Thyme Bistro (Cannon Hall Barnsley); a refreshing change

Our first trip to the lovely Thyme Bistro at Cannon Hall was a refreshing change as so many times this type of venue with captive audiences fail; read more to find out why I rate Thyme Bistro.

We arrived about 1245 and were advised there was about a ten minute wait for a table and were shown to the patio area; where we enjoyed the views and perused the menu .

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We were seated close to the counter displaying their wonderful choice of sweet treats; which already had caught the Ord brothers eyes. The bistro has a lovely buzz and considering it is very child friendly you are not deafed by the excitement of little ones.  The bistro is clean, light and bright. The offer free WiFi throughout and a seperate dining area for those with dogs (clever idea).

Our waitress took the table’s order of five meals; two of which were specials and one kids meal and all choices were available.  Not long after two of the specials were removed from the blackboard (good to see this being updated for incoming diners).

Two of the five specials ran out by 1pm – this must be a good sign?

Our meals were served within 20 minutes and the first to arrive was David’s Battered Haddock which was setting the bar on  looks.  Served with hand cut chips and mushy peas (as sponsored by illy) and good portion of tartare sauce looked good value at £9.95.  The batter was golden and the fish was moist and flakey as were the chips which were superb; as good as you should expect in a gastro-pub. The only irritation was the peas in an espresso cup (nearly as annoying as slates instead of plates).

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My order of the Cajun Chicken Burger was topped with bacon, cheese served with and hand cut chips and corriander soured cream – an  impressive stack.  I would have removed the bacon to reduce the calories  but  it was encrusted in the cheddar which was in turn melted to the chicken so I enjoyed it in all its glory.  The chicken was moist, the only issue was it lacked spice this maybe due to the flavour being overpowered by the cheddar and bacon.  Yet again the chips were spot on just a shame the chose to serve a soggy and slightly rotting salad garnish.  If it was my choice I would have served the Cajun burger with less cheese and let the spices do the talking.

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A good choice of hot and cold drinks are available and for the real ale lover they offer,albeit bottled, Black Sheep.  I enjoyed a fantastic illy cappuccino.

Overall I think pricing is fair for the quality.  Service is with a smile although we did note some misunderstandings within the team and it would be interesting to see if they can handle the pressure on a sunny day when there are more dinners.  

My recommendations to the Thyme Bistro would be to lose serving peas in coffee cups, ensure your garnish is not decaying and be bold with your spices.

Overal I recommend you dine at Thyme. We will be returning for seconds and hope that next time it deserves full points.

 

If you’d like to read more of my food adventures you can follow me on Twitter @EatBakeBlogGB  or Instagram with my reviews published on TripAdvisor as Louise Winder.

Louise x
http://www.LouiseWinderFoodAndTravel.com

#EatBakeBlogGB

 

Bill’s (Dale Street Manchester) Breakfast Breakdown

The more I think, the more I do not see Bill’s good value – If you took off the black pudding we are paying £8 for two eggs, effectively one sausage, 3 pieces of streaky bacon (the chea…

Source: Bill’s Breakfast Breakdown (Dale Street Manchester)

Bill’s Breakfast Breakdown (Dale Street Manchester)

This has always been our go to place when travelling around the UK.  So far we have been to Bill’s at Brighton, Cheltenham, Durham, York, Leeds and now Manchester.

We went here for breakfast on Sunday morning instead of having the £20 full English at the Lowery Hotel; we just could not imagine how they could deliver such an outstanding breakfast when the hotel is lacking in its former glory, but that is another review.

We arrived at 10am and were promptly seated.  The restaurant was very quiet; we must have missed the Sunday rush!

We ordered a pot of Tea for one, an Americano,  two of Bill’s Breakfast £7.95 (one with a side/extra of Crispy Potato at £1.25 and one a side/extra of Black Pudding at £1.50) which we would  share.

Drinks arrived soon after with our breakfasts following about 5 minutes later.

When we first started going to Bill’s I am sure you got two of each of  your extras with regards the potato and black pudding (and David assures me it was the case and my memory is not failing me). I’m not sure that at £1.50, a slice even with overheads that is a fair deal for a slice fat!  Especially if it is killed through overcooking!

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The more I think, the more I do not see Bill’s as being good value.  If you took off the black pudding we are paying £8 for two eggs, effectively one sausage, 3 pieces of streaky bacon (the cheapest cut of bacon) the smallest tomato  half, and two pieces of small-ish toasted bread (the eggs are small; so use this as a guide if you require more evidence).

We regularly have breakfast at two beautiful farm shops in Yorkshire that have won awards for their quality and they charge £9.00 for their full english – with no extra’s to pay for (see picture 2).

Quality is hit and miss. Sometimes you get crispy bacon and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you get soft eggs and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you get a soft and juicy tomato and sometimes you get an unripe under-cooked version but most of the time you do get overcooked Black Pudding!

On a positive note the staff were friendly and the toilets are generally spotless.

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Picture 1 Bills Breakfast and Picture 2 Farm Shop Breakfast the latter is cheaper.

My final observation we always have to wait for a table at our local establishments (they both hold about 50 covers) unlike Bill’s which in the last year I have not seen busy at breakfast…now that may be coincidence but I doubt that considering how many branches we have been to.  What is consistent is Bill’s inconsistency which is quickly relegating this from being our  go-to place for breakfast.

 

Cost £22.70 (before service) as at March 2016

If you’d like to read more of my reviews then you could follow me on Twitter @EatBakeBlogUK

Finished article. Serve immediately with custard, cream or ice cream

All round winner – Jaffa Self Saucing Pudding

Made this first for my Mum’s birthday meal.  My mum doesn’t have the sweetest tooth in the family that belongs to my Dad.  He truly is a pudding / dessert lover…and if he could, he would eat puddings for starters, mains and afters!

They both raved about this pudding, in fact Dad said its the best pudding he’s ever had. Since then David’s parents have enjoyed this  and they have requested this for the Ord family Easter Sunday dinner.  With this in mind I thought it was time to share this wonderful pudding with you.

I first found on the BBC Good Food website and I have made no tweaks as its perfect.

  The Batter

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 100g soften butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Zest and Juice of 1 orange
  • 3 eggs
  • 150ml Milk
  • 100g orange milk chocolate (I use Terry’s Chocolate Orange)

    The Sauce
  • 200g  light muscovado sugar
  • 25g cocoa
  • 300ml boiling water
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Self Saucing Jaffa Pudding

 

  1. Butter a 2-litre baking dish and heat oven to 160°C fan/gas 4 and put your kettle on.
  2. Put the flour, caster sugar, 50g cocoa, baking powder, orange zest and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Chop your chocolate into pieces.

    I aim for pieces about the size of a Cadburys’ buttons give or take; this means you find lovely pieces of half melted chocolate in each mouthful.

  4. Squeeze the  orange juice into a pyrex jug and whisk in the 3 eggs, melted butter and milk.
  5. Pour onto the dry ingredients and mix together until smooth  (it takes about 2-3 minutes in  my Kenwood)
  6. Stir in the chocolate chunks and then scrape everything into the buttered dish
  7. Mix 300ml of boiling water from your kettle with the light muscavodo sugar and remaining 25g of cocoa for the sauce.
    Batter Mix
    Batter mix before your pour the sauce over
  8. Slowly pour this all over the pudding batter which will look very wrong at this stage!

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    Batter covered with the bubbling hot sauce mix
  9. The Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 mins or until the surface looks firm, risen and crisp.
    Finished article. Serve immediately with custard, cream or ice
    Self Saucing Jaffa Pudding

     

 

I hope you like this pudding as much as we do and if you do try this please let me know if you make any additions as I’m always looking for new ideas.

Louise x

EatBakeBlogGB

Cooked Dauphinoise Potatoes

Meals for Michael – Creamy and Spicy Carb Fest

I was asked today by David to share for our friend some of my favourite meals.   The easiest way to transfer recipes to those that ask for help could be to send them the respective cook books but in this case as the person in question is an avid reader of my blog and twitter I thought to salute their support by blogging instead.

Proper Blokes’ Sausage Fusilli from Jamie Oliver’s Cook

  • 2 heaped teaspoon of Fennel Seeds (don’t leave this out Michael its key to the dish)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes (you cannot cheat and use powder!)
  • Olive oil
  • 600g or a pack of Cumberland Sausages (removed / squeezed out of their skins)
  • 1 tablespoon Oregano (use a heaped dessert spoon if you don’t have a tbsp)
  • Glass of dry white wine (not for drinking while making)
  • 500g Fusilli ( you need the spirals to hold the meat)
  • Grated Parmesan (two good handfuls)
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (dried does not cut it)
  • Zest and Juice of a lemon (Jiff will not do, but if you do cheat don’t try and grate  it)
  • Knob of butter (only you can define what a knob is)

You will need a skillet pan or maybe a small wok for this.

  1. Crush/smash up the fennel seeds until broken up and put to one side
  2. Squeeze the meat out of the sausages throwing away the skins
  3. Heat some oil in your pan
  4. Place the meat into a pan and start to break it up with a wooden spoon, keep working the meat for a few minutes until it starts to colour to a brown
  5. Then add the fennel seeds and chilli (watch out the vapours can whack you in the face)

    Your are trying to make the meat look like minced meat

  6. Cook for a further 10 minutes keeping the meat moving until it begins to crisp
  7. Put your kettle onto boil while you are doing this
  8. Add the Oregano (tablespoon) stir once.
  9. Add the white wine (if you’ve not drank it);  lemon juice and zest; turn the light down to low
  10. Cook your pasta
  11. If the meat is looking dry add a spoon or two of the pasta water
  12. Chop the parsley and grate the Parmesan if you have not already
  13. Drain the pasta, toss the meat in to the pasta or vice versa, add the butter stirring to coat
  14. Add the parsley, and Parmesan and serve  into warmed bowls
  15. If you love Parmesan like we do grate a bit more on top.

Now this is an odd side dish, but if you like carbs with carbs here you go..

 Potatoes Dauphinose

We love this french classic and it is best eaten on the night it does not reheat well.   You can do 50/50 and use milk as well as cream if the ladies in the house prefer the lighter version.

  • Peel 1kg of potatoes (we only use Lady Balfours)
  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • Freshly Grated Nutmeg (1/4 teaspoon) or leave out
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Generous mill of black pepper
  1.  Peel the potatoes and put into a bowl of cold water
  2. Chop the garlic or crush into fine pieces
  3. Pour cream into a large bowl; add garlic, pinch of salt, black pepper and nutmeg (if you want it
  4. Grease an oval bowl  about this size, well with butter

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    This size should suffice for this amount of potato
  5. Slice the potatoes as finely as you can

    Mandoline
    Ideally the potatoes need to be this thin to give the best and fastest result.
  6.  Once the potatoes are sliced work fast to layer them in the dish, side by side, making layers upon layers, keeping flat .
  7. When you have run out of potato slices pour over the seasoned cream.

    Cooked Dauphinoise Potatoes
    This is the look you are trying to achieve when your slice into the Dauphinoise
  8. Press down gently with a fork.
  9. Place into the oven on the middle shelf for 50-60 minutes at 160°c

Eat with sighs of ooh and aahh.

Happy cooking Michael and if you need to consult on any of the above my number is only at the rate of £1.00 per minute from a land line.

Love Louise x

EatBlogBakeGB

 

Freezer burn; here’s a saucy remedy for your pasta

Tonight we needed a quick tea so raided the freezer for a leftover stash.  I found an unlabelled mysterious package which turned out to be a batch of bolognaise sauce.

The only way to salvage was to whip up my favourite  tomato sauce…

Onion (medium) sliced and diced
Carrot (medium) scrubbed and grated
Garlic clove crushed
Teaspoon of fennel seeds crushed
Tin on chopped plum tomatoes opened

Splash of oil in sauce pan add onion, carrot and cook on medium heat for five minutes

Add garlic and fennel and cook for a further 2 minutes then add tomatoes.

Cook for 15 minutes, season and blitz with a stick blender taking care not to splash yourself.

Add enough sauce to the bolognaise to bring it back to life.

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I love this sauce the fennel really gives it a depth of flavour and it’s really rich and smooth the carrot removes any acidity from the tomatoes .

Just goes to show how easy it is to cook from scratch using simple ingredients.

We’ve yet to try this with just pasta but I feel confident with some basil ripped over the top it would be a winner too.

Love Louise X
Louise Winder Food & Travel
#EatBakeBlog

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Sunday Chorizo Brunch from Delia Smith

We love this for brunch; it reminds of sunny Barcelona; however I think it works well at any mealtime. The disk doesn’t take much prep, the longest part is sometimes peeling the skins off th…

Source: Sunday Chorizo Brunch from Delia Smith

Sunday Chorizo Brunch from Delia Smith

Isn’t it funny how we can forget about dishes in our repitoire and they disappear into fond food memories.  Well today, I decided to revisit this wonderful dish that I disovered via my first food hero Delia.  My bookshelves are full of her books but this new wonder foodie resource DeliaOnline has become a go to for me.

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Delia recommends a shallow gratin dishe measuring 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, which will hold one or two eggs I use my Falcon enamel round pie dish or the recatangular version.

You will need the following ingredients:

  • 75g of Chorizo (today I used a cheat)
  • Red pepper (cut in half, quarters then sliced thinley into lengths)
  • Onion (medium sliced in spears)
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic (chopped)
  • 4-5 Really ripe tomatoes *
  • 3-4 free range eggs
  • 50g Cheddar or any good melting cheese
  • Shot of Dry Sherry; this is optional
  • Salt and pepper

 

Method

Step 1 turn your oven on to 180ºc (fan) or gas mark 4.

Step 2 deseed the pepper, remove the white flesh cut in half, then quarters and slice finely into lengths.

Step 3 Peel your onion and cut in half and cut into thin spears.
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Step 4 Boil your kettle and put the tomatoes into a large (1 litre Pyrex jug) and cover the tomatoes.  Within 1 minute they will be ready to be skinned.  Some of the skins might be difficult to remove, I leave the odd bit on.  (Delia removes the seeds I prefer to leave the seeds in; each to their own).

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Peeling tomatoes

Step 5  next chop the tomatoes  into pieces and then finely chop the garlic.
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Step 6 heat a pan (I used a small wok for this dish) with about a tablespoon of oil (I used rapeseed) when the oil is hot add the chorizo pieces to brown them off, I added a slug of Oloroso Sherry just to make it that little bit more spanish.  Once cooked off I then place these into the dish I am going to use.

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Dry sherry

Step 7  Add the onion and pepper to the pan and cook on a high heat, until  they are starting to soft with brown edges – this will take about 5 to 10 minutes depending on the thickeness of the slices.

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Step 8 add tomatoes

Step 8 add the chopped tomatoes and garlic and cook for 1 minute more and return the browned chorizo to the pan.  Give it a good turn around to meld all the flavours.

Step 9 season well with freshly ground salt and black pepper.

Step 10 take the pan off the heat heat and place the mixture  in the dish.  Break your eggs into the dish (as I am using a one pot I space these out equally) .  If you use indiviudal dishes then sit you eggs side by side on top of the mixture.

Step 11 now you should have the mixture with eggs sat on top so season and sprinkle each one with your grated cheese.

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Ready to bake

Step 12  place the dish or dishes on the baking sheet on the top shelf of the oven to cook for 12-15 minutes (or a little longer, depending on how you like your eggs).

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Thanks for reading my blog and I would love to read your comments. If you like my blog then you can follow me on Twitter @EatBakeBlogGB or read my restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor.

Happy blogging.

Louise x

© EatBakeBlogGB / Louise Winder Food & Travel all rights reserved.

The Shrove Tuesday Files

Who doesn’t love Pancakes. It’s one of my first positive food memories that repeats through my life. My mum made great Pancakes and always served with a sprinkle of sugar and a squeeze of Jif Lemon (not sure why we never had fresh lemons). I have carried on that tradition on, until recently as I’ve started having pancakes as a treat breakfast.

This morning I was feeling a bit flat after a great weekend in Brighton with my nephew and as an emotional eater I didn’t want my usual Bran Flakes.  So inspired by the great American series The X Files the truth was out there…

The Pancake recipe I used was this recipe :

● 135g Plain Flour
○1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
● Teaspoon of Salt
○ 2  Tablespoons of  golden caster sugar
● 1 Large Egg (free range)
○ 4.5 fld Oz Milk

Then I decided to mix it up with
● 1 Teaspoon of ground cinnamon
○ Handful of Sultanas

The method is simple
Put flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon into a bowl (I prefer to use my Pyrex Jug it makes it easier to decant.)

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Crack the egg into the middle and start to mix in.

Then add the Milk  mixing as you go until you have a thick batter.

Next melt a nob of butter in your pancake pan and add this to your mix and stir in.

Finally add your Sultanas and leave the batter to rest. An hour if you can and if you have no patience like me, then five minutes; this let’s the ingredients meld together and the starch molecules in the flour are absorbing the liquid in the batter making the batter thicker. This causes them to swell and gives the batter a thicker, more viscous consistency.

Then I use peanut oil to oil the pan and put it on a low light.

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I use a tablespoon as measure for each pancake (most recipes suggest a ladle)

I cook until I see air bubbles then turn (this should take about 1 to 2 minutes)

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Then serve with or without  Maple Syrup (other brands are available but this was on offer).

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American Cinnamon Pancakes

I loved these and as a huge fan of Cinnamon they will be a new Sunday treat . 

Tonight we will be having traditional pancakes unless I’m out voted!

Hope you enjoy your Shrove Tuesday.

If you like my blog please follow me on here or Twitter @LouiseWinder

Love Louise X
Louise Winder Food & Travel

#EatBakeBlog

Posted from WordPress for Android

The Shrove Tuesday Files

Who doesn’t love Pancakes. It’s one of my first positive food memories that repeats through my life. My mum made great Pancakes and always served with a sprinkle of sugar and a squeeze of Jif Lemon (how seventies). I have carried on that tradition on until recently.

This morning I was feeling a bit flat after a great weekend with my nephew and as an emotional eater I didn’t want my usual Bran Flakes.  So inspired by the great American series The X Files the truth was out there…

The Pancakes  recipe I using this recipe :

● 135g Plain Flour
○1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
● Teaspoon of Salt
○ 2  Tablespoons of  golden caster sugar
● 1 Large Egg (free range)
○ 4.5 fld Oz Milk

Then I decided to mix it up with
● 1 Teaspoon of ground cinnamon
○ Handful of Sultanas

The method is simple
Put flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon into a bowl (I prefer to use my Pyrex Jug it makes it easier to decant.)

image

Crack the egg into the middle and start to mix in.

Then add the Milk  mixing as you go until you have a thick batter.

Next melt a nob of butter in your pancake pan and add this to your mix and stir in.

Finally add your Sultanas and leave the batter to rest. An hour if you can and if you have no patience like me, then five minutes; this let’s the ingredients meld together and the starch molecules in the flour are absorbing the liquid in the batter making the batter thicker. This causes them to swell and gives the batter a thicker, more viscous consistency.

Then I use peanut oil to oil the pan and put it on a low light.

image

I use a tablespoon as measure for each pancake (most recipes suggest a ladle)

I cook until I see air bubbles then turn (this should take about 1 to 2 minutes)

image

Then serve with or without  Maple Syrup (other brands are available but this was on offer).

image
American Cinnamon Pancakes

I loved these but i am a huge fan of Cinnamon Tonight we will be having  with the traditional pancakes unless I’m out voted.

Hope you enjoy your Shrove Tuesday.

Louise x

#EatBakeBlog

Love Louise X
Louise Winder Food & Travel

#EatBakeBlog

Posted from WordPress for Android