Recipes and Ruminations of a Freelance Eater

Recipes and Ruminations of a Freelance Eater

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Asian Meatballs with Sticky Glaze

Asian Meatballs with Sticky Glaze

You can make these meatballs with whatever mince you fancy, be it turkey, beef or pork but do take care to buy 5% lean mince where you can. I can never really tell the difference between lean mince and full fat (20%) so this is a painless way of reducing fat in your diet. Another tip here is to oven-bake the meatballs, instead of pan-frying. This not only saves on fat but it’s also easier than standing at the hob and scraping burnt pieces of mince off the surface as your meatballs slowly disintegrate.

I’ve made these many times and …

Chicken and Cashew Stir Fry

Chicken and Cashew Stir Fry

If you’re looking for a tried and tested chicken stir-fry, this recipe will tick all the boxes. It’s easy to prepare, easy to make. It tastes amazing and it has that pan-asian appeal that is neither strongly Thai or Chinese and yet, satisfies a hankering for that unmistakable umami of Asian cuisine. You don’t have to be kick-ass kitchen to nail this recipe and chances are you’ll have most of the ingredients already. This recipe has been in our family for many, many years and I think my sister first discovered it from a magazine or something. It’s hand written …

Food Hero: Made for Drink

Food Hero: Made for Drink

It could have been anywhere really, but Dan Featherstone and his team chose Maidenhead to be the HQ of the Made for Drink company. What started in his kitchen a few years ago, soon became prodigious cook-ups in the community hall at Waltham St Lawrence. Today though, Dan and his team have got a trade unit in the Cordwalis Estate with six employees, a modest complement of cooking equipment and they’re about to add another major retailer to their growing list of clients which includes Waitrose, Molson Coors, Fortnum and Mason, Daylesford, Rick Stein to name-drop just a few.…

The Mole and Badger: Cookham Dean

The Mole and Badger: Cookham Dean

I’ve always known that there was a boutique hotel and restaurant tucked away in Cookham Dean, but I’d never bothered to seek it out; it either seemed too fussy or hidden away. So, when I’d heard about The Mole and Badger opening up at the old coaching inn, I was very curious…

Cookham Dean was the childhood home of author Kenneth Grahame and became the setting for the famous Wind in the Willows stories about Mr Toad, Ratty, Mole and Badger. The charming story book icons have inspired the new identity of Sanctum on the Green’s restaurant, listed also as …

Festive Edibles for Gifting and Scoffing

Festive Edibles for Gifting and Scoffing

It seems that the Maidenhead Farmer’s Market is at dire risk of being closed for good and that got me thinking about the ways we source and buy local produce and edible gifts, especially at Christmas time. Everyone loves receiving chocolates or a hamper of goodies at Christmas, but you can always do better than a bog-standard brand from the shelves of your local supermarket. If you can’t find the time to make your own truffles or bake some shortbread, the next best thing is finding a locally made or artisan treats and while they might not be easy to …

Chocolate and Roasted Walnut Truffles

Chocolate and Roasted Walnut Truffles

I normally stay away from either making or eating truffles. I don’t like all the rolling-by-hand. So when I saw this idea on a Mexican cooking show recently, I was motivated to put this knew technique into action. Instead of rolling your truffles, simply pour the mixture into a tin and cut the pieces into rustic cubes. Dust in cocoa as you have truffles without all the fussles.

When it comes to making truffles, as long as you’ve got equal parts of chocolate and cream you can pretty much do what you like with them. I feel the marriage of …

Cranberry Christmas Crackles

Cranberry Christmas Crackles

It seems there’s no end in sight for my Christmas creations this year….Hot on the trail of the peanut butter cups, I decided I had to have some White Christmas. Well, that’s what we call it back in Australia…not sure if anything like it is made around the world. But you see there’s a problem. I don’t really like the ingredients of the traditional White Christmas and I’m not talking about coconut and the milk powder, I’m talking about the glace cherries, candied citrus and sultanas. So, I figured out a way to enjoy all my favourite parts of this …

Tapas Revolution: Windsor

Tapas Revolution: Windsor

A few years ago I travelled to Madrid, mainly to look at art and enjoy a weekend without parental committments. And while seeing Yves Klein’s striking blue “La Victoria de Samotracia” in person was an enriching cultural adventure, it was the tapas that lingered longer in my memory. You can find it everywhere and you can have it any time of day, with coffee, a Coke or a glass of wine. The quality is always good whether you’re in a dusty old joint full of older men smoking and talking loudly or in a stylish bar in the heart of …

Russian Salad

Russian Salad

As you know, I went to Russia. And I loved it. The food was surprisingly varied and the quality was always good from the smallest cafe to the largest restaurant. When ever I travel I endeavour to make good food choices and so I was on the look out for vegetable-based dishes on the menus. In our favourite spot just near the hotel, we ordered the Russian Salad and it was amazing. I’d never had Russian Salad before, and to be honest I thought it was probbly something made-up by some guy in America somewhere, but it turns out to …

Christmas Spiced Nuts

Christmas Spiced Nuts

I must pass on my thanks and a kick in the shin to Nigella Lawson for passing on this recipe – the bar snacks at Union Square apparently. I’m sure they are responsible for at least 1 of the obligatory 3 pounds I put on over Christmas time. These make excellent edible Christmas gifts for teachers, neighbours, postmen and hairdressers. That is if they make it out of your kitchen.

Spiced Bar Nuts Recipe

Ingredients:
2 cups of raw nuts
2 tbs chopped rosemary
2 tsp salt
2-3 tsp brown sugar (or maybe some more depending on your taste)
1/2 …