Our New Years’ Day Tradition- Steak and Mushroom Pie.

Happy New Year!  I hope that 2017 brings you luck, health and happiness. 2016 was a mixed year for a lot of people and I just hope this year doesn’t continue in the same way.  I feel a different person to the one I was at the beginning of 2016 and now I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I will be going back to Slimming World after not being able to make recent group meetings as well as trying to breathe life into this blog. It’s been a bit neglected recently.  This I would love to change.

Every New Year’s Day in the past we have usually eaten a big lunch at home and then gone out for a walk afterwards.  I tend to bake a pie and serve it with lots of vegetables and gravy.  This year things were different.  My son had been out at a party and got back in the afternoon from his friends’ house.  My daughter was working from lunchtime until the evening.  Our family New Years’ Day lunch ended up being a quiet tea time instead.

I chose to bake a Steak and Mushroom Pie this time as I had some braising steak in the freezer.  It was a cinch to make as I made a cheat’s shortcut. Not with the shortcrust pastry- that was homemade but with the pie filling.  I love Gordon Rhodes’ Gourmet Sauce Mixes and buy them regularly from my local farm shop.  I used their Slow Comfortable Stew mix with braising steak, a large onion, a tin of chopped tomatoes and a little water. Cooked for about 6 hours on a low heat in my slow cooker, it made the beef melt in the mouth and taste deliciously tender. I can’t bear tough beef. The sauce mix also suggests adding in chopped potato and carrot but I didn’t do this seeing as I wanted to serve these with the pie. Instead, nearer the end of the cooking time I put 250g of halved mushrooms into the slow cooker to soften for the last half hour.

The shortcrust pastry was made with 175g cold butter cut into cubes, 350g of plain flout and ice cold water to mix.  There was plenty of pastry dough left over so I gathered it into a ball, wrapped it in cling film and put it in the freezer for another time.  I bet I’ll forget about it, go to the freezer in a few week’s time and think “What the hell is this?”

As it was New Year’s Day I found my large number cookie cutters and cut out 2017 to stick on the top.  Mr SmartCookieSam said it looked too nice to cut up.

Not a scrap left of the pie. I’m beginning to feel like who ate all the pies here after all I’ve eaten.  But I won’t give up baking, I’ll just have to keep myself away from it!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

My Day At The BBC Good Food Show Harrogate 2016.

A few weeks back I was asked if I would like to join the Community Blogger team for this year’s Good Food Show in Harrogate. I jumped at the chance. It is the show’s third year running in Harrogate and to me, virtually on my doorstep living in North Yorkshire.  I have been posting about some of the wonderful local producers that were going to be exhibiting this year and was also looking forward to discovering new things.

The show this year ran from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th April but I chose to go along on the Friday and took my husband along as my guest.  He’s never been to the Good Food Show before, I’ve usually gone with friends.  I was in a hurry to get to Harrogate for 9am as I wanted to be there to see Tom Kerridge opening the show. Luckily as it was the school holidays traffic into town and along Wetherby Road was fine. Normally it’s a nightmare but parking for us in the Victoria multistorey and a walk down the road to the HIC was fine for us and we got there just in time.  Unfortunately I missed taking a photo of Tom Kerridge cutting the ribbon as I was waiting to pick up my pass. Still I managed to sneak a couple of photos of him throughout the day.

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Wandering around at 9am was much more pleasurable than fighting off the crowds later. It meant you could go up to stall holders and chat with them. I had a lovely chat with Phil and Helena who run York and Dulgent Fudge who I had discovered through my friend Sharon on her blog Humbug’s House.  I was very impressed with the fudge and bought two flavours to try out. Do look out for their Blue Cheese, Apple and Walnut Fudge, which the first time ever that I have come across a savoury fudge and it sounds funny but believe me it works!

I treated myself to two gorgeous bags of fudge and deliberately chose flavours my kids wouldn’t like so they wouldn’t be tempted to nick them! Aren’t I a mean Mum?

 By this time hubby had sloped off!  He was just answering a phone call so I told him I was going to the fudge stall.  When I went to find him, he had gone off. Typical, it’s like when my kids used to wander off in Toys R Us! I phoned him, phone went straight to voicemail saying he was on holiday. No use texting him “Where are you?”, he’d never reply. I left him a message. Then I get a phone call from one of the supply teaching agencies I work for with some work lined up. He phones back while I’m on the phone!  I thought well knowing my car mad petrol head husband he will be looking at the Lexus stand as they are the sponsors of the Good Food Show. He was, no surprise there then!

I couldn’t get my husband away from the Lexus stand.  Any show we go to and its always the cars he gravitates towards, bless him!

 I then went to stock up with my favourites in the Deliciously Yorkshire section: Gordon Rhodes and Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil.  It was lovely to chat with everyone on their stands and I came away with products I can’t always find locally.  We love the Gordon Rhodes spice rubs and I had run out. They are launching some new ones for the summer so I got some samples to try. More of that to come so watch this space.

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The lovely ladies from Gordon Rhodes.
Had a lovely chat with the guys on the Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil stand.  I loved cooking from their recipe book which was sent to me by the Good Food Show team.

 

I went a bit overboard on the Gordon Rhodes stand but I use their products all the time!

 

 We also stocked up on the flavoured Yorkshire Rapeseed Oils we love like chilli and ginger. We also got a garlic one  to try as well as another plain oil so I can use it in my baking.

Yorkshire Rapeseed Oils- both my husband and I love cooking with them.

 A new company caught my eye at the show. They are called Stoats, who are based in Edinburgh and make porridge oat products.  I will be writing a separate post later on but I was very impressed with what I saw.  I hadn’t realised that they had in fact been going for over ten years but it was the first time I had seen them.

As part of a Community Blogger perk we got a complimentary seat in the Supertheatre to watch Tom Kerridge’s demo.  I’ve seen Tom Kerridge on TV before and enjoy watching him though I’ve never made any of his recipes and I don’t have any of his books.  He was very entertaining and demonstrated how to make three dishes Turbot With Toasted Cucumber, Mushrooms and Radishes, Spiced Roast Rump Of Lamb With Celery and Feta, and also how to make Asparagus with a sauce which I cant remember the name of now but it looked delicious.  The dishes aren’t really what I’d cook at home, even for a special occasion.  I’ve never tried turbot though it was fascinating to see what happened to the cucumber when it cooked. I didn’t think you could cook cucumber.  I don’t really like lamb either and never cook it at home as the smell of it cooking makes me feel sick.  I did like the sound of the asparagus though, I love asparagus with hollandaise sauce so to have it with the sauce Tom Kerridge used would be a delcious alternative.

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A very blurred image of Tom Kerridge taken on my phone which is rubbish at taking pictures at events like this!
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Tom Kerridge in action at the BBC Good Food Show Supertheatre.

We were then met by the sales and press team and given a tour of the show showing selected stands including four very special producers who had been granted a Bursary Award, as well as various producers who were known as Good Food Champions.  I’m going to be writing a separate blog post about the Bursary Award winners but here are some highlights of what we saw as we walked around the show.

Tempting mini cakes and meringues on Flower and White’s stand.

The meringues from Flower and White just called for a close up shot of their very own.

Although it’s now a well established brand and you can buy Fentiman’s drinks everywhere I had to buy some of my favourites to take home.

My whole family love Heck sausages so I always stock up at the Good Food Show. I got our favourite four flavours which came in a freezer carry bag.

One of the Good Food Champions was Simple Simon’s Perfect PIes.  Many different flavours and all appeared to be made with a hot water crust pastry.

Again you can buy Mercers jam and conserves in many retail outlets in Yorkshire but I couldn’t resist stocking up on my favourite lemon curd, salted caramel and some onion marmalade.

I was very excited to see TasteCollectiv’s stand at the Good Food Show as I was lucky to get some free samples of their scrumptious Romesco and Pesto sauces a few days before the show.

Little Doone’s Award Winning range of flavoured Balsamic Vinegars.  I was taken with the garlic flavoured one.

I adored the Slingsby Rhubarb Gin.  Being a gin lover I will definitely be getting some of this in the future.

Aye Love Real Food which sold delicious handmade Scotch eggs as well as sausage rolls.

 All too soon it was time to head back home with my purse considerably lighter than it was when I got to the show that morning.  I had bought and seen some fantastic things.

I had a lovely day and really enjoyed taking part in the show as a Community Blogger.  All opinions and photos are my own.

Local Yorkshire Producers Appearing At The Good Food Show- Spring 2016.

More exciting information has been released about the show which takes place in April 2016.

 
The BBC Good Food Show Spring is returning to the Harrogate International Centre once again from 8 – 10 April for it’s third year running.

There will be an array of famous faces and hundreds of exhibitors. Some of the nations’ favourite celebrity chefs including Paul Hollywood, Michel Roux Jr., The Hairy Bikers and Tom Kerridge will be cooking live in the beautiful adjoining Royal Hall which will be transformed into the SuperTheatre for the event.

Yorkshire will be showcasing its own local food larder, as some of the best local food producers from the area will be exhibiting at the Show.

Local Yorkshire producers can be found throughout Show, as well as in the speciality food areas including; The Producers Village, The BBC Good Food Show Champions area, The Producers Bursary Award Winners and The Drinks Cabinet. The Show is the perfect place for thousands of visitors to meet local exhibitors who pride themselves on the quality and provenance of their produce, with the chance to sample and buy their wares.

Here is just a small selection of some of the Yorkshire exhibitors I remember from previous years and whose products I have enjoyed buying on a regular basis over the last couple of years.

Gordon Rhodes

 Gordon Rhodes was the name of a traveller who loved exploring the globe. It is now the name of a local Yorkshire company which produces a mouthwatering range of gourmet cooking sauces, spice rubs,  gluten free stuffings and bread sauce.  I first discovered these wonderful products at the very first Spring Good Food Show back in April 2014 and haven’t got enough of them ever since.  The range of gourmet cooking sauces are a life saver for me because I am a teacher.  If I have a busy day and know that I’m going to be late in from work, I pop my trusty slow cooker on with meat, veg and a Gordon Rhodes sauce and I know I’ll have a delicious, mouthwatering dinner to come back to that night.  From Chicken Curry to Chilli and my family’s favourite the Pulled Pork sauce there is something that everyone will enjoy.  In the summer the spice rubs are a huge favourite on top of chicken breasts with new potatoes and salad.

 Mason’s Small batch, handcrafted Gin.

Mason’s  Yorkshire Gin is my absolute favourite drink of all time.  I first discovered it two years ago when having a meal in a local pub and enjoyed its unique flavour so much. I’m hoping to stock up when I visit the show as both my husband and I are running low! Mason’s Gin, based in Bedale is distilled on a small and traditional scale using the London Dry Gin method. It is distilled in small batches of 200 litres and each bottle has its own hand written batch and bottle number. Mason’s use Harrogate Spring Water as part of their distillation process and even grow their own juniper bushes for their gin.  Along with their original gin they now produce flavoured gins reminiscent of Yorkshire, such as Yorkshire Tea and Lavender.  They have also recently produced a vodka range which I am looking forward to trying.

Mercers Of Yorkshire

Paul and Lizzie Mercer produce the most delicious range of jams/ conserves, marmalades, curds, dessert sauces and savoury chutneys and sauces.  I am so pleased that the Mercers are coming back to the Spring Good Food Show this year as their lemon curd is the nicest I have ever tasted. Not only is it perfect on toast but it works beautifully as a filling in a lemon cake.  My family also love the marmalade and Mercer’s Caramel Sauce was ideal for adding to some Salted Caramel Brownies.  If you don’t have a sweet tooth, there are plenty of savoury options.  I bought a delicious jar of Caramelised Onion Chutney which my husband enjoyed with sausages and with some pork pie.

Heck Sausages.

I’ve loved buying Heck Sausages since I  discovered them at the first Spring Good Food Show back in 2014.  Heck make their sausages in small batches which brings out the better flavour and with the finest ingredients.  Their sausages come in different varieties with a flavour combination to suit all members of the family.  More recent additions to their product range include their burgers and meatballs.

Shepherd’s Purse Cheese.

The award-winning Shepherd’s Purse cheeses are another favourite of mine. Started up in the late 1980’s the company still makes their cheeses by hand on a small scale.  I adore the Yorkshire Blue Cheese on crackers and prefer it to French blue cheeses, such as Roquefort or even the  more well known Stilton! I will be looking forward to tasting and sampling other varieties when I get to the show this year.

The Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil Company

Finally, I would like to sing the praises of another local company which I discovered when my aunt and uncle made up a Christmas hamper about three years ago. It contained

The Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil Company products. The hamper contained a bottle of their original rapeseed oil, some garlic mayonnaise and a very delicious salad dressing. The bottles didn’t last long and it was fantastic to see the company exhibiting at the show the very next year.  They started producing their cold pressed oil back in 2008 at local farmers markets and their rapeseed is grown on their farm on the edge of the picturesque Yorkshire Wolds.  The Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil company  now produce a wide range of flavoured oils, dressings and continue to make their lovely mayonnaise.  I will be featuring more about  Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil in a future blog post, so watch this space!

I’m proud to be part of the BBC Good Food Show Blogger Community, so if you’d like to book tickets please see the 20% discount code and link below.

 Tickets for the Spring Show in April can be ordered through this link
https://www.theticketfactory.com/gfsh/online/

Order using code BL20 before 10/04/2016 and you will get 20% discount *see t&cs below.

*20% off Adult/Over 65s tickets only. Not valid on VIP or with any other offer. Ends 10/04/16. Standard Supertheatre seat included with Super tickets, subject to availability, Gold seat upgrade £3. Offer valid on Value tickets where available. Details correct at time of print. £1.50 fulfilment fee per advance order. Good Food® Good Food Logo © BBC Worldwide. Organised and presented by River Street Events.

Please note:  All producers’ images courtesy of Google Images. I am writing this post to highlight some of my own tried and tested favourites of local producers. I am not being paid for this post.

Gordon Rhodes’ Spice Rubs, Crumbs, Stuffings and Sauces.

Last year I discovered the company Gordon Rhodes and their delicious range of spice rubs, crumbs, cooking sauces and stuffings when at the BBC Good Food Show in Harrogate.  I remember buying three of their cooking sauces: a chilli con carne one, another one for pulled pork and a curry one.  All turned into mouthwatering one-pot meals which my family loved.  I enjoyed them so much that I had to buy more and was so pleased to find a couple of my local farm shops stock their products.

Last Christmas I tried out Gordon Rhodes’ bread sauce mix and some stuffing. It was a quiet Christmas with just the four of us and I didn’t want to be making everything from scratch. I felt as if these products helped me to cut corners without compromising on quality and taste.

 I follow Gordon Rhodes on Twitter and often tweet about how I enjoy using their products in my cooking.  They had asked their followers to post photos of a dish they had created using one of their products as an ingredient in a Christmas leftover dish.  They would choose which dish they liked best and the winner would get a hamper of their complete range of products. What a fantastic prize that would be. Two days after Christmas and we had my sister in law to visit.  I didn’t want to just serve her  slices of leftover turkey and ham so I thought of a way I could turn my leftovers into something a bit more special.  I love baking pies and had some leftover shortcrust pastry in the freezer, some turkey and ham, some veg, the Gordon Rhodes stuffing and bread sauce that was leftover.  I had the idea that the bread sauce would act as a thickener for a sauce in the pie along with a bit of stock.

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Here is a picture of my Leftover Turkey and Ham Pie.
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Here is the remains of the Turkey and Ham Pie, showing the Gordon Rhodes’ bread sauce which had turned into a delicious, creamy sauce for the pie.

I was over the moon when Gordon Rhodes said that they liked my idea of using the bread sauce as a thickener in the pie and that I had won the hamper!  I couldn’t believe it as I knew how much fun I would have creating dishes I had not made before with the products I had not seen before in their range.

A few days later my wonderful parcel arrived.  It came beautifully packaged in a cardboard hamper which I’ve kept in my cupboard to use again.

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My fantastic hamper containing the entire range of Gordon Rhodes products: 5 cooking sauces, a bread sauce, five different stuffings, two of which are gluten free and their entire range of herb and spice rubs and crumb coats.
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The handwritten note inside my hamper. Thankyou and yes we most definitely did enjoy our prize!
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My hamper also contained some very useful recipe leaflets and a brochure showing the entire range. There are also some more recipe suggestion on Gordon Rhodes’ website.
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I love Southern Fried Chicken and was really excited to try and create my own, healthier version baked in the oven instead of deep fried with this Cajun spice mix.
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The other two spice mixes I’d not tried before was the Easy Crumb Easy Go Garlic and Herb mix and the Hazy Lazy Summer Citrus and Herb Sprinkle. They would both go down well coating on chicken for my family.
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I have really enjoyed using Gordon Rhodes’ sauces. They help me out no end, especially during the winter months if I am out teaching all day. I put one of the sauces on with the meat and vegetables in my slow cooker in the morning and when I come home I am greeted with a mouthwatering dish like this. My family love it when I make chicken curry.
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I made “Inside Out Chicken Kiev” which was one of the recipe suggestions on one of the leaflets in the hamper. I coated chicken breasts with olive oil and then dipped the breasts in some of the garlic and herb coating.
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The “Inside Out Chicken Kiev” was a massive hit with my family. Even my fussy eater son cleaned his plate!
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My prize hamper has helped me out over several Sunday roasts recently. For two weeks running we had a beautiful roast chicken served with one half of the bread sauce mix and one of the stuffing mixes. The following week we had the remainder of the bread sauce and another packet of stuffing. The stuffing worked well either stuffed in the bird’s cavity or served separately in another dish.
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Hugely popular in our house at the moment- pulled pork. I love cooking it in my slow cooker and serving it with either bread rolls, coleslaw and pickles or with jacket potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Either way there are clean plates in our house.
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Pulled Pork, one of my favourite foods at the moment. It can have honey added to the mix. I don’t bother, I just leave it as it is.
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We love chilli con carne in our house. It gets served with boiled rice but recently I have started serving it in baked tortilla baskets sprinkled with grated cheese, salsa and a dollop of creme fraiche on top. The Gordon Rhodes sauce is another perfect mix to pop in the slow cooker on a busy morning.
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Here is the eagerly awaited Southern Fried Chicken which tasted fabulous with wedges and veg.
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The Southern/ Cajun spice mix also turned out to make gorgeous spicy potato wedges one night.

About a month later after getting my prize I still have one packet of stuffing and three of the spice mixes yet to try out.  It will be interesting to see what I can come up with.

Happy Cooking.

Love Sam xx