Category Archives: Cooking

Food on Friday ~ Eat Hearty

autumn, a time for rich hearty meals

What with everything that’s happening in the world, and now that fall is upon us, perhaps the time has come to ditch our lighter diets, and instead fill our plates with rich and hearty foods.  And, let’s be honest, we could all do with some comfort food right now.

And, of course, autumn does mean apples.  And, piles of leaves.  And, Rose Hips.  And Pumpkins.

Although, please wear a warm scarf.

With all that in mind, first for this Friday we have Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats, and her Cider Braised Pot Roast with Caramelized Onions and Cauliflower Rice.  I don’t yet know what this tastes like, but it looks and sounds fabulous.

Cider Braised Pot Roast with Caramelized Onions and Cauliflower Rice

From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have a Healthy Slow Cooker Chipotle Bean Chili.  This is a healthy, hearty, vegetarian, comfort food meal.  Switch the cheese and you can have it vegan, or add chicken for those who like that.

Healthy Slow Cooker Chipotle Bean Chili

Another chili recipe, this time from Country Living; Pumpkin Beef and Black Bean Chili.  This is one of Country Living’s 60+ Best Pumpkin Recipes to Delight Your Family All Fall Long ~ a very good collection.  Look no further for your pumpkin recipe ideas.

Pumpkin Beef and Black Bean Chili

Autumn is a time for soups and stews, and Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb has a copycat recipe for Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup.  I don’t know what this is like at an Olive Garden, but it looks great here.

Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Our collection this week is from Woman’s Day; 35 Delicious Fall Soups to Make on a Chilly Day.  From there I’ve chosen to feature a Corn and Potato Chowder.  How good does that look?

Corn and Potato Chowder

For Dessert, Diane offers us this Apple Pan Pie, which here we would call an apple crumble.  Fabulous served with cream or even ice cream.

Apple Pan Pie

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

kids and dogs love fallen leaves

so do we young at heart

Food on Friday ~ Weeknights

keep your face towards the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you

Now that the nights are drawing in, we perhaps look for warming, nutritious, comfort food, especially on a weeknight.  After a hard day at work we don’t want to spend too long in the kitchen, and these are all easy weeknight recipes.

First this week from Chungah at Damn Delicious we have a warming Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup.  If you don’t happen to have an instant pot, this recipe is still very easy to make in your regular stock-pot.

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

From Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats we have this Weeknight Maple Turkey Chili.  Made with ground turkey and served with sliced avocado and egg, this is a really simple and delicious fall staple.

Weeknight Maple Turkey Chili

Amanda at Chez le Rêve Français has a recipe for a fabulous English staple; Chicken and Leek Pie.  I happen to really like this dish, eaten great hot or cold.

Chicken and Leek Pie

Sylvia at Feasting at Home has a collection of globally inspired Fast and Easy Weeknight Dinners.  I very much like the look of this easy Kimchi Fried Rice, a 20 minute vegetarian dinner.

Kimchi Fried Rice

From Delish Magazine we have a collection of 80 easiest weeknight dinners, from which I’ve chosen to feature this dish of Cheesy Baked Meatballs.

Cheesy Baked Meatballs

And also this great looking Caprese Chicken Pasta, ready in just 30 minutes.

Caprese Chicken Pasta

~

jack collierjack

collier7@talktalk.net

if in doubt you could always opt for dark beer, bread, and cheese

Food on Friday ~ Autumn

fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose

In a couple of days time we will have the Autumn Equinox, the harvests will be taken in, and the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness will be upon us.  I expect that you’re like me and wondering where the year went to, and how come I don’t remember what happened.

I believe that this coming Tuesday September 22nd is a time for me to make a fresh start, throw off the constraints of a summer that didn’t have much good going for it, and begin again.

A good place to start our move into Autumn, or Fall if you will, is with some good food, great recipes, and hopefully some very good company.

First this week we have Chungah at Damn Delicious and her warming, nutritious, delicious One Pot Chicken and Mushroom Orzo.  We all like one pan dishes don’t we?

One Pot Chicken and Mushroom Orzo

Now, Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has The 35 Most Popular Fall Recipes.  From this collection I’ve chosen a Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken and Rice Pilaf.

Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken and Rice Pilaf

To go with your chicken, and for the warmer days still to come this year, from Dana at Minimalist Baker we have a Raw Rainbow Veggie Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing.  And, just how pretty is that?

Raw Rainbow Veggie Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing

This is a super collection from Jessica Merchant’s How Sweet Eats; 45 Of My Favorite Fall Dinner Recipes.  With so much to choose from how about a Smoky Pumpkin Bisque with Grilled Cheese Croutons?  You need to keep this recipe by you for Halloween.

Smoky Pumpkin Bisque with Grilled Cheese Croutons

This might almost be the ultimate fall dinner recipe collection ever; from Delish Magazine 61 Unbelievably Easy Fall Dinner Recipes.  From this cornucopia I’ve chosen these Garlic Rosemary Pork Chops.  If you think that pork chops only come in the dry and overcooked variety, then you should try this recipe.

Garlic Rosemary Pork Chops

Or maybe this is the ultimate Fall Recipe Collection; 50 Apple Cider Recipes You Need in Your Life this Fall.  From this Country Living apple collection I’ve picked a Roasted Butternut Squash with Cider Vinaigrette.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cider Vinaigrette

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

if you are lucky you still have rosehips in your garden, and they make up some great medicinal recipes

Food on Friday ~ Weeknights

after a long day at work cooking is probably the last thing on your mind

Even though I am a gentleman of leisure there are times when I’m rushed for time and don’t feel like cooking anything complicated nor time-consuming for dinner.  And for most people, I know there is much more pressure on your time.  So this Friday I’m concentrating on easy recipes that are perfect for weeknights.

Even tough you might be tired and under time pressure after a hard day at work, please take the time to enjoy cooking and eating your meals.  Be mindful of your food.

First up, from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have these weeknight style Crockpot BBQ  Beer Chicken Taquitos ~ with Street Corn Salas and Lime Crema.

Crockpot BBQ  Beer Chicken Taquitos

From Holly at Spend with Pennies, how about this Easy Tuna Casserole?

Easy Tuna Casserole

This is really easy from Ali at Gimmie Some Oven; Brown Butter Lemon Pasta.  And, I agree with Ali here, buy the very best ingredients you can afford, especially for  simple dishes such as this.

Brown Butter Lemon Pasta

For a side dish, or just something healthy on its own, from Cookie + kate we have this Easy Tomato Salad ~ how wonderful if you have tomatoes growing in your own garden.

Easy Tomato Salad

This is not the first time I’ve blogged about weeknight dinners.  Back in May 2018 there was another post entitled Weeknight Dinners.  Among the recipes I covered there is this Prosciutto and Balsamic Greens Flatbread.  From Averie Cooks.  Looks delicious.

Prosciutto and Balsamic Greens Flatbread

Our collection this Friday is from Delish magazine; 80 Easiest Weeknight Meals Ever, and I’ve chosen to feature this fabulous looking Spinach Lasagna.

Spinach Lasagna

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the simplest meal ever

just add cheese

Food on Friday ~ Italian Style

Italian Style is all about a life of good taste

What cool and elegant person hasn’t admired Italian Style?  The homes, the clothes, the shoes, the furniture, the cars, the boats, the food, the wine…..  Ferrari, Lamborghini, Versace, Gucci, Giannini, Prada, Ferragamo, Valpolicella, Chianti, Barolo, Pinot Grigo…..  I hope that most of you will recognise most of those names and be able to add a few of your own to my list.

I like Italy, I like Italy a lot.  But one thing you have to know about Italy and the Italians is that their history was as volatile and complex as they are today, and it wasn’t even a completely unified country until 1918, after the Great War.

Maybe because of this Italian Style, Italian food and wine is very regional, and when we say Italian Food we really mean the Italian food we eat in England, America, Australia, and elsewhere outside of Italy.  If you want to know what really great, real Italian food is like then visit Italy.  And if you want to know I love Tuscany.

Enough background, first this week we have a Zucchini Lasagna Bolognese with Spicy Basil Breadcrumbs from Jessica at How Sweet Eats.

Zucchini Lasagna Bolognese with Spicy Basil Breadcrumbs

Another zucchini recipe, this one from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest; Zucchini Parmesan Chicken Meatballs with Lemon Pasta Carbonara.

Zucchini Parmesan Chicken Meatballs with Lemon Pasta Carbonara

One of my favourite Italian Recipes, best eaten in Tuscany with fresh pasta of course, is Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken,  this from Alyssia Rivers at The Recipe Critic.

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken

And now I have a collection for you; 65 Italian-American Dinner Ideas from Delish Magazine.  Of course I’ve chosen to feature their very easy Flatbread Pizza.

Flatbread Pizza

Another collection, from bon apetit; 48 Classic Italian Recipes That Make Us Want To Quit Our Jobs……  And from that I’ve chosen something easy that will use up some of those leftovers cluttering up your refrigerator, a Sausage and Broccolini Rabe Frittata.  Easy, tasty, great to take for your lunchroom break.

Sausage and Broccolini Rabe Frittata

Finally for this week, and entirely different kind of collection, from a website called Great Italian Chefs, which has a myriad of regional recipes, I’ve chosen this classic Rigatoni Imbottiti ~ Italian-American it isn’t.

Rigatoni Imbottiti

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Franciacorta Italian Wines

Food on Friday ~ Rosehips

rose hips are the fruit of the flower of love

no matter what they say, rose hips are indeed a fruit

High summer presses its heat and humidity down on us, and yet in England the hedgerows are already beginning to ripen with wild harvest.  One of the hedgerow’s natural bounties is the false fruit of the dog rose, (rosa canina), more commonly known in England as rose hips.

p1050177You can do a lot of stuff with rose hips, from making syrups and jams, to my preferred use which is to make a tincture of rose hips and rosemary in apple cider vinegar.  As well as sweetening and adding taste to the cider vinegar. the rose hips also add diuretic, lithontriptic, and mild laxative qualities to your brew.  As for rosemary, this stuff is almost a cure-all.  I just add an odd number of fresh sprigs to the bottle, (for good fortune it must be an odd number.)

The finished product, (ready in about 6 weeks and will keep for a year or a lot longer), is a great basis for a salad dressing.  Diluted in water it is also a first class tonic and as part of a whole-body cleanse.  There may be no truth whatsoever in the persistent rumour that this concoction is a very potent female aphrodisiac.  However, it is well known to be a cure for practically whatever that ails you.

You can also make a true tincture of rose hips using medicinal alcohol, (or vodka).  For those of us with a real taste for booze, just make a rose hip brandy or vodka.  I have even heard of rose hip gin, and although I’ve never tasted it, I have it on very good authority, from a very close friend, that this booze is the bomb.

The dog rose is an important plant to the herbalist, because the leaves, petals, and hips all have their uses.  In a hedgerow, the plant may reach six feet or more in height, its flowers can be anything from white to a delicate pink, and if will guard its bounty with some particularly persistent thorns.  (You can also use the hips, leaves, and petals of the cultivated rose, but I would look for a rose variety that’s as close to the wild rose as possible.)

Some say that you must be very careful when picking fruits, berries, and salad leaves from the wild ~ the uninitiated may pick themselves a deadly poison.  And that everything belongs to somebody, so be discreet.  All I know is that the mixture of rose hips, rosemary, and organic apple cider vinegar is as near to a sorcerer’s brew as anything I know.

~

canina1jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

 

a rose by any other name is still as sweet

even if it’s a dog

Food on Friday ~ Gluten Intolerance

a gluten-free diet is not just a fad ~ modern wheat is bad for everyone

Some say that wheat is safe for everyone except those who have celiac disease.  And, that non-celiac gluten sensitivity isn’t a real medical condition.  So why is wheat bad for you?  Especially genetically enhanced, chemical laden, pesticide sprayed, modern American wheat is really, really bad for you.  If you have the sense your mother gave you, then you should stop eating anything made from wheat.

Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are direct results of American agriculture policy and, specifically, the government’s wading into the food arena.  ~  Joel Salatin.

Gluten is what turns a mixture of flower and water into glue.  Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains like; wheat, spelt, rye, barley, bulgur, oats, and seitan.  There is no gluten in either quinoa or rice.  Nor is there any gluten in potato or beans.  However gluten is found in almost all processed and packaged foods, sauces, and canned food.

Non celiac gluten sensitivity is poorly understood, and there are no specific medical tests of your blood, stool, or urine that can reliably diagnose gluten intolerance.  You and your doctors can only reliably diagnose gluten intolerance by the symptoms and health problems you have.  On the other hand, there are reliable diagnostic tests for full-blown celiac disease.

Common digestive and health problems caused by gluten intolerance include;

  • Irritable bowl problems such as abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, constipation, and diarrhoea.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Irritation of the mouth and throat.
  • Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, problematic memory.
  • Frequent headaches.
  • Mood changes, anxiety, depression, irritability.
  • Low energy and chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Muscle and joint pains.  Osteoporosis.
  • Peripheral neuropathy, numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, feet and legs.
  • Skin problems, dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, skin rashes.
  • Nutrient deficiencies, vitamin deficiencies, iron deficiency, anemia.
  • Asthmatic attacks.
  • Higher risk of learning problems including autism and ADHD.
  • Sexual problems and in women missed periods.
  • Gut autoimmunity, damage to the gut biome

Gluten intolerance will affect every single part of the body as the bacteria in your gut help to control everything from nutrient absorption, to hormone production, to metabolic function, to the way your brain works.

The problem is that gluten from wheat is found in just as many products as that other evil and unnatural food; high fructose corn syrup.  One should read the labels before buying any food, and certainly avoid these foods

  • bread, crackers, pizza, burritos, tortilla, cakes, cookies and the like
  • beer, lager, stouts, ales
  • barley malt
  • packaged, store bought chicken broth
  • malt vinegar ~ buy natural organic apple cider vinegar instead
  • most salad dressings including mayonnaise
  • veggie burgers unless they are certified gluten-free
  • soy sauce
  • packets of seasonings and spice mixes
  • noodles unless they are rice noodles
  • all pasta, (unless it’s marked gluten-free)
  • most condiments
  • non dairy creamer
  • miso
  • bullion cubes and stock cubes
  • canned soups
  • cheese spreads and other processed cheeses
  • sausages and hot dogs
  • ice cream, frozen yogurt, and milk unless it’s from grass-fed cows.
  • Sour cream, which may contain modified food starch.

If you are even mildly gluten intolerant you will need to be very careful when eating out.  The same goes for buying Chinese take-out which is likely to be stuffed with MSG, (Monosodium Glutamate).  When eating out avoid fried foods, thickened sauces, and obviously bread.  Try to drink gluten-free booze such as cider, wine, spirits and liqueurs, (there are gluten-free beers).  And, if you’re drinking spirits don’t have diet soda as your mixer ~ diet soda is also bad for you.

Some say that gluten intolerance might really be glyphosate poisoning.  And that pre-harvest spraying of wheat and sugar cane with Roundup makes for an easier harvest.  All I know is that I don’t want to eat food contaminated with weed-killer.

Glyphosate is for sure, in every bite of food that contains wheat.  ~  Nancy S. Mure

As it goes, wheat flour and refined sugars are just so very bad for you that your best choice is to avoid them all together.  The list of health problems caused by these two staple foods is both long and nasty.

For most of us, giving up bread and beer is a pretty easy and very beneficial thing to do.

Some say that if you want to be really fit and healthy, start by never again eating anything made with wheat flour.  And that you know it makes sense.   All I know is that I’ve felt healthier, fitter, and more alert since I realised that wheat is bad for you.

~

jack collier

 

sigh…. Guinness and brown bread with Irish Stew is so good…..

Food on Friday ~ Quick and Easy

my friend cooks with wine, sometimes she even adds it to the food

In an ideal world each of us would have a gorgeous kitchen, a larder full of exactly the right ingredients, and lots of time to create wonderfully, brilliant, healthy and tasty dishes.  Mostly the world isn’t like that, and for many of us there are so many other things we need and want to do rather than stand over a hot stove.  Particularly when the weather is wonderful ~ or we have to go to work.  Or have a long, hot, soak in the tub.

This week we’re concentrating on quicker and easier wonderful, brilliant, healthy, and tasty recipes.

First up this week, from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest; 15 Minute Garlic Butter Ramen Noodles.  Simple, easy, fast, and looking delicious.

15 Minute Garlic Butter Ramen Noodles

Another noodles dish, this time from Chungah at Damn Delicious; Quick Chicken Ramen Noodle Stir Fry.  I like stir fry dishes, my perfect one pan meal every time.  This one should be ready in 30 minutes.

Quick Chicken Ramen Noodle Stir Fry

Something I must try, from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb is a Cajun Shrimp and Rice Skillet.  This is a one pan dish you should be ale to prepare and cook in just 30 minutes, less if your seasoning is ready mixed.

Cajun Shrimp and Rice Skillet

At this time of year some of you may have peppers growing in your yard.  From Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats we have these Grilled Marinated Peppers with Burrata and Breadcrumbs.  This dish may take a little longer than the others we’re looking at this week, but it’s a very relaxing kind of longer.

Grilled Marinated Peppers with Burrata and Breadcrumbs

Our first collection this week is from Diane, The Minimalist Baker 26 Quick & Easy Recipes, all of which should be ready in 30 minutes or less.  As the weather is not only mostly sunny, it’s also probably hot where you are, I’ve chosen to feature this Greek Goddess Bowl ~ something an Aphrodite would enjoy.

Greek Goddess Bowl

Another collection, this time from Country Living; 77 Best Quick, Easy Dinner Recipes You Can Make In 30 Minutes or Less.  I’ve chosen to feature this dish of Grilled Pesto Chicken with Summer Squash ~ and talking of things you may have in your vegetable patch, how brilliant if you have squash growing in your yard.

Grilled Pesto Chicken with Summer Squash

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

we each have our own idea of an Aphrodite

Food on Friday ~ Arugula

arugula is an American made-up modern word

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs is an absolute mine of information when it comes to the annual weed we call by a variety of names, including roquette, rocket and arugula.  Mind you, anyone with an ambition to be an herbalist could do no better than to begin by following the brilliant website.  This cruciferous Mediterranean salad green has a stack of health benefits, and for most men is a much preferred alternative to kale.  (My straw poll tells me that Kale does seem to be much more liked by the distaff side of the table.)

Parmesan Chicken Arugula

Our first new recipe this week is from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats and it’s especially for those who may have just stopped ‘working from home’ and gone back into the office.  So, for breakfast or lunch how about a Gruyere, Fig Jam and Arugula Sandwich?

Gruyere, Fig Jam, and Arugula Sandwich

This looks tasty from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower, Sun-Dried Tomato Pistou Pasta with Arugula.  This seems to be really easy, using only a few ingredients you may already have in your larder.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pistou Pasta with Arugula

You can’t get anything much easier and tastier than this Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan from Heidi at Foodie Crush.  (Actually you get 3 recipes for the price of one here.)

Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan

Our first collection this week is from delish; 15 Ways to Add Arugula to Everything.  I found this super looking recipe for Pork Chops with Arugula Pesto and Roasted Cauliflower.  (OK some don’t like pork chops, but some love them.  And there are another 14 recipes in this collection).

Pork Chops with Arugula Pesto and Roasted Cauliflower

The second collection this week is from Cookie + kate who offer us 29 Epic Salad Recipes. which includes an Arugula, Dried Cherry and Wild Rice Salad with a Zippy Lemon Dressing.  How pretty!

Arugula, Dried Cherry, and Wild Rice with a Zippy Lemon Dressing

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

for a change, some kale

blackened shrimp kale caesar salad

 

Food on Friday ~ 4th of July

I like to see a man proud of the place he lives

It’s July this this weekend, an important holiday in the USA.  I have no idea what traditional Independence Day food is in the USA, because, obviously we do not celebrate that here in England,  So, I’ve chosen some nice healthy dishes for this weekend.

From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have this melon basil burrata salad with crispy prosciutto.  I really like the look of this dish

Melon Basil Burrata Salad with Crispy Prosciutto

Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb has this super recipe for cilantro lime marinated steak with corn salsa.  Can’t get much more American than this.

Cilantro Lime Marinated Steak with Corn Salsa

From In Diane’s Kitchen we have this easy ginger soy glazed chicken.  Ginger goes really well with chicken, and it’s so very good for you.

Ginger Soy Glazed Chicken

Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has this fabulous looking collection of 25 recipes for July 4th.  I have chosen to feature these smokey blood orange BBQ ribs with avocado butter greens.  Enjoy

Smokey Blood Orange BBQ Ribs with Avocado Butter Greens

Finally for this week we have 59 easy 4th of July recipes from Good Housekeeping.  I’ve chosen to feature something different, a grilled leek potato salad.

Grilled Leek Potato Salad

And, these charred shrimp, leek, and asparagus skewers.  I happen to like leeks.

Charred Shrimp, Leek, and Asparagus Skewers

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Balboa Island

I wonder if anything will be open this July 4th

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