Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tetra-pak Tomato Goodness

I did the classic Headwound (HW) thing last night; I got some great products to try but then came home from work starving, used them quickly then devoured them without taking any snaps. My friends call me a HW as I am forgetful; I did once receive a real headwound (20 stitches worth!) so the name is fitting and I have to admit, I am forgetful!

Hungry and craving something other than falafel (I have overdosed on this lately) I rushed home, pulled out the tomato passata that I was given by the lovely people at RH Amar and quickly chopped up some onions and garlic, browned them lightly in extra virgin olive oil, threw in some of the sauce and loaded it with oregano and basil, added a dash of salt and pepper and added a few chilli flakes for a bit of a spicy note –the final touch was one tiny teaspoon of sugar which made it complete.

The lovely red stuff comes straight from Italy and is apparently the number one selling brand there, which can’t be a bad thing! Need to ask my aunty’s what they use.

I threw the final sauce over some spaghetti for the J-Lo & I to eat. Baby Jacob watched and screamed as we ate; poor kid only gets to eat unsalted mushy stuff and we washed it down with some organic Italian juices I bought at the BBC Good Food Show the past weekend, a yummy prickly pear juice.

I only realised I didn’t take pic when we were putting all of the dishes away but thought I would take a snap of the carton which is going in the fridge for us to have more sauce this weekend. Instead of our spaghetti feast you get a pic of the romantic spaghetti eating moment from the Disney doggy movie Lady & the Tramp – awwwh puppy dog romance.

Thx again to the Cirio peeps. Will try and take pics this weekend when Uncle Duncan comes for dinner.

Friday, November 12, 2010

BBC Good Food Show this weekend!

Winners have all been posted their tickets and here are some of their suggestions as to what they would serve George Clooney if he was coming for pudding:
  • THE WINNER - Jen - she would just cover herself in chocolate and that would be it!
  • Home made apple pie with ice cream - for the little boy in George
  • Zabaglione and AMOURetta biscuits -Alison wants to get to George via his Italian connection
  • Eton Mess - for the Hot Harry in him and Lyn from Hazeldale said she would turn up the heat slowly while cooking it :)
  • Chocolate fingers
  • Chocolate beetroot cake -interesting
  • Baileys infused chocolate cake - Clare was trying to get George a little tipsy !
  • and more....
Thanks for all of your submissions and see you at the show this weekend and to the Birmingham winners have a great time and report back!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Do you:
Like playing video games while waiting for dinner?
Like playing video games against your dinner partner?
Like playing Battleship? 
Like seeing what is going on in the kitchen without moving from your seat at the restaurant?
Like changing the lighting above your table to various shades of the rainbow?
Like changing the look of your table to various colors and images? 
Like checking out what to do after dinner via the table computer?
Like to order beers/dinner with the click of a button? Like to never have to speak to a snarky or rude waiter.

Well then go to Inamo in Soho! A must visit as it is so high tech and cool (the oriental fusion food isn't the greatest) but it is such a novelty being there. I highly recommend it and think it is good fun and very futuristic. It is hard to get reservations at this hidden gem on Wardour street so don't expect to just pop in around dinner time, book ahead!

134-136 Wardour Street,
Soho, London,

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Bitterballen - the croquette-like meatballs which are very popular in the Netherlands. I don't think anyone in the Netherlands actually makes them but instead only eats them at the pub. 
In case you are ambitious and want to impress some Dutch freinds try this recipe out. Thanks to for the recipe. 

3 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. flour
1 c. milk
1 tbsp. very fine minced onion
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. chopped parsley, fine
1 1/2 c. finely chopped cooked meat
Bread crumbs
2 egg yolks, beaten with 2 tbsp. water
Fat for frying
Melt butter, stir in flour and add the milk. Cook, stirring constantly, to make a very thick sauce. Add onion, meat, parsley, nutmeg, salt and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Spread mixture on cookie sheet to cool. Shape into small balls (1" to 1 1/2" diameter). Roll in bread crumbs. Dip in egg mixture, making sure they are completely covered. Roll again in bread crumbs. Let them stand for 1 hour until completely dry. Deep fry until golden brown and drain on paper towels. Serve with mustard.

Monday, November 08, 2010

So we were aiming for the Spui Book Market but obviously my attention to detail once again failed me and instead of reading that it was only held on Fridays. We found this out after venturing into town looking for it, to only be told by someone at the Albert Cuyp market that this was the only market open and there were NO books. Ooops!

Oh well the Albert Cuyp market was a great alternative, we had no idea what the book market would be like anyway. The market is a complete feast for the eyes and perfect for people watching; it has everything from food to tacky clothes to furniture imported from Indonesia and China. It is apparently 100 years old and is said to have over 300 vendors.

My favourite part of the market was of course, the food vendors. If my eyes weren't bigger than my stomach I would've eaten much more but instead I just had a giant stroopen wafel for 2 Euros. It was freshly made and tasted AMMMAZING,  it melted in your mouth and is just the best Dutch dessert ever - two wafels hold a soft caramel centre, it doesn't get better than that.

If I had more time in the Netherlands I would've bought a load of fish and cheese and made a big feast, instead we ate bitterballen (deep fried meat and cheese balls) and drank beer at the pub overlooking the canals. Not a bad second option.

Get to the market on your next trip to A'dam (Amsterdam) -Yum!

Location: Albert Cuypstraat (in De Pijp neighborhood)
Open: Year-round, Monday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Goat's milk - fresh from source

For those lactose intolerant there is goat's milk which is a suitable alternative and tastes just as good. Goat's milk is also the blessed white substance that creates the most delicious ricotta cheese which is used in my ever favourite cannoli. That is why they taste different in Sicily, it is the goat's cheese! Ricotta sold in England doesn't always state if it is made with goat's milk but I think it is usually cow's milk - boo. 

We visited this farm out in the middle of nowhere and got to see an age old style of milking goats using special gates for where the animals needed to stand, these gates were in a stone wall that must've been there for hundreds of years. 
Everything was super ancient and the view from the farm where we took these pics was spectacular. This farm is very hidden, even to the locals, and is situated atop a hill overlooking thousands of acres of vineyards -just beautiful. 

At the farm, we stumbled upon a barn with a hidden secret. It was a church in the 1600s. The inscription on the door said 1641 - how crazy is that?! Jake took some great photos in there of a horse and its baby and we got some great shots of the farmers for the project. I wish I could show you all of the pics but I can't just yet, they must go to publishers first! 

The centuries old practice of shepherding and milking the goats was great to watch and sooo old except for one thing.... the mobile phone rang (!) and the chief milker answered it. It was kinda funny but he went on milking with one hand and chatting away - classic! 

Monday, November 01, 2010

Did you know they come from a tree? I don't think I have ever seen a walnut tree before or even thought about where they came from but saw a walnut tree recently. I now want one in my backyard Santa.

The Latin name, Juglans, derives from Jupiter glans, "Jupiter's acorn": figuratively, a nut fit for a god.

Just some foodie education for the day.