Tricks, treats and fun, freakish eats! Halloween is the perfect holiday to try new dishes, dress up ultra fancy and decor your house to a home of horror. I have to admit, Halloween is one of my favourite times of year. My kids get the most excitement out of decorating the outside of our house to scare their friends when it’s time for trick or treating, plus they love to make fun halloween recipes the whole week up until the day.

Did you know that Halloween is also National Toffee Apple Day? Well it is. But of course I couldn’t do an entire post on toffee apples, well I could have but then I’d be missing writing about Halloween! So it’s all going into one. Toffee Apples are delicious and not just for fun fairs, make them at home, add your own toppings or use chocolate instead of toffee  and give those out instead of candy for trick or treating.

My favourite toffee / chocolate apples are incredibly easy to make and more importantly my kids love to get in on the fun! Adding smarties, hundreds and thousands, nuts, crushed Maltesers, popcorn or crushed biscuits to the outsides of their apples makes it all the more fun.

Toffee Apples with Toppings

Recipes - Toffee Apples - Halloween

Toffee apples have to be the easiest most fun way to celebrate Halloween. I’m not a big fan of giving out loads and loads of chocolate miniatures or bags of sweeties when I know that the kids would much rather have something like this. Side note: I only do this for the children in my neighbourhood where we all know each other. I wouldn’t suggest taking an unwrapped treat of any kind from strangers. If you aren’t close with your neighbourhood then this might just be the perfect addition to your families Halloween party. For go the piñata and go for this fun way to entertain the kids and give them something sweet that is tailored to every child.

For the easiest way to make toffee apples I found this recipe on WikiHow.

Easy Halloween Decor – DIY Style

Halloween decorations can cost a bomb, and if you work or have school aged children when do you have the time to go all out and decorate your garden / home? I don’t have an extra minute in my day let alone a few hours. So with this being one of the biggest kiddy holidays I get them involved. I found this awesome Window Monsters DIY Halloween Decoration from Wired.com and just had to give it a go. I made a few short amendments that made mine a bit spookier but that was up to what my kiddies wanted. Make yours just how you want them as well.

Window Monsters - DIY -Decor

These are so cute, and not so scary, so the kids will love helping to make them. My few changes were to add tissue paper where there were eyes, so that they glowed a bit from the back lighting. I also didn’t leave the entire room light on, instead we chose to use battery operated candles so it glowed behind them making them more spooky. It’s fab when people drive by and see them, then they drive by again real slow.

Floating Candle Ceiling

Appliance City - Halloween Ghoulish treats and tricks

Did your kids (or you) love the floating candle great hall scene from Harry Potter? Then they will love this DIY Halloween Decor idea from Eating Bender. This would make the ultimate halloween party decor for children or adults. For an adult party it gives great ambiance and for a kids party I mean Hello! Harry Potter themed kids party was my kids dream for years. Little do they know our conservatory is becoming the great hall on Saturday and it will be a fantastic surprise. Super easy to replicate using LED lights, cardboard rolls and white paint; do this for a birthday party or really any party.

DIY Kids Halloween Costumes

Halloween costumes are a big discussion point in my house right now. There have been several news items regarding the costumes that are purchased in stores being a fire hazard and I’m not taking any chances with my babies. When there are pumpkins around with candles inside there is no reason why I would even chance something horrible happening. So this year, we’re going DIY.

Voodoo Doll 

Sorry for the lack of imagery here, no pics of my babies in costume until after the day and using pictures of someone elses kids just seems out of sorts. So i’ll try to paint a visual picture for you so that you might be able to use this to make your kids a fun, safe costume.

My daughter decided on a voodoo doll as her Halloween costume after seeing some posted on Pinterest. This one was a lot of fun to create and she is definitely excited to show her friends at the party on Saturday.

Creating the outfit:

  • Red and white stripped tights
  • White Dress
    • Red felt heart cut out and sewn over the heart on the dress. I also sewed on white pipe cleaners with red puff ball ends to resemble needles.
    • Permanent market stitches on the tights and bodice of the dress.
    • Face paint with stitching over the mouth and fake needles in the hair

It’s a girly and fun outfit, but would be perfect for a boy dressed in white trousers and a white long sleeve top. It’s also a great adult Halloween costume, really it just is what you make it. Get creative!

Minecraft Steve

My youngest (8) is all about Minecraft right now. We’d already purchased for him the diamond sword and pickaxe, which are actually foam and do absolutely nothing but he loves them. I have to admit, I don’t exactly understand Minecraft but I’m more than happy to build and mine with him to his delight. So this year we found an online tutorial for a Minecraft Steve costume.

Appliance City - All Hallows Eve

This costume is seriously easy to make all you need is a printer, a box the size of your child’s head, paper that is poster sized A3 will work and cardboard. Use a blue t-shirt so he looks like him and cut out the holes for eyes. Voila, your mini me is a mini Steve.

Here at Appliance City we’d like to wish you and your family a safe and Happy Halloween.


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!


Reading in the Metro this morning I saw that this is supposed to be the coldest winter in Britain in over 80 years. They say to expect over 36 days of snow and ice and record setting low temperatures. My response? Yes! I get to make loads of soup! Guess I better buy a new freezer to put all these leftovers in.

Typically this time of year you can find potato and leek soups, tomato basil soups and broccoli and cheese soups as common menu items in local restaurants. I wanted to showcase different soups that you may not have thought of to bring a bit of a different taste to your palette and a refreshing change to your soup routine.

Spanish Potato, Garlic and Chorizo Soup

Potato Garlic and Chorizo Soup - Recipes - Appliance City

This soup doesn’t just look delicious; the smell and taste are exquisite. This morning I awoke to the rain absolutely hammering it down, the wind was whipping up a gale and all I could think is “I’m going to freeze today”. Straight into the crock pot when this beautiful soup from Food and Travel. It isn’t meant to be made in a slow cooker, but I have a full time job, go to school and hot yoga, I don’t have time everyday to commit to making a full on meal. So this baby went in my trusty slow cooker. I’m cooking it low and slow, but following the normal recipe the chorizo comes out a bit more crisp than it would in a slow cooker. Either way you get the lovely creaminess of the potato, smokey spiciness of the chorizo and the lush hint of white wine. It is beautiful and perfect for a winter date night in.

Rustic Parsnip Soup

Rustic Parsnip Soup - Recipes - Appliance City

So many people are put off by the parsnip. It isn’t a traditionally delicious root vegetable when served on it’s own, though I do love them roasted or prepared like chips. In this soup by Petit World Citizen the parsnip is joined by Jerusalem artichokes (Sunchokes), pear, walnut and coconut milk. It is a beautiful curried soup that has complex flavours that even the most picky palette will love. When it comes to preparation don’t be confused and think that jerusalem artichokes can be substituted for regular artichokes, they aren’t even related. If you can’t find this elusive root vegetable you are better of substituting with something like a potato since the consistency is relatively close, though the taste is different. I added a fresh slice of garlic ciabatta bread for dipping, because what soup doesn’t deserve a good dipping bread?

Split Pea Soup with Portobello Mushrooms

Split Pea Soup with Portobello Mushrooms - Recipes - Appliance City

Split pea soup doesn’t tend to be a favourite in many households. Mine isn’t included among those. Probably because split pea and ham is one of my favourite soups of all time. This one just might knock that off the top spot though because what do I love more than pea soup, mushrooms, put them together and it’s heaven in a bowl. Food and Wine deliver this beaut of a recipe that takes just under an hour to prepare. Finished with the sauteed mushrooms and fresh parmesan and you have a decadent soup that you’ll want to eat day after day.

My only suggestion that might make this a bit better, and it may just be my love of bread, but it would be to serve it in a rustic bread bowl. The flavours of the split peas soaking into the bread to be eaten after is absolutely delicious and would make more filling for someone who prefers meat in their soup.

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Stew

Appliance City - Recipes - Mexican Chicken Stew

I come from the southern states in the US, where there is an abundance of Mexican restaurants. No, I’m not talking about Taco Bell but the real deal, family run restaurants with amazing soups and stews like this one. Making this stew reminds me of home and when I smell all the delicious aroma when I walk in the door from work it makes me feel all warm inside even though I haven’t even touched a bite. Sweet Peas and Saffron have hit the nail on the head with this fabulous recipe. It has all the essences of Mexican food in a simple recipe that makes your life simpler by being made in your slow cooker.

If you were in the US, I would definitely follow the recipe to a T. But being in the UK, it’s been very difficult for me to find a “salsa” that actually tastes like salsa should. So a substitution is called for. Now either you can grab a can of chopped tomatoes with chillies and throw them in. If you have a small food processor or are good with a knife I’d suggest my pico de gallo recipe to throw in there.

Kat’s Killer Pico de Gallo:

Ingredients:

  • 3 Large Tomatoes – chopped
  • 1 Avocado – peeled and diced
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic – minced
  • Handful of Fresh Coriander – chopped
  • 3 Jalapenos  (can use red chillies)
    • The trick to jalapenos is use more or less depending on how hot you want it. Remove all the seeds if you want it as mild as possible, and keep the seeds if you want it really spicy.
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Lemon – Juiced
  • 1 Red Onion – can use white onion I just prefer the red ones

Chop, dice and mince everything and combine into a bowl. If you want something that is less chunky put everything into a blender and voila you have a salsa without chunks.

Now that you have your own pico de gallo come salsa you can add that to your slow cooker with your chicken, black beans and other ingredients. When you walk in the door, tea will be ready, the kids will be fed and cleanup is a cinch. Enjoy.

Zuppa Toscana

Appliance City - Recipes - Creamy Gnocci and Kale Soup

If any of you have ever visited the United States and eaten at a restaurant called Olive Garden, this soup will seem quite familiar. The recipe from Gimme Some Oven creates a soup that is nearly identical in taste which is, let me tell you, amazing. This soup is incredibly easy to make with only seven ingredients, most of which you can find in your local supermarket. The only ingredient I had a difficult time finding was the spicy Italian sausage, but I did find some good alternatives. Heck sausage has an Italian chicken sausage and Asda has an Italian inspired pork sausage. These may be hard to come by so it may be worth using pork sausage and adding spices to make up for the lack of Italian sausage. Either way the soup will be gorgeous! The sausage is definitely the main ingredient in this dish, though I happen to love the gnocchi. It’s a heavy soup so I would suggest having it as a tea rather than a lunch.

Have a favourite winter time meal? A go to meal plan for when the snow is piling up? Share it with us via email or tag us on Twitter @appliancecity.

Title Image Credit: Bojon Gourmet


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.

 

 


Well we have to call these hacks because how else can you describe a homemade version of your favourite big brand, coffee shop latte? A frap hack? A macchiato metaphor? Whether it is any or all of the above we’ve got some of your favourite high end coffee shop recipes, that will not only save you money but are typically better for your waistline.

The first step to an amazing Pumpkin Spice Latte or Peppermint Mocha is to have the right syrups. Typically you can purchase the basic syrups in your local supermarket but I’d rather make them homemade, because then at least I know what is going into them.

Homemade Coffee Syrup

Appliance City - Homemade Coffee Syrup - Recipes

Image Credit: A Beautiful Mess

All homemade coffee syrups have the same base:

  • 235ml Water
  • 227g Sugar

These two basic ingredients then make your simple sugar syrup. You can also make these using a sugar substitute like Stevia to make it diabetic friendly.

Now for the fun bit of making it the flavours that are to die for at the coffee shop. We’ll start with the basics like vanilla, caramel and mocha.

Vanilla Coffee Syrup

 

  • Vanilla pod – sliced and scraped
  • Vanilla extract (2 tbsp)

Bring the base (water and sugar) and the vanilla pod and beans to a rolling boil on the stovetop. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract. Once the mixture is fully cooled, run through a sieve to remove the pod and vanilla seeds. Pour into a fun container like the ones used for oil and vinegar on the tabletop. Label.

Please note: This mixture will keep for one week on the worktop and up to one month in the refrigerator. If you are keeping on the worktop ensure that the container is airtight.

Caramel Coffee Syrup

This recipe uses the base mixture, but in a bit of a different way from the above.

Start with your 227g of sugar, place it into a saucepan over medium heat. Continue to stir over low heat until the sugar starts melting. Once the sugar starts to turn brown add your 235ml boiling water (have the kettle at the ready!). If you burn your sugar, simply start over. Allow the mixture to cool, sometimes taking up to two hours and remove to an airtight container.

Life Begins with Coffee – Get Drinking!

Chocolate Coffee Syrup (Mocha)

  • Base mixture (separated)
  • 125g Unsweeted Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Mix together (thoroughly) the 227g sugar and 125g cocoa powder. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa powder, salt and 235ml cold water. Whisk the mixture over medium heat until it thickens, typically three to four minutes. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract. Allow the mixture to cool and place into an airtight container.

These syrups can be used to make your favourite lattes or frappes or added to your smoothies, ice cream or any treat.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

It’s that time of year when everyone is wanting those magnificent pumpkin spice lattes at that coffee shop that shall remain nameless. Get your own pumpkin spice fix at home with this simple syrup.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 can of Pumpkin Puree – This can be found in Tesco’s, Waitrose or Cosco if you’re lucky enough to have a card.
  • 50g Brown Sugar (Billington’s works best and can also be found at Tesco)
  • 2 Tbsp Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • A tiny pinch of Nutmeg (Be careful, too much and it’s overpowering)
  • 235ml Water

Combine all ingredients into a saucepan in whisk over medium heat. Once fully combined reduced to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool before removing into an airtight container.

This way you can pumpkin spice anything in your life!

These are my favourite coffee syrups I like to keep on hand at home. Coffee syrups can cost a bomb and are normally full of all sorts of preservatives, so I prefer to make them myself. If you need sugar free versions of these, just send us a message and I’ll see what I can do.

While it isn’t summer, I might as well share my favourite cold coffee recipe. I absolutely love an iced caramel macchiato and they are even better when you don’t have to get dressed to go to get one! Enjoy one of these out on the patio this summer.

Iced Caramel Macchiato

Appliance City - Iced Caramel Machiatto - Recipes

One of my favourite summertime drinks (I’m a coffee addict and not afraid to admit it) is the Caramel Machiatto from Grace and Salt. The recipe calls for almond milk but I use coconut milk in mine because the aftertaste of almond milk just doesn’t agree with my palette. The taste is a bit different than what you would expect with almond milk or normal milk, but so good! You can also use full fat or skimmed milk in this recipe to make it your own.

Image Credit: Pocket Change Gourmet

Coffee doesn’t have to be hot, it can be whatever temperature you want it. Just remember it’s best served with cake!

In the mood for cake? Try one of these dessert recipes from our Macmillan Cancer Coffee Morning!


I know, I know. I love to make all the goodies that are terrible for my waistline, but my tastebuds say it’s all worth it.

So this morning on BBC Good Morning the weather forecaster stated that some swan has arrived in the UK extremely earlier than normal, so apparently it is going to be a harsh, cold winter. Cold winters mean lots of wrapping up when you go outside or for me it means loads of days inside, warmed by the fire, baking up a storm for my friends and family.

Since Apple season is still going strong, my ode to National Dessert Day tonight will be Apple Crumble Cheesecake. Don’t tell my sister, it’s normally her super secret dessert that is served only at Thanksgiving and she doesn’t like giving away ANY recipes. Now I didn’t go stealing my sisters recipe, but I did find one that is incredibly similar from Dessert for Two.

Apple Crumble Cheesecake

Appliance City - Recipes - Apple Crumble Cheesecake

This dessert is a massive hit with everyone in our family and my sister has had to make at least two of them to get us through the day and we’re still craving it for days after. The crust isn’t your typical store bought crust, it contains a very special ingredient, apple cider vinegar which believe it or not is AMAZING. I don’t think there are enough adjectives in existence to tell you just how good this is, so you’re just going to have to make this recipe for yourself. Just be aware – It is addictive. You may gain a few pounds. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Homemade Snickers Bars

Appliance City - Recipes - Homemade Snickers

This recipe from How Sweet Eats is absolutely divine. Not only will you have homemade snickers at hand all the time, you can give these babies as handmade Christmas gifts. what is better than a chewy, nougaty, chocolatey snickers bar. Nothing! That’s what.

Now the recipe does take some time to prepare and you’ll need to convert all the ingredient measurements to metric, but let me tell you, they are worth it. Just hide them from the kids or they’ll be sneaking them every time you turn your back!

Apple Cranberry Tart

Appliance City - Recipes - Apple Cranberry Tart

Tarts have never been my strongest dessert. I couldn’t seem to get the crust correctly. It would always be too soggy in the middle or the edges over done. I found these easy steps to follow from Better Homes and Gardens and woe be gone tarts come out perfectly now!

This Apple Cranberry Tart recipe was found on the Viking Cruises website. Interesting right?! Who’d have thought they would have recipes. No one even tried to see me a cruise, love that! Anyway, the tart recipe is relatively simple. The apples I used were pink ladies because they are my favourite and are currently in season. I couldn’t find fresh cranberries this time of year so I went for dried cranberries and reduced the amount to 2/3 of the required fresh amount. Still turned out beautifully. This is perfect for a Sunday tea or if you’re having friends over for coffee. The tart is light and won’t leave you feeling overfull.

Apple Trifle with Mascarpone Cream

Appliance City - Recipes - Apple Trifle with Mascarpone Cream

Who says trifle has to be all about strawberries and mixed fruit? Not me. I know, there are a lot of apple recipes in here. Don’t blame me, blame mother nature. I like to use fruit that is in season from local growers. It’s good for the environment and the economy.

This recipe from Fine Dining Lovers was the perfect combination of one of my favourite desserts (trifle) with a hint of my favourite season (Autumn). I love desserts that are seasonal and this one is no exception. Stewed apples, creamy mascarpone and orange juice are a mixture that will excite the senses. Perfect for finishing off a Christmas dinner or serving at a dinner party; they need to be made around 45 minutes prior to serving and cannot be frozen.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Caramel Swirl

Appliance City - Recipes - Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Caramel Swirl

Now what kind of blogger or even American would I be if I didn’t include a pumpkin dessert in this ode to desserts? A really bad one that is what. I didn’t want to include the iconic pumpkin pie. Not everyone is keen on pumpkin pie. So I found this recipe and thought it would be the perfect substitute. Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with a homemade caramel swirl. Yes, they are just as delicious as the name implies. I love handmade caramel, nothing store bought ever comes close to this lush taste. It brings just that little bit extra to the pumpkin cheesecake – not that it needs anything extra. As a variation on this recipe I’ve also done them as pumpkin cheesecake swirl bars with a digestive crust. Enjoy doing your own variations and making mouths happy.

Spiced Caramel Apple – Dessert Cocktail

Appliance City - Recipes - Spiced Caramel Apple Dessert Cocktail

We’ve found amazing recipes on the She Knows blog loads of times. It seems like the go to place for anything scrummy, this recipe was no exception. Who doesn’t like a good liquid dessert now and again. They are perfect for when you have served a heavy meal and no one is in the mood to down a slice of pie. This Spiced Caramel Apple dessert cocktail smells like everything Autumn and will have you guests feeling the holiday spirit in no time. If not, they can always have another.

Really, National Dessert Day should be more like a month long. I love baking and cooking desserts. Not only are they absolutely delicious but there are smiles all around when my friends and family taste them.

 


Today is a celebration of a British breakfast tradition going back thousands of years. With the versatility and taste it’s easy to see why it’s been around this long, and why Scotland has made it a National Dish. They even have an event that is in it’s 22nd year, the World Porridge Making Championship. So if you aren’t stopping by for our Range Cooker Sale Event why not take in this Scottish tradition?

Delicious, filling and bursting with energy it’s no wonder that it’s the perfect breakfast for children and adults alike.

Let us go beyond the normal tradition of adding a touch of honey to our porridge, serving up some smooth Ready Brek for the kids or one of those simple microwave porridge cups. Instead, on this cool autumn morning, serve up on of these masterpieces. Though don’t blame us if your family prefers it to the convenient, packaged ones!

Cinnamon Porridge with Caramelised Bananas

Appliance City - World Porridge Day - Recipe

If you are a massive fan of getting breakfast on the table in a snap, this recipe from Taste.com goes from stovetop to bowl in less than 15 minutes. On a freezing winter morning this will be a massive hit to keep your family going throughout the day. I prefer using Scottish Oats than just normal rolled ones bought in the supermarket for this recipe and add a tiny bit of vanilla during the cooking process. It is so good it could almost be called morning dessert.

Green Apple and Almond Porridge

Appliance City - World Porridge Day - Recipes

I went in search of a porridge that defied the norms. One that wasn’t full of syrup or sugar and fit into my lactose intolerant life. I found this beautiful Apple & Almond Porridge from Veggie Num Num. Subtle hints of lemon, brown sugar and cinnamon blend perfectly with the apple, almond and porridge. Whilst the recipe has been altered for a vegan (or lactose free) lifestyle it can be easily changed to traditional made porridge with cows milk. For a bit of a twist I also suggest adding just a tiny touch of nutmeg. The smell made me think of Christmas morning and was a lovely mental break away from work.

Brown Butter Toasted Porridge with Roasted Pears

Appliance City - World Porridge Day - Roasted Pear Porridge

Sweet, nutty, smooth and delicious are just a few words I would use to describe this porridge recipe from Simple Bites. This recipe called for steel cut porridge in lieu of the typical rolled oats. I found that the steel cut oats kept more of their texture after cooking and were a bit more meaty – if you know what I mean. Not mushy, not the feeling of baby food, but honest to goodness oats. They do take a bit longer to cook, around 40 or so minutes, but if your stomach can wait they are definitely worth a try. If you kids are always after sweet cereals, this would be a good, healthy alternative that they will still love.

Prepare your porridge at the perfect temperature on a stunning Induction Range Cooker

Ok …. so what. I said I would do recipes that you could have for breakfast this morning. Well, what if you’re reading this email and it’s noon? Or tea time? Well I suppose you could have binner (breakfast for dinner) or you could try one of these savoury porridges. Yes, savoury porridge. During the Elizabethan era and even going back as far as the 12th centure, savoury porridges were an English favourite. They did fall out of favour after that time period but savoury porridges can be found in other cultural dishes. Why not try a few? You might be surprised and find a new favourite dish.

Congee with Spring Onions, Soy Sauce and Ginger

Appliance City - World Porridge Day - Congee Recipe

Congee is a traditional savoury porridge favoured in Asian countries. I love Asian food and settled on a recipe from The Backyard Lemon Tree. The porridge is made with water and salt. You then stir in your soy sauce and spring onions and any toppings you wish, I favoured fresh grated ginger as it gave the dish a bit of a kick. Perfect for a light dinner or even a starter this dish just may change your outlook on just what porridge is.

Savoury Porridge with Poached Egg

Appliance City - World Porridge Day - Savoury Porridge with Poached Egg

Now this recipe by Dishing Up the Dirt is definitely one to get behind. Was it some genius moment of inspiration? Nope. It was a woman coming in from a 5 mile run who had been drooling over the thought of a sweet porridge filled with fruity goodness only to find she had nothing of the sort in the house. Alas, she did have porridge. What she came up with is pure brilliance. A savoury porridge with spring onions, mushrooms, tamari sauce and coconut oil, topped with a poached egg. This is perfect for those who love a hearty, savoury breakfast or something for a warm, easy to make tea idea.

 


Oh no! In less than 12 hours we’ll see the finale of Great British Bake Off for yet another season. If you’re anything like me, GBBO gives me this feeling that I can conquer the baking world, whip up a confectionary concoction fit for a king and dazzle my friends with complex desserts. Alas, this never happens. I end up with runny in the middle cakes, parfaits that look more like sick than stupendous and pie crusts that look nothing like they should.

In honour of the end of one of my favourite programs I thought why not whip up something delicious, but then remembered I have a proverbial black thumb in baking. So on to the interwebs I go, in search of baking hints, tips and tricks and maybe a fantastic recipe or two!

1. The Dreaded Sunk in Cake

Appliance City - Hints and Tips

Ok so I’m horrible about this. I am constantly opening the oven to check the cake isn’t burning on the top or running over the edge onto the bottom of my oven. Despite having a lovely window to look through into my oven and a light, I still feel the need to open the door. Call me crazy. This is where I’ve been going wrong the whole time. To avoid the sunken cake catastrophe it is essential that you leave your oven door closed for as long as possible. Stick to the guide times for cooking in your recipe and only open at the end of that cooking period. Voila! No more dip.

Image Credit: Hairy Farmer Family

2. Uncooked Gooey Middles

Appliance City - Hints and Tips

This is my baking sin. I’m so excited that I’ve actually baked something that when it “looks” done I pull it out, let it rest and want to put the frosting as soon as possible. Then when we’re all gathered round the table and I’m ready to serve up this masterpiece, it comes out like this. My guests faces in different levels of shock and amazement. How could Kat undercook the cake…..again!? Not to mention the anger that they won’t be eating a delicious chocolate cake but maybe “here’s some cheese”.

To avoid the dreaded gooey middle there are a few ways to tell if your cake is cooked properly. First, the knife check. Insert a knife into the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean it is fully cooked, if it isn’t put it back in the oven. Second, cakes that are fully cooked should be pulling away from the edges of the pan that they are in and springy to the touch. Now these rules only count if you are making a sponge cake. If you are making a cake with fruit in it, it will not pull away from the side of the tin like a sponge cake would. If you insert a toothpick or skewer into the centre of your fruit cake it should come out clean when completely cooked.

Multifunction Ovens give the ability to bake with perfection no matter what the dish.

3. Melted Icing Madness

Appliance City - Baking - Hints and Tips

Now here in Britain we tend not to use frosting or icing on the outside of a sponge cake unless it’s called for in the recipe. Coming from the US I love frosting my cakes and using special pastry tips to make fun designs. The key to your icing not melting off the top of your cake is to leave your cake to completely cool before starting the icing process.

Allow your cake to cool in its pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan onto a rack to cool. Leaving it any longer than 10 minutes will make the cake difficult to remove from the pan and may end up in a mess. Once on the rack allow the cake to cool completely to room temperature. I leave mine for 30 minutes just to be sure that it is fully cooled before covering in frosting. This will ensure that the frosting doesn’t melt off the cake and there are no cake crumbs in your frosting.

4. Preparation = Perfection

Appliance City - Hints and Tips - Baking

All of a sudden you’ve got a hankering for some cake. It’s essential before you begin the quest of creating a delectable treat that you are properly prepared. Your recipe is calling for cake flour, but all you have is bread flour. This is definitely a no-go. Your cake will come out stodgy and thick instead of light and springy. Using the correct type of sugar is also essential. Only have demerara sugar or granulated sugar but your recipe calls for caster? Using the wrong type of sugar will also effect the outcome of your cake consistency possibly making it grainy.

Preparation isn’t all about having the right ingredients but also making sure everything is ready before you get down to cooking. Eggs should be at room temperature before they are added to the wet ingredients. If you are like me and put your eggs in the fridge they will need to warm up before being added. Sifting the flour isn’t optional before adding it to other dry ingredients, it’s essential. Finally, preparing your pan will keep you from being utterly disappointed when your delicious cake is stuck firmly in the pan. For the record, icing it in the pan because it’s stuck won’t fix it either! So grease or use your parchment paper to ensure a beautifully presented cake.

5. Parfait Presentation Tips

Appliance City - Baking - Hints and Tips

My parfait presentation used to be abysmal. I couldn’t get all the layers in without them dripping down the sides and conglomerating into one huge mess. The trick to getting a perfect parfait presentation is to use a spoon smaller than the smallest width of the parfait container. Having patience will ensure that you get layers with precision edges that your guests will drool over.

Image Credit (and Recipe): Community Table

6. Foolproof Pie Crust

Appliance City - Hints and Tips - Baking

Pie season is nearly upon us. Cooler weather means ovens are on and savoury and sweet pies are fresh, hot and ready. My pie crusts happen to look like the one above, a little weird around the edges. My issue is I don’t roll out the dough properly or large enough for my pie plate so I’m left sticking bits here and there to bring it above the line. So before my family is begging for homemade steak pie or Christmas comes around and I’m asked to make a caramel apple pie I thought I would step up my pie crust game with some help from the internet.

The best advice I came upon comes from our friends at Fine Cooking. Their secret to the ultimate pie crust is simple, butter and lots of it. It’s not the usage of butter but how you use it. A little pearl of wisdom, use your hands to mix the dough, not any mixers. Yes, it may be a bit more time consuming but in the end you’ll have a beautiful, flaky pie crust.

Baking doesn’t have to be left for the experts. With a little prior planning, research and a great recipe you just might be on the next Great British Bakeoff!


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?


Hurrah! It’s National Egg Week. From eggy bread to scotch eggs and everything in between. We’ve rounded up some creative egg recipes to fill your families bellies this autumn.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day you might as well make it delicious!

Indian Style Scrambled Eggs

Appliance City - National Egg Week - Recipes

Indian food is a British favourite. This recipe is a unique twist on a standard scrambled egg on toast breakfast. OxNosh delivers the adult version of a kiddies favourite, packed with all those tantalising Indian flavours we love. It isn’t just for breakfast, it would also make a tasty dinner for one. Trust us, it’s worth getting out of bed for in the morning.

Eggy Bread and Veggie Cobbler

Appliance City - National Egg Week - Recipes

It’s that time of year. The mornings are getting darker, the evenings too. It’s chilly from the time we open our eyes to the time we close them. The morning routine of a bowl of cornflakes won’t warm you to the soul like something as good as this Eggy Bread and Veggie Cobbler from eggrecipes.co.uk. If you’re a bit like me, I can’t eat first thing in the morning, so this dish is perfect for my “brunch”. Packed with delicious veggies, gooey cheese and yummy eggs I look forward to this with a cup of joe whilst I sit down to work.

Smoked Haddock with Watercress and Poached Egg

Appliance City - National Egg Week - Recipes

Lunches tend to be quite samey, samey. Same sandwiches, same soups, same cobs, same blah blah blah. Give yourself a pickup halfway through you day with this Smoked Haddock with Watercress and Poached Egg recipe. Smoked Haddock is one of my favourite fish. The delicious smoked flavour of the flakey white fish is perfect paired with this creamy watercress sauce from The Telegraph.

Kedgeree with Eggs and Tarragon

Appliance City - National Egg Week - Recipes

Autumn is the time of year where our evenings are filled with football practice, dance recitals and other after school activities. By the time we get home and are able to sit down for a meal it’s after 8pm and we’re finding anything to fill our belly. When I have more to-do’s on my list than hours in the day I like to have my “tea” during lunch time. This Kedgeree with Eggs and Tarragon featured on Oprah.com is hearty and filling. My only suggestion would be to use the tarragon sparingly, unless you really love it’s anise flavour.

Moroccan Merguez Ragout with Poached Eggs

Appliance City - National Egg Week - Recipes

According to national surveys the amount of meals eaten either in a restaurant or ordered as takeaways surge during the Autumn and Winter months. Instead of venturing out into the blistering cold winds and driving rain, why not make a fakeaway? This Moroccan Merguez Ragout featured on Food52 reminds me of a beautiful dish I was served on holiday in Morocco. Not only is it simply delicious, it also reminds me of warmer times like holiday during the dreary English winter months.

Egg Florentine Pizza

Appliance City - National Egg Week - Egg Recipe

Now before you turn your nose up and walk away because….what?! Eggs on Pizza? Hear me out. Egg Florentine Pizza is a time honoured recipe in traditional Italy. Think of breakfast, runny egg yolk over crisp toast and smokey bacon. Now put that together with your grilled tomatoes and a bit of spinach. It’s the breakfast of champions! Well instead of toast this features a crisp pizza crust and is absolutely to die for. The ultimate “binner” (breakfast for dinner) recipe is this recipe from Taste.com. It’s warm, it’s comforting and it’s delicious, what more could you ask for?

If you love the feel of a crisp crust on the traditional restaurant pizza, fear not, with some of the range cookers from Smeg you get a pizza stone. Perfect for making that restaurant style pizza right in the comfort of your own home.

Now typically I do a dessert within our National Week posts, but since this is also National Cake week, I’ll be leaving the mouth watering desserts for another day.

 


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