snap! the yorkshire recipe box

On February 5th I finally had the pleasure of receiving my SNAP! Yorkshire Recipebox. SNAP! are a relatively new (amazing) independent Yorkshire business, who I previously wrote about in this post.

The timing of this month’s box couldn’t have been better, considering N & I were in full-on moving house mode (more on that in another post!). Up to the eyeballs with stuff to do, it was such a treat to get home after work on Friday to find everything ready and waiting. That’s the beauty of it – it’s delivered straight to your door via a courier, so you can keep track of it as it winds its way from the heart of North Yorkshire onto your dining table (or coffee table in our case).

I opened up the box and was immediately astounded at how much fresh produce was fit snugly inside! Like a little Mary Poppins box. Prior to the delivery date, I’d gone online to SNAP!’s site and picked two of their three evening meal options, along with one of their two brunch meal options. Inside my little treasure trove of goodies lay all the ingredients for the three meals I’d requested, all neatly weighed out. Alongside all the great grub were three recipe cards which listed exactly how to use all of these wonderful bits and bobs. A great thing about SNAP! Recipeboxes is that if you wish to feed more than two, you can – it’s adaptable. It just means you have to go purchase some more ingredients, but the cards tell you how much more you’ll need.

After gazing gleefully at our plentiful table of food and taking numerous Snapchats of our SNAP! stuffs, we fired up the oven – well, we turned it on – and set to work. On Friday we opted for the Sirloin Steak Medallions dinner, with horseradish and celery cream, potato and parsnip rosti, and purple sprouting broccoli. We had so much fun making it, sipping on red wine and laughing as we followed the recipe step-by-step. I also wept slightly after grating horseradish. My eyes! They burn! 

Here’s a teary selfie:

The steaks were supplied by H Lee & Sons Family Butchers in Thirsk. I love that on the back of the recipe cards I can see the history of the homegrown business. 

The meal was delicious, of restaurant standard. We were innately chuffed that we had managed to concoct something so creative and bloody tasty. Watch out Nigella, I couldn’t help but think.

Presentation's maybe not my strong suit.

On Saturday night it was time for the Gremolata-Crusted Cod (sourced from Thundercliffes Fishmongers in Helmsley) on a bed of mushroom and beetroot risotto, topped with crumbled Wensleydale Cheese.

Funny story: while at uni my housemate and I once decided to cook risotto for our house, a medley of chefs and food aficionados. The staple ingredient we chose was sweet potato, which we didn’t soften beforehand. Long story short, our friends ended up pushing around with their forks some stodgy, mushy rice and extremely hard sweet potatoes. Hm, not so funny. I like to think I’ve progressed somewhat since then…

Another thing I love about SNAP! is how they introduce you to new recipes/ flavour combinations you would never normally try. Beetroot risotto, for example. Whodathunk that it would be creamy, colourful, and all round DIVINE? Not me. Consider me converted.

The next day with a slight headache from a wine-filled weekend, SNAP!’s Sunday brunch was very much anticipated and appreciated. We’d opted for the Bacon & Egg Crostini, complemented by Yorkshire Tea, Grumpy Mule Coffee and Carr House Farm’s farm pressed apple juice.  Amazingly, the ciabattas were fresh from Bedale Community Bakery. Bedale, if you don’t know, is where N hails from and where I spent a couple of years living. It’s also where my Mama lives. It’s a cutesy little Yorkshire market town, and also ‘The Gateway to the Dales’ (ooh la la).

For the Crostinis we seared the ciabattas in a frying pan, then teamed them with chopped leeks mixed with crème fraiche, a gorgeously fresh free range egg, and the tastiest streaky bacon I have EVER had from Lister’s Farm Shop. I don’t usually care much for bacon, but this was crispy, salty, and just DELICIOUS. Don’t go bacon my heart, gimme some more. Once again, the addition of leeks to our brunch meal was something I never would have thought of, but it worked extremely well.

After a weekend of superb grub, we felt revitalised and raring to pack up more of our belongings! The fact that everything was fresh from independent Yorkshire businesses made it all taste that little bit more sweet. What’s even greater than all of this, is that this glorious recipebox is only £30! Between two, that’s £15 each. That’s how much we’d usually spend on a grubby takeaway. £15 for three weekend meals is unbeatable really, especially when it’s all glorious, fresh Yorkshire grown produce and going into simple, exciting, tasty new recipes.

I literally cannot recommend SNAP! Recipeboxes enough! They really help eliminate the stress from the joy of cooking.

Their next box will be taking off on 5 March. Sign me up!

feeling rosy with love

I’m writing this sat on a train from London back to Leeds, nursing a red cup of Yorkshire tea to help soothe my hangover.  My cheeks are pink from sprinting to the platform where the train I was meant to get was leaving from. I arrived with two minutes to spare, yet (along with others) was denied entry by a conductor with a vendetta. A Valentine’s scrooge. Leaning out the window with his pink lips in the shape of a smirk. Across the aisle from me on my adopted train sits a man in a high-vis jacket and red tracksuit bottoms happily filming the view on a camcorder. Around me are couples armed with romantic gifts.

Valentine’s Day. It’s a funny one. One look at my Facebook feed, and it’s filled with friends oversharing about their romantic relationships, brandishing their flowers as if to say “Look! Look at me! I am loved!”

I am very much single this Valentine’s Day. Although the cyberworld and the blue-skied, chilly February world tells me I should feel bad about it, I don’t. In fact, despite the stressful nature of my morning and that I’m seriously struggling to keep my eyes open (never again, cheap wine), I feel positively rosy with love. Cringe.

Hear me out.

Rosy with love for the ticket inspector who I thought was going to charge me for a whole new ticket, but instead departed with a cheery Northern “thank you!” Love for Tame Impala, who I saw on Friday night at Alexandra Palace and blew my mind with their psychedelic colourful lightshow. Love for the reunion in a pizza restaurant beforehand, with crumbs falling out of our expressive hands onto the suitcases by our feet. Love for spending hours wandering around the capital. Love for the love coursing through Brixton’s veins, its memorial to its eternal son David Bowie, electric and flower-filled. Love for not seeing friends for four months and it still being the same, although this time armed with kitchen utensils and singing karaoke in a Peckham kitchen. Love for my little brother who turns 18 this week (whut) who texted me excitedly last night about a gig he was at. Love for the fact for the first time in a long time, I love where I live – I’m not lying when I say I’m head over heels in LOVE with my new flat. Love for my number one galpal who doubles up as my flatmate. Love for all of my friendships and relationships past and present, forever and fleeting, which along with love have brought me joy, happiness, even pain. Which have all taught me something about myself.  

I don’t know, maybe it’s the tiredness talking. Maybe it’s because I’ve been ruminating recently on how to retain happiness in the groggy fog of grey days. The conclusion I’ve reached is I think it’s so important – vital even – to decipher what it is that we love. Who and what and where makes us feel good. Also, importantly, who and what and where DOES NOT make us feel good.

It’s too easy I think to take the people who love us for granted. It’s too easy to consistently follow our heads and not our hearts. It’s too easy as a single person to feel cold and cynical towards the Instagram photos of elaborate Valentine’s dinners, when really these people are just people in #love who want to -- however obnoxiously -- simply spread their joy.

Whether we’re single or not, we can take this silly, corporate day to actually really think about these things we love. Because that’s what life really boils down to isn’t it? When we’re old and grey, it won’t be the hours on public transport that we’ll remember. It won’t be the boys or girls we’ve sort of fancied and endured awkward dates with. It won’t be the long days at the office. It won’t be the books that bored us. It won’t be the people who let us down, and the friendships that we weren’t that bothered about so let fizzle out. It won’t be anything we’ve felt meh about. It’ll be the things, the places and the faces that made us feel ROSY with love. The things that made us feel alive because of love. And that, I think, is what Valentine’s Day is really about. Finding different kinds of love in our everyday lives and making sure that those things know that they are loved, too.