Monthly Archives: June 2014

England vs. USA Part 2: Homemade Sausage Rolls

It doesn’t get much better than flaky, buttery puff pastry wrapped around lightly spiced sausage with sage and onion. So easy and fast to make at home!

Homemade Sausage Rolls - Flaky, buttery puff pastry wrapped around lightly spiced sausage with sage and onion. So simple to make at home. |

May I please introduce you to sausage rolls, the English part of my England vs. USA match day snack-off (see the American part here). These will make people love you. Seriously. Especially if they walk into your house while they’re in the oven. Sausage rolls definitely hold a high position in my mental list of “Reasons to Live in England, Despite the Non-Existent Summer.” Please remind me to share the rest of that list with you another day because it’s actually very amusing.

Sorry, I’m feeling a bit under the weather today (no pun intended). I woke up this morning to very cool temperatures and drizzle. I’m not kidding about the cool temperatures. The high today is 13 degrees Celsius, or in my language, a very chilly 56 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m torturing myself imagining hot breezes, warm evenings, maxi dresses, flip flops and long days spent at the pool.  Okay, fine. I may be exaggerating a little. It gets warm here. It’s just that Yorkshire high summer warm is more like early April Virginia warm. You’d think I’d be over it after 7 years.

I’ve resolved to keep my chin up. There’s still plenty to celebrate because the USA made it through the group stage last night!!! There’s still a reason to watch the World Cup, which means I’ve got an excuse to win people over with my Buffalo Chicken Dip and these super delicious homemade sausage rolls.

There’s nothing more to this recipe than sprucing up some store bought sausage, wrapping it in pre-made, pre-rolled puff pastry and baking it in the oven. Trust me, this homemade version is so much better than the ones you buy at the supermarket. It’s worth taking the extra ten minutes when the result is light, flaky pastry and juicy sausage bursting with sage and onion. Questionable meat and cardboard pastry? I don’t think so. Not in my house!

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England vs. USA Part 1: Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip

A spicy, creamy, cheesy dip that tastes just like hot Buffalo chicken wings. Be warned: it’s VERY addictive. 

Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip - A spicy, creamy, cheesy dip that tastes just like hot Buffalo chicken wings. Be warned: it's VERY addictive |

World Cup season is finally upon us! I had great plans for my England vs. USA match day snack-off, but unfortunately and unbelievably (well, maybe), my adopted home country has been officially knocked out.  Even more unbelievably, the USA won their first match. I was so proud of those boys and thrilled to see the amount of support they had on the ground. It was well worth the 1 AM bed time and lost sleep. The USA vs. Ghana match reminded me why I got into the sport in the first place. Anything can happen!

As ironic as it may be, getting a German coach was probably the best thing the USA could have done. I felt like I was watching a proper football team. And yes, that’s the word I’m unashamedly using. They do spend the entire game kicking the ball with their feet.

Whether you love the World Cup and can’t get enough, or your just ready for the whole thing to be over with already, it’s a great excuse to make some delicious food! Enter Part One of my England vs. USA game day snack off – Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip. I don’t think I could get more American if I tried. It’s all I can think about right now. I made it a few times to get the recipe exactly as I wanted, but it’s not enough! I need more!

Good thing the USA are back on tomorrow night……

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Angel Biscuits

Angel Biscuits |

These heavenly beauties are my ultimate homesickness cure. If you’ve never tried an Angel Biscuit, imagine a fresh loaf of bread meeting a savory scone. I can’t think of a better description for their unique texture and flavor. The outside of the biscuit is crusty, golden brown and glistening with butter. The interior is soft and airy. They are deliciously yeasty and slightly sweet with a pleasant buttermilk tang.

I whip up a batch of these for most holiday meals. They were a perfect accompaniment to our Easter ham. They’re ideal for parties, for brunch, or to serve with soup or a Sunday roast. Oh, and how could I forget ham biscuits? Obviously.

It’s a bit of a mystery as to where and when the Angel Biscuit originated. The recipe started popping up in local cook books in the American South in the mid-20th century. The soft, fluffy texture can be attributed to three types of raising agents –  baking powder, baking soda and yeast. This is a great recipe to try if you are new to baking with yeast because it is fail proof. The biscuits ALWAYS rise! I promise.

Angel Biscuits |

Aren’t they gorgeous?

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Pasta Primavera with Grilled Sausage

Pasta Primavera - this is my kind of food. Simple yet full of flavor and impact. Sweet roasted vegetables, spicy sausage and salty, aged Parmesan |

This  Pasta Primavera evokes so many memories. It’s one of the first recipes I wanted to post here because it’s been a staple in my recipe collection for years. I’ve thought a lot about the evolution of this dish and how each stage reflects a different season in my life. I thought about who I cooked it for and where I cooked it.

I was really surprised at how emotional I became during this little trip down memory lane. Food is so nostalgic for me.  My sister loves fashion and she can describe the outfit someone wore at any given occasion any number of years ago. She may be able to tell us how we were was dressed, but I can tell her what we ate! My memory is very much dictated by food, that’s for sure.

There are many different variations of Pasta Primavera, or “Spring Pasta,” none of them complicated by any means. This is exactly the kind of food I like to cook – simplicity at its best, yet full of impact when it arrives at the table. You can smell the barbeque smokiness of the sausages and the saltiness of the cheese. The pasta provides a perfect background to showcase the reds, oranges, yellows and purples of the roasted vegetables. There’s an eye pleasing pop of green from the spring peas and fresh herbs. It tastes better than it looks, which for me, is the cornerstone of a great plate of food.

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