Thursday, 31 May 2018

Cheese and Potato Pies





My daughter loves cheese and potato pies but the shop bought ones all vary in flavour and texture and we have not been able to find one that we really like so I decided to make my own. The recipe itself is simple enough but unfortunately from time to time, I too get cooking disasters. 

I am sure the people who work with pastry know that hot weather and pastry do not go hand in hand. Whilst I was rolling the pies my pastry got softer and softer due to the heat. I managed to roll them out and place them on a tray lined with grease proof paper and put them in the oven to cook. The pies puffed up and were golden brown, however when they cooled and I tried to lift them off the paper the pies were stuck to it and I could not get them off!!! Big disaster, I ended up with broken pies where I tried to peel the stuck paper off.

Not one for giving up the next day I tried to make them again as the taste was amazing. This time I placed my prepared pies on a tray lined with Bacofoil®, The Non-Stick Kitchen Foil. This foil has a unique BacoLift® surface which makes it non-stick. All you do is make sure you place the food on the non-shiny side and there is no need to grease or oil the foil which is also a lot healthier too.


Once the pies were cooked I had my fingers crossed, I removed the tray from the oven and straight away I could see that the pies were gliding off without any problem what so ever. The BacoLift® is amazing and it saved the day for me and also on washing up as well. All I had to do was rinse the baking tray. This was definitely a “No Sticking, No Cleaning, No Worries” experience for me.



Since my discovery of Bacofoil®, I have used it for making macaroons, cookies and have even baked apples in it. The foil helps to keep all the flavours and moisture inside and it’s strong and will not tear easily when prodding with tongs on the barbecue.



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Cheese and Potato pies
by May-10-2018
Flaky pastry with a creamy potato and cheese filling. 


Ingredients:
  • 2 medium white baking potatoes boiled and mashed.
  • 100 g medium English cheddar cheese grated
  • 1 small white onion finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt  
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly crushed black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon milk for brushing the pies with.
  • 1 sheet ready to roll puff pastry.

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, 350 Degrees F.

2. Line a baking tray with Bacofoil®, The Non-Stick Kitchen Foil -non-shiny side up.
3. In a pan add the olive oil and sauté the onions until translucent and pink.
4. Once the onions are cooked, add the salt, pepper chilli flakes, nutmeg and mix together.
5. Add the mashed potato and mix well with the onion mixture.
6. Take off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
7. Add the grated cheese and mix it in.
8. Roll out the pastry and cut 6 circles 3.5 inches in diameter and 6 circles that are 3 inches in diameter. In total 12 circles which will make 6 pies.
9.Take one 3 inch pastry circle and in the centre add a lime sized ball of the cheesy potato mixture. Place the 3.5 inch circle over it and gentle press the edges of the two pastry circles. Using a fork or a crimper seal down the edges and place the pie on the prepared baking tray.
10. Repeat the process for all other pastry circles.
11.Brush the pies with the milk and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown in a pre-heated oven.
12.Remove from the oven when golden brown and serve with a tomato chutney.
Details
Prep time: 30Cook time: 25 mins Total time: 5Yield: Makes 6 pies





***This post is in collaboration with Bacofoil®

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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Recipes and posts by email and GDPR


Recipes and posts by email and GDPR

Dear Readers

You may have heard the term GDPR a lot recently. It's basically the new data protection law in Europe and simplyfood are included in this also. It protects your data (information about you), how it is collected, what it is used for, the fact that it is kept securely and that you reserve the right to withdraw your data at any time. Your privacy is important to me and at simplysensationalfood.com I will never pass your information on to anyone else.
I do use some third party sites like Feedburner (owned by Google) who send out my posts by email to you, but they also have to protect your data and can't pass it on. They must store it securely and only use it for the purpose you signed up for. Google have updated their policy on 25 May 2018 when the law came into effect.

Posts by email

If you signed up for my posts by email, I will never contact you personally. My posts will be pulled from my site by Feedburner and emailed straight to you, you will never receive anything else by email from me and this is the only way your details will be used.

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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Mayfair Pizza Co. Italian Restaurant London


London is such a beautiful city, it is historic and has amazing architecture but it is also cosmopolitan. There are so many great places to visit and see and not to forget so many wonderful places to shop be it  for stunning designer wear to cheap markets.There is something for every one.
The same goes for food too. In every street, on every corner you will find some eatery or the other. There are India, Chinese, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Mediterranean, seafood and street food places in every nook and crany. You will never be short of choice in finding a restaurant or cafe that suits your taste.

Oxord Street and Bond Street are the shopping hub of London.You can spend a whole day here and not really accomplish all your shopping as there are so many shops to visit. There are lots of little side streets leading off the main streets and its here that you can find some exclusive boutiques but mainly this is where you will find that cute coffee shops and eateries which are so handy to stop by for lunch or to stop off for dinner after a long day out.


One such place which is my favorite is Lancashire Court, off New Bond St. This little alley way is the home to a few quaint restaurants. With outdoor seating, cosy outdoor heaters for the winter and blankets on chairs in case you get chilly, you can dine under the stars or in the warmth of the restaurant.



Mayfair Pizza Co is one of the restaurants that you will find here. It offers Italian cuisine with a wonderful  menu and a wine list to match which will make your dining experience wonderful. Furthermore Mayfair Pizza Co have recently launched its vegan menu.


With so many people with dietary restrictions this is certainly the right move and I am really excited that I was invited to a pizza making class there to make my own vegan pizza and sample the vegan menu.


The starters and the pizza were delicious and I must say that I was totally surprised that I could not even tell that the pizza base and cheese were vegan. They tasted great.


The restaurant is great and it is really well laid out in a prime location. Pleasant in decor and look, it is perfect to drop in for a light lunch or a more formal candlelight dinner too. If you are in the area of Bond Street do check it out its a lovely place to visit.

The address is 4 Lancashire Court, New Bond Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 1EY.

I was a guest at Mayfair Pizza Co, all opinions expressed in this post are of my own experience.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Lemon Hummus






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Lemon Hummus
by May-2-2018
Citrussy lemon and lime flavours added to creamy chickpea puree makes this hummus rustic and flavoursome.

Ingredients:

  • 400 g tinned precooked chickpeas in water
  • 1/2 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 2 cloves Garlic finely chopped
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin Lemon infused Biolea olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt  
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly crushed black pepper
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 3 sprigs dill finely chopped (optional)

Method:

1. In a blender add the sesame seeds, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and blend to a smooth paste. 2. Drain the chickpeas and reserve the water.To the sesame seed paste add the drained chickpeas, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon and lime juice and blend to a smooth paste only adding a tablespoon or two of the drained chickpea water if the mixture is too thick.3.Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped dill and a drizzle of lemon infused olive oil. Serve the hummus with pitta bread, crackers or vegetable crudites.

Details


Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: None Total time: 10 mins Yield: Serves 4


NB-The consistency of the hummus is to personal preference, I like my hummus with a little texture but blend it to whatever you prefer.

Instead of the sesame seeds paste you can add shop bought Tahini if you prefer.





I used my tried and trusted Optimum 9400 to make my hummus. The blender is so versatile and powerful that it grinds, pulses, makes icecream, soups and amazing smoothies and nut butters too. It is easy to clean and maintain too.


The Optimum 9400 is curently on offer for £349 . Froothie also offer 0% finance on products over £299 and only require a 10% deposit. That's not all, the fab people at Froothie are offering you lovely readers FREE DELIVERY too (for a limited time).  Just use this code 1572 FREE AMBASSADOR DELIVERY in the comments box when making your purchase, the delivery charge will then be refunded.

I love Greek Cuisine, and on my recent trip the Crete I had the opportunity to sample so many different dishes that I am excited to recreate them and feature them on my blog.
Some Greek Dishes that you make like are:
Tzatziki
Veggie Phyllo Baskets
Roasted Vegetable tart with Feta



Thursday, 3 May 2018

My Little Sous Chef-The Tandem Cookbook Review



My little sous chef is a lovely tandem cookbook. It is perfect for parents to get their kids involved in cooking with them. The book is written by three London based Italian women who are sharing their recipes from learning to cook with their mothers and grandmothers.

What is different about this cookbook?

The cook books come in pairs. There is an adult version and a children’s version. The little sous chef introduces kids to the magic of cooking, allowing them to work in a team work, learn numeracy and also encourage and teach them about healthy eating.


The adult version is like any adult cook book with the recipe format in detail and photos. The kids' version contains fun, illustrated simplified steps that children can do to help make each dish. The Kids instructions are very simple in pictorial form on how to create the recipe. The instructions are written in simple to read child friendly language so that the child can follow them easily. I particularly like that the child’s version has a binding to help flip the pages easily and the pages are also laminated to keep them clean should any sticky fingers touch the pages.

I often cook with my little niece Little M and she really enjoyed having her own cook book to follow the instructions. I would say that this concept is really great and the perfect way to encourage children from a very young to cooking.


The cook book has very simple recipes that children would like to eat, they are uncomplicated and easy to follow. There are three sections “Have a Bite” that has mini starter type of recipes, the second section “Enjoy Your Meal” has main meal recipes and there is a final section called “Yay Dessert” that has simple dessert recipes.

In all the book is simple, easy to follow and has recipes any kid would love. The book has a fair number of vegetarian recipes and those that are non vegetarian can easily be adapted to make them vegetarian. Overall I really liked the books although a more colourful front cover would make the book look more appealing rather than the stark white.

If you like the cookbook you can purchase it from their website here

My Score: 13/15
Content -4/5
Illustrations-4/5
Recipe Instructions-5/5

 I was sent a copy of the book to review as always all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Tzatziki~Greek Yoghurt and Cucumber Dip






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Tzatziki~Greek Yoghurt and Cucumber Dip
by May-2-2018
 Creamy rich Greek Yoghurt with refreshing cucumber and a hint of garlic makes this dip really tasty.
Ingredients:
  • 500 g Greek Yoghurt
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 2 cloves Garlic finely chopped
  • 6 sprigs of dill finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt  
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly crushed black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin Lemon infused Biolea olive oil
  • 1 Lime

Method:
1.Grate the cucumber and place it in a clean tea towel, fold the sides and squeeze all the liquid from the cucumber. 2. Place the yoghurt, cucumber, chopped dill, salt, pepper, olive oil and garlic in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the juice of 1 lime and fold it in 3. Transfer the mixture to serving bowl and allow to chill for an hour before serving. 
Details
Prep time: Cook time: None Total time: Yield: Serves 4


On my recent trip to Crete I learnt how to make Tzatziki the traditional way when I attended a cookery class in at Hand Picked Greece. The trick is to make sure you squeeze all the water out of the cucumber to ensure your dip stays creamy and rich.



I also learnt that a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil like the Biolea Lemon Infused will add extra flavour to the dip. You can also add more or less dill depending on your own preference.


I love serving my Tzatziki with fingers of toasted pitta bread and an extra drizzle of olive oil. You can also use the Tzatziki as a sandwich filling or spread on pitta bread fill with falafal balls and salad.


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