Author Archives: Jo Brigdale

Are You MAD For Jo’s Kitchen?

Nominations are now open for the MAD (Mum & Dad) Blog Awards 2014 and for the first time ever, I am asking if you would consider voting for me. I know my blogging has been a haphazard of late, due to being heavily pregnant and looking after a newborn, however I hope you have enjoyed what you have read. I will continue to provide as much original recipe content as I can in 2014 and I am planning on giving Jo's Kitchen a fresh new look in the next few months too.

If you would like to nominate me (or any of the many other lovely blogs out there), then the nomination form is here. I am eligible for the Best Food Blog and Blog of the Year categories. Voting closes on 14th March.

Thank you as ever for your support and for reading Jo's Kitchen :-)


Meal Planning Monday – 3rd March 2014

Sorry I did not do a meal plan last week. We were a house full of illness and I had no energy to post a meal plan, let alone do any cooking. The 7 weeks worth of sleepless nights with Daniel are catching up with me too. This week, food is simple and relatively easy to prepare. Here is the plan:

Monday: lasagna and garlic bread

Tuesday: pancakes

Wednesday: chilli con carne, rice and garlic bread

Thursday: chicken casserole, mashed potatoes and veg

Friday: to be decided

Saturday: takeaway

Sunday: roast dinner at my Nan's in Bewdley


Linking this up to #mealplanningmonday with At Home With Mrs M


Wing Yip Oriental Cookery Young Chef of the Year 2014

A young chef from Essex is celebrating after winning the coveted title of Wing Yip Oriental Cookery Young Chef of the Year 2014.

Robert Hall who works at the House of Commons battled it out in a Masterchef-style cook-off at University College Birmingham on Friday 21st February.

The winners were announced at an official awards dinner at UCB on Friday evening.

As well as the honour of being the 2014 Young Chef of the Year, Robert Hall has also won a once in a lifetime trip to Hong Kong where he will gain an insight into the hospitality industry at Michelin starred restaurants and explore the region’s cultural highlights.

The national competition offers aspiring young chefs and catering students between the ages of 18-25, the chance to boost their culinary careers.

Judging the competition were celebrity TV chef Ching He Huang, Michelin-starred Birmingham chef Glynn Purnell, and President of the British Culinary Federation, Peter Griffiths.

At just 24 years old and a first-time entrant, it was an unexpected win for Robert who said he was overwhelmed to have been crowned the winner.

He cooked his way to the final with two Thai/Japanese inspired dishes which included a starter of skirt steak “sui” with pistachio puree, pickled mushrooms, cauliflower and radish. He finished his winning menu with tom yam turbot with ramen broth and crab bon bon.

When asked what inspired him to enter, Robert said: “The House of Commons continues to support talent from within and part of this involves encouraging and driving young chefs to enter competitions and compete on a national scale. This was the first competition I have ever entered, I am overwhelmed to have won and I’m thoroughly looking forward to the trip to Hong Kong.”

Robert faced tough competition from 15 other finalists from trade and colleges including Bourneville College, Eton, University College Birmingham, Crown Moran Hotel in Cricklewood and the Elior catering group.

Chairman of the judges and President of the British Culinary Federation, Peter Griffiths said: “Now in its second year, this competition has attracted a great deal of promising professionals from across the UK. We were highly impressed by the diversity of the menus and the chefs’ choice of Oriental ingredients.

“Robert’s dishes demonstrated a clever use of modern cooking techniques combined with traditional Asian flair. The Thai/Japanese fusion in the main dish was brave and demonstrated a confident use of flavours. Robert showed an excellent work ethic and process in the kitchen and his final dishes were spot on!”

Princia Fernandes from University College Birmingham was placed second with her menu of bang-bang Monkfish and aromatic duck, with Joshua Anderson from the Amadeus catering group part of the NEC and ICC, came third with his innovative vegetable garden and steamed halibut.

Mr Wing Yip, the Chairman of Wing Yip, added: “For the second year running I have been extremely impressed by the level of culinary expertise demonstrated by the chefs. This competition really is a celebration of both quality Oriental cuisine and the creative flair we have coming through in the UK. These are the chefs to watch out for in the future.”

Stuart and I were lucky enough to go to the first Wing Yip Chef of the Year competition dinner last year. We unfortunately could not attend this year. We would like to send our congratulations to Robert and look forward to attending again next year


A Honking Good Day!!


Team Honk - Jo

Ready for the Off!!

On Saturday, I became one of over 200 bloggers who are taking a baton from Land's End to John O'Groats as part of #teamhonkrelay to raise funds for Sport Relief. I am part of Team Honk Birmingham and it was my responsibility to take the baton from Worcester to Bearwood, West Birmingham.

Getting the baton from Nikki's children (Image by Nikki)

My Team Honk day started at around 9.30am where I collected the baton from Nikki of Stressy Mummy and her lovely children at the rather glamorous location of the lay-by by junction 7 of the M5. Next, I travelled home and decorated my pushchair. Many thanks to Manie and the Opal Aura team for donating the decorations and helping to decorate the pushchair.

Opal Aura team and I

Next I walked down into Halesowen (with honks from the Opal Aura team all the way down the hill!) and got on the bus with Thomas and Daniel. We got some very strange looks during our 20 minute bus journey. We arrived at Bearwood Bus Station (another glamorous location!) and were met by Erica of 92three30 and A Little Luxury For Me and her son H.

Daniel with the baton

During all the excitement, Daniel slept pretty much all morning until we met Erica when he woke for a feed. I am sure the reason he stayed asleep so long despite the cold and windy weather was because he was warm and snuggly in his red snowsuit, kindly donated for the event by The Essential One. Many thanks to Katie from The Essential One for sending the snowsuit and keeping the youngest member of the #teamhonkrelay nice and warm!
My leg of the relay may be over but the baton does not reach John O'Groats until 23rd March so please keep donating. Every penny counts!! You can donate to Team Honk Birmingham here. All support is greatly appreciated.
See what my fellow team members did for their part of the relay:
Rebecca, Emma, Erica, Nikki, Fi, Iona and Helen
The first ever Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. The public can join the fun and games by running, swimming or cycling their way to raising cash at over a thousand venues around the country, including the landmark events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

As one of the biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active raise cash and change lives. The money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world.


Meal Planning Monday – 17th February 2014

This is my first meal planning post in absolutely ages! I completely lost the energy for it when heavily pregnant and stopped doing it! Now Daniel is 5 weeks old and as my maternity pay is only going to decrease now, I really need to make meal planning a habit. I am sure we will have a slip now and then. The joys of having two under three years old in the house! I also want Thomas to eat a greater variety of foods. He seems to be living on chicken nuggets and chips at the moment and that really needs to change. Tips and advice as to how I can make meal planning easier and how to get Thomas (and eventually Daniel!) to eat a wider variety of things are greatly appreciated. Here is this week's plan:

Monday: leftover beef stew

Tuesday: fishcakes, new potatoes and salad

Wednesday: takeaway

Thursday: homemade chicken chow mein

Friday: spaghetti bolognaise and garlic bread

Saturday: chicken curry, rice and naan bread

Sunday: Toad In The Hole with vegetables

Linking this up to #mealplanningmonday on At Home with Mrs M

PS: if you cook any Hairy Biker's recipes in your meal planning, don't forget to link it up to #bloggersknowbest. More information here


Hairy Bikers #bloggersknowbest no. 5

Hairy Bikers badge

Thank you to Food Jam and Searching For Spice for taking part in the last linky. It is greatly appreciated and I hope you will take part this time too. This Thursday at 8pm on BBC 2 sees the start of the Hairy Biker's new TV series, Asian Adventure. I was so excited about the new programme that I went and preordered the cookbook without even seeing it and boy, I am so glad I did!

I have always been slightly put off making Asian food as it looks quite complicated in some books and some of the ingredients can be difficult to get hold of. However, the bikers have written this book in their typical relaxed style and made every recipe seem accessible and inviting to made.

For my entry into this month's linky, I decided to make Tonkatsu Pork from the new cookbook. It is on page 140 and is pork fried in panko breadcrumbs, served with a Japanese BBQ style sauce. It was delicious and completely different to what I have made before. I will definitely make this again. The recipe is not available online yet but am sure it will be soon. I will update the post as soon as it is online.

If you would like to take part in this month's linky, please follow these simple rules:

  1. Link up new or blog post(s) with a Hairy Biker recipe in it. The post can be included in the linky as long as a link to this post is included in it and the badge below is displayed on it
  2. Please do not write out the recipe in full on the post unless you have made adaptations and the recipe is in your own words. Plenty of the recipes are available online so please link to them according.
  3. I will pin, retweet (on tweets using the hashtag #bloggersknowbest and including @Jos_Kitchen if possible too) and comment on every post in the linky
  4. You can submit the post to other linkies as long as the other linky allows it

Happy cooking! :-)


Jo's Kitchen

An InLinkz Link-up

Honk Honk!! I am Part Of The Team Honk Relay!!

Honk Honk! I am playing a small part in the Team Honk Relay which involves over 200 bloggers taking a baton from Lands End to John O'Groats to raise money for Sport Relief. It started in Lands End on 12th January and finishes at John O'Groats on 23rd March. The full route and plan are here. Team Honk are hoping to raise over £20,000 for Sport Relief. Various modes of transport are being utilised as part of the relay and these include, pushchair pushes, roller blading across the Humber, boating round Bristol, #Honkopoly around London, fancy dress, onesies, bikes, scooters, planes, hiking, rafting and mountain climbing.

I am part of Team Honk Birmingham and will be taking the baton from Worcester to Bearwood, West Birmingham on Saturday 15th February. I am collecting the baton from Nikki from Stressy Mummy near junction 7, M5 in my car and am then driving home to collect Thomas and Daniel. Thomas, Daniel and I are then going to get the no. 9 bus into Birmingham with our decorated pushchair to give the baton to Erica from ninetothreethirty and A Little Luxury For Me. Thomas and I will be wearing Sport Relief t shirts with deeley boppers and headbands. Daniel, the youngest participant (I think!) of the relay (he will be 5 weeks old) is wearing a fantastic red snowsuit, very kindly donated by The Essential One for the event. We shall be honking on the bus and asking people to donate to Sport Relief using the text number below:

Text HONK to 70005 and donate £5 to Sport Relief (standard message charges apply)

Team Honk Birmingham would appreciate any donation you can give us, whether it be large or small. Every penny counts! You can donate to us here. Thank you for your support!

You can follow the action of the #teamhonkrelay and Sport Relief on social media here:

Team Honk Twitter & Hashtags: @team_honk #teamhonkrelay

Sport Relief Twitter & Hashtags: @sportrelief #SR14

TeamHonk facebook:

TeamHonk pinterest:

The first ever Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. The public can join the fun and games by running, swimming or cycling their way to raising cash at over a thousand venues around the country, including the landmark events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

As one of the biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active raise cash and change lives. The money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world.


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