Like many in the UK, I celebrate Christmas as a purely cultural tradition. Although I am interested in the origins of the ways we celebrate, it’s about history rather than religious significance for me.

On a religious level, Advent is a period of anticipation; indeed the word itself comes from adventus; Latin for “coming” and marks the weeks of preparation for celebrating the birth of Jesus and looking ahead to his second coming. It is also the beginning of the liturgical year – that is the Christian calendar that determines the dates of various feast and fast days, celebrations of Saints and other observances.

For me, a nostalgia-loving Humanist, Advent is all about Advent calendars, and the ones I love best are chocolate ones! Who can resist the nearly-month-long ritual of finding the right number, carefully opening the door and revealing that day’s chocolate inside?

Twenty years ago, I was happy with a really cheap version; a couple of quid in Woollies (RIP) and I was sorted. But over the last couple of decades, my chocolate tastes have changed enormously and the really cheap stuff – more sugar and vegetable fat than actual cocoa content – just doesn’t cut it. The first time I bought a Hotel Chocolat advent some years ago, it felt outrageously expensive (and compared to my Woollies ones it was!). But nowadays, I’m happier to spend more on quality chocolate and I’ve also realised that £12.50 for a box of 24 tasty chocolates is actually perfectly reasonable.

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Hotel Chocolat’s Advent Calendar to Share (£26) is a rather charming way of sharing the advent fun without having to share the chocolate treat. I think of it as a Couple’s Advent Calendar but of course, it would work for siblings or friends too, as long as they don’t mind taking turns to open the door! Behind each window are two baby truffles and there are a range of flavours to find including simple milk and dark truffles, salted caramel, gingerbread, almond and nutmeg, cinnamon, raspberry and hibiscus, and mulled wine.

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For those who don’t want to share, Hotel Chocolat’s one-person Advent Calendars (£12.50) come in dark, milk or white chocolate versions. Behind each door is a cute moulded chocolate sculpture.

COMPETITION

I have two prizes to giveaway to Kavey Eats readers!

  • First prize is a Hotel Chocolat Advent Calendar to Share.
  • Second prize is a Hotel Chocolat Dark Chocolate Advent Calendar.
  • Each prize includes delivery within the UK.

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways – the more ways you enter, the higher your chances of winning:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, sharing your favourite way of enjoying chocolate at Christmas.

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 @HotelChocolat Advent Calendars from Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/80jVag #KaveyEatsHCAdvent
(Do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hash tag. And please don’t leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)

Entry 3 – Instagram
Share an image of your favourite Christmas Tree decoration via your Instagram feed. In the caption include my username @Kaveyf and the hashtag #KaveyEatsHCAdvent.

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 14th November, 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 2 winners will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator. The first name selected will win the first prize. The second name selected will win the second prize.
  • 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.
  • First prize is a Hotel Chocolat Advent Calendar to Share and second prize is a Dark Chocolate Advent Calendar. Free delivery within the UK is included.
  • 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 Instagram entry per person only. You may enter all three ways but you do not have to do so for your entries to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey at the time of notification. For Instagram entries, winners must be following @Kaveyf at the 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 Instagram so please make sure you check your accounts for the notification message. 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 Christmas preview event and received samples of items in the range.

 

Some people are so difficult to shop for, aren’t they? Gift hampers (and baskets) are a great option when you want to make an impression but don’t know what to choose. Food and drinks selections also have the advantage of being consumable, which is a vastly under-appreciated attribute by those of us prone to clutter.

time_for_tea_trug turn_up_the_heat
Serenata Hampers Time For Tea Trug and Turn up the Heat Trug

COMPETITION

I have two prizes to giveaway to Kavey Eats readers!

  • First prize is the Serenata Hampers Time For Tea Trug (retailing at £29.99) which contains a Floral Tin of English Breakfast Tea by The English Tea Shop, Elegant & English Chocolate and Raspberry Biscuits, Kay`s Kitchen Organic Plum Jam, Kay`s Kitchen Organic Strawberry Jam an Caramelised Nut Pralines in a Clear Gift Box presented in a Pink Trug.
  • Second prize is the Serenata Hampers Turn up the Heat, Crackers & Cheese Trug (retailing at £27.99) which contains Hand Waxed Hot Chilli Cheese, Hand Waxed Scrumpy & Crunchy Apple, Bambino Black Olive Crackers, Bambino Moroccean Spicey Crackers, Luxury Organic Bombay Mix, Luxury Spicy Chilli Coated Peanuts and Belgian Chocolate Fine Blended Whiskey Truffles in Clear Box in a Bottle Green Trug.
  • Each prize includes delivery to any Mainland UK address.

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 2 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, telling me what edible items you’d choose if assembling your own gift trug.

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 Gift Trug from @SerenataHampers and Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/R47slT #KaveyEatsSerenata
(Do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hash tag. And please don’t leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 14th November, 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 2 winners will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator. The first name selected will win the first prize. The second name selected will win the second prize.
  • 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.
  • First prize is a Serenata Hampers Time For Tea Trug and second prize is a Serenata Hampers Turn up the Heat, Crackers & Cheese Trug. Free delivery to any Mainland UK address is included.
  • The prizes cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prizes are offered and provided by Serenata Hampers.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. You may enter both ways but you do not have to do so for your entries to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey at the time of notification. Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email or Twitter so please make sure you check your accounts for the notification message. 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 received a fee from Serenata Hampers for sharing this competition.

 

Olive It! is a European campaign to showcase that essential Mediterranean ingredient, the olive. By giving you lots of great ideas on how to incorporate them into your cooking the campaign aims to kick-start your love affair with olives and remind you that they are a versatile and tasty ingredient. Black olives are also rich in iron and Vitamin E, making them a great source of nutrition too.

Find out more about Olive it! at their website, follow @Oliveit_UK on twitter or like their Facebook page.

Olive it! Pizarro

COMPETITION

Olive It! are offering two Kavey Eats readers the chance to win two places each on an olive cooking course with fantastic Spanish chef, Jose Pizarro. As a huge fan of Jose’s cooking, recipes and warm personality I am sure this class will be an absolute blast as well as hugely informative.

Each winner, along with their guest, will be invited to attend the lunch time class on Friday 3rd October. During the class they will learn how to make delicious Spanish tapas before sitting down to enjoy a mouth watering feast of all the food prepared. The meal is accompanied by carefully selected wines.

The class runs from 12-3.30 pm and takes place in one of my favourite cookery schools, Food at 52 in Clerkenwell.

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 2 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, describing your favourite Spanish tapas.

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 Tapas cooking class with Jose Pizarro from @Oliveit_UK & Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/l7Zojq #KaveyEatsPizarroClass
(Do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hash tag. And please don’t leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 26th September 2014.
  • The 2 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.
  • Each prize is two places on an Olive It! Tapas Cooking Class by Jose Pizarro. The class takes place from 12.00 to 3.30 pm on Friday 3rd October at the Food at 52 Cooking School. Transport to and from the class is not included. Please note that no other dates or times are available, so if you are unable to attend, you will not be offered an alternative class or date.
  • The prizes cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prizes are offered and provided by Olive It!
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. You may enter both ways but do not have to do so for your entries to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey at the time of notification. Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email or Twitter so please make sure you check your accounts for the notification message.
  • Because of the imminent nature of the class, if no response is received from a winner within 3 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

Kavey Eats will also attend an Olive It! cooking class as a guest of Olive It!

This competition is now closed. The winners, picked randomly, are @LeighAnneWalker and Jennifer Earle.

 

Premier Housewares Ecocook pans are an affordable range of lightweight, non-stick cookware. They are suitable for use on gas, electric and halogen hobs and the larger pans (over 20cm) can be used on induction hobs too. The non-stick coating is a mineral-based ceramic, free from toxic chemicals associated with traditional non-stick materials, and recommended for superior heat conduction. The pans are now available in two new colours, lime green and black, as well as the original red.

ecocook

I love colourful kitchenware. Most of our pans and appliances are a random rainbow of different colours with orange, blue, black, maroon, yellow and now I have some fabulously bright and cheery lime too! The pans feel reassuringly solid, but not too heavy to lift (which is a consideration for many of us) and I like the feel of the non-stick surface.

Bacon-Wrapped-Icelandic-Hot-Dog-KaveyEats-(c)KFavelle-8436

COMPETITION

Premier Housewares have offered an Ecocook 30cm Sauté Pan to three readers of Kavey Eats. We have one each of black, lime and red to give away and the prize includes delivery in the UK.

Ecocook 3

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, describing your favourite stove top recipe.

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 @PremierHousewrs Ecocook Sauté Pan from Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/dW0fgJ #KaveyEatsEcocook
(Do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hash tag. And please don’t leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)

Entry 3 – Instagram
Share an image from your kitchen via your Instagram feed. In the caption include my username @Kaveyf and the hashtag #KaveyEatsEcocook.

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 10th October, 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 3 winners will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • The first winner picked will be assigned the red pan, the second winner will be assigned the black pan and the third winner will be assigned the lime pan.
  • 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.
  • Each prize is a Premier Housewares Ecocook 30cm Sauté Pan. Free delivery within the UK is included.
  • The prizes cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prizes are offered and provided by Premier Housewares.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. One Instagram 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 @Kavey at the time of notification. For Instagram entries, winners must be following @Kaveyf at the 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 Instagram so please make sure you check your accounts for the notification message. 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 received an Ecocook 30 cm Sauté Pan from Premier Housewares.

The winners are CariadonWales (Instagram), Shereen T and Rosemary Sheehan.

 

Given how much I love salmon, it’s a glaring omission that I’ve not yet shared any recipes here for cooking with this beautiful and popular fish. I am vowing to rectify this as soon as possible!

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Norwegian salmon images from Shutterstock

I’ve recently had my eyes opened to the quality of Norwegian salmon, a fish that is abundant in the cold, clear waters off Norway. It has smooth, red flesh and a rich, fresh flavour, it turns a pretty delicate pink colour when cooked and the well-defined flakes fall apart easily. It’s perfect to enjoy in hot dishes and cold in summer salads. It’s also often described as one of the superfoods – this oily fish is rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and vitamins A and D – so is a healthy as well as tasty choice.

NORGE logo 2-pack-art

Look for the NORGE logo on pre-packed Norwegian salmon in Morrisons this month. This logo is a guarantee that the product is of Norwegian origin and can only be used on products caught, farmed and processed in Norway and on licenced products in foreign markets.

fao

It is also comforting to know that Norway is considered to have one of the most responsible fishing industries in the world. In 2007 an independent research institute carried out a survey of the ways in which fishing nations are dealing with the challenges presented by illegal fishing and unregistered and unreported fish, as well as the United Nation’s rules of governance pertaining to responsible fishing practice (the FAO Code of Conduct). This detailed analysis concluded that Norway is a world leader in fishing management. In assessing the extent to which different countries are acting in accordance with the UN’s Code of Conduct for responsible fishing management, Norway ranks top followed by the USA, Canada, Australia and Iceland.

Scandilicious

COMPETITION

Kavey Eats and the Norwegian Seafood Council are offering one reader of Kavey Eats a hardback copy of Signe Johansen’s book Scandilicious, Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking and a £25 Morrisons voucher. 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, sharing your favourite way to eat salmon.

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 £25 Morrisons vouchers + a copy of Scandilicious from @norwayseafood and Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/VxiGqh #KaveyEatsSalmon
(Do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hash tag. And please don’t leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 22nd August, 2014.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • 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.
  • Where prizes are provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • The prize is a hardback copy of Signe Johansen’s book, Scandilicious and a £25 Morrisons voucher. It includes free delivery within the UK.
  • The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prize is offered and provided by the Norwegian Seafood Council.
  • 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 @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 winner 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 received a Morrisons voucher from the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Jul 282014
 

Did you know that Jelly Belly do sweets other than jelly beans? I didn’t!

The good news is that the Jelly Belly Candy range is as tasty as their jelly beans. Pete and I have been ripping open bag after bag these last few weeks and I have to confess, none of them have lasted very long. Pete’s favourites are probably the Sunkist Fruit Gems – large soft fruit jelly discs. I’m torn between those and the Raspberries and Blackberries – these have a soft centre coated in crunchy candy “seeds”. There are also gummy bears (regular and hot cinnamon), chocolate Dutch mints, a liquorice “bridge mix” and American stalwart, candy corn.

Although I try not to buy sweets too often, the nostalgic pull of a bag of sweets is hard to resist and takes me straight back to ye olde Woollies pick and mix. What helps temper temptation is my increasing dissatisfaction with some of the cheaper sweets, full of jarringly artificial flavours and often far too sweet. These Jelly Belly candies are undeniably pricier but so much better that they’re absolutely worth the extra, in my opinion.

JellyBelly-Sweets-KFavelle-KaveyEats-2014-nc-6901

The quintessentially American Candy Corn is now joined by Gummi Bears, Licorice Bridge Mix, Chocolate Dutch Mints, Raspberries & Blackberries, Sunkist Fruit Gems and Unbearably Hot Cinnamon Bears and the bags are priced at £6.62 each.

67022-AG 250g Candy Corn Gift Bag High Res JB_Giftbag_Confections_Lineup_email

 

COMPETITION

One Kavey Eats reader will win a set of all seven of Jelly Belly’s candy range, as pictured in the bags above. The prize includes delivery in the UK.

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment Leave a comment below, sharing your favourite childhood memory of eating sweets.

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 @JellyBellyUK’s new candy range from Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/Nymaog #KaveyEatsJBCandies
(Do not add my twitter handle into the tweet; I track entries using the competition hash tag. And please don’t leave a blog comment about your tweet either, thanks!)

RULES & DETAILS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 22nd August, 2014.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • 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.
  • Where prizes are 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 Jelly Belly candies, as listed above, and includes free delivery within the UK.
  • The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prize is offered and provided by Jelly Belly.
  • 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 @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 from a winner within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

Kavey Eats received samples from Jelly Belly.

Jul 192014
 

Oats are one of those ingredients that we seldom give much thought (or praise) to but which are at the core of some truly wonderful recipes.

So it’s lovely to be able to share a giveaway from British oat brand, Mornflake. Mornflake has been milling oats since 1675, making it the longest-established miller of oats and cereal in the UK. The South Cheshire company is still owned and managed by descendants of the original miller, 15 generations down the line. You can read more about the history of Mornflake, here and of course, more about their product range.

shutterstock_oats
Image of oats from Shutterstock

Oats are a versatile ingredient for both sweet and savoury dishes. Here are some great oat recipes to inspire you!

Savoury

Sweet

Smoothies

 Mornflake Hamper
Image is representative, exact contents of prize are detailed below.

COMPETITION

2 readers will each win a set of the following Mornflake products. The prize includes delivery in the UK.

  • 1 x hamper basket
  • 1 x 800 gram Mornflake Oatbran
  • 2 x 500 gram Mornflake Coarse Oatmeal
  • 2 x 1.5 kilo Mornflake Scottish Jumbo Oats
  • 2 x 750 gram Mornflake Organic Oats
  • 1 x hessian bag

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, telling me your favourite oat recipe (to cook or to eat!)

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 2 @MornflakeCereal hampers from Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/EAifpe #KaveyEatsMornflake
(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 8th August, 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 2 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.
  • Each prize is a hamper of Mornflake products, as listed above, and includes free delivery within the UK.
  • Mornflake reserve the right to adjust the contents of the hamper according to availability.
  • The prizes cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prizes are offered and provided by Mornflake.
  • 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 @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 from a winner within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

Kavey Eats received samples from Mornflake.

 

Spanish chefs Omar Allibhoy and Jose Pizarro know their olives. I’m a huge fan of the cooking of both, and they are both warm and charming gentlemen to boot.

So it’s with pleasure that I accepted the offer of 25, yes that’s right, 25 prizes of a recipe book featuring their recipes and some delicious olives with which to make them.

Olive it! recipe book - front cover 

The Olive It! book offers a collection of over 40 recipes for marinades, tapenades and tapas that are suitable for all seasons. There are classic traditional recipes passed down through generations and recipes given a contemporary twist. Try green olives with figs, orange and bay or black olives with wasabi, ginger and smoked salmon, just two of the appealing combinations suggested.

The book also includes information about different types of olive available, the history of the fruit and health benefits associated with olives.

Find out more by visiting the Olive it! campaign website www.oliveit.eu, follow them on Twitter @Oliveit_UK or like on Facebook.

COMPETITION

25 readers will each win a copy of the Olive It! recipe book plus a tin of pitted black olives, a tin of pitted green olives and a tin of green olives stuffed with anchovies.

OliveItPrize

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, sharing your favourite way to enjoy olives.

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 25 @OliveIt_UK recipe book and olive prizes from Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/rRjmmY #KaveyEatsOliveIt
(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 Thursday 31st July, 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 25 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 an Olive It recipe book plus the three tins of olive products detailed above and includes free delivery within the UK.
  • The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prize is offered and provided by Olive It.
  • 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 @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 from a winner within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

Kavey Eats received samples from the EU Olive It campaign.

 

Kallo make a wide range of rice and corn cakes in an array of tasty flavours. Their new packaging is particularly attractive, featuring charming artwork and sweet little rhymes about the products.

Kallo

COMPETITION

2 readers will each win a hamper of the following Kallo products. The prize includes delivery in the UK.

  • Lightly salted rice cakes
  • Organic unsalted rice cakes
  • Organic lightly salted rice cakes
  • Organic sesame seed rice cakes
  • Corn cakes
  • Sea salt & balsamic rice & corn cakes
  • Blueberry & vanilla rice & corn cakes
  • Belgian milk chocolate rice cake thins x2
  • Belgian dark chocolate rice cake thins x2
  • Organic garlic & herb stock cubes
  • Organic tomato & herb stock cubes
  • Organic chicken stock cubes
  • Organic vegetable stock cubes

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, choosing one of the Kallo prize products and suggesting your favourite dip or topping to go with it.

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 2 @SayKallo hampers from Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/C0oVHs #KaveyEatsKallo
(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 25th July, 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 2 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.
  • Each prize is a hamper of Kallo products, as listed above, and includes free delivery within the UK.
  • The prizes cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prizes are offered and provided by Kallo.
  • 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 @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 from a winner within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

Kavey Eats received samples from Kallo. The winners of this competition were Lorraine Tinsley and Richard Rowley.

 

I have too many cookery books. There, I’ve said it.

Despite two major clear outs in the last couple of years, when lots and lots of cookery books were given away to charity shops and fundraisers, the assigned shelves are overflowing. Books are stacked two deep, with extra ones squeezed on their side above the others. Others sit in stacks on the dining room floor, living room coffee table, and even lost amongst the papers on my desk.

I’m aware my collection is tiny compared to some, numbering at only 150 or so against the many hundreds some of my friends and acquaintances report.

And yet there is still an argument to be made that I have too many. There are many that I’ve cooked from only once or twice; some that I’ve never cooked from at all. Often, I don’t even remember that I have a particular title, only to exclaim in excitement at its rediscovery during yet another session of tidying. Surely, a cookery book exists to cook from – or at the very least, to inspire and inform one’s cooking? If I consistently forget about the book, do I really need it at all?

Of course, that’s my rational head talking rather than my emotional heart, which clutches these books to itself with all the fervour of an addict, wild-eyed in distress at the thought of parting with favourite tomes, regardless of their practical use (or not) in my life.

My emotional heart says I certainly do not have too many cookery books, thank you very much!

Still, it’s true that I haven’t been making great use of my collection.

Eat Your Books

So…

  • What if there were a way of making my collection more accessible to me?
  • What if there were a way of reminding me easily about all the books that I have, and better still, of all the recipes contained within them?
  • What if there were a way of flicking through recipes by book, author or ingredient without the need to pull every single book off the shelf?

That was just the kind of thinking that occurred to sisters Jane and Fiona a few years ago. Jane came up with the core idea for Eat Your Books after realising that, despite owning a lot of cookbooks, she would go online when she wanted to find a recipe quickly. She goes on to explain, “It made me wish I had a searchable index of all my cookbooks.  I seriously considered creating my own database then realised there must be lots of people like me around the world who feel they don’t use their cookbooks enough as it takes so long to find recipes.” So she talked through her idea with sister Fiona, who has a technology background and the pair decided they had the makings of a good business.

So that is Eat Your Books: a fantastic online service offering exactly what I describe above – a way of making my collection of cookery books more accessible and therefore more useful to me.

Bookshelf

Launched in 2010, Eat Your Books is already hugely popular with many tens of thousands of users around the world. It’s particularly successful in US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and is growing its user base here in the UK.

Eat Your Books allows you to create a virtual bookshelf of all the (English-language) cookery books you own.

Once that’s been created, it’s a matter of a few clicks to search through all the recipes in all the books on your virtual bookshelf by whatever keyword you like. All the matching recipes are listed, and when you find one you like, you know exactly which book to retrieve from your real bookshelf in order to read the recipe.

In order for the search tool to be useful, every book must be indexed by hand so that recipes are keyworded only for the ingredients, techniques and descriptions that are key to each recipe and likely to be used to find them. Auto-index tools tend to list too many false positives in their search results – a search on chicken might include every recipe that uses chicken stock, for example – and are therefore not an option when creating a truly user-friendly database.

New books are being added all the time, with a focus on adding the big sellers as quickly as possible.

OlderTitles

Although I first joined a couple of years ago, it was only a couple of months ago that I finally invested the time to go through my entire real life bookshelf and add the titles to my personal Eat Your Books account. I had expected to find many of my titles missing from Eat Your Books’ database, but actually there were only a tiny handful that I couldn’t find, and they are pretty obscure titles. Judging from my collection, the database seems pretty comprehensive for books released during the last 30 to 40 years, at least.

Search

When building your bookshelf, searching can be a little tricky for some titles but most are very easy to find. For some books, searching by author or title works best; for others, I entered the book’s ISBN. For certain books, Eat Your Books lists multiple editions, so you might need to check the front cover image or ISBN number of those listed in the search results, to make sure you add the right one.

There’s also an Import Books feature (available to paid members only) which lets you enter a list of up to 500 ISBN codes in one step. You can generate this list by way of a barcode scanner app on your smartphone.


cod potatoes 1
cod potatoes 2

After populating my own bookshelf, I was keen to start searching through my recipes.

You might remember a recipe post (for cod baked with chorizo and potatoes) in which I mentioned an error that resulted a delivery of 4 kilos (rather than 4 small pieces) of beautiful Norwegian cod, much of which is still sitting in my freezer. After entering all my books onto My Bookshelf, I was delighted to discover that I have 78 recipes for cod contained within the cookery books I own, many of which I’d never have thought to turn to when seeking a recipe.

Results can be sorted by title, author, publication date and user rating. To see whether a recipe suits what you’re looking for, click the title to see a list of the main ingredients and any notes that have been added.

The more books you have, the more recipes will be listed but you can filter your search results by ingredient (very handy if you have an allergy to cater for), recipe type or course and ethnicity. I’ve filtered below to exclude salt cod, baby food, sauces and dips, and pies and pastries, to bring my list of cod recipes down from 78 to 31.

Additionally, you can also create your own bookmarks with which to tag books and recipes, to help you further categorise them above and beyond the filter definitions. I’ve created a “Made” bookmark to record recipes I’ve already cooked and another called “Shortlist” to identify those I’m keen to make soon.

Filtered search

Just this service alone would, quite frankly, be worthwhile –  for me and for anyone who owns an unwieldy collection of cookery books which they don’t make the best use of.

There are also a number of other services on Eat Your Books which are deserving of mention.

There are currently 73 food blogs (of which I’m delighted to be one) listed, with recipes indexed and searchable in exactly the same way as published cookbooks.

If you subscribe to a popular food magazine, the title can be added to your bookshelf too, giving you a quick way to search through the recipes in each issue. New issues will automatically be included in your future searches and you can add any past issues you’ve kept too.

In addition, there is a huge library of online recipes you can access, even if you don’t own the books. These are recipes that publishers and authors have officially permitted to be published online, and Eat Your Books indexes them and provides a direct link to the content.

On the rare occasions you own a book that isn’t already indexed, you can index it yourself. Though this is quite a big task, it does make your virtual bookshelf more complete, and also benefits the wider Eat Your Books community.

There is a shopping list function, but it’s not currently advanced enough to be useful as recipe indexing doesn’t currently list amounts. If developed further, I can see this becoming a valuable tool within the site.

So the next big question is how much does it cost?

The answer depends on how much of the functionality you want to access.

Some some parts of the site can be accessed without registering and if you create a non-paying account you can access quite a lot of the site.

Full functionality is reserved for those who buy premium membership, which is priced at US$25 a year or US$2.50 a month; (at today’s exchange rates that’s £15 / £1.50). Before you dismiss the idea of paying for an online service, let’s just pause to put that into perspective – £15 is the cost of a single cookery book a year and if you make proper use of the service, will help you maximise the benefit of owning all the books you already have.

  • Anyone can search the recipe database. Don’t forget that, for books and magazines, the actual recipes are not reproduced on the site – rather Eat Your Books is a sophisticated personal catalogue and search system. But users can filter the results to show only those recipes which are fully available online, linked via the site.
  • Anyone can read the blog, and subscribe to it using RSS.
  • Non-paying members can add up to five books and five magazines to their bookshelves (and self index as many additional books as they like, provided the titles are not already available on the site).
  • Paid members can add as many books and magazines as they like (and self index as well). Paid members may also use the Import Book function to add large collections of books more quickly.
  • All members can add unlimited blogs and online recipes to their bookshelves.
  • All members can upload their personal recipes to the site.
  • All members can create bookmarks (with which to tag items on their bookshelves) and can add notes to recipes and books (including personal notes).
  • All members can make use of the EYB discussion forum.
  • Paid members will not be shown advertising when visiting the site. These adverts are a way for EYB to subsidise the cost of non-paying users.

I asked Jane to tell me a little about the first few years of creating Eat Your Books and what they are planning for the service, next.

It has been a huge amount of work but we feel we now have a really valuable website.  We have indexed over a million recipes from cookbooks, magazines and blogs.  Members can add any online recipe they see and also index their own personal recipes.  There is no other place in the world where you can have a searchable index of all your recipes.  I think for anyone who loves cooking, EYB is the best tool for organizing your recipe collection.  For the future, there are lots of new features we plan to add.  We also want to improve our mobile site and add an app.  Our biggest issue, as a small company, is getting ourselves better known – so thank you Kavey for spreading the word.

 

COMPETITION

Eat Your Books are offering a truly fantastic prize to one of my readers – a lifetime premium membership to Eat Your Books. That’s right, not just a single year’s subscription but an account that lasts a lifetime.

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the competition in 3 ways:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment below, telling me which cookery book is your favourite and why.

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 love cookery books! So I’d love to win a lifetime subscription to @
EatYourBooks from Kavey Eats! http://goo.gl/RTA24E #KaveyEatsEYB
(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 Saturday 6th July 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 lifetime premium membership subscription to Eat Your Books.
  • The prize cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prize is offered and provided by Eat Your Books.
  • 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 @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 from a winner within 7 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

 

Kavey Eats received a complimentary subscription from Eat Your Books.

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