Tales from kitchen and cellar

Archive for the ‘Food and Drink’ Category

Christmas Day Lunch

In drink, food, Food and Drink on December 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Check out my last post for The Wine Place…

Lots of great tips for the best roast potatoes and wine too match your turkey feast!

Read my blog here

 

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Christmas Breakfast with Bubbles

In Cooking, drink, food, Food and Drink on December 7, 2012 at 11:51 am

This week The Wine Place asked me to take a look at a wonderful English fizz,Brightwell Sparkling Chardonnay, and very delicious it was too.

I decided to pair it up with a scrumptious breakfast treat, classic Eggs Benedict.

Check out the combination hereeggsb

Autumn Leaf Cake

In Cakes, Cooking, food, Food and Drink on November 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Autumn Leaf Cake

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Here is a recent cake I made that was inspired by the falling autumn leaves. It was a time consuming cake but not difficult.

Make yourself a chocolate cake, there are enough recipes out there to suit you and coat the cake in two layers of chocolate buttercream. I made a chocolate ganache buttercream on this occasion.

You do need to buy fondant icing in at least two colours, here I chose pumpkin orange and caramel brown. You will also need some leaf cutters in at least three different shapes.

I used oak, maple and ash I believe!

Warm your fondant icing in your hand and kneed until pliable. You can then roll out a little sausage shaped length in two colours and twist together. Roll out to a good pound thickness and cut out your leaves. Do this in small batches so you get a range of marbled leaf shapes.

Leave to harden over a curved surface such as a rolling pin or wine bottle, leave some to dry flat.

When the leaves harden arrange at the base of the cake pushing into the icing to neaten the edge and in a pile on the top.

Enjoy!

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Christmas Canapes, Wild Mushroom Arancini

In drink, food, Food and Drink on November 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm

In part three of The Wine Place’s Christmas drinks and nibbles series we look at party canapes and wine matches.

Check out these delicious wild mushroom arancini that are bound to get your party started…here

Christmas Pudding and Ginger Stout, Stir Up Sunday

In Baking, Cakes, Cooking, drink, food, Food and Drink on November 21, 2012 at 2:56 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stir Up Sunday

It’s the second of my recipe blog’s for the Wine Place in Wokingham. This week we’ve been looking at matching beer to your very own home made Christmas Pudding. This weekend it’s Stir Up Sunday and if you’ve never made your own Christmas pudding, now’s your chance.

Take a look at the blog and recipe here

 

Christmas English Bubbles and Cheesy Gougeres…

In drink, food, Food and Drink on November 15, 2012 at 11:05 am

With the Christmas festivities just around the corner I’ve been looking into what party nibbles go best with a local English wine, Binfield Brut for The Wine Place.

Check out my recipe for Gruyere Gougeres….

In Search of Hot Chocolate

In food, Food and Drink on November 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Check out my latest blog for The Wokingham Times….

 

Wild about Wild Mushrooms on Bruschetta

In Cooking, food, Food and Drink on October 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Mushroom Bruschetta

It’s not the first time i’ve mentioned that this is my favourite time of year and what better way to hunker down in the autumn evenings than to a light, delicious and simple supper of sauteed wild mushrooms, poached egg, rocket and parmesan on toasted bruschetta.

This delightful dish is tasty, quick and easy and would make a great starter, lunch or light supper.

Ingredients

Serves 2

Approximately 300g wild mushrooms (pick your favourite wild varieties and mix with chestnut mushroom or button too)

2 slices of good quality bruschetta style bread ciabatta or sourdough will do ( I chose an Italian style bread readily available in waitrose or other good supermarkets)

2 cloves of garlic, 1 sliced the other whole (or more if you’re in the mood)

2 handfuls of rocket

25 g grated parmesan cheese

3 slices of streaky bacon

2 free range eggs (poached ahead of time for 3 minutes in boiling water and left in iced water ready to refresh before serving)

olive oil

Method

Clean the mushrooms with a little pastry brush to be sure of removing any dirt or grit and slice together with the button and or chestnut mushrooms.

Fry the mushrooms in a little olive oil and cook down until they are no longer soggy in their own juices add the chopped streaky bacon and cook until crispy together with one of the sliced garlic cloves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toast your ciabatta or sourdough slices and rub with the garlic clove and drizzle with a little olive oil.

In a pan of boiling water refresh your poached egg or cook from scratch.

Layer the mushrooms, bacon and garlic mix on top of the toast, place the egg on top, scatter with the rocket and grated parmesan.

Enjoy!

Perfect Pumpkin Paradise Soup

In Cooking, food, Food and Drink on October 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

It’s my favourite time of year as Autumn’s glorious bounty of colours come into full flow what better way to celebrate this beautiful season than with a comforting, hot orange coloured bowl of pumpkin and chilli soup!

Quick, easy and a feast for the eyes this delicious soup will warm you to the bone and it’s cheerful demeanour will make you smile…

 

Ingredients

1 butternut squash or medium edible (not decorative pumpkin)

2 onions finely diced

3 garlic cloves finely chopped

2 red chillis deseeded and finely chopped

1 pint of vegetable stock

Olive oil

Soured cream (optional

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C, Gas Mark 6

Peel and chop the squash or pumpkin into 1 1/2 inch chunks.

Roast with a little olive oil in a roasting tray for thirty minutes, turning once during cooking.

In a large pan heat the olive oil and a little butter if you like and gently saute the onions until tender and soft.

Add the garlic and cook a little longer together with the chopped chilli.

Continue cooking on a medium heat adding the vegetable stock and cooked sqaush/beetroot.

Blitz in batches in a blender smooth or chunky. Add more stock or a little milk to thin if too thick.

This hot sweet, spicy soup is delicious with a swirl of soured cream and a chunk of warm  buttered soda bread.

Enjoy!

Hurry Up It’s Sloe Time!

In drink, Food and Drink on September 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sloe Gin

Yes it’s sloe time and a sure sign that autumn is upon us and what better way to treasure the season than to lay down the foundations for a truly delicious drink to be enjoyed over the festive period….sloe gin.

It’s deep garnet colour when fully developed is about as rich and inviting as a drink can get when the evenings turn cold and the fire (or in our case, the central heating is on).

Take a look in the hedgerows for these deep purple hard berries with small green leaves (check before you pick!), be quick as these unassuming little fellas won’t be around for long.

There is something very satisfying about making sloe gin, although the results cannot be enjoyed for a number of months to come this is a quick recipe that really does help to mark the seasons.

So here’s how to make your own lusciously lethal liquor!

Ingredients

750 ml gin

450g sloes

350g caster sugar

Method

Wash your sloes and place in the freezer over night, this will save you the hassle of pricking each little berry. The freezing process breaks the skin a little which will release the colours into the gin over time.

Split your sloes into two different bottles or jars (I used one gin bottle and one kilner) sprinkle over the sugar, add half the gin to each and shake to help dissolve the sugar.

Place in a dark room turning occasionally to redispurse the sugar. Be patient this will be good come Christmas but even better in the spring.

Cheers!