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Edible Sparklers for Bonfire Night

Posted by Gill Bland Tuesday, 3rd November 2015

You don’t need worry about wearing gloves to eat these sparklers and you don’t need a bucket of water to put them in. However, I’m sure dipping them in a mug of hot chocolate wouldn’t hurt. If you’re short of time this ideas works perfectly well using bought breadsticks in a packet (the grissini type). The biscuit base here will make for a sweeter treat though.

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P-P-Pick Up A Pumpkin

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 26th October 2015

I don’t buy into the idea of celebrating ghouls and ghost-type things for Halloween, but I’m more than happy to embrace the recent influx of pumpkin-based products to our supermarkets. In fact, in the interests of honesty, I should tell you that I have used a large amount of the UK’s pumpkin supplies in aborted attempts to make pumpkin-filled treats.

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Simple Sardine and Tomato Tagliatelle

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 13th July 2015

Whether you’re going on holiday or not, the fresh flavours and easy method of this recipe should bring you a little taste of the mediterranean. I suggest finding a nice red wine to drink with it and perhaps burning a citronella candle as you eat it - just for that authentic holiday experience!

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Caraway Seed Cake - The perfect Father's Day treat

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 15th June 2015

It’s Father’s Day on June 21st so I thought I thought I’d bring you an idea of what to make for any father-figures in your life. In order to decide what to make I thought it made sense to ask my own Dad what are his favourite things to eat. He suggested a lovely range of dishes, from seafood risotto to the more classic roast pork or a pie of any form. I’m not going to give you a recipe for any of those though. I suppose this is the kind of every day injustice which the father of two daughters has to endure. Sorry Dad. Instead, I’m going to give you a recipe for caraway seed cake. I thought of it because I’m sure my Dad has mentioned this featuring in his childhood (need to ask him about that) and whilst most of my friends who are Dads would scoff down a chocolate brownie/muffin/cake at any given moment, I feel that a father’s day recipe should be something more refined. 

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Tips on How to Reduce Food Waste

Posted by Gill Bland Wednesday, 6th May 2015

Not wasting food is a good thing to do in its own right, but with the knowledge that many don’t even have the luxury of being able to waste food, it’s even more important to be careful about the way in which we make use of everything. With this in mind, instead of bringing you a new recipe which might need a trip to the supermarket I thought I’d give you some tips on ways to reduce food waste. My wisdom can basically be divided into two categories: freezing things and interesting recipes.

 

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Nutella Brownies - Easy Easter Baking with Kids

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 30th March 2015

This month I’m bringing you possibly the easiest recipe known to man or, more importantly, to woman / man and child. This is school holiday baking at its most accessible. There’s no melting chocolate and no creaming of butter and sugar. All you need is a spatula and a willingness to get covered in chocolate spread. Ok, it’s not ground breaking - the recipe has been all over the internet for a good while now - but I hadn’t tried it until this weekend. I can now vouch for the fact that with only three ingredients, you can have great brownies at your fingertips.

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Sea Bream en Papillote

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 9th February 2015

When I was pondering what recipe to make on theme of “food to share with your valentine” I initially thought of a fondue. I like the idea of food where you can’t try to be on your best behaviour – you’re going to get messy and see the ‘real’ valentine, not the perfectly mannered dining partner you might encounter during a meal in a high end and terrifyingly well mannered restaurant. Fondue had one thing right and one thing wrong. Right – it’s easy to make, so one of you isn’t going to feel like they’ve been working away all evening when they should be relaxing. Wrong – I don’t know about you but a vat full of cheese is more likely to make me want to curl up under a duvet than engage in sparkling conversation (or whatever). So, here is my alternative suggestion for messy but tasty eating: Sea Bream en Papillote.

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Sparklin’ Parkin for bonfire night

Posted by Gill Bland Thursday, 30th October 2014

Mr Bland, who is a Yorkshire-man by birth, first introduced me to Parkin. In Yorkshire parkin is a Bonfire Night tradition and I can see why. The best way to describe it to those of us more southerly born is that it’s a really dense ginger cake. It is warming and sweet but the addition of oats and treacle create a depth of flavour and density of texture that is perfect for keeping the cold at bay on a cold November night. It’s also sturdy enough to be wrapped up and shoved in a coat pocket for the walk home!

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1 Pot Beery Beef Cobbler

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 13th October 2014

With the launch of the new 60 cm Rangemaster I thought I would bring you a recipe that is perfect for the more compact kitchen. The tools for this dish are minimal (perfect when storage is at a premium) and yet you can easily feed a hungry crowd on it. All you need is 1 chopping board, 1 knife, 1 small bowl and 1 pot. Ideally the pot should be a cast iron casserole dish, which I would suggest is an essential item in any kitchen.

 

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Baking with children. Make your own lunch.

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 22nd September 2014

This month I thought I’d bring you a recipe that’s great for getting the children in your life enjoying the kitchen as much as you do.

Whether you’ve got children of your own and have just re-started the daily packed lunch production line, or are just temporarily taking the role of small-person supervisor and want an easy activity that has the added bonus of resulting lunch, this recipe is ideal. You’ll have the benefit of knowing exactly what your darling one is eating and they can get all nice and messy mixing and kneading the bread with their hands. You could even add spices, nuts, dried fruit, or other ingredients to jazz it up. I once had a lovely cinnamon spiced soda bread with dates and walnuts in it. I suspect that version would be more popular with the more mature section of the family though, especially if accompanied with some good cheese and wine! 

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