Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Category Archives: Publication and Blog Info

Plans For 2014

I’ve had a very enjoyable time off work and away from the blog following the birth of my little girl. I have missed blogging though and I’m ready to get back to it.

With the little one in tow it isn’t going to be so easy to do the restaurant reviews so there are going to be a few changes. I will be continuing with reviews when I can but also have lots of new ideas for 2014 which I’m really excited about! I think the blog needs an update visually too so I am in the process of moving over to WordPress.org so I can do more and make it all look a little more attractive.

I’m still on maternity leave so I’m looking forward to getting out and about and trying new things. If you have any recommendations or are a food business and would like me to pay you a visit please get in touch.

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Change 4 Life Challenge!

This week sees the launch of Change 4 Life’s ‘Be Food Smart’ Campaign. It’s an initiative aiming to help families eat more healthily in 2013 and anyone who signs up will be mailed a Be Food Smart recipe booklets with 21 low-cost nutritionally balanced recipes that appeal to adults and children.

I have been challenged to try one of the recipes every day this week and to blog about my experience. I am going to pick either breakfast, lunch or an evening meal each day and record my thoughts along with the recipes which I will publish on here the following day.

The booklets are geared towards dissuading people from eating take aways and fast food by providing cost-effective, easy, healthy recipes that will feed a family of four. Each recipe includes a calorie count as well as detailed instructions on how to prepare and cook the meal.

Healthy eating is something that I take seriously so I was keen to get involved. So many people say they can’t cook and opt for convenience food but I believe that cooking can be fun, satisfying and so much better for you when you prepare it yourself. I don’t believe in fad diets, I’m from the old school ‘eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly’ way of thinking so I think this is an excellent initiative and a good step forward in improving health and tackling obesity.

Look out for my posts over the next 7 days and if you’d like to sign up to Change 4 Life’s Healthy Eating Campaign and receive a free recipe booklet, you can do so here.

Change4life logo

A Shameless Plug!

A slight deviation from the food theme today but it’s still loosely related.

The wonderful Pettigrew Tearooms in Bute Park opened this year but has now officially arrived with a hanging sign made by none other than my husband Ben. Ben owns Ben Vivian Carpentry and Maintenance so this is really a shameless plug to show you what he can do.

Shameless plug continuing…Ben also makes furniture and tableware along with other general carpentry. You can have a look at his work here.

Cupcake Week 2012! Calling All Cardiff Cupcake Lovers!

It’s almost cupcake week 2012!

Last year, my week long feature on cupcake week 2011 was my most popular search ever so this year I will be doing it again. Expect reviews, recipes, tutorials, guest posts and cakey interviews.

Cupcake week starts on 17th September so get involved and get baking. I’d love to see the cakes you make and will post them all on the blog if you send me photos.

There are going to be some changes around here…

I would like to start by thanking everyone who reads my blog, everyone who has subscribed and all of my followers on Twitter and Facebook.  I am very grateful for the support and input with the blog.

As you will know, I also have a website- yourlastmouthful.com which the blog feeds into. The website and the blog are similar and currently both feature reviews of local food businesses in Cardiff as well as news from events that we have been to.

The website is doing very well but there is a lot of ‘doubling up’ so I have decided to make some changes…

The Website

Nothing will change with the website. If you are looking for reviews on food businesses in Cardiff and a list of the best, the website is where you need to be! The website is run by myself and my husband (Mr V) and we have a small team of reviewers. We have a ‘Green Spoon Directory’ where we list all of the businesses that have been reviewed and received a green spoon. We also have articles on the latest foodie events that we have attended, foodie news and anything local to Cardiff along with a monthly competition and exclusive deals.

You can subscribe to the website to get regular updates similar to those you receive from the blog via the home page or by emailing ‘subscribe’ to nikki@yourlastmouthful.com

The Blog

Historically this blog has been specific to Cardiff and largely made up of reviews. I have a passion for all things food related and I feel that just writing about Cardiff is restrictive so going forward the blog will cast the net a lot wider and will include reviews from anywhere I visit as well as recipes, informative pieces and general food related ramblings.

I hope that you will continue to subscribe to the blog and to the website as well.

Nikki. x

Earth Hour- A family affair

If you read my previous post you will be aware that Mr V and I planned to participate in Earth Hour this year and we invited my parents down for the evening to join us in a candlelit dinner to mark the occasion.

Earth Hour is an initiative run by the WWF to encourage people to turn off their lights for just one hour on 31st March between 8.30pm and 9.30pm in order to conserve energy and to make us think about the well-being of the planet. The plan is to bring people together during this one hour and encourage as many people as possible to turn off their lights.

We kicked off the evening with a slight panic at 8.10 when we realised we didn’t have any matches to light the candles! A quick trip to the shop by my dad soon sorted that out and while I rushed to make sure the food was ready in time, Mr V and my Mum prepared the table and the almighty array of candles in honour of the occasion.

We managed to have everything ready my 8.30pm and as the lights went out dinner was served. Eating by candle light was a very nice experience and we kept the lights out long after the hour was up.

I would like to participate in this next year and if you’d like to find out more, you can see the earth hour facebook page.

Here’s a run down of what we had:

Starter- Pea, Mint and Pancetta Soup

Main- Lamb, Date, Pistachio and Almond Tagine with buttery cous cous and salad

Dessert- Cardamom and White Chocolate Mousse

If you’d like any of the recipes we used, please get in touch.

I’m on Radio Cardiff!

I’m very excited because this Saturday I will we on Radio Cardiff talking to Jeremy Rees on the breakfast show! I hope you’ll tune in and listen to me.

Radio Cardiff- 98.7FM

The Soulful Saturday Breakfast- 8am.

Earth Hour – Join us for a candlelit dinner!

Mr V and I love getting involved in any food challenges and events that come our way so when Sara at Cake Communications asked us to participate in Earth Hour, we took her up on her offer.

I hadn’t heard of Earth Hour before. It is an initiative run by the WWF to encourage people to turn off their lights for just one hour on 31st March between 8.30pm and 9.30pm in order to conserve energy and to make us think about the planet that we all share. The plan is to bring people together during this one hour and encourage as many people as possible to turn off their lights.

This year, the WWF are suggesting that you use this time to get together with family and friends and celebrate the occasion with a candlelit dinner. I think this is a wonderful idea so on Saturday 31st, Mr V and I have invited my family up from Sussex to participate in a candlelit dinner that we will be preparing. We will do this live on the night and tweet photos and updates as we go. It would be amazing if you could do the same and we could all keep in touch with each other’s progress through Twitter on the night.

I should just add at this point, this is the WWF as in the World Wide Fund. It has nothing to do with wrestling, much to my brothers disappointment so he has declined the invitation!

To help people decide what to cook at their candlelit dinners, a host of celebrity chefs have got involved including Bryn Williams who has kindly produced some recipes for people to use. You can read Bryn’s recipes here.

If you’d like to host your own dinner party and join us and many others at in foodie celebration during Earth Hour, you can download a dinner party guide here.

I’ll look forward to seeing your photos and hearing about what you are going to cook!

Recipe for the highly acclaimed Wye Valley Pie!

Goat Major: Wye Valley Pie

The Goat Major’s Wye Valley Pie won top honour at the British Pie Week awards in 2010.  Described as “heaven in a pie” by judges, the pie is combines locally sourced buttered chicken, asparagus and new potatoes, topped with a layer of Tintern Abbey cheese and puff pastry.

The Goat Major has become famed for its pies and now offers a pie only menu. The daily changing menu includes mutton and rosemary pie, butternut squash, spinach and goat’s cheese pie, and rabbit pot pie. And on the bar there’s a great range of real ales to match your pie.

For more information visit www.sabrain.com/goatmajor. Or for pie updates follow the pub on twitter @TheGoatMajorPub

Wye Valley Pie recipe

Ingredients
½ x 500g pack chilled puff pastry
2tbsp olive oil
1 large leek – washed and sliced
400g chicken breast meat – cut into large cubes
250g new potatoes – washed and thickly sliced
500ml chicken stock
2tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 x 125g pack asparagus spears
1tbsp cornflour
3tbsp creme fraiche
Black pepper to season
50g Tintern Abbey cheese (or a mature cheddar), thinly sliced
semi-skimmed milk, to glaze

Method
Heat 1tbsp of the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed, large sauté pan. Tip in the sliced leek and gently fry until just soft. Using a slotted spoon, remove the leeks and set aside.

Pour the rest of the oil into the pan. Add the chicken and fry over a medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes to seal all sides. Drop in the potatoes and fry for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. With the heat still high, pour in 450ml of the stock with the thyme, stirring to scrape up any sticky bits on the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat slightly, then lightly boil, uncovered, for 10 – 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, lightly blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain, reserve 12 of the tips and chop the rest along with the stalks.

Slacken the cornflour with 1tbsp of water. Stir this into the pan and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes to thicken. Stir in the reserved leeks, the chopped asparagus, crème fraîche and some pepper to season. You may not need salt. If more sauciness is needed, stir in the rest of the stock. Leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 220℃, (200℃ for fan assisted), Gas Mark 7.

Divide the cooled chicken mixture between 4 small, individual pie dishes, or pour into 1 larger family pie dish. Lay the sliced cheese on top of the chicken filling. For the individual pies, divide the pastry into 4 and roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface so it’s large enough to make a lid for the dishes, with enough to cut off a thin strip of pastry to sit on the rim of each dish. (If making one large pie, roll out sufficient pastry to make one lid, plus the side strips.)

Press the strips of pastry on the rims, brush with water, then lay the lids over the top. Pinch the edges well to seal. Score lines across the top of each lid and make a small hole in the corner of each pie (or in each corner of the pie if making a large one). Brush the pastry with milk.

Place the dishes (or dish) on a baking tray and bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on the size, or until the pastry is risen and golden and the filling is bubbling. Just before the pies are done, re-heat the asparagus tips in boiling water. Place them in the pie holes to serve.

Pie Making Tips!

You’re reading my British Pie Week posts so I’m assuming you are a pie lover but do you love baking pies as well as eating them?

I love making pie but I’m not too keen on the pastry part. I find it a bit tedious and quite frankly, my pastry is rubbish! I’ve been in touch with a professional from Clark’s Pies who has provided us with some tips on making the perfect pie. Take note!

“Here at Clark’s Original Pies we are specialists in pie manufacture and if you follow our simple guidelines you too can produce top quality pies
The best pies start with top quality pastry; Clark’s Original Pies make all their pastry from fresh ingredients blended on site. Mixing the ingredients is important, as over mixing can be as much of a problem as undermixing giving resultant problems with texture.
Accompanying the pastry is the filling. Using only the best ingredients, be mindful not to underfill the pie. However overfilling can give other problems. When the pies are heated to the required centre temperature this can cause the filling to boil over and result in a “messy” pie with the filling bubbling out. consistent baking is essential. At Clark’s Original Pies all our pies are baked for the same amount of time which helps us to achieve consistent results. All in all practice makes perfect, and with nearly 100 year of just that under our belts we can definitely say that is the way to achieve successful baking and quality pies”
Freddie Rosoman- Bakery Manager for Clarks Pies.

Freddie Rosoman- Bakery Manager for Clark's Pies

Do you have any tips for making the perfect pie? Please feel free to leave them below.
We have an exclusive competition with Clark’s Pies running today. Please see www.yourlastmouthful.com for more details.
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