Eat well - travel often

Month: March 2015

Take to the Streets with Voltaire this Spring at Crowne Plaza London City

Take to the Streets with Voltaire this Spring at Crowne Plaza London City

Voltaire Champagne & Cocktail bar, nestled in the vaults of the Crowne Plaza London City (across from Blackfriars Station in London) celebrated two special associations recently with a lavish launch for media, journalists and bloggers. First of all the bar is working closely with three […]

Crowne Plaza London City – Dicinnove Restaurant Review

Crowne Plaza London City – Dicinnove Restaurant Review

I like popping into London with Mr R for some quiet ‘us’ time.  We were invited to try the Crowne Plaza London City across from Blackfriars Station. Inside the hotel there are two top class restaurants, Chinese Cricket Club and across the entrance hall the […]

Sunday Soup – Pig Pick -n- Vegetable in North Carolina!

Sunday Soup – Pig Pick -n- Vegetable in North Carolina!

Anytime we have a Sunday roast I will boil up any bones and make a soup for Sunday evening and maybe Monday lunches.

At a family engagement party in North Carolina last weekend we had a pig roast or ‘pig pick’ as they call it down south.  Believe me there are some serious bones left after that!!
When the guests were finished demolishing the roast pig I wanted to save the bones for stock. This was a stock opportunity I didn’t want to miss!
I asked my sister if she wanted me to make some stock from the bones, she didn’t but the chief pig pick chef, Dan wanted me to come back the following day and make him some soup. We were all invited back for lunch on Sunday which was a great opportunity to make the stock and soup in situ.
The cabin was equipped with a large stock pot, just perfect for fitting in all the pig bones, some laden with meat.

All of the bones including the trotters (feet) went into the stock pan!

While I was working on my soup Dan was making some fried Hush Puppies – little balls of a local dough deep fried and served warm and crispy.

The final soup bubbling away.  Dan had asked for some fresh curly kale to be added to the final mixture.  There was nothing in the soup except a home made stock from the bones, carrot, onion, celery, pepper, courgette, kale and the meat from the bones along with some salt & pepper and some spices from the larder.  This was a pot full of home made goodness!

My sister used some of the bones to make a green split pea soup as well.

Everyone was so interested in the final product and wanted a cup full. There were some jars left over from the party decorations so we bottled the soup up and gave everyone some to take home!

I had fun making a healthy and nutritious as well ad delicious soup and everyone had something hot with their lunch as well as some to take home. Win-win all around!!
Crowne Plaza Hotel – London Heathrow – Chill out before you fly out!

Crowne Plaza Hotel – London Heathrow – Chill out before you fly out!

I hate early morning runs to the airport to check in and then wait around a couple of hours for your flight!  I would much rather stay at a hotel nearby the airport, get up at a more sensible time, HAVE breakfast then make my […]

Giveaway – Premier Housewares Green Leaf Dinner Set

Giveaway – Premier Housewares Green Leaf Dinner Set

I have mostly white plates and bowls so that I can mix and match with a few chosen more colourful items. Now and again it is nice to  get a set of plates, bowls and mugs that match especially when they will match with the […]

Follow the Yellow, Blue, Green & Red Brick Road  – Festival of Holi at  Cinnamon Kitchen

Follow the Yellow, Blue, Green & Red Brick Road – Festival of Holi at Cinnamon Kitchen

Holi is the Indian festival of colour. Cinnamon Kitchen, Vivek Singh’s restaurant just a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street Station is celebrating it big time.  They have a special arena where participants dress in protective clothing and start throwing coloured powder at each other.

It was colour carnage! You book a 30 minute session and just get your friends and fellow participants covered in colour.

Cinnamon Kitchen will be celebrating Holi until 14 March 2015 as well as getting plastered in colour (optional by the way) they have a special Holi Festival of Colours menu.

Mr R and I were invited to try the Holi menu out. This menu will be available until the 14th March at £30.00 per person and includes tea or coffee and petit fours at the end of the meal.

Mr R picked which red wine he wanted but our waiter politely suggested a different one that would compliment our food even better.  We like this and his suggestion was perfect, a red Portugese, full bodied wine.

While we waited for our starters the Chef sent out a little ‘amuse bouche’ for us. Little pieces of chickpea cake with a tamarind sauce and on a bed of yoghurt.

We both had the same starter although often we try to have different ones to get to taste a larger selection.  ‘Bhaditraka’ or grilled Kentish lamb escalopes with black stone flower and smoked paprika raita.  The lamb was tender with just the right amount of pink inside.  The green coriander relish had a heat and explosion of lovely flavours in your mouth.

Another little morsel while we waited. A little crispy, deep fried pillow made with chick peas with curry sauce and grated chickpea.

Our ‘Rest Course’ a ‘Thandai’ sorbet. I have never had anything like this, sweet and cool but peppery and refreshing at the same time.

I wanted the ‘Jhinga malai curry’ – King prawns in coconut & cardamon curry with ghee rice.  This was sublime, a touch of warmth in your mouth but never conflicting with the amazing taste of the sauce and the tender (and huge) king prawns. I could eat this on a daily basis!

Mr R fancied the vegetarian option; ‘Khumb sarson ka saag’ in other words Tandoori mushroom with mustard greens and chickpea bread.

A Selection of Indian Holi sweets; Carrot samosa (really crispy and fresh), pistachio burfi and fig and semolina halwa.  My favourite was the carrot samosa but Mr R raved about the pistachio burfi.

Mr R said of his meal …….
“I would like to confirm that the flavours of the courses we had were very tasty for a person who doesn’t like very hot curries these were full of flavour and the whole meal experience was very professional.  Would I recommend a visit? Yes. With the added bonus that it is so close to Liverpool Street Station making travelling to the restaurant very easy.

I have to say the Holi paint options looked far too messy for me but it appeared that many people were enjoying themselves as well.”………………….
I was a guest of Cinnamon Kitchen and was not paid to write a positive review.  As always all opinions are mine and that of my guest. All photos are my own.
Mexico – Live It To Believe It – Masterclasses at The Savoy

Mexico – Live It To Believe It – Masterclasses at The Savoy

Mexico calls to me every year when we think where we will go for our holiday.  In 2005 I was visiting my cousin with my children who lives near San Diego California. We drove down into Mexico, through Tijuana and further down the Baja for […]

Sipsmith’s Cocktail Challenge – Blackberry & Apple Gin Fizz

Sipsmith’s Cocktail Challenge – Blackberry & Apple Gin Fizz

I have been asked by unearthed® and Sipsmith to participate in a cocktail challenge with Sipsmith gin, a London Dry Gin that is smooth, full of character and explodes with flavour.  To make my original cocktail I need to start with Sipsmith’s gin and mine […]