29 May 2012

Lean Mean Breakfast


                 

♬ 'Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?' by Paloma Faith
Paloma is on while I'm munching on a full English breakfast and about to embrace the sunshine.
Before heading out I wanted to show you a recent project that I worked on alongside the team for George Foreman Grills, in aid of National Get Grilling Week.
Firstly let's face this fact - grilling is the way forward. How satisfying is it to see fat drip away from food?!  The next three videos will be showcasing easy and delicious healthy meal ideas that will make you seriously hungry!
Hope you enjoy my debut appearance.xx




Tasty Salmon

                     



♬ 'Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful' by Paloma Faith

You are about to witness a familiar face presenting and showing you how to make a scrumptious and appetising dinner. Being a presenter for George Foreman Grills was incredible. Let me know what you think. Everything is in the video, so follow the recipe and get grilling!


25 May 2012

Love Asparagus

     

                    

♬ 'Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?' by Paloma Faith


The idea of parma ham wrapped around asparagus was making my stomach gurgle while presenting this recipe. Asparagus grills beautifully and this makes a great starter or a side dish. As you know I am an avid fan of wrapping bacon around certain ingredients, but parma ham is slowly moving up the rank! 
Enjoy this video and eat more asparagus.x

24 May 2012

Jubilee Cakebabs



'1' by The Beatles

When the sun comes out in London, everything changes. Music bursts from every street corner, builders take their t-shirts off and tis the season for ice cream. Whereas I was plumped in the kitchen and gutted I didn't own an ice cream maker - so this meant a bit of baking! While emptying the dishwasher, I was prancing around to 'Yellow Submarine' and saw some skewers under the cutlery. That's when a little light switched on in my cake tin of a brain. Why not cut up the cake and make kebabs - with cake?! A simple sponge with fruit on a skewer, and perfect for any party, especially for the Diamond Jubilee event in June. I grabbed the whisk, flicked the album to 'Eight Days A Week' and started constructing this fantastic concept.

Recipe for 16-20 skewers, each cake tin yields 8 -10 mini sponges, and it also depends on the size of the cutter and how many you want on a skewer. I used *one sponge, and used 10 skewers.

Ingredients:

225g soft organic butter
225g golden caster sugar
225g self raising flour, sieved.
1 vanilla pod with seeds scraped out or 1 tsp vanilla essence.
4 medium eggs at room temperature.
200ml double cream
Raspberry jam
Desiccated coconut
Icing sugar for dusting the tops
Fresh strawberries
Fresh blueberries
Fresh blackberries

Method:

:Preheat oven to 180°c
: Cream the butter until soft and then add the sugar. Whisk until pale and fluffy.
: Add 2 eggs at a time and keep on whisking.
: Fold in the flour.
: Pour in two 20cm sandwich tins which have been greased lightly with butter. I tend not to use baking parchment on the base. Really depends on the quality of the tin.
: Bake for 25 minutes, once springy to the touch, leave both out to cool for half an hour, then put in the fridge.
: Once completely cold, whisk the cream and give the jam a stir in the jar to loosen it up a bit more.
: Use a cutter which is a size down from medium and not too big (see below).
: Cut 10 circles from each sponge. 


: Like I mentioned earlier, I only used one sponge and cut sandwiches from these. By doing this there was less chance of the sponge breaking.
: Cut the circle as you would a normal sponge if you were to fill it. Spread cream on one circle and jam on the other. Sprinkle desiccated coconut on top of the cream if you wish.
: Design your skewers with one or two sandwiches with fresh fruit. Try using your favourite jam or other fruits.
This is a creative moment for children to get involved.





As a test I gave a few out and they stayed on the skewer, didn't break and were easy to handle.

Here is one more shot and a Viddy because they looked and tasted so damn good.





video


Favourite Song:

ê 'A Hard Day's Night'


*With the other sponge, spread the rest of the cream on top and scatter remaining fruit.


I think the late nights of stopping off at a kebab shop are now over, I'm diving straight into my cake tin for a Cakebab!


21 May 2012

Spinach and Walnut Pesto




'The Donna Summer Anthology' by Donna Summer

The deaths of Donna Summer and Robin Gibb have been added to the avalanche of loss in the music industry. To commemorate these musical legends I will be embracing their albums in the kitchen this week. This evening it was all about Donna Summer.

 It's National Vegetarian Week and I love a food challenge, so all over this like cheese on toast. Tonight's dinner was a familiar and comforting move - pasta and pesto. With a fresh green spangling bag of spinach, I whizzed up a quick pesto that will freeze well and also last a few days. I'm literally going to consume spinach similar to Popeye the Sailor Man!  Spinach is flipping amazing. Excuse the slang, but I can't think of two other words that describe this dark emerald gem of a leaf. Using spinach in meals will bulk up your RDA of protein, fibre and there are hardly any calories to worry about.

Recipe for 50g pesto:

6 medium shelled walnuts.
50g fresh spinach (two large handfuls)
Half a tsp of nutmeg
Olive oil
1 large garlic clove

▶ Method:

: Wash and dry spinach, then wilt in a sieve above boiling water.
: In a blender add the garlic, two tablespoons of olive oil, walnuts and nutmeg.
: Once the spinach has reduced, put this in the blender and whizz!
: Taste and check consistency, at this point I added a bit more olive oil.
: Stir through whole wheat pasta with roasted red pepper. For the pepper: the skin has to be charred and blistered then peel off. Finally add preferred cheese, I'm a feta-holic girl at heart!

DONE!

A lovely pesto suitable to use like any other pesto that sits on the supermarket shelf.




Favourite Songs:



ê 'Hot Stuff'
'Could It Be Magic'

18 May 2012

Jubilee Meringue's



Will Smith still on Spotify.

After the jammie dodger expedition, I still had 2 egg whites sitting solemnly in a bowl. 
I'm not one to waste anything. 
This called for the electric whisk, more sugar and a strong hand in case the whisk attachment got a life of it's own. Unfortunately it did, I hand whisked the rest and now I feel like I've got an extra bit of muscle on my right bicep. Next to skipping, I think whisking a meringue by hand should be on my workout regime.

Anyhow here is the recipe for 8 of the above beauties:

Ingredients:

2 medium egg whites at room temperature
175g caster sugar
Strawberries, sliced.
Honey in a squeezable bottle.

Method:

Preheat oven to 120°c.

: Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
: Whisk half of the sugar with the egg whites until stiff and glossy.
: Add the rest of the sugar and whisk until stiff. Try the bowl over the head technique!
: Pipe out 16 small meringue circles, making sure they are not too close.
Bake for 10 minutes on the bottom shelf of your oven, then crank up the heat to 180°c for an 40mins - 1hour. 
Once they look like a pale diluted coffee colour, tap one of the tops to see if it's hard.

: Take out, and they should easily come off the paper with a rock solid base.
: Use the honey bottle like glue and sandwich a slice of strawberry in between each meringue. Try not to use too much honey, this could get a bit sticky! I randomly did this because I possessed no cream, soft cheese and ran out of butter. Honestly they tasted great, and unfortunately I didn't Viddy this. Totally reached my daily limit with that app!

Have a great weekend.
x

Jubilee Jammie's


'Big Willie Style' by Will Smith

Who doesn't love Will Smith? I heard him on the radio this afternoon and have been playing his jiggy tracks most of the day. Apart from reminiscing and singing down the heavens when 'just the two of us' came on, I also got a bit Viddy happy. I have a feeling this fifteen second video phase is the start of another craze. My mini videos will solely be food related, not song covers or staring out the camera. 

The Jubilee is approaching and I've still got a few creative ideas in my cake tin of a brain, here is an idea that will brighten a cake stall or be lovely with a cup of tea. 
When it came to deciding on a biscuit recipe, I wanted buttery, gooey, short and slightly crumbly. Using egg yolks and icing sugar give these biscuits exactly the above, which will melt in your mouth. 

Ingredients to make 12:

2 medium egg yolks
225g soft butter
1 tsp almond essence
300g plain flour
120g icing sugar, save some for dusting.
Raspberry jam
Blackcurrant jam
Black cherry jam

Method:

: Working left down...
: Cream butter and icing sugar until soft.
: Add yolks and flour, stir in and turn out mixture on a table and press altogether to make a soft and slightly sticky dough. No need to knead too much here.
: Make it cold by keeping it in the fridge for a minimum of two hours.


: Preheat oven to 180°c.
: Cut the dough in half. Roll one half to about 5mm on a floured surface, and use a large cookie cutter (6-8cm) and cut 12 bases. 
: Lay on a large tray lines with greaseproof paper. Keep enough space between each biscuit.
: Bake for 10 minutes until they start to brown. Take out to cool and they can toughen up.
: Do the same for the second dough, but this time cut a small shape in the middle. A circle, star or even a diamond would be cool.
: Put the small shapes back in the dough to avoid waste.

Once each biscuit has cooled, use a selection of organic colourful jams and spread a small amount on each base.
Dust each top biscuit with icing sugar before placing it on top of the jammie base.



Favourite Songs:

ê 'Miami'
             
ê 'Just The Two Of Us'


17 May 2012

Apple Covered in Crumble



♬ 'Lungs' by Florence and The Machine

The cycle back home was tedious. There were a handful of cyclists and drivers who shouted rather hideous comments. By far the best one was from a rather hot looking guy on a fixed gear bike who sped past me and shouted, 'come on girl sort it out!'. He made a good point, I have just got back from yet another heart wrenching boxing session and my legs feel and have the characteristics of jelly. This afternoon it was a different story, I was full of life because I came across two new Iphone apps and my legs were raring to go!

My all time favourite album was put on while I made this gorgeous pudding. I'll try and put my finger on it: 'Lungs' is my back drop, saviour and the only album that can make me feel happy, sad and crap all at the same time. Anyway while Florence is singing, I took the opportunity to try something that I've been pondering for about two months. There is the standard apple crumble, on the other hand I thought why can't the crumble work around the apple? At first I thought this would never work because the apple would get sloshy and the crumble will not stick effectively. This could only be resolved if the apple was not stewed for the same time like in a standard crumble recipe. I figured if I keep the apple in boiling sugary water while making the crumble, this should be enough to save it from browning and get it slightly soft on the outside.

Here is the recipe, a picture frame, and a short video courtesy of Viddy. Honestly without my Iphone and the apps my life would be just as unfortunate as the Wicked Witch of the East. Wow I went a bit link happy for a moment, the reason being you need to know what I ramble on about!

Recipe for one.

Ingredients:

1 large Bramley apple
25g soft butter
25g caster sugar and extra for the water.
50g plain flour
Granulated sugar for sprinkling
1 heaped teaspoon of mixed spice

Method:

: Preheat oven to 200°c.
: Boil the kettle then pour in a large saucepan, add 2 teaspoons of sugar.
: Core and peel the apple as quick as you can, then immerse in the boiling water and put the lid on.

Working from left to right on the photo method below... 
: While the apple is in the water, make your crumble by using your fingertips and rubbing in the butter, sugar and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
I took about 5 minutes rubbing in, try not to take longer than this as the apple could get too soft.
Scoop the apple out the water and roll in the crumble.
Use both hands to stick the crumble around every bit of the apple. Even stuff a bit down the core.
Lay on greaseproof paper, sprinkle granulated sugar on top and bake for 25 minutes.
Once golden and a few cracks appear it should be done.
Serve with hot custard, cream or ice cream in the core.



Finally this is my reaction and the finished pudding. Viddy is like a video twitter, so for 15 cute treasured seconds I am talking fast, showing you the finished pudding and excited about gobbling it all up. Find mixitcookit and follow moi, there will be viddies that won't make it on the blog and will show quick meal ideas.
 Practice makes perfect, and there will be loads of these Viddies while longer videos are in the process of being edited.

video

 Favourite Song:

ê 'Dog Days Are Over'



15 May 2012

Quorn Gratin




'The Sound Of The Smiths' by The Smiths

I don't know too much about this band, mainly due to the fact that I am a pure 90's chick. However I was pretending to be a witch when role playing this afternoon and this is why I chose this album! 'How soon is now?' was the theme tune to a series called 'Charmed' which was during an era when vampires, demons and witches were dominating television. Please don't get me started on 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer', let's just say I was engrossed!

 Kids love the same game over and over again, and after 10 rounds of bad witch vs good witch, I was shattered and the cackling was drying out my throat. It was most definitely time to eat. This is not technically a proper gratin, but has similar properties. The preparation of gratin varies, but I wanted to flip the script and use tomatoes instead of cream. Hopefully one day when I visit France someone will show me the traditional method.

Now back from a hardcore session of boxing, I'm getting hungry looking at this photo and will have to make it again. I've used Quorn mince as it's quick, low fat and high in protein.

 ▶Recipe for a medium dish, serves 6.

Ingredients:

300g Quorn mince
1 can of organic chopped tomatoes.
1 teaspoon chilli powder
400g kidney beans
1 tsp dried oregano
1 small red sliced onion
3 small garlic cloves, crushed.
Pinch of fennel seeds.
Salt
Pepper
Tomato puree
Light olive oil
2 dried chillies

5 medium Desirée potatoes with skin on and sliced like thick crisps. 4 slices should come out from one potato. For a rough estimate keep on slicing and lay them in the dish. Or if you wish to use a mandoline slicer, use less potatoes.

Buffalo Mozzarella

Method:

: Fry the onions in a tablespoon of olive oil until soft, add 2 crushed garlic cloves and the  fennel seeds, keep on a low heat until the seeds start giving off their aroma.
: Add the mince and stir for one minute, then tip in the can of tomatoes.
: Fill this whole can with water and pour in.
: Use a tablespoon to measure out the tomato puree and stir in.
: The chillies can get involved at this stage.
: Simmer for about 15 minutes, then add the oregano and kidney beans.
: Taste then season if you wish, I added a tiny bit of sea salt and a lot of black pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes with lid off.
: Preheat oven to 190°c.
: In a gratin or fairly shallow dish drizzle a bit of olive oil and rub remaining crushed garlic on the base and the sides.
: Lay one half of the potatoes at the bottom, then pour over the mince, discard the dried chillies.
: Line the rest of the potatoes on top, add torn or grated mozzarella and a bit more oregano.
: Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
: Take off the foil and bake for an extra 30 minutes. 
: Wait to see a nice crust forming and then poke a fork in one potato and check to see if it's done.
: Put under the grill for a few more minutes so the mozzarella browns a bit and serve hot.

A meal fit to curl up on the sofa with a simple salad and watch some vampire action.

Favourite Song:

ê 'How Soon Is Now?'


13 May 2012

Popping Jubilee Lollies





Various tracks from M.I.A, particularly 'Bad Girls'! 

A plethora of gold heavy chains, rings and psychedelic prints have been at the forefront of my wardrobe this weekend. And who better than the very cool M.I.A to get playing while I jazz up my outfits and get a bit creative in the kitchen!

This year is all about captivating England, yes the weather so far has been a grey and drizzly nightmare, but we have the Olympics, Jay Z and Rihanna making an appearance in Hackney: and most importantly the Queens diamond jubilee celebrations in June. I am going to take this opportunity to go absolutely mental with my creativity and cook what I can that is blue, red, white and most importantly recreate the English palate. 
Already a fan of wearing stripes, the union jack design is one I am a complete sucker for. Anything with this theme I will hold close. In previous posts I explained that it was Geri Halliwells dress at the Brits in 1997 that sprang on my addictive tendencies for this flag. Now all major supermarkets are stocking up on my favourite three colours and my purse is deflating as I go in and buy anything and everything. 
These lollies were a random experiment, and I handed them out to local kids who's eyes looked like they were about to pop out of their sockets once they took a bite! Popping candy is such an old school nostalgic memory, the routine was to spend the last bit of change on coca cola bottles, tip tops or candy after school, unfortunately my parents would find out because I was silly enough to leave all the wrappers in my pockets.

 ▶ If you would like to make these ready for an event you are hosting or attending then give these a go:

Ingredients:

150g organic milk chocolate
Red lolly sticks
Popping candy
Blue, white and red sugar balls.

Method:

: Melt chocolate in a bowl over boiling simmering water. Once melted take off the heat.
: Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and line up lolly sticks with enough space between them.
: With a tablespoon, spread chocolate over top of the stick.
: Sprinkle sugar balls and popping candy and the chocolate circle should get bigger. Make sure your hands are dry, any moisture will jeopardise the 'pop'.
: Do the same with the others, making sure each lolly is upside down to it's partner.
: Refrigerate for a few hours.
: Peel off slowly and hand out.

Favourite Song:

ê 'Bad Girls'
' Pull Up The People'





11 May 2012

Jenna's Choux Pastries






'Songs About Jane' by Maroon 5

That's right. It's all about Jenna, Jenna, Jenna.  A few years ago whilst living in a crooked flat above a tattoo parlour I was draining Stereophonics on a daily basis and Jenna was always pottering about to Maroon 5. Since it's her special day I had to get them on while making her birthday treat. Well one of them, the other design is top secret, naughty and not for this blog! 

 I've gone a tad vibrant and childlike with the decoration, well for me a cake has to look fun! Jen loves chocolate eclairs and when I see her later on I will whip up some cream and we will eat gluttonously.
Profiteroles are cute, eclairs are mouth watering, but who says choux pastry has to be piped round or oblong? As long there is enough space inside them to fill up, creating interesting letters, shapes etc could be the next wave of madness! One tip is the pastry doubles massively in size. At first I piped the letters too small, and learnt the burnt crunchy way: not cool. 

Recreate this magic for someone you know, the recipe for eclairs is here

▶ Something to note if you want the above effects, instead of using wholemeal flour I used plain flour, and I simply melted chocolate and dipped each letter in once cooled, then decorated.




DONE!

Favourite Songs:

ê 'This Love' 
ê   'She Will Be Loved' 


9 May 2012

Tuna and Coriander Fish Cake




♬ 'Velociraptor!' by Kasabian

Tonight an album named after a small prehistoric dinosaur combined with a speedy chunky fish cake.

I've wanted to make fish cakes for a while and never got round to it, maybe because they are always on some sort of special deal, and temptation arises once I know how convenient the meal could be. Tonight I found that making them is as easy as making cake. 
It's all about home cooking! Sometimes I wish dining out and tasting other delicacies out there in the big grey world of London was a regular occurrence, but I'm quite happy being in my east London hub craving something home cooked made with love not stress.


The only fish I don't trust at many fish and chip shops is the fish cake, because it never ever tastes like real fish. Let's face facts, fish tastes fishy, if it doesn't you got to worry what your actually eating.

Let's get baking and use canned real tuna:

 ▶  Makes 8 large fish cakes.

Ingredients:

2 cans of tuna in spring water (185g each)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 crushed garlic clove.
Salt
Lemon
Butter
5 large potatoes (Maris piper), peeled and cut in quarters.
Milk
1 large beaten egg.
Fresh Coriander
Plain flour
Breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil
Method:

: Boil potatoes until slightly soft, then mash with butter, salt and pepper. Adjust to your liking, mash or even fluff the potato with a fork.
: Add egg, garlic, tuna, and mix well.
: The dried spices can go in next.
: Chop a handful of coriander finely, squeeze half the lemon and keep on mixing.
: Start heating a small amount of oil in a large frying pan.
: Get 3 bowls ready for milk, flour and breadcrumbs.
: Cover your hands in flour and scoop up a ball size of the mixture. Pat down but not too much, make sure it's a generous portion. We are aiming for small cake size not flat sad looking fish finger.
: Then brush or dip in milk and roll in breadcrumbs.
Fry each side for 5 minutes then drain on kitchen roll.
: Serve with salad and sauce.


I purposely switched the egg and milk role to see what the effects would be. I've seen many recipe's call for egg as a dipper. Using it in the mixture helped the binding and there was no disintegrating. Success!

DONE!

Favourite Song:

ê 'Man Of Simple Pleasures'