Sunday, 30 June 2013

Announcing Event ~ Lets Cook with Nuts


Nuts are High in Vitamin E and they are the best dietary sources of Arginine. Arginine helps to  boost immune function, promote wound healing, and help manage existing cardiovascular disease. Nuts such as Walnuts, peanuts and almonds are especially high in the amino acid and they have fiber which is good for normalizing bowel movements, maintaining bowel health, lowering blood cholesterol, helping to control blood sugar levels, and aiding in weight loss. Nuts are an excellent source of soluble fiber, the type that helps lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. They are also low on the glycemic index, this help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Some nuts that we commonly know of are cashew nuts, pine nuts, almonds, pistachio nuts,coconut, brazil nuts, chestnuts,hazel nuts,macadamia nuts,peanuts, pecan nuts and walnuts.There are many other types of nuts but these few are commonly used in our day to day cooking and baking.

This month’s event is all about cooking with Nuts.I am inviting all foodies out there to create any vegetarian dish; it can be snack, starter, main course, savoury or sweet. The dish must feature nuts in the ingredient.


To Participate:

1.Prepare any  vegetarian recipe using Nuts as part of the Ingredient   (eggs allowed) please link your dish using the linky below by entering your Dish Name and Post URL
2.Please link this event announcement with your entry, this is mandatory.
3.Use of logo is  not mandatory but it helps to spread the word if you can use it.
4. Multiple entries are allowed, archived are only allowed if reposted and updated with this event link.
4. 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.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Mango Chunda(Sweet mango pickle)


Sweet and tangy mango pickle.

Ingredients:

500 g grated raw mango(rajapuri mangoes)
750 g sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 - 1  teaspoon chilli powder(adjust to taste)
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

Method:

1. Place the grated mango and the sugar in a large bowl.
2. Mix together and leave the mango aside for few hours.
3. After few hours all the sugar will have melted.



4. In a heavy bottom pan, add the mango and sugar mixture.Add to it the cinnamon stick and cumin seeds and bring the mixture to boil.
5. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture until the sugar syrup nearly reaches 1 thread consistency (225 F / 105C on sugar thermometer)It will take approx 10-12 minutes. Keep stirring intermittently.



6. Once the syrup has reaches 1 thread consistency, turn off heat and remove the pickle from the stove.
7. Add the salt and chilli powder and mix well, leave the pickle  to cool.
8. Transfer to sterilised jars and serve as required.


NB- I added 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder only to my pickle to keep it mild.To make it more spicy add chilli powder to taste up to 1 teaspoon .

You may like:
 Katki Keri


Submitting to:
Taste of Tropics ~Mango Event by Chef Mireille’s guest hosted by simply.food


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Strawberry and Chocolate Barfi microwave method.(Indian fudge)



Melt in the mouth, creamy fudge with aromatic strawberry  and chocolate flavours.

Ingredients:

300 g Milk powder
397 g Condensed milk(sweetened)
3 tablespoons melted ghee (Clarified butter)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped almonds and pistachio nuts
1 teaspoon Strawberry essence
3 Drops of Pink food colouring
Edible decorations
Milk chocolate




Method:

For Strawberry and chocolate Barfi

1.Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave, when it is melted pour a tiny amount into each silicon mould to form a 3 mm thick layer.  Place the moulds in the fridge for 5 minutes only to semi set the chocolate. Remove moulds from fridge after 5 minutes and keep at room temperature.(For this I used a silicon Ice cube tray.)


Making Barfi:

2.In a large microwave safe bowl add the two tablespoons of ghee,chopped nuts, condensed milk and milk powder and mix well.
3. Place the bowl in the microwave and cook on high heat for three minutes.
4. Remove from microwave and stir the mixture.
5. Return the bowl to the microwave and cook for another two minutes, again remove and stir the mixture.
6. Add the last tablespoon of ghee to the mixture and finally return the bowl to the microwave. Cook for a further 1 minute.
7. Remove bowl from microwave and add the food colouring and the strawberry essence and mix well.
8. Leave the mixture to cool slightly. Once you can handle the mixture, roll small grape sized balls and push the mixture into shaped silicon moulds that have chocolate layer in them, press the barfi in the moulds and smooth the tops .Return the moulds to the fridge for 10 minutes to set
9.For the plain strawberry barfi roll grape sized balls and push them into the flower and heart silicon moulds and pack firmly. Smooth the tops and place the moulds in the fridge to set. For 10 minutes to set.



De mould and decorate:

10. After 10 minutes de mould the barfi and place the heart and flower shapes in to Petit four cases and place them on serving platter.
11. Decorate with edible flower decorations.


 12.For the strawberry chocolate Barfi, roll out some white chocolate ready to roll icing and cut out large flower shapes using a cookie cutter.
13.Place the flower shapes onto a serving plate, Dip the de moulded chocolate strawberry barfi  shapes into a little melted chocolate and stick them onto the white chocolate flowers. Decorate the tops with edible flower decorations.


Keep refrigerated and barfi will keep for 4-5 days.

The flower, heart and star silicon  moulds were sent to me by The Craft Company together with some disposable piping bags. The moulds are perfect for making home made chocolate, for setting fudge and also for making shaped ice cubes and shaped jelly.I find them very versatile in their use ,they wash well and can be used over and over again.There is no rubber smell so you can be rest assured unlike cheap moulds that split and tear and leave behind an odour these moulds are totally safe and easy to use.
The craft company has a super selection of cake decorating and baking items .It is an Aladdin's cave for a budding baker.

Thankyou to The Craft Company for sending me the wonder silicon moulds.All the views and opinions in this post are my own.

You may like:


Monday, 24 June 2013

Spanish Paprika and Saffron Rice


Sweet paprika and saffron infused rice.

Ingredients:

120 g Basmati rice
240 ml hot water
Pinch of saffron
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil

Method:

1. Wash the rice and soak it for  30 minutes in cold water.
2. In a bowl add two tablespoons of hot water and the saffron and keep aside for saffron to release its colour.
3. Add oil in a large pan with a lid and wait for it to heat up.
4. Drain the rice and add it to the hot oil , sauté the rice for a couple of minutes until all the grains are coated in oil.
5. Add the paprika and salt to the rice together with the saffron infused water.Mix the spices into the rice.
6. Add the hot water and bring the rice to boil. Reduce the heat to lowest setting, cover the rice and cook for 25 minutes.(Do not open the pan lid in this time)
7. After 25 minutes, open the lid all the water will be absorbed and rice should be cooked. Fluff up the rice with a fork.
8. Transfer the rice to a serving platter.Sprinkle some paprika and additional saffron strands on the rice to garnish.


Submitting to:
Flavours of Spain event by simply.food guest hosted by Priya's versatile recipes



Javelin Warriors Made with love Mondays

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Belvoir Products review and Giveaway



I have been enjoying the refreshing taste of Belvoir Presses and cordial for the last few days courtesy of Belvoir who sent me some samples. Belvoir Fruit Farms produce a delicious range of fruit cordials and presses. They are the many varieties available and all the ingredients used for the products are the finest with no artificial flavours, sweeteners or preservatives. The Belvoir Fruit Farms range comprises 16 cordial varieties, 15 presses, 2 fruit punches and 4 still drinks including organic and non-organic. All are  hand produced on the family farm in Lincolnshire and are available from leading supermarkets, delicatessens, food halls, farm shops or via the website www.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk. Prices start from £3.00 upwards on cordials, £2.15 upwards on 75cl pressés, £1.75 upwards on 25cl pressés and £1.65 upwards for Belvoir Stills.

Image courtesy of Belvoir

Amongst the vast range of Belvoir products some of the finest are:
  • Blueberry & Blackcurrant Cordial 50cl which is made from juicy rice blackcurrants and blueberries and are not only delicious but are full of anthocyanins.
  • Rhubarb & Strawberry Cordial 50cl is so delicious it will bring visions of English countryside to your palate. The fresh juicy strawberries are pressed together with the tart rhubarb to give you full flavour.
  • Cranberry & Raspberry Pressé 75cl-Cranbery and raspberry a match made to go together, refreshing and delicious this cordial is so pretty and pleasing to the eye as it is on the plate.
  • Elderflower & Rose Pressé 75cl-The delicate scented taste of elderflower blends deliciously with rose petals giving this a very beautiful aroma and taste.
  • Cherry Pressé 25cl-Made from masses of real pressed Morello cherry juice this delicious distinctive crisp cherry tasting sparkling drink is a perfect addition to make vibrant mocktails and cocktails.

Thankyou to Belvoir for sending me the samples to try, all the views and opinions in this post are my own.

Belvoir has been very generous and have agreed to provide an amazing prize to one simply.food reader.




The Prize is:
6 Belvoir products
1 Sophie Conran gardener’s journals
2  Sophie Conran enamel mugs

How To Enter:
  • Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
  • Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
  • This competition is open to UK residents only.Please read the rules in rafflecopter widget .
  • Leaving a blog comment is mandatory and failure to do so will void any other entries.
  • Closing date -31st July 2013 6.00 pm

How Rafflecopter works:
  • You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box.Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
  • Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
  • Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
  • Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.  
  • For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here
  • For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
  • If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Romesco Sauce


Ingredients:

1 Orange capsicum
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
120 g almonds

Method:

1. In a dry pan roast the almonds  for 5 minutes stirring intermittently so that they dont't burn.
2. Remove from pan and allow to cool.


3. Wash the orange capsicum and thread it on a skewer.
4. Roast the capsicum in the flame of your cooker, keep turning it so that the pepper chars evenly.
5. Once pepper is roasted put it in a zip loc bag for 10 minutes.


6. After 10 minutes wash off the charred skin from the pepper and cut it in half, remove the seeds and the membrane and chop finely.
7. In a grinder grind the toasted almonds and keep aside.
8. In a blender jug add the roasted capsicum, chilli flakes, vinegar, salt and lemon juice and blend to a fine puree.

9. In a pan add the olive oil and when it is hot add the garlic and sauté it.Add the garlic and oil to the blender together with the ground almonds and blend again for a few seconds to combine ingredients.
10. Adjust seasoning if required. Transfer to serving bowl and serve as a dip with tortilla chips.

NB- The Romesco sauce can be used added to any vegetable or pasta .


You may like:
Sangria

Submitting to :
Made with love Mondays
Flavours of Spain event by simply.food guest hosted by Priya.

Lets cook with Nuts -event by simply.food


Aloo Tikki-Spicy potato cakes and Give away for GreenVale Farm fresh potatoes


Spicy savoury potato cakes delicious for brunch or as appetizers.


Ingredients:

4 medium boiled  Green Vale farm  fresh potatoes
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
1 tablespoon corn flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon fresh coriander finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
100 ml sunflower oil for shallow frying.


Method:

1. Grate the potatoes and add them to a large bowl.
2. Add the breadcrumbs, corn flour, salt, chilli powder, sugar, lemon juice and chopped coriander to the potatoes and mix well.
3. Pinch golf ball sized balls of the potato mixture and roll it into balls.Flatten the balls out to form potato cakes.
4. Place the potato cakes on a tray and repeat for all the mixture.
5. Place the potato cakes in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.
6. Heat oil in frying pan and when it is hot shallow fry the potato cakes in small batches in the oil until golden brown on both sides.
7. Remove the potato cakes and place them on some kitchen paper to drain.Shallow fry all potato cakes in this way.
8. Serve the potato cakes with dips of choice.



I was recently sent a bag of the GreenVale Farm fresh potatoes to sample; I tried cooking various dishes and found that the GreenVale Potatoes worked well in all of them. Their firm texture with a slightly sweet flavour allows them to be versatile and you can mash them, make wedges with them, roast, fry or boil them .They are suitable for any method of cooking giving a tasty end result.
The potatoes are not only delicious but have many other qualities too such as:
  • Great provider of vitamin C
  • Naturally fat free
  • Great source of fibre
  • Absolutely no cholestrol
  • Great source of vitamin B
  • Bursting with vitamins & minerals
  • Very low in salt
  • And low in calories
As an added bonus and good for the environment too all GreenVale potatoes came packaged in a 100 % recyclable unique traditional paper sack.The bags are 2 kg so they are perfect for a small family. The paper bag helps to keep the potatoes fresher for longer too.
GreenVale Farm Fresh potatoes are sold at Tesco and Booths. For more information and recipe ideas visit  the Green Vale farm web site

All the views and opinions expressed in this  in this post are my own.


GreenVale potatoes have kindly offered to provide 1 months of GreenVale potatoes* and a Jamie Oliver Roasting pan to one simply.food reader.
*The winner will receive 1 bag of potatoes together with a voucher for £ 13.00 to buy the rest of the potatoes from Tesco.

How To Enter:
  • Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
  • Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
  • This competition is open to UK residents only .Please read the rules in rafflecopter widget .
  • Leaving a blog comment is mandatory and failure to do so will void any other entries.
  • Closing date - 30th July 2013 6.00 pm
How Rafflecopter works:
  • You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box.Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
  • Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
  • Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
  • Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.  
  • For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here
  • For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
  • If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 17 June 2013

Taco Wontons ~ Secret recipe club challenge 17th June 2013


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 creative kitchen adventures written By Denise. The blog is fun with lots of interesting recipes. I was looking for a speedy  recipe and the post on Taco wontons really captured my attention but it was not vegetarian.This did not deter me I used the idea and the method and replaced the meat with mixed beans and peppers. The recipe turned out really delicious.

Ingredients

4 whole meal tortilla wraps
1 can of mixed bean (precooked)
125 g mixed peppers finely diced
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 tablespoon tomato purée
Pinch of ground cumin

Cilantro and chopped peppers for garnish


Method:

1. In  a pan add the oil, when it is hot the garlic and sauté for a minute , add the peppers and cook for another minute.
2. Add the beans, salt, chilli flakes,cumin and 1 tablespoon tomato purée and cook the mixture for 3-4 minutes more. Remove from heat and keep aside.
3.Cut the tortillas into  8 (4 inch x 4 inch) squares.
4. Press the tortilla squares into a muffin pan to form little baskets, bake these in a preheated oven 180 degrees C/ 375 degrees F for about eight minutes or until crisp
5. Remove the tortilla baskets from oven and fill them with the bean mixture.
Garnish with some more finely chopped peppers and cilantro.

You may like:
Gazpacho salad

Friday, 14 June 2013

Katki Keri(diced sweet mango pickle)


Spicy, sweet and sour mango pickle  that is perfect to serve with chappatis.

Ingredients:

16 small green mangoes
400 g sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 cloves


1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika( you can omit this and add extra 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder instead if you like spicy pickle)

Tempering:

1 red dried chilli
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds




Method:

1. Peel the mangoes and dice them very finely.( The weight of the raw diced mangoes should be about 480g)
2. Add the salt, turmeric powder and sugar to the diced mango and keep aside for 30 minutes. Stir the mixture and you will find that the sugar has all melted.
3. Place the mixture in a microwave safe bowl  and cook with the lid on on high for 5 minutes,remove from microwave stir and cook for another 5 minutes.Return to the microwave and cook for 3 more minutes.
4.Remove the katki keri from the microwave and test the sugar syrup, it should be nearing 1 thread  or 101 degrees C or 205 degrees F on sugar thermometer.Do not worry if syrup is not quite 1 thread and seems runny as when it cools it will thicken.( approx cooking time 15-20  minutes depending on microwave and quantity)
5. Remove the pickle from the microwave and leave to reach room temperature
6. In another pan add the oil when it is hot add the mustard seeds and red dried chilli. Add the tempering to the mango mixture and also add the chilli powder and paprika and mix well into the pickle.
7. Once cool transfer to sterilised jars and store in the fridge.

Serve with chappatis or parathas


NB-This pickle is usually made using the large Rajapuri mangoes, however since I could not get any I have used small mangoes which worked equally well.

You may like:
Achar masala ( pickle masala)

Submitting to:
Taste of Tropics ~Mango Event by Chef Mireille’s guest hosted by simply.food



Sunday, 9 June 2013

Giveaway and review Book Party Cupcakes by Shereen van Ballegooyen



I recently received Party Cupcakes, a book by Shereen van Ballegooyen. The book is the latest addition to the popular Cozy series.It is a beautifully illustrated book with step by step instructions with pictures on how to create party cupcakes ranging from cute cakes for children’s parties, to baby shower cupcakes to celebration cupcakes.
There are thirty individual designs to create and each design is fully illustrated with step by step easy to follow pictures and written instructions.  
At the back of the book there are various useful sections:
  • Equipment for decorating -showing pictures of the different types of equipment that is required.
  • Ingredients for decorating- Pictures showing ingredients required for decorating
  • Colours used in the book- A guide to the colours used for the different projects in the book
  • Cup cake recipes- Basic chocolate and vanilla cup cake recipes to get you started
  • Recipes for decoration- Recipes for making the different types of decorations such as butter cream. Modelling paste, sugar glue and sugar paste.
  • Preparation for decorations- This section gives detailed step by step pictorial instructions on how to apply sugar paste to the cupcakes and also how to apply butter cream.
  • Making the decorations- This section shows how to mould arms, legs and body and another section on making flowers and leaves. 
The book is colourful and very easy to follow. The instructions are detailed and even a beginner would be able to create the beautiful cupcakes illustrated in the book.

Title
Author
ISBN
Price
Publisher
Pub Date
Party Cupcakes

Shereen
van Ballegooyen
9781861089854
 £ 9.99
GMC
May 13

The book is available from Amazon and from The GMC Group
I have really enjoyed looking through the book and creating some of the cup cakes from it. Although all the designs are beautiful I would have liked the book to  a few designs that were more aimed at a masculine cup cakes.

My Score:
Content 4/5
Illustrations 5/5
Instructions 5/5
Overall score 14/15


I have had a lot of fun creating the cup cakes from the book, I made the pig and the elephant cupcakes using the basic vanilla cake mix cake recipe in the book.




Thank you to GMC Distribution for sending me this book to review. All the views and opinions in this post are my own.
GMC have also kindly agreed to provide a prize for one simply.food reader to receive the Party Cupcake book.

How To Enter:
  • Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
  • Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
  • This competition is open to UK residents only.Please read the rules in rafflecopter widget .
  • Leaving a blog comment is mandatory and failure to do so will void any other entries.
  • There is 1 prize of Party cupcakes book
  • Closing date -7th July 2013 6.00 pm

How Rafflecopter works:
  • You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box.Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
  • Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
  • Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
  • Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.  
  • For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here
  • For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
  • If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Sangria- non alcoholic


No alcoholic Sangria -refreshing drink with delicious fresh summer  fruits.

Ingredients:

1 peach stone and diced
1 lemon cut into round slices
1 orange cut into round slices
1 apple diced
12 grapes halved
350 ml cranberry Juice
150 ml orange juice
500 ml sparkling water apple flavour
100 ml lemon juice
1ce cubes

Method:

1. In a large jug add all the fruit reserving 4 slices of lemon for garnish.
2. Add to the jug all the juices and the sparkling water.Stir and mix well
3. Take four tall glasses and half fill with ice cubes. Pour the Sangria in each glass making sure there is some fruit in each, garnish with lemon slices.
Serve Immediately

NB- To make alcoholic version replace sparkling water with  white wine.

Submitting to:
Lets cook with citrus fruits event by simply.food

Flavours of Spain event by simply.food guest hosted by Priya.



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