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Cibare London’s Food and Drinks Magazine

Issue Sixteen, Spring 2019

Contents FOOD


Gnocchi 14 Slightly spicy sauce 18 Bubble and squeek 20 Feta tray bake 22 Toad in the hole 24 Pad krapao spagetti 26 Corned beef hash 28 Lazy Eton mess 30 French toast 32

FEATURE Halloumi and chicken r1sotto Its all about quality

Kinta Loma The Camden Grocer Dipsos do snacks

8 42 58

BEER Amsterdam Beer 38


HEALTH AND NUTRITION Lets talk cheap 50 Cheap moves 54

April at home 44

BOOK REVIEW One Pound Meals 4 Jack Monroe 66

Cover image taken in The Camden Grocer with Darkwoods Coffee. 2

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Well the day has finally arrived and we are in PRINT!! And I couldn’t be happier with this amazing issue! So much so that not only are we still free, but we are full of Cheap Eats for you to enjoy! I figured that, having finally got past Christmas pocket shortages, we are saving up for our holidays, or at least for sitting in the pub garden as much as possible! We have a fantastic article from our friends DIPSOS in Ireland who have tested out which are the perfect snacks to have with the perfect bottle of wine, that has been sponsored by Majestic Wines (thank you VERY much!). A very important article I feel as we come closer to summer, as we all need to know which snack goes with a particular bottle of wine. If you’re not a wine drinker, our beer guy made his way around Amsterdam trying out all the local beer, so if that’s more your speed definitely check that out too! Otherwise we are, as usual, full of recipes, book reviews, our café review is back with The Camden Grocer, and there’s coffee too with the new Kinta Loma! So we are brimming with delights just for you. We are the food magazine, written by your neighbours, enticing you and your friends and we’re here to make you hungry! Lots of love Eve x


Editor’s Note


Fresh bread with soft cheese, topped with strawberries


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Mini Frittata

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One Pound Meals By Miguel Barclay By Despina Mina

This issue of CIBARE is about eating on a budget. We’ve all been there, are there, or will be at some point. Cutting costs usually means cutting quality, and budget cookery books are definitely not new. Taking this concept to an extreme is Miguel ‘One Pound Meals’ Barclay who, if you’re not yet familiar, is a bit of a social media hit. Take a look at his Instagram account. He has a huge following, due in no small part to his stories – his honest enthusiasm is endearing and relatable. This guy is one smart cookie and his drive has led to four successful books. The latest is due for release as I type this review and will certainly be as popular as the others. They reflect his personality – clever, fuss-free and hash-tagged! And so to the meal. As my tradition dictates, I cooked a meal for friends with every dish taken from Book 3: Super Easy. Two starters: Padron Poppers and Tomato and Parmesan-wrapped Asparagus, the main Chorizo Dumplings and a side of Roast Squash Carpaccio. It 6

took about an hour to cook my chosen menu from start to finish. Conveniently, each dish is cooked at the same oven temperature, so all I needed to worry about was getting my timings right. The starters The padron peppers, stuffed with feta cheese and sprinkled with breadcrumbs, though delicious are quite a dry combination. But add a forkful of the tomato and onion salad and you’ve got yourself the perfect balance. The Parmesan-wrapped asparagus was a no-brainer, they were as simple to make as they looked. My advice is to eat whilst still warm as they tasted nicer straight from the oven. Left to go cold, the flavours fade. I know this will bump up the costs, but I might try wrapping a little Parma ham around the asparagus, then covering it in a blanket of filo pastry... #twopoundmeals The main course To make the chorizo dumplings I was instructed to rub cold butter into flour Cibare Magazine


until I had something resembling wet sand, but I found I needed triple the amount of butter to get it feeling like this. I’ve never eaten British dumplings before and there’s no Greek alternative, so I had nothing to compare these to. My guests, on the other hand, knew them well and the general consensus was that the added chorizo was a great touch, which gave flavour where perhaps there wouldn’t normally be. I served the dumplings with roasted squash carpaccio. My mandolin produced thin even slices of butternut squash – but were they too fine? After 10 minutes of roasting they started to burn but weren’t cooked! So I splashed a little water into the roasting tin and covered them with foil until ready, then crumbled in the leftover feta cheese previously used for the padron peppers. I definitely got my money’s worth on this food shop, with nothing wasted. #smug Wait… there are no One Pound Puddings! So I decided to break my own rule and go rogue for dessert. But in keeping with the low-cost theme, I stewed some apples with honey, cinnamon and raisins with a dollop of creme fraiche. I think Book 5 is writing itself, eh Miguel? I’m continuing to work my way through and let me tell you, if you have a few hours to spare, try the Slow Roast Rendang. It’s a bit of a superstar! So what should you expect if you buy this book? You might be cutting costs but not, my first impressions tell me, to the detriment of flavour. You’ll also easily find all the ingredients in one supermarket, discover ‘cheats’ on familiar dishes, have a lot less washing up (#bonus) and end up with more coinage in your pocket.



Kinta Loma By Emma Jordan

This month we’ve been sent a selection of Kinta Loma ground coffee. It comes in light, medium and full-bodied options, each grown in a different region of Colombia. The company boasts high ethical standards and uses biodegradable and recyclable packaging. In a total misunderstanding of how the science of matter works, they claim to be ‘100% chemical free’. I suppose that means we can assume it’s basically organic, but for some reason they can’t actually claim that on their UK packaging. As a company though, they seem to be OK in ethical terms – always important for coffee where exploitation can be rife! The coffee also comes in fully biodegradable Nespresso® pods. LIGHT-BODIED | Grown in the Huila region For a light-bodied coffee the consistency is quite thin, but nevertheless packed with flavour and a good choice for those who like their filter coffee with added water. You can probably brew a normal cup and still enjoy it. 10

It’s very sweet, with a distinctive taste of molasses and dark brown sugar, and an aftertaste of dark toffee. There’s probably no need to add sugar, so it’s worth a try if you want to reduce sugar but struggle to cut it out of your coffee. Of the three varieties, this one yields its flavours the most readily. As an espresso, its aroma is decidedly more acidic, as is the initial flavour. Though the sweetness comes in quite quickly with a note of burnt molasses which then reverts back to an acidic aftertaste. There’s no bitterness but its flavour as a short coffee contrasts starkly with its longer version. For my taste it’s a bit too sweet and a bit too light, but I know some people out there will think it perfect. MEDIUM-BODIED | Grown in the Popayán region Starting as it does, with a creamy aroma of milk chocolate, this coffee is surprisingly clean-tasting with a glossy mouth feel. It has a not-too-intense initial acidic swoosh which won’t cause Cibare Magazine

I found myself searching a little harder for the flavours in this one, but I think that’s because the spectrum of flavours compliment and balance each other so well. It’s a really nice cup of coffee. As an espresso the aroma is soft, sweet and creamy, and reminiscent of roasted hazelnuts. It has a surprising citrusy tartness on the tongue to begin with, tempered by that meadowy sweetness. In this format, there’s also a creaminess to it and the citrus hangs around into the aftertaste. It’s not unpleasant and drinking it as an espresso is a worthwhile exercise, but I’d generally say this one is better brewed in a French press. Try both – you may disagree. FULL-BODIED | Grown in the Bucaramanga region In keeping with the description on the bag, the aroma is reasonably sweet with notes of vanilla. The packet also lists cacao as one of the flavours. With a good bit of snorting and aeration, I do indeed pick up the flavour of raw, slightly bitter cacao and think Oh heck, what can I bring to the table that’s new? Fortunately, after a bit more slurping and gurning, I pick up the subtle overtone of a strong flavoured herb – let’s go with sage. There is a pleasantly gravelly aftertaste with a silky mouth feel, bordering on glossy.

flavour and sensation with those herby top notes still present. It leaves you with a pleasant glossy mouth feel and a smooth chocolatey aftertaste. Not being too bitter, it’s a nice easydrinking espresso. As with its mediumbodied relation, it is incredibly well balanced and very pleasant to drink, although in this one the flavours seem more integrated. What’s the verdict? These are really great coffees to have around and I would happily keep a few bags – especially of the full-bodied one – for everyday use. Regular readers will know I like coffee that just tastes like a nice cup of coffee without being too ‘interesting’ and the flavours in all three varieties blend so beautifully. Some coffees on the market today, while fascinating, are a bit whizz-bang for everyday use. They’re exciting and fun, but if you’re busy and a bit stressed-out (like I am) you sometimes don’t want to be bothered with exotic – you just want something simple and reliably great quality. These coffees hit that very important spot.


your nostrils to flare in the slightest, followed by a balancing meadowsweetness of lush pastures.

As a short coffee the flavours are more defined and the bitterness of the cacao is readily detectable in the aroma. The initial flavour is one of bitter dark chocolate, quickly giving way to a cream 12

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Gnocchi By Emma Walton

Gnocchi are often pricey in the supermarket, but they’re really cheap to make at home! Make a huge batch and freeze them, then you cook from frozen when you want a quick and easy meal.


650g potatoes Pinch of salt 200g plain flour 2 large eggs, whisked


1. Peel and quarter the potatoes before placing in a pan of lightly salted water. 2. Cook the potatoes for 10-15 minutes or until they are just cooked. 3. Drain the potatoes and mash until very smooth. Or you can pass the potatoes through a potato ricer at least 3 times until there are absolutely no lumps. 4. Make a well in the middle of the potatoes and add the eggs. 5. Using your fingers, start to bring the potatoes into the middle of the well and mix with the eggs. 16

6. Once all the potato has started to combine with the egg, start adding in the flour a little at a time until a dough starts to form. 7. As soon as a dough has formed, stop mixing. If you haven’t added all the flour, don’t worry! 8. Roll the dough into sausages roughly 1cm wide. 9. Cut the sausages into pieces roughly 1.5cm long. 10. Dust the pieces of gnocchi dough in a little flour and press a fork into them to create grooves – these help sauce cling to them once cooked. 11. Now you can either cook the gnocchi immediately or freeze them. 12. To cook, add to a pan of lightly simmering salted water. Cook for 2-5 minutes (10 minutes from frozen) or until they begin to float. Finish by frying in a little butter and oil.

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Buttery spring greens and mushroom gnocchi By Emma Walton

Picking seasonal vegetables is a great way of saving money on your grocery bill.


3 tbsp butter 1 tbsp olive oil 1 white onion, diced 1 large pinch of salt 2 cloves of garlic, minced 225g chestnut mushrooms, sliced 450g gnocchi 125g spring greens (e.g. spring cabbage, kale, rocket, mustard greens), shredded Black pepper to taste Parmesan or other Italian hard cheese (optional)


1. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a heavy bottomed pan along with the olive oil on a low heat (the oil stops the butter from burning). 2. Add the diced onion with a good pinch of salt and cook for 10 minutes until translucent. 3. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally for roughly 8 18

minutes. 4. While the mushrooms are cooking, cook the gnocchi in a large pan of simmering water (for about 2-5 minutes from fresh or up to 10 minutes if frozen). 5. Once the gnocchi begin to float, remove from the water using a slotted spoon and add them to the pan containing the onions and mushrooms. 6. Turn up the heat and let the outsides of the gnocchi crisp slightly. 7. Add the greens to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until wilted. 8. Stir through the remaining butter plus a little water from the gnocchi pan until a buttery sauce coats the gnocchi and vegetables. 9. Grate a little cheese (optional) over the top and serve.

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Slightly spicy sauce By Emma Jordan

Never fear garlic! Basically this is a version of Arrabiata sauce but probably with more garlic and not too spicy so you can introduce your kids to chilli gradually. It sounds a bit much to use a whole bulb of garlic and some might find it odd to leave out the onions, but it works really well and the kids generally do eat it. It’s super easy, pretty quick to make and full of flavour. Play around with the optional extras suggested or try your own. I just put out a jar of black olives and the hard cheeses and let the fussy eaters choose what they want themselves. We usually serve on spaghetti but it works well with penne, fusilli or farfalle as well. INGREDIENTS 1 bulb garlic, finely chopped (you read that right – one whole bulb) I large fresh chilli, whole Can of tomatoes (I usually blend them so they’re smooth) Olive oil (maybe 1-1.5 tbsp per can of tomatoes) Salt to taste 20

About 250g pasta Optional additions Black olives, chopped parsley, parmesan or pecorino cheese


1. Gently fry the garlic and whole chilli in oil. I usually stab the chilli a couple of times to let the flavour out. Make sure you do this on a low heat – although singed garlic can be magical in a sauce, for this one you want to keep it soft and juicy. 2. Add tomatoes and a roughly half a canful of water and salt to taste – and do check it along the way for the level of seasoning (i.e. whether you need more salt in it). 3. Simmer for about 12 minutes on a medium heat. When the sauce starts to spit when you stir it it’s probably done. If it’s a bit thick you can add a little more water as you feel is needed. 4. Meanwhile cook the pasta as per instructions on the packet. 5. Turn off all the heat, drain pasta and mix well with the sauce, serve and enjoy! Cibare Magazine


Bubble and sqeek By Eve Tudor

INGREDIENTS 1 tbsp of butter 1 onion, finely sliced Left over cabbage Left over mashed potato (1 garlic clove if you fancy)


1. Melt butter and cook onion (and garlic should you wish) in a frying pan until soft. 2. Add cabbage and let it begin to brown. 3. Add mashed potato and mix ingredients together then push it all together to make one big cake. When the bottom of the mixture has browned, you need to turn it over. I would use a plate as it’s not a pancake. 4. Let it get nice and brown to taste and serve with a poached egg on top and maybe some ham, or fried mushrooms.


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Feta tray bake By Dani Gavriel

INGREDIENTS 1 bag of kale 1 packet of feta cheese Jar of black olives 1 packet cherry tomatoes on the vine 1 sourdough loaf Olive oil (to drizzle) 1 tsp mixed herbs Salt & pepper


1. Layer the ingredients in an ovenproof dish. 2. Put the feta on top and drizzle with olive oil, mixed herbs, salt and pepper. 3. Bake for 20 mins in the middle of the oven 180C taking care to ensure the kale doesn’t burn. 4. Serve with a slice of toasted sourdough and drizzle with olive oil.


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Toad in the hole By Penny Langford


back into the oven to cook for about 20 minutes or until it’s all nicely browned and well risen!

For the batter 200ml of semi- skimmed milk 200g plain flour 3 eggs or 200ml Pinch of salt

Then serve with gravy!!

Sunflower oil 1 packet of your favourite sausages


1. Make the batter by beating all the batter ingredients together and leave in the fridge until you need it to get cold. 2. Coat a baking tray with sunflower oil and then add a little extra. Make sure that the tray is big enough (and deep enough!) to allow your sausages to lie in it comfortably and to hold the batter that will bathe them later! 3. Cook the sausages into a hot oven until they are lightly browned. 4. When they are ready take the tray out of the oven carefully and gently pour the cold batter into the very hot oil and sausage mix - take care because it may well spit at you! Then place the tray 26

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Pad krapao spagetti By Ying Bower


1-2 bird’s eye chilis Handful of green beans Half a medium onion, thinly sliced 300 g of minced pork or other meat to taste 1 bunch of fresh basil 1 red pepper, cut into thin slices (optional) 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 3 tbsp of soy sauce 2 tbsp of oyster sauce 1 tbsp of dark soy sauce 1-2 tsp of sugar 400 g of cooked spaghetti 2 tbsp of oil

if the mixture is becoming dry you can add a little bit of water to make it into a more liquid sauce and fry for another 2-3 minutes 5. Now add cooked spaghetti and mix everything together. Finally add the basil and cook for another 1 minute – then it’s done.


1. Heat the pan to a medium heat, add oil then fry the garlic for 30 seconds 2. Add meat and fry until the meat is nicely browned 3. Add all the vegetables that have already been chopped except the basil. Leave the basil to last. Fry everything together for 1 minute 4. Add all the sauces and sugar: 28

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Corned Beef Hash By Penny Langford


1 large onion 1kg potatoes 1 tin corned beef Knob of butter and oil Tin of sweetcorn or baked beans Barbecue sauce Fried egg

to leave it long enough to go crisp and golden between turns, but not to burn. Cook for about 15 mins. 8. Serve on a warm plate with tinned sweetcorn and/or baked beans. Spread on some barbecue sauce and top with a fried egg‌. Enjoy.


1. Peel and chop the potatoes into bite-size pieces. Place in a pan of salted water and boil until just tender. 2. Heat a knob of butter and a tbsp of oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Chop the onion and fry until it starts to go soft and golden. 3. Chop the corned beef into bitesize pieces. 4. Drain the potatoes. 5. Add a bit more oil to the frying pan and turn up the heat slightly. 6. Tip the potatoes and beef into the frying pan, add a good dose of black pepper (salt is optional as corned beef can be salty) and mix. 7. Leave for 2-3 mins at a time between folding and turning. You want 30

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Lazy Eton Mess By Eve Tudor


One packet of meringue nests – there are usually four in a packet One small packet of strawberries 2 tbsp of strawberry jam 1 tub of double cream


1. Put your cream into a mixer and beat till it’s nice and thick. Take care not to overbeat or it will split. 2. Add your strawberries, crushed meringue nests and one spoon of jam at a time depending on how sweet you like your dessert. Then serve. Perhaps be fancy and leave aside a strawberry to put on the top to make it look pretty. Or don’t worry about it and just eat!


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French Toast By Eve Tudor

INGREDIENTS 2 large eggs A good splash of milk ½ tsp of vanilla extract ½ tsp of cinnamon 2 thick slices of bread Butter for frying Icing sugar and maple syrup for serving


1. Whisk your eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon together and put them in a dish that both your slices of bread can sit in together. 2. Put the slices of bread into the egg mixture once it’s well blended and leave them to soak up the liquid for a couple of minutes then turn them over and repeat. 3. Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan, add your eggy bread and fry on both sides until it’s golden brown. 4. When cooked serve on your favourite plate with a drizzle of maple syrup and a dusting of icing sugar. Maybe add some fruit if you are feeling fancy. 34

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Halloumi and Chicken Risotto

Orexi! Feasting at the modern Greek Table By Theo Michaels

Avgolemoni rizoto me krotides kotopoulou Avgolemoni soup is food for the soul made by Greek mothers the world over. It is a warming broth that legend has it can fix anything from a broken leg to a broken heart. I’m not sure on the medical evidence of the leg-fixing abilities, but it is definitely an emotional crutch served in bowls. My risotto dish is loosely based on this humble soup, but made heartier using the creamy starch of Arborio rice to thicken and enrich instead of the traditional eggs.


2 boneless chicken breasts, skin on 1/2 chicken stock/bouillon cube 1 small onion or 2 shallots, finely diced 1/2 celery stick/stalk, finely diced 2 garlic cloves, sliced 1 bay leaf a generous pinch Greek dried 36

oregano, crumbled 300 g/generous 11/2 cups Arborio rice 125 ml/1/2 cup white wine 200 g/7 oz. halloumi cheese 15 g/1 tablespoon butter finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon salt and freshly ground black pepper olive oil, for cooking and drizzling a few fresh oregano leaves, to garnish


Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) Gas 7. First make the chicken-skin shards. Peel off the skin from the chicken breasts and place it between two sheets of baking parchment, ensuring the skin is stretched out. Season with a little salt. Place onto a baking sheet and place another baking sheet on top. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Once Cibare Magazine

cooked, remove the skins from the parchment, season again with salt, and set aside to cool, ideally on a wire rack or paper towels. Poach the chicken breasts in 1.5 litres/ quarts of water with the stock cube for about 10 minutes or until cooked through, skimming off any impurities every so often. Leave the chicken breasts to rest in the stock until you are ready to cook the risotto. When you are ready, remove the breasts from the stock, cover them and chill until needed. Reheat the stock. Fry the onion and celery in olive oil for 5–6 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, bay leaf and dried oregano. After 1 minute, add the rice, stir, then pour in the wine and gently simmer until reduced by half. Once reduced, start adding the warm stock one ladleful at a time, stirring the rice until it is almost cooked but with some bite left; this will take 25–30 minutes. You will not need all the stock for cooking but keep any left over. Chop the cooked chicken, dice half the halloumi and add both to the rice. Continue cooking and stirring until the rice is done. It will thicken after cooking, so ensure it is very loose. Turn off the heat and let it rest. Fold in the butter, season well and add lemon juice to taste. Serve in bowls (loosened with a little hot stock if necessary). Grate the remaining halloumi over the top, scatter over the lemon zest and fresh oregano and drizzle with olive oil. Stab a few shards of the chicken skin into each bowl. Orexi! Feasting at the modern Greek Table by Theo Michaels. Published by Ryland Peters & Small. Photographed by Mowie Kay £16.99


Amsterdam Beer By Jon Moore

Just as Paris is famous for world-class wine and Brussels is known as the hub of Belgian beer, Amsterdam is sometimes thought of as a city of vices. Everyone knows about the readily available substances from the city’s ‘coffee shops’ and there’s a reason why its red-light district is world-famous. But there’s so much more to Amsterdam than its reputation suggests – and if you think it doesn’t have a vibrant beer scene, you’d be wrong. Along the canals there are dozens of small cafes and bars, in typically very deep or very tall narrow buildings, selling a diverse range of beers to both tourists and locals. Amsterdam is a melting pot of beer culture The city’s beer bars call on the historic brewing traditions of Europe, modern craft styles from the US and even British cask ale to offer varied tap lists with something for everyone. I visited a number of the city’s cafes, bars and breweries in March 2019 and 40

can confirm there is enough choice to satisfy any committed beer geek. Expect to see American IPA next to Belgian Tripel, Russian imperial stout, Eisbock, barleywine, ESB (Extra Special Bitter), fruit and smoked beers. We mostly stuck to well-known hotspots, but even the smallest most mainstream bars pour beers you’d never expect to see on tap in England. Yes, they sell a lot of lager, particularly from hometown mega-brewers Heineken and Amstel, named after the Amstel River that flows through the city. But they also sell dubbel, blonde, saison and wheat beer, so you’ll never be short of options. This was also true in the restaurants we visited – they weren’t speciality places, but an authentic Chinese restaurant and a pancake shop. A few words of warning… The city likes its beer strong. Sessionable styles hovering around 4% ABV are available, but can be outnumbered by those nearing or exceeding 10%. This is no bad thing, as beers are sold in Cibare Magazine


measures appropriate for their strength. So stronger beers are typically either 250ml (just under a half pint) or 150ml (just under a third of a pint). I think this is the perfect size for sampling the range of beers you see on tap, but just be careful to keep track of how many you’ve had. Also keep in mind that Amsterdam is not known for cheap food and drink, so expect to pay ‘London prices’ or maybe a little more. Immerse yourself in the local drinking culture To do this, it’s essential to visit a few traditional style beer cafes. Proeflokaal Arendsnest is perfect for this. It’s a short walk away from the main city centre, nestled next to a canal in a quieter area near the Jordaan neighbourhood. It proudly serves 50 taps of exclusively Dutch beer. The bar has a relaxed atmosphere but also feels classy – the beer servers wear smart waistcoats and shirts and pour the beer from immaculately polished copper taps. This was my first stop in Amsterdam and I was keen to drink local beers and styles I wouldn’t necessarily see back home. I was spoilt for choice, but eventually settled on an excellent Baltic Porter with Raspberries and Liquorice from the De Eem microbrewery. 10.5% and jet black, it was fruity, roasty and herbal all in one. Another traditional spot is Bierproeflokaal In De Wildeman. It describes itself as a ‘beer tasting room’ and is based in a former distillery in the heart of Amsterdam, hidden down a small alley not far from Centraal Station. 42

When I visited they had several taps from modern Belgian brewers Brussells Beer Project and I had a glass of True & False, an imperial-strength white stout with smoke and coffee flavours, brewed in collaboration with Dutch craft brewery De Molen. There is also an outrageously expansive bottle list, featuring 250 different beers from around the world, including a selection of rare Belgian Lambics. Prefer a more modern setting? Try BeerTemple, a short walk from Dam Square and ab specialist in American imports. Expect to see the likes of Stone, Alesmith and Founders on tap and plenty of IPAs and Porters. I opted for their house beer, Big Fat Double 5 IPA, a full bodied 8% beer loaded with hops brewed by Het Uiltje, one of the few Dutch beers available, but clearly influenced by West Coast American brewers. Beyond the city centre If you want to venture outside of the historic centre, there are a few breweries to visit. I checked out Brouwerij ‘t IJ to the east of the city, which sits at the base of a windmill. For a small brewery they produce a wide range of beers. I opted for a tasting flight that came with an American Pale Ale, Dubbel, Tripel, Belgian IPA and Red IPA. It was absolutely packed on a Saturday afternoon and is clearly very popular with the local community. A regular told me the building used to be a public bath house many years ago. An older gentleman, he said with some pride that as a child he used to come every week for his bath, and now he comes every week Cibare Magazine

for his beer! He thought it was the best beer in Amsterdam. Brouwerij Troost also has a few small breweries around the city. I visited the one in Westergas Park, a former gas works in the north-west of the city that has been transformed into a park with lakes, a farm and a small nature reserve alongside restaurants, cafes, a cinema and a chocolate shop. It’s a great place to explore on a Sunday afternoon. The brewery is in a large historic building, with half the space operating as a taproom. I enjoyed their New England IPA and the sour and fruity ‘Club Tropicana’.


All in all… Amsterdam is a great destination if you fancy exploring a few bars and breweries. Of course, there is much more to the city. The canals and museums are a huge attraction and you can easily spend a weekend just wandering around. The food options are excellent too, and we found it to be a very friendly city. Flights from the UK are fast and usually quite cheap. I’ll be returning.


The Camden Grocer By Eve Tudor

Have you heard of The Camden Grocer? Surely the answer is a resounding yes! Then you will also know that it’s run by three amazing Great Taste Award Judges, so these guys know their food. They actually sell groceries so you can get your amazing cheese and wine, as well as locally grown veggies, from the shop. It’s actually a really cool looking shop with all the original brickwork shown off beautifully with very contemporary furniture and a deli counter too. But what I love most about this cool place is the simple things. I can go in at any time and get a really good coffee. I don’t mean a latte that’s got sprinkles and syrups, I mean a great tasting coffee that hits the caffeine spot and makes me smile. Also, I can get something nice to eat. Now I can get almost anything I want to eat in Camden but with great coffee comes great responsibility. Personally, I love a plate of cheese and charcuterie but what I really want is a sandwich (and if you follow me on any social media you will find this obvious). 44

But anyone can make a great sandwich no? NO!!! No, they can’t! Can The Camden Grocer? Yes. Yes, they can. They have a chef. An actual CHEF whom I can only describe as designing sandwich dishes just for me. It’s not as simple as giving me a ham and cheese sandwich. It’s as calculated as pairing Spanish sausage with the right Brie and wholegrain mustard to make me just what I need. And who knew that it would also come with a slither of mouth-watering lardon that would make me stop everything I was doing and actually have a moment alone with this sandwich. Honestly, I had no idea I could love a sandwich this much. So come and get your veggies, your honey, your chocolate and your wine. Pick up some cheese and rosemary water, get your award-winning shopping at The Camden Grocer. But stay for the coffee, stay for the sandwiches and enjoy Camden’s new style of shopping and eating.

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April at home By Emma de Sousa

It’s been an interesting start to the year for me ... I took the hard decision to give up my allotments this year (Oh no I hear you say, but don’t worry I have a plan!). My business has really taken off and I simply don’t have the time to dedicate to two allotments as well as to maintaining the cutting patch where I grow flowers for my Weddings & Events business, alongside the day to day running of work, my household, three kids and my animals … so with great regret I did the decent thing and passed the allotment. It is a huge commitment taking on an allotment but don’t be put off by that – it’s also hugely rewarding not only growing your own produce but simply being outside and at one with nature! So, in order to not give up my veggie growing completely we have been doing a little work at the studio garden, which in all fairness was looking a bit neglected in the past couple of years. I have put three large raised beds there and built a super stylish greenhouse to start off my seedlings. I will grow tomatoes outside my kitchen window (south facing so lots of sunshine) and we already have lots 46

of herbs in pots that we cut throughout the year including rosemary, thyme, bay etc and of course I will be sowing lots more over the next few weeks to keep the flow of produce coming. I think that with everything being so accessible, I will grow more on my little patch than I ever did on my allotments where I had to travel to tend, water and harvest. So, in the spirit of my new space, for this issue I am talking about veggie growing on a small scale … making things easy for you by growing on a small manageable plot, not requiring lots of space but being as productive as you can. I have set aside space for my two composters to sit in the chicken garden: yes, I have three ‘gardens’ set aside, one belongs to the flower studio, one is the chicken garden where they are allowed to free range and scratch around and one is for humans and dogs and kids! Already it’s much easier being able to walk to the end of my garden and throw the vegetable waste into them rather than collecting in a bucket and transferring it all to the allotments, full Cibare Magazine

of fruit flies, leaking brown sludgy water everywhere … call me sad but I got super excited when they were installed and I am already composting more now that they are so accessible and handy for me to use! There is nothing more satisfying than a compost bin full of rich, brown fertile compost that you have produced. Top tip, make sure you have a good mix of matter to compost – shredded paper, veg and fruit waste, grass cuttings etc. It makes for a much better quality of compost and means you are recycling as much as possible! The second time saving thing and by far the most exciting addition to my studio garden is my new greenhouse! This is going to be a game changer! Going to the allotment and the cutting patch greenhouses was quite frankly a pain! Tender seedlings need constant care and attention. Too hot and they will literally fry in a day, too cold and damp and they will rot – having a greenhouse on site means I can keep the tiny babies under my constant watchful eye and check on them four times a day if need be. The cutting patch greenhouse can store the dahlias and keep them safe until they are planted out next month as these need much less care and watering and can be checked every few days rather than twice a day like the newly emerging seedlings! Now I know not everyone has the space or the money for a new greenhouse but we have literally built this from reclaimed wood and found materials (from skips mainly) – the only thing we have purchased is the polycarbonate that was used for glazing and the wood preserve to make sure it will last, well, forever! Now I am lucky that I have a super talented other half 48

who is a genius with wood, but really you don’t need to spend a fortune. There are loads of free second hand greenhouses online if you are prepared to dismantle them and take them away – I can’t tell you how great greenhouses are (or build a mini greenhouse – you just somewhere you can get those seedlings started). So, what will I be growing in the new patch? Well, we already have a bed full of winter cabbage which feeds the chickens all year round and provides for us too (it makes my favourite Calde Verde, a traditional Portuguese soup). Salad leaves can be planted in trays (salvage some from supermarkets – you know the bread trays, or polystyrene trays that fish or meat come in are perfect). Salad leaves are cut so often and grow so quickly you just keep sowing them successionally throughout the season and they keep on giving – these can be kept inside the greenhouse so no worries about slug attack. I will grow beans (upwards on a teepee type structure so totally space saving) spinach (cut and come again so one or two rows needed only and a must for me as I eat lots of it), chard, courgette (you only need one courgette plant because these babies produce more than you will ever need from just one plant), and of course tomatoes. I always have a chilli plant in the greenhouse and I will grow some lovely peppers indoors too. Herbs such as coriander, basil and parsley I will grow in pots on the patio. Really, I think I will grow more this year on my little plot that I have done in the past two years where I have really struggled to keep on top it all. You don’t need tons of space and I am hoping that it will Cibare Magazine

become a pleasure once again to grow even a few things rather than firefighting all the things that I have to juggle on a daily basis – during the long light days of summer I can wander up to my little plot and pick and water to my heart’s content and be back at the house with my feet up (hopefully). So here are my top tips / best things about a garden veg patch … (and this may change once we have got a season under our belt) - Having everything accessible – greenhouse or mini greenhouse, composting system and of course your veggies – cut as you need them! - Don’t forget to set up water butts where you can to harvest water as much as possible – we currently have three in various spots. - Set up compost bins if you can – at least two so while one is rotting down the other is being filled with fresh veg peelings etc - Raised beds you can make out of scaffolding planks, old pallet wood or if you are feeling extravagant you can buy kits online that are easy to put together. Once constructed line the floor with cardboard to block out any weeds, fill with a good compost and top soil and top off with well-rotted manure. Leave the soil to settle for a week or so before planting. Remember that raised beds need a little more watering during hot spells so get those water butts in place. - Lastly get yourself a nice garden bench or chair and enjoy a cold glass of wine or beer whilst admiring the fruits of your labour. What to be doing on the veg patch … April / May

- You can direct sow hardy annuals such as salad leaves, beetroot, chard, peas and carrots. I grow my salad leaves inside the greenhouse and continually sow all season cutting when they are young and tender – once one crop has become tired, I start with a fresh batch of seeds. - Half hardy annuals such as beans, squash and pumpkins can be sown in April. - Hopefully your tomatoes and cucumbers are already well on their way and ready pot on and plant out after the frosts have passed. Continue sowing undercover for late crops. - You can start planting out in May (I usually wait until the second week just to make sure the frosts have passed) anything that you have started undercover, so French beans, squash etc - Keep composting, successional sowing (herbs, radishes, carrots, beetroots and salad leaves) - Direct sow basil as this will give you the best crop if sown straight into the ground. Don’t forget if you don’t have the space for raised beds grow in containers … it gives you so much pleasure even growing the tiniest amount of produce. Go to local seed / plant swapping events, ask your local allotments if they have any spare seedlings to swap for next year’s seeds … people always grow too much and are happy to give stuff away - Lastly, and most importantly enjoy! Being out on the allotment or out in the garden, fresh air is good for you! Not just physically but mentally it’s the second-best medicine ever. The first and most important medicine is food – and growing your own in an organic way will ensure you get the freshest, best food EVER!!!


Fish Finger Sandwiches


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Smoked Salmon and cream cheese bagle

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Lets talk cheap! Over the years I’ve been perfecting easyto-prepare, nutritious and cost-effective meals. It’s a constant work in progress – especially with three children who seem to change their minds about food at the drop of a hat – but I have a few firm family favourites, plus an arsenal of tips and tricks which work with most dishes.

fan of chickpeas for stews and curries, or to make humous or falafels. Costwise, the dried ones are slightly cheaper but time-wise I prefer canned. They don’t need pre-soaking and I’m often impulsive, which means that if I think a meal looks sparse, I can throw a can in at a moment’s notice.

Lentils Red lentils are a store cupboard essential. I use them boiled and blended in soups and stews to thicken, and left whole in other dishes to replace or bulk out meat. Green lentils hold their shape a little more than red ones, so are really good in a veggie cottage pie. Puy lentils stay very firm and I do a few dishes which call for these but they’re pricey. Lots of supermarkets sell ‘lentilles vert’ for a fraction of the price, which are pretty much identical, stay really firm and have a lovely nutty flavour.

Frozen vegetables


Apart from good old lentils, any pulses are a store cupboard staple. I’m a big 54

Frozen veg gets a bad press, but I find it incredibly useful! Things like sliced peppers and mushrooms can add flavour and essential vitamins and minerals to many dishes. They’re cost-effective and also reduce prep time, which can only be a good thing.

Slow cookers

Anyone who knows me in real life knows I can bang on about these until the cows come home... I love my slow cooker. Mine is huge and I cook in bulk, so I can portion things for the freezer and there’s always something for those days when I just can’t be bothered to cook. (We all have those days.) It also means I Cibare Magazine

PICTURE CREDITS: shutterstock_igorsm8’s

By Jo Farren

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can cram loads of veg into meals, cook low and slow and it all sort of melts, making it totally yummy and chock full of nutrition.

Rough cuts of meat

Using a slow cooker allows you the grace of buying cheaper cuts of meat and your meal still turning out delicious. I’ve done pork shoulder and beef brisket in mine, both reasonably cheap cuts and tough as old boots in the oven I find. But cooked low and slow for hours makes them just fall apart into gooey tastiness. Pork shoulder is perfect for pulled pork too and you’d be amazed at how far it can go. If I do a brisket I throw in a load of veg alongside the meat and it all cooks together beautifully like a pot roast. I’ve never been able to cook potatoes in the slow cooker terribly well, but a tin of new potatoes works well in there and means fewer pots and pans to wash up afterwards – result.

Approved Food and online clearance retailers

The Approved Food website sells ambient temperature groceries (tins, dried foods etc) with short sell-by dates or beyond their ‘best before’ dates. You can often find very cheap items and it can be worth clubbing together with friends to order and share postage costs.

Wonky fruit and veg

Yep, it’s officially a thing. Lots of supermarkets now sell ‘wonky’ produce which is totally edible but not as aesthetically pleasing as they’d like. It’s usually seasonal but much cheaper than its pretty counterparts. I often get a large veg box for £3.50 containing all sorts of lovely things. The fruit is also

quite good and often forms the basis of our puddings. Markets This can be an untapped resource. Towards the end of the day even more bargains can be had, but the food often needs using fairly sharpish. This is where a huge slow-cooked stew can work well – use all that veg and freeze it in portions.

The World Foods aisle

This is always worth a look for herbs and spices, particularly if you get through them at the rate we do. They often stock cheaper brands of dried lentils, noodles, rice and tinned goods such as tomatoes.

Food Clubs

These are new to me, but sound like a great idea. Club together with friends and neighbours to buy wholesome ethical foods and household products in bulk and save £££!

Meat substitutes

Roasted sweet potato and butternut squash are both great substitutes for meat. Chewy and delicious, they’re nutritious and much cheaper per kg than meat.

Sunday roasts

If you’re having a roast, using every last scrap helps make your investment in a good piece of meat go further. Use the dark meat on poultry for stews or curries and the bones for stock, so you get more bang for your buck.

Best-before cafes

These community-run shops are cropping up all over the place, selling very short-dated produce from local businesses at a reduced cost.

The difference between Best Before and Use By dates

PICTURE CREDITS: shutterstock_DariaArnautova

Basically, it’s a safety thing. Use By means you shouldn’t eat things like meat and poultry beyond that date as it may not be safe. However, cereal and dried pasta fall into the Best Before category. Personally I’d never advise eating food after its Use By date in case it makes you ill.

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Cheap Moves By Anne Iarchy

When we think about exercise, the first thing that comes to mind for most of us is joining a gym. And though today you can find ‘low-cost’ gyms nearly everywhere, even if you use the facilities regularly, you still shell out from £300 to £1000 a year if you live in the London suburbs. But exercise doesn’t have to mean a gym. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are a few ideas for free or very cheap ways to add exercise to your life.

Take a walk

Going for a walk or hike is the most basic exercise nearly everyone can do, and doesn’t cost a thing. Try to fit in short walks during the week and longer ones at weekends. There are plenty of nice walking paths and trails around the country and you can make it easier or harder by varying the terrain, distance and incline you cover. All you need is a good pair of shoes or walking boots, a waterproof jacket (and perhaps) trousers, plus a small backpack to store a water bottle, keys, 58

the waterproofs and an extra layer if need be. Of course, there are always gadgets you can buy like water bladders or tracking watches, or better shoes and special socks. But they’re not a must.

Go on the run

Jogging or running is another easy-totry sport which costs nothing and you can use the same paths and trails as walkers. Invest in a good pair of running shoes, socks and a rainproof jacket for wetter days. You might find a dedicated backpack with a water bladder useful for longer runs, or you could just stick your water bottle into a belt. A great way to start is by following the Couch to 5k programme. Just download the (free!) app to your phone and it tells you exactly when to run and when to walk, until you run consistently for 30 minutes. The programme last nine weeks but if you’ve never done any running before, or find yourself struggling, you can always repeat a specific week and take a little longer. Cibare Magazine

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To reach the end result, you need to go out three times a week. The first time I did the programme, I got to Week 9 and ran for 30 minutes non-stop but didn’t cover 5km – which was a little disappointing! So I just added a couple of weeks with some extra intervals, and eventually reached 5km in just over 30 minutes. Obviously how you progress depends on your own running pace.

Head to your local park

Many parks now have exercise machines where you can do strength training without having to pay a gym membership. Try going for a walk or run beforehand, then do a couple of circuits on the machines, and you get a fantastic free workout combining strength and cardiovascular training. Just don’t forget to stretch at the end!

Look online

Last but not least, visit an online deal site like Groupon to find special offers for any sports that appeal to you. As a personal trainer, this isn’t my favourite way to get involved but every day you see offers for different sports so it’s worth looking into if you like variety.

Remember that exercise isn’t just…

…walking, running or going to the gym. It could be tennis, badminton, wall climbing, rowing, swimming, football and much, much more. Whatever you choose to do, the important thing is to be consistent. That’s how you’ll reach your health, fitness and weight-loss goals.


If you prefer to work out indoors in the comfort of your home, there are plenty of YouTube videos or DVDs you can follow. Choose from cardiovascular, strength training, split training, Pilates, yoga... You name it, you can find a workout routine online or on video. It can take a few tries to find the right programme for your current fitness level, so do some research.

Play ball

If you’re more of a team sport person, grab a ball and a few friends, then find some space in your local park for a game of football. Hiring a hall for team sport or a tennis court in your local park is not massively expensive, and can be a great way to spend time with friends and the local community. 60

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Dipsos do snacks! By Patricia Carroll

Wine aficionados are used to considering which wine to match with main meals, but snacks, which hit the palate with an immediate intensity of flavour, can be a challenge. Our intrepid group of tasters, from the Irish Certified Dipsos (WSET Diploma graduates and students), spent a happy evening matching various snacks with broad selection of wines: two sparkling, four whites, a rosé and five reds. The snacks we covered were: • I Love Snacks olives and nuts • 5 types of crisp – Kettle and Tyrrell’s • Hippeas • BEASTFAST Granola • Can-D Salmon • Trailhead Jerky • JEKL Steak on the go! • Made for Drink Chorizo Thins • And, to wind up, I Love Snacks Cocoa Chocolate

What was best?

We scored each combination out of five. The best match of the evening was 62

Can-D Salmon with Caixas Albariño Rías Baixas with 4.2 points: ‘The Albariño had acidity and a little salinity, which made it a perfect match for the sweet/salty salmon.’ The Majestic Loves Chardonnay also showed well. Although the assumption would be that the Can-D Salmon would be best suited to white wine, the La Belle Angèle Rosé was stunning with it (4.0 points) and tasters were surprised that the Wine Society’s Barbera d’Asti, the Making Tracks Shiraz and the Definition Zinfandel also proved excellent combinations. Two tasters thought that an off-dry Riesling would also work very well. The other success of the tasting was Chorizo Thins with red wines, all of which went down a treat. The Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva (3.9) and the Shiraz (4.3) were particularly successful, with their sweetness and earthiness complementing the spicy chorizo. (Hardly surprising when Chorizo Thins have ‘Made for Rioja’ on the packet – in this case it does exactly what it says Cibare Magazine

on the tin.) Tasters were struck by the complexity of flavour from the Chorizo Thins – ‘vanilla, cream, paprika – perfect with the Rioja’. Unsurprisingly, nuts proved to be a perfect match with most wines. They didn’t overpower the Allini Prosecco, combined really well with the Chardonnay and were a suitable match with all the reds. The Barbera d’Asti was perfect with I Love Snacks Mixed Nuts. Another common snack, olives – in this case, I Love Snacks Olives – also partnered well with a wide range of wines. They were a bit too strongly flavoured for the Prosecco, but the Codorníu Cava Selección Raventós and the Dawn Star Sauvignon Blanc were excellent matches, as were all the reds. We were struck by how well I Love Snacks Cocoa Chocolate went with the Shiraz and the Zinfandel. The balance of savouriness and sweetness in the wine and the chocolate just hit the spot. The 70% chocolate, high quality and not too sweet, suits the Zinfandel especially. One taster thought it ‘a match made in heaven’. Overall compatibility Looking at overall compatibility and the ability to go with most snacks, rosé was the clear winner, scoring 3.4 points over all the snacks tasted. As well as the Can-D Salmon, it was excellent with I Love Snacks California Almonds and was the only real contender for the Hippeas snacks, which we felt would be better matched with beer, particularly a hoppy IPA made with Citra or Mosaic hops. Cava was a strong runner-up, especially 64

with the nuts and the Tyrrell’s Furrows Black Truffle and Sea Salt Crisps, where each had an appealing smokiness. You might not drink wine often with your BEASTFAST granola, but if you do, Cava or rosé are the best options. We tried Chai-Power and Superpower and found that the strong flavours of the granola suited the soft berry flavours of the rosé. Chardonnay’s best match was with the Can-D Salmon, closely followed by the I Love Snacks California Almonds and the Kettle Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup Crisps, though all the crisp flavours, being salty, went well with the smoothness and richness of the Chardonnay. Meaty snacks For meat-based snacks such as jerky, reds are the go-to wines. The tasters’ favourite here was Shiraz paired with various flavours of Trailhead Beef Jerky and JEKL Steak on the go!, but close runners-up were the Rioja Reserva and the Zinfandel. Dried meat snacks need a robust, spicy red wine to stand up to their richness and spice. One hit was the Trailhead Beef Jerky Hot Smoked Chipotle with the Zinfandel: ‘sweet spicy fruit and spicy smoked chipotle’ was one comment. Another taster favoured the JEKL Steak on the go! Spiced Teriyaki with the Shiraz: ‘beautiful with spicy Shiraz and fruity Zinfandel’. Crisps are pretty versatile, but one standout was the combination of Tyrrell’s Furrows Aberdeen Angus Beef Crisps with red wine, especially the Behind Closed Doors Lisboa and the Cibare Magazine

Rioja Reserva. Chardonnay was also a good choice here. The Kettle Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup Crisps also scored well with Chardonnay, as well as with the Lisboa and the Rioja Reserva. Gavi and truffles both come from Piedmont, so it can’t be a coincidence that the tasters enjoyed the Bricco Battistina Gavi with the very truffly Tyrrell’s Furrows Black Truffle & Sea Salt Crisps. Reds went well here too. Chilli is a big challenge for wine and needs wines with higher alcohol and less upfront, jammy fruit. The two chilli snacks, Trailhead Beef Jerky Hot Smoked Chipotle and Hippeas Chilli Haze, were best with the Shiraz and the Zinfandel, but the scores weren’t high. Beer would be a better option for chilli snacks. The expected and the unexpected What we expected: olives, nuts and crisps, the commonest offerings in bars, go pretty much with every wine style. What we didn’t expect: the perfection of chocolate and Zinfandel or the harmony of Can-D Salmon with Shiraz and Zinfandel. The experience has taught us to put aside our preconceptions and experiment with different combinations of snack foods and wines. It was clear, too, that we all have different tastes, with some tasters’ perfect matches being ‘disastrous’ for others. We were in broad agreement, however, about the best matches – some, indeed, made in heaven.



Sparkling Allini Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry Conegliano Valdobbiadene 2016 (£7.99 Aldi/Lidl) Codorníu Cava Selección Raventós NV (£11.99 Majestic) White Bricco Battistina Gavi 2016 (£9.95 Wine Society) Caixas Albariño Rías Baixas 2017 (£9.99 Majestic) Dawn Star Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (£9.99 Majestic) Majestic Loves Chardonnay 2017 (£6.99 Majestic) Rosé La Belle Angèle Rosé Vin de France 2017 (£8.99 Majestic) Red Behind Closed Doors Lisboa 2016 (£10.99 Majestic) Wine Society’s Barbera d’Asti 2016 (£7.75 Wine Society) Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva 2014 (£11 UK supermarkets) Making Tracks Shiraz 2018 (£9.99 Majestic) Definition Zinfandel 2017 (£9.99 Majestic)


Beast Fast Chai-Power Granola Beast Fast Superpower Granola Can-D Salmon Hippeas Cheese & Love Hippeas Chilli Haze Hippeas In Herbs We Trust Hippeas Salt & Vinegar Vibes Hippeas Sweet & Smokin’ I Love Snacks California Almonds I Love Snacks Cocoa Chocolate I Love Snacks Mixed Nuts I Love Snacks Olives Cibare Magazine

JEKL Steak on the go! Honeyed Jalapeno JEKL Steak on the go! Pineapple & Orange JEKL Steak on the go! Spiced Teriyaki Kettle Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup Crisps Kettle Mature Cheddar & Red Onion Crisps Made for Drink Chorizo Thins Trailhead Beef Jerky Black Pepper Trailhead Beef Jerky Hot Smoked Chipotle Trailhead Beef Jerky Original Tyrrell’s Furrows Aberdeen Angus Beef Crisps Tyrrell’s Furrows Black Truffle & Sea Salt Crisps Tyrrell’s Sea Salt & Vinegar Crisps

The tasters

All our tasters are WSET Diploma graduates. Alex Anderson Niamh Boylan Richie Brady Alejandro Carrasco Patricia Carroll Niav McNamara Máirín Ui Mhurchú Monica Murphy Lorna Rouse Patricia Carroll Dip. WSET is a food and wine book editor living in Dublin.

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It’s all about quality By Roz Lishak

Chewing a chair leg, scratching at the door or barking at the treat cupboard are obvious signs that your dog is trying to tell you something. But when it comes to choosing their food, that decision is totally in your hands. Or is it? “My dog eats anything!” This is the proud response of some members of the canine community, when asked about their dogs’ feeding habits. In truth, your dog will eat what you give it. However, if it only knew what was ending up in its own dog bowl (let alone the food chain), it might not give into temptation so easily! Cheap food options in the dog world are sadly presented as good value. But did you know that most canine health issues – lethargy, skin issues, allergy and behaviour problems – lead back to digestion? What if the thread of evidence takes us back to our pets’ diet regimes

and the quality of what they eat? There’s a misconception that a DIY feeding regime for your pets is costly, time-consuming and difficult. This should be easily blown away when you realise that the alternative is making expensive trips to the vet. Taking the time to include quality, carefullysourced products with recognised health benefits is the key to a safe, balanced menu. A little knowledge goes a long way We can educate ourselves by reading product labels and asking if we’re buying that bargain bag of dog meal because it’s better for our purses than our pooches. Would you feed your family a meal made of condemned meat? Or cookies made from swept-up leftovers? The answer soon becomes clear. Your dog is similar to a child in the family, needing your attention every day, so think responsibly, think logically and think quality over cheap ‘n’ cheerful. Cheerful could be tearful for your pet.

PICTURE CREDITS: shutterstock_WongsatitPreetikul

It’s been said many times before, but being a responsible pet parent means making choices for your dog that they simply can’t make for themselves.

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Cooking On A Bootstrap by Jack Monroe By Rebecca Stratton

I’ve had this book perched next to my desk for a while now, waiting for an appropriate time to write a review. When I found out this was the Budget Eats issue, I thought ‘At last!’. I am a huge fan of A Girl Called Jack (this book’s predecessor) and Jack’s blog and Instagram, where she churns out daily new, inspiring recipes along with the most wonderful photos. She posts a huge amount of meat-free and vegan recipes. For me as a long-time vegetarian, and for the whole world trying to reduce its meat intake, this can only be a good thing! During her career Jack hasn’t been shy about discussing living on the breadline, while still wanting to produce healthy, delicious and imaginative food on a shoestring budget. This book showcases her enormous creative talent for doing so. 70

It has a great kitchen store cupboard guide, advocating frozen, tinned and value ranges, with ways to make them go further, as well as advice on oils, spices and cooking alcohol. She suggests using strong black tea in place of red wine – I’ll definitely give this a go one day!


The first chapter covers bread, so cheap and rewarding to make. There really is nothing like a fresh home-baked loaf is there? A recipe for basic white bread, Applesauce Bread Cake, the brilliantlynamed Unf**kable Pizza Dough, Pintglass Beer Bread and even Lardy Buns. These recipes are all well explained, so a good starter if it’s your first foray into bread-making. Jack says she hasn’t bought commercial bread in a long time, and I can see why, if it really is as easy as the book shows.

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Eat more greens

The breakfast chapter is up next, with Ping Porridge, Saturday Morning Pancakes, Shakshuka (which seems to be everywhere at the moment) and Pizza Toast – a favourite in our house to use up odds and ends from the fridge before the weekly shop. Some highlights here include Spinach, Lentil and Lemon, Colcannon, Spiced Potato with Chilli and Yoghurt, and Vegan Carrot and Chickpea soup. They all scream goodness!

A packet of pasta or a bag of rice

Pasta always spring to mind whenever I want something cheap and quick. Here you’ll find Mug Marmite Mac’n’Cheese (you’ll either love it or hate it, right?), Creamy Vegan Cannellini and Fennel Pasta, Green Rice and Spring Herb Risotto, among others. Mmmmmm.

Beans, pulses and lentils

I’m determined to include more of these in my meals this year. I’m always reading about the health benefits, and of course they’re a good meat-free protein. Aubergine and Lentil Vindaloo was the first recipe I made from the book and is just heavenly. I rarely make curries from scratch but this was worth the effort, and well received by meat eaters served with rice and chapattis. Onion and Lentil Korma is next on my list as I have a mild curry lover in my life! Red Bean Soup and Dumplings and Beet Balls also look fantastic.


This chapter is for recipes Jack developed before going meat-free. She was unsure whether to include them, but decided they could be helpful to those on a budget. I’ll skip this, because as a vegetarian I won’t be cooking any of it any time soon! These recipes showcase vegetables and how to make them – not meat, or a substitute for meat – the star of the show, with dishes such as Mushroom and Spinach Bolognese, Broccoli and Courgette Pesto, Tofu Shashlik, and Mushroom and Tea Bourguignon. Jack reassures us again that strong black tea is a reliable substitute for red wine, providing umami depth when combined with the mushrooms. It’s certainly refreshing to see some new ideas.

What’s the verdict?

I’ve enjoyed the recipes I‘ve cooked so far, and earmarked several for meals in the coming weeks. I love that they are so flavourful yet so simple to make. If you’re going to attempt cooking on a budget, these are definitely the sort of recipes to lure you in. On Jack’s blog she helpfully works out the cost per portion, and some seem too good to be true (though they are)! I’m biased, as I was already a big fan of Jack through her blog, but this book didn’t disappoint. I’m already looking forward to her next one.

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Team Links Despina Mina - @forkedldn Emma Walton - @supperinthesuburbs Jon Moore - @beerinthesuburbs Emma de Sousa @theurbanflowerfarmer Ying Bower - @yingenough Dani Gavriel - @dani_gavriel Penny Langford -@peneoplepeer Roz Lishak - @yourpupparazzi Rebecca Stratton -@cakerebecca Gillian Balcobe - @gillianbalcombe Anne Iachy - @barnettrainer Jo Farren - @jo.farren Samina Iqba - @samina.i Scott Winston - @scott_winston_food Eve Tudor - @editoroffood Eileen MacCallum Theo Micheals - @theocooks Patricia Carroll - Twitter: @TDipsos


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Cibare Food and Drinks Magazine Issue 16  

This issue is full of delicious cheap eats and amazing places to go and feast as well as all of our usual amazing articles. Check us out!...

Cibare Food and Drinks Magazine Issue 16  

This issue is full of delicious cheap eats and amazing places to go and feast as well as all of our usual amazing articles. Check us out!...

Profile for cibare