Category Archives: family favourite

What is the food of love?

For your valentine today, you can whip up elaborate and sophisticated cake contraptions, spend hours turning red roses out of sugar or you can opt instead for a long bath and a DIY blow dry before turning up at the theatre doors with a simple hand drawn card!
(I let you guess what my option is.)

My, with so many personalised card offers all over the net, you can’ t even hide behind the excuse of poor drawing skills! As everybody keeps telling you: it’s the thought that counts…

In fact, go counter trend and don’t even SEND a card; better GIVE one to people you love – your sister, your son, your cat even! My Valentine does not need a card: he knows who he is!!!

Man, heart, bells - a love story in cutters

Man, heart, bells – a love story in cutters

On the first morning we shared – a Valentine’s day morning mind you -I served him heart shaped fried eggs and a couple of heart cut French toasts in my tiny Holland road kitchen. Then I took a plane… And he sent a card after me that I never got! But we got engaged 6 months later.

I don’t need to give you the recipe for heart shaped fried eggs I don’t think, or a cut out for heart-shaped toasts! I could give you a recipe for a happy marriage ( now there is an idea…) but it might take too long , and I don t like to gloat…

So… Happy valentine everyone!

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My lovers food of choice: two freshly laid eggs that were served to us at the Hibiscus on Maddox st. A real shell and inside, a reduction of mushroom topped with an “espuma” of chesnut and celeriac dusted with curry. Unforgettable.

My Xmas favourites

Christmas count down… We are all going through with it! It is hectic, it is fun ; stressful, emotionally  challenging but also incredibly rewarding… I do not (sadly) have the recipe for a stress-free holiday but a few good recipes might help create just the right mood up to Boxing day, at least. So to ease the pain on the food side, here is a list of my festive favourites from the archive.

Above all: be merry, relax and don’t even try to make it picture perfect!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS    JOYEUX NOEL   FELIZ NAVIDAD

Click on the pictures to get the links:

Handmade Stollen

Handmade Stollen

Melting waffles

Melting waffles

Picture perfect fruit cakes

Mini fruit cakes

The perfect winter meal

The perfect winter meal

Rum babas

Rum babas

Ginger bread house to build

Ginger bread house to build

Light Agar posset with almond and orange blossom

Perfect for Red Nose Day

Perfect for Red Nose Day

The trouble with the British posset or the italian pannacotta is that they are full of cream and sometimes I want a pudding that is a little bit lighter than most. I have been experimenting with Agar Agar lately and – with a bit of trial and error- I managed to get some small successes!

This silky Agar pannacotta with orange blossom water is one of those: A fresh and creamy combination of almond milk, almond butter and orange blossom with the undertones of an oriental pudding ; recalling visions of elaborate flower’s water possets in overflowing banquets such as those described in The Arabian nights.

The story of Sharazad is my bedtime read at the moment and I am deeply enjoying plunging into a language as rich and expressive as a persian carpet…

The recipe itself come from a book on Agar recipes given to me by a kind friend and written by Cléa of Cleacuisine. Agar Agar has many health benefits and is a clever ingredient for anybody conscious of their waistline… I post this for the group of friends who came to cook with me yesterday and all enjoyed the taste of this dessert. Thanks for being so supportive and fun, I had a lovely time sharing tips and novel ingredients with you all!

Ingredients list

  • White almond butter (in health shops), 160g
  • Agave syrup, 10 tsp
  • Rice or almond milk, 400ml
  • Agar Agar powder, 4 small teaspoonful or 4 g
  • Orange blossom water, 2 Tbsp
  • A few drops of bitter almond essence

Mix the almond butter and the agave syrup in a small bowl.

Heat the milk until just below boiling point,then dissolve the agar powder in it and let it simmer for 30 seconds.

Mix in the sweetened almond cream until melted. Add the orange blossom water and a few drops of bitter almond essence to enhance the almond fragrance. This is also the reason why I use almond milk if I can rather than rice milk.

Pour into 6 individual pots or jars. Let it cool and reserve in the fridge until serving time. It is not necessary to take them out of the pans but you can if you wish. For a friends dinner I would probably serve them with a fresh raspberry and passion fruit sauce but that would raise the sugar content and I am so pleased those little desserts are sugar and dairy free I would not want to compromise tonight!

They are heavenly virtuous and that is what I want right now…

Spoon in and have your private Sharazad moment…

View of Istanbul and its port

View of Istanbul and its port

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Merry Christmas to all you love and peace on Earth for mankind

Merry Christmas to all you love and peace on Earth for mankind

Mince pies for Rudolph, a dram for Father C. and a present wrapped in sugar. Hope And Love to You ALL – Hope I have forgotten nobody!

Best of British- mes recettes favorites en VF

Pour mes visiteurs de France et de Navarre et tous ceux qui votent en ce moment pour moi -, voici un “Best of” de mes recettes British:

La recette anglaise préférée des Français: LE SCONE!

Ma recette “Pub” la plus réussie: LE PIE

Ma recette “feignasse du dimanche soir” : CHEESE ON TOAST

Ma recette “bluff”: JELLY FLEUR DE SUREAU ET VODKA

Et une recette en VF qui plaira tout particulièrement à vos petits:

LES YORSHIRE PUDDINGS, qui sont – comme leur nom ne l’indique pas- de petits soufflés salés que l’on sert avec une viande rotie et son jus. Ils sont inratables et délicieux et font leur petit effet en sortant tout gonflés du four!

Yorkshire puddings

Ingrédients:

Il vous faut des moules individuels en métal peu profond ou une plaque à muffins en métal:

  • 100gr de farine type 00
  • sel
  • 2 œufs
  • 225 ml de lait plus un petit verre de bière si possible
  • Beurre pour les moules
  • 1 c d huile d’olive
  • Cheddar rapé et origan

Bien beurrer les moules ou la plaque à muffins et la mettre à four chaud (250°C)

Faire un puits dans la farine et rajoutez les ingrédients en fouettant vivement.

Faire une pâte style crêpe assez coulante.

Sortir la plaque chaude et versez la pâte à la louche. Cette étape est très importante pour que les soufflés montent bien!

Cuire 15 à 20 min et servez dés qu’ils ont monté et sont légèrement dorés.

 Idée :Rajouter du cheddar ou parmesan rapé et une pincée de thym pour une saveur « à l’ancienne » un peu plus soutenue.

En Angleterre, ces petits soufflés accompagnent le traditionnel « Sunday roast » avec une sauce épaisse au jus de viande et au moins deux légumes vapeur.

Le reste de mon “Best Of” en photos:

Une pensée en gelée

Le cake aux fruits

Les Scotch eggs

Cheese on toast à la Harold Pinter!