Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Garden – 2011

The garden has been a bit different this year. The harsh winter killed a great deal of our crops leaving the garden really rather desolate after the thaw. Then we thought we were going to move house (the less I talk about this the better) so we were late planting this year’s crops. Read the rest of this entry

Feta, pesto & sun dried tomato parcels

With what seems to be of increasing regularity the British institution that is M&S rolls out it’s Dine for £10 deal. In cash strapped times it can often be a good alternative to eating out. A few weeks back, while Hubs was gallivanting and trying not to get seasick around the British Isles with Skipper for Hire, I decided to buy one of the Dine for £10 deals and I could spread it over 2 nights. As it was just me eating I didn’t have to make any meaty compromises for Hubs and it could be my choice of wine, rosé naturally. I went for goat’s cheese, pesto en croute with raspberry panna cotta for dessert. Their panna cottas are the best shop bought ones you can get. Read the rest of this entry

Blackcurrant Meringue Roses

When I came across this recipe on Pinterest I was first drawn to the pretty shape then the slight oddness of the recipe. Before now I hadn’t seen jelly used in a meringue recipe. Next I had to try to decipher and anglicise the recipe. Ok I know jello is jelly in the UK but where did it go in the recipe? what type? Thankfully twitter came to the rescue and stopped me from mixing jelly cubes with hot water to make a kind of dodgy Italian meringue and use jelly crystals instead. What would the texture be like? Would it be like marshmallow because that is made from sugar, egg geletin? Turns out it was more like a stiff meringue. The jelly crystals do a great job of flavouring and colouring the meringue in one beat of a whisk. The blackcurrant jelly gives the meringue a delicate vintage pink hue. Read the rest of this entry

Dreams

As some of you may know in July 2010 I left my job to start a business. I had taught cookery a few afternoons a week in my old school but decided to combine my science background, food geekery along with 5 years experience in education to teach children how to cook. The last year has had huge highs and lows and it’s been one steep learning curve but I don’t regret it. The smile on a child’s face when they finally master something as simple as cracking an egg without shell going everywhere is priceless. I know the market I work in is very different to similar business throughout the country and I tailor the classes depending on the pupils and area. The main goal is for me to provide accessible, realistic, cross-curricular and creative food education for all, no matter your background or budget. One of my business goals is to make enough to fund me to do MSc Food & Nutrition Policy at City. I’m getting there slowly! Read the rest of this entry

Pasta for beginners

I’ve nearly finished all the recipe testing for next week. It’s been good going over recipes to double-check they work and remind myself that ‘no’ the jelly boats we were going to make are not suitable for vegetarians (thank goodness for vege-gel).  The baked jam doughnutsI tested earlier on in the week are for the American day and the pasta is for the Italian day. It’s fair to say the children coming on the course are very much looking forward to the day as along side this pasta we’ll also be making  pizza, focaccia, lemonade and ice cream. Before today I didn’t really like fresh pasta. I’d only ever experiences the ‘fresh’ pasta you buy in the supermarket fridges. It always seemed so claggy and horrible. Today’s experiment has changed this thinking and it works out at quite a cheap way to make pasta and great for when I’ve run out of the dried variety. Read the rest of this entry

My Daddy Cooks – Sloppy Joes

If you haven’t heard of My Daddy Cooks it’s a fab blog that involves Nick and his gorgeous 4-year-old son Archie cooking in their little kitchen together. The blog started in November 2009 when Nick became a stay-at-home dad and both Nick & Archie began to cook, film and post them as a vlog. My favourite video is the Baked fish in a salt crust for Archie’s reaction to the fish. What I love about the blog is that it is honest, realistic and the recipes really do work.  In May 2011 the My Daddy Cooks cookbook was released in both hardback and Kindle format. Read the rest of this entry

Baked Jam Doughnuts

Next week I’m running a week-long Cookery School for 6-11 year olds and for the last week I’ve been busy finalising arrangements and testing recipes. Each day is themed and one of the days is America. We couldn’t do an American themed day without making doughnuts and the fact I have a slight fear of frying, especially around children, this had to be a baked recipe. You can buy doughnut tins but part of my business ethos is about making cookery accessible for all. Having to buy a special tin doesn’t make it accessible. Read the rest of this entry

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