Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Cabbage and Peas curry


A speedy curry that's ready in less than 15 minutes, It is delicious with rice or chapatti. Normally I like my cabbage sliced paper this and cooked into a cabbage curry, however when I am in a hurry and need a speedy curry I cheat and throw the cabbage in my food processor and just shred it coarsely. Believe it or not  but cutting a vegetable in different shapes really makes the curry taste different too!!! I would say my favourite way is the arduous paper thin sliced cabbage curry but this shredded version is not bad either.


print recipe


Cabbage and Peas Curry

Delicious Peas and Cabbage curry cooked in less than 15 minutes.

Ingredients:
  • 240g White Cabbage
  • 60g Frozen Peas
  • 1/2 teapoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 pinch Mustard seeds

Method:

1.Cut the cabbage into quarters and place into the food processor and shred it coarsely.
2. Add the oil in a pan, when it is hot add the mustard seeds and wait for them to splutter.
3. Add the shredded cabbage and the peas followed by the salt, chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and turmeric and toss the cabbage to cover it with the spices.
4. Salute the cabbage for 5- 7 minutes after which add the tomato purée and stir it into the cabbage. Sauté the cabbage for another 5 minutes, the cabbage should be cooked but still have a bite. Transfer to a serving dish.

Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Serves 2

Submitting to:
In my VEG BOX ~Cabbage
Event by citrusspiceuk  guest hosted by Motions and Emotions.


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Food Bloggers Meet at Le Restaurant de PAUL, London

Originating from a family of Charlemagne Mayot and his wife  who were agricultural workers in the Artois region of Northern France, opened  a small bakery located in rue de la Mackellerie in Croix, near Lille in 1989. Who was to know then that 125 years later with five generations the small bakery would grow and evolve into a chain of fantastic bakeries all over the world.  As the chain expanded Pauls introduced tea room and restaurants within their bakeries. Pauls continues to be a family owned company built on the foundations of time-honoured production methods passed down through five generations. A commitment shared in more than 25 countries today Paul bakeries have branches in London, Washington, Dubai, Tokyo, Singapore and Moscow. At Pauls you can drop in to pick up your lunch on the go, sit and enjoy a cup of coffee and a slice of cake or a lavish afternoon tea or even enjoy fine dining in their restaurant.


A group of my blogger friends and I were invited recently to sample the amazing cuisine at Le Restaurant de PAUL in Covent Garden. On arrival as we walked into the boulangerie and pâtisserie the sight and smells of the awesome cakes and bread had us all mesmerised. We were shown to or table in the back of the bakery, which was decorated in French style with beautiful vintage furniture, lights and paintings. The ambiance was very warm and welcoming. The menu is themed on traditional French home cooking and many of the dishes were inspired by this theme.  Being a vegetarian, I was a little worried that my choices would be limited however I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were quite a few dishes that were suitable for vegetarian.


For the starters  a couple of my friends and I chose to share the vegetarian sharing platters which consisted of vegetable crudités, pickled cauliflower, sautéed mushrooms, boiled eggs, dips and roasted Mediterranean vegetables. My other friends chose the charcuterie platters and the baked Camembert. 


The platters were beautifully presented on rustic chopping boards and I particularly loved the way they were placed on the tables on top of a set of condiment jars to add height , this is one idea I will definitely use at my next dinner party. The starters were served with a basket of assorted fresh warm French breads and cheese gougères.







For my main course I chose the Roasted Stuffed Pepper with Grilled Vegetables and Rice, the dish not only tasted delicious as it was perfectly seasoned but it was very colourful and pleasing to the eye too. My friends enjoyed Confit of Duck with Olives, Demi Poulet au Grain Rôti a L’Estragon, Toulouse Sausages with Mashed Potatoes and Bordelaise Sauce, and Sea bass with braised fennel and potato cakes, potato fries and mash. Everyone really enjoyed their main courses, which were accompanied with the house wine, sparkling and still water and juice. Everyone agreed that the food was cooked to perfection and was delicious.




Our final course was the dessert, we were spoilt for choice here but ultimately after much deliberation, I chose the Millefeuille ; thin layers of flaky pastry with delicious vanilla custard and strawberries, my friends enjoyed the Strawberry Frasier, coffee with macaroons and the amazing  Dark chocolate tart, all these desserts were washed down with piping hot coffee.

My friends that accompanied me for this meal were Sylvia, Karen, Tina, Manjiri, Bintu and Heidi. (You can see them all in the picture above) I had a wonderful time and would like to thank Fiona Maclean who put us in touch with the PR for Le Restaurant de PAUL in Covent Garden and to Karen for organising the meal.  The service, the food and the hospitality we received at Le Restaurant de PAUL was outstanding and its one place I will definitely revisit as now I am convinced that being a vegetarian I will have no problem eating there.
I was invited to Le Restaurant de PAUL in Covent Garden to enjoy their hospitality all the views and opinions in this review are my own.

You can see reviews of all the other bloggers at the meal below:
Karen
Fiona

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Blackberry Jam


In August we went on a family holiday to a place called Shatterford in Worcestershire. We stayed at the idyllic cottage on the Shatterford Lakes. The spacious cottage is surrounded by 6 adjoining fishing lakes that are filled with fresh natural spring water from the valley.





The lakes are perfect location for fishing and also for walking. The serene setting has stunning views, it is perfect for relaxing and you will see plenty of wildlife, hens, chickens, sheep and dear around the lakes. 
A well kept road leads to the lakes where you can stop to enjoy the views, have a coffee in the cafe or enjoy a picnic on the rustic picnic tables dotted around. Each lake is surrounded by a path allowing you to walk around them. There is lots of bracken, greenery, wild shrubs and bushes and plenty of blackberry bushes. 



 August is prime time for the berry season and we found that the blackberry bushes had plenty of ripe juicy berries all ready to be picked. Picking the berries was not a difficult task, although filling the basket was as they were so temptingly juicy and delicious that it was really hard not to pop them straight into your mouth.




We picked lots of blackberries which we later made into blackberry jam and also apple and blackberry crumble. The unadulterated flavour of the blackberries was truly delectable.




print recipe

Blackberry Jam
Freshly foraged English blackberries made into delicious summer blackberry jam
Ingredients:
  • 3 cups Blackberries
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 Lemon
Instructions
1. Rinse the blackberries in water to remove any dirt and pat them dry on some kitchen paper.2. Place the blackberries with the sugar in a heavy bottomed pan and place the pan on the medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer.3. Extract the juice from the lemon and add it to the blackberries and sugar.4. Simmer the blackberry jam for 25-30 minutes stirring intermittently. 5. Place a glass plate in the fridge, to check if the jam is ready, drop a blob of of jam onto the cold place and leave it to cool for a couple of minutes. After a couple of minutes draw a channel in the jam using your finger, if the jam remains parted it s ready. If the channel fills up the jam still need more cooking.6. Once the jam is ready, remove it from the heat and allow it to reach room temperature. 7. Transfer the jam to sterilised glass jar.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 jar

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Giveaway tickets for Crafts for Christmas NEC Birmingham

 Crafts for Christmas at  the NEC Birmingham 
from 6-9 Nov. 



 

Crafts for Christmas is once again at the NEC Birmingham from 6-9 Nov. You can find some  unusual handmade crafts for the home and garden and enjoy a day out for all the family. Exibiting at the show there will be  up to 250 artist crafts people from all over the UK who will be bringing you the very best in unusual and inspiring crafts, not usually found on the high street.

Highlights of the show:

Prima Craft Theatre-Get crafty with Prima in their Craft Theatre, where you can pick up top tips from the experts, and watch them demonstrate a gorgeous range of creative projects!

Live Music-Playing all your Christmas favourites and a few TV and film classics will be saxophone quartet 'Sax on TV' - sure to get you in the Christmas spirit as you while away the hours Christmas shopping!

Christmas Product Showcase-If you’re looking for inspiration for Christmas gifts this year, then look no further than the Christmas Product Showcase at the entrance to the show.

Gift Wrapping-Not only can you buy all your Christmas gifts here, you can have them wrapped by the experts too! Sparkly ribbons, bows, rosettes... whatever takes your fancy - your presents will look almost too good to unwrap!

Tickets
Adult £12.00 at door
Senior citizens £11.00 at door

SAVE MONEY! Save up to £2 off each ticket when you buy them in advance (by 5pm on the Monday before the show starts.) After this, you can buy full price tickets on the web until 10am on the last day of the show, but tickets will need to be self-printed. You can, of course, always buy tickets on-the-door at the show.

Crafts for Christmas have been very kind and they have agreed to send 1 pairs of tickets each  to five lucky winners as a giveaway prize.

How To Enter:
·         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
·         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
·         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
·         Closing date – 14th October 2014. Open to UK residents over the age of 18 only

How Rafflecopter works:

  • You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box. Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
  • Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
  •  Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
  • Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
  • For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here
  • For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
  • If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Chocolate Fudge cake with Strawberries


Rich and delicious chocolate fudge cake with chocolate dipped juicy strawberries.

Ingredients:

275 g caster sugar
175 g soft margarine
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
175 g natural yoghurt
225 g self raising flour
50 g cocoa
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

For the icing:

50 g margarine
30 g cocoa
5 tablespoons milk
240 g icing sugar

For Garnish:

White chocolate hearts and stars
20 strawberries
120 g milk chocolate

Method:

1.Preheat oven to 170 degrees C /325 degrees F
2. Line the sides and base of a 9 inch spring form baking tin and grease it.
3. Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave for 2 minutes  and when it is fully melted, dip 6 strawberries in them and leave them to set in the fridge.
4. Slice the remaining strawberries in half keeping the leaf on and keep aside for garnishing later.
5. In a bowl add the sugar and margarine and beat until light and fluffy.Add the yoghurt and eggs and beat again until fully incorporated.together.
6.Sieve together the cocoa, flour and bicarbonate of soda and add it to the butter and egg mixture. Fold the mixture until all the flour is incorporated.
7. Add the cake batter to the prepared baking tin and smooth the top.
8. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes until a skewer inserted in it comes out clean.
9. Remove cake from oven and leave to cool in the tin.
10. Once cake is cooled remove it from the tin and remove the paper lining.
11. Place the cake top side down on a serving dish.


Making the icing:

12.In a pan add the margarine, when it has melted take it off the heat. Sieve the cocoa and icing sugar into the melted butter. Add the milk and whisk together to form the chocolate ganache.
13. Let the ganache cool slightly, than pour it over the cooled cake and spread it on the sides and top of cake.
14. Let the ganache  set for 15 minutes.
15. After 15 minutes , add the 6 chocolate dipped strawberries on the top of the cake and place the remaining strawberries halves around the circumference of the base of the cake.Decorate the top of the cake with chocolate hearts and stars.



I have baked this cake for the great Verbaudet summer bake off, since the theme was summer, I have used strawberries in my cake. To participate in this bakeoff,  Verbaudet sent me the great British Bake off recipe book, some edible decorations, measuring spoons and oven gloves.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Giveaway Tickets to Cake International NEC Birmingham.






Birmingham hosts the World’s Largest Cake Show




NEC, Birmingham – 7 – 9 November 2014

With over 150 exhibitors and 1,000 competition entries, Cake International – The Sugarcraft, Cake Decorating and Baking Show is the largest of its kind and is set to be the best yet. Returning this autumn to the NEC in Birmingham from 7 – 9 November, the event will showcase a host of exciting exhibitors and features to inspire budding bakers.

There will be exciting chocolate focussed activities include demonstrations by pastry chefs, competitions, interactive demonstrations on the history and origin of chocolate as we know it today, samples, workshops for children and a chocolate sculpture.

Highlight of the show will be the Cake Grotto which will be a staggering 10 foot long Christmas extravaganza complete with edible rocking horses and reindeer. PME will be hosting classes live at the show in front of an audience and visitors can also get involved in a host of other workshops and try a number of specialist activities and cake decorating techniques from the experts at The Renshaw School and more.

Cake International – The Sugarcraft, Cake Decorating & Baking Show, featuring the new The Chocolate Experience at the NEC, Birmingham is a must-visit show this autumn.  For more information please visit www.cakeinternational.co.uk.

Cake International – The Sugarcraft, Cake Decorating & Baking Show
NEC, Birmingham
7 – 9 November 2014

Fri 09.30 – 17.30; Sat 09:00 - 17.30; Sun 09:00 – 17:00
Ticket Prices:
Adult £14.00 (£12.00 Advance Price)
Senior £13.00 (£11.00 Advance Price)
2 Day Ticket: Adult 18.00 Senior £16.00 (Advance Only)
3 Day Ticket: Adult £25.00 Senior £23.00 (Advance Only)
Under 16s free if accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket, otherwise £5.00
All advanced tickets need to be ordered by 5pm Monday 3rd November 2014

For more information or to book tickets please visit Cake International. Alternatively, phone the Ticket Hotline on 01425 277988.

Cake International have been very kind and they have agreed to send 1 pairs of tickets each  to five lucky winners as a giveaway prize.

How To Enter:
·         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
·         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
·         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
·         Closing date – 14th October 2014. Open to UK residents over the age of 18 only

For Good Karma
Follow Cake International  on Twitter @thecakeshows  and  on Facebook – Cake International

How Rafflecopter works:

  • You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box. Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
  • Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
  •  Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
  • Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
  • For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here
  • For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
  • If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Blueberry and apple smoothie


Refreshing breakfast smoothie with antioxidants and healing power of ginger.

Ingredients:

200 g fresh blueberries
I apple
1 tablespoon goji berries
1 large cup of ice cubes ( approx 20)
1 cm piece of fresh ginger peeled
1 tablespoon honey

Method:

1. Wash the blue berries, reserve a few for garnish and add the remaining to the Optimum 9400 blender.
2. Core the apple and cut it into chunks and place it in the blender.
3. Add the cube of ginger and goji berries together with the ice and honey. Blend to a smooth purée.
4. Transfer to serving glasses and garnish with few blueberries before serving

I made my Blueberry and Apple Smoothie in the Optimum 9400  blender, it is a great blender that will create amazing smoothies, ice creams, sorbets, smooths, nut milks  in a jiffy. It also grates, slices and grinds.
The Optimum 9400 is currently available at a special price of £ 329.00, it comes with a 30 day money back guarantee with free return postage of you are not totally satisfied with it. To read more about it and purchase one you can check my review here. 

Submitting to:
Lets Cook with Apples event by simply.food






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