Know your Place(mats)!

I found these place mats at a country show years ago and I still love them.  They make me giggle (especially the froggy one – haven’t explained that to the kids yet!).  They are by Tangent Art and annoyingly I cannot find their original website – hoping they haven’t given up trading.  However, I did find some of their coasters on this site so if you want some, perhaps contact them.  I know, rubbish info but thought I’d share my regular dining companions with you.  These four are my favourites….


Lemon drizzle traybake

I LOVE lemons….and my son has inherited my hankering for them.  I have always gone for the lemon option on a pudding menu and maintain the lemon flavour is the best one in a packet of Starburst.  My one and only craving in my three pregnancies was…lemon!  Lemon sherberts, lemon tart, lemonade, lemon curd…and today, for my poorly son, lemon drizzle traybake.

Stuffed chicken wrapped in prosciutto

This is a dish of my own invention!  So not particularly difficult then….

All I did was put of dollop of Le Roule cheese in a chicken breast and then wrapped the breast around to cover the cheese.  Then I wrapped each breast in 2 slices of prosciutto (but bacon, parma ham etc. would work just as well, I’m sure).  To secure it all and keep all the ingredients where they are supposed to be I skewered it with some cocktail sticks.  Than I baked the chicken in a 180ºC oven for about half an hour.  When it was cooked I removed the cocktail sticks and served with some steamed baby sweetcorn and fine green beans.  


This week I discovered a new website: Foodisan.  Foodisan is a fantastic company that showcases a plethora of scrummy goodies that come from small, independent food producers.  Such producers can’t always afford to give their products the marketing they deserve, especially on a limited budget and Foodisan gives them the opportunity to sell above and beyond farmer’s markets or local shops and makes their products accessible to the likes of you and I.  Hurrah!  So far they have 43 producer partners signed up and over 900 products on their live database which means one thing; my bank balance will shrink as my tummy grows…

One ingenuous idea they have developed and branded is their ‘tasting box’.  You can buy a one off or subscribe. For £19.99 you will receive a box of 5/6 gorgeous products to tickle your taste buds and expand your repertoire of artisan foods.  They also do a gift box, which I think is an excellent idea.  When you think how much you pay to send someone flowers or suchlike, this makes a much better idea for a present.  For a birthday, Father’s Day or even a corporate thank you, I think this would be a really classy and much enjoyed gift.  Free delivery too.  Bargain!
I was also very impressed with the style and ease of their website.  A doddle to negotiate and with a very friendly feel.  There is opportunity for you to recommend products too, which is great because so often independent producers rely on word of mouth – well now Foodisan can speak up for them too!
I have waxed lyrical long enough, but I do recommend you visit the site and see for yourselves.  It’s like that posh deli down the road and a farmer’s market rolled into one and available in the comfort of your own home!  Get drooling at  Enjoy!

FOODIES100 Jubilee Challenge

Foodies100 were throwing down the Jubilee gauntlet to create something bakey and jubilee-ey and also win lots of Dr Oetker stuff to bake even more stuff with!

So, I had a think…Jubilee….Queen….Corgis!

This is my baking effort to celebrate the Jubilee!  Although not (really) for the corgis!

I made vanilla biscuits and then iced them.  Using royal icing I lined the biscuits and then flooded them with runnier icing to fill them in.  They may look like fancy bonios, but I can assure you they were very yummy.  In fact I needed to eat four of them to make sure of this.

To make the biscuits: beat 1 large egg with 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence.  Sift 100g of self raising flour and 350g of plain flour together then rub in 125g of cold diced, salted butter to make fine breadcrumbs. When evenly mixed add 125g golden syrup and the egg mix and form into a dough.  Squish the dough into 2 flat discs and refrigerate for half an hour before rolling out and cutting. Bake at 170ºC for 14-18 mins.  When cooked (just turning golden – don’t overcook!) remove carefully with a spatula and transfer to a cooling rack.  Careful though else they’ll break…

To ice:  I make the line icing by mixing 900g of royal icing with 150ml of cold water.  To colour use a gel and dip a cocktail stick in the dye and then mix in.  Keep going until you get the colour you want, but believe me, it happens very quickly!  Using a fine nozzle and a steady hand, pipe around the cooled biscuits to form an outline.

To make flooding icing you repeat the above but add enough drops of water to make it a smooth mixture with the pouring consistency of custard.  Then with a thicker nozzle, fill in the biscuit until it is fully covered but not overflowing.

Let them set and admire them with patriotic pride!  Then eat them.  And DON’T give them to the dogs!

Cod & Chorizo with Green Salad

This is a healthy and delicious meal with some of my favourite flavours in it – chorizo, lemon and thyme – yum! Serves 2.

Fry 90g of chorizo chunks over a high heat for about 5 mins, then remove from heat and stir in the thyme.

Put 2 skinned cod fillets in a roasting tin and season with salt & pepper.  Sprinkle over a pinch of paprika and the grated zest of 1/4 lemon (you’ll need another 1/4 later on).  Drizzle over half a tablespoon of olive oil and scatter about 10 cherry tomatoes and 8 cloves of peeled garlic around the tin.  Place 2/3 of the chorizo over the fish and bake at 200ºC for 8 minutes.  Then add the rest of the chorizo and lemon zest and cook for another 5 minutes.  Check the fish is opaque inside so you know it is cooked properly as some fillets are chunkier than others!  Serve with a green salad, or indeed whatever you fancy!

p.s. What do you think of my photos?  I am slowly improving my photographc skills…..