Category Archives: lancaster

Ruin Mother/Mother’s Ruin Part 1

imagesMy mother taught me to cook from a very early age, not because she’s a whizz in the kitchen – but because she’s amazing at delegating.

It’s stood me in good stead & I believe that the ability to put food together a plate of food is one of the most important life lessons you can pass on. It teaches how to budget, look after your health, brings people together and is a tipping point in marital bliss vs bust up.

So here’s a quick and easy recipe to teach or treat on Mother’s Day – (you might want to supervise the gin bit.)

Cinnamon Brioche French Toast with Strawberry Salad

Serves 1 Yummy Mummy

Hull & halve a punnet of strawberries. Place in a bowl with a handful of blueberries and dust over 1tbsp of icing sugar. Douse with 1 tbsp of damson gin, stir & leave to steep while you make the toast.

Whisk 2 eggs with 1tsp of cinnamon & 1tbsp of caster sugar. Take 3 slices of brioche & soak in the egg mixture, making sure each piece gets well covered. Leave for 2 minutes while you heat a heavy based frying pan. Add 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Once sizzling add the eggy soaked bread & carefully fry until golden brown. Control your heat carefully, the high butter content of the brioche means will burn in an instant.

Once cooked stack the french toast in a heap. Spoon the berries over the top, dust with icing sugar & serve with a shot of maple syrup.

Follow with another important life lesson – how to load a dishwaher.

Happy Mother’s Day!

http://www.theashtonlancaster.com

 

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Filed under Baking, Bed & Breakfast, Breakfast, Food, lancaster, Uncategorized

Fancy a Piece of Sandie?

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Or Derek, Loretta or Phil? I’m on the hunt for a name for this cake. It’s a recipe I invented when I needed a dairy free bake for a guest. The problem is it’s jam packed full of fruit but it’s not a fruit cake.  There are a ton of flavours but not one that shouts out to exclude the others. So I’ve found I end up reeling off all the ingredients.

“Would you like a slice of pineapple, carrot, cranberry, raisin, pineapple, walnut, ginger and honey cake?” Hardly trips off the tongue and it’s a lot to remember. So if you can think of a suitable moniker for this slice of sticky, sweet, spice please let me know.

Preheat your oven to 160*c gas mark 3. Grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin.

Whisk 3 large eggs with 250g of soft brown sugar until well combined. With the mixer still running slowly pour in 250ml of sunflower oil in a thin stream.

To the wet mixture add 200g plain flour, 3 tsp baking power, 100g chopped walnuts, 50g dried cranberries, 50g raisins, 2 grated carrots, small tin of pineapple pieces (Sainsburys value range are the perfect size chunks,) 1 tsp dry ginger, 1 tsp cinnamon, 3 balls of stem ginger very finely chopped into tiny pieces. Stir together to combine.

Pour the mixture into the tin, level & place into the oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

Once out of the oven prick the top all over with a skewer. Heat 4tbsp of honey until very runny. Pour over the top of the cake turning it to cover the surface. Leave to cool before turning out.

Serve with a pot of tea and a newspaper as we do at The Ashton every weekend. Or Nigel (?) makes a great pudding served warm with Wallings vanilla ice cream

www.theashtonlancaster.com

 

 

 

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Filed under Baking, Bed & Breakfast, Food, lancaster, Uncategorized

Not an Egg McMuffin

 

It’s amazing how much people’s breakfast habits are changing as low carb, gluten free and high protein diets become mainstream.  Bread and pastries just aren’t popular & I’m finding my breakfast baking sits unloved & untouched before becoming afternoon tea for the chickens.

So I’ve started making these high protein egg muffins to add to the breakfast buffet. They’re super easy, super quick, and easily customised to your favourite flavours. I do smoked salmon & Spring onion, sun-dried tomato & goats cheese, fry some pancetta with onion & red peppers, chorizo (again fried) and halloumi. Most things work well except mushroom or red onion – they give them an unfortunate grey pallor.

You’ll need a 6 hole silicone muffin tin (they’re sticky little suckers.)

Lightly whisk 6 large eggs with a pinch of salt & grind of pepper. Place a heaped tablespoon of your favorite filling into each of the muffin holes. Then pour in the egg mix to just below the rim of the muffin tin. Give each muffin a light stir to distribute the filling so it doesn’t all sit at the bottom. If I’m using cheese I’ll usually keep some back to sprinkle on the tops. They’ll rise quite a bit in the oven.

Place in an oven preheated to 180*C gas mark 4 for 20 minutes. They’re done when they spring back when pressed. Allow to cool slightly before turning out.

Best served straight away but any left over make a great lunch time alternative to a sandwich. Whatever you do don’t put them in the fridge, being fridge cold does nothing to improve the taste or texture.

 

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Filed under Baking, Bed & Breakfast, Breakfast, Food, lancaster, Paleo, Uncategorized

Lancaster – Open for Business

Great to see a couple of Lancaster businesses back open this week after Storm Desmond wreaked havoc way back in December.

Quite Simply French on St Georges Quay is back cooking on gas after closing to renovate. Really excited to see their new look. I’m sure the menu will be the same great stable of French bistro classics but the new decor will be even more OO-LAH-LAH!

www.quitesimplyfrench.co.uk 

Standfast & Barracks also took a battering, absolutely heart breaking to think of all those rolls of linen & silk ending up filthy & skipped. For anyone who’s never been the factory shop is a treasure trove of upholstery fabric. Famous names like Designer’s Guild, Liberty, Harlequin, Cath Kidson all at heavily discounted prices.

Standfast & Barracks Factory Shop

 

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Filed under Interiors, lancaster, Restaurants, Uncategorized

Who the hell are YOU?

_JJJ6591Hi I’m James,
I own and run The Ashton Lancaster, a 5 bedroomed boutique bed and breakfast in Lancaster, a small Northern city sandwiched between Manchester & The Lake District.
A place I left at 16 running as fast as I could & as far as a young person’s railcard would take me. Bored of the slow pace of life. Indifferent to the dramatic landscape of verdant green valleys & fast black rivers.
Desperate to be somewhere frantic, busy and bustling. Not always making it to bed & certainly never up for breakfast.
Then my 30’s hit & the big city started to look less shiny & bit bit more dirty. “When a man’s tired of London he’s tired of life.” Well no Dr Samuel Johnson just tired to that life.
So I started a new one, back in a place written off as provincial & dull. Taking with me my partner (now husband) David, Bailey our dog & Elvis the cat.
I sometimes wonder what’s changed? Lancaster or me? Well, a little of both. In this blog I’ll post about the things around I now love – places to walk, visit, eat and shop. As well as the things that inspire my business & the way I aspire for it to be and grow.
Hopefully you’ll like it enough to come and stay one day.

http://www.theashtonlancaster.com

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