Friday, July 29, 2005

Raspberry and Rose jelly IMBB-17

tea Posted by Picasa

I was really excited when I read that this months IMBB, hosted by Clement of A la Cuisine, was to be on tea. What great scope for inventive cooking!! I can't say that I am a great fan of bog-standard tea with milk, but I do enjoy the slightly more tasty blends and simply love herbal infusions. I have a fabulous book called 'The book of herbal teas' by Sara Perry which not only has suggestions for making your own herbal blends but also has beautiful photographs to entice you into a little creation. With the garden still being very young and the plants being a little small for regular culinary use I do still use shop bought tea bags - there is such a huge range these days: from chocolate to camomile! Twinings have a great range and add limited editions every so often. A few years ago it was Rhubarb - very fine but sadly its not been repeated. This year it is Wild Raspberry with a hint of Rose, which I have been enjoying very much. So I thought I would create a refreshing jelly!

raspberry and rose jelly Posted by Picasa

Raspberry and Rose Jelly

I took 200ml apple juice and heated it with two Raspberry and Rose teabags until just boiling. Then turned off the heat and left them to infuse for about ten min. I added 2 tablespoons of rose water, as I felt there wasn't enough rose falvour coming through. Then I mixed 1/2 teaspoon of Vege-gel (a vegeterian gelatin substitue) with some cold water and added it to the still warm infusate. It started to set almost immediately so I quickly poured it into two dariol molds and popped in several rasperries and then put them in the fridge to set and cool. They turned out very easily and really were very refreshing!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Barbecued rock lobster tails

rock lobster Posted by Picasa

This recipe is an adaptation of one from the May/June edition of Waitrose Seasons. As we didn't have any tequila we used Wachholder Schnaps, from Austria. The rock lobster tails were very delicious served with a watercress and avacado salad and baby plum tomatoes.

Provide one tail for each perosn. First remove the underside of the shell and fins with a pair of scissors. For four - mix in a bowl 4 tablespoons of schnaps, the grated zest and juice of 2 limes, 1tablespoon of olive oil, the flesh of a finely chopped chilli, 3 crushed cloves of garlic and 20g freshly chopped coriander. Then mound this up on the flesh side of the lobster tails. Leave to marinade for as long as you can, up to over night. Cook on a hot BBQ for 6-7min flesh side down and turn and cook for 4-5min on the shells. The flesh should be opaque and the shells bright red. Serve with lime quarters that have been seared on the BBQ for a couple of minutes.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Sherpa Kitchen

sherpa kitchen Posted by Picasa

After a fabulous day out, a magnificent meal! And as we had been to see the Chihuly we had food cooked in Chuli at the Sherpa Kitchen Nepalese restaurant in Esher. Chuli are beehive shaped clay ovens and we chose four dishes - lamb, prawn, mushroom and potato stuffed with cashew nuts, almonds and raisins. Excellent - quite light and delicately spiced. And to drink we had a sauvignon blanc made in Esher NZ, who could have believed!

Chihuly at Kew

chihuly at kew Posted by Picasa

What a magnificent day! I went to Kew Gardens with Mum and Dad to see the new Dale Chihuy glass installations. From the 'Thames Skiff' to the 'Walla Wallas' and many more pieces besides its a magnificant exhibition on until January 2006!

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Fino Posted by Picasa

Yesterday it was Susan's birthday and at lunchtime Ann, David, John, Alex, Susan and I headed off to the Mailbox and to Fino in particular for lunch. The restaurant is owned by Michelin starred chef Patrick MacDonald, so we were expecting a fabulous time. And I certainly enjoyed my pan fried chicken with paprika potatoes but the best was saved for last - I had a trio of pannacottas: amaretto, chocolate and cappuccino. All utterly divine! The only thing that brought down the experience was our waitress who couldn't divide a bottle of wine between six.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Has anyone seen the teatowel?

What a fabulous weekend! I have been creating in the kitchen - summer pudding for Sarah's BBQ and ginger sorbet too! Consequently there's been lots of washing up and I kept mislaying the teatowel on my meanderings through the house!

summer pudding Posted by Picasa

Summer pudding:
This is based on Delia's recipe but I substituted homegrown strawberries and white currants for raspberries and redcurrants.

I gently stewed 600g soft fruit with 200g caster sugar, lined a bowl with white bread (crusts cut off) and then ladled the juicy fruit into the middle, sealed it in with more fruit and put it in the fridge with several jars on top to way it down. To serve I turned the 'bombe' out and put a bowl of half fat creme fraiche with vanilla on the table too!

ginger sorbet Posted by Picasa

Ginger sorbet:
This couldn't have been easier! I mixed together 450ml apple juice, 6tablespoons ginger syrup from a jar of stem ginger, one piece of stem ginger cut into julienne strips and grated in about 1cm fresh ginger (well it was in the freezer, which makes it easier to grate). Then it all went into the icecream maker and into the freezer. Its very yummy - with a slight kick. Very refreshing!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Las Iguanas

new chairs Posted by Picasa

I went to meet the crowd from Sportex this evening at Las Iguanas for a spot of dinner, as Jet and Neets are off to Canada and they will be 75 years old in total shortly too. The fajitas were very yummy if a little salty and hot (with chilli) for me. I was a slightly early when I arrived so I wandered around the Arcadian (aka the Chinese quarter). I came across the sign above 'brand new antique dining chairs, reasonable prices' in the cake shop's window. Are they purveyors of time traveled objects?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Travels with Toulouse (Oxford)

toulouse reaches oxford! Posted by Picasa

In preparation for a wee cycling trip later in the year, and also to fulfill a little dream, yesterday I took once more to the saddle and peddled my merry way all the way to Oxford. On getting up I looked out my window and thought it looked a little damp. So armed with waterproofs and lots of food and water I set off to Solihull. I wasn't to be taking this trip alone - it was an event organised by Bike Events. At the crack of 8 o'clock the starting tape was dropped and away we peddled - there were about 20 of us but the start was open for about 2hours and they were expecting about 450 riders. The going was good and I took banana breaks after 25 and 40 miles. Luckily the banana fuel had kicked in as Paul fell past about mile 52 and I didn't look too disheveled! I flew into Oxford about 1.30, excited by the finish and also bowled along by all the other riders speeding through Oxford. I was intrigued by the mainly male field - I must have seen about 8 women cyclists all day! Some stats: total distance 68miles (+ 8 to and from the start and finish) and max speed 32miles per hour (slowest not recorded but I was crawling up the bigger hills about 6mph). All in all it was fabulous - and as the saying goes - you can always tell a happy cyclist by the flies on her teeth! This morning the muscles are all working but the sun burn is a little sore, as after all it was sunny all day.
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