Friday, April 27, 2012

Scottish recipes - Empire Biscuits

Empire Biscuits

First, Coronation Chicken, now Empire Biscuits

We are getting all regal and above ourselves around here......

Empire Biscuits are one of Mr Tartan Taste's favorite biscuits

Empire Biscuits (a biscuit is another name for a cookie in Scotland) also go by the name of Double Biscuits, because that's exactly what they are, 2 biscuits sandwiched together with jam

I call them happy biscuits as they look happy and cheerful. OK, lock me up now, my cooking and baking items are starting to have personalities. Yikes.

Scottish Empire Biscuits

While I was making them yesterday, I was thinking that these biscuits are quite festive, I think these would make good Christmas cookies. Oh wait, wouldn't these also make good Breast cancer awareness cookies? I mean they kinda look like Boobies ..... OK stop me again please

So, Mr Tartan Tastes remembers them also having a jelly sugar diamond or dome on top, I remember them with a cherry on top, so since I can get cherries easily, a cherry on top it is

These biscuits are incredibly easy to make, I was surprised.

They don't take too much time, the longest part was waiting on them cooling so they could get iced.

I got the recipe from my abundance of Scottish Cookbooks

Makes 12

You will need

1 cup of sugar
1lb Butter
4 cups of All Purpose or Plain flour
3 cups of powdered sugar (icing sugar)
some milk
6 Maraschino Cherries

  • Cream Butter and sugar together until soft and fluffy
Cream butter and sugar

  • Slowly sift in Flour, mixing well
sieve in flour

  • Knead mixture lightly to form a soft moist dough
form a dough

  • Using a rolling pin roll out onto a floured surface, about quarter inch thick
  • Cut out rounds, I used a drinking glass about 2 and a quarter inch diameter (keep re-rolling the dough to make 24 rounds)
cut out rounds

  • Place on well greased baking tray
on the baking sheet

  • Bake in oven at 350F for 10 minutes, until white and pale in color
  • leave on baking tray for 1 minute then place on a wire rack to cool
biscuits all baked, cooling

  • Once completely cooled, pair them up and sandwich together with strawberry jam (not too much as they will slide)
adding the jam
made into a sandwich

  • Next make the Icing, take the 3 cups of powdered sugar and add a splash of milk, them stir in, keeping stirring and adding milk a splash at a time until you make a fairly stiff icing (if its too runny it will just slide down the sides of your biscuits)
  • Spoon a large teaspoon sized blob of icing onto the top of each biscuit
  • carefully, using a knife dipped in warm water, spread the icing to cover the top
icing on top

  • Cut your 6 Cherries in half, making 12 and place a cherry on top of each biscuit
Empire Biscuits

Enjoy straight away

with a nice cup of tea

Empire Biscuit with a cherry on top

Go on give them a try

Hope you enjoy your Empire Biscuits or Double Biscuits


Today I am linking up at Serenity Now

Linking up at Sugar Bee Crafts ; Reasons to skip the housework/(blast-from-the-past) ; wrinkledmommy - TALU

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Scottish Recipes - Coronation Chicken

Welcome to my Blog mostly about expat Scottish Cooking and DIY and Decorating Tastes, while living here in Texas

I have made some Coronation Chicken this week

Coronation Chicken

OK, Coronation Chicken is maybe not entirely Scottish

It's more English, created in honour of the Queen, Queen Elizabeth II 's  Coronation in 1953

Courtesy of Google images

This dish is a creamy combination of chicken, mayo and curry powder which is then served cold and is still something I miss from home even if it isn't completely Scottish

Back home in Scotland it can be found in deli's, cafes and supermarkets and served on a variety of foods

Scottish people love curry and curry type dishes, its a staple of many Scottish diets and so this is no exception

In our house we love it on Sandwiches, Wraps and on Baked Potatoes

Serves 4

You will need

  • 1 Cooked Chicken Breast
  • 2 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1tbsp Sour Cream
  • Curry Powder to taste (I used about 1 heaped tbsp)
  • 3 stalks of Celery
  • half a small onion
  • Handful of raisins
Ingredients for Coronation Chicken

Cut up the Chicken into bite size pieces


Chop up Celery and Onion into small pieces

Ingredients for Coronation Chicken needing mixed

Mix all ingredients together

Coronation Chicken
Coronation Chicken topped Baked Potato


other yummy things to include are

chopped apple
almond slices
1 tbsp mango chutney

I hope you love this recipe for Coronation Chicken as much as I do

You can have fun with this and make it your own

Happy eating


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sir Scoffs-A-Lot is 5

Happy 5th Birthday to my Handsome Cowboy

The family

I have been neglecting my blog over the last week or two

The reason for this, you ask?

  1. It was Sir Scoffs-A-Lot's birthday last week, he turned 5 on Tuesday and then had a birthday party on Saturday
  2. Mr TT and I are rushing to get the last minute things done in the house, ready for the hardwood floors going in next week (am I excited? oh yes)
But don't worry, I have been cooking up a frenzy this week and some fine Scottish cooking will be posted shortly

So back to Sir Scoffs-A-Lot's birthday, my baby turned 5 last week, how did that happen? 

Homemade pony cake

We gave him a birthday party this year, his first one ever. 

We have never done the typical year 1, 2, 3, or even 4 birthdays where family gather and shower him with love and presents. The reason for this is all our family are back in Scotland while we are here in Texas. I always knew I would like him to have a birthday where he invited his own friends and had a birthday party he would remember, and this year seemed to fit that just fine.

At the end of last year we were invited to a silent auction where we were the highest bidder of a Pony Party, and so started the wheels of Sir Scoffs-A-Lot's 5th birthday

We went with a Cowboy/Western theme 

Texas metal art

All the kids got Cowboy hats with Sheriff badges to wear and to take home after

Cowboy hats and sheriff badges for the budding little cowboys and girls

The Pony Party company came with a cute pony and a petting zoo that consisted of a goose, a sheep, 5 rabbits and 3 crazy chickens. The kids adored the animals.







We had a "Panning for Gold" game where we used a paddling pool and a bag of pea gravel. We took about a third of the pea gravel and spray painted it gold in a cardboard box then mixed it up with the unpainted pea gravel and the kids loved it, they spend a long time looking for the "Gold" nuggets

panning for gold

Panning for gold

Everyone loved the pony, and took the trail 'round the yard many times over

Pony rides

Pony rides

I made a "Dodge City" from cardboard boxes which also took up some of my blog time, we renamed it "WINDY CITY" as it was kinda windy on Saturday and it got blown about a few times, the kids loved it and chased each other in and out of the general store and saloon and pretended to be in jail, it was a hit. Unfortunately, today it is out on the kerb for trash day, totally wrecked and totally played with.

the kids at Windy City

Birthday cake

Happy birthday my Boy. I love you.


p.s. thank you so much to my friend and neighbor Cheryl Murchison for taking all these wonderful photos for me on Saturday

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Scottish Recipes - Rice Pudding

"He's such a wimp, he canny knock a skin fae a Rice Pudding" 

Mmmmm  Rice Pudding

Homemade Scottish Rice Pudding

Creamy and delicious.  I love this warm desert

In Scotland there are two different types of Rice Pudding

The first is 'store bought' Rice Pudding in a Tin, a favourite brand is Ambrosia Rice Pudding, I love this stuff too

We can actually buy this at our local supermarket in the British Food isle here in Texas from time to time

Another type of Rice Pudding is homemade Rice Pudding

Homemade tends to be more thick and substantial where Rice Pudding in a can is more runny, both are entirely different and both are delicious in there own right

So here we are making Homemade Rice Pudding

Cooking time for this desert is 1.5 hours, but its worth waiting on

Makes 4 servings

You will need

600ml/1pint Whole Milk (Here is USA I used half and half to make it more creamy)
40g/1.5 oz Short grain or medium grain rice
Few drops of Vanilla essence
40g/1.5 oz Fine Sugar
Knob of butter

  • Bring milk or milk and cream combo to boil in a saucepan
Boil Milk

  • Lower heat and add rice, sugar and vanilla and simmer for a few minutes

  • Transfer mixture to an open top oven proof dish, top with butter
Mixture in Oven proof Dish

  • Bake in oven until golden on top for 1.5 hours at 375F/160C
mmmm, Do you see that Skin? Yummy.

  • Spoon out into 4 individual bowls

  • Serve hot, adding Cream or Half and half, to taste

Scottish Rice Pudding

Homemade Scottish Rice Pudding


A tip if you don't have too much time to stand at the stove is to mix all ingredients together in the oven proof dish and put straight into oven, adding an extra 15 minutes to baking time

Other variations for serving are enjoy cold.
Or to make more creamy add quarter pint of cream 
Or add cinnamon and raisins to make more spicy

Another favourite way is to top with a spoonful of warmed jam

We are having Rice Pudding for afters tonight, How about you?


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

DIY - Houston we have a Garage (Part1)

Well, its been a long time coming, this Garage

Finally Mr TT has a big huge smile on his face, his Garage / man cave is here, it only needs a quick paint and some garage doors and we are set to fill that beast with all the normal things garages hold, and not just vehicles, I am talking about things that no home should shelter, I mean, come on, a generator in our spare bedroom?

Garage finally built

When we first moved into our home in 2005 there was no garage. Instead, there was a slab out back that looked like it had a garage standing there at some point, we use that as a patio now, and plan to turn it into a covered patio next year

We only had a pebble driveway back then and we parked on that pebble driveway and trekked across the vast lawn, tripping over tree roots and the likes

Here's what the front yard looked like in 2005

Back in 2005, no driveway, no garage

Then in 2009 we planned out a shiny new driveway with a garage. The first stage was to get the driveway laid

Driveway going in, 2009
Driveway all complete, 2009

This was an amazing transformation and changed the whole look of the front of the house completely, and gave Sir Scoffs-A-Lot a great place to ride his bike and more importantly, no tripping on tree roots any more

Bike riding

It took 9 cement trucks and a team of man power to lay that driveway

So next step, to have the garage built.

For the next couple of years, yes couple of years, we parked in the "invisible garage".

See it there? no? Thats because its invisible

The Invisible Garage

So this year the time came, and only 2 weeks ago work started on the Garage and again our house was completely transformed into, yet again, another new look

Garage getting started, 2012

Now we have a roof

Garage with some sides

Garage nearly complete

Now the roof is on

Happy Hubby

Mr TT checking out the attic space in the garage.  Do you see that happy face?


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