Thursday, 28 June 2012

Review tibits- a vegetarian restaurant, London


A blogger friend  of mine Mina of Authentic Vegetarian recipes  and I  recently had an invitation to visit tibits a vegetarian restaurant in Heddon Street, London.The restaurant serves breakfasts, lunch ,dinners and also food on the go such as soups, sandwiches and pastries. Located in a prime position in central London it is the perfect place for a lunch stop during a shopping day out in London or for that light dinner before a theatre visit.

The restaurant hosts an informal atmosphere, with a no reservation policy. Tables are dotted around a central  food boat which has a large variety of cold and hot dishes and mouth watering desserts. The  meals are self serve buffet style where you are charged for the weight of the food on your plate.On offer, at the bar there are a a variety of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, teas and coffees. I was particularly impressed that each and every dish was labelled showing its suitability for vegetarians and vegans .(V=vegan,O=egg,L=lacto,N=nuts,G=gluten)


During our visit, I enjoyed the refreshing  palate cleansing cocktail which was made from fruit juices, fennel and ginger , followed by the passion fruit lemonade. tibits menu are seasonal ,the summer menu on offer had a variety of salads and hot dishes .I tried  the dried green bean salad, the tofu and carrot salad and also the quinoa with bean salad all were delicious. I also enjoyed the the stuffed jalapeños  with date and tomato chutney which was superb, I wish I had asked for the recipe.

The main course was equally good, the plain rice accompanied with the spinach cooked in saffron sauce and the  papaya curry was unusual , I had never considered  these combination of ingredients before but I was pleasantly surprised at the mild   and delicate creamy texture of them.
Having tried so many wonderful dishes making room for dessert was very difficult, but no meal is complete with out dessert and  the passion fruit cheese cake and the sticky toffee pudding were so inviting I just had to have a try.....Needless to say they were mouthwatering.
Thankyou to tibits for inviting us,the dining experience was indeed a pleasant one, the restaurant is a haven for vegetarians and vegans and those who enjoy a healthy eating life style.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Taste of London ~Regent park London


On Thursday I visited Taste of London in Regents Park London. The food festival was in full swing despite the awful wet  British weather!! The festival  was a host to the finest tastes of  London  and multinational cuisines such as Flavours of Thailand,  and Flavours of the world. There was the World of Beer for those who love a pint or two or for those who have a more refined taste The Secret garden was perfect place to visit  where you could sip a cocktail or two. Finding a place for a lunch stop was mind boggling as you were spoilt for choice  with such a large  selection of  wonderful gourmet cuisine by some famous London restaurants such as The Savoy, Theos Randall at the Intercontinental, Tamarind Rhodes 24 and many many more.

For the food lovers who  love the preparation of food there were cookery demonstrations at the AEG kitchen by some famous and well known chefs and hands on master classes at the Weber BBQ experience.
Wonderful music, authentic Thai dancing and fruit and vegetable carvings were some of the highlights in the Thailand section of the festival.
In the world foods area sampling scrumptious hot Parathas by Shanas, drool worthy lindt chocolates and a wonderful  British tea experience at the Wedgewood Tea bar were worth doing.
The festival was very enjoyable and perfect day out for a foodie.

GIVEAWAY~ English Provender Co Condiment Gift bag .

I am a big fan of The English Provender Co, they make the most mouth watering selection of  condiments . 
Some of the flavours available in their chutneys are Apples, Pear and Fig Chutney, Damson and Port, Caramelised red onion, Moroccan spice, Ploughman’s plum, Sweet tomato and chilli and lastly but not the least Hot chilli with red pepper. All seven chutneys each had a unique flavour, rich in taste and texture and are absolutely delicious. This is not surprising as all the chutneys are made with finest ingredients, starting right at home with the best quality vegetables, fruits and herbs, adding just the right blend of traditional spices, and then combining them to create simply delicious results.
Recently they have a new addition to their family , the Bramley Apple Sauce with Calvados. It is made using the finest Bramley apples  with the addition of Calvados ( a type of brandy made from apples)and lemon juice which makes the sauce delicious and gives it a very distinct flavour. It the perfect accompaniment  with Vegetarian and Non vegetarian dishes. This  apple sauce was really different from any other I have tried it was rich and had a very natural deep colour, furthermore it is suitable for vegetarians and Vegans too.
To check out the full product range you can click here.  The English Provender also provides recipe ideas for their chutneys and condiments which you can check out here, It has an on line shop so you can order and sample the chutneys from the comfort of your own home.
You too can sample these wonderful condiments ,The English Provender has kindly agreed to provide  2  free condiment gift bags to 2 visitors  to this blog.
You can  check below to see how to be to be entered in the free giveaway.
Rules:
1. This giveaway is open to all readers over 18 who have a UK mailing address.
2. The winner will be chosen via Raffle copter (which uses random.org) and announced on this page. 
3. The winner will be contacted by e-mail, if they do not respond within a 48 hours another winner will be chosen. 
4. There are 2  prizes of English Provender Condiment gift bags for 2 winner. By entering you are agreeing to share your address with simply.food to receive the prize.
5. I am running this competition in good faith on behalf of English Provender Co,Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.They reserve the right to substitute a prize of similar value. 
6. Instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
7. Entries using any software or automated process to make bulk entries will be disqualified. 
8. No cheating. Please do follow the instructions. I will verify the winning entry and check that you have commented / tweeted / subscribed etc. Anyone who cheats will be disqualified. 
9. There is one main way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries, including bonus daily entries. Follow the instructions in the form above. If you already like / follow comment in the raffle copter widget and let me know to get your entries.
Closing Date 21st July 2012 6.00pm
Good Luck.

Many thanks to The English Provender Company and for providing a prizes for the giveaway.
Pictures coutesy of The English Provender Company

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, 18 June 2012

White Chocolate Hazelnut Rafaello Balls ~ June 18th Secret Recipe Club


This is my assignment with the Secret Recipe Club.The aim of the club is that you are allocated a blog from which you have to select  a recipe and try  it and blog about it.
My assigned blog was Lick the Spoon by Louise. This blog was amazing and I have book marked several recipes. I found that the blog has many many lovely delicious and mouthwatering sweet recipes. All the posts were so inviting I had a dilemma as to what to choose to cook.Finally I settled for the White Chocolate Hazelnut Rafaello Balls. I followed the recipe exact and they turned out perfect and simply divine.

Creamy nutty centre with a crisp wafer crunch, coated in smooth white chocolate and dipped in  tropical coconut.-Simply paradise on earth.



Ingredients:

200ml condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3-4 tbsp. full cream milk powder
50g butter, room temperature
100g coconut flakes
50g vanilla wafer biscuits,
24 toasted hazelnut,
150g white chocolate, melted
150g coconut extra

Method:

1.Mix butter with condensed milk, add vanilla,  milk powder, coconut flakes, and crushed vanilla wafers.
2.Mix until well combined. Roll into walnut sized balls; flatten in the palm on your hand and press a hazelnut into the centre.
3.Re-roll so that the hazelnut is well covered and positioned in the middle of the ball. Repeat until all mixture is used. Makes approx 24 balls
4.Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
5.Put the extra coconut in a small bowl.
6.Using a fork, dip each ball into the white chocolate and coat. Let the excess chocolate drain from the all before rolling it through the coconut, then place them in petit cake liners.
7.Repeat until all the balls are coated and refrigerate until ready to serve.



You may like:
Chocolate Balls

Friday, 15 June 2012

Taste of London ~Regent part London


Taste of London -A food festival from the 21st to 23rd June in Regents Park London, the whole weekend of wonderful food and drink in one of the worlds finest city. Each year Taste of London brings together not just restaurants and food and wine suppliers, but a line-up of innovative and interactive programmes on cooking and eating. 

Some of the world’s greatest chefs such as David Chang, Wolfgang Puck, Nuno Mendes, Atul Kochhar, Jamie Oliver, Francesco Mazzei, Theo Randall and many more will be cooking at the show and sharing their mouth watering creations. 40 of London's best restaurants will be serving special menus of starter sized tasting plates, including signature dishes created by chefs that specially reflect their philosophy and showcase seasonal and premium ingredients.

At the AEG theatre together with Waitrose kitchen you can enjoy cookery demos by Hardeep Singh Kohli and other chefs who will be sharing their food secrets tips and tricks to prepare the perfect dish.

Top chefs in the new Seeds of Change Theatre will excite you as they demonstrate how the tastiest foods come from ingredients grown at the pace of nature. Host John Quilter will also be creating some nature-inspired dishes using Seeds of Change ingredients.  

You can also sample flavours of the world during the show. Five international pavilions will each offer a culinary journey of Peru, Flanders, Germany, Malaysia and Brazil. You will be able to sample cuisines unique to these countries. Along with all these wonderful attractions you can explore BBQ experience, the Beer garden, flavours of France, Thailand and a traditional Wedgwood tea bar.

If you would like to visit the show you can check out more details  and buy your tickets here.

Picture courtesy of Taste of London

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Medhu Vada (Lentil Fritters)~ Blog Hop Challenge Wed 13th June


This is my entry for Blog Hop Wednesday started by Radhika of Tickling Palates. Its a beautiful concept where not only do you get to make new  blogger friends, cook from their blogs but in return they visit your blog and try out your recipes too.

If you are interested in  joining Blog Hop Wednesday here is how it works:
The plot behind this attempt is to form 2 groups and make pairs with a blogger who will be your partner for that particular month. This happens every 2nd wednesday of the month. You will then go through your partner’s blog, select, choose, cook, click and post the recipe in your blog on Wednesday and vice versa. The following month you will have a new partner. This way not only you tend to your blog at intervals but also learn some new recipes along the way and get to know a lot of bloggers and make friends."

My Blog partner this month was Farah from mycookbook. The blog, I am sure has many wonderful recipes, but as it had no index there was no way to see the listing. However doing a random search, I landed on this Medhu Vada recipe , which immediately took my fancy , it was easy to make and tasted delicious. Changes I made were that I omitted the onions and added a pinch of bicarbonate to the batter as I prefer  my vadas to have a soft spring texture.

Crispy and crunchy Vada that make a perfect tea time treat.

Ingredients:

240g / 8 oz  cup urad dhal
60 g/ 2oz basmati rice
2 sticks curry leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger paste
3-4 green chilli,  finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
1.5 teaspoons salt
Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
Sunflower oil, for frying

Method:

1. Wash and soak the dhal and rice for 3 hours or more
2. Drain well and add the rice and dhal to a blender and grind to a smooth consistency. Mixture should be stiff so do not add extra water.
3. Transfer the ground mixture to a large bowl and add the salt, green chillies, ginger ,curry leaves, and coriander leaves  and bicarbonate of soda. Mix well.
4. Heat oil in a deep vessel, when it is hot pinch small walnut size balls from the mixture and form patties. make a hole in the centre of each pattie and drop gentle into the hot oil.
5. Fry on medium heat until golden brown.
Drain on kitchen paper and repeat for remaining batter.
Serve hot with chutney or dip of your choice.


You may like:
Spinach Dhokla

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Strawberry Ice cream




Strawberry Ice cream- A taste of summer sunshine, scrumptious and luscious strawberries folded into  creamy condensed milk and cream. With bite size pieces of fresh strawberries in every mouthful, this home made strawberry ice cream is classy and will leave you wanting more and more.


Ingredients:

400 grams  fresh strawberries (for purée)
400 grams for folding into ice cream and  garnish
397 grams condensed milk ( 1 full can)
100 grams fresh  double cream
1 tablespoon sugar (optional if strawberries are little sharp)



Method:

1. Wash the 400 grams of strawberries and chop up into bite sized pieces.
2. In a blender jug add the chopped strawberries and add sugar. Blend to a fine puree.
3. In a bowl add the condensed milk and the cream and whip till light and fluffy.
4. Fold in the strawberry puree.
5. Pour the mixture into a tupperware container and place in freezer.
6. After 3 hours take the ice cream out of the freezer and stir with a fork to break any ice crystals.
7. At 3 hours intervals repeat this process twice more (In total 3 times)
8. After the third time take the ice cream out of the freezer and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes.
9. In mean time reserving 8 strawberries for garnish, chop the remainder into bite size pieces.
10. Fold  the strawberry pieces into the ice cream.
11. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop ice cream into serving bowl , garnish with the reserved strawberries.
Serve immediately.

NB- Alternatively you can skip stages 5,6 and 7 if you have an ice cream maker.


I love  this recipe because strawberries reminds me of lazy hazy summerdays, wimbledon, school holidays , sunkissed days on the beach , the laughter of squealing kids and above all refreshing melting ice cream that is free from colour, preservatives and totally guilt free.

Sending to:

The 30 best recipe of 2010

Cook.Eat.Delicious.Desserts strawberries  event by Raven, guest hosted by Sizzling Tastebuds.

You may like:

Saffron ~ Cardamom  ice cream

Sending to:
Spicy tasty-sizzling summer contest.


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Give away- Cuisinart Bread maker

Pic courtesy of Cuisinart

In March Cuisinart sent me their bread maker to try out, I was very excited to put it to the test and here is the first loaf of bread I made in it.

The loaf was golden brown, deliciously soft with a crusty top and whilst baking it filled my kitchen with the most amazing aroma of home-made bread. Since then, I have tried many different types of bread using the easy to follow recipe book included with the bread maker. I particularly liked the fact that you can use the bread maker to prove your dough for mini  bread rolls and  pizza base too.


To see a demonstration of how easy it is to use click here.

This versatile Bread Maker offers 12 pre programmed menu options, a variety of crust colours and loaf sizes. The convection fan circulates the air automatically, adjusting the speed and timing of baking for better browning and crisper crusts. Recipes include gluten free and rye bread as well as cakes and compote. It is built with a convenient 13 hour delay start timer so that you can have bread ready for you any time of the day.
It is compact in size and has many features such as 2 different loaf sizes, different finishes to your bread, a seed and nut dispenser and a keep warm function too. It is easy to clean as all the removable parts are dish washer safe.All the breads I baked turned out well, however I have yet to master the cake making in the bread maker, as both my  attempts resulted in cakes that were dense and almost bread like texture rather than light and airy.

All opinions stated above are my own, I have really enjoyed waking up to fresh bread with the help of this wonderful bread maker. Cuisinart has kindly agreed to provide the same bread maker to one simply.food reader so that you too can experience the taste of fresh home made bread.
Thankyou Cuisinart for such a wonderful giveaway.

Rules:
  1. This give away is open to all readers over 18 who live in the UK.
  2. The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter (which uses random.org) and announced on this page.
  3. The winner will be contacted by e-mail, if they do not respond within a 48 hours another winner may be chosen.
  4. There is one prize of a Cuisinart Bread maker.
  5. Instructions form part of the terms and conditions 
  6. Entries using any software or automated process to make bulk entries will be disqualified.
  7. No cheating. Please do follow the instructions. I will verify the winning entry and check that you have commented / tweeted / subscribed etc. Anyone who cheats will be disqualified.
  8. There is one main way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries, including bonus daily entries. Follow the instructions in the form below. If you already like / follow comment in the Rafflecopter widget and let me know to get your entries.
I am running this competition in good faith on behalf of Cuisinart, who will be responsible for sending the prize to the winner. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. They reserve the right to substitute the prize for one of a similar type / value if the prize above is not available.

How To Enter

  • Simply  leave a comment below telling which type of bread is your favourite, once you have done that you can  complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify additional entries
  • Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
  • Please read the rules.
  • Closing date -Midnight  Saturday 30/06/2012

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 4 June 2012

Thai Raw Papaya Salad- Som Tam


Thai Green papaya salad, a delicious and crunchy salad with a lovely tangy sweet and sour flavour.This salad is very popular in thailand , you can find the original recipe here. I have adapted the recipe to make it vegetarian by omitting the fish sauce and shrimp paste.

Ingredients:

1 medium raw papaya
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts coarsely chopped
12 Cherry tomatoes cut in halves
1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander
1 long red sweet pepper cut into thin  juliennes
1 green chilli finely chopped
10 basil leaves roughly torn

Dressing:
1 clove garlic finely minced
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon soya sauce(replacing fish sauce)
1 tablespoon sweet and sour chilli sauce(replacing shrimp paste)
1 green chilli finely chopped
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Method:

1. Peel the papaya and cut in half.
2. Discard the seeds and grate or cut the papaya into very thin long juliennes.
3. Add the papaya to a large bowl, add the red pepper, chilli, coriander and half the peanuts and half the coriander.Toss together.
4. In a screw top jar add all the ingredients listed under dressing and mix well.
5. Pour the dressing over the papaya mixture and toss well.
6. Transfer the salad to a serving dish and sprinkle with remaining peanuts and coriander.


Submitting this to:
Flavours of Thailand ,event by simply.food guest Hosted by Reva

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Round up ~ Lets bake Cupcakes and muffins

Thankyou to everyone who baked for this event.
 Here is the round up of all the delctable entries:




Yasmin G who is a non blogger shared this lovely recipe as her entry to this event , you can find her on Facebook.


Red Velvet Cupcakes
Ingredients:

11/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon red food coloring

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder together. Set aside.
In a bowl combine the buttermilk, eggs, canola oil, vanilla, vinegar, and red food coloring.
Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degreesF.
Let the cupcakes cool for about 10 minutes and remove the cupcakes from the pan. Once completely cooled, frost the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Introducing "Flavours of" Series 3 ~ Africa



"Flavours of " series 1 was born in August 2010 , our culinary journey took us travelling around India. We   sampled wonderful  Gujarati, Punjabi, Goan, Maharastrian ,Bengali , Rajasthani  and South Indian Dishes  . The flavoursome, array of dishes we have cooked  so far are simply delectable and brought us a delightful culinary experiece straight into the comfort of our homes.

With the success of "Flavours of " series one around India ,we continued or travels around Asia in  "Flavours of" series 2. We have visited, Indonesia, China ,Sri Lanka, Singapore,Nepal, Russia,Turkey,Thailand and Lebanon. Our Travels are yet to continue to Thailand  in June  and Malaysia  in July where our Asian journey will end in this second Series.Series two has been very exciting, as we were all taken out of our comfort zones as we all tried to create and sample cuisine unknown to us. At times it was challenging   but the dishes that were lovingly created by all the participants were mouthwatering and simply divine.Thank you to every one for your support and enthusiasm

Having now caught the travel bug it is time to plan the third lap of our travels ie  "Flavours of" Series 3, this series will take us on a culinary journey around Africa.This series will start from the month of August and will run monthly.

I am inviting all my blogger friends to accompany me on my travels to cook up a feast.You can do this by guest hosting one of the events on your blog or simply just participating in the event. Each event will run for one  month, same as previous series  and the guest host will need to host the event on their blog for one  months and post around up with in 7 days  after the event completes.

Our scheduled itinery is as follows:

1st August 2012- 31st August 2012
Flavours of Morrocco guest hosted By Mirelle

1st September2012 -30th September 2012 Available
Flavours of Kenya

1st October 2012 - 31st October 2012 Available
Flavours of Tunisia

1st November 2012- 30th November 2012 Available
Flavours of Mauritius

1st December 2012- 31st December 2012 Available
Flavours of South Africa

If you are interested in joining me on my travels and would like to guest host one of the above events please contact me asap  with the event you would like to host.
Please include in your request 1st and 2nd choice of the event you would like to host.
Looking forward to your participation .

Round Up ~Cook with love Dad


Thankyou to every one who linked up with this event
Here is the roundup.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Announcing Event ~ Lets cook for Barbecues and Picnics


Diamond Jubilee celebrations, school holidays and lazy hazy summer days are all upon us. Its time to top up the tan, dig out  the barbecue and brush the cob webs off the picnic hamper. We are all ready to enjoy the glorious sunshine and the festivities but no outing is complete with out lots of food and drink so for this event lets all prepare vegetarian food for the barbecue  and prepare lots of picnic foods that will travel well and will be delicious to eat.

To Participate:

1.Prepare any vegetarian dish that you can cook on a barbecue or take on a picnic (eggs allowed) please link your post using the linky below by entering your Post Name and Post URL
2. Please link this event announcement with your entry, this is mandatory.
3. Use of logo is not mandatory but usage is encouraged as it helps to spread the word visually if you can use it.
4. Multiple entries are allowed, archived are only allowed if reposted and updated with this event link.
5. In the event of problem using linky you can email me the entry at simplysensationalfood@gmail.com

Please use this format

Your Name:
Recipe Name
Recipe URL
Image no larger than 300 pixels.

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