Archive for the ‘1’ Category

A frosty December morning is always a great time to go for a walk and yes I did take the monster (Honey Moon!)

Crab apple hunting

Crab apple hunting

Can you spot the dog?

Here she is practising her camouflage ever ready for the cat next door!

Back to apples…

Crab Apples washing

Crab Apples washing

Look what we found- crab apples and they are frosted and ripe and ready to eat. I decided to bottle them for an early Christmas present for one of our Chefs.

Crab apples draining!

Crab apples draining!

The crab apples came off the tree very easily and after a sort into sizes and a good wash in my sink it was time to bottle them.

I wanted the apples to have a gentle kick but not be too sweet so I added a little cider vinegar.

A quick easy recipe

Look what Matthew Wilkinson from our kitchen’s here at Rudding Park came up with:



Recipe to Matthew’s Apple Jelly

Recipe to Matthew’s Apple Parfait

Recipe to Matthew’s Spiced Apple Cake

Nice one Chef- love it Matthew!

Try these recipes at home or if after cooking Christmas dinner you would prefer to rest and enjoy some of these dishes at Rudding Park why not buy one of Rudding Park’s online gift vouchers. There’s Dine With Wine, Food and Flicks and plenty more to choose from.

Wishing you a very cool yule wild cooks!

Steph x

Read Full Post »

Well we are avoiding all puns now with something that is close to my heart Yorkshire Game. Do you know your Pheasant from your Partridge, is your Grouse Famous or have you recently jugged your hare?!


Eddie Gray,Stephanie Moon and Matthew Wilkinson (pictured above at Rudding Park) have picked up the “game gauntlet” and are going for it. The following dishes are live this week on the Clocktower menu to support the Countryside Alliance’s Game to Eat campaign.

Please take your pick from the following game recipes cooked by the following chefs…


Eddie Gray…

To Start

Tea Smoked Wild Duck
Trio of pickled beetroot, pickering watercress

Duck Starter

Main course

Poached Rabbit Saddle
Wild mushroom crust, rabbit and pearl barley risotto, Kale, ginger beer jus

Rabbit Main 2



Matthew Wilkinson…

To Start

Braised Hare Pappardelle Pasta
Tomato, rosemary, smoked pancetta

Hare Starter 2

Main course

Roast Pheasant
Black truffle, tarragon, chorizo, charred squash, butter beans, game jus



Stephanie Moon…

To Start

Fresh wasabi, dandelion and burdock salad, venison wonton

Steph's Venison steak tartar

Steph’s Venison steak tartar

Main Course

Barbeque North York Moor Partridge
Smoky bacon mash potato, collard greens, corn and chilli salsa

So why not try these recipes if you are game!

With some fresh new approaches to classic game, each Chef has made you an easy recipe and a slighty more complex one to flex your culinary arm.

Game On Wild Cooks!

Make the most of Game to Eat Week whilst it is here – Enjoy these healthy, low in fat, tasty dishes at Clocktower before having a go at the recipes in your own home.

Low in food miles but hopefully high in food styles!

Steph x

Just off to pluck a few partridge!



Read Full Post »

These berries are tiny explosions of fruit in your mouth that ping pong around giving you a fruit thrill. You can probably tell I’m a fan!

In summer, elderflower floral cordial is lovely, light and refreshing. In winter the elderberry cordial is fruity, heady and goes well in mulled wine or winter fruit jellies.

First find your elder (no folks we are not suggesting you look for your parents!) but simply get out there and look for a tree. They are so full and brimming with berries at this time of year that they practically bend double under the weight.

The berries are dark purple and plump with juice, about the size of a large pin head. Take care when picking them as the juice can get all over your clothes, so do not pick in your Sunday best. The way to make cordial is simple. Follow this quick, easy recipe…

Honey, my dog, is getting into the elderberry tasting too but I must admit she is far happier with the slightly earlier blackberry.

I love to get out and about now we have rowan berries in abundance. Why not try Peter Banks’ recipe? (Managing Director of Rudding Park)

Happy Berry picking!

(Always remember to check the type of berry is correct and edible- I sound like my Grandmother! x)

Elder!  berry Moon x

Read Full Post »

The Cabbage Patch Kids!

When the Harrogate Flower Show call and say “Steph we want to cook as many dishes as we can from a giant cabbage” what do you say but fantastic count me in!

Peter the gardener who grew the giant cabbage shows Gilly and Steph how to cut it!

Peter the gardener who grew the giant cabbage shows Gilly and Steph how to cut it!

I love cabbage and think it gets a bad rap as a vegetable it is not “Sexy”! Well, I beg to differ when you have 10 chefs from Yorkshire cooking for a world record. The cabbage is dressed to thrill and the world record is a challenge we all relished!

Try this at home but perhaps not the full 105 dishes all at once!

We had 2 soups, 4 salads, 2 potato dishes, 3 meat dishes, 3 fish dishes and a veggie dish per chef. Lots of food and lots of imagination!

See below the dishes lined up for adjudicating.

Cabbage cookery

Cabbage cookery

Just a few suggestions of how to cook your cabbage…


Rabbit Pasty with cabbage, wholegrain mustard and pickles

Venison with liquorice, cabbage colcannon and butternut puree

Lamb cutlets with cabbage parcel of ratatouille, basil , mint gremolata and fondant potato


Plaice with potato scales, autumn cabbage greens and creamy chive sauce

Seabass stuffed with Thai spiced cabbage, steamed with Thai fragrant rice and charred peppers

Mackerel with spiced cabbage


Rosti potatoes with cabbage and lentil pine nut sauce

Pasta Papperdelle with cabbage, Yorkshire Blue, pinenuts and cherry bombs

Cabbage fajitas with vegetable piri piri and melted cheese


Crushed new potatoes cake with cabbage, bacon and a poached egg


Cabbage strands, char grilled courgette and tomato bombs with giant cous cous and herb crème fraiche

Cabbage with vegetables and caraway

Cabbage, Indian spiced chilli rice salad


Cabbage Scotch broth with whisky shot

Minestrone soup with cabbage and parmesan.

Just one chefs line up of dishes…

Cabbage mania

Cabbage mania

The supersize veg was grown by Peter Glazebrook from Nottinghamshire and what a super cabbage it was too. Very tender when cut into (this really surprised me ). I thought it might have been tough and chewy, but not at all.

The date of the cook off was Friday 13 September, unlucky for some but thank fully not for us!


Martin Fish the Harrogate Flower Show director -was delighted with the event and spoke of how the number of dishes had surprised him from one cabbage!

Martin Fish is a brave man!

Harrogate Flower Show Director Martin Fish is pursued by ten North Yorkshire chefs as they prepare for a world record attempt to create a monster menu of 105 dishes from one single giant cabbage at the Autumn Show 13 - 15 September. From left to right:Jason Moore (Provenance Inns),Chris Oakden and Jonny Purnell (Coniston Hotel, Skipton), Ashley McCarthy (Ye Old Sun Inn, Colton), Stephanie Moon ( Rudding Park, Harrogate), Gilly Robinson (Ripon), Ian Rae and David Spencer (Cliffemount Hotel, Runswick Bay), Helen Wright and Lisa Bennison (Betty's Cookery School, Harrogate).

Harrogate Flower Show Director Martin Fish is pursued by ten North Yorkshire chefs as they prepare for a world record attempt to create a monster menu of 105 dishes from one single giant cabbage at the Autumn Show 13 – 15 September. From left to right:Jason Moore (Provenance Inns),Chris Oakden and Jonny Purnell (Coniston Hotel, Skipton), Ashley McCarthy (Ye Old Sun Inn, Colton), Stephanie Moon ( Rudding Park, Harrogate), Gilly Robinson (Ripon), Ian Rae and David Spencer (Cliffemount Hotel, Runswick Bay), Helen Wright and Lisa Bennison (Betty’s Cookery School, Harrogate).

Well wild cooks time to try it!

Steph x

Read Full Post »

Honey before her dip!

Honey before her dip!

(Captain of the boat)

Day one the monster that is Honey ”Moon” decided to take to the canal when my back was turned and my seven month old pup was swimming 10 metres away when I turned around. After much alarm a chap walking by thankfully rescued the dog and we soon had her back in a soft chunky towel. Honey was soon snug and warm wrapped in her towel by the fire. We all learnt that day to never turn our backs for 2 mins!  

Not long after Honey had dried out and raring to go again!

Not long after Honey had dried out and raring to go again!

The journey took us from Skipton on the Pennine Cruises to Foulridge Tunnel near Barnolswick and then back to Kildwick and Skipton.

Foulridge tunnel from inside...

Foulridge tunnel from inside…

Various family and friends joined the boat along the way and all seemed to love the experience of chugging along nice and gently. We really did have good fun.

The first few hours were perhaps the most eventful what with the dog going for a swim then coming across these beauties in the bank side.

Tantelising tastes of summer wild Strawberries

Tantalising tastes of summer wild Strawberries

We used these strawberries in many ways and if you are lucky to come across some yourself why not try this recipe for Strawberry Desserts. I would recommend using the wild strawberries for the shortbread layers as they take some finding guys and then you will need loads of strawberries to make a the smoothie!

 Strawberry, Strawberry, Strawberry

Strawberry, Strawberry, Strawberry

 Then there was the daily sighting of the herons. I find the heron a very majestic bird, a true beauty. I always think that when I see a heron it is a good day so seeing them everyday was a treat. 

Heron the canal it is amazing what you see!

Heron – It is amazing what you see!

One day is rained quite literary cats and dogs and we were in Gargrave so a quick trip to Bollywood Cottage was in order.  This local Indian restaurant fired up the imagination for a canal curry but when on holiday with no spices in sight it was so much easier to run to the curry house! Great on a wet and windy day I can tell you. When it rains on a canal boat you need some warming food.

The Yorkshire countryside looked incredible and the Lancashire countryside too. It was a privilege to travel on the canal and see land I know well from a different angle.

Yorkshire at its finest

Yorkshire at its finest

This photo reminded me of the beautiful sunsets over Rudding Park.

Ahar me hearties!

Steph x (first mate Moon!)

Read Full Post »

Yes I have seen the movie, yes I have eaten blinis and yes I have drunk the very rare glass of Vodka! Wild cooks, what Russia had in store for my friends and I on a recent trip was incredible. Prepare to be amazed!

Nothing can get you ready for being looked after like this – Moscow was definitely calling!

We were met at the Airport after a 3 ¾ hr flight by not one but two chauffeur driven Mercedes before taking a trip to downtown Moscow to our destination the Hotel Metropol where we met our hosts Stephen Quinn, Food and Beverage Director and his PR Manager Andreas. 

 My Bed room Hotel Metropol

The hotel is amazing, the history oozes out of it, and the gold leaf and chandeliers are incredible (I even had a chandelier in my bedroom!)

We ate caviar and blinis and listened to a grand piano in the restaurant before tucking in to a feast of marinated fish, smoked salmon, beef stroganoff, chicken kiev, cranberry juice and a glass of Vodka that was a far cry from our Saturday night tipple over here!

The restaurant has an incredibly high ceiling and is made up of hundreds of pieces of glass. We were dining in the hotel Kevin Costner and Robert Downey Junior had stayed in the week before and as we looked over the way Don King was sat with a boxer from America!

Refreshed by a wonderful supper, at about 1am Russian time we set off for a walk around Red Square with Stephen Quinn! But then off to bed worn out after a big day. I sunk into my giant double bed and slept like a baby!

We saw some amazing sights: St Basil Cathedral, The Kremlin, The Gateway to Red Square and the major shop a kin to Harrods “Gum”.

St Basils Cathedral Red Square

St Basil’s Cathedral Red Square

Day two I woke up and looked out of my window to see this amazing building what was it?

 view from my balcony Bolshoi Theatre

View from my balcony Bolshoi Theatre

Then a quick turn to the left and look, Red Square in the distance…

balcony towards red square

Balcony towards Red Square

What a view! Off for a hearty breakfast and then out into the Moscow city centre in the sunshine! After a satisfying breakfast of fruits, cereals, all usual meats, eggs, vegetables and mushrooms with some unusual items like soured milk, a dessert table and of course the blinis and caviar option we were given a tour by Andreas of our home for the next few nights, The Hotel Metropol.

I would describe the hotel as historic and beautiful and all the staff were incredibly friendly and informative. Even having worked at The Dorchester in my youth, the gold leaf and sheer opulence took my breath away. This is such a historic hotel, a real contrast to the contemporary features of Rudding Park.

The tour took in everything from the dining rooms to the private cinema theatre (not that different to Rudding Park then!), the renovations of the former nightclub, a desk once sat at by Churchill and a room Michael Jackson stayed in.

So out into Moscow and a trip to the Red Square by day in the hot weather (No Russian hats required even though the snow had been a foot deep the week before).

Gilly, Wendy, me and Elaine

Gilly, Wendy, me and Elaine

Next to Restaurant Varvare, known in Russian as “Barbarian!”. Nothing could be further from the truth. The food of  Anatoly Komm’s  Moscow restaurant was full of finesse and fun. I loved the delicate flavours and the humble concepts around his dishes of borsch and my veal sweetbreads were delightful.

Wow what a starter!

Wow what a starter!

 To start see above…
Paste from sea urchin, Russian beetroot powder with supplemented paste, bread and sunflower oil, caramelised sunflower bubble, cheese ice cream, beetroot paper with herring, beetroot powder with sour cream, cream of Jerusalem artichoke with pine kernels, herring and beetroot powder paper. To start with the sunflower oil tasted like bacon and the bubble was light and crisp and just cracked delicately. The herring was light and delicate the beetroot with a sushi was sensational.

We drank Russian rose wine which married perfectly to our challenging plate of flavours.

My sweetbreads had a white port sauce red pepper coulis and Ash burnt black salt with black rice crisps.

Borsch as you have never seen it before

Borsch as you have never seen it before

Warm soup juice was poured into a bowl filled with red vein sorrel, sour cream ice cream, shredded veal. Pain pushca (a bread crisp and light with a thin shard of rye flavoured bread almost tuille like in its consistency).

The ball of sour ice cream was hollow and melted gently into the beetroot powder and red vein sorrel.

Wendy's Quail with Starwberry dust!

Wendy’s Quail with Starwberry dust!

The quail had a deep water seaweed sauce, aubergine layers and strawberry dust.

Back to the Hotel Metropol for the Yorkshire Pudding vs Blini challenge – bring it on I say!

 Vladimir makes blinis

Vladimir makes blinis

Vladmir was busy making blinis and the kitchen was a hive of activity with Yorkies and blinis all over the place!

Plain flour and self-raising flour are not available in Russia so we used some flour given to us by the Sous Chef Hamdi, the only flour we could use. The milk was not what you would expect either. However, with Elaine Lemm (Author of the Yorkshire Pudding Book) on my team we felt confident, but I guess you never know!

Yorkshire Pudding preparation!

Yorkshire Pudding preparation!

Elaine and the Yorkshire Pudding boys

Elaine and the Yorkshire Pudding boys

(When looking around the hotel we came across some old style posters on the staff quarters wall)

I hope she is not the judge!

I hope she is not the judge!

The team from the Hotel Metropol included Ian, the pastry chef who is an English man in Moscow, along with Stephen who often dons his chef jacket,   Hamdi from Egypt and Igor and Vlad who are Russian.

The team in action! at The Hotel Metropol

The team in action! at The Hotel Metropol

Which do you prefer Yorkshire Pudding versis Russian Blinis

Which do you prefer Yorkshire Puddings versus Russian Blinis

Well… Director of Food and Beverage Mr Stephen Quinn was very diplomatic and declared both sides as winners!

Bolshoi is the theatre I can see from my bedroom window and who would have thought I would have the view of our next destination. A trip to the Bolshoi ballet is most peoples idea of heaven and we felt humble to be asked to be the guests of the Hotel Metropol to see “Ivan the Terrible”.

Bolshoi beware Ladies on Tour

Bolshoi beware Ladies on Tour

The ballet was wonderful! The dancers were extremely talented portraying a true Russian story.

 And then to the Kremlin…

Some of the many Kremlin towers

Some of the many Kremlin towers

The VIP pass to Putin’s private residence was incredible. We saw state room after state room clad in gold leaf and historic floors that have been danced on my many a Russian Tsar.

The Kremlin also has amazing collections of everything from diamonds and faberge eggs to coaches, some given as gifts from the English. There are many towers in the Kremlin churches and even the world’s largest cannon!

The markets were also amazing in their own way. I got into trouble for taking a photo of some fish in the window of a shop by the police! Thankfully we had Katiya with us to translate! Help…

The food was stunning – the fact that all the food was not packaged I found refreshing. Our EHO’s over here would have had many a comment but the variety and freshness of the food was truly fantastic.

00000000000000000000000000Katia and the Gherkins

Chickens at the market

Chickens at the market

Ladies looking after their stall of dried fish!

 Fish and a dammed good read!

Fish and a dammed good read!

Next a trip to Cafe Pushkin a modern cafe made to look very olde traditional Russian.

Thank you to everyone at Hotel Metropol for looking after us so well. It has been an amazing experience. We all loved Russia and the food was just inspirational.

Steph x

Read Full Post »

Steph with Ed Baines BBC1 Chefs put your menu were your mouth is

Steph with Ed Baines BBC1 Chefs put your menu where your mouth is

Well what a year so far…

This new TV programme called Chefs Put Your Menu Where Your Mouth Is on BBC1 this afternoon has been an amazing opportunity for me to cook against some of the most well known chefs in the country.

My challenge starts off with Ed Baines at Stoke Park, a stunning Country Club, Hotel and Spa  down in Buckinghamshire. This is right up my alley and reminded me of the beauty of Rudding Park.

Our challenge is shown on BBC1 at 3:45pm on Thursday 11th April. I hope you enjoy.

Next up is Mr James Tanner, a chef who cut his stripes on Ready Steady Cook alongside Ed Baines. This chef has had more TV experience than I have had hot dinners!

James and I have a challenge with a difference but if you get chance to tune in you will see it was great fun. I am away that week in Moscow so thank the lord for I-Player!

James with Steph outside their challenge

James with Steph outside their challenge

My last challenge is also a corker! A chance to cook with Michelin starred and regular Saturday Kitchen chef Galton Blackiston.

We were up against it again right in the heart of London so if you get chance please watch my last programme. What an honour to be the last show of the series on Friday 26 April at 3:45pm on BBC1.

Steph with Galton Blackiston for BBC1 Chefs put your Menu were your mouth is

Steph with Galton Blackiston for BBC1 Chefs put your Menu where your mouth is

And what an honour to be up against these three greats… along with the team at Reef TV, what dudes Emma Roberts Price, Alex D

Bring it on!

Steph x

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »