Banana Pudding

Mid-January and that healthy eating kick is starting to feel a little more difficult now that the Christmas and New Year dust has settled, well for us it has anyway. So, we thought we’d share some fruity inspiration to give you a bit of a lift. This week’s boost comes in the form of Banana. Banana Pudding that is… Well, what did you expect?!

It’s one of our favourite desserts for more reasons than one. Tasty and easy to prepare Banana Pudding works as a dessert for a special occasion or as a dish for a family dinner and it’s open to variation which means you can prepare to your own taste.

Originally just bananas, custard and a topping the dish has developed quite a bit since it’s initial inception in the 19th century with the import of bananas from the caribbean to the US. American cooks were intrigued by the exotic fruit and tried them in existing recipes which were typically puddings and custards. However since Mary Harris’ published a cook book called “the Kentucky Receipt book” in 1903 with an official recipe the Banana Pudding has become known for it’s delicious rich layers of custardy pudding, slices of bananas, meringue and crunchy vanilla wafers.

For special occasions, Banana Pudding is often dressed up with a whipped cream or meringue topping for texture. Yet the best thing about it is it’s a really simple pudding with little fuss – perfect for low-key occasions too! The recipe requires very little effort for such a great dessert, it’s just case of combining all of the ingredients in a pan and whisking until it’s thick which is great if you’re preparing it at home and of course it’s open to artistic licence. Replacing the custardy filling with vanilla is a popular variation.

If you’ve never made Banana Pudding before, here’s the ingredients for a vanilla style you’ll need to get you started:

5 Ripe Bananas
2 of Reduced-Fat Milk
2/3 cup of Sugar
2 tbsp Cornstarch
1/4 tspn Salt
2 large Eggs
1 tbsp Butter
Whipped Topping

Sweet, flavourful and simple to make. Banana pudding is a great pudding for the new year.

Vanilla In Allseasons are experts at catering for your specific needs whether it be desserts or mains we’re here to help. If your are interested in working with Vanilla don’t hesitate to get in touch via 01625 421 685 or email us at

Left Over Sunday Dinner Recipes

A Sunday dinner, can’t beat it. One of Britain’s traditions, served on a Sunday with roasted meat, roast potatoes Yorkshire puds, stuffing, vegetables and gravy. The veg is subject to choice and personal preference but Parsnips, Brussel Sprouts, Peas, Carrots, Broccoli and Cauliflower often make the menu. the meal is often compared to a less grand version of a christmas dinner.

The typical meats that will be served with a Sunday dinner are roast beef, chicken, lamb or pork, sometimes seasonally it can be duck, goose , gammon or turkey.

The traditional accompaniments :

– Beef – Yorkshire pudding, suet pudding , english mustard or horseraddish
– Pork – crackling and sage and onion stuffing , apple sauce or english mustard
– Lamb – Mint sauce or red currant jelly
– Chicken – pigs in blankets , sausages , stuffing , bread sauce , cranberry sauce or redcurrant jelly.

The leftovers:

Leftovers from a Sunday dinner can be used to form from the basic meals for the rest of the week. Meats might be used for sandwich fillers, extra veg could be used in a hearty stew, blended into a soup or used as the basis for bubble and squeak and Lamb might be used in the filling of a shepherds pie.

The pubs and restaurants in the UK serving food usually have a Sunday menu that features a roast dinner. Regularly there will be a variety of meats and often vegetables and often is cheaper than the normal everyday menu.

A Sunday dinner left over recipe :

Moroccan-style stew roasted meat

Ingredients :

– Olive oil
– 15g butter
– 2 onions , finely chopped
– 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
– 1 tin of chickpeas (400g), drained and rinsed
– 1 tin of tomatoes (400g), chopped
– 1/4 teaspoon freshly grounded black pepper
– 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
– 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– juice of 1 lemon (or lime)
– 450ml vegetable or chicken stock (plus more if needed)
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 large bunch of fresh coriander or parsley, finely chopped (or a mixture of both reserve some for serving)
– 2 teaspoons mint, dried or a couple of sprigs of fresh mint
– 1 teaspoon paprika
– 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
– leftover roast lamb (or chicken or beef)

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea – A Great British Tradition. Tea, Biscuits, Sandwiches, what more could you want? Not to mention it’s a great way to get together with friends, have a catch-up and relax.

Introduced by Anna the Seventh Duchess of Bedford in 1840 to ease the ‘sinking feeling’ she had between meals during the afternoon. The Duchess asked that a tray of tea, bread, butter and cake be brought to her room around 4pm. Anna soon made a habit out of it and she began inviting friends to join her. It became popularised in the 1880’s amongst the upper-class and society women who would change into long gowns, gloves and hats.

These days, however, Afternoon tea isn’t reserved for the wealthy and privileged. In fact in the last 5 years or so Afternoon Tea has become a popular past-time, with many restaurants and cafe’s adding it to their daytime menus. Consisting of light bites and the quintessentially British Tea, afternoon tea is as much about social aspect as it is the food, often used as gifts or celebratory events for friends and family. There is even now a brilliant trend of using Afternoon Tea / Coffee Mornings as a way of raising money for charity with the host inviting friends over and making various charitable donations!

If you are thinking of hosting an Afternoon Tea event here are some traditional bites to include –

Classic afternoon tea sandwiches:

– Cucumber
– Egg mayonnaise with cress
– Smoked salmon with cream cheese
– Coronation chicken
– Ham and mustard

Traditional Afternoon Tea Menu:

A selection of freshly prepared finger sandwiches
Warm scones with clotted cream and preserves
A variety of home made cakes and pastries
Your choice of a range of tea

We love traditions like afternoon tea, they make us proud of our British culture. All of Vanilla In Allseasons Ingredients are locally sourced to ensure that we provide to best produce for our events. If you would like us to help you with your event please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Why we love Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine. It’s the staple drink of the festive season. The one your local pub will have on it’s chalk boards. It’s the drink synonymous with Sunday afternoon’s relaxing in good company.

Mulled Wine has a delicious taste with a distinctive aroma and is even has health benefits with its traditionally used spices offering boosts to antioxidant levels whilst the wine can be good for your cholesterol as well as welcoming in that festive cheer!

Mulled Wine is traditionally served hot or warm and can come in alcoholic or non-alcoholic form. Usually it’s seasoned with traditional Christmas spices, such as nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon, however plenty of people use their own recipe. Heated slowlythe flavours from the spices are allowed time to mix with the Red Wine. Extra sugar and honey is often added to provide a sweeter taste. Typically, Mulled Wine is made in larger quantities to cater for a number of people/guests often served in a pot.

Mulled wine recipe:

– 1 bottle red wine – 60g/2oz demerara sugar – 1 cinnamon stick – grated nutmeg – 1 orange, halved – 1 dried bay leaf – 60ml/2fl oz sloe or damson gin (optional)

Preparation method

– Put the wine in a saucepan with the orange, sugar, bayleaf and the spices.

– Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Taste to see if you want the wine sweeter, and add more sugar to taste.

– Off the heat, stir in the sloe or damson gin if you are using it.

– Strain into heatproof glasses and serve at once.

via BBC:

Remember: If you’re catering for a dinner party and you’re running low on supplies – Add some fruit and water to maintain the sweet taste and boost your levels.

Why do we love it? Because not only does it taste amazing and have benefits to health but it also signals the start of that festive time of year reserved for spending time with friends and family, relaxing and maybe, just maybe, having a little bit of party!

Breaking the tradition

Now the dust has settled from the Halloween period and the fantastic firework displays it’s already time to start thinking about the big one – Christmas. that’s right, love it or hate it: the Christmas period now begins almost as soon as autumn hits, you’ll have noticed the christmas lights have started to go up around town and the supermarkets have turned there attention to Christmas decorations.


Whilst it may be a little too early to buy your turkey for the big day it doesn’t mean you can’t plan and with so many of us happy to break the tradition every year we thought we’d share so great alternatives to the traditional turkey dish.

Chicken – It cooks quicker than a Turkey so the risk of over cooking it is reduced and can even be tastier and with the stripped carcass you’ll be able to make a flavourful stock.

Duck – A crispy alternative to Turkey and can take as little as 15 minutes to prepare. It may be pricier but its worth it for the delicate outer skin and mouth watering tender meat once it’s cooked off and its short prep time will let you get on with enjoying the day.

Vegetarian – If you’re entertaining family and friends this Christmas its always worth thinking about a vegetarian option. One of our favourite dishes is a Festive Squash Jalousie. This tasty pie is a perfect veggie option for Christmas Day and can be served with all the traditional trimmings. You can find the full recipe here:

Some yummy ideas I’m sure you’ll agree. We personally can’t wait for Christmas. The festive period always brings with it Christmas joy and togetherness and the abundance of great food only makes it better.

Next week: Christmas events.

Have a Halloween Mocktail

It’s Halloween! Whether you are you celebrating with a scary party, or simply staying in and waiting for the trick or treaters to pop by, it’s a great excuse to have fun in the kitchen. There really are so many great sweet and savoury dishes that you can create to celebrate the spooky event. From ghastly cookies to fun jelly slime cocktails there’s so many things to experiment with!


Image via Jonny Draper Photography.

Here’s a fun jelly mocktail that’s quite simple to make and ideal for parties!

Eyeball snot-tail
The jellied texture and edible eyeball in this slimy mocktail are dreadfully delicious – perfect Halloween party fare for kids

You will need:
135g pack lime jelly
700ml apple & pear juice (we used Copella)
300ml lemonade
425g can lychees in syrup
10-15 cocktail cherries from a jar
10-15 raisins
You will need
10-15 cocktail sticks

Make the jelly following pack instructions and chill until set. Combine the apple & pear juice with the lemonade in a large jug and chill in the fridge.
To make the eyeballs, drain the lychees and poke a hole in each cherry with one of the cocktail sticks. Put the cherry inside the lychee, then push the raisin into the cherry. Press the eyeball onto the end of a cocktail stick and set aside until serving.
When the jelly has set, use a whisk to break it up into small chunks. Spoon into the cocktail glasses and top up with the apple juice mixture. Put an eyeball into each glass before serving. Recipe via BBC Good Food.

Enjoy Homemade Frozen Yogurt

We love relaxing in the Summer with a nice cold frozen yogurt. It’s not long that we can enjoy the sunshine here in England so it’s great to make the most of it and enjoy the time to the full potential with an array of tasty frozen treats. Ice cream and lollies are the obvious choice in the sunshine, but to discover a tasty and healthier option frozen yogurt is the perfect alternative choice.

Making your own frozen treats may seem like a difficult task, but all you need is the patience to allow it to freeze! Selecting your own fruits and flavours will make it the tastiest treat just for you. One of our favourite flavours is ‘Blueberry Frozen Yogurt’, all you need is a food processor and 4 simple ingredients. Simply follow the recipe here:

Image via Pinterest.

4 cups of frozen blueberries
3 tablespoons of honey
1/2 cup of coconut yogurt
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
3/4 cup flaked coconut (if you want to add this tasty extra)

Add all blueberries, honey, yogurt and lemon juice to your food processor and mix together for 5 minutes, so they smooth out nicely. Then add the mixture in to a container and leave until ready to serve. Simply check the mixture after several hours, and then serve with the flaked coconut on top for a special extra.

Treat yourself and create a tasty treat!

Have A Hog Roast

We all know that Weddings are often sophisticated delicate occasions to reflect matters of the heart. Flowers are a beautiful touch and hanging lights are just the cherry on the top to add that romantic atmosphere.

However theres no denying, that we all like to really enjoy ourselves tucking into the food and drink as it’s a great thing to bring people together and share a great day, especially when the Summer sun is willing to poke its head out of the clouds.


Image via Pinterest.

Here at Vanilla in Allseasons we can provide a delicious hog roast feast, thats great for all the family, especially those who like getting stuck in to tasty meat dishes. It’s a great hearty meal, that looks well presented on the plate, perfect to fill that empty hole after a fun day of dancing and laughing with close friends and family members.

Our Staffordshire Hog Roasts supplied by J.J.J Heathcoats in Bollington are roasted on the spit for 6 hours and you can also choose your own, from a choice of three of our home made juices made by our top chef Simon who has worked in some of the best restaurants of the North West. Our marinades create a unique taste that goes perfectly with the tender meat.

Scrumptious Smoothies

With Summer on the way we all like to eat healthily to feel refreshed, one of the best ways to do this is by utilising all of the fresh ingredients available to us at this time of year, such as fruit.

We’re sharing some of our favourite smoothie recipes with you, to help you through those Summer mornings. From fruit based recipes, to green smoothies with spinach, we’ve brought together a smoothie selection to suit everyone.

Mango & Passionfruit Smoothie (BBC Good Food):


Image via BBC Good Food.

‘A tropical fruit blend to start the day the nutritious way – full of vitamin C and low in fat.’

‘Whizz the mango, yogurt and milk together in a blender until smooth. Stir in the lime juice, then pour into 4 glasses. Scoop the pulp of a passion fruit into each one, and swirl before serving.’

400g peeled and chopped ripe mango
250g fat free mango yogurt
Juice of 1 lime
4 passion fruits

Banana-Peanut Butter Smoothies (Good Housekeeping):


Image via Good Housekeeping.

‘For a thicker, colder smoothie, cut peeled banana into chunks and freeze up to a week in a self-sealing bag.’

‘In a blender, combine banana, milk, peanut butter and ice cubes; blend until mixture is smooth and frothy.’

1 banana
0.50c. milk
1tsp creamy peanut butter
3 ice cubes

Apple, Cucumber and Mint Refresher (Fitness Magazine):


Image via Pinterest.

This smoothie is a healthy option, to help you boost your greens.

‘Pour all ingredients in a high-powered blender, and process until completely smooth’

1/4 cup peeled and chopped cucumber
1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4 cup fresh baby spinach
1 small green apple, cored and sliced
1/2 teaspoon fresh mint
1/4 unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups of ice

We have grouped these smoothies together to include a range of different fruits and flavours. However, there are so many different variations of smoothies for you to create. Simply pick your favourite fruits, add yogurt & ice and there you have it!

You can even freeze these recipes into ice lollies for a cooling & healthy snack on those hot Summer days.

So go on, get creative! Don’t forget to share with your favourite recipes & inventions with us.

Spring has Sprung!

The good old Great British weather has had us on our toes for months but, with the passing of Easter brings sunny days and long walks through the countryside. And of course, there are the many romantic Spring Weddings on the horizon! We’ve been busy meeting many couples for tasting sessions and discussions on how to create the perfect menu for each couple that we work with.

There are many foods which are in season at this time of year and are also at the height of tastiness. We love to use fresh local produce to combine the finest food with the highest quality service.

beef fillet and shin pie

A selection of these foods are as follows:

Spring lamb
Spring Greens
Purple Sprouting Broccoli
New Potatoes

We have several scrumptious solutions for you to make the most of this wonderful food at it’s peak. Why not take advantage of this food when it tastes best? We love working with the freshest ingredients and creating amazing flavours. What would you make from this group of foods? This time of year is great for creating mouth watering roast dinners. With both beef and lamb at their best, it’s a great excuse to invite the friends and family over for a meaty feast.

fish copy

Here are more seasonal feasts from BBC Good Food:

Crab and salmon fishcakes with homemade tartare sauce.

Roast loin of lamb, peas, lettuce and bacon.

Seafood pasta with garlic bread.

For more recipes from us here at Vanilla In Allseasons click here and for a more in depth look at our menus then please click here.

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