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Gin Festival

E906A03C-FBAF-4DF3-A07B-346BBE9103BD-660-0000018F2647D0F2_tmpEnjoy the full Gin festival experience in the Luxury that is Horspool! A fully hosted gin tasting with a selection of Craft gins specially selected to show the range of flavours now used in gin. After learning about each gin and the botanicals used, each guest will get to experiment with different mixers and garnishes to create their own perfect Gin cocktail.

25ml measures of 5 different craft gins plus one extra of

A selection of mixers and garnishes

British cheese board with Chicken liver pate and fresh baked baguettes

£19.95 per person

 

Spiced Aubergine casserole

I find aubergines fascinating ! I can’t think of another vegetable that can transform itself in the way an Aubergine can. This dish is a firm favourite in my house when we go Moroccan- though a few capers thrown in and we could be in Sicily, a handful of rosemary and some lamb mince and we could be in Greece. This is a dish that can’t be rushed, and a dish that benefits from sitting in the fridge for a couple of days before eating.

To start roughly chop your aubergine with some red pepper, red onion and garlic. Put a pan on the stove and heat some rape seed oil. Remember aubergine does soak up the oil so add a little more than you were initially planning. Add the vegetables and give them a good stir for a minute so everything gets coated in oil and nothing sticks. img_2777Throw in a cinnamon stick and a couple of dessert spoons of Ras el Hanout.Once everything is coated you can turn the heat down to medium. Keep “fiddling” with it so nothing sticks but really you are encouraging a mingling of flavours and textures. After half an hour add a good glug of sherry vinegar and stir. Next add a tin of chopped tomatoes and a dessert spoon of honey. Let the whole thing slowly simmer for an hour. The house will smell divine and at this point you can add a good grind of salt and pepper and a handful of coriander. If you are serving this to guests, perhaps toast some pine nuts to sprinkle on the top and serve with a good Greek yogurt on the side. And if you have left overs, spread them on toast and top with cheese for a life changing cheese in toast!

What are Cookery services?

One of the things that I offer is Cookery Services – yet what on earth does this consist of. Well it can be anything from coming to your house and filling the freezer for you, to helping with a dinner party so that you can relax and enjoy time with your guests. This weekend I helped a lovely couple entertain 10 of their closest friends. It wasn’t an occasion to warrant a full on caterer, but Barbara really wanted to keep her time in the kitchen to a minimum. I provided her with 3 trays of canapés, ready to serve as her guests arrived. At 8 pm, whilst Barbara and her husband were busy enjoying img_2720entertaining, I let myself in to her kitchen, dropped off the most beautiful piece of fillet beef, cooked medium and ready to rest, along with 2 of Barbara’s dishes filled with Lyonnaise potatoes which I left in her hostess trolley.

“Thank you Rebecca everything was great – beef was delicious –don’t know who your butcher is but he produced an excellent piece of fillet – and it was perfectly cooked. Again many thanks for your help – it certainly took a lot of pressure off me”

 

Morocco here we come!

img_2707My anecdote to winter is always to cook food from warmer climates – and this year I am living a Moroccan dream at tea time. My most recent discovery has been giant cous cous which is something I have always looked at but never been over excited about! I was so wrong! These beautiful little pasta pearls when cooked have a wonderful slightly sticky, soft texture that absorb what ever flavour you cook them in. I played it safe my first time round and cooked them in a light chicken stock for 10 minutes. My garnish of choice was a mix of red onion, chillies, cumin seeds, pumpkin seeds, ginger and garlic and after pan frying these I added a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of sumac. I added all this to the cous cous, with a massive handful of chopped flat parsley and the seeds from half a pomegranate. And voila!

 

Egg and crumpets!

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I just love it when somebody surprises me with a brilliant food invention- and this week on a truly brilliant girlie break,  a great friend astounded me with this brilliant way of cooking crumpets and egg! In under 10 minutes I was sat with a plate full of crispy golden crumpets that were filled with perfect oozing yellow egg and my imagination went into overdrive at the number of times I could use these at home. Firstly, they are so simple that kids could soon master them – making them a perfect after school snack to fill that deadly after school, before dinner gap. Top them with mounds of crisp streaky bacon and you would have the perfect brunch, and I am itching to try them with a heap of wilted spinach and some sautéed garlic mushrooms for a late night supper.

To prepare, cut a circle in the middle of your crumpet. Put a little bit of butter in a pan and once melted put the crumpet ring and the inner circle in the butter. Shuffle it  around the pan, spooning the melted butter over the crumpet. You need to take care not to burn at this point so adjust your heat and keep the crumpet moving. After a couple of minutes, break an egg into the centre of the circle and turn the heat down so it doesn’t burn. After 2 more minutes, flip the crumpet with the egg in the middle and cook the top for another 2 minutes. Serve with the cut out disc in the side to dunk!

Paleo Crunch 112

fullsizerenderI am a lazy morning kind of a person but I do admit I like a healthy start to my day – with all the cakes I bake it can go down hill throughout the day but I feel like a healthy start at least means I had good intentions at some point. Recently I have been experimenting with a Paleo style ganola – so no oats – using coconut flakes, seeds and nuts (you never see a fat squirrel so I don’t buy into the camp that nuts are bad!) I number each batch based on how many ingredients are in it and this is a standard, kitchen cupboard 112! img_2657Coconut flakes, Pecan nuts, Cashew nuts, Flaked almonds, Cocoa nibs, golden linseed, cinnamon, ginger, tumeric, sea salt.

The method is simple – place all your ingredients in a big bowl and mix. Melt your coconut oil and agave syrup and add it to the dry mix and stir till everything is coated. you don’t need too much oil and syrup – work on 25g oil and 25g syrup for 500g dry mix and add more if you need it.

Once it is all combined, tip it into a deep roasting tin lined with baking paper and put in the oven on 180 c for 5 minutes. The most important thing to do at this point is SET YOUR TIMER! This stuff can burn in seconds! Once 5 minutes is up, take it out the oven and give it a really good stir. Then put it back in for another 5 minutes and SET THE TIMER! You will need to repeat this at least 2 more times until you get a golden finish.

Once cool, tip the whole lot into an air tight tub or jar and enjoy a sense of smug satisfaction at how healthy you will be! Eat it with yogurt, chopped fruit, bran or perhaps on top of porridge.