Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

British through and through, from the field to the delicious plate - Woodall's Charcuterie

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I recently received a delicious hamper filled with lovely charcuterie from the people at Woodall's, the home of British Charcuterie!     This goodness began in 1828 when the family set up their butcher's shop in Waberthwaite in Cumbria and almost two centuries later, 8th generation Master Curer, Colin Woodall, continues to use the family's original recipes and curing and smoking skills, whilst at the same time taking advantage of modern techniques which guarantee a consistently delicious result every time.

Over the years Woodall's has featured on such august menus as the Titanic and Concord, and has provided a taste of home for many British Everest Ascents.

Included in my hamper were:

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Royale Air Dried Ham -  The recipe for "Royle" was developed from a cure for Suffolk ham by Woodall's and is pickled in a rich blend of Landlord Pale Ale molasses, vinegar and brown sugar before being lightly smoked.   The result is a totally unique air-dried ham with a wonderfully complex, rich, sweet flavour and a melt in the mouth texture.   This ham won  highly coveted Caterer Product Excellence Award last year and one star from Great Taste 2015.

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Air Cried Cumbrian Ham -  This is the original Woodall's air dried ham.  It is traditionally hand cured using an old family recipe.  After curing the hams are matured for six months to create a proscuitto style ham with a delicate sweet flavour.  It is the winner of two stars from Great Taste 2015.

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Air Dried Black Combe Ham - This ham is a celebration of Britain's long tradition of smoking hams.  To create a deeper flavour, this ham is hand rubbed with a spiced dry cure mix and then cold smoked in oak for 5 hours before being left to naturally air dry for at least six months.  This ham finds a perfect balance between being aromatic and distinct, but never overpowering.   Winner of one star from Great Taste 2015.

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Woodall's Pancetta:  Pork bellies are hand salted and then allowed to rest for seven days before being hung for a couple of days and then smoked.  The product is then air dried for a further five weeks.  Unlike many pancettas on the market today, the Woodall's product is perfect for cooking with, but is also ready to eat straight from the pack. Bonus!

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Cumberland Salami -  The Woodall's salami originated from the Cumberland sausage recipe which the Woodall family has been using for eight generations.  The sausage is then cured for six weeks to create a ready to eat product with a unique, deep and rich flavour.  This is a completely different taste experience to continental salamis and chorizos.   This delightful salami took the top gong at the 2014 Pig and Poultry Awards.

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Included as well was a bottle of Coleridge Hill white wine  and a small jar of festive chutney.

You can celebrate the best of British on your festvie buffet this Christmas by offering guests a unique British Charcuterie Platter, combine Woodall's delicious air dried hams, salami, pancetta and olives, paired with some excellent English wine.   This simple platter was a winning combination at Royal Ascot this year and was served by chef, Steve Goulding, throughout his fine dining menus.  The addition of British pickles, cheeses and good breads can also turn this sharing dish into something quite substantial.

Woodall's, the UK's premier Charcuterie range, took Golds at this years Great Taste Awards for all of their air-dried hams which the judges felt were "easily a match for Italian and Spanish hams".  Because of their unique recipes and master curing practices, these hams have wonderfully rich, complex, sweet flavours combined with melt in the mouth textures, quite unlike anything you might find on the continent.

For it's festive British Charcuterie Platter, Woodall's has partnered with Three Choirs, Coleridge Hill 2013 (Silver medal at the English and Welsh Wine of the year 2015 Competition.); a dry wine whish has the soft deliciate fruit character of grapefruit with a hint of elderflower and spice.   The acidity of this wine works ver well with cured meat flavours and the combination makes for a wonderful celebration of British Produce.  (Coleridge Hill retails from £8.50.  It can be purchased direct from the vineyard and other small independant retailers, such as Hay Wines, The Hop Pocket Wine Company, Frank Stainton Wines, Sam's Chop House and Noel Chadwick to name just a few.)

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As the appetite for British Charcuterie continues to grow, fuelled by the support of chef's like Mark Hix; and as British Charcuterie increasingly appears on restaurant menus; Colin Woodall believes that diners will increasingly seek out these products in fine food shops to eat at home.

"Woodall's is a truly British product, using British pork, British recipes and British curing and smoking techniques.  It ticks all of the boxes for those who are looking for new, exciting food experiences from products that are made locally and that, most importantly, consistently deliver on taste."

The range is available in speciality food shops nationwide . . .  including Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Whole Foods, Windsor Farm Shop, Chatsworth Farm Shop, Booths, Ocado and independent delis and farm shops nationwide.  RRP's -  Hams £3.99, Smoked Pancetta £3.49 and Salami £2.99

Many thanks to Woodall's for sending me this lovely hamper.  All of the charcuterie was absolutely delicious and we both enjoyed it very much!  Two thumbs up!  I also love that it is homegrown, British through and through, from the field to the delicious plate.   That gets ten stars from me!  I was only disappointed that they hadn't also sent me some of their fine Cumberland Sausages.   I had them last time I holidayed in Cumbria and have been dreaming of them ever since.

Woodall's Online Shop
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Woodall's on Twitter

Note - although I was sent this hamper free of charge, I was not required to write a positive review.  Any and all opinions are completely my own.

Autumn Vegetable Broth

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I have to admit that prior to my recent medical diagnosis, I really wasn't eating very well.   I only ever very seldom ate any fruit and my veg intake was way down as well.  Oddly enough when I was working full time, I always got my veg and fruit in, but being retired and on a limited income . . .  I hadn't been doing very well with any of that.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Toffee Apples with Vanilla Mascarpone

This recipe is not diabetic friendly.  Todd isn't a diabetic and I can't punish him constantly for my sins.  Sometimes I have to treat him to something he enjoys.  He can't eat raw apples and we had a bumper crop from our tree this year.  He does adore cooked apple anything however, and this is a dish he really enjoys.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Crumb Topped Cornmeal and Molasses Muffins

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According to my Diabetes handbook, you need to have breakfast, lunch and evening meals each day.  No skipping, and there are really no foods that are forbidden, but one should aim to keep empty calories at bay . . .  so no snacking on potato chips, cookies, pies, etc.   But there is no reason why a high fibre whole grain muffin can't be a part of a healthy diet or breakfast on occasion.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Oatmeal Pancakes with Maple Fruit

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I've always liked to pull the boat out a bit at the weekend . . .  a nice leisurely breakfast, usually something which we wouldn't have any other day of the week.   Having been diagnosed as a Diabetic I thought those days would be over, but I'm happy to say that they aren't in the least.  They're just different.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Chicken Dijon

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I love chicken.   Next to fish, it is probably the meat/protein I choose to eat most of the time.  Oddly enough it wasn't something we had very often when I was a child.  Maybe once or twice a year my mother would roast a chicken and as a real treat, once in a blue moon she would do her Maryland Fried Chicken, which was chicken breasts rolled in egg and cracker crumbs, and then fried in butter.  We loved it!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

New Cookbooklet "When Life Hands You Lemons"

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I'm really happy to be able to show you today my latest cookbooklet, entitled "When Life Hands You Lemons."   Yes, a cookbooklet totally devoted to all things lemon!   This is my largest cookbooklet today and is composed of no less than 53 pages of recipes which use Lemons.  With hints and tips for using lemons and Chapters including Delicious Beginnings, Something Savory, Let's Eat Cake, Tangy Tarts and Pies, Puddings and Custards and Cookies and Slices.  Some forty recipes in all, most of them including photographs of the finished dishes.  Interspersed between the recipes are little bits of my own artwork and I have also included  my  Lemon Curd Recipe Art Poster suitable for printing and framing.

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There are recipes for delicious main dishes and beverages, condiments, delicious pies, scrumptious puddings, cookies and tasty bakes, all using that most lovely of all ingredients Lemons.  If you are a lemon afficionado like I am you won't want to miss out on this tasty booklet.   If you have already collected my other cookbooklets, you will want to add this latest one to your collection.

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It comes as a downloadable PDF file direct to your e-mail box within 24 hours of your payment clearing, ready for you to  print out and use as you desire, and all at the same price as the rest of my cookbooklets,  of only £5.  (You will want to add my e-mail address to your list of safe e-mails.)  You will also want to have the latest version of Adobe Reader Enabled on your computer.

To order simply click the button below:

Snacking with Diabetes

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Cuting out sugary foods and high fat snacks is an important way to improve your diet and help maintain good blood glucose levels.  It helps to have alternatives available when you are feeling that urge to snack on something or when your levels dip and you just don't have time to make a meal. Having alternatives at the ready and achieving a balance are really important for long term success!  It's okay to have an occasional sweet treat, but in all reality, those need to be kept at a minimum, and it's best to develop a taste for nutritionally sound snacks.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Turnip and Carrot Dish

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I've always been a big lover of vegetables.  There are not too many I don't like with the exception of tinned peas.   This goes back to when I was a child.  Other than carrots and turnips, we mostly had tinned vegetables at home, and my mother found a dead cricket at the bottom of a tin of peas once, after we had already eaten half the tin.  You couldn't get me to eat a tinned pea after that.   In fact, in all truth I am very fussy about my peas.  I only like tender small ones.  Once they get big and woody textures, I can't stand them, and I don't think I am alone in that!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Pumpkin Puddings

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Ahh . . .  Pumpkin Season is upon us.  Autumn.  That time of year when we start to long for food that is a bit stodgier than the summer fare we've been eating the past couple of months.  Bring on the bonfires and . . . the Pumpkin delights!