Saturday, 31 December 2011

Alcohol Pricing: Better England Free than England Sober

The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties institute, today has issued a strong and trenchant condemnation of proposals to make it harder for poor people to buy alcohol. The proposals include higher taxes, compulsory minimum prices for drink, further controls on advertising, and power to close down retailers. The only disagreement between the three main parties is how far they wish to go.

Speaking today in London, Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, commented: “These measures, if adopted, amount to an attack on the poor. The ruling class politicians who continually whine about alcohol will not be affected by minimum pricing or the abolition of special offers. I might add that none of them can be affected by such laws. Income aside, anyone who lies his way into Parliament can look forward to round the clock drinking in the Palace of Westminster of untaxed alcohol.

“But the measures will hurt poor people, for whom alcohol will become cripplingly expensive and hard to find. They have the same right to drink as the rest of us. Bearing in mind the problems willed on them by our exploitative ruling class, they often have a greater need to drink.

“The claim that drinking ’causes’ public disorder is nonsense. Alcohol does not run about the streets. People do. If people are making nuisances of themselves, the police should be instructed to stop behaving like some equivalent of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and to start protecting life and property again.

“The claim that drinking makes people unhealthy is irrelevant, where not a lie. People must be regarded as responsible for their own mistakes. Anyone who bleats about increased cost to the National Health Service should consider that drinkers already pay more in taxes than the alleged cost of treating their specific illnesses.

“We oppose all controls on the availability of alcohol to adults. Better England free than England sober.”

The Libertarian Alliance believes:

* That all the licensing laws should be repealed;
* That all controls on the marketing of alcohol should be repealed;
* That alcohol taxes should be reduced to the same level as the lowest in the European Union, and that there should be no increase in other taxes;
* That not a penny of the taxpayers’ money should be given to any organisation arguing against the above.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

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Monday, 26 December 2011

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Saturday, 24 December 2011

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Friday, 23 December 2011

Festive Flavoured Ice Cream Sales Jump As Consumers Search For Alternative Christmas Sweet

Christmas flavoured ice cream is proving a hit for Huddersfield ice cream maker Yummy Yorkshire, which has already sold double the amount it did this time last year.

The award-winning artisan ice cream producer has to date churned out nearly 500 litres of its limited edition Christmas ices - twice as much as during the same period last December.

The Christmas flavours include Christmas Cake, Chocolate Orange, Irish Cream and White Chocolate & Cranberries.

The Christmas Cake flavour is loaded with fruit and is made using a special blend of spices. According to Yummy Yorkshire the ice cream is rich in taste and popular with traditionalists who are looking for an alternative to brandy butter on Christmas Day. The flavour first launched in 2007, the year that Yummy Yorkshire started trading, and has gained a loyal fan base since then. It also scooped an award with the Ice Cream Alliance in 2008.

The White Chocolate with Cranberries is a smoother, more indulgent flavour as is the Chocolate Orange, which has a malty taste with a hint of orange. Customers say it reminds them of hot chocolate and chocolate oranges. The Irish Cream flavour is made with a generous helping of everyone's favourite Irish whiskey and cream liqueur.

Louise Holmes co-founder of Yummy Yorkshire says: ""You wouldn't expect ice cream to be popular at this time of year but rich ice cream is a wonderful thing to have as a dessert even in the coldest weather."

"Many of our customers say that they are not keen on traditional Christmas Pudding so see our ice cream as a delicious alternative to indulge in over the festive period. We always have a big queue of customers out of the ice cream parlour on Christmas Eve making some last minute purchases.

"In 2010 the most popular was Christmas cake at 120 litres. So far there is a neck and neck situation between Christmas cake (132 litres) and Chocolate orange (144 litres). It will be interesting to see which flavour will win!"

The festive ices are available to buy from Yummy Yorkshire's Denby Dale ice cream parlour in 500ml and 2 litre tubs and on the cone. They are also available from selected shops across Yorkshire.

The Yummy Yorkshire ice cream parlour is located on the A629 between High Flatts and Ingbirchworth. For further information and directions visit www.yummyyorkshire.co.uk

Brew Up A Healthy New Year With The Tea Experience

Put the festive overindulgence behind you and start the new year feeling good with energising and refreshing teas from The Tea Experience www.teaexperience.co.uk. The online speciality tea company offers a rejuvenating range of gentle everyday loose teas that are high in antioxidants and low in caffeine to give you a health boost and help your overall wellbeing.

Goji berries are known as 'the happy' berry in China and the Chinese believe it has lots of beneficial properties for wellbeing. Goji Tea from The Tea Experience offers a blend with lovely, fruity depth which includes goji berries, strawberry, blackberry and apple pieces, making it a delicious drink for adults and children alike and great hot or cold.

Light, fruity and floral Harmony Tea offers a stunningly pretty tea made with quality ingredients. Blended using Feng Shui principles to promote harmony, the tea includes goji berries, dragon fruit, apple pieces, blackberry, nettle leaves, orange peel and eucalyptus leaves for a gentle, slightly sweet flavour.

Rich in minerals and vitamins, In the Pink provides a truly tasty brew. Cranberries form the basis of this tea and it also includes apple, nettle, verbena, lemon grass, natural flavouring of acai and blackberry leaves. This infusion is slightly tart and suits those who prefer a less fruity or sweet taste.

Kombucha Green is believed to have medicinal qualities and has been drunk in the Far East for hundreds of years with this in mind. A combination of Chinese sencha green tea, kombucha, fruit leaves, herbs and flowers, the tea has a distinct aroma and refreshing taste of sweet plum

Top grade Liquorice Rooibos from South Africa is blended with aniseed and sunflower petals for a deep, rich liquorice taste and a must for those who love the taste of aniseed. Another top grade Rooibos tea is Lemon Myrtle Rooibos, a blend with Australian lemon myrtle, orange pieces and jasmine blossom with a dash of ginger. A very popular blend and flavourful tea.

The Tea Experience also offers a refreshing and rejuvenating range of white and green teas, including Pai Mu Tan from the Fujian province, which provides a delicate and light taste. Young Hyson green tea is made with young leaves plucked in early spring before the rains start to fall. A distinctive, light tea with a pleasant after taste. Japanese Cherry green flavoured tea was named after the blender visited Japan in springtime, seeing the cherry blossom. A subtle blend of Chinese sencha fragranced with cherry.

As part of The Tea Experience's January Offers, customers can by a pack of three of these teas (Pai Mu Tan, Young Hyson and Japanese Cherry) at a special inclusive price of £8. 3 x 50g bags (normal retail price £9.23) can be bought from January 1-31st 2012.

Try drinking wellness, green and white loose teas as part of a New Year, New You regime for a healthier outlook because they re-hydrate, offer beneficial properties and are a refreshing, rejuvenating and tasty alternative the tiresome teabag.

The Tea Experience www.teaexperience.co.uk was set up by former Royal Mail human resources manager, Ann Davis, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, who lifted the lid on a new career by turning a hobby into a growing online speciality tea business. Originally selling traditional China teapots, after being inspired by a gift from her husband, Paul, the business is expanding and now offers a complete tea drinking experience from imported loose tea to tea ware and gifts.

Importing loose tea from the Far East and Europe from specialist tea importers and wholesalers, The Tea Experience ensures consistency of taste and quality for its customers. The husband and wife team have been lucky enough to travel and work in the Far East, mainly in China, over a number a years. Each trip provided the opportunity to try a variety of teas which often made them question the quality of what they were drinking at home. They are now on a mission to encourage tea drinkers to leave the bag and let the tea loose!

The Tea Experience range includes Black, Green, Red and White tea to Wellness teas, as well as Rooibos, Oolong, Chai, Pu-erh and the fascinating flowering teas. Teaware ranges from mugs, pots and tea bowls to Chinese and traditional tea sets.

A new teaware range has also been added. Tucked away in a quiet corner of Lostwithiel in Cornwall is a potter. John Webb has been making teapots and mugs for more than 30 years and has been selling his wares only within the County. Paul and Ann managed to track him down earlier this summer and convinced him to sell a collection to The Tea Experience. Two ranges of beautifully made teapots and mugs are launched and at reasonable prices make a great gift.

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Thursday, 22 December 2011

London Dining with Table7

table7.com offers London diners access to a hand-picked selection of top restaurants coupled with excellent customer service and discreet savings on the entire bill.

LONDON, UK – Hix Soho, St John Hotel and Club Gascon are just some of the outstanding restaurants accessible through online high-end restaurant booking service, table7.com.

The innovative service delivers exceptional dining experiences to its members and offers valuable reductions of twenty to thirty per cent off the entire bill, including drinks, pre-dinner snacks and à la carte menus.

Working selectively with high-end partner restaurants, table7.com is dedicated to providing discerning diners with preferred pricing via its online booking service. With savings to the bill being discreetly applied by the restaurant at the end of the meal, table7.com is perfect for dates, client entertainment or dinner with friends. There is no need to mention table7.com and no print outs required. Restaurants will recognise table7.com bookings and automatically make the reduction.

The booking process is simple. Customers visit the table7.com website (www.table7.com), where they can become a member and view available offers. After selecting a booking, members pay a booking fee of £7 to confirm the reservation. table7.com guarantees that the saving on the bill will always be more than the booking fee or they will refund the fee.

table7.com works closely with its partner restaurants to ensure that while enhancing the value for its members, the focus is always on delivering the high level of service and quality of food for which they are acclaimed. Whether enjoying a lively dim-sum spread at buzzing Eight Over Eight or indulging in a chic feast of cocktails and Michelin-starred dishes at Maze, with a table7.com booking the more customers spend, the larger the saving.

Priding themselves on thorough, friendly customer service and working exclusively with high quality brands, table7.com provides a level of service and calibre of offering that is not available anywhere else.

Ashwin Jain, table7.com co-founder, comments: “We have carefully curated some of London’s finest restaurants and formed strong partnerships with them so that we can offer preferential pricing without affecting the high level of service or experience diners will receive. We understand that our members want memorable, valuable experiences without the fuss of coupons or vouchers, and we hope that table7.com will allow them to enjoy these experiences with their families and friends more often and in a seamless, simple manner.”

“Our commitment to providing truly outstanding dining experiences - from our own customer service support to our focus on partnering with high quality establishments - means that members get the highest level of service from the moment they join the table7 family. Table 7’s been a little-black-book secret for a while - but now the word is out. The table7 reductions available at such amazing venues means that dining at exceptional restaurants can now become a regular pursuit!!”

To find out more and to start making discreet savings at some of London’s finest dining establishments, visit the table7 website at www.table7.com.

About table7
table7 is dedicated to meeting the specific needs of high-end restaurants and the discerning customer. It works with each business to increase diner awareness of, and access to, preferential rates and a customer-focussed approach to deliver increased booking rates and high customer value.

table7 offers discreet discounts (between 20-30 per cent off the entire bill) for some of London’s most respected high-end restaurants, including Michelin-starred venues. Customers pay a booking fee of £7 to table7 when reserving tables on www.table7.com. In return the table7 discount is added to the bill when presented at the end of the meal.

For further information, please visit www.table7.com.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Opies new pickles make the perfect Christmas gift!

Christmas it the perfect excuse for indulgence. If you fancy treating a loved one this festive season, why not surprise them with a gift that they can enjoy for weeks after the tinsel has been taken down and the liqueur cupboard has been cleaned out. Opies has just launched a brand new range of pickles, so why not pack them into a hamper and present them to someone special.

All of Opies new pickles are made from authentic pickling recipes, perfected over the last 130 years, using herbs and spices which make the perfect accompaniment to a whole host of winter warming dishes.

Amongst the new products is Opies baby beetroot in red wine vinegar and Opies sliced beetroot in malt vinegar, creating a blend of sweet and tangy flavours. These products sit perfectly alongside a range of meats including chicken, venison and bacon as well as complementing scallops, prawns and quail.

In addition to this are Opies pickled onions in malt vinegar which make a great accompaniment to cold meat buffets, so they are perfect for those Boxing Day leftovers, or even enjoy them straight from the jar.

Also new to the range is Opies pickled pears in spiced malt vinegar, made using the finest pears and blended with special spices and malt vinegar. This unusual pickle is a tasty treat alongside mature cheese and cold meats as well as game and poultry dishes.

You can also add a tasty addition to meat dishes in the form of Opies pickled cornichons with a bay leaf and Opies pickled red cabbage in malt vinegar. These snacks are also delicious with chicken and other vegetables such as red onions, so make the perfect accompaniment to your Christmas Day dinner.

For more information, visit www.b-opie.com/recipes where you can find a selection of inspiring recipes as well as an online shop containing a selection of Opies best-selling products.

Opies bantam eggs with a bay leaf are £2.79
Opies pickled cornichons with a bay leaf are £1.59
Opies sliced beetroot in red wine vinegar is £1.39
Opies baby beetroot in red wine vinegar is £1.59
Opies pickled red cabbage in malt vinegar is £1.39
Opies pickled onions in malt vinegar are £1.99
Opies pickled shallots in sherry vinegar are £2.89

Opies first began life in 1880. The venture was so prosperous that, in 1912, Bennett founded a private company, Bennett Opie Limited

Opies has been passed through the generations and is one of the oldest family-owned food companies in the UK

Opies products are available internationally and UK stockists include Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Asda, Co-op, Somerfield, Booths, Budgens and a variety of independent stores

www.b-opie.com

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The world's top selling win aerator is now available in the UK! Vintur, all the taste, no wait!

The Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator, the first and original breakthrough wine accessory hailed by Californian wineries and experts, is now available in the UK.
Wine which has been allowed to breathe tastes better. As wine breathes, it opens up, and releases its intended aromas and flavours. Traditionally, decanters were used to aerate wine; however, decanting is time consuming, cumbersome and inconvenient. Vinturi's patented design speeds up this process with ease and convenience.

Simply hold the Vinturi Red Wine Aerator over a glass and pour wine through. Beautifully designed to blend form with function, it draws in and mixes the proper amount of air for the right amount of time, instantly allowing wine to breathe.

‘Vinturi accelerates the breathing process, enabling wine lovers to fully enjoy their wine from the very first sip, rather than waiting an hour or more for traditional decanting,’ says Rio Sabadicci, Vinturi’s inventor.

How to enjoy your glass of wine
Vinturi instantly delivers a better bouquet, enhanced flavours and a smoother finish.
· Better bouquet: Sample the nose of the wine. You'll appreciate the subtle aromatic differences and the full aroma of the wine. Vinturi allows wine to release its intended aromas.
· Enhanced flavours: Take a sip. Vinturi aerated wine tastes better, richer and more expensive as well as more flavoursome with better mouthfeel.
· Smoother finish: Vinturi aeration is very effective at softening tannins resulting in a much more pleasant finish. Any bitterness or bad aftertaste is reduced or eliminated.

How it works
The design applies Bernoulli's principle, which states that as the speed of a moving fluid increases, the pressure within the fluid decreases. When wine is poured in the Vinturi, its design creates an increase in the wine’s velocity and a decrease in its pressure. This pressure difference draws in air, which is mixed with wine for perfect aeration.

The magic formula behind Vinturi,
with a little help from Bernoulli
Pricing and availability

The Vinturi Aerator retails at £39.95 and is available from the following stockists: www.amazon.co.uk, www.bahighlife.com, www.drinkstuff.com, www.aer8.co.uk, www.iwantoneofthose.com, www,wineware.co.uk, www.presentsformen.co.uk, www.mankind.co.uk and www.zavvi.com.

Vinturi is a wine accessory designed to speed up the aeration process with ease and convenience. By holding the Vinturi over a glass and pouring wine through, the aerator draws in and mixes the proper amount of air for the right amount of time, allowing wine to breathe instantly. The result is wine with the best possible flavour, aroma and finish. Vinturi inventor Rio Sabadicci collaborated with top industrial designers to develop this unique product that combines form and function to enhance the wine experience. The first of its kind and with a patented design which took many years to perfect, the Vinturi Red Wine Aerator was first launched in the United States in May 2007.

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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Monday, 19 December 2011

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Bring me sunshine with Cartmel’s Lemon Drizzle Sponge Pudding

To help lift your spirits this spring, the lovely people at Cartmel Village Shop have created a delicious, individual, handmade Lemon Drizzle Sponge Pudding.

Colour mood charts show yellow as a happy sunshine colour and after the long, dark, winter months a little sunshine could be just what you need to get rid of those winter blues!

This tangy lemon pudding combines soft, zesty, lemon sponge with 33% finest lemon curd. With the increase in demand for personal pudding portions, Cartmel’s Lemon Drizzle Sponge Pudding will be available in individual 120g servings priced £1.50 or, if you really must share, 500g servings priced £4.25.

Simply take off the sleeve, pierce the lid and pop in to a microwave on high for 40 seconds (cat D/750W) or place in a pre-heated oven (180C, Gas mark 5) for 10-15 minutes. Remove film and turn out to serve immediately.

Cartmel Village Shop puddings are available to buy from the Cartmel Village Shop in Cartmel, Cumbria and online at www.cartmelvillageshop.co.uk as well as branches of Waitrose, Booths, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Fortnum & Mason, and independent fine foods shops. To find your nearest stockist contact the nice people at Cartmel Village Shop on 015395 58300.

Perfect Partners Wine Tasting At The Ambrette Restaurant At Rye 7-Course Tasting Menu With Matched Wines For £49.99

The Ambrette Restaurant at Rye is to hosting special wine tasting in conjunction with the Cranbrook-based wine and cheese merchants, Perfect Partners on Sunday 8th January.


Chef patron Dev Biswal will be serving a 7-course tasting menu with matched wines chosen by Perfect Partners co-owner David Clarke at £49.99.


Since its opening on 1st December, Biswal has witnessed his Rye-based clientele are ordering wines from the more expensive end of his wine list, than is the case at his original award-winning restaurant in Margate.


"Many of our customers here in Rye bottles of fine wines at around the £40 mark," said Dev. "At Margate they sit the shelves for a few months and I end up drinking them myself."


Having realised the preponderance of wine connoisseurs in the Rye area, Biswal approached David Clarke to help him create a special tasting menu to showcase the fine Indian dining and Perfect Partners' wines.


"The quality of most wines worldwide has improved hugely, but they still demand rigorous selection - some of the traditional wine regions disappoint, but the new areas astound at great value," said Richard Clarke, co owner of Perfect Partners, adding, "Our philosophy is to find quality wines, irrespective of label or country, that represent good examples of their grape variety and provenance at a fair price."

Set on Rye's High Street, the Georgian frontage of the White Vine House belies its medieval heritage. Beneath the dining room lies a C13th cellar, complete with stone spiral staircase. Refurbished in 2005, the once grand home is now one of the country's premier bed and breakfast venues, having secured a 5 star AA rating.


The Ambrette (formerly the Indian Princess) in Margate has received wide national press recognition for Biswal's unique style, that eschews what he calls a "fast food mentality" offered by many high street curry houses stuck in a "1940's time bubble." There are no poppadums, curries or Chicken Tikka Masala on Biswal's menus.

The Georgian Room seats 26, the Elizabethan Room 16, the and the Club Room 14 and the outside terrace a further 20 diners.

FACTFILE:

Dev Biswal grew up in Calcutta. He trained at the Dubai Sheraton, before moving to London, aged 26 in 2003 for spells at Mangoes and Eriki. He became a partner in The Indian Princess in Margate in December 2006, becoming patron and rebranding it as The Ambrette in 2010

The White Vine House accommodates 14 guests in 5 double rooms (one 4-poster), and a family room (sleeping four). Room rates from £130 to £180 a night including breakfast.

The original building was destroyed during one of the many French raids on the town during the 100 Years War. The Elizabethan Dining Room named for its exquisite and unique French oak panelling, which probably cost more than the original building, with each panel individually formed to fit the timber frame. The room is "signed" with a carpenter's mark visible just above the fireplace

Perfect Partners

Richard Clarke, studied Mechanical Engineering at Cambridge University, but was enticed into the food and wine trade with Jacksons of Piccadilly in 1972 as buyer of French cheeses, then wines, because of his speak rudimentary French gained from having spent a month working on a farm in Normandy. At Jacksons, Clarke was mentored by their wine consultant Harry Waugh, one of the first Masters of Wine and director of Chateau Latour, one of the great wines of Bordeaux.

In 1975 he moved to a small shipper/wine merchant who supplied the Hilton Hotels, The Ritz and Cunard Group owners of the QE2. The company was amalgamated in 1979 with a specialist in the duty free market supplying alrlines and ships. For the next 10 years Clarke advised Cunard, P&O, Sealink, British Caledonian Airways and many other airlines

In 1988, Richard and his wife Rosemary I bought Perfect Partners, Cheese & Wine Merchants of Cranbrook. Richard Clarke has witnessed a total revolution in the UK wine market. In the 1970s the only serious wines that were generally available here were French and German. Italian restaurants mainly offered a very basic range of indifferent wines. Spain, apart from Rioja and Sherry, provided bulk wines with little character.

Perfect Partners, Stone Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3HF T: 01580 712633

James Martin's Christmas Gift To You

To ensure you spend more time entertaining guests rather than stuck in the kitchen this Christmas, Life Fork & Spoon (www.lifeforkspoon.co.uk) is offering 10% off ALL orders of its delicious, restaurant quality meals and dishes delivered directly to your door, when you use code BBC10.
All recipes have been specially created by TV chef, James Martin and his team of experienced chefs, providing the perfect way to serve up gourmet meals in a matter of minutes this Yuletide.

Whether you are hosting a family Christmas dinner, or simply want to stock up on hearty home-cooked dinners over the festive period, Life Fork & Spoon is an easy and convenient way to enjoy professionally created, wholesome dishes without spending hours in the kitchen.

Order before the 23rd December and receive 10% off a great choice of starters, main courses and deserts that are sure to impress friends and family. Choose from filling dishes for one, such as succulent Minted Lamb Shank, spicy Chicken Balti Pie or hearty Shepherd's Pie.

To impress friends at a dinner party, the sharing starters and family-sized meals, such as delightful Pork Apple and Cider Terrine, Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Quiche, Luxury Beef Lasagne, Steak and Ale Pie and tempting Thai Green Curry, will bring that home-cooked look and taste to your table, allowing less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the festivities.

For the perfect end to your meal, choose from eight impressive desserts, such as James Martin's signature Sticky Toffee Pudding with a rich caramel sauce, or his White Chocolate Bread & Butter Croissant Pudding with a drop of whisky for extra flavour. Treat guests to family favourites, such as the zingy Lemon Drizzle Sponge or the luxurious Treacle Tart (serves 8-10), or serve up a tempting treat with the melt-in-the-mouth Mascarpone and Vanilla Cheesecake (served 14-16).

The mouthwatering meals are all created using top quality ingredients and choice cuts of meats, cooked with care and passion to bring handmade, real restaurant standard foods to your table.

James has also put together a selection of introductory boxes - a great way to explore the range. You can order a Dinner Party for Four or Six, Family Favourites and Gourmet Boxes, all containing a hand-picked selection of delicious dinners from the menu for you to enjoy.

The dishes and desserts are 'snap' frozen for extra freshness and can be used on the day of delivery or kept in the freezer for a later date or as a stand-by dinner. All meals come with easy-to-follow cooking instructions, with many using the sous-vide technique. James' advice is cook the products slowly and gently to produce the best results.

Ordering is quick and easy - simply browse through the options on the website, make your selection, choose a delivery date and time, checkout via the secure online process and your food will be delivered to your door ready for you to enjoy.

To ensure delivery before Christmas orders should be placed no later than 21st December.

Prices start from approximately £4 and with over 60 fantastic foods to choose from, including chicken, beef, pork, lamb, duck, pies, quiches, fish as well as seafood and vegetarian options, you will be sure to find something to suit all tastes this Christmas.

James and his team will be adding new dishes to the menu in the next few months so watch this space!

Visit www.lifeforkspoon.co.uk to see the menus and to place your order now. You can follow them on Twitter @lifeforkspoon or become a fan on www.facebook/lifeforkspoon.

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Sunday, 18 December 2011

A Must have foodie stocking filler! Some real hot sauces!

Stuck for ideas for male stocking fillers this year? – Well, here’s a ‘must have’ for every woman to give to a man, and every food loving male to add to his Xmas wish list.
So, add a bit of a kick to Xmas with a unique connoisseur chilli sauce specially chosen by Hot-Headz!, stockists of the largest selection of all things chilli in the UK (www.hot-headz.com). It’s quirky, original, has fantastic novelty value and is something that will be used! In fact we believe a bottle of chilli sauce is THE perfect stocking filler for any discerning male foodie of the species, guaranteed to bring Yuletide cheer and warmth! A perfect ‘secret santa’ gift for the office Xmas party too!

We all know there is a love hate relationship between men and chillies. They can’t resist the temptation of tingling taste buds and yet when they indulge they end up asking themselves ‘why on earth did I do that?’ whilst swilling down gallons of water to kill the heat (big mistake by the way; see the FACTFILE for details!)- and then they go and do it again! It’s all down to the endorphins that chillies make us produce by creating a sense of euphoria, along with a pinch of male bravado no doubt!

And with a bottle of superb provenance chilli sauce from Hot-Headz! typically costing from £3.99 to £6.99, it won’t make a dent in the old wallet. So why not buy a bottle or even a few.

Here are our top five ‘connoisseurs’ recommendations to choose from, gradually moving up the heat scale from ‘beginners mild’ to ‘it’ll blow your head off’ (In addition to the heat, the range of flavours, colours and textures are genuinely quite remarkable and varied, just like with wines, so why not try a few and do a tasting):

1. Tapatio Hot Sauce - This year marks the 40th Anniversary of this Mexican inspired sauce that's found on every table top in bars and restaurants across the USA. A robust cayenne pepper sauce with great flavour and a sweet citrusy tang that's good for all round use. A perfect ‘easy on the heat’ sauce for the chilli novice! Hot-Headz heat rating: 3/10. £3.99 (EDITOR Makes the perfect genuine Mexican/American foods)

2. Brother Bru-Bru's Mild African Pepper Sauce - a mouth watering blend of chilli peppers, garlic and Brother Bru Bru’s rare African spices. Brother Bru Bru is in fact no other than session musician Bruce Langhorne who used to play with Bob Dylan. It's a fact that Dylan wrote Mr.Tambourine Man about Bruce. Yes that's him on the label! Splash it on or in everything! Hot-Headz heat rating: 5/10. £3.99

3. Pyromania! Wanna play with Fire? Made with habanero peppers and chipotle "Chee-Poht-Lay" (smoked jalapeno) peppers for a wonderful rich and smoky hot sauce that's great on everything from eggs and vegetables to fish, meat, rice, pasta and tofu. Getting warmer. Hot-Headz heat rating: 7/10. £3.99

4. Hot-Headz own ‘Who Dares Burns! Crushed Naga Hot Sauce’ - Now we're getting serious! A whopping 65% chilli pepper content gives this all natural sauce a killer heat with fresh, fresh flavour! The Naga Bhut Jolokia is the Guinness Book of World Records holder of the Hottest Chilli in the World. We've skilfully blended these deadly hot chilli peppers with select ingredients to make the tastiest Naga sauce on the market. In skiing parlance, this is definitely black run. Hot-Headz heat rating: 9/10. £3.99

5. Mad Dog 357 - Claiming to be the ‘World's Hottest Sauce’ this is about as hot as you can go without being classed as a food additive. This ‘not for the faint of heart’ sauce has a blend of 160,000 scoville super hot cayenne peppers, fiery hot red habanero peppers and finally a whopping 2,000,000 scoville pepper extract. Totally off-piste! A tongue scorching 357,000 Scoville unit sauce. Hot-Headz heat rating: 11/10.
£7.49 (EDITOR: Ouch, ouch, OUCH!!! This really did burn my tongue and I am not a chilli novice!)

(Collectors Edition with bullet key chain containing tiny tasting spoon! 600,000 Scoville units - £9.95)

To purchase: Go to www.hot-headz.com to order on-line OR Call: 01453 731052. P&P (UK Mainland): £2.00 - £6.75 depending on no of items ordered. Free delivery on orders over £100. Some products in the selection may need to be altered due to availability.

FACTFILE: Best to avoid water or beer if you can, to calm your poor tongue and mouth. Milk is the best method to cool them down.)

Channelling a safer Christmas meal

The Food Standards Agency has teamed up with Channel 4 to sponsor its Christmas recipe web pages over the holiday season. This allows the Agency to highlight its Christmas food hygiene and safety messages to a wider audience as they plan their Christmas menus.

Unless you take care, food poisoning can be an unwelcome Christmas guest. The Agency has a range of information to help, including tips for preparing and cooking your turkey. But keeping Christmas dinner safe is not just about taking care with turkey. Recent Agency research found that consumers are aware of the risk of harmful germs from raw meat, but are less aware of the risks from raw vegetables.

Bob Martin, food safety expert at the Food Standards Agency, said: "Preparing Christmas dinner can be a challenge, as most of us aren’t used to cooking for so many people. It can be easy to make mistakes in the kitchen that increase the risk of food poisoning.

"One of the main rules to remember is to avoid cross-contamination from raw meat or poultry on to other foods. Keep all raw food, whether it’s your turkey or vegetables, separate from ready-to-eat foods. Always wash your hands before and after handling food but don't wash your turkey, as that will only spread germs. Instead, make sure that it gets cooked properly, and that means right the way through.

"There are around a million cases of food poisoning over the year, but following some simple steps in the kitchen can help protect you and your family."

For advice and information on preparing a safe Christmas dinner, go to the link below.
www.food.gov.uk/safereating/hyg/turkey

(EDITOR: And when you are eating out, always ensure you visit an establishment that is fully compliant with food hygiene standards. You can check out eating places, takeaway and delivery services, food shops, etc., at www.scoresonthedoors.org.uk. If your local council does not yet participate in the Scores on the Doors scheme, ask them why they are not.)

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Try something different for your Christmas Party

With the Christmas season and party time upon us, it’s the time to fill our plates at the buffet. But why should our plate be restricted to the usual sausage rolls and crisps?

‘Tis the season to be experimental, and party snacking at the office Christmas party offers the perfect opportunity to try new things.

The UK’s leading Oriental grocer, Wing Yip, dedicates an aisle in its stores to a vast array of sweet and savory snacks. With the credit crunch taking its toll on the Christmas party budget, many offices are bringing the buffet table to the board room.

Throw a soiree to remember with an Oriental spin on tradition that’s sure to get your guests and colleagues (and their tastebuds) excited. From spring rolls to chilli rice crackers there are plenty of tasty options to brighten up the buffet table.

Mr Wing Yip, founder and chairman of the Oriental grocery empire, said: “Party food doesn’t have to be boring. We offer a host of unique party treats and authentic ingredients to make sure the office party goes off with a bang!”

Wing Yip is the UK’s leading Chinese grocer, with stores in Birmingham, Manchester, Cricklewood and Croydon.

Each store is situated close to the city centre with easy access to the motorway and plenty of free car parking for customers.

A visit to one of the stores is like taking a trip around the world with over 3,000 products from the Far East.
www.wingyipstore.com

Mixology Expert Presents a Cocktail Course for Cost-Conscious, High-Style Entertaining

Everyone loves a holiday cocktail party, but in this economy, a full bar may not fit the budget. That's not a problem, says Certified Specialist of Spirits Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan. Throw a one-bottle party with diverse cocktails based on that one spirit, and that becomes part of the fun. Here are some short cocktail courses for the holidays from this acclaimed mixology expert.

Simonetti-Bryan is course lecturer for The Everyday Guide to Spirits and Cocktails: Tastes and Traditions, a DVD and downloadable guide to cocktails video course. She says, "If you’ve only got one bottle, embrace it. Theme your party to that spirit. There are a wide variety of creations you can make with just one spirit ... it’s knowing what the key ones are and how to make them well."

Vodka Cocktails

Vodka is so versatile, it goes with almost anything. Classic vodka cocktails include the Bloody Mary (which can also be made with gin) and the Moscow Mule (named for its gingery kick). Vodka goes well with a variety of mixers, and it can be infused or flavored at home. Just add ingredients such as citrus, apple, spices, ginger, or nuts, and let the bottle sit a day or more as the flavors infuse.

Vodka Bloody Mary recipe:

2 oz. vodka, 4 oz. tomato juice, ½ oz. lemon juice or juice of half a lemon, 4 dashes Tabasco(R), 2 dashes Worcestershire, 2 pinches of salt, and 3 pinches of pepper. Celery stalks to garnish.

Says Simonetti-Bryan: "People might know the ingredients for this cocktail but vary the amounts, which can change the flavor significantly. This recipe allows the full flavor of this cocktail to come out. It's best served in a tall glass."

Rum Cocktails

Rum is another versatile spirit, central to such classic cocktails as the Mojito, Daiquiri, Pina Colada, and Caipirinha. Here's a classic rum cocktail with the Simonetti-Bryan touch.

Mojito recipe:

2 oz. white rum, 1 oz. simple syrup (mix and heat 1 part water to 1 part sugar), ¾ oz. fresh lime juice, and 2 oz. club soda. Two sprigs of fresh mint to garnish.

A good selection of garnishes, mixers, fruit juice, and fresh fruit can make a cocktail sparkle. If you use the right ice (cubed, shaved, crushed, or cracked) and some well-matched glassware, no one will even think of what your party cost.

The Everyday Guide to Spirits and Cocktails: Tastes and Traditions is an eight-lecture course covering classic spirits, cordials and liqueurs, recipes, and a mixology toolkit. For further information on mixology courses and how to purchase a DVD or a digital video download, visit www.thegreatcourses.com.

For further information on The Everyday Guide to Spirits and Cocktails or The Great Courses please contact Kirsty Shaw or Gina Tunley at Punch Communications: +44 (0) 1858 411 600 or email tgc@punchcomms.com

• The Everyday Guide to Spirits and Cocktails: Tastes and Traditions is available from www.thegreatcourses.com/cocktail-courses for $27.95 (digital video download) and $29.95 (DVD). Shipping and handling costs apply.

• Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan is a definitive authority on spirits in the United States and among a small number of people to have received the highest credentials in the spirits and wine industry. She has a Professional Certificate in Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and is a Certified Specialist of Spirits from the Society of Wine Educators. Ms. Simonetti-Bryan is also one of only a few hundred people in the world to hold the Master of Wine title (M.W.) from The Institute of Masters of Wine in London, England—the highest and most difficult title to achieve in the industry.

Winner of the Wiesbaden Tasting Trophy from the Institute of Masters of Wine, Ms. Simonetti-Bryan has trained thousands of professionals in the spirits and wine industry, has judged international spirits and wine competitions, and has hosted seminars with Food Network stars including Rachael Ray and Bobby Flay. She is a frequent guest on television programs, including Fox Business and Bloomberg TV, and has been featured in Fortune, Wine & Spirits Magazine, and Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

• The Great Courses is a highly popular series of university-level lectures crafted and delivered by top professors and experts. Designed to meet the demand for lifelong learning and to change the way people think about the world, The Great Courses currently offers more than 350 courses in a range of video and audio formats including DVD, CD, and digital downloads.

Courses span over 5,000 hours of content across ten subject categories: science and mathematics, history, fine arts and music, religion and theology, philosophy and intellectual history, literature and English language, business and economics, better living, professional, and high school. Since 1990, over 10 million courses have been sold around the world.

Tesco Real Food sets SOS helpline to save Christmas dinner nightmares

Tesco Real Food has set up a unique Christmas dinner SOS helpline to rescue Britons from kitchen disasters as they prepare their festive feasts.

The supermarket has pulled together a crack team of expert chefs who will be on hand to offer personalised first rate advice on how to create the perfect Christmas dinner and avoid any potential nightmares.

Anyone running into difficulties on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be able to contact the team via the supermarket's Twitter site to get immediate solutions to their culinary problems.

Tesco senior marketing manager Breige Donaghy said: "Imagine the scenario - your guests are due to arrive for the most celebrated meal of the year and to your horror your turkey is undercooked, your bread sauce too thick and your roasties aren’t crispy enough.

"But instead of panicking, cooks will now be able to speak to our team of expert chefs who have cooked thousands of meals between them and who know all the tricks of the trade for putting on a fabulous Christmas feast with as little stress as possible.

"We think the helpline will prove especially useful to those embarking on cooking their first ever Christmas dinner. And our experts will also be around on Christmas Eve in case anyone needs help planning the big meal."

The team will include Cordon Bleu standard chefs as well as others who have been trained by top London cooking school Leiths and other top restaurants plus those who work with Tesco to develop recipes and inspire new dishes. Their combined experience totals nearly 100 years in the food business.

The team will run two help sessions. One will offer planning and preparation tips between 10am and 8pm on Christmas Eve and the other will help solve actual cooking dilemmas on Christmas Day, between 8am and 4pm.

Anyone wanting to contact the team will need to log onto Twitter on those days and then navigate to Tesco's Real Food Online Twitter page (@tescorealfood), and send off their question. They will then be sent a tweet with a solution to their problem

Breige Donaghy added: "This is the first time that any supermarket has ever tried anything like this and if it’s a success then we will look at running similar kitchen helplines for Easter and other big occasions."
 
FACTFILE:

On the Real Food website Tesco has developed a Christmas zone to help customers with everything they will need in the run up to Christmas. The tools on the site include:

- Easy-to-follow cooking videos
- Working out the right cooking times with a turkey timer. The timer can also work out the cooking times for salmon, gammon, chicken and beef.
- How to carve a turkey
- How to steam a Christmas pudding
- Cocktail recipe tool: users type in their preferred spirit or ask for suggestions based on taste and/or glass type.
- Advent calendar on the site for daily helpful tips on getting ready for Christmas.

About Tesco Real Food:

The Tesco Real Food website is packed with hundreds of healthy recipes to suit any occasion including vegetarian recipes and a recipe for strawberry yoghurt jellies. Whether customers are looking for a quick mid-week meal for the family or something for a special event, visitors are sure to find exactly what they're looking for. In addition, a range of step-by-step cooking tips and videos to help improve kitchen skills can be found, as well as healthy eating and cooking with kids sections. To make shopping even easier, every recipe has a ready-made shopping list that can be used to add all the ingredients to the shopping basket in just a few clicks.

www.tesco.com/food

That's Christmas: Festive chores dominate Christmas family time

That's Christmas: Festive chores dominate Christmas family time: toptable research reveals Brits spend over 2 working days planning and delivering their perfect Christmas celebration. British families a...

The Marilyn Factor Boosts Demand For Cakes, Puds And Dessert Course

Lake District cookery school, LucyCooks, is receiving support for its ‘Keep Cumbria Curvy’ campaign from an unexpected source – film viewers who have been to see the movie ‘My Week With Marilyn’.

The sight of the representation of Ms Monroe with real shapely curves and oozing sex appeal, despite being a reported size 14/16, is proving to women nationwide that it is not a sin to have a silhouette. Freed from the guilt that society has placed on food indulgence, women are booking themselves on to cookery courses as decadent as Classic Cakes and Bakes, Thrilling Three Courses and Canapés and Bubbles.

Top-selling courses at the Staveley-based cookery school near Kendal in the last two weeks have been Desserts – Queen of Puddings (April 20), Macaroon and Cupcake afternoon (January28) and the multi-generation desserts-focused Family Fun Day running on February 19.

LucyCooks front of house manager, Anna Morton, says: “Retro is the trend that’s dominating style, dining and fashion and it would seem that we are thankfully getting back to a time in which having a full and fabulous figure is something to celebrate, rather than hide away.

“Our message to male and female cooks is that you can indulge yourself with your favourite dishes, delve into delicious desserts and comfort yourself with cake, if you balance this out with some exercise to burn off the calories. It would seem that this view is definitely getting more backing thanks to the resurgence of the Marilyn factor”.

Food lovers wanting to free themselves from their food taboos can find a huge range of courses at www.lucycooks.co.uk that will give them a fabulous culinary repertoire and reward their bravery in standing up for the curvaceous Cumbrian. More information can also be obtained from 01539 822507.

Laverstoke Park beers for Christmas and the New Year

The first thing one notices about the beers that Laverstoke Park produces is that they actually do taste like beer.

Now, whilst the idea of beers that taste like beers might be somewhat confusing to some people, please let me explain what I mean.

I speak -or rather, write- as someone with considerable experience as a drinker of beers and as a writer on beers. Sad to say, some beers do not taste particularly pleasant.

I remember one brewer of organic ales who worked very, very hard to brew his beers. But somehow or for some reason he had decided to use smoked malt in all of his different types of beer. The result was not good.

However, it has to be said that the folks at Laverstoke Park know what they are doing!

Their Organic Real Ale is 5.0% ABV. It has a pleasingly light flavour, though the malty character of this finely crafted ale does combine nicely with the yeast and the hoppy goodness, though there's a rather nice and welcome surprise, a fruity undertone that means it will go very well with Christmas dinner, Christmas cake, mince pies and will be a great toast for the Queen's Chirstmas Message!

Next we come to the Laverstoke Park Organic Real Lager. At 4.5%
 it is a good, decent strength and is exactly what a lager should taste like. It has the characteristically lager style taste (not all lagers do!) and it is a light and refreshing beer, ideal for those who know their Continental style beers.  Ideal for drinking with all Christmas foods, and for just drinking whilst you think nice thoughts about what Christmas really means. I would suggest getting in a good supply of this Real Lager and watching every film version of the Charles Dickens novel a Christmas Carol that you can!

www.laverstokepark.co.uk

Thursday, 15 December 2011

It must be Aldi for Christmas

If you are worried about what to buy for your Christmas and New Year food this year, do not worry! Just shop at Aldi, instead!

Aldi has an undeserved reputation and I want to show you why this is wrong. I was shopping in Aldi not so long ago and met a retired Lieutenant Colonel I know who had a trolley brimmed with Chirstmas shopping.

He was clearly very happy to be shopping in Aldi and he explained why: "I was a base commander in Germany for a number of years and Aldi is one of the best supermarket chains over there. And when you are stationed over in Germany for any length of time, you get a taste for certain German foods. Especially at Christmas time, because the Germans certainly know how to celebrate Christmas with mulled wine, Stollen, cheeses and so forth. And I know I can get all of these items -genuine, good quality German stuff, too! all at a fraction of the price I would pay in a delicatessen or a high end supermarket!"

And there are genuine British goodies that are available, too! The mince pies -especially when warmed in the oven!- are absolutely delicious (better than those at premium prices elsewhere!) the Stollen pieces are to die for, the four bird roast is a real treat and please do not forget  the goose fat roast potatoes!

There's a stunning range of beers and wines and the selection of Champagnes and sparkling wines is excellent and all at prices that might make you think you have joined Dr Who for a quick trip back to the 1980s!


To find out more and to locate your nearest Aldi store, please visit www.aldi.co.uk


That's Books: First the Absolute Sanctuary, now the cook book!

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Christmas Dinner - In A Cake? Here's the recipe!

Christmas Dinner - In A Cake? Whatever next?!

Why not try a slice of Weeton's of Harrogate's new 'Christmas Dinner Cake' made from all the trimmings - minus the turkey, however!

The Christmas Dinner Cake - which was baked exclusively for Weeton's by its multi-award winning cake supplier Allison Whitmarsh, of Proper Maid in Huddersfield ­- contains carrots, parsnips, cranberries, Christmas spices, chestnuts - and of course, the sprouts.

"We all know that vegetables are great in cakes but who knew you could get an entire Christmas dinner in there!" says cake connoisseur Allison. "While the cake was baking there was a definite whiff of sprouts, but the end result is absolutely delicious - Christmas dinner never tasted so good!"

Weeton's operations director Jo Loftus says she can't wait to sample her first sweet slice. "Allison has been providing us with delicious cakes for sometime now and we didn't think she could beat some of her more unconventional flavours, but this is festive and fantastic," she says. "There'll be no running around like a headless turkeys this Christmas - just serve a slice of this Noel novelty and you've got Christmas dinner licked!"

The Christmas Dinner Cake, which is topped with a cream cheese frosting and decorated with cranberries and white chocolate curls, will be available to try at Weeton's café throughout December, plus this unusual sweet treat is available to order this festive season.

And in case you want a slice of the action at home...

...that Christmas Dinner Cake recipe in full!

7" Cake serves 6-8

Ingredients

185g Wholemeal Chapatti Flour

135g Soft brown sugar

55g Dark brown Sugar

1 tsp. ground Cinnamon

1 tsp. Mixed Spice

1 tsp. Bicarbonate of Soda

30g Cranberries

30g Chopped Chestnuts

2 Eggs

110g Vegetable oil

40g Sour cream

125g Grated Carrots

50g Grated Parsnips

50g Chopped Sprouts

Filling

50g Roses orange Marmalade

80g Philadelphia

40g Vegetable Margarine or Butter

40g Icing Sugar

Cranberries and White Choc Curls to decorate

Method

1. Mix together the flour, sugars, bicarb, cranberries and chopped chestnuts

2. Add the eggs, sour cream and oil and beat well

3. Mix in all the grated and chopped vegetables and beat well again

4. Grease and line 2 x 7" sandwich tins

5. Pour the prepared mixture into the tins

6. Bake 180°C for approx. 30 mins until cooked (test with the tip of a knife to ensure all

the mixture is cooked through)

7. Leave to cool

8. When cool spread the orange marmalade onto the bottom half of the cake

9. Mix together the Philadelphia, margarine/butter & Icing Sugar until smooth

10. Spread 80g of the prepared icing onto the top of the marmalade and sandwich

together

11. Spread the remaining 80 g of icing onto the top of the cake

12. Decorate with cranberries and white chocolate curls

Weeton's is located at 23/24 West Park, Harrogate, HG1 1BJ, 01423 507 100,

info@weetons.com, www.weetons.com.

That's Health: Ocean Spray Your Way To Five A Day

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King of Beers? The crown belongs to W J King, Brewers!

W. J. King area proud traditional brewer based in Horsham, West Sussex.

Although they declare themselves to be a new style micro brewery, they are clearly more akin to the master brewers of yesterday, when each town of note -and with a good supply of water- had at least two or three breweries, each producing some extremely fine beers all under the watchful eye of the master brewer.

And this is what drinkers will get this Christmas and New Year should they be fortunate enough to find themselves drinking beers brewed by W J King.

Because W J King are proper, traditional brewers of finely crafted ales who do not compromise on brewing technique or on the fine ingredients that they use.

Their IPA, for example, is a fine example of this style of beer. Although it is heavily hopped, this is not over done so the high hop content is well balanced and there is a wonderful fruity tang that supports the hoppy bitterness.

There Market Porter is another fine beer. My wife -an expert on Porter style beers- has declared this the finest Porter she has drunk in many a year!

It is darkly roasted, and yes, one can imagine Victorian market porters using this to slake their considerable thirst before heading back, satisfied, for several hours more hard work. And then, after work, imbibing some more of it before making their way home.

These are only two beers from their extensive range of CAMRA recognised and bottle conditioned beers. To find out more and where to buy them visit www.kingbeer.co.uk

You must get a selection in for Christmas and the New Year.

Ooo-Er Missus - A Little Sauciness From Olives Et Al

Chilly round the edges, dark nights and dull days call for turning up the heat and that's what the dedicated bunch of oliveers at Olives Et Al have done with NEW Chilli Harissa.

This little pot of heat begs to be dolloped onto chicken breasts, stirred into sauces and soups, plonked onto roasted veggies, smothered under a blanket of cheese on toast, scrambled up with eggs and even speed-dated with cous cous - it could even be used to warm up a cold fish.

Made with seriously hot chillies, which have been crushed with garlic, coriander, cumin, fennel and paprika, Chilli Harissa is an essential ingredient in tagines, curries and chillies, or try a teaspoon rubbed into a chicken breast (or a halved aubergine for a vegetarian version) and baked for 20 minutes - it's the ultimate in a hot, speedy supper! For lots of other quick and easy to make with one hand tied behind your back recipes, pop on to www.olivesetal.co.uk

Olives Et Al's NEW Chilli Harissa is suitable for vegetarians (not on chicken of course!) and vegans and is gluten free. The rrp is £4.00 for 180g jar.

Olives Et Al's products are available in good food retailers, delis, farm shops, food halls and online at www.olivesetal.co.uk

(EDITOR: This would make an idea addition to leftover turkey, I feel.)

Chief Chocolate Officer Gerry Spreads Christmas Cheer With Extreme Chocolate Truffle Making Demo On YouTube

Gerry Wilton, chief chocolate officer at events company Chocolate Delight, is aiming to spread a little Christmas cheer with his extreme chocolate truffle making video posted on youtube.

In the video, Gerry whisks up chocolate truffles in his own inimitable style while singing instructions to the tune of Mack the Knife, prompting one bemused commenter to write: "I tried this - my hair is now silky soft - thank you."

You can see Gerry's extreme chocolate making video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xd8qu0dAsqU


Who is Gerry? As well as heading events company Chocolate Delight, Gerry owns and runs the Chocolate Boutique Hotel, named one of the six best novelty hotels in the world by the Sunday Times Travel Magazine.

Chocolate Delight holds chocolate-themed teambuilding events and challenges for many of the UK's leading companies and brands.

www.chocolatedelight.co.uk/corporate-chocolate-events.html

Gerry is currently in the Caribbean, teaching passengers on board a cruise ship the art of chocolate truffle making.

Founded in 2004 by the Wilton family, Chocolate Delight was one of the first companies to have a commercial chocolate fountain in the UK and quickly established itself as the leading chocolate fountain hire company. It was soon called on by corporates, event companies and celebrities to provide fountains for functions such as film premieres and weddings, including Peter and Jordan's.

In 2006, the Wilton family saw the opportunity to expand and bought a beautiful but outdated 19th century grade II listed hotel. Christmas 2007 saw the renovation of the building and it became The Chocolate Boutique Hotel, the world's first chocolate themed hotel. Today, Chocolate Delight is one of the most successful UK chocolate companies in its field and holds Chocolate Workshops across the country. Its Corporate Chocolate Teambuilding events commenced late in 2005 and are now run all over the UK and more recently in Europe. Last year saw Chocolate Delight in Spain, France, Austria and Switzerland.

Box Brewery should be on your Christmas list!

If you are buying beers for yourself or a family member or a friend for this Christmas and Nee Year period,. then you simply must make certain that beers from the Box Brewery are on your list.

They are one of the leading independent brewers in the South of England, proudly sited in Wiltshire.

One of their fine ales is called Funnel Blower and, as my wife is a fanatic for the history of Victorian engineering. this one really caught her attention.

It is a finely hand crafted real ale and named for an incident that struck the Isambard Kingdom Brunel ship the Great Eastern, when, two days after her sea trials commenced, the ship suffered a gigantic explosion which blew off one of her five funnels.

What of the beer? The only thing this is liable to blow is your taste buds! It isa serious ale and not to be taken lightly, coming in with an ABV of 4.5%. The other thing that took my wife's fancy about this beer -and mine, too! is that this is a dark brown coloured Porter beer.

It has a good Porter aroma, you just know that there are some well-roasted barley and malts in there! You can taste the bitterness of the roasted notes, but that's well-balanced by a nice sweetness that pervades this fine ale.

It will cost you a very reasonable £2.35 a bottle and for stockist lists please visit www.boxsteambrewery.com or call them on 01225 858383.

Of course, this is not the only beer they brew. Please ask them for details and do mention That's Food and Drink and That's Christmas when you contact them!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Tesco scoops up DipNation in time for Christmas

DipNation are set to launch their award winning range of dips in Tesco this December. The selection of chunky dips from the Fife based company will be available in selected Tesco stores across Scotland from today.

The Company was set up by Jeremy and Juliet Williams, and Juliet’s brother Patrick Gilmour. Inspired by the variety of dips available overseas and bored at the lack of choice in the UK market, Jeremy and Juliet decided to fill a niche. Patrick, with his background in chefing created scrumptious recipes to appeal to a primed UK consumer.

Since its launch in 2009 the family-run business, based in Fife built up a strong customer base of local Farm Shops and Delicatessens in Fife and its surrounding areas. They were an instant hit, their fresh ingredients and delicious flavours won them numerous stars in the Great Taste Award and a nomination in the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards. Their increasing popularity allowed them to supply to independent stores nationwide and they will now be rolled out across Tesco’s Scottish stores.

Commenting on the Tesco launch, co-founder Juliet Williams said, “It’s an exciting time for us and we are thrilled to be working with such a major retailer. It has really impressed us that Tesco are so keen to support and promote smaller, local producers who have innovative new products and to help them reach a wider market. We are extremely proud of our range and the awards they have won, so we are delighted that they will now be more readily available to consumers.”

The range is entering Tesco stores at a perfect time as they are a great product for the festive season. The delicious dips are perfect for parties, buffet table nibbles or for your traditional chips ‘n dips relaxing with friends and family. They even go well in recipes for a quick but impressive dish.

Lynne Roxburgh, Local Sourcing Marketing Manager for Tesco in Scotland said, "We pride ourselves on sourcing top quality food and drink from Scottish producers and are delighted to be the first supermarket launching such a range from DipNation. DipNation attended our 'Meet the Tesco Local Sourcing Team' event last year and introduced us to their award winning range of dips. Their enthusiasm and passion for their products was clearly evident and we are delighted to be working with them to help grow their business by adding these fantastic products to our range of locally sourced food and drink."

Bursting with delicious fresh ingredients, the Chunky Dips are made with a base of crushed cashews and real Parmesan shavings to give you more of a mouthful. Combined with an imaginative mix of ingredients these dips bring imaginative flavours to the UK table.
For more information contact Pam or Su at Crimson Edge PR on 0131 311 7050 or email pamela@crimsonedge.co.uk or su@crimsonedge.co.uk

FACTFILE:

*The dips will be available in 62 Scottish stores – a full list of stores can be provided if necessary
**The dips will retail at £2.20 for a 135g tub
***The following is the full range of Chunky Dip flavours available and the number of Great Taste Award gold stars they hold:

Sweet Thai Chilli Chunky Dip 2010 2 stars GTA. 2011 1 star GTA
Roasted Butternut & Sweet Chilli Chunky Dip 2011 1 star GTA
Roasted Red Pepper Chunky Dip 2011 1 star GTA
Spinach & Feta Chunky Dip 2011 1 star GTA
Sun Dried Tomato Chunky Dip 2010 1 star GTA

With New Year weeks away, what better way than to celebrate with Tarbert Fine Foods and the New Take me away products from Browns Food Group?

From the humblest beginnings of a small family butchers shop in Biggar 1885, Browns Food Group now supplies a vast range of chilled and frozen foods, ranging from delicatessen, pre sliced cooked meats, smoked salmon and convenience foods which are as unique and distinctive today as they were in 1885. Browns Food Group is a family run business based in the Borders of Scotland, in Kirkconnel. For more information please visit http://www.brownsfoodgroup.com/

Tarbert Fine is a range of Premium Scottish cooked meats, produced from Scottish meat, from animals born and reared in Scotland. This range carry the relevant Quality Meat Scotland Logos; Specially Selected Pork, Specially Selected Ham or Scotch Beef. Tarbert Fine products use premium cooked meat recipes to give a quality finished product. Made with Scottish meat and ingredients, it is a great tasting product.

Tarbert Fine Scottish Butter Basted Chicken
Tarbert Fine Scottish Honey Roast Ham
Tarbert fine Oakwood Smoked Ham
Tarbert Fine Honey Roast Finely Sliced Ham
Tarbert Fine Mature Ham
Tarbert Fine Ham and Arran Mustard
Tarbert Fine Scottish Roast Pork
Tarbert Fine Heather Honey Ham
Or sample the new Take Me Away range from Browns Food Group?

“Take me Away” is a range of premium snacking foods which take a matter of minutes to prepare. The range includes; Hot and Spicy Chicken Wings, Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings, Hickory Ribs and Spicy Boneless Ribs. A gap in the UK protein snacking market was recognised for a premium range. Within this range Browns have created a unique product in this market with the Spicy Boneless Rib, offering a bone free, mess free and tasty pork snack!

The National Trust's MyFarm experiment extends to include conventional farm method

The National Trust has announced that a 250 acre conventional farm is set to become part of the MyFarm* experiment which aims to reconnect people with where their food comes from.

The farmland will form a key part of MyFarm project which enables members to make decisions on what happens on the farm.

The arable land at Cambridge Road Farm is next to the 1,200 acre Wimpole Home Farm which is at the centre of the MyFarm project in Cambridgeshire.

Owned by the Trust, Cambridge Road Farm has always been farmed conventionally by a tenant, who has now retired.

Its inclusion in the project means that participants will be able to get closer to both conventional and organic farming methods.

Richard Morris, Farm Manager at Wimpole, said: "This is an exciting development for the project as we can now explore the differences between organic and conventional farming methods rather than simply talking about them.

"With only four per cent of farmland in the UK farmed organically we felt it was important to demonstrate the different benefits and challenges presented by each method.

"We'll be asking the MyFarm members to make decisions on the conventionally farmed land in addition to the 1,200 acres of organic farmland at Wimpole.

"We hope to make the differences and reasoning for both farming methods clearer and easier to digest. Whatever scenario the MyFarmers are presented with, we will be relying on them to make sure their decisions lead to both farms being profitable businesses."

Paul Hammett, Senior Policy Advisor at the National Farmers Union, said: "The MyFarm community will now have a fantastic opportunity to run the farms in parallel and learn about the advantages and disadvantages of both farming methods. It will be really interesting to see how their views and attitudes change, if at all, over the coming months."

For more information and to sign up to join the MyFarm experiment visit www.my-farm.org.uk.

Good with Christmas and the New Year, Sauvignon Blanc

This delicious white wine, Sauvignon Blanc, is a wine of the Western Cape of South Africa.

It is a modern wine which although proud of its long heritage is youthful and modern enough to wear its screw cap with a certain  amount of innocent pride.

Yes, it is clearly a good Sauvignon white wine, but there's a little more, too. When you drink it there are clear, fruity tones, there are hints of apple but these are enhanced by a rich top note of pears, too. Is there also, perhaps, a subtle blend of the flavours of some fruits of the forest, there, as well? Perhaps there are.

This wine deserves to be served chilled and you will find it goes well with any food at Christmas or the New Year, though I believe it is especially good with Christmas pudding and Christmas cake, Stollen and mince pies.

In fact, moving on into the summer months, this wine will make a fine addition to any al fresco dining that you have planned.

It makes a good first wine for the diner who is new to wine drinking. The wine is also produced using environmentally aware methods, so is a green wine, as well as a white one!

Thr ABV is 13% (so should be treated with respect) and should cost about the £8.00 mark and is available through Tesco stores. It is imported into the UK by Thierry's Wine  Services. For more details and to check on availability outside the UK, visit www.sauvignon.com.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Winners of the Cook Vegetarian Veggie Awards Announced!

Cook Vegetarian magazine is delighted to announce the winners of The Veggie Awards 2012, celebrating flavour, versatility and innovation in the world of meat-free foods.

Editor Rachel Callen said: “If you needed any sort of proof that vegetarian food is thriving in the mainstream, this is it. Over 350 products were entered in this year's awards, and nearly 1,700 readers voted on their favourites at www.cookveg.co.uk. There's no doubt that Britain's vegetarians and meat reducers are a shopping force to be reckoned with... and they know what they like, too!”


The Cook Vegetarian team invited entries from the biggest supermarket to the smallest producer, and 16 outstanding products were shortlisted in each category. After reader voting, the top three products received a Gold, Silver and Bronze Veggie Award respectively, while three runners up in each category were awarded a Highly Commended accolade.


This year's winners of a ‘Veggie’ are as follows:

Best Meat Replacement

Gold

Quorn Fillets

Silver

Linda McCartney Vegemince

Bronze

Cauldron Marinated Tofu Pieces

Highly Commended

Asda Meat Free Meat Balls

Fry's Chicken Style Strips

Redwood Vegetarian Streaky Rashers

Best Ready Meal

Gold

Linda McCartney Deep Country Pies

Silver

M&S Roasted Butternut Squash and Chargrilled Halloumi

Bronze

Innocent Piri Piri Veg Pot

Highly Commended

Aunt Bessie's Vegetarian Toad in the Hole

The Co-operative Moroccan Tagine

Asda Extra Special Four Cheese Macaroni

Best Burger, Banger or Grill

Gold

Cauldron Cumberland Sausages

Silver

Dalepak Cauliflower Cheese Grill

Bronze

Goodlife Spicy Bean Quarterpounders

Highly Commended

Linda McCartney Cheese and Red Onion Escalopes

Quorn Breaded Goujons

Waitrose Mushroom and Chestnut Grills

Best Cheese

Gold

Aldi Specially Selected Farmhouse Red Leicester

Silver

Delamere Dairy Honey Goat's Cheese Log

Bronze

Ilchester Applewood Smoke Flavoured Cheddar

Highly Commended

Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses Blacksticks Blue

Godminster Vintage Organic Cheddar

Calon Wen Organic Extra Mature Cheddar

Best Dairy Substitute

Gold

Alpro Soya Custard

Silver

Swedish Glace Smooth Vanilla

Bronze

Pure Spread Soya

Highly Commended

Rice Dream Original

Booja Booja Hunky Punky Chocolate Ice Cream

Provamel Vanilla Soya Yoghurt

Best Vegan

Gold

Jus-Rol Shortcrust Pastry

Silver

Granose Falafel Mix

Bronze

Goodlife Spinach & Lentil Grills

Highly Commended

Tesco Meat Free 2 Curry Bakes

WeightWatchers Moroccan Tagine

Plamil Organic Mayonnaise

Best Veggie Snack

Gold

Tyrrells Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper

Silver

Quorn Mini Savoury Eggs

Bronze

Dorset Cereals Chocolate & Macadamia Bars

Highly Commended

Crips Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar

Nakd Berry Delight Bar

Crazy Jack Ready-to-eat Apricots

Best Sweet

Gold

Ben & Jerry's Phish Food

Silver

Gü After Dark Hot Chocolate Soufflés

Bronze

Booja Booja Organic Raspberry Truffles

Highly Commended

Tesco Finest Passion Fruit, Mango & Scottish Raspberry Cheesecake

Waitrose Key Lime Pie

McVities Lyle's Golden Syrup Cake

Best Veggie Wine

Gold

M&S Chablis 2008

Silver

Tesco Finest Barossa Valley Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon

Bronze

The Co-op Leyda Valley Sauvignon Blanc

Highly Commended

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Pouilly Fumé

Asda Louis Bernard Champagne Brut Rosé

Laurent Perrier Vintage 2002

Reader Choice Award

Gold

Sainsbury's Cheese & Spring Onion Crispbakes

Silver

Munchy Seeds Omega Mix

Bronze

Cockburns Vintage Port

Highly Commended

Cropwell Bishop Classic Blue Stilton

Waitrose Nut Roast Wellingtons

M&S Veggie Percy

FACTFILE:
Cook Vegetarian is the UK’s leading monthly vegetarian cookery magazine, available nationwide in supermarkets, WHSmith stores and independents.

The Cook Vegetarian website is: www.cookveg.co.uk Follow Cook Veg on twitter at www.twitter.com/cookveg or on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/cookvegetarian

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP praises British Curry's Success Story at BCA Awards 2011

Tasty Curry Success Celebrated in True Authentic Style

The Announcement of the UK’s Finest Curry Houses.

The Bangladesh Caterers Association, spiced up the night at their 6th Annual BCA Awards on Sunday 4th December at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel with a fusion of Bollywood and Contemporary entertainment that pleased guest palate’s and left audiences wanting more.

As the night progressed from the sparks of ambition to the burning embers of success the night was filled with the powerful message of entrepreneurial inspiration and dedication.

The awards were hosted by Tasmin Lucia Khan, of ITV’s Daybreak, in front of an audience of 1,000 guests, including a host of Dignitaries, Celebrities, Parliamentarians and the Crème de la Crème of the Curry Elite.

Each of the nominees and winners for the BCA Chef of the Year and BCA Caterer of the Year Awards, from all the different regions of the UK came together to light up a flame that warms the heart and if Curry is the Spice of life then The Bangladesh Caterers Association know how to serve it.

With the introduction of the new Award category BCA Chef of the Year in recognition of the heavy burden that has been placed on the Curry industry and the demands for the accreditation of chefs, BCA have announced The Chef of the Year Winners chosen from around the country.

In traditional BCA style the entrepreneurial talent was also recognised and awarded through the coveted BCA Caterer of the Year naming the Best Curry Houses from across UK.

The BCA Honour of the Year went to Mr. Talukdar Abdul Khalique, Keith Vaz MP and Lutfur Rahman – The Mayor of Tower Hamlets.

Mr Bajloor Rashid, President of the Bangladesh Caterers Association who is passionate about both passing on his expertise to a new generation and raising the profile of the UK curry industry said: "We are a community built on the curry industry, with the blood, sweat and tears of manual workers, each of whom were proud to do what they did. Perhaps as a nation we need to give our kitchen-staffs the recognition they deserve and improve the perception and social standing of manual workers’.

Chief Guest of the night The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP Secretary of State Communities and Local Government said “Curry may not have been born in Britain. But it’s found a home here. With over 12,000 establishments turning over £4.3 billion each yea} it’s not difficult to see that British curry is a great success story. This Government wants to support the industry’s growth and development. I’m delighted to join you as you put the spotlight on the best of the best. I congratulate the Bangladeshi Caterers Association on speaking up for your industry for fifty one years, and wish you continued success in the years to come"

Bangladesh Caterers Association with their culinary experience have searched the UK for the crème de la crème of the Curry Industry now leaving you to judge and sample the winners curry delight.

The Bangladesh Caterers Association will continue their outstanding work and live up to their tag for Oldest, Largest and Strongest pressure group by supporting their members and the Curry Industry identifying solutions to keep Britain’s favourite Curry dish alive.

BCA Awards 2011 were honoured to be supported by many delegates, MPs, VIPs and valuable sponsors; Cobra Beer, Kansara’s, Jaguar, Kingfisher Airlines, Ghandi Oriental Foods, Euro Foods, Media Partners; Sony Entertainment Television Asia, Channel S and Chosen Charity Islamic Relief. Audiences who missed the sizzling evening will get an opportunity to watch the Masala on Sony Entertainment Television Asia followed by Channel S.

BCA Chef of the Year 2011 Winners:

Azizur Rahman of Jolsha, Marton, Middlesborough
Kauser Hussain of Flames Eastern Cuisine, Penkridge
Tipu Rahman of Tamarind Restaurant, Northampton
Mohammed Jitu Miah of Dhan Shiri Indian Cuisine, Burnham on Crouch
Akmal Ali of Maharaja Restaurant, Benfleet
Gias Uddin of Spice Paradise, Malborough
Abul Monsur of Taj Cuisine, Chatham, Kent
Shahidur Choudhury of Raj Pavilion, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Moni Das of Mem Saheb on Thames Restaurant, Docklands, London
Mohamad Asrar of Bengal Clipper, Butlers Wharf, London
Mohammed Nazrul Islam Miah of Ruhith Restaurant, London
Motin Rashid Khan of Itihaas Restaurant, Edinburgh

BCA Caterer of the Year 2011 Winners:
Shuhel Ahmed, The Spice Island, County Durham
Gulam Muktadir, Double Tree Indian Restaurant, Fullwood, Preston
Sadiq Miah, Kaben? Quarry Bank, West Midlands
Robby Malique, Melford Valley Tandoori, Long Melford, Sudbury
Mohammed Jitu Miah, Dhan Shiri Indian Cuisine, Burnham on Crouch, Essex
Manik Miah, Maharani Indian Cuisine, Ipswich, Suffolk
Syed Abdul Wahid, The Jaipur Palace Restaurant, Plymouth
Rezaul Kabir Raja, The Raja of Kent, St Michaels, Kent
Riaz Ali of Alishan Restaurant, Tonbridge, Kent
Mosud Ahmed, Café Tusk, Fareham, Hampshire
Amirul Islam, Indian Fusion, Tower Bridge Road, London
Abdul Khalique Chowdhury, Forest of India, Abbots Langley
Abdur Rahman, Chillies Indian Restaurant, Pontarddulais, Swansea
Ahad Sheik, Nazma Tandoori, Aberdeen

About Bangladesh Caterers Association

The BCA is the umbrella organization of approximately 12,000 British-Bangladeshi restaurants across the UK and last year celebrated their Golden Jubilee. It was established in 1960 to represent the Catering Industry run by the ethnic Bangladeshis.

The BCA organises various activities to promote Bangladeshi cuisine in Great Britain as well as in Europe.
Over the years BCA has established itself as the ˜Pride of Bangladeshi Community”™ through its relentless efforts in the interest of our community. With the passage of time, BCA is now generating huge business potentials for any supplier, be it a small Cash & Carry or a large business industry like Cobra or Coca-Cola.

The BCA is a democratically run organization with a new executive committee taking control every 2 years. The new executive committee is the highest forum within the BCA and three key personnel, President, Secretary General and the Chief Treasurer run the day-to-day activities.

The BCA has been representing the Bangladeshi curry industry for the last 51 years. The Association exists to ensure that the views of the Bangladeshi Curry industry are represented in a forceful, coherent and co-ordinated way to government and policy makers in the UK and internationally. As the national trade association for Bangladeshi caterers, the primary role of the BCA is to lobby government across the UK, representing the views of the curry industry.

BCA pride themselves in having created a novel industry which has contributed significantly to the British economy and created thousands of jobs and continue to support the curry industry by working with key Government Ministers and Agencies such as MAC and People's First.

The BCA Awards commenced in 2006, since then the annual ceremony has won recognition as the most prestigious award event recognising the hard work and standards set by the highest achievers in the UK curry industry.

The objectives for the Awards event are to highlight over five decades of hard work, personal sacrifice, and significant success in creating and protecting the £4.1 billion national treasure, which is now part of British heritage as well.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Morrisons To Stock Monastery Cheese From Shepherds Purse

A traditional mould rinded, soft cow's milk cheese originating from Middle Age monks has been reproduced by artisan Yorkshire cheese makers Shepherds Purse of Thirsk and is now stocked nationally in Morrisons stores for Christmas. Award winning Monks Folly is introduced to Morrisons Christmas range and the supermarket will also stock the company's latest innovation, Bells Bluemin White, across all Yorkshire stores.

Many washed and mould rinded cheeses can be traced back to the monastic orders during the Middle Ages and were sometimes referred to as monastery cheeses. The monks spent a great deal of time and effort developing these cheeses and the Bell family have now discovered a recipe they have adapted for modern palettes to create Monks Folly.

The art of traditional cheese making was thought to have been handed down by the monks and it has inspired Shepherds Purse Cheeses on more than one occasion. Monks Folly is the third cheese they have created using monastic recipes.

Commenting on the cheese, Katie Matten, managing director of Shepherds Purse Cheeses said: "Luckily for us, monks in European monasteries revived the practice of cheese making during the Middle Ages. As true researchers and innovators, monks greatly improved cheese ripening and ageing techniques. They are credited with delivering milder tasting cheeses like Brie and Camembert, as well as many classic varieties marketed today. We are delighted to have secured a national listing with Morrisons and hope it is well received by shoppers. Forget the usual suspects for the Christmas cheeseboard this year and try a cheese that is seeped in history."

Bells Bluemin White, the first cheese created by Judy's eldest daughter, Katie, is handmade with locally sourced cow's milk and has been carefully matured in the company's dedicated ripening store. The region's first blue rind brie cheese is hand turned everyday to achieve the best mould ripening, which results in a luxurious texture and delicate, yet complex flavour.

Jenny Dixon, Morrisons cheese buyer commented "At Morrisons we are always looking to discover great tasting, great value cheeses and we are delighted to introduce Monks Folly and Bells Bluemin White to our Christmas line up. These two award winning, traditionally handcrafted cheeses produced by the Bell family at their Yorkshire dairy offer the excellent quality our customers expect with a real story behind them."

(EDITOR: First stop, Morrisons, then!)

Need a dairy free Christmas? Then indulge yourself, happily,rice with Rice Dream!

Dairy-free apple and spice muffins
As the festive season fast approaches, households across the UK will be stocking up on seasonal treats to indulge in over the Christmas holidays.

However, for millions across the UK who are lactose intolerant, having to always check to see what the ingredients are means always being on guard to ensure that dairy and gluten doesn't ruin their yuletide fun.

Rice Dream, the healthy alternative, has come up with some delicious dairy and lactose-free recipes for the 12 days of Christmas that everyone can enjoy. The festive recipes are suitable for vegetarians and can also be gluten free, wheat free, soya free and seed free.

Nutritionist Fiona Hunter said: “With an estimated five per cent of adults in the UK being lactose intolerant, we understand that it can sometimes be very difficult for people who are lactose intolerant to enjoy the festive breaks because they have to constantly watch what they are eating.

“So we have created some easy recipes for the 12 days of Christmas so those millions of adults in the UK that are lactose intolerant can join in the festive fun without having to worry.”

Rice Dream has created 12 recipes for the 12 days of Christmas. The first day of Christmas can be used to make a delicious bread sauce which is an essential part of a traditional dinner but also wonderful with a Sunday roast, sausages and cold ham.

For those with a sweet tooth, the second day could be used making apple and spice muffins to be enjoyed individually or with the whole family.

Other recipes for the remaining days include a pear and chocolate smoothie, fennel and potato dauphinoise, roasted mulled plums with vanilla custard and toasted sweet nuts and a pear, apricot and cinnamon porridge.

As part of the festive spirit Rice Dream is are giving away a free 50p money off coupon for use against a range of its products including Original + Calcium, Original Organic, Vanilla Organic, Chocolate and Chilled + Calcium.

So this Christmas, use Rice Dream as a healthy alternative and enjoy the festive period without worrying about making sure whether it is dairy or gluten free.

For more recipe ideas and information on lactose intolerance please visit www.ricedream.co.uk/recipes.

To print a 50p off coupon for the Rice Dream products please register at www.ricedream.co.uk/coupon-offer-form.

Apple and Spice Muffins
Light and fruity muffins with chunks of sweet apple and crunchy nuts. Wonderful served warm for breakfast but equally delicious as a family tea time treat. Make use of any seasonal fruits but the combination of cinnamon and apple is particularly moreish and a sensational winter treat. Dairy free, you can make these gluten free by using original rice dream and substituting the flour for a gluten free flour mix.

Symbols: suitable for vegetarians, dairy free, can be gluten free, can be wheat free, soy free, seed free
Makes 10 muffins

2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
80g/2¾oz xylitol or caster sugar
200ml / 7floz Oat Dream or Original Rice Dream
6tbsp light olive oil
150g / 5 ½ oz plain flour
150g / 5 ½ oz wholemeal flour
1tbsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ tsp cinnamon
2 eating apples, peeled, cored, finely chopped
60g / 2oz chopped walnuts
Spice Topping, optional
1tbsp soft brown sugar
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/380F/Gas 5 and line a muffin tin with paper cases.
2. Whisk together the eggs, xylitol or sugar, Oat Dream and oil.
3. Sift the flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a large bowl. Add the chopped apple and walnuts and lightly mix.
4. Pour in the wet ingredients and beat well.
5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases.
6. Mix together the sugar and spices and sprinkle over the top of the muffins.
7. Bake for 25minutes until well risen and golden.
8. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Tips: make your own gluten free flour cake mix and store ready to use : combine together 125g / 4 ½ oz rice flour, 125g / 4 ½ oz ground almonds, 50g / 1 3/4 oz potato starch, 2tsp gluten-free baking powder plus 1/2tsp xanthan gum
Nutritional Information per muffin (10)
Calories 256kcal
Protein 5.6g
Carbohydrates 33g of which sugars 11.9g
Total Fat 12.6g of which saturates 1.8g
Fibre 3g

Nutritional Information per 100g
Calories 265kcal
Protein 5.8g
Carbohydrates 34.2g of which sugars 12.3g
Total Fat 13g of which saturates 1.8g
Fibre 3.1g




FACTFILE:
• Rice Dream is available in five flavours: Original Organic, Calcium- enriched, Vanilla, Chocolate, and Hazelnut & Almond. Whatever one you choose, it's the naturally good alternative.

• Rice Dream is available in Tesco, Waitrose, Asda, JS, Sainsbury’s, Co-Operative and independent health food stores.

• One 200ml glass of Rice Dream + Calcium provides 30% of the daily recommended allowance, which is as much as full fat milk

• Rice Dream is made from rice, which is a hypoallergenic food so, unlike soya, it's highly unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. Easy to digest Rice Dream is soft on sensitive stomachs, without the adverse digestive effects that cow's milk or soya can sometimes have.

• It is estimated that around five per cent of adults in the UK have lactose intolerance. (ref: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lactose-intolerance/Pages/Intro...).

• For more information go to www.ricedream.co.uk