Fantastic Friends BBQ

Met a very interesting bunch of folks this weekend, quite a collection of well-travelled people from all corners of our great planet with some amazing supercalifragilistic creative styles. What talents lie waiting beneath all our skins that we have not discovered yet? It is never too late to discover them. This one talented lady, Mickayla – mother of 4, has discovered she has a talent as a silversmith.  How do I know she is talented? I have seen her amazing jewellery of course!! If I had my way I would not be sharing all this information online I would commission her just to work for me! But as I believe sharing is caring I guess I better let you in on how to get hold of her:

www.mijoyas.co.uk

Now back to BBQs, here is a little number for you:

Fantastic Fish BBQ Salsa:  Trout is a trendy fish to eat at the moment, earthy flavoured, rainbow by name, a fresh water fish full of goodness and very good source of nutrition and one of the least expensive environmentally friendly fish on the market. Lovely barbequed in a wire rack or cooked in foil with rosemary and garlic. Or try some flavoured olive oil such as chilli. Serve with a wonderful fresh salsa: 2 papayas, coriander, grated ginger and fresh mint delicious!!!

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

 

This is what one of my lovely customers said about her daughter’s birthday bash!

I would not hesitate to recommend a ‘Cookies’ party – definitely the easiest party we’ve ever hosted, as well as one of the most entertaining for the children.

Michele and her team were amazing, they arrived in a whirlwind of cake, decorations and general ‘bonhomie’.

They dressed the table, helped the kids to make their birthday tea [pizza], decorate cakes and ‘Mad Hatter’ hats, as well as keeping them entertained for every single second of the party, and then dismantled and cleared up – to be honest, I was quite weary just watching them – needless to say, the children loved it all.

To top it off, my daughter was even allowed to ‘custard pie’ the Mad Hatter! and all the children took home their many creations.

The feedback has been fabulous.

Thank you Michele, Angel and Dawn.

Rowena

mh1mht2mh2mh3 mh4 mh5mh7 (2)

 

Greek salads

This week in school we have been doing a little bit of Greek cooking. While we cook we shall be learning a few simple Greek words – very useful if you are going there for your summer holiday this year. The children have been making the typical Greek Salad, using spring onions instead of sweet salad onion (the only reason for this is that sweet salad onion is not available at the moment) and we are finishing it off with some Greek mountain herbs which I lovingly picked myself.

Quite often the locals like to eat caper leaves with their Greek Salad (which at present is very difficult to get hold of in England). They also add some dill which is totally delicious when in season. Greek salad would often be eaten by the Greeks to start a meal.

Greek Friendship Salad:

Simple but delicious,  my Greek friends make this for me when I visit them…one watermelon chopped in chunks with sprigs of fresh mint and chunks of Feta cheese all mixed together.

Serve with giant croutons…slice a  baguette, ciabata, or pitta bread into chunky strips, add some crushed garlic to good quality olive oil leave to marinade at room temperature for one hour. On each piece of bread paint your garlicky olive oil then sprinkle some oregano and lemon juice then cook under a hot grill or oven until crisp and golden.

Stick your tongue out

This week at school we’ve been sticking out our tongues…and when you stick out your tongue, you see that it’s covered in lots of little bumps. We like to think of these bumps as our taste buds, but actually, these bumps are known as papillae. Your actual taste buds are much smaller, and anywhere from 3-100 of them can fit inside a single papilla. Some papillae look different than others. This is because there are actually four different types!

tonguepic

Right in the centre of your tongue, there are lots of small, skinny papillae that almost look fur-like. These are called filiform, and they don’t contain any taste buds. On the front and sides of your tongue there are little round dot-like papillae known as fungiform.They usually contain 3-5 taste buds each. The next two types can be hard to see, all the way at the back of your tongue, near your tonsils. You may be able to make out a few ridges on either side of your tongue. Those are called foliate. On the top of your tongue in that same area, you might see some large, round papillae. These are known as circumvallate, and they, along with the foliate type, each contain more than 100 taste buds each!

A GROWN UPS DESSERT

pithivier

Here’s one I prepared earlier

I love doing all the workshops with children but sometimes it’s just nice for me to do something a bit more grown up. This is a Pithivier which is a traditional French dessert, very tasty and just one of the desserts that I prepared recently for a Supper Club. The recipe is quite easy to follow, have a go if you like almonds and you do not suffer from a nut allergy. I haven’t however given instructions on how to make the sugar caramel sculpture as that can be a bit tricky :-)

250g Puff pastry

350g of blanched almonds or ready ground almonds (then skip pounding the almonds in a mortar or blender part)

1 teaspoon of almond extract

175g caster sugar

2 teaspoon of grated lemon zest (unwaxed)

3 eggs

175g of softened butter

1 egg yolk

Preheat the oven 220c/425F/gas mark 7

Make the pastry or buy readymade. Pound the almonds in a mortar or a process in a blender then add the sugar, lemon zest, almond extract; add the eggs slowly and lastly the butter. Knead the mixture. Using a plate cut a round from your pastry and place this on a flat baking tray. Put  your filling in the centre of the round pastry. Press it down slightly so it is of even thickness but still remains mounded in the centre of your pastry. Cut out a second round and place this on top, painting the egg yolk around the edge to press and seal down. Brush with the egg yolk to glaze your Pithivier. With a sharp knife, starting in the centre score patterns on the pastry out to the edge, like the spokes on a bicycle wheel. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Delicious served with good quality vanilla ice cream.

Unusual foods

At some of recent classes we looked at some very unusual foods…

What do spider’s taste like? That might depend on what type of spider you’re eating. They are full of protein and very good for you,

spider

Rice field rats are considered a delicacy in Cambodia unlike the urban disease-ridden rats. They are considered a healthy delicacy due to what they eat – rice stalks, vegetable crops and the wild roots of plants.

Birds nest soup a delicacy in China. Men climb three hundred feet and risk their lives to harvest the nests.These types of Swallows make their nests from their own spit. This is one of the world’s most costly foods. One small bowl of this stuff could set you back £250 pounds.

birdnestsoup

Half-term fun

We had lots of fun this half-term holiday, we made sun-dried tomato ravioli, Omusubi sushi, a yummy roasted potato salad and much more. One of our favourite things we made was this chocolate flowerpot cake where we crumble some cake to make it look like soil, the kids got all creative adding some extra arty flower bits to it.

chocflowerpot

chocflowerpot2

chocflowerpot3

Over the rest of this term, amongst lots of other yummy things, we are making roasted vegetable pasta, chocolate brioche bread and butter pudding. We will be looking at all things spring and springy. How many different ways are there to cook an egg? We have an ostrich egg and goose eggs to look at and we will be making a duck egg cake.

Spikey not Spicy Mexican food

What do you know about Mexican food? You probably know about tacos, quesadillas, salsa, etc. How about cactus steak… any takers? It’s a very common veg in Mexico grills, they knock off the spikey bits first and grill the cactus paddle; tastes a little like green beans. Serve with meat or salsa in a pancake, slap some guacamole in for good measure.

cactus1 cactus2