Don’t You Worry Child

Gosh well its been a crazy few weeks. I can’t believe how busy I have been with work and kids and divorce rubbish and Christmas and New Year and well you know..

November flew by and I think my son spent half of it wearing his Halloween costume! We finally  extracted Rufus from his Giraffe Costume after nearly 2 weeks of solid back to back wearing.  He finally allowed it to go into the washing machine when assured Giraffe would not get dizzy. Tilda did the honours holding the offending piece of material away from her muttering “this is sooo going in the wash”.

Halloween done and dusted and then we were hurtling towards Christmas. My ultimate favrouite time of year. I know I have said it before but my god I just love it. Its not just the food and the best excuse ever to spend 3 days cooking, baking and prepping for the best roast dinner ever. Its the fairy lights and the tree and children’s excitement. It is palpable..Plus the best threat ever for bedtime best behaviour…”Father Christmas is watching you”…Admitedly I do kind of start using that threat around the end of October. I took a ton of photos of the Christmas festivities and will upload them very soon.

Recently I was invited to meet an Atomic Kitten whip up some fabulous Florida Grapefruit inspired dishes. Liz McClarnon was really lovely and funny and what a great afternoon. We had a little segment the grapefruit competition and then Liz demoed 3 recipes, A Florida Grapefruit Fajita Platter with a fresh and sunny salsa, Honeyed Florida grapefruit with pancetta, goats cheese and pine nuts and also a fresh Florida grapefruit, lime and mint sorbet. All delicious and different.

All really simple to make and delicious. I learn’t loads about this delicious fruit. I know everyone thinks Grapefruit is bitter and needs to be slathered in sugar. I remember my mother religiously slicing hers in half every morning and shaking spoonfuls of sugar over it then placing it under the grill.

Florida Grapefruit however is sweet and juicy and easy to peel and delicious. Its in season from November to March/April.  Don’t get the ones from Cyprus or Turkey or wherever. It was a lovely afternoon and brought a bit of summer to a dreary winters day.

I leave you with a few photos of the event and also Liz’s recipes.

Have a wonderful Weekend.

Rachelle x

Liz chopping 2 copy Grapefruit segments copy Florida grapefruit salad copy Florida grapefruit fajitas copy Eating sorbets copy Liz and florida grapefruit fajitas copy

Liz McClarnon’s Florida grapefruit recipe

Honeyed Florida grapefruit with pancetta, goats cheese and pine nuts

Serves 4

Ingredients

6 slices pancetta
2tbsp olive oil
2 small knobs butter
4-5tsp honey
1 Florida grapefruit, peeled and segmented by hand (not a knife)
3tbsp balsamic vinegar
2tsp Dijon mustard
Handful of pine nuts
Salt and pepper
Bag of salad leaves
150g goat’s cheese, sliced
Method

1. Fry the pancetta in 1tbsp of the oil in a pan until nice and crispy, then place onto kitchen paper to drain off any excess oil.

2. Wipe out the same pan with more kitchen paper to get rid of the excess oil. Add the remaining oil, 1 small knob of the butter and about 2-3tsp honey. Mix it up a little, then add the Florida grapefruit segments to the pan (they need to be in their original segments and not cut to prevent them falling apart when cooking). Stir and make sure they are coated and caramelised (that should take about 4 min), then add 1tbsp of the balsamic vinegar. Put the segments to one side so you can use the pan again.
4. To the pan, add the remaining knob of butter, the remaining balsamic vinegar, the Dijon mustard, the remaining 2tsp honey, the pine nuts and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix everything together and heat through for about 2 min.
5. Make up the salad: cut the pancetta into bite-sized pieces. Place the salad leaves onto four plates, then add the caramelised Florida grapefruit, the goat’s cheese, the pancetta and pour over the dressing to serve.

Per serving

341kcal

12g protein

26.4g fat

10.6g saturates

14.5g carbs

14.2g sugar

1.5g fibre

1.4g salt

22mg vitamin C

0.2mcg vitamin D

 

Florida grapefruit fajitas platter with sunny salsa

Serves 4

Ingredients

4tbsp squeezed Florida grapefruit juice

4tbsp fresh lime juice

Pinch of salt and pepper

1tsp all-purpose seasoning
2tbsp olive oil

1 red and 1 yellow pepper, seeds removed and cut into strips
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
450g lean beef, cut into strips
8 tortillas
1 avocado, peeled and stone removed

120ml reduced-fat sour cream
75g cheddar cheese, grated

For the sunny salsa:

3 tomatoes, chopped

1 onion, peeled and diced

2 mild chillies, seeds removed and finely diced

Fresh chopped coriander

½ Florida grapefruit, peeled and finely chopped

Pinch of salt

1tsp lime juice and water

1. In a large food bag, combine the Florida grapefruit and lime juices, salt and pepper, all-purpose seasoning and 1tbsp of the olive oil. Add the beef, seal the bag, and squeeze the marinade together so that it covers the meat. Put in the fridge for a few hours to marinate.

2. Add all the Florida salsa ingredients to a bowl, mix and set aside.

3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet pan. Cook the peppers and onion until soft and brown, then add the beef strips and cook until browned. Place in a serving dish together.

4. Heat the tortillas according to the pack instructions.

5. Slice the avocado lengthways and place in a serving dish and put the sour cream grated cheese in dishes

6. Place everything on the table so everyone can dig in.

Per serving

721kcal

42.2g protein

27.5g fat

9.8g saturates

79.9g carbs

18.2g sugar

9.8g fibre

2g salt

158mg vitamin C

0.6mcg vitamin D

 

Florida grapefruit, lime and mint sorbet

 

Serves 6

Ingredients

200g sugar

Juice of 5 Florida grapefruit plus zest of 2

Juice and zest of 5 limes

1 bunch finely chopped mint, plus sprigs to decorate

Method

1. Put the sugar in a pan with 275ml water and bring to the boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer for about 5 min. Leave to cool.

2. In a bowl, mix the cooled sugared water with the Florida grapefruit and lime juices and zest, and the chopped mint.

3. Transfer to a freezer-proof dish, cover and pop into the freezer for 2 hours, stirring it about 3-4 times during this time.

4. Serve in glasses, decorated with fresh mint sprigs

 

Per serving

156kcal

0.4g protein

0.1g fat

0g saturates

40.8g carbs

40.7g sugar

0g fibre

0g salt

25mg vitamin C

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Would It All Make Sense

My god the last week or so has been a whirlwind of work, kids, socialising and sometimes all at the same time! I don’t really know where to begin. The kids and I have spent every spare minute that we have in the sunshine on London Fields. Last weekend was idyllic. Sunshine, picnics and cricket. I have no idea what the rules of cricket are, I have no idea what the game entails apart from hitting a ball and running around a bit. I just love the fact that lots of guys are dressed in white, it looks so good. Oh yeah and any sport that breaks for an hour or so for a giant lunch has my seal of approval.

I took the kids to Feast In The Fields at London Fields Brewery last weekend too. I love that venue. It has a really good atmosphere about it. Really friendly staff and also they have a totally rocking DJ. The music was brilliant. It took a while for us to choose what to eat. I had a selection of samosas and bhaji’s courtesy of Gupta. The kids ate burgers the size of their heads lovingly created by a fellow ginger from Beard to Tail and I also sampled some of the local beer and even though I am not at all a beer person, I must admit it was delicious. I could be converted.

Because I have been so busy (I was working on Valentine Warners new show coming up in September) and also because of the weather I have been creating lots of salady things. My addiction to rocket knows no bounds. I literally eat a giant bag a day. I cannot seem to get enough of the peppery yumminess. I seem to go through stages with food and recipes. I take one thing and try to make it a ton of different ways. I am in a hummus phase at the moment and have pretty much created a different hummus everyday. My kids are now kind of over it. I must admit I got a little carried away and made individual pots for each of the kids. They were not impressed. They looked so sweet, the hummus pots, not the kids.I made my usual base of chickpeas, preserved lemons, tahini, garlic, fresh lemon juice, coriander, cumin. Then I topped them with olive oil, toasted pumpkin seeds and smoked paprika.

I leave you with some photos of fun and frolics in the park, the end of year summer fete at the kids school oh and Rufus has found a new best friend. Pavlina’s friend Mike. In fact Pav and I fall of the edge of the world when Mike is around.

Love Rachelle x

cricket kidsmike pavru forpav ru tildaschool schoolbunfight Feastinthefields littlehummus

 


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Aside

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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