Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Copycat Red Lobster Biscuits!

I have found them. The best copycat Red Lobster biscuits. And they are amazing.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with this restaurant and their famous complimentary biscuits they give you upon your arrival, they are the best. Red Lobster is an American seafood casual dining chain and whilst they do pretty standard meals, the best thing they do by far is their 'Cheddar Bay Biscuits'.

I could never quite decide what was better: the biscuits from Red Lobster or the breadsticks from Olive Garden. Both are ridiculously addictive. You could easily fill up on these bread baskets before you even get your meal. I think it's possible though, that the cheddar bay biscuits from Red Lobster just slightly beat out the garlic breadsticks from Olive Garden...

They are cheesy, and garlicky, and salty and just so soft and light in the middle once you bite into them. They are so moreish, it's crazy.

And I have found the perfect copycat recipe. Seriously, these taste exactly like the ones you get in Red Lobster. And they're so easy to make! They only take 10-12 minutes to bake in the oven so they are done in no time.

They are the perfect accompaniment or starter for any meal but seeing as we're in July and it's getting hotter, a perfect meal to have them with would be a nice salad.

I made my biscuits alongside a salmon caesar salad. Just some little gem lettuce chopped up with some cucumber, croutons, parmesan shavings and caesar salad dressing and a salmon fillet on top, which I baked in the oven from frozen for 20 minutes and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper.

It was a great meal. I always buy my salmon frozen because you can get a bag of about 5 good-sized salmon fillets for £3 in Morrisons or Lidl which is so much cheaper than buying it in the fish section, and it's still really good quality! And don't worry, those white bits that come out on salmon when you cook them isn't fat, it's just protein and it's perfectly okay to eat. 

Let me know what you think of these biscuits and if you think they live up to the ones in Red Lobster!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Rainbow Cake!

I did it. I made a rainbow cake.

All those posts and pictures on Instagram and Buzzfeed and Facebook about rainbow cakes and I never thought I'd actually have the time or patience or skill to make one but I finally did it! And it was beautiful :)

My flatmate requested it for her birthday and it turned out great! It's not easy though! I don't mean that in terms of the skill that it takes cause it's not actually that technically difficult to make, but boy does it take a while. And it is quite the workout!

The recipe I used makes a very dense batter. After a while, it hurts your arms to keep on mixing but you just have to keep going cause you have to make the batter 3 times and then split it into 2 each time to get your 6 different coloured layers. Phew!

Because the batter was so dense, it was really frustrating to work with as well. Trying to scrap it into the cake tins and level it out was hard work. You had to use your fingers and spatula to try and get it to the edges of the tin so it was really messy and the baking parchment was sliding around and after doing that 6 times you kind of just want to give up and cry. My kitchen is tiny as well so I kept on having to move between the counter tops and the floor to give myself enough space to make the micture and then put it into the tins and spread it out so my back was killing by the end of it!

Don't be put off by my moaning through! This cake is definitely worth all the effort in the end. Once it's all assembled and iced and you cut into it, it's so impressive. And you can't help but feel proud of yourself. Like, wow! I made that! Go me!

I did have a bit of trouble with the icing though. [I always do]. I didn't have as much icing sugar as I thought I did so I didn't end up with the amount of icing that is needed to fill and cover the whole cake. It left it with a 'naked' look where it isn't all properly covered. I'm just going to say I was going with the whole 'naked cake' trend though. Two cake trends in one! However, I normally hate icing because it's too sweet for me but I looooved this one. It was made with cream cheese instead of butter so it tasted like cheesecake which is my favourite type of cake. Saying that, I did add some butter in because the comments on the recipe said that the icing doesn't work without some butter in it. 

Have a go at making this cake and let me know how it goes! It's a great crowd pleaser and not only does it look amazing, but it's so tasty too!

FYI, a lot of green food colouring is needed to get the green colour. I put in almost half the bottle cause everytime I mixed it in it was barely noticeable. Maybe that was just the food colouring I bought though.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Baked Chicken Chimichangas!

I have found my new favourite quick and easy go-to-meal. Baked chicken chimichangas!

They're so easy to make - you just mix everything up in a bowl and then dump it onto a wrap, fold it up, pop it in the oven for 20 minutes and voila! And they're so quick too! You'll have dinner on the table in half an hour.

I cooked two chicken breasts in the oven after covering them in some fajita spices but to make this dish even easier, you could just buy a rotisserie chicken so it's already cooked and then just shred it. 

I also added a packet of Uncle Ben's Mexican Rice to the mixture but you could use that as a side if you wanted.

Not that you need a side. The first time I made these, I made 3 each for Ashleigh and I and we were so full we couldn't eat our third ones. I learnt from my mistake and when I made it for my sister and brother-in-law I made 2 each but even that was ridiculously filling. Seriously, 2 of these will definitely fill you up. 

They puff up and come out so crispy - they're just delicious. Be careful though! The inside is so hot. Sooo hot. For quite a while. So you might want to break them open and leave them for a bit before you dive into them.

Let me know what you think! This could be your new go-to mid-week meal!

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Affairs Today - Help us increase our Facebook likes!

For anybody who reads my blog and doesn't know, I am a writer [and recent Senior Contributor] for Affairs Today, a student-led global media outlet.

I know this is a plug, but... I'm going to do it anyway! We need more Facebook likes so we can grow our reader base and grow into a bigger and more successful business!

Here's a bit about the company taken straight from the Facebook page:

"Affairs Today is an independent global student media outlet, with the prime aim of bringing a fresh point of view to current affairs. By offering daily articles, editorials and interviews we give our readers the opportunity to see beyond the trending headlines of today. Affairs Today prides itself on offering unbaised news and high quality opinion articles. We are not affiliated with any particular political agenda, political party, or national interest, making us a unique source for news and lifestyle articles."

That's what AT is all about! 

It would really help if you could give us a like on Facebook so we can increase our reader base and you can get some more news/opinion/lifestyle/tech pieces on your feeds from students around the world. It's a worthwhile endeavour!

So give us a like! Pretty please.

Thanks! :)

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Ham and Potato Soup!

I know my New Years resolution was to blog more and to use my camera to take better pictures but... this is why I don't make New Years resolution! I never keep them. 

Its been almost a month since I last posted and I know that's really bad but I've just been so busy! My Masters has been kicking my butt this semester and I've taken on a larger role at Affairs Today which is taking up a lot more time than I thought it would. 

Anyway, here's another food post [with another rubbish picture] that I saw on the Tasty channel on Facebook.

Looks a bit boring and plain but I promise that's just the rubbish camera on my phone. It was creamy and filling and salty and yummy. And it lasted for days. So much soup!

Could also easily thicken up the broth a little with some flour or cornflour, put it in a dish and put some puff pastry on top and make yourself a yummy pie. I might try that soon actually...

I also found out that Morrisons does little baked hams and that was an amazing discovery.

Let me know if you like this soup!

Monday, 16 January 2017

Lemon Chicken [Chinese Takeaway Style]!

Ever since I was little, my favourite thing to order from Chinese restaurants and takeaways was lemon chicken. I may have moved on more recently to aromatic duck but lemon chicken will always hold a special place in my heart and I really crave it from time to time. 

And yes, I know that lemon chicken is in no way a traditional Chinese dish. I don't think the majority of dishes you can get from Chinese restaurants/takeaways in the UK are actually eaten in China, but still. They are delicious. If not completely inauthentic. 

A while ago I was really craving lemon chicken and thought I'd give it a shot. It didn't turn out as well as I thought it would... but it was still delicious. The pictures from the recipe I used look amazing but I kind of messed up a bit...

The recipe calls for you to fry the chicken in batches so they all individually get really crisp but I couldn't be bothered to do that so I just dumped all the chicken into the pan at once. Bad idea. All the chicken clumped together so as I separated them, all the batter came off and they ended up pretty much batter-less. Which was unfortunate. 

I also realised that I probably shouldn't have used all the sauce that the recipe makes. I ended up pretty much drowning my chicken in it, when really it's just supposed to cover it slightly so it makes it sticky and gooey. Having the batter on the chicken probably would have helped with that problem.

But now I'll know for my next attempt! (1) Be more patient and take the time to cook the chicken in batches and (2) reserve some of the sauce for another time.

Learn from my mistakes guys and make this recipe the right way and you'll have delicious Chinese takeaway style lemon chicken!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Camembert Snowflake!

Before we get to this delicious little snack/starter...

... let me say a belated Merry Christmas! I hope you all had an amazing day and got thoroughly spoilt. I know I did!

Sorry for the late post but I'm just recently back at my flat and only now feel settled enough to sit down and write this.
Do you like my new Dr. Martens, by the way? I'm in love with them. They're a funky purple and gold Victorian wallpaper pattern [as my brother likes to call them]. They're so comfy as well! Pretty sure I've worn them everyday since getting back to the UK. 

But getting back to this camembert snowflake. I saw this recipe on Facebook, via the page 'Twisted', and showed it to my mum who loved it as much as I did. She asked me to make it for a starter for one of our many big family dinner's that we had in Ayr, and I happily obliged. 

My attempt looks a bit dodgy and not nearly as professional as the one in the recipe [this is it pre-baked by the way], but I do have an excuse for that! Other than it being quite tricky to twist the filled puff pastry, the pastry used in the recipe is circularly shaped whereas the puff pastry we had was rectangular. I could have cut it into a circle to begin with but it would have ended up being tiny which we didn't want, so I tried to work with the shape I had. It was quite pernickety and I ended up with different length 'snowflakes'. But it was definitely worth it. 

Puff pastry, crispy bacon bits, cranberry jam, melted camembert and rosemary. What's not to love! Clearly it was a hit as I couldn't get a picture before people started tearing into it. I actually made 3 because there were so many of us. But there wasn't much leftover...

Next time you're hosting a dinner party or having some friends over, give this recipe a try!