Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Time spent with Mum!

This should have been posted at the weekend, but i didn't find the time to do so, so here it is now.

Ever since i move out, I've made a point of going to see my Mum every weekend, of course things do crop up where we can do it, but when we do we normally go for a bite to eat or i just spend the day at mums,

This weekend we did lunch which was lovely,it took a while to decide where we wanted to go but in the end we agreed on giving Bluebells ago, its a cafe that's been placed in the old winter housing for the cows at  Briddlesford Lodge Farm, Its a proper working farm and has been in the same family since 1923. In the cafe theres an education centre where i believe schools go to learn about what working on a farm is like and how milk it collected and then turned into cheese and yoghurt's, i think its an important part of learning to learn about where our food comes from.

Lunch was lovely, we had a cheese and homemade onion chutney sandwich and a roasted chicken and bacon sandwich, me and mum split them so we could both try, very tasty and they didn't hold back on the filling, I will head back with the Mr that's for sure. a nice evening meal i think will be in order.

 I have a  huge thing for anything farm like! I'm the person who can find a farmers market even without knowing its market day, and living on the Isle Of Wight there's plenty of farm shops to keep me happy.
One of the first things i noticed.. and of course it wasn't hard to see but i was still very happy to see that their farm shop was open, lots of good island produce filled the shelves as well as the farms own dairy products. I was a bit naughty and picked up a bottle of mulled cider naughty that wasn't from the island and naughty that i know i can/will make my own! but i couldn't resist,  I'm trying to hold on to until Yule as i think it will be the perfect festive drink along with mulled wine.

So once we'd finished, we headed out over to Godhills, its a little village on the south of the island nestled outside Shanklin and Rookley, there was once a shop called Godshill Organics but unfortunately business wasn't doing great so instead of shutting down they've turned into the a chilli shop!- The House Of Chilli, admittedly it is a little of the way and not on a every regular bus route, but not to worry as they have another store which is in Newport (the islands biggest shopping town), The Mr and i LOVE chilli! as you may remember my last food post include chill.

As you may have guessed from the name, the shop has a whole host of different products of chilli, from sauce to infused oils to jams and chutneys with even a selection made on site from the chillis they grow. they also have some imports from America such as Bourbon BBQ sauce and others to many to name really.

I know i'll be heading back as i think these chutneys will be perfect for a few foodie friends i know!! 
Mum had already been and picked us up a bottle of their Gourmet Blackberry and chill balsamic, we've not used it yet, but we do enjoy having tapas nights, so this will be happily used when that time comes again.

So all in all i had a lovely Saturday with mumma bear.

Till next time, keep safe warm and happy

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Sloppy Joes!!!

Hello there!!!
I'm not sure how many of you out there enjoy chilli, but i love the stuff!!! its easy and fool proof.
Yesterday morning i got out some mince to defrost ready to cook with when i got home, But We had to pop to the shops to pick something up for my Mr's Mum.We left with a copy of "The Cynobal Diaries"( i bought a copy for me and the Mr the night before- will let you know what i think once we've watched it) a box Ferrero Rocher for lee's mum, and mixed salad leaves and fresh rolls, out the window went the cottage pie i decided to make the night before, based on that i really needed the use the carrots, and in came the idea of Chilli in fresh rolls with salad and cheese.This combination of mince served on rolls is called a Sloppy Joe in America and I've always wanted to try them, not sure when I'll make a visit to the states, but for now I'm happy to try and make my own versions.

I love that I've gotten to the point where i don't need to worry about not having the right spice or not having the basics in my fridge/cupboards (peppers, onions - both red and white, blocks of butter, cheese, milk. lots of spices -to many to name,tinned tomatoes/bean and chickpeas,plenty of eggs, different pastas and noddles,condiments- again to many to list,  chillis - i cheat and use Lazy Chilli, and i have no shame in that!) as I'm pretty socked up, so i can make most things if the mood so takes me.

So on to my Sloppy Joe.
this is all made from what i had in my fridge, i just grabbed what had and made do. the best meals i find are the ones that just happen.

1 large White Onion.
2 small sweet peppers red and orange
1 tbsp of Veg Oil 
250g Fresh Mince Beef -Local is important and i try to buy organic as often as i can.
(i have used qourn mince for my chilli before and it works nicely, but i know this wouldn't work for vegans but of course you could use beans and quinoa to create the same bulkyness, that meat does.)
Tinned chopped tomatoes
1 tsp of Lazy Chilli
1tsp each of Hot Chilli Powder and Ground Cumin and cumin seeds (break down with pestle and mortar)
1 tbsp of Lea & Perrins
1 tbsp of Green and Blacks Choco powder - it works trust me!!
pinch of brown sugar.
Salt and Pepper to season.
4 Fresh rolls

In a pan heat the oil,
Chop the onions and pepper and pop into a blender... or finely chop.
I'm very pleased with my mini blitzer, it  most handy, plus no teary eyes when doing onions,Add the onions and peppers to the heated oil and gently cook for a few minutes. once soft add the spices

Then add the mince,dicing and breaking it down into crumbly pieces, cook till browned, onions and peppers and spiced have been mixed all together, add in a bit of tomato paste, then pour in the tinned tomatoes, add some lea and Perrins, the sugar and choco powder give it a good stir, season then leave to simmer on a low heat for about half an hour.

 The beauty of this dish is it can be left and the flavors get better, me and the Mr had to go see his mum as it was her birthday, so once it had done a good half hr on the hob, i turned it off covered with a lid and off we went, we got back about 2hrs later and all i needed to do was re-heat, slice the rolls, grate some cheese and rinse the salad off  which took no more that 10/15minutes - mainly due to the rolls being grilled.
and here we have it "Sharons Sloppy Joes"

These were so tasty, and perfect comfort food given that the eve was foggy and damp.


Friday, 19 October 2012

Dinner, Catch up and Chilly Jam

Good Morning! i hope i find you all well.

In the last few months me and an old school friend (Stacey) have picked up from where we last finished, I've know her since i was 10, we were always seated next to each other, lived within a 2min walk when i first moved to the island, and even though i wasn't the most polite person when i first met her, our friendship grew pretty quickly, weekends were spent out on our bikes cycling to little spots on the island,shopping, trips to the cinema and walking up to Mc Donald's for a cheeky happy meal. Unfortunately for us when it came to high school we were parted, we believe our middle school played a hand in that, we were two peas in a pod and we'd stand up for each other if a teacher got to heavily spoken with us, i blame it on the hormones and feel for those teachers who were only trying there best. When we  found out we wouldn't be in any of the same classes let alone being in the same band (there was 4 middle schools that all joined the high school, so the school split all the schools so you would met new people and learn to mingle and learn new social skills) we were devastated, shocked, and so upset. how could they do this to us!!!, I was lucky that in my band and tutor class i had my cousin and 4 other girls that i hung out with/went to school with before. Stacey on the other hand had people she knew but none of those she hung out with. Our friendship slided abit and from being girls who did everything together,we turned into people passing each other with a simple hello, we were always polite and would stop and natter if we bumped into each other at lunch or town. And of course there comes the time when you leave school and you really do leave old friendships behind, you go out on your own, i went to college as did she but we had different days, she had a different group of friends as did i and life just takes you on your little way.

But that changed last year when a school friend passed away, Stacey didn't have my number or the Internet at the time but i got a message from her mum asking if i could give her a call, so i did and it was easy, like i only saw her yesterday, needless to say we chatted and made plans for the coming week. after that we went back to our lives, but started chatting more, but still not as involved as we used to be, Then i got a message from her with an idea to do something, we met up had a few glasses of wine, and well lets just say its like those 8yrs being parted never happened!

So as often as we can we meet up, we cook dinner and bake something for afters, and last night was no different apart from we made some jam for Yule pressies - still not sure who's getting them yet but it was fun and they look fab!!

First on the menu was a recipe from the "Hairy Bikers -  how to love food and lose weight" this book is amazing! its full of hearty meals but all low cal so you don't have to worry about your waistline, the meals I've cooked up so far are so full of flavor you wouldn't even tell that it was good for you.

Click for Hairy Bikers Cassoulet recipe

Pudding was rice pudding with a plum compote, again from the "Hairy Bikers- how lose weight and love food" We added abit of cinnamon to the plums as its a spice we both like, and i worked so well.

Click here for Hairy Bikers - Rice Pudding and Plum Compote

While the pudding was doing its thing we got on with the chilli jam, We did the jam thats in Nigella's Christmas.

Recipe For Chilli Jam

Serves: Makes approx. 1.5 litres

  • 150 gram(s) long red chilli pepper (deseeded and cut into 4 pieces)
  • 150 gram(s) Red peppers (cored, deseeded and cut into rough chunks)
  • 1 kilogram(s) Jam sugar
  • 600 ml cider vinegar

so glad i went for gold capped jars with the red they look very festive!! I know i'm keeping one for myself, and will get some good cheeses and make my own cheese board, next on the list is a christmas chutney and red onion chutney!

I buy from www.waresofknutsford.co.uk their collection of preserving items is pretty big, and i'm sure you'll find the style you're after and the prices are very good.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

A fresh start and name change.

Hello hello, Wow can't quite believe I've not posted since January.
Well I'm back and with more foodie posts then before just in time what with my favourite season being in full swing, I've been writing as the Kitchen Faery for FAE Magazine for a few issues now, and have really enjoyed it, Food really is my passion so along with trying to cook/bake as seasonally as i can, i want to share my  successes and fails as I'm setting myself the challenge to learn a new technique in baking/cooking.
I'm a huge fan of The Great British Bake off and after watching last nights final i was so tempted to apply for season 4 but having looked at the application form, I've not baked hardly anything on the list of "whats your most difficult -pasty/tart/cake" i don't do difficult but things i know i like and will work- well most of the time. So instead before applying maybe for season 5 or even 6 i might spend the rest of 2012 and 2013 making something from The Great British Bake Off season 1 book i bought 3 years ago!.

So here's to a new name and new bakes for me to share with you all.

I hope you've all been great.