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Is this French cheese safe to eat?

They should be fine in my opinion. Don't sue me if not!!!!! Just don't give to very young or very old people or pregnant women. Rebecca x

What to introduce to someone new to Oysters...

I first had raw oysters on my 40th birthday from Loch Fyne in Scotland. I am now addicted. The taste reminds you of the best seaside holiday you have ever had because they taste of the sea and, yes, I chew them! Just lemon juice for me and in England they are so decadently expensive which adds to the experience of a special occasion. Rebecca x

Who Would You Ask A Culinary Question To?

The Hairy Bikers or Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. British so look them up if you haven't heard of them! Rebecca x

Peanut butter, banana, and... Sriracha?

Hey, alledgedly, Elvis ate peanut butter, mashed banana and bacon sandwiches all the time .. who can argue with the "King"? Ah ha ha!

Favorite sauce for pasta besides tomato or cheese?

Just stir in a little bit of green pesto, freshly milled black pepper and extra virgin olive oil! Simple, quick and tastes just gorgeous!

Anglo Christmas meal

Hi all! I live in England and I am a food writer and obsessed with food but, by no way profess to be an expert which is why I came here looking for "across the pond" ideas and inspiration! Heck, some of the things you describe I have to research because we just don't have them or, if we do, we often don't call them the same over here! I celebrate the fact that, despite the internet, we still have our differences and long may it continue! The world would, otherwise be a very dull place!

So if you are looking for "Anglo" Christmas things .... I'll give it a go ....

Brussels Sprouts are probably the most English thing you can have(despite being named after a Belgian city!) (apparently there is a strand of DNA, just discovered, that determines whether you love them or hate them!)

Turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy, and the crispiest roast potatoes you can manage are obligatory. As is the discovery that your oven isn't big enough and that the electricity mysteriously goes onto half power on Christmas Day! Christmas pudding is also obligatory and, if you have an open fire, you MUST roast chestnuts! They hardly ever turn out OK but this is part of the tradition! Also cheese and biscuits with port wine .... Fabulous and particularly Wensleydale cheese ... (from Yorkshire, as am I!!) Rebecca x

What am I thinking of?

Are you thinking of florentines"? Check the web for pics! Rebecca x

Egg nog ice cream??

I agree with Mizbee about the alcohol already present. Alcohol prevents freezing (you know how you de-ice your car?!) so I would find a non-alcoholic version or very low alcohol version and add the alcohol later or make a boozy cherry sauce to spoon over warm just before serving! Rebecca x

What kitchen gifts are you making for others?

As a child, I remember being so bored when my parents opened their presents from their friends - wine and cheese and fancy liqueur! How age has changed me ... You realise that you have cupboards full of "stuff" so consumables of the yummy variety become so much more appealing. I am giving my "grown up" friends handmade chocolates which are really pretty and, hopefully, the effort and thought is appreciated. I think the whole world is appreciating that times are hard money wise and spending it on things that people won't use, just because it's Christmas, is a waste. Rebecca x

Pie plates - glass/ceramic vs metal

I am not sure if pie means the same here as across the pond but I use springloaded cake tins to make what we call pies. Straight sided but so easy to get out and cut and the non stick ones don't seem to rust. You can get shallow ones and a really deep one about 10 inches in diameter makes the most outrageuous and very British hot water crust pork pie! Serves at least 20 slices!

What shall I call my new chocolate company?

Wow! Some really clever suggestions. Thank you all. Please post again if you have any more. I have a few favourites already ...! Rebecca x

What shall I call my new chocolate company?

I love all of them so far. Thank you so much! More please ... Rebecca x

What do make for dinner with brie cheese?

In my sandwich shop, one of our most popular things was "Crispy bacon with delicious french brie and homemade cranberry sauce in a toasted swiss twist ciabatta". We did it with a George Foreman grill with a lid which you can squash down to melt the brie and get lovely toasted lines on the outside of the bread. If you don't have a standalone grill, it is still delicious done as an open sandwich toasted under a conventional grill. I think brie is best melted but just my humble opinion! Rebecca x

Vodka - Am I being cheap?

In relation to my previous post, I would be absolutely delighted with a gift made with thought and effort raher than it costing £££s or $$$s!

Who needs novelty socks or ties?!

Fabulous homemade food gifts are so much better, in my humble opinion! Rebecca x

Seafood & Pasta dishes for Christmas Eve?

Did you know that vanilla is BRILLIANT with fish? Make sauce similar to stroganoff with onions and double cream but get a vanilla pod and add the seeds to your sauce and put the pod in to infuse while it's cooking. Well washed and dried afterwards, the pod will still have loads of flavour for your next infusion. or you can put it in a jar of sugar, when thoroughly dried, to create your own vanilla sugar!

I would serve with the biggest prawns, shrimps, langoustines you can afford, just pan fried in butter (if they have shells, leave them on and your guests will enjoy tackling them - provide a side plate for debris!)

Tagliatelle pasta, cooked then tossed in butter with lots of black pepper is the best to use for this dish, in my opinion! Rebecca x

Grill pan waffles?

Long shot but I am in East Yorkshire, UK, with an electric professional waffle iron who is twiddling his thumbs right now ... Would you like to borrow for free?! Rebecca x

Sometimes, you just have to laugh

Please help me! I am "across the pond" in the UK and have never heard of "Slim Jims"! Can someone educate me please? Rebecca x

What's for Christmas breakfast?

When I was about 10 years old, my late mum realised that getting up at "silly o clock" to cook a huge turkey in time for lunch was a bit daft!

Our Christmas Day then became far less stressful as the tradition began of smoked salmon sandwiches for "brunch" and a main meal as dinner rather than lunch.

When I was old enough, we would have lovely fizzy well chilled Cava (pretend Champagne!) to accompany the sandwiches. They were made with very fresh wholemeal bread, thin sliced with just fresh lemon juice and freshly milled black pepper. Our local fishmonger could get salmon smoked with birch chips - just fabulous but had to be ordered in advance. Crusts just had to be removed because, in the UK, we think that's posh!

Result? .None of the usual Christmas Day arguments due to hunger, the opportunity for my late very royalist Dad to watch the Queen's speech (3pm our time!) and a happy mother who could potter around in the kitchen, knowing that she didn't have the pressure of serving lunch at 12 noon!

It was so much better done this way. I still do it like this for my Christmas guests now! Rebecca x

How exciting is this website?

Thank you all for the lovely welcome messages!

Just to clarify, I am a freelance food writer but am not here to promote my paid services at all! I am here in my freetime but won't be able to help myself from posting a tip or recipe of my own in my free time for purely the nice feeling of having maybe helped someone!

Food is my life, both work and leisure .... I am obsessed with food magazines, free supermarket magazines and have over 300 cookery books! Sad but true ..... I only really watch food programmes with my very expensive satellite subscription!

I look at food websites ... a lot! But as I said in my first post, this one is REALLY exciting and I even joined the community which I hardly ever do!

Regarding recipes for UK bangers and bubble and squeak I will be back to you ......

I can also offer insider tips on jellied eels, black pudding, and how to make a "proper" cup of tea! Winking and laughing!

Thank you for welcoming me so warmly.

Rebecca x

Vodka - Am I being cheap?

Make LIMONCELLO! (Italian Lemon Liqueur!) Take 1 litre of the cheapest vodka you can get (this really doesn't matter as long as it's 37 per cent ABV or above. Take the rind off about 6 lemons (unwaxed would be best but, hey, you are adding them to alcohol so this is not for the health concious!).Squeeze the juice out of the lemons and keep. Put about 500g caster sugar in a pan with about 200ml water and stir over gentle heat until sugar is dissolved. Add lemon peel and simmer for about quarter of an hour. Enjoy the fragrance as you go!!!

Add the juice and simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Put into a clean jar or bottles tat you can seal and add the vodka proportionatlely. Leave it for a week or so and you can then strain into smaller bottles to give as presents. Just add a gift tag and a little bit of ribbon! Rebecca x


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