Recipe scrapbook to give away

A wonderful recipe book with the do-it yourself element to give away

The Recipe Scrapbook is really lovely, one of those books that would make an ideal gift, the kind of gift you buy for someone and then end up keeping it yourself. You know the ones?

Caroline Brewester has made a fantastic job of this little treasure of a book. Half recipe book, half scrap book, it is packed with delicious recipes from all over the world, all indexed according to category. Caroline has based this scrap book on the “food makes memories” theme and included little pouches throughout the book stuffed with even more far out recipes on postcards from far off places. There is room to include your own favourite recipe memorabilia too. What fun this is. To prove the worth of the book here is a recipe Caroline sends us all from a small Spanish tapas bar:

Griddled purple sprouting broccoli with Romesco sauce.

Halve 2 large red peppers and put them under a hot grill, skin-side up, for 15 minutes or until black and blistered. Leave to cool in a tightly covered bowl. Toast 110g flaked almonds in a dry frying pan over a medium- high heat. Peel the peppers and remove the seeds and stalks. Put the peppers in a food processor with the almonds, 2 garlic cloves, 2 handfuls fresh white breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 3 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika. Whizz together until thick and smooth, then season with salt and pepper. Trim and discard any tough stalks from 450g purple sprouting broccoli. Toss in 1tsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook on a smoking hot griddle for 2-3 minutes on each side until soft. Serve hot or at room temperature, with the Romesco sauce. Often served with grilled spring onions or as a spread for bread.

I have 3 of these wonderful books (normally worth £16.99) to give away. Just email me on with SCRAPBOOK in the subject line. Inlcude your postal address and your favourite recipe and we will pick 3 out of the bag. The best recipes will be loaded onto the site with your name and blog links if you would like them linking.

Forgetting the prize draw, if you would like to buy a copy of Recipe Scrapbook by Caroline Brewester at the special price of £12.99 (including postage and packing) buy it here or call Duncan Baird Publishers on 01962 841417 or send a cheque made payable to Duncan Baird Publishers to 29 Jewry Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8RY, quoting Goodness Direct special offer. Normal price of £16.99. All major credit and debit cards accepted. This offer applies to UK residents only.

A choc a day keeps the doctor away?

I don’t know about you but I always delight in seeing chocolate in the news for just how health giving it can be.

With all the good press dark chocolate has been given, me and quite a few of my friends indulge in a square or two of raw or dark chocolate with 50% cocoa solids or more each day, for health benefits you understand! But here it is again: ‘Two-week dark chocolate diet that reduces heart disease risk’ headlining in the press.

The studies in question were carried out at the University of L’Aquila in Italy and Tufts University in the States and reported on in the Journal of Nutrition. The outcome of the trials is that eating dark chocolate daily for two weeks may lessen the risk of heart disease. Eating a couple of chunks daily for a fortnight can keep high blood pressure at bay and reduce the risk of diabetes. The chocolate appears to bring about such benefits quickly. Only dark chocolate works though, so take a fresh look at the high cocoa solids chocolate with health in mind. For us milk chocolate lovers, all is not bad news. Montezuma’s have a Milk chocolate from the dark side, with 54% cocoa solids. For the serious dark chocolate eaters we have 73% cocoa solids dark chocolate from Montezuma’s, Green & Black’s 85% cocoa solids intense dark, Maya gold has 55% cocoa solids and is really delicious, combining fairtrade dark chocolate with orange and spices. My problem is limiting it to a few squares, remember the calories do add up.

Cocoa flavanols appear to increase nitric oxide bio availability, protect vascular endothelium and decrease the risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The people in the test systolic and diastolic blood pressures also fell after the dark chocolate diet.

Morality bites

Mustering some sympathy for the bedeviled ham and beef

Could you kill your own dinner?
“What I feared most was the screaming. Desperate cries from a freaked-out pig might ruin bacon for me forever. I’d spent the previous two days hanging out with happy hogs at the idyllic Newman Farm on the ArkansasMissouri border. I watched them trot around the fields, wag their curly tails and flop in pools of mud. I even held one in my hands when it was only a few hours old. But here I’d come, five hours across Missouri to Trimble, just outside Kansas City, Mo., to witness the other end of a pig’s life cycle. Comfortingly, the place was called Paradise Meat Locker. So why was I here? I asked myself the same question as I nervously pulled on shoe guards, tucked my hair in a shower cap and snapped up my lab coat right outside the kill floor door. I didn’t want to see a pig get killed. Heck, I don’t think anyone does.”

Morality Bites