Thursday, 27 November 2014

November 2014 Favourites List

Here is my Favourites List for November. It is hard to believe this time of the month has come again so quickly. My feet have barely touched the ground! Life is busy, but fun, which is why this month's observations will be very short indeed. 

This month's pictures are from my recent weekend in Amsterdam. Unbelievably on the 1st day of November, we were blessed with sunshine and warm temperatures. How things have changed in the last four weeks!

Life will change even more over the next four or five weeks as we prepare for the Christmas and New Year festivities. I hope that everything is well with you and yours. Enjoy the festive season and try not to get too stressed during the process of planning, present buying and parties.


Chicken wings are hand held heaven! Here is a hot and spicy Korean chicken wing recipe by Simon Majumdar:

Hunan style beef, marinaded then stir fried:

Veggie pasta supper by Angela Hartnett, farfalle with spinach, tenderstem broccoli, 
gorgonzola and walnuts:

Spaghetti squash hash browns; breakfast with a difference!

Macaroni Cheese: according Epicurious, cheddar is the best cheese to use, panko breadcrumbs with garlic and parmesan make the best topping, cream enhances the bechamel sauce and mustard power adds kick.

Gorgonzola and Leek Risotto (a recipe for sneaking extra veg into a meal):

Like "breakfast" bars? Here's how to make your own and achieve crunchy, crispy, chewy bars like you find in the shops...

Bill Granger recipes for chillier Autumn days: Pot-roasted chicken; Fettuccine with beef-rib ragu; Roasted sausages
Deena Kakaya's vegetarian Malaysian rice salad (nasi ulam):

Kavey makes an Autumnal soup with candied bacon! Butternut squash soup with bacon brittle here:

Articles/Know How:

Silly fun: hilarious joke names for food shops and eateries.

Many of us don't know how many calories are in our drinks... Why not make life more fun and compare how many jelly babies are in a pint?!

What does the word "curry" mean? The Spice Scribe investigates with input from Cyrus Todiwala, Asma Khan, Kavey & Mamta, and Food Urchin... among others!

The Spice Scribe finds out the favourite curry dishes of Cyrus Todiwala, Kavey, Food Urchin and others - plus a recipe from Kanthi Thamma for Gutti vankaya koora (Stuffed baby aubergine curry):


Soul Boys Of The Western World




The Good Wife (Season 1)

Peaky Blinders (Season 2)


Milky Chance - Sadnecessary

ABC - The Lexicon Of Love

What have you missed at Snig's Kitchen?

Autumn cooking and eating - 30 Days of Summer:

Gig review - Ella The Bird, Bush Hall (supporting Justin Currie):

Win tickets to the Christmas Foodies Festival (competition now closed): 

Please note: as with every monthly Favourites List, all of these items have been selected by me simply because I love them. I do not receive any money, benefits in kind or other incentive for posting these links or recommendations.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Winners of Christmas Foodies Festival Tickets!

In my post on 4th November, I told you all how the Foodies Festival people are putting on their very first Christmas even which will be held over 3 days (28th, 29th and 30th November) in Spitalfields at the Old Truman Brewery. You can find that post here;

I announced that the organisers had very kindly given me three pairs of tickets to give away to the festival. 

It gives me very great pleasure to announce the winners.

They are: 

Sam Fut
Helen Carew
Georgie Pope

Congratulations to you. All you need to do is go along to the festival and give your names at the ticket office, and you and your guest will be allowed in.

I hope that the winners will have a great time at the festival next weekend!

If you are not one of the winners, don't worry, you can still get advance tickets or buy on the door on the day.


The Old Truman Brewery - 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL


Friday 28th November 11am – 9pm
Saturday 29th November 11am – 9pm
Sunday 30th August 11am – 8pm

How can I get in?

What will it cost me?

Advance tickets:

Friday day ticket £18.00/£16.00 concession
Saturday or Sunday day ticket £20.00/£18.00 concession
Three day pass – £28.00/£25.00 concession
1-day VIP ticket £48.00 (£38.00 Friday) – Includes a glass of bubbly on arrival, access to the VIP area, goody bag, priority entry to theatre and masterclass sessions and refreshments.
All children aged 12 and under go free to all Foodies Festivals when accompanied by an adult.

Tickets on the door:

Friday – £20.00/£18 concession
Saturday and Sunday – £22.00/£20.00 concession

Sunday, 16 November 2014

30 Days of Autumn

“All the leaves are brown… and the sky is grey”…. Words which were written about dark days in the USA dreaming of the warmer climes of California, but somehow to me, they seem most fitting this November in the UK as we coddle ourselves in scarves and take our warm coats out of their Summer hibernation. 

I find the food of Autumn comforting central heating for the soul, since I find the climate and conditions something of a challenge! 

What is in season right now? 

For starters and main courses, great building block ingredients would be mussels, autumn lamb, venison, mackerel, guinea fowl, duck, goose, grouse and crab. 

Butternut Squash and pumpkins (it’s just been Halloween, so you probably sensed there were about a million uses for pumpkin flesh for after you carved your Jack O’Lantern!). So versatile, they are perfect for roast veg, risotto, pasta, soups and salads.

A very happy gourd, Selcuk market, Turkey
 Broccoli, celery and mushrooms are always great ingredients to throw into new season starters and mains.
Lots of wonderful root vegetables; potato, sweet potato, celeriac, leek, onion, turnip, swede, beetroot, parsnip, carrot. 

Summer is never a good time for making your own chips. The potatoes of Summer are too waxy and don’t make fluffy and pleasant chips. So now we have out more floury chips back, it’s chip season again. This is both good and bad news for people like me!

Winter leaf; savoy cabbage, white cabbage, purple cabbage, kale, Brussel sprouts. Healthy, mineral rich and full of dietary fibre. 

Hardy herbs and new season aromatics; thyme, rosemary, sage, bay leaves, garlic
New season mushrooms, Selcuk, Turkey
Fruits which come into their own are; apples, blackberries, plums, cranberries, quince, pears, 
elderberries, chestnuts, dates. Perfect for something simple, hot and a childhood throwback; crumble! 

My home cooking goes into casserole and stew mode as the temperature drops. 

Many people swear by slow cookers as a simple way of getting dinner done while-you-work with the commitment of getting ingredients and browning done in the morning paying you back with a perfectly cooked dinner when you get home. If you are a slow cooker newbie, you might find my guide on slow cookers helpful:

One dish I love to make in my trusty (ancient and much loved slow cooker) is Cocido, the lunchtime favourite dish in Spain:

Another Spanish style slow cooker stew is this recipe of mine:

Turkish Cypriot food is a particular favourite of mine, and a great cuisine for finding flavoursome ways of cooking Autumn lamb. This stew is simple and hits the spot:

A stovetop stew which can be rustled up even on a weeknight is my French lentil stew, using either lentilles vert or puy lentils, depending on your access to the authentic ingredient or your budget:

Tabletop stew, as served up in Sirince, Turkey

The oozy, boozy apres-ski classic, Tartiflette has got to be another winner for chilly days:

And comfort food classics never go out of style in these short days and long nights. Who doesn’t love Macaroni cheese? Well this twist puts the veg back into the old school favourite:

I hope these ideas and thoughts will help put you in mind of Autumn cooking, because it seems to me that the light salads and suppers of Summer just don’t seem sustaining enough. I have written this post as part of a blogger project called “30 Days of Autumn” where bloggers specialising in many different things have come together to celebrate the season. The project has been started by Forest Holidays who provide forest camping and chalet options for people who love the outdoors and nature. 

A real campfire.... Sirince, Turkey

Outdoors freaks, photographers, family and children bloggers, arts and craft bloggers and of course, food bloggers have come together to contribute. You can find a great summary of all of their articles and posts here:

I found some other great Autumnal recipe ideas as a result of other bloggers getting involved in the 30 Days of Autumn challenge. 

Here are some which I would love to give a try…

Helen of the brilliant Fuss Free Flavours has featured her spicy butternut squash gnocchi with sticky harissa spiced onions:

Karen of Lavender and Lovage has created a full Autumnal menu which can be cooked in your cabin at any of the Forest Holidays sites, including Michaelmas Dumplings with Blackberries and Apples Mussel, Onion and Parsley Chowder and Rhubarb Crumble Tray-Bake Cake: