Tag Archives: saara aziz manchester

Easy Peasy Roast Chicken Drumsticks and Roasted Vegetables

Since I was a student, I became aware at how expensive meat can be to buy. Even though I took advantage of those “3 for £10” offers at the supermarket, I still found it hard as those offers were few and far between! I did try and become a vegetarian and live on vegetables but I do love my meat so sadly that never lasted! However, this was before I discovered how cheap and convenient chicken drumsticks, thighs and wings were!

You see, I was always a chicken breast kind of gal! I found more recipes required chicken breast meat and I didn’t know what to cook with chicken drumsticks, wings and thighs [don’t forget though guys, I was a novice chef and could just about make beans on toast!]

So I came across a dish in my first year that was not only simple to make but so cheap as well! Plus, it was pretty healthy and didn’t require a thousand pots and pans to make [which you know is a bonus for us students!]

The good thing about this recipe is that it can be easily adapted! You can use any type of vegetable that’s good for roasting [for example, butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, courgettes, onions, turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, peppers – the list is endless!].


  • Chicken drumsticks, thighs or wings
  • Salt and Pepper [to taste]
  • 1 teaspoon of Chilli Flakes [optional]
  • Handful of Cherry Tomatoes [chopped]
  • 1 Small Onion [chopped]
  • 1 Pepper [chopped]
  • Handful of Mushroom [chopped]
  • 5 whole Garlic cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil [to drizzle]


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC
  2. Pop the chicken legs in a roasting dish and season well by rubbing salt and pepper into the skin 
  3. Add all the chopped vegetables to the dish, along with the garlic and sprinkle with the chilli flakes  
  4. Drizzle with the olive oil and mix it in with the vegetables and chicken
  5. Pop in the oven for 1 and 1/2 hours 
  6. Serve on it’s own or with mash potato! 



[Free From & Festive] Quick & Easy Gluten Free Gingerbread Christmas Tree Decorations

It’s day 6 of the amazing Free From & Festive and today’s festive recipe is all about the gingerbread!

I absolutely love gingerbread biscuits and when I was little my mum would always buy me a little gingerbread man as my Saturday afternoon treat [which was hoovered up in a matter of seconds!]. Sadly, I’ve never eaten a gingerbread man/biscuit since I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, so when Caleigh from Glutenfree[k] asked if anyone fancied making gluten free gingerbread, I knew I had to jump on board!

I also decided that in order to make these gingerbread biscuit a little bit festive and Christmasy, I’d make them into Christmas tree decorations!

Now don’t fret if you don’t have a ‘christmas’ cookie cutter, I didn’t either. I had ordered a nice Christmas tree cutter from the internet but sadly, it never came through the post, so I had to improvise a bit. I made love heart and circle biscuits, which some may argue that they aren’t as festive as a tree, but made into crimbo tree decorations they certainly do!

So here is my super Christmasy gingerbread biscuits recipe for you to make into edible tree decorations!





  1. 50g Butter [soft]
  2. 75g Brown Sugar
  3. 1 Medium Egg
  4. 250g Plain Flour [gluten free]
  5. 1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  6. 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  7. 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  8. 3 tablespoons of Golden Syrup



  1. Pre-heat oven 180°c / gas mark 4
  2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, xanthan gum, butter, ginger and baking soda until it resembles bread crumbs 
  3. Add the sugar, golden syrup and egg and mix together until it forms a firm ‘pastry’ dough 
  4. Lightly flour the surface and gently roll out the dough till it’s approx 5mm thick 
  5. Using your cookie cutters, carefully cut out your shapes and place on some greased proof paper and  make little holes at the top 
  6. Place in the oven for 10/15 mins
  7. Once cooked, put on a rack to cool then thread them with either string or ribbon 
  8. Either decorate them with icing or place them straight on your Christmas tree! 

[Free From & Festive] Easy & Quick Gluten Free Crumble Topping Mince Pies

I’m pretty chuffed to be part of ‘Free From & Festive’, a 12 day event organised by the fabulous Caleigh [aka @GlutenFreek] who runs an amazing blog called Gluten Free[k]!  Each day till Christmas Eve, free from bloggers [like yours truly] will be blogging their favourite free from Christmas recipes and reviews to make your crimbo that little bit easier! So, to see who else is getting involved in the free from festivities, just check out Gluten Free[k] ‘s blog page and find the list of the other amazing free from bloggers!

So to kick off the first day, here’s my easy and quick recipe for gluten free mince pies with a crumble topping! Oh, and for those who don’t like mince pies, I’ve also included an ‘alternative’ mince pie but with an apple filling which is just as quick, easy and tasty as the the mince pie!

There’s nothing else that screams ‘IT’S CHRISTMAS!! ‘ to me than the mince pie. I’m not talking about any ordinary mince pie though, I’m talking about those amazing mince pies with a crumble/streusel topping!

Every year before Christmas [and obviously before my coeliac disease diagnosis] my mum would buy a pack of these amazing crumble topped mince pies from a bakery called Ainsleys, near to where we lived.

Sadly, the bakery has since shut down and become a bed/furniture shop since our economy went ‘tits up’, which is a real shame!

The mince pie was also part responsible for ruining my belief in Santa! Every Christmas eve, without fail, I would leave Santa one of those crumble topped mince pies and a tall glass of milk. So every Christmas day morning, I’d wake up to find he’d not only drank the milk I left him but also gobbled the mince pie like a real trooper! But this was all going to end in tears…

… When I went to pop the mince pie and milk on the little table by the window, my dad absent mindedly said “not another mince pie. I’ve had 3 today already can’t I have something different?”, which I replied with, “But daddy, this is for Santa not… *cogs turn in head* oh. My. God!” So that was the day I realised that Santa wasn’t real – thanks Dad!

And to bring some Christmas cheer to this sad and sombre story, I’ve found a pic of myself when I was a wee little nipper. As you can see by my big fat smile, that I was still very, very, very upset!

So if you too want to get all Christmasy and shed a little tear over my ‘heart rendering’ story then follow my super easy and quick gluten free mince pie/apple pie recipe below!



For the crumble topping: 

  1. 100g Gluten Free Plain Flour
  2. 50g Butter [soft and cut into chunks]
  3. 50g Sugar [I used brown]
For the mince/apple pies:
  1. 200g Gluten Free Short Crust Pastry [I used Dietary Specials frozen pre-made short crust pastry. To find tips on how to handle it, check out Katie Boo Bakers post on it]
  2. 12 teaspoons of Sweet Mincemeat  or Apple Sauce [check if they’re wheat/gluten free]



  1. Pre heat the oven to 190 °C
  2. First make the crumble topping: in a bowl mix together the flour, butter and sugar until it forms ‘bread crumbs’ and put aside. 
  3. On a clean work surface, dust with gluten free flour and roll out the short crust pastry until it’s quite thin [width of a penny] Be careful not to roll it out too thin as this may break the pastry! Once rolled, using either a biscuit cutter or the rim of a mug, cut out 12 circles. 
  4. Place pastry circles on a cupcake tray, gently pressing down so the pastry takes the form of the hole  
  5. Now add 1 teaspoon of either the apple sauce or mince meat [or both!] to each circle 
  6. Add the crumble topping till it covers the mincemeat or apple sauce 
  7. Carefully pop into the oven for 10/12 minutes
  8. Once finished, gently take the cooked mince pies/apple pies out of the tray to cool down
  9. Enjoy and marvel at your gluten free mince/ apple crumble topped mince pie!