Tuesday 30 March 2010

Chicken Basque

There is a sparrow hopping along my balcony, funny how something as small as this can lift your spirits. 
All in all it's been a good day though, made really good progress with the architect (designing a small village house in Alhaurin de la Torre) and he liked my model (yes surprised him with that one, and no I wont upload a photo in case any of my fellow ex architecture students see). I went for a lovely lunch and feel good after a swim. 

I was asked to cook dinner tonight for a Canadian family 10 in all, and all so lovely. I made a chicken basque with plenty of chorizo picante and fresh oranges from the tree, and then a chocolate hazelnut cake with ice cream, all delivered with salad, baguette and a bottle of red. 
This is the kind of cooking that's a joy, no silver service or endless courses, just delivering it for people to enjoy with their nearest and dearest.

Now.. what to cook for my family? ...

Monday 29 March 2010

Pistachio and rose cake

I haven't been blogging much this last week as have had a lot of work on but I do have some things to put up from before Spain. Last week I had a pistachio cake order.. this is one cake I find really tempting. Hopeful the phone might ring for a cancellation and I can sit down with a cup of tea and devour as much as possible. But alas, no call. 

This cake is packed full of ground pistachios, almonds, lemon zest, rose water and vanilla bean. 

Sunday 28 March 2010

Cupcakes for Pixie Lott!

I was asked to create cupcakes for Pixie Lott last week. She was celebrating her collaboration with fashion brand Lipsy at Kensington Roof Gardens.

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Easter brownies

My friend Colly picked up these super cute Gok Wan style chicks for me at Carluccio's. Then asked me to do something easter-y with them. I made a tray of brownies, used a scone cutter when cooled and then iced with chocolate ganache and sprinkles. Nick took them into the office to share some Springtime love!

Sunday 21 March 2010

Bar Mitzvah Cupcakes

Spring time cupcakes for a Bar Mitzvah in Richmond. Such a lovely day today, the deer were basking in the sunlight, rowers on the river, hopeful Fulham fans walking through the park - a good day for celebration. 

Saturday 20 March 2010

Brown sauce

Well this recipe was a bit made up. The ingredients on an HP bottle featured in my recipe with a few added extras. The result was really tasty but not as exciting as the homemade ketchup. Think if I made it again I would add a little more kick. 
My recipe consisted of what you see below, plus crushed cloves, cayenne pepper, white pepper, sugar, ground ginger, and some molasses. 

Friday 19 March 2010

Spinach, pancetta, mushroom & cheddar omelette

I don't think there's much explaining to do here, but I do think it's a good idea to cook off the mushrooms and spinach before adding to the omelette.

Wednesday 17 March 2010

Lamb chops with Warm Orzo Salad

Which is more sad? - That I am watching Masterchef with a bag of popcorn, on my own OR that I cleaned out my fridge today and took a picture to show you?

Well both activities are worth a mention because this popcorn is the best I have ever tasted... and the fridge clearing resulted in a really yummy dinner made with things in there I had forgotten about! I kept the pasta sauce quite raw and only cooked for a minute before stirring through the hot orzo. It worked really well, like a lighter, fresher version of risotto.

Yummy popcorn, too moreish.


Didn't realise how many jars I had in there, time to use some stuff up.

Raw & minced artichoke, chopped garlic, capers and one skinned tomato

Add fried onions and thyme

Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice over the chops :P

Cupcake order - pretty and playful

So I was asked to make some pretty and playful cupcakes, which gave me a chance to play around with a piping bag. I tried to take photos of how to make the petals but I only have two hands, one to hold the cake and one to pipe, and when I pipe I get messy!

Tuesday 16 March 2010

Halibut with Fennel butter sauce

Rick Stein did this dish on telly on the weekend that made my mouth water. I think he was steaming trout over seaweed or something.. the fish bit is a blur because what mattered was the sauce! 
The halibut at the fishmongers looked really good and fresh and it went really well with the fennel as it can stand up to big flavour.

I steamed the halibut in paper parcels, greased with a little olive oil and pepper for 10 mins at 200C

Gradually melt a knob of butter in a pan and add chopped up fennel and cook until soft. 
Whizz up the fennel with a blender and add an egg yolk and seasoning. Return to pan and add a splash of white wine and a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper. Finally add chopped fennel (the herb). 

Monday 15 March 2010

Pizza challenge Nick vs Milli

How did I forget to blog the pizza challenge? I don't think there was a clear winner here. Nick went for super crispy and I went for the Turkish boat style which made a juicier but thicker pizza. Both really tasty and had enough dough to make a big plait of rosemary bread. Sort of looked like a croissant which I thought would look nice, it was nice but it wasn't very practical to cut! Even better as toast with scrambled eggs. Put some in a bag to freeze for another time to make baked beans a bit more special.