A while ago, I was sent a copy of ‘When You Entertain’, a recipe book from Coca- Cola. This is a modern version of a book originally written for Coca-Cola in 1932 by legendary American hostess, Ida Bailey Allen. The new book is written by a collaboration of celebrated British Foodies; chef Tom Aikens, ex Blur bassist and food addict Alex James, 2008 Celebrity Masterchef winner Liz McClarnon and food blogger, Julia Parsons of A Slice of Cherry Pie and founder of the UK Food Bloggers Association. It is edited by renowned journalist Tiffanie Darke.
The book is divided into four categories; Weekend Brunches, Family Mealtimes, Saturday Night with Friends and Easy Lunch. Recipes include, Caveman Corn and Chicken, Spicy Crab Mushrooms, Braised Lamb Shank with Honey Roasted Garlic and Gammon and Peas Pudding. There are even some inventive recipes that use Coca-Cola in the book and they include, Coca-Cola Ginger Cake, Coca-Cola Chicken Salad with Garden Potatoes and Coca-Cola Sticky Ribs.
However, as soon as I saw Coca-Cola Marinated Steak (a recipe from Julia Parsons), I knew I had to give it ago. In the book, it is served with coleslaw and corn but I decided to serve it with Cool Beans (a recipe from the book by Alex James) and my potato wedges that I sometimes serve with steak. The steak marinade was simplicity in itself: onion, garlic, Coca-Cola, Worcestershire Sauce and Dark Soy Sauce. Put it in a freezer bag and leave it in the fridge for as long as you can and griddle or BBQ it until it is cooked the way you like it. The beans recipe is slightly harder and made harder still when you do not read the recipe properly like I did. Doh! You are supposed to cook the beans in a low oven for 24 hours however; I did not notice this until 2 hours before I wanted dinner so I have made an adapted quick version below.
Jo’s Quick Cool Beans (Adapted from a recipe in ‘When You Entertain’ by Alex James)
Serves 4 as part of a main course
- 1 onion, chopped into small chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
- 1 tin of beans of your choice, drained
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 can of Coca-Cola
- 1 tablespoon Tomato Ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
- Olive Oil
- Put some olive oil in a casserole dish that can go on hob and in oven. Allow the olive oil to heat up briefly and add the onion and garlic and fry until softened.
- Add the beans, the tomatoes and the can of Coca-Cola. Stir and add the Worcestershire Sauce, Soy Sauce and some seasoning. Once simmering, put a lid on it and put it in a preheated 180°c oven.
- Allow it to cook for 30-40 minutes; stirring occasionally until thickened and all the flavours have come together. Check again for seasoning and serve it with the Coca-Cola marinated steak and potato wedges. Enjoy!
You can get the book from Harvey Nicols stores nationwide and online as part of hampers with selected ingredients from the book.
Many thanks to Laura for sending me the book
Posted in A Slice of Cherry Pie, Blogger, celebrity masterchef, Coca-Cola, cookbook, food, foodie, Liz McClarnon, Masterchef, Midlands, Midlands Food Bloggers, Midlands Group, Recipe, Review, Tom Aikens, Twitter, UK Food Bloggers Association, UKFBA
Tagged A Slice of Cherry Pie, celebrity masterchef, Coca Cola, cookbook, cooking, food, foodie, Julia Parsons, Liz McClarnon, masterchef, Midlands Food Bloggers, Recipe, Review, Tom Aikens, Twitter, UK Food Bloggers Association, UKFBA
On Sunday 19th September, the Midlands Food Bloggers had their second meeting at the Urban Coffee Company in Birmingham. It was attended by Louise of Comida Y Vida, Gavin of To Bizzy to Bake , Marie (@Maries_Cakes on Twitter, blog to follow soon), Brian from 24 Carrots, the Jewellery Quarter’s Farmers Market and of course, Me!
Over coffee and cake, made for the Urban Coffee Company by Gavin (both chocolate Guinness and chocolate fudge cake, we chatted about Midlands food, the 24 Carrots Farmers Market, promoting ourselves and food businesses via social networking and how we could get the Midlands Food Bloggers known about more widely. It was decided that a blog would be set up for the Midlands Food Bloggers with a section to highlight local foodie businesses. Louise and Jo also decided that they would visit the Jewellery Quarter’s farmers market to promote it on their blogs and the new MFB blog. We would like to thank everyone who came to the meet up, and Becs and the team from Urban Coffee Company who made us feel very welcome. We will be back again soon!
If you would like more information on the Midlands Food Bloggers, please email midsfoodbloggers@hotmail. co.uk
Midlands Food Bloggers on Facebook
Midlands Food Bloggers on UK Food Bloggers Association
Posted in 24 Carrots, Birmingham, happy cooking, local, Midlands, Midlands Food Bloggers, Midlands Group, Tweet Up, Twiiter, UKFBA, Urban Coffee Company, West Midlands
Tagged 24 Carrots, Birmingham, local, Marie, Midlands, Midlands Food Bloggers, Twitter, UKFBA, Urban Coffee Company, West Midlands
Hello again! I know it has been a while but I am back and ready to blog again. I have had a crazy month at work and not had the time to blog. I have missed you all and we have lots to catch up on. Some of the things I have been getting up to this month are:
- Attended the Midlands Food Bloggers Meet Up at Urban Coffee Company (write up of event will be my next post)
- Received my own weight in Total Greek Yoghurt and have been making up some recipes using it (post about this coming soon)
- Won a signed of copy of Nigel Slater’s new book ‘Tender Volume II’ (will be making recipes from this book soon)
- Received a copy of the new Coca-Cola cookbook ‘When You Entertain’ (will be making recipes from this book soon)
- Received some Sliver Spoon cake decorating items to make and decorate some cakes for Halloween
- Made venison chorizo, red wine and peas risotto (recipe coming soon)
- Received an updated version of the Lawrence Keough Kidney Care cookbook (will be cooking from this book soon)
- Went for a meal at Jamie’s Italian in Covent Garden, London (review will be coming soon)
- and finally, I still need to tell you about my foodie adventures in Croatia in the summer
Phew, what a list! I had better get cracking. I will be back as soon as possible with my write up of the Midlands Food Bloggers Meet Up.
Posted in Birmingham, cookbook, food, foodie, Jamie Oliver, local, Midlands, Midlands Food Bloggers, Midlands Group, Nigel Slater, regional, Restaurant, Review, UKFBA, Urban Coffee Company, West Midlands
Tagged Coca Cola, cookbook, hello, Jamie's Italian, Midlands, Midlands Food Bloggers, missed you, Nigel Slater, Sliver Spoon, Total Greek Yoghurt, UKFBA, Urban Coffee Company, West Midlands
I am the creator of the Midlands Food Bloggers group. You can find us on Facebook and the UK Food Bloggers Association. We are going to have our second meet up of 2010 on Sunday 19th September at the Urban Coffee Company in Birmingham at 1pm. If you are a Midlands based food blogger, Midlands food producer or just generally interested in Midlands food, why not come along and meet some like minded people for coffee, cake and lots of chatting. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can attend, have any questions or would like to know more about our group.
Look forward to seeing you all there!
Posted in Birmingham, Blogger, foodie, local, Midlands, Midlands Food Bloggers, Midlands Group, regional, UKFBA, Urban Coffee Company, West Midlands
Tagged Birmingham, foodie, local, Midlands, Midlands Food Bloggers, UKFBA, West Midlands, Worcestershire
Image by Wendy from Peters Yard
As I am sure I have told you a few times before, I am a member of the UK Food Bloggers Association. On the UKFBA I have set up a group for West Midlands based food bloggers which currently has 25 members. Last Saturday, we held the first of what I am hoping will be many meet ups at Loaf’s HQ (otherwise known as Tom’s (Director of Loaf) house in Cotteridge, Birmingham. Along with Tom and myself, Charlene of No Love Sincerer, Louise of Comida y Vida and Wendy, one of the Managing Director’s of Peters Yard all came to join in the fun.
We started with introductions and how we had all got into blogging and then we got tucked into the food. For our starter, Wendy had brought some Peters Yard crispbreads which she served simply with butter and the most fabulous goats cheese from Brockhall Farm in Shropshire. The crispbreads were fantastic; so crisp, crunchy and full of flavour, unlike any other crispbread I had ever tasted. The goats cheese, that is made fresh everyday by Sarah complimented it beautifully as it was really rich and creamy. The perfect contrast to the crispbread.
Image from Peters Yard
Once we had munched our way through a large pile of the crispbreads and goats cheese, it was time to get down to the serious business of our main course. Tom has a wood burning oven in his garden and we used it to make pizzas. Tom had prepared the dough before we arrived and he showed us how to roll it out the dough and put in on a board, to go into the oven. we each made our own pizza with whatever toppings we wanted and then Tom showed us how to get the pizza into the wood fired oven correctly. I nearly tipped mine into the oven and turned it into a ball so Tom had to step in and lend a hand. We all shared each other pizzas and talked about food, life and blogging.
After eating our pizzas, which were honestly the best I have ever tasted. They were so quick to cook too. They only took 2 minutes in the oven as it was so hot, we went back inside and tucked into pudding. I brought along, one of my family’s favourites, Rocky Road (recipe here), Louise brought along some carrot cake (recipe here) and Charlene brought some home-made scones that were so delicious, you would never of known that she had never made them before. The scones were served Tom’s home-made hedgerow jelly that complimented them beautifully. We then toasted to the success of our first meet up, with a glass or two of lovely Spanish red wine that was kindly donated by Louise. We discussed the future of the West Midlands foodie bloggers group and we decided to turn it into a Midlands group for all the foodie bloggers in West, East, North and South Midlands. So if you live in any of these areas or on the borders and would like to join us, please do. The link to the group is on top of the page. I am also going to create a Facebook group to compliment the group on the UKFBA so I can update people on news more easier. I will let you all know once I have set this group up.
If you would like to know what Louise and Charlene thought of the event, please see their posts here and here. I would like to thank everyone for coming and especially thank Tom for agreeing to host. I would like to thank Wendy for supplying us all with a sample of crispbreads to take home with us. I have been eating them all week at work for lunch. Thank you all again and I cannot wait for our next meet up in the summer.
And the Winner is…
Last week, Jo’s Kitchen reached the great milestone of being one year old and I decided to celebrate it with a giveaway of two cookbooks. The two cookbooks are ‘Maze – The Cookbook’ by Jason Atherton and ‘Chicken and Other Birds’ by John Torode. In total, there were 36 valid entries into the competition and I used random.org to randomly generate the winning comment number. (See image above) I am now pleased to announce the winner of the two cookbooks is Susan Mann. Susan, if you can please email email@example.com with your address and I will post the cookbooks to you sometime over the weekend. Thank you to all who left lovely comments celebrating my blog birthday.
Until next time, Happy Cooking!
Posted in baking, Birmingham, birthday, Blogger, bread, cakes, giveaway, Midlands Group, pizza, UKFBA, West Midlands
Tagged Blogger, bread, competition, food, giveaway, Midlands, UKFBA, West Midlands, winner
Happy New Year everyone. Hope you had a great time whatever you were doing- we stayed at home with a bottle of champagne and a Chinese takeaway and watched the fireworks. This is a short post to tell you about my New Year foodie resolutions and to give you a simple comfort food recipe to start the year off and give you a suggestion of something to eat in this continuing cold weather we are having.
To begin lets starts with my New Year foodie resolutions:
- Try and post on the blog more often (at least once a week)
- To get more people doing guest posts and guest post on other people’s blogs
- To be more adventurous in my baking and make more bread (I have joined the Fresh from the oven group to see help with this. I will be blogging my first challenge at the end of the month)
- To arrange meeting(s) with West Midlands based Food bloggers on UKFBA. (I will be in touch later this week with everyone in the group to arrange first meeting)
- Meet other foodie bloggers from the UK and hopefully, beyond
- Go to my first Michelin starred restaurant
- Make cupcakes (I have been inspired by my friends Caroline and Louise (check out Louise’s website here) to have a go at making cupcakes. I have brought ‘Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery’ book and intend to start using it as soon as possible)
- Make more use of the lots of cookbooks that I already own
- Expand my cooking repertoire
- Get better at food photography
These are my foodie related new year’s resolutions. What are yours? Can anyone help me with my resolutions?
Cheese and Potato Pie
Here is my simple recipe for cheese and potato pie, which is possibly some of the best comfort food you can get.
- 3 average sized potatoes per person (or 4 if you are greedy like me!)
- Lots of grated cheese (I prefer cheddar- a generous handful per person)
- Big knob of butter (Hairy Biker’s sized big knob of butter)
- Salt and white pepper
- Peel and chop the potatoes and put into a saucepan of water, bring it to the boil and simmer until the potatoes are cooked. (Usually 10-20mins depending on size of your chopped potatoes)
- Drain the potatoes and put back in the saucepan and put back on stove and apply gentle heat on your smallest ring to remove excess water from the potatoes for 30 seconds or so.
- Now remove from stove and add butter, salt and white pepper and mash until desired consistency. You may need to add more of butter, salt and white pepper to get it right, but do the mash until it is how you like it.
- Stir in some of the grated cheese and place mash into an oven proof bowl, put more grated cheese on top and then grill until the cheese on top is melted and golden. Then serve and enjoy. You can serve it with sausages, pork chops, chicken, ham and vegetables unless you are classy like me and serve it with baked beans!
I will be back soon but until next time,