Veneto Pinot Grigio Rose

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The change in weather is so very welcome to my bones … I’ve loved being out in the garden getting all the little jobs that I’ve been planning over the dark cold winter, started and underway …. ! So when the sun is shining what better than sitting in your freshly mown garden … gazing at the freshly painted wood work …. with a cool chilled glass of pinot grigio to keep you company and cool you down in the beating sunshine !!

This Veneto Pinot Grigio Rose is the perfect accompaniment to the scene I’ve set . This wine is produced exclusively for The Co-op and is a very affordable price  at £6.99 a bottle . This Pinot Grigio is sourced from North East Italy … home of the pinot grigio grape  and is quite simply delicious . It has a melodic pairing of strawberries and peaches that make your heart glad . the dryness of the grape surrounded by this magnificent fruitfulness make this wine an absolute delight .

This wine will match perfectly with a summery pea & ham risotto  or a decadently delicious cheese board and is a must  with a fresh pasta with a delicious homemade tomato sauce sprinkled with parmesan ! This wine is also absolutely perfect for those impromptu balmy evenings of barbeques and good friends !!!

This Veneto Pinot Grigio Rose is just fantastic. An easy drinkable treat for any occasion … it certainly whispers to me that Summers coming …let’s celebrate !

This review is part of The Co-operative’s #welikewine campaign that you can find more out about HERE

Hot Cross Cookies

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It’s almost Easter and to be quite honest I can sometimes get a bit fed up of all the chocolate  (sacrilege I know ) … I think sometimes we need to break the monotony and make something equally as naughty ( and still with a bit of chocolate in it) that we can dunk in our tea over the lazy Easter weekend … So I give you my version of …

Hot Cross Cookies !!

  • 200g softened butter
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 egg , medium free range
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g sultanas
  • 100 g white chocolate ,  (50g chopped )
  • 50g Dark chocolate , chopped

Heat  your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Lightly grease 2  baking trays. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and egg until smooth. Sift in the flour,ginger  and baking powder, then combine to make a dough. Add the sultanas , 50g of chopped white chocolate and the dark chocolate, and mix to combine.

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Roll lumps of dough into balls the size of golf balls ( if the dough is a bit sticky generously cover your hands in flour to help with the rolling) . Flatten these onto the trays, leaving enough space between each for them to expand. Bake for 10 mins until golden (you may have to do this in batches). Remove the cookies from the trays and cool on wire racks.

Melt the remaining white chocolate either in the microwave or over a pan of boiling water. Using a  teaspoon, carefully drizzle a cross on top of each cookie. Leave to set before eating.

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These cookies CAN last up to 3 days … however they are pretty good so don’t expect them to hang around that long !!! Happy Easter Folks x

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This recipe is part of The Central England Co-operative Easter campaign …. you can read more about this  HERE

Sipsmith Gin Sherbert Lemon

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Well … you had me at gin … !!! When asked to concoct a cocktail I set to work … !! Gin has been a drink of choice for me ever since I was pregnant with my eldest son ( who will be 15 next week .. eek ) I craved gin and white wine all the way throughout my pregnancy … and believe me those months of abstinence were hard ….  However I also had a massive craving for sherbert lemons !!! So I guess we have my teen to thank for the advent of this cocktail ….

Sipsmith Gin Sherbert lemon  ( Serves 2 )

50ml Gin

3 Green Apples ( Granny smiths are PERFECT )

1/3 Lemon

Crushed Ice

2 Unearthed Olives with Sipsmith Gin

Chop the apples and lemon into a large chunks . Throw them in the juicer and juice at will .

Fill your glasses with the crushed Ice .

Add 25ml gin to each glass .

Pour over your juiced fruit .

Add an olive

Chin Chin xx

Easy as that … and so tab flapping gorgeous one quite simply will never be enough xx

Many thanks to Unearthed for providing the gin & olives for this recipe . All thoughts and opinions are my own .

Limited Release : Calvet Merlot Bordeaux 2013

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I’m not well known for drinking red wines … being a staunch dry white wine kinda gal … so I had to have a little help in telling you all about this wine Calvet Merlot Bordeux  …. which has been the wine of choice for the husband , brother in law and sister in law of late !  A mid range priced wine at £7.49 ( Derby prices ) it’s a weekend treat to wash down the morsels of good food placed on the table …!

The wine claims to  be a bright ruby red ( it is ! ) with purple reflections ( in some lights!) with an intense bouquet of red fruits with a hint of liquorice !! I know my husbands first sip illicited a ” ooooh ahhhhh mmmmm” so I’m imagining that’s a good thing ! ( It is !! )  The wine certainly delivered in what it promised.

This wine matched perfectly with a recent roast beef dinner that was served during a wonderful evening of wine and good friends ! Perfectly placed to enhance the intense flavours of the meat whilst bringing out the freshness and pure delight of the prepared vegetables . A splash ( and only a splash … too good to waste ) of this in the roast beef gravy was the absolute piece de resistance … amazingly rounding off the main meal with a hearty gravy of deliciousness .

This wine is also perfect to match with the wonderful cheese & cured meat board we decadently devoured …. fantastically balancing the flavours of the camembert with the tempting nutty flavour of the gouda and the tantalising saltiness of the prosciutto ! This Merlot was definitely a good all rounder and I imagine one that could quite easily be drank in a  drinks and nibbles situation with just a bowl of cashews and lots of great conversation to  wash it down with .

An absolute hit in this house !!

(Review courtesy of the husband )

This review is part of The Co-operatve’s #welikewine campaign that you can find more out about HERE

Chocolate & Marshmallow Tiffin

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The boys were on half term last week and I managed to get one day off with them ( which luckily turned out to be the one day Ted wasn’t ill after he came down with a bad case of flu the day after … and is still poorly now a week later :( !) Anyway …  the weather was remarkably mild so our full on day of making and baking became a few bits thrown together in between bike rides and games of tennis … but one thing we did make was this incredibly moreish and decadently dangerous Chocolate and Marshmallow tiffin  …  so easy to make and so delicious to eat ! Here’s our recipe

50 g butter

400g milk chocolate

150g digestive biscuits

50g dried apricots , chopped

50g raisins

50g mini marshmallows

3 nougat & caramel bars/nutty caramel bars  refrigerated and sliced in 2 cm chunks

Grease and line a 20 x20cm baking tin with greaseproof paper . place a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water ( make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water) and place the butter and chocolate into the bowl. Stir until completely melted then pop the bowl to one side to cool slightly.

Put the biscuits into a sealed sandwich bag and break into 2cm chunks ( Don’t completely obliterate into submission like the boys did !! ). Tip the biscuits , apricots , raisins and marshmallows into the melted chocolate and stir well , add the chocolate bar slices and stir well . Tip it all into your prepared tin , cover with cling film and refrigerate for approximately 2 hours. Now cut it into squares , pop the kettle on and enjoy xx

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(adapted from Holly Bell’s Award Winning Chocolate Tiffin : Recipes from a Normal Mum )

It’s an addiction …

I have an addiction !!  To some it may seem silly … to my husband it’s just plain annoying … to my kids … well it’s just Mum isn’t it? To my Mum it’s untidy and creating clutter … to me it’s just dandy !!! You see I’m addicted to BOOKS … cookery books to be precise … including Food History books , allotment books , dieting books , kids cookery books … you name it .. I’ll buy it ! I’m always seduced by a bargain … 1p for a tome of a book …. that’ll do for me … £1 for that book from the charity shop … yes  siree Bob that’s coming home with me ….

So now I have admitted it I will hereby solemnly declare to work my way through my 3 bookcases plus dotted around the house stacks of books and I promise to cook at least one .. if not two recipes from each book … with well over 300 books this should keep us going for a good while !!!

So my good people I urge you to kick my butt if I have not posted my take on a recipe … or indeed a recipe in its wholeness …in a while !

Now where to start ????

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A not so shabby Chablis !

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It was my birthday last week … I turned 21 again .. for the 19th time .. ouch ! So I decided to soften the blow ( and blur the edges) and treat myself to a decent bottle of wine ! As I browsed the shelves I decide on the co-op Chablis . Why a Chablis ? Well it always evokes memories of lazy Saturday evenings with my husband in the early days of our relationship … we’d cook a meal and sit drinking Chablis chattering away about all or hopes and plans for the future …

The Chablis I chose was perfectly dry  with the expected underlying citrus flavours . It was a smooth easy drink which tasted of class . Definitely a wine to choose for your dinner table with friends . The wine itself lends itself to seafood perfectly but as you may know by now … I’m no seafood or fish eater !!!  I instead would drink this when eating a perfectly simple tricolore salad  although my version is slightly different to the original version ..

Slices of ripe juicy tomatoes , generous slices of the best buffalo mozzarella and chunky slices of the best avocado drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt  finished off with the freshest basil ! That’s all the recipe you need … this is a perfect accompaniment to this delicious wine . the tomatoes enhance the citrus hues of the Chablis  with the cheese and avocado offering a smooth and complimentary flavour to the distinct Chablis undertones .

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You can sail away to the Mediterranean in one cool crisp glass of this fantastic Chablis by The Co-operative . At around £9.99 a bottle it is also an affordable  treat for the weekend  and perfect for sharing with friends . I would definitely be buying this again for our next dinner party . But for now it was just perfect for my birthday celebration … tricolore salad , a fine Chablis and my boys . Perfect !

This is part of the Co-operatives #welike wine campaign find out more HERE