Here’s a short blog post idea I found over on Bev’s blog. Hopefully now we are in March, I will try and post a little more!
Three Things I Liked In February.
1. Snowdrops. A welcome sign of Spring in the wettest February ever.
2. Watching Kiefer Sutherland’s band play at King George’s Halls with some friends. He comes across as a really nice guy, just like his character in Designated Survivor on Netflix, which I’m also watching.
3. Visiting my local Everyman Cinema. I’ve sneeked away for a couple of week day matinees at the new picture house in town. Watched both Emma and Like A Boss recently.
Three Things I’m Looking forward to in March.
1. Some dry weather. Need to get out of my wellies!
2. Spending some time at the caravan. We are up there in eleven days, and I really cannot wait!
Three Vegetables I eat the most.
1. Potatoes. 2. Cherry tomatoes. 3. Carrots.
Three items that are always on my grocerieslist.
1. Petfood. 2. Peanut butter ( my guilty pleasure on toast…. sometimes with marmite…eeeek) 3. Tin tomatoes.
Three Things we go through like crazy in my house. 1. Washing powder ( mostly for washing Hugo’s bedding and towels, especially in this weather). 2. Scented Candles. 3. Wild bird food.
Three things I always make time for.
1. Cuddles with my fur babies.
2. Recording wildlife I see in my Nature Diary.
3. I hope I make enough time to see friends & family, but I feel I need to be better at this.
On Friday we bobbed over the road for lunch ,to the recently opened Bowland Food Hall in Holmes Mill , a popular new eating, drinking & leisure destination, in my home town of Clitheroe. The mill is already home to Britain’s longest continuous bar, in its spacious Beer Hall , an attractive cafe , gelateria and of course the Bowland Brewery. Also set to open in the next few months are the Spinning Block Hotel, Bar & Grill and The Weaving Shed Gym, Pool & Spa. Phew! Thats alot to take in !
BowlandFood Hall is on a mission , to showcase the best of Bowland and Lancashire’s local produce. It’s a great space to wander round and ooooh and ahh at all the lovely goodies. There’s honey from Stonyhurst, cheese from Garstang, pies from Chatburn, meringues from Whalley, Bowland brewed ales, cordials from Rawtenstall etc etc etc. Of course it’s not only Lancs that gets a look in, but the emphasis is firmly on locally sorced food and drink. 🧀🍠
We did buy ourselves a few treats! A wedge of Nicky Nook Blue Cheese, A Lancashire Cheese Bomb and a small bottle of Whinberry Gin, also handcrafted in Lancashire. And not to forget Hugo! He has a packet of homebaked biscuits from Millie & Ruby’s Bakery for Dogs . 🙂 We are currently holidaying in The Lakes and are all enjoying our purchases , immensely! Reminding us of home. 🙂
So what is the dining experience like in the Food Hall? I think Holmes Mill have got the right idea, in keeping things simple. Bowland Boards are the order of the day. £8.50 for a Cheese Board, Fish Board , Meat Board, Vegetarian Board or Lancashire Board. Food is prepared in front of you , whilst you enjoy a coffee, tea, soft drink or maybe a glass or two of wine. You are seated round a raised slate top counter and the service is friendly and efficient. Wil is a big cheese fan and loved his cheese platter, all the cheeses are produced in where else, but Lancashire. 😉 . My Lancashire Board contained Roy Porters Pork Pie, Heritage Piccalilli, Lancashire Cheese Quiche and Lancashire Crisps. Mmmmmm delicious! If you have enough room for dessert, the patisserie menu looks very tempting too.
Bowland Food Hall is definitely worth a visit, to pick up a few treats or just indulge in a Lancashire Lunch fix.
Tucked away down a quiet ginnel in the picturesque village of Wiswell in Lancashire, the Freemasons is almost hidden from the eye, a secret place , that if sought out, delivers the most delicious food in a cosy country pub setting.
It seems a while ago now but a group of us congregated here for New Years Eve Lunch. I was almost tempted to sit outside, all wrapped up in one of those lovely plaid blankets that are draped over the benches. The promise of pre-luncheon drinks lured me indoors , where fox and stags heads adorn the walls and a roaring fire welcomes guests.
Once inside we were promptly shown to our table. As there were 11 of us eating, we had the advantage of a small intimate room to ourselves with a long wooden dining table. Chef Patron ‘Steven Smith’ has turned the bustling Inn into an aclaimed Gastro-pub with accolades including the highest ranking pub in 2017’s Good Food Guide .There are apparently also plans for several boutique bedrooms! But back to the food……
The delicious selection of breads that were brought out before the starters were divine and soon devoured. I didn’t have a starter but options included Wester Ross Salmon and Crispy Hen’s Egg with gammon & pineapple. Definitely a ‘ Fish n Chips’ girl , I ordered the Panko crumbed Haddock for my main course. Served with chips and mushy peas and the most lip smacking tartar sauce, I confidently declare this to be my favourite ‘ Fish n Chips’ dish in a long time. 🙂
For dessert several of us chose the Quince. It came with a stem ginger icecream and brownies….and many questions about Runcible spoons. 😉 Wil decided upon the Artisan Cheeses, which he really enjoyed.
With some starters costing more than your average main , the Freemasons is somewhere I would return for a special occasion or celebratory treat. Hmmm maybe I should hint to Wil about a certain date in February!
I thought I would get in the mood for Autumn, and the best way for me to do that, is to make a list of course! Enjoy. 🙂
1. Go for a woodland walk and admire the changing colours.
2. Refill your hanging baskets with Autumn favourites such as pansies, cyclamen and Ivy.
3. Fill your home with the scents of Autumn. Add cinnamon sticks,orange rind,whole cloves and bay leaves to water and simmer on the stove.
4. Go Blackberry picking and make a lovely crumble.
5. Autumn is the perfect time to get cosy on an Autumn Glamping Break. How about staying in a colourful Shepherd’s Hut in the Lakes, a luxurious Safari Tent in the Trough of Bowland or a beautiful Showman’s Wagon in Cornwall.
A real breakfast treat for me is pancakes. With blueberries,maple syrup and bacon. Oh yes 🙂
2. How do you drink your coffee?
Strong and Black.
3. What’s on your favourite sandwich?
BLT is probably my favourite. A bacon buttie always goes down well. And fish finger butties!
4. Soup or Salad?
Hmm salad at the moment but pea and mint soup, otherwise. 🙂
5. What’s your favourite cookbook?
I love my slow cooker at the moment so I have a few hamlyn slow cooking recipe books. I like dipping into ‘Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights’ by Sophie Dahl. ;). And ‘The Vintage Tea Party Book’ by Angel Adore is always a treat to open up and gaze at the pictures. 🙂 To be honest my OH is the main cook in this house. I’m usually the washer upper.
6. No more sweets or no more hearty foods?
I definitely have a sweet tooth …..and how could I give up all those afternoon teas??
7. What’s your favourite Cuisine?
This is soo hard. I have recently bought a persian cookbook by Sabina Ghayour. All the pictures look amazing.
8. What’s your favourite food movie?
It’s not really a food movie but ‘Under The Tuscan Sun’ has a companion recipe book that includes Italian dishes Diane Lane’s character Frances feeds her friends in the film. And I love the film! oh and you can’t beat a Bridget jones dinner party. Blue string soup anyone?
9. What’s your most guilty pleasure?
Umm peanut butter ….with marmite…on toast. This will probably provoke a eurghh response. 🙂
10. What’s your greatest inspiration source? Anyone who can cook is an inspiration!
11. Cooking at home or going out for dinner?
Going out to dinner.
12. High end or low profile?
Like Bev I’m not sure what this question means. High end must be posh nosh right! I prefer a more relaxed dining experience.
13. What’s your favourite restaurant?
If I’m in Clitheroe, probably the The Emporium which has comfy sofas and yummy food ,but I’m always up for discovering new places. 🙂
14. I do my grocery shopping at:
My local supermarket and occasionally the market.
15. The tastiest food I’ve ever eaten was:
A friend’s homemade mac n cheese and Wil’s lemon & lime cake.
17. Coffee with George Clooney or Heston Blumenthal?
I would probably be rendered speechless if I had coffee with Mr Clooney. Heston B might be able to create something fantastical with the coffee. 🙂
So heres a quick round up of my week in the form of a Sunday Sevens post ,which was thought up by Natalie who blogs at Threads & Bobbins.
1. Last Sunday’s breakfast was a Giant Warbutons Crumpet. It was very filling…and twice the size of a usual crumpet. I was recommended that eating it with an egg is a must…but I’m not an egg fan.So I made do with butter and a black coffee in my Alice mug.
2 & 3. Sunday’s make for great Wedding days.And I was honored to be invited to an ex work collegues evening reception at Mitton Hall with the lovely Amy and Amiee.And the bride and groom looked stunning of course…and very happy.:)
4. Whist the newly weds were enjoying the ceremony,Wil and I were tent shopping.Our last camping trip proved on the first night ,that our tent is no longer waterproof.:( But we have had a lot of weekends away out of it.Time for a new tent.But which one to pick??
5. The nasturtiums in my back yard that I planted from seeds have gone seriously crazy, covering the entire flower bed.This is a picture of them AFTER I gave them a good trim back. Looking forward to them flowering though.
6. My pets are looking like they are up to no good here. Wonder what they are plotting!
7. I could have taken yet another photo in Bowland Beer Hall this weekend ,but I will leave you with a strawberry milkshake in Callooh! Callay! Instead. Bobbed in here whilst doing a few errands in town today,before meeting some good pals in the Beer Hall.
Hope you have had a good week and enjoy the rest of the weekend. 🙂
A couple of weeks ago Wil and I had a day off work so we decided to go out for lunch. Where better than somewhere local…. just a short walk in the park away, in fact. 🙂 The Atrium Cafe at Clitheroe Castle has just got a new chef and a brand new menu. We thought it might be worth a look.
The Castle Keep was looking a wee bit mean and moody that day. Luckily the Cafe itself is a light and welcoming space with attentive staff. We decided to try the Picnic Lunch which I had lusted over on Facebook a few days earlier. 🙂 After ordering our drinks ( The Atrium grounds it’s coffee beans on site and the Coffee Exchange in Clitheroe supplies their loose leaf tea), we took a seat by the window and admired the drizzly but historic view. 🙂
The Picnic arrived served on a rustic bread board.As you can see it looks scrumdiddlyumptious! Happily it tastes that way too. The delicious array of goodies include a selection of sandwiches,ham hock terrine ( a favourite with Wil),sausage rolls ( the best I’ve ever tasted 🙂 ), a flask of soup, pate and toasts, mocha frappe with shortbread,lemon and vanilla posset ( to die for), chocolate brownie and homemade scones with jam and clotted cream.
This was definitely our kind of Picnic! The food is yummy and locally sourced and it’s actually a clever spin on an Afternoon Tea. 😉 One that the Atrium at Clitheroe Castle can proudly call it’s own. And not bad value at £12.50 per person.
Today’s #BEDM prompt is to blog about a Mexican inspired recipe you like. The only thing I could think to blog about is this Rancheros Pie which I sometimes make in the Slow Cooker. It’s from the hamlyn 200 Slow Cooker Recipes book.
1 tbs sunflower oil.
500g Minced beef.
1 Onion chopped.(I always use a handful of frozen chopped onions which you can buy in packets). Less tears!
2 garlic cloves ,finely chopped.
1 tsp cumin seeds.
Half tsp crushed dried red chillies.
Half tsp ground allspice.
1 tsp dried Oregano.
3 tbs sultanas.
400g can tomatoes chopped.
250 ml beef stock.
Salt & pepper.
500g sweet potatoes thinly sliced.
few crushed dried red chillies.
Preheat slow cooker.Heat oil in frying pan.Add beef and onion & fry until browned.
Stir in garlic,spices,sultanas, tomatoes and stock.Add a little salt & pepper and bring to the boil stirring.Spoon into the slow cooker , cover with overlapping slices of sweet potato,dot with butter and sprinkle with dried chillies.
Cover with the lid and cook for 7-8 hours until the potato topping is tender.Lift the pot out using oven gloves and brown under a hot grill if desired.
Here’s a quick catch up post about my foodie penpal parcels in November. My recipipitant Amy who blogs at Sprouts and Flip Flops wanted some healthy snack type foods so I sent her the bits and bobs in the above picture. I tried to pick some low fat items such as the seed and nut shots, the wasabi green peas and the naked ginger bread bar. She also enjoys cooking so hopefully the mixed sweet spice ,fruit factory fruit stars and the Mar fish seasoning went down well too.
Meanwhile I too received a parcel from Claire. She blogs at Clairey fairys cooking blog. I must say opening Claire’s parcel was like a mini Christmas celebration!
I had mentioned my sweet tooth to Claire and all these scrumptious sweet treats tumbled out of the box. What I loved most about what she sent me was her sense of fun really shines through. 🙂
A chocolate mug brownie cake mix ( soz Claire it kind of deflated, my fault I think), movie popcorn, salted caramel cashew brittle, chocolate dusted truffles,a triangle toblerone,miniature preserves,melt in the mouth shortbread etc etc
There was even Christmasy shaped pasta….which went down very well indeed.
If you fancy joining in ( the next Foodie Parcel Swap is in January) bob along to Thisisrocksalt.com.
At the weekend it was my local towns Food Festival. Clitheroe Food festival is in its fifth year now and has got bigger and better as time has gone on. There were over a hundred local produce stalls and street food vendors all selling their wares as well as cookery and cocktail making demonstrations. There were other events in Clitheroe too that coincided with the festival including a children’s fun fair and the Last Night Of The Proms in the castle grounds. Here are a few piccies from the day. 🙂
This year we went a bit mad and bought loads! Morecambe bay potted shrimps,kippers,Ginger cake,Rhubarb cordial,Flapjacks,Cider Sausages,Thai Pies ,Macaroons, Sourdough bread and………Kickass cheddar.