Liebster Award

Liebster Award

Our Studio Kitchen, Maple & Saffron, Wholesomely Homemade, The Windy Kitchen, I Need A Feed! and Rabbitcancook have all, at one time or another, nominated me for the Liebster Award – an award given to promising, new bloggers. So thank you all and apologies it has taken me so long to post this! For the sake of simplicity, as Our Studio Kitchen were the last to nominate me for the award, I will answer their questions!

The Rules of the Award:

1. Post eleven facts about yourself.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you and create eleven questions for people you’ve nominated.
3. Choose eleven people (with fewer than 200 followers) to give this award to and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. Remember, no tag backs.

11 Facts About Me

1. I live in Edinburgh, Scotland.
2. I am a law student in my final year.
3. I don’t like horseradish.
4. I wear glasses (or contacts when chopping onions).
5. My father is a butcher.
6. I have never visited Thailand.
7. I like cats.
8. My girlfriend is a better baker than me.
9. I detest decaffeinated coffee.
10. I like the sun, but prefer snow.
11. I am constantly hungry.

Questions from Our Studio Kitchen

1. Would you rather live as a squatter but be passionately in love with someone OR get a million tax free dollars each year but your love life will be cold and empty?
The Former!

2. Would you rather have no legs or no arms?
No Legs.

3. You are an alien from a distant planet–what is your name and what planet do you hail from?
Adino (The Chief of the 3 Mighty Warriors) from Mercury.

4. Astronaut or caveman–who wins? No, the astronaut doesn’t have fancy laser beams and the caveman doesn’t have a club.
The caveman – he can hunt!

5. You are an evil genius, where is your secret lair?
Under the sea – think Dr. Evil in Austin Powers.

6. What do you have protecting said lair?
Sharks.

7. If you have to spend one night in bed with any historical figure who would it be?
Marilyn Monroe.

8. You can only eat one food item or recipe for the rest of your life (it magically gives you all your necessary nutritional content), what is your dish?
Poached Lobster with Chunky Chips and Spicy Mayo from Daphne’s in Barbados.

9. You suddenly go color blind but it’s a special color blind, one that allows you to only see one color and all its shades, what color do you see?
Orange – it will be constantly sunny!

10. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
In Italy, at the top of the dolomites, drinking prosecco and eating speck.

11. You can only listen to one record for the rest of your life, what is your album?
Notorious B.I.G – Ready to Die

Blogs I Nominate:

The Peckish Kiwi
IRENA & Dots
tiffanylanehandmade
3pastriesaday
Pocketful of Sugar
So Hungry I Could Blog
mouth magazine
andmorefood
Stef Ferrari
Executive Dining’s Nourishment
My Digital Kitchen

Questions for Nominees:
1. Lazy Sunday or busy Sunday?
2. What would be your last supper (limit to three courses)?
3. Breakfast in bed or breakfast with friends?
4. Eat in or eat out?
5. The one store cupboard ingredient you can’t do without?
6. Favourite destination?
7. Favourite food destination?
8. Wine or beer?
9. Favourite TV Series?
10. Eating at the table or on the sofa?
11. Sun or snow?

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Christmas Potatoes

A week without internet has been gruelingly difficult – I feel for all the nomads out there.  Thankfully all is fixed now and I will post what has been happening over the past week this weekend!

 

 

I received my shipment of Christmas seed potatoes last week and have been itching to get them planted. Traditionally, potatoes are harvested in spring/summer, this leaves a cavernous gap where home-grown potatoes are unavailable and alternatives must be sought from further afield. However, an increasing number of suppliers are offering select varieties which have been bred to be harvested November/December – just in time for christmas. Most of these varieties produce smaller, waxy potatoes.

If, like me, you do not have any spare space in your planting beds at this time of the year, try growing your potatoes in planting bags. They are cheap, moveable and can be used over and over. Apparently they also help to produce a higher yield – we will wait and see! I have planted fifteen seed potatoes across three planters and they barely take up any space.

Christmas potatoes should be planted early to mid August, with harvest around mid November. They can be left in the ground until Christmas or if dug up earlier can be stored under sand in a covered wooden box.

Cold Brew Coffee

 

Iced coffees are traditionally made by brewing coffee in the usual fashion before chilling down, then finally serving chilled with milk or water and a little sugar.

However, more recently there has been an adoption of a new method of brewing iced coffee. Cold brewing. Here, the raw coffee is left to brew for some time with cold water as opposed to brewing quickly with hot before chilling.

Although this method takes far longer, it has some fantastic benefits. The coffee tastes much, much smoother, there is not even a hint of bitterness and it can easily be drunk diluted without sugar. The true flavours of the coffee are also preserved – they are not being scorched by hot water before being chilled. If you have any special coffee beans in the cupboard, now is the time to dig them out! I used blue mountain beans for the following recipe and the results were delicious.

(Please excuse the poor photo, the camera is m.i.a!)

Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

Ingredients:

340g Coffee Beans

1.5l Water

Method:

1) Grind the coffee beans coarsely (this will produce a clear brew) – I used the small bowl of a magimix.

2) Place the coffee in a bowl with the 1.5l of water and stir. Cover with a tea towel and leave to sit for a day.

3) Pour the mixture through a coffee filter or muslin into a container.

4) Store the concentrate in the fridge for up to two weeks.

I use around 1/2 concentrate to 1/2 water or milk, with a little ice. A little brown sugar helps the taste. Other flavourings such as lemon work well.

If you have any concentrate left over it would be fantastic for soaking sponge biscuits for a tiramisu.

Herb Garden

Herbs Grown Outside from Small Plants

Herbs are fundamental to cooking great tasting food and what better than cooking with herbs you have grown yourself. You know they have been raised by your own fair hands and they are far less expensive than shop bought herbs. Whether growing from seed or small plants, they are easy and rewarding to look after.

Start with the basics; grow basil and coriander, maybe some dill, inside in direct sunlight and water often. Plant thyme, rosemary and sage outside either on the windowsill or in planters (make sure to keep your sage under control or it will soon run amock!) Ensure you use your herbs, cutting regularly once up to full size to ensure they continue to flourish.

Once you have the hang of it try planting some different varieties. Borage grows very well in the summer and is great used in cocktails, as do curry plants.

If you have the time and space, many more obscure varieties are available from seed. Don’t be daunted, buy an inexpensive window propagator and your seeds will germinate in no time and with little effort. Watercress grows very well in the summer when sown directly outside into window planters, if sown now you will have a crop ready in a few weeks.

Watercress from Seed Outside

Purple and Thai Basil from Seed

Tea

 

 

 

 

Tea used to be tea – if I was made a cup of Twinings I felt like royalty. Then I went to the Fat Duck. Would sir like to look at the tea menu? A whole menu…dedicated to tea?

My mind was blown. Tea was no longer confined to a cup English breakfast or Earl Grey (when trying to impress). There was a whole new world out there; the world of fine tea. I treated myself to a cup of 1970’s Aged Puerh. I say cup, but I was really treated to a mini-ceremony – the tea was poured and poured until I could drink no more. It was a glorious, almost musky, but musky in the best way.

The restaurant informed me that this marvelous collection of teas came from one supplier who also sold to the public, better still, they were based in London. My luck was in. That supplier is Jing Tea. My order went in the following day and I have never looked back.

The teas sold by Jing may seem expensive at first glance, but just wait until you taste, I promise you will be instantly converted. They also sell most of their popular teas in 10g sample packs – a convenient and more affordable way to try a variety of teas until you decide on one that’s for you. If I were starting again I would purchase a sample pack of 1 variety of each of; Green, Oolong, Puerh and Herbal.

A favorite with nearly everyone who has tried it is Blackcurrant & Hibiscus. A powerful herbal tea so fruity it could be mistaken for juice, beautifully floral and sweet with very little bitterness. Just be careful not to over-brew as it can quickly become bitter. They also now conveniently sell this blend in teabags.

Of course there will always be moments when all I want is a big, strong mug of ‘builders’ tea and for that I never look past Scottish Blend. Made by Unilever, I haven’t found any other ordinary tea which compares to Scottish Blend’s full-bodied flavour.

For the rest of the time, nothing can beat the ceremony of brewing a cup of aged Puerh – best drunk in the garden, slowly!

http://www.jingtea.com