Tag Archives: Heather Christo

Food on Friday ~ Muffins

I’ve been told some people are obsessed with bran muffins

Now I’m not certain what’s going on, but several of the cooks whose blogs I follow have posts about muffins this week.  I looked it up, thinking it was National Muffin Week or something, but no, it’s seems it’s just one of those spooky coincidences that keeps happening for me right now.

National Muffin Day in the USA is actually February 20th.

Two interesting things; #1 here in England we do not eat a lot of English muffins.  #2 I didn’t know there was a second meaning for the word muffin, or stud muffin at any rate.

However, be all that as it may, here are some cool muffin recipes, which I may have to reprise on February 20th, or not.

First up this week we have Heather Christo’s delicious looking almond poppyseed muffins, and being from Heather they are allergen free, vegan, and gluten free.  All I know is they look very yummy.

Almond Poppyseed Muffins

Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has a recipe for ube mochi muffins.  I have to admit the only bit of that I understand is muffins, but these little cakes look fantastic and I would be interested to try them.

Ube Mochi Muffins

And I thought I should include a recipe for ‘space muffins’ for those of you who would like to ingest their marijuana.  Personally, I cannot see the attraction, but then I have enough of a problem with booze.

Cannabis Muffins

Now for something else completely different we have these pizza muffins from In Dianes Kitchen.  Now that is a good idea for a pre-prepared snack or for something to take to work for lunch.

Pizza Muffins

Erin Clarke, at Well Plated by Erin has a cool collection of healthy muffin recipes.  I very much like the look of her unique muffin recipes, especially the gingerbread apple muffins.  How interesting.

Gingerbread Apple Muffins

Our last collection this week is from delish magazine; 52 muffins to make your morning a little more enjoyable.  From this great collection I’ve chosen to feature the chocolate lover’s chocolate chocolate-chip muffins by our friend Averie Sunshine.

Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Food on Friday ~ Better than Take-Out

One cannot think well, sleep well, love well, if one has not dined well.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part in maintaining good health.  Along with plenty of fresh air and exercise it can help you look and feel your best.

This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the optimal amount of food and drink to maintain a healthy body weight.  You also need all of the essential vitamins and minerals, else you could get quite sick.

Maybe the hardest part of a healthy diet is the sheer quantity of water we should really drink, and for the average person this works out to 8 x 8 ounce glasses of water, (green tea, fruit tea, herbal tea, coffee without sugar), which is half a US gallon every day, more if you’ve been boozing.  In European terms this is 2 litres.

But today we are going to look at some great recipes for fabulous dishes ~ as a much healthier alternative than even the very best take-out.

First up this week we have hamburger steaks with a mushroom sauce from Holly at Spend With Pennies.  While there is no way on this God’s Earth that I would buy a hamburger at a fast-food outlet such as McDonalds, I think a home-made burger can be fabulous.

Hamburger Steaks with a Mushroom Sauce

Another home-made alternative to unhealthy take-out; egg roll in a bowl from Well Plated by Erin Clarke.  At one time I loved Chinese and Thai take out, but the muck is full of gluten and MSG, and I’ve seen out back of a takeout kitchen and hygiene is in a far country.

Egg Roll in a Bowl

Something that you certainly wouldn’t get from the average take-out; chinese mushroom dumplings with sweet chili ginger sesame sauce.  Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has very descriptive names for her recipes.  Good for her!

Chinese Mushroom Dumplings

Now Heather Christo always makes her food look fabulous, and this green thai currey with vegetables is no exception.  Get yourself some lemon rice and a bottle of Tiger beer to go with it.  Heather’s recipes are all allergy free, (for all I know they’re gluten free too).

Green Thai Curry with Vegetables

The Minimalist Baker’s recipes are definitely gluten free, and this easy 1 pot tikka masala looks far, far better than anything you’d get from any Indian take-out place.

Easy 1-Pot Tikka Masala

Our collection this week is from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats; 25 weeks of my favorite healthier weeknight dinners.  From this 175 recipe collection I’ve chosen to feature baked parmesan chicken with lemon arugula.  You can get Parmesan chicken as a take-out, but I wouldn’t.

Baked Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Arugula

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

egg-drop chicken soup

Food on Friday ~ December 6th

It is December, and nobody asked if I was ready.

Early December and it’s cold, dark, and drear in the run-up to Christmas.  Today there is not much cheer around here, and anyway most people are busy making their arrangements for a great Christmas holiday.

Well, I’ll be on my own in the garret again over the Christmas holidays, so one of the things I should do is cook myself some great food.  There are some very cool, very easy recipes in this post, and I hope that we can all enjoy them in the run-up to Christmas Day.  I’m wondering if there’s going to be any great Christmas time TV.

First up this week, from Barcelona we have Ali at Gimmie Some Oven who has a healthier broccoli chicken casserole, made with pasta, tender chicken, and broccoli in a cheddar mushroom sauce.  Despite everything this is a light and very healthy dish that’s really easy to prepare.

Healthier Broccoli Chicken Casserole

Now from Joy the Baker, something else with a broccoli theme; spicy broccoli pizza with homemade pizza crust.  This is far, far better than anything you could buy anywhere, and a great pre-Christmas treat for your casual guests.

Spicy Broccoli Pizza with a Homemade Pizza Crust

Dana Shultz, the Minimalist Baker has a cool recipe for one-pot chicken soup with white beans and kale.  This 30 minute recipe does look so easy to make, and it’s warming, healthy, and gluten free.  What more could you want on a cold December evening.

One-Pot Chicken Soup with White Beans and Kale

Another great chicken dish, and this time the recipe is from the ever-delightful Heather Christo;  creamy tomato baked chicken and pasta.  I would use gluten free, or wholemeal pasta, but that’s your choice.  Whatever this is a great midweek dinner.

Creamy Tomato Baked Chicken and Pasta

Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest always gives us the longest titles for her recipes, this one is 30 minute Chinese egg drop chicken rice soup with garlicky chile oil. Say no more…..

Chinese Egg Drop Chicken Soup

The collection this week is from Country Living magazine; 85 easy Christmas appetizers that will delight all of your holiday guests.  From this huge list I’ve chosen these deviled eggs with old bay shrimp from Carrie Purcell.  But make your own choices fro your pre-Christmas drinks party and Boxing Day snacks.

Deviled Eggs with Old Bay Shrimp

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

some people are almost ready for Christmas

Food on Friday ~ Thanksgiving

there is always something to be thankful for

Here in England the few American expats celebrate Thanksgiving, otherwise this holiday just passes us by.  Perhaps that’s why we English make such big things of Christmas and the New Year celebrations.  Anyway, with a few twists, your Thanksgiving menus are pretty much like our Christmas menus.

First, something we don’t ever have here, from the gorgeous Ali at Gimme Some Oven, this healthier Pecan Pie, (with no corn syrup).  You know something, I’ve never ever had pecan pie.

Pecan Pie

The ever-perfect Heather Christo has given us the ultimate vegan Thanksgiving, and from her list I’ve chosen this balsamic maple mustard whole roasted cauliflower ~ what a great side dish.

Balsamic Maple Mustard Whole Roasted Cauliflower

If you’re not going to roast a whole turkey then Heidi at Foodie Crush has a 30 minute recipe for a perfectly juicy roast turkey breast.  Looks like a brilliant idea to me.

Roasted Turkey Breast

Tiffany at Creme De La Crumb has offered us her reader-favorite Thanksgiving recipes; including these ‘life changing’ slow cooker mashed potatoes ~ I love a great dish of mashed spuds.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Here’s something fairly important and very useful from Diane at In Dianes Kitchen, turkey cooking facts and safety.  I well remember the first time I tried to cook a frozen turkey, what a disaster!

Turkey Cooking Facts & Safety

Finally, your collection this week is from Country Living Magazine; 56 Best Thanksgiving Recipes to Serve on Turkey Day.  I’ve chosen something different from this list; Scalloped Oysters by Nancy Fuller.

Scalloped Oysters

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

old fashioned sweet potato pie

Food on Friday ~ Healthy Halloween

have you come to sing pumpkin carols?

Here in ye Merrie Olde England we eschew Halloween as the pagan / catholic / foreign festival it is.  Instead we celebrate Guy Fawkes Night on November 5th.  However, these recipes are great for any cooler night when you’re having guests around, and you’re looking for something that evokes a darkly festive air.  Something healthy, tasty, and easy to prepare?

All of the dishes I’m featuring this week are healthy as well as tasty and great looking, and if you want to make the most of a healthy eating recipe then try to buy the freshest organic ingredients that you can find.

And OK, this is a shorter post because I’m not at all happy with some Halloween excesses,

First up this week, and the first time I’ve featured this site; from poach me quick we have sticky and smokey chipotle and maple-baked chicken on the bone.  Try not to get any of the messy stuff on your fingers onto your Halloween Costume.

Sticky and Smokey Chipotle Maple-Baked Chicken on the Bone

If you’re looking for something sweeter to have with tea, coffee, or a harder drink, then there’s this seasonally perfect pumpkin white chocolate bundt cake from Heather Christo.  I bet Charlie Brown would love this at Halloween.  Heather’s recipes are very healthy indeed.

Pumpkin White Chocolate Bundt Cake

And, from Ali Gimmie some Oven there’s candied walnuts, which I like the look of and she says are so irresistibly delicious.  OK walnuts are one of those things we should eat to stave off the horrible ageing problems ~ so make these.

Candied Walnuts

Now for something very American, from Good Housekeeping; acorn squash with brown rice and turkey sausage.  Allegedly acorn squash is one of those superfoods, and makes the serving dish for this great-looking recipe.

Acorn Squash with Brown Rice and Turkey Sausage

Turns out that one can treat acorn squash in pretty much the same way as one would treat a potato, although I suspect that the squash is better for a bloke than a spud would be.  So, as an opposite to the good old jacket potato, how about this baked acorn squash with butter and brown sugar, from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes.  God!  That would be so good with ice cream ~ or am I being silly?

Baked  Acorn Squash with Butter and Brown Sugar

I’m enthused about acorn squash, especially as it seems you can use the gourd as a serving vessel ~ what a brilliant way to save on the washing-up.  It looks like a pretty good thing for vegetarians and vegans too.  So for our collection this week, from Country Living we have 30 best acorn squash recipes for a healthy addition to you fall dinners.  One of the great looking recipes is the acorn squash soup with turmeric from Seasonal Cravings.  Who doesn’t like a warming soup on a cold night?

Acorn Squash Soup with Turmeric

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

perfect for a Halloween cocktail

pomegranate ginger paloma

ginger is a ‘new’ superfood

 

Food on Friday ~ Autumn

Autumn carries gold in its breath

Call it Autumn, or call it the Fall, now is the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.  The days are shortening, the wind is a little colder, and the trees are covered in beaten gold, copper, and brown.

Perhaps this is also a time to change our recipes as the fresh, local ingredients drift from summer fruits to the richer fare of Autumn.  This is no longer the time to try and keep that svelte bikini figure, perhaps now we can allow for that extra pound or two that will make our fall wardrobe fit a little better. So, here is a selection of recipes which may tempt you as this season for reflection begins.

First up this week is Tifanny from Creme de la Crumb who offers us something very warming for when the autumn nights draw in; instant pot roast and potatoes.  I really like the instant part.

Instant Pot Roast and Potatoes

From Heather Christo we have this beautiful roasted butternut squash soup, which is vegan, and these days that’s a good thing.  This recipe is also a good thing for those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving.

Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Minimalist Baker has a perfect recipe for the fall; 1 hour fall pot pies.  This is a 10 ingredient dish that we really can make in just an hour,and these are vegan too.

Vegan 1 Hour Fall Pot Pies

We seem to be hitting a vegan / vegetarian theme this week, because Half Baked Harvest’s September 23rd post, (the date of the equinox), was herby buttered mushroom stroganoff.  I’m guessing that it would be pretty easy to turn this 30 minute recipe into a vegan dish.

Herby Buttered Mushroom Stoganoff

Back to our soup menu, (and who doesn’t like a warming soup on a chilly autumn evening), and Claudia Cash at Simply Recipes offers her 11 best soups to make in the Fall.  I am especially intrigued by this recipe for baked potato soup ~ just how fabulous does that sound!  I’m especially glad that bacon features in this dish.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

We have gone really crazy with our final collection for this week, from Country Living magazine; 70 Fall recipes you’ll want to make all season long.  Totally ignoring the shaved Brussels sprouts salad, (yuck), I’ve picked out this easy sheet pan chicken with sweet potatoes apples and Brussels sprouts, from Erin Clarke at Well Plated by Erin.

Sheet Pan Chicken with Sweet Potatoes Apples and Brussels Sprouts

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

perfect for fall

hot maple apple cider

Food on Friday ~ Healthy Salmon Recipes

if you want something beautiful on the table, pick up some salmon

If you’re trying to eat a very healthy diet, then salmon should be on your shopping list.  This attractive fish has a stack of health benefits, not just that it’s rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, eating salmon is supposed to reduce the risk factors for several nasty diseases.  Salmon is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, and fresh line-caught salmon should be clean ~ not full of all the crap that is in some of the food we eat.

Buying the right piece of salmon is important, starting with the basic rule ~ never buy anything that looks manky.  Anything that says wild is probably better than farmed, and some farmed salmon is better than others.  Usually the rule is the more you pay the better it will be, but not always, but don’t sweat it.  Go to a good grocery store or fishmonger, and you’ll be fine.

First this week we have one of my favourite salmon dishes; Thai salmon in foil,from Chungah at Damn Delicious.  I think cooking in foil is a brilliant technique, and it reduces the amount of washing-up no end.

Thai Salmon in Foil

Another recipe for cooking in foil, and following on from last week’s post which was all about cilantro; from Averie Sunshine’s archive I have chosen this foil pack lime cilantro salmon.   This is so easy to make, and it will be ready to eat in 10 minutes ~ you heard me right, just 10 minutes to produce this wonderful healthy dish.

Foil Pack Lime Cilantro Salmon

Now we have a fabulous 30 minute recipe from Sabrina Modelle; grilled salmon with peach salsa.  This dish has so much going for it; you can cook the salmon on the BBQ, which means you can make the whole recipe in your yard.  Anything with grilled salmon looks really special, so this is something you can serve to guests.  And, best of all, it’s a 30 minute recipe that will make a great lunch, dinner, or something to take to work the following day.  (This recipe was found for us by Elise at Simply Recipes).

Grilled Salmon with Peach Salsa

Until I saw this from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest I had never heard of cooking on a BBQ grill by placing the food on a cedar plank.  But, now I’ve seen this cedar plank salmon with watermelon feta salsa from Teighan this is something I must try the next time I’m somewhere warm and sunny ~ that’s if anyone friend will let me.  I’m an Englishman, and as everyone knows we are terrible at cooking on a BBQ.

Cedar Plank Salmon with watermelon Feta Salsa

This brilliant sweet and smokey cedar planked salmon is from Kate Merker at Country Living magazine.  Apart from soaking the plank for a couple of hours to stop it from catching fire, this is a very easy BBQ recipe!

Sweet and Smokey Cedar Plank Salmon

With healthy eating in mind I so like the look of this dish of braised salmon from Heather Christo; Paleo red curry braised salmon with sweet potatoes Fabulous!.  Paleo is good, I think.  This 45 minute recipe not only uses coconut oil and coconut milk, it also has more than enough garlic.  Nice.

Paleo Red Curry Braised Salmon with Sweet Potatoes

Our collection this week is from Olive Magazine, their 40 best ever easy salmon recipes.  And I’ve chosen to feature the very first recipe from this great collection Thai salmon parcels with jasmine rice.

Thai Salmon Parcels with Jasmine Rice

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

BLT salmon salad with creamy avocado green goddess dressing.

Food on Friday ~ Cilantro

Cilantro ~ the Devil Herb.

In England ‘Cilantro’ is called ‘Coriander’, which is the word Americans use for just the dried seeds of the plant.  Funny, in England we say ‘Coriander Seeds’.  The difference arises because ‘Cilantro’ is a Spanish word, and there a big Hispanic influence in the USA.  Here, just about the only Spanish influences are that we beat the Spanish Armada in May 1588, and some of us go there on vacation.

Coriander is also known as Chinese parsley, and can be used both in salads and as a herb in cooking.

Some really great dishes use this adaptable plant, which goes really well with lime.

First today we have this cilantro lime chicken dish from Chungah at Damn Delicious.  The other fabulous seasonings used in this recipe are brown sugar, oregano, and basil.

Cilantro Lime Chicken

A similar dish from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb.  Except now we have a recipe for one pan creamy cilantro lime chicken and rice.  I really like one pan dishes, but it’s coriander here, not cilantro.  Nice by any name.

One Pan Creamy Cilantro Lime Chicken and Rice

Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb has this super recipe for one pan Spanish chicken and rice, a bold and zesty dish you can make in a half-an-hour.  Strangely, Tiffany calls one of her ingredients coriander, which we now know better as cilantro.

One Pan Spanish Chicken and Rice

Also from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb, this is interesting; garlic lime shrimp marinade.  And this is a fast marinade that will be ready for the grill in just 15 minutes.  Lots of cilantro.  Tiffany seems to like Cilantro.

Garlic Lime Shrimp Marinade

From San Diego’s Averie Sunshine archive I have chosen this foil pack lime cilantro salmon.   This is so easy to make, and it will be ready to eat in 10 minutes ~ you heard me right, just 10 minutes to produce this wonderful tasty, and very healthy dish.

Foil Pack Lime Cilantro Salmon

Heather Christo has a different kind of cilantro recipe for a warm summer afternoon, this tomato peach and avocado salad with cilantro vinaigrette.  Heather says that this is a beautifully simple 30 minute salad that will totally blow your socks off.  I tend to agree. Nice to take to work for lunch too.

Tomato Peach and Avocado Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

cilantro lime rice

Food on Friday ~ Desserts

There’s mo metaphysics on Earth like a chocolate dessert. ~ Pessoa

Now that summer is here, and some of us may be thinking of entertaining and garden parties, it might also be the right time to think of indulgent desserts.  After all, one may have the greatest grill in the district, but that means little if you can’t follow up the steak, oysters, and king crab with a really great dessert.

Some of you may also have some annual holiday celebrations coming up, I know my cousins across the pond celebrate their independence soon…..  And talking of dessert in the USA, pie and cheesecake isn’t what a great summer desert is all about.

So, first up this week, from Heather Christo, we have this vegan triple coconut sorbet.  I love sorbet, so light and refreshing on a hot summer afternoon.  This sorbet is dairy-free, nut-free, and free from soy products.

Vegan Triple Coconut Sorbet

Now, from Chungah at Damn Delicious, I offer you this substantial slow cooker apple pear crisp.  Apples and pears are such a fabulous combination ~ I used to know a great London pub called The Apples and Pears.  (In Cockney rhyming slang that doesn’t mean what you think.)

Slow Cooker Apple Pear Crisp

Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has a very cool  looking dessert which appeals both to the sophisticated English Gentleman and the northern street kid in me; black raspberry lavender cobbler.

Black Raspberry Lavender Cobbler

I suppose I have to include one cheesecake recipe, but to give it an English flavour I offer you this no-bake Eton mess berry cheesecake from Half Baked Harvest.  (Eton is a town near Windsor, where the Queen lives.)

No-bake Eton Mess Berry Cheescake

To bring chocolate to the table, how about a chocolate cake, or 25?  From Olive Magazine we have the best chocolate cake recipes; including this ultimate chocolate fudge cake.

Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Cake

Your collection this week is from Delish Magazine; 79 delish summer desert recipes you’ll be making again and again.  I confess that this collection had me at the best ever rhubarb pie.  Being a proper Northern Englishman I love rhubarb pie ~ serve it with custard or vanilla ice cream.

Best Ever Rhubarb Pie

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

and to drink with your delicious desserts,

how about champagne mojitos?

(or a nice cup of tea)

Food on Friday ~ Healthy Summertime

It’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine, it’s summertime.

Now that the weather is much better for most of you guys ~ warmer, sunnier, bluer skies ~ it’s perhaps time to think of lighter and healthier summertime dishes, rather than all of those warming soups you were cooking just a few weeks ago.

This week’s dishes all have a seafood angle to them.

First this week we have Chungah at Damn Delicious with these very clean and healthy looking garlic butter shrimp zucchini noodles.  I have to admit that I don’t actually make zucchini noodles, but looking at this recipe I’m beginning to think that I should.

Garlic Butter Shrimp Zucchini Noodles

Now, from Heidi at Foodie Crush we have this very useful post entitled how to make the best grilled salmon.  This isn’t so much a recipe as a method, but I think it’s damn good.

How to Make the Best Grilled Salmon

Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes has a great summertime dish; spicy garlic shrimp with coconut rice.  And, Elise is right, any shrimp dish is best eaten fresh.

Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Coconut Rice

Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has an absolutely delicious-looking crab avocado salad on buttered garlic toast.  So mouth-watering.  So great to serve with drinks.

Crab Avocado Salad on Buttered Garlic Toast

This is interesting from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb; garlic lime shrimp marinade.  And this is a fast marinade that will be ready for the grill in just 15 minutes.  Lots of cilantro.

Garlic Lime Shrimp Marinade

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

and to drink, not wine

Heather Christo gives us a

vodka fruit punch

 

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