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Showing posts from September, 2015

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.

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!

There was an informative tour of the farm and vege…

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 …

Chocolate Avocado Cookies

Inspired by Jenny's Chocolate, Coconut and Sweetcorn Cookies,  I set about making my own chocolate cookies with an unusual ingredient today- avocado!

I wont lie, when I tasted the uncooked dough I thought I was on to a loser - it was horrible! However, the cooking process worked its magic and out of the oven came wonderfully textured, brownie-like cookies that tasted of chocolate - NOT avocado!

The kids came home from school this afternoon and their cute little eyes lit up - 'Mummy you've made us cookies - thank-you' said Lowen. They proceeded to eat the lot. A little while later I told them the cookies had a secret ingredient and they had to guess what it was. Rory thought it was vanilla, Lowen thought it was you can only imagine the screams when I told them it was in fact avocado! Cue fake retching.

If you would like to deceive your own children like I did then scroll down for the recipe! Have a good evening - I'm off to prepare for #BlogCampRiverCo…

How To Make A Peppa Pig Cake Topper With Pink Marzipan

Need a quick and easy cake topper for a child's birthday? Use some pink marzipan to make a Peppa Pig topper that will delight fans of the show. You don’t need to be an expert decorator, just follow these simple steps.

This marzipan topper is very simple to make, you don’t need much in the way of fancy tools or products. Because Peppa Pig is made up of a few basic shapes there’s no advanced sugar crafting involved here. Before you begin, coat the work surface with a little icing sugar.

1. Knead your red marzipan on the work surface until it is smooth and pliable. Don’t overdo this as marzipan can become sticky quite quickly.

2. Take a lump of marzipan and roll it into a ball. Flatten the base and top slightly. Believe it or not that’s the body finished. All you need to do now is insert your toothpick into the top of the body, leaving an inch or so sticking out. This will help stabilise the head.

3. To make the head take a lump of pink marzipan and knead it until it’s soft and smoo…

Giveaway: Precision Knife Set and Black Diamond Block worth £159.80

Edge of Belgravia is one of the worlds most innovative chef knife brands. Established in Belgravia, London in 2010 and officially launched onto the UK market in 2012, Edge of Belgravia has quickly won acclaim. The firm has combined daring avant-gard design with clever marketing to gain global recognition.

Futuristic in concept, their Black Diamond Knife Block (RRP £89.90) designed by Christian Bird uses clever weighting to secure the knives in the block and fits up to 11 knives. The Precision Knife set (RRP £69.90) includes a bread, chef's, deba and paring knife. All are coated in stainless steel with a non stick blade coating which cuts with ease.

Edge of Belgravia have kindly given one Black Diamond Knife Block and one Precision Knife set to giveaway in a competition to one Jam and Clotted Cream reader. To enter all you need to do is fill in the Rafflecopter widget below. UK entrants only please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meal Plan 21st - 27th September

It's a busy and exciting week here as I'm off to #BlogCampRiverCottage at River Cottage HQ on Wednesday. I'm really looking forward to meeting fellow food bloggers and learning new things. I'll be live blogging from the event so don't forget to look out for my Twitter and Facebook updates throughout the day.

We've got a wedding on Saturday where they are serving a traditional Cornish supper (bit worried about how I'm going to watch the the England v Wales game though!?) and on Sunday Lowen is doing a sponsored walk along the coast path so it's Roast at Mum and Dad's afterwards.

What's on your meal plan this week?

Monday 21st September
Leftover Roast Chicken Risotto

Tuesday 22nd September
Chicken Kievs with lots of veggies

Wednesday 23rd September
River Cottage (hubby is away too so the kids will be eating at Mum and Dads)

Thursday 24th September
 Sherry Glazed Pork Cheeks with Rice

Friday 25th September
Venison Sausage and Red Wine Casserole

Saturday …

Home Nations Gourmet Meat Box from Meat Porter

I'm a massive Rugby fan, so was delighted to hear that in celebration of the start of the Rugby World Cup today, online artisan butcher Meat Porter has put together a selection of gourmet meats showcasing the best of our fabulous home nations teams. The Home Nations box retails at £58 and includes the following:
4 Welsh Lamb Loin Chops
2 x 8oz Irish Ribeye Steaks from the heritage dexter breed
2 x 8oz English Pork Cutlets
6 Scottish Venison and Red Wine Sausages
2 x 8oz Gammon Steaks
1/2 lb Back Bacon

The box is available for the duration of the Rugby World Cup (with super speedy next day delivery) and I'll be incorporating some recipes using the products in next weeks meal plan.

Come on England! ...and here is a lovely reminder of 2003

I was sent a gourmet meat box to review. All opinions are my own.

Gooey Macaroni Cheese with Gammon

This is a great Autumnal family meal - perfect for chilly weekend evenings when you just want to warm up inside.

I bought a small piece of gammon from Waitrose last week that was reduced to 90p (it had been £5!) - not enough for a meal by itself, so I cooked it, chopped it up and threw it into the cheese sauce. If you don't have any gammon then bacon would be fine. Or just leave it out altogether.

If you wanted to stretch it, then cook some garlic bread alongside. I sometimes serve it with broccoli and peas too. Whatever you fancy really.

GOOEY MACARONI CHEESE WITH GAMMON| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 25 Minutes | Total Time: 40 Minutes |
Ingredients:50g Butter50g Plain Flour600ml Milk1 TSP Dijon Mustard250g Extra Mature Cheddar, grated250g MacaroniLeftover cooked gammon or fry off 6 chopped bacon rashersInstructions:Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180c  (fan 160). Put a large pan of boiling water on the hob and bring to the boil. Cook macaroni according to instructio…

Double Chocolate Rocky Road Crunch Bars

These aren't for the faint hearted but they are so very good. Unfortunately not so good for the waistline.  It's a good job the kids and hubby scoff them before I get a chance to eat any - I'm not very good with moderation. My moderation issues are mostly wine related (don't even ask about last Friday night) but do extend to cover chocolate fridge cakes ...oh, and chili heatwave Doritos too.

You really can't go wrong with these. Enjoy!

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ROCKY ROAD CRUNCH BARS| Serves: makes 16 squares | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: - | Total Time: - |
Ingredients:125g Butter150g Dark Chocolate150g Milk Chocolate3 TBSP Golden Syrup150g Digestives, crushed50g Maltesers, crushed75g Marshmallows, chopped into smaller pieces50g Raisins Instructions:Step 1: In a large pan melt together the butter, chocolate and syrup over a low heat. Once melted reserve 125ml for the topping.Step 2: Stir the digestives, malteser, raisins and marshmallows into the chocolate mixture t…

Giveaway: Renshaw Baking Hamper

I've recently become a brand ambassador for Renshaw the leading British manufacturer of ready roll icings, marzipan and frostings.Watch out for some product reviews very soon!

Renshaw have kindly given one Jam and Clotted Cream reader the chance to win a hamper full of Renshaw goodies including ready roll icing, marzipan, flower and modelling paste and frostings - must haves for any keen baker.

For your chance to win all you need to do is enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. UK entrants only. Contents of the hamper may be subject to change. The winner will be announced on 1st October 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese

Every time we have a roast, this Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese gets made. We all love it here including the newest member of the family Baby H, who had her first taste at the weekend! I usually make it ahead of time, pop it into the fridge then just bung it in the oven with the roasties for 20 minutes to brown on top.
I vary the cheeses I use but the kids definitely prefer it with Extra Mature Cheddar and a sprinkling of Parmesan on top - blue cheese is good for a more adult version. Although I usually serve it as a side dish to a roast I can quite happily gobble up a bowl of it on its own - garlic bread is a good accompaniment if you want to eat it this way and maybe some crispy bacon on top.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
CAULIFLOWER AND BROCCOLI CHEESE| Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 30 Minutes |
Ingredients:1 medium head of broccoli broken into florets1 small cauliflower broken into florets50g Butter50g Plain Flour600ml Milk1 TSP Dij…

Meal Plan 14th - 20th September 2015

I've lost 7 days somewhere - there was hardly any real cooking or baking from me last week and zero blogging. We did make the most of the nice weather though, with plenty of beach time and walks after school! Unfortunately the good weather hasn't stuck around and the rain and wind is lashing against the windows as I type. At least it gives me the perfect excuse to potter in the kitchen......

Have a good week.

Monday 14th September
Slow Cooker Sausage Casserole with rice

Tuesday 15th September
Gammon Macaroni Cheese with Caesar Salad

Wednesday 16th September
Slow Cooker Chicken and Butternut Squash Stew

Thursday 17th September
Homemade Pizza

Friday 18th September
Spaghetti Bolognese with Garlic Bread

Saturday 19th September
Revel Tea in the Parish Hall

Sunday 20th September
Roast Chicken, Sweet Potato Mash, Broccoli and Carrots. Apple Crumble for dessert.

Meal Plan 31st August - 6th September 2015

It's back to school on Friday here, so we're going to enjoy the last few days of the summer holidays in hopefully dry weather (been a bit lacking this year). We're off for a bike ride down the Camel Trail today (Wadebridge to Bodmin) and tomorrow we have two birthday parties. It was Heidi's Christening on Sunday (have a look at the cake!) so this weeks meal plan is based around leftovers from that. Have a good week x

Monday 31st August
Leftovers from Christening

Tuesday 1st September
Picnic on the Camel Trail with leftovers from the Christening - pasties, quiche, sausage rolls

Wednesday 2nd September
Ham and Pea Pasta

Thursday 3rd September
Cheddar Cheese Risotto

Friday 4th September
Homemade Pizza (using up cheeses and ham)

Saturday 5th September
Roast Chicken, Sweet Potato Mash, Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese, stuffing and carrots

Sunday 6th September
Leftover Roast