Month: August 2015

Summer isn’t over yet – keep that BBQ out!

Well the weather over the past week has certainly taken a turn for the worse, hasn’t it? It’s still August, which should mean it’s still summer! Some people have been quick to say that summer is now over, but come on guys, let’s be a bit more positive! When I received an e-mail from Ginger Pig yesterday talking about their #SaveOurSummer campaign, it certainly made me smile. Obviously a company selling meat for BBQs is going to want to encourage people to keep in the summer spirit, but I’m all for supporting it. Why should BBQs be limited to the summer months? In Cyprus we used to BBQ pretty much all year round. Sure, it was warm most of the year round there, but we even did it when we lived in North Yorkshire! There are photos somewhere of my Dad hunched over a BBQ with a big golfing umbrella in the pouring rain. If I ever manage to find them, I’ll scan them and add them in here, as they’re quite amusing. It was …

CELIA: Gluten-Free, Organic Lager

You may have read some of my recent posts about gluten-free food products. It’s something I’m trying to learn more about, especially when I discovered just how horrible coeliac disease can be. I’m keen to share my ‘gluten-free finds’ with you, in the hope that they will reach those who suffer with coeliac disease. I hope I managed to do that with my post about Coori foods, bringing staple Italian products back into the lives of those who can’t eat gluten. Now I’m moving over to the alcohol side, with CELIA gluten-free lager.  CELIA is a Czech lager brand, producing an organic and a dark lager (both gluten-free). The organic version is only 136kcal (labelled ‘one of the healthiest beers‘ by Men’s Health) and is brewed in the walls of a 14th century castle, from just three locally sourced ingredients; malted barley, saaz hops and water from the Žatec foothills. They have a patented ‘de-glutenisation’ process which (in technical terms) produces an ELISA tested value of <5 parts per million for a truly light lager, and because of their silicone …

National Burger Day & Review of Greedy Cow, Mile End

For any avid foodie in the UK, I’m sure you’ve been unable to avoid the fact that today is ‘National Burger Day’. I’m fully expecting to see my Twitter feed exploding with pictures of delicious burgers that’ll have my tummy rumbling in the office all morning! You may have seen my post yesterday about being an Asda Butcher’s Apprentice for an evening (it was so much fun!). They’ve given me an interesting infographic on how eating a burger is in fact a ‘multi sensory experience’ and as such, how to create the perfect burger. Some of my foodie friends are burger obsessed, always on the hunt for the best new burger in town, so I’m sure they’ll agree with this concept. To mark National Burger Day, I thought I would include a review of Greedy Cow in Mile End, which is long overdue! It’s my favourite burger place in London and I think it’s often massively overlooked because it’s not anywhere particularly ‘trendy’.  I used to live a 15 minute walk away and I’m missing …

Being an Asda Butcher’s Apprentice for the evening!

As I’m sure you’ll know by now, high quality meat is very important to me. My Dad worked in the British meat industry for over 40 years and so I have rather unconventional childhood memories of visiting his office during the school holidays and seeing posters with images of animal carcasses on the walls, and overhearing discussions about abattoirs and auction houses. Some might be a bit taken aback by that, but for me it was all pretty straightforward. We lived in a little village in North Yorkshire and some of my friends were farmers, so there was never any doubt about where these animals were going, and what was happening to them. We always had good meat in our house and I honestly can’t recall a single meal that didn’t contain meat of some kind. I think my Dad would have refused to eat it. Or he would have grumbled his way through it! As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, I’m a bit worried about the way food/cooking trends are going in the UK. …

Dinner Party Blooms from Serenata Flowers – Review & Giveaway!

I must admit, when I was younger, I wasn’t particularly interested in flowers. My parents spent a lot of time making our garden look wonderful, but I didn’t pay much attention to the names and types of plants. I certainly appreciated the beauty of flowers, but I could just about tell you the difference between a rose and a lily, and that was pretty much the extent of it! When Tim and I got married, we made an appointment with a local florist in Devon, and it soon became very apparent how little we both knew. We knew what we wanted in terms of how it would look – creams, greens and browns, for our rustic countryside theme. I’ve never been a ‘girly’ girl, so pinks and yellows aren’t really for me. So when the florist arrived at my room on the morning of our wedding and presented my bouquet to me, I surprised myself by bursting into tears! As well as not being a ‘girly’ girl, I’m also not a ‘happy crier’ so this …

Dinner at Tapas Revolution, Shoreditch

My family rarely used to eat tapas when I was growing up. While we often went on holiday to Spanish countries, but we would normally order big dishes, such as paella. I think this is largely because my Dad, in a ‘Joey from Friends’ manner, didn’t like to ‘share food’! However tapas really seems to have taken off recently in London and funnily enough, I read an article in the Evening Standard a couple of days ago which said the reason for this is because Londoners have finally learned how to share! Quite sad that apparently we didn’t know how to before, but there you go. One of the chefs who kicked off this foodie revolution is Omar Allibhoy who couldn’t understand why Spanish food wasn’t as popular as other types of cuisine in London, such as Indian and Chinese. Numerous restaurant openings later, television appearances and a book, Omar is certainly trailblazing for Spanish cooking in the capital. Last week I tried out his aptly named ‘Tapas Revolution’ in Shoreditch and although I was …

My Homemade Moussaka Recipe

This is one of my very favourite dishes to make, as it really reminds me of home. When you add all of the herbs and spices to the lamb mince, the smell is so good, it always makes me go ‘mmmm’ in a Nigella-like fashion! There are various ways of making it, but this is my recipe. Please note that it takes time! When I made this one (with these photographs) I did it after work, and while it was still perfectly tasty, it could definitely have done with cooking for longer. Ingredients 750g lamb mince 4 medium white potatoes 2 large aubergines 2 tomatoes 2 cloves of garlic 5 small white mushrooms 1 onion 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp coriander 1 tsp cayenne pepper 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tbsp tomato purée 3 fresh mint leaves or 1 tbsp concentrated mint sauce  Salt and Pepper Olive Oil For the white sauce (this is a recipe I’ve always used from the BBC website) 50g butter 50g plain flour 400ml milk 25g finely grated …