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Red Cabbage Sabzi 

Perfect lighter dinner for summery days! I like the texture and flavour of red cabbage but you can alternate with white cabbage too!

Ingredients

  • 200 grams shredded red cabbage
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1/2 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Handful chopped coriander to garnish

Method:

  1. In a kadai/large saucepan, heat the oil on medium heat.
  2. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and black peppercorns and after 2 minutes, add the onions and green chilli.
  3. Let this cook for around 6 minutes, and then add the garlic and ginger.
  4. After 2 minutes, add the red cabbage and mix well.
  5. Now add the chopped tomatoes and spices and stir everything together really well.
  6. Let this cook for around 8 minutes, ensuring you stir regularly.
  7. Once ready, add the chopped coriander and eat with rotis or rice.

 

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The Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea – Sanderson Hotel London

 

There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter.

One fine Friday afternoon, my fellow Kenyan blogging friend H and I found ourselves at such a place. The Long Bar at the Sanderson Hotel, to celebrate friendship, blogging and adventures, both past and upcoming.

H is a woman of many talents. A passionate partner at a law firm by day and a wanderlusting travel blogger for the rest of the time, and her adventures have taken her off the beaten track in many parts of the world, with her equally passionate partner of a (different) law firm husband M, who is an amazing photographer in his spare time.

It was a warm day so cooling refreshing cocktails were much needed. We had the Al Fresco, which is a blend of Kendrick’s Gin, Cucumber, Cinnamon, Thyme and Fever Tree tonic, as well as the Cucumber and Cinnamon, which was a mixture of Hendrick’s, cucumber, a cinnamon stick, thyme syrup and fever tree tonic.

Once the cocktails arrived,  we tumbled down the rabbit hole and arrived at our designated table,  ready for our joint blogging adventure –  an afternoon of fun, giggles, inspiration and lots of indulgence. We had chosen the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon tea as H loves the story Alice in Wonderland and this had been on her wish list.

What is the use of a book, without pictures or conversations?

The menu was hidden inside a vintage book, and I had already had a sneak peek on the website earlier and so was very excited to find that everything was different to the previous time I had visited the Sanderson for the Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea.

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I loved how the sugar cubes were hidden inside a jewellery box, and the whole eclectic, eccentric and quirky nature of it all makes it so much fun!

A sniff off the different teas, and we decided on a choice of tea each. H went for the Alice and loved the teas so much she actually purchased some to take away back to Kenya! I went for the Cheshire Cat (not because I am a crazy cat lady).

You’re nothing but a pack of cards!

The teas were each described on an individual card within a pack of cards which was such a lovely and novel idea. The waiter was so nice he gave us both a set to take home at the end as memories from this afternoon tea.

Yes, that’s it! Said the Hatter with a sigh, it’s always tea time.

Our Teas soon arrived, and I was so pleased to see that they had retained the eccentric but trendy tea pots, cups and saucers and plates, that I had loved so much! Even more pleased after much investigation that you can buy these from http://lunaandcurious.com

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Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.

Then arrived the 3 layered cake stand full of intriguing treats, sandwiches and scones. H and I stared at to with wonder, making that all important decision of what to start with first!

The entire selection was as follows:

SAVOURY

SCOTTISH SMOKED SALMON, QUAIL EGG AND CAVIAR SCOTCH EGG
WILTSHIRE HAM AND SMOKED APPLEWOOD CROQUE-MONSIEUR
CORNISH CRAB AND HERB ECLAIR
CUCUMBER AND CREAM CHEESE SANDWICH ON FRESH LIME BREAD

SWEET

THE BLUE CATERPILLAR
WONDERLAND’S MAGIC MARSHMALLOW MUSHROOMS
CURIOUS CARROT MERINGUE
THE WHITE RABBIT’S POCKET WATCH MACAROON
RED VELVET LADYBIRD
BANANA BREAD-AND-BUTTERFLY
THE QUEEN OF HEARTS OREO COOKIE SOLDIER
ALICE’S DRINK ME POTION
SCONES SERVED WITH SEASONAL FRUIT PRESERVES AND CORNISH CLOTTED CREAM

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We started with the sandwiches first, and the Wiltshire Ham and Smoked Applewood Croque Monsieur was a firm favourite for us both. The Cucumber and Cream Cheese on Lime bread was my second favourite.

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Then H had the scones, a quintessentially British aspect of afternoon tea. These are served with clotted cream and fruit preserve.

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Then it was all the treats! We started with the Wonderland’s magic marshmallow mushrooms and Curious carrot meringue, working our way from the top layer. The carrots were hidden in a little pot. Cutest aspect!

Next was the blue caterpillar, which had a chocolate brownie texture, and adorable.

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Red Velvet Ladybird was next. Again, delicious and novel. I love all the creativity that has gone into this afternoon tea.

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Banana bread and butterfly was next. Very pretty, and the banana bread’s texture and taste was on point!

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The Queen of heart’s oreo cookie soldier was the one I was most excited about. (Anything Oreo related gets my attention.) It was every bit as delicious as I had hoped it would be, and not overly sweet.

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The White’s Rabbit’s Pocket Watch Macaroon had H in a dilemma. To eat it or not! She couldn’t bring herself to spoil it and wanted to take it away with her but eventually it was eaten. It was delicious, with hints of coffee. A nice one to end with!

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Finally (well we thought it was the last item), was Alice’s drink me potion. The serving glass of this has changed since my last visit, and I like this new clear glass jar!

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It had a layer of passion fruit, coconut panna cotta and mango puree. It was like heaven in a bottle. The perfect concoction for a mental tropical escape.

Full, happy and feeling inspired, we carried on chatting and the waiter arrived, with a tray of these gorgeous plants.

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Everything is not what it seems, and this was a surprise treat, of chocolate soil, passion fruit ice cream, honeycomb and edible flowers.  Everything went perfectly together, even though it was such a quirky and unusual combination.

We had a wonderful time, and it is the perfect venue for a catch up over some treats with family and friends, or for a special occasion or date, or even a hen do!

For more information go to: https://www.morganshotelgroup.com/originals/originals-sanderson-london

To read H’s blog, go to: http://harpreetswanderlust.com

 

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The Real Greek Cookbook

The Real Greek are a group of 9 restaurants dotted around London, serving food that reflects the spirit of Greek cuisine.

They have recently released a cookbook, which I have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing and it is a really lovely book!

I didn’t realise the depth and variety of different flavours used in Greek cuisine and was pleasantly surprised at the plethora of different flavour combinations included in each recipe.

The book has a good balance between non-vegetarian and vegetarian recipes, and every dish just sounds fresh, tasty and easy to make, with the handy simple easy to follow steps.

I am a massive aubergine fan and so decided to try the Aubergine wedges with garlic yoghurt.

This was really easy to follow. I started with the batter, which includes beer. I partly chose to make this recipe as I have never had aubergines in a beer battered crust before so this was part of my “try something new and different” self-imposed rule.

I let the batter sit for a while, as well as the aubergine wedges, which I had sprinkled with salt.

Cooking them was really easy. All you have to do is dip each wedge in the batter and deep fry it.

For the garlic yoghurt, I simply mixed everything in my food processor and chilled it until I was ready to eat it. It tasted delicious. Simple ingredients but superb flavours!

There are so many other recipes I want to try and this is perfect for summery days, as everything is lighter, healthier and simpler to make.

The book is available from all good retailers, all The Real Greek restaurants for a special introductory price of £10.00* from 14thJuly (* introductory price offer valid until 31st July 2016 at The Real Greek).

http://www.therealgreek.com

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The Conrad Candy Shop Afternoon Tea at Conrad St. James

Conrad St James, has long been a popular afternoon tea destination in L0ndon. Inspired by all things candy, they currently have The Conrad Candy Shop Afternoon tea available until 11th September 2016.

I was excited to attend a preview of the afternoon tea, and fuelled by bubbles and cocktails, I tried treats from the selection.

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Pictured below is the afternoon tea in its entirety with treats ranging from pretty pastel pastries and decadent savouries. Highlights include strawberry & cream panna cotta with a bright bubblegum macaron, which was scrumptious, a smooth chocolate and peppermint cheesecake,Blue raspberry mousse & orange pate de fruit and Lemon sherbet meringue pie.

The savoury selection included Smoked salmon, lemon dill & creme fraiche, Rare roast beef & wholegrain mustard mayonnaise and Avocado, roasted red peppers, herb butter & garden cress.

img_3257These treats are presented in a gorgeous clear box filled with hundreds and thousands. So pretty!

My favourite was the Blue raspberry mousse & orange pate de fruit, which was not just aesthetically pleasing, really decadent too.

The freshly baked scones were superb too! There is just something about scones that just make afternoon tea in the UK so phenomenal and these were delightful.

The Chocolate & peppermint cheesecake were equally decadent and indulgent, yet light and refreshing.

This is a really fun afternoon tea, priced at £39 per person without champagne, £49 with a glass of champagne, and £54 with free flowing champagne. This will run till 11 September and then on the 12th September, a new afternoon tea launches, perfect for tea enthusiasts.

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This quirky concept will use popular and special flavour from teas and be incorporated into both the sweet and savoury dishes. Examples include an Early Grey Panna Cotta and lemon macaroon, and a tea smoked chicken finger sandwich, as one of the various flavour combinations available.

The afternoon teas are available daily in the beautiful Emmeline’s, the hotel lounge, and is a bright spacious and airy room. Head Pastry Chef, Zoe Wager has curated a selection of mouth-watering treats, adding new levels of sophistication to this most quintessentially classic of British traditions.

For more information, go to: www.conradhotels.com/london

I was a guest at the Conrad St James for a preview event. All photos and views are my own.

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Dinner at Ma’ Plucker

“Tonight we are eating fried chicken on Beak Street,” I said (seriously) to my husband. He answered with “that’s a bad joke.” I said no, really, we are!

Much to his amusement (and my smug face), we found ourselves on the very aptly named Beak Street in Soho, in front  the very colourful, Deep South inspired chicken restaurant, Ma’Plucker.

There was already a buzz, as we walked in, with diners eating chicken with big smiles on their faces. Always a good sign!

The restaurant itself is quite compact so definitely recommend booking ahead as it is worth it, as there was already a queue.

Settled down on a bright table, our waitress came over with a beaming smile and explained how the menu worked. You first pick your base, from a salad, brioche bun or waffles, then a sauce, followed by your type of chicken.

You can choose from rotisserie chipotle, crispy coated buttermilk pepper and Hickory spiced pulled.

If you are vegetarian, you can choose crispy coated Halloumi cheese.

For drinks, I went for a regular coke, while Amit tried the Samuel Adams Boston Lager, which he really enjoyed.

After placing our order, the food swiftly arrived. Amit had gone for the Crispy Coated Buttermilk chicken in a brioche bun with Chipotle Chilli sauce. Pictured below, it was full of flavour, and he loved the textures, spicy and sweet contrast and especially, the crunchiness of the chicken’s batter.

I went for the quarter rotisserie chipotle chicken with salad and the MP Chicken Skin Gravy, which was delicious. The quarter sized chicken was slightly bigger than I expected it to be, but it was a welcome surprise as it was delicious.

Never have we been so hostile to each other about a side dish, yet when MA’s Slaw arrived, we were both trying to selfishly grab as much as we could as it was so scrumptious! It tasted so fresh and had a hint of maple syrup in it.

Our second side was the Crack & Cheese. OMG. Golden crispy crunchy exterior with perfectly cooked divine mac n cheese inside. Heavenly!

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Just look at that! It tasted every bit as amazing as it looks.

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By this point we were both really full and although I had really wanted to try the Sundae Ice cream, I couldn’t have managed it, and so the waitress suggested we try the mini doughnuts with caramel sauce as an alternative.

These were SO good! They tasted a little like churros and just decadent. In fact I could have eaten more of these!

The whole meal was satisfying, and it is the perfect place for comfort food. The prices are really reasonable, the service is fantastic and the food is served relatively quickly, making it a good venue for pre-theatre food.

I would love to go back to try the chicken and waffle combination as well as the Sundae.

Ma’Plucker has a lovely casual environment and is a lovely place to catch up with friends over some great food.

Alongside their main menu, they also do afternoon tea and a bird and bubbles menu too.

For more information go to: http://www.maplucker.com

Disclaimer. I was invited to review and my meal was complimentary. However, all views and photos are my own.

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A signature masterclass with Georgina Davies and the Robert Welch Signature range

There are knives and then there are stunning, superb quality knives and that is exactly what the Robert Welch range of knives is. They are one in a million. So amazing that they are celebrating the sale of their millionth item from the Signature Knife range.

The idea and concept for every product is born in the Old Silk Mill at Chipping Campden by the Robert Welch design team. The Mill, nestled in the English Cotswold Hills, is the original location, where founder Robert Welch began designing his products based in one tiny room in 1955.

Today his son and daughter, Rupert and Alice, carry on his legacy, in creating fantastic amazing products and keeping with his philosophy, brand values and vision.

I had the opportunity to try the Robert Welch Signature knife range, at an event cooking an exclusive recipe, demonstrated by brand ambassador and chef Georgina Davies, at the Good Housekeeping Institute, which a group of food bloggers, including myself, then recreated.

 

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After a brief introduction from Managing Director, Rupert Welch, we were talked through the different knives, as well as given an insight into the journey a knife goes through from a slab of stainless steel to then final product.

This was so fascinating as I had never had the opportunity to see this before. What was evident is that there is a lot of quality control and design before a set of knives hits the stores.

We were then treated to a signature masterclass by Georgina Davies, and she showed us handy tips, tricks and techniques on preparing vegetables with the knife in efficient, easy, simple and ingenious ways.

Her final, stunning dish! A Fennel, radish and fig noodle salad with salsa verde dressing. How beautiful does this look?

As an added bonus, Georgina also demonstrated how to slice tomatoes perfectly, something I struggle with (juice everywhere). The trick is the sharpness of the knife!

Demonstration over, we were given a “master chef” style challenge – to recreate Georgina’s recipe using the produce, and knives laid out on each of our workstations in a set period of time. No pressure. Who am I kidding. Adrenalin rushing, it was ready set go!

We tried the Cook’s knife, Kitchen knife and Santoku knife, chopping, slicing, and dicing, the variety of vegetables, fruit, herbs and nuts, for the recipe. I really enjoyed using them and my favourite was the Santoku knife.

The knives were brand new and I was amazed at how wonderfully they cut through the vegetables, figs, nuts and herbs enabling us to prepare our food in record speed. It felt like one of those eureka moments where you find something you have always needed – a good set of quality knives!

It was amazing to see the end results as every single blogger had a different look to the original dish, but each looked beautiful in their own style and presentation.

Here is my attempt. I am pleased to note that the recipe was extremely good. So good that my husband had it for his dinner and loved it!

We then had to line all our dishes up for Georgina to judge and the winner won a dinner for two. Well done to Ruth from The Pink Whisk, who won.

Side by side are my dish (left) and Lauren’s from Elle Bloggs. We had a fantastic time catching up whilst preparing our dishes. That is the nicest thing about blogging – the friends you make.

I had an amazing time trying out the Robert Welch Signature knives and they are incredibly ergonomic, sharp and excellent quality knives.

It really made me think that I needed to upgrade my knives and so was pleased to be given a set of Signature knives to take home. I will be reviewing these separately so keep an eye out for the review and a chance to win a set of your own.

If you are looking to change your knives at home, these are fantastic and the quality is top notch.

For more information about the Signature range go to: www.robertwelch.com/signature