I’ve been staying up way too late watching the next episode and then the next).  Darn you Netflix!  Darn you for enabling me to watch back to back episodes!

But, moving on.

I made these amazing krispie treats a few weeks ago and dude they were BOMB!  These are two words that don’t enter my vocabulary often, but they were that delicious.


I got the recipe here and eliminated the cherries because I gifted more than half of them to friends that piratically don’t care for dried fruit.  But, I can’t wait to make them with cherries!  The tart from ‘em would just add to the flavor combinations.  Just make them, mmkk?

And please do me a favor–try not to gobble them up before you don’t get the chance to cut them up for your friends.


Coffee Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats


  • 1 stick unsalted butter (I used salted and it worked out fine!)
  • 2 10 oz bags of mini marshmallows
  • 5 cups Rice Krispie cereal
  • 2 cups roasted salted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground coffee (not instant)
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips


Line a square 9 inch bake pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

In a large pot over medium heat melt butter.  Add 10 cups of marshmallows and stir until completely melted and smooth.  Remove from heat.  Using a wet wooden spoon or spatula fold in Rice Krispies.  Quickly fold in almonds, coffee, and salt.  Next add the remaining marshmallows and chocolate chips.

Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish.  Press mixture evenly with your hands being damp to prevent sticking.  Cool completely and remove entire block by lifting opposite side corners of foil.  Cut into desired size squares.  Keep in a sealed container for up to three days.

I don’t think it’s too conceited that these pictures are making me hungry, is it?

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Cauliflower and Broccoli Cannelloni

Cauliflower and Broccoli Cannelloni


  • 2 cups of Cauliflower
  • 2 cups of Broccoli
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 5 sprigs of lemon thyme
  • 3 dried chillies’
  • 5-6 anchovies
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup of red wine vinegar
  • 1 bottle passata (tomato concentrate)
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese,
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup plain flour
  • 60 grams butter
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Pinch of nutmeg


Steam the broccoli and cauliflower until just cooked. Put aside.

In a fry pan in a little olive oil, add the garlic, anchovies, lemon thyme, chillies’, salt and pepper and gently fry for 5 minutes. Add a little more olive oil and put the cooked broccoli and cauliflower into the pan. Cook on a medium heat for 20-30 minutes. Put mixture aside and allow to cool down.

In a separate bowl, add the passata, red wine vinegar with a little salt and pepper and mix. Pour half of the mixture into a casserole dish.

Using a piping bag (or just a plastic bag with the corner cut off) pipe the mixture into cannelloni tubes. Place each tube in the casserole dish in one even layer. Then pour the rest of the passata mix over the top of the cannelloni’s.

In a small saucepan, add the flour and butter and stir on low heat for 5 minutes. Slowly add the milk while stirring until the mixture becomes thick and creamy. Add the nutmeg and half of the parmesan cheese. Pour this over the top of the casserole dish. Sprinkle the rest of the parmesan cheese and the mozzarella cheese over the top of the dish.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 150 degrees C for 25 minutes. Serve with a light salad.

Wine Recommendation

Kirrihill White Range Wine

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Why Cooking with Cast Iron is Important

Cooking with Cast Iron

Iron is important for proper bodily functioning and ensuring that oxygen is well transported throughout the body. Though many people don’t think about it, the easiest way to get iron is by simply using a cast iron pan when cooking. However, health benefits aren’t the only reason why cast iron should be used, as there are in fact many different benefits of using this versatile piece of cookware. The following are just a few reasons why everyone should use cast iron pans for their cooking.

They are Non-stick

With a bit of seasoning with oil, cast iron pans quickly become non-stick surfaces that give peace of mind when cooking, so say good bye to Teflon. What’s great about cast iron when compared to Teflon is that iron pans improve with more usage and are safe for years of use.

Has No Chemicals

Many standard Teflon pans, after constant use over time, begin to leach dangerous chemicals such as PFCs. These chemicals have been linked to numerous health related risks such as brain damage, hormone dysfunction, and liver damage. Cast iron pans, on the other hand, are naturally non-stick while being chemical free, giving you a peace of mind that the food you are serving to yourself and your family is 100% safe and healthy.

Multitude of Culinary Uses

Unlike other cooking equipment, a cast iron pan can be used for various tasks, anything from grilling and broiling to boiling and poaching. These pans can also be placed directly in the oven for baking. Not many other pieces of equipment are as flexible or as durable; cast iron therefore saves a lot of money that would otherwise be used in buying many different types of cooking equipment.

Handles Heat Well

Related to its durability and flexibility of use, cast iron pans can handle very high temperatures. Other types of pans may not be able to handle heats properly and may degrade quickly or even begin to leach off chemicals into the food. Cast iron pans are also able to evenly distribute heat over an extended period of time because of their heftiness. This is perfect for anyone who is just starting to cook and is afraid of possibly burning his or her culinary creations.

Easy to Clean

Partly due to its non-stick nature, iron cast pans are extremely easy to clean and don’t even require soap. Simply using hot water will pick up any leftover food right off and ensures a sparkling, shiny surface every time.

Fortifies Food with Iron

One of the major reasons people use iron cast pans is because of the amount of iron it lends to the food you are cooking. In some studies, it has been shown that acidic foods like pasta sauce cooking in cast iron pans have a 30 fold iron increase when compared to foods cooked in non-iron pans. Even non-acidic foods have shown to have at least a 3-fold increase in iron.

Needless to say, if you’re someone suffering from iron deficiency, an iron cast pan is perfect for you.

Durable for Constant Use

Other than just handling heats well, cast iron pans are resistant to wear and tear and do not become scratched easily. Also, the use of metal spatulas is completely safe. Other cookware such as those coated with Teflon, can easily be damaged by accidentally using a metal utensil, making them useless after a single accident.

Final Thoughts

Even though cast iron pans are durable and completely safe to use, they are also surprisingly cheaper than their non-iron counterparts. Therefore, there is no reason for anyone to not be using these ingenious kitchen products for all cooking needs.

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Italian Chicken Under A Brick

Italian Chicken Under A BrickA few weeks ago you may remember seeing an interesting chicken recipe that utilized bricks on top of the chicken while BBQing. In that post I used chicken breasts, not my favorite but it worked at the time.

Over the 4th of June weekend I had the opportunity to use my sister-in-law’s (Carrie) kitchen and BBQ. What a relief

from that cramped kitchen I work in. Anyways, this time I boned three chickens and attemped the “Italian Chicken Under a Brick” recipe again.

To start with, I cut the backbones out of the chickens (saved them for stock), and flipped over the chicken to remove the ribs and breast bone. I removed the wish bone and part of the wing. Emeril has a quick video that will help you get started on deboning a chicken – Emeril.

Cooking with whole chickens is wonderful and makes you never want to by that package of skinless, boneless chicken breasts ever again. As you shouldn’t, those whole fryers are cheaper and taste better.

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Crème brûlée– Baked Custard With Burned Sugar

Crème brûléeThis recipe originated in Cambridge, England and has become associated with France and is widely made and eaten there. This dessert is becoming one of my favorites, because I love custard, love caramelized sugar, and I add a little orange liqueur to give it a little more flavor.

There are couple secrets to this recipe. The first being you need to use an actual vanilla bean. Trust me its not hard, scrape out the bean, boil and strain. Sure beats using extract. The second secret is in using boiling water in your roasting pan (or cookie sheet) half why up the ramekins during the baking process.

You may ask what is a ramekin? It’s a small 4.5 oz bowl. You can pick them up almost anywhere.


1 vanilla bean
4 cups heavy cream
6 egg yolks
½ cup superfine sugar (baker’s sugar)
2 tablespoons almond or orange liqueur
1/3 cup light brown sugar


Preheat the over to 300 degrees. Place six half cup ramekins in a roasting pan or ovenproof dish and set aside (I did eight ramekins).

Split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a small knife. Scrap out the black seeds and put into a medium sauce pan along with the outer casing of the bean. Add the cream and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat, stir frequently. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 15-20 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, superfine sugar, and liqueur until well blended. Whisk in the hot cream and strain into a large pitcher. Be sure to strain we don’t want beans in the pitcher. Divide equally among the ramekins.

Pour boiling water into the roasting pan (the ramekins are already in the pan) to come up to halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes until the custards are just set. Remove from the pan and let cool on a rake. Empty the water from the roasting pan. Return the ramekins to the dry roasting pan and chill.

Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the surface of each custard and broil for 30-60 seconds until the sugar melts and caramelizes. Do not let the sugar burn or the custard will curdle.

Place in the refrigerator to set the curst and chill completely before serving.

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Halibut and Salmon

Halibut and SalmonHow lucky can one person be to get fresh caught Salmon from Alaska and Halibut from the Oregon coast in the same day? I know. My daughter just got back from Alaska where she spend a week or so fishing and she we kind enough to bring back some Coho Salmon.

That same days, my neighbor (Nick) came back from Halibut fishing off the coast of Oregon. And would you believe it, he laid a big fillet in my hands.

What was I to do? The answer was to put some simple seasonings on the fish and BBQ both of them at the same time. Some garlic salt, onion salt, and dried basil. Then topped with some real butter.

The reason this is on the 5 star site today is because it was fresh caught . What a difference fresh makes!

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Louisiana Rolled Omelet with Shrimp Sauce

Louisiana Rolled Omelet with Shrimp Sauce2 tablespoons butter or margarine
6 eggs
6 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Few grains black pepper

Melt butter or margarine in a 10-inch skillet.
Beat eggs slightly; add water, salt and pepper. Pour into skillet. Cook over low heat until eggs set on bottom of pan. Lift edge and tilt pan so that some of the uncooked egg mixture flows under cooked eggs. Repeat until omelet is cooked through and brown on bottom. Top with Shrimp Sauce; loosen with spatula; roll. Turn out onto a hot platter.

Shrimp Sauce

4 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk or light cream
Salt and pepper
1 (5 1/2 ounce) can small shrimp, well drained
Make cream sauce, then add shrimp.

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