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Chicken & Waffles

Chicken & Waffles



Do you remember the Mini-Series that was on the telly a few years back starring Kate Winslet, called Mildred Pierce?  It was a cracker of a series. It was the story of an overprotective, self-sacrificing mother during the Great Depression who found herself on her own, having separated from her husband.  She ended up opening a restaurant of her own and falling in love with a man, all the while trying to earn her spoiled, narcissistic elder daughter's love and respect. 



Her restaurant ended up being a huge success and the main thing on the menu was "Chicken and Waffles."   I have to admit being greatly intrigued by a dish called "Chicken & Waffles," and I thought to myself  at the time they must be incredibly delicious if they caused such a success for her restaurant and made her wealthy, like what happened in the show.  Now, I know that that it was just a television series, but ever since then, I have wanted to try these chicken and waffles! 


The people at Andrew James recently asked me if I would like to try out their new Volcano Waffle Maker.  I thought to myself, Chicken & Waffles, here I come.  I jumped at the chance.  I wanted to try this particular dish, and I was totally intrigued at the concept of a VOLCANO Waffle Maker. 


This Waffle maker boasts a unique design with a simple operation which promises to make delicious Belgian style waffles with no mess. 


It has non-stick cone shaped plates, designed to enable the even distribution of the batter and even cooking with nice deep holes.    It also promised no mess.  I have always found with my old waffle maker its hard to judge how much waffle batter to put in. Too little and you end up with skimpy waffles, too much and it ends up oozing out the sides and making a huge mess, which is difficult to clean up.

This unique award winning design with its volcano shaped plates, cooks your waffles from the bottom up like lava rising up a volcano's centre, and making a tasty waffle cone.  I found it really easy to use.  You just detach the funnel from the bottom (where it stores when not in use) and lock it into place on top, pour in your waffle batter and let them bake.  The handy measuring cup makes sure that you don't use too much batter, just the right amount.  It was kind of fun to watch.  It bubbles up like lava in the funnel as it cooks.  You can look down in and see the waffle cooking!


Perfect results. I was so pleased!  No fuss, no mess, perfect waffles, golden brown and crisp. It takes about 5 minutes to cook each waffle.  After use you simply store the funnel back on the bottom of the machine and the cord also stores easily so that it doesn't take up too much storage space in the kitchen. Its also easy to clean.  The waffle machine itself simply wipes clean and the funnel and cup wash easily in warm soapy water. Altogether I am really pleased with this machine.


It baked beautiful crisp waffles with deep holes in them, ready to hold whatever you are serving with them.  I baked Cornmeal waffles because I was doing Chicken & Waffles.  I thought cornmeal waffles would go well.   This waffle batter makes for nice crisp waffles, that would also be great with a fruit compote if you weren't keen on doing the chicken.


The chicken is nice and crisp . . .  moist and tender on the insides, crisp on the outside.  The coating for them  is lightly spiced with ground cumin, thyme, paprika and garlic. You could do chicken tenders, but I had breasts, which I then just cut into strips when I was ready to serve them. 



Just lay them out there on top of those crisp beautiful waffles  . . .


And then gild them with that beautifully spiced maple syrup.  I warmed the syrup with a bit of butter and some hot sauce, just for a bit of interest.  Oh boy . . .  some good!!


I only used 1 1/2 tsp of hot sauce, and I used the green tabasco which is a bit milder, but you could use more or a spicier variety if you wanted to.  The heat went surprisingly well with the sweet smokiness of the maple syrup.


All together these were really, REALLY lovely.  I am not sure how authentic they were, but that really doesn't matter  . . .  it only matters that they were enjoyed.


And they were certainly enjoyed, and now I know what all the fuss was about. Chicken & Waffles. You have to try them!  Scrumdiddlyumptious!  We had them for supper.  I am not sure if they are a breakfast or a supper dish, but I reckon they would be welcome no matter when you serve them!



*Chicken & Waffles*
Serves 4
 
From what I understand this is an old American favourite.  I created my own recipe based on what I had to hand.  Inspired by the film Mildred Pierce. 

 
For the chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
70g flour (1/2 cup)
4 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 TBS chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
2 medium egg whites, beaten lightly
olive oil for frying  

 
For the Waffles:
140g plain flour (1 cup)
170g cornmeal (1 cup)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
480ml buttermilk (2 cups)
2 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
85g honey (1/4 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
4 TBS butter, melted  

 
For the Syrup:
240 ml maple syrup (1 cup)
1 TBS melted butter
1 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce (I used the green one)



Trim any fat off of your chicken breasts and slice each one in half horizontally.  Mix the flour, paprika, cumin, thyme, salt, pepper and garlic powder (if using) together on a large plate.  Whisk the egg whites together in a shallow pie dish.  Dip the chicken breasts into the flour mixture, into the egg whites, and then back into the flour mixture to coat them well.  Repeat until all the chicken has been coated.   


Heat olive oil to the depth of 1/4 inch in a large skillet over medium heat until hot.  Add the chicken pieces in a single layer, being careful not to crowd the pan.  You may need to do this in batches, adding more oil as needed.  Cook for three minutes, then flip over and cook for two minutes or so on the second side, until the chicken is golden and crispy and cooked through.  Keep warm in a low oven until all the chicken has been cooked and your waffles are cooked. 

To make the waffles, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, soda,and salt.  Beat together the eggs, buttermilk, honey, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients combining together just until mixed. A few lumps is fine. Stir in the melted butter.   

 
Brush your waffle maker with a bit of cooking oil. Heat and cook your waffles as per the instructions for your particular model of waffle maker. They should be brown and crisp when done. Keep the waffled warm in a low oven (in a single layer so that they stay crisp) with the cooked chicken until all of your waffles have been cooked. 

Warm the maple syrup together with the butter and hot sauce. 
Cut your chicken into strips and serve hot on top of the cooked waffles with the spicy warm maple syrup for pouring.


I have to say I am really, really pleased with the Andrew James Waffle Maker.  I highly recommend it.  It makes excellent waffles, and is easy to use, easy to clean, and easy to store.  It gets two thumbs up from me!  To find out more or buy one yourself, do check out the Andrew James Page.

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If you would like to see a video of it in action, do check it out on YouTube. 

Many Thanks to Andrew James for sending me this lovely Waffle Maker to try!!

Disclaimer - Although I was sent a waffle maker free of charge for the purpose of review, I was not required to write a positive review in exchange.  Any and all opinions are my own.

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Marie Rayner
4 Comments
Couscous Salad

Couscous Salad



We were supposed to go to a Pot Luck lunch today (Tuesday) but we ended up not going because Todd had had a bad night's sleep.  I ended up with a big bowl of this delicious salad, but no worries. I won't mind having it for lunch for a few days. Its quite healthy, and low in fat, high in fibre and well, just really tasty!


I love salads made with Israeli couscous.  Also known as Ptitim , Israeli couscous is a type of toasted pasta shaped like rice grains or little balls developed in Israel in the 1950s when rice was scarce. Outside Israel, it is typically marketed as Israeli couscous, Jerusalem couscous, or pearl couscous.


When we lived down South, I used to pick up a butternut squash, couscous and rocket salad at one of the local shops that I really, really liked. It just really lends itself to these types of salads.


The recipe is one that I adapted from a newsletter I get from Simple Nourished Living. It is a weight watchers friendly recipe as well as being very high in fibre and diabetic friendly.  She used Orzo pasta. I did not have any orzo pasta, and used the Israeli couscous instead. It worked perfectly.


I also didn't have any feta cheese, so I used coarsely grated Parmigiano Reggiano, which worked very well, and it lower in fat than the feta.  It has a lovely salty, cheesy flavour also.


Marinated artichoke hearts.  Yum. I adore artichokes.  I rinsed mine under hot water so that I could get rid of as much oil from them as possible. Doing this in no way affects the flavour.  You don't need to do this, its just what I always do.


She used whole plum tomatoes, but I chose to use baby plum tomatoes.  I picked up some really lovely ones in M&S yesterday that were lovely and sweet.  I love the vegetables you get at M&S. I know you pay more, but they taste better.  Sometimes its worth it, especially when you are talking about tomatoes.  These were fabulous!


I got my spinach at M&S as well.  Look at that beautiful colour!


With some spring onions or a bit of sharpness, and a punchy lemon and tarragon vinaigrette, this is a fabulously tasty salad.  I confess, I kept dipping my fork into the bowl, for one more bite.  Naughty me!




*Couscous Salad*
Serves 6

Simple and filled with lots of colour and flavours.  Delicious. 

100g Israeli couscous, uncooked (1/2 cup)
18 baby plum tomatoes, quartered
280g jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed, then chopped (about 1 cup)
30g fresh spinach, tough stems broken off and discarded, and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 spring onions, chopped
60g coarsely grated Parmesan cheese (1/3 cup)
1 TBS capers, drained 

For the dressing:
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp dried tarragon (1 TBS fresh minced)
2 tsp finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp papper



 Cook the couscous in plenty of salted boiling water, according to the package directions.Drain well, rinse with cold water, drain well again. Set aside.


Combine the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, spinach and spring onions in a large bowl. Add the capers and couscous.  Toss together well.  Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the couscous and vegetables.  Sprinkle on the cheese and toss together again, until everything is well coated and mixed together.  Serve at room temperature.


Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.


I am pretty sure that this recipe could very easily be cut in half. You are just going to love it. Any leftovers can be refrigerated, but bear in mind the lemon juice will cook the spinach leaves a bit. No worries, its still pretty tasty!  Bon Appetit!



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Marie Rayner
8 Comments
Pizzadillas

Pizzadillas



I have always been a huge pizza fan. My first experience with it was at a highschool Winter Carnival. For one of the events we had a coffeehouse/pizza shop with folk music and people could buy slices of pizza which was made in the schools Home Economics classroom. For me it was love at first bite!  This progressed to making pizzas at home using the box kits and then as an adult buying them from pizza restaurants.  RJ's Pizza in Winnipeg Manitoba . . . my first pizza from a dedicated pizza place. It was good.  My husband at the time and I often had pizza for a snack before bed.  Those days are long gone. If I ate pizza before bed now, I'd never sleep all night from the after-effects of indigestion and reflux!  I know TMI.   

As you know I am the lucky recipient of a Degustabox every month and as soon as I saw the contents of the March box I got really excited because I knew right away the product I wanted to use to make a recipe!  But first the box . . .


I love these boxes. Opening each one is tiny a bit like opening a Christmas gift. Always a surprise, and always filled with things that pique my interest and desire to try. Degustabox is a monthly foodie subscription service that sends out a range of 10 to 15 specially selected foodie products. There's always a great mix of new products that I haven't tried before, as well as plenty of treats from more established brands. Quite often you will have the opportunity to try  new products before they arrive in the shops, so it can be a bit of a sneak peak! Each Degustabox costs only £12.99, delivery costs are included in the price, and there is no fixed contract involved - you can cancel at any time. I love getting these boxes! They are great value for money spent.

Here is what was in the March Box.


CANNY 100% Natural Chocolate Milk  1 X £1.59

This was an extra gift as a special thank you to those subscribers who had answered the most monthly surveys. All natural chocolate milk. Refined sugar and gluten free! 

Facebook: @wearecanny
Instagram: @wearecanny
Twitter: @wearecanny

I have never been a fan of chocolate milk myself. Not sure why, but Todd really enjoyed this!

TENSING NATURAL ENERGY 1 X £1.19

Tenzing Natural Energy is crafted from six natural ingredients:  Green Coffee, Guarana, Green Tea, Himalayan Rock Salt, Beet Sugar and Lemon Juice. It is 55 calories per can and contains absolutely nothing artificial.


Facebook: @tenzingnaturalenergy
Instagram: @tenzing

Neither one of us was able to drink this because of religious reasons, but my neighbor really enjoyed it.  Nice served cold.



ENCONA Carolina Reaper Chilli Sauce 1 X £1.49 

Explore the ultimate heat and flavour combination of Encona Limited Edition Carolina Reaper Chilli Sauce. This scorching blend of the world's hottest chilli pepper, tomatoes and spices will challenge even the bravest of chilli lovers! Why not use in a marinade and create you rown hot wing challenge or supercharge soups and one-pot dishes by adding a few drops whilst cooking. 

 Facebook: @encona.sauces
 Instagram: @enconaofficial 
Twitter: @enconaofficial  

I can't eat really spicy things but our friend Tony loves anything hot and spicy so he is enjoying this!

HAFERVOLL Flapjack Limited Lebkuchen 1 X £1.99  

Hafervoll Flapjacks are the first 100% natural oat bars without added sugar, cheap stuffing or other chemical additives. Gently handmade and oven-baked, they always taste homemade. 

Facebook: @hafervoll I
nstagram: @hafervoll
Twitter: @hafervoll

One word . . . YUM!

NESTLE SMARTIES & MILKYBAR MIXED MINI EGGS  1 X £3.00
A special Easter edition of mini eggs from the people at  Nestle. They even included a tasty recipe to use them in for Easter.


For this and more tasty recipes do check out www.feastingisfun.com 

Facebook: @smartiesuk
Instagram: @smartiesuki
Twitter: @smartiesuki



RIBENA PINEAPPLE & PASSION FRUIT 1 X £2.49

Ribena is excited to announce new Pineapple and Passion Fruit to its much beloved squash range. This ultimate tasty treat has NO added sugar and contains less than 15 calories per 250ml serving. Available to buy from March, Ribena Pineapple and Passion Fruit Squash is the perfect accompaniment to meal times. 

Facebook: @ribenauk
Instagram: @ribenauk
Twitter: @ribenauk

I have been enjoying a glass of this each evening while we watch television. Its very nice!

NESTLE SHREDDIES MAX GRANOLA 1 X £2.59

Shreddies Max Granola is a delicious combination of crunchy oat clusters with Shreddies pieces. Made with 74% whole grain, high in fibre and a good source of protein to "maximise" your morning!

Facebook: @ShreddiesUK
Instagram: @ShreddiesUK
Twitter:@ShreddiesUK

I have been enjoying this for breakfast each morning and Todd's been enjoying a sprinkle of it on top of his regular oats.  Its really very good and not overly sweet!

CHEESESTRINGS SNACK MIX  Full Value Voucher for 1 X £1.00

Introducing Cheesestrings Snack Mix. A 3 in 1 after school snack, built up of 3 individual sections, we encourage you to mix it up with our 3 variants, consisting of a crunchy cracker, real cheese cubes and a sweet treat! A perfect snack which meets all of your snacking needs.


I was one of a few bloggers selected to actually receive some actual cheese string packs without having to go to the shops to pick them up.  I got two of one variety and one of each of the other two. 


They contain real cheese, and savoury crackers and a bit of sweet. Not a lot, but the perfectly sized snack for a child for afterschool and included on the underside of the packaging is a fun puzzle and game!  I'm not a child, but I have enjoyed these for my "lunch."  Very nice.  

We always have the regular cheesestrings in our fridge. They are great high-protein snacks and our dog loves them as an occasional treat.  I cut them into quarters and she will get a quarter cut into little bits in her treat ball, which she enjoys pushing around the house.  They are also great for cheese stuffed crust pizzas . . .  just saying . . .

Facebook: @cheestringsUKIRE


MR LEE'S NOODLES 1 X £2.99 

Mr Lee's is an award winning range of six premium noodles in a cup, certified gluten free and low in sugar, also low in saturated fats and calories, and with absolutely no nasties! They uniquely use freeze-dried ingredients to ensure that the roduct locks in the nutrients and the flavour, so the beef tastes like beef, the ginger tastes like ginger and the bamboo tastes like  . . .  you get the picture.  Vegan options are also available. 

Facebook: @mrleesnoodles
Instagram: @mrleesnoodles
Twitter: @mrleesnoodles

I haven't actually used this yet, but I like that the noodles are not fried and that all of the ingredients are natural. Two pluss's in my opinion.

APPY KIDS CO ROALD DAHL FRUIT DRINKS 1 X £1.29

Boasting beloved book characters Matilda, the BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the wholesome Roald Dahl range encourages kids' thirst for reading whilst keeping them hydraated. Vegan Approved and low in calories, the gloriumptious drinks contain no GMOs, gluten, added sugars or artificial preservatives, making them perfect for lunch boxes.

Facebook: @appykidsco
Instagram: @appykidsco
Twitter:@appykidsco

Great for when you are on the go, in the car, etc.!!

CIRIO PASTA SAUCE 1 X £2.00

Cirio premium peeled plum tomatoes in two new pasta sauce recipes. Made wit 100% top Italian ingredients for a genuine and tasty dish. Simply heat through until piping hot and add to cooked pasta.

Facebook: @ciriouk
Instagram: @ciriouk
Twitter: @ciriouk



No surprise here this is the product I chose to highlight with a recipe.  I regularly use Cirio Products in my kitchen.  Their products are all of a premium quality and I have never been disappointed!!  I knew this sauce would make the perfect base for my Pizzadillas and I was not wrong!


Pizzadillas are so easy to make and so delicious when they are done.  The kids will love these.  You simply layer sauce and cheese between two tortillas and brown in a skillet before topping with more sauce and cheese and your favourite pizza toppings and then placing them under the grill to melt the cheese and heat up your toppings!


They are very adaptable and you can use whatever pizza toppings float your boat.  Mine are all veggie, but you can use chopped cooked meats, pepperoni, etc.  Whatever you love on a pizza will go well on top of these.  Each Pizzadilla is ample enough to satisfy two normal appetites.  They are deliciously simple!


*Pizzadillas*
Makes 1 

Such a simple idea really, and quite, quite delicious! Quantities are for one, but easily multipliable to feed more. Quick and easy. 
low fat cooking spray
2 large flour tortillas
pizza sauce
(I used Cirio Cuor Di Pelato Parmigiano)
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan Reggiano cheese
Cheddar Cheese
your favourite pizza toppings
(I used chopped yellow bell pepper, sliced green and black cured olives,
sliced hot pickled sweet peppers, spring onions, and sliced mushrooms)




Pre-heat your grill to high.
Take a large skillet and spray with some low fat cooking spray and heat over medium low heat. Place one tortilla into the skillet and spread with a couple of TBS of the sauce.


Sprinkle with some of each cheese and top with another tortilla, pressing it down lightly.   




Cook for several minutes until the bottom side is golden brown.  Carefully flip over.  Top wih several more TBS of the sauce, sprinkle with more cheese and your desired toppings. Brown the bottom over medium low heat until golden and the sauce in the filling is heated through and the cheese melted.  



Pop under the grill and toast until the cheese on top is melted and bubbling.  Remove from the grill and cut into wedges to serve.

Serve with your favourite dipping sauces.  Sour cream is good as is additional warmed pizza sauce. 



These are some good . . .  even hours later and served cold.  Yes, I AM a glutton!


Every box does include an information card, along with some other bits, recipes, etc. from the brands included.  I find it really handy to have, to learn about the products a bit more and to also know how much the products would cost if I went on to buy them, and also for ideas on how to use some of them.

So, that was the March  Degustabox - a nice selection of products as always. We loved it. The price of each Degustabox is £12.99 (including delivery). To order your box, visit www.degustabox.com 
 
 Many thanks to Degustabox UK for sending me this box. I have to say I really look forward to getting my box each month. There are always lots of things in it to enjoy and new products to try out. I highly recommend. You can also tailor the boxes to your own likes and dislikes by filling in your own Taste Profile.  Do you like the sound of this box? Why not sign up now! I find them to be really good value for money spent and I really enjoy trying out new products that I have not tried before.  

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Note - Although I was sent a box free of charge any and all opinions are my own.
Bon appetit! 



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Marie Rayner
4 Comments
Lemon, Garlic & Herb Chicken Quarters

Lemon, Garlic & Herb Chicken Quarters



After eating meat free for several weeks now I found myself really craving chicken this weekend.  I went to the shops to buy a roasting chicken. (Who doesn't adore roast chicken.  Not me!) They didn't have any that looked particularly tasty to me. (I like free-range organic and in a roaster, corn-fed.)  They did have some free-range organic corn-fed chicken leg quarters however, so I picked them up and brought them home.


I once knew a person who couldn't eat chicken on the bone.  Chicken on the bone has never bothered me per se, but I cannot stand cold chicken on the bone. Once it is cooked, I have to take it off the bone.  I really don't like the flavour of re-heated chicken on the bone.  If we are in a restaurant and I order chicken.  I can always tell if it has been pre-cooked and then re-heated on the bone. That is a HUGE turn-off to me.  Just one of my quirks I guess.



There is a trinity of flavour that goes very well with chicken, on or off the bone.  That is  . . .  lemon, garlic and herbs.   Fresh lemon, both the zest and the juice  . . .  minced garlic . . .  and herbs like garlic and oregano. Mix them with any piece of chicken and you have a marriage of flavours that is heaven-sent!


This is what I used when I cooked my chicken leg quarters . . . that and a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, which I both pushed beneath the skin of the thigh portion of the quarters and then all over the outsides of the chicken.


After that it is as simple as roasting it in a hot oven to begin with and then a moderate oven to finish.  Oh boy but these are some tasty!  We like them with baked potatoes and vegetables.  But I don't think it really matters what you put them with.  The chicken is the star here!


*Lemon, Garlic & Herb Chicken Quarters*
Serves 4 

Lemon, garlic and herbs.  The trinity of flavour goodness for chicken. You can't beat it! 


 4 large chicken leg/thigh quarters
2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp coarsely grated black pepper
the juice and finely grated zest of one large lemon
 



 Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Have ready a baking dish large enough to hold all of the chicken leg quarters in one layer.


Mix together the oil, thyme, oregano, minced garlic, sea salt, black pepper and lemon zest. Loosen the skin from the thigh portion of the leg quarters and rub a bit of it in under the skin, pushing the ckin back into place after.  (Make sure you don't use it all up) Place the leg quarters into the baking dish and rub the remaining herb mixture all over the legs, top and bottom.  Squeeze the juice of the lemon over all.


Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, turn the oven temperature down to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4 for a further 20 to 25 minutes until the chicken is golden brown and the juices run clear.  Serve hot.


We like these with baked potatoes and steamed vegetables.


Note - for additonal flavour you can slice some peeled onion and place in the bottom of the baking dish and lay the chicken leg quarters on top of that prior to baking.



I was really naughty on this day and had a whole baked potato all to myself, topped with some sour cream, spring onions and bacon bits (soya ones) . . .  just like I used to be able to get in one of my favourite restaurants back home.  Full disclosure here . . .  I would have been over the moon with just the potato.  That was a real treat for me!  Bon Appetit! 



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Marie Rayner
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