BBC Good Food Show Summer 2016

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I’m home from another fantastic day at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham.  Today was day one of the show which runs for four days until Sunday 19th June, so there’s still plenty of time to book your tickets online, or alternatively, you can just turn up and pay your admission fee to gain entry.  However, if you pre-book your tickets online and use my code BL20, you can grab yourself a cool 20% off your admission price!  That’ll give you even more money to spend on delicious produce.

As it’s the summer show it’s also the BBC Gardner’s World Live show too, so there’s a huge amount to see outdoors in the way of plants, furniture, exhibitions etc.  My fave was this lovely girl that I saw beside the path on my way back to the car.

BBC Good Food Show Summer 2027

I’ve spent the day walking, eating, drinking, chatting, watching chefs (& friends) on stage, not to mention cuddling these two fantastic Italian Chefs and have brought home a whole cacophony of goodies with me.

BBC Good Food Show Summer 2027

BBC Good Food Show Summer 2027

Lexus UK are once again sponsoring the show, and I watched a good friend of mine, Julie demonstrate her cupcake decorating skills with Marcus Bean on the Lexus stage.

BBC Good Food Show Summer 2027

I’ve met some really lovely food producers who are all incredibly passionate about their products (and rightly so too!) My haul includes:

The ever delicious gluten free sauces from Debbie & Andrews. You can find them on stand F685.  I came home with Sweet Chilli and Chicken & Mango flavours.

BBC Good Food Show Summer 2016

I can’t wait to get cooking a delicious tagine with the gluten free Harissa Sauce and a delicious pasta dish with the Pesto sauce from Taste Collectiv. Go and say hello to Mark & Victoria on stand F181, and treat yourself to their range of 5 sauces.

BBC Good Food Show Summer 2027

I’ve got delicious and fresh tasting Aloe Vera drinks from Grace Aloe Vera on stand F110, (to which I have to admit I was really pleasantly surprised about; not just on the flavoured versions but on the original flavoured ones too).

BBC Good Food Show Summer 2016

Lots of lovely gluten free macaroons, madeleines, savoury crackers and cereal bars from Mrs Crimbles on stand F90.

BBC Good Food Show 2016

My mouth was on fire with the Chilli Fudge from Tan Rosie. Who knew you could use scotch bonnet chillies in fudge? Their family recipes are inspired from their heritage in Grenada and Carriacou. Go and find them on stand F632 if you dare…! HAHA!

BBC Good Food Show Summer 2027

I wasn’t brave enough to try the Fire Candy from the lovely guys at the  Black Liquorice Company – but I dare you to try some yourself!  Their flavoured liquorices are delicious though.  You’ll find them on F195.

Who knew that you could make a pestle & mortar out of Himalayan Salt, let alone cook on it or build a wall from it?  Visit the Salt House on stand F302 to find out more on this one.

I tasted a lovely variety of oils, balsamic vinegars and grape musts from Casa de l’Oli.  I think my favourite one was the 5 year old Blanco Balsamic vinegar, teamed up with their lime olive oil.

BBC Good Food Show Summer 2027

I bought home some delicious coffee fudge from the Fudge Kitchen (but it’s all gone now as it didn’t last long with my husband and daughter to share it with!).  They have lots of different flavours to choose from over on stand F179. (Nice sash by the way!)

BBC Good Food Show Summer 2027

For lunch I enjoyed a gluten free Chicken Italia burger from Heck Sausages (stand F97), whilst to follow I bought a deliciously creamy coffee ice cream from the Salome Dairy (stand F916) which just filled the last little space I had left. (Sorry, no photos here – I was hungry!)

I also came home with a bottle of locally (Northamptonshire) produced rhubarb gin from my favourites and the multi award winning Warner Edwards (stand F460)

BBC Good Food Show Summer 2027

As well as the most beautiful new apron from my favourite knife manufacturer I.O. Shen Knives who you can find on F682.  How beautifully does this go with my blade tattooed knives?  I’ve already been told this is a ‘Man Apron’ and therefore has been bagged by my husband for himself! Thanks Nat x.

BBC Good Food Show Summer 2016

If you like peanut butter, then you’ll love these guys over at Proper Nutty Butter.  Produced in Yorkshire with ‘Nowt but Nuts’ and love!  You’ll find them on stand F638

BBC Good Food Show Summer 2027

I also have delicious tasting pea flour snacks from Yushoi Snappea Rice Sticks over on F662.

BBC Good Food Show Summer 2027

I wish I could go back every day for the next three days of the show, as there is so much more I’d love to share with you, however, I’m having knee surgery tomorrow morning and have to be in hospital at 7am, so sadly only one day at the show for me this year.

If you’re going to the show over the next few days, have a wonderful time.  I wish all the exhibitors and organisers a successful show and hope the visitors have an amazing time too.  See you all for the Winter show in November.

As an official BBC Good Food Show blogger, I am provided with free entry into the show.  Some of the samples detailed above were provided to me free of charge by the exhibitors to try and review – thanks to those who continue to support me and my blog.

Meaty Mac’n’Cheese with Cathedral City

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Cheese. Cheese. CHEEEEEESE!!!!! Do you know what? I think I should have been born a mouse!  I want you to go on a little journey with me. C’mon, it’s easy, just close your eyes… think of a whole block little bite of mature cheddar cheese from the West Country. Think of closing your mouth as your teeth sink into the cold, delicious, taste bud tingling creaminess…..  Oh! Sorry! I lost myself for a moment there! HAHA!  Back to being serious, because that’s what I am (honest!)

Did you know that over 20% of the country eat cheese at least once every 4 days? 55% of us choose the cheeseboard over dessert (I’d have both, if I’m honest, whilst over 65% of the national always have cheese in their fridges?  No wonder it’s the Nation’s favourite ingredient!

So, what better way when the British summer is just beginning and it’s still cold and rainy outside like the deepest, darkest depths of winter, than to make a hearty meal to serve at the dinner table for all to tuck into, because almost two thirds of us prefer to enjoy a meal around the table with family and friends, and what better ingredient to use than Cathedral City mature cheddar cheese?  I know of not one reason why!

Cathedral City Meaty Mac'n'Cheese

  • 15ml Rapeseed oil
  • 100g Pancetta, cubed
  • 2 Chicken breasts, cubed
  • 200g Macaroni
  • 10ml Plain flour
  • 5ml Dijon mustard
  • 50ml Chicken Stock
  • 300ml Creme Fraiche
  • 200g Cathedral City Mature Cheddar cheese
  • Ground black pepper

Cathedral City Meaty Mac'n'Cheese

  • Heat the oven to 200℃.
  • In a large pan, gently heat the oil.
  • Add the pancetta and the cubed chicken breasts and cook for 5-10 minutes until starting to colour.
  • Whilst you’re browning the meat, bring a large pan of water to the boil.
  • Add the macaroni to the pan of boiling water, stir, reduce to a simmer and leave to cook for 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the flour fairly evenly all over the browned pancetta and chicken and stir to coat thoroughly.
  • Add the mustard and the chicken stock and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.
  • Add the creme fraiche and heat through, but do not boil.
  • Grate the cheese (sneak yourself a bite – go on; you’re working hard and you deserve it!  You must also eat that last little, annoying, bit of cheese that you can’t grate if you value your nails and fingertips.

Cathedral City Meaty Mac'n'Cheese

  • Stir through 150g of the grated cheese until melted.
  • Drain the macaroni and stir this through the pan of pancetta, chicken and creamy cheese sauce.
  • Season with pepper to taste.
  • Have another taste, just to make sure that the grating didn’t interfere with the delicious taste of the cheese! Sprinkle (what’s left) of the cheese over the mac’n’cheese.

Cathedral City Meaty Mac'n'Cheese

  • Place into the oven for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden, crispy and bubbling beautifully.

Cathedral City Meaty Mac'n'Cheese

  • Share with the family if you really must, but make sure they leave you some for a indulgent, tasty snack later!

Cathedral City Meaty Mac'n'Cheese

Most importantly, you must always remember the rules of cooking with cheese;

  • Taste a bit as soon as you open the packet.
  • Taste a bit more as you prepare it at every stage of the recipe… just in case!
  • Only share the finished dish, if you really must.
  • Find Cathedral City on Facebook and find out what kind of cheese lover you are.

So, now I’ve shared my #CheeseRules with you because I truly to #LoveCheese tell me what are yours?  C’mon, enjoy cheese and ‘Welcome to the Club’

The recipe was adjusted to feature and include Cathedral City Mature Cheddar Cheese. I received a voucher to purchase ingredients for this recipe.

Food Review – PG Tips ‘The Rich One’

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Have you seen the new teas from PG?  Did you take the quiz to see if you’re ‘Mellow’, ‘Rich’, ‘Fresh’ or ‘Strong’?  I did and apparently I’m RICH!  Er…. hello, have you seen my bank account, not yours, Monkey?! LOL!!
Well, a little while passed after I took the quiz and I came home to find this ‘tea chest’ in my hallway, waiting my arrival.

Now, if you’re like me, you get straight in there, none of this delicately unwrapping the goodness that’s contained inside; No siree, I just jump straight in!  Not very ‘Mellow’, nor in the sophisticated realms of being ‘Rich’, but I found myself more of the ‘Strong’ type as I ripped the tape off and opened up the box to see the contents with a pair of ‘Fresh’ and excited eyes.
And greeting me was this lot of goodies:  A silky, smooth and decadent dressing gown in which to relax after using my Molten Brown shower gel, whilst my feet slip into my Marks & Spencer Per Una slippers as I sip my PG Tips ‘Rich’ tea from my delicate Royal Albert cup and saucer whilst waiting for my sparkly Essie nail polish to dry on my finger nails.
Not content to allow me to drink my tea in peace, this little cheeky chimp, Monkey, decided to have fun with the boxes of tea, initially being very well behaved and sitting nicely to have his photo taken.

He rapidly decided that that was too much effort and was soon found laying down on the job.

Before hiding behind the boxes, threatening to knock down the tower of tea and create mayhem!  Cheeky boy!

Thanks to Unilever and PG Tips for sending me my ‘Rich’ box; it’s very much appreciated, by me (and Monkey!)

Food Review – Whittards Hot Chocolates

The nights are drawing in, the temperatures are dropping and the leaves are turning colour. We wake in the morning to find our cars wet with condensation. Autumn is well on the way and winter won’t be far behind.

Long walks with the dog; returning home to the warmth of the family and a centrally heated house.  Remove those outdoor clothes and shoes, slide your feet in your slippers and pop on the kettle. Grab yourself a mug, a spoon, some milk and a tub of a Whittards Luxury Hot Chocolate. Add a few marshmallows to the top of your drink, curl up on the sofa, cuddle your mug to warm your hands up and enjoy!

For that added luxury treat, why not heat up your milk and mix that with the hot chocolate powder in place of boiling water.


In recognition of Chocolate Week, Whittards recently sent me some tubs of their Hot Chocolates in variations of Luxury White, Mint and Chilli flavours along with a tub of mini marshmallows to sprinkle on the top.  My favourite is the Mint, but for an added warmth the Chilli is certainly the way to go. My daughter’s favourite is by far the white chocolate variation. 

I was sent the tubs of Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows free of charge from Whittards. I was under no obligation to write a blog post as part of receiving these.