sweet potato pie

sweet potato pie

 

Ever since I watched that film, I’ve been intrigued by the notion of robot made sweet potato pie. I’ve rarely come across it in the UK, maybe I’m stereotyping this part, but to my mind, sweet potato pie is clearly an American thing (someone can correct me here) In the film, it is made lovingly by the grandmother figure for everyone and anyone who comes to visit.

The hero of the film likes it so much, he just takes the whole pie with him, on his way to work – that’s what I like to see, someone who likes a simple yet tasty dessert made with love!

Inspired by this, I took a moment to look closely at this odd-shaped vegetable, sitting in my cupboard, before deciding to roast it for a short while with a little cinnamon water. Cinnamon water? Yes, let me explain: often, cinnamon in a recipe can be overpowering and a simple way to add a subtle aroma, without overwhelming the delicate flavour of the potato. Use that cinnamon stick again and again (and one more time for good measure!)…

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easy pumpkin pasta

Plumpkin pasta (1)

easy pumpkin pasta..

….and the beauty of it all is, you don’t even need to know how to cook!
In fact, if you can BOIL some water – then you’re GOOD to go!
Don’t worry about adding salt or oil into the water – there’s really no need (I’ve seen it happen so many times, where does that come from?)
BUT
do try and TIME the boiling, so you don’t just get a soggy mass of ‘pasta jelly’ in your pot (I’ve also that too many times to mention, and let me tell you, it ain’t pretty)

with me so far? Let’s go:
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go vegan shouts the sign

go vegan shouts the sign (1)

“Go Vegan” shouts the sign
“I’m TRYING” I scream back.

I grabbed those baby brioches from yesterday, you remember the ones – full of butter, milk and a load of eggs, so there’s my vegan adventure halfway down the drain, will have to remember to use pita next time. This is important!
Make a cut. deep. sharp. serrated, but not all the way through.
Then, like a squirrel, or nimble dinosaur, I discreetly ‘borrow’ from the kitchen some carrot, celery, sundried toms, fresh cherry toms, ‘green stuff’, fresh peppers, beet leaves, chillies, spinach, cauliflower
(fresh cauliflower is crunchily amazing in this, let me tell you!)

Go vegan shouts the sign, smiling with pride: “I’m TRYING” I keep shouting back, with a spoonful of olive oil and some sea salt and black pepper.

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Vegetarian in Russia

vegetarian in Russia

Keep your oven temperatures under control!
A lot of people keep TELLING me how hard it must be to eat as a vegetarian in Russia.

Give me some roast vegetables, milk, butter, cream, eggs and flour and I’ll survive.
Maybe some sea salt, black pepper and fresh lemon, too…

It’s very easy to be a vegetarian in Russia.

As I said, keep you oven temperatures under control and, as always, measure your ingredients carefully.
roast plumpkin quiche…

carrot coriander cress salad

cress carrot coriander salad

 

Take the simplest of summer ingredients for a carrot coriander cress salad and a great looking summer meal. Then get back to me and we’ll cook some more!

But there’s the question, isn’t it? What do we really mean when I say ‘simple’ ingredients? What is simple to me could be exotic to you: peppercorns
were regularly traded as currency and historically were more valuable than gold! Am I trying to say a ‘summer meal’ is different to a ‘winter meal’ or just that there’s less of it…? This could become complicated, but really doesn’t need to be:

Cress, coriander, carrot, lime, flax or olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds… (a little summer sunshine also helps a little)

How do we get those long strips – we can’t cut like that? Is it a ‘dry’ salad – isn’t there any dressing? What are the proportions – how many carrots? Isn’t it too bland -can I add some cheese or mayo for ‘flavour’? Is this a ‘raw’ salad? I can’t eat that – where’s the meat? Can I have some more?

These are some of the questions I was asked at a local demo class a short while ago. You see, one thing is just throwing a few ingredients together and hope it’ll work out fine. Another thing totally is to be able to grab a few simple summer ingredients, combine then in both an attractive AND tasty way, and believe that some of the class will be intrigued enough to try and make it again.

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busy red velvet birthday cake

red velvet busy birthday cake

A recipe for making a busy red velvet birthday cake on a packed, non-stop Saturday in the bakery. Caramelised pecans included, but definitely not for the faint-hearted…

This story reminds me of the people we constantly work with and the food we share. In a restaurant, bakery, hotel, cafe or wherever, there is a team of people working in close proximity, facing the ups and downs of the day as a collective and, despite the stress and hard work, making the most of those shared moments to improve their day.

A busy non-stop Saturday in the bakery. Doors open at 08:00 and immediately a steady flow of hungry regulars, new faces, breakfast crowds, curious readers of online reviews, others who simply like the look of the cakes from outside and decide to come inside. Continue Reading