English Scones (gluten-, gum-, refined sugar-, dairy-free)

gf scone igf scone bite i

I was browsing at food porn one morning and saw pictures of Devon cream scones. The photo made me salivate and I was determined to make them as soon as possible. I made two batches, one gluten-laden (for A.) and one gluten-free (for me). Unfortunately the gluten-free version (based on an online recipe) was not very good. The taste, texture and flavor of the scones made me want to hurl. I was so disappointed, especially after seeing A. devouring his delicious looking scones. I HAD to create a new batch. Continue reading

All-Butter Flapjacks

butter flapjacks


Over the last few days, I’ve been craving flapjacks…  British flapjacks.  The ones made with butter, oats, sugar and golden syrup.  I guess to an American, I would describe them as a chewy granola bar, but with so much more flavour!

These flapjacks can be chewy or crunchy, just by changing the cooking temperature. I prefer the chewy version, but have given instructions for both below. They are perfect for packed lunches, afternoon tea, or general snacking. I also remember people putting raisins and/or chocolate chips in them, but I prefer the plain Jane variety – simple is the best! Continue reading

English Breakfast Muffins

english breakfast muffin


English breakfast muffins should NOT be sour or tangy!  They should not have vinegar in them, and if they do, it should merely be a preservative and should not make your nostril hairs twitch in discomfort from the stink.  Eugh!

Since I have some muffins rings in my cupboard (from my crumpets experiment), I thought I’d whip up a batch. We were not disappointed!  The resulting muffins, were slightly crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and when prised open, there was just the right amount of nooks and crannies to Continue reading

English Custard Tart (Pie)


I was just sitting there minding my own business, when an ad came up for a recipe for “magic crust custard pie”. After reading the recipe, I suddenly had the urge to make and eat a lot of custard pie, albeit an English custard tart (… don’t get me started). Now the custard tarts I’m used to are English custard tarts; the ones that are speckled with freshly grated nutmeg, the ones that are fragrantly eggy, smooth on the tongue, lightly sweet and wobbly. We never had custard tarts for dessert, they were more like a “cake” to be enjoyed with tea, and boy, do I miss Birds the confectioners!

Since the “magic crust custard pie” recipe was too easy to pass, I decided to make it the same day I saw it. I mean, why not? I had all of the ingredients at home, only the result was so bad, I felt sickened by the ingredients I had just wasted. For once, I followed the recipe to the tee, and the result was an abomination. Why on earth it had almost 300 Continue reading

Apple Crumble


So, it seems that my sister, J, has started taking a passion into cooking. This doesn’t at all surprise me, considering I come from a family that is passionate about food. On Saturday, she was ranting about making apple crumble with custard on Facebook. I haven’t had apple crumble in yonks. She was going to have it with Ambrosia custard, oh yum. I just couldn’t get it out of my mind, I had to bake something!

I had lemons in the fridge, I was going to make lemon bars again, but then I thought sod it, I have all of the ingredients to make apple Continue reading

Devonshire Scones


In the summer of 2005, I was on vacation in the West Country in the UK. To be honest, it didn’t really feel like a vacation, because I was living in the UK at the time, but it was a great getaway for a long weekend. There were a few things that I wanted to do during this trip, which was accomplished, including eating real Cornish pasties and having a cream tea.

I did wonder why a “cream tea” was so darn expensive. Only to realize that it contained tea, scones, clotted cream and jam. I remember it was rainy and dull, and the cream tea was welcomed with open arms. The scones are slightly dry, but go so well with a thick layer of clotted cream and strawberry jam. They were SOOOO good. It was funny because I thought that I could feel my arteries clogging up with every mouthful, but the taste, flavor and texture was so worth it! Continue reading

Everything-From-Scratch Cottage Pie


I got introduced to cottage pie through school dinners, or more correctly, school lunches. Being from the north of England, I don’t really recall the word “lunch” being used. You’d have dinner (i.e. meal around noon, or otherwise known as lunch), tea (i.e meal in the evening, or otherwise known as dinner) and sometimes supper. Anyhow… school dinners were the warm meal you’d get around noon at schools, and were typically disgusting. The only redeeming feature of school dinners were the puddings (desserts), which usually consisted of steamed sponge and custard, cornflake/treacle tarts, ice cream, rice pudding etc.

As an adult and now a food snob, it now feels me with dread to wonder what the ingredients of those meals consisted of. With all the tainted Continue reading

Yorkshire Puddings


Yorkshire puddings are similar to popovers. There are differences though, for example, Yorkshire puddings are usually unflavored and are intended to be eaten with roasted meat and gravy, whereas popovers can have a variety of additions, including herbs, cheese and garlic etc, and are often eaten as a bread roll. Some loonies actually buy “special” pans to make popovers?!?!?!

Anyhow… I’ve was craving a plate of roast beef (sorry vegan/vegetarian friends), roasted root vegetables, crisp roast potatoes, gravy and Yorkshire puddings at 9 AM one work day. After that, I just could not get them out of my head. Continue reading

Perfect Holey Crumpets


Ahhh… crumpets, a traditional British treat. If you’ve tried store-bought crumpets in the UK, and eaten them cold, you would have experienced an unusual taste/texture sensation. They are rubbery and yeasty, and in essence pretty vile. If this is the only way you’ve tried crumpets, you would wonder why the factories make them, and why people eat them. However, something magical happens to the rubbery disc once it is toasted and slathered with butter and/or jam (jelly). The rubbery inedible disc is transformed into a piece of heaven.

I felt a little nostalgic this week, and really felt like some hot buttered crumpets, so I scoured the internet for some recipes. The recipes were more or less the same, however, the end results were not always correct. Crumpets are supposed to have HOLES, Continue reading

Corned Beef Hash


I initially came up with this dish when I was a poor student. Although at that time, I had no idea it was actually called “corned beef hash”. The origins are a little sketchy, some say it is American, whilst others say it is British.

My version involves cooking tinned corned beef with onions and potatoes. Serving it with a fried egg is completely optional.  If you want to cook this version of hash in the US,  it may cost you a little more than you hope… a tin of corned beef goes for around $6.00! What happened to it being a cheap food? Continue reading

Baked Scotch Eggs

  

Scotch eggs are essentially boiled eggs wrapped in sausagemeat (bulk sausage), coated in breadcrumbs and fried to perfection. In the UK, they are usually enjoyed as a snack or picnic food.

I’ve been meaning to make Scotch eggs for months now… it’s became quite an obsession that needed to be ticked off my list. It all started Continue reading

Chicken, Mushroom and Tarragon Pie

  

Savory pies were one of those things we’d often secretly “steal” and eat at my parent’s eatery. We grew up eating nothing but traditional Chinese food; so much so, we didn’t even eat anything off the “Chinese” menu… so anything “different” was always a “treat”.

The source of these sinful treats was made easier when we grew up a little, and could afford to buy Pukka pies. Pukka pies are in my opinion, the king of pre-made, savory pies – they are Continue reading