Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Good Food Show - Winter

This is a delayed post from earlier in December.... As usual time runs away with me!

I was really lucky and won a couple of tickets to the good food show in Birmingham - I love this show , I went a couple of years ago with a very little Molly (she was only a few months old) and it was a lovely day out - eating lots and buying new foods trying to get a pushchair through lots of people was a bit of a pain - so this year I went on my own! Stephen had the day with Molly and Henry and I got the train ( very exciting time to myself!!) and met up with a friend . It was how I remembered it from before - very busy! I tried more foods this time and came home with a big bag of goodies...

I had to have a photo with Mary and Paul and of course made a fool of myself!

I also entered a couple of competitions as I was feeling lucky after winning the tickets to the show and this silly pose below won me a Goody Bag from Stoves which included a lovely apron, festive cookie cutters and a signed cookery book from Phil Vickery ! So it pays to enter competitions and look the fool!
It was a lovely day and I ate and drank lots - my favourite was trying all the different gins!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap - Cranberry winter spice, caramac and pecan cookies

I love getting things in the post - so I signed up immediately when I saw this.... You have to have a blog to sign up and then you receive 3 addresses that you send one dozen yummy cookies to and in return you also receive 3 lots of cookies!! Its an American idea with money going to Cookies For Kids Cancer

So these are the cookies I received .. First up were some delicious green shaped Christmas trees - white chocolate and cranberry matcha tea from Becca at Beccas Baking Oh my they were good!!

My second batch of cookies came from Alicia at Beef and Brioche and these were star shaped snickerrrrrrrrrrrrr

Disappointingly I didn't get my third lot of cookies. Not sure what happened to them...

So the pessure was on !! These were all gorgeous I ummed and arrrgghhhed about what to make and I wanted to do something a bit unusual - I had some lovely  Signature Spice from Waitrose

I also discovered Caramac buttons!! again another must have

These are the cookies all ready for the oven

And these are the finished bakes..

I was pleased with how they came out and all of my testers seemed to enjoy them too! I had some lovely messages from the 3 people I sent them to.

All packaged and ready to go....

Here is the recipe - I will hopefully participate again next year...

Cranberry, Winter Spice, Caramac and Pecan cookies.....

Makes 25

125g soft butter
150g soft brown sugar
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
150g plain flour
half a teaspoon baking powder
75g rolled porridge oats
1 tsp Waitrose signature spice
75g peacans chopped
125g cranberries
100g Caramac chocolate chopped

1) Preheat the oven to 180C, fan 160C, gas 4 - line 3 baking tins with baking paper.
2) Cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy this can take up to 5 minutes with an electric hand mixer. Add the egg and continue to mix until incorporated and a smooth mixture.
3) In a seperate bowl , weigh out the flour, baking powder, oats, Winter spice and pecans. Fold thee dry ingredients into the butter mixture.
Finally fold in he chocolate and the cranberries.
4) This is optional but if ou want to ensure that all of the cookies come out the same size weigh the dough and then divide by 25 - it should work out to be about 30g each - if you don't want to weigh then roll the dough into a walnut shaped size.
5) Space the balls of cookie dough about 5 cm apart on your lined trays. Press each cookie ball gently so that you level the surface of them a little.
6) bake for 10-12 mins. Your cookies should be starting to go golden round the edges- they may feel a little soft but will firm up when cooled.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Masterchef Judge - John Tarode

Another day and another celebrity cook! This time I went to see John Torode. To be honest I wasn't really a huge fan of Johns - nothing against him at all in fact all that I knew of him before was that he is a judge on Masterchef! The venue for his cookery presentation was a department store in Coventry called Leekes again somewhere that I hadn't heard of before - it was in a strange location a department store just off of a roundabout all on its own!

Inside there is a Neff kitchen all ready for cookery demonstrations!

I met up with some members of the Baking club that I belong to which is always fun as they are a real laugh! We had good seats and sat down to watch with a glass of cava which was a lovely way to start!
John arrived very chirpy and bouncy and cooked 3 dishes - Curry Cutlets with chickpeas and potatoes, Passion Fruit Pudding and Fancy French Toast. we were given a recipe leaflet of 2 of them but they can also be found in his cookbook.

The food he cooked was available to taste at the end of the demonstration and I hung about until the end so only had a small sample to try - unfortunately the Curry Cutlets had been devoured but there was a lot of chickpeas and potatoes which tasted divine and I am definitely going to attempt this recipe. The Passion Fruit Sponge was good and I have made a similar lemon sponge before - again another one to add to my list of things to make. I didn't try the French Toast as it had the dreaded bananas in it! ( not a fan of bananas!) but it looked tasty.

His book is full of food that as the name suggests is His Kind of Food that he likes to cook for his friends and family - to be honest I was a bit surprised as I was used to seeing him judging on Masterchef so presumed that the recipes would all be complicated and using hard to find ingredients but the book has some lovely recipes in - I did buy a copy and got it signed.

Overall it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon - John is a very funny man and gives you lots of interesting facts for example I didn't know that to make a Victoria Sponge you weigh the eggs and then use the same weight for eggs, butter and flour..... His book is full of tasty recipes and is currently a bargain on Amazon