Home made Tomato relish brings the taste of Summer to the table in a jar. Making your own is easy and the taste is much nicer than shop bought. Serve your tomato relish with cheese, cold meats, burgers, steak or sausages. It is a simple way to add more taste to your plate.

Chutney came from India where it is a mixture of fresh fruits and spices. During the colonial era the British imported the recipe and made it their own. Local ingredients were used like apples and onions instead of mangoes and tamarind. The British chutneys used more vinegar making them last longer. Making chutney became the go to way to preserve a large crop of fruit and vegetables. British summers often result in a glut of green tomatoes that will not ripen. During WW2 the Ministry of Food dispensed advice to make food go further. One of these suggestions was green tomato chutney and it has been a store cupboard staple ever since. Red tomato relish or chutney is a variation of this.

Tomato Relish

Ripe tomatoes are part of Summer. A simple tomato salad in a vinaigrette dressing with tomatoes straight from the vine is perfect for sunny days. Tomatoes are only really ripe in the Summer. Although you can buy tomatoes in the winter the taste is not the same. They are insipid and lacking in flavour. It is always best to try and eat the fruit and vegetables that are in season for the best taste. January is best for root vegetables and cabbages.  Tinned tomatoes are always in season and I made this tomato relish with them.

Tomato relish

I chose to use Cirio Pomodorini, the cherry tomatoes are ideal for this recipe. They have a sweet and intense flavour which makes tangy and irresistible tomato relish. I love Cirio tomatoes, all their varieties are full of flavour. The rich taste of the tomatoes makes a meal taste much nicer. This recipe does not use the tomato juice from the can. Save the juice and use it in pasta sauce, a soup or a stew to add extra taste. The tomato relish is quick and easy only taking half an hour to make. Boil the tinned tomatoes, some onions and garlic with vinegar, sugar and salt. a nice chunky mixture will form and then stir in a few spices and spoon into warn sterilised jars.

Tomato relish
I recently won a selection of cheese from Bradburys cheese. There was a cheese for everyone with vintage cheddar, red Leicester, blue Stilton, Saxon cross smoked cheddar and Stilton with mango and ginger. These were perfect for serving with the tomato relish. My particular favourite is the Stilton with Mango and Ginger. It has a rich creamy taste that works well with the fruit. The tomato relish is also perfect for serving with burgers, ideal for a summer barbecue.

How to sterilise a jar

It is important to sterilise the jar before adding the chutney to it. Sterilising will removes any bacteria which will ensure that the contents last longer. If you do not do this the food inside the jar can spoil and go off quickly. Sterilising a jar is simple. Preheat your oven to 140C, 120C fan, gas 1. Carefully wash your jars in hot soapy water then rinse with warm water. Place your jars on a baking sheet and put in the oven for fifteen minutes. When your chutney is ready spoon it into the warm jars. To ensure you don’t spill any chutney whilst adding it to the jar use a jam funnel. This wide funnel sits in the jar and catches any overspill.
Tomato relish

Tomato Relish Recipe

Tomato Relish
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Ingredients
  1. 500g fresh tomatoes or 2 x 430g tinned tomatoes
  2. 2 medium onions
  3. 2 cloves garlic
  4. 1 cup Chelsea Raw Sugar
  5. 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  6. 2 tsp salt
  7. 2 tsp curry powder
  8. 2 tsp mustard powder
  9. 2 tsp cornflour
  10. 1-2 Tbsp extra vinegar
Instructions
  1. Fresh tomatoes: cut a small cross on the top of each tomato, place in large bowl, cover with boiling water, leave for a minute. Drain and rinse with cold water, peel off skins.
  2. Tinned tomatoes: drain off juice and set aside.
  3. Roughly chop the tomatoes; finely chop the onions and garlic.
  4. Place the tomatoes, onions, garlic, sugar, vinegar and salt in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, reduce to a medium heat and gently cook for 15-20 mins.
  5. Mix the curry powder, mustard and cornflour with the extra vinegar to a smooth paste, stir into the tomatoes and cook until thickened.
  6. Spoon into warm, sterilised jars and seal. Refrigerate once opened.
  7. Makes: 1 large 500ml jar.
Dragons and Fairy Dust http://www.dragonsandfairydust.co.uk/
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A quick and easy tomato chutney made with tinned tomatoes. Perfect for serving with cheese or burgers and cold meats

Other chutney recipes:

Apple Chutney
Rhubarb chutney

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It is always a good idea to have lots of party dips and snacks when having a celebration. People love to nibble and a good dip can be served with many things.

Are you ready for party season? Christmas is on it’s way. Soon the jingle of sleigh bells will be in the air whilst children wait expectantly for Santa Claus. It is a time to spend with friends and family, relaxing and having fun. Christmas normally involves snacks and nibbles. We treat ourselves to food we wouldn’t normally and tables groan under the weight of excess.

When friends are likely to drop in unexpectedly it is always good to have a few quick snacks that are easy to serve. Party snacks and dips are perfect for this. Dips are easy to make but look like you have made an effort. Serve with exotic crisps, popcorn or a selection of cut vegetables and people will be happy to nibble.

  Party dips and snacks with Tyrells crisps and popcorn

Party Dips and Snacks

Recently I discovered a couple of dips that are really easy to make and totally delicious. Put these out on the table and they will be gone in no time.  The first is a tomato dip which is flavourful and will perfectly complement any crisps or vegetables that you serve with it. Secondly we have a tangy black pepper and lemon dip that will satisfy anyone who is addicted to a hint of pepper. Both are really quick to make and can be on the table in minutes.

Party dips and snacks with Tyrells crisps and popcorn

The tomato dip is a simple mixture of cream cheese, natural yoghurt and tomato relish. It sounds odd but the combination of cheesy flavour with the bite from the tomato relish works really well. You won’t be able to resist dipping your crisps into it until is has gone. The lemon and black pepper dip is a variant on the same theme. Lemon juice, zest and black pepper mingle with the cream cheese and yoghurt to create a zesty and unusual dip.  If you have natural yoghurt and cream cheese in your fridge you can invent any number of dip flavours.

Tyrells new seasonal flavours

Tyrell's snacks

If you are looking for the perfect snack to serve with these dips then you can’t go wrong with Tyrell’s new seasonal flavours. If you love a crunchy crisp you will  love Tyrells three bird roast crisps. This traditional Christmas mix of chicken, duck and turkey is full of flavour. They will not be around for long as they are really tasty. RRP £2.19 you can find them in Waitrose, Ocado and quality independents nationwide.

If popcorn is more your thing why not try Tyrells Bellini Poshcorn. These glamorous popped corn snacks come in peach Bellini flavour for a slightly fruity and fizzy snack. The fruity flavour will add a talking point to any party. RRP £1.59 and available from Coop, Ocado and independent retailers. Both these snacks are perfect for parties.

Tomato Dip Recipe

  • 50g cream cheese
  • 150ml natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp tomato relishIn a bowl mix the cream cheese and yoghurt until smooth
    Add the tomato relish and season with pepper.
    Mix until well combined

Black Pepper and Lemon Dip Recipe

  • 50g cream cheese
  • 150ml natural yoghurt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp black pepper

In a bowl mix the cream cheese and yoghurt until smooth
Add the lemon juice and pepper
Mix until well combined

Why not pin the recipes to try later?

Party dips and snacks. A delicious and easy tomato dip and black pepper with lemon dip. Perfect served with crips or vegetable snacks

 

If you are looking for more ideas for party food why not have a look at my festive starters and party food ideas?

What are your favourite dips? Let me know below.

I was sent some Tyrells crisps and popcorn to try but was not obliged to post about them or be nice. My opinions are my own.

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Cointreau chocolate dipping sauce is a chocolate orange sauce with a touch of liqueur. Perfect for dipping fruit or florentines into for a touch of indulgence.

Party season is nearly upon us. Christmas is a time of indulgence and sharing. Families and friends get together and celebrate. More often than not this means thinking of easy recipes for a buffet. Different dishes fighting for space on the table providing a selection for everyone. A good buffet will have a selection of different dishes to cater for every taste. Sweet and savoury snacks will jostle for attention and soon disappear as the hungry hoards ravage the table.

Christmas is also a time for liqueurs and brandies. These do not appear at other times of the year but at Christmas a range of spirits is usually on hand for an after dinner tipple. One of my favourite liqueurs is Cointreau. I love the orange taste with the hint of fire. It brings a taste of summer to a winter day. When I was challenged by Thomas J Fudge’s to make the ultimate death by chocolate dipping sauce to accompany their Florentines I knew Cointreau chocolate dipping sauce would be a winner.

Cointreau chocolate dipping sauce

Cointreau chocolate dipping sauce

It is really easy to make Cointreau chocolate dipping sauce and  Thomas J Fudge’s Florentines are the perfect accompaniment. The Florentines are a luscious mixture crunchy nuts, creamy milk chocolate, tangy dried fruit and caramel. Dipping them into the chocolate sauce makes the flavour really come alive with the tang of the orange perfectly complementing them.

Thomas J Fudges Florentines

The Cointreau chocolate dipping sauce would look great on a buffet with a selection of fruit to dip into it as well as the florentines. Strawberries and mandarin segments would be perfect for this as would banana. The pieces of fruit can persuade you that you are opting for the healthy choice.

Cointreau chocolate dipping sauce recipe

It is really easy to make the Cointreau chocolate dipping sauce. All I did was warm up some cream. When it is just about to boil remove it from the heat and add in some pieces of chocolate, some orange zest and a teaspoon of Cointreau. For a more orange taste add a tablespoon of orange juice. You can add more Cointreau if you wish, but make sure your guests are aware it is alcoholic. This is especially important if they are driving.

 

Cointreau chocolate dipping sauce

An orange tasting chocolate dipping sauce perfect for dipping fruit and biscuits into.

Ingredients

  • 300ml single cream
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp Cointreau
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 250g chocolate

Directions

Break the chocolate into pieces
Warm the cream, orange juice and orange zest in a pan until it is about to boil
Remove from the heat and add the chocolate pieces
Stir until melted and add the Cointreau
Serve with fruit and florentines to dip into it.

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Cointreau chocolate dipping sauce. A rich and indulgent dipping sauce with an taste of orange and Cointreau to make it indulgent.

If you are looking for other seasonal bakes gingerbread table tealight decorations make a lovely centre piece as well as being edible. Coconut thumbprint cookies are always popular at the tea table. A lovely alternative to mince pies are these coconut mincemeat streusel bakes.

I was sent some Florentines and the ingredients to create my chocolate dipping sauce. My opinions are honest and my own.

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As soon as the sun comes out the last thing you want to do is to spend lots of time in the kitchen. There is nothing worse that cooking on a hot day, the heat of the oven makes you toast. When it is sunny you find that your appetite decreases and you are looking for food you can make quickly that you can nibble on when you want. You want to be outside enjoying the sunshine and eating Al Fresco. There is nothing nicer than sitting relaxing, listening to the birds sing and the bees hum whilst enjoying a cold drink and watching the dog play. I have come up with three easy summer side dishes that you can serve as part of a buffet or a picnic lunch. These are quick to prepare and full of taste. There is nothing worse that a summer dish that is bland, summer picnics are a chance to play with the flavour and let it burst on your taste buds.

Three easy summer sides using primula cheese

To make the side dishes quicker and easier to prepare I used Primula cheese. Primula is cheese that comes in a tube and is really easy to spread. It keeps well in the fridge as well. The range has a number of flavours which allow you to vary the side dishes according to your taste. As well as Primula Original Cheese and Lite Cheese (the same flavour but with 40% less fat) you can also get Primula Cheese with chives, cheese with ham and cheese with prawns. Primula cheese is great for all sorts of dishes and tastes great in a sandwich as well.

Three Easy Summer Side Dishes

Stuffed Celery Sticks

Whenever I think of summer side dishes I think of cheese stuffed celery sticks. It is a classic recipe, found on buffet tables everywhere. No wonder as it is so tasty, the crunch of the celery goes so well with the creaminess of the cheese. It is also so easy to make, just add the cream cheese to the celery and serve.

Cheese stuffed celery sticks with horseradish

For this version I used Primula light cheese and for a bit of sneaky extra bite mixed in a couple of teaspoons of horseradish. Sprinkle a little black pepper on the top and you have a lovely summery side dish. The horseradish adds a bit of extra omph that will have your guests wondering.

cheese stuffed celery sticks with added horseradish

 

Cheese and tomato bruschetta

 

I love bruschetta, it reminds me of summer holidays in Italy. Tomato bruschetta is delicious, especially when made with ripe home grown tomatoes. Home grown tomatoes have so much more taste and are perfect for mixing with herbs like basil for a burst of summer flavour. For a twist on the classic tomato brushetta I made cheese and tomato brushetta.

Cheese and tomato bruschetta with basil and vinagarette

The cheese and tomato bruscetta is so simple to make, toast some french bread and rub the slices with a garlic clove. Leave the toast to cool then top with Primula cheese, sliced onions, chopped cherry tomatoes and some fresh basil. If you want to add a little more bite you could drizzle some balsamic dressing over the tomato. It is a quick and easy summer side dish with plenty of flavour.

Cheese and tomato bruschetta

 

Cheese and tomato bruschetta
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Ingredients
  1. 1 french loaf
  2. clove garlic
  3. Primula cheese
  4. 250g box cherry plum tomatoes
  5. ½ onion
  6. Fresh basil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C, gas mark 4
  2. Cut the baguette into around 16 slices
  3. Place the slices on a baking sheet and bake until toasted on both sides
  4. Rub the slices with the clove of garlic and leave to cool.
  5. Top each slice with the primula cheese, sliced cherry tomatoes and slices of onion
  6. Top with some shredded basil
Dragons and Fairy Dust http://www.dragonsandfairydust.co.uk/

 

Pinwheel sandwiches

Pinwheel sandwiches are so easy to make but it looks like you have made lots of effort. The round shape with layers looks amazing on a plate and the sandwich itself is a lovely mix of flavours. I used Primula cheese with chives for these as it added a burst of flavour that worked really well with the ham.

Pinwheel sandwiches made from cheese ham and red peppers

To make the sandwiches spread the primula onto a tortilla wrap and then add some basil leaves. I then used some slices of red pepper from a jar of roasted red pepper and topped this with ham and a small spread of mayonnaise. Once everything is on the sandwich roll it up very carefully, wrap in cling film and leave to cool in the fridge. When you want to serve the sandwiches cut long the length of the wrap to create circle shaped sandwiches. Place these on a plate and wait for the admiring remarks.

Pinwheel sandwiches using primula

If you are looking for other ideas for summer picnics why not try John Waite’s spiced lamb pasties which have a lovely Eastern taste. If you want something really special then jam jar cheesecakes would be a great hit with adults and kids alike.

Do you have any side dishes you like to prepare for picnics or barbecue parties? Let me know below.

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

I was sent some shopping vouchers and some primula to enable me to create the recipes, all opinions are my own.

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I don’t know why I have never attempted to make jam. It always seemed like an arcane magic that I should not attempt. It is strange as I always remember my mum in the kitchen cooking up jams, jellies and chutneys though out the summer. We would go out into the country and forage, collecting elderberries, rose hips, blackberries and anything else that grew. My mum would spend ages in the kitchen, a big preserving pot bubbling on the stove and jars were filled and put away. Over the winter the jars gradually appeared, blackberry jelly with a roast dinner, green tomato chutney with a curry. It added flavour to a meal and brought back the taste of summer in the winter months.

This year I have copious amounts of raspberries in the garden. I feel a bit like I have the magic porridge pot. Every day I go out and pick the ripe raspberries and the next day just as many have appeared to replace them. I love raspberries but you can only eat so many in one go. Luckily they freeze and my freezer is now filled with freezer bags full of raspberries. I decided it was time to try and make raspberry jam.

Raspberry jam

Luckily I have a preserving pan I inherited from my grandmother. It is the perfect size for making jam and sturdier than the preserving pans you can buy today. I normally use it to make a big vat of pot luck soup. It is the perfect size for throwing in a ham joint and loads of vegetables. It was time to put it to its proper use. Searching though my recipe books I found a lovely simple recipe for raspberry jam that my grandmother had written on a piece of paper and left inside a book. I did get distracted reading my grandmothers recipe books. They are full of interesting pictures of old range stoves and recipes that are no longer in fashion. I am going to have to try some of these soon. Some of the recipes for cakes I remember on the table when we used to visit at the weekend, it brought back some lovely recipes.
Raspberry jam

I always thought jam was a complicated affair involving pectin which had to be added separately. I had read horror stories about jam being too runny or too stiff if not cooked correctly. Pectin caused the jam to set and some fruits have it in abundance. Apparently raspberries are one of these as this recipe just used raspberries and sugar. It seemed a bit odd adding raspberries into a pan with no water but the juice soon floods out and you get a liquid that can be bought to a boil. When it is boiling the sugar is added and cooked until setting point is reached.

Raspberry jam

Finding the setting point was one of those things that always put me off making jam. There are plenty of ways to do it depending which book you read. One of the most common is to use the saucer test. This involves putting saucers in the freezer and when you are ready to test the jam place it onto the cold saucer. If it is ready to set then it should wrinkle when you push it with your finger. This sounded like it might result in broken saucers from freezing them too long. I decided to rely on my sugar thermometer and trust that when the jam reached 104.5C (220F) it would set. It did seem a bit runny at first but once it had cooled it set and was a lovely consistency.

Raspberry jam

When it had cooled slightly I spooned the jam into sterilised jars. I usually pour boiling water into the jars, leave them to sit for a couple of minutes and then put then into the oven at 150C, Gas Mark 2 while I make the jam. The hot jam should be put into the warm jars. Sterilising them will prevent mould forming on the jam. The finished jam was delicious spread on home made bread. It was full of the taste of raspberries and brought a touch of sunshine to morning breakfast. I am definitely going to try and make jam again soon.

Raspberry Jam Recipe

Raspberry Jam
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Ingredients
  1. 900g (2lb) raspberries
  2. 900g (2lb) granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. Put the raspberries in a pan and heat gently. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.
  2. Add the sugar to the raspberries and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Bring to a boil and keep boiling until the setting temperature is reached.
  4. Remove the jam from the heat and let stand for a few minutes.
  5. Skim off any scum then spoon into sterilised jars and seal.
Dragons and Fairy Dust http://www.dragonsandfairydust.co.uk/
Have you ever made jam? How do you test to see if it is set?

 

Link up your recipe of the week

 

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