Sunday, 10 November 2019

Spinach Turmeric Rice



I have grown up with spices, my mother’s spice box was her favourite go to item in her kitchen and now it’s mine. There are regular spices that I always have in my spice box such as Schwartz turmeric chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, mustard seeds and cumin seeds.



Of all these spices, my most used spice is the humble turmeric. Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) comes from the ginger family. The fresh turmeric comes in root form and can it is used fresh or boiled and dried in powder form. Turmeric has many health benefits and you can read all about it here.


How do I use my Schwartz turmeric?


I use it to add flavour to my curries, dhal, rice, smoothies and tea. I also use it in the fresh form to add to my smoothies too. 



Schwartz ground turmeric is available from Tesco. It comes in a neat little jar with a flip lid so it’s perfect to sprinkle with.



I have a few favourite recipes using turmeric. They are turmeric milk,turmeric pickle, turmeric tea that I enjoy daily and my quick fail safe Spinach Turmeric rice. It’s perfect to serve hot with Dhal or cold as a salad accompaniment.


Yield: Serves 2
Author:

Spinach and Turmeric Rice

Spinach and Turmeric Rice

Spinach and Rice stir fried in aromatic spices.
prep time: 5 Mcook time: 10 Mtotal time: 15 M

Ingredients:

  • 400 g Pre cooked cold brown rice
  • 200 g fresh spinach washed and chopped in thin ribbons
  • 8 cashew nuts
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Schwartz turmeric powder

Instructions:

  1. Add one teaspoon oil in a pan and when its hot add the cashew nuts and fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan and keep aside
  2. In the same oil add the mustard seeds and when they splutter add the chopped spinach and saute for 1-2 minutes till it just starts to wilt. remove from the pan and keep aside.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of oil when its hot add the cooked rice, salt, chilli powder and turmeric and toss the rice until its coated with all the spices. Keep tossing the rice for 3-4 minutes until it warms through.
  4. add the cooked spinach and toss the rice again until spinach is mixed with the rice.
  5. Transfer the cooked rice to a serving dish and garnish with the cashew nuts.
Created using The Recipes Generator



**This post is in collaboration with Schwartz.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Decorating Halloween Cup Cakes at Cake Owls Bakery


                                                                Photo by Cake Owls

Last month I was invited with some fellow bloggers to a Halloween themed cupcake class at the Cake Owls cake shop in Feltham Middlesex. I was actually excited as I love cake decorating and being able to learn some new skills is always a plus.


On arrival we were greeted with prosecco and light refreshments before we started the class. The Cake Owls team had everything beautifully laid out for the class. 


There were a selection of cupcakes in various flavours, butter cream and cream cheese icing and some pre prepared decorations such as eyeballs, grave stones and chocolate trees.





After a mini demonstration by the two assistants, we were let loose to create our own ghoulish  masterpieces.


We started off with  the spider cupcake, it was interesting as everyone's spiders were totally different, some skinny, some fat, some cute and some scary. Each had its own personality.


Next we tried our hands at decorating some ghosts, they were really cute and adorable. These were the easiest of them all to decorate.


Next we had a go trying to decorate the ghoulish eyeball, it really did look very gruesome. 


The edible decorations were so realistic and perfect for Halloween.
Our next attempt was to make a gravestone and a pumpkin. The assistants showed us how to shape and make the pumpkin.


All four cakes we decorated were really nice and each with a different flavour.  At the end of the class we were able to take our creations home . 



It was a lovely afternoon and I certainly had a lot of fun and best of all I have new cake decorating skills to help me in the future.

You can find Cake Owls at:
Unit 162, The Centre, Feltham TW13 4BS

If you wish to make any purchases or book a class please use this readers special code  "SF03" to get 10% off.

Photo by Cake Owls

I was invited by cake owls to attend their class, all views are of my experience of the day.


Monday, 21 October 2019

Vegan Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup



Yield: Serves 2
Author:

Vegan Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup

Vegan Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup

Hearty butternut squash and tomato soup with a hint of chilli and ginger.
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 25 Mtotal time: 35 M

Ingredients:

  • 240 g Butternut squash peeled and diced 
  • 4 medium ripe tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soya yoghurt
  • 1 spring onion finely chopped for garnish
  • 1 red radish thinly sliced for garnish (optional)
  • 500 ml water

Instructions:

  1. In a pressure cooker add the oil and when its hot add the chopped onions and saute till pink and translucent.
  2. Add the butternut squash, tomatoes, ginger, chilli and 500 ml of water to the pressure cooker.
  3. Cook the soup in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes.
  4. Release the pressure and transfer the cooked soup to the Optimum 9400 blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Transfer the blended soup to the cooker and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper to your taste. Adjust consistency to your preference by adding a little more water if desired. Warm thoroughly  before serving,
  6. Serve the soup in bowls with a drizzle of soya yogurt, add the spring onion and radish slices.
Created using The Recipes Generator


I love cooking with butternut squash and use it regularly in many of dishes. It is such a versatile vegetable and pairs well with lots of other vegetables very easily. 



You can check out some alternate butternut soup  ideas that my fellow bloggers have created below: 
Skinny butternut  squash and red pepper bisque
Roasted Butternut squash
Roasted Butternut  squash soup
Butternut squash soup and harvest chutney
Vegan insta pot butternut squash soup
Five ingredient butternut squash soup
Butternut squash soup with toasted cashew.
Slow cooked butternut squash soup
Butternut squash and carrot soup
Spinach and butternut squash soup
Butternut squash and kale soup

I used my tried and trusted Optimum 9400 to blend my soup. The blender is so versatile and powerful that it grinds, pulses, makes ice cream, soups and amazing smoothies and nut butters too. It is easy to clean and maintain too.
If you are looking for a new blender Froothie offer
Free Delivery
12 month free finance
30 days returns or exchanges  
5 year warranty.
Froothie are currently offering up to £100 on selected machines , do check out their website for the latest offers.

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Thursday, 10 October 2019

1947 London - An Indian dining Experience.



1947 London is not just any Indian restaurant; it offers a shared dining experience to bring together cultures and generations. Centrally located in Charlotte street London very near Tottenham Court station it is easy to access for a pre theatre meal and drinks or for a complete dining experience.
The restaurant is tastefully decorated with a beautiful flower wall at the entrance.


The fully stocked bar has an extensive wine list together with some amazing cocktails and mocktails on the menu. If you are a teetotaller like me you will  love the mocktails. I enjoyed the lychee mocktini, it was made with a lychee purée, elderflower cordial, lemon juice, mint and lychee juice. I also tried the Mai tai mocktail, made with orange juice, pineapple juice, grenadine and orget.


The huge choices in drinks makes it the ideal place to enjoy some pre dinner drinks whilst munching on some  home made pappodams and chutneys.


At 1947 the menu is rich and diverse with dishes that have been inspired from all over India. The dishes boast Indian flavours but many have been given fusion touches using British ingredients.

I was fortunate to sample the asparagus, corn and coconut samosas, avocado Bombay bhel, wild mushroom tikki and chickpea masala. All three dishes were very different to any starters I have tried in any Indian restaurants. Each dish was beautifully presented and seasoned with aromatic flavours.


My friends tried a variety of non veg dishes which according to them were superb too.The main courses were equally tasty and the variety of dishes on offer were incredible.

For the main course, I tried the daal tadka , yellow split lentils tempered with cumin and garlic, daal makhani , black lentils soaked overnight which are then gently cooked on a slow fire, and finished with butter and cream.


The baby corn methi palak was absolutely delicious, the dish was made with baby corn stir-fried with sun dried fenugreek leaves and fresh baby spinach. Another unusual dish that I tried was asparagus & sugar snaps with fresh coconut, the dish was tempered with mustard seeds, ginger garnish and fresh grated coconut.

Accompanying these dishes I had mushroom and asparagus biriyani served with a burani raita. At this point my taste buds were dancing with joy and my stomach was screaming no more.


To accompany the curries there was also a large selection of breads such as roti, naan, butter naan, garlic  and naan, lachha paratha.

The final course ; desserts were heavenly, it was hard to choose between them all. On offer were  chocolate fondant & vanilla ice cream, the kulfi in rose, mango and salted caramel flavours, lemon cheese cake and the famous pistachio, cardamom and coconut flavoured phirni. I think having tasted all of them my personal favorite was the mango and rose kulfi and the  phirni.


The dining experience was enjoyable, the ambiance was good and the service was excellent and second to none. I really enjoyed the meal and would definitely return again although next time  I would probably choose to enjoy the pre dinner drinks and opt for the just the starters which were superb.

I was a guest of 1947 London and all views expressed are of my own experience.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Musk Melon (Cantaloupe melon) Juice


The month of August the recipe swap group I was allocated a blog called namscorner, written by Narmadha. She is a software developer and cooking is her passion, especially baking .Looking through the blog there were many sweet treat recipes. I loved them all but since last months challenge I make cookies, I decided to choose a healthy option.
We are trying to eat healthy and also trying not to buy shop bought juices so when I saw the musk melon juice I decided to recreate it. Musk melon or cantaloupe melons are available plentiful at the moment and are really sweet. The recipe although uses just a couple of ingredients, it's really healthy and very delicious. Perfect thirst quencher for breakfast to a accompany a hearty breakfast of eggs ,waffles made with Belgian waffle mix, toast and baked beans.


Yield: serves 2
Author:

Musk Melon -Cantaloupe Melon Juice

Refreshing melon juice with a natural sweetness.
prep time: 3 Mcook time: 2 Mtotal time: 5 M

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 musk melon
  • 100 ml coconut water
  • 1  teaspoon sugar (optional) I did not add it as melon was sweet.

Instructions:

  1. Cut the melon in half and remove the seeds and skin
  2. Chop the melon into small pieces and add it to the optimum 9400 blender with the coconut water and sugar.
  3. Blend the melon to a smooth puree and add coconut water to get the desired consistency.
  4. Serve chilled.                    

NOTES:

I used coconut water but you can use plain water in the recipe.
Created using The Recipes Generator

You can use any blender to make your melon juice, however I highly recommend the optimum 9400 blender as it so powerful that it will give you a really smooth texture in seconds. It is also able to crush ice if you wish to add that to the juice. Do check out the Froothie Website as they currently have many of the blenders on sale with up to 50% off and free delivery.

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Post in collaboration with J M Posner.
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