What's New in the Kitchen #15 : Bake, Baked, Baked

Hurray, it's
a bi-monthly edition of product reviews. For the #15, the thread is what else but BAKE. 

Next week, it's the final of the GBBO. Somehow and that's certainly not thanks to my sweet baking prowess, I got kindly sent a Star Baker Apron. If you have bakers in your midst, note that Debenhams has launched a new range for "Great British Bake Off" Christmas gifts 

At just over £10, this lilac apron in a tube could be the perfect gift. It's certainly good quality.

This summer, I covered a festival for the local newspaper. A stand was offering fruit crisps. I am  traditional when it comes down to crisps. No fruit, no vegetable, potato only. 
 So Emily Fruit Crisps took me by surprise, this is just a lovely product. They look like baked crisps, though it's a different process. They are certainly not oily. A bag of deliciousness. The taste is beautiful so if you come across them at Holland&Barrett, Waitrose or Sainsbury's give them a go.  

Pebble Soup HQ was privileged to be sent samples of different grades of

to cook/bake/or simply add to yoghurt.
Golden is the lightest and we probably never see it in the UK supermarkets
Amber is the next grade, still light with a delicate taste
Dark robust is my favourite and a good all rounder, I suspect that's the one we get here
Very Dark is the last to be harvested and is recommended for sauces and glazes.
Did you know that Quebec produces 90% of Canada maple syrup?

I'll soon publish my Maple Glazed Ham recipe, see you soon

Smoked Haddock Chowder

Have you entered the October Inheritance Recipes yet?

It's that time of the year again when we turn our thoughts to glorious soups. I would like to start the season with a fish soup. One which originated on the early transatlantic ships and is now a firm favourite on both side of the bid pond: Chowder.

Chowder is a milk/cream/roux based soup. The name is said to be derived from the French Chaudiere or chudiere which means cauldron.

I have a particular fondness for dishes which are named after the recipient they are cooked in: tagine, cataplana to name but a few. There is no reason for such a liking, it just evokes a down to earth type of approach which I find refreshing.

Fish soups don't have to be complicated, though they far too often are. So my tip here is : don't embark on making any fish soup which has a prep. time longer than 10 minutes.

Smoked haddock has a particular affinity with creamy sauces. It's rich in Iodine, vitamin B12 and naturally low in fat, though it follows that all smoked fish are higher in salt than their fresh counterparts.

My recipe is a mixture of two recipes published in the last three months, the latest Waitrose magazine and a book with a rather long subtitle which I was sent for review , I Love Soup: More Than 100 of the World's Most Delicious and Nutritious Recipes by Beverly LeBlanc.

Smoked Haddock Chowder
  • 2 smoked haddock  fillets, about 100g/4oz each, skinned and cut into chunks
  • 400ml whole milk
  • 1 tbsp of cream or 20g unsalted butter
  • 500ml fish stock (use a fish bouillon cube) I used vegetable stock
  1 tbsp plain white flour
  • onion , chopped finely
  • 1 can of sweetcorn drain
  • 1 can of butter beans drain
  • 2 onions
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • optional - bacon slices cooked and chopped - 1 tbsp cream
  • Method
  1. put the haddock in a small pan . Cover with milk, heat until boiling point and then off the heat. Set aside, milk in a pouring jug, fish in a plate.
  2. in a large pan, heat the butter add the flour, mix quickly add the milk so that you obtain a very runny bechamel. Add the fish bouillon little at the time, stir continuously. Remove from the heat. Pulse in a blender until smooth
  3. skin and flake the fish. Cook the onion in butter.
  4. Return the milk mixture to the hob, add all the ingredients, lemon, fish, onion and its juices, butter beans, sweetcorn. add the bacon and cream if using
  5. season, taste, serve
I'll be making this recipe again. In fact it's in pass to become a strong favourite which I will definitely pass on, so for that reason, I add it to the Inheritance Recipes hosted by Pebble Soup and Coffee and Vanilla and I add it to a challenge which has help us a lot along the way Cook Once Eat Twice

For more Fish or Soup recipes by Pebble Soup, click here

Give Away #34 : Win a Fairtrade Hamper

Saturday 22 October marks National Nut Day and farmer-owned Fair Trade nut company, Liberation Foods will be celebrating the many virtues of nuts as tasty, nutritious snacks, a versatile cooking ingredient, an environmentally-friendly source of protein – and, in the case of Fairtrade nuts, the positive impact they have on producer communities. 

Liberation Food was created when small-scale nut producers from Bolivia to India to Nicaragua got together to create their own company so that smallholder farmers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods and plan for the future.

To mark National Nut Day, Pebble Soup has teamed up with Liberation Foods to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a Fairtrade hamper featuring a selection of Liberation’s deliciously crunchy and tasty nuts including 

Oven Baked Chilli 
Lime Cashews with Peanuts 
Roasted Corn, 
Oven Baked Salted Cashews 
Peanuts PLUS 
a jar of crunchy peanut butter! 

For more information about the sponsor, their recipes and news, please head to Liberation Foods website

To win, use the Rafflecopter to answer a simple two-parts question. To get extra entries follow the gizmo. Here are the # for the campaign #liberateyournuts #NND16 The competition will end on the 24/10/2016

On the Roads of Corrèze with the Lancia Classic Cars Rally

I’ve been known to use unusual means of transport. I, once, “drove” a car which was perched on a trailer, through the Egyptian White Desert. Therefore, when I was asked if I would like to join fifty odd classic cars, for a Lancia rally, off the beaten tracks in Correze, I didn’t bat an eyelid and jumped at the opportunity.

To tell you the truth, I didn’t exactly know what a classic Lancia looked like. The best I could hope for was a bright shiny day to take some decent pictures and, to steer the conversation away from mechanics and bodywork repairs. Little did I know. This is a world of passionate experts. Some collect only but, for others it’s their livelihood. One of the participants entertained me with tales of his craft: he manufactures exclusive driving wheels. A couple of pilots had shipped their cars from Australia for the event. As a rule, Lancia-owners participate to a couple of rallies a year, so the main focus is squarely where it should be, the Lancia.

Driving through Correze is a dream for anybody who likes winding little roads, varied scenery and beautiful villages. Though situated in the Dordogne Valley, La Correze, is relatively unknown, there is no mass tourism. The main industry is farm-based which makes it a paradise for foodies. Here, everything is low-key. A quiet happiness and well-being seem to float over a very French way of life.Jean Paul Brunerie, organiser of car rallies in Correze and across France, had met me earlier on the steps of La Seniorie, Mercure Hotel where I stayed. The plan was to follow the vintage cars in his Rover and weather permitting I would join in a Lancia, a little later on. We’d shaken hands on the scheme and said our goodbyes until the next day.

The next morning, the sky was grey and stormy. It may have been horrible outside but the spirit in the Lancia caravan was buoyant and we were soon en route to our first stop: Aubazine. There is something to be said, for being in the warmth of a modern car which remains stable as it travels up and down and along the hairpin bends of the D150 -small road for you and me. It’s with an inner little smile that I learnt that the Lancia Aurelia’s front suspension was a sliding pillar design and you probably don’t want to experience that -whatever it is- until the scrambled eggs have settled down a little.

From Aubazine to Collonges-la-Rouge

Aubazine is best known for its connection with Mademoiselle Gabrielle Chanel

who spent her teenage years in the austere orphanage of the local Cistercian abbey where she had a terrible time but also where she drew her inspiration for her stylish black and white signature designs. Even her famous logo of two intertwined Cs can be observed in the stained glass of the abbey.

As the single road got smaller and smaller the landscape became very scenic, with its woodlands and small fields, and I could detect a hint of film-star quality in the drivers as they approached the numerous pretty medieval villages where villagers lined the streets to take pictures

Collonges-la-Rouge is definitely a star among the “Prettiest Villages of France”. Startling flamboyant -red houses built with local sandstones are organised around a covered market still containing a working bread oven. Small streets and a perfectly preserved catholic church are a glorious spectacle. On the day, the Lancia parked at its medieval door, there was a Venetian Carnival.
From Curemonte to Argentat.

By now, it had started to drizzle but the atmosphere among the classic cars drivers could not have been better. People who had come with their cars from several continents were exchanging stories, engines were admired, restoration praised and photos taken. On arrival in Curemonte, in my books the prettiest village of the circuit, the 57 equipages were getting on famously, comparing times and performance.

From the road to Branceilles on the height of Puy Turland, one gets the strategic importance of the village’s position straight away. It may be for that reason that this small village of 200 inhabitants has three castles, delightful gardens and cobbled streets.

It had become obvious that today would not be my day for taking a spin in a Lancia but I got my turn in a vintage Triumph, the next day. Our last stop, Argentat deriving from the Latin Argentoratum or river-way. It could not have been a more peaceful town. Seating on the terrace of a cafe by the docks would have been a perfect if Jean-Paul didn’t have a phone call: A car had broken down and needed assistance in the Lidl car-park. Sometimes when you live a fairy-tale, you tend to forget the realities.

Disclaimer: I travelled as a guest of the Office du Tourisme de Correze where there is a team which will be happy to advise you about vintage cars rental agencies in the area. I was not asked to write a positive review, all the words are my own and I retain the copyright of the photos.

Corrèze Tourisme - Agence de Développement et de Réservation Touristiques
45 quai Aristide Briand F-19000 TULLE
Tél. : 05 55 29 98 78
Website: http://www.tourismecorreze.com/en
E-mail : contact@tourismecorreze.com 

Correze is served by airlines flying regular direct services to Brive-Dordogne Valley Rodez, Limoges airport from the UK. Please note that there is no public transfer available at Limoges airport.

Inheritance Recipes: October 2016

Welcome to the October edition of Inheritance Recipes. The holidays season is well and truly behind us. Time for friends and family to gather around bonfires where, no doubt, recipes will be exchanged.
Wherever in the world, your recipes come from, share them and their stories with Inheritance Recipes because more than ever it's time to spread a positive message when it comes down to diversity.

In the meantime take a look at September gorgeous round up on Margot's blog, Coffee 'n Vanilla.

Inheritance Recipes is a challenge that Margot of Coffee and Vanilla and I have started to celebrate dishes food bloggers cherish. Recipes which have been passed down by a family member, a friend, through an ancestral culture and dishes which you would like to bestow to future generations.
We will share your recipes via our social media channels and include in the round-up (with pictures) at the end of the month. We will also add your recipes to the Inheritance Recipes Pinterest board (that has 2.3 K followers) and include your blog’s handle in our Inheritance Recipes list on Twitter. Don’t forget to subscribe to them both!


Please, link back to challenge page on both: Pebble Soup and Coffee and Vanilla blog.

If possible, display one of the IR badges on your recipe post.
Choose any badge on the side, lots of lovely colours this month and 2 size too.
Add your recipe via linky -Up to 2 recipes accepted per blogger.

Feel free to link up to past posts but please, update them with links to the challenge pages to qualify.

Closing date is the 26th October.

Entries from bloggers all around the World are accepted.

Please note that entries that fail to follow “how to enter” instructions won’t be approved.

If you use Twitter to promote your recipe, please use #InheritanceRecipes, tweet it@coffeenvanilla or @solangeweb and we will re-tweet it.

When you have a spare moment do visit other entries which caught your eye, comment on them and give them some social media love.
When you have a spare moment do visit other entries which caught your eye, comment on them and give them some social media love. And last but not least, have a look at the terms and conditions if you haven't yet done so.
We can't wait to see your recipes and read their stories

Spicy Chayote picadillo by Cooking for Kishore

by Coffee and Vanilla
mince and tomato
crumble by
Searching for spice
by Pebble Soup

Chicken fried steak by The Lawyer's Cookbook

Tzatziki : a Last Fling with Summer

Cucumber doesn't often feature on Pebble Soup as he has a strong dislike of the stuff. he is not alone, many people do. In the words of a friend, cucumber is a funny thing. Having no medical training what so ever, I'll keep my conclusions for myself.

I, on the other end, like cucumber very much and it's always a joy when I get to eat some, in this case lovingly prepared by the very same friend. Tzatziki is part of a meze of Greek starters. Greek yoghurt is best but live yoghurt with a spoon of cream does the trick too.

You need to know that Tzatziki is at its best after a couple of hours in the fridge. Refrigeration time allows the liquid to be absorbed. Individual portions are, in my opinion, better than a large bowl

Tahini and Chocolate Brioche

An unusual combo which I love for its richness. Served warm at breakfast and the day looks somehow already much better. I found this recipe in Bethany Kehdy's book: Jewelled Kitchen

The hard back version featured in UK national press, was The Telegraph’s Cookbook of the Week (July 2013), one of the New York Times’ Notable Cookbooks of 2013, and won the Gourmand World Cookbook award for best Blog-to-Book. There is a recent paperback edition

Heritage is one of the main ingredients in this book, and the author’s multinational upbringing enables her to seamlessly bring together cultures and flavours, to create inspiring, contemporary, but deeply authentic food.

The Royal Hotel in Kirkby Lonsdale: Review

lake district accommodation, hotel review

Between the Lake district and the Yorkshire Dales national parks lies the market town of Kirkby Lonsdale. With its 2 500 people, the destination is way bigger than its size. Mentioned in the Doomsday Book in 1086, Kirkby Lonsdale is a town consisting mainly of 17th and 18th-century buildings festooned with ivy, hanging baskets and flower beds.

review, lake district, market town, England
review, lake district, market town, England

The Kirby Londalians do like a celebration. At one time, the town was home to more than 30 pubs and watering holes known as Jerries. Maybe not surprising for a town with "ale" in its name. The winter months diary reflects this engouement for parties.
Diary for winter 2016
5h November, Bonfire night,
5th-6th November Holker Winter Food Market,
2-4th December a Christmas Market rivalling the best in England.

walks, lake District, the north of England, tourism

There is plenty to do and see, the wonderful panorama of the Lune valley, the Bowland Fells and the Lakes. My personal favourite is the Ruskin's view as in John Ruskin, the 19th century, art critic, social theorist and husband to Effie, herself the main protagonist of one of the famous sex scandals of that time, involving Millais, a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
 review, lake district, market town, England, Ruskin's view

Against this background and with a fair bit of drizzly rain, we arrived at The Royal Hotel, a contemporary Georgian townhouse on market square, facing the Lune valley. Recently remodelled, the restaurant has been made more casual and where one expects a reception desk, right of the entrance, there is instead an inviting "entre-deux" lounge  giving into the restaurant rooms.

hotel, review, lake district, market town, England
hotel, review, lake district, market town, England

Being of fan of tastefully done OTT decor, I fell for this place straight away. Rococo ornaments, walls adorned with clocks, none telling any relevant time, frames every single where, solid wood and wicker chairs, impressive windows letting a maximum of daylight in.

The Royal is a statement hotel and it is perfect in many ways. There are fourteen individually designed and decorated bedrooms over three floors and none are alike.

hotel, review, lake district, market town, England

Ours was simply stunning: large with apparent beams, in a light brown and faded gold hues with glass mirrors and frames, damask wallpaper, window seats and a bath.....perfectly decadent. Needless to say that there is also a large walk-in separate shower room, of a high standard too.

hotel, review, lake district, market town, England
hotel, review, lake district, market town, England

All rooms are inclusive of breakfast but if you choose to eat in the restaurant, I would advise you to go for the simplest dishes which let the local products sing. I was told by a passer-by not to miss their Sunday roast. I can well believe that like the rest, it is magnificent and lovingly prepared.

hotel, review, lake district, market town, England
hotel, review, lake district, market town, England

The Royal Hotel is part of the James' places groupDISCLOSURE:  I enjoyed my stay as a guest of Royal Hotel but received no further remuneration to write this post.  I was not expected to write a positive review – all views are my own and I retain full editorial control. 

I would like to extend my special thanks to Damian Atkins, General Manager who welcomed us warmly.

The Royal Hotel
Main Street
Kirkby Lonsdale,
01524 271966

For current information about Kirkby Lonsdale head for the Tourism Office website at  www.kirkbylonsdale.co.uk

Here are a few other hotels that I've reviewed:
The Alexandra - Lyme Regis
St Catherine College - Cambridge University



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