Pizza slice

My husband’s takeaway pizza recipe

My husband and I have a serious problem with eating pizza. It started when we were dating and he took me to Pizza Hut in the UK and introduced to me the simplicity of very good margarita pizzas. Before then I’d had the odd takeway pizza and really just ate the most debated pizza Hawaiian!

Now I still love a Hawaiian pizza don’t get me wrong but after a trip we took to New York I started to completely fall in love with pizza.

If you are ever in Manhattan we’d highly recommend a few places but I think my favourite was inside Penn Station called ‘Don pepi’ and they served me a “white” which I’d never heard of which didn’t have tomato sauce! Amazing.

close up photo of person holding pizza

Photo by Muffin on Pexels.com

The pizza I think my husband would choose especially in the UK is the ‘Croma’ piri piri. Gorgeous stuff.

Anyway the point is that we are pizza eaters and pride ourselves on it so we decided we’d try and make our own.

Ingredients:

Dough

Sauce

  • Tomato paste tablespoon
  • 2 cups passata
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 dash of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Garlic paste tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon onion flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon chilli flakes

Topping

  • Grated mozzarella
  • Sprinkle of oregano

Method:

  1. Add the dry dough ingredients to a bowl but keep the yeast and salt separate as salt can kill the yeast
  2. Mix and pour the warm water in to string with a metal knife (easier to clean)
  3. When it starts to come together start to knead for 10 to 15 minutes. Only add as much flour as you need to keep it from really sticking to your hands. It should be tacky
  4. Press into a pizza shape and let it rest for 30 minutes under a damp tea towel
  5. For the sauce add all the ingredients to a pan and stir on a low heat for about 20 minutes to simmer down.
  6. Take the pizza dough out and add the sauce and your cheese
  7. Cook on a high heat (220 degrees c) for about 8-10 minutes until golden brow
  8. Store your excess sauce in little pots for the freezer

 

Looking at other recipes I think our next purchase to enhance the process is a pizza stone. Link below to the one I just bought and I’ll feedback on whether it helps.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B076F7B4CS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B076F7B4CS&linkId=49611d6127bbdac7a64ba5f8f407afbc

Wimpy Nottingham

This is going to be a bit of a strange review and probably 25 years too late but I wanted to make you aware if you weren’t already that there is still the most perfectly retro Wimpy restaurant available for you to go and try in the UK.

On a random day out in Nottingham we were exploring this lovely little city and after finding a videogame bar and even a videogame museum (go to the Toast Bar inside if you ever head that way too!) we fell across a Wimpy.

The decor; the tables including having your burger on a plate are incredibly retro but most importantly the burgers are still as perfect as they were in the 1980s. The buns are floury and the meat is cooked well.

We now go back whenever we can and hope it gets to stay around as long as it can.

Please go and enjoy it or let me know if there’s another one we need to go and visit.

Wimpy Wimpy burgers Nottingham

Wing restaurant review.. wing stop London

Wing stop wings chicken

We are huge chicken wing fans. Our favourites are definitely in the buffalo sauce area especially boneless. Our favourite restaurant in the US is Hooters as they have the best medium honey buffalo sauce. In the UK really good wing places are rare and even if you find them they rarely have boneless and never have sauces to compete with the US.

In a recent trip to London we fell across a London branch of Wingstop so had to run in and try it. We picked a medium heat classic sauce with some seasoned fries and a couple of cold beers. The chicken was fried and boneless and coated in the sauce.

The fries were fab and very similar to FiveGuts in flavouring. They were also served with classic ranch dressing which again is rare in the UK as you normally get stuck with blue cheese which is horrid.

We highly recommend the wings and sauce although they could have probably taken even more sauce. We would even go as far as to say they are best wings in the UK and trust me we have tried a lot. I think we will start and wing and burger ranking chart soon and I’ll share them on here.

From a top point of view Wingstop doesn’t take cash so if you head that way remember to take your card with you.

Making homemade ‘Mcdonald’s’ Burgers

Have you ever been sat watching a TV show or documentary and they are eating a well known branded burger or one that looks just like it. We were watching ‘The Founder’ on TV recently which illustrates the very sad story of the real ‘Mcdonalds’ brothers showing how they were unique and special. So in my usual style I went to the internet to see if it was possible or somebody had cracked how to duplicate the famous ‘Big mac’ burger and lots of people had indeed. I have pulled together a few of the elements that I thought would get me close to it and you have to admit when you see the final picture they look really good! Next time however I think I will take more effort to really season the burgers or use better quality meat and they were nice but not quite the perfect patties; everything else however was pretty damn close.

 

Famous Burger Sauce

 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup mayo
  • 4 teaspoons finely diced sweet pickles or relish (burger gherkins)
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced white onion
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mild mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

 

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients together and store in a sterilized jar

 

The rest of the burger

 

  1. Either buy or make your own burgers. The best homemade burger recipes are not made of breadcrumbs or onions just simple ground beef (the better quality the pepper) squashed into thin patties; seasoned and cooked on high heat so they get a little charring
  2. For the buns I took some standard floury baps and added a spray of oil and some sesame seeds as they were seedless. The spray gives a little shine which looks great. Try toasting your buns in a dry hot pan first to get a nice texture. I used one of the bottom buns to made a middle bun like the famous burger has
  3. For the filling finely dice some ice cold lettuce and add 2 pickles per bun. Add one splodge of sauce per bun, one slice of cheese and a burger. Stack to made a 3 bun; 2 burger structure.
  4. For the fries I finely chopped up some Maris piper potatoes and fried them once. I saw a tip that said ‘Mcdonald’s’ dip their fries in a mixture of beef stock and spices before a second fry so I made up a bowl of beef stock and added the fries. After 20 minutes I dried them carefully and fried again. They were amazing. If you can add some of the beef pan fat to the mix after cooking the burgers and it will all harmonize up.

 

Serve and enjoy!

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Perfect Cake Mix

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I had a craving for cake this Sunday and decided to look up as I couldn’t remember the standard mix for Victorian or simple sponge cake. I’ve made these types of cakes since I can remember but I’ve never quite had the perfect fluffy recipe that other people seem to achieve. This time however I think I got lucky trying to make a recipe fit the quantities I had and the cakes were ridiculously fluffy so I will share with you what I did.

 

Ingredients:

200g self raising flour

200g caster sugar

3 medium free range eggs

1tsp of baking powder

200g melted butter

 

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven 180 degrees c
  2. Put your put in a bowl after measuring and put in the microwave for 20-30 seconds until softened
  3. Put everything else in a bowl
  4. Add the butter
  5. Grab an electric hand whisk. Mine is an old fashioned one so not particularly fast
  6. Whisk everything together for 3 minutes until the whole mixture goes white
  7. Spoon into either a greased cat tin or cup cake cases
  8. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown
  9. Decorate or fill however you see fit

My simple cake tin if you’d like it:

<a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0001IX454/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B0001IX454&linkCode=as2&tag=melmosparkly-21&linkId=ab2ca78e62964b3d0d68539e267861ad”>KitchenCraft MasterClass Non Stick Quick-Release Springform Cake Tin with Loose Base, 20 cm (8 Inch)</a><img src=”//ir-uk.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=melmosparkly-21&l=am2&o=2&a=B0001IX454″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

Cupcake tin:

<a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B009SP9XK6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B009SP9XK6&linkCode=as2&tag=melmosparkly-21&linkId=897a18f2e164de241b1cce7cfbd4a58b”>Prestige Inspire Steel 12 Cup Non-Stick Muffin Tin – Black</a><img src=”//ir-uk.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=melmosparkly-21&l=am2&o=2&a=B009SP9XK6″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

Pretty tin to store it in

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008D2MWKS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B008D2MWKS&linkId=e23486a563262bcb624ae3d03f29c457

Healthier ‘KFC’ Style Chicken

Healthier ‘KFC’ Style Chicken

I just love ‘KFC’ or similarly branded fried chicken, however because of all of the lovely grease it is fried in it’s not really best choice to have. Well every day at least anyway. I was really craving some of the fabulous chicken one afternoon and went to my kitchen cupboard to see what I had to make something similar and this is what I came up with.

 

Ingredients:

 

For the chicken

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • Tub of dried bread crumbs (they tend to be called golden crumbs and I’d used them before in making up burger mixes). You can also use Panko bread crumbs that you find in the Chinese cooking aisle
  • Garlic powder
  • Flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chilli powder pinch
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • ‘Frylite’ cooking spray (1 calorie spray stuff) or a little olive oil
  • ‘Tabasco’ sauce
  • Optional: Ranch dressing and sweetcorn

 

Sauce

  • Bottle of ‘Franks’ hot wing sauce
  • Half a jar of honey
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper

 

Method:

image4

  1. Cut your chicken into pieces about the size of your thumb
  2. Set the oven to 190 degrees c
  3. Make up three bowls. One with plain flour; the second with the beaten egg and the third empty some of the breadcrumb mix into
  4. Into the breadcrumb mix add a pinch of garlic powder; chilli powder and salt and pepper
  5. Into the eggs add a dash of ‘Tabasco’ sauce
  6. Grease a baking sheet with a little olive oil or spray with ‘Frylite’
  7. Using a fork or your fingers dip the chicken pieces in the flour first
  8. Then dip into the egg mix
  9. Then dip into the breadcrumb mix coating the chicken and place on the tray
  10. Either toss the chicken around in the oil or give it another spray
  11. Bake for 10 minutes initially
  12. Whilst baking make up the sauce
  13. Mix all the ingredients together and after 10 minutes cooking take the chicken out of the oven and pour over the sauce
  14. Put back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes until cooked through
  15. Serve with ranch dressing and sweetcorn as optionalimage1

Everdine Review

So in my usual style of trying to eat better (than takeaways!) when i come home from work really tired I found an advert in Woman’s Health magazine for a company called Everdine.

Their concept is clean eating; delivered efficiently that you can prepare quickly. As a new member you can grab a code from an existing member (my is MELANIE2) if you want to try it cheaply. I paid under £25 for 8 meals. Compared to other companies there’s a really big range to choose from so myself and my other half chose different ones so we could get a really good sample.

I picked the duck; mushroom pasta and the other half got the beef and some lovely looking burritos.

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Note the little stars we put on to remember who had chosen what. I’d recommend an enhancement Everdine could do is let you mark you choices online so they do that for you but it’s a nice to have addition.

When they arrive the box was well designed and items such as your menu are beautifully designed using high quality ingredients. Small point which may just be to do with the courier but our box was damaged so they had taped it up which is normally fine but with food parcels it always makes me feel uneasy.

The box and packaging are like other companies recyclable in every way so that’s not only great from an environmental standpoint but also for people like me who have a tint standard bin now!

The boxes the food comes in is well done and professional looking. I neatly stacked our boxes in the fridge ready for the busy week ahead at work.

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Monday night came and I pulled out our first two favorite dishes. They are predominantly microwaveable although the odd one required/had elements of preferring oven cooking. When I started to read the cooking instructions i realised there were sometimes options to cook from chilled and sometimes frozen. Arghh I didn’t realise (and should have from the excellent expiry dates on the packing which were way in the future) I should have stored them all in the freezer. I figured I’d be ok if I cooked them all this week but sometimes there were only from frozen instructions.

My favourite dish is the mushroom pasta . Overall the portions were generous and all meals were full of vegetables and clearly lots of vitamins and healthy ingredients.

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Will I order more.. the answer I’m afraid is no for two main reasons. The first is that I think my palette is too used to poor food so I prefer more fatty; salty dishes so eating this clean every day of the week would drive me crazy but some people will absolutely love this. Also, the price after the promotion goes up significantly to around £40-50 a week. my issue is that the nights I want a takeaway or just a piece of toast I’ll feel really guilty, however saying that if you freeze these they definitely seem to last a long time so maybe that’s the best way forward. Also, I really do enjoy cooking and the complete lack of preparation which some people would love really didn’t work for me every day.

Enjoy!

https://www.everdine.co.uk