National Smorging Week

National Smorging Week #getsmorging #nationalsmorgingweekIt’s National Smorging Week.

If you are wondering what smorging is, well, let me tell you…

Smorging is based on the Scandinavian Smørgåsbord, a buffet-style meal containing both hot and cold dishes of various foods on a table.

Castello adapted it and has turned it into the art of smorging, so you can enjoy your cheese in style.

There is even an official ‘guide to smorging’ :-)

Castello’s How to Smorg Guide?

  • Grab a selection of bases such as crusty bread, slices of rye bread, crisp breads, crackers, or toast.
  • Plan the rest of your ingredients, or root around and see what you can find to make up your board!
  • Try to find a range of tastes to include: salty, sweet, sour, and umami (a savoury taste). And try to include a range of textures too so that there is a balance between crunchy and soft. It is the combinations of tastes and textures that make each and every Smorging session unique!
  • Choose your favourite Castello cheeses and get them out of the fridge, along with some butter, to warm up for 30 minutes.
  • Present your selection on some kind of platter – a wooden or slate board is perfect, or even just a large plate.
  • Most importantly, remember, you can’t go wrong! Have fun with it and make the best of what you’ve got. Don’t be afraid about trying out new combinations and see what happens!

To give you an idea how wonderful, colourful and exiting smorging can be just have a look at his wonderful recipes below.

National Smorging Week #getsmorging #nationalsmorgingweekNational Smorging Week!#getsmorging #nationalsmorgingweekCastello Pineapple Halo with Strawberry Salsa | Castello Extra Creamy Danish Blue With Cold Leftover Lamb Basil | Castello Creamy White with Red Pepper Cream | Picnic Castello Tickler Bread | Summer Salad With Raspberries And Castello Creamy White Toast | Castello Tickler With Salami And Pea Puree

These are just to tease you 😉

For full recipes and more inspiration on how to smorg please visit cheese inspiration page on the Castello website.

Are you tempted to have a Smorging session this Bank Holiday?

Blueberry Dumplings A.K.A Pierogi z Jagodami

Blueberry dumplings A.K.A. Pierogi z JagodamiPierogi are a traditional Polish meal. Usually they would be filled with potatoes and cheese, sauerkraut or minced meat but come summer time when fresh fruits are in abundance we like to make a sweet version and stuff them with which ever fruits we have… blueberries being my favourite choice.

The recipe below will make around 50 dumplings, it might sound like a lot but believe me once you actually start eating… it really isn’t all that many.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 1/2kg flour
  • ~250ml warm water
  • 1tbsp melted butter
  • Pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • ~300g blueberries

For serving:

  • 250g double cream
  • Sugar; to taste

Method:

Wash and dry the blueberries; they need to be totally dry.

On a large flat surface place your flour; make a well in the middle and add the water, butter and salt. Use your hands to combine the ingredients and when it has formed knead the dough.

At first the dough will be very sticky but as you knead it will become a wonderful soft and playful dough and then you will know it is ready for rolling – you can view step by step pictures on how to make it here.

Take part of your dough and roll it flat; use a large round cookie cutter (or pint glass or a coffee mug) to cut out the round shapes.

Each round “pierogi” to be needs to be filled with around 1 teaspoon of blueberries. Make sure you pinch the end tightly so your creation doesn’t fall apart during the cooking process – again for step by step pictures on how to fill pierogi please see my Russian Style Dumplings post.

Once formed place your pierogi on a lightly floured surface until you are ready to start cooking.

You will need a large, and I really mean it… a large cooking pot, filled with water; ideally wide and not so high. Add a pinch of salt to your water and bring it to a boil.

Once the water is boiling gently place each pierogi in; just a few at the time so the water surface isn’t too crowded.

Allow them to boil for a few minutes – 2 or 3 should do the trick.

Once they swim to the top use a slotted spoon and fish them out.

Make sure that are dry before serving.

Serve with cream and sugar and enjoy a traditional Polish taste.

Blueberry dumplings – Pierogi z JagodamiHave you ever made pierogi at home?

If so, what is your favourite filling?

Happy National Dog Day!

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
Roger A. Caras

National Dog DayToday is the day!

National Dog Day!

We should love and care for our dogs every day but today is a special day so it would be nice to show them some special love – maybe a longer walk or an extra session of their favourite game… maybe a special dinner, some dog friendly cake or some home baked cookies… whatever you do, remember to do something extra special today :-)

Frontline Spot On commissioned a survey polling 2,000 dog lovers in order to find out our nation’s favourite dog…

Can you guess which breed won?

Labrador Retriever!

Labrador Retriever received almost double the votes of the second place, German Shepherds. On the list of the UK’s Top 10 Favourite Dogs we can also find the Border Collie, Yorkshire Terrier, Boxer, Cocker Spaniel, Golden Retriever, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bulldog and West Highland White Terrier.

What breed would you have voted for?

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Josh Billings

Josh Billings was right and we should never forget it!

In celebration of National Dog Day I have a giveaway for you. I’ve received a few Pawsomeboxes which are still intact and were not raided by my two pooches, I will create from them a dog friendly goodie bag and send it to one of you.

To take part in my giveaway tell me one special thing you do for your dogs to show your love. For extra entries please just follow the Gleam app below.

#win a goodie bag for your dog

Good Luck!

And remember dogs are for life, not just for Christmas!

T&C:
1. Open to UK readers only.
2. This giveaway is sponsored by Bark Time in connection with Pawsomebox.
3. There will be 1 winner chosen at random from all valid entries. Winner will be chosen by Gleam.
4. The winner will receive a dog friendly goodie bag. The prize will only be fulfilled by Bark Time.
5. The winner will have 7 working days to claim the prize, after this time, a new winner will be selected.
6. Closing date for the giveaway is Sunday 13/09/2015 at 23:59pm.

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions
Loquax – Home of The Lucky Duck
SuperLucky Blog Giveaways Linky
Competition Hunter – UK Competitions Community

Vineabox comes to UK

Vineabox is a French wine subscription service which has just launched its service in the United Kingdom under the trading name Wine & Sympathy.

After 3 years of successful trading Vineabox has expanded into cheese, so now in addition to wine they also offer an artisan cheese selection. Both wine and cheese can now be ordered in the UK.

Vineabox comes to UK - Wine & SympathySo how does it work?

Well, it is pretty straight forward – you make your pick – wine or cheese or both: wine and a cheese box – you select the subscription length, pay and wait for your delivery :-)

All subscriptions can be taken on a 3, 6 or 12 month’s basis… obviously the longer the subscription the lower the price per item.

There is four choices of subscription: 2 bottles of wine, 3 bottles of wine, 4 cheeses or 2 bottles of wine and 4 cheeses every month.

It’s well worth noting that this isn’t just any old wine and certainly not any old cheese.

Wine & Sympathy has a partnership with Franck Thomas, regarded as the best Sommelier of 2000 in France and Europe. Franck selects wines that should delight subscribers. They focus on the artisan winemakers, from the renowned regions to the more remote ones. Most wines are sourced within France itself.

The products provided by Wine & Sympathy are designed to enrich our world and knowledge about wine and cheese. They aren’t meant to be drink or eaten alone after dinner; they supposed to be tasted and discussed with friends and family to promote discovery.

The subscription service isn’t cheap – the 3 bottles of wine subscription starts at £46.90 for three months going down to £42.90 if taken for the year so if you are after a £5 bottle of wine this service simply isn’t for you. Wine & Sympathy are after real wine and cheese lovers, people with passion who are eager to discover new flavours.

Vineabox comes to UK – Wine & SympathyI was provided with their latest mix box, which contained a wonderful selection of wines as follow:

  • Spanish red, bursting with berry flavours
  • French Rosé with a grapefruit nose
  • French fruity white packed with peach flavours

If you like wine and cheese, above just considering them as nutritional sustenance and something to swig with dinner, then I would suggest you should check them out, I highly recommend them. When people have gone to so much trouble to match up a culinary pairing such as this (that can so easily go wrong) you have to respect them and what’s more relish in their achievement when they get it right and in my opinion Wine & Sympathy have got it right.

Delightful.

Vineabox comes to UK -- Wine & SympathyHave you ever considered a subscription service for posh nosh?

Fancy throwing a dinner party to sample and chat about wine and cheese?