Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Exciting line up for the BBC Good Food Show Summer!

BBC Good Food Show Summer

NEC Birmingham

16 – 19 June 2016

Get ready for a warm welcome from the BBC Good Food Show Summer, sponsored by Lexus, this June.  The Show returns to the NEC Birmingham, promising to be one of the summer’s tastiest days out and a great way to spend a day with food loving friends. With many of the nation’s favourite chefs and celebs, a wide range of local and regional artisan producers and everyone’s favourite big name brands, there’s something for everyone.
Highlights in 2016 will include:


The Supertheatre
The Supertheatre will host a range of chefs and celebs including Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, The Hairy Bikers, Tom Kerridge, Michel Roux Jr, James Martin and more. A BBC Good Food Show first, Alan Titchmarsh joins Mary Berry in the Supertheatre on Friday for a home-grown extravaganza. Visitors can watch delicious demonstrations live and take home the recipes in an exclusive Showguide. Afterwards, they can get the latest cookbooks signed by their favourites at the Book Shop, sponsored by WHSmith.

BBC Good Food Stage
The BBC Good Food Show Summer are delighted to unveil the newest feature at the Show, the BBC Good Food Stage, sponsored by Lakeland. Hosted by Barney Desmazery and Cassie Best from the BBC Good Food cookery team, this stage features a combination of celebrity interviews and recipe demos. Visitors can hear from celebrity chefs and experts and discover their culinary secrets and top tips for summer food and get recipe ideas from live demonstrations.

Discover and Learn by Lexus
Discover and Learn by Lexus is an interactive feature at the BBC Good Food Show Summer consisting of three themed masterclasses which focus on different foodie areas; Cupcake decorating with Marcus Bean, Sushi Making with Yo Sushi and Taste Sensation with Flavour Sense Nation. Lexus will take guests on a journey of discovery with expert hosts, who will share their knowledge and expertise in 30-40 minute, step by step masterclasses, for all ages and abilities. Guest will leave with a repertoire of knowledge to share with friends or recreate at home. See website for booking details.

Producers’ Village
The Producers’ Village is a huge speciality food market at the heart of the show, packed with small artisan producers. Look out for BBC Good Food Champions and Bursary Award Winners who pride themselves in the quality and provenance of their produce.

Ludlow Producers Market
The Ludlow Producers Market section of the Show brings together a fantastic collection of producers from Ludlow and the Marches. With an emphasis on local, independent food and drink producers this is a great area to pick up some interesting products that visitors won't find in the supermarkets.

Chinese Pavilion
NEW for the 2016 Show, visitors can discover far eastern flavours in the Chinese Pavilion. Browse and shop from a selection of producers specialising in a variety of teas, wines and spirits.

BBC Good Food Kitchen
The BBC Good Kitchen is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing lunch at the show where visitors can savour dishes inspired by bbcgoodfood.com seasonal recipes.

BBC Gardeners’ World Live

Tickets to the show include free entry to BBC Gardeners’ World Live which takes place alongside the food show. See gardening experts including Monty Don, Carol Klein, Joe Swift and Alan Titchmarsh live on stage sharing their expertise, unearth tips for growing fresh ingredients at home, get equipped for BBQ season or simply enjoy a picnic amongst the beautiful Show Gardens with tasty purchases from the shopping aisles. 


So what would you most like to see at the show? Leave a comment below for your chance to win a pair of tickets.

Get yourself 20% off tickets using code: BL20


*20% off Adult/Over 65s tickets only. Not valid on VIP or with any other offer. Ends 19/06/16. Standard Supertheatre seat included with Super tickets, subject to availability, Gold seat upgrade £3. Offer valid on Value tickets where available. Details correct at time of print. £1.50 fulfilment fee per advance order. Good Food® Good Food Logo © BBC Worldwide. Organised and presented by River Street Events.

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Details correct at time of print.
Super tickets, including Supertheatre seat, from £24.50 (including free entry to BBC Gardeners’ World Live). Read more at www.bbcgoodfoodshowsummer.com
The BBC Good Food Shows are organised and presented by River Street Events Ltd
The GoodFood word mark and logo are trademarks of BBC Worldwide Limited. Copyright 2015 BBC Worldwide Limited
About BBC Worldwide Ltd. BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). BBC Worldwide exists to support the BBC public service mission and to maximise profits on its behalf. It does this through investing in, commercialising and showcasing content from the BBC around the world, in a way that is consistent with BBC standards and values. The business also builds the reach and reputation of the BBC brand overseas and champions British creativity. 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Recipe - Glynn Purnell's Duck with spiced plum jam

As a member of the BBC Good Food Show blogging community I was asked to take part in Stoves Winter recipe recreation.

A little bit about Stoves UK; Founded in 1920, Stoves is one of the UK’s best loved cooking brands. It is also one of the only major kitchen appliance brands still committed to manufacturing in the UK with 100% of its freestanding cookers, built-in ovens and hobs and range cookers assembled at its Merseyside headquarters. All products are designed and built in the UK specifically with British cooks in mind. Stoves is a founding member of the Made in Britain campaign championing British manufacturing.

As a regular visitor to the BBC Good Food Show's, I love to catch some of the live cookery demonstrations on the Stoves stand. Over the four days there were a host of celebrity chefs cooking up a storm; from Brian Turner to Phil Vickery, Glynn Purnell to Rachel Allen.  One of the recipes that caught my attention was Glynn Purnell's duck with spiced plum jam and watercress. I love duck and I have to admit it's something I don't cook that often as it can be a bit pricey... This was just way too tempting though. I added some shredded sweet potato to make it more of a substantial evening meal, baked in the oven for 20 minutes then finished off tossed in the remaining duck fat!

Glynn Purnell's Duck with Spiced Plum Jam and Watercress

Glynn says: "Big, juicy, spicy plums! Ooh errr, missus!


That’s what you need to cut through that rich duck and crisp pak choi to blend and balance. Duck is a fab meat either spiced up or classically served. I cook duck a lot and the kids love it. Fat and delicious!"

Ingredients
  • 4 duck breasts
  • 2 heads of pak choi
  • A bunch of watercress
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
For the plum jam:
  • 6 plums, stoned and chopped
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 medium chilli, chopped
  • Pinch of chilli powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • Squeeze of lime juice
  • Splash of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander
  • Pinch of ginger powder

Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas 4.
  • Begin by making the plum jam. Heat the sugar and vinegar until it starts to thicken.
  • Add the chilli and chilli powder, garlic, lime juice and soy sauce. Add the chopped plums and cook until tender.
  • Add the coriander, take off the heat and season with salt and ginger powder.
  • Break the pak choi into individual leaves and split each leaf down the middle. Put to one side.
  • Heat a frying pan. Slash the duck skin and place the breasts, skin side down, on the warm pan. Cook until the skin has caramelised (about 3 minutes). Pour off the excess fat and put it to one side.
  • Lay the duck breasts, skin side down in a baking tin, and cook in the oven for 7–8 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for a few minutes.
  • Pour the excess fat back into the frying pan and place on a medium heat. Once hot, add the pak choi and toss in the hot duck fat. Remove from the pan and season.
  • Carve the duck into slices, arrange on top of the sweet potato (if using), serve with the pak choi and plum jam, garnished with watercress.
Enjoy xx

Recipe - Rachel Allen's Chicory, Blue Cheese, Pecan and Cranberry bites

As a member of the BBC Good Food Show blogging community I was asked to take part in Stoves Winter recipe recreation.

A little bit about Stoves UK; Founded in 1920, Stoves is one of the UK’s best loved cooking brands. It is also one of the only major kitchen appliance brands still committed to manufacturing in the UK with 100% of its freestanding cookers, built-in ovens and hobs and range cookers assembled at its Merseyside headquarters. All products are designed and built in the UK specifically with British cooks in mind. Stoves is a founding member of the Made in Britain campaign championing British manufacturing.

As a regular visitor to the BBC Good Food Show's, I love to catch some of the live cookery demonstrations on the Stoves stand. Over the four days there were a host of celebrity chefs cooking up a storm; from Brian Turner to Phil Vickery, Glynn Purnell to Rachel Allen.  One of the recipes that caught my attention was Rachel's quick and easy festive canapĂ© of Chicory boats with blue cheese, pecan and cranberries... Delicious. I turned this into a more substantial winter salad by adding some avocado (for protein), some stuffed baby peppers and a mixed salad of rocket, spinach and watercress. I drizzled a little of the dressing over the salad to bring it all together.

Rachel Allen's Chicory, Blue Cheese, Pecan and Cranberry Bites

Ingredients

  • For the dressing:
  • 3 tbsp hazelnut or walnut oil
  • 1 and a half tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • A quarter of a tsp Dijon mustard 
  • Salt and black pepper to season
  • For the bites:
  • 12 pecans
  • 225g (8 oz) Cashel Blue Cheese, cut in to small cubes
  • 1 head chicory
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries, chopped very roughly
Method
  • Mix all the ingredients for the dressing together in a jam jar.
  • Toast the pecans on a baking tray at 180’C/350’F/Gas mark 4 for 5-10 minutes – don’t leave them as they burn easily. When cool, chop or crumble them roughly.
  • Trim the chicory and separate the leaves. Combine the cheese, nuts and cranberries in a bowl and toss with a little dressing. 
  • Place the chicory leaves on a plate and spoon in the nut and cheese mixture to serve as a simple festive canapĂ©.
Note - this can also be served as a winter you salad served on watercress leaves.


Saturday, 16 January 2016

Umbria - Italy's green heart (day 3)

Our last day included a visit to Narnian ancient hilltown that overhangs a narrow gorge of the Nera River in the province of Terni. It is very close to the Geographic center of Italy. There is a stone on the exact spot with a sign in multiple languages
Like many of the smaller towns of Umbria, Narni is still of strikingly medieval appearance today, with stone buildings, and narrow cobblestone streets. The town is famous for one of the largest Roman bridges (Ponte d'Augusto]) ever built, by which the Via Flaminia crossed the Nera. One arch of the bridge still stands; it is some 30 meters high.
Other sights include:
  • Duomo (Cathedral).
  • Eroli Museum with a Domenico Ghirlandaio's altarpiece.
  • Church of Santa Maria Impensole.
  • Communal Palace (13th century).
  • Palazzo dei Priori, located in the ancient Roman forum's site.
  • Rocca Albornoziana (Albornoz' Castle), overlooking the town, now hosting temporary exhibitions.
  • Romanesque church of Santa Pudenziana, just outside the town.
  • Church of Sant'Agostino, decorated with 18th-century tromp-l'oeil frescoes.
  • Benedictine abbey of San Cassiano.

I love that the imaginary land of 
Narnia, described in the works of C. S. Lewis, was named after Narni after he came across the name in an atlas as a child. Magical!


Our visit concluded with a tour of Narni Sotterranea, situated under St. Dominic's monastery area, the entrance is in a 12th century church, discovered just 30 years ago. This church still preserves some of the most ancient frescos of the city. Through  a passage in the masonry we enter into a large room with a roman cistern, which is probably the remains of a roman house, a "domus". Then, through a long narrow passage, we reach a large dark room which was the Tribunal of the Inquisition, where the accused heretics were put on trial. Several documents, discovered in the municipal and Vatican Archives and Trinity College in Dublin, and the traces left on the masonry by the torture instruments , prove the existence of these trials. A little cell, unique in this way in Italy, gives evidence, through graffiti on its wall, of the pain suffered by those who were imprisoned there to be put on trial. One of them left a message in a graphic code that still isn't completely decoded.
A photogaphic exibition shows the instruments used by the Tribunal to extort confessions from those accused of heresy. The tour of "Narni Underground" ends in the big cistern of the medieval "Lacus", under Garibaldi Square.

Our tour was conducted by one of the original founders of the caves, although he spoke little English, and me even less Italian, I was captivated by his story. 

  
   
  
  
  


A meander through the streets of Narni, more pretty doorways and intriguing alleyways... couldn't you just wander for hours!
  

Our next stop, the fortress Rocca Albornoz which houses an interactive museum through 14 rooms of medieval history. On display were weapons that were used in battles and tournaments, costumes and fashions depicting the standards of beauty of that time; an exhibition of musical instruments; a true discovery of the myths, legends, truths and secrets of the Middle Ages.

Not to mention a fantastic aerial view of the hillside towns around Narni.



Unfortunately, this is where our tour of Terni stopped. I look forward to visiting again with family and exploring even more of Italy's beautiful green heart. Umbria.

For further information on the areas visited, please click below;
Narni
Terni

Julie xx 

Umbria - Italy's green heart (day 2)

An early start took us to witness the breathtaking beauty of "Cascate delle Marmore" (Marmore Falls), a man-made course reaching a height of 165m and divided into three falls. It is the highest in Europe and dates back to the 3rd Century BC. Legend has it that a young shepherd boy, Velino, fell in love with the beautiful nymph Nera after seeing her bathe in the river. After being rejected, he threw himself off a cliff in to the river so as to remain with his beloved for eternity.

Historically, it was created to divert the water into the river Nera, thus freeing the valley from the swamp and making it healthier. The waterfall was altered again in between the 15th and 18th centuries to clear obstructions caused by limestone deposits. Since the mid 19th century it has been used to produce hydroelectric energy for Terni, and is therefore only open to visitors as certain times throughout the year when the water release is controlled.

Before, a mere trickle;






After, a raging torrent;



A fairy glen....


In every age, the beauty of the Waterfalls has inspired poets and artists, among these: Virgilius, Cicero, G. Byron, and many others.

Lord Byron - Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

There are several paths to follow ranging in difficulty and length, it would be easy to spend a full day here. There are also opportunities for guided tours through the park and deep into the caves, as well as climbing and rafting by organised groups.
I think I fell a little in love with Marmore and would love to return with my family so they can experience its beauty.

All that fresh air and walking had certainly made us hungry. Our next stop was the hilltop town of Amelia which is surrounded by an imposing ring of walls dating back to the 7th century BC. But first, lunch at the beautiful La Gabelletta





Amelia - a town situated on a hill overlooking the Tiber River to the east and the Nera River to the west. Considered the oldest town in Umbria, it was supposedly founded by a legendary Umbrian king, King Ameroe, who gave the city the name Ameria.  It is especially known for its walls, parts of which may date to Amelia's earliest days. Large segments of which are built in polygonal masonry of carefully jointed blocks of limestone — most likely an Etruscan work (a 30-meter segment of this wall collapsed in 2006 and is under repair). The walls were further fortified and enlarged during Roman times and during the Middle Ages. The walls run about 720 meters and are about 3.5 meters thick, with four main gates: the imposing Porta Romana to the south, the main access to the town; Posterola to the north; Porta Leone to the east; and Porta della Valle to the west.




Tour of the palazzo, museo Archeologico and theatre






Onwards to San Gemini - a well-preserved medieval town with two lines of walls, built over the remains of a small Roman center along the old Via Flaminia. It is especially known for its mineral waters..
The twelfth-century duomo dedicated to the commune's patron, the locally venerated Saint Gemine, whose relics were recovered in 1775, was rebuilt in 1817. Brother Gemine was a monk of Syrian origins who died in 815. The burial urn and original stone are conserved in the sacristy; the saint has been reburied under the high altar. 
The saint's day is 9th October and while visiting on Saturday 8th we witnessed the historical re-enactments where the town wears the colours of the flags that the two neighbourhoods, Rocca and Piazza, hang at their windows during the celebrations. There are parades and a jousting tournament where the winning town is awarded with the Palio d'argento. We watched a fabulous display by the apprentice flag throwers at the Piazza Palazzo Vecchio.

Following the display we headed to Tenuta Marchesi Fezia, a country hotel in the heart of Umbria which produces its own salami, truffles, legumes, pasta, oil, wine, sauces, jams and cakes.


 A truly wonderful end to a wonderful day!

If you'd like to read day 3, it can be found here