Eat well - travel often

Month: April 2013

Saleen Placemats – keeping the area clean!

Saleen Placemats – keeping the area clean!

As a blogger most of the products I get sent are for adults or general consumption but they are not usually for the little people!  The placemeats I have been sent to review are perfect for the visiting little people. My house is not really […]

Something for the little people

Something for the little people

I have been sent a childs vacuum insulated food jar by Contigo.  When the lid is fitted correctly this container is leakproof. It will keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot which is very helpful when temperature is important to the contents.   I […]

Pickles from Home

Pickles from Home

We were really lucky earlier this year when my neice stopped off in the UK for a visit on her way to study in Australia.  We hadn’t seen the family since 2007 and Miss Brit hadn’t ever been to the UK so there was great excitment and planning where to take her when she was here.

Before Miss Brit left home she asked if there was anything I would like her to bring.  I asked for some Hershey’s cooking chocolate powder and Miracle Whip. I don’t like mayonnaise and Miracle Whip is a kind of mayo substitute.  Probably all plastic but sometimes you need something to add to the tuna and sweetcorn or egg mayo!

But I wasn’t prepared for all the goodies my sister put in the suitcase for me! Lots of lovely flavours and tastes from home.

My sister has recently moved to North Carolina from Vermont and discovered these amazing pickles which she included in my care package.  I think I sussed her evil plan! Get me addicted to the pickles and I will have to visit her to get some more!  Well there could be some method in her madness.  I am addicted to the pickles (well, not the okra) and really looking forward to visiting her new home with an empty suitcase!

Real southern pecans to make pecan pie!

 
Like all your Christmasses at once, thanks sis!
Beef Stew – The Slow Way

Beef Stew – The Slow Way

I had some meat sent to me from Farmison & Co and as we were going to be spending time on the allotment on Sunday I wanted to come home to a cooked meal. Usually we come home with sore backs and fairly tired so […]

Aaahhh Bisto!

Aaahhh Bisto!

Last week I had a great time visiting the test kitchens of Premier Foods and being treated to a demonstration, followed by tasting 8 recipes made by the lovely Sue.  Each recipe had one of the flavours of Bisto gravy granules included or served with it. […]

Cake International Show at The ExCel London

Cake International Show at The ExCel London

When I arrived at Cake International Show I was greeted in the Press Room where I was to pick up my pass and show guide with a restorative cup of coffee and a beautiful cup cake.  The petals of this cake are made from buttercream not the usual icing! Very delicate and precise and equally tasty. 

Red velvet cupcake by Queen of Hearts

You may be forgiven for thinking I popped into the New Billingsgate Market the other day from this photo but in fact it is made not of fish but cake! Yes, cake!!

This 4.5ft tall creation is by Tracey Mann and is called ‘Under The Sea’. You can see what other things Tracey has been up to by finding her on Facebook – Tracey’s Cakes.

The attention to detail of this cake is stunning and very intricate.

I was lucky enough to be at the front of the queue to have a chat with Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood! Mary looked quite tired whilst she was waiting for the greetings to start. She must be getting tired after the success of the Great British Bake Off!

I loved having a chat with Mary and Paul and kicked myself I hadn’t brought my copy of Paul’s book ‘How to Bake’. I will be reviewing this book soon here on the blog.

There were so many beautiful cake creations like this one (and also the cupcake I had on arrival) made by two very friendly young ladies, Valeri Valeriano and Christina Ong and their cake company Queen of Hearts. Their beautiful decorations are made using only buttercream are indeed edible works of art.

There were various competitions and the standard of the entries was in some cases outstanding! Look at the detail on the cascading flowers. I can’t even begin to estimate or imagine how many hours it took to create all those flowers.

I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t more emphasis on actual baking at this show but the emphasis was on the decorating.  One very interesting product I found was SugarVeil. Michele Hester created an innovation in cake decorating with SugarVeil which produces exquisite lace patterns.

Using a special formula of icing and silicone mats you can create something that resembles lace. You can purchase basic kits and then add to your collection.

The lace decoration on this cake was a piece of SugarVeil as above, which was carefully cut and laid onto the top layer.

This bow was made by placing SugarVeil over a piece of coloured sugar craft icing and fashioned into a lace bow.

 
I enjoyed visiting the Cake International show however I did expect there to be more actual baking elements but it was really heavily decorating loaded.
Fish Pie starts the week – Fish is the Dish

Fish Pie starts the week – Fish is the Dish

There is fish pie and there is MY fish pie!  Fish is the Dish has set a challenge for some of us to eat fish twice a week so this week I decided to try a fish pie.  The fish I used in this was […]

Supper on a budget!

Supper on a budget!

I am always saying that you can eat well and spend little and today’s supper is another example of this. My friend wanted to visit Aldi today so I went along for the ride. I wasn’t really planning on getting anything but you never know. […]

Today’s Coffee Break is Brought to You By……

Today’s Coffee Break is Brought to You By……

Bewley’s 100% Arabica fresh ground coffee.

Bewley’s was founded in 1840 and was the first tea and coffee company in Ireland. The company continues to be passionate about coffee to this day.



Lovely smooth coffee from Bewley’s

Their coffee comes in different strengths and the one I was treated to is their Gold Roast – strength 3, a round and robust but smooth and perfectly balanced.

And now .. back to your programme!

Farmison Meats – Keeping Sunday Supper Simple

Farmison Meats – Keeping Sunday Supper Simple

Sometimes you just have to keep things simple. There is a time when you leave the chilli out, forget the garlic, keep the onions in the vegetable drawer and just cook the meat. Farmison & Co supply a wide range of different cuts of meat […]