Monday, 14 April 2014

Review: The Good Life Farm Shop, Me vs. Quiche

I love a good nose round a deli or farm shop. Despite supermarkets always launching new products I think they are behind the independents for the new, interesting and exciting brands and flavours. Chocolate, popcorn, rubs, gin, mixers I always find much more tempting and varied brands in a farm shop or deli. On a recent trip to The Good Life Farm Shop near Winchester I was treated to a bit of lunch and I thought this was the ideal time to find out if I don't like quiche as much as I think I don't.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Ultimate Cheese on Toast with Lea & Perrins

I can't have cheese on toast without a dribble of Worcestershire Sauce. I've added it to countless different meals; cottage pie, risotto and spaghetti bolognese to name a few. Lea and Perrins are working with the guys from Sorted to show different dishes you can add your Worcestershire Sauce to and I was asked to see what I could come up with.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Beef Braised in Beer with Onions and Carrots

As I rent a house I am in the unfortunate position of being lumbered with the oven and hob that I’m given. Don’t get me wrong; having a hob and an oven is certainly one up from having no heating implements at all but they definitely leave a lot to be desired. As such a roast dinner is not something I can easily make; a small oven, an untrustworthy thermometer and a lack of appropriate oven dishes being the main reasons. A casserole or stew however I can manage and I think it’s better in some ways; less effort, less washing up and the meat is much cheaper.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Feed 4 for £6: Creamy Pea and Bacon Pasta

After my last £6 supper on BBC Radio Berkshire, Paul Ross was quite disappointed that the recipe included no frozen peas. It got me thinking that actually there's plenty to celebrate in the humble frozen pea. They're cheap, you can always keep some in the freezer and they are a welcome shot of greenness and sweetness at this time of year. This quick, easy and cheap meal is a little mid-week fanfare of the frozen pea.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Review: Higher Living Tea

As an avid tea drinker I like to think I've drunk my way through a wide range of teas on offer. One thing that is new to me are the teas which are in fact not tea at all. Called tea, I assume, because they come in a bag and you use hot water to extract the flavour. Higher Living sent me two of their herbal teas to try: Sweet Chai and Ginger Kick.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Review: Maple Pecan Cupcake Recipe from Baking Mad

I learnt something about myself the other day: I am not a domestic goddess. Let me explain. I was sent some baking goodies from Baking Mad and I had chosen to attempt their recipe for Maple Pecan cupcakes. I planned to give them to my Mum for an early Mother's Day treat. I went for a walk to the pub last week and was offered a goose egg to take home; excellent for my cupcakes. All was going well and I was ready for baking. In my head I'm swishing around the kitchen; mixing a bit there, sprinkling a bit here, birds are singing and the radio is playing non-stop jolly tunes. This is not quite how it happened.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Maple Salted Popcorn

Nothing gets stuck in your teeth like popcorn. Every time I eat it I am optimistic about the forthcoming pearly white issues thinking, "No, it won't be like last time. I'll be extra cautious", but yet I'm forever picking bits out of my teeth in the popcorn aftermath. This is never a good look. Why do we do it to ourselves? I know I'm not the only one. I can think of one very good reason: because it's damn delicious, there's nothing else like it and when you make your own you can truly make it your own.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Feed 4 for £6: Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Bacon and Cheese Pasta Bake

It's a bit weird here at the moment. The days are warm but the nights are surprisingly cold; light lunches but also still comfort food dinner season. The purple sprouting broccoli season is upon us and as much as I like it cooked simply, maybe with a butter sauce, I am craving carbohydrates and big warming meals at the moment. My bacon, purple sprouting and cheese pasta bake is ideal.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

A spring Saturday picnic

I hope that I am safe to say spring has finally sprung. Knowing my luck next week will be full of hail storms and icy conditions but if that is the case then at least I enjoyed the sun while it lasted. If you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know I am a big fan of dining al fresco and there's not a season that I haven't attempted to make the most of cooking or eating outdoors. Picnics, barbeques and even making gravy outside when there's not enough room on the hob; any excuse. 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Review: Bio Green Lassis

Kulfi, lassis and other eastern sweet treats fascinate me. I've never attempted to make my own but any excuse to eat a pistachio kulfi is fine by me! For some reason I like lassis (as long as they are super cold) but I really can't abide milkshakes. Bio Green Dairy got in touch and sent me one of their lychee, mango and passion fruit lassi to try.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Review: Laimon Fresh

Cocktails are something that I like very much. I do attempt to make my own, invariably without the suave moves of a professional mixologist but with the same level of enthusiasm. One issue that I have with making my own is that it always involves planning. It's not a case of me fancying a mojito and happening to have mint, lime, ice and sugar all available at the same time. I can't simply think of pouring myself a Cosmopolitan as I know I won't even have cranberry juice. Have no fear though, Laimon Fresh could be just the thing.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Review: Nife is Life - Online Italian Deli

Picky and sharing food is my favourite kind. To have a table covered in all sorts of plates and bowls offering a different flavour or texture is a sight for sore eyes. It's something I like to take time over shopping for too but sometimes I don't have the time I'd like to have to go to the deli and pick bits out. Enter Nife is Life the Italian online deli.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Feed 4 for £6: Leek, Cheese and Potato Pie

I like pastry. I also like cheese and I would happily barge anyone out of the way to get my hands on a cheese, onion and potato pasty. The perfect combination of cheese, potato, onion and pastry can be hard to find and I like chunks of potato and onion not a mush; so I thought I'd best go about making my own version so I can make it just right. It's also British Pie Week next week so the timing of my pie baking is ideal.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Victoria Sponge with Rhubarb and Vanilla Compote

It's always nice to see some bright pink rhubarb poking its head out at the market but as it's the first of the season it can be quite pricey. So when you have only £1.80, what can you do with two rhubarb sticks? Make a lovely, vibrant rhubarb compote/jam to sandwich in the middle of two fat slices of cake of course. Other things that you can do with two sticks of rhubarb include: jousting, a spot of relay running or making a parasol (if you have the leaves left on) but none of those would be anywhere near as good as this cake.

Friday, 21 February 2014

The Walmesley at Audley Inglewood, Kintbury

I remember hearing a while ago on the grape vine that Audley Inglewood would have a restaurant as part of the retirement complex so it was great when I was invited to try their new restaurant The Walmesley. They sent me a sneaky peak of their tasting menu and were more than happy to amend their plans to eliminate any fish and shellfish and I couldn't wait to try it.
As you drive up to the building it's very impressive and welcoming and it's rather luxurious throughout the bar, restaurant and everywhere else we saw. I like that the restaurant is laid out in such a way that it feels busy but you can't hear anyone else's conversation and that a two person table is large enough to fit everything on comfortably without fear of dunking your elbow in your dinner.