Sunday, 29 July 2012

Rhubarb, vanilla and honey frozen yogurt

Mr Lancashire Food picked a large quantity of Rhubarb from the garden this weekend, so rather than just freeze it I decide I would experiment. After making a tray of honeyed rhubarb, the ice cream mood took hold, so I came up with a frozen yogurt alternative using items I  had readily  found in  the fridge. This will satisfy any cravings for a sweet cool dessert you have , it would also be great served with hot puddings or fancied up with shortbread or other biscuits.

Honeyed Rhubarb
  • 1 kg Rhubarb, cut in small pieces
  • Honey - 4 tbsp 
  • Orange / lemon - grated zest and juice
Just place your rhubarb in an oven tray, drizzle with the honey and the zest and juice, bake in a 150C oven for about an hour or until soft and slightly golden

Frozen yoghurt

1/2 of a large pot of low fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 pot of low fat creme fraiche
1 tsp vanilla paste
2 tbsp honey
1 ramekin of honeyed rhubarb

  • Mix the yogurt, creme fraiche, vanilla and honey in a large bowl
  • Stir in the honeyed rhubarb 
  • Pour in to your ice cream maker, churn until softly frozen
  • If you don't have an ice cream maker then place in a freezer suitable tub in the freezer , remove approximately every half an hour and stir vigorously.
  • Store in the freezer until you want to use.
  • Serve as you would ice cream
This post is my contribution to Frugal Food Fridays from fuss free flavours and guest hosted by Blue Kitchen bakes this month

Grilled Halloumi and herb salad

I know halloumi isn't made in Lancashire but hey I am allowed to try other classic dishes from other countries. I wanted a cheese that would stand up the robust flavours of a herb salad. I love the way in southern Europe they aren't afraid to use herbs as a salad ingredient, which impart a lovely herbal background to the salad. Absolutely delicious and a salad that will transport to the Mediterranean in moments.

  • Halloumi, sprinkled with smoked paprika
  • Cucumber - chunky chopped
  • Tomatoes - chunky chopped
  • Mixed salad leaves - torn into large pieces
  • Rocket - torn
  • Flat leaf parsley - torn , small handful
  • Mint - 10  leaves , each torn into 3 pieces
  • Olives - black or green, whatever you have
  •  Extra virgin Olive oil or  cold pressed rapeseed oil - 2 or 2 tbsp
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • Honey - 1tsp
  • Lemon juice - 1tbsp
  • Assemble your salad in a large bowl
  • Mix the oil, lemon juice, honey and crushed garlic in a separate small bowl, this is your salad dressing
  • Now grill the halloumi until golden on both sides
  • Tosh your salad with the dressing, place on your serving plate
  • Top the salad with the halloumi slices
This salad would also be lovely served with lasagne or moussaka.

I am also using this post as my entry for Herbs on Saturday challenge hosted by Lavender & Lovage and this month by guest hosted by Bangers and Mash 

Monday, 23 July 2012

Lancashire Platter @ Dunkirk Hall

As you all know we love our local food here at Lancashire Food and had noticed that a local pub was tweeting about their local special "The Lancashire Platter",  so we had to go and give it a try didn't we.

Dunkirk Hall is very old pub on the outskirts of Leyland which over the last few years has had mixed fortunes, the foodie landlady Donna loves local food and has worked really hard to provide an appealing menu which features some local food, in fact so great is her love of all things local that she has opened a mini tea shop cum deli at the back of the pub, more of that later.

Back to the Lancashire Platter - an attractive alternative to the traditional ploughmans, featured in the platter is Creamy Lancashire Cheese from Dewlay cheese, a fab slice of pie from the Great North Pie company, home made scotch egg, bread from a local bakery, Fiddlers Lancashire Crisps, salad, homemade coleslaw and date and pear chutney from Hawkshead Relish.

All in all a fab platter, it disappeared very quickly. The pie I have to say was the star, but the other goodies were also very tasty.

Little D's at the back of the pub fortunately sells most of the goodies featured in the platter plus Stockleys Old Fashioned Sweeties, Mr Fitzpatricks Cordials, Bury Black Puddings, Agnes Rose Vinegars and Oils and also Ice Creams too. Little D's also has a few outside tables if the pub atmosphere isn't for you where you can take afternoon tea.

Pub - Leyland, Lancashire - Dunkirk Hall - Party

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Fabulicious Summer Ices - Competition


Its with great pleasure that Lancashire Food launches it first blog link competition, whoo woop !

As summer is really here ! we are launching a fabulicous summer ices competition, for lovely recipes for ice lolly's and ice creams. We are looking for delicious summer ice recipes, you might want to feature seasonal ingredients or you may want to re-create your favourite retro classic , the choice is yours. 

You luck entrants with have a chance of winning a delicious Emma Bridgewater Union Jack cooler bag, great for picnics and days on the beach.

Its so easy to enter, post your fabulicious recipe on your blog mentioning Lancashire Food Blog, using the blog linky tool below link up your recipe post and grab the the fabulicious summer ices badge and put it on your blog post .

Fabuliciious Summer Ices Competition

Spread the love by tweeting about it if you are on twitter using the hashtag of #fabuliciousices and any I see I'll re-tweet. 

Please also join Lancashire Food on facebook and post your blog post on there too. 

The competition will be open until Friday 24th August , I am hoping to get a local surprise foodie to judge the best ice and their decision will be final. The winner will be announced soon afterwards. Apologies but due to postage costs, the prize will only be posted to a mainland UK address.

The recipe can be your own or one you have seen somewhere else, please be respectful of copyright and give credit where due , please feel free to publish old recipes or old blog posts, but make sure you add the lovely badge( designed by sixesandseven.wordpress.com

STOP PRESS : AWARD WINNING CHEF Chris Rawlinson of the Red Cat restaurant will be the guest judge 

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Green Garden Soup

Well the weather is still not playing ball, its wet, its cool then its sunny, very confusing for the plants in the vegetable garden and very confusing for the cook too, what do you make when its supposed to be summer but some evenings you almost feel like putting the heating back on !

Soup is the answer in this household but not the rib sticking type of winter, something all together lighter using seasonal ingredients of course ideally from the garden and so this soup was born.

A quick rummage in the vegetable garden yielded rocket, peas, broad beans, baby courgettes and lovage, this was supplemented by store cupboard additions of potato, garlic and onion, the resulting soup was delicious, sweet and very moreish.

  • Peas (you could use frozen)
  • Broad beans
  • Baby courgettes - chopped finely
  • Rocket - handful no more
  • Lovage leaves - couple
  • White onion, finely chopped
  • Potato- peeled and diced in to small pieces
  • Vegetable stock
  • Butter 
  • Melt butter in a large saucepan
  • Add all your vegetable and sweat for a few minutes without browning
  • Add vegetable stock until all your vegetables are covered
  • Simmer until the vegetables are tender
  • Allow to cool slighty, then blend to desired consistency, thinner with more stock or water if needed
  • Taste to see if needs seasoning, bring back to gentle simmer, do not boil as it spoils the sweet flavour
  • Serve accompanied by great bread
I am entering this post in simple and in season blog challenge on Fabulicious Food, this month guest hosted by homemadebyfleur 

This is also an entry for No croutons Required, July challenge for summer soups and salads, a vegetarian challange co hosted by Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa's Kitchen

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Blackcurrant chocolate friands - We should Cocoa

Chocolate and Blackcurrant, gosh thats a difficult one ! This months We should cocoa challenge see the aforementioned combination as the challenge. Lucky for me our new blackcurrant bush has produced a small quantity of juicy berries just in time to take part in this challenge, otherwise I was planning to rummage in the drinks cabinet for some kirsch. Suppose depending on how this goes I might still resort to this !

I decided to not go too complicated and plumped for a delicious light friand with the addition of some juicy homegrown blackcurrants, Blackcurrants add an unusual twist to this homely bake. Most friand recipes use just egg whites but this one is with whole eggs,friands are apparently very popular in Australia and  you can even buy special friand tins if you get hooked.

  • 195g icing sugar (sifted)
  • 75g plain flour (sifted)
  • 30g Cocoa (sifted)
  • 155g ground almonds
  • 3 eggs - free range, whisked
  • 180g butter , melted and cooled
  • 100g blackcurrants
  • icing sugar to dust
  • melted butter or oil spray
  • Plain flour to dust
  • Preheat your oven to 180C
  • Brush your tin with melted butter or spray with oil spray, dust with plain flour. I used a muffin tray
  • Melt your butter and allow to cool
  • Sift the icing sugar, flour, cocoa powder in to a bowl, add the ground almonds and then the melted butter and eggs.
  • Stir until well mixed
  • Spoon into your prepared tin and place a few blackcurrants onto the friand 
  • Bake until well risen and cooked through, approx 15-25 minutes ( this depends on your tin size)

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Blueberry, mango and passion fruit yogurt cake

I love my easy peasy yogurt cake recipe that you can find on an earlier blog post, last night I had a craving for  cake but I had no plain yogurt in the fridge just the remains of a pot of mango and passionfruit, I also had  about half a punnet of blueberries that needed using up, so this how this loaf was born. You could also add chopped mango and passion fruit to plain yogurt, it really is up to you.

Recently I have also be experimenting more with adding a topping to my homely but tasty loaf cakes to add another texture to the cake.I was really pleased with the resulting cake a delicious tender crumbed confection with a crunchy contrasting topping. Bake two, I did !

Easy peasy yogurt cake recipe is here, to add a crunchy topping mix 2 tbsp of demerara sugar with 2 tsp of ground cinnamon. Sprinkle onto the top of your unbaked mixture before baking. 

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Southport Market Launch

Today saw the long awaited launch of the re-furbished Southport Market Hall, which despite a few local stalwarts, Southport has been a little bereft of good opportunities to buy great local produce despite being surrounded by fantastic growing land and the Ribble estuary coast. Today changed all that, smack bang in the town centre the market hall has been brought up to date with a multi million pound project which creates a new market quarter for the town.

Visitors were welcomed with a local jazz band and demonstrations from local tv chef Simon Rimmer and a visit from peppa the pig, the market had a real buzz and was very busy for the launch and features stalls to cater for all your needs, not just food.

A couple of months ago I was pleased to hear that my ex work colleague and excellent cheese-monger Vickie @ Liverpool Cheese were to open a stall on the market. Liverpool Cheese are award winning cheese-mongers who have been purveying fine cheeses of all types since 2006, they love local produce and have a particular skill for producing some beautiful cheese wedding cakes too.

The market also features several butchers, a fishmonger, try the Southport Shrimps they are delicious,a greengrocer, deli's and many many other great stalls. There are also two  gorgeous cafe's and a italian pizzeria.

Please pay them a visit if you are in Southport and #loveyourlocalmarket , shop locally and buy local produce.In Southport you can also find lots of lovely independent shops too.

Almond breeze, strawberry breakfast pancakes

almond milk recipe

I never tried Almond milk before so I was really happy to receive a sample from Blue Diamond Almonds via  Foodies 100 to experiment with.

I really enjoy recipe development and particular like it when it working with healthier ingredients. Almond milk is a great alternative to skimmed milk especially for those who are lactose intolerant and its also 60% lower in calories too, contains no cholesterol and almost no saturated fat either. 

The range from Blue Diamond Almonds also includes a sweetened and chocolate version too, the challenge it to come up with a healthy breakfast recipe. After all breakfast is the most important meal of the day so way not make it a healthy one too !

Now I don't know about you but I love thick american style pancakes, served drizzled with maple syrup or agave nectar when warm, I can eat them at any time of day.

This is an easy recipe and can be made the evening before and left in the fridge, but it only takes moments to whisk up, the choice is yours. You could add any fruit you like, blueberries, raspberries, bananas , whatever you want.


  • 175g plain white flour 
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 large egg - free range
  • 1 tsp syrup, you could also use agave nectar, maple or honey
  • 150ml Almond Breeze 
  • Sunflower oil
  • Handful of Strawberries - chopped finely
  • Mix all ingredients , except the oil , in a large bowl
  • Whisk until you have a smooth-ish batter, it will be quite thick
  • Heat a heavy bottom frying pan
  • Oil with sunflower oil, then wipe the excess with a folded piece of kitchen paper
  • Drop approx tablespoon sized dollops into the pan , do not move it and watch for little bubbles appearing on the surface
  • Once you see a few bubbles pop, turn your pancake and press gently down, until nicely golden on both sides
  • Serve warm, sprinkled with more strawberries and drizzled with maple syrup or agave nectar.

Tenderstem speedy gratin

Here's a second recipe with the versatile tenderstem, this can be served as a side dish or a quick lunch dish, may be with crusty bread on the side. Its still made in less than 10 minutes so no excuses, cook from fresh. 

  • pack of tenderstem
  • 100ml Double cream
  • Cheddar cheese or Lancashire Cheese - grated
  • Couple of anchovies in oil, drained 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Preheat your grill
  • Steam or microwave your tenderstem for 3 minutes until tender
  • Meanwhile heat your double cream and anchovies to boiling point in a pan
  • Drain your tenderstem into a gratin dish, sprinkle with your grated / crumbled cheese and pour over the hot cream
  • Sprinkle with more cheese and slam under the grill until golden and bubbling ( this will take about 5-6 mins)
  • Finish with freshly ground black pepper 
The anchovies melt into the cream and give an deep umami hit to the sauce, delicious served as a side or lunch dish.

Tenderstem Brocolli

Monday, 2 July 2012

Elderflower Challenge blog round up

Thanks to all my lovely food blogging chums my blogs first challenge has been a roaring success and saw no less than 14 blog link up posts. This celebration of this great foraged ingredient had bloggers taking part from all over the country eventhough the summer weather has been dire in the UK.

Several of the posts were from the lovely Karen at Lavender and Lovage, Strawberry and Elderflower cake and tart topping was her first, a very versatile recipe that can be used in all manner of ways for topping cakes, ice cream and pancakes. I really like that.


Another of Karen's post was an Old fashioned English elderflower cordial, the quintessential way of capturing the fleeting flavours of elderflowers. Aren't Karen's images stunning as well.

Old Fashioned English Elderflower Cordial

Lavender and Lovage's next post was the very delicious looking Royal Elderflower and Lemon Curd Butterfly cakes, which she devised in celebration of the Queens Diamond Jubilee celebration. The cakes do look fit for a Queen. 

Royal Elderflower & Lemon Curd Butterfly Cakes

Thanks Karen for all your support and helping to interest so many bloggers to be involved in the #Elderflowerchallenge.

The next link up came from Chris at Cookingaroundtheworld with his Elderflower cordial cocktails , he posts not only how to make the cordial but a few good suggestions of how you can use the cordial in some nifty little cocktails, including elderflower martini which I am sure James Bond would have approved of. Hick !

The next two posts come from All that I am Eating blogger, who has quite a few lovely elderflower posts on her blog, so I think it was probably a bit difficult to choose which to share for the challenge, her first post is  Elderflower sugar and elderflower cakes, gorgeous sweet looking little cupcakes which I am sure tasty equally delicious as well.

The second post is for Rhubarb and Elderflower crumble a classic seasonal combination of  wild and cultivated ingredients, I have tried this combination myself previously and its delicious, the elderflowers adding a delightful muscat flavour to the crumble.

Our next post was from Diana from Gelsomina's Cucina with a delightful Elderflower Panna cotta, I love panna cotta and have made HFW version of this. This is another excellent way of capturing Elderflower fragrance in a delicious summer dessert.

Kate from Turquoise Lemons contribution to the challenge is a Gooseberry and Elderflower Jam, I love gooseberries but don't seem to be able to beat the dreaded gooseberry sawfly so I will just have to lust after this from a far. When Kate posted this recipe there was some discussions on Twitter and the general consensus was scones would be the preferred accompaniment , I think this would be delicious with clotted cream as well.


To my surprise the next link up was from Transition Plymouth and it wasn't recipe it was a whole selection, they call their page Elderflower alchemy and it is the post features herbal teas, compote and elderflower fritters. Please check out the page.

bottles of elderflower cordial

The blog challenge baton ( well I had to get an Olympic pun in somehow) was picked up next by Laura at How to Cook Good Food and she added Strawberry tart with Elderflower pastry cream to our delicious and varied collection of recipes. Given the write up on the blog post this proved a winner with her family and is one I need to try in future.

Inspired by the Gooseberry and Elderflower Jam from Turquoise Lemons, I decided that I would make a strawberry and elderflower jam, minor cheat I know but hey , it contains elderflowers !

Loving all things chocolate I was pleased to see the next linky from Choclette , some very delicious looking Elderflower and White chocolate cupcakes from Chocolate Log Blog, unusually the cupcakes feature Truvia one of the new natural no calorie sweetners. Very helpful  as always, Choclette has provided links to the website for conversions for the Truvia.

Our penultimate linky is from Vivien Lloyd - The Preserves expert, she has kindly posted Elderflower Moments from the fabulous Miranda Gore Browns book - Biscuits ( this is by the kind permission of Miranda and Ebury Press). So that went on my Amazon wishlist immediately. Delightful melting moments filled with a decadent elderflower flavoured buttercream filling, perfect for afternoon tea in the garden.

Last but no means least our final post came from Mainly Baking, a beautiful Gooseberry, almond and elderflower cake. I think the combination of almonds and elderflowers is an inspired one, thanks for the post.

In summation, I have really enjoyed looking at all the lovely elderflower posts contributed to the blog link up, we are so lucky to have so many talented food bloggers in the UK. Thanks everyone for taking part and for making my first linky blog challenge such a success.

Tenderstem and chorizo spaghetti

I have been having fun today as I am one of the lucky bloggers to be chosen to take part in Tenderstem in Ten challenge, basically the challenge is to make a meal in 10 minutes or less with 10 or less ingredients which includes Tenderstem.

Tenderstem for those of you who don't know is a broccoli originally grown in Japan, that you can eat from head to tail, and it cooks in 3 minutes. Its a really versatile ingredient and given the speed of cooking is a healthy addition to any recipe. The Tenderstem website has loads of inspiration on it on how to use this ingredient.

I had great fun devising a recipe that would be cooked and ready in less than 10 minutes and achievable for anyone. 

This recipe serves 2 adults and is flexible enough for you to free style with other ingredients if you so wish, you could add crushed garlic or finely chopped chilli.You could also subsitute another type of pasta as long it cooks in less than 10 minutes.


  • Spaghetti ( approx 75g per person)
  • Pack of Tenderstem 
  • Olive oil
  • Ring of Chorizo - sliced
  • Freshly grated paramesan - to serve
  • Freshly ground black pepper - to serve
  • Steam or boil your Tenderstem for 3 minutes
  • Whilst cooking your Tenderstem, put your spaghetti on to boil for the time on the pack, mine was 7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile fry off your sliced chorizo in plenty of olive oil, until the chorizo starts to go crispy and the paprika oil is mixing with the olive oil.
  • Drain your broccoli and add to chorizo pan to keep warm, whilst your spaghetti is finishing cooking
  • Drain spaghetti and add to the chorizo pan and mix well
  • Serve sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan and freshly ground black pepper
  • Done in 10 :-)

Tenderstem Brocolli

Sunday, 1 July 2012

CCC No 7 - Get Fruity - Blackberry, lavender rose and white chocolate cake

Our latest Clandestine Cake club was held at the newly opened Da Vinci Italian Wine Bar and restuarant in Leyland and the theme was "Get Fruity".

This was my first meeting as an organiser and given that I had  a friends wedding the day before the meet, I had to get organised and make sure I baked ahead. The base sponge was baked a couple of days before and stored in a cool place. My bake for the Get Fruity theme uses homegrown blackberries from the garden and as I wanted a cake that was understated and highlighted the subtle flavours of summer, I choose a Blackberry and White chocolate cake. This cake features, rose and lavendar as flavourings in the compote and ganache, to give a twist to the ordinary.

Once again our membership excelled themselves and really embraced the theme of the event. Strawberry, raspberry, lemon, orange, blackberries, apples and cherries were just some of the fruits featured in the bakes. We ere also lucky that Crossmoor Honey brought along a selection of honey's for our members and guests to sample and purchase ( this was on request of the membership)

The meeting was busy and we welcomed new bakers and new guests. Discussions included our cake for Preston Cake City and the forthcoming Leyland Festival Bake off ! We even had a quick chat by the organiser to drum up a few more entries for the Leyland Cake competition from our membership.

Back to my cake, a relative easy bake due to the time restrictions I had.


150g Quality baking margarine
200g white chocolate
200ml skimmed milk
250g self raising flour - sifted
1 tsp baking powder
250g caster sugar
3 large eggs (free range please)
1tsp vanilla paste

300g blackberries, I used homegrown frozen from last season, defrosted
1 tbsp lemon juice
150g granulated sugar
1 tbsp of dried lavender flowers ( in a muslin bag )

200g white chocolate 
200ml double cream
2tsp rosewater

You will also need 2 greased and based lined sandwich tins, approx 20cm across, I use 1 cal oil spray to grease my tins , it makes a doddle.


Preheat your oven to 180c, slightly less if you have a fan oven 160c, watch the cake for over colouring as the white chocolate can make it brown quickly.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water and add your vanilla paste and milk to it once melted.Leave to cool.

Mix the flour, margarine, sugar and eggs together, then add the chocolate mixture, mix until you have a smooth mixture and then pour into the two tins.

Bake for approx 30 - 35 mins until cooked through when tested with a skewer, leave to cool in the tin, then remove from tin, remove the baking paper and allow to cool fully on a wire tray.

Make your compote by cooking the blackberries, granulated sugar until the berries are softened and the juices running, I made this the day before and infused the lavendar into the compote using a small muslin bag and left it in the fridge overnight. Drain the excess moisture from the compote before using.

To make the ganache I brought the cream and rosewater to the boil before pouring over the broken up chocolate and stirring until melted. This was then allowed to cool in the fridge and whisked to thicken.

To assemble place your base cake on your serving plate and fill with a little of the ganache and the drained blackberry compote, then place the top layer cake on top. Spread with the remaining ganache, decorate to your taste.

I used 

  • Dried lavender flowers (I got mine from Steenbergs)
  • Rose flower and petals from the garden

I also had a go at an Audioboo too for the event

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