Some believe they’re a myth, others think they’re real and some think they’re plain ridiculous but what is a secret menu? Well, it’s exactly that! A secret menu is a hidden, off-the-books menu based on what food outlets offer on their actual menu.

And yes, they do exist.

We’re going to show you what’s available off different secret menus and how you can order them too.

If you see anything that takes your fancy, Download our Secret Menu Order Cards here and save them to your mobile device so you know exactly what to ask for when you go into your local fast food restaurant and you want to order off the secret menu.

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Where Did it All Begin?

Nobody seems to be 100% sure about how the secret menus came into being, but we’ve taken a look around to see what we can find. Some evidence points to In-N-Out Burger in California, USA being the first to implement a secret menu. They were happy to provide curious customers with customised orders when they became bored with their regular menu, this became a more enticing, secret menu which became common knowledge and was cleverly renamed ‘the not-so-secret menu’.

Other food establishments saw the success of the secret menu and hopped on the bandwagon and today an estimated 19 restaurant chains boast a secret menu.

Who Knows About Them?

We thought we’d find out who actually knows about hidden menus, so we surveyed 1000 people; 500 Britons and 500 American consumers to see how many people were aware of their existence.

It will come as no surprise that more Americans are aware of secret menus than Brits, especially as they were created there, with 47.2% of all people questioned knowing of their existence. Only 32.5% of Brits questioned knew they existed.

So, Why Not Try Some Out?

Here are the secret menu items that you can order, what they’re called, and what they’re made up of. Why not order one next time you visit your local fast food restaurant.

Secret Menu: McDonalds

McDonalds is the biggest fast food chain in the world, serving an estimated 68 million people per day, but do they really have a secret menu? Is there really a trimmed down Big Mac that you can get for a fraction of the price of a real one?

The Land, Sea & Air
A Big Mac with an additional fish patty and chicken patty.

Ingredients – USA
Big Mac (540kcal)
+ Filet-O-Fish patty (120kcal)
+McChicken patty (160kcal)
Approximate cost: $8.49

Ingredients – UK
Big Mac (508kcal)
+Filet-O-Fish (120kcal)
+ Chicken Mayo patty (160kcal)
Approximate cost: £6.37

The McGangBang
Double burger or cheeseburger filled a chicken patty.

Ingredients – USA
McDouble (390kcal)
+ McChicken patty (160kcal)
Approximate cost: $2.00

Double Cheeseburger (445kcal)
+ Chicken Mayo Patty (160kcal)
Approximate cost: £2.48

The Monster Mac
Big Mac with eight beef patties.

Ingredients – USA
Big Mac (540kcal)
+ 3x Double Cheeseburger patties + cheese (280kcal each)
Approximate cost: $8.76

Ingredients – UK
Big Mac (508kcal)
+ 3x Double Cheeseburger patties + cheese (280kcal each)
Approximate cost: £7.26

The Poor Man’s Big Mac
A double Cheeseburger with extra lettuce and Big Mac sauce, without ketchup and mustard.

Ingredients – USA
McDouble (390kcal)
+ Lettuce
+ Big Mac Sauce
– Ketchup and Mustard
Approximate cost: $1.54

Ingredients – UK
Double Cheeseburger (445kcal)
+ Lettuce
+ Big Mac Sauce
– Ketchup and Mustard
Approximate cost: £1.79

Secret Menu: Burger King

Known for their great tasting burgers, Burger King also offer a secret menu that has stayed under the radar. Here’s what you can order in Burger King off the secret menu.

The Veggie Whopper
A Whopper with a veggie patty rather than beef.

Ingredients – USA
Whopper without beef patty (400kcal)
+ Veggie patty (170kcal)
Approximate cost: $4.19

Ingredients – UK
Whopper without beef patty (270kcal)
+ Veggie patty (290kcal)
Approximate cost: £3.89

The BK Ham ‘n’ Cheese
Ham and cheese on a bun of your choice.

Ingredients – USA
Sesame Seed Bun (120 kcal)
+ Ham (breakfast menu)(50kcal)
+ American Cheese (40kcal)
Approximate cost: $3.69

Sorry, UK, this isn’t available in Britain!

Secret Menu: Subway

The sandwich specialists pride themselves on making fresh food that tastes awesome, so customising an order should be simple enough for them, but did you know that Subway have a hidden menu too? Check it out!

The Pizza Sub
A sub with pepperoni, marinara sauce, cheese and veggies.

Ingredients – USA
6″ Sub
+ Three slices of pepperoni
+ Marinara sauce
+ Mozzarella cheese
+ Veggies
Approximate cost: We’re not entirely sure!

Ingredients – UK
6″ Sub
+ Three slices of pepperoni
+ Marinara sauce
+ Mozzarella cheese
+ Veggies
Approximate cost: We’re not entirely sure!

Secret Menu: Five Guys

Five Guys has been a hit in UK market, winning over lots of fans and has grown rapidly since opening their first UK store in 2013. As the US burger chain continues to grow, take a look at the items on their secret menu and go in and order one!

The Double Grilled-Cheese Burger
Two burger patties sandwiched between two Grilled-Cheese Sandwiches.

Ingredients – USA
2x Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (470kcal each)
+ 2x beef patties (220kcal each)
Approximate cost: $11.58

Ingredients – UK
2x Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (470kcal each)
+ 2x beef patties (220kcal each)
Approximate cost: £11.50

Cheese Fries
Fries topped with cheese.

Ingredients – USA
Regular fries (911kcal)
+ Cheese (70kcal)
Approximate cost: $4.29

Ingredients – UK
Regular fries (953kcal)
+ Cheese (40kcal)
Approximate cost: £4.75

Secret Menu: Taco Bell

Much like Burger King, Taco Bell give away what they’re all about in their name – Tacos! Taco Bell is a US favourite that is starting to gain attention and spread further afield, and of course, they have hidden menu.

The Double-Grilled
A quesadilla grilled for twice the usual time.

Ingredients – USA
Your choice of quesadilla… grilled twice!
The price varies depending on your orders.

Sorry UK, this isn’t available either.

Secret Menu: Chipotle

Mexican grill Chipotle is a fairly recent addition to the fast-food market, having only been founded in 1993 but did you know that you can actually get free items of their menu of secret items?!

Single Tacos
If you don’t want to order three tacos, you can just order a single.

Ingredients (both UK and U.S.)
You guessed it, your choice of taco, but just one… Not three.
Approximate cost: $2.25 or £2.15

Extra Shells
Get two free taco shells or one free tortilla shell.

Ingredients (UK and U.S.)
Taco shell (70kcal each)
Tortilla (100kcal each)
Approximate cost: Free!

Secret Menu: Starbucks

If you want your name misspelled on the side of a cup, then Starbucks is the place to go. Starbucks’ almighty rise over the last decade has been impressive and their reach across the world continues to grow. Here’s what you can order in Starbucks that most people don’t know about.

Cookies and Cream Frappuccino
Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino with white mocha sauce instead of regular mocha sauce.

Ingredients – USA
Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino
– Mocha Sauce
+ White Mocha Sauce
Approximate cost: $4.95 for a large

Ingredients – UK
Java Chip Frappuccino
– Mocha sauce
+ White Mocha sauce
Approximate cost: £3.95 for a large

The Holy Grail Meal

A best-of-the-best meal, taking consumers’ favourite items from different stores. All you need is a car and some fast food restaurants that are close-by and you’re onto a winner.

Big Mac with the patties replaced with Burger King patties.
McDonalds fries
Side order of KFC gravy
+ McDonalds chocolate milkshake

Approximate calories: 1430-1750kcal
Approximate cost: $8.99/£9.36

 


I really think that this should have been my birthday in some alternate universe. 

Pumpkins are fantastic gourds. They are the original halloween decoration, the perfect soup ingredient, fun to carve, perfect for pies and the seeds are addictive. There are so many things you can do with pumpkins this time of year, not just set it on your steps and let it get mushy!

Painting Pumpkins

National Pumpkin Day - Pumpkin treats and tricks - appliance city

Carving your pumpkin can be a serious mess. A fun way to get the kids involved, with no knives and pumpkin guts is to paint the pumpkins. These pumpkins from Parent Map are the perfect example of how creative your children can be with their own pumpkins.

Pumpkin Carving

National Pumpkin Day - Pumpkin Carving - DIY - Appliance City

I’m definitely not the best pumpkin carver in the world. I think the best I’ve ever done was cut a big hole in one, fill it with ice and stick a bottle of wine in the pumpkin. Voila, table decoration a la adult halloween party. Pumpkin carving is a lot of fun with the kids, though it can be quite daunting trying to get one to actually look like something resembling a face. The easiest trick I found was to do the following:

  1. Cut the top of the pumpkin off and clean out the insides (keep the seeds for later)
  2. Find a pumpkin face stencil and trace it on to your pumpkin or draw a face that you would like on your pumpkin
  3. Cut out along the lines of the stencil
  4. Clean up the insides and make sure there aren’t any bits hanging down
  5. Place a votive or tea light candle inside – or in our case we use a battery operated candle so it is safe and lasts a good few weeks

This way your kids can choose whatever design they want to see lit up on your pumpkin and having something to trace makes it a lot easier. Just make sure your knife is very sharp and not serrated. Serrated knives seem to make carving a bit more difficult when you’re trying to make a design or face.

If you don’t have access to the real deal you can always make pumpkin crafts with the kids and decorate the house with them for Autumn. Fun crafts for half term will keep them busy and your house will suddenly be very festive.

Pumpkin Recipes

Of course I’m going to include all sorts of ways you can use pumpkins for things other than decoration. Pumpkins are a fantastic source of vitamins and minerals and it helps that they taste fantastic either sweet or savoury.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chilli

Appliance City - Recipes - Pumpkin Chilli

I love recipes that both contain pumpkin and I can make them in my slow cooker. Coming home to dinner already prepared is a mothers vision of happiness. Now if only the dishes would do themselves!

This recipe for Pumpkin Chilli is simple and easy to make. If you are making it as a family meal you may want to omit the jalapenos as children aren’t as keen to eat them as some adults. My Vega has touted this recipe as a vegan one but there is nothing stopping you from adding minced turkey (which is what we did) to bulk it out a bit. We also added cheese to the top and serve it over my family recipe cornbread. It’s one of the recipes I look forward to making every Autumn because when you smell it in the house you know Christmas is well on its way.

Spicy Pumpkin Pasta

spicy pumpkin pasta - recipes - national pumpkin day - appliance city

Pumpkin goes savoury again in this recipe from HGTV. Pumpkins are definitely famous for being made into exceptionally good pies and lattes, but there is so much more that a pumpkin can do. Take this amazing spicy pumpkin pasta for starters. This dish is incredibly simple to make yet tastes so much more complex. There are fresh flavours like mint and hazelnuts combined with pumpkin and parmesan. Think it wouldn’t work? It does, fantastically.

My variation on this recipe is to forgo putting it all together into one dish. Instead, I puree all ingredients (apart from the pasta) together. I then stuff either tortellini or ravioli with the puree. I top it with a pumpkin Alfredo sauce. The sauce is incredibly easy to make:

Ingredients: 

  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 235ml Cream
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed / minced
  • 100g parmesan cheese
  • 1/2tsp nutmeg
  • 1tbsp olive oil

Combine the olive oil and garlic in a pan and saute’ over low/medium heat, but don’t let it go brown. Add the rest of the ingredients and heat through until the cheese is melted. Voila, pumpkin Alfredo sauce. If you want it a bit runnier, add stock to the sauce.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies - recipes - national pumpkin day - appliance city

Until National Pumpkin Day came along and I started doing research for pumpkin recipes I had never heard of a pumpkin chocolate chip. Oh have mercy on my waist line I can’t wait to try these. Don’t like pumpkin or chocolate then these aren’t for you, but I’m ok with that because that means more for me! This recipe from My Paper Crush is my new favourite recipe and the next one on my must try list.

In the UK we don’t have vegetable shortening per say. It is sold in stores as vegetable fat (solid) but you can substitute butter if you can’t get hold of this ingredient. The texture of the cookie will be a little bit different without the shortening but will still taste lovely.

It’s National Pumpkin Day, so get celebrating! Decorate your home, fill it with the smells of yummy pumpkin meals. Whatever you do, make it a day to remember with your family.


Ok, so if you have a peanut allergy this may not be your most favourite day of the year. If you don’t well you’re in luck! I’ve scoured the world wide web and countless recipe books to serve up some fantastic dishes that contain everything from peanuts to brazil nuts and all sorts of nuts in between.

To keep in tradition with other “Days of the Year” posts I’ll feature a recipe with nuts for every meal of the day then throw in a few extras just for good measure.

Sweet Morning Potato with Yogurt, Maple Syrup and Nuts

Appliance City - Recipes - Sweet Potato with Yogurt and Nuts

I know what you’re thinking “Kat….sweet potatoes for breakfast, you’re really taking this too far!” But hear me out. Sweet potatoes are awesome. They are versatile and can be savoury or sweet. We can have sweet potato pie or sweet potato fries, they are the heaven of root vegetables. This recipe from TheKitchn changed my outlook on sweet potatoes from a lunch / dinner ingredient to something I would definitely be happy to eat for breakfast.

This recipe involves baking a sweet potato and topping it with vanilla or plain yogurt, maple syrup and your choice of nuts. I added a pinch of cinnamon to mine and just a tiny bit of butter. It is a seriously filling breakfast but will need some prior preparation because who has the time to bake potatoes in the morning before work. The author of the blog also gives you tips on how to heat up pre-baked sweet potatoes in the morning so you can easily have this fresh at your desk at work or whilst reading the paper with a hot cup of joe in the morning.

Olympic Power Salad

Appliance City - Recipes - Olympic Power Salad

Kick your lunch up a notch with the Olympic Power Salad from Get Me Cooking. This is the ultimate salad for that midday slump on a Monday afternoon. When you need a bit of a pick me up the amount of protein and energy in this lunch is powerful. Packed with chicken, blueberries, lettuce, walnuts and seeds it tastes as delicious as it is nutritious. It’s super quick to make so whipping a few of these up for your work week lunches is a cinch. Get packing!

Thai Chicken with Cashews

Appliance City - Recipes - Thai Chicken with Cashews

That looks absolutely spectacular. Unfortunately, my husband is allergic to nuts so serving something with nuts for tea is out for me. Thai food is one of my favourites, this recipe from The Wanderlust Kitchen looks like it would quickly become something I’d eat all the time. Made with two different soy sauces and fish sauce it has all the classic flavours of your restaurant Thai dish minus the lemongrass. If you’re feeling up to the challenge, instead of going for a takeaway why not make this as a fakeaway and share your experience with me? I’ll live vicariously through your recipe reviews!

Olive Oil and Almond Cake

Appliance City - Recipes - Olive Oil and Almond Cake

When I was a teenager I attempted to make a box cake when my mother wasn’t home. When I say teenager I mean 12, literally. Well we had no vegetable oil in the house to speak of so I thought it would be a good idea to substitute olive oil in the box cake. Wow, what a mistake and it was the grossest cake I’d ever had. Lesson learned. I came across this recipe from Food and Spice that told me “hey, put some olive oil in this cake”. I was dubious after my previous experience with olive oil in a cake but surprise, surprise it came out blissfully wonderful. Almonds are my favourite nut, they are perfect in just about anything. They can go sweet or savoury and add just that little bit more protein. This recipe would be perfect with a cup of Earl Grey first thing in the morning, hold the milk and sugar because this cake has plenty. Don’t take my word for it, make it yourself! It’s like chocolate and chillies, once upon a time we all thought that combination was a bit of a nutter (pun intended).

Celebrate this world nut day with everything from peanut butter and jam sandwiches to peanut brittle. As long as you partake you’ve got a reason to celebrate!


Just under two weeks away is one of my favourite holidays of the year! No, there are no presents involved, just wholesome family fun with a big Halloween party. Why is it my favourite holiday of the year? I get to make some awesome culinary creations to delight and scare party-goers and it starts a few weeks before Halloween.

No party is complete without delicious foods to go with it. So take some of your ordinary party foods and make them look as if they belong in an asylum, haunted house or deserted fairground. Everyone will love them and you’ll love making them. Bonus, they aren’t candy – so they are dental and waistline friendly!

Severed Fingers in a Bun (Hot Dogs)

Appliance City - Recipes - Severed Fingers on a Bun (Hot Dogs)

These would be great at a Halloween party for kids or adults. Probably one of the grossest main Halloween meals I could find, but they are brilliant! Party Tipz brings us the severed finger, a la, hot dog in a bun with loads of tomato (blood) ketchup. A few slices and a fingernail fix and you’ll be scaring the pants off party-goers. This would also work with tofu dogs for the vegan friendly version. This takes “finger foods” to a whole new level.

Halloween Spaghetti

Appliance City - Recipes - Halloween Spaghetti

Oh my gosh, looks absolutely creepy doesn’t it. Kids will love this Halloween Spaghetti from The 36th Avenue. It is incredibly easy to make with just icing colouring found in the baking section. The pasta doesn’t dye your mouth and tastes exactly like pasta should, it just looks a whole lot creepier! Instead of olives for my eyeballs I made bread rolls, really small ones and a sun dried tomato for the iris. My kids won’t eat olives, so if yours will this is excellent and looks something like a melted alien. So even if you aren’t doing a big halloween party, you can still surprise the kiddies for tea this Halloween.

Stuffed Jack O’ Lanterns

Appliance City - Recipes - Halloween Treats

A fantastic way to bring a bit of Halloween cheer to the dinner table. Peppers stuffed with anything from spaghetti to zucchini noodles or rice. This recipe from Healthful Pursuit turns Halloween from a sugar filled candy feast to a healthy meal with all the fun. This is the perfect way to fit Halloween in if your children suffer from food allergies as they can get involved and there are no allergy worries. According to Healthy Pursuit it can be made gluten free, corn free, sugar free, yeast free, nut free or vegan. There’s a bit of something for everyone.

Fun Halloween Treats

Halloween doesn’t have to be all about buying those massive bags of sweets and packingup little goodie bags. Kids do love their sweeties, but we’ve got some fun (and sometimes healthy) alternatives that you can make for this years Halloween party. Even the kids can chip in and help make some of them.

Ghoulish Toffee Apples

Appliance City -Recipes - Poison Toffee Apples

These look absolutely fantastic. My kids would definitely find them awesome! These Poison Toffee Apples from Simply Delicious Food definitely put a ghoulish spin on the typical toffee apples. Goose Fair just ended here in Nottingham and the kids didn’t feel like they got their fill of these fun fair treats, so they’ll definitely be on our Halloween Party menu this year. The recipe is rather easy to make. It’s literally five ingredients, just make sure the apples you choose aren’t waxed or the toffee will just slip right off. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Truffle Mummies

Appliance City - Recipes - Pumpkin Truffles no bake

I can tell you now, these are more than just a Halloween treat. Take away the red mummy eyes and you have great treats for any party, any time of year. I mean who doesn’t love pumpkin cheesecake?

These mummy pumpkin truffles from Le Creme de la Crumb are the perfect quick, no bake treat this year. They do require quite a few ingredients, but this time of year I have nearly everything already in my cupboard. Plus, you read right above, they are no bake. The baking time on the recipe actually correlates to the amount of time they need to be refrigerated. Make them ahead or as a last minute addition to any party. They are guaranteed to make the ghouls grin.

Ooey Gooey S’more Munchie Mix

Appliance City - Recipes - Golden Graham Smores Mix

I’m not sure what screams more Halloween about this dish, the s’more flavours or the nightmare of a mess. Eh, never mind the mess, the kids will love the chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker flavours in this fun gooey munchie mix from The 36th Avenue. This is an autumn staple for my family here in the UK. Without the bonfires on the weekend where we can roast marshmallows and make s’mores this is the perfect alternative. What’s even better is we can eat them from inside without venturing out in the cold!

Now, if your Halloween party is more of an adult affair, I’ve gathered up some of the spookiest cocktails I could find to delight your guests. Why serve up cervezas when you can serve up on of these?

Pumpkin Spice Margaritas

Appliance City - Recipes - Halloween Cocktail - Pumpkin Spice Margarita

If you’ve read any of my other blogs then you know that I am a lover of anything pumpkin spice and this Pumpkin Spice Margarita from Real House Moms is no exception. Until I came across this recipe I believed that margaritas were best left for beach holidays abroad in the sun. That all changed with this fun autumn alternative on the original. Perfect for the adult halloween party or even just a dinner party during the season. They are relatively easy to make and you can make the mix in bulk so you don’t have to play bartender.

The Conjuring

The Conjuring - Halloween Cocktail - Appliance City - Recipes

What a seriously spooky looking cocktail. What could be more Halloween like than Absinthe? That is the main ingredient in this Halloween cocktail from Divine Caroline. For some reason looking at this cocktail reminds me of fog in a cemetery and gives me that creepy goosebumps feeling. Sounds like the perfect juice to serve up at my party next week! Hopefully, everyone will love it as much as me.

Now remember, when you’re serving these epic cocktails with a spooky twist, please drink responsibly.

 

 


Here in the UK we love our Hunters Chicken. It’s available at most local pubs and restaurants and is a favourite homemade dish. The word “cacciatore” in Italian means hunter. So essentially this dish is just an Italian version of this British Classic. For Chicken Cacciatore Day we take a look at the history of the dish and provide a few recipes to inspire your tea time plans this evening.

History

Originating in the 13th century, this dish wasn’t one that was openly available to all households. During the renaissance era, chicken and other poultry was expensive and the only people that could enjoy hunting and afford chicken were the wealthy. The dish originally came from the central region of Italy. Since it’s creation it has taken on several different versions. In the original version of the dish chicken was served with peppers, onion and was actually more of a chicken stew that didn’t contain tomatoes until later centuries.

Depending on where in the world you’re from, your version of Chicken Cacciatore may be quite a bit different that the ones featured here.

Spicy Chicken Cacciatore

Appliance City - Chicken Cacciatore Day - Spicy Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

What I love about this Spicy Chicken Cacciatore recipe from Food So Good Mall is that it is served over mash. So many times chicken cacciatore is served over pasta and this is a great substitution, especially for those of us who love spuds. The name of this recipe can be quite misleading. The ingredients suggest that the spiciest one is black pepper, unless when it says red pepper it really means one big ol’ chilli, but I’m thinking that isn’t what they are talking about. I happen to love spicy food, so I added cayenne pepper when coating the chicken and garnished with fresh diced chillies. Not for the faint of heart, but definitely a spicy kick off this medieval masterpiece.

Chicken Cacciatore from Down Under

Appliance City - Chicken Cacciatore Day - AU Chicken Recipe

I have to admit, before trying this recipe the image of it on Taste.com.au drew me in. It had warm, comfort, autumn food written all over it. I was in for a treat. This Australian version of chicken cacciatore includes anchovies, capers, kalmatta olives and pancetta. To me it tasted like something fresh from Tuscany, despite using a jar tomato sauce instead of fresh tomatoes, but hey it was just easier.  The flavours of the anchovies, olives and capers combine beautifully in this dish. What’s even better? Leftovers are divine!

One Pot Chicken Cacciatore

Appliance City - Chicken Cacciatore Day - One Pot Chicken Cacciatore Recipe

One pot dishes are my saviour during the winter months. There is nothing better than a hearty bowl of something good, with a sweet slice of homemade cornbread. This one pot chicken cacciatore from Sweet Potato Chronicles reminded me more of a cross between chicken cacciatore and pasta e fagioli. The cannellini beans added a beautiful, creamy taste to this otherwise tomato-ey dish.

Since I mentioned cornbread, I know it isn’t something that is readily made in the UK. But I grew up eating it with everything from soup to chilli and everything in between. Enjoy this lovely family recipe (with ingredients available here in the UK).

Tasty Southern Sweet Cornbread Recipe

Appliance City - Recipes - Southern US Cornbread

 

140g All Purpose Flour

150g Cornmeal

150g Caster Sugar

1tsp Salt

3 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 Large Egg

250ml Milk

75ml Vegetable Oil

  • Preheat your oven to 200C. I like to use a cast iron skillet to cook my cornbread but a round cake tin will suffice. Make sure they are liberally buttered/sprayed/greased.
  • In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients until well blended. Add in milk, egg and vegetable oil until mixture is well combined. Pour the cornbread batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. When checked a skewer inserted into the middle of the cornbread should come out clean.

Paleo Chicken Cacciatore

Appliance City - Cacciatore Chicken Day - Paleo Chicken Recipe

A chicken cacciatore recipe that is diet friendly?! Say it isn’t so. You’ll notice that there are no potatoes or pasta to speak of but with a recipe this delicious you won’t miss them. The chicken is cooked in fragrant coconut oil, giving it a spectacular fresh taste. The recipe leaves room for you to add your own seasonings, I opted for oregano, basil, rosemary and cayenne pepper. Yes again with the cayenne pepper, plus of course salt and pepper to taste. Tomorrow for lunch I’ll be wrapping these leftovers in cabbage leaves like a wrap keeping it waist line friendly!

If these recipes don’t give you a bad case of the “I need some chicken” I’m not sure if anything will. Have your own version of chicken cacciatore? Tweet us @appliancecity or find us on Facebook.


I think every week is National Chocolate week or at least we’d like it to be. I never need an excuse to sip a hot chocolate, eat a napolitano chocolate with a fresh coffee or tuck into some tantalising chicken mole. Instead of going back through the files to repost something I’ve made already; I thought, why not dish something up that is season and weather appropriate.

I hate to admit it, my car had frost on it this morning. It’s time to start either parking in the garage or toting around on of those ice scrapers for before work, after work and really anytime it snows. The mornings are dark and the nights too. So I’m ready to fill my days and nights with comforting recipes using decadent chocolate. Because “Hello, my name is Kat and I’m an addict…..a chocolate addict”.

Fitting chocolate into breakfast is easy. There are chocolate cereals, chocolate porridge and hot chocolate. I wanted something different. I went with a recipe that Bobby Flay featured on the Food Network.

Poached Eggs in Mole with Creamy Green Rice

Appliance City - Mole Recipes - Poached Eggs and Mole - National Chocolate week

Now this may be one of the best breakfasts that you have ever had. Not for those that are on the go in the morning. This recipe does take a considerable amount of time to prepare, so it’s perfect for a lazy Sunday.

The recipe combines some of the best flavours. Like the richness of molasses, the creaminess of semisweet chocolate and the heat of a chile de arbol. It not only fits some chocolate into your breakfast without it being a sugar overload, it will also cure your cravings for a Mexican. Pair it with a massive helping of homemade guacamole and you’ve set yourself up for one heck of a day.

Image Credit – JansSushi

It’s Monday – to make it through my day I needed a lunch that inspired me to carry on, a lunch of champions, a lunch like no other. I wanted something that would move me on from coffee after coffee to something that readied me for the rest of my day. Finding such a recipe ended up being quite an arduous task. There aren’t many savoury chocolate dishes that aren’t a mole, but I was determined to find one.

I found utter perfection in this Recipe from Vosges Chocolate.

Chocolate Parmesan Tapioca with Scallops

Appliance City - National Chocolate week - Chocolate Parmesan Tapioca with Scallops Recipe

Forget for a moment that chocolate is supposed to be something you only have at dessert. Close your eyes and bite into a piece of pure heaven. Chocolate and parmesan tapioca is gorgeous, bubbly and delicious. The caramelised scallop that is perched atop needs to be cooked to perfection, so that there is the crunch of the caramelisation on the exterior without losing the tender meat of the scallop. No one wants to eat tough scallops, you might as well feed them a shoe! Finally, finish the dish off with shavings of mushroom walnut dark chocolate and smoked paprika.

Don’t tell your guests how you made the meal. Let them taste it. People so often turn their noses up at reading something instead of allowing their other senses to judge whether or not they like something. Be brave, be bold. Take a bite!

After the amazing meals for breakfast and lunch, tea had to be something a little on the light side, but still a savoury chocolate masterpiece.

I found this chocolate pasta recipe on the Ruhlman Blog.

Savory Chocolate Pasta with Bucherondin, Hazelnuts, and Cherries

Appliance City - National Chocolate Week - Savoury Chocolate Pasta

Cheese, chocolate and cherries? When I read the recipe, I thought you gotta be kidding me. There is no way that chocolate and cheese can go together. Boy, was I wrong. Sweet cherries, nutty hazelnut oil, tart goats cheese combine to make pure palette perfection. The dish is finished with acidic red wine vinegar and sweet maple syrup. While there are a few sweet ingredients in this dish it definitely isn’t a dessert. It is perfect for a light dinner or for a side during a barbecue or get together. Why not try it out?

Dessert, dessert, dessert. Chocolate is always the answer. Who cares what the question is!

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake

Appliance City - National Chocolate Week - Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake - Recipe

This image of perfection makes me want to skip all meals and go straight to dessert. Not only is this pleasing to the eye it is just as if not more so, pleasing to the palette.

It starts with a fudgy, gooey brownie base. Followed by the napoleon of mousses, three layers. Chocolate, Raspberry (with fresh raspberries) and vanilla. Then topped with a chocolate glaze. Add more fresh raspberries and chocolate curls and this is pure food porn. Yes, there I said it.

Mine may not come out looking this beautiful, but it’s guaranteed to taste fantastic. I can’t wait for Christmastime when I have to make something for a potluck. This baby is coming out!

Finally – I must share a recipe for homemade fudge. We all like fudge, well if you don’t than we aren’t friends, but you know what I mean.

Homemade Quick Fudge

Chocolate Week - Fudge Recipe - Appliance City

400g Chocolate – Either dark or light, chefs choice

1 can (appx. 400g) Condensed Milk

100g Caster Sugar

25g Butter

  • Combine the chocolate, butter and condensed milk in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments to keep from burning the chocolate.
  • Once chocolate is fully melted, sift in your caster sugar and mix well.
  • Line a pan with greaseproof or wax paper and press the fudge mix into the pan.
  • Refrigerate over night

Voila! Perfect smooth fudge.

A few quick tips –

  • It’s easier to combine the butter, chocolate and condensed milk if the butter is kept at room temperature.
  • You can add any flavour you want to this I’ve done the following:
    • Orange essence – Like a Chocolate Orange
    • Almond – Like an Amaretto Sour
    • Milk – Who doesn’t like mint chocolate?

Really you can add in any flavour you want or even, marshmallows, crunchy bits, etc. The options for this easy fudge are endless. Plus, being able to personalise it makes it the perfect homemade Christmas gift!

Enjoy chocolate this week in honour of the week, but more importantly enjoy it every week because why not!?


Curry is a British favourite. We’ve gone so far as to name it a “national dish”. Curry came to the UK through the first curry house, Hindostanee in 1809. During this era customers were enjoying tucking into spicy Indian dishes whilst indulging themselves in a bit of hooka smoking. We’ve come a long way since then. Now there are over 9,000 curry houses in England and we’ve come to love the versatile curry dish.

Chicken tikka, chicken korma and balti tend to be the types of curry that are more often than not ordered at the local curry restaurant. For this years National Curry Week we decided to try some of the more obscure curry types and recipes for a bit of a change of pace. Feeling courageous? Why not whip one of these up for tea tonight.

Bhuna

Bhuna is the traditionally a thick sauced curry that is prepared medium hot to hot. First the spices are fried in a generous amount of oil, then the meat added and cooked in its own juices. Because of the way this curry is cooked it tends to have a strong flavour without a bountiful amount of sauce.

Chicken Bhuna

Appliance City - National Curry Week - Bhuna Recipe

Is your mouth watering yet? If only smell-o-vision had been created already! This Chicken Bhuna recipe from Vaniensamayalarai is a perfect example of this traditional curry style. Pair it with pilau rice if you so choose or in my case I love it over a fresh salad. You can make it either medium or hot depending on the amount of curry spices and chillies you use in the preparation of the sauce.

Saag Gosht

Saag dishes are traditionally made with spinach, fenugreek or other tender green leafy vegetables. You can make it with cheese, chicken, prawns or in this case, lamb. Like Bhuna dishes this dish is quite dry compared to other dishes that have a large amount of sauce. It’s full of bold flavours and easily one of my favourites.

Appliance City - National Curry Week - Saag Gosht Recipe

This Saag Gosht recipe from NomNomPaleo is a simplified version of the traditional Indian dish. This recipe may be easier to make than the original but it doesn’t leave out any of the bold, exciting flavours that you would come to expect from this type of food. The greens are fresh and flavourful, whilst the lamb brings in this hearty, comfort food that we’ve come to love. It’s a wonderful dish, perfect for any time of year.

Not all curry dishes that you can order from your local curry house originated from India. Some come from Persia or Portugal but have gained popularity and changed a bit from when they were introduced into the Indian Society. The two recipes to follow are from both ends of the spectrum. One is very mild whilst the other is extremely hot (think hotter than jalfrezi).

Biryani

Biryani is served in Curry houses around the country, but isn’t actually a curry dish. This dish originated in Persia and was known as a baked meat and rice dish. Over time the dish has evolved into the aromatic delicacy that it is. Served with a beautiful stir fried rice, and either vegetable curry or bhuna cooked style meat. You’ll also find it contains sultanas and almonds, making it just that little bit sweeter.

Appliance City - National Curry Week - Biryani Recipe

The dish I chose to make for tea on Thursday is this beautiful Chettinad Prawn Biryani from Mye’s Kitchen.  After marinating the prawns in red chilli, ginger, garlic and aniseed I knew that this dish was going to be a collision of exquisite flavours. The basmati rice needs to be cooked to absolute perfection to keep it from getting too mushy or sticky but other than that this will be perfect for making in big batches and freezing some for rainy days. Definitely one of my favourites.

All curry dishes can be modified to be more or less spicy, just alter the levels of heat inducing spices when cooking up these taste sensations. Enjoy them for lunch or dinner this week!


I don’t think there is a week in the year that doesn’t have a food attached to it. This week is no exception. Touted by the fish mongers and fish and chip shops, it’s National Seafood Week. We plan to bring you a new favourite recipe whether your a lover of langoustines or a connoisseur of crab we’re sure you’ll find a recipe to whet your appetite.

Langoustines

We’ll start with a British favourite. The langoustine. Is it a prawn? Is it a lobster? No, just a strange combination that looks a little bit like both and tastes just as delicious. Langoustines are ideal when used in one pot dishes like paella or when grilled and seasoned to perfection.

Grilled Langoustines with Chilli, Garlic and Coriander

Appliance City - National Seafood Week - Langoustine Recipe

Looking for something to freshen up a date night spent at home? This recipe from Leith’s will bring a bit of a taste sensation to the table. Grilled in a just minutes, the langoustine is the meatier cousin of the prawn with claws like a lobster. When grilled with chilli, garlic and coriander it takes on a beautiful Italian flavour that livens up this crustacean.

Image Credit: Morsoe

Monkfish

The other day when strolling through the supermarket I came upon an abundance of monkfish on sale. Now before this trip, I had never tasted monkfish but I couldn’t just pass this offer by. I had to try it! I browsed the internet on my mobile phone looking for the perfect recipe that would have my husband drooling from the aroma of walking in the door from work and settled on this gem.

Monkfish with Red Peppers and Saffron Rice

Appliance City - National Seafood Week - Monkfish Recipe

Monkfish are traditionally caught down off the coast of Devon through sustainable fishing practices, making this fish a great choice when at the supermarket. This recipe from Jono & Jules is a British take on the traditional paella. Tasting just like a paella without all the extra ingredients it’s sure to be tantalising addition to any menu.

Cod

I think this fish is the most iconic to find in nearly every single nook and cranny in Britain. If there is a shop window, there is a fish and chip shop somewhere nearby that is loaded with this classic white fish. Whilst I could have celebrated National Seafood Week with a trip to my local diner instead I chose to glorify the cod with this fantastic recipe.

Spice Crusted Cod with Baby Greens, Beets and a Lemon-Yogurt Sauce

Appliance City - National Seafood Week - Cod Recipe

What a way to take the fish out of the chip shop and make it more elegant. This recipe I found on Not Eating Out in NY isn’t just for those on the other side of the pond. Cod is a highly accessible fish here in the UK. The spice crust is made up of black peppercorns, coriander seeds and cumin seeds. The Indian inspiration in this dish is so tantalising your partner may not want to go back to the fish and chip shop.

Salmon

One of my favourite fish, Salmon is as versatile as it is succulent. Smoked with breakfast, poached over salad for lunch or steamed with a citrus glaze for tea. Whatever the time of day, Salmon is always the proverbial answer. I digress, what is a celebration if I just make something I’ve already made over and over? Not a celebration of course! So I had to find something that both my partner would like and that I would feel was perfect for the occasion.

Soy Ginger Salmon

Appliance City - National Seafood Week - Salmon Recipe

Now normally, I’m not a fan of anything salty so I tend to stay away from soy sauce. Alas, I will try any recipe at least twice so I gave this one a go. All Recipes showcased this stunning salmon recipe with spring onions, soy sauce and ginger glaze. The salmon is marinated overnight in a homemade marinade that includes orange juice of all things! The next day you can broil the salmon which turns out incredibly juicy and delicious. Even if you aren’t a fan of salmon, I would definitely give this recipe a try.

You don’t have to use British seafood to celebrate National Seafood week but hey, why not?


We never need a reason to eat a lovely pizza but with October being National Pizza Month we can indulge even more! For the best, most delicious home cooked pizza we used our Smeg range with built in pizza stone. It delivers pizza just like you’d find in an Italian pizzaria. Molto bene!

Treat yourself to something other than the typical cheese and tomato pizza. Wow your family with one of these recipes of pizza that is to die for.

Healthy Spinach and Ricotta Pizza

Appliance City - Recipes - Pizza with Spinach and Ricotta

Mama mia that’s a beautiful pizza! Pizza doesn’t necessarily have to be full of calories and bad for the waistline. This Spinach and Ricotta Pizza featured on Food Network is the perfect answer for when you are craving a naughty pizza takeaway. Make it at home and you know just what goes in it, how healthy it is and you can add additional toppings if you so wish.

Whilst this is a healthy pizza, if you’re not watching your weight, love traditional pizzas then the following recipes are just up your alley!

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Appliance City - Recipes - Barbecue Chicken Pizza

 

Utter drool fest. This Barbecue Chicken Pizza by Lil Luna will make you forget all pizza takeaways.  You’ll never want a greasy alternative again. The recipe provided does ask for a specific American barbecue sauce but nothing is stopping us from using Red’s True Barbecue, Jack Daniels Barbecue or any other barbecue sauce that may be your favourite. It is simply delicious, easy to make and much healthier than ordering out.

Grilled Chicken & Bacon Pizza with Garlic Cream Sauce

Pizza Month - Appliance City - Recipes

Grab a napkin and wipe the drool away. No seriously, this gives me a bad case of pizza envy. This recipe from Diary of a Recipe Collector is absolutely to die for. Imagine chicken carbonara or cheesy chicken Alfredo on a pizza. It’s a tempting treat that will please the whole family. Two types of cheese, spring onions, cajun spices and fresh garlic make this feel more like a creamy garlic bread than a pizza, but hey I’m game for that! This pizza taught me that you can use other bases besides tomato and barbecue sauces.

Seafood Pizza

Appliance City - Recipes - Seafood Pizza

There is something so delicious and fresh about seafood. In this recipe from Katherine Mountford she’s taken pizza to next level healthy. This pizza is gluten and dairy free and contains lots of lovely vitamins. Not on a healthy kick? Then make your own pizza crust, add a ton of cheese and indulge in the crispy, gooey, cheesy goodness.

Goat’s Cheese and Spinach Pizza

Appliance City - Recipes - Goats Cheese and Spinach Pizza

What’s missing from this image of utter perfection? Nothing! This recipe from Good to Know has the earthy taste of pine nuts, the rich, deep taste of sun dried tomatoes and creamy goat’s cheese. If you’re not a fan of pizza sauce bases you’ll be pleasantly surprised that this pizza doesn’t have a sauce. It’s the perfect left over slice for warming up in the microwave at lunch. It doesn’t go soggy!

Celebrate October with a few homemade pizzas instead of the traditional takeaway night. Not only can you make it cheaper than you can buy it, but you’ll also know just what goes in it. Are these the perfect pizzas for everyone? Probably not, but hopefully they will give you a bit of inspiration to try something new!


Pretty soon we’re going to be leaving the house when it’s dark and coming home when it’s dark. Cooking lavish meals when it’s so depressingly dark outside can take time and effort that some of us don’t have during this time of year. My answer to this is simple, delicious one pot meals that can sometimes be made in your slow cooker. One of my favourite things about autumn and winter is coming home to smells of homemade pulled pork that has been slow cooking all day or rich, spicy chilli that’s been on since first thing this morning. Best part about it, dinner is done, only one pot to clean and the whole family loves it!

30 Minute One Pot, Skillet Lasagna

Appliance City - Recipes - One Pot Meals - Skillet Lasagna

No jokes, no kidding. This is a beautiful recipe from Five Heart Home. It tastes excellent and is quick and easy to make. Ingredients can also be adjusted to make more or less depending on your family size, which is brilliant! Perfect for coming home when the nights are turning cold and having something warm in your belly, or make a little extra and have something your work mates will envy for lunch the next day.

Fish Stew

Appliance City - Recipes - Fish Stew

Looking for a replacement for fish pie? Something with a completely different taste entirely but still uses up all that seafood? The Fish Stew from GoodtoKnow is certainly the answer. The recipe is a one pot wonder meaning all this yummy goodness is made even better by only having to wash one pot at the end.

Slow Cooked Beef Stew with Wine

Appliance City - Recipes - One Pot Beef Stew with Wine

The image of this lovely beef stew from The Guardian has everyone in the office salivating and is giving more than a few of us ideas for tea tomorrow. Slow cookers are the best thing since sliced bread. The ability to make ahead tea and have the house smelling delicious when you walk in from work is incredible. Plus, it gives you loads of extra time to spend with family instead of standing over the hot oven cooking tea.

Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Pork

Appliance City - Recipes - Barbecue Pulled Pork

 

Now at the beginning of this I did mention barbecue pulled pork. What kind of heartless blog writer would I be if I didn’t include my favourite barbecue pulled pork recipe? I love this recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. Pictured above is the pulled pork sandwich way of preparing it, but I prefer it over a fresh salad with crunchy greens and coleslaw. It is amazing!

Slow Cooker Zebra Cake

Appliance City - Recipes - One Pot Dishes - Zebra Cake

No, you aren’t seeing things. This cake was made in a slow cooker, can you believe it? Moist and amazing, this Zebra Cake from Baking Queen 74 is the perfect dessert if you’re having company over right after work. You’ll have a delicious dessert paired to serve with incredible coffee and it will still be warm! Impress them all with your slow cooking skills.

Making amazing dishes doesn’t mean you have to slave over a hot stove for hours on end. Of course, sometimes we must. But! If you have a slow cooker your time in the kitchen will be quickly diminished but the quality of meals won’t be. You’ll have lovely hot meals ready and waiting for your family as soon as you walk in the door. What could be better for a cold English winter?

Title Image Credit: Free Crockpot Recipes


Why can’t every week be a national cupcake week? This tempting treats are perfect for parties, after dinner dessert or just snacks for whenever. Kids love helping to make and decorate them, too. So, turn this week into a week of family baking fun!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Appliance City - National Cupcake Week - Food and Home

These Red Velvet Cupcakes look so good you can nearly smell them from here. Good thing you can’t or your mouth would probably be watering right now. To kick off National Cupcake Week we decided to start with this recipe from Averie Cooks. Making these are super simple and what’s even better is they taste like they are fresh from the bakery. Want to give them a bit of a twist? Pipe a bit of the vanilla cream cheese into the centre for a stuffed variety.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Peanut butter cupcakes - Recipes - Appliance City

Peanut butter and chocolate go together better than peas and carrots. Stick an actual Reese’s Peanut Butter cup in the centre of your cupcake and it turns into something magical. This recipe from Tastes Better from Scratch caught our eye this week. The frosting is a peanut butter frosting on a chocolate sponge base. Within the sponge base there is a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup, with crushed peanut butter cups for garnish. Looks, smells and tastes divine.

Worried about burning the bottoms of your cupcake concoctions? Multifunction Ovens have the perfect settings to make sure your cupcakes cook evenly and perfect every time.

Toffee Crunch Cupcakes

Appliance City - Recipes - Food and Home

Love toffee? Love coffee? These cupcakes are a decadent combination of the two. We fell in love with the toffee frosting, chocolate dipped top and toffee flourishes. The recipe is relatively simple and will be easy to adapt to British ingredients. We like them so much we can’t wait to see what else Bakers Royale has to offer.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Filled Cupcakes

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Filled Cupcakes - Recipes - Appliance City

Grab a pen and get to writing a shopping list for these tantalising dark chocolate raspberry filled cupcakes from Java Cupcake. This recipe is so good it’s nearly gourmet. The only downside to them, you won’t want to share them with anyone!

Looking for something to make for next weeks Macmillian Coffee Morning? These cupcake recipes are just the beginning. Share the love and share the sugar with your friends, co-workers and family.


Make the most out of blackberries whilst they are in season. We’ve got tantalising recipes for using up all those blackberries, plus tricks on how you can save them for later in the year.

Simple Blackberry Jam

Appliance City - Blackberry Season - Recipes

Jazz up your toast, get creative with that crumpet! Blackberries can take your morning routine from dull to delicious with this simple blackberry jam recipe from Garden Therapy. The recipe calls for wild blackberries, which you can find nearly everywhere in the UK this time of year, but nothing is stopping you from using store bought ones. Not keen on jam on toast? Use this to swirl into lemon loaf for a punch of blackberry flavour or make homemade jam doughnuts. It will quickly be a family favourite. What’s even better is by canning it you can use it throughout the year!

How to Freeze Blackberries

Appliance City - Recipes, Tips and Tricks

If you’re like us and love to enjoy blackberry recipes year round, you’ll want to make the most of blackberry season by freezing them for later. There are a few ways that you can freeze these succulent berries for use later. Always choose berries that are fully ripened, but not too soft. Our first method requires you to lye the berries onto a baking tray one to two berries deep. Place the baking tray in the freezer and allow the berries to become fully frozen (usually 24 hours). Once fully frozen, remove the baking tray and place the berries into freezer bags with appropriate labels.

Our second method for freezing these beauts requires sugar. Berries that are frozen with sugar actually retain their gorgeous colour, flavour and generally last longer. Simply place 2lbs of ripened (not mushy) berries into either a container or your freezer bag with 140 grams of sugar. Easily mix the sugar through, taking care not to damage the berries. Then place in a freezer bag with a label. Perfectly candied blackberries (and raspberries if you wish) that are good for 9 – 12 months.

Blackberry Pie Bars

Blackberry Pie Bars - Recipes - Appliance City

Now that we have all these lovely blackberries frozen for the months ahead, what are we going to do with them all? How about some fresh blackberry pie bars from The Novice Chef with warm custard? Perk up your bake sale, impress kiddy party parents and indulge in these scrumptious treats after tea time. They are super simple to make and so delicious everyone will be asking you for the recipe!

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

Blackberry Cheesecake Bars - Recipe - Appliance City

Grab a napkin and wipe that drool! These blackberry cheesecake brownies from Broma Bakery are divine. You may want to hold off making this recipe though. Why you ask? Because they are that delicious you’ll end up using all the blackberries you’ve stored for the year making this tempting treat over and over.

Blackberry Ginger Smash

Blackberry Ginger Smash - Recipe - Appliance City

While we’re at it, we might as well include a refreshing blackberry cocktail. Why not!? This Blackberry Ginger Smash from Hungry Girl por Vida is a tasty twist on a blackberry gin fizz. Ginger, mint and blackberry muddled together then mixed with gin and soda water are perfect while we still have a few warm days left this year. You can even make a kid friendly version of this by muddling your blackberries, ginger and mint and topping with lemonade.

Blackberry Hoisin Ginger Pork Tenderloin

Blackberry Hoisin Ginger Pork Tenderloin - Recipes - Appliance City

A savoury blackberry recipe? Oh, go on then! Say hello to this juicy pork tenderloin recipe from Carlsbad Cravings. Blackberries, hoisin and ginger come together to make a mouth watering main dish that’s certain to please. Looking to impress on a stay at home date night or want someone to make you something special for your birthday? Give this one a whirl.

It’s blackberry season! Now you know how to store them, freeze them and use them up in a variety of ways. Treat your friends and family to a blackberry kitchen concoction today.