Review: Peter and that's enough.. Loughborough

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There's a pizza revolution taking place in Loughborough. Peter and that's enough.. opened their doors to business less than 3 weeks ago and the buzz surrounding it is immense. People who know me know that I like to stick my head into everything and know whats going on so this time last week I was there with fork in hand and a rumbly tummy.

Located in a converted pub on Ashby Square, Peter is a funky pizzeria run by Italian blooded Rafael. He came to Loughborough for uni and never left. I'm so pleased.



I met with my fellow Leicestershire foodie friends (blogger Emily, local heroes Louise and Dan and chef Laurie) and we sat on the large communal table in the front of the restaurant and began deciding what to eat. The menu is limited but spot on. Key ingredients are sourced directly from Italy - for example, the flour for the pizza dough is Molino Caputo and the dough is made in a traditional way found in the Cervinara region. The wines are supplied by a family in Italy direct and the cured meats come from Padova. Working directly with family suppliers, this pizzeria is Italian through and through. Naturally, in true Italian style, there is no messing around here. Its a pizzeria so they just serve.. pizza. There are 8 on the menu plus specials too. Starters and nibbles include doughballs, olives cheeses and meats but nothing more complex than that (it doesn't need to be).
A selection of amazing meats
Halloumi con Foccaccia £4.00 and Life Changing Olives & Taralli £3.00
Julia Roberts Sasige - Spicy Italian Sausage £3.50 (there's no way to make this look nice!)

If you can't decide what to have on your pizza, you can tweet @PeterPizzeria with the hashtag #PizzaRoulette and they will decide for you! Fortunately, I knew what I wanted and went for number 3 - Tomatoes, ricotta fresca, sausage con finocchietto, mozzerella, pistachio di bronte and truffle oil (sooo good). Drink wise, I was driving so went for the home made iced tea followed by home made still lemonade - both were really refreshing and absolutely delish.


The sourdough for the pizza bases is made in house and I can honestly say they were best pizza bases I've ever tasted outside of Italy. Soft and fluffy on the inside, charred and crispy on the outside. For once, rather than eating around the base, I wolfed the lot. Around the table, we chomped and chatted and as I glanced around the place, I realised that this is what its all about. Peter isn't a quiet restaurant, its a place to gather and catch up over great, simple food. In fact, its perfect for groups and if there's space, I recommend you ask to sit at the big communal table.     

Peter Pizzeria Communcal Table
The wonderful communal table



Clean plates all round and ready for pizza!
One final note, when we thought it wasn't possible to eat a single bite more, our lovely friendly waitress came over with this.... Nutella Pizza. Its the same sourdough base but sprinkled with sugar and topped with nutella and chopped nuts. Sounds so simple - its incredible. We all had it around our mouths but didn't care! There is also a wider selection of puds which you eat in or takeaway - try the 'Something Divine' which is made by Louise (pictured above)!  

Nutella pizza heaven!

I've reviewed so many restaurants in the past year and can honestly say this is one of my favourites. I love the place, the food, the drinks and am telling everyone I know to go there. If you're in and around Loughborough, get over there as soon as you can.

Pizza Heaven has come to Loughborough and I've fallen in love with Peter.
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Win an Indian Summer Banquet for two at Lasan, Birmingham

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The award winning Lasan in Birmingham has just launched a brand new concept - their Sunday Summer Banquet - a traditional home-style Indian feast bursting with colour, flavour and fun and I have a meal for two to give away!
  
You may be thinking 'hmm Lasan sounds familiar' - well, that's because firstly, it won Gordon Ramsays F word - Best Local Restaurant in 2010 and since then, under Chef Director Aktar Islam, its gone from strength to strength with a ridiculously long list of awards to its name. Aktar Islam also won the fish course in 2011 on The Great British Menu, one of my favourite foodie TV shows. Aktar and his team cook traditional Indian cuisine but with a modern edge, using the highest quality ingredients in a fantastic Birmingham City Centre location.

Lasan Lamb Chops
Chef Aktar Islam
Chef Director Aktar Islam
Whats on the menu? 
Three courses of Indian deliciousness, each consisting of a variety of mouth-watering classics. Traditional Indian banquets are about sharing great food and life-affirming fun times with family and friends - dishes are placed in the centre of the table and everyone gets stuck in.

Lasan Restaurant in Birmingham
Lasan is based in a contemporary building in St Pauls Square, central Birmingham
Lasan King Prawns
Lasan Tandoori King Prawns

When? 
Every Sun day from Sunday 28th July until 29th September, 1pm - 9pm
 
If you're feeling lucky, why not enter my competition to win a meal for two? GOOD LUCK! The winner will be announced after 10 August.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To find out more or book a table, visit Lasan online or call Lasan on 0121 212 3664.

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Foodelity - a dinner party in a box

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Last Saturday I sat opposite my husband, eating at a table set with candles and linens. We ate asparagus with mozzarella followed by sea fresh monkfish, lemon syllabub and the finest French cheeses. Where were we? Not in a fancy restaurant, just in our little kitchen enjoying our dinner party in a box from the new and rather exciting Foodelity.

New to the 'food delivery service' market, they offer something a little bit different to the other brands out there - Foodelity focuses on special meals, dinner parties rather than weeknight cooking. They source the finest ingredients and come up with menus to suit everyone - from their busy bee menu (designed to be prepped and cooked in under 90 mins) to completely bespoke where you select each course individually. A sommelier can advise on wines to suit every course and they even offer a whole range of cheeseboards. Happy days!


I spoke to founder and Managing Director Simon Granshaw to find out more! 

What made you give up your job and start Foodelity? 

I have a long standing passion for food, great british produce and cooking, and since graduating from university had an eye on starting my own business when the right opportunity presented itself. I often cook dinner parties and was frustrated with the quality of produce available in the local area - although we have some great farm shops nearby it was considerable effort to source all of the ingredients, so the idea for Foodelity was born. I learned a lot from my time working in the city but was never drawn to any of my roles as a long term career, so last year I decided that the time was right to develop the idea into a viable business. I now get to spend my days working with beautiful ingredients and wonderful producers which I love.


How do you differ to the other food box delivery companies out there? 
I think the main difference between Foodelity and other food box delivery companies such as Hello Fresh and Gousto is that we are focussed on providing outstanding meals for events and special occasions - dinner parties, special dinner for 2, family lunches, etc with multiple courses. To do this we offer a wide selection of starters, mains, desserts and cheeses along with matching wines for our customers to choose from, with recipes suitable from the novice to experienced cook,  and provide meat, fish, vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Who are you targeting with Foodelity? Do you have a certain type of person in mind?
Who comes up with the recipes? 

We are trying to target 3 main areas with our products: firstly, people that want to have access to the finest ingredients to cook with; secondly, customers who like the recipe cards to assist them through the cooking process; and finally, the convenience of having the entire package delivered to your home or office ready for the evening or next day. So far we have found our main customers to be working professionals and busy mums who both appreciate the ability to turn out an amazing meal for their friends and family, without the time and effort spent finding recipes and sourcing produce.
I mainly come up with the recipes by myself with some input from our consultant chef. My thinking is that if I can cook it, then there is a good chance that the average customer will be able to do so as well. We have tried to get a good balance between classic dishes and more adventurous options to appeal to different tastes, and every dish is tested by our focus group before it goes on the website.

You have some fantastic suppliers, do they ever suggest menus to you? For example, whats in season or what they can get hold of? 
Thanks, we think our suppliers are brilliant and allow us to offer the very best produce to our customers. We consult with them on a regular basis to find out what British produce is in season and base our menus around this. For example we will be launching autumnal dishes in September offering more game and root vegetable options, and our offering will continually be updated throughout the year to reflect when ingredients are at their best.

Anyway, back to our meal: 

We had the busy bees menu which consisted of asparagus wrapped in prosciutto with mozzarella, bacon wrapped monk fish and a simple lemon syllabub. We also had the strong and sumptious cheese board to follow. The recipe cards were clear and concise and the ingredients were well packaged. 

The quality of the ingredients was second to none, the fish came from Fowey Fish (fresh from Cornwall), the meat from Aubrey Allen who supply The Fat Duck, Le Manoir and more. The cheeses came from The Fine Cheese Co, based in Bath.



To start - Asparagus, Mozzerella and Proscuitto Parcels with Rocket Salad. Salty ham and gooey cheese with the cut through of peppery rocket and basil. Whats not to love?




For main: Bacon wrapped Monk fish Tail with Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and New Potatoes. I'd never cooked Monk fish before but it was meaty and really delicious. I wouldn't have put thyme with fish but it really worked well.

Monkfish wrapped in Bacon

Something sweet for pudding: Lemon Syllabub with Crushed Amaretti Biscuits. Simple, refreshing and spot on.

Lemon Syllabub

Finaly, although we barely had room, we squeezed in the cheese - we opted for the French range and it was beautiful, including Tomme de Savoir, Morbier, Crottin de Chavignon and a lovely Camembert, not for the faint hearted! The Lime and Chilli jam was particularly delicious and went perfectly with the Morbier.


All in all, what a treat - to have such fine ingredients at home was a joy and the recipe cards were clear and simple to understand. Foodelity is not cheap but for a special occasion, worth the price.

If you want to try a Foodelity box for yourself, you can save 10% on your order with the code FJAX10. And, if you really want to push the boat out, spend over £50 and get a free cheeseboard with code GINGEYBITESCHEESE. 

Enjoy!

*I was sent this box free of charge but my opinions are my own.
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Key Lime Pie - easy and refreshing!

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Everyone loves Key Lime Pie - or at least, they should! For me, its a perfect pud - not too sweet, refreshing and light, and this is a cracking recipe which is easy peasy and can be made in advance. I also think its perfect for the summer. A glass of crisp cold white wine and a slice of pie. What more could a girl want!

I found this recipe in Mary Berry's Baking Bible. It really is a bible, there are so many recipes in there for nigh on any occasion. She's the queen of bakes! This recipe is for 8 servings (or in our family, 4 servings!!)



Ingredients: 

Base:
  • 150g digestive biscuits
  • 65g butter
  • 25g demerara sugar
 Filling: 
  • Grated rind 1 large lime
  • Juice of 4 large limes
  • 397g can condensed milk
  • 450ml double cream 
Before I start - here's a question which I have long wondered... why do cans of condensed milk come in 397g?? Answers on a postcard!

Method: 
  • Put the biscuits into a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Melt the butter in a medium sized pan. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the biscuit crumbs and sugar. Press over the base and sides of a 23cm loose bottomed tin and leave to set.
  • Put the lime juice, condensed milk and 300ml of the double cream into a mixing bowl and beat until well blended. Pour into the prepared crumb crust and gently level the surface. Chill in the fridge for several hours, until set, then remove from the tin.
  • Whip the remaining cream until it forms soft peaks and spread it over the pie, then finish with a scattering of grated lime rind. 
  • Serve well chilled. 


The finished thing - it didn't last long!

Mary Berrys Key Lime Pie
A slice of Key Lime Pie






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Chatting with MasterChef Champion Natalie Coleman

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I'm sure I'm not the only one who was glued to MasterChef when it was on TV earlier this year. It’s such a great show, you can feel the pressure from the sofa and this year was one of the best series yet. In June I was fortunate to meet and chat with Natalie Coleman, this year’s MasterChef champion.

We met at the BBC Good Food Show. Between her various appearances I managed to tear myself away from munching samples to spend some time with her chatting about life after the show and what she's doing next. After a malfunctioning phone recorder and a gobble of strawberries as well as a lecture from Mummy Bites to all and sundry about not drinking enough water (it was very warm and she's a nurse don't you know), I got down to asking my questions.

Natalie Coleman Masterchef winner 2013
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Spicy Sausage Chilli

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I seem to be forever making some kind of stew or one pot and here is yet another one. I know they might seem a bit wintery but this one doesn't some how!

The recent first episode of The Great British Budget Menu got me thinking about how much we spend on food and actually, how much we waste. I feel very lucky that I can afford to shop for nice ingredients and we eat out regularly too but, I still have to watch the pennies and often write a meal plan to make the most of whats in the cupboards. I also make full use of my freezer and its always well stocked with reduced items! It was an interesting show which certainly provoked some opinions on twitter - both good and bad but I think the most important thing whether you agree with the shows format or not, is that its got people talking about food and how to eat well on a budget.

This is a great meal for when pennies are tight, plus it uses very few fresh ingredients so is also good for the end of the month when you need to do a food shop. I estimate this at approx £2.50 a serving!

Spicy Sausage Chilli
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Kitchen Nomad - whats it all about?

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There's been a bit of a buzz recently around Kitchen Nomad. So I was pleased when they contacted me as I was keen to find out more. Initially I thought they were another Hello Fresh, turns out they're a little bit different, and a little bit more interesting!  The clever ladies at Kitchen Nomad have combined two of my great passions, food and travel (how did they know?!) into a new monthly subscription delivery service which focuses on hard to find ingredients from around the globe. You then add the extra items needed to make up your dish.

Kitchen Nomad launched in June with a Greek box, which has been produced with the help of The Real Greek and with recipes from TV chef Tonia Buxton. The boxes are priced at £22 plus delivery (or less if you choose to subscribe for more than 3 months in one go) and contain a whole range of ingredients plus a set of recipe cards.

Kitchen Nomad Delivery - Greek box
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Rachel Allen's Tomato and Lentil Couscous Salad

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I do try to cook vegetarian meals occasionally and recently I've been thinking that perhaps we should have more meat-free meals in our diet. So, I've decided to make a change and try to include one per week. Aside from the calories, this will certainly help bring down food costs.

Tomato and Lentil Couscous Salad
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Travel Bites: Eating on the English Riviera.

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The sun is shining, the sea is sparkling and the beaches and bars are .... quite empty. There alone is the first reason why I think we should start rediscovering the British seaside.

Teignmouth Union Jack in the wind
Teignmouth flying its flag for summer holidays in the UK!
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Berry Ice Cream - a taste of summer!

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Its summer! Treat yourself with this recipe - it is unbelievably simple and you don't need an ice cream maker! I based this loosely on a recipe I found on BBC Good Food which I've then changed it a little to suit my ingredients. It went down a storm with my mum and I've been sneaking spoonfuls out the freezer ever since.

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Review: The Elephant, Torquay

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We have to squeeze in at least one fine dining experience into every holiday and for our trip to Devon,  this was it. A delicious meal at the Michelin starred 'Elephant' in Torquay, headed up by the mightily talented Simon Hulstone.

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Meal Planning Monday (01 July 2013)

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As you may well know if you follow me on twitter or facebook, last week I was on my holiday! We spent a lovely week soaking up the calories on the English Riviera (aka Torquay, North Devon). Now back to reality with a bump - here's my meal plan for this week. Time to ditch the calories and try and get back on the health wagon!
We have some gorgeous produce from various places in Devon including local butter, cheese and meat from Occombe Farm as well as Exe Valley eggs. I'll be making the most of these this week!


Monday
Jerk chicken drumsticks, salad and wedges

Tuesday
Pork chops, steamed brocoli and cauliflower, new potatoes, peas and gravy

Wednesday
Garden Vegetable Risotto

Thursday
Spaghetti with Tuna, Lemon and Rocket (Nigella recipe from 'Nigellissima')

Friday
Tomato, lentil and cous cous salad (Rachel Allen recipe from 'Entertaining at Home') with grilled pork chops

Saturday
Chorizo and pepper fritatta for brunch to use the last of our delicious Exe Valley eggs from Devon. Past that, not sure yet, possibly a meal out (if I can convince the hubby to pay!).

Sunday
Perhaps some fish to balance the week - I've not planned that far ahead, we need to hit the shops!

Meal Planning Monday
I've entered my meal plan into the 'Meal Planning Monday' link up, hosted by the fab Mrs M. You can find meal plans from  other bloggers and recipe inspiration on her blog here.

Over and out!
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