24 Apr 2013

Brent Cross Food Market

New market set to satisfy gourmet appetites

Brent Cross has long been celebrated as a destination for the fashion-savvy, but it will soon become a must-visit site for foodies too when a new food market opens on the 26 April.

The market – seen as North London’s answer to some of the best markets elsewhere in the capital  – will take over the area by John Lewis in the centre’s car park every Friday and Saturday, throughout the year. More than 200 traders from across the UK have applied to become a part of it and now organisers have narrowed it down to the best 50  to create the ultimate foodie experience for North London.

The Brent Cross Food Market will be offering delicacies from around the world as well as locally sourced meats, dairy products, vegetables and mouth-watering treats for an indulgent food experience. The carefully selected stalls will include the best seasonal produce, exotic goodies as well as artisan groceries.  And for those who cannot wait to sample tasty goodies the market will offer some of the best street food around from chefs cooking up everything from exotic Caribbean dishes to spicy Spanish paella. The multicultural offering will also include Indian, Malaysian, French and Jewish specialties.

Handpicked traders include:

·         Wildes Cheese – dubbed “the urban cheesemaker”, this micro-dairy is based in Haringey and produces handmade artisan cheese including ‘The Smelly One’ and ‘The Drunk’ (made with London Pride ale to create a crumbly coat)

·         Rockwell End Farm – family farmers since 1936 with produce including potatoes, tomatoes, asparagus and sweetcorn

·         Ion Patisserie – a favourite at Borough Market, the culinary genius of Georgeta Decuseara is coming North. Too tempting to resist produce included lemon cheesecake, toffee and pecan cheesecake, banoffee pie, and tiramisu

·         Wild Country Organics – a modern organic family farm which has over the last twelve years developed new growing techniques to produce a wide range of the best tasting organic vegetables and salads

·         Karantania Delicatessen – experts in unique European artisan food, produce, and drinks using the freshest ingredients, locally and seasonally sourced without the use of any preservatives or artificial additives.

Brent Cross General Manager Tom Nathan said, “The response we have had from traders has been phenomenal. The Brent Cross Food Market will be the best in the area and further shows that we are a real destination for stylish food, with offerings that you can't replicate online.”

The organisers – Keay Events are keeping a few stalls free for local people or small start up businesses who want to make their debut in selling their gourmet goodies to the public. To qualify, those interested will need to prove they are fully health and safety accredited.  For more information call 01923 726151. 

18 Apr 2013

Celebrate the elderflower season with Belvoir Fruit Farms and win a prize worth £1200

Celebrate the elderflower season with Belvoir Fruit Farms and win a prize worth £1200

Summer is the time for dining al fresco, frolicking by the beach and dozing in the warm glow of the sun but it also marks the start of the six week elderflower season when the cream coloured frothy hedgerow blooms are harvested and made into a quintessentially British drink.

This year, Belvoir Fruit Farms, the original elderflower cordial producer, is inviting you to herald the arrival of this historic British plant by inventing a delicious elderflower cordial based recipe for your chance to win a Kenwood Titanium Major mixer, a selection of Belvoir Fruit Farms cordials and pressés plus £250 of cookware vouchers with a total prize value of £1200.

From elderflower cream topped cupcakes to baked chicken in an elderflower glaze, the delicate floral flavour of elderflower lends itself to a myriad of delightful dishes. Your challenge is to come up with your own sweet or savoury recipe using Belvoir Fruit Farms’ Elderflower Cordial as an ingredient and impress cookery writer Sophie Conran who will be judging the competition. Sophie commented: “Elderflower cordial is one of my favourite summer drinks which I enjoy with water for a refreshing long drink or as a mixer when making cocktails. What a lot of people don’t realise is that as well as being a lovely drink it is also a great ingredient for cooking and is extremely versatile which is why I’ve teamed up with Belvoir Fruit Farms to get the nation experimenting with elderflower cordial.”

To enter the competition simply upload your recipe to www.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk/sophieconran (coming soon). Entries are open from now until 19 July.

Belvoir Fruit Farms has been producing Elderflower Cordial on the family run farm based in the beautiful Vale of Belvoir since the 80s. The recipe has been passed down from Mother to son and Belvoir became the first commercial Elderflower Cordial producer in 1985. Since then, they have continued infusing, pressing and cooking fresh flowers, fruits and spices and blending with local spring water to create a range of delicious drinks. All of the varieties are made from the finest, freshest ingredients with no additives.
If you fancy winning a Kenwood Titanium Major but need a bit of recipe inspiration why not visit www.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk/recipes or try Sophie Conran’s recipe for Elderflower Syllabub with Shortbread Hearts. Sophie explained: “Syllabub is a delightful concoction of cream and sweet wine. It was first enjoyed by the Tudor elite at their grand banquets. Because of the enormous amount of man-hours it took to whisk into light pillows and the use of sweet wine it was out of the reach of any but the most privileged. It is also said that Mary Queen of Scots had a hand in refining the shortbread recipe into the dainty dish we know today.”

Sophie Conran’s Elderflower Syllabub with Shortbread Hearts
Elderflower Syllabub
Serves 6
The zest of a lemon
4tbsp sweet sherry
2 tbsp Belvoir Fruit Farms’ Elderflower Cordial
Juice of 1 lemon
A heaped tbsp caster sugar
300ml double cream

Mix the zest, sherry, cordial, lemon juice and sugar together in a bowl. Mix well and pour in the cream. Using a hand-held whisk, whisk into soft peaks. Spoon into a serving dish or individual glasses and chill for an hour. Serve with shortbread.

Makes about 40
225g plain flour
75g corn flour
200g butter, straight from the fridge, cut into cubes
100g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
Extra sugar and flour for dusting

Preheat oven to 180C.
Cover a large baking sheet with baking parchment, cut to size. I use a little butter rubbed on to the sheet to get the parchment to stay in place.
Sift the flours together and put into a food processor with the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt. Blitz until it is well mixed and it looks like breadcrumbs or begins to clump. Turn out onto the work surface and work into a ball. Divide into 4 and dust the work surface with a little flour. Roll out each piece of dough to a thickness of a £ coin or a little thinner. Cut with a heart-shaped cookie cutter if you have one or an upturned glass and place on the baking sheet. Place on the middle rung of the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Leave in the tin to cool and dust with caster sugar.

The Belvoir Fruit Farms range comprises 16 cordial varieties, 15 pressés, 2 fruit punches and 4 still drinks including organic and non organic. They are available from leading supermarkets, delicatessens, food halls, farm shops or via the website www.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk. Prices start from £3.00 upwards on cordials, £2.15 upwards on 75cl pressés, £1.75 upwards on 25cl pressés and £1.65 upwards for Belvoir Stills.

8 Apr 2013

Olive Hill Farm Sausages

Make a Mediterranean feast with new Olive Hill Farm Sausages

 Tuck into the fresh, vibrant taste of the Mediterranean with four mouth-watering recipes using the revolutionary new range of sausages from Olive Hill Farm which contain at least 30% less saturated fat than other premium pork sausages due to a unique, award winning process which replaces the saturated fat with the finest extra virgin olive oil.

With the Olive Hill Farm range you can give a new lease of life to the British banger and add some delicious Mediterranean flair to your summer entertaining menu. Try serving the incredibly moreish Olive Hill Farm Pork & Chorizo Sausage Tapas with crusty bread and olives. This tasty dish uses Olive Hill Farm Pork & Chorizo sausages which were recently awarded the Overall Champion title in the 2012 Sausage of the Year Awards*. Also with the great taste of the Med and ideal for serving for an al fresco family supper is Olive Hill Farm Greek Style Pork, Feta & Sundried Tomato Sausage and Noodle Salad which has a fresh, zingy taste and uses Olive Hill Farm Pork, Feta & Sundried Tomato Sausages. The Olive Hill Farm range also includes a classic Pork Sausage which can be used to make the hearty and warming Olive Hill Farm Pork Sausage and Butter Bean Ragout or Fusilli with Olive Hill Farm Pork Sausages and Smoked Paprika which has a great smoky flavour and can be enjoyed both hot and cold.

All three Olive Hill Farm Sausages are available from Ocado and retail for £2.99. The Olive Hill Farm Pork Sausage and Olive Hill Farm Pork & Chorizo Sausage will also be stocked in selected Asda stores from 8 April.

Olive Hill Farm Sausages, from Scan Foods UK, are made using Red Tractor approved, fresh lean British pork shoulder. The revolutionary production process, owned and patented by Greek company Creta Farms, reduces the saturated fat content by at least 30% but retains the great taste and juicy texture that is lost in some ‘lower fat’ sausages on the market. What’s more, because they contain less saturated fat and water, these sausages don’t shrink during the cooking process – amazingly they retain more than 96% of their original weight. 

Try these recipes to cook up a delicious Mediterranean feast:
Olive Hill Farm Pork & Chorizo Sausage Tapas
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 4

4 tbsp olive oil
8 Olive Hill Farm Pork and Chorizo Sausages
2 shallots, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
2 bay leaves
300g red wine

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan over a medium heat, add the Pork and Chorizo Sausages to the pan and fry until they are cooked and coloured evenly. Remove from pan, allow them to cool and cut into 4 pieces
Heat the remaining olive oil in a pan and add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the cooked pork and chorizo sausage, add the red wine and bay leaves and reduce wine down to a glaze. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.
Serve in a tapas dish with crusty bread.

Olive Hill Farm Greek Style Pork, Feta & Sundried Tomato Sausage and Noodle Salad
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

25ml oil
500g Olive Hill Farm Pork, Feta & Sundried Tomato Sausages
Soya and oregano vinaigrette
75 ml soy sauce
2tbsp olive oil
1tbsp cider vinegar
1tsp oregano, dried

Noodle salad
250g noodles, cooked
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, diced
150g cucumber, diced
2tbsp chopped parsley
1 red pepper, diced
75g feta cheese, crumbled

Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and cook the Pork Feta & Sundried Tomato Sausages until juices run clear. Remove from pan and allow to cool.
For the Vinaigrette:
Place the soy sauce, olive oil, cider vinegar and oregano in a bowl and mix together to form vinaigrette. Then reserve.
Noodle salad:
Slice the cooked sausages and place in a bowl with the noodles, cherry tomatoes, red onions, cucumber, parsley, red pepper and feta cheese.
Add the vinaigrette to the bowl and mix together. Store in the fridge until required. Serve.

Olive Hill Farm Pork Sausage and Butter Bean Ragout
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves 4

60ml oil
1 onion, peeled and sliced
150g diced fresh tomatoes
200g sliced mushroom
1 clove garlic, chopped
1tsp paprika
1tsp thyme, dried,
1tsp oregano, dried
1tsp rosemary, dried
1tsp sage
750g Olive Hill Farm Pork Sausages
50g seasoned flour
400ml prepared chicken stock
400g butter beans

Heat half of the oil in a pan and add the onion, tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, paprika, thyme, oregano, rosemary and sage cook until they have softened, remove from pan and reserve.
Pass the pork sausages through the seasoned flour.
Heat the remaining oil in the pan, add the sausages and cook until brown.
Add the reserved vegetables, butterbeans, pour over the chicken stock and bring to the boil, returned to a simmer for 20 minutes. Once sauce has thickened remove from heat and serve.

Fusilli with Olive Hill Farm Pork Sausages and Smoked Paprika
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 4

25ml olive oil       
720g Olive Hill Farm Pork Sausages
1 onion, peeled and sliced
½ tsp chilli, diced and seeded
200g diced green pepper
400g pomodora sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika
2tsp dried oregano
300g fusilli pasta, cooked
Salt and black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a pan and brown the pork sausages evenly, remove from pan, slice and allow to rest until needed.
Add the onions to the pan and cook until translucent. Add the diced chilli, diced green pepper, pomodora sauce, smoked paprika and dried oregano, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the sausages and cook in a medium over for 10 minutes.
Add the cooked pasta and bring to the boil and return to the simmer for 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and serve.

Walkers TigerNuts

Walkers launches TigerNuts; deliciously different crispy-coated peanuts

I'm naughty! Walkers kindly sent me a selection of their new TigerNuts to review ... and I ate a whole packet of Salt & Vinegar TigerNuts to myself!! 

So why am I naughty? Well for a start they are quite large packs and meant for sharing, now I 'could' have shared but they tasted so nice and the texture is so good ... that I hid by my computer and munched the whole pack to myself! 

This month Walkers Snack Foods is excited to launch new TigerNuts; a delicious range of crispy-coated peanuts with distinctive tiger-patterned shells. 
These crispy, nutty snacks are available in four ferociously tasty flavours that will leave you roaring for more. 

TigerNuts have been created using Walkers’ famous flavour expertise and come in four lip-smacking varieties that have been specially created to complement the natural taste of the peanuts. 

Crisp fans will be intrigued to try the TigerNuts’ twist on the classic Salt & Vinegar and purrrfect Smokey Bacon flavours, as well as the exotic Sweet Chilli and mighty Masala Curry options. 

Earn your stripes with family and friends by serving a sharing bag of new TigerNuts at your next gathering (four flavours, 130g, RRP £1.49), or tame your hunger with a handy single-serve pack (Smokey Bacon or Sweet Chilli, 40g, RRP 69p). 

Get your paws on TigerNuts at Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, ASDA, The Co-operative and leading independent traders from April. 

Whether you’re sharing or keeping them to yourself, when hunger’s on the prowl get ready to pounce! 

Example of ingredients and nutritional values:
SWEET CHILLI:  Peanuts (43%), Rice Flour, Starch (contains Wheat), Vegetable Oil, Sugar, Sweet Chilli Flavour [Salt, Sugar, Onion Powder, Flavouring (contains Wheat), Yeast Extract, Spices (Red Chilli Pepper, Black Pepper), Garlic Powder, Tomato Powder, Yeast Powder (contains Barley), Citric Acid, Colour (Paprika Extract), Glucose Syrup Powder], Salt, Modified Starch, Colours (Beetroot Concentrate, Paprika Extract).

Suitable for Vegetarians. No artifical colours or preservatives.  No MSG.

Per 30g ServingPer 100g
of which saturates2.8g9.2g
of which sugars2.1g7.1g
GDA - Reference intake of an average adult (8400kJ/2000 kcal)


Contains: Peanuts, Wheat, Gluten, Barley.


3 Apr 2013

Brantano Shoes For All The Family

I am lucky that we have always been able to afford good quality clothing and shoes for our family, however this isn't the case for most families especially with current money worries.

For shoes I have always insisted that Emma's feet have been measured for school shoes, my theory is that she will spend at least 8 hours a day wearing them and over 5 days a week .. 40 hours is a long time to wear ill fitting shoes!
I spent a lot of my childhood wearing trainers (my own choice, I was a nightmare child to buy shoes for!) and since then I have had arch problems, my feet are very wide and I now have trouble finding shoes that fit correctly and are comfortable.  If I had given in and let my Mum provide me with proper shoes I understand that my feet would not have the problems that I suffer with now.

Emma's feet are long and thin, at age 12 she is already in an adult size 8.5.  This does cause problems when shopping for school shoes and the fitters at Brantano are always patient with her.  She usually ends up with Clarks shoes as they provide stability and growing room, yet are a good fit, comfortable and hard wearing.  

I find that having many brands under one roof gives a good choice, especially with a stroppy teenager who has to have a certain style etc.. etc... I can just send her off down the aisle of her size and then fight the 'are they suitable for school' battle when she has chosen.  The Brantano staff are always on hand to check for a correct fit and will give their professional opinion as to suitability.

Trust Brantano with Growing Feet

Brantano (www.brantano.co.uk) are experts in kids’ fitting with professionally trained staff in every store nationwide. Recognised by the awarding body Edexcel and trained directly by top fitted brands such as Clarks, Hush Puppies and Start Rite.  Before any of the team can be called “an expert fitter” they go through rigorous training followed by at least 25 supervised fits – ensuring that with Brantano children’s shoes will always be correctly fitted.

At Brantano, the fitting service is absolutely free and there is no pressure to purchase.  Stores are open until late and friendly staff are on hand to help, making it easy and convenient to pop in and check your children’s feet.  If it’s time for a new pair of shoes, there is a wide range of the best brands so there are options to suit all budgets.

Getting fitted is quick and as easy as 1,2,3
1.       Measure
We use a specially designed foot gauge to measure the length, width and depth of each foot

2.       Try On
We find the correct fitting shoe from our wide selection

3.       Take a Walk
The very best fit cannot be achieved without taking a few steps. Our thorough checks always ensure a comfortable fit.

Brantano have created  "Five Fascinating Feet Facts" ... how many did you know?

The human foot is one of the most complicated parts of the body – it has 33 joints, more than 100 tendons, ligaments and muscles.
There are 28 bones in each foot.
 Children naturally hop, skip and jump more than adults and so their feet handle around three times more stress than the average adult foot.
 You should never hand-down baby shoes from one child to another. Baby shoes (especially those made of leather) form to a child’s foot making it unique to them.
There are three arches to the feet, the inner one, the across the foot one and the arch formed on the outer border.  They appear in variable formats when a child is around 2 ½ years old

Growing Feet
Remember that the child foot becomes an adult foot gradually over the years. The foot is still growing all the way up to around 18 to 20 so continuing to take care and be careful with children’s shoes is just as important for teenagers

Ask the Expert
Podiatrist Emma Supple answers some common questions about children’s foot health:

Q: Why do I need to get my children’s shoes fitted?
Emma says: “Growing feet need room to grow, and children’s feet grow in variable bursts so being vigilant and awareness is key.  It is recommended that children get their feet measured every 6-8 weeks before they begin school and then every 3-4 months once they begin school.  Even if children haven’t outgrown their shoes they should be replaced if the shoes are worn out.  If children aren’t wearing correctly fitted shoes, it can create or sustain foot deformities that may have a significant impact on their adult lives due to foot problems.”

Q: How will I know their shoes are too small?
Emma says: “There is no exact rule to tell you when your children’s feet will grow, and it is difficult to predict growth spurts. If your children are showing any discomfort when they are walking, or getting redness from their shoes, this is a clear sign. Ideally it wouldn’t get to this stage – you can test shoes by looking inside for wear marks and doing the thumb test, where you press the shoe at the end, will give you a good guide to how much room is left. Coupled with regular measuring you can ensure that they always have the right sized shoe.”

Q: Should I buy shoes that my child will grow into?
Emma says: “You shouldn’t buy shoes that are more than one size too large for your child in the hope they will grow into them or if you do ensure they do not wear them until they are ready to fit into them. Shoes that are too big could cause a child to develop foot problems and/or develop inherited foot problems.  It is also advisable not to hand down shoes from siblings or friends as the shoe will have shaped themselves to someone else’s foot.”

Q: What shall I do if my child has one foot bigger than the other?
Emma says: “Some children can have one foot larger than the other.  If this is the case then buy shoes to accommodate the largest of the two feet.”

Q: What are the health implications of my child wearing poorly fitted shoes?
Emma says: “In the short term conditions such as redness and soreness, bunching up of the toes and ingrowing nails if the shoes are overly tight.  In the longer term developmental foot problems can be made worse by ill-fitting shoes and bunions and foot deformities such as hammer toe can be caused by poorly fitted shoes.  Unsupportive and sloppy styles of shoe can lead to a similar gait (style of walking).  In addition, there are also longer term health implications from poorly fitted shoes such as back pain, knee problems & pain and posture problems.” 

For more information, please visit: www.brantano.co.uk

Colgate 360° Spring Update

It has been a long and often frosty winter and you have probably spent the last few months trying (and possibly failing) to protect yourself from nasty bugs, but have you thought about protecting your mouth? Germs and bacteria – or what we call Invisible Nasties - can lurk on your toothbrush after you have had a cold, the flu, a mouth infection or a sore throat so you need to replace your brush once you’re better to prevent re-infection.

Protect your smile with the Colgate 360° manual toothbrush range. With five options, there is something to suit all the family:
·         Colgate 360° Whole Mouth Clean – removes over 96% more overall bacteria than an ordinary flat trim toothbrush
·         Colgate 360° Actiflex - the innovative flexible head adapts to the unique curves and contours of your teeth to clean around and between teeth
·         Colgate 360° Sensitive Pro-Relief™ – 48% softer bristles than an ordinary soft manual toothbrush which are gentler on the sensitive areas of the tooth
·         Colgate 360° Surround – the surround bristles are designed to clean both sides of your teeth at once and reach all the way down to the gum line. The wrap around cleaner adds a whole new dimension of clean and an invigorating feel whilst the cheek and tongue cleaner comfortably removes odour causing bacteria
·         Colgate 360° Max White ONE – with whitening cups that hold toothpaste to help effectively remove stains for a naturally whiter smile and polishing bristles to help whiten teeth by polishing away surface stains and clean hard to reach places.

The new Colgate 360° Surround toothbrush…With the power to remove bacteria in three ways, your new brush will ensure your teeth are not only spring cleaned but your tongue, cheeks and gums are too, giving you a superior whole mouth clean you can actually feel as you brush.