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Saturday, 29 November 2008

An Invitation to the BBC Good Food Show - part 1

Food blogging does have its occasional perks, the odd product to sample, a cookbook to review, or (and this is the foodie's dream) a day out at the Birmingham BBC Good Food Show courtesy of one of their sponsors, kitchen appliance specialists, Miele.

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I was up at 5.30 in the morning to meet other food bloggers that had been invited by Miele. We were met by Colin and Molly from Forever Better, Juliet from 1000heads and Kaz from Miele, for a VIP day at the show.

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Molly, Colin and Kaz

We had plenty of time to wander around the stands, checking out the latest cookware, new food/drink ideas and kitchen inventions.

It was wonderful to meet up with other British food bloggers. We laughed and, (unsurprisingly) ate and drank our way through the day. These were the other food blogging guests:
Becky - Girl Interrupted Eating
But, onto the highlights! A fabulous VIP lunch behind the scenes with the top brass from Miele, which included top chef James Martin doing a private book signing. It was followed by superb seating in the Supertheatre to watch James cooking a 3 course dinner.

While we were having our lunch, there was a plasma screen in the room showing the happenings from the Supertheatre, and guess what? He was actually cooking something from MY blog!!! No, really!
Well, ok, it was one of his own recipes, but you can see my version here, Strawberry Cream Cake, minus the spun sugar which is the thing that James is famous for! (I am going to give the sugar another go James, I promise! ;-)

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What are those dollops on top?

Afterwards, there was plenty more time to see the rest of the stands and buy foodie goodies to take home. A few of us even managed to squeeze into the Gordon Ramsay show, comprising of great cooking and very little swearing.

I must have been the last one to leave, security had to drag me out of there. It was raining and dark, it took me nearly 4 hours to get home, but was I bothered? Nah! I'll go to bed dreaming of James for many a night to come.

Thank you Miele, Forever Better and 1000heads!

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Sam and Katie, doing what food bloggers do best - eating chocolate ice cream for breakfast of course!!

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Where the heck are we?

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Got to have some food in this post, so here's my starter

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Katie's starter

Ooops, SORRY! Too busy chatting and forgot to take photos of the rest of the meal!

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Busy, busy, busy - James doesn't come up for air...

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Yep, that's me, the photogenic one, lol! (And um, what's his name again?)

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Me, Katie and Molly, proudly showing our off our books

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If you are going to the show, you don't get to see this - the room directly behind the stage where the prep goes on - I'm gonna be in trouble for taking this one.....

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Side view of the stage. I've really done it this time, I was told "photos not allowed, no, no, no!"

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We weren't even allowed to take photos inside the Supertheatre, but Gordon said it was OK with him, so one last sneaky one.

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It's to me, it's to me!!!

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Thank you Miele!

Coming shortly, part 2 - a tour of some of the stands.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

A cookie is not just for Christmas!

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I know it's still only November, but I'm looking for (dare I say it) Christmas ideas already! Last year, the one food blogging event that I found most inspirational was Food Blogga's Eat Christmas Cookies. There were so many new and differently decorated cookies, as well as the oldie-but goodie favourites, and the best thing is that you can make them at any time of year - a cookie is not just for Christmas!

Thank you Susan for hosting another Eat Christmas Cookies. You don't need to go anywhere else to find that special, delicious, sweet little nibble!
The page will be updated as the entries come in, so get baking and click HERE to see the cookies!!!

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Biscotti is one of those cookies that you either love or hate with no room in between, or is there? One of my kids asked if I could make some biscotti, but not that really hard, break your teeth kind! The only answer to that is to cook them a little less, so they are not so crisp - but are they really biscotti then?

As it's nearing Christmas, the biscotti I chose to make was the kind that my kids wouldn't eat anyway, not unless you count nibbling the chocolate off. I don't know why they don't like pistachios or dried, sweetened cranberries, it just means that for once, we don't have to share! The recipe comes from Epicurious. I replaced the aniseed with vanilla paste and made just half the amount - don't want to be complete piggies - but that is still quite a lot of biscotti!

Here is the link for the Holiday Biscotti recipe.

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This content belongs to Nicisme at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2008 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

100th post and a change

I know I have been a bit quiet on the cooking front lately, but, I have reached my 100th post and am sorry to say that I am going to be making a change - one which I am not happy to make.

When I started this blog, I never imagined that I would have so many readers subscribing through an RSS reader. I also had no idea that my posts would be stolen (by scrapers) and republished in full elsewhere on the web - without my knowledge and with no credit or links back to this blog.

I don't see why someone else should benefit and earn money from the work I do on here. For this reason, I am going to have to switch to short feed. I don't want to, but I haven't got any alternative. :-(

Thank you to those who have emailed me in the past, and asked to use my photos and have provided a link back to the original post. That is all I ask for.

I'd also like to thank my subscribers, and hope that you will continue to read Cherrapeño. It's just one click from your RSS reader to the actual post, I hope you think it's worth it!


Monday, 17 November 2008

Awards and Tags!

I know, I'm bad at passing on these awards, I find that time gets the better of me. Here are some overdue ones, some new ones, and a ton of thanks!

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Firstly, not an award but a big thanks to Sunita from Sunita's World, for the Flickr Pro Account which she donated to the recent appeal for Bri. I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't know about her or her beautiful food blog, but I do now!
Thank you Sunita!

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Brillante Weblog logo

is a long overdue thank you to Anne, from Anne's Kitchen, for the Brillante Weblog award.

I'm passing it on to:
Jan at What Do I Want To Cook Today?
Alexa at Artsy Foody
Kevin at Closet Cooking
Jules at Domestic Goddess in Training

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I'm a chocoholic logo

Thank you to Yasmeen from Health Nut, for giving me the 'I'm a Chocoholic' award - how did she know?

I don't know if all these bloggers are chocoholics, but they all have delicious sweet treats on their blogs:
The Goddess's Kitchen
Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
Snooky Doodle Cakes
Technicolor Kitchen

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Thanks to Sam, from a great blog called Antics of a Cycling Cook, he tagged me for 6 random things about myself. Also to Deeba at Passionate About Baking and Anne at Anne's Kitchen who both tagged me for 7 random things:
  1. I love eating chocolate and plain salted crisps together.
  2. One of my favourite groups is Razorlight.
  3. I once shaved off half an eyebrow (don't ask!)
  4. I can't stand all that 'celebrity' hype, I've never bought or read a Hello, OK etc, I'm not lining their pockets even more.
  5. Hair straighteners are my friend. ;)
  6. The last time I wore a dress was at my sister's wedding, 4 years ago.
  7. I always do a Suduko before I go to sleep, I like the really hard ones.
I am going to tag:
Jeanne at Cook Sister!
Lisa at My Own Sweet Thyme
Bev at Yummy In My Tummy

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Sam also gave me the 'E for Excellence' award - thank you for saying such terrific things about my blog!

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Kreative Blogger award logo

Finally, this one is from Sylvie, from the fabulous A Pot of Tea and a Biscuit. It's the Kreativ blogger award - I have to list 6 things that I like, so (in no particular order) here they are:

Lunch with my mum
& hearing my kids laugh.

This one is going to:
More Than Burnt Toast
Dragon's Kitchen
Jam and Clotted Cream
Megan's Cooking
Mike's Table
Rosie Bakes a 'Peace' of Cake

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Thank you everyone. That's me done for at least until next year!!

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This content belongs to Nicisme at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2008 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Toblerone Chocolate Pots

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I was given a humongous bar of Toblerone recently, and while I could have eaten the whole lot myself, I decided to share it in the form of these chocolate pots.

Chocoholics could say it's a total waste to use Toblerone in this way, and if you are saying that right now, then use another kind of chocolate bar (milk or plain) to make these gooey pots of deliciousness. While you are eating yours, I am crunching on the little bits of honey and almond nougat in mine.... :-)

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This is a super easy recipe - it only takes 5 minutes to make. You can easily add your own twist to the recipe by adding a tablespoon or so of Cointreau, Baileys, brandy or coffee liqueur - just cut out the coffee powder if using liqueurs that don't compliment coffee, it's optional anyway. The only hard bit is that you must wait while you refrigerate the pots for at least a couple of hours.

This really doesn't make a massive amount, use shot glasses or small ramekin dishes to serve.

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Toblerone Chocolate Pots
Makes 4 small pots, recipe can be easily divided to make 2 pots

200g bar of Toblerone, or any chocolate bar you fancy
200ml double cream (heavy cream)
1 level teaspoon coffee powder - optional
1 tablespoon liqueur - optional
Whipped cream to go on the top
Cocoa powder to dust the pots

Break the Toblerone into pieces and put into a large glass bowl.

Add the double cream, caster sugar, coffee powder and liqueur, if using.

Microwave on a medium heat for 30 seconds and stir. Put back into the microwave and repeat this process until the chocolate has melted.

Stir well and pour into small serving dishes or shot glasses.

Place into the fridge for 3-4 hours, or overnight.

Top with whipped cream, dust with cocoa powder and serve.

(Printable Recipe)

Vegetarian Thanksgiving logo

I am sending this to Mansi, over at the Fun and Food Cafe - she's hosting a Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipe Carnival. I'm going to be closely watching this thread, as I have 2 vegetarians in my house and am always on the hunt for new veggie ideas.

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This is also heading over to an event called Original Recipe Round-Up, a fabulous monthly event hosted by Lore, from the food blog Culinarty. We know the recipes in the round-up are good, because they are our own creations!

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This content belongs to Nicisme at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2008 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.


Friday, 7 November 2008

Farewell Dear Bri

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A difficult post to write. It always is when you lose someone you love, someone close to you or a friend.
Briana, from Figs with Bri, who recently lost her brave battle with cancer will be greatly missed by her readers and friends in the food blogging world. Please take some time to visit her blog and read some of her wonderful entries, which are often funny, inspirational, delicious and always made with love.
Goodbye Briana, rest in peace.


This content belongs to Nicisme at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2008 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Alien Encounters of the Tomato Kind!

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In the last few weeks the weather has turned cold. I have been busy in the garden, stripping the tomatoes off the vines and sorting them out. We had an amazing amount considering the summer had been quite dismal. I'm letting the green ones ripen on the window sill and have oven-roasted a ton of cherry tomatoes, infused with chilli oil. These went into the freezer to use in soups and winter dishes.

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It looks like an alien infiltrated our greenhouse and left it's mark on some of the beefsteak tomatoes. I'm sure they would win best in show for freaky vegetables!

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Oven roasted cherry tomatoes

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Bumper crop

We had a good crop of potatoes and the chillies weren't so bad either. I have a nice supply of apaches to keep me going for a good couple of months. The others, poblanos, jalapenos, big banana, and bell peppers will be used within the next few weeks.

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A few of our chillies

This content belongs to Nicisme at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2008 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.