Foodies Festival run events across the UK. This summer they’ll be bringing their food and drink show back to London at Marble Hill House near Richmond (May Bank Holiday – Saturday 24, Sunday 25 and Monday 26 May) and Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath (Friday 30 May, Saturday 31st May and Sunday June 1st).

The festival will feature a Chef’s Theatre (where you can attend demos), a new Chocolate, Cake, Bake and Preserves Theatre and an opportunity for kids to learn too in the Children’s Cookery Theatre. There are plenty of places to try and buy food and drink from the producers, including a Chilli Food Market, a new BBQ arena, the Vintage Tea Tent amongst others.

Our friend, the well-known beer expert Melissa Cole will be hosting the Drinks Theatre, where you can taste a selection of beers and ales. There’s also a Real Ale and Cider Farm. And those who prefer cocktails can learn and try concoctions made by the resident mixologists.

As well as buying goodies to take home, you can eat at the festival in the restaurant arena or in the new Feasting Tent, where food will be served at communal feasting tables. Or perhaps a wander down Street Food Avenue for something more casual.

There will be live music to enjoy too.

FoodiesFestival2014 Collage
Individual images from previous events provided by Foodies Festival

 

COMPETITION

Foodies Festival are offering five pairs of (standard adult) tickets to readers of Kavey Eats. Each winner of a pair of tickets will be asked to specify Kenwood House or Marble Hill House, and their preferred date of attendance. The tickets will be available for collection at the entrance to the festival.

 

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, telling me what you’re most looking forward to at Foodies Festival.

Entry 2 – Facebook
Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page and leave a (separate) comment on this blog post with your Facebook user name.

Entry 3 – Twitter
Follow
@Kavey on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter! Then tweet the (exact) sentence below.
I’d love to win tickets to Marble Hill House or Kenwood House @foodiesfestival from Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/ZNlYuX #KaveyEatsFF

(Please do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hash tag. And you don’t need to leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 2nd May 2014.
  • Kavey Eats reserves the right to alter the closing date of the competition. Changes to the closing date, if they occur, will be shown on this page.
  • The five winners will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • There are five prizes, each of which is a pair of standard adult tickets to attend either the Kenwood House or Marble Hill House Foodies Festival 2014, date to be chosen by the winner. The prize does not include delivery; tickets will be available for collection at the entrance to the shows.
  • The prizes cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prizes are offered and provided by Foodies Festival.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. One Facebook entry per person only. You may enter all three ways but do not have to do so for your entries to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kaveyat the time of notification. For Facebook entries, winners must Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page at time of notification.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email, Twitter or Facebook. If no response is received from a winner within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

 

TICKET OFFER

For those who prefer to buy their tickets now, the code “FOODIES241″ gives you two tickets for the price of one. This applies for adult and concession tickets, is valid for all festivals and expires 26th August 2014.

 

Kavey Eats is attending the Foodies Festival as a guest of Foodies Festival.

 

I love Demarquette chocolates!

Run by talented (not to mention warm and cuddly) chocolatier Marc Demarquette and lovely partner Kim Sauer, this award-winning London chocolate company produces utterly delicious and beautiful hand-made chocolates. Not only do the chocolates taste fantastic and look stunning, they are made with carefully chosen high-quality ingredients, many of which are sourced from British producers. Even the chocolate is not off-the-shelf couverture but roasted, conched and blended to Demarquette recipes. A keen and critical eye is focused on ethical considerations too.

DemarquetteEaster2014-5174 DemarquetteEaster2014-5185-2

This year, chocoholics craving the very best quality Easter treats can enjoy Marc’s new Caramel Filled Easter Eggs. The size of quails’ eggs, these come in three flavours – dark chocolate with sea salted caramel, milk chocolate with key lime caramel and milk chocolate with banoffee caramel. The eggs are blue, green and yellow and feature a simple hand-painted design – each one is unique!

DemarquetteEaster2014-5173 DemarquetteEaster2014-5191
DemarquetteEaster2014-5187 DemarquetteEaster2014-5194

The salted caramels are a familiar Demarquette favourite, and just as good in egg form as the glossy domes I’m more familiar with. Both the key lime and banoffee caramel eggs are sweeter, because of the milk chocolate, with their core flavour coming through loud and clear; I like both but the banoffee is definitely my favourite!

Available by mail order, this box of 12 eggs is £19.95 plus delivery.

 

DISCOUNT CODE

I’m delighted to share a special discount code for readers of Kavey Eats.

Enter KAVEYEASTER to receive 15% off your online orders.

The code can be used to purchase any item from Demarquette’s range of chocolate treats.

Valid until 14th April 2014. Discount excludes postage. Minimum spend, excluding postage, is £15. Code cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers.

COMPETITION

Demarquette are kindly offering a box of 12 Caramel Filled Chocolate Easter Eggs to a reader of Kavey Eats. The prize includes delivery within the UK.

HOW TO ENTER

Please read the terms and conditions before entering.

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, sharing your idea for a new caramel filling flavour.
Please include your name and provide a valid email address.
If you are intending to tweet a bonus entry (see below), please include your twitter name in your blog comment.

Bonus Entry – Twitter
Once you have entered via the blog, give yourself an extra entry via twitter!
Follow
@Kavey and @DemarquetteChoc on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter!
Then tweet the (exact) sentence below.
I’d love to win a box of @DemarquetteChoc caramel filled easter eggs from Kavey Eats! 
http://goo.gl/nKkfw1 #KaveyEatsDemarquette
(Please do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hash tag.)

RULES, TERMS & CONDITIONS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 11 April 2014.
  • Kavey Eats reserves the right to alter the closing date of the competition. Changes to the closing date, if they occur, will be shown on this page.
  • The winner will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address.
  • By entering this competition, you give permission for your email address to be collected and provided to Demarquette Ltd, for marketing purposes. Kavey Eats will store the data until the end of April 2014 only.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey and @DemarquetteChoc at the time of notification.
  • Twitter entries without an associated blog comment are not valid. Please include your twitter name in your blog comment to make the association clear.
  • The winners will be notified by email. If no response is received within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • The prize is a box of 12 Demarquette caramel filled easter eggs, as shown above. Delivery within the UK is included.
  • The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prize is offered and provided by Demarquette Ltd.

 

Kavey Eats received a review sample from Demarquette.

 

It’s that time of the year again when the supermarkets line shelf after shelf with Easter eggs, bunnies and chicks. But although there are some decent quality items on the shelves, much of the chocolate is cheap, full of vegetable oil (rather than cocoa butter) and ultimately pretty unsatisfying. The chocolate eggs are often so thin that it feels like there’s more cardboard and plastic packaging than chocolate; the prices can seem cheap but I seldom find them good value.

If your budget allows, I’d suggest choosing something better.

When I attended Hotel Chocolat’s press preview of this year’s Easter range, I found lots that appealed.

your-eggsellency-extra-thick-easter-egg-2014 the-facet-luxury-dark-chocolate-easter-egg the-splat-caramel-chocolate-easter-egg
Your Eggsellency Extra Thick Easter Egg, The Facet Luxury Dark Chocolate Easter Egg and The Splat Caramel Chocolate Easter Egg

As always, I was struck by their new packaging design for 2014. The pattern is wonderfully curvaceous and the gold detailing is marvellously opulent. I was told that the Hotel Chocolat design took inspiration from 20th century British artist Paul Nash, though I’m not sure I see any similarities. For me, the organic nature of eggs and leaves or petals, has a retro feel that reminds me of Art Nouveau.

Also new this year is the Facet egg, available in dark and milk chocolate versions, with bold geometric designs in both the packaging and the chocolate.

Extra Thick eggs come with a variety of different chocolates inside, in beautiful arch-shaped boxes. There’s also a Rabot 1745 version in the same shape of box but with the signature black and gold branding. And if you’re really pushing the boat out, look at the Ostrich egg, an enormous arch-shaped box containing two thick shells and lots of chocolates.

Although the big eggs are always striking, there are lots of lower priced items in bags and small boxes: the egglets are still in force as are the fried egg slabs and egg and soldiers sets; adorable pastel bunnies in pink and yellow use only natural colourings and flavourings; chocolate chicks come in white, milk or dark; choc cross buns that bring the flavours of easter baking to chocolate; Danny the City Bunny (presumably because of his bowtie, but leaves me wondering if a country bunny would have a straw hat) and a number of sandwich eggs. Go up just a little more in price and choose from the new Splat eggs; a bird’s nest of egglets; goose eggs in pretty pastels or larger bags and boxes of the chocolates above.

As has become a tradition on Kavey Eats, instead of offering one big prize, I liaise with Hotel Chocolat to choose three of my favourite items so that not one but three readers can win an Easter treat.

 

COMPETITION

Hotel Chocolat are offering three wonderful Easter egg prizes to readers of Kavey Eats. Each prize includes delivery within the UK.

First Prize: Your Eggsellency Extra Thick Easter Egg
375 grams £28 – An extra thick egg with one 40% milk shell and one 70% dark shell, filled with real cream truffles with champagne, port, amaretto and other delights.

Second Prize: The Facet Luxury Dark Chocolate Easter Egg
200 grams £20 – A dark chocolate egg in a beautiful new geometric design, with matching packaging,

Third Prize: The Splat Caramel Chocolate Easter Egg
150 grams £12.50 – With a design based on the idea of an explosion in a chocolate factory, this caramel milk chocolate egg features a colourful white chocolate splat.

 

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, sharing one of your favourite childhood memories about Easter chocolate.

Entry 2 – Facebook
Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page and leave a (separate) comment on this blog post with your Facebook user name.

Entry 3 – Twitter
Follow
@Kavey on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter! Then tweet the (exact) sentence below.
I’d love to win one of three @HotelChocolat Easter Eggs from Kavey Eats!
http://goo.gl/hbFOyh #KaveyEatsHCEasterEggs
(Please do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hash tag. And you don’t need to leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 4 April 2014.
  • Kavey Eats reserves the right to alter the closing date of the competition. Changes to the closing date, if they occur, will be shown on this page.
  • The three winners will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • There are three prizes, which will be awarded to the winners in the order that the names are picked out. Each prize is a Hotel Chocolat Easter Egg, as described above and includes free delivery within the UK.
  • The prizes cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prizes are offered and provided by Hotel Chocolat.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. One Facebook entry per person only. You may enter all three ways but do not have to do so for your entries to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kaveyat the time of notification. For Facebook entries, winners must Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page at time of notification.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email, Twitter or Facebook. If no response is received from a winner within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

 

Kavey Eats attended the Hotel Chocolat Easter preview event and received a selection of sample products.

The winners of this competition, in order of prizes, were Yasmin Jafri, Lianne Walsh and Jan Beal.

 

I have a confession. Even though we both love pancakes, we miss pancake day about as often as we manage to celebrate it. By “celebrate it” I mean make and eat pancakes on the day itself. I am not sure why – we nearly always have eggs in the house, and flour and salt, of course; we have a cupboard full of potential fillings and toppings from ham and cheese to honey and jams and chocolate spreads to peanut butter and bananas and condensed milk. And actually, we both adore the delicious simplicity of a sprinkle of sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. And pancakes are so easy to make, whether you go for thick fluffy American ones, lacy thin French crêpes or Yorkshire pudding-like Dutch Babies.

But, there it is. Sometimes we just don’t get around to it.

PancakeCake-4326 PancakeCake-4330

Which is why I was happy to review Abra-ca-Debora’s ready-made Dutch pancakes a couple of years ago. I used them to make a rather magnificent (if I say so myself) speculoos and mascarpone pancake cake as an impressive but simple-to-make Christmas dessert. It’s the speculoos spices that make this particular pancake cake recipe so Christmassy, but of course, you could make something similar all year round, as the flavours are so delicious. Or why not switch out the speculoos layer for other fillings such as chocolate spread, coffee cream, jam or lemon curd?

AbraHamper2014

COMPETITION

Abra-ca-Debora have offered a lovely hamper of their pancakes along with some great ingredients to serve with them (see picture). The prize includes delivery within the UK.

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, telling me which kind of pancakes you like best and what fillings or toppings you recommend.

Entry 2 – Facebook
Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page and leave a (separate) comment on this blog post with your Facebook user name.

Entry 3 – Twitter
Follow
@Kavey on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter! Then tweet the (exact) sentence below.
I’d love to win an @Abra_ca_Debora hamper of pancakes and goodies from
Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/s1O3Av  #KaveyEatsAbraCaDebora
(Please do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hash tag. And you don’t need to leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Tuesday 4th March 2014.
  • Kavey Eats reserves the right to alter the closing date of the competition. Changes to the closing date, if they occur, will be shown on this page.
  • The winner will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • The prize is a a hamper of Abra-ca-Debora and other products, as shown above. The prize include free delivery within the UK.
  • The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prize is offered and provided by Abra-ca-Debora.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. One Facebook entry per person only. You do not have to enter all three ways for your entries to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey at the time of notification. For Facebook entries, winners must Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page at time of notification.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email, Twitter or Facebook. If no response is received within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

 

Kavey Eats received a review hamper from Abra-ca-Debora.

This giveaway was won by Karen B.

 

Last year I ran a competition to give away a beautiful chocolate badger from Betty’s. It proved enormously popular; it seems that you were just as enchanted with the whimsical chocolate sculpture as I was! You all joined in with me in to put forward ideas for animals you’d like to immortalised in chocolate and, good news, two of the animals suggested in your comments do indeed feature in Betty’s new spring selection.

bettys milk chocolate otter 680

As before, these adorable riverside animals are made from Betty’s Swiss milk chocolate. The hand-crafted Otter weighs 430 grams, is 24 cm tall and is finished with white and dark chocolate details. He costs £20. The Beaver weighs 140 grams, is 6 cm high and comes with a white chocolate fish. He costs £12.

bettys milk chocolate beaver 680

To celebrate these new critters, which go on sale on February 15th, Betty’s have given me one of each to give away to readers.

COMPETITION

First prize is a Betty’s Milk Chocolate Otter. Second prize is a Betty’s Milk Chocolate Beaver. Both prizes include free delivery within the UK.

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, sharing your favourite memory of watching wildlife in England. Where were you, what did you see, how did it make you feel?

Entry 2 – Facebook
Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page and leave a (separate) comment on this blog post with your Facebook user name.

Entry 3 – Twitter
Follow
@Kavey on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter! Then tweet the (exact) sentence below.
I’d love to win a @Bettys1919 chocolate beaver or otter from Kavey Eats!
http://goo.gl/ZSJtRq #KaveyEatsBettysBeaver
(Please do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hash tag. And you don’t need to leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 14th February 2014.
  • Kavey Eats reserves the right to alter the closing date of the competition. Changes to the closing date, if they occur, will be shown on this page.
  • The two winners will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • The first prize is a Betty’s Milk Chocolate Otter. The second prize is a Betty’s Milk Chocolate Beaver. Both prizes include free delivery within the UK.
  • The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prize is offered and provided by Betty’s.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. One Facebook entry per person only. You do not have to enter all three ways for your entries to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey at the time of notification. For Facebook entries, winners must Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page at time of notification.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email, Twitter or Facebook. If no response is received within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

 

Kavey Eats received a sample beaver and otter for review from Betty’s.

This competition is closed. The winners were Conrad Edwards (first prize) and @MorningPostie (second prize).

 

This fabulous Christmas cracker from Hotel Chocolat contains 40 delicious chocolates, 12 party hats and even the obligatory cracker jokes. Sixty-four centimetres long, it’s definitely aptly named as Rather Large.

HC-ratherlargechristmascracker

This year’s Christmas range offers two key design themes; the first features glamorously dressed men and women, partying beneath elegant chandeliers; the second is a colourful and bold geometric design based on the little drummer boy. As always, there are advent calendars, a variety of selection boxes, solid chocolate wreaths and slabs, chocolate-coated fruits and nuts, moulded chocolate lollipops, chocolate logs and drinking chocolate.

COMPETITION

Hotel Chocolat has kindly offered a Rather Large Christmas Cracker, priced at £40, to one lucky Kavey Eats reader. The prize includes free delivery within the UK.

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, telling me which chocolate(s) you hope to see in your Christmas stocking.

Entry 2 – Facebook
Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page and leave a (separate) comment on this blog post with your Facebook user name.

Entry 3 – Twitter
Follow @Kavey on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter! Then tweet the (exact) sentence below.
I’d love to win a rather large @HotelChocolat cracker from Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/m4nz2h #KaveyEatsHotelChocolat
(Please do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hash tag. And you don’t need to leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 13th December 2013.
  • Kavey Eats reserves the right to alter the closing date of the competition. Changes to the closing date, if they occur, will be shown on this page.
  • The winner will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • The prize is a Hotel Chocolat Rather Large Christms Cracker, as shown above, with free delivery within the UK.
  • Please note that while we will do our best, we cannot guarantee delivery for 25th December 2013.
  • The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prize is offered and provided by Hotel Chocolat.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. One Facebook entry per person only. You do not have to enter all three ways for your entries to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey at the time of notification. For Facebook entries, winners must Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page at time of notification.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email, Twitter or Facebook. If no response is received within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

Kavey Eats attended a Christmas preview evening hosted by Hotel Chocolat, during which we were also given a bag of review samples.

The winner of this competition was Lynne @Josordoni.

 

Mendiant.

It’s an interesting word, isn’t it?

It usually refers to a disc of chocolate with flavours and toppings added. But what’s the origin of this chocolate treat?

Traditionally, a mendiant is a French confection described as a chocolate disc studded with dried fruits and nuts that represent the four mediaeval Roman Catholic mendicant orders of the Dominicans, Augustinians, Franciscans and Carmelites; Mendicant comes from the Latin verb mendicans, to beg, describing the reliance of these orders on begging for charitable donations, following their vows of poverty. Figs, raisins, almonds and hazelnuts were chosen for their colours, each representing the robes of one of the monastic orders.

In Provence, the Christmas tradition is to finish the celebration meal with the 13 desserts of Noël, representing Jesus and his twelve apostles. The list of items varies among households but nearly always includes the four ingredients representing the mendicant orders.

Today, mendiants often have flavours added into the chocolate as well as a much wider range of toppings than the four original fruits and nuts.

BettysMendiants

This Christmas, Bettys have three different mendiants in their range.

I’m most intrigued by the Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh ones. Dark chocolate discs are flavoured with oils of frankincense and myrrh, and sprinkled with golden sugar crystals. The flavour is musky and citrusy and rather delicious. They are priced at £7.95 for 85 grams and come in a pretty presentation tube.

Crystallised Orange Mendiants are also wonderful. The crystallised citrus fruit pairs beautifully with the dark chocolate. They cost £7.25 for an 85 gram tube.

And last but not least are the Peppermint Mendiants, in which peppermint oil has been mixed into the dark chocolate. The sugar crystals on top are pepperminty too! These are also £7.25 for an 85 gram tube.

BettysMintMendiants-4167

 

COMPETITION

Bettys are kindly offering one Kavey Eats reader a set of all three chocolate mendiants above. The prize includes free delivery within the UK.

 

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, telling me what flavourings and toppings you’d use on a chocolate mendiant.

Entry 2 – Twitter
Follow @Kavey on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter!
Then tweet the (exact) sentence below.
I’d love to win a set of chocolate mendiants from Kavey Eats and @Bettys1919! http://goo.gl/KdH90I #KaveyEatsBettysMendiants
You don’t need to leave a blog comment about your tweet.

Entry 3 – Facebook
Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page and leave a (separate) comment on this blog post with your Facebook user name.

 

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 6th December 2013.
  • Kavey Eats reserves the right to alter the closing date of the competition. Changes to the closing date, if they occur, will be shown on this page.
  • The winners will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • The prize is a set of three chocolate mendiants from Bettys of Harrogate , with free delivery within the UK.
  • The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prize is offered and provided by Bettys of Harrogate.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. One Facebook entry per person only. You do not have to enter all three ways for your entries to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey at the time of notification. For Facebook entries, winners must Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page at time of notification.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email, Twitter or Facebook. If no response is received within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

 

With thanks again to Bettys for review samples.

This competition is closed. The winner is Jason Fallows (@smilingback2u).

 

I’ve been aware of the Opies brand for several years, having bought and really enjoyed a number of their preserved fruit products during that period. What I didn’t know was that this family-run business has been going since 1880, making it one of the oldest private family-owned food companies in the UK.

Company OutingsOpies Workers

In 1880, young Cornishman Bennett Opie set off to make his fortune in London with just a few pounds in his pocket. He started out by selling eggs and bacon, and gradually expanded his business, with the help of his two brothers. In 1912 he was joined by his son William, at which time he founded Bennett Opie Limited. When supplies of fresh eggs were limited during the first world war, William recognised the opportunity to manufacture and supply liquid eggs to the bakery trade. Later, he decided to diversify into preserving cherries, keen to provide a less expensive alternative to popular but pricy French brands. At that point, in 1929, the company relocated to Sittingbourne, Kent – the heart of Kent’s cherry-growing region. The site is close to natural springs; the water from which is still used by Opies today. This move marked the start of Opie’s growing range in preserves and pickles. William’s sons Tony and Derek continued to build the business through the second world war and their efforts were rewarded with a Royal Warrant in 1962 (though Opies doesn’t hold one currently).

Today, Opies is run by Bennett’s great grandsons, Philip and William, who divide the company’s focus between their traditional products, such as pickled walnuts and cocktail cherries, and creating new products in line with modern trends. I’ve been assured that the next eager generation of Opies is waiting in the wings!

Learning more about Opies, I’m particularly happy to learn about their commitment to reducing their carbon footprint. As well as recycling all water used in their production cooling processes, 90% of their packaging is recyclable and they recycle cardboard and other materials used in the manufacturing process. Their delivery vehicles are selected with a view to minimising emissions and they always maximise loads to reduce unnecessary journeys. They also focus strongly on sourcing ingredients locally.

Indeed, when I asked whether traditional recipes for their longer-standing products had changed over the years, they explained that they strive to keep flavours and textures traditional, but have tweaked recipes over the years as more natural (and local) alternatives to original ingredients become available. Of course, they run regular quality and tasting checks on all the lines they produce.

Inspiration for new product lines comes from global travel, food exhibitions and suggestions by their trusted suppliers. It can be a challenge launching new products – obtaining listings and shelf space is tough and it’s always hard to predict exactly what consumers will love; a new recipe for spiced pears in vinegar didn’t catch on and supermarkets just didn’t get the idea of a ginger spread with 60% ginger.

However, there’s plenty of love for both their traditional and new product ranges and I have been enjoying working my way through a selection of alcohol-preserved fruit, pickled quail eggs, fruit compotes, cocktail cherries and gherkins, a variety of pickled vegetables and relishes and their recently launched hickory barbeque sauce, which is naturally smoked in a traditional smokehouse. That gives a far lovelier flavour than the artificial smoke flavourings used by some brands.

Opies-2359 Opies-2360
Opies-2358 Opies-2361

Loosely inspired by Ben Spalding’s 30 Ingredient Salad, I decided to create my own “cacophony of colours, textures and tastes” (as I described it) using some of my Opies samples and some additional salad ingredients from the supermarket.

OpiesSaladCOLLAGE

I used Opies Rhubarb & Redcurrant Compote, Opies Pickled Baby Beetroot, Comte cheese, Opies Pickled Quails Eggs, Salami, English Honey, Opies English Cucumber Relish, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, an Cox’ Orange Pippin apple and Greek basil leaves.

OpiesSalad-2199

The ingredients were the kind of selection we might enjoy for a cold lunch, the sort of buffet you might set up as a coffee table picnic on a sunny afternoon. The only difference here was in presenting all the elements together as a single pretty plate. I was delighted with the result, even though it wasn’t a patch on Spalding’s incredible feast for the senses!

 

COMPETITION

Opies is generously offering the same selection they sent me (above) to one Kavey Eats reader. The prize includes free delivery within the UK.

 

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, sharing your suggestions for an incredible salad featuring one or more Opies products.

Entry 2 – Facebook
Like the Kavey Eats Facebook pagefollow and leave a (separate) comment on this blog post with your Facebook user name.

Entry 3 – Twitter
Follow @Kaveyfollow on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter! Then tweet the (exact) sentence below.
I’d love to win delicious @BennettOpie treats from Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/ou85CQ #KaveyEatsOpies
(Please do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hash tag. And you don’t need to leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)

 

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 15th November 2013.
  • Kavey Eats reserves the right to alter the closing date of the competition. Changes to the closing date, if they occur, will be shown on this page.
  • The winners will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • The prize is a set of Opies products, as shown above, with free delivery within the UK.
  • The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prize is offered and provided by Bennett Opie Limited.
  • If one or more of the items is out of stock, Bennett Opie Limited reserve the right to substitute a similar item from their range, of same or higher value.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. One Facebook entry per person only. You do not have to enter all three ways for your entries to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey at the time of notification. For Facebook entries, winners must Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page at time of notification.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email, Twitter or Facebook. If no response is received within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

 

Kavey Eats received a sample set of products from Bennett Opie Limited.

 

Flavoured salts, also known as finishing salts, are a great way of adding flavour during cooking and, of course, when finishing a dish.

Whilst it’s true that salt is salt, most commercially sold salt contains about 2% of something else and that 2% is enough to make a huge difference to flavour (not to mention texture). Table salt contains anti-caking agents, and may also contain iodide, and whilst these aren’t really detectable (to me) when it’s used in cooking, they certainly can be when salt is used to finish a dish. Even for reasons of texture alone, it’s nicer to sprinkle some crystallised salt over freshly sliced tomatoes than table salt.

Some natural salts contain traces of the earth from which they were mined, which can give earthy mineral flavours as well as affect their texture. Likewise, sea salt often retains other elements that were dissolved in the water.

It’s also becoming increasingly popular to mix in additional flavourings such as herbs, citrus peel, mushrooms, chilli and other spices. Smoked salt is also widely available.

Steenbergs Organic is a North Yorkshire-based family-run business committed to “providing organic spices and organic cooking ingredients packed with flavour, aroma and provenance”.

SteenbergsSalts-1226

Steenbergs sell a range of salts including (naturally occuring) coloured salts, sea salts and finishing salts and salt blends.

They sent me a selection of their range to try and are also offering these same seven salts (pictured above) as a prize to a Kavey Eats reader.

SteenbergsSalts-1233

So far I’ve tried the Happy Hippy Flower Salt, which looks beautiful sprinkled over a plate of fresh, sliced tomatoes. It also gives a lovely crunch and a delightful floral flavour.

SteenbergsSalts-1229

The Smoked Sea Salt is gorgeous for anything you think would benefit from a hint of smoke. I like it sprinkled over courgettes grilled on the barbecue or onto a tasty steak after it’s cooked and rested.

SteenbergChicken-1477 SteenbergChicken-1481

The Salt & Herbs For Poultry brought our most recent roast chicken dinner to life. The mix is 83% salt with the balance made up of black pepper, chives, parsley and tarragon; a quick and delicious way to add a touch of flavour.

 

Of course, you can make your own salt blends, as many food bloggers have shown, and they also give great ideas for how to use such finishing salts in your kitchen.

Here are a selection of tips that particularly appeal to me:

  • Rosa from Rosa’s Yummy Yums suggests sprinkling on chips and steamed vegetables, and incorporating in spreads, dips, sauces and dressings.
  • Jaden from Steamy Kitchen likes using colourful finishing salt not only on the food but also on the plate, where it’s shown off beautifully against white crockery.
  • Shaheen from Purple Foodie reckons they can be used to spruce up just about anything – soups, sandwiches, vegetables, seafood, side dishes, grilled meats and chips!
  • She Knows recommend using flavoured salts to season and finish grilled vegetables and meat.
  • Heidi from 101 Cookbooks agrees that flavoured salts are super on heirloom tomatoes. She also suggests using a citrus salt on home made sea salt caramels.
  • Lacey from Thyme On My Side likes to use flavoured salts to rim cocktail glasses. She also sprinkles her rosemary salt on fruit such as watermelon and on homemade chocolate truffles.
  • Ann from Eat Simply Eat Well uses her flavoured salts mixed with olive oil to flavour popcorn and also suggests using them in place of regular salt in chocolate chip cookies.
  • Debi from Life Currents sprinkles chilli salt over corn on the cob or over avocados for a simple and quick guacamole. She also likes it on fruit and sprinkled on eggs for breakfast.
  • Sue from The View From Great Island thinks finishing salts would be great on homemade focaccia bread. She also points out that using salt at the end means you may need less as you’ll taste it more directly.

 

COMPETITION

Steenbergs Organic is offering a set of seven salts to one Kavey Eats reader. The prize includes free delivery within the UK.

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, sharing your favourite idea for using one of the Steenbergs Organic salts.

Entry 2 – Facebook
Like the
Kavey Eats Facebook page and leave a (separate) comment on this blog post with your Facebook user name.

Entry 3 – Twitter
Follow
@Kavey on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter! Then tweet the (exact) sentence below.
I’d love to win a set of beautiful @Steenbergs Organics salts from Kavey
Eats! http://goo.gl/P65WHE #KaveyEatsSteenbergs
(Please do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hash tag. And you don’t need to leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 4th October 2013.
  • Kavey Eats reserves the right to alter the closing date of the competition. Changes to the closing date, if they occur, will be shown on this page.
  • The winners will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • The prize is a set of seven Steenbergs Organic salts, as shown above, with free delivery within the UK.
  • The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prize is offered and provided by Steenbergs Organics.
  • If one or more of the salts is out of stock, Steenbergs reserve the right to substitute another salt from their range, of same or higher value.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. One Facebook entry per person only. You do not have to enter all three ways for your entries to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey at the time of notification. For Facebook entries, winners must Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page at time of notification.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email, Twitter or Facebook. If no response is received within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

 

Kavey Eats received a sample set of salts from Steenbergs Organic.

 

I remember very clearly when the all new Sainsbury’s magazine was launched back in May 1993. Back then, supermarket magazines were pretty wretched; thin and cheaply produced with a dearth of compelling content.

The Sainsbury’s magazine pumped oxygen into a stagnant pond and I loved it from the get go! Delia Smith and husband Michael Wynn-Jones were at its helm and commissioned great content, assembling a team of talented food writers, cooks and chefs. Some were at the start of their careers and others already well established; together they produced a rich collection of material for every single issue. And for just £1 it was excellent value, even in those days!

One of the strengths of the magazine was the reliability of the recipes featured. They were always properly tested and clearly written so those of us who made them did so with confidence.

Fast forward 20 years and while the quality of the field has definitely improved (and dropped again, as in the case of Waitrose Food Illustrated when it changed to Waitrose Kitchen), Sainsbury’s magazine is still going strong.

To mark its 20th anniversary, Sainsbury’s has produced a celebratory cookbook featuring over 100 recipes chosen from an extensive archive.

Unlike some glossier and trendier recipe books I’ve flicked through lately, what I love about this collection is how many of them I want to make (and feel confident that I can make).

SainsburysMag

The good news is that I have one copy of the book to give away to a lucky reader.

But first, let me share the first recipe we made from the book, Brian Glover’s pea, new potato and feta frittata.

Frittata-1420

Frittata is such a versatile dish – it can be enjoyed both hot and cold, it’s ideal for lunch or dinner, for picnics or packed lunch boxes and it’s very simple to make.

We took Brian’s suggestion to substitute the feta for goat’s cheese, as we much prefer it.

Frittata-1392

 

Pea, New Potato & Goat’s Cheese Frittata

Serves 4

Ingredients
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
500 grams new potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped or 0.5 teaspoon dried
200 grams frozen peas*
a good knob of butter
6 large eggs, beaten
100 grams goat’s cheese (or feta), crumbled
optional: a handful of peashoots

*The original recipe specifies podded peas, but we bought fresh pods and discovered enormous, tough-skinned, tasteless peas within so we substituted with sweet little frozen peas instead. We weighed them frozen, then left them in a bowl of tepid water for a few minutes before draining and using. The recipe calls for boiling the podded fresh peas for 4 minutes before adding to the frittata pan.

Frittata-1397 Frittata-1400 Frittata-1403

Method

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 23-25 cm non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and 2-3 pinches of salt, and stir. Cover, turn down the heat and sweat the onions for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Frittata-1394

  • Add the potatoes and thyme to the pan and cook, still covered, for 10-12 minutes until the potatoes are just tender, adding the extra oil if they are drying out.

Frittata-1398

  • Uncover the pan and turn up the heat until the potatoes start to colour.

Frittata-1404

  • Add the butter and, when melted, add the peas, Season the eggs and pour into the pan, stirring in the cheese and pea shoots. Preheat the grill.

Frittata-1408
Frittata-1410
Frittata-1412

  • Cook the frittata over a medium heat, drawing in the edge with a spatula until the base sets. After 4-5 minutes, when the underside has browned, put the pan under the grill for 2-3 minutes to just set the top.

Frittata-1416

  • Place a large plate over the pan and turn over plate and pan together, to remove the frittata from the pan.

Frittata-1419

We really enjoyed the frittata, both hot out of the pan for dinner and cold for lunch the next day.

Frittata-1425 Frittata-1428

COMPETITION

Sainsbury’s have offered a copy of their 20th anniversary Sainsbury’s Magazine Cookbook to one of my readers. The prize includes free delivery within the UK.

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, telling me about one of your family’s favourite recipes.

Entry 2 – Facebook
Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page and leave a (separate) comment on this blog post with your Facebook user name.

Entry 3 – Twitter
Follow @Kavey on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter! Then tweet the (exact) sentence below.
I’d love to win the 20th anniversary @sainsburysPR Magazine Cookbook from Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/im02D9 #KaveyEatsSainsburysCookbook
(Please do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hashtag. And you don’t need to leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 6th September 2013.
  • Kavey Eats reserves the right to alter the closing date of the competition. Changes to the closing date, if they occur, will be shown on this page.
  • The winner will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • The prize is a copy of the 20th Anniversary Sainsbury’s Magazine Cookbook, with free delivery within the UK.
  • The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prize is offered and provided by Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. One Facebook entry per person only. You do not have to enter all three ways for your entries to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey at the time of notification. For Facebook entries, winners must Like the Kavey Eats Facebook page at time of notification.
  • Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email, Twitter or Facebook. If no response is received within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

 

Kavey Eats was sent a review copy of the Sainsbury’s Magazine Cookbook.

This competition is closed. The randomly selected winner was Tracy Nixon.

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