27 Nov 2009

BBC Good Food Show Birmingham - Winter 2009

A whirlwind tour of my day out at BBC Good Food Show Birmingham.......

The Jamie Oliver stand displaying all of his wonderful kitchen goodies.

Lavazza have just launched a new coffee machine, it is very sleekly designed and comes in a range of bright colours.

The Italian Fields stand had a wonderful display of Parmesan Cheese, Prosciutto, Limoncello just to name a few. My husband bought a piece of prosciutto from here, but at the moment I am still trying to figure out how he is going to carve wafer thin slices from it!

On the Kenwood stand, we were given a very informed demonstration of the Kenwood Cooking Chef which is their latest product. On the left of the photograph is chef/demonstrator Paul Brodel (you may recognize him from the shopping channels) and on the right is Kenwood's Development Chef.

The above is only a taster of the many interesting stands we came across. I have been to the Good Food Show in Birmingham almost every year since the show first launched and it gets better every year, they always bring something new to the show for us. It's a great day out and lots of fun.

I spent a wonderful day with my husband here courtesy of Ginny Braynsmith from BBC Haymarket Exhibitions. Thank you Ginny.

21 Nov 2009

Hotel Chocolat Jolly Santa

I've been 'hanging around' in the West Midlands in a cellophane packet decorated with snow flakes, waiting patiently to be photographed, and I really am the best Jolly Santa around. Even though I have waited and waited, I'm still a Jolly Santa - just look at me!

The back of my body is made from thick milk chocolate. The front of my body is milk, dark and white chocolate. My feet, hands, face and cheeks are milk chocolate. My body, arms, nose, eyes and hat are made from dark chocolate and my beard, moustache, rim of my bobble hat and bobble are all white chocolate.

I have asked not to be eaten until after Christmas because I've still lots of work to do, handing out Jolly Santa's for Christmas Gifts, delivering Christmas presents, and of course chocolate gifts, after all I have got my best Jolly Santa outfit on!

After Christmas when my work is done, I'm going to travel from the West Midlands to Kent, where I know two wonderful little boys who will just love a Jolly Santa - ah!

Many thanks to Hotel Chocolat for the opportunity to review Jolly Santa.

8 Nov 2009


Abel & Cole asked if I would like to try a rolled piece of Organic Belly Pork. Usually I don't buy a piece of belly pork rolled but just buy it in a slab, and so this was a complete change for me.

The first thing I noticed about this joint was how the rind had been scored into diamonds shapes. Also, there was a good fat to meat ratio. First impressions are everything to this cook.

I smothered the rind with sea salt and rubbed in lots of ground fennel seeds. The joint was then blasted at a high temperature for 30 minutes before turning the oven down to resume the cooking. During the last 30 minutes of cooking I added some white wine to the belly pork for extra flavour and to make a delicious gravy.

The exposed meat, the best pieces in my humble opinion, were delicious and the interior of the meat was soft, tender and juicy.

We thought it was the best piece of belly pork ever to have graced the table in our house, there was hardly any waste - other than the string the joint had been tied up in!

Every joint of meat on the Abel & Cole website is traceable and it is always very comforting to read about the animals and producer regarding the meat you are about to order.