Author Archives: Jo of Jo's Kitchen

Meal Planning Monday – 13th May 2013


Another Monday again! Where has the summer gone? I want it back now. I've had enough of the rain and the cold. It seems we take one step forward, then two back with this weather. Anyway, here is how this week looks:

Monday: lamb lasagne with salad (recipe to follow soon)

Tuesday: Jo out at blogger's event. Hubby is fending for himself

Wednesday: peppered steak and chips (forgot to get it out of the freezer last week. Doh!)

Thursday: chicken chow mein

Friday: soup and bread

Saturday: takeaway

Sunday: ????????

For more meal plans, please see Mrs M's linky


I am a BBC Good Food Show Blogger!!

Good Food bloggers logo outline-page-001

Earlier on in the year, I was contacted the BBC Good Food Show asking if I would like to be a member of their new Good Food Bloggers community. Having been going to the Good Food Shows for many years, I jumped at chance to be involved and get the inside scoop. As part of the community, we get sent products from producers who will be appearing at the shows. So far we have received, some dried Edible Ornamentals Chipotle Chilli and some Farmer’s Fayre Rose Veal escalopes.

Hairy Biker's Gourmet Chili

With the smoked dried chipotle chilli, I made the Hairy Biker’s Gourmet Chilli with bitter chocolate. The Hairy Biker’s make regular appearances at the good food shows and being huge fans of theirs, it seemed the most appropriate thing to make. I adapted the recipe as I only used steak mince and also did not add any beans into my chill. It was gorgeous and the smoky chili really came through. I will definitely be making this again!


With the veal, I just served it simply griddled with new potatoes, green beans and carrots. It was yummy and has veal is really good for us, I will be definitely eat it in another way soon.


A few weeks ago, most of the good food bloggers community went to Purnell’s Bistro and Gingers Bar in Birmingham for lunch and some cocktails. We were treated to a cocktail making demonstration where we learn that cocktail making and creating recipes are actually very similar. We got to try a few cocktails too. My favourite was the roast lamb Provençal cocktail (basically roast dinner in a glass) It is very strange tasting at first but after a few sips I really enjoyed it.   I want to go back again to try more cocktails. For my lunch at Purnell’s Bistro, I had;

Starter: Black Pudding – Potato Rosti – Poached Hen’s Yolk – Bacon Dressing

Main: Blade of Beef – Seasonal Vegetables – Mustard Jus

Pudding: Seasonal Crumble – Vanilla Ice Cream

It was lovely to meet my fellow bloggers and I cannot wait to see them all again at the summer show🙂

If you would like to go to the BBC Summer Good Food Show from 12th to the 16th June 2013 at the NEC and have not got your tickets yet, then I have an exclusive discount code for Jo’s Kitchen readers, giving you 15% off normal standard ticket price.

The discount code is: JK15

This entitles Jo’s Kitchen readers to 15% off standard tickets. The discount is not valid on VIP Tickets. The ticket will include a seat in the Supertheatre in a session of their choice.

Thank you to the Ginny and the BBC Good Food Show team, Claire, Purnell’s Bistro, Edible Ornamentals and Farmer’s Fayre for the wonderful experience of being a good food show bloggers community member so far. It is much appreciated🙂

Disclosure: I was sent the products to taste free of charge. My meal at Purnells was complementary from the BBC Good Food Show Team. If you use the code above to purchase a ticket, then I will earn a few pence from it. 

Top Facts Behind the Concept of Healthy Eating

clipart veg

Healthy eating is very important when it comes to keeping your body in tip-top shape, and it’s always best to listen to advice from doctors and nutritional specialists about how better to improve your physical shape. However, instead of just taking the doctor’s orders for granted, you could do a little research to better understand how your body reacts to different foods, and what specific dietary requirements you need.

These days, many people struggle to make their health a priority, and with longer working hours combined with less time to go to the gym, the food you put into your body must remain a key focus of your lifestyle. In order to be a healthy eater, you must understand the concepts behind healthy eating, and from nutrients to calories, motivation to exercise, there are many factors that need to combine to help you get in great shape. Let’s take a look at some of the top facts behind healthy eating.

The Good Stuff

You don’t need to be an expert in healthy eating to know what the best foods for your body are. From deep yellow and dark green vegetables to citrus fruits, wholegrain, low-fat dairy and fish, your body needs a little bit of everything to ensure it keeps your organs in great condition, as well as your mind. The foods mentioned above are only some of what you need, however with a balanced diet over the course of a week, you’ll be able to digest exactly what your body requires, putting you on the road to a healthy lifestyle.

Health Benefits

By eating the right kinds of foods, specifically in the correct quantities, you can dramatically increase your chances of avoiding severe diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure, osteoporosis and obesity. It’s no coincidence that there’s been a health drive in the media – five portions of fruit and vegetables every day really does boost your immune system, helps you to maintain a balanced diet, and cuts the chances of you developing serious conditions.

Function of Healthy Eating

There are many ways in which different types of foods benefit your body. Take whole grains for example – not only are they complex carbohydrates that provide you with essential energy, but they also keep your insulin and blood sugar low. If you’re able to control your blood sugar levels though healthy eating, then you will be able to control your hunger, and prevent over eating.

There are also foods that contain healthy fats that are beneficial to your body, and these help to protect you against heart disease. Fruit and vegetables are great at boosting the body’s immune system, and the vitamin C stored in fruits such as oranges help to fight inflammation. If you enjoy cooking your own healthy dishes, visit for the latest kitchen appliances!


Despite their reputations, some foods are actually really good for you. Fats, like those found in peanut butter, are great for your body in small quantities, and egg yolks provide high levels of protein. Instead of calorie counting your way through life, enjoy foods that are good for you. Just make sure your eating habits are not in excess!


Meal Planning Monday – 6th May 2013


Happy bank holiday Monday everyone! Sorry I did not post anything last week. I am not 100% sure what happened. I just had no energy for blogging. Spring is definitely here! I had my first taste of this year's asparagus last week and I am sitting in the garden in the sunshine writing this. Here is this week's plan:

Monday: BBQ at friend's house

Tuesday: cheese & tomato pizza and salad

Wednesday: peppered steak and chips

Thursday: chicken noodle soup

Friday: takeaway

Saturday: I am going to blog summit and joining some fellow bloggers afterwards for a meal at Malmaison/Stuart is fending for himself

Sunday: slow cooked gammon in cider with new potatoes and salad

For more meals, please see Mrs M's linky


Great British Beef Week 2013

Farmers Choice Farm

Hands up, is roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and all the trimmings is one of your favourite dinners? It is one of mine! When you buy your beef for your roast dinner, do you check to see if the beef you are buying is British? If you do not, then you should. As the recent horsemeat scandal has showed us, there can be issues in quality and you cannot always be always be 100% sure in what you are actually getting.

Most importantly though, we should buy British beef to support our British farmers and independent butchers who want to ensure we get the best from our beef. One example of an independent butcher who takes their beef seriously is Farmer’s Choice, who offers free range 21 day aged beef from the glens of Scotland direct to your front door.

british_flag_rectangularThis week, (21st-27th April) is Great British Beef Week; set to coincide with St Georges Day is the annual celebration of the British beef industry. Set up by Ladies in Beef, the yearly event promotes the versatility of beef and how to include it as part of a balanced diet. The event is supported both locally and nationally, with the supermarkets, farm shops and independent butchers all involved.

Why not get involved with Great British Beef Week and make sure that one of your meals this week is made using British beef as the prime ingredient. You can do much more than just roast beef too. It can be used in stir-fries, chilli, stew, pies and if the weather is warm enough this weekend, you can use it for burgers on the BBQ.

There is a cut of beef suitable for your every need. The fore rib and the sirloin are best used for roasting, along with the silverside and topside while the slightly cheaper rump can be used for grilling or frying. If you are after something different, why not make stew using the oxtail. The slow cooking really brings out flavour and makes an excellent filling for ravioli too.

I am sure that everyone has a family favourite recipe (mine is either bolognaise or chilli con carne) that they cook nearly every week with beef, so why not make sure that this week and every other week after, that you buy British beef and support our farmers and independent butchers. I am sure they appreciate it!


Meal Planning Monday – 22nd April 2013

Afternoon all. Another week has gone by and although we still are not fully into spring weather, things are definitely looking up. We were even able to go to the park over the last few days and sit in a local pub beer garden and enjoy a few beers. The asparagus season will soon be upon too. I am already on the hunt for it and am looking forward to giving Thomas his first taste of it. Anyway, on to this week's meal plan:

Monday: homemade pizza

Tuesday: cauliflower and broccoli cheese

Wednesday: soup and bread

Thursday: pizza party (in aid of NCT – National Childbirth Trust)

Friday: pasta with pancetta, peas and Parmesan

Saturday: takeaway

Sunday: roast dinner of some sort at my Nan's in Bewdley

For more meal plans, please see Mrs M's linky



Brum Yum Yum!


Last weekend, Birmingham had it first streetfood market called Brum Yum Yum. It was held in All Saints Square in Kings Heath and my dad, Thomas and I went to see what it was like. We arrived shortly after midday and were instantly impressed by the range of streetfood on offer. There was something for every taste.

As Thomas' and mine favourite food is pizza, we went straight to Fundi Pizza and had a margarita pizza, cooked fresh in front of you for £5. It was delicious and if the weather had been warmer, I could of been in Naples. For pudding, I had a rhubarb and custard brioche toasted sandwich from The Jabberwocky. I have never thought of having a sweet toasted sandwich before and I now realise I have been missing out. It was yummy and I did not even leave a crumb! I forgot to take a photo of it too as I was so looking forward to trying it.

As well as having the streetfood vendors, Brum Yum Yum had entertainment from local singers, a bar and a stall selling Pip's Hot Sauce, locally made in Birmingham. It really had a festival vibe and people hung round after eating the food to soak up the atmosphere. From about 1pm, the square got incredibly busy and even when the rain came, people kept on coming showing that Birmingham desperately needed an event like this.

I was lucky enough to have a few minutes chat to Duncan Stanley, director of Brum Yum Yum and former touring apprentice with UB40. Duncan told me how he looked at each Brum Yum Yum event like a gig and wanted to create a similar atmosphere, to ensure everyone there had a good time, stayed around for a bit and did not just go straight after getting their food. Duncan is a lovely guy and I am very sure that Brum Yum Yum is going to be an amazing success. I will definitely be going back soon!!