Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

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You would be right in thinking that this is not something which you will see very often in this kitchen . . .  chocolate cake.  The Toddster doesn't like chocolate cakes, pies or cookies, or puddings for that matter  . . .  and with my diabetes I try very hard not to eat this stuff, but when I was having four missionary elders for dinner a week or so ago I decided that I would bake them a chocolate cake for dessert.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Lemon Cake Pie

I want to tempt you just a little bit this morning with a tasty recipe from my Big Blue Binder. This is a big blue plastic covered binder that I have been carrying around with me since I was a little girl. (I was 9 or 10 when I started it.) It is old and tatty now, and bulging at the seams . . . but it is also filled with beautiful gems . . .

Friday, 29 January 2016

Maple & Mustard Chicken . . .

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 One of the things I love most about chicken is it's ability to go so very well with a lot of other flavours. It's just so very adaptable, and delicious.  The breast meat is of course a lot leaner, but also very easy to dry out . . .  the thighs and legs have a lot more flavour in the, and require longer cooking so that they are nice and tender, but it's no surprise that they actually have more flavour as they are the part of the chicken that gets the biggest workout!  (If you are not buying factory farmed chicken that is.  If you are, none of it will have much flavour)

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Amy's Mobile Kitchen . . .

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For the month of February 2016, vegetarian and organic food experts Amy’s bring you Amy’s Mobile
Kitchen - a vintage van that will serve delicious Amy’s soups and chillis across London, Manchester and
Glasgow, free to those who make a donation to local charitable organisations. The delicious & warming
soups & chillis will be accompanied by outstandingly good bread from local artisan bakeries.

The van will make its first stops in London, visiting a variety of locations from 1st – 14th February 2016.
Then it’s up North to bring some vegetarian goodness to Manchester from 16th – 21st February, followed
by its final stops in Glasgow from 23rd – 28th February. The van’s exact location will be announced each
day on Twitter and Instagram via @amyskitchenuk using the hashtag #amysmobilekitchen.

Using carefully selected organic ingredients, Amy’s Kitchen produces vegetarian frozen meals, soups
and chillis with delicious home cooked flavour. Amy’s is a company with a conscience - environmental
awareness and sustainability is at the heart of its production and contributing to community projects is
a big part of its ethos. With this in mind and in recognition of their great work, Amy’s Mobile Kitchen will
be partnering with charitable organisations that are making efforts to support the young and homeless across the UK, with profits from lunch service being donated in each city. In addition, all packaging used for Amy’s Mobile Kitchen will be from 100% recycled and ethically sourced materials.

 Details of charity partners in each city are below:

London: Café from Crisis - An inspirational social enterprise that provides on-the-job training and
experience for homeless people and ex offenders.

Manchester: Back On Track - A charitable organisation focused on supporting some of the most
disadvantaged in Greater Manchester through training, work experience and mentoring, helping them
to overcome major barriers and turn their lives around.

Glasgow: End Youth Homelessness – A national collaboration of charities and businesses across
the UK coordinated by Centrepoint who have come together to tackle youth homelessness by raising
awareness and lobbying government to make a change. 

Amy’s tasty vegetarian soups will be available in a variety of flavours including Organic Chunky Tomato (my personal favourite), Organic Cream of Mushroom and Organic Lentil Vegetable. There will also be the option of a vegetarian medium chilli for those after something a bit heartier. Quality artisan bread will be offered from local bakeries in each city; in London delicious sourdough from The Dusty Knuckle bakery, a social enterprise aiming to help disadvantaged young people. In Manchester visitors to the van will have the chance to try some mouth-watering spicy corn bread from Lancashire bakery Artisan Food Works and Glasgow residents can sample loaves from bakery47, who regularly have fans queuing round the corner for their creations.

Also joining the Amy’s family for this very special project is artist Alice Stevenson, who has previously
created illustrations for fashion designer Marc Jacobs. Alice has created a bespoke logo for Amy’s
Mobile Kitchen as well as designing the bright illustrations that will adorn the van, making it impossible
to miss as it travels the UK streets.

About Amy’s
Amy’s is a family owned business founded by husband and wife team Andy and Rachel Berliner in 1987 and
named after their daughter Amy. It all started with a mission to create delicious vegetarian food that is full of
organic ingredients and home cooked flavour, yet quick and easy to prepare.

Every product contains certified organic ingredients and there are absolutely no additives, no MSG, no
preservatives and no GMOs. The Amy’s range is a best seller in the UK and is stocked in all of the well-known supermarkets as well as independent retailers and health food stores such as Whole Foods and Planet Organic.

Amy’s also caters for a variety of diets, including gluten free, dairy free and vegan so everyone can enjoy the
delicious home cooked flavour. Amy’s products are all Vegetarian Society approved, and all products in their
gluten-free range hold the Coeliac UK Crossed grain Symbol Licence.

Apple & Cinnamon Tea Cake

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I had some apples in my fruit bowl that needed using up pronto and so I dug out this delicious cake recipe that I have had in my repertoire for quite some time now.  Who doesn't love an apple cake after all.  I thought it would be the perfect way to use them up.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Dauphinoise Hasselback Potatoes

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I am always looking for a different way to cook potatoes.  I love  potatoes.  Unfortunately I need to watch how many I eat these days.  The days of having nothing but a baked potato for supper are long over.  But I can enjoy half a one, and today I enjoyed a half a one of these delicious babies.  A delicious twist on an old favourite . . .  or two old favourites combined.  Either way . . .  worth it.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Chicken Tikka Masala

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I know  . . .  Tuesday is not normally curry night, but I was asked to bring a meal over to a family this week and so I made a Chicken Tikka Masala for them because it was something I could make enough of that it would also feed Todd and myself, and it would be easy to transport.   OH, and not forgetting it's delicious!

Monday, 25 January 2016

French Onion Cottage Pie

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Red meat isn't something which we eat in this house very often.   I know we had that BBQ Beef Pie last week.  The week before I had made this French Onion Cottage Pie for a supper one night and it was fabulous.  I used my slow cooker and cooked the beef overnight so that it was fork tender, and the gravy was absolutely delicious.   I just used the method etc. that I normally use to do a pot roast in the slow cooker.  It worked out really well.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Apple and Cranberry Baked Oatmeal

8 Reasons to Love Oats
Source: via Dawn on Pinterest

When I was a child I was not overly fond of oatmeal . . . not for breakfast or any other time . . . unless it was baked into cookies . . . then I could be gently persuaded to eat it.  I wasn't eating cooked oatmeal for love nor money.  It was just not my cup of tea . . . at all!


Clearly my mother was not all that persuasive or inventive . . . I dare say if a bowl of these lovely baked oats had been put down in front of me . . . I'd have gobbled it up . . . no problem!  Sorry mom!

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Polka Dot Crispie Treats

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Have you ever had a day when you really didn't feel like cooking at all, or even doing much of anything??? It doesn't happen to me very often, but yesterday was one of those days.  I was having a horrible no good rotten day.  Nothing that I could put my finger on . . . I just felt a bit blah.  Not sick . . . just a bit tired, run down . . .  and frustrated by nothing in particular . . . yet frustrated with everything, at the same time.  Grumpy.  Out of sorts.

For lunch I rifled through the fridge and put together a pizza.  There was a few bits of cheese that needed using up, some leftover cooked sausages that needed to be used, and some spring onions and black olives left from the other day when I made some Mexican dip.  They all ended up on top of the pizza . . .

and it was good . . . but it didn't chase the blues away.  I still felt out of sorts.  Then I remembered those lovely herbal teas I was sent the other day.  They looked and smelled delicious . . .  so why not.  A hot drink is often a nice pick me up.

Friday, 22 January 2016

BBQ Beef Croissant Pie

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When my kids were growing up I used to make these little biscuit cups for them called BBQ Biscuit Cups.   They were really simple and very delicious, but it did make a lot.   You pressed some biscuit dough into muffin cups and filled them with a BBQ Beef filling and topped with cheese prior to baking.  The kids loved them!  I had a tin of croissant dough in the refrigerator today and a package of extra lean ground beef I needed to use up and so I put my thinking cap on and decided to adapt my BBQ Biscuit Cup recipe to use the croissant dough, with very delicious results!

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad and Degustabox

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We had a big Senior Couples Missionary Training Meeting in Manchester on Monday.  These meetings are usually pot luck. (Yum!)  I thought it would be a great opportunity to use some ingredients from my latest Degustabox I received.  This month was a healthy box because in January most people are wanting to make up for all the indulgence of December by cutting back on the fat, sugar and calories!  As per usual this was a great box!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Newby Teas, Valentine's Day: Love Boxed Up

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Newby Teas presents two luxury options for adding romance and a touch of health to your Valentine’s Day this year, both available in Harrods and online at Newby’s e-boutique for busy lovers.

How To Eat Well When the Cupboard is Bare

 I don't know about you, but my pocketbook is really feeling the pinch this January.  There are days when I go to the cupboard and I feel like Old Mother Hubbard.  My cupboard looks bare.  That doesn't mean that you can't rustle up a tasty meal however.  Here are some great ideas for super meals that will satisfy and please, created from next to nothing!

The Well Dressed Crock Pot

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There are certain times of the week, month and year that my Crock Pot is my best friend and the most valued and used tool in my kitchen!  On Sundays when I know we are going to get home from church absolutely famished, it is such a simple thing to do to pop something into the crock pot before we leave, making sure that something tasty is waiting for us when we get home.  In the summer when you want something hearty and don't want to heat up the kitchen, the Crock Pot is a great ally, and in Winter, when the cold winds doth blow, there is no better way to create rib sticking hearty and comforting meals for the whole family!   Nothing could be easier.  Just pile it all in the pot, cover and turn it on.  The pot does the rest!

Layered Tuna Bake

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Christmas and the holidays are all over now . . .   it's back to boring food again . . .
Or is it boring??? It doesn't have to be!

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Vegetable Soup with Bacon Dumplings

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We are definitely having winter weather now.   It's been positively frigid and today is no different. It's definitely the type of day you want to spend indoors next to the fire!

Monday, 18 January 2016

Spicy Potato Tacos

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There are two things in life which I really enjoy.  One is potatoes and the other is Mexican Food.  When I first moved over here to the UK, it was extremely difficult to get the ingredients to make Mexican anything.  I used to bring them back with me every time I went to Canada for a visit, or order them from a very expensive  North American supplier here inthe UK.  Happily it is a lot easier now and most grocery stores have a dedicated Mexican Food section in them.  It is very much a Briticized version of Tex Mex . . . but at least it isn't the vast no-man's land that it used to be!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Apple & Mincemeat Brown Betty

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 Todd is not overly fond of eating raw apples, but if you cook an apple, he is the first in line wanting to tuck  in!  He just loves baked apple desserts.   I had about half a jar of mincemeat that needed using up  in the refrigerator and I also had some apples that had seen better days as well as about 1/3 of a loaf of stale bread.   I decided to use all three and make a Betty with them.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Baked Apple Donuts

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I have several recipes posted on here for donut muffins.  This recipe for Jam Donut Muffins is very good.   This recipe for Glazed Donut Muffins is also excellent!  This recipe for Donut Muffins is my absolute favourite.  They are also filled with jam, but are more cakey than the first one.  All are good.   Today I am showing you a recipe for Baked Apple Donuts, which are a mini muffin that greatly resemble donut holes when done!

Friday, 15 January 2016

Friday Fried Rice

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I love these kinds of recipes.   You know the type I mean . . .  the kind where you just go to the fridge and see what you have in there and then throw it all together to come up with something tasty?  Yeh . . .  I love those.  I used to love watching Ready Steady Cook when I first moved over here to the UK.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Spiced Sweet Potato Soup

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It's been colder than blazes this week.  Winter has finally arrived.  Not as cold as it gets in North America of course, but cold is relative.  It's a damp cold here and it feels positively frigid coz it gets right through to your bones!  It's soup season!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Tomato and Herb Baked Chicken and Cirio for healthy eating

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After all the comforts of the Christmas period, the thought of a detox can be daunting. But what if you could still eat foods packed with flavour AND be healthier at the same time? The ‘Mediterranean diet’ is exactly this, having been at the forefront of the media in recent years due to its appealing balance of delicious food and enormous health benefits. The tomato is a key ingredient in many Mediterranean dishes and tinned tomatoes are used just as frequently as fresh produce, with Cirio’s authentic tinned tomatoes being the best loved in Italy!

Party Potatoes (Potatoes Boulangere)

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I make no secret of the fact that the humble potato is my favourite vegetable. Actually I love all vegetables (except canned peas), and could quite happily become a vegetarian . . .

well . . . except for my love of a good steak, which I would really have a hard time turning my back on . . . but, I digress.

The potato . . . my favourite vegetable. Yes.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Roasted Spatch Cock Chicken

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I was  in  the grocery store on Saturday looking at the chickens. There are a lot of choices these days. In the bag, out of the bag, cut up, boneless and skinless, bone in skin on,  and even spatch cocked chicken for roasting,slathered in this that and the other.  Garlic butter, barbeque, spicy chili, etc.   Those already spatch cocked and seasoned birds cook in half the time of a whole bird, but they also cost roughly twice as much.  You are paying for the convenience I guess!

Monday, 11 January 2016

Turkey Monte Cristos, low fat version

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As I mentioned last week, I was challenged recently by the people from The Laughing Cow to come up with some recipes for the new year using their Laughing Cow Extra Light Spreadable Cheese,  and leftovers.   Last week I showed you some delicious Hot Ham and Cheese Rolls and today I am showing you a recipe I made for Turkey Monte Cristos, which you can not only make using leftovers (turkey and cranberry sauce) but which are also quite healthy in comparison to the original version!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Fudge Brownie Pudding Cake

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It's hard to believe but a week ago today Tatiana flew back to Greece.  This past week has just flown by.  It's crazy quickly time is already passing so far this year!  The day before she left her friend Richard came up for a visit along with his friend Kasia (She loves Cockers too!) and I made a late lunch/early supper for us all to enjoy.  Nothing special really.   A leftover tortiere from Christmas, mash, vegetables, salad and then for dessert I knocked together this Fudge Brownie Pudding Cake.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

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 The lad next door turned 15 earlier this week.   I have great neighbours.  Good neighbours are worth their weight in gold.  I wanted to make him a treat and knew that his mom would probably have gotten him a cake and so I baked these delicious Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars instead.  They went down a real treat, but then these always do!  No surprise there.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Hot Cheese & Ham Rolls

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I was recently asked if I would like to participate in a Challenge put forth by the People from The Laughing Cow to create some scrumptious recipes using their Extra Light low fat cheese spread triangles and leftovers!  You know me, I do love a good challenge and this recipe here today is the first which I have come up with for them.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Lazy Cabbage Roll Bake

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One of the favourite meals my mother used to make for our family when I was growing up was Cabbage Rolls.   My father loved the meat but not the cabbage.  I loved the cabbage but not the meat, so we used to trade.  I'd give him my meat and he would give me his cabbage.  Everyone was happy.   Mom used to cook carrots and potatoes in the pot along with the cabbage rolls.  It was a rib sticking meal in one!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Maple & Bacon Granola

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When I moved over here in the year 2000, I carried a 4 litre tin of Maple Syrup right onto the plane with me.   I have always loved the flavours of maple and it wasn't something I thought I could live without.   Of course you would never get a tin like that on an aircraft now, but this was pre 9/11.  Flying was pretty much fear free  . . .

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Let's Cook Italian by Anna Prandoni

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 I was sent a lovely cookbook to review before Christmas, but what with having the shingles and everything else, I am only just now getting around to telling you about it!    Let's Cook Italian, by Anna Prandoni is a delightful cookbook which has been designed for parents and children to use together. Thirty simple and classic Italian recipes that appear in both English and Italian, offering an immersive cultural experience through language, cuisine, and ritual.

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In addition to an extensive Introduction there are six delicious chapters including Starters, First Course, Vegetables, Second Course, Desserts and Snacks, with such taste tempting recipes on offer for Pizzas, Pasta Dishes,  scrumptious vegetable dishes, delicious Mains, an assortment of taste tempting desserts and some really fabulous sounding snacks!

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There are also some very lovely Menu Suggestions at the end of the book to help get you started on your Italian Culinary Adventure!

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Peppered throughout are fabulously colourful illustrations done by Emanuela Ligabue designed to catch your attention and your child's imagination!  This is a fun, interactive, bilingual cookbook for families that introduces the art and joy of Italian cooking. It also teaches better eating habits and the importance of culture, while providing quality family bonding time.

With an emphasis on fresh ingredients and hands-on preparation with family activities, dishes include traditional starters, main courses, and desserts. Your child's creativity will be sparked, as will your deeper connection with them.  This is the perfect excuse to get them in that kitchen and start playing chef. Who knows , you may even have the next great Italian cuisine Chef standing next to you!

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I chose to cook the Stuffed Peaches recipe from the book.  It sounded delicious and is perfect for using those "ripen at home" peaches you find in the shops this time of year.   You're in for a real treat!

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*Stuffed Peaches*
Serves 8
Amaretti are Italian almond-flavoured macaroons usually made from the kernels of apricots and not almonds.  They are readily available in most cookie aisles.  If not, substitute crisp chocolate wafers or ginger snaps for a different flavour combination.

4 peaches (not too ripe)
50g sugar (1/4 cup)
100g of Amaretti, crushed ( 3 1/2 ounces)
1 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
2 egg yolks
50g butter (1/4 cup)
powdered sugar
pinch ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 189*C/350*F. gas mark 4.  LIne a high sided baking pan with parchment.   Cut the peaches in half, remove the pits, and scoop out some of the flesh.  Place the flesh in a bowl and mash with a fork into a pulp.

Add the sugar, Amaretti, cocoa, and egg yolkss to the peach pulp.  Mash with a fork and mix to combine the filling.  Fill the peach halves with this.  Garnish each peach half with a butter curl.
Arrange the peaches in the prepared baking pan.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven.  Let cool and dust with powdered sugar and the cinnamon.  Serve 1/2 peach to each person and serve warm.

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ANNA PRANDONI is a writer and journalist who has been working with food and wine for over 15 years with particular interest in the history of nutrition and its influence on Italian Culture. In 2014, she was selected as Italian ambassador in the network WE-Women for Expo, which addresses global nutrition, sustainability and food related-traditions. She has worked as director of the cooking school, La Scuoladella Cucina Italiana and director and web editor of La Cucina Italiana magazine.

Very active in the digital community, she is the creative director of, Milano Secrets (, and the community gathering project for floral design, photography, and culinary art Potluck ( In June 2015, she was appointed director of the Gualtiero Marchesi Cooking Academy in Milan which offers courses for both professional and amateur chefs.

  Lets Cook Italian
A family Cookbook
by  Anna Prandoni

Turkey Fajita Sliders

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Back to healthy eating here in my house.  We've had enough of over-indulgence.  Time to get back on the horse and moving forward.   You see a lot of these slider type of sandwiches about.  They are very popular with families and for footie games.   I thought I would try to create a somewhat healthier version by using ground turkey, and by jove I think I cracked it!

Monday, 4 January 2016

Crispy Mash Hash

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 Today I wanted to show you a delicious side dish which helps you to use up all of your leftovers and which is just enough for two, although you could certainly multiply it to serve more people than that!  Crispy Mash Hash!

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Gingerbread Blondies

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OH MY GOODNESS! If you don't want to be severely tempted by something that is so dangerously delicious that any diet plans you had for 2016 will immediately be thrown out the window . . . LOOK AWAY NOW!

OOOPS! Too late eh? Sorry about that folks. We were having guests for lunch today and I wanted to bake something that was unusual and delicious and I came across this recipe in a cookbook of mine entitled Gingerbread ( by Jennifer Lindner McGlinn) for Gingerbread Blondies and I was instantly spellbound.  I needed to make these.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Cider and Honey Braised Bangers

There is one thing that the British do very well . . . and that is the good old British Banger! (Sausage to you non-Brits! Of course, it is also something that they do really poorly too . . . but we won't talk about those!) You just can't beat a good old fashioned, meaty, top quality, Butcher's thick sausage banger . . . avoid the cheap ones at all costs. They are just plain nasty and filled with fillers and other ucky stuff that you don't want to be eating.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Artichoke Chicken

This is a delicious and simple to prepare entree that I probably haven't made in about two years now.  It was something that I used to cook up for the Mr quite often when I cooked at the Manor down South.  It was his favourite meal and he would often ask for it.