I didn’t submit an IMK post last month so this one has a few extra items in it that I had been saving for August’s round up! I had lunch with a friend’s mother, Liz, the other Sunday. Liz now lives in Spain so it is wonderful to see her whenever she visits. The last time was just before Christmas when we went to see The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Leicester Square. This time a small group of us went for pizza- not readily available where she lives – and had a good old natter and catch up. Jake and a friend of his swung by to say hello. They hadn’t seen each other since he was about three and he is nearly 17 now so I was really pleased that he made the effort. Liz handed me these gorgeous roses as we were leaving – who doesn’t love getting flowers? I’ve been reminded of her every time I looked at them and surprisingly for roses, these lasted for about 10 days!
I’ve been on the look out for bee pollen – it’s all the rage and I do like to be on trend!! Joking aside, it is apparently a superfood that among other things, acts as an anti-inflammatory. As Jake and I both suffer a little with allergies I thought we should try it. The most beneficial way to eat it is with fruit so we have been having it in smoothies. Verdict – undecided. Jake’s hay fever has cleared up but that may have also been because it’s been raining and cooler too. It is quite delicious though and I really like it as a slightly sweet, honeyed note in a salad so as an ingredient, I do rather like it!
Before I had Jake, I used to work as PR/PA to a high profile hairdresser. One of the fun parts of my job was organising photo shoots and styling the clothes for them – we used to shoot hair collections to tie in with whatever the current fashion trends were and I would try and convince designers and PR companies to let me use their pieces. I had a few favourite designers that I used to work with and Ben de Lisi was one of them. Always gracious and interested in whatever we were doing, both he and his PR were so easy to work with. I was reminded of that creative time in my life when I had an email from a PR company asking if I would like a to try a limited edition Ryvita tin, created by Ben de Lisi. Mondrianesque in it’s design, it arrived with a selection of delicious Ryvita crispbreads and crackers. Ryvita has some excellent flavours in it’s range these days – I love the Pumpkin Seed and Oats and the Multigrain crisp breads – they are just perfect with cheese and soup for lunch. But the Fruit Crunch is my new obsession. It’s fabulous crushed and stirred into yoghurt and fruit for breakfast. Oh, and the tin has kept them nice and crisp!
These one clove garlic bulbs are brilliant – not only is there less peeling of the papery skin that can be so stubborn sometimes, but these beauties are so easy to grate into dressings, marinades and dips. They roast superbly too. Grown in China, and called Solo or Pearl Garlic, the only place I have ever seen them in is Lidl and they seem to have them in all year round.
I took Jake into the West End recently, to take a look at some suits and shoes for school. Now that he is in Sixth Form, he has to wear a suit along with the school tie and black shoes. We finished up by going for sushi in Soho as a little treat for doing so well in his exams. My favourite Japanese shop, Arigato, was not far from where we ate so I popped in to stock up on a couple of items and bought a few new ones too. I love these rice paper discs – they are so easy to use – briefly soak in water then fill with delicious bits and pieces (prawns, shredded carrot, bean sprouts and chives are my favourite), roll and eat with a dipping sauce.
While I was there, I picked up a bottle of Yuzu seasoning – it’s absolutely delicious – we often have it in Japanese restaurants as a ponzu sauce with tuna sashimi. It is sweet, sharp, citrusy and just gorgeous – I imagine it would be wonderful in cocktails! I used some to make the glaze for the Ginger Berry Nutty Crisp which I posted the other day. I also snapped up a couple of packs of dumpling skins – we both love Gyoza and they are so easy to make once you get into a rhythm. Filled gyoza freeze marvellously and I will no doubt be posting some recipes soon.
I picked up this pretty bowl – it’s just the right size for food photos and as we approach Autumn, I see a few crumbles in it’s future! In fact I had bought a few punnets of blackberries and raspberries just for that purpose but I couldn’t bring myself to make a crumble just yet. I made the Ginger Berry Nutty Crisp instead but there will be some crumbles coming up soon!
Well, that is it from my kitchen – huge thanks to Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial who hosts this monthly event – peeking into everyone’s kitchens all over the world is quite the eye opener sometimes! Pour yourself a drink and take a little browse – all the links are on the right hand side of Celia’s post. I have linked the page to her blog name so click on it and take a little tour!