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Monday, 17 November 2014

Tried and Tasted Seasonal - part 2

Following on from Tried and Tasted Seasonal part 1, here's part 2 - some gift ideas and edible treats from Lakeland and Waitrose.

Lakeland is a good place to pick up Christmas gifts, here are a few new things that I spotted this year.

Lakeland sprout roulette game IMG_1973 R
Dare devils should try this fun game of sprout roulette, nasty or nice hehehe! £4.99

Lakeland chocolate pizza IMG_2106 R
Milk chocolate chilli topped pizza - how could I resist? £2.79

Lakeland spices holder IMG_2077 R
Lock and Lock small spice store, a container that is perfect for your spices £9.99

Lakeland gift hampers IMG_1655 R
Lakeland do lovely gift hampers, prices vary.

Lakeland mandoline IMG_1653 R
Chef'n Pull'n Slice mandoline - probably the safest mandoline available. £39.99

Lakeland chocolate supplies IMG_2047 R
If you want to have a go at making your own chocolates, Lakeland has a really good choice of equipment for beginners, from moulds to scrapers, prices vary. I have the chocolate scraper and thermospatula and they're great!

Lakeland pinata cake mould IMG_2041 R
Piñata cakes are all the rage at the moment- now you can buy a tin to make your own! £19.99

Lakeland Hello Kitty cake pop maker IMG_1981 R
Make some cute Hello Kitty cake pops using Lakeland's cake pop maker. £24.99

On to Waitrose, where I always enjoy perusing the new Christmas items.

Ultimate chocolate bar dessert IMG_1896 R
For those of you that don't make desserts (or even if you do), I suggest having a look at this Heston from Waitrose Ultimate Chocolate Bar Dessert. It features layers of chocolate caramel mousse, crunchy chocolate biscuit and a gooey salted caramel & nougat mousse. Yum! £9.99

Sticky toffee apple pudding IMG_1590 
R
Another Heston offering is this sticky toffee apple pudding - a sponge pudding delicately spiced with candied apples and a caramel sauce. £10

chocolate marzipan cake IMG_1857 R
Marzipan is for Christmas and this is a chocolate marzipan cake! £5.99

Mince pies IMG_1856 R
Tree shaped mince pies, how cute! £3 for a pack of 6.

Apple and muscovado mince pies IMG_1855 R
Apple & muscovado square mince pies.

Chocolate panettone IMG_1608 R
Chocolate panettone, we save ours for New Year's Day.

Snowman cheesecake IMG_1858 R
A creamy snowman cheesecake that comes with a sachet of coloured chocolate beans for decoration. £4.99

Chocolate Christmas cake IMG_1593 R
A rich chocolatey Christmas cake, with a hint of ginger and a coating of chocolate ganache. £20

Three baubles cake IMG_1601 R
Exclusive to Waitrose is this Fiona Cairns Three Baubles Christmas cake, three cakes each with a different flavour and all coated in soft icing. £30

Waitrose IMG_1603 R
A few other cakes I spotted.

Ceramic honey pot IMG_1834 R
Put your honey into this lovely ceramic pot. £12

Waitrose turkey cracker IMG_1579 R
New this year is a turkey breast cracker, wrapped in a spiced buttered muslin to keep it succulent. It's stuffed with a rich and savoury turkey, chicken, chestnut, bacon, cranberry, sage and juniper stuffing. Available to order, serves 4. £30

Apricot and ginger stuffing balls IMG_1576  R
Apricot and ginger stuffing balls, available to order. £3.99

Advent calendars and chocolate woodland friends IMG_1870 R
Woodland friends chocolate advent calendars £2.70 each, and Reggie the Robin £5.

Click on photos for larger images.
Disclaimer: I was invited to attend the Christmas in July events, I was not required to write about it, all views are my own. Prices may change from these posted here.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Do not use photos without full credit or permission.
This content belongs to Nic at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2014 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Tried and Tasted Seasonal - part 1


Lakeland Christmas decoration IMG_1637 R

It's that time of year when I get to post some seasonal food, gift ideas, stocking fillers and treats to look out for in the shops or online in the lead up to Christmas. I got to try all the food items here after visiting the 'Christmas in July' shows, and can say I enjoyed every one.

I'm starting with a few Irish treats, if you can't find them in the shops they're all available online!

Lily O Briens chocolates IMG_1776 R
Lily O Briens chocolates IMG_2067 R
Delicious little dessert style chocolates from Lily O'Briens, including banoffee pie, key limey pie & creme brulee. Great to take to a party! £7.95

Keogh's crisps IMG_2024 R
I'm a sucker for chilli crisps & these are fabulous - sweet chilli & Irish red pepper from Keogh's. Other flavours include shamrock & sour cream, and, for Christmas, a roast turkey & secret stuffing flavour. Keogh's have a family run farm and grow their own Irish potatoes for their handcooked crisps.

Hadji Bey's Turkish delight IMG_1699 R
If you thought you didn't like Turkish Delight (as I did!), Hadji Bey's will change your mind completely. I think this was the most surprising, wonderful sweet I have tasted recently - soft and melting in the mouth and not overpowering at all. I LOVE this Turkish Delight!! Look out for it at speciality food fairs or order online.

Butlers chocolates IMG_1695 R
A colourful Christmas decoration filled with 15 truffles and pralines from Butlers, very Christmassy! £6.50

Mileeven honey IMG_1720 R
Wow, honey with gold in it! Sarah's Honeys from Mileeven are glorious and traditional, and the range includes organic and speciality honeys. I'm hankering after the honey with blueberries in it - just gorgeous.
 
 Ballymaloe relishes IMG_2072 R
These spicy relishes and sauces from Ballymaloe Country Relish are different and have a nice little kick to them. I'm thinking stocking filler...

Burren salmon IMG_2070 R
I'd love to visit Burren Smokehouse in North County Clare, Ireland. I tried the honey, lemon & dill organic smoked salmon and I'm hooked. They also do smoked trout, smoked mackerel  and will make up a hamper for you.

The Jelly Bean co IMG_2007 R
Cool jelly beans that are GMO, gluten, nut and gelatine free, made in Ireland. Made by The Jelly Bean Factory, they come in different sized packs and are truly zingy, with 36 flavours including mango and cranberry & apple .

Green Saffron mulled wine IMG_2017 R
For something different, I found this mulled wine mix from Green Saffron. Just mix it with a bottle of red wine and warm it up, I just need the ski slope to go with it! There are loads of interesting things on the Green Saffron website, including spice blends, rice, chutneys and sauces. You can also buy a packet of Tamil spices that you mix with coconut milk, tomatoes and lime to make a festive treat using up your turkey leftovers.

Little milk company IMG_2074 R
For cheese lovers, The Little Milk Company is a co-operative of organic dairy farmers spread throughout the provinces of Munster and Leinster, Ireland. Their cheeses have been winning loads of awards and would grace any Christmas cheeseboard.  We particularly enjoyed the Irish Brie!

O'Hara ales  IMG_2003 R
A gift pack of O'Hara's ales will give you a sample of some of the best beers that Ireland has to offer.

After attending the Carluccio's event, I've picked out my favourites. They also sell wonderful gift boxes and hampers, and you can even create your own gift box.

C IMG_2173
These little balls are amazing! Perle di Mandorlata are balls of chopped torrone, almonds & honey with a pinch of salt, dipped in caramel & white chocolate. I hope Santa is reading this! £6.95

Carluccios Christmas pasta shapes IMG_2183
Christmas pasta shapes - a fun idea, and they're colourful too! £3.95

Carluccios gift boxes IMG_2172
Gift boxes - perfect for the cook in your life. Prices vary.

Carluccios lemon gift box IMG_2131 R
Love lemon? Check out the Festa Dei Limoni £29.95

Carluccios chocolate coins IMG_2146 R
Huge milk chocolate coins £2.50

Carluccios biscotti IMG_2148
Biscotti Alberelli, beautiful cocoa & butter tree shaped biscuits £7.50

Chocolate coins IMG_2141 R
Aww look, a Tree decoration filled with milk chocolate coins £2.50

Click on photos for larger images.
Disclaimer: I was invited to attend the Christmas in July events, I was not required to write about it, all views are my own. Prices may change from these posted here.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Do not use photos without full credit or permission.
This content belongs to Nic at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2014 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Spiced Nuts

Kent Cob Nuts IMG_2165 R
Kent cob nuts, ready for cracking
 
A few weeks ago, my neighbour and I did a swap of our garden goodies - I gave her pears and she gave me a bag of large cob nuts. I spent an enjoyable afternoon in the late summer sunshine cracking the nuts, before roasting them in a medium oven until they were golden.

Using one of my favourite Martha recipes, I dunked the nuts in caramel before dusting with a salty, sugary, spicy coating. DELICIOUS! The recipe can be used for most nuts, and I particularly like using pecans and almonds - do roast your nuts first though, it definitely improves the flavour.

These nuts are great to serve with drinks, and they make a perfect Christmas nibble.

Spiced Kent Cob Nuts IMG_2145 ch R
Spiced Cob Nuts

Spiced Nuts
Adapted from an old Martha Stewart recipe that I printed out years ago, but the original is no longer on her website.

1 tablespoon ground nut oil
2 cups roasted pecans or nuts of your choice
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the pecans (or nuts of your choice). Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of caster sugar over the nuts and stir until the nuts are golden brown and the sugar has caramelised.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the nuts into a medium mixing bowl. Sprinkle the granulated sugar, salt,  ground cumin and red pepper flakes over the nuts and stir well, separating the nuts with the spoon.

Allow the nuts to cool before serving. The spicy nuts can be stored for a couple of weeks in an airtight container.

Spiced Pecans IMG_2161 R
Spicy pecans

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Do not use photos without full credit or permission.
This content belongs to Nic at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2014 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Poet at Matfield

The Poet at Matfield IMG_2664 R
The Poet at Matfield
 
You can't beat a long lunch with the girls, and this was a good one. The Poet at Matfield had been recommended by one of the girls who had recently stopped by for breakfast, and had also celebrated a special birthday there. It's somewhere I pass by quite frequently and had been meaning to try for a while.
 
Poet-IMG_1746-R

Set in the village of Matfield, Kent, The Poet has a warm charm about it. There are four oak beamed rooms and the food is English, seasonal and sourced locally. There is a varied menu and a big board with lots of other choices and daily specials.

Poet-IMG_1748-R
Lamb koftas with tzatiki & salad

I had lamb koftas with tzatiki and salad. The koftas were hot and spicy, with hints of cumin, coriander and plenty of garlic. The salad, however, was a bit disappointing, a couple of slices of tomato and lots of spinach, I would have preferred more of a mixed salad to be honest. The tzatiki sauce had a cooling effect on the koftas and I also ordered some chips, which were gorgeous - hot and crisp with a soft inside.

Poet-IMG_1747-R
Fresh tagliatelle & Parmesan

Some of the other dishes we had included pork ragu, fresh tagliatelle & Parmesan, chicken Kiev with chips & salad, and a rather impressive looking salmon fishcake with new potatoes & salad.

Poet-IMG_1751-R
Chicken Kiev

Poet-IMG_1756-R
Salmon fishcake with new potatoes & salad

Poet-IMG_1766-R
Glazed lemon tart

My dessert was one of the best desserts that I have had in a long time, a fabulous glazed lemon tart, accompanied with a wonderful blackberry sorbet. Just the right balance of tart and sweet flavours. One of the girls had a Pimms jelly with raspberry, basil & cucumber sorbet, which she raved about and was plotting to recreate at home!

Poet-IMG_1753-R
Pimms jelly with raspberry, basil & cucumber sorbet

I would definitely go back to The Poet, as it was clean and the food was lovely. We spent a long afternoon there and didn't feel rushed at all. I think the menu needs a couple more vegetarian dishes on it and if they made the glazed lemon tart a bit bigger...!

We had two courses each, soft drinks and coffee to finish, the bill was around £147 for 6, excluding service.

Poet-IMG_1754-R
An afternoon with good food and lots of girly chatter, what could be better?

The Poet Matfield IMG_1759 R
Bar area 

Blackboard at the Poet, 
Matfield
Blackboard specials

The Poet Matfield IMG_2477 R
Inside The Poet at Matfield

The Poet at Matfield
Maidstone Road
Matfield
Kent
TN12 7JH

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Do not use photos without full credit or permission.
This content belongs to Nic at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2014 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.