Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Friday, 26 August 2011

As some of you may know, my brother Gareth is a fellow foodie and Masterchef contestant. Last year he took part in American BBQ competition in Penslyvannia and this weekend - despite the predicted hurricanes in New York he is off to take up the challenge again. This year the preparation has been far more serious with recipe testing and endless planning - see the emails below - I have no idea what half the things being referred to are - not sure what a "fatty" is but I like the sound of it!!!! And are they going to BBQ the cigars? And why is curly parsley so essential and what are they going to do with the Christmas tree lights???? I guess these are things I may never know the answer to! Anyway this little picture shows my brother's dessert entry for the competition (I take some credit for the suggestion of these cakes so I do hope they win) - BBQ orange marmalade drizzle cakes - scooped out orange skins filled with orange cake batter, wrapped in foil and baked on a BBQ. This has been practised over and over to perfect the recipes except they have been practising indoors by cooking in a saucepan filled with coals and foil (how my brother's wife Amy puts up with this I don't know) - I do hope it works as well cooked on an actual BBQ! Good luck Team Miles at the competition this weekend - hope you win a trophey!
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Michael Murphy
>Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2011 11:50:49
>To: Muzyka, Kenneth F
>Cc: ; Andrew
>Kanemori; Gareth; Bryan
>Subject: Re: Final BBQ Details - List of stuff to bring!
>Drew, I have the Weber kettle for cooking the fatty.

>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Michael >> Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2011 11:15 AM
>> To: kane
>> Cc: Andrew; Gareth ; Muzyka, Kenneth F; Bryan; Richard
>> Subject: Re: Final BBQ Details - List of stuff to bring!
>> U Ken - do you have one of those pop up tailgate canopies like we
>> used last year?
>> On Aug 25, 2011, at 9:33 AM, kane wrote:
>>> Bryan - make sure you get curly parsley and not flat leaf... I f'ed
>> that one up one time and don't want to see it happen to you.
>>> I have not washed my shirt from last year, hopefully it brings us
>>> good
>> luck!
>>> -Drew
>>> ------Original Message------
>>> From: Michael
>>> To: Andrew Kanemori
>>> To: Gareth
>>> To: Kenneth F
>>> To: Bryan
>>> To: Richard
>>> Subject: Final BBQ Details - List of stuff to bring!
>>> Sent: Aug 24, 2011 10:02 PM
>>> Hey all! Sorry I'm a bit slow getting this out this year. Been
>>> traveling all this week...
>>> So, we have a BBQ competition to win. Here's how we're going to do
>> it...
>>> Getting there:
>>> We should be in the same spot as last year. Address is: 400 E
>>> Jackson St, New Holland, PA 17557. Google Maps:
>>> Gear/Equipment:
>>> At bottom is a list of things that folks should bring. Not too many
>>> surprises - we've all talked about most everything there. Most
>>> important are the things marked 'All'. That is, we need as many of
>>> these things as we can get! If you have it, bring it. We need it!!!!
>>> Thanks everyone! See you on Friday!!!
>>> -M.

>>> ALL:
>>> Beer
>>> Sleeping bags/Foam Pads
>>> Team Shirts from last year if you have them Water Coolers
>>> Flashlights
>>> BRYAN:
>>> Dixie cups
>>> Munchies
>>> Soda
>>> Ice
>>> Plastic Tablecloths
>>> Fresh Parsley
>>> KEN:
>>> Cigars
>>> Picnic Table
>>> Quates, ladder toss
>>> Garden hose and nozzle
>>> Rope light/Xmas lights
>>> DREW:
>>> Radio and tunes
>>> Sleeping Tent
>>> The Big Fatty
>>> Gore Tex
>>> Small tailgate table
>>> Team Shirt Materials
>>> Dessert Entry
>>> Left-handed smoke shifter

Thursday, 25 August 2011

How I wish I could say that my absence from this blog was due to nice things but alas it is lawyering that has got in the way. We have just bought two new businesses out of administration and the work involved has been staggering. However there is finally light at the end of the tunnel - such a relief as the last 4 weeks have been exhausting! In amongst all the work a few nice things have happened - I have received some of the advanced pictures for my milkshake book - sneak peaks here for you to see. I am super pleased with it and hope you like it to. RPS have also kindly agreed to publish another book for me - this time on doughnuts - I can feel the waistlines of my tasters in the village groaning already at the though! Frying starts this weekend in earnest with lots of delicious filled and decorated doughnuts in store. I have also been asked to do some demonstrations at the BBC Good Food Show at the NEC on Saturday 26th November - need to decide what to cook! I will be doing an "ice-along" workshop so you can come and join in with some step by step cake decorating - what fun. Anyway lovely blog readers - thats all the news from here - I do hope you are all well and looking forward to a hopefully sunshine filled bank holiday weekend

Saturday, 6 August 2011

My gluten free book is now available to buy in the shops and on Amazon - all very exciting! The book is featured (4 pages - can you believe it?!!!) in this month's Good Food magazine which is out now - with recipes for the lemon caramel cake, gluten free choux pastry, banana and brazil nut cake and amaretto crumble - yum yum!

Friday, 5 August 2011

I have recently discovered these Smoking Bags - if you like smoked food then you simply have to try these. The bag is a double lined foil bag with the outer layer filled with either Alder or Hicory smoking chips. You simply pop your food for smoking inside the bag and bake in the oven or on top of a BBQ. Fish and chicken work really well but my favourite is new potatoes, with olive oil, whole garlic cloves, a few sprigs of rosemary and some freshly ground salt and pepper. Baked for about 40 minutes until the potatoes are soft in a hot oven and then tip the contents of the bag into a roasting pan and roast for a further 20 minutes to crisp the skins. These are roast potato heaven!!!! At £3.25 a bag these a such good value for a reall different food tasting experience. They are available on line and in outdoor type shops - I found mine in a department store in Holt in Norfolk! I cannot recommend them enough!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Yesterday I received a message from Radio 4 which made me smile. I have put the whole message below to share it with you. I am staggered that someone in remote pakistan tried making my scones! I have sent Zalwund our family recipe for Welsh cakes (almost scone like) which can be cooked on a griddle on a fire and hope that helped! Zalwund if you ever read this message, you made my day!!!!

Woman's Hour, BBC Radio 4
Room 2119, New Broadcasting House, Oxford Road, Manchester M60 1SJ

Someone has completed a form on page:
Sender's name: zalwund

Sender's Topic
How to bake scones in the absence of Oven

Sender's message:
hello, I live in the remote area of Pakistan and I daily listen to bbc
radio programmes on the internet. I really love every programme of bbc.
Yesterday I tried to bake scones after taking notes from your cooking
programme but I failed to bake it well because I have no oven facility and I placed the tray of scones in a large cooking utensil that I filled with sand
and then placed a cover on that utensil and placed it on fire. I placed
scones in it for 8min due to the fear of burning them.
Instead scones were unbaked from inside while they had brown exterior.
Is it possible to bake Scones without any oven or the way that I tried to