News and Events

Time to put my skills to the test...

 

Had a fantastic evening on Wednesday catering for a lovely couple who tied the knot in Thornton Le Dale. They wanted a meal to remember but just for the two of them.

 

The Bride looked stunning, the Groom very smart. Gorgeous Flowers, beautiful Cake, could I keep up the standard with the Food....

 

When the party size is smaller, it really gives me a chance to use all my skills and show off.

 

A special menu for a special day-

 

Glass of Champagne and Olives

 

Starter:

Green and White Asparagus Crown with Champagne and Herb Mousse, Halloumi Squares, Watercress Puree and Peashoots.

 

Main:

Homemade Raviolli filled with Roasted Vegetables, with a Buerre Noisette, Dressed Side Salad and Rosemary and Garlic Bread.

 

Dessert:

Trio of Lemon Mousse in Lemon Shells with Candid Lemon and Lime Segments; Rosewater Pavlova with Homemade Strawberry Jam, Chantilly Cream and Edible Rose Petals; Mini Croquembouche with Salted Caramel and Spun Sugar.

 

Petit Fours:

Monkbar Chocolates of York

 

Congratulations to them both.

 

Remember I have no minimum numbers, if you're looking for a romantic meal or are having a smaller wedding in your own venue, please drop me a line.

 

March 2015

Technophobe...

I'm pleased to say my Mobile Phone is back in action, thanks to the perseverance of Carphone Warehouse York. Thanks guys.

 

Winter Gatherings...

Coals on, candles lit, thermals found.... the first BBQ of the year last Sunday! Some would say 'madness' but I like to think its just shaking things up a bit. Jan and Feb can be dreary months but I've seen Snowdrops and the Sun came out in force last week for a couple of days. Its turning, its definitely turning to Spring. It'l snow next week now I've said that

 

Lots of Buffet gatherings in the next few weeks. Remember my sample menus are just that and can be changed to suit your tastes and needs. If you have a budget in mind, I can tailor the menu. Its all about the conversation, tell me what you want and I'll tell you if its possible.

 

Buffet this weekend- £12.50/head

Smaller group, Private House, evening gathering-

Lots of Canapes made larger with some buffet items, such as Spanakopita Parcels, Dolmades, Teriyaki Beef Cups, Asparagus Spears with Pancetta, Quiches, Wraps, Meat Platter, Mini Blackforest Gateauxs, Mini Pavlovas....

 

Buffet next weekend- £5.50/head

Huge 100+ group, Social Club, Wedding Anniversary-

Very traditional, sandwich, wrap, pastry and crisp selections.

 

My phone is still not working correctly so email with any enquiries.

 

Look forward to hearing from you.

 

Feb 2015

 

Dry January…

Well we made it! Well done to anyone who gave it a whirl.

Ended ‘Dry January’ with a lovely bottle of Chapel Down, Flint Dry. English wine is well worth a try. The Fizz is really good too.

I found mine in M&S but I guess its available elsewhere too.

http://www.chapeldown.com/buy/

 

January 2015

The Dreaded Set Menu…

 

My Ethos is for you to have the prefect meal and not to be told by your caterer that you have to eat a particular menu. I’m not keen on set menus. In my experience they are normally fairly standard and boring. They are also cheap to make, that’s why the caterer/restaurant/pub wants you to pick them.

 

Set menus have their place but not in my catering world. You are paying for my experience, skills, knowledge and to have something planned and cooked for you, unique to you and your guests.

 

When devising a menu, the best place to start is you; what do you like or dislike, are you allergic to some ingredients, do you have a theme for a party, do you love a particular style of cuisine?

 

Some of my clients know exactly what they want to eat; others don’t know where to start when it comes to menu planning. All I need is a couple of pointers from you and I can do the rest.

 

January 2015

Goat Curry....

 

I bought some Goat from Butcher's Block a few weeks ago. Here's the result, a fantastic Jamacian Curry. I've not tried Goat before and was pleasantly surprised. I thought it would be like Mutton but its more like Lamb with the texture of Beef.

 

Give it a go.

 

January 2015

Goat Curry

All hands on deck, tis the season to cook Turkey…

 

All about the Christmas Dinner over the last couple of weeks. Cooking up a feast for Matthew of ’The Butcher’s Block’, my Butcher of choice. He’s so busy at Christmas that Christmas day and Dinner get a bit lost so he had the family over early. Tucked into a fantastic Rib of Beef and Turkey Crown with all the trimmings. The Beef was so good it’s going to be served to my Christmas Table too!

 

50 Ladies from Copmanthorpe WI descended on their Social Hall on Friday to celebrate 90 years of WI. Turkey Crown and Salmon on the menu this time.  It’s always a little more complicated catering for larger numbers, especially in halls and club houses, mainly because the ovens are domestic and often small. A real family affair with the kids on waiter and wash up duties. Well done gang.

 

I trialled a different method of cooking Turkey this year and it was a huge success. Soaking in brine for 12-24hrs before cooking. I didn’t expect the results to be so successful. I’ve tried all sorts of ways to keep a Turkey moist; constant basting, stuffing butter under the skin to name a couple. Brining is the way to go. The results were fantastic. Lovely moist meat, nice additional favours from the brine. I’ll be using this method for my Turkey Crown on Christmas Day. 

 

Can’t wait now. Tree went up at the weekend. Presents wrapped. Meat on order. Just the final food shop to do nearer the day and I’m done.

 

Have a great one

 

15/12/14 

A Summer of BBQs, an Autumn of Parties and a Winter of Dinners

 

Busy times. Its strange how I tend to get a run of events. The Summer saw lots of buffets and BBQs and a huge and highly successful Wedding; congratulations to Anthony and Lelah. I suppose the weather plays a hand in this but the Autumn was full of parties- Birthdays, Anniversaries and Hens. These are always fun to cater for. I've now cooked amoungst lots of champagne, lots of balloons and more amusingly a naked Butler!

 

The winter has brought the Dinner Party back to the fore. A few early Christmases and groups catching up before the mayhem.

 

2015 has more weddings on the horizon.

 

The problem with being so busy is that I find it difficult to catch up on the website and the social media side of things. Its my new year resolution, be more internet active. Its not my thing really but apparently its really important for the 'Google' search so I must put for effort into it! If only I were 18, it would be my world. I love love love to cook. I love to make a party fantastic and memorable. I do not love tweeting.

 

Here's to a fantastic Christmas and New Year. Enjoy.

Seeing out 2013, bringing in 2014.......with live lobster!

 

Well 2013 went out with a flurry of activity both personal and professional. Dinner Parties here, there and everywhere, family and friends round the table, and of course Santa calling by!

 

A busy end of the year followed swiftly on with an order for Breakfast for 20 on New Years Day. In case you're wondering thats a lot of eggs to fry and get to the table at the same time!

 

A massive thank you to 'The Butchers Block' for providing 40 excellent sausages, the largest pack of bacon I've ever seen and all the black pudding in stock, at short short notice on 29th December! Breakfast went down a treat, thoroughly enjoyed by all but couldn't have gone ahead had you not come to the rescue.

 

Well thats not totally true, I could've gone to a local supermarket to purchase the goods but that's not the point of what I do. Standards are standards, it has to be Butchers Block Sausages, free-range eggs and 'proper' bread, otherwise what's the point. I care about the food I serve up, whether its a sandwich buffet, full english breakfast or 3 course anniversary meal, each job is equally important and the ingredients always carefully chosen.

 

When I first set up business on my own I was warned " Jan and Feb are slow, no one spends anything". I've kept this in mind and have watched to see if the pattern is true. I can safely say its not. Maybe its the cold or the damp or the pre-christmas slump following all that excitment and excess, but people seem to want to entertain and enjoy themselves. I know its tough out there at the moment and money isn't going as far but it doesn't seem to be stopping people. Perhaps its the little luxuries or organising parties and catch ups that keep us going in harder times and dreary days.

 

I was asked recently to quote for a cooking lesson. Its something I can do but hadn't advertised it as such. The clients wanted to learn how to deal with lobster, rabbit and pheasant. From start to finish as much as possible. We had a brilliant time. I spent most of a Sunday teaching how to joint this and cook that. The clients had their own ingredients to work on and created their own dishes. The Rabbit and Pheasant came dressed as these are best done by the skills of a Butcher, Rabbit particularly has to be dealt with quickly, but the lobster, well the client requested live and they were very alive indeed. They are surprisingly agile!

 

There's a number of ways to dispatch a lobster, after taking advice from Andrew of 'Crosses of York' my Fishmonger, we decided the knife through the head was not the option to use. Sometimes it doesn't work. I  am a huge believer in respecting what we eat, using the most humane techniques possible and buying the best for welfare if you can afford it. To that end the lobster had a short stay in the freezer to get sleepy and in to boiling water they went. Super quick.

 

The clients were left at the end of the day with new skills, inspiration for the future, and Lobster Thermidor, Rabbit Pie and Pheasant with Bread Sauce to try. Its made me think that this is an area I have overlooked. Anybody out there looking to learn something new, maybe you don't have the confidence to give it a go and don't want to waste an ingredient. Any hen parties out there looking for something a bit different to do. I would have to quote individually so give me a call or email.

 

As February draws near and the days start to get just a touch longer, I can't wait for spring and cooking for all my clients already booked in. I came to the conclusion long ago, this business won't make me a millionaire but it will definately make me happy!

 

All the best for 2014, hope to cook for you.

 

 

Tales from the Kitchens......

 

Well that was a busy summer. The majority of bookings over the past couple of months have been clients celebrating. We've had Anniversaries, Birthdays and Graduations a plenty. Sadly a couple of Funerals in there as well. 

 

The thing that has struck me over these months is the number of clients celebrating away from home. These gatherings have been, in most cases, in self catering holiday properties. This isn't a problem, as a chef for hire I have a travel kit of essential kitchen items that I take with me to all jobs; in fact its really interesting seeing all the different standards of rental property out there.

 

I have discovered that the common oven, a piece of equipment in every house is my nemesis. You might be thinking why that is, everyone has used an oven and as a professional caterer surely an oven can't be anything to worry about. You might think that but you would be wrong. Obviously I've used many ovens in my time, in the trade, but household ovens have their quirks! I've had ovens that won't turn on, one that turned off every 10 minutes and when I mentioned it to the client " oh yes it can do that sometimes" came the reply. I've had an oven with no marking on, one with a door that wouldn't close properly and set the fire alarm off because of the escaping heat, one that was so small that my standard size trays wouldn't fit. There was an oven that remained cool for about half hour and then because a furnace instantaneously. I've used ovens that were so clean it felt wrong using them, I've used an oven that was so in need of a clean it felt wrong using it! I would like to add that this has only ever happened in a rental property, a so called 5 star property at that. I have never been beaten by an oven, I've been challenged by a few but never beaten and its going to stay that way.

 

I love the next few months, the chimney sweep is coming next week ready for the first fire of the season, there's Halloween and Bonfire Night just round the corner and then of course the big day in December. Remember to book earlier if you've having work do's or friends over, clients are getting in there already. I've also a few personal catering jobs to do which will be fun. Its my daughters 18th and we've hired a venue so 'Mum' is doing the buffet, friends are getting married and other friends are having big anniversaries.

 

Roll on the January/February lull... oh no that's right, last year they were busy too!

 

12/09/13

 

 

Mad Dogs and Englishmen.....

 

It felt like a holiday in the med this weekend, outside and in. Scorching hot out there and sweltering in the kitchens. I'm sure I was no different to all the kitchens and chefs out there, as the ovens went on so did the extractors, the air cons, the windows opened and the fly screens pulled down.

 

So one Greek Cypriot Evening, a Picnic Buffet for Queen Margaret's School and a Tapas Night for 14 Hens later and I managed to sit down with my Family for Sunday Dinner. It was an Al Fresco affair of simple but tasty foods. The In-Laws came over after spending the day with the Grandkids at Duncombe Park Steam Fair and my Daughter came home hot and bothered from a days work in York's Designer Outlet, which for anyone who hasn't been there is a bit like a Conservatory.  The parasols went up, lemon and ice went in the water jugs and wine was chilled. I served up a Greek Salad, Pittas, left over Moussaka, Boiled Potatoes with Mint and Butter and something I've not tried before but will again many times- Breast of Lamb rolled and braised with tomatoes, onions, wine and spices. Absolutely delicious and perfect for the relaxed way of eating.

 

I love Lamb but I've not had this cut before. I'd seen a recipe for it by a well known TV chef and thought I'd give it a go. Talking with the In-Laws, its something they would eat regularly when they were younger. Its gone out of fashion as it needs a bit of cooking. I think its about to make a come back, cheap and the taste was excellent. 2 breasts made more than enough for the 6 of us, especially with all the sides. The Butcher (Butcher's Block, York) gave me the ribs, which we all gnawed on too! Might put some in the freezer before it shoots up in price.

 

08/07/2013

 

Breakfast Sandwich update...

 

Previously I wrote about an amazing Breakfast eaten at 1331. I have now found the Butcher responsible for the  sausages. The Butcher's Block is located in the Burnhome area of York.

 

Had a great chat with the Butcher, turns out he used to live next door to relatives of mine! Small world.

 

Yet to try his other meats but will be soon. Really excellent sausages.

 

http://www.thebutchersblock.co.uk

 

04/06/2013

 

 

For the Love of Cooking.....

 

Its been a few weeks since my last post, mainly because of buffet, buffets and more buffets. Corporate Buffets, Christening Buffets, Wedding Buffets, small and large Buffets!

 

I travelled across to Halifax to deliver a celebration buffet of sandwiches, salads, quiches and pastries for 60 guests in the local social hall. The following weekend was a little closer to home, in a nearby village; again a celebration buffet but this time the client wanted poached salmons, ham joints, salads and desserts. Their Daughter's Wedding had taken place the previous day and this was a gathering of friends and family. The weather was glorious, perfect for a celebration. I was jealous of their lunch!

 

You might think that making sandwiches at 6am or working until late in the evening covering salmon in waffer thin cucumber would become boring or lose its appeal but it doesn't. Being an integral part of a celebration, birthday, gathering of friends or whatever the occasion is exciting and special. I get a real buzz from it, seeing the clients food laid out ready to be enjoyed, taking the stress away from them.

 

When I first set up in Business, wrote my business plan, did my market research and such, I had a good idea of what to expect. Looking back now, I think the thing that has surprised me the most, is that people, of all walks of life want really good quality food. I have managed to cater for all my clients with the same level of quality, standard and care. As I explained to one client, I wasn't willing to use poor quality sandwich fillings but to meet their needs/budget they didn't get as many choices of filling. Why expect less than the best.

 

Its back to more Formal Dining and Dinners over the next couple of weeks. Back to being on the spot, often on show, using a unknown kitchen. Some people say I must be mad!

 

04/06/2013

 

 

Tapas and Meze Dishes now available

 

I have updated my sample menu/prices page with a list of tapas and meze dishes. These dishes are some of my favourites from my own personal experience of living in Cyprus and regulalrly visiting Spain and the Balearic Islands. Some of these dishes can be made into larger, full size dinners. We regularly eat Stifado and Afelia. These are both Cypriot dishes, one made with Beef, the other Pork. Both bring back great memories of being a girl growing up on the Island, eating at outside most nights with friends, playing in the scrub land and Groves behind the house.

 

Hopefully you'l enjoy them as much as me.

 

12/05/2013

Now that's what I call a Breakfast Sandwich.......



Last Friday I ran some errands in York. Stopped off at 1331 for Breakfast. Fabulous. I had the 'Breakfast Sandwich' which as the name suggests was a breakfast in bread, literally. Sausages, Bacon, Egg and Mushrooms in thick cut Farmhouse Loaf. The Sausages were excellent, the Bacon full of flavour. I asked where they were from and was told they were locally made by a 'proper' butcher. Pleased to hear it, you really could tell the difference. I'll be visiting the 'proper' butcher soon to see for myself. The
sandwich was a feast and set me up nicely for the day ahead.

 

Talking with the Owner, a really friendly guy, I found out that 1331 holds a Wine and Cheese night on Saturdays, 10-1pm. It's an informal affair, the idea being that its somewhere to go if you want a decent drink and want your night to continue but you want to get away from the hordes and the 'one too manys'. With the added bonus of Cheeses to try, what a great idea. The next Saturday I have free I think I'll pop in.

 

Talking of nights free, that's a bit tricky over the next few weeks. Had a mad flurry of requests for this weekend and next week, all hitting at the same time. The plans for batch baking have gone on the back burner; it's all hands on deck for Buffets and Diners.

 

Had a couple of reviews sent through over the last few weeks. Some really positive feedback. It can be a bit of a pain to put a review on a website, having to register and such, so I'm really thankful to those that have. Lots of recommendations and 5 stars. Absolutely thrilled. I've put them on my testimonial page too.

 

09/05/13

Mayors, Hens and Babies

 

That was a weekend and a half. A real mix of clients and events.

 

Friday was an early start preparing canapes and a buffet for a Launch Party. York Civic Party were in attendance and were due to arrive at the venue around 10am. The spread looked great, colourful and fresh. The client mixed and matched a selection of the buffet sandwiches with some canapes.

 

Saturday was spent preparing dishes for a Tapas/Meze evening for a group on a Hen Weekend who had hired a self catering cottage on the outskirts of York. Great fun, relaxed atmosphere and a lovely group to cook for. They chose 10 dishes from spanish and greek cuisine. The dishes were served up as they were ready, making for a very tasty and relaxing way to eat. Favourite of the night was the Chicken with Dates, a Spanish dish made with white wine, olives, dates and chicken slow cooked in the oven.

 

Sunday was another early start putting together a finger buffet for 50. The event was a Christening for baby Jessica. Thankfully it was a lovely sunny day for the event. Once we delivered and set up it was back to the cookhouse to clean down and tidy away.

 

A little quieter this week. It will give me a chance to catch up with paperwork.

 

16/04/13

Easter Update

 

A busy Easter, lots of food and maybe a couple of chocolate eggs! I left tradition behind this year and cooked up a Chinese Banquet of Peking Duck, Sticky Pork, Chinese Vegetables, Sesame and Soy Noodles, Prawn Toast and Prawn Crackers. Delicious.

 

I love food that gets you involved and brings people together. We all sat round the table, making up our Duck Wraps and passing the dishes round. The only thing missing was enough heat in the sun to sit outside to eat.

 

I've put pictures of the banquet on the gallery.

 

Its a busy week this week with a large launch event on Friday with the Civic party in attendance, a Tapas evening on saturday and a Christening on Sunday to cater for.

 

08/04/13

 

 

British Bacon

British Bacon Week

 

Support your local farmers and butchers this week. Bacon sometimes gets a bad press on the health stakes but like everything, in moderation its a delicious meat and very versatile. A humble bacon butty or laid across the top of your roast chicken, a streaky rasher or a bacon chop, its uses are too many to name here. I'll be enjoying some this week.

A round- up of a chilly week

 

Last week was one of early and cold mornings. Corporate Buffets all week for a clients just outside York. Looks like this week is going to be as cold; horrible slush everywhere this morning.

 

I've been so busy that I haven't had time to put towards my Tapas, Meze and Platter menus but aiming to get on to this as soon as.

 

I've been asked it I retail my marinated olives. I'm looking into the logistics of this. Watch this space.

 

I have started using Twitter properly after taking advise on marketing and networking. I was always a bit dubious but having tweeted over the week and I can see its a really useful way to pass information around, find out about up and coming events, new recipes and ideas, awards, all sorts. A lot of excellent suppliers are on there. You can follow me by clicking the twitter icon on the home page or search PrivateHireCook on Twitter itself.

 

First BBQ of the Year

 

A couple of weekends ago it was a lovely warm and bright Saturday so we decided to get the charcoal out and uncover the BBQ! The temperature dropped as quick as the sun but we wrapped up, turned on the heater and lit the patio with candles.

 

It looked amazing, tasted amazing and was good fun.

 

Pork and onion skewers, chicken thighs, warmed bread, hummous, simple boiled and buttery potatoes.

 

Roll on Spring.

Coming Soon- New Sample Menus/Prices For Tapas, Meze and Platters

 

These will be going live shortly, keep an eye on the Sample Menus/Prices page.

Tapas, Meze and Platters are ideal for anyone wanting an event with a bit of a difference. Great for outside dining or for a more casual feel. These can even be used instead of a traditional Dinner Party starter.

 

 

Pricing Information

 

I have updated my pricing to add charges for additional services, such as Crockery Hire. Menu pricing has not changed.

Gallery Pictures Updated

 

New photographs of recent orders are now available to view. Use the Gallery tab or click here.

Lobster supplies

 

I was recently asked to cook Lobster for a client so I went along to my fish supplier Crosses of York to see what he could do for me. As ever they were brilliant and supplied me with 3 large Lobster caught that morning from Flamborough Head on the East Coast. You can't get more local, fresh and wild than that.

 

Crosses have a stall on York's New Gate Market.

The Good Food Show (NEC Birmingham 2nd Dec 12)

 

I was bought tickets to The Good Food Show as a birthday present so we headed south towards Birmingham at the crack of dawn, hoping to get there as the doors opened. I've not been before so didn't know what to expect, other than reports I'd had from friends. I'd been told there would be loads to see and tasters to try and they weren't wrong. The place was huge with exhibitor after exhibitor, showing everything from kitchen gadgets to top end wines. It was really good to see some local producers such as Sloe Motion mixing together with the big boys like Kenwood.

 

Having tried and tested just about every pickle, chutney, wine, spirit, cheese and chocolate in existance, and having walked around for about 7 hrs we headed home.

 

We thoroughly enjoyed the day and would highly recommend to anyone, not just foodies. On top of being really good fun, I picked up some great tips from the Chefs on the theatre stands and some really interesting ideas on favour combinations. The key lime pie vodka was not one of them though!

 

Same time next year....?!

 

  

Really Slow Roasted Belly Pork

 

Treated us to Richardson's rare breed Belly Pork today but had a Nephew's birthday party out of town so a bit of a cooking dilema. I've never cooked it longer than 3 hrs before so had to do some research and take a chance!

 

This is my own recipe

 

Put some apples, onions and garlic in the base of a tray, along with a couple of inches of white wine.

Put the Belly Pork on top of this.

Rub some olive oil and salt into the scored skin.

Put into the hottest temperature your oven will go to for 20 mins.

Turn oven down to Gas 1, 140C, 275F.

Take out of oven between 5-7 hrs later, or when your ready to eat!

 

Worked a treat, very full and very happy.



New Gallery Photos

 

I've put a few more photos on the Gallery page. Click here or Gallery menu tab above to take a look.

Christmas Cake

 

Well here it is, Christmas Cake Number 1. Decorate with fruits and nuts of your choice and an apricot glaze.

Halloween and Christmas Cake

 

Well the Pumpkin is carved and the fruits have been soaking in Brandy overnight. Its time to make the Christmas Cakes and wait for little monsters to knock on the door.

 

Love making my Christmas Cake. I change it slightly every year, this time there will be no mixed peel. I simply can't stand the stuff and have finally decided it has to go. More raisins and sultanas instead will work just fine. I always add black treacle and I always double the quantity stated in the recipe.

 

I've used a number of recipes in the past, from Family to well know Celeb Chefs. My advice would be to pick one as a guide but add something it you like it, take it away if you don't like it.

 

Not sure, as yet, whether to ice or top with nuts and fruits. I like my Christmas Cake with cheese so it might be a none iced variety this year. If you haven't ever tried Christmas Cake with cheese then you've missed a trick. Give it a go, you'l be surprised how will it works.

 

As for the pumkpin, will be cooking it once the night is over. Can't see such a lovely ingredient go to waste, even if it has a face carved into it.



Best laid plans....

 

Well my weekend didn't turn out quite as planned. Had an emergency plea for help from a friend and ended up helping her pack boxes for a house move. The sweet making had to go on the back burner as it became 'all hands on deck' with sticky tape, boxes and black marker pens.

 

After a busy day, still managed to have friends round for dinner. I made a lovely winter pie with roast pototoes and greens. Rich, deep flavour with a puff pastry top. I had planned a short crust but due to time I ended up using a pre-made from the freezer. Delia says thats fine and I agree, the frozen versions are pretty good and if you're in a rush they are really useful to have in. Rhubard crumble with custard for dessert, followed by coffee and chocolates.

 

A busy week ahead, a full diary. Still I'll have to try and make time for that bonfire toffee.

Sweets and Treats

 

I'm going to be in the kitchen this weekend cooking up a treat. I've been given a new recipe book for sweets so I'm going to try it out- any excuse really! I already have a tried and tested recipe for bonfire toffee but there's one in here, so a comparison is needed, especially with 5th November coming up fast.

 

I've friends over for dinner, I'm sure they'l be willing volunteers to give feedback.

Last BBQ of the year

 

Well that's probably it, the last BBQ of the year. It was just to sunny and fresh today to miss the opportunity to BBQ. Back to traditional Sunday Roast next week.

 

Greek salad, pork and chicken, homemade Tashi (Cypriot tahina based dip) and warm rustic bread. All that was needed was a couple of fleeces and we were good to go!

 

The Cookhouse Renovation

My Cookhouse is a fully functioning kitchen cabin in the grounds of my property. It meets all the requirements of health and hygiene as advised by Environmental Health. I use this space to practice new techniques and experiment with ingredient combinations. It is also a very useful space for preparation of canapés, buffets and any other creation that may need a long time to make. A good example is my Rose Petal Pavlova with Summer Fruits; ideally this should take a few hours to make, which could be difficult in your kitchen. I can make this in advance and bring with me. Another example would be 7 hour Lamb, this would be impossible to create in your kitchen; I’d have to arrive very early!

 

The Cookhouse is having a revamp at the moment. Always important to have a regular deep clean, at the same time we are fitting new shelving, new fridges and a couple of new plug points. Lots of hard work but it will be worth it. I will post some pictures when it’s all done and dusted.

Blogs and Websites

 

Been searching the internet for new recipe ideas and interesting ingredient combinations that others are trying out. You should never stop learning or experimenting.

 

I've come across a few new blogs and websites that I found interesting. Might be worth a look (see below).

Sunday Dinner 23rd Sept 2012

 

It was a hectic week, what with collecting business cards and ingredients, hand delivering invites, making 400 canapes and setting up the Barley Hall for the Launch. I didn't get to see much of the Family so we made the effort and sat down together for Sunday Dinner. This is something I try to do every week if possible, especially as we all get busier and older.

 

We all thoroughly enjoyed Slow Roast Beef with Red Wine Gravy, Roast Sweet Potato, Carrots, Cabbage and of course Yorkshires.

 

The fire was lit, red wine poured, not a bad way to end the week and get ready for the next.

The Launch 21st Sept 2012

 

Great to see new and old faces at the Launch on Friday. Thanks to all that came along or helped in any way.

 

The Chilled watercress Soup, Gin Pate and Marinated Olives were a big success. There was a number of requests to retail the olives, I'll look into this.

 

Put on a display for Richardson's of Woodthorpe, Food From the Farm and Bluebird Bakery. Really great to see people interested in the food they eat, the eco aspect, the history, the care.

 

Blog sites of recipes and ideas

 Fun picture site of delicious food creations

Blog site of things that you may find thought provoking.... or not perhaps. Either way, why not take a look.