Always In The Back Of My Mind

I’m sitting outside a little cafe in Islington, with the dog asleep at my feet drinking some very lovely Fentiman’s Ginger Beer, trying to figure out where to begin with the last two weeks of work and life. I have been juggling designing wedding flowers, recipes and helping organise and working on ScandiFeast. What a wonderful weekend that was. I will be posting photos very shortly.

From time to time I am invited to foodie events. I try to pick and choose the ones which I feel I have a strong interest in. Also childcare is obviously a factor so if I am going to go out of an evening, it pretty much has to be something that I can justify forking out for childcare.

I was lucky enough to be invited to Cafe Spice Namaste to spend an evening with Cyrus Todiwalla. Now I am not going to turn that down! Cyrus and his wife are wonderful hosts. They always make you feel like you are eating in their home. Cyrus spent the evening demoing and feeding us Lamb dishes. He talked about the small hold farms where he sources the lamb from and we also met an Irish now farming in the midlands sheep farmer and he gave a brilliant talk about the typical day of a sheep farmer. You could tell he totally loved his work.

One of the things I learnt was that lamb sales were lower then chicken, pig and cow. Oh and also its a generation thing. If you are over 40 then you would quite easily make lamb your meat choice but the younger generations don’t know how to cook it! That I found weird. Shoulder of Lamb, rub with olive oil, garlic and rosemary, shove in the oven for a few hours…Dinner!

Cyrus made the most delicious canapés with cuts of the lamb that you wouldn’t necessarily choose. Lamb breast was so tender and delicious. Oh and he made burgers with lamb mince and stuffed a piece of blue cheese inside before frying. He also seasoned the lamb mince and invited us to eat, lamb tartare. I cannot explain how delicious the raw meat was. So sweet and perfectly seasoned. He flash fried in minutes cubes of simply spiced lamb loin. It was tender and pink and blew away any myths that lamb has to be cooked for a long time.

I left stuffed and vowing to quiz my butcher about all the different cuts he can supply.

I leave you with a Cyrus recipe for blue cheese stuffed lamb burger and also a diagram showing you all the different cuts of Lamb and how to cook them. I found it really useful I hope you do too. I’m heading off to get some cuts of Lamb for the BBQ tomorrow.

Have a great weekend!

BlueCheeseStuffedLambBurger LambSheekKebabswithFruitWalnuts

BLUE CHEESE STUFFED LAMB BURGER

By Cyrus Todiwala

“Burgers might be an American invention or creation but the Kebab or Kavaab is very Indian, Persian, Turkish, Lebanese and so on. In India the burger would be actually a kebab of sorts.

I simply had to devise a burger with spices. It is simple to put together and just shows what you can do if you think just a little bit differently. So be brave and create – perhaps you will make many more combinations and bring out the best in the lamb you buy. Enjoy!”
Makes 6 burgers
Ingredients:

  • 675g lamb mince
  • 1 finely chopped medium onion
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic                                                                                                                                                                                                1 x 2inch piece minced fresh ginger
  • 1 slender type minced green chilli (seeds included)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin powder
  • 1½ tbsp ground coriander powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 heaped tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala powder
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper

 

For the Stuffing:

  • 150g Blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 finely chopped green chillies
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic
  • Rolls or bread, to serve

Method:

  • In a large bowl gently mix all the burger ingredients together. Divide into 6 evenly–sized burgers.
  • In a small bowl blend the stuffing ingredients together and shape into equal-sized balls to stuff the burgers.
  • Make an indentation in the centre of each burger with your thumb and fill with a ball of the cheese. Make sure the cheese is completely encased when you form the burger.
  • Cook on a prepared grill or barbecue for 6-8 minutes on each side or until any meat juices run clear.
  • Serve with your favourite bread or rolls with some sliced tomatoes, onion and lettuce and some relish.

 

By Cyrus Todiwala 2015 for www.tastyeasylamb.co.uk


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Friendly Pressure

My kids are being supremely wonderful this week. I know, I know, what the hell is going on? Tilda the “spanky one” keeps telling me that I look like Ariel from The Little Mermaid, and she told me that I was the prettiest mommy in the whole world. Ok you, what the hell are you after? Lola has decided that she is in charge of all the tidying of the bedroom. It is spotless, she even took all the clothes out of the drawers and refolded them and put them back, oh and sorted out the winter, summer clothes and put the summer clothes away! Ok that sounds a bit OCD. Should I be worried?

Its become a little easier in the last few months having all of them, The Ru has definitely turned into a little boy. Wants to be self sufficient, won’t allow me to help him out, unless under dire circumstances. When my children are getting on so well, I tend to want to spend more time with them. I know its stating the obvious and I know I am their sole carer (well I have Pav their nanny of course) but it just makes me want to treat them for being so bloody bearable. How do I do that?

Well they choose all the meals at the weekends and I make it so. Oh and my new, not very expensive at all and totally wonderful treat. Tad Restaurant which is literally in our front garden. My god how did I not go there before now? The food is really really good, fresh, healthy, beautifully grilled meats, the salads are divine. They do this roast onion salad, its big chunks of roast onion, in a pomegranate and a turkish sauce thing called Shaldam. Its a bitter, sweet, vegetable based sauce, or drink. I am not sure really, but after harrasing one of the waiters to get the recipe. I tried to remake it. It wasn’t right. I need to talk to the chef. I am so going there and refusing to leave until I get the right recipe. It is so good, If you are ever in Hackney. Go there, The Calimari is sublime. All the food is really really good. The staff are wonderful and the best bit. It is so bloody cheap. My kids eat the entire left side of the menu, 2 portions of calamari, a giant pizza, greek salad, a grilled meat dish, rice and then lots of side salads. I have one (really I do) glass of wine, the kids have a round of lemonades. £35 tops! Brilliant. So good.

As well as loitering with intent at our local restaurant, I have actually managed to do some cooking this week. Last weekend was a bit of a bake off. I made enough pizza dough to feed an army. I sent pizzas down the road to our neighbours. I turned some of the dough into an olive focaccia. One of my favourite breads to make. I turn the dough into an oval shape and dimple it with my fingers then pour a ton of olive oil on. More then you think is necessary. Keep pouring so the dimples are filled with oil. then dot olives all over the top, add some shards of rosemary and a good generous sprinkle of sea salt.  Turn the oven onto 170C and place the bread on top of the oven loosely covered to prove again. A second rise will make it light and the crumb will be perfect. Place in the oven for 35 minutes or until the bread is lightly golden around the edges and cooked.

Oh and PS I did harass the chef at Tad Restaurant. I have the correct recipe now. I shall practice this week and share next week.

Have a great week

Rachelle x

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I’m Running Catch Up With Me

Ok its been a bit busy over here. I have loads to talk about but will pace myself. The kids haven’t seen much of me in the last couple of weeks. I think that is probably a good thing, you know how absence makes the heart grow fonder and to be honest after half term I think we all needed to take a bit of time out.

My friend Uju and I have not been able to find the time to hang out at all in the last year and now it seems we are at every foodie event together! We were invited to an event hosted by Tribal Media. They were launching a new gluten free range of foods by Ilumi. We were given a cooking demonstration and we tried a selection of their products. I was really impressed. We ate Tom Kha Gai Soup, delicious. I also had gluten free pasta with meatballs in a tomato sauce and for dessert a chocolate brownie made by the Knead Bakery and non dairy vanilla ice-cream. The Brownie was totally delicious and you would not have known it was wheat free…I was totally impressed. Nuff said!!

So, not content with seeing Uju and having a little glass of wine too for that lovely evening. We hook up on the Saturday with the brood to check out Big Apple Hot dogs new venue at Off Broadway on Broadway Market. Her husband owns the company and they have pop ups all over the place. Check them out best hot dogs in town!  The kids were suitably furnished with theirs and Uju and I furnished ourselves with a cocktail or two…Hehe. Abe (Uju’s husband) said that we should come here every Saturday and call it the “Cocktail Creche” I like her husband!

Amongst all my social engagements (Ok two but that is unheard of over here) I did actually do some work. Had a shoot at Rasoi with Lisa Barber for a charity cookbook. One of three shoots that are happening over the next couple of weeks. I also managed to throw together a few half decent meals for the offspring.

Its summer (apparently) and as usual I start thinking about tapas and meze and summer holidays somewhere hot and Spanish food and then I realise I am bloody cold and need to make a stew! So I created a Spanish tapas inspired summery stewy thing. Butter beans, tomatoes, garlic, bratwurst sausages (ok not very Spanish but they were in the fridge). The kids especially Tilda mainlined it!

Its cheap to make and totally perfect for a summers winters day!

Have a good one y’all!

Rachelle X

Rasoi copy GlutenFreeMeet GF Brownie copy tilda2 copy TessaKiros Butterbeansausage

Bean and Sausage Casserole

As you can see from the photo I added eggs to this. You don’t have to. I would and did have this for breakfast well more of a brunch thing. I think I gathered inspiration from about 3 popular spanish dishes and then merged them. I soak an entire bag of butter beans to cook but please use a can if you wish. I just think the tinned ones don’t hold their shape as well. Plus when you cook your own beans you can add a load of flavour to the beans.

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of butter beans (or use a can if you wish)
  • I can of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 bratwurst sausages (or any cured sausage of your choice the most obvious being chorizo)
  • I onion (roughly chopped)
  • 4 fat cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • Squirt of tomato puree or ketchup
  • 4 eggs (optional)
  • A handful of parsley (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to season

Directions

I soak a whole bag of beans the night before then cook them as per instructions adding a chopped onion, bay, peppercorns, a carrot whatever herbs I have to hand. Then I store them in the fridge thoroughly dressed in olive oil and lemon juice. You can then use them as and when you feel. I chuck a handful in a salad, or they are great with roast chicken throw them in the roasting dish about 20 minutes before you take the chicken out.

Take a deep heavy pan with a lid and on a medium heat  add olive oil and  then chopped onion with a big fat pinch of sea salt. When the onion is translucent after 5 mins of so of cooking add the garlic, cook for another minute or two, then add the beans tomatoes, chopped up sausage, and tomato paste (or ketchup) stir and simmer gently with the lid on for about 20 mins until the tomatoes have lost their rawness and the sausage is totally warmed through.

Then crack your eggs onto the stew and season with salt and pepper. Put the lid on and cook for a further 8 mins with the lid on. When the eggs are cooked sprinkle the parsley on top and serve with warm butter bread..I want to make this again now!

 

 


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Me and Baby Got This Situation

Yeah sunshine. Actual real sunshine. Daylight, no grey, blue skies. It feels like Spring may have finally arrived! Whoop whoop. My god doesn’t feel like the longest winter ever?

I love London in the summer. I know it isn’t quite summer yet. Seriously 2 days of sunshine and I start planning picnics, friends over for BBQ’s.

The downside is the kids have already made me loose the will to live re: “Can I have an ice cream” Oh my god its only April! This is the constant mantra until September. Unfortunately for me, the Ice Cream van parks about 20 ft from my flat everyday come rain or shine.

As I am typing this TMC (The Middle Child) Tilda has sat next to me repeating over and over again the summer mantra. I say no she says (about 40 times) “Why?” By the 40th time I look up and say if you do not go away I will give your bike away to the first child I see when I leave here! She locks eyes with me and then backs off with a look that was far far beyond her years. It can only get worse!

Popcorn! I am kind of loving it right now. I am experimenting with various “dressings” Is that the right word? Do you dress popcorn? I have no idea but my popcorn is getting dressed at the moment. I don’t have a microwave and if I did I would still make my popcorn “old School”. My mum used to make it in a big heavy pan and throw butter and salt on it. Sunday night treat.

I was out out this weekend with my lovely friend and the kids nanny, Pavlina. I hadn’t really eaten before we went out. A few glasses of wine later and I am starving. Late night munchies have to happen.

I made this recipe up on the spot and my god it is soo good. Smoked paprika, butter, salt and sugar. I have no idea what to call it “Paprika Popcorn” I guess!

Enjoy and I leave you with a few pics from the weekend. Eton Mess courtesy of my lovely friend Sam Starbuck and the obligatory kids stuffing their faces!

Rachelle X
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Paprika Popcorn

(Serves 4)

Not really a recipe. I would serve this at a little cocktail party. Not that I ever host cocktail parties.

Ingredients

250g popping corn

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the dressing

3 tablespoons butter

1 large pinch of sea salt

1 teaspoon of sugar

1 half teaspoons of smoked paprika.

Directions

In a large heavy cast iron pan with a lid, over a medium high heat add the vegetable oil and popping corn. Stir the corn so it is slicked in the oil. Put the lid on and wait for the popping to begin. When the corn starts to pop move the pan around on the heat, to make sure all the corn gets even heat and this minimises the corn over cooking.

When it starts to go quiet, take the corn off the heat and place all the ingredients for the dressing in a small saucepan. Heat until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved in the mixture. Tip onto the warm popcorn and mis thoroughly. Apply to face! X

 

 

 


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Every Cloud….

Hey its been a good week really. The kids are doing well at school. Tilda received another 100% attendance certificate! I do love this school but a certificate for showing up! Kind of weird. I decided today I would face the music. The really horrid scary things that need to be dealt with. Yep thats what I am going to do, obviously after I have cooked something, photographed it and written this blog. So actually maybe I will face the music tomorrow…Do you see how I am not facing the music at all!

My obsession with all things rocket is still going strong. I could easily spend a week creating all kinds of rocket dishes. I can’t seem to get enough of the peppery leaf! I have pretty much everyday this week had, some variation of a rocket salad for dinner. Last night I whipped up a salad with warm chorizo, goat cheese and apple. Really bloody yum.

I also made a rocket and black pepper soda bread, with a roast carrot and potato soup. Basically just cleared out the veg in the bottom of the fridge. Roasting the potatoes and carrots just gives them a bit more sweetness and depth of flavour.

Well I shall leave you with my recipe for black pepper and rocket soda bread. If you want the recipe for the soup I will happily email it over. I also made a carbonara with chorizo and cabbage, which was again me scrabbling around the fridge for something to feed the kids. Oh yeah and forgive my recipe page, I am working on it. So should hopefully have all my recipes bookmarked by the end of the week.

Have a wonderful beginning of February.

Love Rachelle x

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Rocket and Black Pepper Soda Bread

Soda bread is a staple in my house. I hate buying bread, I will pretty much do anything to avoid it. It is so cheap to make and the kids will take pretty much any variation I throw at them. I ran out of plain flour so made up the measurement of 500g with 100g of oats and 50g of ground almonds. You can add, raisins, seeds, wholemeal flour, I have even thown in some museli that was knocking about. It is very forgiving and lends itself to sweet or savoury flavours. The variations are endless. The only thing you have to do, is not knead it. Literally mix it together in a bowl until it forms a ball, the less handling the better. I then smother it in yogurt of buttermilk before putting it in the oven. This creates a golden crust, its also really satisfying smearing gloopy  yogurt over the soft dough……Oh dear I really need to get out more. x

Ingredients 

  • 350g plain flour
  • 100g oats (not the powdery ones)
  • 50g ground almonds
  • large handful of rocket
  • 1tsp of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Fat pinch sea salt
  • Approx. 400ml buttermilk or live yoghurt
  • A little milk, if necessary

Method

1.  Put flour, oats, almonds, rocket, black pepper and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir in the salt. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk, stirring as you go. If necessary, add a tablespoon or two of milk to bring the mixture together; it should form a soft dough which is a little sticky.

2. Tip it out on to a lightly floured work surface and form the dough into a ball. This is not going to be the consistency of a yeast dough. You want to get it into the oven so the bicarbonate of soda can do its thing.

3. Put the round of dough on a lightly floured baking sheet and if you have any yogurt, or buttermilk left over smear it on top of the loaf and make a deep cross on top of the dough.  Put it in an oven preheated to 200°C/gas mark 6 and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath.

4. Cool on a wire rack for a few minutes, eat warm with butter. So good. So very good.

 


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The Big Muddy

Ok ok, I promise I will stop with the Springsteen songs. Such a great track though….Its the beginning of a new week. This week took a bit of a toll on me but I survived and have managed to tackle some pretty grim tasks. I have also totally managed to ignore some really hugely important life stuff. I know that ignoring the problem will not make it go away. I am doing it anyway. Don’t care. Don’t want to deal, Not doing it. I am a grown woman and if I want to act like a 6 yr old then that’s my prerogative. In fact this week I have been particulary in touch with my inner child. Rufus and I seem to have spent a bit more time together this week. He is totally rocking my world right now.

I have just edited my shots from the week and even though I felt so very uninspired I did make quite a bit of kid friendly food! I announced that I would make homemade chicken nuggets expecting a round of applause, or at least a small whoop. Lola groans loudly…”can’t we just have crappy frozen ones..You know like from Iceland” I ignored her comment. The Iceland thing again, I never go there, have never shopped there ever! Lidl, Aldi yes. Anyway I ignored her and made a batch. Right I demand if you have kids, or not. Make them. They are healthy quick and so moreish.

I apologise for the rubbish shot of them. I am trying to learn how to use the Canon digital camera my friend lent me (I’m kinda hoping it is a long termish loan) Well long enough for me to learn how to use it properly. I can’t seem to get the whole iso, f-stop focus thing. For your amusement I have posted a photo of a sticky spicy roast chicken dish that I did.  Hmmm all you food photographers out there, don’t start sweating yet!!

Oh yeah I made a heart shaped banana bread, the kids ate it before I could shoot the baked version. I was not happy! Tilda took a couple of shots of the family too!

Have a wonderful week

Lots of love

Rachelle x

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Chicken Nuggets

They take half an hour to make from start to finish. They are so healthy and delicious.

Makes 18ish

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken breasts (free range please)
  • 1 tablespoon of mayo
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 150grams of panko breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper

Pulse the chicken breasts in a food processor and pulse a few times until the chicken is in bits and a tiny bit gloopy add mayo and garlic and pulse again.

Tip the bread crumbs in a bowl and in your hands make small dumplings of the chicken mixture (around the size of a ping pong ball). Roll the nugget in the breadcrumbs put on a baking sheet. Continue till all the chicken mixture is used. Place the baking sheet in the fridge for 10mins or so to let the mixture rest. Meanwhile turn the oven on to 190C.

Place in the oven for 20mins or so until the breadcrumbs are brown and the chicken is cooked through. I served these with peas and chips.

Enjoy x

 

 

 


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Somewhere Between a Rock……

When a relationship breaks down. Does it revert to how it was at the beginning? At the start you ignore the little signs, because you want to feel in love, you want to make it work? Not major things, small little things that might have irritated you a in the beginning but you set them aside because of the bigger picture, romantic love… How come friendships seem to last yet relationships are so difficult. There are certain things that we don’t like, agree with, with our friends. We set them aside because we love them and understand them. But I guess we also don’t live with them and raise kids with them!

Its been a pretty hard week this week. The kind of week that I wish I could wrap up, chuck in the bin and forget about. In fact I think I might just do that!

I woke at 4.30 this morning, wrote an email to a lawyer (re separation)  then watched 20  mins of a rubbish film on Love Film drank a cup of tea and fell back to sleep. Woke at 8.20am!! In fact all of us did. Girls threw on their school uniforms, I ran around barking orders, “jumper, shoes, hair”!. Rufus ran around shouting “get dressed get dressed”. We were out of the house in 15 minutes. It is a record. OK breakfast was compromised and with the promise that they would not tell their teachers, they ate millionaires shortbread on the way to school. We all shared high fives at the brilliantness of our getting ready. Tilda even asked if we could do it again tomorrow…Uhhhh No.

Amongst the drama this week, I spent a day with the Fabulous Baker Brothers, Tom and Henry. They are shooting their new series for channel four and I assisted Anna Ford as a food stylist. Really lovely people and a great experience. I also taught a couple of classes, Caribbean and Thai, which is always a joy.

Meals this week consisted of a melting pot of Thai and West Indian ingredients.  I think my favourite was, chunky chips roasted with olive oil, bay, fresh and green peppercorns. I also made a rice noodle dish with chilli oil and shredded pork. To be honest the noodles were really just a vehicle for the chilli oil. I am totally addicted to it and eat it straight from the jar usually.

I also made a butternut squash and ginger soup. Totally healthy and delicious. You can find the recipe in this months edition of Fashion Affair Magazine along with a recipe for toffee apples.

Well here’s to a better week this week and and to sweeten up my week and yours I leave you with my recipe for Millionaires Shortbread.

Take Care

Rachelle x

Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup

 

Sauteed Jerusalem artichoke with garlic and callaloo

 

 

Almond and Salt Caramel Millionaires Shortbread

Born from a need to make people smile! This is an outrageously rich treat. The recipe makes a ton so make sure you have a lot of people you can donate too! Happy baking.

Ingredients

For the base:

  • 225g plain flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 225g butter
  • 100g ground Almonds
For the caramel
  • 175g butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1tbs Maldon Sea Salt
  • 1 x 1Kg can condensed milk
For the chocolate topping
  • 200g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
Method
  1. Set the oven to 160C/gas2. Lightly grease a regular size roasting dish. 20x30cms
  2. Place all the ingredients for the base into a food processor and whizz together until they form a smooth dough .
  3. Press the mixture into the base of the Swiss roll tin and prick with a fork.
  4. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden and firm. Set aside to cool.
  5. To make the topping, place the butter, sugar, syrup, salt and condensed milk into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted.
  6. Bubble the mixture gently for five to eight minutes, stirring all the time until thick and fudge-like. Pour over the cold shortbread in an even layer. Leave to cool.
  7. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Pour the chocolate over the toffee and leave to set. Cut into small squares and store in an airtight tin.

 

 

 

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Don’t bite the hand that feeds you

Sometimes life takes you, grabs you, turns you around and launches you into a situation where you sink or swim. My dad did that literally to me when I was very young. Threw me into the water and luckily I swam. Don’t worry, that will be one family tradition I wont be upholding.

The children returned to school last week and what heaven and bliss that is. Love them dearly, oh darling children of mine, but I have to admit, my first solo (ish) summer holiday as a working parent did very nearly finish me off. It was like an endurance test with no prize at the end.

The autumn term began thus: The kids are back to school for one day and I am booked very last minute to do a job in Grenada! That is how life changes so quickly, I barely blinked and I was on a plane gearing up to work on a cooking show for Channel 4.

I was gone a week or so, and the real work began when I came home. I spent three days retraining the children back into their routine. I cooked a ton (of course) and it took four days for them to finally sit down at the dinner table to eat and talk civilly, as opposed to swinging back on the chair, play fighting each other with cutlery, throwing food and generally acting like feral children….

Day one I cooked, roast chicken, roast potatoes and roast veg. No pudding, that privilege was removed after superbly terrible behaviour at bedtime the night before.

Day two I cooked, Sausages in onion gravy, peas and mash potatoes, still no pudding, the spanky one actually left me speechless!

Day three, I cooked, Black bean and veg soup with southern corn bread and corn on the cob.  The children were sitting down, we chatted about school, Tilda said “This is delicious”, Rufus, hummed and said “Mmmm” and they all asked for thirds. Hallelujah my children are back!

The whirlwind of the last week or so was not helped by the fact that my phone and camera and internet have all gone down at the same time  I almost feel the need to apologise for the lack of foodie pics on this post, but somehow I think it is exactly how this post should be……

I will however leave you with a recipe for Southern Cornbread. And a few pictures from the Grenada shoot. (cornbread photos to follow I promise)

Take Care

Rachelle x

 

Southern Cornbread

This is a recipe from “The American Woman’s Cookbook”

  • 1half cups of corn meal
  • 1half cups of hot milk
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg beaten
 Method
Mix milk with corn meal and stir in salt and butter.  Cool. Add baking powder and egg yolk  and mix well.   Fold in the beaten egg. Pour into an 8x8inch buttered pan and bake in a hot oven (200C).20 minutes.
If you wish you can scatter diced bacon on top before baking….I always do

 

 

 


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Glitter and Pasties!

That’s pasties not the Cornish edible parcel. I am slightly hungover and still a bit glittered out from last nights experience.  Burlesque at the Proud Galleries Camden.  Wow that was truly an eye opener.  I had no expectations. That was probably a good thing because I could not have prepared myself for the experience.  It was fabulous and camp and glittery and wonderful.  The perfect end to a pretty good week, give or take a few glitches.

Today I was in the mood for making a mess! I’m not sure if it was the hangover, the slight grump on, or just one of those days.  My plan was to incorporate Dukkah, an Egyptian spice mix into a recipe as a bit of a homage to Greg Malouf.

Circumstances did not permit any of the above, so I decided to go with my mood, messy, slightly hungover and a little bit grumpy.

I made the Dukkah and I urge you to do the same. It is a mixture of ground cumin and coriander, hazelnut’s and sea salt.  Traditionally you would eat this with bread and olive oil.  Oh my god, its delicious, in fact after I shot it, I then sat down and mopped up the oil and spice from the table with the bread! YUM.

I made some sticky chicken wings for thekids too. Chucked them on the table and went a bit crazy with soy sauce and tomato ketchup! I use this recipe a lot when I do children’s classes they love to get hands on with the goop!

Its good to make a mess sometimes!

Have a wonderful day.

Rachelle x

Sticky Gooey Chicken Wings

Serves 4

3-4 chicken wings (2 piece wings tips cut off)  per person

Marinade

  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (Tamari for gluten free)
  • 2 cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
  • ½ tsp Chinese 5 spice

Heat oven to 180 degrees C, gas 4

Directions

 Mix the marinade ingredients together. Toss the chicken in the marinade to coat evenly, cover and place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

To cook, place chicken into a roasting tin, cover with foil after 25 mins remove the foil and toss the chicken wings so they get an even browning.

Bake for another 10-15mins without the foil until they are golden and sticky.

Sprinkle with a little sea salt…eat…yum.

 

 

 

 


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Aside

A Nearly Lost Weekend

” I don’t think you are my real mum” says Lola as I am making a pot of tea first thing this morning.  It emerged that me having “Orange” hair and her having black hair was the sole reason for this statement. Not, thank god, that she had decided my parenting skills are so lapse she want’s to find her proper Mum.  I had a great weekend with the kids and I really do feel like I am settling into this whole sole parenting thing.  Hardest thing, is being strong all the time, there is no space to loose it.

There is also, as I found out this weekend, no space to take a shower. Yes, that was the highlight of my weekend, having four complete strangers in my bedroom, knocking on the bathroom door having escorted the two year old back into the flat. He had decided to take himself to the park to join his sisters and managed to unlock the back gate! I’m just gonna add that one to the ever growing list of “oh well it could have been worse” incidents.

Nearly lost toddlers aside, we had a really diverse food weekend. Lola and I made Pain Pardu for breakfast, this is so easy to make and totally divine. I add orange zest and orange juice and vanilla to the eggs. I ran out of icing sugar so we drizzled golden syrup on instead.  We had the most delicious dinner of left over pasta and borlotti beans and crutons. I had some left over bread so fried it in olive oil with some garlic, then added  beans and pasta, chorizo and some chopped tomato and a bit of spring onion. The kids loved it.

We then made a mountain of coconut cupcakes. The recipe for the cupcakes comes from Ina Garten and the icing is a total treat from a book called Southern Cakes by Nancie Mcdermott. Fabulous book I totally recommend it.

Have a wonderful week. I shall endeavour not to loose any of my children!

Rachelle x

Left overs never tasted so good!

Happy Girl!

 

Coconut Cupcakes

These are made in the muffin size tins. If you buy Ina Garten’s books you will realise she doesn’t do small portions at all.  This recipe makes 12 cupcakes. Enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 340grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 250 sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 380g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 50g sweetened, shredded coconut, you can use dessicated if you cant find this

For the frosting:

  • 230g caster sugar
  • 115ml water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 50g sweetened shredded coconut

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180c

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in the coconut.

Line a large muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. Stir the sugar into the water to dissolve it. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and cook without stirring for 3 minutes.  Then boil for 5 to 10 minutes more, stirring often, until the syrup has thickened and will form itself into a thread abut 2 inches long when poured from a spoon back into the pan.  Set the syrup aside.

Beat the egg whites in a large bowl with a mixer on high speed until they are bright white and shiny and voluminous. While beating at high speed, slowly pour the cooked syrup into the egg whites to blend them together into a fluffy white icing, 4-5 minutes.

Ice your cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with coconut.

 

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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