Friday, 28 November 2014

Pistachio and sour cherry brownies...

I had a little slip up with a recipe recently - you know when you  get over confident and charge in and chuck all your ingredients into the bowl and then realise that it says 6 egg whites - not 6 eggs! maybe its just me but that sort thing happens to me too often. This time I decided to make the most of my mistake and make brownies - Nigellas brownies from her Domestic Goddess book. That's a lot of eggs for a Brownie mix but its shows in their rich deliciousness and as the supermodels say...they're worth it!

Nigella uses walnuts in her recipe and so do I usually but this is usually greeted with faces of disgust by my children who loathe them. She warns against uses pistachios as they don't give the required crunch when cooked into the brownies but I thought Id give them a go and find another way to create some crackle. the sour cherries gave them a bit of a grown up feel without overpowering them - but they still needed something more so I set to work on a topping. 

I made a simple caramel adding a pinch of Rock Salt and then let it set rock solid in the fridge. Whilst this was cooling I blitzed the left over pistachios then set to work on the sugary glass - breaking it up and then blitzing it into a dust with the nuts. I brushed the tops with a little bit of sugar syrup and then dipped them in the dust - hey presto crumbly crunch!
My poshest brownies to date - and all gone, which has to be a good sign!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Homemade snowglobes...

The mantra that greets me every morning goes like this 'Mum, when are we putting the tree up? When is it Christmas? When is it December? When it's December can we put the tree up?

Don't worry I haven't buckled yet - there will be no Christmas trees in November. Instead I've opted for distraction and decoration by stealth! I've put our child labour to good use and employed the minis in the business of making their own decorations, and we started with ....snowglobes. 

Upside down jam jars and hot glue gun ready, we went in hunt of small festive things to decorate them with. We tracked down some cake decoration reindeers and model trees (fortunately BH is a model maker so we raided his supply!) with a bucket load of glitter we decorated the base and glued the figures in place. 

My girl lovingly created a winter snow scene that Disney would be proud of...


My boy decided that nothing says Christmas like WW2 soldiers gunning down Bambi...

I swear this is what happens when you go out of your way to ensure that your children's toys are non gender stereotyped - they go and do it anyway!

We're going to fill them with a mixture of water, glycerine and glitter and glue the lids on -  then we can give them a shake and let it snow....

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Buche de Noel- chocolate log to you and me...

I know it's Stir Up Sunday but as the only one in the house who likes Christmas pudding, the tradition has never quite taken off here. Not one to be deterred though, I was determined to bake something today that got us preparing forthe coming season. Inspired by our walk through Dalby Forest yesterday,  the minis and me opted for a chocolate log...

We went for the Buche de Noel from Nigellas Christmas - although we agreed that it couldn't be a Christmas log yet - it is still November! 
 
 
A quick round up of the kitchen cupboards gave us everything we needed. The recipe calls for the eggs to be separated and the whites mixed like a meringue - we got a bit distracted and put them in whole at first - oops! Not ones to waste ingredients we worked them into a batch of brownies but that's a whole other post! After that mishap SG was on serious supervision watch - although she did ask why the recipe called for it to be mousey - when I explained 'moussey' she looked extremely relieved! 

 
The egg whites were whisked into peaks with sugar, the cocoa and egg yolks folded in and baked for 20 minutes. After cooling we turned it out onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and made a rich chocolate buttercream to spread all over before rolling up. SG got busy with the spatula and voila...
Le Buche...


               
notice how we're sticking with pine cones for now though!... resisting the urge to get festive just yet!


Friday, 21 November 2014

My new project...Field and Forage!

At last I can reveal my secret project - Field and Forage. theres been lots of planning and developing and meetings going on but finally I can share it!

About three years ago I met Charlotte, who like me is mad about delicious food, local and seasonal produce, be it from the harvest or the hedgerow. Unlike me, Charlotte has a beef herd that she and her lovely husband and children have been working hard to ensure is the best that it can be. Manor Farm Beef was born and they run a very successful beef business, not surprisingly as the beef they rear is delicious (apologies to my veggie and vegan friends!)


Char and her family produce biltong and for a quite a while now have been selling mouthwateringly amazing hot pulled beef sandwiches - that's where I come in...



together we are developing the catering business, catering events, private parties etc. I've been bursting to blog about the business in development but it didn't feel right to till now.



So many exciting things have been happening over the past few weeks - we've met with a brand and logo designer, we've launched on twitter, registered a web domain and facebook page - all getting ready to launch. We've met with an events company and...



we have our first event in the diary!

Driffield Christmas lights switch on (4-8pm) 4th December, will see Field and Forage on their first official outing. We have some promo materials to hand out on the night but our official logo and materials won't be unveiled till just before Christmas.

You can follow our progress on twitter as Field and Forage and I can write about our adventures here now too - my secret love's no secret any more!


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Dad's Army bring Hollywood to Yorkshire...

So this week we all got to use the best excuse ever for being late...as the filming of the Dad's Army movie has taken over our local town. The old town in Bridlington is a beautiful old street where the shops and houses have all retained their original character and so it has made the perfect choice for recreating Walmington on Sea!



 
 Catherine Zeta Jones, Bill Nighy, Jaime Winstone, Bill Patterson, Sarah Lancashire - the list of actors spotted around town goes on and on - every local Ive spoken to has a story to tell of who they've bumped into or whose been staying at their hotel -there's a great buzz and its lovely to see Bridlington getting attention for all the right reasons.



On Saturday they filmed a big parade and crowds turned out to watch - my mum was on hospital duty and had to pick up from the pharmacy in the middle of the street so whe was ushered beyond the tape and suddenly realised the parade was marching towards her - she was quickly directed inside before panic totally set in!


A Facebook campaign called Bridlington Dads Army has been started to keep some of the storefronts the same after filming is finished - I hope they do as it would make a great tourist attraction. Page Dads Army is such a classic - even my seven year old  has been known to shout 'Don't tell them your name Pike! I think they ll be there for a bit longer so its definitely worth a visit for fans of the show  - You never know Jonesy the butcher might even be there to greet you!