Help wanted

Cooking

Firstly I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all of the followers of this blog! Super chuffed that you’ve not only read one of my rambling recipe posts but that you want to read another one – you’re all 100% ace!

The next thing on my list of things to say today is sorry for not posting on Friday. It’s the one New Year’s resolution which I’m actually vaguely sticking to (with the exception of last week). Turns out that the excuse “my dog ate it” won’t wash with digital stuff… so the truth is that I was away in Nottingham last week having adventures; like interviewing a butcher, interviewing a pop-up restauranteur, attending a script read-through and baking a very wonky Tardis birthday cake – more on these things very soon.

And now (sheepishly) I need a big favour from you guys. Plans are afoot for a foodie podcast “Nice in the Kitchen” which I’ll be working on with the wonderful, magical Helen Piercy. There will be cooking, chatting, eating and general silliness which you will be able to download from the interwebs. We also want to do a Q&A section where I answer some of your food/cookery related queries. So if you’ve got a jar of onion marmalade in your fridge you don’t know what to do with or perhaps a recipe you’ve tried a heap of times but just can’t get right, (or any other food or cooking questions you can think of) – please do get in touch and we’ll read out and do our best to answer as many as we can during the podcast. You can leave your questions in the comments box or use my snazzy new contact form.

Thanks again, have a lovely week x

Nice in the kitchen

New podcast logo!

Take One (Cont..)

Cooking

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Well that was a bit of a blur. I think our first rehearsal went pretty successfully. All the food was eaten at the end of the shoot so I take that as a good sign for the cooking at least.
As for my presenting, well, let’s just say it’s harder than I thought.
Luckily Sophia has taken me under her wing and arranged for me to attend a presenters masterclass next week so I hope to shake off a couple of nerves and the odd inhibition before the final shoot date.

Today should be fun though; window shopping with my stylist! Yep, that’s right, I have a stylist now.
This is because we want to make this pilot as good as it can be and Rhodorah has some brilliant ideas. It’s also one less thing for me to think about/mess up too! You may have noticed from my first video (Strawberry Brunch) that my hair was unbrushed and my shirt was in fact filthy (I thought it was clean on, honest) clearly I cannot be trusted with my own appearance. Whereas; Rhodorah always looks immaculate and even though I shall probably only be able to pay her in cocktails and cakes I admit it’s quite nice to start sentences with “my stylist says…”

Jubi-picnic!

Cooking, Events

My Jubilee Weekend

I am slightly ashamed to say that with all the meetings, recipe testing and business planning I almost entirely forgot about the 4 day weekend of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Luckily I was prompted just in time when my good pal Helen asked if I would like to go to a street party on Sunday.

Still keen to stick to my healthier ways I whipped up a light, wholesome Jubilee Picnic ready to share at whichever East London bash that would be willing to let us pull up a plastic chair.

I made coronation chicken skewers using free range chicken breasts, yellow peppers and dried fruit, served with a dip made from Greek yoghurt, curry powder, coriander and lemon juice.

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For a more whole-food cucumber sandwich I used rye bread filled with quark, cucumber and dill.20120605-163416.jpg

And as a sweet treat I made some Lemon & Lavender Drizzle Cake & Portmary Scones (both from Harry Eastwood’s book) which were lovely.

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I felt a royal picnic would not be complete without a little Pimm’s but instead of Lemonade I used Perrier to mix which isn’t half bad and much kinder on the teeth!

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We decided to head to London Fields as we thought that there was a good chance that Broadway Market or Columbia Road Market (both pretty much side by side) would be having some kind of shin dig. No such luck. Broadway Market was empty and Columbia Road had it’s usual Flower Market, which is always nice (and one of the flower sellers made a fuss of Helen’s bowler hat) but it wasn’t exactly what we were looking for. Just as we were about to give up hope we heard the “thud thud thud” of some exciting music and tried to work out where it was coming from. This was the final nail in the coffin that was our street party hunt as the music in question was coming from the boot speakers of a parked car next to an unmanned barbecue and a small bouncy castle complete with a single kid. I’m sure this street party livened up later on but at this point we were cold and damp from the drizzle so lugged our picnic back to Helen’s flat.

This turned out to be the best decision; Helen’s flat has bunting, hot coffee and a TV on which we could watch the live broadcast of all the celebratory boats sailing down the Thames and all the rain was outside 🙂

Happy Bank Holiday x

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Super fast cakes!

Recipes

To make myself more productive I have taken on lots of collaborative projects as working with others makes me work harder.

This week meant a second meeting with Helen & Sophia who are to be the brains behind my next YouTube cookery show. I am extremely lucky to work with them, they are possibly some of the most professional and talented people I have ever met and I am constantly terrified of letting them down which pushes me on to make sure the scripts are done on time and the recipe is properly tested. Eeek!

This meeting was no different, I made sure my “homework” of completing the first draft of the script was ready and I had a quick tidy round. About 15 minutes before they were due to arrive I suddenly decided that I should give them something to eat. Cake; cakes are always good, right? But 15 minutes is a bit of a push even for me but most foodies have at least one or two solid recipes they can pull out at a moments notice and this is mine.

ImageOrange Buns:

(excuse the imperial measurements – it’s the one recipe which I don’t do metric – weird, I know)

For the cakes:
4oz self raising flour
4oz self raising flour
4oz of sugar
4oz butter, melted
2 free range eggs
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
zest of 1 orange
juice of half an orange
For the frosting:
2 tablespoons of cream cheese
juice of half an orange
icing sugar to taste
1 passionfruit to serve.

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°c

Line a 12 hole bun tin with cake cases – this is brilliant for speedy cooking because you don’t need to grease the tin!

Mix all the cake ingredients together and whisk with a handheld electric whisk until smooth and pale.

Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the cake cases dividing it evenly and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cakes are cooked through (check by inserting a cocktail stick – if it comes out clean then they are ready)

Put the cakes on a wire rack to cool and get back to the meeting!

Sneak back to the kitchen and mix up the frosting, adding a dessertspoonful of icing sugar at a time until it tastes sweet enough to your liking. Whisk until smooth then plonk dollops of the frosting onto the cooled cakes. Top with a few passionfruit seeds and serve. Winner!