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Chocolate Vanilla Cheesecake



Chocolate Vanilla Cheesecake

This was my greatest triumph at Christmas and it was so good I'm making another one for New Years Eve. The cheesecake is made in a 25cm springform tin so it serves at least 8-10 people, but as it's so rich you could probably stretch it out to serve 12. The other beauty of this dessert is it freezes really well, minus the cocoa powder topping, so it's a useful dessert to have stored away in your freezer to pull out for unexpected guests or impromptu get togethers.

When raspberries come into season I will try it again with a handful of raspberries in the cheesecake mix and a few TBSP of raspberry liqueur, that would be lovely I think.

Have a wonderful New Year. I will be resuming normal service on the blog next week.

CHOCOLATE VANILLA CHEESECAKE

| Serves: 10 | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 45 Minutes | Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes |


Ingredients: for a 25cm Springform tin

  • For the base
  • 85g Hot melted butter
  • 14 Dark Chocolate Digestives, blitzed in a processor to crumbs
  • For the cheesecake filling
  • 900g Full Fat Cream Cheese
  • 200g Caster Sugar
  • 4 TBSP Plain Flour
  • 2 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Large Eggs, beaten
  • 285ml Soured Cream
  • For the topping
  • 142ml Soured Cream
  • Cocoa Powder for dusting
  • 2 Cadbury's Flakes, crushed to sprinkle on top

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 180c/fan 160. Line the base of a 25cm springform tin with baking paper and lightly oil the sides.
  • Step 2: Mix together the base ingredients, press into the tin and bake for 10 mins, set aside to cool.
  • Step 3: Switch the oven up to 220c/fan 200. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until really smooth (I used my kitchen aid) then add the flour, vanilla extract, eggs and soured cream. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 10 minutes. Turn down the oven to 110c/fan 90 and bake for a further 25 minutes. Turn off oven, open door and leave in their to cool.
  • Step 4: Smooth the soured cream on top and put it in the fridge to set (or freezer if freezing), then sift over cocoa powder and sprinkle over the crushed flakes.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 29th December 2011 |

Beth Sachs
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Gingerbread House


Gingerbread House

Ever made a Gingerbread House? No, me neither so when I received an email from Tesco Real Food asking if I wanted to try making one...I thought why not, how hard can it be? Thanks to the How to video on the Tesco Real Food website it really wasn't that difficult at all (barring a small incident with a boiled sweet!). The video goes through everything in a step by step manner  - useful it it's your fist time. Granted, Kate does make it look effortless...and she doesn't have two excitable children wanting to join in the decorating but it's certainly not as tricky as I had first imagined.

My effort above obviously isn't going to win any prizes (I am artistically challenged at the best of times) but it's a lovely little project to do with the children on a wet and windy December afternoon, of which there have been plenty of those over the last few weeks!

As well as the How to Video guide, Tesco's are also offering advice on all matters cooking related via Twitter. On Christmas Eve (10am-8pm) and Christmas Day (8am-4pm) they are only a tweet away, eager to help avert any impending culinary disasters in your house. All you have to do is direct your food related question to @tescorealfood and they will get back to you with any advice, tips and practical help that could literally save the day!

Thanks Tesco Real Food for sending me all the ingredients to make the gingerbread house.
Beth Sachs
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Smoked Salmon Pate


Smoked Salmon Pate

A few weeks back you will remember I received this fab seasonal box from Forman and Field in association with Knorr. In it was some gorgeous London Cure Smoked Salmon, which I have duly transformed into an ideal Christmas Day starter to serve 8. A little smoked salmon goes a long way in this recipe, helping keep the costs down but not compromising on flavour or quality.

Will you be serving a starter on Christmas day, or do you and your family prefer to get stuck straight in to the main event?


SMOKED SALMON PATE

| Serves: 8  | Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: -  | Total Time: -  |


Ingredients: 

  • 200g tub of Cream Cheese
  • 200g Smoked salmon
  • 1 heaped TBSP of Horseradish sauce
  • Juice of 1 Small Lemon
  • 3 TBSP Chives, snipped plus extra for garnish

Instructions:

  • Step 1; Blitz together all the ingredients in a processor, season and garnish with extra chives.
  • Step 2: Serve with melba toasts or brown bread.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 12th December 2011 |


Beth Sachs
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Christmas Chestnut Cupcakes


Chestnut Cupcakes

Last Christmas I bought some tins of Creme de Marron (sweet chestnut puree) but unfortunately they did no more than linger at the back of my baking cupboard.... until today that is. Getting into the Christmas spirit I was flicking through Delia's Happy Christmas this morning when I spotted a recipe for chestnut cupcakes using creme de marrons. I decided to adapt Delia's recipe a little bit to suit what ingredients I already had in the house and came up with these little treasures. 

If you're not keen on mince pies or heavy fruit cake, these would make a great sweet alternative.

CHESTNUT CUPCAKES

| Serves: 8 | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Total Time: 45 Minutes |


Ingredients: 

  • 150g Creme de Marron
  • 110g Soft Butter
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 110g Plain Flour
  • 11/2tsp Baking Powder
  • 4 TBSP Milk
  • Topping:
  • 100g Cream Cheese
  • 100g Sour Cream
  • 100g Creme de Marron (handily creme de marron usually come in 250g tins)
  • Icing sugar to dust.

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 170c and put 8 large cupcake liners into a muffin tin. Whisk together the butter and creme de marron until pale and fluffy.
  • Step 2: Add the beaten eggs slowly and continue to mix.
  • Step 3: Sieve in the flour, baking powder and fold in then add the milk and mix gently until combined.
  • Step 4: Spoon into the cupcake cases and bake for 25 - 30 minutes.
  • Step 5: When baked, remove from oven and leave to cook. Meanwhile make up the topping by mixing the cream cheese, sour cream and creme de marron in a bowl until combined.
  • Step 6: Spread onto the cupcakes once completely cold.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 9th December 2011 |


Beth Sachs
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Stilton, Bacon and Sage Penne


Stilton, Bacon and Sage Penne

I created this recipe using a few of the products from my Forman and Field seasonal box, sent as part of the Knorr 'Best of British' campaign which you can read more about here. This dish provides an ideal way of using up leftover Stilton from the Christmas cheeseboard as well as that odd rasher or two of bacon lurking at the back of the fridge. A few dried cranberries thrown in wouldn't go amis, nor would some toasted walnuts sprinkled on top. No need for salt as the cheese and bacon provide plenty already. If you don't have any creme fraiche to hand, use extra thick double cream with a squeeze of lemon juice instead.

Enjoy - this is REALLY good!


STILTON BACON AND SAGE PENNE

| Serves: 2  | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 15 Minutes | Total Time: 25 Minutes |



Ingredients: 


  • 200g Pasta
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Red Onion, sliced
  • 2 Rashers of Streaky Bacon - (I used Emmetts from my Knorr Seasonal box)
  • 1 Garlic Clove, chopped
  • 1 TBSP Fresh Sage, chopped
  • 100g Stilton, chopped (I used Colton Basset provided in my Knorr Seasonal box) plus extra for the top
  • 2 TBSP Creme Fraiche

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Cook pasta according to instructions. Meanwhile heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the red onion and bacon for a few minutes.
  • Step 2: Add the garlic and sage to the frying pan and continue to cook.
  • Step 3: Drain the pasta and tip into the onion mix, stir through the creme fraiche and Stilton and then serve, with more Stilton on top.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 28th November 2011 |


Beth Sachs
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Fish is the Dish Challenge Part 3: Kedgeree


Kedgeree
Another parcel arrived today from Delish Fish, containing lovely undyed and sustainably caught smoked haddock fillets for this weeks Fish is the Dish challenge (you can read more about Fish is the Dish in this post).


This weeks recipe challenge was Kedgeree, a family favourite in this household. Kedgeree is a dish that originated in India and was bought back to the UK by the returning British Colonials during the Victorian Era. The dish itself contains cooked flaked fish (usually smoked haddock but salmon can be used), rice, hard boiled eggs and curry powder and was originally eaten at breakfast.

I made a few tweaks to the recipe on the Fish is the Dish website because, well....I like tweaking things, but essentially it was very similar. You can see my recipe below. This was utterly delicious and I really must remember to make it more often!


KEDGEREE

| Serves: 4  | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 25 Minutes | Total Time: 40 Minutes |


Ingredients: 

  • 450g Smoke Haddock
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 25g Butter
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Cardamom Pods, bruised
  • 1/2 TSP Tumeric
  • 2 TSP Curry Powder
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 350g Basmati Rice
  • 600ml Vegetable Stock - you might need to add a bit more in to stop it drying out.
  • 2 Hard Boiled Eggs, quatered
  • Chopped Parsley

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 200c and wrap the haddock and bay leaves in some foil and place on a baking try in the oven. bake for about 8 minutes (until cooked). Take out of oven and flake.
  • Step 2: Melt the butter in a pan and fry the onion gently for 5 minutes until soft. Add all the spices and cook for a further minute or so.
  • Step 3: Add the rice and stock and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. 
  • Step 4: Add the flaked smoked haddock and chopped parsley and cook for a few more minutes to warm through.
  • Step 5: Serve with the boiled eggs and more parsley to garnish.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 24th November 2011 |


Beth Sachs
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Chocolate Honeycomb Mincemeat Squares


Chocolate Honeycomb Mincemeat Squares


Is it acceptable to be posting festive recipe ideas yet? I hope so as these chocolate squares were pretty amazing.

Baking Mad contacted me recently to see if I would like to recreate, in my own style a recipe from their extensive website. Having had a browse through the hundreds of lovely bakes and cakes, I stumbled across one for Chocolate Honeycomb Squares. I wanted to give the recipe my own festive twist so added some halved glace cherries, mincemeat and a dusting of snowy icing sugar on top. I also used half dark chocolate and half milk chocolate to cut through the sweetness of the cherries and mincemeat.

The bars keep really well in the fridge (up to 2 weeks) so are an ideal make ahead treat or gift. If you wanted to make them more 'adult', you could try using Amaretti biscuits instead of the honeycomb and brandy soaked raisins instead of the glace cherries. Enjoy, these are too good.



CHOCOLATE HONEYCOMB MINCEMEAT SQUARES


| Serves: 16 squares | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: -  | Total Time: -  |



Ingredients: 

  • 100g Butter
  • 100g Milk Chocolate
  • 100g Dark Chocolate
  • 3 TBSP Golden Syrup
  • 225g Digestives, crushed
  • 120g Honeycomb (Maltesers)
  • 100g Glace Cherries, halved
  • 2 TBSP Mincemeat
  • Topping:
  • 75g Dark Chocolate
  • 100g Maltesers, halved

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Line a 20x20cm tin with greaseproof paper. Melt the butter, chocolate and syrup in a pan over a low heat.
  • Step 2: Mix in the cherries, digestives, maltesers and mincemeat into the melted chocolate and press into tin. Put into a fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  • Step 3: Melt the topping chocolate in a pan then spread onto the set chocolate biscuit base and place the halved maltesers on top. Set, dust with icing sugar if you wish and cut into 16 squares.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 22nd November 2011 |


Beth Sachs
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St Ives Beef Box Scheme


Russell Osborne set-up St Ives Beef back in 2007 in the hope that diversifying would ensure the family farm at Trevalgan near St Ives could be passed on to his children, potentially the fourth generation of farmers. The farm, right on the coast in West Cornwall has been in Russell's family for more than 60 years and has changed somewhat from it's dairy farming origins when his grandfather Robert was at the helm. Since the 1970's Trevalgan has been a beef farm but with the mounting insecurities in cattle farming Russell knew he needed to diversify beyond the holiday cottages that he managed in conjunction with the farm business.

Both Russell and his wife Mel are passionate about the importance of local, ethically sourced food and this was the very basis on which St Ives Beef was born. The cattle at Trevalgan are free to graze in the fields all year round producing high quality grass fed beef which Russell is now selling online UK wide. He is particularly keen to educate people about the health benefits of grass fed beef over grain fed and regularly attends events to make sure the message is getting out there. The family also welcomes people to come to the farm, take a stroll along the farm trail and ask questions about the beef they produce. It is worth noting that grass fed beef should be cooked at a temperature about 20% lower than grain fed beef due to its leaner less fatty make-up.

Russell very kindly sent me one of his beef boxes to try containing the following:
1 x brisket joint
1 x 500g mince
1 x 500g chuck steak
Pack of sausages
4 x burgers
A typical box would also contain 2 Sirloin Steaks

The beef boxes are priced at £10 per kg, which offers superb value for money for the quality you get.

So what are you going to do with this fab bounty I hear you ask?! Well I'll tell you:
  • The burgers are going to be used in our now famous Saturday night tradition of 'build a burger'. I cook the burgers, provide the burger buns then it is up to the individual what they put in it - my daughter likes cheese, hubby likes bacon...my two year old can just about manage the burger as it is. Me however - I crumble some Cornish blue cheese on top, grill for a minute to melt then finish with thin slices of red onion.
  • The mince will go into my Cottage Macaroni Pie
  • I'm going to make Sausage and Fennel Ragu to serve over pasta
  • The Brisket will be pot roasted in beer
  • and with the chuck steak.. I did this


BEEF IN PORT
By Beth Sachs, 11th November 2011

Ingredients:

  • 500g Chuck Steak, cubed
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 4 Sprigs of Rosemary, leaves only
  • 50ml Olive Oil
  • 250ml Port
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Carrots, halved and chopped roughly
  • 6 Rashers Smoked Bacon, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Flour
  • 300ml Beef Stock
  • 16 Shallots, peeled
  • 300g Chestnut Mushrooms, halved if large
Instructions:

  • Step 1: Marinade the beef with the garlic, rosemary, oil and 50ml of the port and leave overnight in a sealed bag.
  • Step 2: Brown the beef in batches in a large casserole - set to one side.
  • Step 3: Fry the bacon in the same pan then add the onion and carrots and continue to cook until softened, stir in the flour.
  • Step 4: Return the beef to the pan and pour in the remainder of the port and stock. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and put a lid on the pan. Cook for an hour.
  • Step 5: Add the shallots and mushrooms, replace the lid and continue to cook for 45 mins to 1 hour.
  • Step 6: Serve with bread (I had some Rosemary and Sea Salt Focaccia)
Thanks to Russell and don't forget to follow him on Twitter @stivesbeef
Beth Sachs
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Fish is the Dish Challenge Part 2: Prawn Curry




I received my second Fish is the Dish package today (you can read more about Fish is the Dish and what I did with the first package here).

Prawns were on the menu courtesy of Lyons Seafood Co - one of my favourites and this colder autumnal weather called for a creamy comforting Korma. The recipe is lovely as it is but if you wanted to up the heat a little bit add 1 tsp of chilli powder at the same time as the ground almonds. Similarly if you prefer curries on the milder side then a spoonful of natural yogurt should do the trick. I added a couple of quartered boiled eggs to each plate at the end  - fish and eggs go well together.... Kedgeree, Fish Pie....try it!


The children helped prepare all of the condiments to go with the curry - raita, mango chutney, naan breads and poppadoms. My four year old also stirred the korma curry paste into the onions and added the coconut milk. A lovely quick weeknight dinner!

PRAWN CURRY

| Serves: 3 | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 30 Minutes |


Ingredients: 

  • 1 Onion, chopped finely
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 3 Heaped TBSP of Korma Curry Paste (I used Pataks)
  • 20g Ground Almonds
  • 1 TSP Garam Masala
  • 200ml Tin of Coconut Milk
  • 360g Prawns
  • 2 Boiled eggs, quartered

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Fry the onion and garlic in a frying pan with some oil until soft.
  • Step 2: Add the curry paste, ground almonds and garam masala and stir for a further minute. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Step 3: Add the prawns for the final few minutes of cooking, just to warm through.
  • Step 4: Serve with rice, naan breads and all the trimmings and sprinkling of chili powder over the prawns if you wish.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 10th November 2011 |


Beth Sachs
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Win a Christmas Cream Tea Hamper from Delimann


COMPETITION CLOSED
You might be surprised to find me writing about a Devonian Cream Tea considering I’m Cornish – to be honest, I’m a bit surprised myself. However, on my quest to find good quality edible Christmas gifts I came across Delimann, a long established family run Devonian Deli based in Bovey Tracey (the shop is called Mann & Son and has been a fixture of Bovey’s town centre since 1837). Their year-round signature gift is without doubt the Devonian Cream Tea, so this year they decided to give it a festive twist just in time for Christmas.



 The Delimann Christmas Cream Tea Hamper is priced at £19.50 and contains the following products

2 oversized Devon scones - freshly baked on the day of dispatch
 
Delimann strawberry jam - made in small batches, winner of Great Taste Award
 
Rich clotted cream  113g - produced on a local farm and made with Jersey milk, extra creamy
 
Teonis Cinnamon Festive Cookies 300g  - extra large sized festive favourites, made in Devon
 
Westcountry tea - 40 teabags in festively red box
 
2 Chocolate Coated Spanish Baby Figs - infused with chocolate mousse. Gold Taste Award
 
Seasons Greetings embossed gift tag - from the Gisella Graham collection
 
Packaged in a rustic gift box, with your own personal message. 

 (They also do a luxury version too priced at £25)
 
Delimann have kindly given me one of these hampers to give away in a competition. To be in with a chance of winning all you have to do is:
Tell me which product or hamper from the Delimann website you would most like to receive this Christmas. I really like the look of Valentino’s Chocolate Pizza
  • Answers can be left in the comments section of this post, on the Jam and Clotted Cream Facebook page or via Twitter (start tweet ’Delimann @jamandcream’).
  • For an extra entry you can RT the competition on Twitter or share on Facebook – just let me know you have done so in the comments section of this post.
  • Competition closes on 25th November at 5pm and is open to UK residents only.
Oh, and it goes without saying that I would strongly suggest putting the jam on the scone BEFORE the cream…..

Beth Sachs
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SuperJam



SuperJam™ is a range of 100% pure fruit jams; sweetened with grape juice and made using Super Fruits, such as blueberries and cranberries. The brand was created by Scottish jam-maker Fraser Doherty, after being taught to make jam using his Gran’s secret recipes at the age of fourteen.  Little did she know what she had started!

From humble beginnings making the jams from his parents home in Edinburgh, the company has gone on to sell millions of jars, has won a variety of awards and is even exhibited in the National Museum of Scotland as an example of an ‘Iconic Scottish Food Brand’. SuperJam is now available in supermarkets throughout the UK and Fraser has just broken into his 6th international market, Russia!

I was kindly sent three jars to sample (Strawberry, Raspberry & Cranberry and Blueberry & Blackcurrant) and what better way to try the jam than as part of a traditional Cornish Cream Tea. We used the strawberry jam for this and it was delicious - fruity, not too sweet and great for spreading on scones!


Tonight I will be trying a microwave jam sponge pudding with the rest of the strawberry jam and the kids and I will be making jam tarts at the weekend with the blueberry and blackcurrant. I will blog the results soon.

Another unique and quite lovely element of the SuperJam brand that I really want to highlight is the increasingly popular SuperJam Tea Parties - free tea parties held all over the UK for elderly people who live alone or in care. SuperJam are currently looking for more volunteers to help organise and host one of these tea parties, especially during the colder winter months. If you think you might like to help please contact nell@superjam.co.uk

Thank-you Superjam!
Beth Sachs
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Bite 'N' Write Food Bloggers Conference ~ 19th November 2011


Bite 'n' Write is the first UK food bloggers conference to be held outside London and is taking place on Saturday 19th November 2011 at The Custard Factory in Birmingham…more to the point I am going (yay!). I’m excited to be finally meeting some of my long time blogging friends and the programme for the day looks useful and informative (the goody bag will be an added bonus).

Here is a sneaky peak at the day (please note some elements may change).

10:40am–11:00am Welcome speech (and short speech from Action Against Hunger)
11:00am–12:00noon Food Photography workshop by Craig Fraser from FraserShot
12:00am–1:00pm Indian Banquet Lunch provided by Bipins
1:15pm–1:45pm Promoting your blog using Social Media and SEO by Judith Lewis
1:50pm –2:20pm Finding your blogging voice by Jeanne Horak from Cooksister
2:00pm–2:45pm Cooking demo by Craig McKnight from WeGrowOurOwn/ Chocolate Tasting by Artisan du Chocolat
2:45pm–3:00pm Tea & Coffee, mingle time
3:00pm–3:30pm Recipe Developing and Food Allergies by Charlotte Pike from GoFreeFoods
3:35pm–4:15pm WordPress workshop by James Bolton from Derezzed Media
4:15pm–4:45pm Video Blogging by Ben Frazer from Cupcake Artisan
4:45pm–5:00pm Thank you speech
5:00pm–6:00pm Drinks

I’m particularly looking forward to the photography workshop by Craig Fraser, as this is an area that I know I need to improve. I’m also looking forward to the talk on ‘Finding Your Blogging Voice’ from Jeanne. Her blog CookSister! was one of the first blogs I read and ultimately inspired me to set up Jam and Clotted Cream.

A few of us will be making our way to Jamie’s Italian after the conference for some food and drinks and I’m hoping there will be time to visit Birmingham’s Christmas Market.

There are still tickets available, either for the full day or half day – it would be great to see as many of you as possible. If you are going let me know!
Beth Sachs
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Grumpies of Cornwall


Despite their close proximity to me (they are based just 8 miles away in the Cornish market town of Launceston), I first heard about Grumpies whilst listening to the Chris Evans show on BBC Radio 2 back in September. I somehow managed to miss them at this years Royal Cornwall Show, where they displayed their pies to the public for the first time and got, by all accounts an overwhelming response (I’m still not quite sure how I managed to miss them).


                                                         The two grumpy old men

Grumpies of Cornwall was launched at the beginning of this year by self proclaimed grumpy old men Trevor Shea and Mark Carne at their bakery in Launceston. They use only the best local ingredients in their savoury pies, including meat from an award winning (and very helpful) local butcher Phillip Warren’s as well as local vegetables, Cornish ale and cider and local cheese. The Cornish businessmen founded Grumpies, pronounced GrumPIES, to fill a gap in the market for top quality Cornish pies that are also environmentally responsible.

There are currently 6 savoury pies in the range and include:
Steak and Ale
Lamb, Mint and Potato
Chicken, Gammon and Leek
Pork, Apple and Cider
Blue Cheese, Mushroom and Walnut
Homity – which is fresh onions, leeks, potatoes and parsley with cheddar cheese

I was sent all six individual pies to try -much to the excitement of my husband. We cooked them this evening and conducted a little taste test with the kids.  

First up it is worth mentioning the pastry, which was rich, short and buttery – just like homemade (without the hassle!) with not a hint of sogginess. My favourite pie was the Blue Cheese, Mushroom and Walnut one which had a lovely bechamel sauce. Whilst not a vegetarian (by any stretch of the imagination!) I am leaning towards more meat free meals, taking my cue from Hugh FW. This pie was full of flavour and the different textures worked really well together. It would make a great vegetarian Christmas lunch option (as would the Homity Pie).

                                          Blue Cheese, Mushroom and Walnut Pie

The Chicken, Gammon and Leek pie was a hit with the whole family, especially the kids. The pie was full to the brim with succulent chicken and slightly salty gammon, with the leek providing that all important oniony sweetness. Delicious and one I will be seeking out for family meals.

The Husband's favourite, who is a self proclaimed pie aficionado, was the Steak and Ale variety. It was rich, meaty and the Cornish Ale really shone through. According to my husband this is how all pies should taste – robust and full of flavour.

These were our particular family favourites but none fell short of the mark. I am just delighted to have discovered Grumpies – the knowledge that I am only a 10 minute drive away from the perfect pie pleases me greatly and the fact they use mostly local ingredients is a bonus. I wonder when they will start making sweet pies......?

All of the Grumpies packaging is made from environmentally sustainable materials, including the compostable window.
The pies are available from selected farm stores and delis across Cornwall and online at  www.foodfromcornwall.co.uk.

Thank-you to Barefoot Media for arranging this review.
Beth Sachs
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Hubble Bubble Pumpkin Fish Cakes


Hubble Bubble Pumpkin Fish Cakes



My Fish is the Dish package arrived today filled with glorious fresh salmon, haddock and smoked haddock from Delish Fish based in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire.

Fish is the Dish website is the consumer arm of Seafish which was founded in 1981 by an Act of Parliament, with the aim of supporting all sectors of the seafood industry for a sustainable, profitable future. It is the only pan-industry body offering services to all parts of the seafood industry, from catching and aquaculture to processors, importers, exporters and distributors of seafood, including restaurants and retailers.

Funded by a levy on the first sale of seafood landed in the UK, the principal aim of Seafish is to support and improve the environmental sustainability, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the industry, as well as to promote sustainably-sourced seafood. The services it offers include technical research and development, responsible sourcing initiatives, economic consulting, market research, industry accreditation, safety training for fishermen and legislative advice.

Seafish also provides invaluable advice to consumers about preparing and eating seafood, while highlighting its considerable health benefits and this last part is primarily done through Fish is the Dish website.

The website not only contains advice on buying, preparing, cooking and serving fish on the aptly titled ‘Fish n Tips’ page, but also contains a selection of recipes from starters and snacks (I love the sound of the Mackerel and Feta Panini) to quick mid week meals (the posh fish fingers are going on my must try list) and more time consuming weekend specials. There is also comprehensive information on the health benefits of eating fish and even a page dedicated to the bloggers undertaking the ‘Fish is the Dish’ challenges – we are known as the Fish Fanatics!

Our challenge this week was to create a Halloween inspired dish using the fish we were sent. Here is my recipe for Hubble Bubble Pumpkin Fish cakes with blood red dipping sauce. The kids enjoyed mixing the pumpkin and fish and then shaping it into cakes- I think it encouraged them to eat the final products!




PUMPKIN FISH CAKES


| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 15 Minutes | Total Time: 25 Minutes |


Ingredients: 


  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 500g fish fillets, skinned - I used haddock and smoked haddock
  • 350ml white wine or fish stock
  • 500g mashed  pumpkin
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1 egg beaten
  •  Fresh or dried breadcrumbs, to coat
  • A mixture of Tomato Ketchup and Sweet Chilli Sauce for the blood

Instructions:


  • Step 1: Put the onion in a large frying pan, sit the fish on top and pour the wine or stock over. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover and cook the fish for 6-8 minutes or until cooked through. Remove and cool. Strain out the onion and mix into the mashed pumpkin.
  • Step 2: Flake in the fish in decent-sized chunks and season. Gently mix everything and, using floured hands, shape into 16 cakes. Lightly dust with flour, dip in egg and then in breadcrumbs. Chill for at least 30 minutes (important or they will come apart in the pan).
  • Step 3: Heat 1cm oil in a large frying pan. Fry the fish cakes in batches for 3-4 minutes each side or until they are golden, crisp and heated through. Drain on kitchen paper.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 28th October 2011 |


Beth Sachs
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Peanut Butter and Choc Chip Cookies


Peanut Butter and Choc Chip Cookies

















PEANUT BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

| Serves: 15 Cookies | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 12 Minutes | Total Time: 22 Minutes |


Ingredients: 

  • 240g smooth peanut butter - I used Skippy
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g white chocolate chips

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease 2 baking trays
  • Step 2: Mix the peanut butter, sugar, egg and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl using an electric whisk until well combined. (It will be very thick)
  • Step 3: Add the chocolate chips and beat in. Place in fridge for 10 minutes to firm up a bit (optional)
  • Step 4: Scoop up tablespoonfuls of the mixture and roll them into balls using your hands. Place them on the baking tray, leaving a 1-2 inch gap.
  • Step 5: Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.
  • Step 6: Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 3 minutes. Carefully transfer the cookies to a cooling wire using a palette knife – they will still be quite soft.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 25th october 2011 |


Beth Sachs
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Puy Lentil, Feta and Orzo Salad


Puy Lentil, Feta and Orzo Salad

I know colder weather is here, but I still love a good salad for lunch, especially if its robust and peppery like this one. The hardest thing about this recipe is cooking the orzo and the dressing is just a good glug of white wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Easy!


PUY LENTIL SALAD


| Serves:  3 | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: -  | Total Time: -  |


Ingredients: 

  • 100g Orzo, cooked according to packet  - I used Pasta Garofalo
  • 250g Ready to Eat Puy lentils - I used Merchant Gourmet
  • 200g Feta, crumbled
  • Handful of Cherry Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 Roasted Red Pepper, chopped
  • Handful of Rocket
  • 2 TBSP White Wine Vinegar
  • 3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Immediately after cooking the pasta, drain and stir through the rocket first so it wilts slightly. Then throw in all the other ingredients and give it a good stir.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 21st october 2011 |


Beth Sachs
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New Products from The Saucy Fish Co


The Saucy Fish Co has just added two new products to their lovely range.

Chilli, Lime & Ginger Standalone Sauce – The Saucy Fish Co. now offers this fiery accompaniment as a stand-alone sauce, due to the popularity of the Saucy Fish Salmon & Chilli Sauce pack. With a ‘two chilli’ label, those who crave fiery spices in the gloomy winter months will not be disappointed. Just mix and match the fish sauce combos to your heart’s content. Traditionally paired up with salmon, this sauce is also a fantastic accompaniment to an array of scrumptious seafood for a fish dish with that extra kick.

Fresh Cod Fillets with Piri Piri Sauce – this new fish and sauce combo is a great half-homemade dish, injected with some Portuguese spice! For a cool and contemporary twist on classic cod, simply pan fry, grill or oven bake in less than 15 minutes and pair up with winter root veggies such as carrots, parsnips and turnips or some crusty bread and butter and you’ve got a delicious meal, with that extra kick from the fiery piri piri.
Beth Sachs
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Baked Squash Risotto


Baked Squash Risotto

We have just enjoyed this lovely baked risotto for dinner, using the squash, 1 onion, some butter and Cheddar from the Farmison Veg and Dairy box I received on Friday. It requires no stirring so perfect when you are too busy to stand by the hob. The amount below serves 2 (the kids had a cooked lunch at School/Nursery) but you can easily double everything to serve 4.

BAKED SQUASH RISOTTO

| Serves: 2  | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 40 Minutes | Total Time: 50 Minutes |


Ingredients: 

  • 1 small Squash, cut into wedges (skin still on)
  • 1 TBSP Butter
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 3 rashers of smoked Bacon, chopped
  • 1 TSP Dried Thyme
  • 200g Risotto Rice
  • 600ml Vegetable Stock
  • 150g Mature Cheddar, grated

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Heat the oven to 180c. Put the squash into a roasting tin, drizzle with oil, season and put in the oven - roast for 30 minutes until tender.
  • Step 2: Meanwhile heat a casserole with some oil and fry the onion and bacon until cooked, add the thyme and risotto rice and give it a stir. Add the stock, put a lid on and place in the oven with the squash.
  • Step 3: Bake for around 20 minutes then take out of the oven with the squash. Chop the squash into small chunks and mix through the risotto. Stir in the grated cheddar and serve.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 19th October 2011 |


Beth Sachs
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Pumpkin and Coconut Soup


Pumpkin and Coconut Soup

Pumpkins and squashes are coming in thick and fast at the moment, both from my Mother in Laws allotment and also the weekly veg box. One of the larger pumpkins went into making this warming autumn soup, in preparation for the colder weather that's coming our way, according to the Countryfile weather forecast last night.

I used a pouch of Thai Taste Coconut Milk to give the soup a creamy silky texture the chilli's and roasted garlic gave it a lovely fragrant taste.

PUMPKIN AND COCONUT SOUP

| Serves: 4  | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 50 Minutes  | Total Time:  1 Hour 10 Minutes |


Ingredients: 

  • 1 Pumpkin, peeled, seeds discarded and chopped into large chunks
  • 10 whole garlic cloves, skin on
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 800ml vegetable stock
  • 180ml pouch of coconut milk

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 180c. Put the chunks of pumpkin in a roasting pan with the whole cloves of garlic - drizzle over oil and season. Roast for about 30 minutes.
  • Step 2: While the pumpkin is roasting, fry the onion and chilli in a little oil until soft, add the stock, pumpkin chunks and squeeze the garlic out of their skins into the pan. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer.
  • Step 3: Add the coconut milk and heat through. 
  • Step 4: Take off heat and whizz up with a stick blender.
  • Step 5: Serve with some bread.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 17th October 2011 |


Beth Sachs
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Bacon, Broccoli and Davidstow Cheddar Pasta Bake


Bacon, Broccoli and Cheddar Pasta Bake

For those of you who follow me on Twitter (@jamandcream) or are regular blog readers, you will know that I make pasta bakes A LOT (mainly as a vehicle for getting rid of leftovers) and on rainy Autumn days like today they bring much needed comfort and warmth. My pasta bakes are always cheesy (the cheesier the better in my opinion) and are usually made with Davidstow Cheddar (I particularly love their Cornish Crackler) which is produced just down the road from us here in North Cornwall.

Bacon and broccoli are a lovely combination and the pasta adds some bulk to fill up hungry tummies (although you could quite easily omit the pasta if you preferred and add in another head of broccoli). All of these ingredients are stirred into a classic cheese sauce, before being placed under a grill for that golden topping. As a twist, I added 1 TSP of Frenchs Smooth and Spicy Mustard (a product I had been sent to try out in my cooking) to the sauce to pep it up a little bit - it was a fab addition!


BACON, BROCCOLI AND CHEDDAR PASTA BAKE


| Serves: 4  | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time:  20 Minutes  | Total Time: 45 Minutes |


Ingredients: 

  • 1 Head of Broccoli, cut into florets
  • 250g Pasta (I used Fusilli)
  • 4 Rashers of Smoked Bacon, chopped
  • 40g Butter
  • 40g Flour
  • 600ml Milk
  • 1 TSP Frenchs Spicy and Smooth Mustard
  • 200g Davidstow Cheese, grated
  • Handful of grated Parmesan

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Put two large pans of water onto the hob and bring to the boil. Cook the pasta and broccoli, drain and set aside. Preheat grill.
  • Step 2: In a large saucepan melt the butter and fry the bacon until cooked. Add in the flour and stir for a few minutes. Gradually add the milk and bring to boil (it will thicken up). Take off the heat and add the mustard and cheese.
  • Step 3: Pour into a ovenproof dish and grill until golden.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 10th October 2011 |


Beth Sachs
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Double Choc Chip Caramel Cookies


Double Choc Chip Caramel Cookies

These were a happy accident. I had half a tin of condensed milk leftover after making this recipe ...and plenty of chocolate chips. After a bit of googling and plenty of experimenting these Double Choc Chip Caramel Cookies were born. The condensed milk gives the cookies a lovely caramelly chewy texture and you could always substitute the chocolate chips for raisins or cranberries if you wanted something more fruity.

The recipe below makes about 25 cookies - I have put half in the freezer for unexpected guest emergencies!


DOUBLE CHOC CHIP CARAMEL COOKIES

| Serves: 25 cookies | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 15 Minutes | Total Time: 25 Minutes |


Ingredients: 

  • 225g Butter, softened
  • 225g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 200g Condensed Milk
  • 200g Oats
  • 150g Self Raising Flour
  • 1 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 50g Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 50g White Chocolate Chips

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180c/160fan and grease 3 large baking trays.
  • Step 2: Cream the butter and sugar together then add in all the other ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  • Step 3: Shape the dough into golf ball size balls, place 4cm apart on the baking trays and slightly flatten with the back of a fork.
  • Step 4: Bake for 15 mins, take out of the oven and leave on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 9th October 2011 |


Beth Sachs
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Win a Luxury Italian Cooking Kit courtesy of Galbani® worth over £350


COMPETITION CLOSED
Win an Ultimate Italian Cooking Kit worth over £350 containing an Italian fresh pasta maker, Alessi Spaghetti Tongs and a whole host of Harvey Nichols food goodies, plus  six month’s supply of Galbani®  Dolcelatte® and another six month’s worth of Galbani®  Mozzarella cheese - delizioso!


From steaming spaghetti bolognese to scrumptious pizza, layers of decadent lasagne to zesty bruschetta – Italian food is rich, varied and always best shared with loved ones. 

Now Italian food lovers have the chance to win an Ultimate Italian Cooking Kit that will kick start their Italian culinary skills, plus an entire year’s worth of delectable Italian cheese, thanks to Galbani®, Italy’s No. 1 cheese.


To be in with a chance of winning the Ultimate Italian Cooking Kit,  all you have to do is name the tricolours which make up the national flag of Italy:

a) Blue, White and Red
b) Black, Red and Gold
c) Green, White and Red

Rules
1. UK entrants only
2. Answers can be left in the comments section of this post
3.  RT or share for an extra entry - just let me know you have done so in the comments section of this post
4. Competition closes Friday October 21st
Beth Sachs
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