Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Announcing event~In my VEG BOX ~ Garlic

This month In my VEG BOX event this month ,we have the humble Garlic. Its small in size but a couple of cloves will transform your dish and pack it with flavour.
I am inviting all food lovers to cook and link up any vegetarian dish (Eggs Allowed) and sending it to this event.

To Participate:

1. Prepare any vegetarian recipe using garlic(eggs allowed) please link your dish using the linky below by entering your Dish Name and Post URL
2. Please link this event announcement with your entry, this is mandatory.
3. Use of logo is not mandatory but it helps to spread the word if you can use it.
4. Multiple entries are allowed, archived are only allowed if reposted and updated with this event link.
5. Please make sure that you follow this blog via googleplus, google friend connect or face book so that you can get regular updates of future events in this series and also so that you can receive notification of the round up of the event.
6.In the event of problem using linky you can email me the entry at simplysensationalfood@gmail.com

Please use this format:
Your Name: Recipe
Name Recipe URL
Image no larger than 300 pixels.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Photography backgrounds~Diy Tutorial

For those of you who have been following my blog may already know about my love for food props for food photography. I am always looking out for scraps of wood, fabrics etc that I can utilise.On a recent visit to B&Q with hubby, I was getting totally bored as he lovingly examined all the power tools and gadgets on show. I guess he showed the same love that I share when I go to Lakeland for the gadgets so I can't really complain.Whilst he was drooling over the tools, I ventured over to the wood cutting section where B&Q provide a wood cutting service. The chap there has become familier with my eccentricity, and no longer gives me weird looks as I always rummage in their rubbish pile for off cuts which they throw away.

I was really excited to find 3 really nice textured square pieces of OSB meta compressed wood. I know this is technical but its sort of outdoor wood which is made from compressed wood pieces. It has the most awesome texture.Armed with my wood I scoured the paint section for the miniture paint samples. I have recently been watching the 15 minute recipes programme on sky by Jamie Oliver. More than the recipes, I watch the programme to see his food plating ideas using most beautiful wooden boards in some amazing rustic colours.

Armed with my three pieces of wood, three pots of miniture paints costing me a total of £3.00, I was on my way home to create some amazing boards for my photography. Unforunately due to aheavy work load and un forseen circumstances, the paint sat in the bag and the boards in the garage for a few weeks.

This week I have had few days off work, its been too wet and cold to go out so I dug out the boards and paints and started on my project.I decided that to get maximum use of the boards and save storage space, I would paint each side of the board a different colour so that I would have 6 backgrounds in total. I am going to show you how I did this.You do not need any specialist skills to paint these, the more random you paint them the better and more unique and rustic the finish you will be able to achieve.

You will need:

Wooden boards of your choice
Paint brushes
An empty jam jar for water
Couple of old rags
Paint of choice, I used turquoise, white, brown and coral
An empty plastic tray/ tub for diluting the paint
A large plastic sheet or bin liner to spread on the table
1 sheet sandpaper


1.Check the edges of the boards to see if there are any splinters, if the edges are rough gently rub them down with sand paper to smooth them.

2.Wipe the wooden boards to remove any dust and make sure they are dry. Place them on the plastic sheet facing down.

3.Put a dollop of your chosen paint onto the plastic tray and add a few drops of water to thin it out.We want a white wash effect so paint needs to be really thin. Dip the brush into the paint very sparingly.

4. Paint the colour on to the board in random strokes and making it very patchy leaving some "missed" areas. This will give your boards a very rustic look.

5. Next take a rag and scrunch it up wipe away the paint in some random places to make it patchy. Leave the board to dry.

6. Once the board is dry, flip it over and you can paint this side a different colour.I painted the darker colour on one side and diluted the same colour and used it on the second side to get two different colour finishes.

7. To do the lighter colour add a drop or two of the white paint to your original colour and mix it to the desired shade.

8. Follow steps 4 and five and leave the board to dry.

9. Repeat the same procedure for the other two boards with your chosen colours.

10. Leave the boards to fully dry overnight before using them.

I love my finished boards, I have a coral board, dark turquoise and a dark brown boards. In the lighter colours I have a light Turquoise, white and a pine coloured boards.

You may all be  thinking what am I going to use the boards for? Below you can see my boards being featured in some of my food photo shoots.

Strawberry and Chocolate cheese cake and Strawberries photographed on the dark coral board:

Pomegranate shot on the white painted board.

Spices shot on the dark Turquoise board:

Red onions on brown board.

I now have a lovely new collection of background boards. I am really excited about them and hope to use them in some more shoots.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Bath Bomb workshop at Amba Hotels

On Saturday I was invited to attend a Bath Bomb making workshop at Amba Hotels -Charing Cross. The event was to learn to make bath products  that you could gift your mother on Mothersday. Amba Hotel is in the heart of London right next to Charing Cross station. Its very majestic with a sweeping staircase leading to lovely rooms all overlooking the beautiful London sights.

On arrival we were greeted with a warm welcome, we mingled with fellow bloggers whilst we sipped drinks and enjoyed a lavish lunch that was fit for the king. Well watered and fed we sat around the beautifully set craft table to start our work shop that was hosted by Naz and her lovely mum from Midastouchcrafts.

The session started with a brief history of where and how soap originated. Once we were educated on this topic we started the fun bit. First we all made lovely bars of soap using essential oils, food colours and clear soap base.We added few drops of essential oil (I used strawberry) to a plastic mould, added a couple of drops of red food colouring and added some pieces of broken soap.

On top of this we poured a clear soap substance and quickly mixed all the ingredients. I didn't fully mix mine as I wanted a ripple effect in my soap. We then sprayed alcohol on top of the soap surface to disperse any bubbles and left it to set. The result was a lovely strawberry scented bar of soap.

Our next project was to make some jelly soap. We mixed some a few drops of shower gel , a couple of drops of food colour to vegetarian gelatine. The ingredients were then mixed together and hot water was poured over it. We stirred the mixture until all the gelatine was dissolved. 
We poured the mixture into a silicon mould and left it to set. The result was a lovely squidgy individual sized jelly soap.

Finally we made the final treat of the day, the bath bombs. These proved to be the most difficult  of all to make and many of the bloggers had some disasters.

The bath bombs were made using a mixture of cornflour, bicarbonate of soda and citric acid. They were scented with esential oils  and food colours and the mixture was combined together using minimal water, even a drop too much resulted is a fizzy mess!! 
Getting a dry sand like texture was a knack that some people found really difficult. Once you had mastered the consistency, the sand like mixture was packed into a mould and pressed together. The bath bomb was released from the mould by inverting the mould and giving it  a gentle tap.

The workshop was a lot of fun and I really had a great time. I would like to thank Amba Hotels for their kind hospitality, the lovely food and inviting me to create such lovely mothersdays gifts. Below you can see the gifts I made, aren't they just beautiful???  I am also super excited as this photo was selected as the winning photo of the event and it has won me a stay at the Amba Hotel. What a super end to an afternoon of fun.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Eggless Strawberry Mousse

Wonderful Mother
By Pat O'Reilly
God made a wonderful mother,
A mother who never grows old;
He made her smile of the sunshine,
And He moulded her heart of pure gold;
In her eyes He placed bright shining stars,
In her cheeks fair roses you see;
God made a wonderful mother,
And He gave that dear mother to me.

Today is Mothersday and there is no better way to show your appreciation than to cook or bake a special dish for your mum. This quick and easy strawberry mousse is so delectable that any mum will appreciate it. It's simple and easy to make and can be rustled up in minutes giving you lots of time to spend with your mum.

print recipe

Strawberry Mousse
Delicious and creamy strawberry mousse that can be made in a jiffy.
  • 12 Strawberries
  • 250g Mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
1. Hull 8 strawberries and blend them to a fine puree. Strain the strawberry pulp to remove any seeds and keep aside.2.In a bowl whisk together the mascarpone cheese with the icing sugar and vanilla essence.3.Fold into the mascarpone mixture the strawberry puree and incorporate it well.4. Slice the remaining strawberries and arrange them in glasses so that they line up around the edges of the glass.5.Spoon the strawberry mousse into the centre of the glasses and garnish the top with remaining strawberry slices.6. Chill the mousse for 1 hour before serving.
Prep time: Chill time time: 1 hour Total time: Yield: 4 servings

Submitting to:
Lets cook for mothersday event by simplyfood.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Mothersday Day Nik Nak Holder Pots

With Mothersday coming up soon, its really nice to get children to make home made presents for mums. The gifts are more personalised and it also teaches children that not all presents gifted need to be shop bought and have be expensive. These little nik nak pots are really easy to make and all the craft items needed are ones you can find around the house or you can use scraps.This activity is suitable for young children with adult supervision.

To see how you can make these Nik Nak holder pots please watch the video here:

You will need to make the pots:

1 small round plastic container
Coloured paper
scraps of ribbons and braid
Some buttons, sequins or decorations of choice
Double sided tape
Glue gun or fabric glue
Gifts to put into the cups such as jewellery, pens, brushes, chocolates, candles, miniture bath stuff.

Some gift ideas to put into your pots:

Candle Holder

Chocolate Holder

Makeup Brush Holder

Jewellery Holder

Pen Holder

Giveaway ~ Kirstie Allsop Kitty coin purse kit

Creating home made gifts is a really nice idea. People are often scared to attempt making things at home because they don't have the knowledge. However with the Kirstie Allsopp kits, making things at home is simple and easy to do.The kits come with all the things you need to complete your project with detailed instructions as well. With this in mind I am hosting a giveaway for two Kirstie Allsop Kitty coin purse kit for two citrusspice readers. The kits contain everything  you will need with full instructions to make your own coin purse.The purses are in beautiful floral fabric , lined and have a metal clasp.

How To Enter:
  • Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
  • 2 kitty Allsopp Coin Purse kits (one prize per winner)
  • Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
  • This competition is open to UK residents only over 18 years of age .Please read the rules below .
  • Leaving a blog comment is mandatory and failure to do so will void any other entries.
  • Closing date - 15th March 12.00 am

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