Friday, 30 November 2012

Giveaway Jelly Belly Christmas box


I have been sent a box of Jelly Belly Beans to try from Jelly Belly UK.The box is one of the Christmas collection and consists of 20 amazing flavours all beautifully presented  in individual compartments .You can check out all the amazing flavours at the Jelly Belly site where you can order the Jelly Belly beans online. Their site is informative and there are some fun things to interact with on the site itself; for example making your own Jelly Bean portrait, their music video and some special discount codes.

I have become a real Jelly Belly fan and really would like to share Christmas Cheer with my blog visitors. What better way than to have a give away of a box of  the Christmas collection Jelly Belly beans to 2 lucky winner.

Many thanks to Jelly Belly for sending me the Christmas box of Jelly Belly Beans to try; and  for generously providing 2 boxes of Jelly Belly Beans as prizes for this Giveaway. All the views expressed  in this review are my own.

How To Enter
·         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
·         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
·         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this
·         Closing date - 14th December 2012 6.00pm .


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Juices and Biscuits from Organic Village


I was recently sent some juices and biscuits from Organic Village. simply.food is a vegetarian blog and I am very keen on healthy eating and using products that are organic so the products from Organic village were perfect to sample.
I was sent a bottle each of pomegranate juice, carrot juice and beetroot juice together with a packet each of Breton butter biscuits and Breton Butter Galettes. Unlike supermarket bought juices these were very natural and needed an acquired taste as they relied solely on natural sugars from the fruits to sweeten them. There were no artificial sweeteners present in them compared to other juices I have tried. I also used the juices for adding to sauces and cakes.

The biscuits were divine; they melted in the mouth with delectable rich crumbly and buttery taste. All their products are 100% organic the healthy fruit juices are not made from concentrate, and contain no added water; they are just pure juice with all the goodness intact as nature intended. They retail from £1.29 for 120 ml to £ 3.99 for a litre bottle. In addition to the juices and biscuits, Organic village also sell nuts and organic cheeses.

 Organic Village is all about sourcing the tastiest and purest of produce .The products not only delicious but also packed full of essential nutrients for health and building a range which combines top quality with affordability. So at last everyone can enjoy organic goodness without paying a premium price. Organic Village products are available from thousands of reputable retailer’s natural health stores, specialist food halls, delis, health and fitness clubs, cafés and restaurants across the UK and Europe. They also have an online shop and will deliver to anywhere in the UK.

Thankyou to organic village for sending me the samples to try. All the opinions expressed  in this post are my own.

Fajita Kits by Discovery



Picture  courtesy of Discovery foods

I love Mexican food and find that it is fast and easy to prepare.When discovery sent me two Fajita kits to try I was more than pleased to put them to the test.Each Kit contains everything you need to make your family a tasty Mexican feast. All you have to add is the filling.
The Perfect Fajita Kits are available in three tantalising variants: Original (medium heat), Crispy Crumb (mild heat), and Mexican BBQ (mild heat).  

The kits contains:
  • eight Soft Flour Tortillas, 
  • a sachet of Discovery’s mouth-watering Salsa or Soured Cream
  • a packet of Discovery’s sensational Seasoning Mix.  
The ingredients used are the highest quality; the kits are versatile and ideal for midweek meals or larger family get-together.All the kits come with simple to follow step-by-step recipe suggestion so that you can create your Mexican meal in minutes. These kits take up very little storage space and are perfect store cupboard ingredient to rustle up a fast and speedy nutritious meal after a hard day’s work.

With my kit I made veggie mixed bean Fajitas.I would like to thank Discovery food for sending me these kits to try.All the opinions in this post are my own.


Veggie mixed bean Fajitas


Thursday, 29 November 2012

Cocktail / Mocktail workshop at Balans Stratford.

Megan our cocktail making host at Balans, equipment, shaker, muddler,shot measures, ingredients and my fellow blogger friends who attended the workshop with me.

I was really excited to  receive an email invitation to attend a Cocktail workshop at  Balans  which is  situated in West field Stratford City . It offers the perfect location to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner. In addition to food Balans offer amazing cocktails in their bar. They also offer cocktail workshops which are catered to individual specification for small groups.The price is £39.95 per person and includes a welcome drink and 4 cocktails to make and litebites.The cocktail workshops would be perfect  for  a girls night out, hen parties or birthday celebrations.

I was excited to attend the workshop as it sounded like a fun evening, however being a teetotaller I was worried that Balans would not be able to cater for me.However much to my surprise despite being the only person refraining from alcohol in the party, I was made extremely welcome and  the 4 cocktails ; Berrylicious, Margarita, Red ribbon and Balans White Russian that the group members made, were all adapted for me as mocktails with no alcoholic.

Our party host Megan had everything organised beautifully, she had all our ingredients laid out for each cocktail and  gave  us easy to follow instructions.The evening ran as clockwork and where the time flew we did not realise. Megan also shared some really good tips about making sugar syrups, pouring different ingredients into a glass to create separation of colour and substitution of ingredients for teetotallers like my self. (If this proved to be a challenge she did not show it and she came up with answers immediately.)

Hands on deck shaking , pouring and sipping Mocktails.

In between the cocktail workshop we were spoilt with a selection of  litebites  followed by more cocktail making and finishing with mince pies to close the evening.

Litebites that we enjoyed.

I am sharing here  the 4 mocktails that I made.

Berrylicious

Ingredients:

3 raspberries
3 blackberries
45 ml of mixed berry puree
50 ml ginger beer
15ml fresh lemon juice
Ice

Method:

1. Add berries into a cocktail shaker. Muddle (mash) berries in the shaker. 
2. Add mixed berry puree and ice to the shaker.
3. Shake gently and Ghetto Dump into short glass. (This means transfer all the mashed up berries and juices into the glass)
4. Top up with ginger bear
5. Garnish with blueberries, raspberries and blackberries

Serve immediately.

Virgin Margarita (Can be served straight up, on the rocks or frozen)

Ingredients:

 50ml lime juice
 50 ml lemon juice
 50 ml orange juice
 50 ml sugar syrup
Salt and lemon wedge for garnish

Method:

1. Salt half the glass rim. (Rub lemon on half the rim and dip the glass in salt)
2. Pour all ingredients into shaker.
3. Shake really hard and strain into glass.
4. Garnish with lime wedge or wheel.
 My Creations.

 Red Ribbon -This cocktail at Balans is made in aid of Elton Johns Aid foundation and proceeds from it are donated to charity.

Ingredients:

25ml Pomegranate puree
25ml Vanilla sugar syrup
50ml Raspberry puree
50 ml lemonade
Ice

 Method:

1. Rim the glass with vanilla sugar. (Rub lemon on glass rim and dip the glass in vanilla sugar)
2. Add the Pomegranate puree, Vanilla sugar syrup, Raspberry puree and ice to a shaker
3. Shake all ingredients and strain into glass.
4. Top with lemonade
Serve immediately
 My creations.

 Balans Virgin White Russian

Ingredients

50 ml Espresso coffee
25ml Hazelnut syrup
50ml double cream
25ml milk
Ice
Dust with cocoa

 Method:

1. Pour the coffee and hazelnut syrup into a serving glass.
2. Put the cream and milk into shaker with ice. Shake gently so as not to whip the cream.
3. Gently pour the cream in a steady stream onto the coffee with the help of a spoon , If done correctly the cream will float on the coffee.
4. Serve with a dusting of cocoa powder.

I would like to thank Megan and Hannah from Propellernet  for inviting me  and of course Balans for hosting the  workshop.



Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Archards~ Mauritian vegetable Pickle


A tasty and delicious  vegetable pickle, the perfect accompaniment to Mauritian dishes.

Ingredients:

120 grams/ 4 oz white cabbage finely shredded
120 grams/ 4 oz carrot grated
120 grams/ 4 oz green beans finely sliced
3 green chillies cut into slits
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sunflower oil

Method:

1.Coarsely grind the mustard seeds and garlic keep aside.
2. Bring a pan of water to boil and blanch the vegetables (carrots, beans and cabbage) for three minutes.
3. Drain the vegetables  and pat dry .
4. Heat oil in pan when it is hot, add the mustard seed and garlic paste.Add the salt, chillies, turmeric powder and sauté the mixture for a minute. Turn off the heat  and add the vinegar followed by the vegetables and mix well.
5.Leave the pickle  to cool then transfer to a sterilised jar.
6. Store in the refrigerator.

Serve with Dholl Puri

You may like:
Mauritian Lima bean stew

Submitting to:

 Flavours of Mauritius , event by simply.food guest hosted by Napur of UK, Rasoi and me



Thursday, 22 November 2012

Mauritian Lima bean stew


Hearty and delicious Mauritian spicy Lima bean stew.

Ingredients:

300 g precooked tinned broad beans/ Lima beans
2 medium potatoes peeled and  diced
1 small onion finely diced
1 carrot peeled and diced
1 clove garlic
2 large tomatoes diced and puréed
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
120 ml water
1 tablespoon fresh coriander finely chopped


Method:

1.Heat the oil in a pan, when it is hot sauté the garlic and onions until translucent.
2.Add the puréed tomatoes, potatoes and carrots. Add the salt, chilli powder, black pepper and the 100 ml water and bring the stew to a boil, once it comes to a boil reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until potatoes and carrots are almost cooked.
3.Add the precooked Lima /broad beans and cook for a further 5 minutes.
4.Turn off heat and transfer the stew to a serving bowl.
5.Garnish with fresh coriander.

Serve with dholl puri.


You may like :
Masala corn on the cob with peanut gravy.

Submitting to:
Flavours of Mauritius , event by simply.food guest hosted by Napur of UK Rasoi.



Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Mauritian Dholl Puri (Spiced flat bread)



Delicious  flat breads with a spicy aromatic lentil filling.

Ingredients

For filling:

120 grams/ 4 oz yellow split peas, soaked in water overnight
1 teaspoon salt
2 green chillies finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh coriander finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon  toasted cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

For Dough:

240 grams / 8 oz wheat flour
1 cup water( use only as much as required)
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons oil for cooking dholl puri
1 tablespoon flour for rolling .

Method:

1. Place the soaked split peas in a large pan and bring to boil, reduce heat

and simmer until split peas are cooked but not mushy.(Should be al dente)
2. Throughly drain the cooked split peas and coarsely grind them.Transfer them to a large bowl, add the salt, turmeric, ground cumin, cumin seeds,chillies and coriander. Mix well and keep a side.
3. In another bowl add the flour, 1 tablespoon oil and the salt, mix well  and gradually add a little water at a time to make a soft pliable dough.
4. Cover the dough and leave for 30 minutes.
5.After 30 minutes divide the dough into 8 balls.
6.Taking one ball at a time flatten it to form a 3 inch disc.Add a tablespoon of the mixture into the centre of the disc and bring all the edges together to encase the filling inside the dough.
7. Flatten the filled dough ball and roll it out gently on a floured surface as thin as you can get it approx 3-5 mm thick.
8. Heat a rolled skillet when it is hot place the rolled puri onto the pan, wait 1 minute and flip it.
9. Brush a little oil on top of the puri and flip it again.
10. Brush oil onto this side  and wait 1 minute  for underneath to cook before flipping  to cook the second oiled side.
11. Puri is cooked when brown spots appear on both sides.
12.Repeat for all the dough.

Serve dholl puri with Lima bean stew and Achard

You can watch a video of the process here.


You may like:
Touarits Tunisian  stuffed bread

Submitting to:

 Flavours of Mauritius , event by simply.food guest hosted by Napur of UK, Rasoi and me



Monday, 19 November 2012

S'mores cookie tarts ~Secret recipe club challenge November 19th



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 assignment for this month was  Erin's blog making memorieswithyour kids. When I saw the name I was exited to read it as it sounded like a fun blog with lots of kid friendly posts and recipes. I was not dissapointed. I scanned all the posts and finally settled for the s'mores cookie tart recipes.The original recipe can be found here.
I made a couple of small changes , they were reducing the amount of sugar slightly and replacing the Reece chocolate with Nestle Rolos (caramel centered chocolate drops)  and Graham crackers with digestive biscuits as I am unable to get these ingredients  in the UK. My tarts resembled  more cookies than tarts as they spread a lot during  the baking although I did chill the dough as per instruction.Despite the appearance they tasted delicious.

Gooey caramel and chocolate centred cookies that were really moreish and delicious.

Ingredients:


 120 grams / 4 oz salted butter, softened
 120 grams / 4 oz sugar
 1 tablespoon egg replacer  with 4 tablespoons water
 1 teaspoon vanilla
240 grams / 8 oz  plain flour
6 digestive biscuits
 1 teaspoon baking powder
24 Chocolate rolos


Method:

1. Crush the digestive biscuits and keep aside.
2. In a stand mixer beat butter, sugar, egg replacer and water.  Add the vanilla, baking powder, flour, and digestive crumbs and mix till a dough is formed.
3. Transfer the dough to a bowl and divide tit into 20 walnut sized balls.
4. Take each dough ball and push your thumb in the centre to make a cavity. Place the rolo in the centre but do not cover the top of it with the dough. Make sure the top of the rolo is exposed.

5. Repeat for all the dough balls and place them on baking sheets.
6. Place the cookies in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
7. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F
8. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes until slightly brown and remove do not over bake.
9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Notes: Although I chilled the cookies they really spread out. I overcooked one batch and all the chocolate covered caramels burst open . Despite this they tasted delicious.

You may like:
Nepalese Chai Cookies

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Free Giveaway~Take a box of eggs book, review and a chocolate truffle cake.


I was recently sent a copy of "Take a box of eggs" cookbook by British eggs. The book is a hard back lie flat format and is the latest in the Dairy Cookbook series. It has beautiful mouth watering photographs, 100 irresistible egg recipes in varying degree of difficulty – from classic boiled eggs through to Spanish omelettes, huevos rancheros and soufflés.There is a huge variety of recipes for savoury dishes, muffins, sauces, cakes and desserts. All recipes have a QR code linking to an ingredients shopping list.(This means you can scan the barcode on the recipe page with your smartphone and you will have an instant ingredients list ready for shopping) The book is £9.99 including P&P and can be purchased from the British egg week website.It is the perfect gift for Christmas.
Photo from British Egg


Browsing through the book there were many recipes that I wanted to try, but I immediately fell in love with this truly delicious Chocolate truffle cake found on page 133.

 Moist chocolatey and absolutely sinful gooey scrumptious chocolate cake that is truly mouthwatering.

Ingredients:

150 grams/ 5 oz dark chocolate
90 grams / 3½oz Butter
150 grams / 5 oz caster sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee
4 eggs separated (yolks and whites)
40 grams / 1½oz plain flour
25 / 1 oz grams ground hazelnuts or almonds

Topping:

300 grams/ 10 oz dark chocolate chopped
300 ml / ½ pint double cream
Strawberries to decorate

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 170 º C / 325 º F. Grease and line a 8 ½ cake tin.
2. Break 150 grams of the chocolate and place in a glass bowl. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Once chocolate has melted remove from double boiler keep aside to cool.
3. In a separate bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Dissolve the coffee in 2 tablespoons hot water and add to the creamed butter and sugar. Add the egg yolks and melted chocolate and mix it into the creamed butter and sugar.
4. Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until they form soft peaks; gently fold the egg whites into the creamed mixture with a metal spoon.
5. Gently fold in the flour and ground nuts and pour the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin. Bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes. Check if cake is cooked by inserting a skewer in the cake centre, if it comes out clean cake is ready.
6. Remove cake from oven and leave to cool in the tin, once cake has cooled transfer to a wire rack.
7. Pour the cream into a saucepan and heat gently, remove the pan from the heat and add the 300 grams chopped chocolate and mix well until totally melted.
8. Leave the chocolate icing to cool and when it reaches room temperature place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
9. After 30 minutes remove icing from refrigerator. Place the cake on a serving plate and coat top and sides with prepared chocolate icing. Decorate with strawberries and serve.

Naughty but Nice...........It was Simply Scrumptious!!!!

If this recipe post has inspired you, then there are plenty more recipes in this wonderful Take a box of eggs cookbook to checkout. Simply.food have teamed up with British Eggs and they have kindly offered to giveaway 1 book to one lucky simply.food reader.

To enter the giveaway follow the rafflecopter rules below.
The Giveaway is open to all UK residents and you must be over 18 years of age.

How To Enter
·         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
·         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
·         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
·         Closing date - 3rd December  2012 6.00pm

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Round Up ~ Lets celebrate Navratri / Diwali event.


We had an amazing collection of Navratri and Diwali recipes. Thank you to everyone who participated. Here is the delicious round up:

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Event round up ~Flavours of Tunisia



Thank you to everyone who participated  and sent all these lovely entries. Here is the delicious round up.

Event Round Up of~ Lets cook for Hallowen


Thank you  for all the people who participated in this event here is the wonderful round up.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Tunisian style Spicy Rice.


A  very fragrant and spicy Tunisian rice dish with potatoes and chickpeas.

Ingredients:

120 g / 4 oz basmati rice
250 ml hot water
60 g / 2 oz  precooked white chickpeas
1 medium potato cut into thin strips
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon harissa paste
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
1 medium tomato de seeded and finely diced.
1 tablespoon freshly chopped coriander


Method:

1. Wash the rice and soak it in cold water for half an hour.After half an hour drain the water from the rice.
2. In a large frying pan with a lid add the oil and wait for it to heat, add the cinnamon stick and drained rice and  sauté gently taking care not to break the rice grains. Once all the rice grains are coated in the oil add the chickpeas,  potatoes, chilli powder,salt, cumin, harissa paste and tomato puree.
3. Add the hot water and bring the rice to boil. Once it begins to boil turn the heat to the lowest setting, cover and cook the rice for 25 minutes.(Do not open the lid in this time)
4. After 25 minutes, fluff up the rice with a fork to separate the grains, add the chopped tomatoes and dried mint and gently stir them into the rice .
5. Transfer the rice to a serving dish and garnish with fresh coriander.

You may like :
Tunisian Chickpea salad

Submitting  to:
 Flavours of Tunisia event by simply.food




Announcing Event ~Lets Cook one pot meals


The winter is all set in, rain, winds dark nights and soon even frost and snow. Sometimes when we are cold and tired there is nothing more comforting than having a hot nourishing one pot meal to drive away those winter blues.
For this event cook any one pot meal, it can be a casserole, stew, biryani , pasta bake or a hearty bowl of soup.

To Participate:

1.Prepare any vegetarian one pot meal  (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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