Tag Archives: Bread

A Picnic in Delamere with Roberts Bakery

Ever since spring turned into what passes for summer round here, the small boy has been putting in constant requests to go for a “nicnic”. To those unversed in small boy speak, he wants to go on a picnic. Well if it makes him happy, and if it allows us to eat nice things in the sunshine (?), then who are we to refuse?

We were therefore really excited when Roberts Bakery invited us to a nicnic/picnic in Delamere Forest. There’d be storytelling and fun for the kids, whilst the mums were put to work making some fun, healthy sandwiches.

Roberts Bakery have been baking beautiful loaves and treats since 1887 in Northwich, Cheshire. I’ve long enjoyed their bread, but putting taste aside, I love that they’re relatively local, and I’m all about local products from local businesses.

This month they’ve been busy launching “50 Days of Summer” which is a family guide for the holidays, packed with ideas and inspiration to keep the little ones entertained over the long, long summer holidays. A brilliant idea, and one I’ll be delving into regularly for small boy entertainment.

We arrived by train at Delamere and had a little explore before we tracked down the Roberts Bakery team. Wellies on (for this is England) the small boy had a good run around with some of his new friends, then toddled off to be entertained by Storyteller Ian Douglas.

We then set to work making some healthy sandwiches for us all to enjoy. Roberts Bakery have recently launched a 50% white 50% wholemeal bread which as well as being a lovely loaf, contains protein, complex carbohydrates, calcium, iron and B vitamins, as well as thiamin, niacin and riboflavin, as well as being a major source of fibre.

We made lots of different kinds of sandwich, but the big hit with the small boy was the SLT – sausage, lettuce and tomato. I’ll share the recipe below, but it’s a low fat, healthy sandwich, easy to make and great for those who enjoy a really filling, hearty butty.

The SLT

Ingredients:
4 Roberts 50% white 50% wholemeal rolls
8 low fat sausages (we used Quorn sausages, because I’m veggie)
3 tbsp fat-free Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise
4 tomatoes, sliced
2 little gem lettuces
Freshly ground black pepper

Method:
Grill the sausages and leave to cool, then slice them lengthways. Combine the fat-free Greek yoghurt and mayonnaise, grind in some black pepper. Split the rolls and spread with the yoghurty mayonnaise. Lay your sausages on the bread roll (I found three halves per sandwich was sufficient). Top with your tomato slices and then your little gem lettuce leaves, then pop the top of the bread roll on and enjoy.

Roberts Bakery

I really enjoyed the lightness of the yoghurt and mayonnaise mixture and I think you could easily use rocket instead of little gem, though I enjoyed the textural crunch of the lettuce.

We ate the fruits of our labour, whilst Ian the storyteller regaled us with the tale of the giant Finn McCool. It was a really lovely day, a nicnic we will both remember very fondly.

The Roberts Bakery 50 Days of Summer download pack is available from 20th June and daily ideas will be shared on their Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the holidays. Fingers crossed the sun shines!

Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Roberts Bakery, we have not been financially compensated for enjoying our nicnic.

Knock-Out Gnocchi

photo (5)I’m at times a lazy cook but I draw the line at stabbing at the plastic film of a ready meal. After a busy day, my boys just want a decent meal in their belly and I want to cook it quick so I can open the wine.

So tonight I cooked a very adaptable, use what’s hanging around in the fridge, gnocchi dish. I urge you to try it as it’s simple, satisfying and delicious but don’t feel tied to the ingredients, mix it up and feel free to stick whatever you fancy in.

My Knock-Out Gnocchi…

Slice a large onion, red or white your choice and gently sizzle in a drizzle of olive oil. Chop a large red pepper, add to the onions and gently fry until they’re both soft but not coloured. Crush a clove of garlic and add to the pan with some salt and pepper. Throw in a handful of halved cherry tomatoes and some fresh thyme. I added some dried oregano too (because I love it, but add whatever herbs you want, dried or fresh, whatever you like). Cook with the lid on until the tomatoes have relaxed then remove from the pan and set aside.

Fling a very generous glug of olive oil into the pan, get the oil hot and throw in a bag of fresh gnocchi (if you’re using the off the shelf stuff rather than from the fridge section, then I’d give that a quick boil in some water). The aim is to get the gnocchi to develop a bit of a roast potato style crust so keep the pan hot, hot, hot and stir often. Season with salt and pepper and be patient, it will take a little while (but not forever I promise, remember I’m lazy and greedy).

Once your gnocchi has developed a sexy crust, tip your onion and pepper mix back into the pan and mix together. Add about half a jar of pesto and stir. Warm everything through for a minute and plate up. Serve with crusty bread and some salad. A large glass of red wouldn’t go amiss either.

This time I cooked it we had some leftover peas in the fridge, so they went in and we had some rocket growing it’s socks off in the garden, so some of that was stirred through until wilted with a few leftover leaves popped on top for garnish. Don’t be afraid to freestyle with this recipe. It’s very forgiving but the crusty gnocchi are a must!

Clean plates all round and compliments to the chef. Aces.