July 2020

In the height of lockdown we felt very strongly we should be using our cooking skills to support others. So, we worked with one of our friends and 2 other local businesses to set up an initiative called Cakes For Champions. Between us we provided over 3000 cakes  on a not for profit basis for frontline NHS staff at local hospitals and health centres.  We delivered weekly to  The Lister and Luton and Dunstable hospitals and the community hubs in St Albans, Hemel Hempstead and Harpenden. During their shifts the staff were limited to where they could take their breaks ( if they got them) and the normal food outlets were not operating. Our usual response to someone's troubles is to bake them a cake and we felt that this initiative provided a little of that comfort to our wonderful NHS staff, who faced huge challenges and risks every day.

The cakes were very well received and we are delighted that we could do our bit using the skills that we have.  We are grateful to everyone who donated to our fund raising efforts which covered our basic costs of ingredients, to Gill Ingram for distributing the cakes, to Quotidien Bakery and Brewery Tea Rooms for helping make the cakes and Tilly Todd and Felicity Cripps for design and social media marketing

As lockdown has eased and hospitals are getting back to a more normal operating system we have decided to bring the initiative to an end.  The small amount of remaining funds have been distributed to NHS charities that support staff and patients.

January 2018 New Year - New recipes!  Chicken, Bacon and Vegetable Cobbler

January 2018 New Year - New recipes! Chicken, Bacon and Vegetable Cobbler

Cobbler photojpg
The cold winter weather calls for hearty healthy warming dishes and this delicious easy Chicken Bacon and Vegetable Cobbler is just what's needed. A Cobbler is a traditional dish that has a layer of light, tasty scones cooked on the top.  Great for using up leftovers, the ingredients can be tweaked according to what you have in the fridge.  The scone topping means the dish is a meal in itself so saving you time as well as money.


INGREDIENTS 

180g ( 9 oz) cooked chopped chicken (or 1 large raw chicken breast,or 2 raw boneless chicken thighs, brushed with vegetable oil and cooked on a baking dish in the oven (gas 6/ 200°c) for 25 minutes till cooked through)
3 rashers of streaky bacon
8 tablespoons leftover cooked vegetables or mixed frozen vegetables ( sweetcorn, peas, carrots, cauliflower, beans, peppers, onions etc - according to taste)
1 heaped teaspoon stock powder ( or 1 chicken or vegetable stock cube)
Small tin of chopped tomatoes - approximately 200g (8oz)
Other flavouring ingredients according to taste (such as herbs ( oregano, parsley, basil etc), 1 teaspoon chilli powder, 1 teaspoon tomato puree, 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1 garlic clove crushed )
2 tablespoons water

Cobbler topping
200gm (4 oz) self raising flour  
Pinch salt  
50gm (2 oz) butter or margarine  
Optional flavourings chosen from 50 gm grated cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon mixed chopped fresh herb (parsley, oregano, chives or basil), 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon chopped spring onion  
100ml ( 6 Tablespoons) milk  
Beaten egg to glaze

Method
1. Turn on the oven to gas 6 /200°c
2. Chop the cooked chicken and the bacon into bite sized pieces. Place in a bowl
3. Add the vegetables, tomatoes, stock, water and other flavourings. Mix well and tip into a small ovenproof casserole dish
4. Cobbler topping
5. Put the flour into a mixing bowl,and add the salt
6. Chop up the butter /margarine and rub it into the flour until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs
7. Add chosen flavourings and mix well
8. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in most of the milk to make a soft spongy dough, adding more liquid if necessary
9. Roll or flatten out dough to 1½ cm (½ inch) thick
10. Cut out rounds with 5cm (2 inch) cutter and place on the baking tray. If there is any dough left re- shape the remaining dough into a ball, flatten slightly and cut into rounds.
11. Place the scones on top of the chicken mixture. If there are any left place on a baking tray to cook separately
12. Brush the scones with beaten egg for a glossy top
13. Bake for 20 minutes until well the chicken mix is bubbling and the scones are well risen and golden brown
14. Serve on its own or with extra vegetables or salad.