I recently made these beautiful trifle cupcakes for a friend's hen do. They were very tasty and were my first experience of making creme patisserie.
I used the recipe from Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days which has yet to fail me. The recipes work exceptionally well.
I am slightly obsessed with coconut and strawberry as a flavour combination and thought I would try this as a flapjack.
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar
200g plain flour
2 tbsp golden syrup
50g dessicated coconut
Cut up the strawberries and add a tablespoon of lemon juice and sugar, mix and set aside.
June was such a busy month for me and I am very much still catching up! I decided to set June's theme as any recipe that used up leftover food. Here is the wonderful selection that I ended up with.
Creamy ham and mushroom pasta from Soosie. This is a really good round up recipe for getting rid of all those leftover little bits in the fridge, whilst at the same time making a hearty meal.
Next the lovely Mel has blogged these tasty looking Salmon fishcakes using up leftover salmon and potato. Perfect for a lunch or lighter evening meal.
Karen from Lavender and Lovage made this scrumptious looking barbecued fish on the stove which uses up breadcrumbs as well as leftover potatoes.
Now I am dreaming of tapas and lucky for me Janice at Farmergirl Kitchen has served up some tasty patas bravas with chicken and chorizo. She used leftover Piri Piri chicken and raided the fridge to use up lots of other bits.
Fiona from London Unattached cooked this lovely chicken and asparagus risotto which uses leftover roasted chicken and stock from the carcass.
For my entry I used some leftover egg whites to whip up these mini meringues. They looked really adorable.
Ros at more than the occasional baker has submitted her lovely lemon yogurt cake using leftover lemons, oranges and yogurt. This is defineitley one for me to try and I often have leftvoer yogurt.
Once again thank you to everyone who joined in and huge apologies for the late write up. Do join us for July's challenge which is collating a range of recipes to use up the current harvest of Beetroots.
It was recently my friend's hen do and the theme was Ascot. I therefore decided to make trifle cupcakes and mini meringues and Eton mess. I had left over egg whites from the trifle cupcakes so what better way to use them than to make cute little piped meringues. I originally got the idea from Hannah at Corner Cottage Bakery who created these gorgeous tiny meringues. Mine were a little bigger but still looked adorable.
For every 1 egg white use 50g of caster sugar.
To make the Eton mess just add whipped cream and mixed berries.
As this is a fantastic way to use up surplus egg whites I am entering this into June's 'no waste food challenge' I set the deadline for this month as the 15th July, as I am so behind schedule, so I have just sneaked this in!
I know that I am very behind myself right now but June's round up will be coming shortly and I thought I should quickly announce July's theme.
The weather has caused havoc this year with people's 'grow your own' but I was still very lucky to receive some spare beetroot from a colleague's allotment. So this month is about using up the season's beetroot. What recipes do you have?
As per usual I am not precious about deadlines (as you may have noticed) so do drop me an email with your blog posts firstname.lastname@example.org and do feel free to republish old posts.
I have been interested in food delivery boxes for a while. I have become a Riverford veg box convert and find I eat so much better because the food is delivered to me. I work full time, write this blog, and like to see my friends, so I really resent time spent in the supermarket shopping!
I have been trying out different ways and places to buy my meat from. I have tried my local butchers, Morissons, Riverford meatbox and buying direct from a local farm. When Westin Gourmet approached me to try one of their boxes I was really interested to see how it would compare and if it could become my new regular meat delivery.
Westin Gourment have gained awards from The Observer, Consumer Taste Awards and The Guardian. The company started life providing top quality meat for restaurants. Westin Gourmet now offer this wholesale selling to the general public through their website. By selling in trade quantities Westin say they are able to provide high quality meat at reasonable prices. The company explain that all their meat is bred responsibly, although I couldn't understand from the website if this meant organic and/ or free range meat.
I was very lucky to be sent a 'one time offer box' for review which contains:
First up the box itself. I love the detail on the packaging. The box was delivered on time and is packed with lots of paddng, insulation and reusable frozen packs. Where possible Westin Gourmet have used recycled packaging but at the end you are still stuck with unrecyclable bubble wrap.
We couldn't resist the steaks and so these were our first meal. We marginally preferred the Aberdeen Angus steak to the Hereford but both had a really nice depth of flavour. They were as tasty as the steak we buy from the local farm. I highly recommend the steak especially if you are planning to serve it for a dinner party, great quality and it is brilliant to know you can get it delivered to the door.
We had the corn fed chicken for Sunday roast. The meal came complete with homemade Yorkshires as my sister insists on having these with every type of roast. The chicken was enough to feed three of us and we all agreed was extremely tasty and succulent. I will definitely be investing in the corn fed chicken again.
Next up we tried the pork loin. I cooked this with a soy and honey sauce and it made a perfect mid week dinner. Once again the meat was nice and succulent and had real taste to it. The loins were also a really nice size fairly thick and nicely portioned.
For a Friday night meal we tried the steak mince. Greg's signature dish is bolognese and he kindly took over the cooking of this one. The mince separated out nicely when it was cooked and was definitely better quality than the supermarket mince we usually buy. No nasty grisly bits!
I have set aside the burgers and sausages to try at my friend's upcoming barbecue and so can't comment on these here. I'm afraid I couldn't eat the whole meatbox in a two week period!
My thoughts on the meat box
I found that the meat box was full of tasty meat and love the convenience of it being delivered to work or home. I am still a little unsure whether the meat was free range or organic. I do think Westin Gourmet need to explain their 'ethical sourcing' more fully and in terms that people recognise, and search for, when choosing their food. For example, the sausage's labeling does not detail what percentage of pork they contain, again this is a common way for people to identify high quality. It might also be a nice touch to print the name of the farm that the meat was sourced from onto the label. This would emphasis that the produce really does come straight from farm to customer.
Westin Gourmet promises to beat supermarket prices when comparing the costs of meat per kilo and they even have a supermarket comparison guide.
Comparisons to buying meat elsewhere
I do find our local Morrisons pretty good quality and reasonably priced but I worry about animal welfare and fare deals for farmers. My local butchers is good but a little pricey and I don't like some of the seasoning they use, I find everything a bit too salty. The Riverford meat box was excellently packaged with all the packaging materials natural and recyclable, plus they pick up the packaging on their next delivery. The Riverford meat box is all organic but I wasn't blown away by the taste of the meat. My favourite place to shop is a local farm callled Send Hill Farm, however they don't deliver and several times I have turned up at the farm shop to find it has closed early or will not open that day.
Will I try Westin Gourmet again?
The meatbox has certainly whet my taste buds and I will be purchasing another box with a large order that can be split between the fridge and freezer. I hope that some better labeling and explanations of sourcing can be developed but I am happy to order another box. It will be good to see if this way of shopping works for me whilst providing good quality meat. As there are only two of us I may look into seeing if friends at work and who live locally would like to split a bulk order. All in all I recommend trying Westin Gourmet.
Have you ever bought your meat online or have you found a local farm to buy direct from? If you would like to try the one time offer box I am happy to be able to share with you below a £30 discount. Let me know what you think if you put in an order.
I was sent the One Time Offer box by Westin Gourmet and asked to provide an honest review.
I have finally got round to spring cleaning my kitchen! I really feel like I am playing catchup this year and so despite working a six day week I decided to spring (summer) clean the kitchen. As this is all I managed to achieve this weekend, and I am quite impressed with the results, I thought I would share with you my before and after photos together with tips on some of the products I used.
Things to tackle included tiles, tile sealant and the oven.
I find that tiles get really grubby and need regular degreasing. I have just bought a Vax V5 steam cleaner and wanted to try this out on the tiles. I bought a refurbished one, as it was cheaper, and it works just like new. The steamer worked well to help loosen the grease and dirt.
All the tile sealant has disintegrated and gone mouldy. I scrapped of all the old sealant, steam cleaned to get rid of any grime and resealed with uni bond. The trick to getting this neat is definitely to use an old credit card to scrape the excess sealant away.
We were very lucky when we moved in and our landlady bought us a new oven. However, I have been a bit bad at regularly cleaning it. In fact, I am pretty embarrassed at this picture! I spent several hours scrubbing at this with the steamer, lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar in an attempt to be green and then resorted to Oven Pride. On my goodness it is amazing! I could see it working on the oven door immediately. After two hours the oven looks brand new with only minimal scrubbing. I'm all for green solutions but until something great is discovered I am afraid I will be using this.
Finally, all clean and lovely. Now all I need is a turquoise kettle, which I am secretly hoping I will receive from Morphy Richards to test and review, as I was chosen this year as one of their innovators.
All the products used were purchased by myself.