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Holiday Cheese Spread





The Holiday season is upon us and I wanted to take the opportunity today to show you a delicious cheese spread that will come in really handy over the coming weeks.  It is easy and quick to make and everyone just loves it!  Its also great for game time if you are a game time kind of a person!  Actually its good for any type of get-together!
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Toad in The Hole



I think Toad in the Hole has to be one of Todd's favourite meals.   Just in case you are wondering what Toad in the hole is . . .  it is a traditional British dish consisting of sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter, usually served with onion gravy and vegetables.  You can dress it by adding herbs to the batter or onions, etc.  but basically it is just sausages and a pudding batter baked together. Simple.

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Grilled Mac, Cheese and Pancetta Sandwich




I made a nice Macaroni and Cheese for supper one night at the weekend and had a bit extra mac and cheese that didn't fit into the casserole dish.    I hate waste and so I decided to do what any who loves to cook, loves to eat and hates waste would do.  I created something tasty with it.  Don't shoot me because once you see this, your life will never be the same again. 💕  Sorry about that!

Meet the Grilled Mac, Cheese and Pancetta Sandwich.    I know . . . I can't help it, the wheels in my culinary head are always turning.


I can't claim to have invented this . . . but it's new to me.  If you've already done this, I haven't stolen your recipe.  We are just great minds that think alike!  (What a fab idea to think that the world is filled with great minds thinking alike!)  They say there is nothing new under the sun, only new ways of doing things.   I expect that is true.



This is so tasty   . . . yes . . .  more than  tad bit hedonistic to be sure.  But once in a blue moon a gal just has to do what a gal has to do . . . and as you know by now I like to push the envelope a tad bit now and then.

Each bite brings the taste of buttery toasted bread |(Garlicky if  you have used garlic mayo instead of butter), salty crisp pancetta and creamy peppery macaroni and cheese!  WOWSA!  This was FABULOUS!

I was too afraid to eat the whole thing.  My arteries were constricting just thinking about it so I tortured the Toddster with half of it.  He seemed to enjoy it as well.   Now I am pondering what else I can do to this to take it even further over the top. Any ideas???  (I think some rocket/arugula would be a nice addition.  Next time!!)



*Grilled Pancetta, Mac & Cheese Sarnies*
Makes one

My instructions and amounts are for one sandwich, but can easily be upped to more.  I used my homemade macaroni and cheese for this, before it was baked in the oven.  I just removed about a cup of it and then put the rest into the casserole dish to bake a bit later on.  

2 slices good white bread 4 slices of pancetta, cooked until crisp softened butter or garlic mayo about 1 cup of prepared good macaroni and cheese
a small handful of grated cheddar cheese Fresh ground black pepper

Butter the outsides of the bread with some softened butter or garlic mayonnaise.  Place the grated cheese on the un-buttered side of one slice of bread and spread the macaroni and cheese on the un-buttered side of the other slice.   Grind a goodly amount of black pepper on the macaroni and cheese.  Lay the slices of cooked pancetta on top of the cheese on the other slice.  Carefully press the two sides together, taking care that the plain buttered sides are on the outside.  Heat a small nonstick skillet.  Carefully add the sandwich and brown first on one side, then flip over and brown on the other side.   Wait a few minutes and then slice into halves or quarters and enjoy!  

Note:  If you really want to be hedonistic, you can brown them in the fat leftover from cooking the pancetta.  I'm not going to admit to this.  ;-)

You can find a really good Mac & Cheese recipe here. 

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Fluffer Nutter Brownies




When I first moved over here twelve years ago . . . there were some things that you just couldn't find. Things like Betty Crocker cake mixes, Marshmallow Fluff,  and Skippy Peanut Butter, amongst other things.  You never know what you will miss until you can't have it any more . . .

 

Over those years I have had to learn to adapt some of my favourite recipes to use other ingredients that are available over here . . . but there were still some things that you just couldn't adapt no way . . . no how.  I used to bring back oodles of stuff each time I went over to Canada to visit my family.  Todd used to do a lot of moaning about that . . . but I just reminded him of how he would feel if he couldn't get marmite anymore!

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Honeyed Apricot, Oat and Walnut Cookies


 

Some days you just want a cookie . . . or biscuit as they are called over here.  That inner child in you just crys out for something sweet . . . something which feels like a reward.
A tasty treat that is equally at home with a glass of cold milk . . . or with a cup of something hot, for dunking . . .

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Mulligatawny Soup



 I had some leftover roast chicken which needed using the other day and we were both in a soup kind of a mood and so I made us a delicious Mulligatawny Soup for our dinner.  I have waited to show it to you because I knew a lot of you would have leftover turkey to use up after the recent holiday and I thought this was the type of recipe that would come in really handy after you have gorged on sandwiches and such. 
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Sausage with Autumn Mash






The people at debbie & andrews recently sent me a package of their new Buttered Onion & Mustard sausaged to try and so I created a delicious supper dish with them that celebrates not only the flavour of these delicious sausages but also lovely autumn flavours. 

 

There is a delicious mustardy apple sauce to serve with these meaty sausages and a butternut and sweet potato mash.  Altogether quite fabulously delicious! 

 

My Todd is a real sausage and mash man.   I love mash too, but I like to shake things up every now and again. This is a really healthy version of mash.  I love butternut squash and I love sweet potatoes. The two together are bliss and go so well with sausages. 

 

 Especially with these lovely sausages which are created with Sauteed buttered onions, mild wholegrain mustard and a splash of blossom honey.  Rugged, rustic and gluten free.  Sausages produced the old fashioned way using British meat from Red Tractor approved farms.  The perfect autumn banger!   We loved them.  (No surprise there as we love all of the debbies & andrews Sausages!)

  


*Sausage with Autumn Mash*
 Serves 4.
Printable Recipe


A simple and delicious weeknight supper that your family will love. 

8 good quality pork sausages
(I used debbie & andrews Buttered Onion and Mustard)
2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
(I like to use Granny Smith because they hold their shape well and have a lovely tartness
2 TBS whole grain Dijon mustard
2 TBS runny honey
a good splash of cloudy apple juice
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  Put the sausages onto a baking tray along with the apple wedges.

Whisk together the mustard, honey and apple juice.  Pour over the sausages and apples, tossing to coat all over.

Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, shaking stirring now and then to prevent sticking.

While the sausages are baking place the squash and sweet potatoes into a lightly salted pan of boiling water to cover.  Bring back to the boil, then cover and simmerto 15 minutes until tender.  Drain well and return the vegetables to the hot pan.  I then placed the pan back over low heat and mashed them until they dried out a bit.  I stirred in a knob of butter and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. 

Serve a generous scoop of mash piled with two sausages, some apples and some of the sticky pan juices to each lucky person.



Sausages are such a versatile meat and they don't need to be only eaten for Breakfast. With the wide variety of flavours that debbie & andrews offers, you can use sausaged to put extra meatiness into a wide variety of meals..  Sausages are always easy to cook and you can trust debbie & andrew's sausages to be delicious and add a special touch to any dish whether it is a potato bake, meaty pasta dish or simple sausage sarnie.  For those who prefer their meat free range, debbie & andrew's make a selection of great regional sausage recipes based on meat from pigs that live safely outdoors.  For more information of debbie & andrew's latest products, new ranges, charity projects, micro sponsorship schemes, recipes, and products just visit www.debbieandandrews.co.uk or Facebook www.facebook.com/debbieandandrews or Twitter @d_a_sausages. 

debbie & andrew's sausages are available through Amazon Fresh, Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury's and Tesco, priced between £2.00 and £3.50 dependent on retailer and promotions.

Bon Appetit!  🐖 👌

 Note - I was sent a pack of sausages free of charge but not required to write a positive review. (Many thanks to debbie & andrew's!) Any opinions are my own. I quite simply like these sausages and they are always my sausage of choice.  I use them all the time.  My favourites are the Harrogate 97% and the Cumberland.  These were lovely too.
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Curried Harvest Bisque




If you are looking for a first course this holiday season that is not only simple and quick to make but delicious as well you need look no further.  Curried Harvest Bisque is a fabulously tasty soup!  Simple ingredients . . .  butternut squash, chicken stock, butter, flour and single cream with a few bits and bobs combine beautifully to create a wonderful soup with not a lot of fuss involved.

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Pulled Beef Tacos




I should actually call these Sunday Tacos.  The delicious beef filling is made in the slow cooker and on Sundays the slow cooker is my best friend!   💕
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Vanilla Breakfast Cornbread



I adapted this recipe I am showing you today from a book I have had for a very long time entitled Bread for Breakfast, by Beth Hensperger.  It is one of my favourite books when it comes to picking out special bakes for breakfast for when you have the whole family around, the holidays or just when you want to have something a little bit special and different for breakfast or brunch.  Breads like this delicious Vanilla Breakfast Cornbread!

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Spiced Pumpkin Fritters with a Vanilla Sauce


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 I got really lucky this year.  Aldi (which is one of the cheaper grocery stores) had tinned pumpkin on special a month or so back.  I was so excited.  It can sometimes be a really difficult ingredient to find on the cheap over here in the UK.  Normally you pay over the odds for it, if you can find it.  (I have had success in Waitrose and Sainsbury's and of course there is Skyco as well.)

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Favourite Things



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I recently burnt my hand quite badly when I accidentally brushed it against a hot oven rack as I was removing a casserole from the oven.  It didn't half smart and it only touched the metal for a second, but here I am two weeks later with a nasty scab and it still hurts.  I thought it was time for some new oven gloves.



 I have been looking at silicone oven gloves for quite a while now, but have been resisting buying them, partly because they look somewhat bulky and partly because they cost a lot more than normal oven glove.   I was at a garden centre the other day and these caught my eye.  I had some Birthday money I had been saving to buy myself something and I found myself going back to these again and again.  Maybe it was the catchy colour  . . . maybe it was the nice kitschy print of the fabric and the silicone.  I tried the on several times, and kept walking away . . . I wasn't sure I could justify spending that kind of money on oven gloves.  The mitt one was £11.99 and the pinch one was £7.99 . . .  in other words almost all of my £20 bar tuppence.




Finally after walking back to them for about the sixth time, I caved and put them into my shopping basket and crossed my fingers hoping that I had not wasted my money on something I wouldn't use.  I LOVE THEM!  Seriously I love them.  The glove does not feel awkward at all on my hand.  The pinch one is perfect for small jobs and they both work together very well in tandem.



They have a nice thick lining and according to the label you can clean them in the dishwasher.  Not sure about that, but I have found that if you do get them dirty, you can just rinse them off and they look brand new again.  I am really pleased about that.  Coz I am always dipping my oven gloves into things they shouldn't be dipped in.  They keep my hands nice and cool.  They are not too long and not too short and they feel nice and not bulky like I thought they might.

In short, I approve.



I got mine at the Gordale Garden Centre gift shop, but I suspect you can get them just about anywhere.  They are by a company called Zeal, and come in a whole host of colours and patterns.

Note - I was not sent these for free and am not being paid to promote them.  I quite simply like them and thought that you might too.  ☺
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Stuffing Stuffed Onions


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I am really excited because I am going to be cooking Thanksgiving Dinner this year as a kick off to my holiday season and I have invited a few people over to share it with us. So I have spent a few days test driving a few recipes in anticipation of the holiday meal!

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Chicken Filets with Lemon and Capers


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Capers are an ingredient that I always, always have either in my larder or in the refrigerator.   I just adore their tangy flavour and the flavour boost they give to dishes that they are used in!  I had never ever heard of them prior to moving over here to the UK. 

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Cinnamon Roll Scones


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Are you like me when it comes to anything cinnamon?  If it has cinnamon in its title I am immediately salivating.   Cinnamon Cookies, Cinnamon Rolls, Cinnamon  . . . well, anything . . .  I am on it!

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Spiced Baked Chicken Quarters


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We love chicken in this house and it is a meat which I serve often as it is not only affordable but something which readily adapts itself to different flavours and cooking methods.

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I Love Soup



There is nothing I love better than a nice hot bowl of soup on a cold day and with cold weather season upon us I was thrilled to be able to try out this new cookerybook by Beverly LeBlanc entitled I  ♥ Soup.   Hooray for soup! 


With more than 100 tried and tested recipes, specifically developed to help you get the best out of this fantastically versatile meal, you are sure to find the perfect soup for every meal.   This book is th next in the I Love series from Nourish books, following on after the success of I love My Slow Cooker by the same author, which has sold more than 50,000 copies globally. 


The recipes in I Love Soup range from quick and budges friendly soups to more innomvation and exotic recipes that take inspiration from all over the world, including Asia, the Middle East, North and South America and Europe.  With everything from delicious Poultry soups  (Who doesn't love chicken noodle?) 


Meat and Game Soups.   Beef and Vegetable anyone?   How about some meaty Borsch? 


Fish and shellfish . . . with tasty delights taken  from the sea with broths and chowders, etc. 



Vegetables and Grains bring us tasty offerings for anything from a delicious Broccoli and Parsley to the exotic Egyptian Aubergine and Tomato Soup  (Oh boy sounds delicious!) 


Chilled soups that are great summer coolers, like Gazpacho and White Garlic and Almond Soup . . .  great for entertaining! 

This book gives you everything you need to create bowls of delicious goodness in your own kitchen, no matter the mood, season or occasion.  

It is a virtual tureen-full of international flavours with tried and tested recipes.  Enjoy a delicious chowder from North America, a lentil based soup from India, Middle Eastern tagine-inspired soups, Scottish broths, Eastern European Borschs, Japanese miso soups, Italian bean and pasta soups, and beautiful French classics, such as onion soup and bouillabaisse. There really is a soup for everyone to enjoy! 

The aroma of home-made soup simmering on the hob is one of life's great comforts.  If you are longing for a warming recipe for the cold and rainy days of winter, you can try the thick and creamy Ham and Chicory Soup.  If you're holding a sun-soaked sumer lunch outdoors, why not try the fresh flavours of a chilled Jewelled Cucumber and Walnut Soup.  Whatever the weather you will find plenty of tempting and satisfying recipes! 

No matter the size of your appetite, no matter the occasion, you are sure to find just the right soup in this mouth watering collection of recpes, as well as countless inspiring ideas for the perfect accompaniment.  Novice or experiences cook, you will find it easy to master the art of soup-making with this one-stop guide!  

I just love it!  The recipes all sound deliciously do-able and the photos are brilliant.  This would make a great Christmas gift for the foodie in the family!

I Love Soup, by Beverly LeBlanc
  • Paperback: 176 pages,  £12.99
  • Publisher: Nourish (15 Sept. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848997647
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848997646


About the author:  Beverly LeBlanc is the author of 12 cookery books and was the Food Editor of Reader's Digest.  She regularly contributed recipes to a number of publications, including the Sunday Telegraph and Bella.

Many thanks to Nourish Books for sending me a copy of review.  Although I was sent the book free of charge, I was not required to write a positive review.
 


 
 
 


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Pear and Apple Cake


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This is a lovely cake that I always used to make using just apples.   They almost melt into the cake, making it beautifully moist.   The other day I had some pears that I wanted to use as well, and so I used half pears and half apples with the most delightful results!!   

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Cherry & Almond Scones


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Brrrr . . .  we have been having a real cold snap of weather this past week and they are saying now we are in for the coldest Winter we have had in a while.

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The Cookie Jar




I am really pleased to be able to show you my newest Cookbooklet entitled The Cookie Jar.  Just in time for the holidays!  Fifty Four pages of my favourite Cookie recipes, for every day and for the holidays, along with my hints and tips for baking the best cookies ever.

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 There are photos of almost every cookie as well as watercolour illustrations.   I am really proud of this and I think it is a booklet you will all enjoy!

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Over thirty of my favourite cookie recipes including such every day favourites as Chocolate Fudgie Wudgies, and Apple Walnut Drops, Speculaas and Nutmeg Logs for the Holidays and a whole lot more.

For a limited time I am offering this newest cookbooket  at the same old price of £5 but am including the chance for you to also pick another one of my cookbookets, any title, completely free of charge, so you are really getting two for the price of one.   You can choose from all of my other titles which include:

A Very Royal Tea Party
The Great British Picnic
Christmas in the English Kitchen
Spring Into Summer
Cooking At the Manor
Cooking for Comfort
Just Desserts
Recipes to Keep
A Thanksgiving Primer
When Life Hands You Lemons

This is a real steal.  Just put the title of the extra cookbooklet you want in the notes to the seller part of the order form.   It will arrive via e-mail in PDF form, which you can either read or print out in it's entirety.  Fifty Four delightful pages in full colour.  Please note that you will need Adobe Reader enabled on your computer in order to read.   The cookbooklet will be delivered via e-mail within 24 hours of your ordering it.  Cost  £5.00 (Approximately $7)  (I haven't figured out how to do instant delivery yet, but am working on it.  In the meantime a little bit of patience is required.)  Many thanks and happy baking!  Do be sure to check out all of my other titles beneath my header in the Cookbooklets Tab!








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Fudgy Vanilla Tray Bake


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Have you ever craved something which you know is sooooo naughty that you really shouldn't have it in the house . . . but before you know it, you are in the kitchen banging on the pots and pans and baking it???

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"House" Baked Apples


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There is nothing my dear husband likes better than a tasty apple dessert.  His favourite is apple pie, but well . . .  you don't always have the time to bake a pie do you?

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MASTER THE ART OF ENTERTAINING WITH DENBY AND JOHN LEWIS



- Tear up the dinner party rulebook at one of Denby’s interactive workshops, featuring top food and design specialists - 


Home and dining experts Denby Pottery and John Lewis have teamed up to launch a series of in-store workshops designed to shake up traditional dinner party etiquette and inspire guests to master the art of entertaining at home.

Recent research from Denby reveals that whilst we are a nation of entertainers, with 87% of Brits enjoying hosting friends and family over a bite to eat, the traditional dinner party set-up has fallen out of favour - only 1/3 of Brits (34%) lay a formal table setting and 3/4 (75%) admit to not serving three-courses.

With the help of food and design specialists, iconic pottery brand Denby has devised a series of interactive masterclasses offering inspirational advice and tips on modern entertaining.

Cheat’s Puddings with dessert master Aimee Twigger: Think you don’t have time to make pudding? Aimee will reveal simple yet mouth watering home made desserts that can be made in just ten minutes 

 Canapés for all eaters with supper club queen Anna Barnett: Enjoy a canapé crash course to suit all diner’s diets, plus ask Anna ’s advice on entertaining at home ·

Food Fit for Instagram with food stylists The Meringue Girls: Master the art of food styling with Alex and Stacy, who will share tips how to dress the plate to ensure food looks as good as it tastes ·

A Brief History of the Dinner Party with historian Dr Annie Gray – Annie will reveal how the nation's love of entertaining has evolved with the death of traditional party etiquette and why modern diners are ripping up the rule book ·

Set a Stylish Table with Denby designer Richard Eaton – Richard will share neat table laying hacks, demonstrating how to mix and match tableware to create stylish settings

What: Master The Art of Entertaining with Denby and John Lewis - a series of interactive workshops

 Where: Head to the ground floor demo kitchen at Peter Jones - Sloane Square branch of John Lewis, London SW1W 8EL

 When: Monday 14th November, 5-7pm Sign-up: Reserve your free place by visiting  http://www.denbyjohnlewis.eventbrite.co.uk/


For more information on The Art of Entertaining with Denby, including inspirational tips, recipes and stylish tableware inspiration, visit www.denby.co.uk and @DenbyUKPottery across


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Granny's Beef Enchiladas


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One of my children's favourite meals when they were growing up was enchiladas.   It was not something we had very often, but a rare Tex Mex treat.   I always made Turkey ones after Thanksgiving and Christmas and occasionally I would make these delicious beef ones.   They loved them both.

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Creamy Baked Fillets of Cod




I think one of our favourite types of fish to eat is Cod. It's got a really mild flavour and almost a sweet flesh. Sustainability is important though, when it comes to choosing fish nowadays, and the cod fisheries have just about fished themselves out by overfishing, which is really sad . . .

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Sprouts and Bacon Gratin



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Brussels Sprouts are not something I ever remember eating when I was growing up.  They just were not a vegetable that was readily available back then I guess. We basically only had peas and carrots and green beans and sometimes corn.  I can remember discovering sprouts as an adult and falling completely and totally in love with them, and with cauliflower and broccoli too.  I am a real brassica lover!


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Little Minions Vegetable Soup




I really had planned to post about this last week, but stuff got in the way so I am hoping you will forgive me for posting this a bit late.   This delicious soup was meant for Bonfire Night, but alas, best laid plans and all that.  Nevermind, it is a delicious soup any time of year and a great way to get your kiddos to eat some of their five a day!  I was inspired to create this tasty soup as soon as I saw the contents of the October Degustabox!  Oh how I wish I had some children around to spoil with this.  No such luck so Todd will have to do!  He, too, loves a good soup.  More about the soup in a little bit . . . first about the box.


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Baked Chops with a Bread Dressing




I had some lovely old fashioned bone in chops I wanted to use the other day and so I decided to cook a real treat up for my  husband.  He really does love eating a good pork chop.

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