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Monday, 10 August 2009

Chew of Greengages

We just spent a blissful weekend in Bath - warm sun, blue skies and fine, fine foods. I have discovered a new favourite past time too... hanging around in Denise's front garden under the greengage tree with my legs in the sun eating greengages and napping.

We also christened Denise's new ice cream maker with an incredibly rich chocolate ice cream from David Leibovitz's book The Perfect Scoop, which has some crazy flavour combinations like orange and sichuan pepper (we weren't game enough to try that one). We added some fresh cherries at the end to give it an extra edge, but could only manage small amounts at a time as each spoonful brought us closer to an ice cold coronary.

And of course a visit to Bath isn't complete without a visit to the Fine Cheese Co. This time I was very restrained and came away a chunk of Le Gruyère Premier Cru, aged in caves for 14 months, and celebrity cheese Little Wallop made by Alex James - washed in cider brandy and beautifully wrapped in vine leaves, I loved the oozy bits on the outer edges. While you're there grab a loaf of bread and butternut squash ravioli - best pasta I've had from a packet.

Friday, 7 August 2009

4pm is cupcake 'o' clock

A woman just arrived in our reception at work with a big basket full of glittering cupcakes for sale. This lemon and poppy seed number is just the little pick-me-up a girl needs after a hell week on a dragging friday afternoon.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The Lake District: Currying flavour

Curry night: Lauren and Theo

Whooo! A most excellent hearty curry banquet complete with specialist beers (Cobra). A rare treat to be able to indulge in Indian cuisine without feeling like I've eaten my body weight in ghee and MSG.

Pumpkin & Apple Curry (serves 4)
What you need

Vegetable Oil
large onion
500g of pumpkin/squash, cubed
800g of baking potatoes, cubed
1 large cooking apple, cubed
2 tsp curry paste
1 tsp turmeric
root ginger (2.5cm)
bay leaves
500 ml vegetable stock

The do
Heat oil in pan. Add onion and brown.
Add chilli, curry paste, turmeric, ginger, bay leaves, apple, pumpkin, potato to pan.
Immediately after add vegetable stock.
Bring to boil and then simmer for 20 minutes until cooked.
Serve with fromage frais or yoghurt.

Easy Tofu Curry (serves 4)
What you need
good swig of vegetable oil
Tofu, diced
Seasonal veg - I like to use broccoli & green beans
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp mild curry powder
2 medium fresh green chillies, thinly sliced
5 cm chunk of ginger, grated
2 onions
1 can tomatoes
1 can coconut milk (use light coconut milk if you want a healthier option)

The do
Start by browning the tofu pieces in a pan until brown.
In another pan, heat the oil and add your spices and ginger.
Fry for a few minutes, then add the onions and fresh chilli.
Cook for another 5 minutes then add the tofu and tomatoes.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes then add your favourite veg (broccoli and beans are yum!)
Finally, add the coconut milk and simmer for a final 5 minutes.
Season and serve with basmati rice, raita, mango chutney and fresh tomato salad.

Fresh Tomato Salad (serves 4)
What you need
6 medium tomatoes, diced
Small onion, thinly sliced
Fresh Coriander
Juice of fresh lemon

The do
Combine the ingredients and season with lemon juice to taste

Sung Tongs Animal Collective

Saturday, 1 August 2009

4.34pm Afternoon tea break

My most favourite food in the world at the moment...Ottolenghi's Cherry bread and butter pudding yummmmmeeerrrggggghhhhhhhhh