Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Pear, ginger and cardamon loaf

This is a perfect recipe for this time of year, slight spicing adds a warming note to this delicious bake, great served with a steaming mug of tea after a wild and windy walk, but also great as a pudding cake served with custard.

This loaf cake isn't going to win any prizes in the beauty stakes but is definitely a prize winner in the flavour stakes, I just love the moist fruity pear chunks and the crunch of the flaked almonds. It does have the habit of swallowing the pears and almonds into the cake but I still love it, its frugal too as it a good recipe to use up pears that are starting to become overripe. I am using British Conference pears here which have a great flavour, they aren't in season very long so make good use of them while you can.

So go on embrace the season and create a beautiful warm spicy fug in your kitchen as a perfect antidote to the weather outside, the Danish have a word for it Hygge, give it a try......

What you need
  • 175g softened butter or quality vegetable margarine
  • 1 tsp ground cardamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 175g light brown sugar
  • 3 conference pears - peeled, cored and cut into 1/8ths
  • 2 free eggs 
  • 175g self raising flour (gluten free works fine)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp flaked almonds
  • 2lb loaf tin - lined
What you do
  • Pre heat the oven to 180c
  • Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy in your stand mixer
  • Add the flour and baking powder, spices,  and eggs to the bowl, mix until you a smooth mixture
  • Place half the mixture into your prepared tin, roughly level with a palette knife, place roughly half of the pears (chopped into little cubes) in a layer on the cake mixture
  • Top the pears with the rest of the cake mixture and places the rest of the pear slices on the top, sprinkle with flaked almonds
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes until golden and cooked through.
  • Cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes or so, perfect warm on its on or with cream or custard. Cold its great with a cup of tea.
  • If you like serve cold with a dredging of icing sugar
We are linking up to Recipe of the Week over on AMummyToo 

                                                                 Link up your recipe of the week

And to Casa Costello's Bake of the Week 

                                                          Casa Costello

JibberjabberUk - Love Cake linky whose theme this month is Best of British


And two of my favourites Credit Crunch Munch from Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food for All, hosted this month by Elizabeths Kitchen and No Waste Food Challenge from Elizabeths Kitchen, hosted this month by Its not Easy being Greedy.


                                                              Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary

Friday, 6 November 2015

November 2015 - Colin Shepherd - Clog & Billycock

We are pleased to feature this month -Colin Shepherd - Deputy General Manager at The Clog and Billycock a member of  the Ribble Valley Inns Group. Colin is passionate about local food and great service and has worked in many quality establishments across the country. He is also a talented artist and loves all things military and of course his latest passion cycling. 

The Clog and Billycock is situated in the lovely village of Pleasington and serves high quality British Food, seasonal which is locally sourced.

What is your favourite cookery or food book or publication ?
New York Cult Recipes by Marc Grossman.

What sentence sums up Lancashire Food to you ?
Great Wholesome food produced by passionate people and celebrated locally and beyond.

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you like to be ?
Pilot (Preferably Fast Jet and Low Level) or Musician ( ideally Royal Marines Band Service)

Which piece of kit could you not do without ?
My Bicycle – just wish I could have the time to do more cycling

Who would join you at your ultimate dinner party and why?
Difficult choice to make and it could be a big dinner party so I have picked 2
My Grandad – Just a great man to talk to with some great interests
Mozart – A musical genius who wrote some of the most amazing music I have listened to and I imagine he would have some great stories to tell.

What advice would you give to your younger self ?
Work harder at school and have more belief in yourself and your abilities

Describe your style in three words
Impulsive, impatient, Obsessive

What was your latest foodie gadget purchase ?
A Food Mixer. The old one needed replacing with something a bit more powerful and capable

What is your greatest achievement to date ?
Selling my first piece of artwork – it was only small and I did not get much, but the fact that someone was willing to pay for something I had created and wanted to put it on their wall made me proud

What is the worst mistake you have made ?
Dropping a 1000 gallon container of double cream form a forklift truck at a dairy I worked at in Whitby. My plan of going in early on New Years Eve to get finished early was scuppered by the length of time it took to clean up. A messy and expensive accident to say the least. A rumour also spread that a significant amount of Whitby harbour turned white.

Tell us a secret about yourself ? may be something we wouldn’t expect !
I once reversed a works van into my bosses garden wall. There was no damage to the wall and he did not see it happen. There was some damage to the back of the van though. It was weeks before he spotted it and blamed it on someone in the car park so I left it at that!

The Clog & Billycock

Monday, 26 October 2015

Butternut Squash and butterbean soup - vampire fighting and frightfully good !

There is definitely and nip in the air, so soup is in order. A delicious tasty recipe perfect for warming your bones after a night out trick a treating  and also an ideal recipe for using pumpkin middle just substitute for the butternut squash in the recipe, no waste here ! This soup also improves with keeping, ideal for popping in the fridge and for taking to work the next day to be re-heated.

Containing lots of lovely vampire fighting garlic (also bug fighting too ! as the cold and flu season is now with us), add just a touch of chilli for a thrill !

What you need

  • Butternut squash - 1 large , peeled and de-seeded and chopped into 1 cm pieces
  • 1 white onion - finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic - peeled and crushed
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1/2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 small red chilli - finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 can butterbeans - drained (retain juice if you want to use as Aquafaba)
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary - leaves picked
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 500ml vegetable stock
What you do
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan
  • Add the onion and cooked for a few minutes until softened
  • Add the cubed squash, crushed garlic, chilli and rosemary, cook stirring for a few minutes
  • Add the stock, maple syrup and lemon juice, bring to a simmer and cook until the onion and squash are soft
  • Add the sherry vinegar and butter beans and bring back to a simmer
  • Cool slightly and then blitz with a stick blender or in a a liquidizer to the desired texture.
  • Bring back to a simmer and serve piping hot
  • Delicious sprinkled with rosemary.

                                                          Link up your recipe of the week

                                                       Cook Once Eat Twice

No Croutons Required - co hosted by Lisa's Kitchen and Tinned Tomatoes


No Waste Food Challenge, created by Elizabeths Kitchen and hosted this month by Veggie Desserts.

                                                        No Waste Food Challenge

                                                          My Legume Love Affair #88

And finally Credit Crunch Munch from Fab Food for All and Fuss Free Flavours.

                                          Credit Crunch Munch

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Chicken, sweet potato and red wine casserole

Inspired by the most recent Jamie Oliver SuperFoods series and the fact that the weather is starting to cool and become quite autumnal, this comforting casserole was born. A delicious healthy dish which is great served with chunks of homemade bread or some great bread from your local artisan baker.

Its also a one pot dish which we love as it saves on washing up, the vegetable content is also infinitely variable depending on what you have in the fridge and frugal too as it uses the humble chicken thigh,  this cut is normally much cheaper and much more flavourful than the chicken breast.

What you need
  • 4 Chicken Thighs - skinless and boneless
  • Sweet potato (butternut squash would be a good substitute) - peeled and cut into chunks
  • Onion - 1 large red, cut into chunks
  • Celery - 2 sticks, copped
  • Mushrooms - handful, chunky slices
  • Red Pepper - de-seeded and chunky chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic - finely sliced
  • Couple of springs fresh rosemary - picked into stems
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Couple of fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tin of plum tomatoes
  • About 250ml red wine 
  • 8- 10 blacked pitted olives
  • Bread to serve
  • Large cast iron casserole pot or similar
What you do
  • Pre heat the oven to 180c
  • Place the casserole on a high heat and add a little oil, add the onion and fry for just a couple of minutes until starting to colour, add the rosemary, bay leaves and garlic and stir fry for a few seconds, then add the chicken thighs, just to colour.
  • Now add the celery, mushrooms, red pepper, lives and sweet potatoes to the pot, stir
  • Add the wine, tin of tomatoes to the pot, stir and bring to a simmer, adding a little water if necessary
  • Place in the oven and cook for an hour or so until the chicken is falling and the vegetables are soft and yielding. Taste for seasoning, you may not need any due to the olives.
  • Serve straight from the pot strewed with more rosemary.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Fig, yogurt and rosemary loaf cake - gluten free

I just can't resist beautiful fresh figs and at the moment they are at their peak, I have always had a thing for them even as a child, mainly in the form of a fig roll (newton) I might add. High in fibre and with a sticky sweetness whether fresh or dried they make a great addition to many dishes, my favourite memory is of picking a perfectly ripe specimen off a huge tree outside my apartment window whilst staying in Calvi, Corsica. Still warm from the Mediterranean sun and so juicy, a great food memory.

Inspired by a bake I spotted whilst wandering on the internet this recipe, my version is gluten free and uses rapeseed oil rather than olive and has the subtle addition of almond extract also. Don't worry about the rosemary in this sweet bake its barely noticeable and just provides a slight herbyness to the sponge, the cake is moist and very moreish.


What you need
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary - finely chopped
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 50g plain gluten free flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp almond essence
  • 180g Greek yogurt
  • 120 ml Extra Virgin rapeseed oil
  • 2 large eggs - free range of course
  • 4 fresh figs - halved
  • 2tbsp - soft brown sugar
  • 2lb loaf tin, lined

What you do
  • Pre heat the oven to 180c
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy and tripled in volume
  • In another bowl or jug, whisk together the yogurt, oil and almond essence
  • Add to the egg and sugar mixture, the ground almonds, flour, salt, baking powder and rosemary, fold them in gently and try not to loose to much air.
  • Quickly whisk in the oil and yogurt mixture until incorporated, then pour into a prepared 2lb loaf tin
  • Carefully place the halved figs on the top, place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar on to the figs and bake for another 20 - 40 minutes until tested cooked with a skewer, if the cake is browning too much cover with foil
  • Remove when bake and cool initially in the tin, cool full on a wire cooling rack.
  • Serve as it is or with a little additional yogurt
A delicious moist cake with an exotic twist.

This last few weeks my blogging mojo has been a little absent and life generally has taken over, hopefully normal service is now resumed.

We are linking up to a few of our favourite linky's

Bake of the Week from Casa Costello, fellow WI member and all round lovely person.

                                                       Casa Costello

Emily over at A Mummy Too for Recipe of the Week

                                                             Link up your recipe of the week

                                       Cooking with Herbs for Autumn: Bay, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

Dom over at Belleau Kitchen for Simply Eggcellent - them this month Anything Goes as long it contains free range eggs.


Adapted from a recipe by blog.plentyofzest.com

Thursday, 1 October 2015

October 2015 - Debbie Johnson - Westshore Chillies

This months featured foodie is Debbie Johnson of Westshore Chillies from Hesketh Bank who grow, pack and sell chillies to some of the best UK retailers.

I met Debbie at the launch of a new Booths Supermarket in Lytham St Annes  and we got chatting.They produce a high quality product and use no pesticides or chemicals in growing their produce.

What is your favourite cookery or food book or publication ?
The Secret Ingredient – Sally Bee.

What sentence sums up Lancashire Food to you ?
Wholesome Healthy and fresh.

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you like to be ?
 A house wife, working 7 days a week, I just never seem to find time to do the simple things, like taking care of my garden walking the dogs and keeping on top of my ironing!

Which piece of kit could you not do without ?
The Dish washer, at least I can put everything away and leave the sides tidy.

Who would join you at your ultimate dinner party and why?
My husband Joe,
Sheridan Smith, fantastic actress,
Will Smith he just seems so funny.
Mary Berry she would have to bring dessert.
Richard Attenborough he would have great stories to tell and all my lovely friends so we could all enjoy the experience together.

What advice would you give to your younger self ?
Be kind to yourself, enjoy the here and now and life is not a race to the finish, take your time.

Describe your style in three words
Smart casual and neat.

What was your latest foodie gadget purchase ?
New liquidiser, I like to make soup’s

What is your greatest achievement to date ?
My marriage, my two daughters and taking our small business successfully in to Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.

What is the worst mistake you have made ?
Trusting large companies and thinking they are friends. They are not!

Tell us a secret about yourself ? may be something we wouldn’t expect !
I was a model and due to work in Milan. However, I was a passenger in a very bad car accident, my career ended before it fully began. I have no regrets as I wouldn’t change my life although I would like to have a pain free knee.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

September CCC - A Year of Cake Book Launch at Ebb and Flo, Chorley

September saw the launch of the second Clandestine Cake Club Recipe book and proudly yours truly has a recipe featured in the new book. To celebrate the publication of the new book which made a return visit to the small but perfectly formed Ebb and Flo in Chorley, an independent book shop owned by the brilliant Dianne, who is supportive of all things local and cake loving.

The bookshop is situated down a side street just off the high street and is an Aladdin's cave of all things bookish, we held our celebration upstairs and shared cake with all visitors to the book shop and also with our loyal bakers and cake clubbers. 


Here we are perusing the stock and enjoying coffee and cake

For the launch, I baked my Buckwheat, carrot and sultana cake which is gluten free and very moreish and is featured in the book.

Kate baked a delicious blueberry, pecan and buttermilk cake

Mr Lancashire Food baked a Chocolate Yogurt cake with a sticky decadent chocolate ganache on top

Carla baked a scrummy Date and Walnut cake

We had a great time as always and the cakes was wonderful, massive thanks go to Dianne at Ebb and Flo

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Banana and honey loaf cake - gluten free and no artificial sugars

Here at Lancashire Food we don't like to waste food and also where possible create recipes which not only taste good but do you good. This recipe ticks all the boxes for us, using ripe bananas for the majority of the sweetness for this cake and just a touch of honey its free from artificial sugars and being full of all things that are good for you it a "super" bake.  A great debate currently ranges in the food community about the amount of sugar in our diets and home cooking and baking gives you the control to adjust the amount of sugar added to your recipes. We like that, we use buckwheat flour here for its nutritional value but a basic plain gluten free flour would also work.

Please don't expect this to taste exactly like a normal banana loaf as it doesn't, but it still has some sweetness and as we are using honey you can adjust the sweetness level to your taste, I would suggest starting at 1/2 cup and reducing down from there as your taste buds acclimatise to less sweetness.

A couple of months ago we started hosting a local beekeepers hive in our garden and hopefully very shortly we might just (fingers crossed) get to taste some honey from our bees, its a fascinating process and has been very interesting watching the development of a new hive with all its trails and tribulations. In just a short couple of months we have had issues with wasps ( nasty things that attack hives ), the birth of a new queen and the balancing act of when to collect the honey. I have been stung twice once by a bee (yes a honey bee) and also by a wasp ( very painful and much worse than a bee sting).

So hopefully next time I bake this loaf we might be using our own honey .........

What you need
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour (check gluten free if necessary as not all are)
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cardamon
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 eggs - free range
  • 1/4 cup - coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of milk (any type nut, cows, goat)
  • 1 tsp cider or wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of local honey
  • 3 ripe bananas
2lb loaf tin, oiled and base lined.
If you don't have all the spices to hand sweet mixed spice or lebuken spice can be substituted

What you do
  • Pre heat the oven to 180c
  • Mash the banana roughly in the bowl of your mixer
  • Add all other ingredients
  • Mix thoroughly and pour into prepared tin
  • Place in the oven and bake for approx 45 minutes
  • Cool in tin
  • Delicious served slavered with butter

We are linking up to Bake of the Week over on Casa Costello


Also to Recipe of the Week with Emily over on A Mummy Too

                                                            Link up your recipe of the week

Love Cake - Back to Basics over on Jibberjabber, as this is good basic banana loaf recipe at heart.


Simply Eggcellent - Theme being Cakes this month over with Dom at Belleau Kitchen (Happy Birthday !) which celebrates all thing egg.

                                                               simply eggcellent - September 2015

Credit Crunch Munch over at Fuss Free Flavours as once again we are using up manky bananas. A blog challenged created by Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food for all.

                                                 Credit Crunch Munch

And finally No Waste Food Challenge blog hop over at Foodie Quine this month. This challenge was created by Elizabeths Kitchen Diary.

                                                             Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Booths - New Lytham St Annes store to open

An Example of an Image Source

Booths, the North West based food and wine retailer, will open a new store in Lytham St Annes on September the 9th. The new Booths is over 36,000 square feet and will feature a cafĂ©, butchery, fishmonger and state of the art deli counters.  The store has created 90 new jobs.

Ian Jacques has been appointed as the new store manager, and has 31 years of experience of working at Booths. Ian started working at Booths Fulwood at the age of 14, while still at school—with the ambition of joining the Management Trainee Programme.  Following several years managing other Booths stores, in 2011 he was appointed manager of Booths in Knutsford, Cheshire, one of Booths’ largest stores.

“My team and I cannot wait for the new store to open,” commented Ian. “Lancashire producers are making and growing some of the finest food Britain has to offer, and our store is looking fantastic. I think customers will be excited about our new offer. What sets Booth apart is our close link to producers and exceptional produce.”

Booths is renowned for quality food and drink and sourcing fresh, local produce in season.  The vast majority of their fresh food is sourced within this region due to their commitment to working with suppliers in the four counties Booths operate in; Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria and Yorkshire.

Chairman Edwin Booths says “Booths is a supermarket retailer like no other—proudly Northern, family run and independent. Our regional roots and relative small size help to forge close relationships with our farmers & producers. We’re able to source exceptional food and drink from small scale producers who would normally avoid supplying the supermarkets. We’re committed to giving our producers a fair price and offering our shoppers great food and we’re very excited to open in St Annes.”

Image result for booths logo

Sunday, 6 September 2015

A year of cake - The new Clandestine cake club recipe book

Proud to say that we have a recipe in the new Clandestine Cake Club recipe book. A Year of Cake - features 100 new recipes from the club including my recipe for a scrummy gluten free treat of Buckwheat, carrot and sultana cake, with a fresh orange buttercream.

A delicious recipe if I do say so myself , I will be baking this cake for the celebration book launch we are holding at Ebb and Flo Books in Chorley on Saturday 12th September 2015, at 2pm.

The book is also currently on special offer on Amazon for the bargain price of £10 and apparently is already on reprint due to the volume of pre orders.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Cooking with Herbs - September 2015

Its with great excitment that this month we are hosting this month's Cooking with Herbs, whilst the lovely Karen is away travelling in Canada (lucky lady), hopefully she has left it in safe hands whilst she is away

As the new series of Great British Bake Off for this year is well underway and as always the bakers are being ccreative with their flavour choices. I thought it would be fun to theme this months linky to baking, cooking with herbs in Breads, biscuits and cakes. Please join in the fun as I am looking forward to seeing all your lovely baking creations, as I know we have lots of talented bakers out there.

You find the roundup if last months linky here - the theme being Herbal Flowers

So if you fancy joining the baking fun just follow the instructions below

September Cooking with Herbs
Bread, Biscuits & Cakes
Guidelines how to enter:
1. Post your recipe url to the Linky at the bottom of the appropriate month’s challenge, including your email and the title of your recipe or post.
2. Display the Cooking with Herbs badge (as shown above and below) to the relevant recipe post, with a link back to the monthly challenge post.
3. Add as many recipe links as you like, there is NO limit!
4. If you tweet your post, please mention #cookingwithherbs and @KarenBurnsBooth in your tweet – I will retweet all that I see. If a guest blogger is hosting, please add them into the tweet too! So for this month please tweet @LancashireFood 
5. The recipe can be one of your own or one you’ve seen elsewhere. You are welcome to republish old recipes/posts but please add the information about this challenge as listed above with the Cooking with Herbs badge.
6. If using a recipe from another person, book, website, chef or blog, you must link back to the original recipe and not reproduce the recipe in full in your post. You must also use your OWN images for the recipe and not the original images, unless you have permission to do so, with appropriate links and any other information requested by the photo’s owner added to the image.


Herb Flowers

September 2015 - Tim Proctor - Proctors Cheeses

Hi everyone, this month's choosen foodie is non other than Tim Procter of Procters Cheeses, also the man behind that amazing cheese brand Kick Ass Cheddar,  the cheese with a tasty cheddar twang yet a still creamy cheese.

The Kick Ass range includes several different varieties the newest been a Rioja with red onion chutney which I must say is absolutely delicious toasted, which I got to taste at the most recent Clitheroe Food Festival.

You can get in touch with Kick Ass on facebook, Twitter and even order via Amazon, plus its stocked by quality local cheesemongers as well. Procters Cheeses are based in Chipping right at the heart of Lancashire Cheese Country.

Myself and Tim Procter at Clitheroe Food Festival

What is your favourite cookery or food book or publication ?
Anything from Padstow chef Rick Stein.  I like his no-nonsense approach to cooking and the sourcing of ingredients

What sentence sums up Lancashire Food to you ?
Just like our world famous Lancashire cheese that is unique, in that it has 3 distinctly different varieties in one type of cheese – I think that sums up the county as a whole…hugely diverse and yet offering the best of everything.

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you like to be ?
If I hadn’t become a cheese factor, I am sure I would have joined the British Military.  My secondary school days were spent as a boarder at Bentham Grammar School in North Yorkshire.  A lot of my friends were children whose parents were in the military and always took a keen interest in where they were stationed and the roles they had.

Which piece of kit could you not do without ?
The TV remote…I live in a house with 4 females, and I need to feel that I’M IN CHARGE

Who would join you at your ultimate dinner party and why?
MALE: Robert De Niro as he’d definitely give the evening a bit of an edge.  
FEMALE: Cameron Diaz…nuff said really.

What advice would you give to your younger self ?
Make the very most of every opportunity that comes your way.  You WILL get the chances….TAKE THEM

Describe your style in three words

What was your latest foodie gadget purchase ?
A new kitchen for wife Sue

What is your greatest achievement to date ?
Being married to the lovely Sue for the last 22 years and raising two beautiful daughters (Georgina 17 / Emma 15)

What is the worst mistake you have made ?
Sometimes being too soft with people that I actually don’t know that well, allowing them to mistake my generosity and good nature for weakness

Tell us a secret about yourself ? may be something we wouldn’t expect !
I have been known to sulk if I don’t get my own way ;-)

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