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Honey Beer Chicken from Thistle and Maize

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I read quite a few blogs about food, and really like to read recipes that people have invented (how do you do that?!) But I have never tried to recreate one of them until just recently. I was reading a blog by Thistle and Maize and came across a recipe for Honey Beer Chicken. I thought ‘That looks yummy, it’s easy to make and I have nearly all the stuff to make it!’ so after buying the things I didn’t have, I did make it! and here it is:


It was really tasty, and my family thought so too! We decided it was like a mix of teriyaki and chicken stew, so a sort of oriental stew. As you can see I served it with broccoli and mini jacket potatoes. It was also quick to make which was also a bonus. A few changes I made to the recipe was to use a bit of left over sliced onion instead of shallots, vegetable oil instead of canola oil (because I don’t know what that is!) I also used a honey flavoured beer, as I thought it would go with the honey in the mix:


Thanks Thistle and Maize! Has anyone else got a favourite cooking blog they can recommend?


Mmm! Chicken and ham pie!

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pieI thought I would get back into blogging by sharing a recipe I sort of made up (the sauce and pie top recipes were from other places but I can’t remember where!) It is really yummy and you can use up leftovers and add whatever herbs and spices you like. The amounts aren’t exact because like I said, I was sort of making it up as I went along.


  • Chicken breast fillets, cut into bite sized pieces.
  • Pre cooked ham or gammon, chopped into smaller pieces.
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Pinch of Cayenne pepper
  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 150-200g of chicken stock (depending how thin you want the sauce)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of double cream
  • A squeeze of lemon
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 75g vegetable suet
  • chopped sage
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Fry the chicken in a little oil until browned all over. Add in the cooked ham and mushrooms and stir. Add some cayenne pepper (or whatever you fancy!) and season. Leave in the pan but take off the heat.
  2. Make the white sauce. In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour. Cook slowly, stirring, until the mix is the colour of straw. Pour in the stock, turn up the heat and stir constantly until the mix is simmering and smooth. Add in the cream and reduce the sauce to your desired consistency. Add the lemon.
  3. Make the pie top. Put the flour, suet and herbs (I used sage because it goes with chicken, but you could leave out the herbs if you don’t like them) in a bowl and add enough water to make a sticky dough. Dust the dough with some flour and wrap in Clingfilm to rest for 10 minutes. Roll out on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin and hands (I told you it was a sticky dough!) into a shape that will fit the top of your pie dish.
  4. Lightly butter a pie dish. Add the chicken mix into the sauce and season. Stir well and pour into the pie dish. Take the rolled out dough and place it on top of the mixture, making sure it reaches the edges of the dish. Make a small hole in the centre of the dough with a knife and brush the top with a little milk.
  5. Put the pie on the middle shelf of a pre-heated oven at Gas Mark 5 for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is lovely and golden. Serve and enjoy!

My family really loved this recipe, and like I said it is easy to customise. If you try it, I’d love to see pictures and let me know how you liked it!

BBC Good Food Show Winter

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I spent the weekend in Birmingham at the BBC Good Food Show Winter. This was at the massive exhibition center the NEC and was full of all sorts of stalls, stands and shows to do with food cooking and most importantly eating! We have been a few times before and this time around decided to invest in some tickets to see three shows. One we watched was the MasterChef Experience presented by Olly Smith (the wine guy!) and starring Greg Wallace (the one that likes puddings!) and John Torode (the Australian one!) Here’s a picture:

A bit blurry but you get the idea! We also saw Laila Rouass as the celebrity guest at the Saturday Kitchen stage and Felice Tocchini who cooked a cake with sprouts in it. (If you’re wondering it tasted a bit like a carrot cake but with an aftertaste of Christmas dinner!) However the best bit about the Good Food Shows is the producer’s village. These are all the stands of people who sell food and drink, you can buy their produce and more importantly, try it before hand. (As I overheard one lady say, it’s best to sample all the food first before trying all the alcohol!)

Thinking about my craft products and selling at craft fairs, it was interesting to see the different ways producers attracted customers to their stands. Obviously free food works well but I couldn’t really do that with crafts. Competitions were very popular and I entered a few myself (I won a hamper of cordial last year!) and could be done at a craft fair. It would also be a good chance to get a marketing list together of customers to send newsletters to. I guess it just shows that you can get inspiration from anywhere, especially at a food show whilst stuffing your face with sprout cake!