Month: September 2015

Edible Pansy Shortbread Biscuits

I’ll be the first to admit that I was skeptical about ‘edible flowers’ when they became particularly fashionable a few months ago. I felt like it was a cheat’s way of making an average dish look amazing. But there’s no denying that whatever dish they’re used in, it does make it look incredibly pretty! When I went to stay with my Mum in Yorkshire recently, I was excited to see some beautiful pansies growing wild in her lawn and just had to do something with them! I’d seen someone make biscuits with them recently, so I thought I’d do a quick and easy recipe to use them.     Ingredients 180g plain flour 125g unsalted butter, cubed 55g caster sugar, plus more for decoration 1 egg white, beaten Pansies/edible flours, washed (delicately!) Method Mix together the butter and sugar in a bowl to form a paste. Slowly add in the flour and stir to make a thicker mixture. Roll this out to around 1cm thick onto a floured surface (the mixture is likely to be …

Iced Green Tea on the go!

I’ve mentioned quite a few times on here that I’m really bad at drinking water. The Coke addiction (of the Cola variety, of course!) is hard to kick, and I’ve tried all kinds of healthier drink alternatives but I’ve generally found them boring or I didn’t like the taste. I’m a big tea fan but I’m not a huge hot drink lover, so I normally let it go a bit cold before drinking it (much to the disgust of my colleagues in the office!). I recently found out about a new company creating Iced Green Teas, established by two ladies called Hua He and Sophia Nadur. Hua qualified as a doctor in Shanghai and settled in the UK around 9 years ago, while Sophia was born in Trinidad and studied and worked in Latin America and the US before moving to the UK in 2001. With Hua’s medical background and Sophia’s corporate food and drink experience, the pair teamed up to bring a brand new product to the UK market, and Tg was born. There …

The Liebster Award – discovering new blogs!

The Liebster Award is a way to introduce and welcome new bloggers to the blogging community, and recently I was nominated by Tina of Tea is for Tina.  Here are the rules: 1. Once nominated, make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you. 2. Include the LEIBSTER AWARD sticker in the post too. 3. Nominate 5-10 other new bloggers that have 500 or less followers who you think are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on 1 of their posts. You can nominate the person who nominated you. 4. Answer the 10 questions asked to you by the person who nominated you and make ten questions of your own for your nominees. 5. Lastly, copy these rules in the post. These are the questions Tina gave me to answer: 1. What’s the best thing that has happened to you this year so far? This is a tricky one to answer, as 2015 has been the best year of my life. In February I got married, in …

Croatian Fig Tart Recipe

Have you been watching Rick Stein’s ‘Venice To Istanbul’ TV series? I’m rather hooked, as I’m a big fan of the cuisine he’s lucky enough to be eating, drinking and cooking his way through, having grown up in Cyprus. As I’ve mentioned previously, Cypriot cuisine really does take inspiration from all of the countries surrounding it. I’ve been meaning to buy the cookbook accompanying the series, but when I came across one of the recipes for a Croatian Fig Tart in BBC Good Food Magazine, I had to try it out. I was cooking it for a dinner party, perhaps a bit risky for a first attempt, but luckily it turned out well and was very yummy indeed! Here’s the recipe: Ingredients PASTRY: 170g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting Pinch salt 100g unsalted butter, cubed 50g caster sugar 1 egg yolk 50ml double cream FILLING: 500g mascarpone cheese 6 tbsp clear honey 6 large, 7 medium or 8 small fresh figs, stems trimmed, halved Method For pastry, mix flour, salt and butter until …

My Morning with Nancy Birtwhistle for ‘Use Your Loaf’

How much of every loaf of bread that you buy, do you actually end up eating? I tend to buy a loaf in our online shop to arrive on a Saturday morning, which we use for toast that day and Sunday, but I’m ashamed to admit that’s often all we use it for. I rarely have time to make breakfast in the house before leaving for work (well, that’s actually a lie, I could just get up earlier, but when it’s a toss up between extra sleep and brekkie, sleep usually wins!) so there’s rarely a need for the bread during the week. According to Love Food Hate Waste, I’m not the only one who does this. A staggering 24 million slices of bread are thrown away in the UK every day and 18% of people have admitted to binning a forgotten loaf of bread before even opening it! I was invited to an event hosted by Love Food Hate Waste, where Nancy Birtwhistle (winner of last year’s Great British Bake Off) would be giving …

A Jamón Masterclass at Camino with Zomato UK

There’s a lot of butchery related posts on the blog at the moment, which makes me very happy! So far I’ve written mostly about beef, but recently I had my first experience of learning about and carving jamón (Spanish ham). I was kindly invited to a Zomato meet-up at Camino Southbank, so I assumed it would be an evening of tapas and sangria. But actually it was more of an educational evening about jamón, which was ideal, as I love to expand my knowledge of meats and how to prepare/serve them. And there was a lot of jamón tasting, of course! As I’ve mentioned previously, I adore Spanish ham and in my previous job I couldn’t wait for business trips to Madrid or Barcelona to get my mitts on some. I even took some all the way back to Cyprus once for Christmas (probably breaking some export laws there!) But while I loved the taste of it, I was certainly no expert. Chef Nacho del Campo introduced us to the Jamón Iberico Cebo ‘on display’ which we …

Sandwiches, Shakes & Cookies at Potbelly, Stratford

As I’m sure you all know by now, I love a good sandwich! So when I learned about a new sandwich establishment opening up in Westfield Stratford, I was obviously looking forward to trying it out. The establishment in question is called Potbelly and was originally founded in downtown Chicago in 1977. Potbelly stoves were originally gathering places in homes shops where people would get together for a warm meal and a chat. Potbelly started out as a small antique shop with its own potbelly stove and soon became so renowned for its sandwichy goodness that the food business soon overtook the antique business, with queues around the block. The Westfield Stratford store is the first branch in the UK and Europe, but they are located right across the US. I visited the Stratford branch with my good friend Kelly and we were excited to tuck into some Potbelly goodness! It’s more of a cafe than a restaurant, but it’s pretty big, with lots of cool tables and photos on the walls depicting the company’s …

Sea Bream & King Prawns with Kale Recipe

During the week, we tried out a fishmongers in Tooting, which was quite novel for us, as we didn’t have anything like this on our doorstep in Bow. So we got quite excited about what was on offer, everything from squid to oysters. One of my favourite fish is sea bream, or tsipoura as we called it in Cyprus. It was always served whole, cooked on the BBQ and served with chips and a huge number of meze plates. You can read an example of this here, one of my previous blog posts about Yialos Taverna in Paphos. The entire meal, including drinks, would normally cost no more than about 15 Euros per person, so I was always disappointed when I first moved back to the UK, when ordering sea bream or bass in a restaurant, that it was already filleted and was often pretty pricey. Part of the fun is filleting the fish, and I also (perhaps weirdly) really like the taste of the skin, which you often don’t get served in restaurants. The …

A New Start At HelloFresh!

You might have noticed the blog has been rather quiet for the past couple of weeks. I haven’t been lazy, just rather busy, as I had a few days with my Mum up in Yorkshire and then started a brand new job, as Head of PR at HelloFresh in the UK! It was a fantastic opportunity to combine my loves of food, blogging and PR and I’ve had a great first week! I tried out my first box this week, with three meals for two people (perfect for me and hubby, as we’re usually out with work/friends a couple of nights a week, and out for dinner at least once a week) and the dishes really were yummy – Chermoula Chicken with Chorizo, Lentils and Roasted Peppers, Pan-Fried Pork Medallions with Tarragon and Potatoes, and Duck Steaks with Spiced Chickpeas, Sweet Potatoes and Lemon Yoghurt. We’re obviously both very capable cooks, but it’s nice to have everything measured out for you and not to have to shop for all of the ingredients, as well as …

Lunchtime Fine Dining at Charlotte’s Place, Ealing Common

Every now and then you come across a restaurant that just makes you go ‘yeeeees!’ Not in an inappropriate ‘When Harry Met Sally’ way, but just because it ticks all of your boxes and you can’t see how it would be improved. I had that experience at the weekend at Charlotte’s Place in Ealing Common. I don’t know West London very well but the restaurants I’ve visited there to date have been amazing, so I don’t mind the trek across the capital, as it always seems to be well worth it. Charlotte’s Place is right on Ealing Common and is a small, quaint little restaurant on the corner of a picture-perfect residential street. Complete with cats, so I was happy! The weather was nice (we just managed to beat the bank holiday rain) so we were able to sit outside, looking out over the common. We started with a refreshing Gin & Tonic and went with a recommendation of Sancerre, Gérard et Pierre Morin French white wine which was lovely! We were visiting Charlotte’s Place to …