Keeping the taste of summer going


I think I’ve written before that as the crow flies, I live less than 6 miles from the home of Belvoir Cordials. Which means I’m probably going to get driven out the Vale for writing this post! But the team at Bottlegreen sent me some of their limited edition sparkling elderflower pressé, which is just too pretty:


Sparkling Presse


I love elderflower, in cordial or pressé, at any time of the year as a non-alcoholic drink, but it’s particularly good in the summer. It looks pretty in a wine glass, tastes refreshing and works well with a shot of gin…oh, maybe that’s not the idea, but can’t deny that it works!

I’m not sure that I’d mix the two, but if you wanted a more alcoholic version, then I really like the St Germain elderflower liquer too, which goes brilliantly with fizz to make a real change from a kir royale. Obviously I’ve missed the time to pick blossom, and one year must attempt my own cordial. You have to be quick round here though, Belvoir still pay well for any kilos of blossoms you take to them, and in May and June you can’t move for hedgerow pickers!


In the pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month


Limited edition products to support Breast Cancer Cares

Having worked in the beauty industry for quite a long time, then I’ve seen the launch of a whole host of products for the month of October that support various breast cancer charities, and I’m pleased to see that now the food related industry is also lending its support. Maybe it is a bandwagon, but hopefully everybody wins: charity, patients, consumers and the brand. Here’s some things that are useful, tasty or just out and out pretty, all to support a great cause.

* From Le Creuset, the Strawberry Tea Collection will bring a glorious pinkness to tea time all year round. Use it to host a Pink Friday tea and the fundraising just keeps on going. Le Creuset has pledged to raise at least £20,000 with an average of £1.25 per unit going to the charity.

*Find special pink packs of Mornflake Extra Crispy Muesli in store now, and buying your breakfast will see 5p per packet going to Breast Cancer Care. Good British company too!

* Very popular in this household, Bottlegreen’s Pomegranate & Elderflower cordial or pressé is extra pink this month, still very tasty, and makes the drivers at any gathering not feel left out. And 10% of the purchase price goes to Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

* Chocolate makes most of us feel good, so use it to do good too. Green & Black’s Raisin & Hazelnut bar is boasting the iconic pink ribbon in addition to its usual hot pink wrapper and will send £20,000 to Breakthrough this year.

There are a few other products that I don’t care how much they’re donating to charity, I’m not buying. I’d rather just send the whole amount to the charity. I’m sure if you check out the charity websites, you’ll spot them too! Otherwise, it’s a great way to make what you normally do do more good, not just supporting good producers.

Now, if the Alzheimer’s charities could just get themselves this organised and this out there!


November in review – all about the Christmas prep


An alternative to the caterpillar cake


Another month gone, and we’re getting so close to Christmas now. After last month’s obsession with unusual foodstuffs like the Gummi Bear, this month has swung into full on gift searching, but at a more general level. And then the usual array of odd searches that cause me amazement, bewilderment and the odd giggle or two.

So, the top 5 things everyone had on their mind this month were as follows:

1. Foodie gifts and presents – bit obvious with the title of the blog, but a big switch, which suggests everyone is looking for ideas for the foodies in their lives. Over the month my ideas have included where to buy a whole pig, gifts for the tea and coffee lovers, gifts on a budget and what to serve if David Tennant pops round for dinner. Always best to be prepared. And if anyone wants to know, David coming to dinner could be the best gift you could send this foodie!

2. Cupcakes – you weren’t so much making your own as looking for two fabulous suppliers, Bedazzled Cupcakes for if you’re up here in the East Midlands, and The Kent Cupcakery for those in Kent. I would think. Great choices, and I would be getting a move on to get my Christmas order in quick with both, or your local provider. Would make a fabulous alternative to mince pies, or to a Christmas cake. For the adults, have a look at what Sally at The Kent Cupcakery is doing with Limoncello cupcakes! Definitely not one for the kiddies!

3. Hampers – these were definitely beginning to creep up the presents chart, all ready for the festive season. I wrote a piece on hampers back in October, and there are some specific posts on hampers from M&S, Not On the High Street and Funky Hampers. A number of you were looking at hampers you could put together yourself, and I’ll be posting some ideas around this shortly.

4. Caterpillar Cake Tins – wow, this really is the cake of the moment!  Don’t get me wrong, I love a caterpillar cake as much as the next mum, but this month I will be attempting a stable with three horses heads, thanks to MGG and her flicking through of Debbie Brown’s 50 Easy Party Cakes. Photos and tales from the kitchen to follow before much longer. The cake tin is a great route though to a very quick and easy cake, so to be recommended for working parents everywhere who want to turn out a great homemade cake.

5. Alcohol free drinks – some of you are getting ready for Christmas, and providing interesting options for those who don’t, or can’t, drink. I’ve written a few times about how much I like the cordials from Belvoir Fruit Farms, and I will certainly be stocking up on Spiced Winter Berries cordial this weekend. I’ll also be testing my resolve with the Bottlegreen limited edition sparkling presses, which are very pretty, not to mention very tasty.

And for entertainment value, these are my choice searches of the month:

1. Lambrini gifts – stop asking me, I still loathe all of them. Please don’t send me one.

2. Turkey twizzlers – please, I’ve told you before, not on my watch!

3. Campbells condensed soup vol au vent filler – ah, retro food lives on for another month!

4. Asda Vin du Soleil – really, once in this lifetime was enough!

5. Comedy photo aprons – just picture your face on Christmas morning if this one is coming your way!

Looking forward to seeing what comes out top of the pops on the foodie present front come Christmas time. Here’s hoping it’s both tasty, and tasteful for all our sakes!