This Week in Food

1. Chips, fries or rosti – what’s the best way to do potatoes? You might’ve heard this week that workers at the Olympic site in Straford have successfully overturned a ‘chip ban’ being enforced by McDonalds, which didn’t allow any other caterers on the site to sell chips (unless they were being served with fish). What caught our eye was the Guardian’s breakdown of all things potato including chip shop vs chicken shop chips, what constitutes a ‘fry’ and how it’s best to eat them, and what makes a good roasty. Mmm.

2. We know the past few weeks have been a complete wash-out, but we’re holding on to the hope that we’ll see a proper summer before autumn’s here. We’re keeping hold of Rose Prince’s barbecue recipes just in case! If it’s a traditional American slow-cooked barbecue meal you’re after, pulled pork is our favourite.

3. Now, we love bacon as much as the next person – maybe even more on a Saturday morning, in a roll with ketchup and a cup of tea on the side – but we have to agree with the Guardian that the baconalia trend might’ve gone too far now. Bacon toothpaste? Bacon sundae?! A meat bar has even opened at Shaka Zulu in London, serving bacon-related cocktails. We love smelling bacon sizzling in the morning, but not so sure we’d light a bacon candle.

4. A new survey has revealed that a whopping 30 percent of meat-eaters wouldn’t consider dating a vegetarian, possibly because vegetarians and vegans have developed an undeserved reputation for being fussy eaters. However it seems that vegetarians are much less bothered about their prospective partner’s food choices – so maybe not!


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.

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.

This Week in Food

Hello and welcome to this week’s round-up of all things food! We’d love to know what you think, so don’t forget to drop us a line in the comments or via Facebook and Twitter.

1. How long did you spend eating your most recent meal? Did you take your time and notice the ingredients and the flavours? New research by fresh soup and sauce makers, Glorious!, has revealed that 79% of us can no longer identify basic flavours in food – all because we’re not taking the time to pay attention! Only 13% of people surveyed said that they had lunch away from their workplace and around half describe lunch as just ‘fuel’. How sad! Dr David Lewis, a psychologist from Mindlab who ran the study, advises that we eat ‘mindfully’ and to ignore distractions such as television.

2. Pizza is one of those meals that everyone loves, but exactly how it’s prepared is a topic of debate. According to The Guardian, it must be wood-fired, eaten with your fingers and accompanied by a sparkling drink. As for toppings, acceptable toppings include cured meats, aubergines and ricotta. Pesto and capers are borderline, and don’t even think about adding sun-dried tomatoes or pine nuts if you want to go fully authentic.

3. The original recipe for Coronation Chicken was created by Constance Spry in 1953 as part of the banquet for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation – consisting of cold-cut chicken, mayonnaise-based sauce, curry powder and raisins, it’s been a staple sandwich filling for years. The Telegraph have updated the recipe as a salad dish to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee this year. A fresh, modern take on a classic!

4. It’s National Vegetarian Week! We like to eat meat-free at least one day a week, but we’re celebrating with a whole host of meat-less recipes this week. Why not try Tinned Tomatoes’ deliciously fresh marinated mozzarella, National Veggie Week’s courgette scones or The Guardian’s vegan chocolate-tahini timbales?


This Week in Food

We hope you enjoy this week’s round-up of our favourite foodie news! Don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments, or on Facebook or Twitter.

1. Here’s a tasty spring recipe to try this weekend – baked sole and asparagus, from the Guardian. Baking is one of our favourite ways to cook a lovely piece of sole, and this is a perfect light weekend recipe. Just follow the link!

2. We quite fancy trying a papple over the coming days… what’s a papple, you ask? A papple is a new fruit that’s just gone on sale at Marks and Spencer – a cross between two pear varieties (European and Asian) that looks and tastes like an apple! Apparently the fruit has the texture and the skin of a pear, and it’s being called a T109 fruit until it’s official name can be decided. We quite like papple!

3. It’s National Sandwich Week! What’s your very favourite variety? The Independent has asked a few foodies what their favourites are but we’re interested in what you stick between your slices. If you’re stuck for inspiration, here’s one of our favourite open sandwich recipes from BBC Good Food:

4. It’s nearly time for the Jubilee and we’re planning on celebrating and whipping up all kinds of tasty treats over the long weekend – Jubilee chicken, English breakfast quiche, Beef Wellington and our very favourite, this rich Pearly Queen chocolate cake!  This recipe makes 16 little cakes, and the edible pearls and buttons make them look gorgeous!

This Week in Food

Welcome to this week’s round-up of all of our favourite foodie news!

1. The Guardian has posted its guide to the perfect chocolate chip cookies – using the original American Toll House recipe, of course! Cookies (as opposed to our British biscuits) tend to be more butter-rich, so they’re softer and chewier. The Toll House recipe is very simple – beat butter with two types of sugar and vanilla and blend the eggs. Add flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and choc chips and you’re there! But why is the Toll House recipe the best? The Guardian’s Felicity Cloake thinks it’s down to their buttery taste and just the right blend of sugars – soft brown sugar is often used in American cookies to create a caramel-like flavour. What’s your favourite cookie recipe? The famous Toll House recipe in its entirety is below:

Photograph: Felicity Cloake

120g salted butter, at room temperature
75g light brown sugar
75g granulated sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
240g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
170g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Sea salt flakes (optional)

1. Using a wooden spoon, or (even better) a food mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until just combined. Add the vanilla extract, then the egg, and beat in well.

2. Sift together the flour and bicarbonate of soda, then use a spoon to add to the mixture, stirring until it just comes together into a dough. Fold in the chocolate pieces, then chill overnight, or for up to 72 hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper, and divide the mixture into golf-ball sized rounds, spacing them well apart. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden, but not browned.

4. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt if using, and allow to cool on the tray for a couple of minutes, before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

2. Seaweed – do you, or don’t you? According to the University of Southern Denmark, we Westerners have ‘forgotten to eat seaweed’. Popular in Asia, seaweed has been eaten by coastal dwellers since prehistoric times and there are as many as 145 different varieties! Twenty species are common in Japanese cooking yet consumption is minimal in our island country, although there are a few well-known seaweed recipes including oatcakes topped with Laver seaweed (a Welsh delicacy) and Dover sole and beer sabayon with seaweed and pommes noisettes. We’d be willing to give it a go!

3. We’ve been mentioned – alongside other great British brands such as Multiyork, Marks and Spencer and Neal’s Yard Remedies – in this piece featured in The Guardian about how buying British-made products can help the country spend its way out of recession! We’re really passionate about our Made in Britain products and are supporting our sister company Stoves’ Made in Britain campaign. You can find out more about our products and the campaign on our website or Stoves’ Made in Britain page.

4. Are you a city-dweller wishing for your own growing patch? Fear not, author Tom Maggach and The Telegraph can tell you how to cultivate fruit and veg in your own urban garden! Tom’s new book, The Urban Kitchen Gardener, includes recipes using home-grown ingredients including honey, beetroot and home-laid eggs as well as tips for creating a perfect city garden, such as creating a pond in a disused bath tub! Here are Tom’s top tips for gardeners:

  • Understand your growing space – its sunny spots, dark corners and draughty bits.
  • Work out which bits get the most sun – use these areas for sun-loving crops.
  • Expand growing space with extra levels and shelves, grow vertically as well.
  • Windowsills offer warmth and protection for seedlings and tender plants.
  • Don’t worry about pollution if you are more than 3m (10ft) away from a main road.
  • If wind is an issue, create windbreaks using screening and trellises.
  • Patrol daily: weeding, checking water and harvesting. I do mine every morning with a cup of tea, and I use my mobile to remind me of chores.

5. And finally, here’s a tasty one for the weekend courtesy of The Guardian – the best garlic bread. Your ideal recipe will depend on how you most like your garlic bread. Is your favourite a pizza-style, dripping with cheese too; a baguette, crispy outside but moist and herby inside; or a traditional French-style thickly cut toast slice? We’re fans of a large garlic bread pizza (perhaps dipped in garlic mayo too, just to be sure) alongside a tasty bowl of pasta. Perfect!