*Sponsored Post* Foodie Friday: Celebrate French Week with Lidl

Lidl French Week

To celebrate French Week (25th September – 1st October inclusive), budget supermarket Lidl challenged me to create a meal fit for a family dinner party. I chose to go all out and not only made a French meal but in fact created a three course meal using Lidl’s French Week themed foods.

Lidl Store French Week

Starter:

Assorted meats, cheese and fresh baguette, served with cider

Lidl French Week Camembert

This sharing platter is made from an assortment of cheeses including baked Camembert and Fat-reduced Brie with cured meats (also shown is Salami with Walnuts and Air dried Hazelnut Salami slices) and fresh crusty baguette. To wash it down I chose Cidre de Normandie Brut, a light dry cider and the perfect accompaniment to lighter dishes. I love this style of food as it’s easy to pick at and feels more informal with friends.

Lidl french week cider

Main:

Slow Roasted Pork in a calvados and mustard cream sauce with mixed vegetables, served with Hautes-Cotes de Beaune

Lidl French week main

I slow roasted a joint of pork with herbs, adding sliced apples, Chantenay carrots and onions around 40 minutes before taking the pork out to rest.

Along with a small mountain of Pommes Noisettes (light and crispy potato balls which were so good!), I also added a mustard cream sauce on the side made from the pork juices, 1tbsp Coarse Grain French Mustard, a big glug of Fine Calvados and a splash of cream.

The wine I chose to accompany this dish was the Hautes-Cotes de Beaune white, an oak aged Chardonnay with notes of butterscotch and honey to compliment the tender pork.

Dessert:

Madeleines, macarons and chocolate tart, served with french blend coffee

Lidl French Week Macarons, Madeleines and French Blend Coffee

For dessert I chose to create another sharing platter, made from a selection of sweet French delicacies including a warm chocolate tart, made using the Gateau au Chocolat Baking Mix, all served with a good dollop of fresh double cream. For those who wanted something less rich the delicate macarons and madeleines provided a tiny sweet hit, served with a shot of French blend coffee to round off the meal nicely.

Lidl French Week Chocolate Tart

Every dish was a hit with my dinner guests, with the Macarons, Camembert and Chardonnay the stars of the show. I’m equally impressed with the ease of use and quality of the French inspired ingredients. Plus for three courses it was an affordable £5 a head for six guests.

The Lidl French Range is available in store now while stocks last (and it’s selling like hot croissants), so be quick! All products mentioned are sourced where possible in France.

For more great ideas and recipes for French Week at Lidl visit lidl.co.uk

All French Range products mentioned:
Cidre de Normandie brut £1.99
Fine Calvados £15.49
Camembert Soft Cheese £1.19
Air dried Hazelnut Salami £1.79
Coarse Grain French Mustard 49p
Salami with Walnuts £1.99
Fat-reduced Brie 99p
Pommes Noisettes 99p
French Blend Coffee £1.59
12 French Macaron £2.99
Fresh Baguette 70p
Dried French Herbs 59p
Madeleines £1.49
Gateau au chocolat baking mix £1.49
Hautes-Cotes de Beaune AOP £7.99

What’s you favourite French dish?

Thanks for Reading,

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If you love baking check out my new book ‘How to Start a Successful Cake Business‘ – now available on Etsy and Amazon Kindle Store

From Blogging to Business?

From Blogging to business - what are your business dreams?

Six years ago I was living in Norwich, a beautiful and vibrant city in East Anglia, studying at University for a textiles degree. I had friends, a social life, my own apartment and the ambition to carry me through my studies and into the creative career I envisaged. I hoped to become a designer and that my career was in my grasp.

But after a long trip to America before the new term began for my final year, I fell suddenly ill and was hospitalised for a short time after test results all pointed to Crohn’s Disease. I needed urgent treatment and a final diagnosis. I had to leave my life in Norwich and move back across the country to be with my family and boyfriend whilst I received the care that I needed. Sadly, this meant that I left behind my friends, and the best laid plans I had for moving forward in my life had to take a back seat.

From Blogging to business - what are your business dreams?

Whilst I was re-cooperating, I needed something creative to do so I started to write a blog about interests that I had – cosmetics and baking. I named it ‘The Beauty and the Feast’. I also decided to write a baking book and was lucky enough to have it published and available on Amazon in both the US and the UK. Soon I was being contacted about many more opportunities around blogging and I took as many as I could, but the Crohn’s still held me back, it’s effects making it impossible to attend events or to find full time employment.

From Blogging to business - what are your business dreams?

Nor could I go back to University. As accommodating and supportive as everyone was, I didn’t feel comfortable leaving home again with the uncertainty surrounding my health. I was at a loss as to what to do next but was still enjoying writing in my spare time so I took up some freelance work, becoming self employed and working flexible hours when I could. I also spent a lot of hours baking, later setting up a cake business and writing a second book, this time about running a home business. Within a year, the stress of the business took it’s toll and I felt unable to work again but I still kept plugging away at the blog, by now named ‘Tasty Gorgeous’.

From Blogging to business - what are your business dreams?

Also around this time, I discovered OCA – the Open College of the Arts. After some research I realised my dream of finishing my textile degree had never left me but I didn’t think it would be possible to achieve this without attending a University in person. I found out that OCA offer creative degrees through part time distance learning and after speaking it through with their staff, I started the lengthy process of transferring my degree from Norwich to OCA. I remember the morning I received the letter of confirmation – I was a student again!

From blogging to business - textiles

That was a year ago and I am still slowly studying away. And still writing and blogging. Before I started University, I’ve dreamt of having my own store, selling my own products, books, stationary, art, coffee and cakes all in one place. One day, against all the odds, I know I can make it happen.

What I have learnt from the past six years is that life will always have it’s up’s and down’s and I will always write, always bake and always have a creative side.

If you have your own business dream here are a few pointers to get started.

  • Adult education courses so you can re-train are readily available both in local colleges and online if you want to study at your own pace or in your own time.
  • Careers advice is also a must have. My business dream is still scattered so I’ve picked a deadline to make a decision about which direction I’m going to take. If by that point I still don’t know which way to go, I’m planning on booking an appointment with a life coach to help me find my way.
  • Joining local business networks are ideal to network and meet likeminded people plus pick up a heap of advice.
  • Money is super important. Websites like Crowdfunder and Kabbage offer loans or funding to help start-ups get off the ground.

What your business dreams and ambitions? What steps you’re going to take to achieve them? Or what is your best piece of business advice? Share your tips and thoughts below.

 

Always follow your dreams. Never give up.

 

 Thanks for Reading,

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If you love baking check out my new book ‘How to Start a Successful Cake Business‘ – now available on Etsy and Amazon Kindle Store

5 Years Blogging: Win a Months Supply of Portlebay Popcorn *CLOSED*

Portlebay popcorn competition

Want to WIN a months supply of Portlebay Popcorn?

To say a massive thank you to all my amazing readers, each week throughout September I will be running lots of competitions with some fabulous prizes.

Today’s prize is a months supply of Portlebay Popcorn!

Portlebay popcorn competition

Delicious, gourmet and hand popped in Devon: win a month’s supply of Portlebay Popcorn!

A bit different from your average squidgy toffee popcorn: Portlebay Popcorn has set the bar with unique and unusual flavours.

Munch your way through bags and bags of Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup, Wasabi & Sweet Ginger, Sweet & Salty Kracklecorn, Chilli & Lime and Orchard Wood Smoked Cheddar.

Plus try their brand new fruity sweet flavours: Lemon Sherbet, Cinnamon Swirl and Very Berry.

Portlebay popcron

Equally moreish, all of the flavours are wholegrain and naturally high in fibre. They’re also hand popped with rapeseed oil and raw cane sugar to give a more distinctive, crunchy texture. Perfect for guilt-free snacking!

Find out more about Portlebay Popcorn at www.facebook.com/portlebay

How to Enter

To be in with a chance to Win a months supply of Portlebay Popcorn

Answer this question:
What are the three new fruity sweet flavours of Portlebay Popcorn?

AND simply follow me on:

bloglovin’ OR Twitter OR Facebook OR Pinterest OR Instagram

THEN Leave me a comment below to say where you have followed me and the answer to the question!

Terms and Conditions

The competition is open to UK entrants only aged 18 and over, one entry per person.

A winner will be chosen from all valid entries using random.org.

Competition closes 9pm Monday 29th September.

Thanks for Reading,

Twitter | Facebook | Bloglovin’
If you love baking check out my new book ‘How to Start a Successful Cake Business‘ – now available on Etsy and Amazon Kindle Store