As there are an abundance of affordable, seasonal Pumpkins everywhere ( the shops are full of them) it is a great time to take advantage and really utilise their flexibility as an ingredient….here are a couple of recipes that I have been working on this week….so don’t simply throw away your pumpkins after Halloween, save the seeds and chop up that flesh to create these simple yet delicious dishes. Read More
As this is my first post for the Accent Catering Blog I feel that I should probably use it to introduce myself, so here goes… My name is Kathryn and I am a food addict!
I also love blogging and have had my own blog, www.homemadewithmess.wordpress.com, for over three years now. Therefore I’m pretty excited about bringing what I love doing at home into my working life and getting involved with the Accent blog posts.
I also have to put it out there, that although I love cooking I am by no means a professional chef; I just love throwing ingredients into a pot, crossing my fingers and hoping for something wonderful at the end (9 times out of 10 I get lucky).
So what can you expect from me? Well as the blub suggests, ‘I will be keeping you up to date with various sights and flavours from my kitchen and other culinary inspirations and adventures to boot.’
I am therefore going to kick-start my Accent blogging life with one of my all time favourite cake recipes, (which also happens to be perfect timing for Halloween), my ‘spiced squash cake with orange cream cheese frosting.’ Now it may seem a little strange to add squash to a cake, but trust me, this is awesome. I have since made this for a wedding, as cupcakes and on a regular basis just because I LOVE it! The recipe calls for butternut squash, but it would work just as well with your leftover Halloween pumpkins.
For the Sponge
– 300g self-raising flour
– 300g light soft brown sugar
– 3 tsp mixed spice
– 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
– 175g sultanas
– ½ tsp salt
– 4 eggs – beaten
– 200g butter – melted
– Zest and juice of 1 orange
– 500g (peeled weight) butternut squash flesh – grated
For the Frosting
– 200g pack soft cheese
– 85g butter – softened
– 150g icing sugar – sifted
– Zest 1 orange and juice of half
For the Baking
- Heat oven to 160’C.
- Grease and line a 2 x round 8inch cake tins.
- Put the flour, sugar, spice, bicarbonate of soda, sultanas and salt into a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Beat the eggs and the melted butter together (once the butter has cooled) and stir in the orange zest and juice.
- Fold together the wet and the dry ingredients with the grated squash until combined.
- Divide the batter mixture evenly between the 2 tins and cook for 30-35 minutes, or until golden on top and springy to the touch.
- To make the frosting, beat together all the ingredients until smooth and creamy and chill until you’re ready to assemble your cake.
- When the cake is done, cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then turn it onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Give the frosting a quick beat to loosen and then using a palette knife, spread a third of the icing in the middle to sandwich the cakes together and spread the remaining icing over the top of the cake.
- Feel free to sprinkle some chopped walnuts or orange peel on the top to add a little decoration.
With autumn almost upon us (although with the week we have just had, it may already be here) the craving for comfort foods are just around the corner.
Looking around I have found a tasty and gluten free alternative to Porridge, which is now readily available from our suppliers and in the high street.
Teff is more commonly found in Inerja, the national dish of Ethiopia but can be used as an alternative to quinoa. Teff seeds are the size of poppy seeds and are high in calcium, iron, protein and amino acids. It is naturally gluten free and is a bit of a ‘super’ grain in that it can substitute wheat flour in waffles, pizza bases and bread….in this recipe it substitutes good old oats…!! Enjoy
Ethiopian Teff Porridge with Sultanas and Honey
190gm of Teff Grain
300ml Water or Milk (or a mixture)
0.25 tsp. Cinnamon Powder
2-4 tbsn Honey
Add the Teff grain to a saucepan along with the water/milk, cinnamon and sultanas.
Bring to the boil and then allow to simmer for 15-20minutes, stirring frequently.
Once the porridge has become softened and thick add the Butter.
For a thinner porridge, add more milk as required.
Remove from heat and taste. Add honey to sweeten.
This last week or so has again seen the start of this years “Great British Bake Off”….
As ever it appears that whatever happens on the Bake off reflects almost instantaneously on the high street….the show has often been linked with sales of strawberries….goji berries and even Food Mixers….!!!!!
But this week it is all about Bread….and the impact that showing fresh bread again has on the retailers…..this has been brewing for a couple of years now but reports have now started to indicate a huge decline in sales…
Bread sales in the UK fell by 5% in 2014 and are projected to drop by a further 4% this year…
Sales of packaged bread, the kind bought in plastic bags in supermarkets and better known as “sliced bread”, slid by 8% last year, its largest drop in a decade.
The UK’s three biggest sliced bread brands – Warburton’s, Hovis and Kingsmill, which account for 60% of packaged bread in the UK – lost a collective £121m in bread sales in the past year.
Another problem is that traditional sliced white bread has been slower to keep up with changing consumer demands than its artisanal and organic peers. Gluten-free bread, for example, is set to grow by 25% this year to reach £102m. A trend that we at Accent are seeing more and more evidence of with so many customers claiming to be Gluten intolerant.
The baking craze that is sweeping the nation, fueled by Mary Berry and co, has also driven consumers out of the supermarket aisles and into the kitchen.
Sales of baking trays at Waitrose soared by 881% in the last week of July, just before this year’s series of The Great British Bake Off kicked off, while sales of bakeware increased by 55%
Good Morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Flyer…………
Wimbledon is in full flow and the strawberries I have been seeing in the business this week (Mark Rigby and I discovered some at Ewell Castle) certainly don’t look too English any more….an odd anomaly in these times slap bang in the middle of the English Strawberry season and we are importing them from Spain and the like because “Wimbledon” are taking all the best ones…..hurry up Wimbledon we want our strawberries back…!!!!
Talking of Ewell Castle…..Well done to Mark and the team ( including Susan from Cleves, Nick and Mike from Relief ) who have had a full week of hospitality events, speech days, prize giving’s and the like and they are only a few weeks in to our new contract there…we have had some fabulous feedback so well done to them…
Huge events have also been taking part all over the business, with Arnold House’s Michelle and her team, Linda and the crew at Cavendish, Pino and Andrew working on Litsa’s leaving do along with Soula and the whole team at St Helens all providing outstanding food for their particular functions…..to name but a few….
Well done to all of you that have gone over and above the usual days’ work….we appreciate all of your efforts each and every week but we also know how busy it gets this time of year….
Another busy week in sales this week with two presentations in Kent taking our focus…Fingers crossed for those and with just a couple more to do we will know what we have to open in September by next week….busy times for us all..
But I am sure most of you are just looking forward to the upcoming Summer Holidays…I for one appreciate the reduction in traffic over the 6 weeks 😉
Here is a roundup of some more of the images that were sent in to me over the last 7 days…
Sue Bellamy from Becket Keys made this salad using the July Monthly Marketing recipes…..Green Beans with Feta Salad…
Well done Sue and thanks to Dave for sending it in…Talking of Becket Keys here are couple more from their Wimbledon Strawberry Themed promotion….look fabulous..
Liz and the team at St Helens in Hillingdon were also set a challenge this week to supply a Pimms Party with a selection of canapés and finger foods…out of possibly the tiniest commercial kitchen that we operate ( maybe with the exception of Costain Maidenhead actually who technically don’t have a kitchen ) but none the less did a fantastic job and supplied some excellent looking food and some equally excellent looking Pimms…..Dominic, our client at St Helens was delighted with the teams efforts and I am sure there wasn’t much left by the time they all finished…
My FAVOURITE photo of the week however has to go to the team at Seven Kings….
Pino and the “girls” always go the extra mile when they run a promotion and it was great to see them getting their own back on him this week with this picture…
While celebrating Independence Day last Friday Pino slipped off to get in the party mood with his very own Pink Stetson…
Very fetching indeed Pino…
Your American Style Pizza looks good too… Read More
Friday 3rd July 2015
Good Morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Flyer…………
Heat was the order of the week this week…..temperatures soaring well into the 30s and upwards…on my visit to the Staines office on the hottest day of the year, my car was reading a rather warm 39 degrees when I returned to it….So I am sure you are all glad to see the weekend almost upon us and some time to get out and enjoy the hot weather while it lasts….
This week and last has seen many of you working hard on end of year functions and major events…with BBQ and afternoon teas appearing to be very high up on the list of favourites…Keep working hard and delivering at these special events…they are a key part of our business and real opportunity to deliver some outstanding service and food outside of our day to day offering..
All of the menus have been with you now a few weeks and the Allergens should have reached you all by now having been sent out last week, if you still haven’t received yours or are missing anything, please give your Ops manager a call and get what you need, we need to have everything in place and agreed before the Summer break….including any recipes with allergens that aren’t on the Central menus…
We have now also started our Pilot launch of the online Allergen database with 10 sites now set up with full access to the entire recipe database.. I will catch up with those sites before we break up for summer and get some feedback on the system and we shall look at the feasibility of rolling out to more sites over the summer…
Wimbledon has started and it’s hotting up with Nadal going out last night already….but incredibly for those who have missed the footie…well the English Lionesses certainly did us proud this week reaching the Semi Final of the Women’s World Cup and were typically unlucky to go out to an own goal….not much changes for us loyal England supporters….but can you believe West Ham kicked off the proceedings in Europe last night with 3-0 win in the pre qualifiers….and its only just July…!! Read More
Friday 5th June 2015
Good Morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Flyer…………
Welcome back to all of you that are now back after the Bank Holiday extended break…and how busy you have been…
We opened a new contract on Monday at Ewell Castle Independent School in Epsom…David Brooks has been ahead of the game as he has been resident there for the last month. Helping the school with some cover in the lead up to us taking charge…
Our new Chef Manager at Ewell Castle also started with us on Monday, so a big welcome to Mark Rigby, who is the man tasked with building the new offer and developing a really exciting site with lots of new offers and extended services…all set out in some fifteen acres having once been part of the grounds of Nonsuch Palace built by Henry VIII….A stunning location to go to work each day…
This week also saw the first day of our new Operations Manager, Sam Hemlin…Sam has joined us from Ampersand Catering with a background in Commercial Catering. Sam has spent her first week, handing over to her new business, visiting sites and even her first Sales presentation…a typical week in the life of an Accent Catering Operator. A big welcome to Sam and look out for her over the coming weeks…with a few more sites to take over she may be visiting you sooner than you think.
This week also saw a huge amount of effort and commitment from the team at Weald of Kent in Tonbridge…Keith and the team have been working hard with the help of Sam Perera from the Relief team to relaunch and refine the services in the dining room….they have launched new Morning Break offers and a brand new Salad Bar look and feel….the dining room and marketing has also had a big make over and the feedback from staff and pupils has been incredibly positive and supportive…well done to Keith and the Team….I like the new uniforms too..!!!
Mother’s day, or Mothering Sunday as it is sometimes known in the UK, is celebrated all over the world, but at different times of the year. In America, the annual celebration of “moms” takes place on the second Sunday of May, but in Britain it is held on the fourth Sunday of Lent – 15 March this year. Read More
So following a wet and windy week in the Lake District I have had time to reflect on the experience and share some highlights with you here….if ever you find yourself up that way looking for some great food…keep a keen eye out for some of the best Lamb in the UK, for those of you that know the area you can’t help but see the Herdy breed everywhere – Herdwick Lamb is amongst the very best of British produce…Not only is this upland breed distinctive in looks – white heads, grey fleeces, stocky bodies, sturdy legs – but Herdwick lamb has a unique flavour: succulent, gamey and intense. Read More