Thursday, 31 December 2015

Round up of all our featured foodie's for 2015

Twelve of Lancashire's finest foodie's, all featured this year as a Quick bite of Lancashire Food. Why not nominate your favourite to be featured in 2016.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Yuletide Gingerbread - dairy and gluten free

Who doesn't like sticky gingerbread, the prefect accompainment to present wrapping and one sure fire way of putting in the festive mood. 

This gingerbread is the sticky cakey kind and not the crunchy gingerbread man type of gingerbread, again not a beauty and a recipe that practically always sinks slightly in the middle but it has a beautiful spicy warmth with just the right amount of cloves. Easily made dairy and gluten free if required so its a recipe for all. 

A tip for you - lightly oil the container you measure the treacle in otherwise it will make a very sticky mess.

What you need
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 120g quality vegetable margarine (dairy free) - I use Pure
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 150ml treacle
  • 300g Self raising flour ( I have made this gluten free and it works fine, you may need to a little more water)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 heaped tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaped tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 60ml of warm water
2lb loaf tin - oil sprayed and lined

What you do

  • Prepare the baking tin
  • Preheat the oven to 175c
  • Cream the sugars and margarine in a mixer , until well mixed, fluffy and lighter in colour
  • Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixer
  • Mix quickly until you have a smooth mixture
  • Scoop into the prepared tin and place in the pre heated oven
  • Bake for 50 - 55 minutes
  • Cool initially in the tin
  • Remove from tin to a wire rack to cool fully
  • Wrap and store in an airtight tin, if you can leave it for a few days its starts to go delightfully sticky.
  • Delicious served with a cup of tea 

We are linking up to Love Cake over on JibberJabberUk , theme this month is "Festive Fun"

                                                        Love Cake logo

Simply Eggcellent - with Dom at Belleau Kitchen, theme this month "Anything Goes"


And finally Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too.

                                                           Link up your recipe of the week

Friday, 4 December 2015

Banana Cinnamon Swirl loaf

I love baking and can't think of many things that create that sense of clam and contentment in a household like a freshly baked homemade cake. The weather in Lancashire is currently blustery but still fairly mild for the time of year and we have only experienced one frost so far this season, I love cooking with warming spices and cinnamon in one of my absolute favourites and thought that the addition of a cinnamon sugar swirl would work well and oh my it does. Since coming up with this twist on a basic banana loaf I have made this loaf at least 4 times already, its that good.

Its falling off a log simple to make, an easy recipe and another one for using up manky bananas, as mentioned earlier I love cinnamon and buy it in industrial quantities, just make sure that it still fragrant before baking as you want that beautiful cinnamon amours to perfume your whole house whilst you are baking.

What you need
  • 3 soft ripe bananas - peeled
  • 1 egg - free range
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 cup of plain flour
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 1/3 cup of melted butter or if diary free - sunflower oil
For the swirl
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
You also need a 2lb loaf tin, lined

What you do
  • Preheat the oven to 180c
  • Mix the swirl ingredients together in a ramekin, put to one side.
  • Mash the bananas in a large bowl with a fork until you have a smooth puree, add the vanilla to the bowl.
  • In the large bowl, I use my stand mixer add all the other ingredients (except the swirl mixture) and mix until you have a smooth mixture
  • Pour half of the mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle with just over half of the cinnamon swirl mixture
  • Top with the rest of the banana cake mixture, smooth level with a palette knife and then sprinkle the top with the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes until the cake tests baked with a skewer
  • Cool initially in the tin for 15 minutes and then cool fully on a wire rack.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Richard Lowthian - Ham & Jam Coffee Shop Preston

Born in the West End of Newcastle upon Tyne a true Geordie. I moved to Lancashire in the 1990's having met my wife Cindy who was at Newcastle University we have a daughter Felicity. I have worked for some fantastic social housing organisation for over twenty years in the North East and North West of the country and made some great friends during my social housing career. In the summer of 2014 I had a fantastic opportunity to take voluntary redundancy and follow my dreams. So for the past twelve months I've develop our business plan for Ham and Jam coffee shop Ltd and we are hoping to open Autumn 2015. 

Ham and Jam is now open and can be found on 50-52 Lancaster Rd, Preston, near the Guild Hall.

What is your favourite cookery or food book or publication?
Anything by Rick Stein as I seem to have more of his books than anyone else’s.

What sentence sums up Lancashire Food to you?
For me it’s got to be Morecambe Bay Shrimps, Lancashire Hot Pot and good old, Lancashire cheese!

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you like to be?
I am very lucky as I've moved on to what I've always really want to do!

Which piece of kit could you not do without?
San Remo Zoe Two Group Espresso  Machine it’s a piece of kit for Ham & Jam coffee shop that we are investing in to ensure fantastic quality coffee for our customers.

Who would join you at your ultimate dinner party and why?
Sid Bowen (my father in law who I sadly have never met) as the stories I’ve  heard about him from my wife, mother in law, and sister’s in law make me laugh. 
Sir Bobby Robson a true Geordie footballing legend so many stories so much knowledge. 
For the musical entertainment Alan Hull a Geordie singer song writer founding member of Lindisfarne and of course Bryan Ferry Roxy Music. 
To help in the kitchen obviously Rick Stein and Antonio Carluccio and of course finally Cindy my wife (but not in the kitchen) to keep the conversation flowing as she never shuts up!         

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Take a risk and live your dream no matter what it is!

Describe your style in three words
Enthusiastic, honest and passionate!

What was your latest foodie gadget purchase?
Lincat six plate commercial oven for Ham and Jam

What is your greatest achievement to date?
Living so long in Preston Lancashire I am an exiled Geordie and I miss the Toon!

What is the worst mistake you have made?
I don’t believe in ‘making mistakes’ per se as I’ve always learnt so much from my experiences I  would not be where I am now without these experiences   

Tell us a secret about yourself? May be something we wouldn’t expect! 
Growing up living on a council estate in the west end of Newcastle John Carver ex Newcastle United Manager and Eamon Donnelly (Declan’s Donnelly’s oldest brother Ant and Dec fame) were great childhood friends who I grew up with, had a laugh with and attend school with. My claim to fame and dinner party story.

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