Winner Winner Chicken/Turkey Dinner

Chicken, not turkey
Being American, I normally roast a whole turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. Five years ago I was about to put the turkey in the oven and realised we had run out of tin foil. Our daughter was napping and Husband was at work so I couldn’t go to the shop. After a little research on the web, I read about cooking the turkey upside down. I did, and it was a huge success. And ever since, I have cooked my turkeys and chickens upside down and have never had a dry bird.

Upside Down


I made a yummy roast chicken for dinner last night, and I made it the same way I make my turkey, so if that helps your Christmas dinner–you’re welcome. I’m not going to go into all the details of how to cook a whole chicken. But I will give you my tips for making the chicken extra juicy. First, I rub it in butter, then add salt, pepper, Italian herbs. If I have them, I will put a half lemon and some garlic inside the chicken. I then rub some olive oil over the chicken. And then (this is the most important bit) I cook it upside down for the first 3/4 of the cooking process. I turn the chicken over for the rest of the time so the top browns. Sometimes I add bacon to the top of the chicken or turkey. But it ALWAYS turns out juicy and yummy.

 

Moves Like Mary (Berry)

As a Stay-At-Home-Mum, I feel like I should be a able to bake lovely cakes and biscuits. My five year old, Moozles, loves baking. I say baking, but really she likes cracking eggs and mixing everything up. For years I have tried baking, and always fallen short. Earlier this year, a mummy friend gave me her recipe for a lemon drizzle cake. It came out perfectly the first time I made it. This was my first introduction to a Mary Berry recipe. I had watched Mary Berry on The Great British Bake-Off but never knew why she was such a legend. After making the lemon drizzle cake, I bought one of her baking cookbooks. I have made several of the recipes and am almost-always pleased by the results.

 

Being American, I had never eaten a Victoria Sponge cake until I moved to the UK. I’ve always been more of a chocolate cake type of gal. At the weekend I attempted my first Victoria Sponge. It was okay, but not as light and fluffy as I would like. I tried again today. Even though the recipe was in my cookbook, I used this recipe as it gave me the measurements for my six-inch cake pans (btw, success in looks and taste!): 
I am feeling quite proud of myself. So I thought I would share some of my tips for a better bake:
1. Use room temperature butter or margarine.
2. First put in all the dry ingredients, then add wet ingredient last before mixing.
3. Mixing by hand take a bit more time and effort but means you can avoid over-mixing (which leads to a denser cake).
4. Grease cake pans first so that once you’ve mixed the ingredients you can start baking right away.
5. Get used to your oven as your timing might differ from the recipe. I find that I normally have to add an extra five minutes to my bakes.
6. Never open the oven before the very end. Opening the oven cools the temperature which affects how much time the cake requires to be cooked.
 
Happy baking!