Venison Steak With Blackberry Sauce And Horseradish Potato Rosti..

Serves 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

  • 4 venison steaks (use beef if you can’t source venison)
  • 1tsp black peppercorns
  •  1tsp dried mugwort (optional)
  • 225g blackberries
  • 425 ml chicken stock
  • 75 ml Gallo Family Vineyards Autumn Red
  • 4 tbsp sloe gin
  • 1 tsp blackberry jam
  •  Lemon juice, to taste
  • 4 medium sized potatoes (maris piper are good for this)
  • Horseradish root (to taste)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper


Horseradish root & potato rosti:

1. Cut the potatoes in half and boil for 5 minutes.

2. Remove from the pan and leave to drain and cool, before grating

3. Grate some horseradish root into the mixture to taste and season with salt and pepper.

5. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan, form the grated mix into patties and fry until golden.

To cook the venison:

1. Season the meat with salt. Crush black peppercorns and dried mugwort together and roll the venison in it to create a light coating.

2. Heat a large frying pan until just smoking and add the steaks.

3. Turn each piece as it colours, until the meat is well-coloured

4. Rest the meat for at least as long as it cooked for in a warm place and then slice across the grain.

Blackberry sauce

1. Press and sieve the blackberries

2. Add the Gallo Family Vineyards Autumn Red to the pan used to cook the venison, stir and reduce for a few minutes
       3. Add the sloe gin, blackberries, blackberry jam and boil until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, add seasoning and sharpen with a squeeze of lemon juice

About this post -

This is a guest post.

No payment was received. I was gifted a wine sample to try out.

Recipe and photo credit by Gallo Family Vineyards

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Gallo Family Vineyards Summer Rosé Canapé Cakes...

Gallo Family Vineyards Summer Rosé Canapé Cakes
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes
  • Serves: 12

Cake Canapés: You’ll need…
  • 115g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 280g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp red liquid food colouring
  • 325g plain flour, sifted
  • 30g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 7 raspberries
  • 150g double cream, whipped
  • pink rose petals (to decorate)
  • Strawberries (to decorate)
  • Toasted pecans, cooled & brushed with edible gold lustre dust (to decorate)
  • 10 inch round cake tin, greased and lined

Cake Canapés: How to…
  • Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan assisted/gas mark 6.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, starting on medium and increasing to high speed – the mixture should be pale and increased in volume, about 4 minutes. 
  • Add the eggs gradually, then the food colouring, and beat until just incorporated.
  • Sift together the flour and cocoa and add half to the batter, beating to incorporate evenly and ensuring you scrape down the sides. 
  • Then beat in the buttermilk & raspberries and finally the second half of the dry ingredients.
  • In a small bowl, using a clean spatula or teaspoon, mix together the bicarbonate of soda and cider vinegar (it will fizz up) and fold it immediately into the batter – do not use the mixer, just fold evenly with a spatula by hand.
  • Tip the mixture into your tin and level out to the edges. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. 
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

Coulis: You’ll need…
  • 80g rhubarb, chopped into small pieces
  • 125ml Gallo Summer Rose
  • 30g light brown sugar

Coulis: How to…
  • Add all ingredients to a pan over medium/high heat and heat until rhubarb has softened.
  • Once soft use a hand blender to pulse until you have a thick, smooth coulis.

Whipped Cream: You’ll need…
  • A chilled bowl (large enough to hold at least double the volume of cream you are whipping)
  • An electric hand whisk
  • Very cold double cream
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar and 1/4 tbsp vanilla extract per 200ml of cream (optional)

Whipped Cream: How to
  • Pour the cream into the bowl and whip thoroughly and evenly, beginning on a medium speed.
  • Ensure that you run the beaters around the edge of the bowl to keep it all evenly mixed. 
  • When the cream starts to thicken and you see the first sign of soft peaks, add the sugar and the vanilla, if using.
  • Now reduce the speed to medium-low and watch carefully, it’s almost done.
  • Continue just until you have very soft peaks. Using an electric hand mixer this should take under 2 minutes.

To assemble...
  • Once cooled, use a small round cookie cutter to cut out your canapés. 
  • Transfer onto a plate or little cake cases.
  • Pipe or spoon some double cream onto each case, followed by some of the coulis, a rose petal and strawberry half.
About this post -

This is a guest post from Gallo Family Vineyards

No payment was received.

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Birthday Treats : Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop...

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Vistamar Late Harvest Moscatel Wine review ...

This week I was sent a bottle of  Vistamar Late Harvest Moscatel wine to review. Me and my husband love to have a glass of wine or 2 especially over the weekends with a little food at supper time. We always go for dry wines that are suitable to go with savoury foods so I was very interested in trying a dessert wine out. I have such a sweet tooth and this sounded a great idea to me ...

About the wine

Colour -White wine

Grape- Pink Moscatel

Origin- This dessert wine comes from Limarí valley in northern Chile, where the long ripening season produces wines with great fruit concentration.After harvesting, the grapes are partially sun-dried, reducing their water content and thus concentrating the sugars.

Taste- Straw yellow in colour, with golden highlights.

Aromas -White flowers, peach, apricots and quince carry through to a palate of more ripe stone fruits and dried fig flavours.

Enjoy- Match with sticky toffee pudding, sweet fruit cheesecake, or rich blue cheeses.

Style- Dessert wine

Closer- Natural cork

ABV- 12%

Price- £6.49

Size- Half bottle 375ml

This first thing I noticed when I opened the bottle and took a deep whiff of the wine was how strong, sweet,fruity and lovely it smelt. I poured the wine into my glass and swished it around to watch the drop-lets to see how much alcohol the wine had in it and to see how slowly they fell. (some tips I picked up earlier this year )

The wine reminded me of a pale sherry with the strong flavor and you can really taste and smell the fruit-
Mango came to mind. With just a small glass it warms you up nicely inside and out ,leaving me with nice rosy cheeks. It is perfectly matched with desserts and I tried a small glass with a mince pie. I actually preferred my wine with some chopped mango when I had another glass later,better than with the cake earlier as for me it really brought out the flavours.

My husband still prefers dry wine as this was a little to sweet for him, as for me I really liked the wine and would definitely like to try some more.

The half-bottle 2011/2012 Limarí Valley 375ml Bottle is priced at special off from £6.49 to £6.24 or buy 2 for only £4.99 each at Majestic

About this post-

 I was kindly sent a bottle of Vistamar Late Harvest Moscatel wine to review,I was not paid for this post and all thoughts are my own honest opinion

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Lovers Night In Wine Inspired Recipes‏...

Recipe and photo credit by - Sophie Michell and Blue Nun

Barbecued sticky Kung pao chicken with cashew, carrot, radish, cucumber and spring onion salad (Blue Nun Rivaner Riesling in the marinade)

Serves 4

Prep time 20 minutes, plus 1 hour marinating time

Cooking time 15 minutes

8 boneless/skinless chicken thighs, trimmed


  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Sherry or for a lower sugar marinade use Blue Nun River Riesling
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp chili flakes


  • ½ head of Chinese white cabbage
  • 3 spring onions
  • ½ cucumber
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 red chili (depending on level of heat required)
  • 50g roasted peanuts, roughly chopped


  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Chinese rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


  • Firstly mix all the marinade together in a deep tray or dish and then add the chicken turn cover to coat in the marinade and then leave, covered in the fridge for as long as possible (up to 24hrs) and for a minimum of an hour.
  • Then make the salad. 
  • Peel and cut the carrots into very thin strips, and add to a large mixing bowl. 
  • Then cut the spring onions thinly on a sharp diagonal and also add to the bowl. 
  • Cut the Chinese cabbage down the middle, de core, slice to add to the mix and finally de-seed the cucumber, slice thinly and add too. 
  • Mix well. 
  • For the dressing, simply mix all the ingredients together and set aside.
  • When you are ready to eat, heat up a grill to very hot (or if you are barbecuing make sure it is hot and ready). 
  • Take the chicken out of the marinade and then place on a grill tray and cook for 8 minutes each side until cooked throughout and caramelised. 
  • Then add the dressing to the salad, mix well and serve a big pile of salad with the chicken on top.
  • Serve with a glass of Rivaner Riesling or the new lower alcohol Blue Nun Delicate drinks (5.5%)

Sophie adds:“The Rivaner Riesling is really is a super match for most types of Asian and oriental style dishes, which I find can be really hard to match a wine with and a glug of this fresh, fruity wine is great in the marinade too".

“There is a big trend for lower alcohol drinks at the moment, but some that I’ve tried are rather watery. However, the Blue Nun Delicate drinks (5.5% alc) however are packed with flavour & taste. They’re ideal for the lazy summer days, picnics and bbq’s, or to serve as an aperitif when you want something refreshing & light to serve to guests.

They’re made with full bodied, aromatic wine & delicious fruit flavours such as white peach, mango, raspberry and lychee, which taste delicious".

Blue cheese Endive and radicchio salad with caramelised walnuts and sourdough croutes (Vegetarian)

Serves 4:

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes


  • 4 slices of sourdough bread
  • 2 heads of endive
  • 1 head of red Radicchio
  • 150g blue cheese
  • 50g walnuts
  • 1tsp sugar


  • 1 tsp walnut oil
  • 2tsp mild olive oil
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper


  • Firstly cut the sourdough slices, into rough largish cubes, drizzle with olive oil and then grill until crisp and golden. 
  • Then add the walnuts and sugar to a small frying pan, and fry until golden brown and caramelised. 
  • Cool both the croutes and the walnuts.
  • Then mix all the dressing ingredients together and crumble/cube the blue cheese. 
  • When you are ready to eat mix the leaves, with the croutes, dressing, cheese and walnuts then serve.

Gold leaf sparkling jellies with iced frozen red grapes and creme Chantilly ( using Blue Nun Sparkling Gold)

 Makes 6

Prep time 20 minutes, plus 3 hours for setting (or overnight)


  • 600ml Blue Nun Sparkling Gold white wine
  • 50 ml Elderflower cordial
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 6 sheets gelatine
  • 200g green seedless grapes
  • 200ml double cream
  • 2 tsp icing sugar


  • Firstly take the grapes and cut into little branches with 3 grapes per set, then place on a tray and pop in the freezer.
  • Soak the gelatine sheets in a small bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes until softened. 
  • Meanwhile, put 100ml of the Blue Nun Sparkling Gold and the sugar into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. 
  • Squeeze the gelatine sheets to remove any excess water and stir into the wine mixture until dissolved.
  • Then mix the heated wine mix in with the rest of the wine (500ml), add the elderflower cordial and pour into a large bowl and place into the fridge. 
  • Leave for at least an hour then check and stir. 
  • Basically you keep doing this until the mix has thickened enough for the gold flakes to not sink to the bottom.
  • When ready pour into four individual metal pudding moulds, about 200ml/7fl oz/generous 3⁄4 cup capacity, if you want to turn the panna cottas out onto dessert plates, or into four pretty serving bowls.
  •  Put in the fridge to set for at least 2 more hours, or overnight. 
  • Then pour the cream and icing sugar into a bowl and whip until soft peaks.
  • If the panna cottas are in metal moulds, pour boiling water into a bowl and quickly dip the moulds into the water before turning them upside down on to dessert plates. 
  • Then add a dollop of cream and some of the frozen grapes.
  • Serve with a glass of sparkling gold!

Sophie says:"The Gold Flecks were such a talking point for my girlfriends and I. I just adore the way the bubbles rise the gold flakes to the surface, very Glam!"

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French Wines with Style...

A few weeks ago I was asked if I would like to take part in a blogging wine challenge of  which 20 bloggers will be chosen to take part to pick the perfect summer recipes and pair them with Summer French wines.

From this challenge One of the bloggers will be chosen as the overall winner who will get the opportunity to learn more about the styles of French wines by attending a full-day tasting.A great treat for anyone who loves wine.

Most weekends we like a few glasses of wine. Sometimes being led by price rather than what we are eating.The problem with this is you enjoy the food you have and wine, but as two different experiences rather than as one whole. The chance to better understand wine and match up a wine to a food was therefore a rare treat.

We got sent a gift hamper including two International Wine Challenge award-winning French wines, as well as a couple of ingredients perfect for summer barbecues...

The first bottle we got to try was - Cave de Turckheim,Riesling Vieilles Vignes 2008.

This is a dry white wine made with riesling grapes and is enjoyed with fish,shellfish and hotpots.

  Origin Alsace,France

Abv 12.5%

Price £10-00 per bottle

Retailers All about wine,Slurp

We decided to enjoy this with a Sunday late afternoon tea of tuna and cheese melts,cheese,pork pies and french mustard.We love to have wine with nibbles as a family of 6 with 4 children we like to get them all sorted and the little 2 ready for bed before we begin which is not always early.The wine went great together with the food.

For me the perfect food for this wine would be Paella this wine would really bring out the flavours of the seafood in this dish but this is not a dinner I have mastered the art making myself ...yet!! ...

Next up was the Cellier des Dauphins,Cotes du Rhone villages 2011

This is a medium red bodied wine that uses GrenachemSyrah grapes which is perfect partner for a hearty beef stew.

Origin Rhone,France

Abv 13.5 %

Priced £7-49 per bottle

Retailers Waitrose,Ocado.

For me red wine is perfect with any kind of pasta,spaghetti or pizza meals.We served ours with Italian styles meatball and sauce spaghetti and topped with mature cheese.What I will take from this, is not to rush into buying any wine, rather actually planning a meal around a wine so that you really make the wine and meal special.

Many years ago whilst on holiday in Corfu I first enjoyed wine having a bottle with my moussaka almost every night. I have tried to make this dish many times at home and have always failed miserably. Perhaps the moussaka has been good all along? and all I am missing is the wine that best bought out the flavour of this dish. If I leave out the holiday brochures the husband might take the hint. If not I may actually now read the labels of the wine and not the price tag......

We have really enjoyed being asked to be a part of this and what a amazing prize for the winner...

About this post...

I was sent this hamper free of charge to take part in this competition 20 blogs were asked to join and one of the blogs will be chosen as the overall winner who will get the opportunity to learn more about the styles of French wines by attending a full-day tasting Master Class led by award-winning international sommelier Gérard Basset OBE at the Wine&Spirit Education Trust in London (16 August, 13 September, 4 October or 6 November).

The prize includes travel, overnight accommodation and dinner for two at the new 28°-50° Wine Workshop and Kitchen in Marylebone* (Ts and Cs apply as usual).

update- We did not win :(

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CHABLIS Wine Pairing And Tasting Tips ...

The lovely people at Chablis have sent me 2 bottles of wine to try and see what food (me) a non wine expert would pair it with ....

Every weekend me and my husband love to pick out food and wine for a lovely evening in and I always have the last word on whether I think the wine he has picked will go with the food I have chosen.Having four children our Saturday night food usually consists of pasta,pizzas,salad and lots of yummy finger foods including seafood,with which this fine wine would be great.

Along with the wine I got an interesting booklet about the Chablis vineyards which
I found informative and helped give me a better understanding of what to look for in a wine.
35 million bottles of Chablis are produced every year and 3 out of 10 are sold in the UK.

These are the top tips I have learnt which I will now look for in all wines.So husband beware I will know if its cheap plonk or not!!

Step One-Appearance

  • Holding the glass by the stem or base will avoid warming your wine or transferring aromas from hand to bowl.
  • Take a moment to study the wine in the glass Clear or bright?
  • White wine ages darker to tawny brown after many years.
  • Swirl the glass and watch the droplets-"legs"- indicating alcohol content,the greater the number of legs ,the higher the alcohol content,the speed of which it fall also tells you if the wine is sweet (slow) or dry (fast)

Step Two-Nose

  • Aromas of wine may remind us of fruits ( grapefruits,apple, peach/black cherry,plum,raspberry) flowers (chamomile,jasmine,rose) spice (vanilla,cinnamon,black pepper),or vegetate aromas (asparagus,mushrooms,freshly-cut grass.)
  • Take a moment to swirl again and gently sniff the wine,how can you tell if its faulty? Cork taint is caused by a chemical resulting from a fungus in the natural bark,and may remind you of damp walls,mildew and mould

Step Three-Palate

  • Think about the aromas you found,take an initial sip.As far as tasting goes,the tongue detects acidity,bitterness,saltiness,savouriness and sweetness-only 5 thing!
  • Try a process now to link the taste with sense of smell-take another sip of wine,and draw air through your mouth as if you are taking in a mouthful of spaghetti
  • See how the tasting experience intensifies!

How long can you taste the wine for? This length if the wine-counted in seconds,either short (2-3),medium(5-6) or long (10 seconds +),and gives a reasonable level of cost,the longer the taste lasts the more expensive the wine.

This week I've been trying to be good and making lots of healthier meals so this is what I picked to go with the wine..

1.) Home made vegetables stir fry with Mushrooms,peppers,red onions,courgettes beansprouts,noodles and a chow main sauce...Now unusually I thought the wine went well with this the food complemented the wine giving a longer lasting intensity of flavours.

2.) And on Sunday Roast Pork and stuffing Sunday dinner...Learning as I have done I would not serve this wine with a roast dinner in the future as the food did stifle the flavour of the wine.Poor choice by me in hindsight.I'm Learning...

And save a little for supper to go with my cheese and crackers... I had a small piece of brie which seemed to really accentuate the flavours of the wine reminding me of warm summers in the park.

The two wines I recieved were:

1. Domaine Bois d'Yver Chablis 2008, available at Marks and Spencers (£13-99)

2. Chablis J.Moreau & Fils 2009,available at Marks and Spencers (£12-99)

About this review: I received 2 bottles of Chablis wine to see which food I would pair it with. Also this post will be entered into a competition to win a wine tasting weekend.I was not paid for this post and all thoughts on this post are my own honest opinions...
What I will take from this more than anything, is rather than just grabbing any wine which happens to be on the end of the aisle I will actually put some thought into it, and plan a meal around the wine choice knowing it will greatly improve the dining experience.As opposed to my normal method of what percentage alcohol is it and is it on special offer.

 Having wine just for the alcohol value nothing else.I am really pleased with how my eyes have been opened and that I have at my age learnt something..
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Today Is......My Birthday....

                                 Can you believe they closed school today for voting...
                                              so had to stay in today with kids off :(

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