Friday, 27 January 2012

Slow Cooked Beef Tacos

I am a big fan of spice and usually this shows in my cooking in the form of India food. I even have my own mix of spices in a jar labelled "Emma's Garam Masala" in my cupboard much to my friends and family's amusement!

However, last year I began experimenting with other spicy food. I'd always dismissed Mexican food - unfortunately in England its very homogenised, whether you're eating at one of the many chain restaurants or cooking from a ready-made Mexican-sounding spice mix, the taste just isn't as vibrant as the packaging and branding would lead you to believe! But quite frankly it all tastes the same!

So, this time last year I took on Mexican food head on in a fiesta themed dinner party as part of "come dine with my course mates". Ever since I have been playing with spice.

This dish is one of my family's favourites!

(You should have seen them gobble these down on bonfire night!)

Although there are very few spices, they work perfectly together to give a depth of flavour! It may also seem like an odd addition but I promise you, cumin really is the star of this dish!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Celebrate Chinese New Year with Sesame Chicken and Green Beans with Egg Fried Rice

Happy Chinese New Year!...Still! only another 14 days of celebrating to go! Though I'm afraid this will be the last Chinese themed post from me in a while!

Though, I am proud to say that this dish is perhaps one of the tastiest Chinese dishes I have ever tasted. It's my interpretation of the sesame chicken at The Regent Cottage (a lovely restaurant I'm sure you're all tired of hearing about!)

If you want something that is really vibrant and fresh - no where near as stodgy as a deep fried spring roll, then this is the dish for you! I highly recommend that you serve it with my Egg Fried Rice too! (And I think you will find this recipe a little lighter on the waistline than most!)

Monday, 23 January 2012

Celebrate Chinese New Year with Steamed Prawn Won tons and Crispy Spring Rolls

Happy Chinese New Year!
Today is Chinese new year and for the last few days I have been pottering about in the kitchen preparing for our feast!

If you too want to celebrate but think it’s too late, think again! Chinese new year (also known as the spring festival) is a 15 day festival so grab the shopping list below and get cooking! You’ve got a fortnight to eat as much fabulous Chinese food as you can!
Let me show you how...

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Japanese Chicken Noodle Soup

Exams are slowly but surely taking their toll, this coupled with obscene amounts of birthday cake and birthday meals and takeaways meant that this evening I needed a pick me up! Something tasty, vibrant and healthy that would get me feeling revitalised and ready to jump back on to the revision train! Choo choo - all carriages terminate at the exam hall.

See revision really is driving me mad!

Whenever you have a cold or are just generally run down, most peoples go to recipe is a chicken soup. So today I decided to have a go at a Japanese inspired version with udon noodles and lots of ginger and spring onion.

It was exactly what the doctor ordered!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Chocolate Pots

A couple of days ago I posted a recipe for Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Lemon-Med Veg! You'll notice that the recipe calls for a single egg white - as a student I was not content with putting the yolk straight in a bin, so instead came up with this recipe for chocolate pots!

Why not combine the main with this dessert for a romatic meal this Valentines Day? It's never too early to think about what you're going to cook!

Here's the recipe!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Gluttonous Gardener

Those of you who follow me on twitter (@KitchenGoddess3) will know that before Christmas I won a competition with Belvoir – my prize, was three fruit bushes courtesy of The Gluttonous Gardener. I finally received the prize at the beginning of last week, so I am now the proud owner of a blackberry, blueberry and tayberry bush as part of their Berry Box! (A tayberry is a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry!)

For those of you who know nothing about the company, I thought I would write a little piece about them!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Lemon-Mediterranean Veg!

Many of you have probably gathered that I don't eat meat very often, so when I do I like to come up with something new and interesting.

Today it was just me and Dad for dinner and he hates all things vegetarian, so I knew I had to make him something tasty that included veg for me but enough meat for him!

His first comment when he came in was "I hope there's nothing green" - whoops! I'd included courgette...never mind!

Fortunately this recipe went down a treat! (Though he did ask where his potatoes were! Haha!) It must have been the combination of moist chicken with a beatifully salty crust with the sharpness yet sweetness of the mediterranean veg to cut through that he enjoyed so much.


Thursday, 12 January 2012

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Tagliatelle

This has to be one of my proudest dishes - it is perhaps the quickest and simplest dish I have ever come up with! So quick, it even rivals a stir fry, and can be from packet to plate in around 10mins! That's just as good as a microwave meal! But I bet you this is a lot nicer, and better on those purse strings!

At just £1.21 that's much cheaper than a ready meal which you can guarantee will be no where near as tasty as this!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

2012 Food Trends

Last year I did a series of posts on the years biggest food trends.

First I looked at cakepops, secondly whoopie pies, then macaroons, and finally miniature pies.

This year food bloggers and journalists all seem divided on what they think will be the biggest food trends of 2012 and the predictions are flying!

4Food (over at Channel 4) think we should be looking out for a proper cup of tea, pigs cheeks, microgastronomy (and if Heston's new programme is anything to go by they are probably right!), as well as Malaysian food and sharing.
The Telegraph think we should look out for Salt Beef and all things pickled!

My fellow food bloggers have predicted trends such as posh sandwiches, and all things ice-cream!

To be honest none of these suggestions have really jumped out at me! A proper cup of tea? Tea has always been a popular drink in Britain - it's part of what makes us British! And there are so many varieties of tea around now that I don't really see what can be done to revolutionise this popular drink so much so to make it qualify as a food trend in 2012!

Pigs cheeks? Perhaps this may form a trend on restaurant menus but I struggle to see normal families tucking into these over Sunday dinner.

I think the problem I see with all of these suggestions, is that they are not that accessible. The key to the success of trends such as cupcakes, cakepops and whoopie pies etc are that they can easily be recreated in the home. Everyone can have a go at attempting their own!

Therefore I'd like to suggest what I think may develop into a Food Trend this year:

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Review: Afternoon Tea at The Ruben Hotel London

Mum enjoying her Afternoon Tea
I must confess, I have not been on the Internet properly in days, so I apologise for not keeping up with all of your blog posts, or keeping up with my own! I'm sure I will be spending an evening on Google Reader getting up to date with all the delicious recipes and funny posts I have missed over the last couple of days.

I have however, had an excuse. Tomorrow (9th Jan) is my Mum's 50th birthday! So, we have been celebrating! Yesterday, my Dad, sister and I arranged to take her to The Ruben Hotel in London (next to Buckingham Palace over looking the Mews) for a spot of afternoon tea!

When we did our research, we discovered almost every single hotel in London does its own afternoon tea. If you want to go somewhere like The Ritz or The Savoy, you will have to book at least up to a month or so in advance. After spending a very long evening staring at our laptop screens on the phone to each other (I was in Nottingham at the time), my Dad and I finally settled on The Ruben.

From our point of view they had the biggest range of cakes and sandwiches by far, the pictures showed a beautiful tea room and they also had a pianist to provide light entertainment. Exactly what we were looking for!

Now, for anyone who knows my mum she doesn't do two things; the first is fuss, and the second is surprises! So, taking her to London for the day, having NO idea where she was going or what she was doing (simply being told to 'dress nice') was starting to freak her out. She kept guessing in the days running up to it, and at one point jokingly guessed "Afternoon tea with the Queen!" When we took her to Buckingham Palace first thing in the morning, she was starting to get a bit worried! Once we took her to a Hotel just next door she was in fits of giggles - after all, you can't get much closer to having Afternoon Tea with the Queen when you are paupers like us!

Anyway, all of us here are foodies, so I am guessing what you're most interested in is what we had to eat and drink?!


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