Sunday, 25 July 2010

Burbs Bargain 2 - Salads

The humble salad, the boring salad, the mundane salad - lettuce, cucumber and a few tomatoes.

No, No, No, Not here, Not anymore!

Your salad can be the centre piece to your BBQ extravaganza or a delicious accompaniment to the beautiful hot/cold food you have created. For me the perfect salad is getting the balance right with the textures and colours. It needs to be bright, cheery and an explosion of colour in the bowl, also as you take each mouthful you tastebuds will be sent wild with excitement as crunch through the different layers of flavours and textures. There is so much good quality Britsh produce available to us from our local shops.

When you first think of salad most people think of lettuce and tomato.
I like to make salads from different things like rice, pasta, cous cous along with some more tradtional ingredients like:

Why not print off my 'Salad Box' and shade in the ingredients that work for you to create the perfect tailormade salad. You could even use different shades for different salads. Add different ingredients to the box and let me know what I'm missing, I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Green Fingers For Sure

Back in May I announced Sarah and I were going to try our hand at growing something, well I don't think we are ready just yet to take on the Great British Farmers but what a result, we have big flourishing tomato plants, more basil than than your average Italian kitchen, some healthy looking pea plants and a good scattering of radish.

We have learnt a few things over the past couple of months and its been a great learning curve that has all been worth it, I can't wait to tuck into the produce that we have loved and nurtured since May. It's not been all plain sailing there have been a few casualty's along the way, like the sun roasted pepper plants and seeds that didn't work(well that's our excuse!).

It has been a rewarding journey and has taught us patience and a great way of getting away from work. We picked up tips along the way by reading books, websites and gathering information from our Twitter Buddy's. There are some strange ideas out there for gardening excellence but the one that has worked most of all for us is growing things together that actually go together when you eat them. For example Tomato and Basil grow well together.

The next time you will see our produce will be about 30 seconds before I eat it, so the thinking cap is on what to make with tomato, basil, pea, rocket and radish.


Thursday, 24 June 2010

Burb's Summer Bargain 1

About this time every year, we in Britain dust off our bbqs and enjoy the British summer time. Normally it's the same old stuff; burgers, sausages and chicken. As nice as that all is there is so much more out there.

Here are some ideas to transform a bbq into a BurbBQ.

You could make some flavoured butters a few days before and they will keep in the fridge for weeks. These will transform any cooked meat or fish or griddled vegetable into something really special. Here are my favourites, try different flavours and let me know what works for you.
  • Lemon & Lime ( great for Chicken or Fish )
  • Chilli, Corriander, Garlic & Ginger ( Great on Prawns & Chicken )
  • Garlic & Parsley ( Chicken, Fish & Prawns )
  • Chive, Spring Onion & Caper ( Salmon & Steak )

Monday, 21 June 2010

Burb's Summer Bargain Bites

Now I will try not to say this all to loudly just incase the person/force that decides the weather hears me but it's actually sunny and seems to be here for some time, so does that mean it's summer?

Now we are getting some decent weather I can't help but think of all the wonderful foods available to us during these glorious British Summer months. I have just recently finished my back garden with some decking, so we will be spending a lot of time out there making the most of every last minute of the light evenings. We have just started to learn how to grow things, started nice and gently with three tiny tomato plants and two pepper plants. We now have two huge tomato plants and two well baked pepper plants because we left them in the new green house for too long. We have also planted rocket, sweetpeas, spring onion and radish, so I will keep you posted on how that goes.

I love the summer evenings, chilling in the garden, the sound of wood crackling in the chimenea, a glass of red and something cooking on the BBQ.

You can't beat a BBQ! LOVE IT!LOVE IT!LOVE IT!

So over the next few weeks I would like to share with you some of my favourite summertime snacks and nibbles to enjoy for your lazy summer evenings.

Watch this space from Thursday.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Finding the time to Blog

Sarah (my misses to be) let me know that every blogger has a moment when they feel that they haven’t time to blog. It has happened to me. I love blogging,sharing my recipes and when people provide comments and I wish I could blog more.

The hours I work are pretty taxing and when I get home all I really want to do is chill out on the sofa. On my days off I generally have a DIY job to do, currently putting up decking in my garden (not a fan of grass) - see above photo.

As I like to blog, I have been keeping my eye out for a new job which will enable me to work 9 - 5pm (like normal people) and then have time in the mornings and evenings to blog and read other foodie blogs. That would be amazing. So it is my mission to achieve, so fingers crossed something will come up soon and I can be a regular blogger, just like all those regular bloggers I admire such as:

JamandCream -
Rocktime -
PennyGoLightly -
Soupmaker -
Lulubelles Cakes -

Of course I will let you know how I get on.

See you all soon

Monday, 10 May 2010

Green Fingers?

We thought we would give growing your own veg ago! I mean how difficult can it be? Well only time will tell, so we have started with the basics and done some research. We have read this book.

Your Allotment by Clare Foster and Foreword by Gregg Wallace

It's an easy to follow book with some great pictures and ideas to get you started.

We will be growing three different types of tomatoes, two types of chilli pepper and a basil plant.

Since we don't own a greenhouse yet, the lounge has been turned into a temporary potting shed and because it is still a little chilly for our young plants to be released into the big bad world we have the smell of plant and soil while we sit, relax and plan the next money saving adventure.

If this little project works then who knows what we might grow next. If anyone has any tips or advice then please let me know. I will keep you up to date with our progress.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

NewsFlash.....Britains Best Dish wants the Burb!

Thank you for the comments of support after being rejected from ITV, but now there is a twist. I'm back in, the producers have met and discussed my position and realised I have no more advantage than any other contestant. They gave me a very nice phone call too with an apology. This is great news and I am really looking forward to the auditions on the 19th May in Exeter.

Edited: I have had to edit this post -and delete another one, as ITV have let me know they wish to keep the TV show on the down low. What does this mean ? Am I on the show? Did I pass the audition?. All I can let you know is, it went very well, loved the audition, great experience and anything other news, well you will have to watch the TV show to find out, aired in August.