Giveaway: Eisberg Alcohol Free Wine

It's no secret that I enjoy a glass of wine, as does my husband  (just don't tell his mates!).  Living in rural Cornwall though means that if we want to eat out, one of us has to drive - unless we want to pay a £30 taxi fare. A couple of our favourite local resturarants are 'bring your own' and on a recent meal out I took along  a bottle of Eisberg alcohol free Sauvugnon Blanc. It was a really good substitute for the real thing and made me feel like I wasn't missing out too much.

Eisberg have kindly given one Jam and Clotted Cream reader the chance of winning all four bottles in the Eisberg range. To be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is fill in the Rafflecopter widget below. UK entrants only please.

Good Luck

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chicken Pestorella Burger (Marley Spoon Review)

Chicken Pestorella Burger

Recipe box delivery service Marley Spoon are launching a new family meal box service in November. The plan is specifically tailored to British families offering fast, easy and healthy recipes, delivered with the exact ingredients needed to cook them at home. Every week five new recipes are available to choose from with recipes such as this tasty Chicken Pestorella Burger (recipe below), meatballs, pork chops, chilli, tagines.... with lots of tasty veggie options too.

Marley Spoon kindly sent me a box to try out myself. The box arrived promptly with all of the non perishable ingredients grouped into large brown bags - a separate bag for each recipe and the fridge ingredients in a refrigerated pack. Most of the packaging could be recycled and all of the ingredients were in a good condition upon arrival. Recipe sheets were also included and I noticed they even have a hotline to phone for any recipe box related culinary emergency!

I tried one of the recipes for lunch today to see if it tasted as good as it looked in the photo! I opted for the Chicken Pestorella Burger which took minimal effort to prepare and didn't let down on taste. It was delicious.

Marley Spoon have indicated the family style dishes will be big enough to feed 2 Adults and 2-3 Children and start from £4.35 a portion with options to cook 2, 3 or 4 times a week. A little pricey maybe, but for a busy working family it might just be the ideal solution to the mad panic at the end of the working day when you find yourself rooting around for something quick and healthy for tea.

By Beth Sachs, 7th October 2015

  • 4 Chicken Breasts, butterflied
  • 1 Ball of Mozzarella, sliced
  • 4 Ciabatta Rolls
  • 4 TBSP Pesto
  • 2 Tomatoes, Sliced
  • Salad Leaves
  • Step 1: Slice the ciabatta rolls open and toast.
  • Step 2: In a frying pan, fry the butterflied chicken for about 4 minutes a side. Top with the mozzarella and take off the heat.
  • Step 3: Spread the pesto over the halved ciabatta rolls, lay on the salad leaves and tomatoes and top with the mozzarella chicken.
Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

I was sent a box to review, all thoughts are my own.

Sherry Braised Pork Cheeks

Sherry Braised Pig Cheeks

I'd never cooked or eaten pig cheeks before, so when Greys Fine Foods emailed me and asked if I'd like to try creating a dish with their Spanish Pig Cheeks and a bottle of Fino en Rama Sherry I immediately accepted the challenge.

After a bit of internet research I decided to braise the pig cheeks in sherry and beef stock adding the smoky spices of smoked paprika and cumin to the mix. The pig cheeks turned out meltingly tender and the Sherry sauce was a lovely flavour - a very pleasant surprise. I served the pork with mashed potato, which was perfect for soaking up the lovely juices.

By Beth Sachs, 6th October 2015

  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 600g Pig Cheeks, cut in half
  • 1 TBSP Seasoned Flour
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1 TSP Cumin
  • 1 1/2 TSP Smoked Paprika
  • 150ml Sherry
  • 500ml Beef Stock
  • Parsley and Flaked Almonds to serve
  • Step 1: In a large pan heat a glug of oil and gently cook the onion until soft (about 10 minutes) - spoon the onions onto a plate and set aside.
  • Step 2: Heat some more oil in the same pan, quickly toss the pig cheeks in the flour then brown them in batches.
  • Step 3: Return all the pork and onion to the pan and then add the garlic, cumin and smoked paprika. Stir to combine then add the sherry.
  • Step 4: After the sherry has reduced a bit, add the stock, bring to a low simmer and cook for 2 hours. Serve the pig cheeks with parsley and flaked almonds scattered over. 
Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours

Apple, Caramel and Walnut Crumble

Apple, Caramel and Walnut Crumble

We've had two glorious weeks of sun here on the North Cornish coast but today it's turned decidedly Autumnal - I don't mind, I love Autumn. After a night of heavy rain and strong winds I woke to find loads of my Bramley apples had fallen off the tree, so out I trotted in my dressing gown to rescue them before the wildlife started helping themselves.

Caramel is used instead of sugar in this crumble recipe and I think it gives it a wonderful flavour along with the nuttiness of the walnuts. Despite living in Cornwall where clotted cream is king, I'm a custard with crumble kind of girl! But either is fine, whichever you prefer.

By Beth Sachs, 5th October 2015

  • 6 large Bramley Apples
  • 6 heaped TBSP Caramel (I used tinned caramel)
  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 100g Butter
  • 30g Walnuts, chopped
  • Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200c (180 fan).
  • Step 2: Peel, core and chop the apples then pop them in a large pan with a splash of water and gently cook until starting to soften (takes about 5 minutes). Stir 3 TBSP of the caramel into the apple, take off the heat and spoon into a 1.5 litre oven proof dish.
  • Step 3: In a large bowl rub together the butter and flour until you have 'breadcrumbs' then stir in the chopped walnuts and remaining caramel. Scatter over the apples.
  • Step 4: Bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until the crumble is brown on top.
Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Meal Plan 5th - 11 October 2015

Meal Plan

 Here's whats cooking this week!

Monday 5th October
Tuna Melt Panini's with salad

Tuesday 6th October
Macaroni Cheese with Bacon

Wednesday 7th October
Chicken Pesto Burgers

Thursday 8th October
Pork Chops, Potatoes and Veg

Friday 9th October
Homemade Pizza

Saturday 10th October
Ribeye Steaks, Chips and Peas

Sunday 11th October
Roast Chicken

Spiced Lamb with Saffron Spinach Rice

Spiced Lamb and Saffron Rice

Throughout October Waitrose are celebrating Britains warmest dishes and asking people to share their favourite #AutumnWarmers recipes. To help kick off the campaign, Waitrose asked me to cook one of my favourite Autumnal recipes with a local Cornish twist.

This harissa spiced lamb and saffron rice dish is delicate yet hearty and is perfect for the chilly evenings that are now upon us. Saffron is most famously used in these parts for Cornish Saffron Buns, but it also adds a lovely depth of flavour to rice. I added spinach and peas to the rice to give it a nice colour but courgettes and peppers would also work.

To be in with a chance of winning some amazing prizes, all you need to do is share your own Autumnal recipe on Twitter or Instagram using the #AutumnWarmers hashtag and include @Waitrose handle. Good luck!

By Beth Sachs, 2nd October 2015

  • 4 Lamb Chops
  • 2 TBSP Harissa Pasta
  • 250g Basmati Rice
  • Pinch of Saffron
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, chopped
  • Bag of Baby Spinach 
  • 150g Frozen Peas
  • Step 1:  Rub the lamb chops in the harissa paste and leave to one side while you cook the rice
  • Step 2: Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the saffron strands then the rice. 3 minutes before the end of cooking add the peas, Drain and set aside.
  • Step 3: Preheat the grill and grill the lamb chops, about 4 minutes a side.
  • Step 4: Whilst the lamb chops are cooking, fry the onion and garlic in a little oil until softened, then add the rice and spinach. Stir to combine then serve with the grilled lamb chops.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: serves 2 hungry adults

River Cottage Blog Camp with Foodies100

I was lucky enough to attend the Foodies100 Blog Camp at River Cottage HQ last Wednesday with lots of fellow food bloggers from all over the UK. It was lovely to have a blogging event near to me, a mere hour and a half in the car as opposed to the usual mammoth trek up to London.

We started the day with a rather bumpy tractor ride down to the farm where we were greeted with tea and pastries. It was great to finally meet and chat to bloggers who I have 'known' for years, as well meeting many new bloggers for the first time. Julie and I had a little wonder (nosey) around before the activities began and stumbled upon the room where Hugh does a lot of his filming for the River Cottage programmes.

Recognise this?

The rest of the day went something like this........

There was a fantastic food photography workshop from Lucy  - with lots of great tips and ideas for photographing and styling food. I shall never look at a tampon in the same way again!

Lucy arranging a Red Cabbage for photographing

There was an informative tour of the farm and vegetable gardens from head gardener Will. He was keen to stress the sustainability of both the farm and other River Cottage enterprises such as the Canteens, who have a 30 mile ingredient sourcing policy.

Head Gardener Will

One of my favourite parts of the day was the Bread and Butter making class with Gill. He illustrated just how easy bread making can be (even easier when you have an assistant weighing out all the ingredients and tidying away your mess afterwards!). I chucked some blackberries, apple, goats cheese and fennel into my spelt soda bread - 25 minutes in the oven and voila...a great snack for my drive home.

My soda bread cooling

We were also treated to an outstanding lunch cooked by the resident River Cottage chefs. For main course we enjoyed a wholemeal ravioli stuffed with slow cooked shin of beef, served on a vegetable ragout with fresh pesto - it was divine. All ingredients were sourced from the farm itself.

Main Course

...and the dessert was just heaven on a plate.

Coffee Bean Ice Cream with Salted Caramel, Damsons, Meringue and Crumble

Thank-you to Sally and Foodies100 for organising a truly memorable day and a huge thank-you to River Cottage for being such good hosts.

Giveaway: Win a Years Supply of Bacofoil Easy Bake


Without a doubt Bacofoil Easy Bake Non-Stick Paper is the best baking paper I've ever used. Cookies lifted off the baking tray with ease and cakes slid out of their tin in tact - this really is a must have product for any keen baker.

Bacofoil have kindly offered a years supply of Easy Bake Non-Stick Paper to one lucky Jam and Clotted Cream reader. To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is enter via the Rafflecopter widget below! UK entrants only please.

Good Luck x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meal Plan 28th September - 4th October 2015

What a chaotic and busy week! It mainly involved a friends wedding, an amazing visit to River Cottage (blog post coming this week), a couple of birthday parties, as well as all the usual after school clubs and activities! I'm knackered and hoping for a much quieter and calmer one this week so I can catch up with the housework (my ironing basket is eye watering) and blog.

Oh and we wont talk about the Rugby! I just hope I don't come across many welsh people this week......

Monday 28th September
Mushroom, Spinach and Blue Cheese Panini's

Tuesday 29th September
Chorizo and Pea Carbonara

Wednesday 30th September
Chicken Kievs, Sweet Potato Mash and Runner Beans

Thursday 1st October
Butternut Squash Tagliatelle

Friday 2nd October
Rib-eye Steak, Chips and Peas

Saturday 3rd October
Creamy Sausage Pasta

Sunday 4th October
Fridge Surprise

Top 5 Tips For Using Modelling Paste

Modelling Paste is ideal for sculpting intricate decorations in icing - particularly things like flowers, animals and people. You can get away with making simpler models from ready to roll icing, but your results wont be as good if you try to use it for anything more detailed.

If you’ve never used modelling paste before, rest assured that it’s not difficult to work with and the results can be spectacular, especially if you follow these top 5 tips.

1. You Need to Knead

The modelling paste you’re using might be straight out of a packet, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be ready to work with immediately. You have to knead the slab until it’s warm and pliable enough to work with. If you skip this part the problem isn’t just that the paste won’t do what you want, it will also result in unsightly cracks on the surface of your model. You’ll see those surface cracks as soon you open the packet, and they’ll still be there on your finished product - unless you give the modelling paste the kneading it needs.

2. Consistency is Crucial

This might take some trial and error to get right, and inexperienced bakers might be a bit nervous about it, but combining modelling paste with ready-to-roll icing (50:50) can give a superior set. Doing this also gives you easy access to lots of other colour combinations - and is still less risky than doing your own colouring (more on that next). With a little experimentation - which is all part of the fun - you’ll arrive at the perfect consistency you need for your particular model, whether that’s a chunky animal or a delicately shaped flower like this.

3. Consider Colour Carefully

First of all, put all those jars of generic food colouring back in the cupboard. They add a lot of moisture, which will undermine the firmness of the paste, and could even make it impossible to work with. Dust colours have the opposite problem by drying the paste out. That leaves you with two options. The first is to use paste colours, either by kneading them into the paste or by adding a little water and then painting the surface of your finished model. The second, zero-stress, option is to buy ready-coloured modelling paste. You can buy it in a range of colours and, as mentioned above, you can knead different shades together for even more colour combinations.

Another key point is that the colours need to be considered carefully at the outset. It sounds obvious, but with your mind focused on the tricky sculpture you’re about to take on, colouring is easily overlooked. That’s until you cast your eyes on the finished project, at which point an oddly coloured model is impossible to miss. When it comes to modelling people in particular, experiment with a little modelling paste in order to get the skin tones right. Basically, you need to be careful not to make all your characters look like they’ve just been Tango’d.

4. Have a Ball

Most complex figurines and other intricate shapes start their lives as simple balls of modelling paste. As you gain more experience, you’ll find yourself making balls before you get started - almost automatically. As well as giving you the best shape to begin working on, you’ll also be making sure the consistency is right and that there are no cracks on the surface.

5. Patience Pays Off

If you’re on a deadline, factor in the 24 hours your model needs to dry and set firmly. It’ll be tempting to keep fiddling with your masterpiece during that time, so keeping your hands off might require some willpower. To help with that, imagine how you’d feel after accidentally snapping off a petal, especially if you’d come close to producing a cake as striking as the one at the top of the page.

When working with modelling paste for the first time, you’ll be impatient to let your creativity loose. Following these top 5 tips will help you avoid rookie errors and let you do just that.

I am a brand ambassador for Renshaw Baking and have been compensated for this post.

If you’d like to try out one of these cakes then why not try Renshaw Flower and Modelling Paste

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