Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Discount Code BBC Good Food Show Summer - Plus James Martin Recipe

Oooh not long now until the BBC Good Food Show Summer 2016 is on at the NEC Birmingham; yes I do get quite excitable about these things, I can not wait to go!  

Along with other great celebrity chefs, James Martin will be there on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June.  I've very kindly been given a discount code for my readers to receive 20% Discount off of the ticket price.

To find out more about the times James is on and of course to book your tickets, pop over to the BBC Good Food Show website.  Be sure to enter this code in order to get the 20% discount; MV20

Now let's talk about this wonderful James Martin recipe for Chocolate and Beetroot Roulade with Chocolate Cream that I've been given permission to share with you; doesn't it look stunning?

Discount Code






































Image supplied by Media Vision Interactive.

James says: Using vegetables in cakes is nothing new, of course, but I really like this combination. Beetroot has a great flavour and a sweetness that softens the bitterness of the chocolate. I’ve put it just in the filling and the glaze, as I find that adding it to the cake unbalances the recipe.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Delonghi Argento White 4 Slot Toaster - Review

When you're looking at buying a new toaster it can be a right pain trying to find one that actually toasts bread evenly.  Of course you never find out till you've got it home and tried it; but of course once you've used it you can't take it back (unless of course it happens to be faulty.  So when I was asked by House of Fraser to pick a toaster to review it was tricky since they have a fantastically huge range of Toasters to choose from at prices to suit all budgets.

It was love at first sight when I spied this one; the Delonghi Argento White 4 Slot Toaster. The Brilliant White Matt look is too nice; at the moment I'm really into kitchen stuff that happens to be white!

Now although my photos don't really do this toaster justice, I'm hoping my review will give you an idea of whether this toaster is the right one for you.

Toaster Review






























This 4 Slice Toaster can toast any amount of bread between 1 and 4 slices.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Get BBQ Ready with Iceland Foods

Oh my, the great British weather has once again tried to fool us again this week.  From horrid rain and hail to brilliant sunshine and dare I say it - hot even!  But the one thing we all love to do on the relatively few and sometimes far between nice sunny days is to have a BBQ.

Now that's all very well and dandy but who on earth wants to have to rush out to buy burgers and kebabs and stuff when you realise the weather forecast is actually wrong and you could have a BBQ -if only you had thought about it beforehand.  After all, if you have to go out shopping for food by the time you get back you've missed the best of the sun!

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So I was really pleased to have been set another Iceland Foods #PowerofFrozen challenge which was to see if I could be BBQ ready for whenever the weather was next looking good.

With my freezer stocked up with frozen and ready to cook goodies from the truly brilliant range of BBQ foods available from our local Iceland I was all set to BBQ and that day came sooner than the weatherman predicted.  I'm not just saying it, pop down to your local Iceland Food store and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised of the quality upmarket range they now have.

You can believe me or not but, on Thursday I'd done a days work 6am till 2pm and the weather had turned out to be gorgeous.  So without having to go shopping (it would have been too late if I'd had to do that) I conjured up this array of delicious BBQ food from Iceland.

I found out we hadn't got any briquettes in the garage needed for the BBQ - oh bother, I'm thinking (or words to that effect) please don't make me have to now pop out after all.  But fear not this wasn't a problem because all the food I'd bought is not only cooked from frozen but can also be cooked in the oven too which is what I did......Happy me yay!




Here's a photo of all the food in my freezer I had in readiness for a sunny BBQ kind of day.  I already had Brioche Burger Buns which I forgot to photograph by the way.  The burger buns are pre-sliced making everything so very easy.

Now that's not all folks; for my next trick I even managed to make a 10 Minute Sweetcorn and Pepper Burger Relish to go on the burgers - check me out.  Again made from (yes you guessed it) ready prepared frozen ingredients.

Luxury Chocolate Delivery from Market Porter - Review

Market Porter is an online marketplace that until fairly recently were known as Meat Porter.
Having made a great success of their fantastic meat delivery service, Stefan Porter and Nick Ford have now added more products hence the name change.  Of course they continue their ethos of traceable, ethically produced British meats into other products; Cheese, Charcuterie and now......Chocolate!







































Above image kindly provided by Market Porter

Chocolate is delivered in letterbox sized packaging meaning so there's no need to be home in order to receive it; in fact the same goes for anything ordered from Market Porter.

Market Porter says;
Meat boxes will be with you within 24 hours of packing, but should there be a rare but unavoidable delay and your box cannot be delivered until the next day, due to the brilliantly designed packaging the contents will be safe and cool for at least 48 hours which ensures that your meat will be fresh as a daisy the next day too.

Back to the Chocolate!
Whether you are after the most exclusive chocolate from around the world, something a little more accessible, or the best of both, Market Porter has it covered.  Quite literally they go to the ends of the earth to find your chocolate each month.  You can buy by the bar, or pick one of our selection boxes as a one off or subscription.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Fiery Chicken Club Sandwich with Fresh Zesty Mango Salsa

Just in case you didn't know, this week is British Sandwich Week (8th to 14th May) and the lovely people over at Warburtons have asked me along with six other bloggers to take part in their Sandwich Recipe Challenge where each blogger has to create their Ultimate Sandwich.

For me a proper sandwich has to be something with a little heat to it, so off to the supermarket I went to buy ingredients for my ultimate sandwich!





























Traditionally toasted bread is used to make a club sandwich but as I used Warburtons Thins I decided toasting wasn't the way to go.  Since they're so thin, knowing me I'd probably end up burning them to a crisp which is never going to be a good idea!

We're already a fans of Warburtons bread anyway and we both love Warburtons Thins.   I chose the Seeded ones to make my sandwich but 'Thins' are available in several varieties which does make it hard to choose.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Spicy Beef and Bean Feast - No Chopping or Weighing Recipe

Frozen food is a life saver for those busy days when you just don't have time to cook.  With the family patiently waiting for dinner to be on the table it's brilliant to be able to open the freezer and gather a few simple ingredients together.  Along with a few store cupboard bits and bobs you can produce a tasty and filling quality meal in under 30 minutes - and that's from start to finish!

I hear you saying 'Under 30 minutes; yeah right, with all that chopping involved'??  But it's true, and whats more there's no need for a knife or kitchen scales anywhere in my amazingly simple and easy recipe.  No peeling, chopping or weighing ingredients!



Having been asked to take part in the #PowerofFrozen campaign by Iceland Foods I took on their 'Cut the Hassle' recipe challenge and I came up this Spicy Beef & Bean Feast.

By using frozen food products that can be cooked straight from the freezer.  There's none of the tedious peeling chopping since it's been done for you!  Frozen food is not only convenient, but can actually save you money too; since you only use what you need from the packet and then just pop the rest back into the freezer.



My Spicy Beef can also be easily turned into a quick Chilli con Carne just by serving with rice instead of tortillas.  Of course the amount of spiciness depends on your taste, you can add more or less chilli, it's entirely up to you.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Calisto Glazed Terracotta - Harbour Living

The Calisto range from Harbour Living is just beautiful, made from terracotta with a lovely glazed finish.  All items in the range (and there are lots) are available in Black too which is also gorgeous and very stylish.  Personally I'm seriously loving White, after all it is summertime and the weather is only going to get better; I have faith!

Anyway, whatever you're looking for, Baking Dishes, Dinner Plates, Cereal, Salad and Pasta Bowls and more can all be found in the Calisto range.

Terracotta Platter





















This Oval Platter is quite large (H5 x W49 x D30cm) which is as I say large, but perfect for displaying my Mediterranean-style nibbles that we like to have now and then.  At the time of writing this platter is £21.49 so it's a really good price I think and perfect for outdoor summer dining.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

The Howard Arms Cotswold Pub - Review

The Howard Arms is a 400 year old Cotswold-stone inn overlooking the peaceful Village Green of Ilmington, near Shipston-on-Stour in the Cotswolds.  The perfect place to stay for a romantic weekend away or just to get away for a few days and is in a brilliant location for exploring the beautiful Cotswold countryside.
























Above image provided by The Howard Arms - all other images in this post are my own.


The Howard Arms is a Pub, Restaurant and Luxury Bed & Breakfast and is what I call a 'proper' country pub.  We arrived last Sunday, freezing cold from the icy weather and was relieved to find a gorgeous log fire with two comfy chairs either side of the fireplace. We've visited many country pubs over the years but you'd be surprised how many have a log fire but actually won't light it.  There's nothing worse than being cold and it puts me off wanting to eat and now that's saying something as I can eat for England.  Always hungry am I.

This place has a lovely friendly feel to it and it was packed full, just as any good and decent pub will be.  After all a pub with no customers is almost as bad as a pub with no beer - as long as you come back and carry on reading this post, check out the song; Google 'Pub with No Beer'.

Good to see a great mix of people from young families with babies to elderly couples all chatting, eating and drinking.  At the bar we were greeted by a friendly and cheerful barman who asked what we would like to drink.  Red wine for me please - The Howard Arms has a large selection of ales beers and wines including Champagne.

Free Wi-fi is available here as it is in many places these days but the one thing I noticed about The Howard Arms was you didn't have to ask anyone for the password.  At last, a place that offers free Wi-fi but you don't feel a nuisance asking to access it as the password is on a chalk board by the bar.  Marvelous. I am a one for Twitter/Instagram, oh and FaceBook lol.

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