Our ghastly Halloween showstopper

Every year I watch the Great British Bake Off and every year I feel inspired to get the kids in the kitchen to join me in creating some crazy, outlandish showstopper-style masterpiece*.

The problem is, and I know I’ve said this before on the blog, but I’m just not a natural-born baker. That’s not to say my bakes don’t taste good. Nine times out of ten they most certainly do. But all too often they just don’t look good. And that’s the whole point of a showstopper, isn’t it? To impress? To wow? So perhaps our attempt this year at a ghoulish bake for Halloween is more a pause-glance-and-nod-approvingly before moving on than a full-blown stop-them-in-their-tracks-in-awe showstopper. The children loved it though, and that’s what’s most important.

*easily interchangeable with ‘monstrosity’, but quite appropriate really for this time of year. Continue reading “Our ghastly Halloween showstopper”

Chilli beef pasta with Savoy cabbage and caraway for the #OrganicUnboxed Challenge

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Like many of my fellow food bloggers, I’ve been taking part in the #OrganicUnboxed challenge this last few weeks. The idea of the challenge is simple. Organic UK is sending bloggers a big mystery box of organic produce to see what easy, every day dishes they might come up with to inspire more people to switch to organic. In my excitement I failed miserably to get a picture of the organic goodies being unboxed. Which is why I’ve brought you a gratuitous shot of our cat Tango in the box instead. Now, hasn’t that brightened your day? Continue reading “Chilli beef pasta with Savoy cabbage and caraway for the #OrganicUnboxed Challenge”

Wyke Farms giveaway: win a collection of three Cheddar cheeses

Wyke Cooler Bag Comp_CroppedIn follow-up to my recent Cheddar and apple rough puff pie post, I’ve teamed up with the good people at Wyke Farms to give you a chance to try their delicious range of Cheddar cheeses yourself.

We’ve got three sets of Wyke Farms Mature, Extra Mature and Vintage Cheddar to give away, all supplied in special edition Wyke Farms coolbags. Continue reading “Wyke Farms giveaway: win a collection of three Cheddar cheeses”

Christmas cheeseboard challenge and giveaway

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If there is one food I could never, ever, ever give up, it would be cheese. That would be a hell on earth just not worth contemplating. There are so many incredible cheeses out there waiting to be discovered and my idea of food heaven is being presented with a heavily laden cheeseboard, groaning under the weight of a carefully selected assortment of fine, artisan cheeses, partnered with tasty biscuits, fruity chutney and a good full-bodied red wine or port. Sheer bliss.

So when Davidstow invited me to take part in their Christmas Cheeseboard Challenge, I really didn’t need to be asked twice. Continue reading “Christmas cheeseboard challenge and giveaway”

Review and giveaway: Copas Traditional Turkeys

Copas Turkey Collage

Normally I try not to start thinking about Christmas until at least the first of December. Yes, I know the decorations are already up in our shopping centres and our social media timelines are chock full of festive cheer, but it just seems wrong to be talking about Christmas until the first door of the Advent calendar has been peeled open.

Which is why it felt very strange to be roasting a turkey in November for this review. But at the end of the day, it’s really only a rather large relative of the chicken, so why consign it to just a couple of days in December? Our friends in the States will be consuming vast amounts of turkey this week after all to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Copas Traditional Turkeys is a small family business that has been producing free range, hand-plucked and game-hung turkeys just for Christmas for the last half a century. Based in the beautiful Berkshire countryside, Copas has a reputation for combining centuries old production methods with state-of-the-art facilities, as well as taking their time for a superior taste. Continue reading “Review and giveaway: Copas Traditional Turkeys”

Raw chocolate giveaway for National Chocolate Week

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National Chocolate Week is almost upon us. From 12 to 18 October 2015 people across the land will be celebrating and indulging in the joys of chocolate in all its forms (from three-course chocolate ‘experiences’ and chocolate cocktails to chocolate and meat pairing and even chocolate massage!) and you can fully expect your social media timelines to be chock-full of choccy-related banter and images. The excitement is already building – check out #nationalchocolateweek to see what I mean.

To get in on the chocolate action, I’ve teamed up with Elements for Life, the makers of incredible raw chocolate products and based just over the border from me in Wiltshire, to bring you this awesome chocolate giveaway – make your way down to the bottom of this post for the full lowdown on the delicious prizes up for grabs and how to enter.
Continue reading “Raw chocolate giveaway for National Chocolate Week”

In the mix: bloggers’ favourite spice mix recipes

While I love experimenting with different spices, I must admit to resorting to a handful of tried-and-tested spice mixes for many of our meals: garam masala for instance for curries, or ras-el-hanout for meat rubs. So you’ll see there was a fair bit of self-interest when I set Spice Mixes as the theme for the last Spice Trail challenge; I was after a little spicy inspiration for new meals to try out with different spice mixes I’ve never played with before. And as ever my fellow food bloggers didn’t disappoint. Here follows a sensational selection of spicy dishes that are guaranteed to get your own culinary creative juices flowing or, at the very least, your mouth watering…

Continue reading “In the mix: bloggers’ favourite spice mix recipes”

Calling all bakers: tell your best children’s stories in cake!

Official C&B Show logo

With four shows in four new venues, the Cake & Bake Show is bigger than ever this year, and includes a BAKING COMPETITION on the theme of ‘Children’s Stories’ taking place at each of the venues: Harrogate, London, Manchester and Edinburgh.

The Cake & Bake Show is calling on all cake makers to create a fabulous cake that is an interpretation of a children’s story. Each cake creation can be inspired from any children’s story or film, (there’s lots of inspiration in the cinemas this summer with new releases Minion, Peter Pan and Jurassic Park); or it can be a combination of your favourite characters or stories from over the years! Continue reading “Calling all bakers: tell your best children’s stories in cake!”