Friday, 24 March 2017

Leftovers #35 ~ Chicken Stout Pie

The Braised Chicken in Stout, I made for St. Patrick's Day offered plenty of leftovers so I decided to make a pie rather than serve it with the usual suspects... potatoes or rice. I threw in some peas and added leftover roasted potatoes and made a lovely pie crust to encase it all. So delicious!  

Seems like this week disappeared before I could blink. Have a good weekend everyone! 
- JD   

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Food Photo of the Day ~ Apple Turnovers

I always have apples on hand so over the course of the weekend I made these sweet and spicy apple turnovers for brunch. These are a great way to use ripen fruit and an easy weekend brunch treat served with tea or coffee. 

Can not believe it is Thursday already... hope everyone had a great weekend and the week has been a good one so far. - JD 

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Braised Chicken in Stout

Not too much fussing about for our St. Patrick's Day dinner. Slow cooker braised chicken in stout with egg noodles. This dish is very satisfying and the mushrooms are quite flavourful.   

Braised Chicken in Stout
Serves 6 to 8

1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), cut into 8 pieces, or 8 pieces of your favourite chicken parts, skin removed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cups baby carrots
One 12 ounce can Guinness Stout
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced in half

2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water

Chopped green onions, for garnish

Sprinkle the chicken evenly with the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and brown on all sides.

Transfer the browned chicken to the insert of a 5 to 7 - quart slow cooker. Add the onions, ginger, and garlic to the skillet and sauté until the onions are softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the soy sauce and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.

Transfer the contents of the skillet to the slow-cooker insert. Add the carrots, Guinness, broth, and mushrooms to the cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. 

Remove the cover and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Cover and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, until the stew is thickened and the chicken is tender.

Serve the stew garnished with green onions and a side of potatoes, brown soda bread, rice or egg noodles. 

Notes: with just over and hour remaining of cooking time I added freshly chopped kale to the stew and omitted the green onions as the garnish. I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in half. 

Look what has made it's way into our kitchen... a lucky potted shamrock.  - JD  

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Chocolate Guinness Cake

I have always wanted to make this cake. Not just for St. Patrick's Day because it's gorgeous darkness allured me and the dolloped cream cheese icing mimicking froth and foam captivated me. The stout flavour is subtle although the cake itself offers a moist tanginess, that is very pleasing with or without icing. 

Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Guinness Cake
Makes: about 12 slices


1 cup of Guinness
17 tablespoons unsalted butter 
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups superfine sugar
2/3 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda


8 ounces cream cheese
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream (or whipping cream)


1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180ºC/350ºF, and butter and line a 23cm/ 9inch springform tin. 

2. Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter - in spoons or slices - and heat until the butter's melted, at which time you should whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the brown, buttery, berry pan and finally whisk in the flour and bicarb.

3. Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.

4. When the cake's cold, sit it on a flat platter or cake stand and get on with the icing. 
Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sieve over the confectioners' sugar and then beat them both together. Or do this in a processor, putting the unsaved confectioners' sugar in first and blitz to remove lumps before adding the cheese.

5. Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cake so that it resembles the frothy top of the famous pint. 

Notes: I added a bit of grated lemon rind to the cream cheese topping and then scattered edible rose petals on top.  

To read the metric measurements, tips and more about Nigella Lawson click *here* 

St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow so I will wish you a happy one! Happy St. Patrick's Day and hope everyone has a great weekend! - JD 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Cherry Almond Loaf Cake

From Nigella Lawson's, How to Be a Domestic Goddess, comes this featured recipe. Aromatic almond and plump cherries are mellow in this buttery loaf cake. To me, it is very reminiscent of a bakewell tart and I could see drizzling royal icing over the top when making this cake during the holidays; instead I scattered sliced almonds on top for a bit more flair. 

Nigella Lawson's Cherry Almond Loaf Cake
Makes 8 to 10 slices

1 1/2 cups natural coloured candied cherries
1 2/3 cups self-raising flour
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
3/4 cup superfine sugar 
3 large eggs, beaten
2 - 3 drops almond essence
1 cup almond meal
1/3 cup milk


1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas mark 3/325ºF. Halve the cherries, wash them in a colander under cold water, then pat them dry, toss them in some flour and shake well to get rid of excess.

2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs and almond essence, then gently fold in the flour and almond meal. Fold in the cherries and then the milk and spoon the thick mixture into a lined and buttered loaf tin (23x13x7cm / 9x5x3 inches) and bake for 3/4 to 1 hour, or until a cake-tester comes out clean.

3. As with all of these sorts of cakes, leave in the tin on a wire rack until completely cooled.

Notes: I had to cook the cake a bit longer than stated in the recipe... ovens vary therefore cooking times may vary. 

For metric measurements and for other Nigella Lawson recipes click *here* 

Hope everyone had a great weekend. - JD 

Friday, 10 March 2017

The English Channel G & T

Sifting through the internet is always entertaining. In our search we came across Split Tree and the recipes for cocktails they offered. Although we did not have any Split Tree brand ingredients, the ones we did have were all the same, and we decided to go ahead and make the cocktails anyway. Very pleasant ingredients for a magnificent Gin and Tonic! 

English Channel Cocktail G & T

1 oz of gin
0.25 oz of Absinthe
0.5 oz St. Germaine
0.5 oz Split Tree Tonic No.3 
2 - 3 oz of soda water

Add ice, gin, absinthe, St. Germaine and soda water to a cocktail glass Pour Split Tree tonic No.3 over the top and gently stir. Garnish with a lemon or lime wedge. 

To find out more about Split Tree click *here*

Stay warm and have a great weekend everyone! - JD 

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Food Photo of the Day ~ Roasted Butternut Squash

Simple and sweet. The butternut squash was peeled and diced and oven roasted, with a light drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper, until nicely tender. Placed in a serving dish and glazed with an orange balsamic vinegar just before serving. The ultimate winter warmer vegetable. 

Stay warm! - JD