Get away with Lincolnshire Co-op Travel

Worried you’ve left it too late to plan a summer getaway? Think again, because Lincolnshire Co-op Travel has your back. Escape to sunny Bulgaria or exotic Tunisia, or treat the kids to an adrenaline-fuelled night away at Drayton Manor or Alton Towers with our special deals.

Bulgaria, Sunny Beach

Bulgaria

This all inclusive holiday leaves from Humberside Airport on August 9th 2014: for just £1,717 a family of four can spend a week in the modern family resort of Sunny Beach.

On the gorgeous Black Sea coast, this vibrant resort has plenty of activities on offer for the whole family.

You’ll be staying at the 3 star Hotel Pomerie and as one of the cheapest countries in Europe, your spending money will go further here!

Tunisia

Tunisia

It’s a slightly longer journey, but Tunisia is absolutely worth it. This vibrant North African country is safe and friendly, with beautiful beaches.

El Mouradi Palace is a scenic hotel with a private beach and a short walk to the nearby town of Port El Kantaoui.

Prices for a family of four start at just £2493 and the holiday leaves on August 8th from Humberside Airport.

Alton towers

Theme park breaks

We aren’t all about the jet-set lifestyle here at Lincolnshire Co-op, don’t forget that we can book UK deals too.

Prices for Alton Towers start at £256 for a family of four, with two days’ park passes and one night of accommodation included.

For Drayton Manor it’s even cheaper, a family of four can snap up a bargain with B&B accommodation and one day’s entry for just £155.

If none of those options appeal, just drop into your local Lincolnshire Co-op Travel branch and speak to one of our friendly advisors who can help find exactly what you’re looking for.

Strawberries with tangy lemon shortbread

It’s the perfect time of year to indulge in some seasonal strawberries and these posh shortbread biscuits are an ideal accompaniment. Using local Lincolnshire ingredients, they’re quick and easy to whip up for a picnic or tea party.

strawberries-1.jpg

Serves: 6-8
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

To serve: 
2 x 400g fresh strawberries
1 tbsp Lincolnshire honey from our local selection
1 tbsp medium white wine
Fresh mint leaves
1 scoop Dennetts honeycomb ice cream

For the shortbread:
250g butter at room temperature
110g caster sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
Grated zest of 1 lemon
250g plain flour, sifted
50g cornflour, sifted
75g semolina

Method

  1. Wash the strawberries and remove the stalks, slice into halves and put into a bowl. Mix the honey and white wine and pour over the strawberries, then refrigerate.
  2. To make the shortbread, preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/fan 160°C. Beat the butter, sugar and lemon juice and zest in a bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Stir in the sifted flours, cornflour and semolina.
  3. Press mixture together into a soft dough and roll it on to a floured surface. Knead but do not overwork. Roll out and cut into shapes or rounds.
  4. Place on a lightly greased baking tray, sprinkle with extra sugar and bake for 15–20 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool and serve with the strawberries, topped with fresh mint, and ice cream.

TOP TIP: Delicious British strawberries are on offer at Lincolnshire Co-op food stores until July 22nd, just £2 a punnet.

Rhubarb and elderflower tart

Whether you’re picking up rhubarb from your local Lincolnshire Co-op or harvesting it from your very own garden, our rhubarb and elderflower tart is the perfect recipe for a spring afternoon. It’s zesty and luxurious and uses Lincolnshire Eggs and Belvoir Cordials, locally lovely!

Rhubarb and elderflower tart

Makes: 8
Preparation time: 40 minutes, plus chilling.
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

For the pastry:

This recipe and lots more are available in our spring magazine, available to pick up in store now.

You’ll find this recipe and lots more in our spring magazine, available to pick up in store now.

250g plain flour
75g icing sugar
125g chilled butter, cubed
1 free-range Lincolnshire
farm egg
1 tbsp milk
Or use ready-made short-crust pastry

For the filling:
3 egg yolks from free-range Lincolnshire
farm eggs
150g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
70g plain flour
300ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
150ml double cream
400g rhubarb, cut into 10cm lengths
2 tbsp Belvoir Elderflower Cordial
Cream or Dennetts ice cream to serve

Method

  1. If making your own pastry, sieve the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl and, using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 1 egg and the milk and fold through, then bring together with your hands to form a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. To make the custard, mix the eggs yolks, 75g of the caster sugar, orange zest and plain flour together in a bowl. Pour the milk and vanilla into a saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Remove from the heat and whisk into the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over a medium heat, whisking continuously until the mixture comes up to the boil and thickens. Place in a bowl and cover with wet clingfilm to prevent a skin from forming. Leave until cold.
  3. Preheat oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/Gas 5.
  4. Place the rhubarb in a bowl, stir in the remaining caster sugar and the elderflower cordial, place on a baking parchment-lined baking tray and cook for 10–15 minutes. Remove from oven (leaving oven on) and strain juices into a bowl. Set both aside to cool.
  5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin and use to line a 35cm x 11cm rectangular, fluted tin or 23cm round, fluted tin. Leave pastry hanging over the edges, prick the base a few times with a fork and chill again for 15 minutes.
  6. Cover the pastry-lined tin with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes before removing the parchment and beans and cooking for a further 10–15 minutes until golden and crisp. Leave the pastry to cool slightly then, using a sharp knife, trim the edges. Remove from the tin and leave until cold.
  7. Whisk the cream in a bowl until it forms soft peaks. Use a large metal spoon to fold into the custard. Spoon the custard into the pastry case and level the surface. Arrange the rhubarb pieces on top of the cream and brush with the juices. Serve.

 

5 ways with eggs

You’ve had them scrambled and you’ve had them fried, but what else can you do with an egg? Easter has got us thinking about the ‘egg-cellent’ things you could do with those little delights that come from our feathered, free range friends. We scoured the web and found these simple ideas.

1. Coddled eggs… (from Whole Living)
Grease some tea cups with butter and crack an egg in each of them, sprinkle your favourite herbs over the top (we love a bit of finely chopped fresh basil). Fill a large pan, with a lid, full of enough water so you don’t fully submerge the cups. Bring to nearly boiling and sit the tea cups in the water and pop the lid on, steaming them like a bain-marie. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes to your own liking and enjoy straight from the cup with a toasted breakfast muffin.

 

 

2. Onion rings, sunny side up… (from Apron Strings)
This is a super tasty way to bring your fried eggs to life! Thickly slice a whole large onion and separate the rings. Oil a medium hot pan and drop the rings in, fry one side till lightly browned and flip over. Crack an egg inside each one and fry as you would normally. When cooked to your liking sprinkle some salt and pepper over them. Perfect with a full English brekkie.

 

 

3. Eggy in a basket… (from My Recipe Journey)
This one is simple, how does fried bread sound with an egg in the middle? Use a scone cutter to cut a hole out of the middle of a slice of bread. Cook as you would fried bread but crack an egg into the hole, frying the circle of bread tat came out of the hole alongside too. Use the circle for dipping in your yolk and enjoy.

 

4. Baked… (from All You)
Why not try cutting the tops off small crusty bread rolls, crack an egg inside and bake until the egg is cooked and the roll toasted. This is a surprisingly delicious complimentary dish to your bowl of tomato soup. You can bake an egg in just about anything, so get creative in the kitchen.

 

 

5. Brownie eggs… (from Craft Marmalade)
This one is a sneaky little dessert! It’s a little fiddly, but once you’ve blow out some egg shells, it’s not as hard as it sounds and you can search for some tips and how-to blogs on the web. Once the egg shells are all clean and dry, make your favourite chocolate brownie mix, oil the inside of your shells and fill 1/4 full with brownie mix. Bake as per your recipe, leave to cool and surprise everyone by asking them to crack open an egg to get a chocolate brownie.

Egg and ham pots

Eggs, eggs and more eggs! That’s what we love about Easter and our guest blogger Sam Pidoux feels just as passionate as we do. Her blog is all about gluten free cooking and these rather tasty egg & ham pots are suitable for everyone, because of their simple ingredients. Sometimes the simplest things are the best…Egg-&-ham-pots-Guest-BlogOne of my ultimate favourite foods and ingredients is eggs. I don’t think that I could live without eggs. They are such a versatile ingredient.

The great thing about eggs is that you can eat them on their own or you can incorporate them into savoury or sweet dishes.

Eggs are full of protein and very good for you.

My egg and ham pots don’t require a lot of ingredients and can be eaten hot or cold. You can make them a day in advance and pack them up for lunch or you could even take them on a picnic.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

4 medium to large slices of good quality ham
4 Lincolnshire Farm Eggs – whisked
1 tsp mixed herbs
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil for greasing (or you could use Heart of Gold Rapeseed Oil)

Heart of Gold Rapeseed Oil
Heart of Gold Rapeseed Oil

Method:

1. Pre-heat an oven to 200°C/393°C or gas mark 6 and lightly oil 4 sections of a muffin tray.

2. Line the muffin trays with the ham. You need to sit them in there so that they make a case for the egg to go into. Try not to have gaps.

3. In a jug, whisk your eggs up and add the herbs and add a pinch of salt and pepper and mix in.

4. Pour in enough egg so that it comes 2/3 of the way up the ham. It does not matter if any leaks out.

5. Put the egg and ham cups into the middle of the oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until the egg mixture is set. Once cooked remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes in the tray before removing.

These egg and ham cups work well with a nice green salad and can be eaten either straight away or left to cool and packed up for lunch the next day.

Happy gluten free cooking :)

By Sam Pidoux

Make your own Easter ‘cress heads’

The Easter holidays are all about eggs, and finding things to do with the kids. How about making these egg-tastic ‘cress heads’? They’re easy to do and once their ‘hair’ has matured, it can go into your egg sarnies. Fun and educational, it’s a perfect rainy day activity. Check out our ‘how to’ below!

Easter Cress Heads

Lincolnshire sausage casserole with Robin Hood ale

The dawning of spring is a wonderful chance to get out and enjoy the great outdoors after being cooped up all the winter. This tasty casserole is perfect for those days when the sun is out but there’s still a chill in the air, and ale from Springhead Brewery brings a real depth of flavour to the dish.

Lincolnshire sausage casserole with Robin Hood ale

IngredientsRobin hood ale

2-3 tbsp sunflower oil
12 Lincolnshire Quality Lincolnshire sausages
6 Lincolnshire Quality streaky bacon rashers, chopped
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground chilli powder
400g can of chopped tomatoes
150ml stock (chicken)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp mixed herbs
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
1 to 2 bottles of Springhead’s Robin Hood bitter
400g can of mixed beans
Salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Fry the sausages gently for 8 to 10 mins until browned. Remove from the pan. Place in a casserole dish and set aside.
  2. Fry the bacon in the same pan until crispy. Add to the casserole dish.
  3. Place the onions in the frying pan and cook over a gently heat until soft. Once they start to soften add the crushed garlic and cook for a further 2 to 3 mins. Add more oil if needed and keep stirring all the time.
  4. Add the chilli powder and allow to cook for a bit longer.
  5. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and herbs. Pour Robin Hood bitter in, adding more from a second bottle if needed. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 mins.
  6. Tip into the sausage dish and place a lid loosely over. Gently simmer for 25 to 30 mins, stirring occasionally.
  7. Drain the mixed beans in a sieve under cold water. Add to the casserole, then continue to cook for a further 15 mins on a low heat, stirring now and then until the mixture starts to thicken.
  8. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and serve warm with rice or warm bread.

Fairtrade beetroot and chocolate brownies

What could be better than a fresh warm brownie made with Fairtrade ingredients? But it’s not all about the chocolate; you’ve got to get your veggies too. Our guest blogger Dominic brings you this choc-tastic brownie recipe that cleverly conceals a veggie secret. Take it away Dom…

beetroot_brownie-blog-top-image

As a foodie, for me Fairtrade is a mark of reliability for not just food grown with humanity but of exceptional quality… and there’s a great range of products available from your local Lincolnshire Co-op food store.

I whipped up these glorious brownies, adapted from a recipe from the River Cottage Every Day book, and they went down an absolute treat. Kids love the pink icing and the mums love that they can fool their kids into eating vegetables.

Ingredients

For the brownies
250g 70% Fairtrade dark chocolatebeetroot_brownie-blog-inset-pic
250g slightly salted butter – diced
230g Faitrade light brown soft sugar
3 large free-range eggs
160g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
250g beetroot – cooked until soft

For the icing
The juices from the beetroot
Roughly 200g Fairtrade icing sugar
2 or 3 tablespoons Greek yoghurt

You can buy raw beetroot, peel it and boil it until soft or I discovered that most supermarkets sell packets of pre-cooked beetroot which works superbly well and saves a lot of mess… make sure you purchase the beetroot cooked in natural juices not pickled, that would not be nice.

Method

  1. Grease a shallow brownie tin roughly 20cm x 25cm and line with baking parchment.
  2. Break the chocolate up and place into an oven-proof bowl with the butter and pop the bowl into your cold oven and turn it on to pre-heat to 180°C / 356°F / gas mark 4. The chocolate will gently melt as you warm your oven but keep an eye on it, the bowl gets hot.
  3. After about 8 mins you can simply take it out of the oven and stir until melted and gloriously glossy.
  4. Place the eggs and sugar into a bowl, whisk together until blended and smooth then pour in the chocolate and beat together gently.
  5. Sift over the flour and baking powder and using the same balloon whisk and fold it in to the chocolate and egg mix a couple of times.
  6. In a separate bowl, grate the beetroot. Squeeze out most of the juices and retain the bowl with the juices in it.
  7. Place the grated beetroot into the brownie batter and fold it through gently until all the flour and beetroot has been evenly dispersed.
  8. Pour into your tin and bake on 180°C / 356°F / gas mark 4 for 25 – 30mins. You want a skewer to come out slightly clean but retain a little moisture – set aside to cool.
  9. To make the icing simply add the icing sugar and yoghurt to the beetroot juices and beat until you have the desired consistency… you may need to reduce the amount of juices you have before you add the sugar… then simply drizzle this with wild abandon over the brownies.

By Dominic Franks of Belleau Kitchen

Matching Fairtrade wine to your meal

Always feel lost when deciding which wine will complement your dish? With so many to choose from and so much to consider it’s no wonder! But finding the right match can make a huge difference so it’s worth getting to grips with the basics.

Here is our quick guide of what to pair with some of our most popular Fairtrade wines – your taste buds will thank you…

The Co-operative Fairtrade Sparkling Brut, South Africa

A good choice for a picnic or to impress at dinner. Provides the perfect accompaniment to seafood, chicken and pasta dishes.

The Co-operative Fairtrade Organic Gran Reserva Malbec, Argentina 

An especially good partner for a tender piece of Lincolnshire Quality steak, tomato-based pasta dishes or simply with some hard cheese like Lincolnshire Poacher.

The Co-operative Fairtrade Sparkling Rosé, South Africa

Serve this summer delight with fresh strawberries or a fruity dessert.

The Co-operative Fairtrade Reserva Sauvignon Blanc, Chile 

Pair this with delicate flavoured fish.

The Co-operative Fairtrade Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentina 

A perfect match for our award-winning Lincolnshire Quality sausages or steak.

The Co-operative Fairtrade Pinot Grigio, Argentina

A good partner for savoury dishes particularly creamy pasta or curry.

The Co-operative Fairtrade Shiraz, South Africa

Great with hearty meat dishes. Try a slow cooked stew using Lincolnshire Quality beef or roasted lamb shank.