Thursday, 30 June 2011
Monday, 27 June 2011
I've a busy few months coming up, and indeed this week is no exception. On Friday I was in both Rushden and Kingsthorpe Waitrose's signing Prepped. Saturday I was in Cambridge at Waterstones doing the same.
I decided that the best way to entice people to me is to bribe them over with food .. so I made the chocolate cookies from page 206 . I must say in the main people where delightful, although there were two people, separately, who literally walked up to my table without as much as hello and in a sort of dash and grab maneuver they helped themselves to a large handful of cookies, and made away in haste without a solitary word!
Well ... I was in such shock I didn't say anything ! Although perhaps excuse me .. but you left one! at the top of my voice was what I should have shouted after them!
.. Still ... I guess you have to be prepared to meet all sorts of people .. but truthfully it's been really fun, especially to meet some of the lovely people ( such as Kelly below in the photo) who have been following me !
After the signing in Waterstones I met up with a fabulous foodie and good friend, Douglas Blyde and ate one of the most delicious meals I've eaten in a long time at Alimentum in Hills Road. Look out for the blog post about this planned for later week!
Friday, 24 June 2011
I've been about and about fetching strawberries from Mr Troops to have for afternoon tea.. I love it - is just so easy and yet it has quaintness to it. Rose patterned china cups, cupcakes, dainty egg and cress sandwiches, Battenberg cake of course fresh scones with clotted cream, a large dollop of strawberry jam and a steaming pot of fresh tea. I love throwing my red checked tablecloth on the table and having the children come in from school to sit and tell me about their day whilst tucking in to this very British spread. The recipe doubles easily to make more ( I use it for my the topping to my plum cobbler recipe.) You can swap out the flavour at a moments notice, leave out the sugar and add 70g of parmesan for a savory cheese scone, thrown I a handful of sultana’s or add a teaspoon of fresh lavender for a delicious twist and serve with plum jam and a pot earl grey tea instead.
Prep time 5 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes
75g butter, chilled, cut in small pieces
50g Vanilla Sugar
¼ tsp salt
125ml buttermilk mixed with 2 tbs of freshly squeezed lemon juice ( ordinary milk will do)
3–4 tbsp milk
Extra flour, for dusting
Vanilla Sugar, for sprinkling
1 free range egg, beaten, for the glaze
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4.
Put the flour, butter, salt and sugar into a bowl. Mix well. Make a well in the centre and add the buttermilk. Bring the mixture together to form a dough. If the dough seems a bit too dry, add a little more buttermilk, a teaspoon at a time.
Turn out onto a floured work surface and use your hands to form a 2.5cm round. Cut out shapes from this, depending on your preference, and put them on a baking tray.
Glaze the scones with the beaten egg and bake for 18–20 minutes and sprinkle with sugar.
Cool on a wire rack. If you want to freeze these scones do so as soon as they are cool.
Note: Scones are best enjoyed the same day.
You can turn an every day scone into something really special by replacing the Vanilla sugar in the recipe for Lavender sugar.
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
It’s taken me a surprisingly long time to write about the Prepped Launch. I think partially because I was so overwhelmed by it all I wasn’t sure where to start and then I seemed to have what I describe as a crash afterwards. I could hardly will myself out of bed on the Monday or Tuesday, and if I hadn’t got three children I’, not sure I would have made it out of the duvets for a week. When I mentioned how I felt to another author she said it was a common reaction and I have to admit it’s not the first time .. but oh what a launch ! .. but it was the most thrilling three days.
I’m not going to write reams and reams. I think the photo’s tell a story but for some unknown reason I have not been able to load them all up here ( very frustrating I must say ) .. so I have picked a few out to give you a taste and you will have to look a the others 80 photo's of Northampton here and 52 pictures of the Rococo launch here. It was amazing to meet everyone, .. it was emotional .. to say the least and putting faces to names was so lovely !!
The first Launch was local to me at Aunty Ruth’s in Northampton, the next day we launched in London at Rococo on Motcombe Street and then the following day we launched in Waitrose .. .. a three dayer !
There were some fabulous Blog posts about the day (and I shall add them in here later today) :-
In the mean time.. there are so many people to thank. My Publishers how to Books, my parents, friends, Preparratti and PR Katie as well as my Editor Jamie, Book designer Ian and my husband Alastair. Special thanks to Lea, Helen and Ruth, Jayne and Claire and Ren ... Thank you... .. it hardly feels enough to write or say .. but we did it.. we are Prepped .. !
PS In case you are wondering about the photo below ..this is is Helen from FussfreeFlavour - it was the only way I could get all the cakes to London on a train but you know that wonderful British sense of affection that we have .. and how much did I laugh at then end of the day as she made fun of my trolly? !!
Friday, 17 June 2011
1 tps fenugreek
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1tsp ground chili
1tsp mustard Seeds
1tsp sea salt
4 lemongrass sticks
4 tbs sunflower oil
2 inch’s grated ginger
600 g of lamb leg in 1 1/2 inch chunks
1 Add each spice one at a time and grind using a pestle and mortar. Grind the spices until reasonably fine.
2 Using a sharp knife cut a hole in the centre of each chunk of Lamb and skewer onto the lemongrass. (Do be careful not to skewer yourself!)
3 Brush the oil onto the meat and put them into a large clear plastic bag. Add the ground spices and shake the kebabs about to cover them. Add the Lemon Juice and grated ginger and leave in the fridge ideally for 24 hours .. but I have on occasion left them for just 2 hours and they’ve still be delicious.
They are now ready for the barbeque. Once cooked scatter with fresh coriander and fresh chilies.
This combination of spices works just as well with chicken or pork.
Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Monday, 13 June 2011
For the best results fill with cream about 30 minutes before serving.
Prep time 20 minutes & overnight infusing of cream
Cooking time 18 minutes
Suitable for freezing Yes but I freeze before Adding the Cream
200g unsalted butter, cubed and softened
2 lemons, finely grated zest
3 medium eggs, beaten, at room temperature
200g self-raising flour
4/ 5 Scented pelargonium leaves
500ml double cream
3 tbs icing sugar
2 Preheat the oven to 180°C/ gas mark 4.
3 Place 18 cupcakes in a tray ready.
5 Now start adding the beaten eggs, which should be at roughly the same temperature as the butter and sugar. Add them in stages, beating after each addition. If the mixture looks like it’s going to curdle, add 1 tablespoon of flour. Finally, fold in the flour. You will be left with a really thick mixture, but this is what you want for a dense sponge.
6 Spoon the mixture into your prepared cupcakes and bake for 15 - 18 minutes
7. Remove from the tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
8 Strain the cream and whip to a firm consistency. Cut out a chunk from the top of each cupcake to make a hollow.
9 Dollop a tablespoon of cream into each indentation. Cut the remaining piece of cake in half and place on top of the cream to give you an old-fashioned butterfly-cake effect.
Decorate with Geranium petals (Although I do remove mine before eating
Tuesday, 7 June 2011
1 onion finely sliced
300g peas (frozen are fine)
250g board beans
2 inches of ginger root
zest and juice of 1 lime
Basil to dress
1) Place the Chorizo and onion into a frying pan and gently sauté. You don’t need any oil - there should be enough fat in the chorizo. When the onion is soft and slightly caramelised add in the peas and board beans. Keep on a low heat and stir.
2) The beans and peas take 8 – 10 minutes to cook. Once the heat has worked it’s way through them add in 2 or 3 tablespoons of water and keep stirring. If it catches add another tablespoon of water.
3)Once the peas and beans are cooked grate a about a 2 inch piece of ginger and squeeze out the juice. – there should be about 3 tablespoons. Mix this with the elderflower syrup and the lime zest and juice and pour into the saucepan. Mix well.
4) Serve either hot or cold. Scatter torn basil leaves before you serve.
Monday, 6 June 2011
To take part, simply cooked a linked recipe from the recipe bool Prepped along the line of that month’s flavours ELDERFLOWER and RHUBARB and post it.
- Mention Prepped in your post and use this logo I'm Prepped
- Link to this page
- You can use previous posts, but please do add the information above and republish
- If you tweet please tweet using #prepped
- If you do not have a blog send a photo and details to me Recipes@VanessaKimbell.com
- Entries may also be submitted to other events, but please respect their rules
- New recipe invented from the Key Recipes are allowed as entries
Sunday, 5 June 2011
It's unbelievable. I'm having to pinch myself. It must be true .. I read it in the paper today.There is a full page feature about Prepped in YOU magazine... so run out and buy the Mail on Sunday now !!
Inspirational women are few and far between - for me Kerstin is a rare find because she inspires. Her Punk DIY attitude rocks and whether you want to eat in a supper club, run a super club or simply look at a beautiful book to use for dinner party idea’s I can tell you now that her recipes are delicious, straightforward and work. I know this because I am cooking from her lovely book and eating the pitta bread from page 99 as I type.
Friday, 3 June 2011
Thursday, 2 June 2011
Prep time 5 minutes
Cooking time 20 =- 25 minutes + 20 minutes to whisk / turn in to ice-cream
500ml double cream
200ml full fat milk
5 egg yolks
125g vanilla sugar (or caster sugar with a vanilla pod)
4 fresh roses or 3/4 drops of rose essence
425g fresh strawberries
1 Put the, cream, milk and egg yolks and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and stir over a moderate heat. Keep moving the liquid using a whisk. ( add the vanilla pod at this point if you don’t have vanilla sugar)
2 Keep stirring as the custard thickens. This can take 20 – 25 minutes so take your time and don’t be tempted to heat it quickly (you’ll get scrambled eggs!). The mixture will thicken. When the custard easily coats the back of a spoon, remove it from the heat.
3 Check the rose petals for any extra guests and then drop them into the custard. Allow the custard to cool. I leave mine over night - but if you are in a hurry use rose essence instead.
4 Hull the strawberries and blend to a liquid in a food processor. Sieve the petals out of the custard and pour into the strawberries. Blend the mixture. It is now ready to make the ice cream.
5 (You can store this for up to 2 days before making it into ice-cream in a clean airtight container ) Transfer into an ice-cream maker, and follow the manufacturers instructions to make the ice-cream.
If you make this by hand, then you’ll need to pour the mixture into a shallow freezer-proof container, Freeze for about an hour. Whisk it every 45 minutes of so 3–4 times as it is setting to prevent ice crystals forming and you will get a smooth result. (Use a timer to remind you as I often forget to go back and whisk!)