This Week in Food

1. We’ve all seen (and probably bought) pre-prepared spice mixes from the supermarket, but have you tried making your own? You can customise the blends to suit your own flavours, or even add and omit ingredients altogether if you’d like! Our favourite that we’ve tried from this E-Cookbook list is a very cinnamon-y cinnamon sugar, made with a dash of hard brown sugar too so it caramelises under the grill. Let us know what your favourite combination is!

2. How do you store your recipes? We spotted this story on The Guardian’s blog this week and it got us thinking about how we can better organise our hoards of clippings and books. Do you have folders, boxes, or a colour-coding system? We’d love to hear your organisational tips!

3. A team of scientists at Leatherhead Food Research have put together the world’s healthiest meal – the ‘supermeal’. The meal includes a range of meals and snacks, all with a host of health benefits such as Omega 3-rich fish, chicken for lean protein and leafy greens to keep carbohydrates in check. The Daily Mail published the whole superfood feast: 4. A New York restaurant has created an extravagant pizza costing a whopping $1,000! The pizza is the creation of Nino Selimaj, owner of Nino’s Bellissima Pizza in Manhattan and is topped with two varieties of caviar (Beluga and Black Russian Royal Sevruga), lobster, crème fraiche, salmon roll, chives and wasabi paste. Mr Selimaj says that the eatery sells around one pizza per week, and that the toppings provide great value for money. We’re not so sure – we’re happy with our homemade veggie supreme on this occasion!

5. A variety of traditional ‘forgotten foods’ – including Grimsby smoked haddock, raw-blood black pudding and Morecombe Bay shrimps – are being revived as part of a campaign by Slow Food UK and Booths supermarket. Locally-grown products have been overshadowed by cheaper varieties, with only a few producers still labouring over the lesser-loved foods, but the Slow Food movement wants to get these fantastic products back into the public eye. A range of ‘forgotten foods’ will be available in Booths’ 28 supermarkets across Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria and Yorkshire.


Best of British – Cornwall

Pasty Wars and More!

What a fabulous set of entries for Best of British Cornwall.  Our host for the month, Choclette at ChocLogBlog produced some unusual and gorgeous looking Cornish Splits – yeasted buns that she served a bit like scones with jam and cream.  Now, true to her name she managed to adapt the recipe to include a bit of chocolate – and not just on the strawberries.  The fat for the buns was a mixture of butter and white chocolate – how yummy does that sound!!!  The recipe is here on her blog if you want to try for yourself

Cornish Splits

We had quite a range of cornish pasty recipes.  My own recipe was my mother’s and while I was quite pleased with the result, Karen at Lavender and Lovage produced a rather more authentic Cornish Pasty with the pretty side crimp I can’t quite manage to do yet!

Annies Cornish Pasties

These lovely pasties from The Hungry Hinny LOOK like the traditional ones, but are a veggie version.  And, so delicious looking that I suspect they are the the sort of veggie dish that would work for a meat eater like Vegetarian Cornish Pasties

And, Chris’s version from his blog, Cooking Around the World  has Guinness and Rosemary – sounds really tasty!

Our final (not quite a pasty) came from Susan at A Little Bit of Heaven on a Plate – She produced this lovely Cornish Pastie Pie!

Cornish Pastie Pie

Now, after all those pasties, you’ll be pleased to know we DID find some more fabulous dishes from Cornwall.

I love this Stargazy Pie, which has come all the way from Cornwall via South Africa courtesy of Under The Blue Gum Tree, who has adapted a Mark Hix recipe. I find sardines poking their head through the pastry slightly freaky…but this version with prawns just looks rather elegant to me.

Janice from FarmersGirl Kitchen,  our Host for this Month’s Scottish ‘Best of British’ Challenge has made a kedgeree with Mackerel that she thinks probably got a lot of exercise and swam round from Cornwall to the West Coast of Scotland;) .  Well, regardless, it’s a great Cornish (and Scottish) ingredient and this is a fabulous kedgeree recipe I’m sure you’ll want to try!

Smoked Mackerel Kedgeree

Karen from Lavender and Lovage also sent us a recipe to use Davidstow Cheddar – a nutty and rather gorgeous Cornish Cheddar that works well on cheeseboard but is also great for using in recipes like this Cheese and Potato Pie.  Real comfort food for a chilly summer evening!

Now, on to dessert!  Cornwall is famous for it’s clotted cream, so parhaps it’s not suprising that we had this lovely Cornish ‘tiramisu’ with Clotted Cream from Chris at Cooking around the World


And Janine from Janine Bakes managed to combine our Best of British Challenge with the Jubilee Celebrations with this lovely Jubilee Celebration Cake using Strawberries and Clotted Cream.

Jubilee Strawberry and Clotted Cream Cake

Beth, from Jam and Clotted Cream was bound to produce something fantastic…and this Honey Cake using honey from a local Cornish producer really does look gorgeous.  I envy her family and friends who got to eat it!

Honey Cake

We had a Golden Entry from the aptly titled Lapin D’Or Blog in the form of these lovely Saffron buns.  There are a lot of saffron cake recipes in Cornwall, and this one looks really beautiful, a pretty pale yellow spiced bun!

Saffron Buns

Finally, our winner (chosen at random, but really rather gorgeous!) was The More Than Occasional Baker who sent in these lovely clotted cream and strawberry tarts and cookies!

Clotted Cream and Strawberry Tarts and Cookies

This Week in Food

Hello and welcome to this week’s round-up of our favourite recent foodie news! Have you seen any interesting stories, or tried anything exciting recipes this week? Let us know in the comments!

1. A new survey by charity LEAF (Linking Environment and Food) has revealed that fewer than half of young adults in the UK don’t know that butter comes from dairy cows, and a third weren’t aware that eggs came from hens. Truly shocking! Two thousand people were questioned as part of the research, and other findings include that more than 30% don’t know where bacon comes from, and 7% linked milk with wheat. The findings highlight just how removed young people are becoming from where their food is sourced from – this calls for a trip to the farm and an allotment!

2. We’re all familiar with a quick tinned tomato soup lunch, but what about trying the perfect homemade recipe? The Guardian’s Felicity Cloake has shared her secrets for what she says is the very best tomato soup recipe, and perfect as a year-round meal. Whether you prefer tinned, roasted or fresh tomatoes and whichever seasonings you fancy, tomato soup makes a tasty, healthy and portable meal that can be served hot or cold (depending on the weather!).

3. Our sister brand Belling’s brand ambassador, chef Brian Turner, has created a selection of tasty Father’s Day recipes to help you celebrate all things Dad this weekend. An alternative to the usual Sunday roast, Brian suggests either saffron-roasted salmon (with warm cannellini bean salad, roasted vine tomatoes and orange and basil sauce), a classic tuna salad nicoise or minted lamb cakes. How are you planning to celebrate this weekend?

4. Tasty gooseberries – part of the same fruity family as the well-loved current – are in season at the moment, and we’ll be making the most out of them with a variety of delicious recipes! We like the look of this gooseberry meringue pie, delicately flavoured with elderflower, and this unusual gooseberry syllabub pavlova. The pavlova meringues can even be made ahead, saving on time later!

5. Monday marks the start of National Picnic Week, so we’ve been hunting for the very best picnic recipes. These chocolate slices, a variation of typical refrigerator cake, make excellent picnic treats while this tortano bread with ham and mushrooms will be hearty and filling picnic fuel.  The Guardian compiled this list of speedy picnic recipes a few years ago, and it’s one of our favourites to refer to now.


This Week in Food

Welcome to this week’s round-up of foodie news – what have your favourite stories been this week?

1. According to The Guardian, we’re a nation of biscuit lovers!  Although various cakes and pretty cupcakes are more popular than ever, it seems that we still turn to a packet of biscuits most often with our cuppa. Every year, the average household eats their way through a huge 103 packets of biscuits! Mind you, that’s only just under two packets per week… maybe it’s not such a surprising figure, after all. It was the 19th Century when we began regarding biscuits as a dunkable accompaniment to our afternoon tea and despite the fact that healthier biscuits and cereal bars are increasing in popularity, it’s the humble Hob Nob that remains king of the biscuits. We quite fancy one now!

2. Our sister brand Belling is celebrating its 100th birthday this year and as part of the celebrations, it’s chosen a Charity of the Year with help from a public vote – the Anthony Nolan Trust. Anthony Nolan is a charity that works to save the lives of people with blood cancers who need a blood stem cell or bone marrow transplant. You can keep up-to-date with all of Belling’s charity work or donate yourself via its JustGiving page.

3. When you go out for an Italian meal, how much of what you experience is an authentic Italian dining ritual? According to the Huffington Post’s analysis of the differences between Italian and American-Italian, not a lot! The article includes a list of the differences, such as temperature (traditionally, Italians consume most food and drinks around room temperate), pepperoni vs peperoni (our meaty pepperoni is what the Italians call a salsiccia picante – a peperoni is adorned with red and yellow peppers) and a lack of garlic bread as a starter or a side at Italian mealtimes. Very interesting!

4. An ambitious ice cream parlour in Scotland has created a whopping 3,000 calorie, 20-scoop ice cream sundae! The shop owner, Tahar Javaid, created the sundae – nicknamed the Titanic – after being inspired by US TV show Man vs Food. The sundae costs £10, but if you manage to (single-handedly) finish it within 15 minutes, it’s free – you just have to pay a £1 charity donation. What do you think – could you eat 3,000 calories of ice cream, Skittles, fudge and fruit in quarter of an hour?

This Week in Food

We hope you enjoy this week’s round-up of our favourite foodie news! We’ve gone a bit Jubilee mad this week – how will you be celebrating?

1. A new poll by has revealed that rather than feasting on posh delicacies over the Jubilee weekend, around half of people would rather have fish and chips and a cuppa to celebrate! As a nation, we’re expected to sip a whopping 115,000 cups of tea per minute while toasting the Queen’s 60 years on the throne – and annually we drink four times more tea per capital than India or China. Well, best stick the kettle on then!

2. If you’ve signed up to host a Jubilee street party this weekend, have you got the menu sorted yet? The more prepared among you may have already started your preparation, but if not – don’t panic! have put together a list of suggestions depending on party size and you can find a whole host of recipes, from Mini Pork Pies and Curried Chicken and Mango Salad to Homemade Pink Lemonade and Pimm’s Jelly on the BBC’s Good Food website.

3. If you’re after a more decorative centrepiece for your table, you’ve got plenty of options. Why not try this gorgeous Jubilee bunting cake (you can’t go wrong with an edible centrepiece!) or even make your own bunting? There are also plenty of print-out activities available online to keep the kids busy – don’t forget to enter any works of art that your kids create over the weekend in Lec’s Fridge Art competition!

4. If you don’t fancy a street party and (fingers crossed!) the weather holds out, a Jubilee picnic is the perfect way to take advantage. You can find a list of the UK’s most scenic picnic spots online – why not take some of Jamie Oliver’s favourite picnic recipes with you?

5. If you fancy a bit of British in your kitchen every day, our sister brand Stoves are giving you the chance to win a new Sterling Mini Range in a stunning and patriotic Union Jack print! Simply visit the Stoves UK Facebook page and answer a simple question to enter.