Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Pizza Making at Pizza Express

Meeting friends and catching up over a nice pizza is something that is always fun. It's even more enjoyable if you are all thrown into a room with lots of flour, pizza dough and toppings and you get to create your own pizza. This is exactly what I did at Pizza Express in Fulham Road, when group of us attended the Pizza Express Pizza making party.

The Pizza Express has recently been revamped, it has a Pizziaolo kitchen space and new bar area.
The restaurant has an exciting new d├ęcor which has new Jacobean oak stained timber wall panelling, elegant pendant lighting and comfortable banquette, booth and settle seating. The restaurant decor which is rich in colour and patterns is inspired by the artwork of De Morgan and Burchell. On warmer evenings you can dine outside as it also has a patio outside seating area under an awning that is kitted out with furniture, planters, lighting and heaters.

Before we were covered in a white cloud of flour we enjoyed some drinks, nibbles and delicious dough balls.We then ventured into the party room and watched a demonstration on how to pat, toss and roll the perfect pizza base from our chef John.

Once the demonstration was over the pizza making fun began as we practiced with some dough. There were some truly memorable moments as each of us tried to toss our pizza in the air and catch it. I am really pleased that I did win the Best Tosser Award for my pizza tossing skills. Not everyone managed to catch their pizza and there were lots of pizza bases on the floor. It was good that they were only practice pieces and we were given fresh dough to create the pizza we were going to eat.

The practice run over we set about to make our pizzas.The dough was gently patted into the pans and topped with lots of delicious toppings and mozzarella cheese. Once we had all finished our pizza masterpieces, we enjoyed more dough balls and drinks whilst our creations were baked in the oven to perfection ready for us to devour.

There was of course the option of dessert too if you can manage it. The dessert menu had some lovely desserts and drinks on offer. I finished off my meal with a cup of latte and a mini lemon tart.

The pizza making party is great for team building, corporate events and birthday parties too. A perfect way to cook and eat together and get messy. If you would like to book an adult pizza party do check out this link.

I was invited as a guest to Pizza Express pizza making party, all the opinions shared are of my experience as are all the pictures.,

Monday, 25 September 2017

Knead to Know Bread making class -Jamie Oliver Cookery School

I enjoy cooking and baking but I have not really got into bread making yet. I make bread rolls and sometimes pizza base but that is as far as my bread making skills take me. I have always wanted to create beautiful loaves of bread so when I had a chance to try out a bread making class hosted by Hotpoint and Currys PC World at the Jamie Oliver Cookery school, I did not need much persuasion to say yes.

The Jamie Oliver Cookery school is part of the Jamie Oliver restaurant and it is located in The Westfield shopping centre in Shepherds Bush. The cookery school is bright and airy and is fully kitted with all the newest kitchen equipment and Hotpoint ovens. Our lesson started with a brief introduction to the Hotpoint ovens that we were going to use in the kitchens. As all new electrical equipment, oven too have come along way. The new Hotpoint ovens have a multi flow technology that distributes heat evenly so everything in the oven will cook evenly, this is an important factor in baking especially bread.

Next we watched a demonstration by the resident chef to make the bread dough for the bread rolls and Focaccia bread.We learnt the key skills of bread making such as knocking, kneading, proving and shaping the dough. These skills are of utmost importance in creating the perfect loaf.

I  realised whilst attempting to make my own bread rolls and Focaccia bread that baking bread is actually very messy but at the same time extremely therapeutic and a great way to unwind. The best bit is that the kitchen smells heavenly and the taste of hot bread straight out of the oven is absolutely delicious.

I was rather pleased with my bread rolls and Focaccia bread, although I did learn that if you add too many pumpkin seeds they can burn!!!!I am rather proud at my plaiting skills demonstrated in the picture below.

As the saying goes "the proof of the pudding is in the eating" this we did as we enjoyed our hot freshly baked bread rolls, served with a lovely cheese fondue and roasted pumpkin soup made at Jamie Oliver's Kitchen.

The whole bread making session was excellent and I have definitely come home with much more confidence at attempting to bake bread. If you are keen to learn how to bake bread or just need to boost your confidence than you can book classes at the Jamie Oliver school. You can also check out the recipes for the Rosemary Focaccio and the Roasted Pumpkin soup at the Currys Tech Talk Blog

I was invited to the bread making class by Currys PC World  and Hotpoint. All the views expressed in this post are my own as are all the photos.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Single Serve Steamer Pots giveaway

When you are often cooking for one it's nice to have containers that you can cook one portion in. The Tomorrow's kitchen single serve steamer pots are ideal for cooking small portions. The borosilicate glass bowl with a silicon lid is designed to steam one portion of vegetable, meat, fish or poultry. The special silicon lid can be lifted to draining position to drain out any access water and then the lid can be removed and the bowl can be taken straight to the table as it doubles up as a serving dish too. The bowl is microwave, oven and dishwasher safe too.

The glass bowls are are made from tempered glass and help to preserve nutrition and flavour. The pots can be used for storing fruits and left overs too. They retail at 10.99 each and come in two colours grey and green. You can get these from Lakeland, Tomorrows world website and on Amazon too.

As always I love my readers to try out products, I use in my kitchen. I have two steamers to give away to one lucky simplyfood winner.

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Saturday, 2 September 2017

Strawberry Smoothie Bowl

I look forward to having a leisurely breakfast on Sunday mornings. I am not a big fan of fry up breakfasts, instead my my favorite is coffee with pastries and having yoghurts with fruits and nuts. There are so many combinations of flavours you can create by combining different flavours of yoghurts and fruits that you would never be bored.

This simple strawberry smoothie bowl is so tasty and delicious and it really looks so pleasing to the eye served in this beautiful Sainsburys Home Bloomville range of dinnerware. The Bloomville range comes in a pretty floral design in pastel colours, it is really cheerful and would grace any breakfast or dinner table beautifully. Available in the range are dinner plates, side places, pasta bowls, mugs, cake plates, coasters, trays, spatulas and wooden spoon  and matching tea towels and oven gloves.

The dinnerware is made from porcelain and is dishwasher and microwave safe. It is reasonably priced as most items start from as little as £3.00 each and you can purchase as many pieces as you want to make a set for two place setting to six place settings depending on your family size. You can also buy separate pieces should you need replacing anything.

Back to my Strawberry smoothie bowl recipe, actually there is no set recipe!!! All you need is some yoghurt and fruits.

print recipe

Strawberry Smoothie Bowl
Creamy strawberry yoghurt garnished with fruits, granola and honeyed almonds.
  • 100 g Strawberry Yoghurt
  • 1 Kiwi peeled and sliced
  • 8 Strawberries hulled
  • 15 Blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon Granola
  • 10 Honeyed Almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chia Seeds
1. In a blender add three strawberries and the yoghurt and blend it for a minute.2. Pour the strawberry smoothie into a serving bowl .3. Garnish with the remaining strawberries, blueberries, kiwi fruit, granola and almonds and sprinkle with chia seeds.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 serving

** The dinnerware featured in this post was sent to me by Sainsburys Home, all opinions expressed in this post and pictures are my own.
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