Shaved beets

tonight’s dinner was a real feast to the eye, so much so that I just had to take a photo !!  It tasted just as good as it looked, with shaved beetroot, apple, carrot, cucumber and courgette with mustard and lemon vinaigrette and after the photo I added toasted cashews. For me to enjoy my food it has to look nice too, I eat with my eyes………….    I have been growing courgettes and french bean in huge pots outside my office,  pleasantly surprised at how prolific these have been.


grown with love

Wow, look at these veg, fresh straight from my daughter’s garden.  Courgettes, a yellow gold round one not sure of the variety but it looks so bright, baby round carrots, three varieties of beetroot, some kind of kale and wonderful rainbow chard with bright red-pink stalks.  Just had to take a photo before I started cooking my dinner.

Rainbow veg with herb butter and egg noodles……..  quick and easy and oh so delicous

Cooked the baby beetroot, skinned and sliced in half

steamed the baby carrots and left whole

sliced up the chard and some kale across in strips

diced the courgettes

chopped up a couple of tomatoes

put the egg noodles in some just boiled water to warm through

sauteed the kale and chard stalks and put in bottom of dish

metled som butter and put in  chpped freshsage, thyme and rosemary, then added courgette and tossed slightly till softened

Then add carrots, beetroot and chopped tomatoes.

drain noodles and put on top of kale and chard

Top with rainbow veg, I add a squeeze of lemon, but suppose parmesan would be nice

delicous, fresh and nutrituous.

thank you Kirsty,  I know they were grown with love !!

The Curlew :: Restaurant

I remember coming here a few years back, it’s always had a reputation for good food, back then it was a traditional pub but with excellent fare, and a pleasant garden.  Now Mark and Sara Colley have taken it over and it’s interior now unrecognisable, there is nothing left of its former self, not even the bar, however the white-painted clapboard exterior is the same and  nice garden space is still there but this too has been given a makeover.    Not sure I 100% agree with the what they have done, as the place lacks something, a little soulless, not sure if it was the small space for having a drink before dinner, which left people, who couldn’t be seated to stand awkwardly in the middle of this small space surrounded by onlookers, as all the chairs faced to the centre of the room. Or whether it was the lighting, no contrast, just an overall gloom cast by the wall lights, although stylish they did not add anything to the ambience.   Shame there wasn’t some accent lighting over the tables, couldnt really see the food, although beautifully presented I couldn’t really see it in the gloom !! Or was it the service, not overly efficient but adequate,  nervous and rather vacant looking girls, however the owner Sara when chatting with her at the end, was friendly open and a delight.  There were some features that stood out, like the Cow wallpaper and the wall hung plates but most definitely the star of all of this was the food and so it should be

I started with a meltingly soft and creamy poached duck egg with smoked haddock  and capers, as the egg was pierced the golden yolk coated each mouthful with its rich eggy velvet smooth texture, it really was mouth-wateringly good.  followed by pork with cute baby turnips and mash to die for.  By then I was full but managed to consume a perfect dessert although the favourite was one of my fellow diners, he had a really sharp lemon tart with a really zingy spearmint ice cream.

Would I go here again, most definitely yes, the food was excellent, very tasty, beautifully presented and very good value for money, but I would opt to go straight to my table as I did not like the drinks area, and think I would like to try on a summers day, a sunday lunch perhaps…………..

Words from the front page of their website

In a previous life, The Curlew Restaurant at Bodiam,
East Sussex was a Coaching Inn where travellers rested their weary, moustachioed heads and warmed their spirits while on rain-sodden route from Hastings to London.

But now, Mark and Sara Colley have given The Curlew another life.

Just an errant arrow flight from Hastings, stone skim from Bodiam Castle, mince from Brighton, manicured lawn from Tunbridge Wells, The Curlew is a place where formal food meets informal dining, where the city and country brush shoulders, style meets stile.

Modern British dining for the Modern British diner.

OPEN | Wednesday – Sunday

LUNCH | 12 midday until 2.30pm
DINNER | 6pm until 9.30pm

click the link here to see the website The Curlew :: Restaurant.

Creative food, or not?

A creative chicken no less, decorated for a king, had to be Louis XIV didnt it………………    Is this food to be seen or eaten, some I have shown this to thinks its totally offputing, black chicken?  Well I beg to differ, I think this has real wow factor.  Not sure I would “style” it with green chrysanthemums but thats just “my” taste, however, the idea of decorating a chicken  like this is magic.

I can imagine a lavish black banquet,  and extravaganza of deep burgundy black rose heads, dark baby abubergines and black cherries tumbling forth from a tall black cyrstal cake stand with chicken atop!!

Miss Tennenbaum has gone to the the trouble of showing us how to do it.  YOu can see this and so much more on her wonderful site, oh and by the way this is not a cooking website but a wonderful blog from a very talented young lady.  click here to visit her blog


Ooooh chocolate

I just could not resist posting this, just look at the mouthwatering image and imagine the meltingly rich velvety chocolate oozing out into your mouth.

Thanks Trish for posting this, made my day.  Donna Hay is so creative in the kitchen!!

Double Chocolate Cookies

4 1/4 oz dark chocolate, chopped

4 oz unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted

1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

9 3/4 oz dark chocolate, extra, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 320°

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir

until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar for 8-10

minutes or until light and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat another 3-4

minutes. Stir the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and melted chocolate. Add the

extra chopped chocolate and stir to combine. Roll tablespoons of the mixture

into rounds. Place on baking trays lines with baking paper, allowing room for

the cookies to spread, and flatten slightly. Bake 10-12 minutes until slight cracks

have formed. Cool on wire racks. Makes 16.

Recipe from Donna Hay

Cool and Calm Christmas « Trouvais.

a day in the country

a beautiful sunny day spent in the sussex countryside with my daughter Kirsty.  A creative day spent painting birdcages!! for another IDC project, lunch with home grown veg, french beans, courgettes and sunshine yellow and deep red cherry tomatoes, yummy.  Then of for a long walk over the fields, back through the churchyard in time for tea.  Another happy memory to store away!!

home grown lunchlunch with kirsty detaill DSC_1361walk across the fields DSC_1360Churchyard DSC_1365kirsty in churchyard DSC_1366

lunch on Flickr – Photo Sharing!.

A taste of Granville island-Vancouver

IMG_2199I eat with my eyes ……..     what do you eat with?  This has to be the best farmers market I have visited.  Row upon row of fresh green salad leaves, so many varieties I lost count, bright red lush tomatoes of all sizes, tiny pearls to big butch meaty globes.  Huge piles of soft fruit, some artfuly displayed in huge pyramid shapes,juicy red and yellow cherries, raspberries, cape gooseberries, strawberries, rambutans, lychees, paw paw, papaya and mangoes.  Then theres the artisan bakers, beautifully worked bread in a myriad of shapes,  pastires, cakes, biscuits, all lined up in their mouthwateringly showiness. 

Huge piles of crushed ice closely conceal the jewel like flesh of super fresh salmon, its orange red flesh just seen below its frozen overcoat.  Here and their a huge crab pincer has broken its icy crust along with the silvery toughened overcoats of the huge spotted prawns.  

Cheeses, fresh pasta, pates, herbs and spices, oriental good, speciality teas and of course the flowers, rows of brightly coloured bloms, heady with perfume, dewy fresh, and screaming out for my camera to capture their magnificense.  

I wondered out among the people, music of pan pipes drifted over, a young man flame thrower was going about his business in the square, people watching, sitting on benches reading, chatting, children laughing.  Strolling along looking in the windows, a dye shop caught my eye, on entering all I could see was basket upon basket of  warm hued wools in every concievable colour and texture, soft mohair, the crispeness of hemp, silk and wool, alpaca, skeins hanging on walls and suspended from the ceiling.  A real sight to behold…….

this place is an experience not to be missed, if you ever find yourself in downtown vancouver its a must see!!

GI rambutan9_2GI cherry pyramids

GI - lilliesGI cherriesGI carrotsGI cherries 2GI radishesGI lemons mouseGI woolIMG_2203

Ducks and and geese and things

A cold and windy Saturday morning, a stuffy head to clear, nothing better than a walk in the park, Dunorlan Park to be exact, and feed the ducks and geese with my friend Seanpaul.  He can be seen feeding a greylag goose with the remains of mouldy Cranks wholemeal loaf!!  Wonderful bread !seanpaul-dunorlan-park

food aviation

me, I eat with my eyes, what do you eat with?  not only does it have to taste good but it has to be a visual pleasure and delectable  Thats the trouble with designers, sometimes the need for perfection can go just a little too far.  

just yesterday ventured down to Farnborough in Hampshire, not the usual place for gourmet delights, but a little research required for a project I am working on, emergency lighting would you believe!!  The newly opened Aviator Hotel the venue, so thought I would sample the restaurant while I was there. 

Food was excellent and I thoroughly recommend it, not only did it get the taste buds rocking it looked a treat in more ways than one.