Saturday, February 22, 2014

Date and proscuitto appetizer

I had the good fortune to spend the weekend at Whistler at my friends place right on the ski hill. This is a little wasted on me as I do not ski, but I can provide food for the more adventurous amongst us, and I have learned that it is critical to have a cold beer and a nibble for everyone as they come down off the slopes.

We had heavy snow that day, this was the view from my window in the morning.

And this was the view when I was waiting for my hungry skiers to come in from the snow.

One of my friends had left the ingredients and instructions for these appetizers, someone in her family had made these and she had thought that they would be a great apres ski nibble. These are quite rich and so though they are small probably 2 per person would be enough.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Walking the English countryside

One of the very nicest things about a walk in England is, if you want it to, every walk can end in a pub!  Recently I went for a very short trip to visit long time school friends and I was staying in Chipperfield in Hertfordshire.  Though this an easy commute to central London and only 20 minute drive (when the M25 is not plugged) to Heathrow airport you are in lovely rolling hills and small villages a great place to go for a walk through the English countryside, and there are lots of pubs.

It was late January, but the sun came out and a walk was definitely in order. It has however been raining a lot in fact record breaking rain, so wellington boots were the preferred footwear for going through the mud and puddles.

The first day we went for a walk around lunch time and so decided to stop at a local pub called the Boot for a bite to eat.

It was a classic pub from the outside, a little worn on the inside, but cosy and I think quite old. I decided to order the classic British pub lunch "plough mans lunch"  this can vary in size and quality, the most basic being bread, cheese and a pickled onion.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Els's mess

There is a traditional English dessert called Eton Mess, which consists of crumbled meringue whipped cream and strawberries.  Very easy and actually rather good. This variation on the Eton Mess was done by a new friend who I met whilst staying with a friend on my quick trip to England.  We were having a small dinner party one night and Els offered to make her signature dessert. She did not have a name for it, but due to it's resemblance to Eton Mess we called it Els's Mess.

Very quick and simple but it really needs to be put together at the last minute or the meringue will go soggy. Hard for me to give quantities here as really you can make as little or as much as you want depending on the number of people for dinner, but here are the basic ingredients with proportions.

Pre made or bought meringue (about one nest per person)
Greek yogurt (If you use 0% this is actually quite a light dessert)
Lightly whipped cream (equal quantity to yogurt)
Lemon juice (juice of one lemon to about a cup of yogurt)
Frozen raspberries and blueberries (about a 1/4 cup per person)

Earlier in the day crumble half the meringue in to the bottom of the individual serving dishes we used cut glass tumblers.

Mix the yogurt and cream together and add the lemon juice.  I think I would add some lemon zest as well to punch up the flavour even more.  Keep the yogurt/cream mixture in the fridge until ready to assemble.  I think you could make this with just yogurt as long as you had a good quality Greek yogurt, then it would be almost a diet dessert!