Monthly Archives: November 2009

Savvy Cook Christmas 2009

Here it is, the long awaited Savvy Cook Christmas 2009 range!

Thank to you everyone who told us how we could make your Christmas easier and more delicious.

We have created eye-catching and delicious cakes to help you celebrate in style, plus a range of time-saving desserts and edible gifts which make gratefully received presents for time-poor hosts.

All cakes are lovingly baked to order using only natural ingredients: organic free-range eggs, natural butter and fairtrade sugar.

This autumn, we have made the most of the very short quince season. 

Savvy Cook’s quince meat is a fragrant twist on traditional mince meat and made with butter roasted quinces alongside dried vinefruits and French brandy.

Stocks of quince meat are limited, so to avoid disappointment make sure you place your order for our scrumptious quince pies and Kilner jars of quince meat soon.

 Delicious cakes

 Snow topped spice cake

This fruitless, light and aromatic cake is the perfect replacement for the traditional Christmas cake. The sparkly, wintry blanket of royal icing covers a dark gingerbread spiciness and makes it a stylish, modern centre piece.

Serves 10-12 £22

Inside the snow topped spice cake....









Snow topped spice cake









Christmas cupcakes

These beauties make a lovely alternative to mince pies! The cake underneath the icing is a chocolately gingerbread.

Each £ 2.50

Christmas cupcakes

Christmas muffins

The essence of Christmas! Flavoured with cinnamon and freshly grated orange zest and full of crunchy cranberries. Eat as they are or spread with butter and marmelade

Each £1.50 bag of 6 £7.95

Christmas muffins

Christmas muffin full of cranberries








 Quince pies

A thin all butter shortcrust shell covered with quince meat and an almondy topping: in my opinion a much better ratio of interesting filling to pastry than the traditional mince pie (which can be a bit of “sandy” mouthful).

Each £1  or gift box of 6 £6.50 or bag of “baker’s dozen” 13 for £12

Quince pies

 Time saving desserts

(Equally at home with a cup of coffee or pot of tea…)

Almond & orange cake

A “plain” looking cake, but looks can be deceptive! Dairy & wheat free, but deliciously moist and fragrant. Serve with berries or a berry compote and Greek yoghurt or cream for a stunning dessert.

Serves 6 – 8 £15

Cranberry upside down cake

Christmas in a cake: all glowing, berried redness with a hint of cinnamon! Serve cold, or warm for 60 seconds in the microwave and serve with creme fraiche.

Serves 6-8 £15

Cranberry upside down cake

Chocolate & chestnut cake

A seriously elegant pudding! Deeply chocolately and not too sweet.

Serves 8-10 £ 20

 Edible gifts

Spiced Christmas stars

Give your tree some style with these edible, royal iced gingerbread stars!

Each £ 1.50 or gift bag of 6 £ 8.95

Spiced Christmas stars cooling off



Love your tree!








Dark chocolate & cranberry brownies

Deeply chocolately, dark, dense and gooey.

Tray of 12-16 pieces £24

Quince meat

Savvy Cook’s amazingly fragrant mince meat. Made with butter roasted quinces and vegetable suet. Perfect for spicing up baked apples and good quality vanilla ice cream. Presented in a re-usable new style Kilner jar.

500g £ 6.95

Quince meat

Christmas Survival Kit

Snow topped spice cake, 3 spiced Christmas stars and 4 Christmas cupcakes


Order hot mail or mobile 07711203035.

Last orders Tuesday 15 December.

Free delivery for orders of £25 or more to  SE10, SE19, SE21, SE22, SE24, SE26, SE27, E14 and BR1

If you live outside these areas or have a special request, please get in touch and we will try to help.

Here’s to a delicious Christmas!


Savvy Kids: what pupils said…

Food Passport

First round of feedback received from teachers and pupils on the Savvy Kids food & lifestyle programme.

Really great to hear that kids enjoyed the sessions and learned a thing or two in the process.

One class even used the Food Passport for a science topic!

These are some of the things kids have told us about the sessions which took place in the classroom.

‘I thought that the Savvy Kid’s lessons were great because they were enjoyable, fun and interesting’ – Danielle

‘The best thing in Savvy Kids was tasting all the different foods and I hated some food, but at the end of the day I liked some of them’ – Ciaran

‘I enjoyed tasking all the different foods and I really enjoyed it all’ – Ciara

‘The best part is when we ate the food and did the experiments about food.’ – George

‘I enjoyed it. My favourite task was when we got to see how much we ate of each food group over the week.’ – Keira

‘I enjoyed Savvy Kids because we got to taste new foods that I had never tasted before’ – Lauren
Onwards and upwards from here, but first we need to get the Savvy Kids certificates in the post: these pupils now know good food when they see it!

K is for kale

Kale is one of the most nutritionally rich vegetables grown in the UK, yet it is still greatly underappreciated and underused by home cooks and professional chefs alike.

It is packed with betacarotene, folate  and vitamin C and K. It’s also one of the richest vegetables sources of calcium, as well as containing vital minerals such as iron, magnesium and potassium.

The most common kale varieties are curly and red Russian, while cavolo nero (black cabbage) is popular in Italian cooking.

With its pronounced taste, kale makes a good partner to other strongly flavoured ingredients such as bacon, horseradish, garlic and soya sauce. It works well in a stirfry, vegetable soup (such as minestrone) or as a green veg tossed in a little butter with a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper. You can feel it doing you good as you are eating it!

One of our most popular seasonal Savvy Cook dishes is “honey + lemon chicken breast baked on rosemary potatoes, served with curly kale + horseradish“.

Yummy! Perfect for a blustery November night.


Dog’s dinner chez nous

Hound 1

Hound 1

Hound 2

Hound 2

The saying “you are what you eat” is as true for dogs as it is for humans. A good diet keeps a dog healthy and energetic. A poor diet or one that contains the wrong ingredients can make dogs agitated, aggressive and hyperactive as well as fundamentally undernourished.

I take a lot of trouble over the food I give our two hounds.

Along with a natural, high quality dry dog food, I feed them cooked chicken (poached whole + broth reserved), beef (stewed) lambs liver, pasta, rice, couscous, bulghur wheat, vegetables, a small amount of cooked pulses and the occasional egg and tin of sardines.

While I accept that this may be a little more effort than most people are prepared to make, I believe that at least it ensures that I give my dogs the best food I can.

It really is not much hassle: I simply cook a little extra of what we eat where vegetables, rice etc. are concerned and store this in plastic containers ready to be used when needed.

This is what they ate this week so far:

Thursday: stewed beef, curly kale and a few potatoes mashed with olive oil

Wednesday: poached chicken, rice and a chopped tomato

Tuesday: poached chicken, kidney beans

Monday: lambs liver, macaroni, broccoli

Sunday: poached chicken, butternut squash mashed with a little olive oil

Every other day I add a tablespoon of ground linseeds, rich in omega oils,  to their meals and when one of them has been unwell or recovering from an injury I supplement their meals with a multivitamin powder.

Some people say that dogs don’t mind eating the same meal day in day out, but I couldn’t disagree more. Eating the meal that is put in front of them is not the same as your dog enjoying his meal or it actually doing him good.

Also, if you consign your dog to a monotous diet you deprive him of the sensory pleasure and exploration.

Treats? Rawhide chews, strips of dried tripe and dried bulls pizzles + the odd marrow bone. Definitely no cooked chicken or lamb bones which can splinter in a dogs intestines and no human snacks.

There you have it!

Two happy, healthy and slim hounds.


Alice in Wonderland

Ady & the toadstool

Ady & the toadstool

Inspiration for tonight’s chicken (it has to be made with left-over roast chicken + real chicken stock) and mushroom risotto.

Makes me want to learn more about wild mushrooms and foraging: we are still enjoying the blackberries and damsons I picked earlier this year.



Be sensible with portion sizes

The Savvy Kids session earlier this week brought it home to me again that many people are unsure about portion sizes.

If we, the adults, don’t know what chance have children got?

Today’s portion sizes are up to five times bigger than 30 years ago! Shocking but true.

If you want to maintain a healthy weight, get to grips with portion sizes by weighing rice, cereals and pasta rather than pouring straight from the packet.

Keeping the right balance of foods can help too: fruit & veg and starchy foods such as bread, potatoes and grains should each form about a third of your daily intake, with around 12% for fish, meat, eggs and other sources of protein, 12% for dairy products and just 9% for sugar and fats.

We discussed the concept of “treats” with pupils at length: that a treat should be just that – an occasional indulgence in small quantities.

So that bag of crips (or chocolate bar) which is now often routinely eaten by many adults and kids alike with a lunchtime sandwich, are high in fat (and sugar) and firmly belong in the “treat” category.

When I was growing up a treat was still a treat: cakes, fizzy drinks and crisps were confined to the weekend and special occasions; Mum would bake a tray of biscuits and one cake or fruit tart on a Friday which would be enjoyed by the family and visitors, but come Monday it was back to yoghurt or fruit for dessert and no snacks in between meals.

It does seem austere now, but it wasn’t and it isn’t!


L is for lentils

Next to soya beans lentils have the highest protein content of all vegetables: about 25%.

Relatively inexpensive, they are a nutritious way of adding bulk to a soup or stew. Puy lentils, lentilles de Puy, are the most delicate tasting variety and cook in just under 20 minutes.

I particularly like their “slate grey flecked with green” colour and slightly nutty taste.

Try braising with a chopped onion, carrot, celery stick and some stock; then dress, whilst warm with a mustardy vinaigrette, and serve with some peppery watercress or rocket and good quality (vegetarian) sausages.

The perfect meal for this in between weather we are having at the moment!

Bon appetit.