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A quick, elegant dessert that takes less than 30 minutes to put together, my Easy No Bake Lime Cheesecake makes entertaining a breeze.


Your guests will never guess just how easy this elegant Easy No Bake Lime Cheesecake is to make – unless you decide to share the delicious secret with them. The work of less than thirty minutes, I’ve been serving my no bake lime cheesecake to guests for over ten years – ever since I was inspired by a recipe on a television advertisement.

The main ingredient in my  Easy No Bake Lime Cheesecake is mascarpone cheese. Mascarpone is a thick, soft creamed cow’s milk cheese which originated in Italy. It’s used in the classic Italian dessert Tiramisu as well as in savoury sauces. Slightly thicker than traditional cream cheese and beautifully spreadable, mascarpone has a seriously high fat content but its great taste and texture make it worth every single calorie.

Love cheesecake? You won’t want to miss these delicious cheesecake recipes

Very Versatile Easy No Bake Lime Cheesecake

I love this recipe for so many reasons, not least of all because it is so very adaptable. Use graham crackers or digestive biscuits for the cookie crust instead of ginger cookies. Swap out the Cointreau for another liqueur. Limoncello works well here as does Grand Mariner or Triple Sec. Vary the decorations – strawberries and raspberries are a beautiful contrast to the beautiful pale green of this dessert – or grate some good dark chocolate over top as an homage to the classic British candy, chocolate limes. Or for a change, try my Easy No Bake Orange Cheesecake.

Easy, versatile and oh so delicious – be sure to add my Easy No Bake Lime Cheesecake to your repetoire of quick, elegant and indulgent desserts.

Easy No Bake Lime Cheesecake – Printable Recipe

5.0 from 1 reviews
Easy No Bake Lime Cheesecake
 
Prep time
30 mins
Total time
30 mins
 
Author: adapted from a recipe by Sainsburys
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: Serves 6 to 8 generously
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 1- 8oz (200 gram) package of ginger cookies, crushed (about 20 cookies)
  • 2 cups mascarpone cheese
  • ⅓ cup confectioner's sugar (icing sugar)
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons Cointreau
Instructions
  1. Mix the melted butter with the crushed cookies and press into the base of a 7 inch (18 cm) loose bottomed cake tin. Put in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, zest the limes with a fine grater and squeeze the juice from them.
  3. In an electric mixer, beat together the mascarpone cheese, confectioner's sugar, lime juice, zest and Cointreau.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly over the cookie base.
  5. Chill for at least an hour or for up to 12 hours.
  6. Run a knife around the edge of the cake tin and carefully remove the sides.
  7. Decorate the cheesecake with fruit or chocolate if desired.
  8. Slice and serve.
3.4.3177

  More Easy Desserts

Easy No Bake Orange Cheesecake

Easy and Delicious Desserts for Busy Weeknights

Easy Plum Cake Recipe

Turkish Delight Syllabub

The post Easy No Bake Lime Cheesecake appeared first on April J Harris.

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My Cherry Loaf Cake Recipe is one of my new favourite summer cake recipes, a great way to showcase the fresh, local cherries that are on offer this time of year. Of course, you can make Cherry Loaf Cake all year round with imported cherries, but I always think local cherries taste better. I’m a big fan of eating local, seasonal food.

Disclosure – This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase via the links I receive a small commission. This does not affect your purchase price. Full Disclosure Policy.

My Cherry Loaf Cake recipe is super easy to make. It only takes a few minutes to throw together and although it does take a little while to cook, it’s well worth the wait. Using yogurt makes for a really moist and tender cake as well as adding a bit of goodness. I use less sugar than normal in this loaf cake because most flavoured yogurts contain a lot of sugar as it is. I like to use Rachel’s Organic Cherry Yogurt but if it’s not available, your favourite brand will work very well too.

There’s nothing like the wonderful flavour of sweet cherries in this Cherry Loaf Cake recipe. A little hint – it’s really important to pit cherries properly. My husband doesn’t like fresh cherries due to an unfortunate cherry pie incident in France many years ago. Some traditional French cooks believe that cherries have a better flavour if you cook them with the pits in, and the person who had made the fateful pie was definitely of that persuasion. Even though it was years ago, my husband still can’t forget the horror of biting into a mouthful of cherry pits.

Making Cherry Pitting Easy

I’m always buying kitchen gadgets, some more useful than others, but buying this Oxo cherry pitter was one of the best kitchen gadget decisions I ever made. (If you live in the UK you can find a cherry pitter like mine here.)

I’m not a naturally co-ordinated person so trying to pit cherries in the past was extremely frustrating and incredibly messy. This little gadget makes it fun – although there is usually still a little bit of cherry juice flying around, despite the wonderful splatter guard, so be sure to wear an apron. (Or, maybe that’s just me!) I actually find using the cherry pitter quite satisfying and therapeutic – like shelling peas or preparing fresh beans, it’s somehow very relaxing.


I love loaf cakes for so many reasons – they are portable, as easy to make as quick breads, keep well, and are incredibly handy to have in sitting in a pretty cake stand on the side ready for unexpected guests. There is something so comforting about having this bright and cheerful Cherry Loaf Cake on hand, ready to offer anyone who looks in need of a slice of cake, or even just as a little treat for myself. It’s also delicious served as a dessert with a scoop of ice cream.

Cherry Loaf Cake – Printable Recipe
5.0 from 2 reviews
Cherry Loaf Cake Recipe
 
Author: April J Harris
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups + 1 teaspoon all purpose (plain) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cherry yogurt
  • ¾ cup granulated or caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup mild olive oil (not extra-virgin)
  • 1 cup cherries (12 -14 cherries)
  • For the glaze
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
  • about 1 tablespoon water
  • a drop of pink food colouring (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C or 165°C for fan ovens, Gas Mark 4).
  2. Grease or line a 2 lb (8½ x 4¼x 2½ inch) loaf pan.
  3. Remove the pits from the cherries and cut each one in half.
  4. Put the cherries in a small bowl, sprinkle the 1 teaspoon flour over top and toss gently.
  5. Sift the 1½ cups flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.
  6. Stir in the sugar. Set the dry ingredients aside.
  7. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, vanilla and oil.
  8. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in two additions, whisking between additions.
  9. Beat gently until the batter is relatively smooth.
  10. Gently fold in the flour coated cherries.
  11. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  12. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes before removing the cake and placing it on a wire rack to cool completely.
  13. When the cake is cold, prepare the glaze.
  14. Place the icing sugar in a small bowl and whisk in the maraschino cherry juice.
  15. Gradually whisk in the water, a bit at at time, until a smooth, drizzle-able consistency is reached.
  16. Whisk in the food colouring, if using.
  17. Place a piece of parchment or waxed paper underneath the rack the cake cooled on and drizzle the glaze over the cake.
  18. Allow the glaze to set before slicing and serving the cake.
3.4.3177
More Loaf Cake Recipes

Cherry Almond Loaf Cake

Fig & Honey Yogurt Loaf Cake

Banana Gingerbread Loaf Cake

Butternut Pecan Loaf Cake

Rhubarb and Ginger Drizzle Cake

Auntie’s Old Fashioned Spice Cake

The post Cherry Loaf Cake Recipe appeared first on April J Harris.

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When the sun comes out, I’m reminded of travels to warmer climes and the deliciously spiced food I have enjoyed there, like this Moroccan Shrimp and Couscous. It takes very little time to prepare making it perfect for those days when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen. It also adds a ray of sunshine to rainy days with the warm spicing which you can customise to suit your family.


An Easy Supper for Weeknights and Entertaining

Moroccan Shrimp and Couscous makes a fabulous midweek supper for four and the easily multiplied recipe is also perfect for entertaining. You can adjust the spicing to suit your taste – I tend to err on the side of mild – but you can add more harissa if you are braver than I am.

Harissa is a spice paste from North Africa. A blend of tomato paste or puree, peppers, dried red chilies, olive oil, garlic, caraway seeds, ground cumin and coriander (cilantro), harissa can be very fiery. However, used carefully, it adds the most wonderful flavour to vegetables, meat, fish and grains.

Moroccan Shrimp with Couscous

My Moroccan Shrimp and Couscous entails very little hard work. A bit of light peeling and slicing, some quick sautéing and that’s about it.

Making Moroccan Shrimp and Couscous

After sautéing the onion, peppers and garlic in olive oil and adding the chick peas, you simply tip in the couscous, add some hot chicken stock along with half the harissa and clamp on the lid. Let everything sit off the heat for five minutes so the can absorb the stock.

Meanwhile, fry the shrimp in some butter with the rest of the harissa, a pinch of salt and a good few twists of freshly ground pepper.

Divide the couscous mixture between four plates and top with the shrimp.

Dinner is served! An ice cold glass of sauvignon blanc is wonderful with this dish. The gooseberry flavours in the wine compliment the spices beautifully, without being overwhelmed by them. A nice crisp rosé works well too, especially on a hot summer night.

Moroccan Shrimp and Couscous – Printable Recipe

5.0 from 6 reviews
Moroccan Shrimp
 
Author: April J Harris
Recipe type: Seafood
Cuisine: North African
Serves: Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, red if possible, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 can chick peas (approximately 400 grams or 14 ounces) drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon harissa, divided
  • ¾ cup couscous
  • 1 cup hot chicken stock (made from a cube is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • about 24 large raw shrimp, de-veined
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh, or dried, chives
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté for a minute or so.
  3. Stir in the red pepper slices and continue to cook until the onion and red pepper have softened, but not browned.
  4. Grate in the garlic and stir in the chick peas.
  5. Add the couscous and cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly.
  6. Stir in the hot chicken stock and half a teaspoon of the harissa, clamp on the lid and remove the pan from the heat.
  7. Set the timer for five minutes.
  8. Heat the butter in a frying pan over medium heat.
  9. Stir in the remaining half teaspoon harissa.
  10. Fry the shrimp until pink throughout.
  11. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the chives.
  12. Run a fork through the couscous and taste for seasoning, adding more pepper if necessary. Divide between four plates.
  13. Top each serving of couscous with about six shrimp.
3.4.3177

  More Shrimp Recipes

Easiest Ever Shrimp Primavera

Scallop and Shrimp Pasta

Shrimp and Crab Appetizer Salad Recipe

Quick and Easy Crab and Shrimp Melts

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It’s one of those magical, misty mornings here in the south of England. A light fog gently dips over the trees and you really can’t see the sky for clouds. There’s a damp chill in the air and I find myself craving multiple cups of steaming hot tea. I know that my family will be looking forward to comfort food for dinner. And when it comes to comfort food, Beef and Ale Stew is a family favourite.

Beef and Ale Stew is a traditional British dish the whole family will love. Here in the UK, it’s one of those dishes that nearly everyone has a recipe for – often one that has been handed down from generation to generation.


Why is Beef and Ale Stew Frugal?

One of the reasons Beef and Ale Stew is so popular – aside from the fact it tastes so good – is that the recipe calls for cheaper cuts of beef – chuck, braising or stewing steak. They become mouth-wateringly tender with long, slow cooking. You just can’t beat that frugal and delicious combination!

What Kind of Beer Should I Use?

British ales are very different to the lager beers often enjoyed in North America. They are usually lower in alcohol but generally the flavour is stronger. Generally served cool, but not cold, ales are an acquired taste – but once you get used to them, they are absolutely lovely.

You can buy imported British ales in North America but there are also some absolutely delicious local artisanal ales made in many places in the world now. Of course, you need to bear in mind that the flavour of the stew varies depending on the ale you choose. You can also use Stout, another strong, dark type of beer for this recipe.

I refer to this dish as family friendly knowing it contains alcohol. While it is no longer believed that alcohol completely burns off during cooking, this dish is cooked for so long it is likely that most of it disappears. Beef and Ale Stew is widely served to children here in the UK – indeed my son ate puréed Beef and Ale Stew as a baby. I realise this may be controversial depending on where you live, so if the alcohol content of the dish concerns you, do keep it for adults only.

Beef and Ale Stew Is A Make Ahead Marvel

Long, slow cooking mellows ale’s deeper flavours and makes Beef and Ale Stew a recipe the whole family will enjoy. If you are worried that these deeper flavours might not be to your taste, try my Beef and Beer Stew first. It’s a lighter, but still authentic, version of this yummy recipe that uses lager beers like Coors Light, Budweiser or Labbatt’s Blue.

A great make ahead meal, Beef and Ale Stew tastes even better re-heated. Cool quickly, keep in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours and the flavours will develop beautifully. Reheat the stew slowly over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add a little bit of hot water or beef stock to the stew to loosen the sauce a bit if necessary.

Having said that, my Beef and Ale Stew smells so good when it’s cooking, I rarely get away with being able to cook this dish without letting people actually eat it. In fact, I often make a double batch so we can have some the first night and more a day or two later.

Beef and Ale Stew – One of the Ultimate Comfort Foods

Beef and Ale Stew is great for casual weekend entertaining as you can make it Friday afternoon, cool, cover and store in the fridge. Then simply reheat it thoroughly to serve for Saturday supper or Sunday dinner.

Beef and Ale Stew definitely qualifies as bowl food – the kind you eat with a spoon, sitting on the sofa on a cold evening. For a heartier meal you can share at the table, serve it with crusty bread on the side or with couscous, rice or mashed potatoes and a green vegetable. However you serve it, I’m sure you will find this little taste of British tradition is a real treat!

Beef and Ale Stew – Printable Recipe
4.9 from 8 reviews
Beef and Ale Stew
 
Author: April J Harris
Serves: Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons mild olive oil or butter
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 pound of chuck, braising or stewing steak, cut in cubes approximately 1 inch square
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and chopped in chunks about 1 inch thick
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) of your favourite ale
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • dried parsley for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C or 150°C for fan ovens).
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil or butter over medium heat in a large lidded casserole that will go from the stove to the oven (or use a large frying pan for the stove top part and then transfer the mixture to a casserole before putting it in the oven).
  3. Gently fry the onion in the oil or melted butter, stirring often. Sprinkle with a bit of salt to prevent it browning to quickly. You just want the onion to soften.
  4. Add the remaining oil or butter to the pan and when it has melted in, add the cubed pieces of meat. Brown the meat gently, turning it so that the red colour disappears on all sides.
  5. Lower the heat and sprinkle the meat and onions with the flour.
  6. Stir in the flour and cook for a moment or two.
  7. Stir in the ale, followed by ¾ cup of the beef stock. Reserve the remaining ¼ cup of beef stock.
  8. Cook for a moment or two.
  9. If you are using a frying pan transfer the mixture very carefully to an oven safe casserole now. Be careful not to burn yourself.
  10. Stir in the carrots, along with a good grinding of pepper.
  11. Tuck the bay leaf in under the liquid, cover the casserole and put it in the oven. Set the timer for half an hour.
  12. When the timer goes off, carefully remove the casserole from the oven.
  13. Remove the lid and stir. There should be a good amount of liquid in the pan at this point. If not, add some of the remaining stock.
  14. Cover the casserole and return it to the oven for an hour.
  15. Remove the casserole from the oven once again.
  16. Remove the bay leaf, being careful not to burn yourself.
  17. Take a spoonful of the gravy and place it in a little bowl to cool.
  18. Meanwhile, check the thickness of the gravy. If it has not thickened up, mix a tablespoon of cornflour (corn starch) with 1 tablespoon of water and then stir it into the casserole. If it is too thick (this is unlikely but it does happen sometimes), add the remaining stock.
  19. Taste the spoonful of gravy you set aside earlier, being careful as it still may be hot. Add salt and pepper to the casserole to taste.
  20. Cover the casserole and return it to the oven for about fifteen minutes or up to half an hour.
  21. Remove the casserole from the oven and allow it to rest with the lid on for 15 to 20 minutes.
  22. Serve the Beef and Ale Stew garnished with the parley.
3.3.3077
More Comfort Food Recipes

Beef Bourguignon The Easy Way

Short Ribs in a Sweet and Spicy Sauce

Family Favourite Chicken Recipes

Old Fashioned Vegetable and Barley Stew

SaveSave

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My Rhubarb and Ginger Drizzle Cake is the perfect tea time treat, Mother’s Day indulgence, or dinner party dessert. If you love the flavours of spring, you will love this cake!

Soaked with a sweet tart pink syrup and drizzled with pink glaze, my Rhubarb and Ginger Drizzle Cake is delicious on its own, but I also like to serve it with a spoonful of rhubarb compote and/or a scoop of ice cream. I often choose strawberry ice cream as it’s a matching pink and looks really pretty.

Whether you are looking for an easy but special loaf cake to make for friends, a cut and come again cake to keep under you favourite cake dome in the kitchen, or a cake that you can dress up for the most elegant dinner party, my Rhubarb and Ginger Cake is definitely it.

An Easy Cake You Can Make with A Wooden Spoon

A beautiful twist on a traditional Lemon Drizzle Cake, this cake is made with yogurt for a moist texture and tangy flavour. You simply sift together the dry ingredients in one bowl and blend together the sugar and wet ingredients in another. Then you add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in a couple of additions, mix and bake.

Homemade Rhubarb Compote and Syrup

You do need to cook some rhubarb to make the compote and syrup, but it really is very little effort for a great deal of reward. The syrup is created when you cook the rhubarb to make the compote, and it’s this syrup that makes the drizzle part of this Rhubarb and Ginger Drizzle Cake.

What If I Can’t Get Rhubarb Yogurt?

You can use Strawberry and Rhubarb Yogurt if you prefer, or vanilla yogurt if Rhubarb yogurts are not available. The rhubarb syrup will help bump up the flavour in the latter case, and if you can find rhubarb flavouring to use instead of vanilla that will help too.

Can I Use Frozen Rhubarb to Make the Compote and Syrup?

Definitely! Because the frozen rhubarb will give off more water, you may want to use a bit less orange juice when cooking it, but it should be fine.

What Can I Do With Leftover Rhubarb Compote?

Stir leftover rhubarb compote into yogurt or porridge or use it to top ice cream.

How Can I Serve Rhubarb and Ginger Drizzle Cake?

You can simply slice this cake and serve it all by itself. It will keep, covered at room temperature, for two or three days.

You can also serve Rhubarb and Ginger Cake with some of the rhubarb compote and drizzle with cream. However, I’m not a huge fan of cream so I like to serve the cake (with or without compote) with strawberry ice cream.

If you do have leftover cake after 3 days (something that rarely happens round here!), you can use it to make a wonderful trifle.

Whatever way you decide to serve this versatile treat, my Rhubarb and Ginger Drizzle Cake is a lovely taste of spring all year round!

Rhubarb and Ginger Drizzle Cake – Printable Recipe
Rhubarb and Ginger Drizzle Cake
 
Prep time
20 mins
Cook time
45 mins
Total time
1 hour 5 mins
 
Author: April J Harris
Recipe type: Cake
Cuisine: British
Serves: 1 loaf cake
Ingredients
  • For the cake:
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 cup rhubarb yogurt
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon rhubarb flavouring (or use vanilla if rhubarb is not available)
  • ½ cup mild olive oil
  • For the rhubarb compote/drizzle:
  • 500 grams rhubarb (just over a pound, about 6 large stalks), cut in small pieces
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • the zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 cup icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons rhubarb syrup
  • water as needed
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit (175 degrees Celcius or 170 degrees Celcius for fan ovens).
  2. Grease a 2 pound loaf pan well (approximate dimensions are 8 x 4 x 2 inches).
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and ginger into a medium bowl,. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, rhubarb flavouring or vanilla and the olive oil until well mixed.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three additions, whisking between additions. Whisk the batter until smooth and well combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare rhubarb compote.
  8. Put the cut up rhubarb, sugar, orange juice and zest into a saucepan.
  9. Bring to the boil, stirring frequently.
  10. Turn back the heat and simmer for about 8 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft but not falling to pieces, stirring occasionally.
  11. Remove from the heat and carefully pour into a pyrex bowl to cool a bit.
  12. Strain the compote so that you have the syrupy juices separate from the rhubarb. You will be using this syrup to drizzle over the cake.
  13. When the loaf cake has finished baking, remove the loaf pan from the oven to a heat safe surface.
  14. Carefully poke the top of the loaf cake with a skewer so that there are several small holes all through it.
  15. Drizzle about 10 tablespoons of the syrup over the cake. Leave the cake in the loaf pan to cool completely.
  16. Reserve the remaining syrup for the glaze.
  17. Store the cooled rhubarb compote in the fridge.
  18. When the cake has cooled completely, you can remove it from the loaf pan and glaze it.
  19. To make the glaze, stir 2 to 3 tablespoons of rhubarb syrup into the icing sugar, adding a bit of water if you need more liquid, until you get a drizzle-able glaze.
  20. Drizzle the glaze over the loaf cake and allow to set before cutting and serving.
3.4.3177
More Delicious Cake Recipes Perfect for Afternoon Tea

Auntie’s Old Fashioned Spice Cake

Chocolate Orange Marble Loaf Cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Gluten Free Mocha Cake

Blackberry Apple Cake

The post Rhubarb and Ginger Drizzle Cake appeared first on April J Harris.

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Crisp and crunchy outside, soft and fluffy inside, there’s nothing like really good roast potatoes. My easy hints and tips will make it easy for you to make the Best Roast Potatoes ever, for a meal that memories are made of!

For some reason, folks tend to save roast potatoes (or roasties as they are known at our house) for special occasions. They feature at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Sunday dinner but I’m on a mission to make them an everyday treat! They really are not complicated to make and they take a lot less time than you might think.

I first posted My Best Roast Potatoes Recipe nine years ago for Christmas 2010. During one of my website relaunches, the post was too old to be carried over and disappeared. Within a week I had three requests for its return! I brought the recipe back in 2015, and I’m bringing it forward again today!

My two ingredient recipe is easy, and means that roast potatoes don’t have to just be for special occasions anymore. You can even make them to jazz up leftovers!

The Best Roast Potatoes Made Easy

For crispy, crunchy roast potatoes that everyone will love:-

Use Mild Olive Oil

I know a lot of people recommend goose fat for roast potatoes. Goose fat is not suitable for vegetarians and I honestly find that mild olive oil is the absolute best way to get the crisp, crunchy outside and and soft, yielding inside my family crave when they ask for roast potatoes. It’s healthier, and I also find it’s kinder than animal fats on tummies prone to indigestion.

Mild olive oil’s high anti-oxidant content means it can be heated safely. Don’t use extra virgin olive oil as its flavour is too strong for roasties. You can use other vegetable oils, but they may not be as healthy or taste the same.

Start with good, fresh potatoes

Allow one large potato per person as a minimum. I generally make more as folks almost always ask for seconds.

Preheat the oven

If you haven’t already got a roast in there cooking, preheat the oven to 375°F, 190°C or 170° for a fan oven.

Prepare the potatoes carefully

Wash and peel your potatoes, cutting out any dark marks or eyes.

Cut the potatoes to create as many edges as possible

Cut each large potato into two or three pieces and cut smaller potatoes in half. Try to cut the potatoes on the diagonal so you get as many edges as possible. This gives maximum crunch.

Start with cold water

Put the cut pieces of potato in a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring the potatoes to the boil. As soon as the water is boiling, set a timer for exactly five minutes. Do not walk away or forget the potatoes. You need the potatoes to be just parboiled, not soft.

Preheat the oil

While you are waiting for the five minutes to be up, pour about 4 to 6 tablespoons of mild olive oil into a roasting pan or cookie sheet with sides. You want to just cover the bottom of the pan so you may need a little more or less oil. You do not want the potatoes swimming in oil nor do you want the fat to splash over the sides of the pan and burn you. Put the pan carefully in the oven to preheat. DO NOT let the oil heat to smoking point. You just want it hot, not smoking!

Drain the potatoes well

When the timer you set for five minutes goes off, carefully remove the saucepan from the heat and drain the potatoes well.

Gently Shake The Pan

Now put the lid back on the saucepan and gently shake the pan about a bit. Don’t shake too hard or you will end up with mush. You just want to rough up the edges of the potatoes a bit to help them cook to crisp perfection.

Safely First

Making sure you have a heat proof surface to sit it down on, remove the oil covered roasting pan or cookie sheet from the oven carefully. Hot fat is dangerous, wear long oven mitts and do be careful not to burn yourself. Keep the kids out of the kitchen when you are performing this manoeuvre! Gently move pick up each potato with tongs and sit them in the hot oil, turning them to cover the sides of the potato.

Carefully put the roasting pan or baking sheet with the potatoes on it back into the oven and set the timer for twenty minutes. When the timer goes off, carefully remove the pan from the oven once again, sit it somewhere safe and heat-proof, and turn the potatoes round a bit in the oil using tongs.

Roast the Potatoes Until Golden Brown with Crispy Edges and Serve Immediately

Return the potatoes to the oven for about fifteen more minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Serve hot straight away, alongside just about anything.

What About Seasoning the Potatoes?

I prefer to serve my roast potatoes plain and let people add salt or pepper at the table if they want to. Feel free to salt and pepper before serving if you prefer. You can also sprinkle them with paprika for a bit of spice or parsley for a bit of colour.

Best Roast Potatoes Recipe – Printable Version
My Best Roast Potatoes
 
Prep time
15 mins
Cook time
40 mins
Total time
55 mins
 
Author: April J Harris
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 4 large potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons mild olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C or 170°C for a fan oven).
  2. Put the potato pieces in a saucepan and cover them with cold water.
  3. With the lid on, bring the potatoes to the boil.
  4. As soon as the potatoes come to the boil, set the timer for 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, put the oil in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet with sides and heat in the oven.
  6. When the timer goes off, drain the potatoes well.
  7. Put the lid back on the saucepan and shake the potatoes gently to rough up the edges.
  8. Remove the roasting pan or baking sheet from the oven carefully (the oil will be very hot) and set it on a heat proof surface.
  9. Using tongs, transfer the potatoes to the roasting pan or baking sheet, turning them carefully in the oil.
  10. Cook the potatoes for 20 minutes before turning carefully using tongs.
  11. Cook for 15 minutes more or until lightly brown and crispy.
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What Do I Do With Leftover Roast Potatoes?

Leftover Roast Potatoes can be stored in the fridge. Heat them up in a little oil in a frying pan and serve with a poached egg, or chop them up and incorpirate them in a hash recipe.

Is This Recipe Suitable for Vegetarians?

Yes, roast potatoes are suitable for vegetarians and vegans provided you use mild olive oil as recommended (or another vegetable oil).

Is this Recipe Gluten Free?

Yes, my Best Roast Potatoes are naturally gluten free.

Try my Best Roast Potatoes today for a treat the whole family will enjoy.
You don’t have to wait for a special occasion!

Other Delicious Side Dishes

Celery and Apricot Stuffing

Lighter Creamed Spinach

Mushroom Orzotto

Easy Provencal Vegetable Gratin

The post Best Roast Potatoes – Top Tips for the Ultimate Roasties appeared first on April J Harris.

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Gorgeously fragrant and richly flavoured with warming spices, this vintage recipe for my Auntie’s Spice Cake has been in my family for four generations.

Auntie Margaret’s Spice Cake – A Recipe with a History

My maternal Great Aunt, Margaret, whose spice cake recipe this is, was known simply as ‘Auntie’ by her two nieces and five great-nieces. She figured hugely in my mother’s reminiscences about her childhood, and my cousins often mention her fondly. Sadly she died before she met her sixth great-niece who, as you may have guessed by now, is me.

One of The Women Who Founded Our Family

I know Auntie only through the wonderful stories I have been told, and a few things left to me by my late Mom. The beautiful burgundy blown glass vase with she gave my mother for her 21st birthday sits on the table beside my bed. I wear the ruby and diamond ring she left my mother, and wonder what she felt like as she wore it. Did Auntie wear it every day, or just for special occasions as I do? I feel a special connection with Auntie when I regularly sit at her writing desk in our library, pen in hand.

My cousin Holly beside Auntie’s desk.

I wonder about the person who had such a profound effect on the women in my family, and I wish that I had had the chance to know her too.

One thing I do know about Auntie is that she was a very good cook. I have several of her handwritten recipes, and this Spice Cake is one of them.

A Real Old Fashioned Recipe

If you love a good spice cake, you will love Auntie Margaret’s Old Fashioned Spice Cake! There are a bit more details in the recipe, but it’s still really straight forward.

The mixing method is one developed before the days of electric mixers, the eggs whites whipped and then folded in at the end to help the cake rise. It sounds cumbersome, but actually it’s very easy, and it makes a spice cake that tastes better than any I have ever tasted. As I whip the egg whites in the electric mixer, I think of Auntie whisking them by hand in a kitchen back in the 1930’s and 40’s. I’m pretty sure she had strong arms!

The world may have changed, but Auntie’s delicious recipe for spice cake has stayed the same. It has been a part of our family for four generations, and I hope it will remain that way for many generations to come.

Auntie Margaret’s Spice Cake – Printable Recipe

5.0 from 8 reviews
Auntie Margaret’s Spice Cake
 
Prep time
20 mins
Cook time
30 mins
Total time
50 mins
 
Author: Margaret Piott
Recipe type: Cake
Cuisine: Canadian
Serves: Serves 6 to 8
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Grease and flour a deep 8 inch (20 cm) round pan or an 8 x 8 inch square pan. You can use a loose-bottomed pan if you prefer as it makes it easier to remove the cake after baking.
  3. Whisk the baking soda into the buttermilk or sour milk. Set aside.
  4. Sift the flour, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg into a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Set aside.
  6. Put the butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and beat together thoroughly.
  7. Stir in the egg yolks until well blended.
  8. Stir the buttermilk and soda mixture, along with the vanilla, into the egg yolk mixture. Blend thoroughly.
  9. Stir the flour and spice mixture into this batter, beating thoroughly.
  10. Fold the egg whites gently but thoroughly into the batter.
  11. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, levelling the top a bit with a knife.
  12. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  13. If you plan to remove the cake from the baking pan, cool in the pan for ten minutes before turning out and cooling on a wire rack. Otherwise just allow the cake to cool in the pan. (If I make the cake in a square pan I serve it cut in squares straight from the pan. If I use a round pan, I generally remove the cake and serve it from a serving plate.)
  14. When completely cool you can frost with your favourite buttercream or spiced icing. Browned butter icing is also very nice with this cake.
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  More Delicious Old Fashioned Recipes

Old Fashioned Banana Cake

Old Fashioned Applesauce Pecan Brownies

Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Muffins

The post Auntie’s Old Fashioned Spice Cake appeared first on April J Harris.

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Roast Vegetable Pasta Bake is so tasty the kids won’t notice it’s healthy! Whole wheat pasta & roast vegetables make this a pasta bake with a difference.

Almost everyone loves a good pasta bake, but sometimes they aren’t the healthiest option. Plain pasta and lots of grated cheese can make them a carbohydrate loaded option that fills you up, but doesn’t really nourish you.

Roast Vegetable Pasta Bake – A Healthier Option

Do you know most of us simply don’t eat enough fibre? Whole wheat pasta has much more fibre than plain pasta so it’s definitely the healthier choice. A serving of whole wheat pasta contains about 25 percent of your daily fibre requirement.

Using lots of roast vegetables means you can use less pasta, and as Parmesan cheese has a stronger flavour than most cheeses, you can use less of it too.

Can I Make This Recipe Gluten Free?

Yes! Simply use gluten free pasta to make your Roast Vegetable Pasta Bake. I like chickpea pasta because it has lots of protein and fibre, but no gluten.

Is This Recipe Vegetarian or Vegan?

If you use vegetarian Italian style cheese instead of Parmesan, the recipe is vegetarian. Omit the cheese, or use a vegan parmesan cheese, to make it vegan.

An Easy Meal For Any Night of The Week

Served alongside a simple salad, my Roast Vegetable Pasta Bake makes dinner easy. You can even make this a day ahead, cool, pop in the fridge and serve it the next day. Reheat until piping hot before serving.

Roast Vegetable Pasta Bake – Printable Recipe
Roast Vegetable Pasta Bake
 
Prep time
20 mins
Cook time
30 mins
Total time
50 mins
 
Author: April J Harris
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 3 to 4 bell peppers (assorted colours if possible), cut in bite size pieces for roasting
  • 2 large zucchini, chopped in small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cups plain tomato sauce or passata (sieved tomatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups whole wheat penne pasta (about 300 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
  • (or vegetarian Italian style cheese if making this recipe for strict vegetarians)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Put the peppers and zucchini on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
  3. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, turning once half way through.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan with a lid.
  5. Sauté the onion for a minute or two.
  6. Add the garlic and continue to cook.
  7. Pour in the tomato sauce or passata.
  8. Add the basil, oregano, salt and pepper.
  9. Pop on the lid and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Don't let it boil.
  10. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling, salted water according to package directions.
  11. Drain the pasta and stir in the cooked vegetables and enough tomato sauce so that the pasta is covered but that its not too runny.
  12. Transfer to a baking dish and top with the grated Parmesan.
  13. Bake the Roast Vegetable Pasta Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture is bubbly and the cheese begins to melt.
  14. Serve with a mixed salad.
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Other Delicious Pasta Dishes

Pasta alla Norma with a Twist

Vegetarian Lasagna Pasta Bake

Spinach Florentine Pasta Bake

SaveSave

The post Roast Vegetable Pasta Bake appeared first on April J Harris.

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My Easy Crab Pate is a versatile, go-to starter or appetizer, an easy lunch, the perfect canapé topper and a great entertaining all rounder.

To be fair, this recipe isn’t actually a paté, but it acts like one. You can serve it as a salad if you prefer – and when I do that I often add some of those lovely baby pasta shells cooked just to al dente along with a bit more mayonnaise. Or pile it on a piece of baguette, top with a nice slice of Swiss cheese and broil it until bubbly for amazing crab melts. Seriously there isn’t much you can’t do with my Easy Crab Paté from a culinary point of view.

 

Crab Pate Canapés

For canapés, just put small spoonfuls of this lovely paté on slices of cucumber or crackers. You can top them with a sprig or parsley or a thin slice of olive if you like. Or use my Easy Crab Paté to fill those ready prepared canapé shells you can buy in your local delicatessen. It also works really well in patty shells. The possibilities are pretty much endless.

Do you love crab as much as I do? Don’t miss all my tasty crab recipes! And if you are a fan of other seafood, I’ve got lots of easy seafood recipes for you to try too.

An Old Family Recipe

I’ve based this on my late mom’s recipe for a seafood pasta salad. It always tasted amazing and I figured her seasonings would work well with crab too. I was right! It always makes me happy to be able to use one of mom’s recipes. I just wish I could tell her about it!

Easy Crab Pate Hints and Tips

Our local grocery store stocks packages of ready prepared crabmeat year round so I always keep them on hand in the refrigerator. If you are not as lucky as I am, a good fish seller (or fishmonger as we call them here in the UK) can always prepare some fresh crab meat for you. You can also use the crab meat you can buy in cans – just be sure it is all white meat. It isn’t quite the same as fresh but it is a tasty, frugal alternative.

Easy Crab Pate – Printable Recipe

5.0 from 3 reviews
Easy Crab Pate
 
Prep time
15 mins
Total time
15 mins
 
Author: April J Harris
Recipe type: Seafood
Cuisine: North American
Serves: 1 cup paté
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup white crabmeat, drained if from a can
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • generous squeeze of lemon
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons mayonnaise (I use Hellman's Extra Light)
  • parsley, paprika or any other garnishes you like
Instructions
  1. Put the crabmeat, celery and red pepper in a bowl.
  2. Add the Dijon mustard, lemon, a good pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper.
  3. Stir lightly together.
  4. Add the mayonnaise, a bit at a time, just until the mixture clings together nicely.
  5. Taste for seasoning.
  6. Serve as desired as a paté, in canapés, salads and sandwiches garnished with a bit of parsley or paprika if liked.
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You can make my Easy Crab Paté a few hours ahead of time and assemble your dish or canapés at the last minute, making entertaining (almost) stress free. However you choose to serve my Easy Crab Pate, you’ll be delighted by the compliments you receive! More Delicious Seafood Recipes

Cod with Mushroom and Spinach Sauce

Easy Crab Linguini

Quick and Easy Crab Melts

Easiest Ever Shrimp Primavera

The post Easy Crab Pate Recipe appeared first on April J Harris.

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This deliciously easy vegetarian quiche recipe is a family favourite. It’s easy to make and delicious to eat!

Are You Trying To Eat Less Meat?

I’m making more and more meatless dishes these days. Did you know that aside from being good for your health and our planet, eating meat free is also good for your budget?

There are so many other sources of protein that give better value for money than meat and fish. It may surprise you to learn that many ordinary green veggies like spinach, green beans, kale, broccoli and even peas contain protein, and did you know that a medium baked potato contains three grams of the stuff as well? Quinoa, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lentils, kidney and black beans and tofu are also great frugal sources of protein – as are the start ingredient in this recipe, eggs!

In addition, eggs are a fantastic source of Vitamins D, A, B2 and potassium. It’s important to use organic, free range or pastured eggs as they are more nutritious and the chickens who lay them have better lives.

Easy Vegetarian Quiche

This recipe is really very flexible, and is great for using up the last of the veggies in the fridge. Onions, leeks, any colour of pepper, courgettes (zucchini), leftover cooked broccoli or even roast eggplant all work well in this dish.

What Kind of Cheese Works Best in Easy Vegetarian Quiche?

You can use any kind of cheese you like, although I tend to avoid stringy cheese like mozzarella.

Did you know that if you are following a strictly vegetarian diet you need to be sure that your cheese is vegetarian too? Some cheeses are made using rennet, the source of which is slaughtered calves. There are many vegetarian cheeses, made using rennet from vegetarian sources, available on the market now. If you are catering for vegetarians, and not just those who are trying to eat less meat, be sure to check you are using vegetarian cheese.

What Pastry Should I Use?

I often use a vegetarian ready rolled pastry sheet to make this quiche simply because it is fast and easy. I like to use homemade pastry when time allows.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Easy Vegetarian Quiche alongside a salad my easy vegetarian quiche for a wonderful light lunch or supper. Tasty hot or cold, it is also great for picnics, buffets and lunch boxes. You can even cut the quiche in smaller pieces to serve as little canapés.

What About Leftovers

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a day or so and enjoyed hot or cold.

Easy Vegetarian Quiche – Printable Recipe
5.0 from 7 reviews
Easy Vegetarian Quiche Recipe
 
Prep time
20 mins
Cook time
25 mins
Total time
45 mins
 
Author: April J Harris
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Serves: Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients
  • One ready rolled pastry sheet OR
  • enough homemade pastry for a single crust pie
  • 1 tablespoon mild olive oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped in small pieces
  • 1 courgette (zucchini), cut in thin half moons (if the courgette is large cut the half moons in half again to make quarters)
  • 4 large organic or free range (pastured) eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • generous pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ cup vegetarian cheese (cheddar or Monterey Jack work well)
Instructions
  1. You need a 12 x 8 inch (30 x 20 cm) rectangular tart pan or one that is 9 inches (23 cm) round.
  2. Remove the ready rolled pastry from the fridge according to package directions or make and roll out homemade shortcrust pastry for your pan.
  3. Place the pastry in the pie or tart pan.
  4. Trim the edges and prick the bottom of the pastry several times with a fork. Set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C or 170°C for a fan oven).
  6. Place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat too.
  7. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
  8. Sauté the onions for two to three minutes, until they begin to soften a little.
  9. Add the chopped red peppers and courgettes (zucchini) and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until the vegetables are beginning to pick up a bit of colour. Remove from the heat.
  10. In a medium bowl or pitcher, beat together the eggs and milk.
  11. Beat the salt, pepper, basil and oregano into the eggs.
  12. Stir the cheese into the egg mixture.
  13. Spread the vegetables evenly over the bottom of the pie crust.
  14. Pour the egg and cheese mixture carefully over top of the vegetables.
  15. Place the quiche on the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the filling is set and beginning to turn golden.
  16. Serve warm if possible but the quiche may be eaten cold as well.
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More Delicious Vegetarian Recipes

If you enjoyed this post you may also like

Easy Vegetarian Lasagna Casserole

Vegan Pad Thai

Parsnip Topped Vegetable Pies

Easy Vegetable and Cashew Stir Fry

The post Easy Vegetarian Quiche Recipe appeared first on April J Harris.

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