Category Archives: Year Round

Tour de France, 4th of July & Homemade BBQ Sauce

It was an exciting weekend for us here in Yorkshire! The cyclists in the Tour de France began their long race riding up dale, down dale and through many towns and villages across Yorkshire. It was wonderful to see our beautiful county on center stage in front of the rest of the world.

There were hundreds and hundreds of people lining the route, yellow shirts on and flags waving. A full on show of support, but  I would expect nothing less from Yorkshire folk! It’s no secret that this is the most friendly region in England. So listen up tourists! You are missing out on something special if you travel to the UK and don’t visit Yorkshire.  London isn’t the center of the Universe you know. I’m sorry, but it has to be said. I’ll prove it to you:

We couldn’t miss any of the action on Saturday morning, so we braved the road closures, put on our walking shoes and went out to watch the opening procession. Miraculously, it was sunny on the day the sun was supposed to shine!

We chose a spot close to an ice cream van (how convenient!), so Scarlett could entertain herself while we waited. She loved watching the French policemen and all of the support vehicles go past. We knew the cyclists were getting close when the helicopters began hovering over us. The whole thing was over in about 30 seconds, but it was a great experience getting into the spirit of the event and cheering on the racers with the rest of the crowd.

Tour de France Collage

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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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Udon Noodles with Peanut Ginger Sauce

Udon Noodles with Peanut Ginger Sauce. An easy recipe for Udon noodles bathed in a silky, savory peanut ginger sauce. Add chicken and fresh vegetables for a satisfying week night meal |

I love these noodles. I really, really love them. They have satisfied so many cravings over the years. Cravings for a quick, easy dinner. Cravings for noodles bathed in a silky, savory sauce. Cravings for beautiful Asian flavors when we don’t feel like going out. These noodles are seriously satisfying. When I sit down to a hot bowl, I eat like I haven’t eaten in a month. All portion control rules are thrown out the window. I can’t help it! Please try them. It’s not fair that I keep such deliciousness all to myself. Continue reading Udon Noodles with Peanut Ginger Sauce

Chocolate Banana Bread with Caramelized Hazelnuts

Chocolate Banana Bread with Caramelized Hazelnuts

I had such good intentions of posting this gem of a recipe before we left for an extended trip to the states, um, a month ago. I know, it’s embarrassing. We had an amazing trip visiting family in Tennessee and California, but it was one of those trips where you get home and feel like you need one more week of vacation to recover. Seven flights with a toddler will do that to you, trust me. Life can be so cheeky, sometimes it just grips you and takes you down a different road for a little bit.  Thankfully I managed to find the road back to my blog and I’m so happy to FINALLY share this recipe!

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