Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Safety tips for cooking out doors on the barbecue

Many people will be barbecuing food this summer. Some of them will fall victim to food poisoning. Here are some tips to avoid food poisoning at barbecues:

1) Ensure the barbecue and all cooking utensils are clean before you start.
2) Do NOT leave uncooked food out of the freezer or fridge for long periods of time before cooking them.
3) NEVER allow raw and cooked foods to come into contact.
4) Ensure all foods are cooked through properly and thoroughly.
5) Do not allow food, barbecue or plates to become contaminated.
6) Make certain that tables, etc., outside are free from contamination from bird droppings, etc.
7) Make sure the barbecue chef has wipes and paper towels available.
8) Ensure all salads are washed.
9) Ensure you have alcohol gel for hand cleaning for the chef and for helpers and diners
10) If something doesn't taste quite right, then do not eat it. In fact, it is better to waste it, rather thank risk food poisoning
11) Clean up as you go along

If you follow those basic rules, you have a good chance of not developing food poisoning or poisoning your guests.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Belvoir’s Cordial way to Celebrate Summer

British strawberries on the supermarket shelf may herald the start of Wimbledon, Henley and the lazy days of leather on willow but, says British folklore, it’s another great British crop that marks the actual start of summer – the humble Elderflower.
One company which always welcomes the flowering of this ancient hedgerow crop is Belvoir Fruit Farms, makers of the original elderflower cordial, and who every June frantically harvest the saucer sized frothy cream blossoms to transform into their lovely cordials and pressés, made just as nature intended with no preservatives or artificial ingredients.  

This year to help celebrate the six week Elderflower harvest, Belvoir has enlisted the skills of Valentine Warner, the chef known for his love of seasonal  ingredients and in particular his ability to forage for them, to raise the profile of this quintessentially British plant that has so much to offer.
Valentine has devised two truly delicious recipes featuring Elderflower cordial – Elderflower & Gooseberry Jelly and Elderflower Cream Shortbread Tartlets - perfect for that other great British institution of afternoon tea.   

True to his passion, Valentine has also provided a recipe for Elderflower cordial itself, using freshly picked Elderflowers.  Whilst relatively easy to make, it does need to stand for 24 hours and requires a large quantity of fresh Elderflowers. These can be great fun to pick but with only a short six week harvesting window – you have to be quick! 
Says Valentine Warner: “The Elderflower is a fabulously versatile plant but one that tends to be sadly overlooked.  It is readily available in the wild but often people don’t know what it is and certainly don’t realise what an amazing addition to recipes elderflower can be. The beautiful white blossoms can add a distinctive flavour to sweet dishes that just talk to the tongue of balmy summer days. Personally, I also think that elderflower makes one of the most refreshing and delicious drinks.”
No surprise that Pev Manners, MD of Belvoir Fruit Farms completely agrees, however he would recommend you save yourself the time and effort of making elderflower cordial and buy the best elderflower cordial on the market instead! Belvoir Elderflower cordial is still made to his mother’s original recipe cooked up in her kitchen more than 25 years ago.  (EDITOR: We have a bottle in the fridge! it's delicious!)

“The secret of a really good elderflower cordial,” says Pev “is to use masses of flowers that have been picked in the sunshine when they are warm and heavy with yellow pollen, then get them into the vat within three hours.  It is this freshness that gives Belvoir’s cordial its intense bouquet.”
Valentine agrees:  “Belvoir’s Elderflower drinks are made with immense care and attention to detail. You can really taste the love that has been lavished on them from the first to the last drop. Their Elderflower pressé, served with fresh mint, is a delectable soft drink alternative for a summer party or wedding, while the cordial is delicious simply chilled with still or sparkling water or makes a refreshing addition to white wine spritzers, champagne or a gin and tonic.” 
Belvoir has 90 acres of elderflower orchard that bursts into blossom in June every year.  But, to help make the millions of bottles of Belvoir elderflower cordials and pressés consumed worldwide, Belvoir enlists the help of the local villagers paying them for any elderflowers they pick from the wild in the Leicestershire countryside, to maximise on the brief six week elderflower harvest period.
The elder occurs naturally all over Britain.  However, it is traditionally a hedgerow plant and as the hedgerows themselves are in decline so naturally occurring elders are in decline too.  To help raise awareness of the plight of the British hedgerow and wild flower meadows, Belvoir has forged a partnership with Plantlife, the charity that works to protect Britain’s wild plants and to improve understanding of the vital role they play in everyone’s lives.   Belvoir has committed to donating 10p to Plantlife for every person who signs up to the Belvoir newsletter by visiting

Victoria Chester, Plantlife CEO said: “We are delighted to be working with Belvoir.  A member of the honeysuckle family, elder Sambucus nigra is an evocative native species, associated with abundant folklore and a vital source of food for wildlife. Its alkaline bark also provides a perfect home for lichens.   Smelling of honey and muscat, elderflowers are a harbinger of summer and, by promoting their use in such delicious recipes as elderflower cordial, Belvoir is raising the profile of a plant whose qualities are often overlooked.”
As well as being the plant to trumpet the arrival of summer, the Elder is steeped in mystery and superstition.  The Elder was thought of as a protective tree, and growing it outside your door was believed to keep evil spirits from entering the house.  Flutes made of Elder were used to summon spirits and Elder was also the common wood of wands, while washing her face in dew gathered from elderflowers was believed to enhance and preserve a woman’s youthful beauty.  It is, however, the Elder’s medicinal properties that truly impress.  Every part of the Elder - bark, leaves, flowers and berries – has been used in domestic medicine since the days of Hippocrates and the plant has been called Nature’s Medicine Chest.  It is said the great physician Boerhaave never passed an Elder without raising his hat, so great an opinion had he of its curative properties.  The Mrs. Beeton of herbalists, Mrs. Grieve, recommended an elderflower infusion as a “good old fashioned remedy for colds and throat trouble.”  It is also reputed to combat hay fever, and is a remedy that Pev swears by.
Why not experience the taste sensation that is elderflower for yourself?   Here is how Valentine Warner has made use of this quintessential, British drink to add some extra zing to two classic sweets together with a recipe for elderflower cordial itself:
Elderflower & Gooseberry Jelly
It can prove tricky to find fresh gooseberries these days as they, sadly, are not as popular as they used to be. This is why I have used canned fruit. The jelly is still excellent! Lady elderflower and hairy man gooseberry were born to be summer lovers.
Serves 4-6
2 x 300g tins of gooseberries in syrup
200ml Belvoir Elderflower Cordial
200ml water
12g of sheet gelatine (7 sheets approx measuring 7.5 x 11cm)
Fine kitchen muslin
1-1   ½ pt jelly mould
1.       Pour the cordial into a saucepan followed by the water & the gooseberries with their syrup, I would note here that the gooseberries are dull in colour but once heated they will take on a wonderful blush
2.       Very gently burst the berries with a potato masher. Do not pulverise them.   Bring the mixture up to the faintest wobbling simmer but not hotter.
3.       In a separate bowl snap the gelatine into shards & cover in only just enough warm water to soak, remembering that once wet the gelatine will become limp. The water must not be boiling as it will destroy the properties of the gelatine. Leave it there until well softened , 5 minutes or so
4.       Double up some of the muslin in a sieve over bowl
5.       Pour the contents of the saucepan slowly into the lined sieve & allow to drip through of its own accord, if the latter half of the liquid stops dripping through, distress the pulp gently with a spoon to get it going again. Do not fiercely press the pulp to extract it as this will make your jelly misty.
6.       While the jelly syrup is still warm drop  in the gelatine, pulling it apart as you add it, this will help to eradicate lumps
1.       Whisk until all the gelatine has totally dissolved then pour straight into the mould & cover the top with cling film. Allow the jelly to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours
2.       When ready to serve, tease away the bottom of the jelly from the sides of the mould before briefly dipping it in a big bowl of hot water, if it’s a thin plastic mould or metal mould 1 or 2 seconds is ample.
3.       Turn out the jelly onto a serving plate .Double cream is a must.
4.       Peeled & very thinly sliced rounds of cucumber tossed in a tablespoon of sugar & left to drain then wrung out are also a very refreshing accompaniment.
Elderflower Cream Shortbread Tartlets
Here are some perfumed little tartlets perfect for the great English summer tradition of a little outside afternoon tea. 
Serves 6
100g plain flour
50g semolina flour
100g salted butter
50g caster sugar
zested rind of the lemon
1 egg beaten
Pinch of salt
For the cream filling
125ml Belvoir elderflower cordial
300ml full fat double cream (not long life)
30g white castor sugar
Freshly squeezed juice of one medium lemon
You will need 1 x 6 hole muffin silicone mould
1.       In a large bowl combine the flours, sugars and salt with the lemon zest. Grate in the fridge cold butter
2.       Work everything together thoroughly with a wooden spoon until it forms loose dough then turn it out onto the work surface & briefly knead it into one block with your hands.
3.       Remember that the longer you work the dough, the warmth of your hands will make it overly sticky
4.       Divide the pastry into 6 parts & press it into each mould right up to edge, the pastry about the thickness of a one pound coin. Neaten up the open edges with a knife or if you like a more rustic looking tart then leave as is.
5.       Allow the chill in the fridge for one hour and preheat the oven to 150c
6.       Line each tartlet case with a scrumpled piece of baking parchment filled with ceramic beans or whatever you see fit for weighting down the pastry
7.       Bake the tarts for approx 30 minutes or until their top edges, are richly golden brown
8.       Remove them from the oven taking out the papers & beans. Lightly but carefully paint the inside of each tart case with beaten egg before returning them to the oven without the paper & beans. Cook them for a further 5 minutes or so until the bases are deep golden as well.  Allow the tart cases to cool
9.       In a non stick saucepan mix the double cream with the cordial & caster sugar, bring it up to a very brief but gentle boil and then simmer for 2 minutes (please do take care that it doesn’t split). Whisk in the lemon juice (it is the lemon juice that will set the boiled cream) and immediately turn off the heat
10.   Allow the mixture to cool for approximately10 minutes before pouring in to the 6 tart cases
11.   Place the tartlets in the fridge for 4 hours or  until the cream mixture has set
12.   When serving your elderflower tartlets dust the tops of each with icing sugar & accompany with fine tea, preferably outside
Cook’s Tips
If semolina flour for the pastry proves difficult to find, simply replace the 50g with plain flour so that you use 150g of plain flour instead.  In addition, if making your own pastry leaves you cold an alternative serving suggestion is simply to spoon the cream filling into ramekin dishes and sprinkle shortbread biscuits on top.  Delicious!
Elderflower Cordial
Belvoir is a favourite, but if doing some outdoor DIY here is a simple recipe. Tartaric acid is widely available in supermarkets and chemists and will not get you arrested if you buy it in large amounts.
Makes roughly 2 x 500ml bottles
25-30 largish elderflower heads, from a wild clean place.
1kg granulated sugar
25g tartaric acid
1 long peeled strip of unwaxed lemon
750ml nearly simmering water
Fine kitchen muslin
1.       Snap off any particularly thick stalks connected to the flower heads, leaving just the slim stems holding each blossom
2.       Put the flower heads in a large preserving pan or bowl
3.       Sprinkle over the sugar and tartaric acid
4.       Peel the lemon rind & add to the pan, along with all the lemon juice
5.       Add the hot water and stir gently but well. Cover loosely with a tea towel and leave to stand in a cool place for 24 hours, stirring every now and then.
6.       The sugar should completely dissolve and the syrupy cordial will become infused with the flavours of elderflowers. Strain the contents of the pan through a muslin-lined colander into a clean bowl. Decant into sterilised bottles
7.       Seal and store in sterilised bottles and store
8.       Sterilising Bottles -preheat the bottles in an oven at 180c/350f/Gas 4. Wash the bottles & stoppers really well and put on a baking sheet in the oven for 10 minutes. Leave to cool slightly before adding the cordial through a funnel.
Belvoir Fruit Farms hand produces 13 cordial varieties, 10 pressé and 5 Fruit Crush drinks including organic and non organic.  Belvoir’s drinks are available from leading supermarkets, delicatessens, food halls, farm shops or via the website RRP: starts at £3.85 for regular cordial, £4.50 for organic cordial, £2.75 for regular 75cl pressé, £2.50 for elderflower 75cl pressé, £1.65 for 25cl pressé and £1.95 for Fruit Crush.

If you do want to try making your own Elderflower cordial, Valentine Warner has given some tips for collecting Elderflowers:
·         Pick your elderflowers on a nice dry day, rain does them no favours when transporting them home
·         Pick your elderflowers early in the morning when their scent is much stronger

(EDITOR: Or just nip out to the shops, or buy it on line!)

Here's a twist! It's World Pretzel Day!

We kid you not! 26th April is World Pretzel Day! The Pretzel is reputedly the world's oldest snake food, so it is only fitting that the Pretzel should have its own special day.

The top-selling UK Pretzel brand, Penn State Snacks, is really going for it on World Pretzel Day (26 April) with a series of giveaways and bits of pure fun! And they, naturally, want YOU to join in!
Dating back to the sixth century monks, the pretzel is said to be the world’s oldest snack and with a wide variety of flavours, including sour cream and chive and sweet and spicy salsa - Penn State Snacks has something for everyone to enjoy. (EDITOR: In my opinion, you cannot beat the sour cream and chive flavour!)
Penn State was the first company to make Pretzels in the UK, they started production of their original sea salted pretzel flavour way back in 1996. Since then their popularity has grown and the British pretzel now has a firm fan base. 

Pretzels are now the snack of choice for millions of people around the world who crave a healthy yet delicious alternative to the standard crisp. With Penn State pretzels starting at just 94 calories and only three WeightWatchers ProPoints per 25 gram serving, it’s not hard to see why.
Steve Harger, from Intersnack, the company behind the Penn State brand said: “The average American consumes approximately 1.5 pounds of pretzels a year and we want to put the pretzel on the map here in Britain. With Penn State you can indulge in some guilt free snacking as all our products are baked, not fried and much healthier than many other snacks on the market.
“There are so many ways for people to embrace World Pretzel day. Pretzels are the perfect snack to share with others, so on April 26, why not take some packs to work to share with colleagues or invite the girls around for a night in with a girly film and some pretzels and dips? There are plenty of activities for consumers to get involved with online, and many great prizes to giveaway.”
In the build up to World Pretzel Day, Penn State Snacks is on the hunt to find the ultimate pretzel fan and is challenging members of its Facebook and Twitter sites: and to prove their dedication by following a series of pretzel related challenges.
(EDITOR: And they make an ideal addition to any BBQ and a fun snack for your Royal Wedding Party!)

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Workers fork out over £1,000 a year on lunch despite credit crunch

A survey of office workers across the UK has revealed that more than a third buy sandwiches in their lunch hour, rather than making their own.

On average workers are spending around £3 on sandwiches every day, with some spending up to £5. Around half of those surveyed say they sometimes buy a drink with their sandwich, adding another one or two pounds to the cost.

The research called ‘Lunch in the Credit Crunch’, on behalf of, also revealed that three times the number of women make their own sandwiches compared to men.

Nigel Berman, founder of, said: “With around 240 working days in the year, lunchtimes are making a huge dent in salaries and some people are spending over £25 a week. But because people are spending a small amount every day, they don’t think about the cost over the year and it can really add up. The research shows that the average spend is around a staggering £1,000 a year.”

Just over 66 per cent of the workers surveyed claimed that they always make their own sandwiches.

Of those who buy sandwiches, 25 per cent said they always recycle the packaging, with 54 per cent sometimes recycling. The remainder, around 20 per cent, never recycle the packaging.

The survey also asked people what would encourage them to make their own. Around 20 per cent said they could be persuaded if there was a large cost saving and a similar number said they would make their own if they had a way of transporting them easily. Interestingly, just over 24 per cent said they would make their own if they had some good ideas for fillings.

Making your own sandwiches can help the planet, especially if you re-use the foil or cling film. There are also solutions like a reusable sandwich wrapper called Wrap n Mat which costs £4.99 from The Wrap n Mat helps commuters transport sandwiches easily and means you don’t have to use foil or plastic. It is washable and the cotton wrapper acts as a placemat.

According to health experts, as well as helping to save hundreds of pounds a year, home-made sandwiches can be better for you.

Kate Arnold, of Kate Arnold Nutrition, explains: “Bought sandwiches can be pricey, and you have no control as to what goes in them. They are often very high in fat and calories so making your own at home can be so much better for your health and your purse.

“The issue I have with bought sandwiches is they are all bread and no filling. By making them at home you can reduce the carbohydrate, choose your own bread and create a high-protein filling for less than half the price of a shop-bought sandwich.

“Choose a good-quality wholemeal bread, or whatever suits you, and really fill it with protein. Leave the mayonnaise and focus on high-protein foods as a salad sandwich will not fill you up.”

Kate has come with ten fillings to inspire people to make their own:

- Hummus and cucumber
- Turkey, avocado, tomato, sprouting seeds
- Avocado, smoked chicken and cranberry sauce
- Mozzarella and sun dried tomatoes
- Mash a can of red salmon in a bowl with freshly chopped dill, 2 tbsps live yoghurt and pepper.
- Generous slices of honey roast ham with mustard.
- Tofu and tahini: (Crumble tofu and mix brown miso, tahini, minced onion, carrot and sunflower seeds)
- Goats cheese and char-grilled pepper with sweet chilli sauce and leaves
- Turkey with low fat mayonnaise and cranberry sauce with crushed walnuts
- For a fresh undressed summer sandwich try: Grated carrot, beansprouts, grated apple, sesame seeds, chopped walnut, chopped baby spinach, low-fat cottage cheese, chopped red onion and chopped parsley.

According to The British Council, British people eat 2.8 billion sandwiches each year but the humble sandwich started life as a snack for England’s super-rich.

In 1762 the first written record of the word ‘sandwich’ appeared in the diary of the English author Edward Gibbons. He remembered wealthy men eating ‘a bit of cold meat’ between pieces of bread.

The snack was named after the Fourth Earl of Sandwich. He was a frequent gambler and was so addicted to gambling that he would often refuse to stop even to eat meals. To avoid having to stop gambling, the Earl of Sandwich asked for a meal consisting of beef between two slices of bread so that he always had one hand free to play cards and gamble and his hands wouldn’t become dirty from the meat.

When other men saw what he was eating, they began to order ‘the same as Sandwich’ - so the sandwich was born. It quickly became popular and widespread as a quick and easy food to eat.

Sandwiches have become so popular in the UK that there is even a British Sandwich Week. It’s being held from 15th to 21st May 2011.

Winner of Yahoo Finds of The Year - Best Shopping Site and Highly Commended at The Real Homes Eco Awards, Nigel's Eco Store is an award-winning online retailer of environmentally friendly products that can help everyone reduce their carbon footprint, conserve resources and save money. The store carries home furnishings, kitchenware, gadgets, office products, kids' toys and energy saving devices.

(EDITOR: There's also soup that you can make at home and take in a flask, or for those on a diet a diet shake can make a handy lunch, too)

Amazon now sells food and drink

In an exciting new development, the world's most favourite online bookshop, Amazon, have started selling groceries online, too!

But not just any groceries! Visiting the groceries section of the website is pretty much like making a trip across the Atlantic and finding yourself in an American grocery store!

Because Amazon has started selling hundreds of lines that are common (and one or two that are not that common!) in American food stores!

Just some of the lines available are Pop Tarts, Root Beer, American peanut butter, Reeses' Peanut Butter Cups, Fluff, American breakfast cereals, including Lucky Charms, Pop Tarts, Clif Bars, etc., etc.

"This is great!" said one American. I am stationed in the UK for several months and although British food is OK, we were missing some of the staples of the American grocery store. Now we can buy them in the UK, too!"

But it's not just 'American' foods that are available. Amazon also sells foods for special diets such as gluten free or foods suitable for Coeliacs or vegetarians and some foods from other countries are featured, including South Africa. Plus more snacks and candy than you knew existed!

Amazon also sells a truly stunning range of beers, wines and spirits from around the world.

To find out more please use the link on That's Food and Drink to the Amazon Grocery store.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Have a Strawberry fizz this Summer!

Fresita is a delicious Chilean sparkling wine infused with hand-picked fresh strawberries from Patagonia - ideal for sipping in the sun.

Strawberries - or 'fresita' in Spanish - were first discovered in Patagonia in the South of Chile in the seventeenth century. Sparkling wine lovers have long been accessorising their fizz with fresh strawberries and now the winemakers at Fresita have found the perfect combination: a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Moscatel grapes for the wine with the addition of puréed strawberries from their homeland.

Crisp, light and full of bright red strawberry flavours, Fresita is available from Whole Foods (Kensington), RRP £8.99; Nisa and Costcutter, RRP £8.49;, RRP £7.99;, RRP £7.49

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Water a little dull or tastes of lime? Try new Bio-Synergy Skinny Water Dilutable Orange drink!

Skinny Water Dilutable Orange

Bio-Synergy has announced the launch of Skinny Water Dilutable Orange. Apparently they are proud that it is the only functional concentrate on the market.

This fabulous new variant of the original celebrity endorsed Skinny Water is set to hit shelves this month, April.

It is a low calorie drink and is enhanced with a unique combination of ingredients to help you maximise weight loss. The naturally occurring amino acids and nutrients will help suppress your appetite and increase metabolism to burn more fat.

So what’s the secret behind Bio-Synergy Skinny Water? It’s the added benefits of Chromium and L-Carnitine. These nutrients have been scientifically proven to banish sugar cravings and help turn fat into energy.

Studies show Chromium can stave off cravings for high carbohydrate or sugary foods by regulating blood sugar levels. As such, it’s a valuable addition to a well-designed, long-term weight loss program and supports a healthier metabolism.

L-Carnitine is an amino acid which the body uses to turn fat into energy. It can help weight management by encouraging the body to lose fat - not muscle.

Skinny Water Orange Dilutable has the extra added benefit of vitamin C, which is a brilliant anti-oxidant that helps to boost the immune system.

Each delicious drink is an excellent complement to any meal as well as before, during and after a workout. This 1 Litre concentrate is perfect to store in your cupboard and is excellent for parties, as a brilliant healthy alternative to other concentrates.

Each bottle is lovingly produced at our UK factory from spring water. A 1 litre bottle provides 20 servings, and is less than 4k/cal per calories per serving.

"Bio-Synergy Skinny Water has also come out top in countless surveys carried out by national media – it was voted number one in a ‘no diet, diet’ test for News of the World’s Fabulous magazine, and scored nine out of ten in a weight loss poll for the Daily Mirror. In addition, it has been voted top product by Women’s Fitness and Slim at Home magazine," said a spokesman.

Bio-Synergy Skinny Water Orange 500ml is in store at Asda and sold online at Ocado, Amazon, Littlewoods & RSP £3.99

Also Available in Grapefruit version dilutable 1litre 20 servings. Also available in Pomegranate, Pink Grapefruit, Cola version 500ml. RSP £3.99 1 litre and £1.19 500ml.

(EDITOR: People taking certain medications for heart conditions, etc., MUST check with their doctor before consuming anything containing grapefruit or grapefruit extract.)

Shloer has new taste of summer drink for your summer days

Shloer’s Summer Fruit Punch
Now you can make the perfect Summer’s day even better by drinking Shloer’s brand new Summer Fruit Punch. The limited edition flavour is light and fruity and is ideally refreshing on a sunny day.

Ideal for the grand garden party, or simply enjoyed at a Sunday Social barbecue, Shloer’s Summer Fruit Punch is best served ‘dressed to impress’. Conjure up the typical tastes of summer: mint leaves, slices of orange and cucumber and fresh juicy strawberries, all served in a jug over ice – perfect for sharing.

The natural alcohol alternative

Shloer uses only the finest ingredients to create a delicious non-alcoholic sparkling juice drink. All varieties make a tasty grape-based alternative to alcohol, suitable for all the family - including those who want to enjoy the Summer social circuit without drinking alcohol. Shloer contains no preservatives, artificial colours, sweeteners or flavourings and is available from all major supermarkets.

Best served shared – on any occasion

Shloer’s Summer Fruit Punch will add a little sparkle to any social gathering planned or impromptu: That might be sharing with friends during one of the many Spring bank holidays or serving at a wedding or a Royal Wedding street party.

Entertaining Inspiration

If the warm weather (or the thought of it) has left you longing to get a group of friends together but you need inspiration with your menu, then you might like to check out The Shloer Sunday Cookbook, you'll find it at the official Shloer Facebook page,

The recipes you’ll find there are created by devoted Shloer fans themselves, around a ‘simple and sharing’ principle.

Share recipes and win

It’s easy to contribute your own tasty dishes, or vote for your favourites on their Shloer Sunday Cookbook, either way you have the chance to win some fabulous prizes such as cookery lessons with an expert chef.
A flavour for everyone

Shloer is available in White Grape, Red Grape, Rose, Apple & White Grape, White Grape, Raspberry & Cranberry, White Grape & Elderflower and new Summer Fruit Punch - RRP £2.29

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Pizzas via Facebook? That's what I call social media!

With summer nearly upon us, British foodies are being presented with the chance to win a free pizza party for themselves and their friends from the UKs top provider of wood pizza ovens, The Stone Bake Oven Company.

Via their Facebook profile page, fans of stone bake ovens have the chance to have the Stone Bake Oven Company come to their house with a mobile oven, and cook pizzas for the winner and their friends. Entrants can enter the competition through inviting their Facebook friends to like The Stone Bake Oven Company profile page.

This prize gives entrants who are thinking of purchasing an oven the perfect opportunity to try a traditional stone bake oven. What's more, for those who may be unable to afford to purchase their own pizza oven at the moment, this is a great opportunity to try one out and host a fantastic party.

A stone bake oven pizza party is a great way to maximise the use of a garden during the summer months. A stone bake oven is a great design feature, and will encourage people to use their garden more and allow them to cook a variety of recipes previously not possible in traditional kitchen-based ovens. Fans can also visit company’s website to find a variety of recipes to use in their own stone bake oven.

Tom Gozney, founder of The Stone Bake Oven Company, said: “We hope this competition will help to raise the profile of The Stone Bake Oven Company and will encourage more people to use a stone bake oven within their own garden. These ovens are not only for the purpose of cooking food, but are a great means of adding a design feature to the garden, helping to maximise the aesthetic appearance during the summer months. With a choice of three ovens, stone bake oven fans are sure to find an oven suitable for them.”

Visit The Stone Bake Oven Company’s website for more information about the available range of stone bake ovens and iron cookware available –

Monday, 4 April 2011

Royal Wedding Street Party Necessities from Ginsters

As Britain prepares for the most high profile Royal Wedding since Charles and Diana, Cornish savoury pastry brand Ginsters has a great selection of party treats to choose from for celebrations taking place across the nation to mark the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29th. (EDITOR: So, why bother making sandwiches for 20 guests when you can Ginsters to cater fro your Royal Wedding bash?!)

Whether seeking sandwiches for traditional themed British tea parties, or wholesome snacks to feed street party masses, no celebration should be without new Ginsters Spicy Pork Roll. Adding a hot twist to a British party staple, Ginsters Spicy Pork Rolls are made with locally sourced fresh British sausage meat stuffed full of aromatic jalapenos and Cajun spices. These delicious rolls can be easily sliced into bite-size chunks for the perfect party finger food.

The obligatory sandwich platter is a must at your celebratory bash, so why not set the scene by offering a mouthwatering selection of Egg and Cress, Chicken and Mayo, Ham and Cheese or the more exotic new Cheddar and Chilli Jam sandwiches. For traditional party goers, why not try the quintessential Ginsters Tuna and Cucumber sandwich, ideal enjoyed with a nice cup of tea.

Pie lovers will love this yummy new twist on the classic pork pie, with a hint of cheese and pickle, Ginsters Mini Ploughman’s Pork Pies are easily munchable and supply two mini mouthfuls in each pack, more than enough to feed hungry guests at any street party shindig.

For those seeking time-honoured British cuisine, Ginsters is launching a delicious special edition Cheddar and Bacon pasty, just in time for the Royal nuptials. Bursting with flavour, this creamy cheddar and crispy bacon pasty filling is ideal for snacking and sharing with family and friends while celebrating the Royals’ big day.

For more information about Ginsters, please visit:

FACTFILE: These are some of the available delicacies from Ginsters:-
Ginsters Spicy Pork Roll pack RRP£1.59
Ginsters Egg and Cress sandwich RRP£1.79
Ginsters Chicken and Mayo sandwich RRP£2.69
Ginsters Ham and Cheese sandwich RRP£2.69
Ginsters Cheddar and Chilli Jam sandwich RRP£2.19
Ginsters Mini Ploughman’s Pork Pies RRP£1.59
Ginsters Cheddar and Bacon pasty RRP£1.99

Tesco Real Food announces that home brew is booming

Tesco Real Food has announced that home brewing is booming and it has seen sales of beer and wine making kits soar by 50 per cent over the past year.

The UK's top supplier of home brew kits, Youngs, also reports a boom in sales and commented that national sales are some 40 per cent.

Youngs said that the main reason behind the boom is that making beer and wine at home has never been easier. New technology and new designs means that amateur brewers can create their favourite tipple at home in half the time it used to take, around two hours instead of four hours to prepare. It will then take about a month for the ale or cider to be ready to drink, while wine may take as much as six weeks before it is completely ready.

In the past many people were put off making home brew because it was considered a fiddly operation worthy of a laboratory technician; but that's no longer the case.

Tesco home brew specialist Wayne Byron said: "We have seen a boom in 'foodies' as it has become fashionable to make dishes from scratch and even grow your own herbs and vegetables. Now young people in their 20s and 30s are turning their attention and skills to creating their own vintage or tipple. They are joining the more traditional home brew enthusiasts, who tend to be retired. It is a brilliant way of exploring new flavours - whether a fruity lager or a flowery wine - and it is great value, too."

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Sunday, 3 April 2011

France's love for UK food exports driving demand for cheap postage options, claims Parcels Please

According to information from the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), exports from the UK increased for the sixth consecutive year in 2010. With exports to the value of £10.83 billion, the industry enjoyed a 11.4 per cent increase on the levels for 2009.

While the majority of the exported food went to Ireland - despite its recent economic troubles - a large portion of the UK's exports were sent to France. The Netherlands, Germany and Spain additionally remained popular destinations for UK produce while other countries, such as Hong Kong, the USA and the UAE, also enjoyed a boom.

Overall, the produce most highly desired by other countries came from the dairy sector, but fish and meat also enjoyed a significant increase. What's more, prepared foods such as soups, sauces, rice and ice cream, as well as baking products and cereal, all received a boost in 2010.

A spokesperson for international delivery experts ( Parcels Please said that many people may be surprised by the most commonly exported foods: "Here in the UK there are a lot of people who think we are lagging behind other countries when it comes to fine food - especially when you're talking about cheeses and meats - as there are so many other European countries like France and Italy who enjoy a much better reputation.

"But that's just not the case, the UK is home to some fantastic produce, and the news that dairy was the most popular export just goes to show we can compete with the big boys when it comes to products such as cheese or yoghurt."

The report from the FDF supports the belief the food and drink industry in the UK is an important one for the economy as a whole, and Food and Farming Minister Jim Paice has spoken out about how important the export sector is to the UK's producers.

Reliance on the export business means that postage and packaging companies who deal with overseas orders could find that their services are more frequently in demand. Furthermore, for local producers who are struggling to capitalise on the popularity of UK food stuffs, a cheap delivery service can make all the difference to their profits.

According to Parcels Please, this margin can be the difference between a successful business and a struggling one. A spokesman explained: "When you're operating on a tight margin, any extra cost savings can make a huge difference to your business. Many local producers have been hit by the effects of the recession and there are some who are struggling to survive.

"While news that UK exports remain strong is welcome, businesses need to be able to utilise things such as services offering ( cheap parcels to France and other countries with a high demand for UK goods, to help them make sure they are turning a profit and continuing to benefit the country's economy as a whole."

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