Category : Recipes

Cooking Tips for the on the go Lifestyle

Everyone I know is “on-the-go” these days which leads to a lot of fast food drive thru action to make sure that everyone gets something for dinner. Cooking is the last thing on busy people’s minds. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The family dinner table is not a thing of the past and you’ll find that you CAN cook good, tasty meals, without forfeiting a great deal of family time. All it takes is a little pre-planning and a desire to get yourself out of the fast food craziness that has become your life.

Plan Ahead:
Come up with a plan. I’m not much on meal planning but I do have several easy recipes in my arsenal that I make on a regular basis. When you have some recipes committed to memory, it all goes together much more quickly.

Stock it up:
Have a well stocked pantry, refrigerator and freezer. Every cook has a set of “staples”, ingredients used on a regular basis which they keep on hand at all times. These are individual to the cook making the meals so my list might not be your list. Think about what you make regularly and the ingredients that go into those meals. Make sure you always have them on hand. I can’t live without boxed chicken and beef stock, but not everyone may use those.

Clean it and Cut it:
This is the biggest time saver. Clean, cut and store properly the food that you’ve purchased at the store. A few minutes of prep work after the grocery shop will save you loads of time during the week. Don’t get stuck in the kitchen on a Tuesday night cutting carrots and onions while the family is screaming that they are starving to death! Have all that stuff done ahead of time. The grocery stores are now getting very helpful with the preparation of fresh food and offer many things pre-sliced, cut or cubed that will save you the time. You’ll pay a little more for the privilege of not having to slice it yourself, but it’s a great time saver. Don’t underestimate the power of a bag of pre-shredded lettuce!

Freezing Meat:
If you’ve purchased meat, store it in portions in the freezer. I cook for a family of 3 so when I freeze meats I make sure that each bag has enough meat in it to feed 3 people. Hamburger was always the bane of my existence. The store sells it to you in one huge lump. But don’t freeze it that way unless you intend to wait an exorbitant amount of time for it to thaw and plan to use the entire lump all at once. Once meat is frozen and thawed, it can’t be re-frozen unless it’s cooked. To prevent this problem, I’ve found that taking the hamburger, making patties out of it and freezing the patties makes life much easier. The burger patties thaw faster and, if a recipe calls for 1 lb of ground beef, then you know to pull out 4 patties to thaw for the recipe. The same freezing rule applies to all ground meats.

A whole chicken, quartered, will thaw and cook faster than a whole chicken. If you can live without the stuffing going into the bird, go for the quartered chicken or cut it up yourself. This small thing will save you loads of time. Make the stuffing in a pan or baking dish and you’ll have dinner in half the time.

Quick Mashed Potatoes:
We love mashed potatoes but who has the time to peel, slice, boil and mash to get them on a dinner plate fast? I know I don’t. The microwave is your friend when it comes to mashed potatoes. The only other tool you need is called a “potato ricer”. A potato ricer looks like a garlic press on steroids, and it will make mashed potatoes a very easy side dish. Microwave the potatoes just like you would if you were going to have “baked” potatoes. When they are cooked, slice them in half and put one , cut side down, at a time through the ricer. The potato will come through the ricer holes leaving the skin behind inside the ricer. In about 4 minutes, depending on how fast your microwave is, you’ll have the makings of mashed potatoes ready to go. Once all your potatoes have been put through the ricer you’re ready to add whatever other ingredients you would normally add as if you’d taken the time to peel, slice and boil your potatoes.

Now the fun starts:
So you’ve been grocery shopping and you’ve prepped all your buys. Now it’s time to think about what you’re going to be serving your family this week. Get out the freezer bags, “toss away” aluminum pans, foil and Sharpie marker. What meat is going to need marinating? Don’t be afraid to put the meat into a freezer bag, add the marinade and seal it up for freezing. The meat will marinate as it’s thawing and when you’re ready to cook, the meat will be ready to go. You’ve just saved yourself 20 minutes of “let marinate” time. Want to stuff that flank steak? Go ahead and stuff it! Place it in an aluminum pan, cover with foil, and label it with your marker. When you’re ready to make it, just thaw it out in the refrigerator for a day or two and it’s ready to go into the oven right in the container you froze it in. There’s no clean up because you can “toss” the pan the meal was made in. (The aluminum pans can be purchased at the dollar store for a lot less than the grocery store charges.)

When you go to your meat department, take a look at the raw, prepared items they have. Whatever they are selling, you can do ahead and freeze. The key to this is to make sure you pull the item out of your freezer at least a day in advance to thaw in the refrigerator. Once thawed, all you have to do is pop it in the oven, open a can or box of veggies and tear into that bag of pre-done lettuce and you’ll have a lovely meal that the family will enjoy without having to be a slave to your stove. A few hours of preparation one day will give you hours to enjoy with your family during the week.

Many areas now have “meal assembly” stores. These are a great idea if you really don’t cook or don’t have the time to prep your own food. Although a bit pricey compared to doing it yourself at home with food purchased from the grocery store, they are still far cheaper than going out to eat and, generally, you’ll get a protein and a starch in each meal. In about 1 hour you can prepare 8 meals. The store menus change monthly and meals generally feed 4 to 6 people.

Regardless of how crazy your lifestyle, you can cook at home in a short amount of time with just a little thinking ahead, smart shopping and putting in a little extra time after your shopping adventure. You’ll reap the benefits during the week!

1. Heart Healthy Cooking Tips – Go Red For Women
2. Bobby Flay's Healthy Lifestyle Tips – Food Network

Codfish Potato Casserole

Codfish Potato Casserole

This is simply a delicious casserole that contains both codfish and potatoes that give a great tasty combination of fresh flavor. This recipe will serve 4 people, but to make more just double the ingredients. This tasty fish casserole will serve great for lunch or dinner. It will surely please the family. It is delicious served with hot buttered rolls or a green salad. It is excellent for serving at pot luck dinners or buffet style parties. It is also a great dish to bake for holiday parties. It is a healthy and hearty meal that the whole family will enjoy. Leftovers may be easily saved in the fridge and may be reheated in the oven or the microwave. This dish is also excellent for serving with hot garlic bread.

This is a very simple and easy recipe to prepare as it will only take 20 minutes prep time. The casserole takes about 1 hour to bake. That means less time standing over a stove. It is a great meal that takes less time to prepare and cook than most casseroles. It is a wonderful way to serve fish and it is more healthier because it is baked and not fried. This casserole has a nutritional value that is high in potassium and protein. I use codfish in preparing mine, but some recipes do differ in that they may call for a different type of fish such as pollock. I hope that you will enjoy preparing and serving this delicious dish to your family as much as I do.


2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced

1 onion, sliced

1 cup of shallots, sliced

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

1 teaspoon of dried parsley

1 clove of garlic. minced

1 teaspoon of hot sauce

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 pound of frozen codfish, thawed


1. Lightly oil a casserole dish and place half of  the potatoes, onion, and shallots in the dish. Sprinkle with salt, and pepper.

2. Cut the cod fish inti bite size pieces and place over the potatoes and onions. Sprinkle the parsley, garlic, and hot sauce and some olive oil.

3. Make another layer of potatoes and onion. Season with salt, pepper and more olive oil.

4. Cover the casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour. Top with more parsley before serving. Enjoy!

1. Portuguese Cod Fish Casserole Recipe –
2. 10 Best Cod Fish Potato Casserole Recipes | Yummly

Cooking Dessertsways to Spice up Pumpkin Pie

Spice up your pumpkin pies for a real treat. WithThanksgiving fast approaching, one may wish to veer away from the traditional basic pumpkin pie and spice things up a little. The following article will show you how to do this literally. Your family and friends will be in seventh heaven when they sink their teeth into one of these heavenly spiced up pumpkin pies. You will be offering them something a little more unique than the basic pumpkin pie they may have become accustomed to.

Spicy Pumpkin Pie:

Make a mouth watering, delicious, spicy pumpkin pie by adding teaspoon of ground cinnamon, teaspoon ground ginger, teaspoon of ground cloves and teaspoon of salt to your basic pumpkin pie recipe. This pie is absolutely sensational to taste.

Spice Kissed Pumpkin Pie:

Freshly ground spices make a bland pumpkin pie take on a whole new taste. Simply add 2 cups toasted hazelnuts, 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, cup brown sugar,1 teaspoon slat, 1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cups roasted pumpkin puree, 1 cup of coconut milk and 3 large eggs to your basic pie recipe. Simply add more pumpkin puree if needed, to thicken your filling.

Jamaican Spiced Pumpkin Pie: If you’re looking for a completely different take on pumpkin pie, look no further. Add a slight dash of rum, 2 tablespoons of coconut, a teaspoon of ground ginger, teaspoon of ground cinnamon and nutmeg to your pumpkin pie recipe and you’ll be delighted at the outcome.

Spiced Pumpkin Pie Flan:

Rather make your pumpkin pie more like a flan? Follow this pumpkin pie flan recipe and your guest will be over the moon. You will need 1 cup sugar divided into two measuring cups, 2 cups milk, 1 cup pumpkin puree, 5 eggs, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Sprinkle the sugar into a 9 inch round flan tin. Set this over medium-high heat and shake the pan using an oven mitt until the sugar turns a light golden brown. Set this to the side and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the pumpkin, eggs, milk, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in a blender. Blend this all until smooth. Pour the mixture over the sugar which is now caramelized and place the flan tin into a roasting tray. Pour hot water into the roasting tray to a depth of approximately 1 inch. Bake for 1 hour or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Serve with cream or as is.

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie:

If you’re looking for something indulgent and sweet look no further. This is the pumpkin pie for you. The cinnamon and nutmeg make this a top choice for pumpkin pie with a difference. Add some chocolate chips, sour cream, cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice to your pumpkin pie recipe and your guests will be grinning from ear to ear.

Curried Pumpkin Pie:

There is no hard and fast rule that pumpkin pie has to be bland. For those of your who prefer a pert tangy taste rather than a sweet one, add a little curry powder to your pumpkin pie recipe. This adds more richness to the colour and goes well with a platter of roasted vegetables.

 Sweet Chilli Pumpkin Pie:

Chilli is a wonderful and very versatile spice. If added to your pumpkin pie recipe with caution it can turn a bland pie into something really special. Add a tablespoon of sugar to your pie recipe if adding some chilli, this will give the pie a type of sweet and sour taste which will turn out superb. With just a little imagination and creative cooking flair, you can add a little spice to any pumpkin pie recipe. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a host of spices, you could end up being the next master chef.

1. 28 Best Pumpkin Pie Recipes – Easy Homemade Pumpkin Pies from …
2. Pumpkin Spice Recipe –

Christmas Cocktail Recipes

If you are hosting a Christmas or holiday party, you might want to make some special drinks for your party guests. Try the
Christmas drink recipes below to bring a bit of holiday cheer to your party.


Cup of Good Cheer Christmas Cocktail

2 oz. SKYY Infusions Cherry
1/2 oz. white creme de cacao
4 oz. Hot Cocoa
1 oz. Half ‘n Half
Whipped cream in a can
Maraschino cherry for garnish
Red or green sugar sprinkles for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a holiday mug. Top with whipped cream, sugar sprinkles and a maraschino cherry. Serve immediately.


Peppermint Patty Christmas Cocktail

1 oz. Peppermint Schnapps
1/2 oz. Dark Creme De Cacao
1 tsp Creme de Menthe
8 oz. hot cocoa
Whipped cream
Chocolate shavings for garnish
Candy cane for garnish

Stir the liqueurs together in a mug. Fill to near top with hot chocolate. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Add a candy cane to the drink for garnish. Serve immediately. This makes a delicious after dinner drink.


Gingerbread Apple Christmas Cocktail

2 oz. Domaine de Canton
1 oz. vanilla vodka
2.5 oz. apple cider
A few drops of lemon juice
Orange zest
Agave syrup
Graham cracker crumbs

Wet the rim of the glass with agave syrup then dip into graham cracker crumbs. Place all ingredients except for orange zest in a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into glass. Grate orange zest on drink and serve.


Blizzard Christmas Cocktail

2 ounces Irish whiskey or rum
1/2 ounce hazelnut liqueur, like Frangelico
1/2 ounce Irish cream liqueur, like Bailey’s
Hot coffee
Dollop of whipped cream

In a glass coffee mug, stir together whiskey, hazelnut liqueur, and Irish cream. Fill to top with hot coffee. Garnish cocktail with whipped cream and serve immediately. This makes an awesome after dinner cocktail.


Candy Cane Christmas Cocktail

1 crushed candy cane, for garnish
2 ounces strawberry vodka
4 dashes white creme de menthe
2 1/2 ounces cranberry juice
1 whole candy cane, for garnish
Ice cubes

Wet the rim of a martini glass with water and coat rim with crushed candy cane. In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, creme de menthe, cranberry juice, and ice. Shake until well combined. Strain into martini glass. Garnish with whole candy cane hung on the side of the glass and serve.


Remember, these drinks contain alcohol and are for adults only.

1. Christmas Cocktails & Drinks | Food & Wine
2. Gallery 20 Years of Living: The Best Christmas Cocktails and Mocktails

Confessions of a Hamburger Junkie

When you think of hamburgers it conjures up all types of images in your head. If you are a real hamburger “junkie” you can even smell the delicious juicy burger when someone even mentions the word.  Your mouth starts to water and you crave a double patty smothered with pickles, ketchup and onions delicately sitting between a bun with a side of fries. 

I guess hamburger junkies don’t care where their burger comes from.  A quick trip through a McDonald’s drive through would satisfy the desire to sink your teeth into that meat and bun, but some are more choosy.  Being a real burger junkie I want a meat that is real and flavorful.  One that reminds me of good old fashioned American picnics and home.  Five-Guys restaurant has a real burger that any junkie would truly love.  When you walk in, the wonderful smell of hamburger hits you square in the face.  As you make your way to the order counter the thought of all the choices of condiments almost makes you cry.  Upon seeing the cooks flipping the burgers with such grace almost makes you faint.

When you make your way to your seat to wait for your order number to be called the thoughts of burgers are racing through your head.  Picking up your order is blissful, the feel of paper bag crinkling in your hand. Just knowing that within minutes you will be in hamburger heaven. Opening the foil to reveal your burger is the highlight of the day, and that first bite is the best thing that you can think of in a long time.

After your burger “fix” you happily move on with your day. Sometimes you think you should kick your habit.  All that fat, all that cholesterol, it can’t be good.  Then the image of a nice juicy burger floats in front of your eyes again.  All of a sudden you can smell the meat sizzling on the grill.  The thoughts of ending your hamburger junkie days start to disappear. The desire to change disappears more and more after passing billboards with pictures of smiling faces holding hamburgers.   You start to look forward to tomorrow. You start to picture what you will have on that burger tomorrow. Then you decide that being a burger junkie is just who you are. After all, there are worse things than being addicted to burgers…right?

1. Prattle Encore | Confessions of a Burger Junkie | Prattle On, Boyo
2. Confessions of a Teaching Junkie

Christmas 2010 Gift Ideas for Beer Lovers

If a beer lover in on your 2010 Christmas gift list, then you might want to get him or her a related gift for the holidays.  Consider the following ideas.


Of course beer is going to be one of the most popular gifts for a beer lover.  If he likes something specific such as Budweiser or Miller, then get him that.  Also consider whether he or she likes lite beer.  Some people prefer it in a certain type of container such as a bottle or a can, so pay attention to that. 

They also sell a lot of combo beer packs.  One interesting one is beers from around the world, which contains a selection of different brews from different countries.  This can be an unusual gift that will give him or her a taste of a lot of different flavors.  It might even introduce him or her to a new favorite.

Beer mugs

A lover of beer might like some beer mugs out of which to drink them. You will find many different choices.  If you go to a Renaissance Fair you can often buy a beautiful one crafted from wood.  They sell a lot that are personalized with the person’s name.  You can get these online at a source such as  Some of them have different graphics on them.  Some have the person’s first name.  Think about whether they would just like one nice one for themselves or a group of them that they can use for when they have guests.  Some of them also come with a set with plates or other items to use.

Book on beers

There are many different books on beers.  Some of them explore the history of beer whereas others discuss different beers.  You can try Beer Book by Sam Calagione and Tim Hampson, Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink by Mosher or Beverage on Earth by Swierczynski.  This might make a great gift for someone who loves beer.  They also make cookbooks that have recipes that include beer in them.  For instance, you can use it in a dip or other foods. 

If a beer lover is on your 2010 Christmas gift list then a gift related to this might be just perfect.  Consider the above ideas when making your selection.

1. Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas for the Beer Lover in Your Life
2. Top 10 Gift ideas to purchase for a Beer Lover (part 3 of 3 …

Coffee that has the cat by the tail

Looking for the unique coffee experience that will have your taste buds wondering what its experiencing? The Asian market has found a coffee that has you looking at your cat’s litter box. And seeing it in a whole other way. The price tag will also have you wondering what good your kitty can do for you.

Kopi Luwak or Civet Coffee is produced in Indonesia, Philippines, islands of Sumatra, and Java. What makes it unique is it is collected from the dung of the Asian Palm Civet Cat. Yes, cat poo coffee served up to you at $50 a cup. Only around 500 lbs hits the market a year at a whopping $1,500 dollars each pound.

The Asian Palm Civet is a cat sized nocturnal mammal native to South East Asia and Southern China. It averages about 7 lbs and covered with coarse, shaggy hair. It is grayish in colour with black on its feet, ears and muzzle. It resembles the raccoon in markings and mannerisms. Its primary food source is fruit such as chiku, mango, rambutan and best of all the red cherry of the coffee trees.

When the cat eats the coffee cherries the locals gather the dung. The inner bean of the berry is not digested. The beans are then washed, polished, dried and lightly roasted for your cup.

“It is wasted as an espresso, you’d have to make it in a plunger cup as the milk would destroy the flavour,” Rob Forsyth, chairman of the Australasian Specialty Coffee Association told Nine News.

It is believed that the enzymes in the stomach of the civet add to the coffee’s flavour by breaking down the proteins that give coffee its bitter taste. University of Guelph professor, Massimo Marcone put the beans to the test comparing them to the controlled beans of Columbia. He found the bacterial counts were lower in Kopi Luwak, their colour had more red and yellow tones than the green of the Colombian, surface more smooth and votile compounds were different.

The coffee has been described as earthy, musty, syrupy, smooth and rich with jungle and dark chocolate undertones. It has a strong taste and even stronger aroma.

“The coffee was musty, it had a fermented taint (and a distinct poo note),” stated Dean Gallagher, master roaster of Western Australia’s 5 Senses, on his webpage. He traveled to Bali to see the hype for himself.

“The resulting coffee is gritty. The aroma is smoky and pungent and even somewhat reminiscent of its immediate origin, but the flavour is unique, mild and smooth with a hint of rich dark chocolate and secondary notes of earth and musk,” reports Peter Cave for ABC News.

People are still lining up to try the experience. In Australia most people are trying it for the hype, to say that they have tried it. In Asia it is a delicacy that has many cafes buying up all that they can get off the coffee dealers. In America it is the new coffee sensation for the coffee elite and geeks. So much a glorification is given that the Coffee Critic was featured on Oprah Winfrey Show in 2003 to tell about the new coffee fad.

Even when China had their SARS virus outbreak that was linked to the Asian Civet Cat and started destroying thousands of the animals, people were still lining up at the cafes. The excuse was that the Indonesian cats were different than the Chinese cats.

Vietnam is now marketing a Weasel’ coffee, Philippines have come onto the market with their own Kopi Luwak, and there is also a coffee made from deer dung. What has the human population come to?

1. Asian palm civet
2. | Kinto Mugtail Cat: Mugs: Coffee Cups & Mugs

Children and Dining out

Taking your children out to a restaurant and having a good time as a family can be a contradiction in terms. Often little ones get bored and want to find ways to entertain themselves which can lead to them disturbing other customers and embarrassing you. Below are five tips on how to control the situation and enjoy the evening out as a family.  Everybody is different and all may not apply to your situation but hopefully some will be helpful.

Let Everyone Know What Is Expected

Life is busy but if you’re going out to eat take a few minutes to sit your children down and explain to them what is expected.  Explain that they are to do as instructed, stay in their seats and in general conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.  Very young children won’t understand but even toddlers will get the message if you follow through with negative consequences when necessary.  Explain what’s going to happen if they don’t follow the rules.  Every family is different with consequences being age appropriate.  Truthfully it may take more than one time out and about to end up with well behaved children but you have to start somewhere.

Restaurant Choices

Pick a child friendly establishment where the wait time has a reputation for being short.  It’s unfair to expect young children to sit a long time in anticipation of a meal without acting up.  If appropriate let the youngsters have a say in where you’re going to eat.  Give them a few suitable choices and take a vote.  Let them know that although there are rules the outing is meant to be a good time.

Come Prepared

Many restaurants offer crayons and other items to entertain children.  But bring along items with which your little ones can play quietly or even read a story in a low voice while you wait. For older children engage them in conversation while the food is being prepared.  It’s the perfect time to catch up on everyone’s activities.  Ask questions about school, friends or any problems they have.  You can listen as a family and offer suggestions on how situations can be improved.  Sometimes youngsters who clam up at home will talk more freely in another setting.

Allow Choices

You don’t want the youngsters to stuff themselves with unhealthy foods but you also want them to enjoy themselves.  Let them decide what they would like and suggest a salad or soup before the meal. This will help fill them up and perhaps cut down on how much undesirable items they will consume.  You can make suggestions like baked chicken but don’t be surprised if they bee line it for hamburgers and fried chicken fingers.  Often the serving size will be well beyond what they can comfortably consume so get a take home box and put some of the food into before they begin to eat.  This will help teach them about portion size and still allow them to enjoy one of their favorite foods.

Don’t Over Stay

When everyone is finished it’s time to exit right.  While you may want to linger over coffee and talk to your mate it probably won’t happen with the youngsters becoming bored.  You’re better off leaving while the leaving is good.  Gather everyone up, praise them if appropriate, pay and go home once the final crumb has been picked and last sip slurped.  You and yours can always enjoy a glass of wine or cup of tea together when everyone is in bed.

The important thing is to make family outings, including dining, enjoyable.  You want to connect as a family.  If you have a few failures consider them learning experiences and try again.

1. How to dine out with kids … and enjoy it! (ages 2 to 4) | BabyCenter
2. Kids Eat Free Restaurants – Where Do Kids Out to Eat Free

Breakfast Rice Dish Kedegree

Special breakfast Kedgeree

This rice breakfast dish is a very nice thing to have not just for breakfast but at any time of the day. It’s like a risotto but with all the comforting things for breakfast as well. It is a strange blend of break fast and curry , now the two top British dishes that we like to eat .

1 tbsp olive oil
50g/2oz butter
1 onion, finely chopped
350g/11oz Arborio rice
750ml/1 pints warm chicken stock
1 heaped tsp curry powder
150g/5oz smoked haddock fillets
2 free-range eggs,
chopped fresh coriander leaves
3 slices of Black pudding 2 slices of smoked streaky bacon nutmeg and fresh ground black pepper

Take a pan and heat the oil and the butter in it. Add the chopped onions and allow them to soften. Now as it cook take the rice and start to cook that , letting the butter and oil soak in to the rice but do not let it brown or burn .

Place a pan of water on the on the stove and start to heat it up ready for you to poach the eggs. Place the bacon on a try and put it under the grill to.

Now add curry powder to the rice and start to get all the flavour’s in to the rice. Then as it all cooks together getting the flavour in to the rice start to add the chicken stock a little at a time. Letting the rice absorb the liquid before adding some more . If you are a real purist you will have the stock hot and add it as it cooks but that is not entirely necessary and you have the bacon and the eggs to do so do not get to much going on at once or it runs the danger of all going wrong.

Cut up the haddock fillets and when the rice is almost cooked and you have added the last of the chicken stock add the smoked haddock and stir that it and turn the heat down to low and let the fish cook in the rice. The heat in the rice should cook the fish and if you do not keep stirring it you will have nice big flakes of fish .Finally finished with the fresh coriander and the nutmeg and black pepper to taste .

Then add the black pudding under the grill with the now crispy bacon to warm threw. Poach two eggs in a pan and start to assemble the finished dish. Place the rice in to the centre of the plate. Place the three pieces of black pudding around it to make a triangle. Then cross the crispy bacon over the rice and the two poached eggs on top of that.

As you cut in to the eggs and the yolks run down in to the rice , and you start to eat the finished dish you will realise that what at first might seem strange can work very well .

1. Kedgeree
2. Kedgeree Recipe | Fish Recipes | Jamie Oliver Recipes

Best Brands of Cheap Blended Scotch

Scotch whisky has a reputation for being expensive, snobby, and out of the reach of the average person.  In fact, a bottle of decent scotch doesn’t have to be any more expensive than rum, vodka, or a quality liqueur. And inexpensive doesn’t have to mean cheap.  Here are some drinkable scotches that will tickle your taste buds without draining your wallet.

Best value for money: Johnnie Walker Red Label

Because it’s one of the “prestige” brands of blended scotch, almost everyone has heard of Johnnie Walker.  For many, it’s the benchmark scotch, to which all others are compared.  There’s a good reason for this: Johnnie Walker scotch is blended for smoothness, versatility, and all around appeal.  But don’t let the classy-looking label fool you-if you buy the Red Label, and keep an eye out for sales, you can drink Johnnie Walker for $20 or less per 750 mL bottle-no more than that bottle of Stoli in the cupboard.

And don’t worry that it’s a compromise to buy Red Label instead of the higher-priced Johnnie Walker Black Label.  Johnnie Walker Black Label is a stronger, peatier blend, intended for the more advanced (or, in some cases, the more snobby) palate.  Many scotch fans prefer Red Label.  Since Black Label can be twice as expensive as Red Label, unless you’re already a fan, it’s probably not worth laying out the extra dough.

The least expensive: Clan MacGregor

To most people, nothing says “cheap” like a plastic handle.  Usually, liquor that comes in a plastic handle is the worst of the worst, especially with a complex, flavorful liquor like scotch.  But Clan MacGregor is the exception to the rule.  It’s quite drinkable, and at around $10-$15 for a fifth, and $25 or less for a handle, Clan MacGregor it’s also a very good buy.

Without the bite often found in cheap whiskey or scotch, (even at 80 proof, it has little alcohol flavor), Clan MacGregor has both sweet and peaty flavors, and a balanced profile.  It may not be the kind of scotch you want to sip after dinner, but it’s great in a Rob Roy or with a few ounces of club soda and a twist of lemon.  If what you want is a good mixing scotch that’s just as easy on the wallet as it is on the palate, Clan MacGregor is your best option.

A stronger-flavored option: Cutty Sark

Just as respectable as Johnnie Walker, but less well-known, Cutty Sark is in the same price range as Johnnie Walker Red Label, but has a slightly stronger flavor.  With a little more bite, a little more peat, and a little more snob appeal, Cutty Sark is good on the rocks.

Cutty Sark is also a better choice for drinking with cigars than Johnnie Walker Red Label.  The stronger flavor is less likely to be overwhelmed by the tobacco.  Like Johnnie Walker, Cutty Sark rarely costs more than $25 for a 750 mL bottle.

Sweet and sipping-friendly: Teacher’s Highland Cream

While all of the previously mentioned scotches are bottled in America, Teacher’s Highland Cream isn’t just made in Scotland, it’s also bottled there.  Because it’s imported, it has a claim to authenticity that whisky bottled in America lacks.  But at a manageable $20 or less per fifth, you’re getting the prestige of an import without the price.

Teacher’s Highland Cream also has a flavor profile that may be unfamiliar to scotch drinkers in the U.S.  It’s sweeter and, as the name suggests, “creamier” than many other scotches, including both Johnnie Walker Red Label and Johnnie Walker Black Label.  (Creamy, in this case, means that it’s smooth, with a long aftertaste). Think of the sweet, almost vanilla-like overtones often found in Irish whiskeys like Jameson’s, and you’ll have an idea of what makes Teacher’s Highland Cream a unique and valuable addition to the scotch drinker’s liquor cabinet.

The absolute best option: whichever brand you like best

What’s expensive and what isn’t is always a relative term.  Buying what you love is never a waste of money, and the scotch you prefer drinking will always be the best scotch, no matter what anyone else says.  If you can afford to spend $40 on a bottle of scotch, and you prefer the $40 scotch to the $20 scotch, go for it.  But don’t be ashamed if you like the $20 bottle better.  Chances are, you aren’t alone.

But be careful.  Scotch is not as pricey as it’s made out to be, but just like any other beverage, you do get what you pay for.  Steer clear of really cheap scotches like McCormick and Potter’s.  Remember, if you spend $15 on a bottle of scotch, but hate it so much you can only drink one glass, you didn’t really get a bargain: you paid $15 for that one glass.

Above all, don’t be afraid to try new things, but don’t give up your favorites either.  Finding new drinks you enjoy is great, but an old favorite is worth its weight in gold.

1. Best – Top 10 Blended Scotch Whiskies | Gayot
2. 10 Best Scotch Whiskies Under $100 – Gear Patrol