Friars Bar and Steakhouse in Derby

A selection of tasty starters has been carefully chosen by the kitchen team to get your taste buds tingling. Choose from deep-fried breaded Scottish mushrooms, chicken wings of fire or tangy goat cheese croquettes flavoured with rosemary and thyme. As with other British restaurants in Derby there are several cuts of beef available and each one will be cooked to your preference. Filet, rump, sirloin, rib eye and T-bone all steaks come with chips, jacket potato or potato gratin as well as peas and salad. From an 8oz filet to a 32oz rump there is a steak to appease even the most ferocious of appetites. For anyone feeling adventurous a hugely popular choice is the house specialty ‘black pepper sizzling platter’ which is steak served on a cast iron in a fragrant, spicy black pepper sauce. For an additional supplement, scampi, flash fried prawns or a choice of cheeses can also be added.

Vegetarians needn’t feel left out as the menu has a wide range of dishes to suit the meat-free lifestyle. Choices include Mediterranean vegetable lasagna, spinach and red pepper lasagna and a broccoli and cream cheese bake. Other options for those not wanting traditional ‘steak and chips’ include Cajun butterfly chicken breast, giant battered haddock and a rich, creamy moussaka with minced lamb, fresh aubergine and béchamel topping. The availability of these dishes can change so do check with your server before ordering.

Lunch is a meal that often gets rushed, but at Friars Bar and Steakhouse Restaurant guests are invited to take their time and enjoy a leisurely meal. All day breakfasts are available with diners essentially able to build their own by choosing individual ingredients such as black pudding, fried bread, steak, and hash browns. Like many restaurants in Derby that offer relaxing lunchtime treats there is a wide variety of comfortable jacket potatoes on offer with tempting fillings like coleslaw, beans and chilli con-carne. Sandwiches, steak wraps and light fluffy chips served with a choice of cheese, fish fingers, stew or omelettes and peas there is something for everyone to enjoy a this popular family-run restaurant.

Make Stovetop Meals

There are many delicious main dishes you can cook on top of the stove. Many Italian menu items are made in saucepans. Some of the most popular foods from Italy are the pasta and sauce dishes. You start by filling a large pot full of water and turning on the burner to high. Meanwhile, you can prepare your choice of sauces. To make the classic marinara sauce, you pour a bit of olive oil into a large saucepan and set the burner to medium heat. Next, add spices such as oregano, basil, and garlic. For vegetarians, all you need now is a can of crushed tomatoes in puree and a drizzle of red wine. If you want to add veggies such as onions, zucchini, bell peppers, and olives, go for it!

You can personalize the sauce to fit your taste buds. If you are a meat eater, add Italian sausage or meatballs and cook till they’re browned with no pink left in the center. The meat can be cooked in the same pan before adding the tomato puree. While the sauce simmers, toss in the pasta and cook until al dente. There you have it: a stovetop meal to feed the family without heating up the whole house with your oven.

During the warmer months, another way to prepare tasty meals for your family without cranking up the oven is by barbecuing outdoors or using your crock-pot. There’s something festive and relaxing about a backyard BBQ. Afterwards, the kids can use the coals to roast marshmallows. Even vegetarians can be fed in this manner. Shish kabobs can be prepared by skewering veggies such as onions, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and bell pepper slices. For meat eaters, add marinated chunks of beef or chicken to each skewer for a dish that is always popular with a crowd. Crock-pots are perfect for stews, soups, chili, and chicken and rice casseroles.

Save your oven for the cold days of winter and fall. During the warmer months, use your stove, your BBQ, or your crock-pot. Everyone will be well fed, your house will stay cooler, and your AC bills will be kept to a sane level.

Basics of Making Cake Pops

Bake a Cake

For a start, you need to make and bake a cake. You can use a cake mix or you can start from scratch – the decision depends on your dessert-making skills and preferences. Choosing the right flavor is very important. Think about the cake, the frosting and the coating – all of them have to work together.

Add the Frosting

After baking the cake, let it cool down and crumble it into pieces. Add enough frosting of your preferred flavor. Use your hands to mix them together. You should get a sticky mixture that is almost like dough. This mixture will be easy to manipulate with your hands for the creation of specific shapes.

Use Your Hands to Form the Cake Balls

Scoop a small amount of the cake and frosting mix. Use the palm of your hands to form balls. Your mixture should be moist and sticky enough to stay together. The cake balls are ready. Place them in a tray and let them cool down in your fridge before adding the lollipop sticks and the decorations.

Turn the Cake Balls into Cake Pops

Melt some chocolate. White, milk or dark – it all depends on the coating and the flavors you plan to use. Dip the end of each lollipop stick in the melted chocolate. Insert into the cake ball. As the chocolate solidifies, the lollipop stick will stay in place.

Decorate the Cake Pops

The basic process of making cake pops is completed. All recipes start with the same procedure. The final result will become unique through the usage of specific decorations. Melted chocolate, icing and candy melts can all be used to coat the these desserts and to give them color. Additional decorative pieces and edible ink pens will provide the finishing touches of your unique desserts.

Paleo Travel Snacks

  • Sardines. I know that this sounds crazy that sardines would be the first thing on my escape list, but when having good protein sources is key to your hormone balance (aka calm moods!) it’s tough to bring a roasted chicken or some grass fed beef burgers when you have no refrigeration or a working stove. (Air tight packs or easy-open cans of salmon or tuna work well too.)
  • Nut butter. I have learned the hard way that you can’t bring full jars of natural nut butter on an airplane. The oil that rises to the top is a liquid red flag to the TSA crew. What you can bring is small packs of nut butter or make nut butter sandwiches on Ezekiel bread, or flaxseed crakers. Bags of nuts work too.
  • Fruit. Apples and pears don’t need to be refrigerated and come in mother nature’s edible wrapper.
  • Trail Mix or Raw Bars. Here are a few good options: Grain Free Paleo Trail Mix: basically any homemade combo of raw or soaked and sprouted nuts and seeds + dried fruit or coconut flakes, Homemade Granola Bars, Didi’s Living Granola, Spirulina Energy Bars
  • A sleeping mask. It’s tough to sleep with the light pollution of a hotel room. Your cozy sleep-giving hormones like complete darkness, not the light from the clock or that light-crack under the door.
  • Empty stainless steel water bottle. (Fill it when you get through security at the airport or arrive at your new location.)
  • Baby wipes. You know you’ll need these for something.

Enjoy your travels. Hopefully your next trip will be to somewhere beautiful, full of adventure, or relaxing. When Tropical Storm Allison hit us in Houston we ran off to Paris. When Hurricane Rita hit Houston we had just moved to Ann Arbor. When Hurricane Ike hit we were in Disney World. This is the first time we didn’t just miss the storm for a vacation or a recent move. So, keeping our fingers crossed that this turns out to be just another Drummond family adventure.



If you were to look closely at an ear of corn, you would see that each grain consists of small spikelets. Looking into each spikelet, the wheat grain is held inside the lemma and the palea. The size and shape of the grain varies in its shape and the size of its hairs. Most of the cultivated variety have fusiform spikes and are easy to thresh. The wheat itself is generally classified based on when it was grown and by the baking quality that it can produce. Throughout the world, most of the wheat that is produced is for human consumption. Due to its many unique properties, a wide range of potential is created through the growing of wheat.

Wheat can be very nutritious, but once again there are several different types. Whole grain wheat can be an excellent source of fiber. The vitamin and mineral contents of wheat based products varies depending on the type of wheat used. The outer layer of the grain contains much of the nutrients, but is unfortunately often removed during the refining process to create cereals. Even still, wheat based products such as bread and flour can have many good nutritious properties. When purchasing these products, take a close look at the ingredients to determine what type of wheat has been used and just how nutritious the product actually is.

Wheat recipes are a rather broad subject, as many different things can be produced from it. A few of the more popular products derived from wheat include cakes, rolls, and breads. By searching online, you can find a host of sources providing detailed instruction into what you will need for the perfect wheat recipes. If you are looking for something especially nutritious, or a savory for dessert, there is no shortage of meals that can be made off of wheat. The world of bread may be considered by some to be especially fascinating as there are hundreds of different types available on the market. A quick trip down to the local bakery will show just how much is actually available. A typical supermarket only begins to touch the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the vast potential that is available in the area. It is always a good idea to have a few tastes and immense yourself in the world of delicious wheat recipes.

Gluten Free Day Out

Start the day with a filling breakfast to keep your energy levels up so you do not have to stop at a roadside cafe with a limited selection of foods. Gluten free porridge works a treat. Sprinkle on some seeds and nuts, and swirl in a dollop of honey for a healthy, hearty treat to prepare you for a day out. Alternatively, toast a few slices of coeliac friendly bread and top off with your favourite jam or savoury topping.

Nowadays, many cafes and restaurants will either feature gluten free dishes in their menus or be able to offer a coeliac friendly alternative upon request. This makes it a whole lot easier to spend the day outside your home as you needn’t worry about not being able to find somewhere to have breakfast, lunch or dinner. Even bakeries and tea rooms are likely to offer at least one gluten free cake or pastry so treat yourselves to elevenses or afternoon tea.

If booking a table in advance, which is advisable, particularly at weekends, let the staff member know about your special requirements and they will ensure the kitchen is prepared in advance with gluten free products stocked and ready for your arrival.

Sadly, some places have been slower to respond to the needs of gluten intolerant foodies. This is particularly true in small villages and towns with limited supplies. Also, some foreign countries are less aware of coeliac disease.

Alternatively, in nice weather it is always lovely to have a picnic in the great outdoors. Fortunately, there is now plenty of gluten free food which comes in convenient packaging to slip into your picnic basket or backpack.

Oatcakes make a nice alternative to bread and come in pocket-sized packaging. Bring along some homemade dips like hummus, taramasalata, salsa or guacamole and fresh, pre-prepared vegetables to dip into the sauce for a light, refreshing but energising snack. For a little something heavier, pack some lunch meats but be careful not to keep them outside the ice box or fridge for too long in hot weather. This applies to the dips too.

Gourmet Cookery Basics

Genuine gold leaf garnishes do not add or take away from the taste of the dish at all; they are used entirely for their visual appeal.

Using gold leaf in luxury gourmet preparations

  • Luxury confectionery items such as special-occasion cakes and desserts also make use of edible gold leaf garnishes. The gold leaf used in these needs to be genuine and unalloyed, unlike that used in jewelry or other decorative, non-edible purposes.
  • Edible leaf garnishes are increasingly being utilized by experienced chefs as well as relative novices at cooking and bakery. As is the case with most specialized ingredients, this leaf too needs to be used with some skill and expertise.
  • Edible gold consists of highly purified gold metal brought down to the thickness of a few microns across. A single careless or mistaken touch is all that it needs to be displaced or get lost on the user’s skin or stick to an unintended place on your gourmet dish or confection or candy.
  • Edible gold is also available in flake form. But the sheet form is more useful when covering larger surface areas. The flake form may come in more useful when decorating eating surfaces with bits and flakes of gold, or to give an overall shimmer. Special-occasion drinks such as champagne and specialty wines or desserts may be flecked with edible gold flakes.
  • Because it is made of genuine gold metal, edible leaf preparations are best used as garnishes. A garnish is usually the last decorative touch given to a dish, before it is served. This rule works for gold leaf as well, because though it is an inert metal, devices such as microwave ovens may react to its shimmering surface if food using edible metal leaf is cooked in it.

Ingesting gold leaf

Such leaf is a non-reactive addition because gold is an inert metal. But to be used in edible preparations, it has to be as purified as possible. For this reason, gold of a high carat value is usually used in edible leaf preparations. Gold of carat value of 22 to 24 is considered pure enough to be used for edible purposes.

In this case, it is ingested by the body harmlessly. It may be impossible to identify genuine gold leaf just by looking at it. Since touching edible gold or silver leaf is next to impossible since it will stick to your fingers, the next best thing to do is to buy it from a trusted source.

If you are catering to a diverse guest list, you may want to ensure that the edible gold leaf you are buying is kosher or halal certified as well. You may find leaf sheet packaged in the form of several sheets within a leaflet. Sizes may vary, but usually, edible leaf will be around or even less than 0.13 microns in breadth.

Eating Insects

Nothing New

While in the West the notion of eating insects make most people squeamish, around 2 billion people in the world already eat insects as part of their everyday diet. And if you think you could never eat them, well think again as you probably already have.

Insects are already present in our diet in food additives such as cochineal (E120) which is made from crushed red beetles and used as a colouring in drinks, cakes, jams, sweets, sausages, ice cream etc…

Shellac is obtained from the secretion of the female lac bug Shellac and used as a Glazing Agent to improve the shine of sweets as well as apples, pears and other fruits Nutritious, sustainable food

In March BBC Four aired a documentary “Can Eating Insects Save the World?” where presenter and food writer Stefan Gates travelled in Asia where eating insects is common. In Cambodia and Thailand insects are not only eaten as a delicacy but also in poorer regions eaten for survival. In some areas insects represent big business bringing profitable incomes to disadvantaged communities.

Gates explains that there are 1,900 edible species of insects. They represent an incredible food resource with 40 tons of insects available for every man on the planet. Insects are high in protein, low in fat and are about 20 times more efficient than beef at producing body mass. Insects could be the ultimate sustainable food source as they reproduce a lot, are fast growing (crickets only take 45 days from egg to fully adult size), require little water or food and produce low CO2 emissions. In bugs infested areas, insects’ “hunters” play also a major role in pest control reducing the need for pesticides and insecticides.

Solution to curbing world hunger?

In the near future we almost certainly will have to change our eating habits. The already strained current food production will need to almost double to feed the 9 billion world population estimated by 2050.

This week the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN presented the results of a study of the role of insects in fighting hunger and the world food crisis. The FAO points out that “globally, the most consumed insects are: beetles (31 percent); caterpillars (18 percent); bees, wasps and ants (14 percent); and grasshoppers, locusts and crickets (13 percent). Many insects are rich in protein and good fats and high in calcium, iron and zinc. Beef has an iron content of 6 mg per 100 g of dry weight, while the iron content of locusts varies between 8 and 20 mg per 100 g of dry weight, depending on the species and the kind of food they themselves consume.”

The report also argues that sustainable insect farming might provide a stable low cost protein source and a steady income for poorer Asian countries.

The future of food is a serious problem and while insects are invaluable in preserving our eco systems, their biggest contribution might just be helping the survival of the human species. But first we need to overcome our prejudice towards bugs. Personally after watching Gates’ documentary, I am curious about red ants and crickets. Who knows, as a low fat high protein food The Coleopteran Diet might be the next big thing? A good thing if you ask me, as long as the insects are sustainably sourced of course!

Make Pizza From Scratch

The first thing you’ll want to do is preheat your oven to 425 degrees. The whole thing can be done in about the time it would take to heat a frozen pizza in a regular oven. Your preparation time will be a lot less than it will take for preheating.

Take some flour, with the amount you need depending on how large your meal will be. Some people like taking a mix of white and whole-wheat flour for added texture. Plus, it’s healthier for you as well. Put the flour in a large mixing bowl, add a pinch or two of salt, and shake in a little bit of baking powder. You’ll need to add water but not a lot.

Mix briskly and you’ll notice that the baking power will start to react to the other ingredients and form bubbles. This is important because it will make sure that your dough rises when you put it in the oven. Don’t mix to the point where the bubbles are worked out of the dough. Try to use as few strokes as possible when mixing. More than likely, you’ll have some dry flour left over. If that’s the case, add a little more water and keep mixing until it is all absorbed. You only want enough water so that all the flour is used. If you happen to add too much, just add a bit more flour until the water is gone.

Once you have a small lump of dough that is not sticky, you’ll be done mixing. If it is too sticky, add some flour to the outside and work it in. Fold the dough in half a few times and add a little more flour so that the stickiness goes away. Then, grease a baking pan or coat it with non-stick spray and spread your dough. You could use a rolling pan if you happen to have one, but that won’t be necessary.

Next, add some tomato sauce and your toppings. If you don’t have tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce should work fine. Add some grated cheese and whatever seasonings you like. A lot of people use oregano, thinly sliced onions, mushrooms, and olive oil. Use whatever you think sounds good.

Early Copper Stills

Distillation is a process of physically separating units and is not in any way a chemical reaction. Distillation as a commercial process or using copper stills has a slew of applications. For one it is utilized to separate crude oil into specific fractions for various uses. Water for instance is distilled in order to remove any of its impurities.

As an example seawater is separated from salt. Air is also distilled to separate oxygen argon and nitrogen for industrial purposes. The process of fermenting distilled solutions has long been used in ancient times in order to create distilled beverages with a high alcohol content.

The history of distillation

The initial evidence of the distillation process or an early form of copper stills was seen from alchemists in Ancient Greece during the 1st century AD in Alexandria. Also distilled water has long been in existence since c. 200 when the process was described by Alexander of Aphrodisias.

Arabs later learned the distillation process using copper stills from Egyptians who used distillation extensively in their experiments. During the 12th century a solid evidence of alcohol distillation or an early form of a whiskey still was seen from the School of Salermo.

Meanwhile the 13th century is where Tadeo Alderotti developed fractional distillation. In the 1500’s Hieronymus Braunschweig – a German alchemist – published The Book of the Art of Distillation Liber de arte destillandi. It is considered as the first discovered book exclusively dedicated to the topic of distillation. This was followed by an expanded version published in 1512.

Early types of distillation involved batch processes via a single vaporization and condensation. Purity was further improved through distilling the condensate. More volume was processed through repetition. Chemists were said to produce more than 500 distillations to acquire a pure compound.

During the 19th century, modern techniques involved reflux and pre-heating. In the year 1830, a patent was given to Aeneas Coffey by the British for a whiskey column. This has been said to be the archetype of petrochemical modern units.