Eat well - travel often

Month: February 2015

Mexico – Live It to Believe It: Interactive Pop-Up Pavilion

Mexico – Live It to Believe It: Interactive Pop-Up Pavilion

For the next two weeks you can be transported to Mexico without leaving sight of London’s South Bank. To help celebrate Year of Mexico in the UK, Mexico has launched an interactive exhibition near City Hall on The South Bank. You enter a pop-up dome […]

Juicing My Way Into 2015 With Philips Real Juice Reboot

Juicing My Way Into 2015 With Philips Real Juice Reboot

There has been a lot written lately about the benefits of making and drinking fresh juice every day.  One of the things that you need to watch out for though is that if you only use fresh fruit you may end up consuming quite a […]

Sourdough Pancakes for Pancake Day

Sourdough Pancakes for Pancake Day

Pancake Day – I bet most people in the UK have the thin ‘crepe’ like pancakes with lemon and sugar. I have never had much luck with these and combined with being American I tend to make the thicker American style pancakes for Pancake Day. (Secret: they are appropriate for any day!)

I decided to spice up my usual pancake batter and add some of the sourdough starter I keep in the fridge and see what happened.

After mixing all my ingredients I added the sourdough starter, mixed well and left to stand 5-10 minutes.

The trick it to let them get loads of bubble on the surface before you flip them over and you only need leave them 30-40 seconds before serving.

Serve with lashings of real maple syrup (mine comes from Vermont, as do I), Moose Maple Butter and a sprinkling of icing sugar and Enjoy

American Pancakes
In a large bowl mix:
200gm Self Raising Flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 egg
300ml milk
Mix well then add:
3 large tablespoons of sourdough starter and mix again
Leave to stand 5-10 minutes
At this point you can add 200gm blueberries if you want.
Drop large spoons of batter onto a griddle or large frying pan that has a know of butter and a tsp of sunflower oil heated leaving space between the spoonfuls.
Cook until the surface has lots of bubbles (see photo above) then flip and cook a further 30-40 seconds to brown the underside.  
Serve on a warmed plate and garnish with a knob of butter, either unsalted or maple butter, pour over real maple syrup and sift a little icing sugar on top.
I was not paid to write this review and as usual all photos and opinions are my own.
In My Veg box – Sweet Potato Roundup

In My Veg box – Sweet Potato Roundup

In January I hosted ‘In My Veg Box’ and the subject was sweet potatoes.  Sweet potatoes are so good for you and it’s so interesting to see the different ways people use sweet potatoes in their meal plans. I want to thank all those who […]

A Valentine Cake with Betty Crocker & The Little People

A Valentine Cake with Betty Crocker & The Little People

When I was growing up in America the baking culture was moving away from weighing and measuring ingredients to make a cake and welcomed ready to make cake mixes such as Betty Crocker. Although trends have now swung back to weighing and measuring ingredients there […]

Kung Hei Fat Choi at The Chinese Cricket Club

Kung Hei Fat Choi at The Chinese Cricket Club

Chinese New Year is a time of celebration for Chinese people all over the world. It is a time of dragons, street parades and lucky red envelopes given to family and friends.

Each year “Kung Hei Fat Choy” or Happy (Chinese) New Year brings good fortune and guidance for the year ahead. Celebrated this year on 19thFebruary 2015.  

I was invited to the Chinese Cricket Club, Blackfriars, as it opened its doors to welcome the Year of the Sheep, with four weeks of fun festivities until 19th March 2015.

Delving back to his roots, Head Chef Ken Wang aims to put a modern spin on rustic, rural-style dishes.

I was invited to join a select group to sample the two menus that will be available at a price of £48 and the other at £68.  We were treated to a mixture of dishes from both menus and had such tasty treats like:

Vibrant green dumplings full of chicken and spinach, duck, scallops with caviar all presented beautifully in a bamboo steamer.

The lamb dumplings (which were one of my favourites) were crisp and tasty.

Crispy lettuce leaves filled with a chicken mince mixture which tasted sweet with a little chili hit.

There was a plate of lamb on mini bamboo skewers, lightly flavoured with cumin but lovely and tender.

Whilst my favourite (and quite a popular dish amongst the others) was the Lobster & Chinese New Year Rice Cake, stir-fried with ginger and spring onion sauce.

The main courses followed with tempting, mouthwatering dishes like Red Chili Sea Bass. This was really firery and a tad too hot for me but I did appreciate the taste.  A few diners mentioned they would have preferred to have the sea bass served with the head as is traditional in China but Chef Ken Wang told us they had taken the head off as most British diners would prefer it that way. Would you?

And the food still kept coming! Iron Sizzling Lamb with Black Pepper Sauce,

Braised Lamb Rack with Chinese Dates, so tender and full of flavour and texture,

And finishing off with Chinese New Year rice cake with prawns.

Get ready to flock to Chinese Cricket Club (opposite Blackfriars Station) for an evening full of feasting, fortuity and fun.

Best to book your table to avoid disappointment telephone 020 7438 8051.

I was a guest of The Chinese Chricket Club at The Crowne Plaza Hotel – London The City. I was not paid to write a review and as usual all opinions and photos are my own.

Giveaway – Edible Garden Show Tickets

Giveaway – Edible Garden Show Tickets

Last year I attended the Edible Garden Show at Alexandra Palace in North London.  I am an avid gardener and love having my allotment nearby our house. The Edible Garden Show is a showcase for some fantastic gardeners, producers, celebrities and it’s where I met some […]

Greener Cleaner Tackles 2015 – A Giveaway Too!

Greener Cleaner Tackles 2015 – A Giveaway Too!

New Year New Broom is the expression I think.  Although my life revolves around food sometimes I get the inclination to do a bit of cleaning and the early days of the new year are a good time to start.  I have been sent a […]

My Banana Bread With a SourdoughTwist

My Banana Bread With a SourdoughTwist

I seem to really be stepping out of my comfort zone and adding the spent sourdough starter from keeping my sourdough starter alive, to my baking since I attended Vanessa Kimbell’s sourdough course at the beginning of January. For years I have made my grandmother’s banana bread recipe and never changed anything. I have found it works well like a formula and I have never changed it. The only thing that was subject to change was whether to make it original, walnuts, dates or raisins or a combination. This little change would not affect the final banana bread.

The recipe as I have changed it is:-

Preheat oven to 180oC Gas 4, prepare two 2lb loaf tins. (This recipe will make two loaves)

Mash 6 bananas (7 if small). Add 2 large eggs and 1 1/3 cups of castor sugar and mix really well. Mix in 1/2 cup porridge oats and 1/2 cup of the leftover sourdough starter. In the original recipe I use 4 cups of Self Raising flour but because of the oats you only need to use 3 1/2 – 3 1/4 cups of flour depending on the consistency.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 55-60 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Cool 5 minutes then remove the loaves from their tins.

When cold, slice and I serve with a little butter but this is an American thing and optional! Enjoy.

This is an adaptation of my original banana bread recipe. All opinions and photos are my own.