Thursday, 1 August 2013

Back in the game!

When we sent out an invitation for bookings to the special people on our secret list, one of our guests (you know who you are :) ) said something along the lines of 'yippie so good to have you back in the game'. Seriously I didn't think people have noticed we have been a bit quiet this year ( I had a baby girl, Kat changed jobs, generally time just slipping away faster than you can say cheese). We have the odd enquiry when the next dinners will be when we bumped into some of our guests on the street but we thought they were just being polite! So when the invitations were sent out, the seats were pretty much snapped up. I am proud to say we are back and still love doing it. Since our start up, there are a lot of 'supper clubs' popping up in trendy Bath but we are still the first and stayed true to the idea of supper clubs. Still in the living room and still serving up really good food along with good company.

So here was the menu we served up to our honoured guests 2 weeks ago!

They started off with atCatharines signature pink boozy lemonade along with walnut and wild rocket crostini, white butterbean crostini and garlic marinated carrots.

Mummy Hulf's chilled cucumber soup
Pan fried trout,  crushed new potatoes, chorizo, peas and broad bean fricassee

Broad bean and peas risotto, shaved asparagus and deep fried duck egg (V)
Vodka watermelon granita
Kat's signature English strawberries pavlova, vanilla cream

Thank you for your continuous support and we hope to continue meeting many many interesting people in not too distant future. If you would like to be included in the secret list, please register your interest  :) xx

Monday, 10 June 2013

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day in Bath

As I am sitting here fretting about what I have forgotten to pack for our 1 week away in Portugal, I suddenly remembered that I haven't yet posted the blog about the demonstration that I did for the Jamie Oliver's food revolution day in Bath. I watched the programme not long ago and remembered how horrified I was that the children in America did not know what chips are made of. I also remembered that they showed a town in Italy where McDonalds closed down as there weren't enough business as a comparison! Children as well as adults deserve to eat well and sometimes it just takes a little effort and love to produce something simple and nutritious. You are what you eat! My mother always said it doesn't matter if we do not have new clothes, shoes or toys but in our house, the food is of top quality and the best we can afford! I live by that example. So when Zita from Zest Bootcamp contacted me to see if I am interested to do an educational demonstration on food, I jumped at the chance. I decided to do a demonstration on stir fry. One wok wonder I call it as it is easy, delicious and super quick. I figured in this day in age where people lead such busy lives that stir fry are appropriate for simply home cooked meals.

My ever so supportive husband took half a day off to take care of Alexa while I prepared for the demonstration. I was delighted to meet some fantastic talented people there such as Bini from Sweet Cumin, Noya from Noya's Kitchen and Simi from Simi's Kitchen.

I set up stall and had a few people coming round to taste the noodles I made but my favourite part of the day was a little girl who seem to be interested in making the noodles. So we went through some ingredients together where she knew 80% of them, gave her a chef's hat and she helped me cook some noodles. Her mother was dead proud as was I. That's how it should be, children should  get involved in cooking as part of their education. There are many wonderful things in life and food is a big part of it. My motto in life is we live to eat and not the other way round.

Here is a stir fry recipe I was giving out at the demo. So go on, if you are cooking this week make it this one!

Easy Stir Fried Noodles

Stir fries are easy and convenient when you have a busy household; they make a balanced and healthy meal too.
Recipe and amounts can be adapted to individual preference.

Ingredients - Stir Fried Noodles (Enough for 2 greedy adults or 2 sensible adults and 1 child)

2 cloves of garlic chopped finely
½ red pepper sliced
½ yellow pepper sliced
1 small onion sliced
Leftover cooked meat (chicken, pork, beef, lamb)
Bunch of asparagus, sliced diagonally
A bag of beansprouts
1 bag of yellow noodles
2-3 tablespoons of oyster sauce
White or black pepper
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
A dash of water

Heat wok or frying pan and add oil. Wait for the oil to heat up and start smoking before adding garlic, onions and peppers. You want to stir quickly as you want to achieve a charred texture on the peppers & onions but not burnt. Stir fry for a couple of minutes or until they start to soften. Add meat, noodles, oyster sauce and a dash of water. Stir well to incorporate the sauce in the mix. Lastly add asparagus and the whole bag of beansprouts. You can add the beansprouts bit by bit but you have to work quickly as you do not want to overcook them. Cook until the beansprouts just begin to wilt and still maintain a crunch. Stir well to incorporate all ingredients, taste and add more oyster sauce if necessary.

Tips & variations

  • ·       Use different noodles i.e. rice vermicelli, flat rice noodles, udon noodles.
  • ·       For a vegetarian alternative, substitute the meat with tofu and vegetarian oyster sauce.
  • ·       Substitute with rice. Either use jasmine rice or microwave varieties for quick fixes.
  • ·       Add different sauces i.e. satay, sweet chilli, black bean etc.
  • ·       Use the recipe above which is suitable for children then add chilli (or other sauces) for a more adult taste.
  • ·       Spice it up with a dash of chilli sauce after cooking.
  • ·       Use different vegetables as this gives the stir fry different texture and colour. For an even more convenient stir fry you can buy a bag of mixed vegetables.
  • ·       Add eggs to make it a more protein packed meal. Beat eggs, add a dash of sugar, soya sauce and sesame oil. Scramble them and make sure they are cooked well. Set aside and add to the noodles or rice later
  • ·       It’s important to use garlic as it really lifts the dish (don’t be shy). You can also add ginger or chillies.  

Happy Cooking and Happy Eating!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

A Grey and Lime Green Private Tea Party

Another busy week completed and I am so knackered but in a good way. I have been super busy these last two weeks that I have not taken advantage of Alexa's nap time which extended from 20 mins to almost two hours for the past 2 weeks! I know... I know it won't last but I have been so busy that I hardly have any time to be amazed let alone enjoy the possible 'me' time! The previous week to last I was preparing for Bath Food Revolution cooking demo which I thoroughly enjoyed by the way (I will do a blog on it soon) and then last week I was busy baking and cooking in preparation for one of my good friend's hen do. She held it privately atCatharines of course (Bath's best private afternoon tea, ahem ahem ;) ) I was cooking in pjs and at one stage, in 2 hours I managed to make 36 individual brown sugar meringues, 1 kg of poached rhubarb, 24 large and small pistachio and raspberry financiers, made the guest bedroom up, do all the washing up, made Alexa's lunch, got myself ready and put some slap on so that I won't look too much of a tramp!! So on a rainy afternoon like today and also the day that my daughter decided to nap for 3 1/2 hours, I sat on the sofa like a slob staring into space and enjoyed the sound of droplets of rain lashing on the window above and did absolutely sod all! I must say that it is truly blissful.

The pictures of the tea party were absolutely fabulous and since I sat on my arse this morning without posting them, it is only fair to share them now. Our friend Corinne loves the grey and lime green combo so Kat and I incorporated these colours to make the tea party all the more special for her.

Tea Party Menu

Kat's fabulous chocolate fudge cake with grey and lime green icing
Viennese whirls
Pistachio and raspberry financiers
Poached rhubarb and brown sugar mess
Devonshire scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam
Cat's signature king rib and prawns siu mai
Spanish Burford Brown scotch eggs
Mini poached salmon and asparagus tartlets & mushroom tartlets
Smoked mackerel sandwiches with beetroot bread
Cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches