North Northamptonshire based food blogger who is obsessed with good food and proper cooking. I'm part of the Midlands Blogging team for the BBC Good Food Shows. This is where I share my own recipes and carry out recipe development and product reviews for brands, including food and wines. Please contact me using the link below.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

BBC Good Food Show Ticket Winners

What a lovely response I had to the ticket giveaway to win two pairs of tickets to the BBC Good Food Show, Summer 2014 at the NEC in Birmingham from 12-15th June.  Entries were received from Facebook, Twitter and my blog.  Thank you to everyone who Re-Tweeted, Liked and commented their way to an entry.

My daughter picked the first winner out at 7pm this evening.  With the first pair of tickets going to @mdbuk via Twitter.  Congratulations Marc.

Hubby then picked the second winner for me.  Congratulations to Sam Hoey (entered via Facebook).

If the winners can please me at with your address details, I will get the tickets to you as soon as they're available.

Remember that you can use the code MB20 to get 20% off your advance ticket sales until 30th April 2014.

Thanks to all who entered the draw to win.  I wish I could have sent you all tickets.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Book Review - Jamie's Ministry of Food

If there's one book that you should buy someone who needs a bit of encouragement to get themselves into the kitchen and to give them the confidence that they really can cook, then you should treat them (& ultimately yourself) to Jamie's Ministry of Food.

It's not a recent book and was originally published in 2008 but is still a bestseller today.

To give you the background why I bought this book.  I met my husband when I was 16 and he was 19.  We married 4 years later and, I'm proud to say, are still together today, 30 years and 2 children later! (Am I really that old?! Surely not!!!!)  Anyway, for almost the first 25 years of our relationship it was me in the kitchen probably 6 days out of 7.  My husband would cook the odd meal but always to a limited repertoire and was daunted to try anything new without my guidance.  I changed jobs and worked away from my home town which meant that for the first time, he was home before me each evening and the menu was starting to get 'a little challenging' for the family.  Let's just say the kids were bored with spaghetti bolognese and frozen fish portions! It would be too late for me to get home and start preparing dinner from scratch as I'd always done, so something had to change.

Then, one day on a visit to a bookshop, browsing my favourite section (cookery), picking one of my favourite chef's books up and realising it would be perfect for my husband, it just happened to fall into my shopping basket and my husband's quest to become an accomplished cook began!  I personally love Jamie Oliver's style of cooking - simple ingredients, easily accessible to source, often British and in season.  No faff and no fuss.

The book covers everything from essential Kitchen Equipment; not the gadgets and gizmos of the top chefs, but the tongs, bowls, pans and spatulas that every kitchen deserves to have.  There's the basic larder, fridge and freezer ingredients that will see you to preparing anything from a boiled egg to the simplest cheese on toast through to a casserole, pie or a decadent dessert worthy of any good dinner party. It's packed with hints and tips that will guide you from the initial preparation, via cooking and on to serving and enjoying your meal.

There are several favourites from this book that my husband loves to cook and he does so now with a flourish and such confidence that I never thought I'd enjoy seeing, namely:

* Chicken and Leek Stroganoff
* Classic Tomato Spaghetti (which is enjoyed with Jamie's recommended addition of a tin of tuna flakes)
* Broccoli and Pesto Taglietelle
* Mini Shell Pasta with a Creamy (unsmoked) Bacon and Pea Sauce
* Parsnip and Ginger Soup
* A Cracking Burger (yep even home made burgers!)
* Baked Carrots in a Bag
* Salmon Fish Cakes

For a novice cook to be able to work from a book and create the flavours that you imagine when you see the photographs and read the ingredients and instructions can only mean that this book is incredibly well written, easy to follow and an essential to any book case; novice and experienced alike.

A job well done Mr Oliver, Sir!  Bring on the next book because I have all of your current ones!  The only downside is that I am now forced to share all of these as well as my ever increasing cook book collection with my husband!

What's your favourite Jamie Oliver book?  Drop me a comment and let me know what's your favourite recipe(s) from them.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

BBC Good Food Show Summer 12-15 June 2014, NEC Birmingham

The BBC Good Food Show Summer is on at the NEC in Birmingham this year from Thursday12th to Sunday 15th June and promises to be one of the best days out this summer.

As a member of the Show’s official blogging community I'm offering 2 pairs of general admission tickets as a fantastic prize to the readers & followers of Freycob's Kitchen.  Come along to the Show and see some of the nation’s TV favourites including Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, Glynn Purnell, Frances Quinn, Atul Kochhar and Tom Kerridge as well as many more, all cooking live in the Supertheatre.

You can find the list of exhibitors for the show here:

Find some of the exciting new features of this years' show here:

Or see which of your favourite celebrities will be appearing here:

You can pick up tips, treats and ingredients from some of the country’s top speciality producers in the Producers’ Village, BBC Good Food Champions and the Ludlow Producers Market.  Take inspiration from the Good Food Bakes & Cakes Village, as well as enjoy fabulous shopping opportunities from the 100s of exhibitors.  Visitors to the show also gain free entry to BBC Gardeners’ World Live which is packed with ideas for growing your own deliciously fresh ingredients.

In order to be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets, all I ask is you follow @freycob and RT my Tweet on Twitter (and/or) like and leave a comment on my post on my Freycob's Kitchen Facebook page and then return and leave me a comment below to confirm you've done this and let me know where I can find you too.  2 lucky winners will each be selected at random at 7pm on Sunday 27th April and will receive 2 tickets each for entry to the BBC Good Food Show Summer at the NEC in Birmingham.  The tickets allow general entry for two people to the Show.  They do not include entry to the Supertheatre and cannot be used on Saturday 14th June 2014.  They are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.  Tickets will be posted out to a UK only address by Royal Mail Recorded Delivery and will therefore require a signature upon receipt.  

If you're not lucky enough to be a winner, then you can also book your tickets, and enjoy a 'blogging community' early bird discount of 20% if you buy your tickets before 30th April 2014.  Tickets can be purchased both by phone on 0844 581 1341 or online at You must quote the discount code MB20 to receive your 20% discount. 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Easter cocktails, mocktails & chocolate?

The clocks have changed to British Summer Time which means the days are getting longer, the nights are getting lighter and the weather is getting warmer. This weekend sees two bank holidays in celebration of Easter, giving us a long weekend, so what better way to enjoy and celebrate than with a cocktail, a mocktail or a drink with friends and family? (Not forgetting enjoying some chocolate of course!).

Aldi sent me a hamper full of goodies with which to celebrate the season.

A dark, rich Pinot Noir (£4.49) which went beautifully with our lamb roast on Sunday.

A lovely, creamy white chocolate Easter Bunny that I couldn't help but nibble on as I took my photos (oops!)

Another nibble on the bunny's ears and I was ready to assemble all the ingredients to prepare a cocktail from their dark Hopking Rum (£9.99) and the Cocobay Caribbean White Rum & Coconut blend (£4.99).  Shaken (not stirred) with some ice and fresh double cream in my new cocktail shaker. Wow! What a combination.

For those that don't like either cocktails or spirits, why not try a bottle of their Orchard Cider (£0.99) served cold and poured over ice for a refreshing, longer drink? Or a glass of cold, fresh sparkling Chardonnay (£6.99).

However you celebrate the Easter season; I wish you & your family good weather, good friends, happy families and amazing memories. Cheers!

The Aldi hamper and contents was sent to me free of charge from their PR company.  I was under no obligation to review the contents.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

White Chocolate, Cranberry & Blueberry Blondies with Peanut Butter Frosting

This one was originally meant to be a chocolate brownie, until I found I had no dark chocolate left but lots of white chocolate so I had to change my mind. This is therefore my experiment and I'm pleased to say it worked & my family enjoyed it.

225g Caster sugar
4 Eggs
225g Butter
5ml Vanilla paste
150g Plain flour
225g White chocolate drops
100g Dried cranberries & blueberries 
75g Butter
175g Light soft brown sugar
5ml Vanilla paste
150g Chunky peanut butter
30ml Milk

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Line a 20cm/8" square brownie pan with baking parchment.
3. Beat the sugar and eggs until light & airy.
4. Melt the butter and beat into the sugar and egg mixture along with the vanilla paste.
5. Fold in the flour gently, being careful to retain the air you've incorporated.
6. Gently stir in the chocolate chips, cranberries & blueberries until just combined.
7. Bake for 35-40 minutes until still soft in the centre.
8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
9. Beat together the butter and soft brown sugar with the vanilla paste 
10. Stir in the peanut butter and milk until combined.
11. Spread over the cooled blondie.
12. Cut into 16 pieces to serve.

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