I’ve just come back from a few days spent in London with my daughter & husband. Both of them like a bit of Mexican spice, so Saturday night was my choice, as neither of the had eaten at Wahaca before. We walked across to Covent Garden, descended the stairs into a bustling throng of noise, smells and vibrancy which is synonymous with Wahaca. We were greeted by a friendly face who advised that there’d be a 35 minute wait, gave us our buzzer and invited us to the bar to have a drink while we waited.
We all know that we should drink between 6 and 8 glasses of water a day, don’t we? Well, what we don’t always know is that this doesn’t have to be plain water; it actually refers to the amount of fluids that our bodies need to stay hydrated. These can be obtained from our morning cup of tea or coffee, to the drink we have with our lunch and dinner. It’s not always as easy to keep up your hydration when you’re on the go, especially if you fancy something a little more tasty than plain water, a fizzy drink from a can or a coffee shop coffee, or indeed if you’re a little fussy like me and don’t like purchased still drinks as they’re far too sweet for my palate.
There’s a local company to me called Smiley Bum that uses lasers to etch into wood, acrylics and stamps etc. Amongst other products, they manufacture and produce a wonderful ‘living hinge’ ring binder, of which I’ve commissioned them to produce an A4 one to include my new logo which was designed for me by Kirsty Wiseman.
Never did I think that the intricate and delicate detail that Kirsty included in the cutlery on my logo would come out, let alone in such amazing detail as this. The beauty of the laser over print is that you can touch all the texture of a design, rather than just feel it.
I really can’t wait to use this at the food events that I get invited too. I’m incredibly proud of my new logo and to have it on something that I can see, touch and feel with me too is just a huge bonus!
Next on my wish list from SmileyBum is a chopping board – but I won’t allow anyone at home to use it on the etched side!!!!
Neither SmileyBum or Kirsty Wiseman have sponsored me to promote their products or services. My logo design and the ring binder were purchased by me, at full cost.
Recently I was invited to take part in producing a dinner time recipe by the Central England Co-Op. The best bit was that I wasn’t limited in what I could come up with; I was given free range to produce an amazing plate of food for you, so I chose to do one of my all time favourite meals – a good old Sunday roast! Come and share my creation and enjoy!
2kg Pork shoulder joint.
5ml Sea Salt
For the gravy
400ml Pear Cider
80ml Double cream
Black pepper to season
For the pears
10ml Rapeseed Oil
15ml Demerara sugar
1. Heat your oven to 180C/160C fan.
2. If not already done by your butcher, score the skin of the pork through the rind, but not right the way through to the flesh.
3. Pat the skin dry, then season with the salt and rub in well.
4. Tuck pieces of the thyme into some of the slashes in the rind.
5. Peel and quarter your onions and use these as a ‘trivet’ in the base of your roasting pan.
6. Place your pork joint on top of the onions, add 250ml of water and cover tightly with foil.
7. Place in the oven and cook for 3-3½ hours until the meat is cooked through.
8. Remove the meat from the oven, along with the onions.
9. If you want to make crackling, then at this point, turn the oven up to 220C. Cut through the strings securing the pork joint and cut the rind away from the flesh.
10. Cover the meat and onions with foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
11. Place the pork rind on a wire rack in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes until it has bubbled up and is crispy.
12. Add the pear cider to the roasting tin over a medium heat and stir to remove all the residual flavours (you’ll often hear this called ‘de-glazing’ the pan).
13. Transfer the gravy to a saucepan and bring to the boil, and then add the cream and reduce to a simmer. Don’t worry if it starts to look as if it’s splitting, it will come back together as it reduces.
14. Allow the gravy to simmer gently, stirring occasionally. Season with freshly ground black pepper, to your own personal taste.
15. Meanwhile, melt the butter and the oil in a pan then add the demerara sugar and stir through.
16. Quarter the pears lengthways and remove the core (I left the skin on mine).
17. Gently heat the butter and oil then cook the pears until they’re tender.
18. Using two forks, ‘pull’ the pork apart (rather than slice it). You’ll find that it’s lovely and tender and will do this easily.
19. Serve the pulled pork with the pears and the pear cider gravy and a piece of crackling.
20. I accompanied mine with gorgeous, crispy, roast potatoes and freshly steamed broccoli.
I was sent £25 of food vouchers from the Central Co-Op with which to create my meal recipe. I also purchased additional pears and apples, along with some vanilla ice cream and made a crumble for dessert.