Northern Star Cafe

Whilst I was living in Hamilton and working in Hexham, I used to Duck off for lunch at the Italian restaurant on Beaumont St. The Northern Star Cafe is easy to find. It is next to the Northern Star hotel but has no association to the hotel. Parking can be a bit difficult. Best to park around the corner and walk up to the restaurant.The lighting inside is indirect and gives the unique Mediterranean ambiance.

The Northern Star is a Cafe-style Italian cuisine restaurant. They have ethnic style dishes, mostly originating from the Mediterranean coastline. They have a great variety of salad or vegetable-based dishes. My favorite is Caesar salad. My wife always takes the salad combination with fruit and King prawns. The fruit that comes with the salad varies, such as grapes, avocado, or pears. My favorite appetizer is Prawns cooked in Chilli with special sauces and herbs. My wife’s selection is always the Grilled Chicken Ceaser Salad. They serve fabulous Pastas. Their variations of fish and meat are excellent, including Chicken, veal and steak.

We like the restaurant’s selections for the lunch and dinner menus. However, there is one thing that this restaurant has that no

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

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

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.

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


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

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

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

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

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