Eat well - travel often

Kitchen Talk and Travels

Kitchen Talk and Travels

Eat well - travel often

Recent Posts

Insomnia – Ten Top Tips for a Better Sleep

Insomnia – Ten Top Tips for a Better Sleep

Insomnia – my ten top tips for a good night’s sleep. Insomnia or sleeplessness is described as any or all of the following:- difficulty falling asleep, waking up often in the night, trouble getting back to sleep and not sleeping long enough to feel refreshed. […]

Recipe: Best Blood Orange Drizzle Cake

Recipe: Best Blood Orange Drizzle Cake

Scroll down for my recipe for the best blood orange drizzle cake:- I saw some beautiful red skinned blood oranges recently.  All I could think of was using my lemon drizzle cake recipe but substituting blood oranges for the lemons to make a blood orange […]

Tailgate Party NC State vs Univ of North Carolina

Tailgate Party NC State vs Univ of North Carolina

What is an NC State Tailgate Party?

A Tailgate party is a relatively new way to attend and celebrate your American football team’s game.  On a recent trip to North Carolina in the USA I was invited to a tailgate party.  Not really sure what this meant however everyone was talking about how fun they are.

Tailgate party is when supporters of sport and in this case American football park together in a field or open space, open the boot or trunk of their vehicle and bring out the drinks and snacks.  Raleigh North Carolina has two rival teams – North Carolina State (known as The Wolfpack) and University of North Carolina (the Tar Heels). When these two teams play each other the tailgate party makers mean business.

Tailgate party seat

All around the car park cars line up in a circle (kind of like the early wagons in the wild west). Supporters pour out of the vehicles, crack open the beers and watch the game on a portable TV or listen on the radio routing for their team as and when necessary!

Tailgate party crowd

The tailgate party I went to was hosted by the owner of a select gentlemen’s club in Raleigh who had a custom made trailer complete with two large and two smaller television screens to watch the game.

Tailgate party trailer

The trailer has a BBQ attached at the back to provide loads of food to go with the drinks!

Tailgate party BBQ

with seating and beer coolers outside.

Tailgate party seating

Inside there is a place to sit out of the sun with of course one of the small screens and even it’s own portable toilet where you guessed it you will find the other small screen so the guys don’t miss a goal!

Tailgate party inside trailer

Complete strangers stop by to check the scores as groups nearby play popular football games.

Tailgate party games

Even the dogs wear clothes to support their favourite team!

Tailgate party dog supporter

And if walking around gets too much for you flag down a ride – local college students earning to make a dent in their student debts!

Tailgate party taxi

As quickly as the party is set up it is taken down and put away as everyone heads home! But the mood is a little bouyant as NC State won – so happy faces all around!

Read about a local beer brewery in North Carolina.

Read about my visit to a moonshine distillery.

I was not required to write a positive post. All opinions and photographs are my own. No photographs may be reproduce in any form without my written permission.
Recipe: High Protein Pea Noodle Stir Fry + Veganuary with M&S

Recipe: High Protein Pea Noodle Stir Fry + Veganuary with M&S

Scroll down for my recipe for High Protein Pea Noodles for a healthy start to the year. To celebrate January aka ‘Veganuary’ M&S invited myself and other bloggers to a sumptuous vegetarian banquet to showcase their vegetarian, vegan and ‘freefrom’ ranges. I especially liked the […]

Veganuary – Rosa’s Thai Veggie Pop-up

Veganuary – Rosa’s Thai Veggie Pop-up

Veganuary – Rosa’s Thai Cafe in Soho, Central London – a Thai Veggie Pop-Up Restaurant A cold, crisp Veganuary evening my friend Nayna and I attended the media review of Rosa’s Veggie in Dean Street, Central London . Veganuary by the way is the new […]

Kitchen Talk and Travels Is Here

Kitchen Talk and Travels Is Here

Welcome to Kitchen Talk and Travels

Kitchen Talk and Travels logo

For some time now I have been threatening to change my blog title and look.  Well welcome to 2018 and to Kitchen Talk and Travels.  

My plan is to bring you all the details of my travels this year.  Planning is underway to visit the Caribbean islands of Grenada, Nevis and St Kitts by the middle of June. The second half of the year should visit a few other islands.  I am also in talks about a visit to Crete in April and really looking forward to that.

I try to get to the North Carolina in the States at least once possibly twice a year to see family. On the planning board are long weekend trips to European cities that make a great getaway for three nights from London.

Of course the focus of all these trips will be food and telling you the food stories of the people who grow, bake, produce the wonderful food and drink I get to enjoy.

This year I want to focus on creating my own recipes as well as trying recipes from the range of cookbooks I get sent.  Each month I am planning a book review of the cookbooks.

There will be a focus on getting to know my DSLR camera and the lenses that I have for it.  When travelling I plan to do more Facebook Live as well as recording some more of the cooking sessions in my kitchen with friends.

The summer growing season at my allotment will be chronicled on the blog along with the recipes I create from our produce.

Please leave a comment below. I would love to know what you think of the new blog and also what you would love to see in the coming months.  Thanks for reading and welcome to the future journey of Kitchen Talk and Travels. xx H

Kitchen Talk and Travels is my new blog – All opinions will be my own. None of my photographs may be reproduced in any form without my written permission.
London: Leadenhall Market – History or Pizza or Both

London: Leadenhall Market – History or Pizza or Both

I was recently invited to try out the Pizza Express in London’s Leadenhall Market in the East End.  The event was a pizza making evening with a group of bloggers and we made great tasting individually personalised pizzas.  I was really happy with the final […]

My Christmas Cranberry Relish

My Christmas Cranberry Relish

It’s nearly Christmas and one of my favourite things to do that signals the festive season for me is to make my Cranberry Relish!  The colours of the cranberries, that vibrant red through to reddish black of those tiny little berries really signify it is […]

12 Essential Bottles For Your Hostess or Guests This Christmas

12 Essential Bottles For Your Hostess or Guests This Christmas

Do you have the annual dilemma of what to take to your hostess over the Christmas and New Year period. Or maybe you want to give the man of the house a lovely selection of wines to keep him out of the way while you cook the Christmas turkey!! (or possibly to keep yourself busy whilst he cooks the turkey!)

I have put together a little box of twelve wines, champagnes and other festive tipples for you to have a look at and if you are considering putting together your own box consider some of these.

Asda have an impressive range this holiday season – lets start with Champagne:-

Louvel Fontaine Champagne Brut – from the Champagne region in France and made from the Pinot Noir (70%), Chardonnay (20%) and Pinot Meunier (10%) grapes.  I really loved this very classic, very fresh champagne with a lingering taste of fresh apple and citrus.  The RRP is £18.00, a great price for this lovely bottle of fizz!

For the red wine lover I have put in Winetek Cosmic Shepherd Malbec from Chile – Very concentrated but smooth. I detected a slight smell of figs and the outdoors.  I liked the outside taste of which it had loads of. The grape varieties are Malbec (85%) and Syrah (15%) – RRP £5.00.

I really love a good Chablis from the Burgundy region of France made from 100% Chardonnay grapes.  It is refreshing and has a long and pleasant finish. The RRP is £10.48 and will be appearing on my table this year for sure.

To complete the selection from Asda I really liked the De Bortoli Botrytis Semillon from New South Wales in Australia. I wish sweet dessert wines were more popular because I really like that rich sweetness that adds an added dimension to your pudding or sweet course. This one is made from 100% Semillion grapes and has an RRP of £6.98 – a bargain for such a smooth wine.

Aldi also have an impressive range of wines, sparkling wines and other exciting offerings this Christmas. for example: 
Champagne Veuve Monsigny Brut NV from Elabore Philizot et fils, a traditional blend of Chardonnay, Piot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. This comes from the Champagne region of France and is a regular item on the Aldi Champagne list.
Both Mr R and I like a fully bodied red like this ‘La Sogara’ Amarone Della Valpolicella from Italy with a traditional cork stopper.  This 2014 red wine is made from 70% Corvina Verona, 10% Rondinella and 20% other grape varieties and has an RRP of £12.99 in store.
For the white they suggest the Exquisite Collection Limestone Coast Chardonnay 2016 from the Limestone Coast in Australia.  This unoaked and dry and balanced refreshing white wine made of 100% Chardonnay grapes. This bottle has a screw cap which helps prevent spoilage due to the cork drying out. The RRP of this wine is £5.79
After dinner with the cheese course I would recommend Maynard’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port. Much lighter than a Ruby Port. At 20% volume it is bottled in 2017 in the Douro region of Portugal and made from a blend of 30% Tinta Ruriz, 30% Touriga Franca, 20% Touriga Nacional and 20% Tinta Barroca.  This combination produces warm amber hughes with a smooth texture and the hint of raisin fruits on the tongue.

Morrisons offer a sweet sherry for my Christmas box. This lovely sweet liquid is made in Spain where the grapes are slowly dried in the sun to increase their sweetness.  It has an ABV of 17% and is perfect drizzled over ice cream for an indulgent holiday pudding!

Following on my sweet tooth train of thought is a chocolatey velvet wine from Rubis.  At 15% it is an indulgent blend of fortified red wine and premium chocolate making it akin to chocolate velvet a great after dinner drink when served at room temperature or equally lovely served straight over ice!

Another red worth mentioning is Passi Mento, Veneto – Indicazione Geografica Tipica 2015. This is an Italian wine from Verona in Northern Italy, a velvety red wine partially produced with grapes that have been slightly dried before fermentation

Mr R loves a drop or two of Spanish Rioja and Campo Viejo is on his list of favourites but rioja wines are known to be red. I was intrigued when I first saw a white rioja from Campo Viejo but it did not dissapoint.  I have grown rather fond of it and have pleasure in including it in this essential bottle list.  The wine is made from the white grapes of Viura and Tempranillo Blanco resulting in a crisp, citrusy wine perfect on it’s own ( I like mine with a couple of ice cubes) or with the usual chicken, fish or vegetable dishes.

I hope you like my 12 essential bottles for your hostess or guests this Christmas.  Please leave a comment below what wines you will be taking with you this festive season.
I was sent a selection of wines included in this post as well as purchasing some myself.. I was not required to write a positive review and as usual all opinions and photos are my own.  No photos may be reproduced in any form without my written permission.
Mid Week Kitchen Slump? – Let's Cook!

Mid Week Kitchen Slump? – Let's Cook!

Generally I am so busy and tired that I really don’t have time to think what’s for dinner today let alone tomorrow and I find that I spend less and less time with friends.  What better way to spend time with friends than cooking together, chatting, […]