Lemon Drizzle Traybake

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This cake is very similar to my Lime & Coconut tray bake, but essentially just a lemon version and without the coconut. My favourite cake is probably lemon, if you put me on the spot, but its got to be moist with plenty of icing. This fits the bill nicely. It’s so simple to make-  you just bung all the cake ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix. No flour sieving or butter and sugar creaming in this recipe! This also works well in a loaf tin, but you will need to adjust the cooking times a bit.

Ingredients:

For the cake

  • 320g unsalted butter, softened
  • 270g caster sugar
  • 320g self raising flour
  • 5 large eggs
  • finely grated zest 1 lemon

For the syrup

  • 75ml water
  • 100g caster sugar
  • juice 1 lemon

For the icing/decoration

  • 250g icing sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • finely greated zest 1 lemon

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170degrees C and prepare a 20 x 30cm tin – grease and line with baking parchment
  2. Put all cake ingredients into free standing mixer and beat until smooth for 2 mins
  3. Pour batter into prepared tin and level out using palette knife
  4. Bake for about 50minutes until golden/skewer in middle of cake comes out clean
  5. Whilst the cake is baking prepare the lemon syrup – bring the water and caster sugar to boil in a saucepan and simmer until reduced by about half. Add the lemon juice and stir, remove from the heat
  6. When the cake has come out of the oven, pierce the top all over with a skewer and slowly drizzle over the syrup
  7. Leave the cake to cool in the tin slightly, then remove to a cooling rack
  8. To make the icing combine the icing sugar and the lemon juice and stir until smooth
  9. When completely cool, smooth over the icing onto the cake with a palette knife and then sprinkle over the zest and leave to set before cutting.

Happy eating :)

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Review: Anju’s at the Ramada Park Hall Hotel, Wolverhampton

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Recently I was invited to dine at the newly refurbished and rebranded Anju”s at the Ramada Park Hall in Wolverhampton. I invited along my friend C, who lives over in Shropshire so it was a perfect halfway meeting point for us for one of our regular get togethers!

We’d chosen a Monday night to eat there, and I was worried it would be pretty empty, but actually was pleasantly surprised it was half full, with a mix of couples families and solitary business folk.

The Indian Restaurant recently reopened with a bang, seeing 130 VIPs at a spectacular launch night, which unfortunately we were unable to attend due to prior commitments, meaning even more so I was looking forward too seeing what they had on offer.

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Chefs with a rich heritage in a diverse range of cooking have been sourced from around the globe to create a menu of  a high standard, using carefully sourced local ingredients. The hotel, which is looking for 5* status, has already had a huge cash injection to upgrade bedrooms, health club and banqueting facilities, and Anju’s goes further to achieving this goal.

The restaurant decor is opulent and luxurious with a water feature and larger than life hand painted portraits of Bollywood stars adorning the walls. I couldn’t really fault the serve we received, staff were polite, accommodating and knowledgable.

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We stuck to soft drinks for the evening so can’t comment on the alcoholic drinks, but there looked to be a good selection to choose from.

Moving on to the food, C chose the Onion and Spinach Bhaji with Mint & Tamarind Chutney to start. She feels you can always tell a good Indian meal on the strength of the Bhaji, and I would tend to agree. She really enjoyed it, so a sign of good things to come. I went for the Papri Chat, which is described as crispy flour pastries with mint and tamarind chutney and seasoned yoghurt. Doesn’t initially sound the most interesting of dishes, but something drew me to it and it was absolutely delicious. The combination of flavours was superb. There was a great selection of both starters and mains, plenty of choices for veggies, meat eaters and fish lovers alike.

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For mains we both decided to try one of the Anju’s signature dishes, scattered throughout the menu. For me it was the Handi Chicken – Pot cooked chicken on the bone in the chefs special onion and tomato gravy. It was a spicy dish, but the waiters took care on ordering to check how spicy we liked things, and said with most dishes, the chef could alter for our tastes. Luckily I like spice, so had it as it comes. The chicken was so tender due to being on the bone and the sauce was rich with layers and layers of flavour. C went for the Maritali Gosht - a secret recipe lamb dish with hints of mint and coriander. We shared a portion of excellent Pulou rice and Garlic and Coriander naan which was light and full of flavour.

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Unfortunately there was no room for puddings! We thoroughly enjoyed Anju’s and I’d have no hesitation in recommending people to eat there, and if you’re staying in the Park Hall Hotel then you’re in for a treat for dinner!

Disclosure: We dined as guests of Anju’s. As always, opinions are all our own and a positive review was not a requirement! The photos with no blog logo are all courtesy of the PR company :)

 

Better with Brita & Delicious Mag Competition: The Shortlist!

Following on from my posts collaborating with BRITA & Delicious Mag, and their competition to give someone the chance to sell their products, made using Brita filtered water, at The Big Feastival, I can now reveal the Shortlist!

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Loads of entries were received and these were voted upon by the public, whittling them down to 10 that have made the shortlist to go forward and be judged by the panel.

The winner will then go on to showcase their produce at The Big Feastival, what a prize!

So lets have a little look at those that made the shortlist and some pics of their entries :)

Lana’s Little Pumpkin Pies
Lana
Alex’s Gluten Free Brownies
Alex
Zalena’s Chicken Cavabs
Zalena
Sarah’s Southsea Pies
Sarah
Linda’s Gluten Free Cocoa Swirls
Linda
Ade’s Bread
Ade
Jakes’ Summer Fish Wellington
Jake
Rekha’s Samosas
Rekha
Emily’s Cupcakes
Emily
Christine’s Oatcakes
Christine
So there you go! Go grab your tickets for the Big Feastival to check out the winner soon for yourself!

CBD Food Festival Birmingham, 18-19th July

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This Friday and Saturday, 18th &19th July, the Colmore Business District (CBD) Food Festival returns to Victoria Square in Birmingham! For foodies this is a Must-Do on the calendar! A chance to sample some of Birminghams best cuisine at brilliant prices.

The 2 day extravaganza is packed full of fabulous food offerings from the best in the area and an entertainment line up of delicious demos and live music. The venues taking part, all within a 10 minute walk of the CBD will be serving up fine food, drinks and cocktails all at great prices.

Newcomers to the CBD Chung Ying Central and Pure Bar & Kitchen will be mixing it up with CBD stalwarts like Purnells and Opus.

There will also be some live food demos from top chefs in the area including a collaboration between Purnells’ food God Glynn Purnell and Opus’ Chef Director David Colcombe – I can’t wait for this one!

Here is a full list of participants!

All Bar One
Asha’s Contemporary Indian Bar & Restaurant
Bushwackers
Chi Bar & Restaurant
Chung Ying Central
Costa Coffee
Edmund’s Lounge Bar
Ginger’s Bar
Hindleys Bakery
Hotel du Vin
Isaacs
JoJolapa Bar & Restaurant
Metro Bar & Grill
Opus at Cornwall Street
Pure Bar & Kitchen
Purnell’s/ Purnell’s Bistro
The Bureau
The Centenary Lounge
The Jekyll & Hyde
The Old Contemptibles
The Old Joint Stock Pub & Theatre
The Square Peg
Urban Coffee Company
Yorks Bakery Café
I’m really looking forward to this, I’ll be around on the Sat so give me a shout on twitter if you’re going!
Roz :)

Review: Peter, Loughborough

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I first read about this restaurant last year on fellow foodie blogger and friend Alex from Gingey Bites. After her rave review it has been firmly on our list of places to go and visit. I’m sad to say that it took us about 9 months to actually make it up to Loughborough, but we finally made it and boy am I glad we did.

I’m not actually the biggest fan of pizzas, and certainly don’t really like eating pizzas from takeaways etc. But when a pizza is done well and is ‘authentic’ with a brilliant crust, simple flavourful toppings then I do really enjoy them.

‘Peter and that’s Enough’ is a quirky funky pizzeria and I love the interior decor with lots of prints and posters on the wall and exposed brickwork and mismatched furniture.

The menu is simple. Theres a few starter options, things like bruschetta and olives, and for mains, pizza. No messing around. The pizzas are numbered, but you can also choose extra toppings if you wish.

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Most ingredients are imported from Italy, adding to that authentic taste and look. I went for a number 8 – Tomato, Chorizo, Gorgonzola & Mozzarella while Lee had the number 7 – Tomato, Squisito Salami, Ham & Mozzarella. The sourdough base, where the dough is fermented for 28 hours was simply fantastic. It was light and perfected soft on the inside with a charred crust. The flavours of the pizzas were both great also, you could tell the ingredients were of fantastic quality, but it really is the base that makes or breaks a pizza, and I cannot remembering enjoying and hoovering down a pizza so much since we were in Rome in 2004.

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I wished we had bitten the bullet even though we were stuffed and ordered their nutella dessert pizza, its supposed to be immense! Next time….

Where’s your favourite pizzeria?

http://www.peterpizzeria.co.uk

45 ASHBY SQUARE, LOUGHBOROUGH, LE11 5AA

Disclosure: We paid for our own meal, and all opinions expressed are honest and our own

 

 

 

Artichoke & Tomato Bruschetta: Tuscany Now Competition

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Today on the blog I’m rerunning an old blog post as I’m entering it in the #TuscanyNowCookOff Competition. The prize  is a fabulous weekend away in Florence and cooking class with Anna Bini, an acclaimed Itlaian chef and restauranteur. What an amazing prize! I adore Italian food and cooking and have recently been experimenting making my own gnocchi and pastas..I’m getting better slowly. I’d love to go to Florence as it’s somewhere I’ve never been.

This dish was intially inspired by Rachel Allen from a recipe she made for artichoke salad. I’ve adapted this since I first tried it and serve it on some toasted ciabatta as a lovely twist on a bruschetta.

It relies mainly on ingredients that it’s likely you will already have in the house, simply chop them all up, mix in the dressing ingredients and serve! Perfect for a quick meal, only takes about 10 minutes to do from start to finish. It has real bursts of Mediterranean and Italian flavousr, and I like to eat it imagining I’m sat on a sun drenched Italian balcony, rather than in dreary England!

Serves 4 as a starter, or 2 as a light lunch or supper.

Ingredients:

  • about half of a jar of Artichokes in Olive Oil, choppedDSC_0013
  • 1 red pepper from a jar of roasted red peppers in oil, chopped
  • 10-12 cherry/plum/heritage/sundried tomatoes(your choice depending on whats in the house), quartered
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp pesto – you can make your own, but store bought is ok!
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
  • a few leaves fresh basil, shredded roughly
  • 4 slices ciabatta bread, about 1cm thick
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat a griddle pan on the stove. drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the slices of bread. When the pan is hot, put in the slices of bread.DSC_0016
  2. Whilst the bread is char grilling. Chop all the tomatoes, onion, artichokes and pepper as described above and mix together in a bowl.
  3. Add in the pesto, vinegar and oil and give everything a good stir. Remember to keep an eye on the bread and turn over when toasted on one side!!
  4. Season to taste with sea salt and cracked black pepper and at the last minute stir through the shredded basil.
  5. Take the bread out of the pan and rub with the halved garlic clove to impart some flavour into the bread.
  6. Serve up the mixture onto the ciabatta slices and serve straight away.

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Tuscany Now Competition

Menorca in Pictures

menorca1 We recently got back from a lovely summer holiday in Menorca. Its somewhere I’ve not been since I was 2 years old and it was such a beautiful island, I wanted to share some bits of our holiday with you. Usually we’re all about the food on this blog (don’t worry there’s a Menorca food post too here..) but another passion of my husband and I is travelling and photography, so what better place to share our photos than with you guys. I won’t ramble too much apart from to explain what the photos are of!

Firstly, The view from our hotel room.

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The beach and bay at our resort – Cala Galdana. Beautful place, gorgeous clear sea and white sands. DSC_0016

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The view looking out over the resort from the other side of the hotel

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The cove and beach late in the afternoon when it was a bit quieter

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The pool at the hotel first thing in the morning (peaceful)

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The pool was in 2 halves – this infinity pool overlooked the other pool, with a great view of the sea in the background

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Me admiring the view

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An obligatory pool selfie

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One of the days we booked on a boat trip along the south coast of Menorca, which took us in and out of all the coves and beaches, many of which are only accessible by water. The boat could seat 12, but we were the only people on it. It was pure bliss, just us and our captain/tour guide and the open ocean. This house below looked a little precarious on top the the cliff…

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There were lots of caves and rock formations that we explored on the boat

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We stopped for a swim and a snorkel anchored off one of the coves – the sea was amazing, and loads of fish

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Lee took this awesome pic with our underwater camera.

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We also hired a car for a couple of days and took in some of the islands sights. This is the statue at Monte Torro, the highest point of the island

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And the view from the top – you could see the coast in every direction.

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The harbour at Fornells, famous for its lobster!

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This was at the caves of Xoroi – a network of caves built into the cliffs. A cafe by day and nightclub by night. An amazing space with amazing views.

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The town of Cuitadella – the old capital of Menorca. Such a pretty town.

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Ciutadella Port and Harbour – some amazing restaurants on the harbour side!

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This was just a small selection of the photos we took – you can see a whole load more on my personal Facebook page. Have you been to Menorca? Where’s your favourite place? Roz  :)