Wednesday, 6 July 2016

My discoveries at the Summber BBC Good Food Show

I was lucky again with the Good Food Show and won tickets!! I was so excited as I really loved the Winter show so had been entering all the competitions I could find to get tickets!
I went with a friend on a Friday this time - Stephen took the day off and looked after the monkeys!! We got there early-ish which was great as it can get so busy that you can't get to the stalls that you want to. I did a bit of research before hand this time on Twitter to see which companies would be there. The bargains I got from the Winter Show were fabulous.

I wanted to get a bottle of gin ( I know my priorities!) and was looking forward to sampling a few of the Gin stalls - I had in my mind a Damson or Rhubarb gin but when I tried this little beauty I just knew I had to have it!

It is similar to Pimms but not as sweet  - it is infused with Earl Grey Tea, borage, lemon verbena and other botanicals. sounds odd but oh it is delicious - served with lots of ice and lemonade.

The only other item I was specifically looking for was something called Brownie Butter.I had seen a lot of coverage about it on Twitter and was very curious  Eventually after looking at the guide a million times and not seeing the stand we found it - It is made by a company called Gower Cottage Brownies It is a business run by Kate who has sold hundreds of Brownies from her place in Wales. The Brownie Butter  didn't fail to disappoint! It is heaven I could (and did) eat it straight from the jar. It didn't last long! We had friends to stay and used it on vanilla ice cream - everyone agreed it was delicious - glad I only bought the one jar!!!!

One of the things I love most about the Good Food Show is stumbling across something delicious! This is one of those very things - Tortilla mix! Sounds odd but it was yummy. I love a Spanish Omelette and frequently buy the ones that are ready made as proper Tortillas take a long time to cook - all the potatoes and onions cooked in olive oil on a slow heat so that they caramelise does take a while. There is a small business called Zantiago who have slowcooked the onions and potatoes for you so all you have to do is add the eggs! Easy peasy. I cooked this for my 3 year old and 1 year old and they loved it! Unfortunately you can currently only get these in a handful of places in London but they are looking to sells in Delis around the UK.

The other item that I tried but didn't buy at the show but have subsequently is this delicious Ice Cream from a company called Oppo

There are 3 flavours - Salted Caramel with a hint of Lucuma, Madagasca with a hint of Baobab and Mint Choc Swirl with a hint of Spirulina. I tried the Vanilla one at the show and was amazed at how delicious it was and the whole tub only has 82 calories in! They are sugar free ice creams with only natural ingredients to make them taste so sweet. The Salted caramel is absolutely delicious and has a Maple syrup taste to it the exotic sounding  Lucuma is from Peru and is shaped like a melon with golden flesh and a big stone inside. In The Vanilla is has Baobab which is an African plant the pulp is sweet and has a slight tang and according to their website is somewhere between a caramelised pear and a grapefruit! Finally in the Mint choc ice cream is the weirdly named Spirulina! This is a leaf from the South China Sea and provides the deep green colour to the ice cream. I am looking forward to trying this one next - I am sure it will be as delicious as the others.
Finally as we left the Good Food Show there was a Goody Bag with all of these delicious things inside! What a treat!!!!

Overall it was a fantastic day and we didn't even get a chance to visit the BBC Gardeners World show that was in the other hall! Would have liked to have a 2 day ticket to come back again!!! And we didn't watch any of the Chefs in the Super-theatre perhaps I will do next time!!
Really looking forward to the Winter Show now! There is so much to see and EAT!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Custard Creams and Bourbon Biscuits

I am so slow at blogging! These biscuits are from a couple of months ago - as some of you are aware I belong to a baking group which I love - it is a group of amateur bakers and we meet once a month. Each month has a theme and we are all encouraged to bring a bake sweet or savoury on that theme. Aprils' theme (yes long ago! have been to 2 since then!!) was Best of British I thought long and hard and decided to make Bourbon Biscuits and Custard Creams. I always tend to do a sweet bake ! We also try and make something at each meeting and we made scones. I do love a scone and I don't tend to make them but I had forgotten how delicious they were and have vowed to make some more!

At the time of this event we had moved out of our flat and were renting a friends house for a few weeks whilst we waited to move into our 'Forever Home' which meant that all of my cookbooks were in storage!!!! This was an absolute nightmare for me as I love my books and hate to be parted from them ( we also didn't have a dishwasher which was another crisis! Washing up!!! ) So that meant that I had to use the good old internet for a recipe. 

I decided to use a recipe from a blog as this gives you more of an idea on how to make them and they tend to let you know of any tips and hints. So the recipe I chose for the Bourbons is from Choclette who blogs at Tin and Thyme I am a regular reader of hers and it was lovely to be able to use one of her recipes. In her recipe she adds A Wee Dram to them but I didn't have any alcohol so mine were plain! I also didn't have a special cookie cutter so had to do hearts
They were easy to make thankfully as I was on a bare minimum mixer/utensil mission as it was all in storage! I didn't realise that Golden Syrup was used in these so had to buy some and it came in this lovely commemerative tin which was an added bonus.

 I made a lot of them as there are a lot of people at the baking club and they all like to try everything! I had to do them in batches as there were so many of them and burnt some of them as I wasn't used to the oven!

The custard creams came from Nigellas blog  They were also incredibly easy to make and again I didn't have the correct cutter so they became hearts too.
Both of the biscuits were British to the core using Golden Syrup and Birds Custard.
They tasted delicious and were eaten by the group with glee . I didn't realise just how easy they were to make and I have put the cookie stamps on my Christmas List so that I can make some more.

And not forgetting my homemade scones!!

Monday, 18 April 2016

A Bundt Cake

On my food lists of things to do this year was to make a Bundt Cake - I love how pretty they look and all the delicious flavours you can use to make them. I have been slightly put off by the price of the tins but I was very lucky to have won a Bake Box which is a box full of  everything you need to make some delicious cakes , in the box was a silicon Bundt dish!!! I was so excited to have won a competition and then to have a Bundt dish in it - well I was over the moon! All the things in the bake box are amazing and the recipes are all things that I have wanted to make but always looked a little too daunting. The recipes are easy to follow and include the specialised equipment that you would need.
So first off it was the Bundt Cake!!!

The recipe was an easy one - my big concern was how was it going to come out of the mould without breaking!!!

But I followed the recipe to the letter and it said to oil the mould and to leave the cake to cool for 30 minutes before you turn it out and look ! It worked!!!  was sooooooo pleased with myself and delighted at how it turned out - I love it! I decorated it with a white chocolate icing and some pomegranate seeds.

No stopping me now... going to look for another Bundt recipe!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Rolo Chocolate Brownies

Oh I do love a brownie - the squidgier the better!I have yet to replicate the perfect salted caramel brownie that I had from a local bakery here in Leamington called Haddie and Trilby.
For Valentines day I thought I would have a go at a romantic Rolo Brownie - one of my favourite bloggers is Holly Bell one of the GBBO contestants and in her blog she is always doing a special take on Brownies - Mars Bar Brownies , Oreo Peanut Butter Brownies , Double Decker Brownies, PBJ brownies  and a festive one Mince Pie Brownies so that made me think that I should have a go with one of my favourite and romantic chocolates... The Rolo. I used a tried and tested recipe for Brownies from Rachel Allen and just added Rolos.....
They turned out delicious - lovely and goey with a chocolate overload!! I will make these again.

I used 3 tubes of Rolos..... Doesn't look like a lot in the bowl.... I may have had a couple just to make sure they tasted ok!

All melted and ready for the cake tin....

 All ready for the oven - (I made it look all lovely and neat with my Rolos and then forgot to take a photo until I had poured over the second half of the batter!)

Close up of Rolos.

One left - just for me !!!

Friday, 19 February 2016

Vanilla Cupcakes with Nutella buttercream

Oh these were divine!!!
I made them for Mollys pre-school fundraiser - they were a mixture of my award winning cupcake recipe courtesy of Mary Berry that I found on the Mother and Baby website
 ( still very excited to have won and still people stop me in the street to say they have seen me in the paper!) and the Nutella icing was from one of my favourite blogs Holly Bell - Recipes from a normal mum

I am getting much better at piping! I love it! Helps if you have a big nozzle I have found.....

Monday, 15 February 2016

Meal Planning Monday - 15th February 2016

Another successful meal planning week! I have signed up for the free month delivery saver from Tesco and I love it - I try to be ahead of myself and plan meals but I am normally sat on a Friday Night only just deciding to do an online shop and the delivery charges can be £6 for next day ( which is always when I need it !) for me that is a lot so this saver is great as you only pay a monthly fee and with the option I have chosen you can order anytime and its free. Love it!! I will continue with it after my free trial as shopping with these 2 monkeys is still annoying!
Back to meals! Last week the Smoked haddock and mushroom pie was my favourite and I forgot to do the Piri Piri prawns so make sneak these in at the weekend. As it was valentines weekend we ate a lot so trying to do a healthy one this week and all my recipes are from this months Weight Watchers magazine.

Monday - Chestnut mushroom and chickpea curry.

Tuesday - Baked Cod with a red pesto crush, New potatoes and green beans

Wednesday - Roasted Mushroom Pasta

Thursday - Ginger Salmon with spicy dhal

Friday - Sausage and lentil braise.

Its making me hungry already....

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

February Foodie Penpals

This month my parcel came from Lithuania! I love getting any food parcels but it is always exciting to get one from a country I am not really familiar with.
My Pen Pal Greta sent these lovely things .....

There were some lovely items - there wasn't anything that I didn't really like....

 Aha - No not the Norweigian pop band! When I first opened these I expected them to be cheesy like our version of Wotsits but they aren't they are a sweet version of Wotsits - The children love them!
 I love that Greta has sent a cake mix what a clever idea! I might send one in my next foodie box! - I haven't made this yet but really looking forward to having a go.
Some lovely sachets of herbs that Greta says are lovely for soups and some fruit bars which were delicious a bit fudgy but have no idea what were in them!
I thought the children would like these as they are rice cakes and they love them normally but neither were keen - they had a yoghurt coating on in fruit flavours I liked them so I have eaten them... all!
These 2 packets were the best of the parcel - the yellow ones look like shreddies but tasted like custard creams - they vanished in hours! The Karuna were some lovely squidgy chocolates and also vanished fast.
Finally some cheese! I haven't had cheese in a parcel before and this was a lovely treat - tasted a bit like a very creamy version of parmesan if that makes sense!

Overall one of the best food parcels I have had yet! But I say that every time!! Next months parcel is coming from Germany! Can't wait!
If you would like to join have a look HERE