Archive | March, 2011

Supermarket Scrabble

23 Mar

Check out the latest Facebook craze sweeping the internet and the supermarket shelves. Supermarket Scrabble has finally injected some fun into the weekly shop, as ordinary people set about making cheeky words out of items found along the aisles and then uploading them to the Facebook group to be judged by fellow ‘Scrabblers.’ A great idea to cheer up shoppers as they embark upon this dreaded chore. It even put a smile on the Daily Mail’s face!

Naughty...!

A new trend for wine

14 Mar

Being a wine fan (quite a big wine fan) I thought I’d share some interesting wine news from this week’s Grocer, the bible of the food industry.

According to industry experts, Britain is gearing up to stock its fridges with chilled red wine, a tipple already enjoyed in the warmer climes of Europe. This summer, E&J Gallo will be the first brand to launch a ‘summer red’ wine in this country, made especially for chilling. It’s set to go down a storm over the summer months as people dine al fresco and the BBQ season kicks in.

I’m a bit of a rose girl myself, currently trying to ween myself onto red, so this sounds right up my street. I’m into the lighter, new world wines and I think I could get a taste for the summer red! Looking forward to it hitting the shelves.

Thirsty?

Belated pancake post

12 Mar

 

J was flippin' brilliant at pancakes!

Yes, I’m aware Shrove Tuesday was days ago…but I’ve had a cold…this is my excuse for the late posting and I’m sticking to it!

Anyway, this Tuesday I hosted a little pancake party and squeezed some of my favourite friends into my small but humble abode. After a main course of savoury pancakes (basically amended pasta bake recipes) we got onto the important bit…pancake pudding. I was delighted to see my friends’ pancake-eating rituals and we each ate our fair share. I’m making up for it at the gym this weekend!

My cooking-phobic friend J sprang into action as we whisked the mix and started the flipping process. I was incredibly impressed at the first round of pancakes she produced, directing guests to the “pancake station” (top of the microwave) to choose their toppings whilst the rest of us watched on with a beer or two.

And my buttie-loving friend K didn’t disappoint with her choice of topping, or rather, filling. She creatively wrapped a whole banana within the pancake, fajita stylee whilst her other half earned the title of “best tosser” – his pancake toss earned a significant round of applause. Meanwhile, the rest of the boys topped their pancakes with a mixture of every single topping we had. Standard.

The pancake/buttie/fajita/spring roll

The pancake station

Guest blog post

9 Mar

Please see below for my first guest blog post from my lovely, esteemed colleague Janelle Hardacre. Enjoy!

The return of the scotch egg

9 Mar

Picnic anyone?

The One Show, famous for its amusing, topical and often pointless features pulled another great one out of the bag on Friday, the return of the scotch egg , and it’s new status as a culinary delicacy.

Scotch eggs, the classic picnic food formally at home along side mini sausage rolls, pork pies and vol au vents are boiled eggs covered in sausage meat rolled into a ball and covered in breadcrumbs. What’s not to like…? After some extensive research (typing it into Google) it seems that the scotch egg is indeed making a comeback.  But how has the scotch egg managed to turn its reputation around from cheap and nasty party food with famous advocates like Big Keith from The Office, to Michelin star worthy fodder?

Olive magazine has placed scotch eggs on the foodie cool list for 2011 and apparently we can expect to see scotch eggs cropping up on gastro pub menus and in expensive deli counters across the country. Could this be because Heston Blumenthal has put the once humble scotch egg on the menu of his Michelin-starred pub The Hinds Head? Everything he touches these days turns to gold and it looks like everyone is eager to jump on the scotch egg bandwagon.

 This all seems to go back to my point that we all seem to love bit of nostalgia. Food doesn’t get more British than a scotch egg and now chefs are thinking back to their school days for inspiration rather than to exotic countries with weird and wonderful cuisines.

Fortnum and Mason claim they invented the scotch egg in the 18th century as a handy portable snack for men on their travels and they are now back on the deli counter in their shop. You can pick up an Ostrich egg version for £75 if you need to satisfy your craving…Scotch eggs were a childhood favourite of mine so I for one am celebrating their return. 

 Final fact about scotch eggs. They actually have nothing to do with Scotland. The name actually derives from the verb scotch which means to chop.

Baking guilty pleasures

4 Mar

This stuff is my guilty pleasure.

Only cheating a little bit...

I can bake, quite well. From scratch and everything. But this just tastes so so good.

My other half was incredibly impressed when on the morning of his recent birthday he popped out to run an errand and I whipped up some birthday cupcakes in his absence. Presents and fresh banana and chocolate cakes awaited him… little does he know that they were only half homemade.

Happy Birthday!