Afternoon tea at The Courthouse, Knutsford

A plate of sweet pastries / The Courthouse Knutsford / Afternoon Tea / SHE-EATS

Sweet!

If there’s a better way to spend an afternoon than eating cake, drinking tea and chatting with friends then I’m yet to find it. Afternoon tea is an opportunity to kick back with friends and bite sized food means you can nibble without it getting in the way of the chatter. Because we all know that the main reason for afternoon tea is to natter with friends!

The Courthouse was the location of my latest afternoon tea.* As the name suggests, this handsome building was indeed once home to the court in Knutsford town centre, but some sympathetic refurbishment has now seen a restaurant named Barristers and function rooms open, with boutique style bedrooms soon to follow.

A vintage cup and saucer / The Courthouse Knutsford / Afternoon Tea / SHE-EATS

Everything stops for tea…and cake!

We we treated to not one, but two types of afternoon tea at The Courthouse – and yes dear reader, I ate it all!  Continue Reading

Vigor Energy Balls

Three packs of energy balls / Vigor protein ball energy balls / SHE-EATSBalls. Protein balls. Probably not something you expected to pop up on SHE-EATS eh. But let me tell you, my husband is like the human dustbin ; there is no filling him up when he has been to the gym! So I was happy when some Vigor protein energy balls dropped through the letter box for us to try.

I’ve never eaten a protein ball in my life before now, assuming they were the mainstay of gym bunnies and ‘clean eaters’ (*eye roll*) with pink hued Insta grids, but the more I thought about them, the more they make sense as a sensible snack as I try my hardest to fight my sweet tooth. Andrew will often need a snack after the gym/ before tea/ after tea. So a protein hit will stave off that hunger. Also, when we go for a walk, better to have a small snack we can drop in to a pocket rather than get hungry and hit the cake as soon as we are done. Continue Reading

The Ambassador Brownies: Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

Chocolate hazelnut brownie

I am trying really hard to improve the photos I use on SHE-EATS. Sometimes I update old posts with new images (hello, ultimate brownie recipe and rabbit pie to name just a couple). But other times, a recipe is so good, that I want to share first and reshoot second. These chocolate hazelnut brownies are one example of that. I was snapping in a dark, winter kitchen on my phone as I baked, but the results were so good that I couldn’t not share! Next time I make them I will photograph again, but for now just sit back and enjoy the indulgence! Continue Reading

Savoury Popcorn

.Popcorn tumbling from a glassMy evening with Parmigiano Reggiano showed me once again that Parmesan cheese deserves to take centre stage- the more mature examples have depth and character that just gets lost if it is only being melted into a risotto or grated over a pizza.

I love snacks, they are my sweet, sweet nemesis. So when I was looking for something to nibble over a few days I decided to turn to popcorn. But rather than smother it in salted caramel (as wonderful as that would be, and don’t think I won’t do that next time!), I decided to try savoury popcorn.

I used 30 month matured parmesan, oregano and sea salt and the result is a wonderful moorish and pretty grown up savoury popcorn.Grated parmesan cheese and cheese knife / SHE-EATS Continue Reading

Haggis pie with carrot and swede top

A haggis pie topped with mashed carrot / haggis pie recipe with carrot mash top / SHE-EATS

Haggis for life!

In this house, haggis is for life not just for Burns Night. It is something that we eat throughout the year when we are looking for something full of flavour, spice and comfort, yet is easy to cook and can be served in a myriad ways. Bowl of cooked haggis / haggis pie recipe with carrot mash top / SHE-EATS

Haggis is so easily available now (in the UK at least, I think America is no longer banning it either), and there are plenty of varieties including vegetarian, wild boar and Moroccan spiced. I’ve even had a couple of examples of Lancashire haggis, so it pays to try a few and find the one you like. I actually really like the veggie version, although I haven’t used it here, and I think you wouldn’t miss the meat in this dish at all if you wanted to use one. Continue Reading

Cooking at Le Cordon Bleu with Parmigiano Reggiano

Cheese and chef skills

Claire from SHE-EATS cooking at Le Cordon Bleu / Le Cordon Bleu with parmigiano reggiano / SHE-EATS

Yey! I can still cook!

I was so lucky to be invited to a hands-on cooking workshop at Le Cordon Bleu a while ago. Yes I admit, it made me do an excited squeal at the thought of cooking in the hallowed kitchens of the world’s most famous cookery school!  The invite came from Parmigiano Reggiano so it was even more perfect because cooking + cheese = my idea of heaven!A table of parmesan cheese / Le Cordon Bleu with parmigiano reggiano / SHE-EATS

We started talking about Parmesan; the farmers who make it, the aging, the markings on the rinds of those rounds (if you look at my Facebook you will see I am obsessed with hollow cheese rounds with food in them!), the protected status etc. Of course we tried it- aged to 18 months (young and cheeky- good for cooking), 24 months (flavourful, a bit of crystallisation) and  36 months (love at first bite – bold, mature, a real mouthfeel). I am sad I don’t see it on cheeseboards more – people are keen to use in food but it really is delicious in its own right as well.

Parmigiano Reggiano is such a versatile cheese. Whether it is on a cheeseboard, as a seasoning or as the star of a dish it really is a kitchen trouper. Continue Reading

Win! Mason Cash Cake Pop Kit

Cake pops on top of cake pop maker / Win Mason Cash cake pop maker / SHE-EATSFirst: A Life Update…

Sorry it’s been pretty quiet on here of late. I scheduled a lot of posts for while I was getting over my op, but since I’ve struggled with my concentration so am still not able to write much (or very well). So I’ve decided to park all of my great recipe ideas and reviews for a few more weeks until I can give them the brain power they deserve – but I’ll be coming back at you with a bang in the new year! You’ve been warned; dig out your stretchy pants as it will be comfort food all the way (spoiler – I have the most luxurious brownie up my sleeve and savoury popcorn to name just two)!

But I LOVE you all so want to give you a little pre Christmas giveaway so you can bake festive goodies or put under the tree for your own budding baker. Continue Reading

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