7 sizzlers for a British heatwave!

Hot! Hot! Hot! If you’re feeling the heat… eat, drink and get creative!

1 Affogato 

The Italians perfect it again, combining two quality ingredients for the ultimate cool down pick-me-up or super sleek cheats dessert. Pour espresso over a scoop of luxury vanilla ice-cream. Best served in a little glass with a teeny spoon.

2 Pimm’s ice-lolly

Ok I’m far too impatient to wait for my lollies to freeze and photograph a sexy, drippy shot (I want this out before the sun goes in!). So enjoy the art!

unnamed-6

3 Kiwifruit gets it’s summer hat on!

This blingy variety of Kiwifruit – SunGold, is the perfect snack for when you need to get out of the door – the skin is smooth enough to eat! It contains about 3 times more vitamin C than an orange, for a healthy weekend breakfast try this SunGold kiwifruit, coconut and granola breakfast pot;

3

Blitz 2 peeled and chopped SunGold kiwifruit in a blender until smooth, place 30g of your favourite granola in a glass, spoon over a pot of coconut yogurt, top with the kiwifruit and decorate with toasted coconut flakes.

Available from May through to September in Waitrose,Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda and M&S.

4 Aperol spritz

unnamed-3 (1)

Always keep a bottle of Aperol and a small bottle of soda water in the cupboard for an unexpected heat wave when, shock-horror, you haven’t chilled the Prosecco! This little cocktail, usually drank as aperitif in Italy, is mixed over ice. Gorgeous on a summer’s evening with a few nibbles! Fill a large wine glass with ice, add 75ml of Prosecco, 50ml Aperol and a dash of soda. Garnish with a slice of orange.

5 Seaside cake

seaside-cake2

Baking may be the last thing you want to do when it’s baking! But when you’ve got a super cool design like this it might be worth taking on the extra heat. For a smaller project (great for kids in summer holidays!) simply make the ice-cream cone cupcakes. To scale down the cake mix use 175g butter, 175g caster sugar, 3 large eggs and 175g self-raising flour.  You should have enough for around 10-12 cones. For the full recipe visit Homemade with Sainsbury’s & The Huffington Post

6 New drink alert!

cranes

Cambridge twins Dan & Ben Ritsema invented this red-hot drink. Whilst at uni, they enjoyed an alchololic beverage or two (!) but wondered if it was possible to make a healthier alternative? They loved cranberry juice for its health benefits, so tried fermenting cranberries to make a cranberry ‘cider’ and that was the beginning of Cranes! Original cranberry available from Ocado  three bottles for £5. Visit drinkcranes for more info.

JUST EAT Food Fest 

1

Pulled pork from Whaam Banhi

Even one of the world’s leading digital marketplaces for takeaway food is telling us to go out and eat in the sun! A celebration of world cuisine, visitors are invited to try three dishes for £8 (or £4 each) from the pop-up street food vendors. Just a handful include Italian Pizza from Sapore Vero, Jerk Chicken from Panda Berry, Caramelised Pork Belly Rice Bowl from Whaam Banh Mi and Strawberry Cheesecake flavour doughnuts from Dum Dum Donutterie. With live music and DJs. Visit www.just-eat.co.uk/london/foodfest for more info.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

WWW: Wonderful world of weaning

 

We’ve gone for baby-led weaning* in a big way in our house. Good food, one meal for everyone with as little effort as possible. Yes please!

HOLIDAY FUN!

P1030152

On a recent trip to Italy Elena caused quite a stir. She became known as, ‘The baby that eats everything!’ and ‘The baby that feeds herself!’ Baby-led weaning hasn’t quite hit remote towns in Southern Italy. As she picked up strips of frittata, I was met with a few ‘Madonna! Madonna’s!’ and looks of utter horror but, to my relief, it changed throughout the two weeks to amazement, and utter pride from Nonna. Elena even started to get an audience. She didn’t seem to mind (or should I say notice – she was too busy eating!).

RECIPE

I can’t get enough of Gill Rapley & Tracey Murkett’s The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook . The recipes are fantastic but it’s also great if you’re creating your own and want to check if a certain ingredient is ok.

Here’s their Simple broccoli quiche.

unnamed-1

1 medium head broccoli (florets only)
250g shortcrust pastry (see Cook’s Tip)/ or use a readymade pastry case
1 small onion
3 grilled rashers of bacon, chopped (optional)
50-100g grated cheese (according to taste)
3 eggs
115ml (4floz) milk
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

1 Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas Mark 5. Cut the broccoli into small florets and steam or boil for 2 minutes until just tender and drain.

2 To prepare your pastry case, either line a 23cm (9in) lightly greased pie/tart tin with pastry (or use a readymade pastry case). Spread the onion in the bottom of the pastry case. Add the broccoli (and bacon, if using) and sprinkle half of the cheese over it.

3 Beat together the eggs and milk and add the black pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the onion, broccoli and cheese, then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. (The egg mixture should come at least 3 quarters of the way up the pastry case. If it doesn’t add another egg, beaten with 2tbsp milk)

4 Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until the egg is cooked through (test with a skewer) and the pastry is golden brown. Serve warm, sliced or in fingers, with new potatoes and either salad, green beans or asparagus for a main meal, or eat it cold for a light lunch.

unnamed-2

Cook’s Tip

I also like to use ready-rolled pastry for this too. To make the pastry from scratch use 85g diced butter, 165g plain flour. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Using a cold blunt knife, stir in 1-2 tbsp water a few drops at a time with a criss-cross cutting motion. Stop when the mixture starts to clump together. Gather into one lump and knead it lightly for a few seconds, until it forms a dough.

*Here’s a PDF from the NHS website about weaning – it includes a small paragraph on baby-led weaning. There’s a little more detailed info about it here on the NCT website.

 

 

#38 EASTER FOOD NEWS: Make, do and spend!

Make

Layer. Sandwich. Coat. Drizzle. Plonk…if you’re going to be making one thing this Easter, try my Mini Egg cake for Sainsbury’s. A guaranteed show stopper! SSSsssh it’s much easier than it looks!

mini-egg-cake-560_6bf6a12c5370bd09d16d4fc38905c324 Click here for recipe

Click here for video

Do

???????????????????????????????????????????

Eat chocolate whilst burning off calories! What more do you want? Get yourself booked onto a Chocolate Ecstasy tour. There’s still a few places left on the Chelsea Tour on Easter Sunday – a one and half mile walk tasting the most exquisite chocolates as you go. The tour finishes with a sit-down mini chocolate tasting. HHuumm all that sitting and tasting – I’m not sure you burn off ALL those choccy calories. Oh well. Pass me a passionfruit salted caramel please. Tours from £30. www.chocolateecstasytours.com

And Spend!

choccywoccy doo dah book

For £25 you can get your hands on a copy of the gorgeous Chocolate, Cake & Curses from Choccywoccydoodah. Don’t expect recipes and secrets on how to sculpt ‘those’ gravity defying wedding cakes. This is more of an insight into the minds of those chocolate geniuses with inspiring stories and anecdotes from Christine Taylor and the team. Of course there are recipes to satisfy that need to cook up a choccy storm from Chocolate Pie to Chocolate Bread Pudding to Dripping Chocolate Millefeuille.

choccywoccydoodah

Getting lost in choclate heaven. Choccywoccydoodah, Carnaby Street, book launch.

Mini egg cake photo: Charlie Richards. Chocolate tour photo: www.chocolateecstasytours.rezdy.com

#12 FOOD NEWS: Breakfast special

Every monday

Full English or a continental pastry? I’m a massive fan of the English breakfast but it occurred to me that it could be taken to dizzy heights with a few Italian twists!

WEEKEND WONDER: The Embellished English

britalian breakfast final1

Garlic and balsamic roast tomatoes

Oliveoil and balsamaic tomatoes

Place 3 halved plum tomatoes and 2 whole garlic cloves in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with dried oregano and season to taste. Roast at 190’C, 170’C fan, gas 5 for 30 mins. Serves 2 (double for 4).

The sausage

Place Sicilian Inspired Pork Sausages (Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference, £2.50 for 6) in a baking tray above the tomatoes and cook to pack instructions at 190’C, 170’C fan, gas 5 for 30 mins. If you’re lucky enough to have an Italian deli nearby or if you’re self-catering or camping in Southern Italy seek out pappagnotta – the ultimate Italian sausage.

Dreamy creamy scrambled eggs

eggs crop

Whisk 4 large eggs, 6 tbsp whole milk and 50g mascarpone. Season to taste. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over a medium heat in a non-stick frying pan, add the egg mixture and allow to sit for 20 secs then gently fold and stir with a wooden spatula. Allow to sit for a further 10 secs and fold and stir again. Repeat until the eggs are soft softly set. Serves 2.

Crispy pancetta

sizzling pancetta

Place the pancetta in a dry non-stick frying or griddle pan over a medium heat for 3-5 mins, turning once, until crispy.

Britalian Tip

Add some courgette flower fritters if you have the rest of the day to walk (or sleep!) it all off!

WHEN YOU NEED TO BE UP-AND-OUT:

4 weekday 5 minute breakfasts…

Superfood smoothie

Whizz and go!

superfood smoothie crop

Beetroot & blueberry smoothie

Place 125g cooked beetroot (half a pack of cooked beetroot in natural juices),  100g blueberries, 25g goji  berries, 60ml pomegranate juice, 1tsp honey and a squeeze of lemon juice in a blender. Blend for 1 minute and serve. Serves 1

My Calabrian breakfast
Although I’m never in a hurry when in Italy, breakfast is a quick affair – just a little entree to LUNCH.

My Italian breakfast

Lipton English breakfast tea (Mama Romeo likes to make me feel at home!), Pan di Stelle biscuits (good Italian deli’s sell these in the UK or you can even buy them from Amazon.co.uk, from £2.95) and a fresh peach. A seemingly odd little mix that I’ve grown to love.

Mummy ‘E’s’ mega cereal breakfast
Setting her up for a day of teaching 11-15 year olds. No wonder it’s quite hefty.

Super cereal crop

Top your favourite ready mixed granola with milk, a large spoonful of Greek natural yogurt, a small handful of berries and a few slices of kiwi fruit (or top with any fruit that needs using up!).

Slow release energy fast! 

 Perkier porridge pots

These little pots of joy from Perkier are perfect for busy days, pop one in your bag on the way to work and simply top up with boiling water.  Perkier was set-up by Anne Perkins and her partner Steve; fed up with the lack of choice and the price of gluten free products, Anne decided to do something about it. Perkier porridge pots are available at large supermarkets for around £1.50 each. For full product range visit http://www.perkier.co.uk

GREAT GADGET

Running out of cupboard space? These stackable Leaning Tower of Pisa espresso cups are perfect to keep on the worktop – making it even easier to reach for that morning coffee. Fab and functional! £19.99 www.menkind.co.uk

leaning tower of pisa_In situation