Eat well - travel often

Month: November 2014

Mexico – Live It To Believe It!

Mexico – Live It To Believe It!

MEXICO Live It To Believe It!! At the beginning of November I attended the World Travel Market, held at the Excel in East London. This was the first year I attended this travel trade extravaganza and I was not really prepared for the enormity of […]

Comté – Perfect Cheese for any Cheeseboard or Meal

Comté – Perfect Cheese for any Cheeseboard or Meal

Recently I  was invited to discover Comté cheese. I was invited to cook with Comté cheese and with chef Laura Pope recently at a Central London cooking school. The plan of action for the day was to make three recipes, all using Comté cheese, and […]

Book Review – My Relationship With Food – Lisa Roukin

Book Review – My Relationship With Food – Lisa Roukin

Towards the end of last year I was invited to the launch
of the book ‘My Relationship with Food’ by Lisa Roukin (chef and teacher) and
was given a copy of the book to review.

I was early to the event and was privileged to be able to
spend half an hour with Lisa getting to know what was behind her decision to
write such a book and to get to know her a little.  What I discovered was a lovely, confident,
beautiful young woman with a passion for imparting others with her story of how
she overcame personal challenges around body image and eating and went on to
manage her relationship with food.

Lisa told me that everyone has a food agenda or
relationship and for the most part, for most people it is a normal one, however
for around 37% of women and 26% of men it is not a happy or satisfying
relationship.

In her beautifully illustrated book with 100 gluten free
recipes (they also do not include sugar or an overload of carbohydrates) Lisa
tells how she overcame her negative thoughts and bad body image and now has a
healthy, positive relationship with food.

Our relationships with food are impacted daily by the
choices we make in what we are going to eat and these can be influenced by culture,
family and friends as well as outside influences.

At the book launch we were able to taste food that had
been made from recipes in Lisa’s book. These dishes were beautiful as well as
delicious and did not immediately indicate you what you were missing (sugar, dairy,
gluten etc) but satisfied the palate and they eyes as well.

I was so interested in Lisa’s book that I did not want to
rush home to write this review but to take time to think about the book and my
own relationship with food.  I have over
the years tried most of the diets and still am the same shape and size and
still struggle with my own self image.

I have been thinking for a long time about changing my
eating habits and perhaps becoming more active (I have a sedentary job in an
office and actively dislike exercise!) and attending this book launch and
meeting and talking with Lisa has spurred me on to take a look at my personal
situation and how I can make changes.

I wanted to make a series of small changes (over the
years I have attempted to do too much too quickly and failed) such as going
‘gluten light’ and ‘dairy light’, seeking to cut down not eliminate
totally.  I want to make myself more
aware of the ingredients in food that I buy such as hidden sugars and salts and
to increase my activity in a manageable way. I got a fitbit for Christmas and
am currently trying to take more steps during the day, monitor how many I take
with a daily goal of 10,000 (the recommended minimum amount an adult should be taking in a day!)

How long I can sustain this new regime I cannot say but I
am already walking two to three as much as previously and have cut down on my daily
caffeine intake.

I will be making some of the recipes in Lisa’s book ‘My
Relationship with Food’ and spending time on changing my personal relationship
with food.  Watch this space!

This book is self-published and is
available from www.myrelationshipwithfood.com
for a RRP of £25.

I was given a copy of the book to review but was not paid
to review it or to write a positive review. 
As usual all opinions and photos are my own. 
Look, Touch Taste – the latest in salt and pepper grinders.

Look, Touch Taste – the latest in salt and pepper grinders.

Look, Touch Taste –finum salt & pepper grinder A pet hate of mine is having a salt and or pepper grinder in the cupboard or on the side and when you pick it up to use it, it leaves behind some of the spice! The […]

Soup time! Number 1 tip for surviving winter

Soup time! Number 1 tip for surviving winter

I do love making soup and if I can make one that cost a few pence per serving I am even happier! The other day in the supermarket I got two beef rib bones loaded with meat and a good deal of thick, yellow fat […]

Hats Off to Benito’s Hat – A Festive Evening at Benito’s Hat

Hats Off to Benito’s Hat – A Festive Evening at Benito’s Hat

A few weeks ago I walked past a branch of Benito’s Hat, a
small (but expanding) chain of six Mexican restaurants and thought to myself;
“I must try them out one of these days”. 
Three days later I got invited to review their new Mix-n-Match sharing
platters created and prepared by Executive Chef and partner Felipe Fuentes
Cruz!

Felipe met Ben who would become his business partner in 2007 and their story began. they work tirelesly to spread the word that good, authentic Mexican food can be found in London along with a cookbook and cooking classes.

The name Benito’s Hat is a reference to Benito Juarez, the first indigenous president of Mexico who would often be seen wearing an extravagant hat.

On arrival I went upstairs to the President’s Bar and was
immediately offered a Margarita. Good plan I thought!

The salt Benito’s Hat uses to rim the glasses of Margarets comes from Mexico and is mined in Peubla by Felipe’s mother!

Felipe welcomed guests and invited us to come behind the
counter and try our hands at making the flour tortillas using, as
he said “the latest technology from Mexico” which was in fact a simple press
made of two boards to slightly flatten the balls of prepared dough, ready to pop
into the pan and become the carriers for all the lovely treats we had coming.

On the table was a bowl of tortilla chips, sour cream, a
mild chilli and coriander sauce and an innocuous looking red sauce.  I was right to be afraid of the red sauce,
one tip of the tortilla chip dipped tentatively in and an explosion of flavour
and heat exploded in my mouth!! It did taste good but was just too hot for me.

As we got settled at our tables, and I shared with a lovely
blogging couple, we were given Benito’s Hat sharing appetiser platter.  Sharing platters are all the rage at them
moment and I really enjoy them. I love to pick at bits and pieces without
having to commit to one starter.

Our main sharing platter was loads of little bowls filled
with such treats as pulled pork, pulled chicken, tomato and onion salsa, rice,
grated cheese, re-fried beans with chorizo slices, a creamy and crunchy sweet
corn salsa and my favourite of all, the beef mole. This came with a straw
basket of warm tortillas that we had all been making beforehand.

 
The mole, a rich beef stew with a secret ingredient of
chocolate and animal crackers, was my favourite.  I really must give this recipe a try.  Only a North American would know about animal
crackers but apparently broken rich tea biscuits would work too.
The menu is simple, very Mexican and reasonably priced with special holiday celebration specials like Felipe’s Festive Taco Tray or Rompope a Mexican eggnog served over ice.

If you are around Kings Cross, Oxford Circus, Covent Garden, Goodge Street, Farringdon or the one I went to Leadenhall pop in for some authentic Mexican food that will thrill your taste buds and Margaritas to make your day!

 
I was not paid to attend the menu reveal and as usual all opinions and photos are my own!
Have a Snuggly Christmas & Snuggle Up at The Snug Bar

Have a Snuggly Christmas & Snuggle Up at The Snug Bar

The Snug Bar group (my nearest is St Albans but we visited the one in Hitchin for the menu launch) are offering a fun, simple and impressive Christmas Menu this year. Mr R and I were invited to try out some of the Christmas menu […]

The Parma Ham Specialist Programme Awards

The Parma Ham Specialist Programme Awards

I was a guest of The Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma for an evening of celebration when Terroni & Son’s, London’s oldest delicatessen hosted the Parma Ham Specialist programme 2013 and they were awarded the ‘Crown Anniversary Slicer’ in celebration of their dedication of Parma […]

Big Cup Little Cup – Online coffe and a great discount!

Big Cup Little Cup – Online coffe and a great discount!

I have recently written about CafePod, the little coffee
pods that are compatible with my Nespresso coffee machine.
This week they sent me some coffee from their online sister
company called Big Cup Little Cup.
Big Cup Little Cup are offering an online service for their
coffee pods where some are made for the little cup (espresso) and others for a
big cup (lungo). They can offer limited edition and small batch artisinal coffees.

 

This month they have a limited edition called Reindeer
Rocket – a full bodied coffee with a hint of intuitive chocolate with a strength of 9, a perfect full bodied lungo. Brazilian Arabica beans and Southern Indian Robusta beans make a bold and powerful cup of coffee that lingers and finishes with a smoky flavour on your palate. Perfect to warm you up after tidying the leaves in the garden!

Why not pop over to their website and you can get a lovely 15% discount on your first order! Just enter the exclusive code:  HEIDI15 at the check out.
 
Thanks CafePod and Big Cup Little Cup for the samples to try.
 
I was not paid to write this and as usual all opinions and photos are my own.

 

 

Restaurant Review – 21 Covent Garden

Restaurant Review – 21 Covent Garden

Earlier this year, on my birthday, Mr R and I went to Covent Garden and reviewed a fab upstairs bar called The Print Room.  Downstairs in the restaurant called 21 Covent Garden they serve authentic Italian food and delicious cocktails. I was asked to pop […]