Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Technical glitch!!

Having a few problems at mo with my blog - will try and fix it soon so please bear with me!

Meanwhile if anyone knows how to fix 'errors on page' please contact me!.


30/05/08 - still broken :(

Monday, 28 April 2008

This little piggy went to market..

Help support our pork farmers who lose on every pig they sell:

Handy link:

The Real Food Festival, Earls Court April 2008

We went on Saturday to the Real Food Festival at Earls Court, London and had a great day out, well recommend a future visit. *I have tried to give credit to everyone I met but if I have made any errors please do not hesitate to contact me.*

The fun part - tasting it all!!

I got to try an amazing range of English wines, an area that I don't seem to have stumbled upon before and was very impressed! One of the best we tried was from Brightwell Vineyard e-mail: The whites in particular I thought were excellent. I also managed to try Oak Leaf and Bramble Wine from a Scottish company called The Strange Scottish Winery, they was much nicer that they sounded!

The range of pickles, chutneys and jams was also amazing and I actually didnt need to eat lunch due to the amount of samples I had consumed walking around! The biggest shock was some aubergine pickle as I had not heard the stall holder correctly advising which were the hotter ones...phew it was spicy!!

I tried several sauces and pickles from Real Organic Foods Company that were great, I picked up the delicious bbq sauce and a jar of Rogan Josh that was nicely spiced, the stall holder was really helpful and friendly which is always a bonus!

We also tried some nice organic pizza from

One of my favourite sweets was a stickey Lemon pudding!! Warming and lush! Was from Burtree Puddings , my friend tried the sticky toffee and also said was really good!

Also from the Nutty Tarts their Luxury Caramel Shortbread was to die for! Gooey loveliness in a bake, certainly one of the best I have tried! Their lemon drizzle cake was also lovely tasting.

Tried some lime and chili chocolate from The Cacao Tree which was really good, really enjoyed the kick from the chili, then the zingyness from the lime!

Unfortunately I didnt get their name but I bought some caramelized pecan and cashew nuts which were really delicious and have mysteriously vanished...!

As intended before I set out (repeat offender!), I puchased two bottles of Sloe Whisky from sloe motion, think I may have scared the guy though by smiling very excitedly and saying how glad I had found their stall at last!!

I picked up a bottle of divine Black Cherry Liqueur from Condessa, e-mail Whilst I somehow resisted their Praline cream liqueur was equally lush!!

Another one I somehow resisted the urge on was a gorgeous Jersey Cream liqueur from, very highly recomened

I also got to try some lush free range chicken and vegetable soup, had a light for lovely texture and full of flavour

I tried and bought some yummy sausages from Supreme sausages, I came home with a pack of their olde english pork and some wild boar and apple both since eaten! They were both delicious and I really liked the sublteness of the seasoning, will definately be ordering again!

Unfortunately they had no leaflets and I didnt get their name but I tried some italian style pasta with Rabbit but no one in my group was brave enough to try Rabbit, admittedly was my first taste....and I thought it was lovely!

Being slightly brave I also tried some Limpet and gurnard 'paste' (or something similar!) and it was surprisingly quite edible - I had been dared to try it by the way!

After trying what seemed an eternity of different oils I picked up a bottle of Roasted Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed oil: which is great on salads etc gives everything a lovely nuttyish flavour. Whilst I didnt pick it up (only so much one can carry!!) I tried a yummy tasting rapeseed oil from, was really buttery

One of my favourite pates was from a free range chicken, armangac and cream pate and it was gorgeous, creamy and smooth and not too boozy, just wish had remembered to go back and buy some at the end! Unfortunately I seem to have mislaid my leaflet!

Am not sure if will work but was lured into purchasing a health tonic which is said to help joint problems etc...we shall see!

Another favourite was some strawberry fruit ice from was really fresh and fruity tasting and perfect for the upcoming summer months!

Have not tried yet but was given a small tub of filter coffee from will try sometime this week!

Overall we had a fantastic day and it was really great to meet all the stall holders and taste their great products!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Mocha Pannacotta

These are seriosuly lush! Made them for last night when we had family round and went down extremely well! If you love coffee desserts this will take you to heaven and back :-)

Makes 8 ramekins

Prep 10 mins
Overnight chilling


175g Caster Sugar
568ml Double Cream
200 ml Semi skimmed milk
1 tsp strong coffee disolved in 1 tsp hot water and a little of the hot cream mix
2 tsp chocolate syrup
4 sheets costa fine leaf gelatine

1) Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of water and soak for 5 minutes whilst you do step 2 & 3

2) Heat the cream, milk and sugar to boiling point, ensuring the sugar has fully melted

3) Rinse the moulds in cold water - do not dry!

4) Stir the coffee and chocolate syrup into the mix, remove from the heat and gently stir in the drained gelatine leaves with a wooden spoon, pour into the moulds pour into the moulds (is easier done in a jug!) and allow to cool, then refridgerate for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight

Red Lentil, Celery and Red Pepper Soup

Makes 3 large bowls
Prep: 5 mins
Cooking: 20 mins

1 red pepper diced
tumbler of red lentils
1/2 onion, diced
4-5 sticks celery, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp Chili powder
Black Pepper
1 1/4 pints vegetable stock (I use Kallo boullion cubes)
1 tbsp light olive oil

1) Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the chili powder, onion and celery, cover and cook on a medium heat until softened

2) Add the pepper and a splash of the stock to mix, add the lentils, pour over remaining stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are soft

2) Remove from the heat and blend, season to taste and serve

Can be frozen

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Previous Polls

Here are last weeks findings!

How many courses do you prefer?

Starter 0 (0%)
Starter and Main 2 (25%)
Starter, Main and Dessert 1 (12%)
Main and Dessert 5 (62%)
Dessert only! 0 (0%)


What would you take to a desert island?

Steak and Chips 0 (0%)
Chocolate Cake 1 (10%)
Fab cheese and crackers 4 (40%)
Your other half 5 (50%)

Looks like romance won in the end, though cheese and crackers was a close 2nd place!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Tuesday Ramblings...

Well the beloved has broken the home pc and is currently trying to source a new processor, so no pictures or much else as having to sneak on at work

Last weekend made Jamie Oliver's Broccoli and Canneloni (pix to follow - see above!) was nice but very rich and creamy! Also used a herby ciabatta with my own garlic butter which was good but needed more garlic (I adore the stuff!!)

Also made baileys tiramisu thingy which was lovely (as always!)

Lidl seemed to have re-stocked all their wines but my favourite one seems to be now missing, without a trace :( however, not all bad news as their new rioja and valdepasse (will check spelling!!) were excellent value :)

Also made a spanish chicken and chorizo stew thingy on Sunday and managed to succesfully bone chicken thighs, without shredding them so my butchering is improving! Then went back to basics for supper and used a jar of Lidl's Bratwurst to make hot dog pasta with cheese sauce yum yum! :-)

Friday, 11 April 2008

Its Friday!

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekends and many culinary delights!

They put the lime in the coconut…

Faced with a leftover lonely lime and craving cake I decided to put the two together and made a pretty standard Victoria sponge, but added half the lime juice and a good handful of desiccated coconut, then topped with glace icing, made with the rest of the lime juice and a dash of hot water, then topped with more coconut:

Picture to follow when OH fixes the computer...

Whilst the cake is nice…its not got the desired lime kick, think will add double next time and see what happens…

Come Dine With Me is back on telly!!

I am so glad this is back on!!

Last nights show was hilarious, I was laughing from start to finish!

MC Harvey cracked me up when he asked 'why would someone serve me something thats makes your wee smell'!! (referring to asparagus!)

I am also reassured by Johnathan that I am not alone in filling the kitchen with smoke on a frequent basis!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Creamy Prawn Curry

No pictures I am afraid - was gobbled before I had the chance!

Nicely spiced

Serves 2

12 raw king prawns
2 tsp red curry paste
1 carton coconut cream
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 inch piece ginger roughly chopped
1 large red chilli (deseeded)
appx 300ml light chicken stock
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 stick lemongrass, bashed
Black pepper to taste

1) Place the stock, lemongrass, chilli, juice of the lim and roughly chopped ginger in a pan, bring to the boil and reduce to a gentle simmer to infuse

2) Dice the onion and garlic, heat the oil in a wok or similar shaped pan, and add the onion, garlic and chili paste, fry for about 5 minutes or until softened but not coloured

3) Gently stir in the coconut cream and after about a minute carefully strain the stock into the pan and mix well, add the prawns for 2 minutes or until pink and serve immediately with rice

Balsamic Onion sauce for red meat

This goes great on top of steaks:

Makes 2 generous servings

2 red onions
Balsamic vinegar
Red wine
Pinch sugar
Olive Oil

1) Peel, halve and quarter two red onions and place in a deep bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil and a sprinkle of pepper and a pinch of sugar, place in a shallow tin and roast for 25-30 mins, shaking occasionally

2) When they are almost ready, griddle your steaks accordingly and leave to rest in a warm place

3) Now using the pan you cooked the steaks in, add a good slosh of balsamic vinegar, the same again in red wine and a good knob of butter and mix well, once the alcohol has burnt off, add the onions and coat in the lovely sauce and cook for about 2 minutes, then just simply spoon over the steaks

Deliciously sweet and lovely

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Hello April!

It seems April's weather is all over the place this year, rain one minute, snow the next and then baking hot sun, is certainly confusing when you plan a nice wintery casserole and the sun shows her finest!

So far this month me and a friend went back to childhood and made rice crispy cakes, one batch using melted easter eggs was not so succesful but the plain chocolate and golden syrup ones were lush!

My mums birthday has also been and gone and so I decided to bake a birthday cake for her, kind of role reversal from all the ones she has made for me! (is a coconut victoria sponge topped with glace icing, more coconut and barbie pink sprinkles!!)

Have made a few recent experiments, including custard apple pots:

I also made bubble and squeak cakes using up leftovers....whilst they have been eaten, I don't think there will be a repeat of these!

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