A Strong Coffee

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

L'Atelier Des Chefs Street Food Class With Tefal Ingenio

L'Atelier Des Chefs Street Food Class With Tefal Ingenio

A couple of  weeks ago I was invited to L'Atelier Des Chefs to cook some Street Food. Located in central London, the idea is that you can take a thirty minute class to learn something new and eat what you have made. I think it is probably a good idea that I don't work in central London as I would be booking up all the time.

Picture courtesy of Tefal
The event was hosted by Tefal to showcase their Ingenio range which is used all the time at the cookery school. I have to say I was slightly dubious about using them. Basically you have a set of pans with one handle that can be moved from one to another at a click of a button. This means that you can also put the pan straight in the oven. If you are interested in finding out more about the pans, I have made a short video below.

Our chef for the afternoon was Ibolya Olah. She was really friendly and explained everything which is important in a mixed ability class. I have never been on a cookery course before so all the hints and tips she gave us were really useful. We made a frittata in truffled tomato sauce and chicken shawarma with homemade wraps. Both were delicious and simple and I have made both at home since.

Although a frittata is an easy dish to make, I have to confess that I have never managed to get it right. Part of the reason is I have cooked it on the hob and then had to grill the top rather than put it in the oven because of the frying pan handle. This is not a problem with the ingenio range as you just take the handle off!

street food class

The key to cooking a perfect frittata is to chop the ingredients finely so that they cook quickly, and make sure they go in the pan in the right order. Potatoes first, a few minutes later the pepper and lastly the onion. This should mean they are all cooked through perfectly. The tomatoes complement the dish really well, and from cooking it at home, I now realise that it is best to use fresh ingredients rather than a pot of smoked paprika that has been in the back of the cupboard for ages. Of course you can mix around with the ingredients in the frittata and I am looking forward to trying one with come chorizo in.

cooking frittata

The chicken shawarma was equally delicious. I had never even considered making my own wraps before, but again it was really simple and it is worth checking out the recipe.

The class is run so that you are working in a group to make the dish and then you share it out. I hadn't really considered this before but it makes sense and everyone chips in before sharing the meal together.

I had a lovely afternoon, learning lots and enjoying using the Ingenio range. Have you tried any cookery classes that you would recommend?

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

London Street Brasserie Lunch Review

london street brasserie

My husband has been telling me for years that he would take me to London Street Brasserie in Reading. Unfortunately with 3 boys and a hectic schedule it is one of those things that you don't get round to. Unless, he is on a business trip and you take your parents when they are down to visit.

Located on the side of the river, a starter and main from the lunch menu costs £16.50 with desserts at £4.95 if you can fit one in. Don't be fooled by my picture, the room was full by 12.30 so I would recommend booking a table.

For my starter I opted for the fried duck egg, toasted brioche, wild mushrooms, crispy smoked bacon and truffle oil. It really was delicious and rather substantial for a starter. 

duck egg

For the main we all went for the pan fried sea bream. roasted salsify, wild mushroom and watercress puree. Again we enjoyed this. However, in Masterchef style we agreed that the salsify didn't really bring anything to the dish. 

sea bream

One thing worth noting is that the sides are generous so a side of potatoes will easily share two or three people.

Whilst I didn't have room for dessert myself, I did make sure that I had a taste of my Dad's Plum bakewell, with custard sauce and spiced ice cream and it was again lovely.


It was a lovely meal that I would recommend and now I need to make sure that I go back with my husband. A lovely place to go for a special occasion. 

Friday, 22 April 2016

Win Peter Rabbit: The Tale Of The Great Breakout DVD

Peter Rabbit always brings back fond memories of my childhood and the new animations are beautifully made. Peter Rabbit: The tale of the great breakout is on sale Monday 2nd May, and little fans will love their fourth DVD in the collection.   

In this DVD, Peter must stage a mass break out to save his friends after Mr. McGregor captures the whole squirrel tribe in his garden. Peter and his friends Benjamin Bunny and Lily Bobtail need to overcome obstacles and outsmart predators.

With a taste for radishes and a thirst for adventure Peter Rabbit is the lovable and extraordinary friend you longed to hang out with when you were a kid. But when the chips are down and danger lurks, there’s no better friend to have around than Peter and his boundless courage will always see him through. Peter has an infectious enthusiasm for life and is also an irrepressible optimist. He is cool under pressure and his quick-witted mind is as nimble as his super-fast legs.
Peter Rabbit – The Tale of the Great Breakout includes 6 exciting episodes and can be pre-ordered on Amazon. 

I am also able to offer one of my readers the chance to win a copy of the DVD. Just complete the Gleam entry below. Good Luck!

Peter Rabbit: The Tale Of The Great Breakout DVD

Competitions at ThePrizeFinder - See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/peter-rabbit-dvd-tale-great-breakout#sthash.CZV3QNdN.dpuf

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Thursday, 21 April 2016

Norfolk Treacle Tart

Norfolk treacle tart

A couple of years ago we enjoyed a lovely family holiday in Norfolk. The weather was amazing and we enjoyed the beaches, days out and local food. However, it seems I missed out on a foodie treat.

Cottages.com offer self-catering properties around the UK and are challenging food bloggers to create some regional dishes to show that self -catering holidays are a great way to try out the local food. For Norfolk they suggested a Norfolk treacle tart. Oh my it is good! I really should have known about it before holidaying there!

Beach in Norfolk

The tart is more of a treacle egg custard rather than the sticky treacle tart that I have eaten in the past. I chose to use a ready rolled block of plain shortcrust pastry as I didn't feel it needed any extra sweetness. The lemon zest really helps balance the sweetness. Let's just say the tart didn't last very long in the house as it was such a big hit.

Norfolk treacle tart


·         6 ounces shortcrust pastry, rich and sweet
·         4 ounces unsalted butter
·         8 tablespoons golden syrup
·         2 eggs, beaten
·         4 tablespoons double cream 
·         2 lemons, zest finely grated

·    Line a shallow 23 cm (9 in) tart tin with the pastry and pre-bake or bake blind.

·    Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6. Put a baking sheet in the oven to pre-heat.

·    Gently warm the butter and syrup together in a pan - just enough for the butter to melt but not letting the mixture get too hot. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool a little.

·     In a bowl, whisk the eggs, cream and lemon zest together. Gradually whisk in the warm butter and syrup mixture, then pour the mixture into the pre-baked pastry case.

·    Place the tart on the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until the centre is set.

Norfolk treacle tart

Have you been to Norfolk and tried their treacle tart?

What specialty dishes do you like from around the UK?

Link up your recipe of the week

This is a commissioned post.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd Buttercream

Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd Buttercream

Until recently I would never have thought of House of Fraser as the place to go for baking items. However, after having reviewed a beautiful cake stand they have now kindly sent me some baking accessories. You would think as a food blogger who mainly bakes cakes, I would already have spring form pans. Well I had one rather battered one! I decided to replace it with two from the Linea range and just from baking this cake, I now realise I should have done this years ago! They were reduced to £9 each and are great. Non stick and the spring part just makes it easier to get the cakes out. Having two means I can bake two cakes at the same once therefore saving time and energy!

House of Fraser Baking accessories

The turntable is another thing I should have really got around to getting before now too! It makes decorating the cakes so simple and can even be used as a cake stand in itself. I was impressed that the cake didn't slip off as the grip was good.

Lastly I chose some measuring spoons. Another thing I didn't really expect to need. However, the shape of them just makes it easier to use. Usually when I measure using a tablespoon it is hard to tell if the amount is right. This just makes it easy.

Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd Buttercream



8oz butter
8oz self rasing flour
4 eggs
8oz caster sugar
zest of 2 lemons

Lemon syrup:

Juice of 2 lemons
4tbsp caster sugar
2tbsp water

Lemon curd to sandwhich the cakes together

Lemon Butter icing

2tbsp lemon curd
2oz butter
4oz icing sugar
a drop of water.

Pre heat oven to 180C

Mix all the cake ingredients together and divide into the two spring form pans which have been lined with greaseproof paper.

Cook until a skewer come out clean.

Leave in the tins to cool for 10 minutes before pouring over the lemon syrup. To make the syrup, heat the ingredients so that the sugar dissolves and boil for a few minutes.

Allow it to cool slightly before pouring over the sponge cakes.

Sandwich the cakes with some lemon curd

spread lemon curd on cake

To make the butter icing, mix all the ingredients together and spread on top of the cake.


lemon curd butter icing

Looking for a sugar free lemon cake? Then why no try this recipe.

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Linked to cookblogshare

I was sent the items from House of Fraser in return for creating this post.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

My Fear For Little Man Starting School

boy on swing

Tomorrow is the day that we find out if little man has got into our catchment school. As he is in catchment with a sibling I am pretty sure it is a done deal. At least I hope it is as it was the only school we put down. Third time round is very different. When big man was assigned his school it was a different matter. I was worried about the school, about him and me making friends. I don't have these fears with little man.

I know that he will make friends and that it takes a good couple of years for him to be truly settled into a friendship group. He is a happy child that gets on with most people - even if he never remembers their name.

I have no worries about the school as I know it is supportive and they will do the best for my child.

I don't have a worry that he is too young. I was never really sure that the other two were ready for school. Little man certainly is! It is probably because he is the third child and he is wanting to be like his older brothers.

I am not worried that my birds will have all flown the nest. I have been a Mum for nearly 9 years. I have spent 6 of those at home with my boys. Whilst I might feel a bit sad for a day or two, I need to take some time for me. If one more person asks me if I am going back to work I may scream. Of course they are referring to teaching and many don't realise I blog for a living, or that I even have a blog. Either way, I am taking the first few months off to go to the gym before I decide what to do. Realistically with childcare costs and a husband who works away a lot, it will be much the same as it is now.

So all in all I think little man will enjoy school and the challenges and friendship it brings. I do however have one big fear about little man starting school. How the hell am I going to get through Biff, Chip and sodding Kipper with their bloody magic key for a third time?

Please send wine!

Linked to magic moments

Friday, 15 April 2016

Win Masha and The Bear DVD

Masha and bear dvd

If your little ones are fans of Masha and The Bear then then will be excited about this charming DVD collection that is out on Monday 25th April.

Three year old Masha and her retired circus star, Bear, along with all her woodland friends are due to be released on their first DVD from Abbey Home Media.

Masha is an energetic three-year-old who lives in an old train station in the forest. Precocious, silly, and friends with everyone she meets, this energetic girl can’t seem to keep herself out of trouble.
Bear is a warm, fatherly figure that does his best to guide his friend and keep her from harm, often ending up the unintended victim of her misadventures. Though he enjoys his quiet time alone, he misses those moments when Masha is not around.

Together with a loveable group of friendly animals that have made the forest their home, Masha and the Bear entertains adults and children alike, teaching viewers about creativity, loyalty and true friendship.

This fun-filled collection features the following episodes :- How They Met, Don’t Wake, Jam Day, Call Me Please, Little Cousin, Get Well Soon, Recipe For Disaster, Laundry Day and The Grand Piano Lesson.

This bumper collection of tales is sure to delight young fans.

You can pre order your copy of Masha andThe Bear from Amazon. 

I am also excited to be able to offer one of my readers the chance to win a copy of this DVD in my giveaway. Just complete the Gleam entry below. Good Luck!

Masha and Bear

Competitions at ThePrizeFinder - See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/masha-and-bear-dvd-0#sthash.npepKwBE.dpuf

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