POM Wonderful COCKTAIL X 3 Giveaway & recipe for POM Wonderful warming cocktail

Pomegranates – have always been tempted to buy them off the wooden fruit vendor handcarts at street markets in Mumbai. Growing up my mum would keep me engaged in her kitchen by assigning me the important job of peeling the fruit and collecting the shiny ruby red juicy insides in a clean bowl – waiting to be sprinkled over her many creations.

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In supermarkets shelves here in London, it reminds me of home and I cannot resist buying the peeled ones for salads but making pomeo juice at home has always resulted in a rather messy end result.

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Now highly coveted as a highly nutritious super food, packed with antioxidant vitamins C and K, minerals, antioxidants, and other unique plant phytochemicals – pomegranates are firmly a delicious part of our modern day diet.

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POM Wonderful sent me a cute cocktail kit and I came up with this recipe for a warming cocktail with a kick of chilli :). My complimentary kit contains a cocktail shaker, measuring beaker, 2 cocktail glasses, cocktail muddler, 2 stirrers, ice-cube maker and bag of Wonderful pistachios.

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POM Wonderful warming cocktail recipe

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Serves :1 – Double up measurements for 2

Ingredients

  • 250ml or 1 cup freshly squeezed pomegranate juice* or POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
    60ml Martini
  • 10ml concentrated cherry syrup
  • ½  tsp of cinnamon powder
  • 1 sprig of mint crushed
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 green chilli split lengthwise
  • Ice cubes – I loved adding the cute heart shaped ice cubes made in the complimentary ice-cube maker sent to me as part of my cocktail kit.

 Garnish

  • 1 sprig of mint

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Preparation

  •  Shake all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker and add a few f the chilli seeds from the split green chilli.
  • Place a slit green chilli on the side of the glass and add a long stem sprig of mint inside the glass for garnish and style J
  • Serve chilled.

TOP TIP from me: Chill the washed and dried cocktail glasses in the freezer for about 20 minutes before serving – the frozen glaze on the glass will look beautiful and the cocktail will stay cooler for longer allowing you to sip and enjoy your drink longer.

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POM Wonderful COCKTAIL X 3 Giveaway

POM Wonderful have agreed to give 3 of my lucky readers one POM Wonderful Cocktail Kit each. Each kit will contain a cocktail shaker, measuring beaker, 2 cocktail glasses, cocktail muddler, 2 stirrers, ice-cube maker and bag of Wonderful pistachios.

How to enter the giveaway:

  • STEP 1 :Leave a comment on this blog post telling me which is your favourite cocktail
  • STEP 2: Like my Facebook page – sliceoffme and leave your facebook name as part of you comment.
  • STEP 3:  Follow me on Instagram (click on the hyperlink to find me on Instagram) and leave your Instagram handle  as part of you comment
  • STEP 4:  Follow me on Twitter  (click on the hyperlink to find me on Instagram) AND  Tweet out the following (simply copy and paste !)   #Win a #COCKTAILKIT from @pomwondeful enter at #sliceoffme blog http://bit.ly/1CStoJ9  #giveaway #sliceoffmelovesPOM

(I will find you on twitter via the hashtag #sliceoffmelovesPOM , so it’s not required for you to mention your Twitter id  in the comments)

I will be verifying entries ,please ensure that you follow all of the of the above 4 steps , any step missed and you will be disqualified. All the steps are mandatory!

Please have a read through the T&C’s – will take just a teeny weeny minute !

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Terms and Conditions:

  • Deadline for entering this contest is 30th November ‘2014 midnight GMT.
  • Entry is open only to residents of the U.K and all entrants must be 18’s old and above.
  • THREE lucky winners will be chosen using random number generator.
  • The giveaway prize is as mentioned in the post and will be sent directly as a free delivery to the winner by POM Wonderful and I, Manjiri, accept no responsibility for any disputes.
  • Please allow a minimum of 28 days for delivery of the prize, which may reach earlier or later and is the sole responsibility of POM.
  • The prize is as stated: no cash alternatives are available.
  • I retain the right to DISQUALIFY any entrant who do not complete all the 4 steps mentioned above.
  • The winner will be notified within 15 days of the closing date via the email id provided by the entrant .Winners names will be announced on this blog post and by me via Twitter.  If you are declared as the winner you agree and allow me to pass on your email id  to POM , and  agree and allow POM and me to contact you to notify you in case you win.
  • If the THREE winners fail to respond within 15 days then other winners will be chosen.

*With thanks to POM for sending me a complimentary POM wonderful Cocktail kit and vouchers to buy POM wonderful juice. No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review. As always all opinions expressed here are entirely my own. All images courtesy POM except one watermarked ‘travelsfortaste’.

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Win a pair of tickets to Foodies Festival Christmas 2014 – Old Truman Brewery,London

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With only a couple of months to go until Christmas day arrives, it’s time to start working through that Christmas list, and there’s no better way to start than surrounded by food, friends and fun at Foodies Festival Christmas.

Join ‘Foodies’ at The Old Truman Brewery, 28-30th November, for this festive three-day celebration featuring London’s best street food, produce and culinary masters. Here’s what to expect when the UK’s biggest food and drink festival puts on its Christmas jumper:

-Michelin star and top chefs cooking live

-Drink masterclasses with champagne, cocktails and craft beer

-Street food and feasting tents

-Artisan markets, pudding halls and wine and cheese villages

-Hands on cake and bake masterclasses

-Ski bars, pop-up breweries and vintage Soda Bar

-Ceilidh dancing, Christmas quizzes and live entertainment

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Foodies Festival  have offered me to giveaway a pair of complimentary tickets to share with all foodie fans. 

To win simply leave a comment on the blog post telling me what is that you are looking forward to most at the Foodies Festival 2014 AND tweet out the following:

a pair of tickets to at ,28-30 Nov, enter at

For more info visit Foodies Festival here

Terms and Conditions:

  • Deadline for entering this contest is 10th November ‘2014 midnight GMT.
  • Entry is open only to residents of the U.K and all entrants must be 18’s old and above.
  • One lucky winner will get one pair of complimentary tickets.Children under 12 go free.
  • Tickets are non transferable. One pair of tickets per winner only.
  • Complimentary tickets are valid or one day’s use on the day of the winner’s choice.
  • No cash alternative available.
  • Complimentary tickets obtained through this offer may not be duplicated.
  • All tickets will be scanned on entry to the show.
  • Winner will be picked out via Random Number Generator.
  • Winner will receive tickets directly , I accept no responsibility for any disputes arising out of any anomalies.

The Spice Traveller explores Great Britain’s culture and cuisine

Crab Kasoori Methi  – sounds intriguing right?  If that piqued your interest then there’s lots more in store in the creative repertoire of Celebrity Indian chef Saransh Goila who’s food and travel show aptly titled The Spice traveller debuted on his YouTube channel last week . For the uninitiated Saransh Goila won the hearts of millions of fans when he won the  Food Food Maha Challenge which was hosted by Sanjeev Kapoor ( a chef he has watched on tv  in his formative years & greatly admires! ) and Madhuri Dixit ( Bollywood super start, mommy to 2 and possibly the most graceful dancer Hindi films have had in the 90’s !) . He then went to host the TV show Roti Rasta aur India on Food Food channel where he travelled 20,000 km of India by road in 100 days  – exploring local flavours and cooking feats for a lucky few along the way.

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First of its kind , India’s youngest celebrity Chef Saransh Goila’s digital food travelogue show is a 20 part series where the celebrity chef travels across England and Scotland exploring  beautiful travels destinations , local food and culture . He attempts to change perceptions about how people travel across England and Scotland and what they normally except to eat while they discover new destinations. Goila’s  1000 km journey take him to exotic locations around Cotswolds, Yorkshire, Edinburgh and Fife where he cooks up finger licking fusion cuisine.

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Chef Saransh at Kellie Castle –  Fife

 

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Chef Saransh making cheese in Yorkshire

Saransh also managed to throw in exciting experiences including cider making ,also pretending to be ‘Alice in wonderland’ for a day at what he described as a the best cream tea party ever , took over the reins of a Michelin starred kitchen , spent a day at a trout farm in Yorkshire and fell hook ,line and sinker in love with fishing – while learning all there is to  about fly-fishing and Rainbow trout !

 

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 Chef enjoyed some amazing  cream tea and warm scones with clotted cream and jam  polished off with fresh British strawberries!

And while he was cooking , travelling and making exciting cocktails at the Virgin Atlantic  bar in the air at 35,000 ft, he also managed to get a designer kilt made and ermmm pose  :)

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Chef Saransh in a pensive mood , maybe his day out in Scotland left him enamoured with the Scottish Highlands!

So throw away all those musty old travel guides and  hop onto an exciting culinary journey through English and Scottish countryside with Chef Saransh !

And what better place to start that journey than in the city I have fallen madly in love with – London city ! Watch the second episode of The Spice Traveller as he explores multi cultural London  – learns to make Britian’s favourite Fish-n-Chips with Chef Micheal Brown at Fishworks @FishWorks , discovers a resturant that serves 100% vegetariane food in the heart fo Central London , cooks up England’s favourite curry  – Chicken Tikka Masala in the kitchen at Cinnamon in Soho – @cinnamonsoho , explores the sights and sounds of Covent Garden and wanders the beautiful street markets of London city !

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Don’t forget to leave comments after you watch the YouTube video!

Chef Goila’s 1000 km has only just begun and you have lots more episodes to look forward to and exciting contests to participate in too!

So fasten your seats belts, as VisitBritain  – @VisitBritain and Virgin Atlantic Airways – @VirginAtlantic in partnernership with One Digital Entertainment and Zenga TV.com – @ZengaTVMedia take you on fabulous journey – no passport or air ticket required for this one folks!

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Hungry for more ? Watch this space for an exclusive interview with the charming Chef – COMING SOON!

Disclaimer: With Thanks to Chef Saransh Gola for a sharing his fabulous culinary adventures with us ! Why not subscribe to his YouTube channel to continue watching the adventures of The Spice Traveller and watch the Chef cook delicious dishes?!

All images are courtesy Chef Saransh – Please do not reproduce without seeking prior written permission , feel free to share with due credit.

Le Restaurant de Paul – Boulangerie transitions into a restaurant

Originating in France in PAUL bakery  continues to be be a family owned company  five generations on. Today they are present in more than 25 countries  in London, Washington, Dubai, Tokyo  ,Singapore and Moscow. They have been the go to bakery for authentic French bread, cakes and pastries for Londoners with  30 other branches located across the length and breadth of the city.

Their first bakery in London at  Covent Garden has recently become a  full fledged  restaurant . We were invited there for a relaxed dinner on Sunday evening .Located in the heart of theatreland , its walking distance from Covent Garden tube station but I prefer walking from Waterloo station . Walking beats taking the crowded tubes and my reward is a beautiful walk by the river with stunning views of the London eye on one side and St.Pauls cathedral on the other.

The famous black shop front with the name in stately lettering made famous by Francis Holder in 1993, is difficult to miss amidst the evening crowds, theatre goers and many shops.The aroma of freshly ground coffee beans is a welcome olfactory assault that is complimented by the the beautiful display of meringues, cakes ,pastries and fresh bread .

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The restaurant was packed when we arrived  and the front of the restaurant which functions as a delicatessen  had people queuing up for French bread , coffee and cake at the counters up front when we reached , so we busied ourselves taking pictures of the beautiful baked goodies .

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Our waitress for the evening was a smart young lady who showed us to our table a beautiful semi circular sofa against a wall and comfortable chairs on the side. The beautiful décor which is comprised of hand picked antiques is pleasantly distracting and a lot of photos later we finally settled down.

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Our two sharing ,one a charcuterie and one a vegetarian platter arrived with a large tray full of colourful glass jars stuffed with bright ,preserved vegetables – which were used as a base to rest the sharing platters wooden boards on – now that is going to be an idea all of us will end up using for our food photography !

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The charcuterie is a selection of saucisson, jambon cru, coppa, rosette,terrine,smoked duck breast, pickled baby onions ,cornichons,butter and assorted breads.

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The veggie platter was such a beauty – so colourful and fresh – selection of grilled and marinated vegetables,tapenade,aioli,hummus,sauce vierge and PAUL cheese gougere.

Heidi enjoyed her oven baked Camembert and  toasted Campagne bread.

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If anything these starters had made us hungry for more and our mains were so good that when they arrived all conversation came to a standstill ….

My main of Loup de Mer – Pan roasted fillet of sea bass, braised fennel with sauce vierge was flavourful and the sauce was faulous , my sea food loving self was very , very happy!

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I also had a delicious side of Gratin Dauphinios – Traditional French potato gratin   (£2.95)

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We shared a bottle of red which went well with the mains – a French Pinard Classique  2013 – best described as a lively bouquet of plum, bluberry and hints of blackcurrant on the nose, the palate is beautifully rounded, soft and juicy.

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Our group of food bloggers had these fabulous French delights :

Clockwise Top left to right – Demi Poulet au Grain Rôti à l’Estragon – Roasted free range corn fed half chicken marinated in tarragon ,lemon & garlic ,green salad (£12.50) ,

Saucisses de Toulouse – Traditional course cut Toulouse sausages served with crushed buttery potato mash & Bordelaise sauce (£10.50)

Poivron Fraci  (£7.50)  and

Confit de Canard aux Olives – Slow-cooked duck leg, crushed buttery potato mash, black olive & red wine sauce (£10.50)

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I am glad I could squeeze in some dessert as well after all that food – I really needed some coffee so mini macaroons paired with a latte it was.

Am positive that I shall be returning to dine at Le restaurant de Paul and would highly recommend that you check it out for yourself – a taste of authentic French food in the heart of  London – with a sensibly priced menu too – Why not ?!

Have a look at what Karen had to say about our foodie meet up here and what Heidi thought about the food at PAUL here , Nayna’s thoughts are penned down here , Tina , who is still dreaming about gougeres, shares her thoughts here ,the lovely Sylvia shared her thoughts here. Read Karen’s post with beautiful photos here.

Stuffed Marrow Bake

It was on a sunny  summer sunday morning that I finally went to the local car boot sale to look for any treasures that I may find to use as food props and found this beauty .

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But it wasn’t just this beauty that we came home with. We found a a beautiful marrow and I instantly knew what we would be having for dinner. sometimes things just come to you by some sort of divine alignment of separate incidents to become one . I had some Lactofree mature cheddar cheese which I was looking to experiment with and this was the perfect chance to use it in a bake. Had a packet of smoked bacon cubes and yes had some cute , tiny bottles of olive oil which had been sent to me .I normally would infuse my own oils and always have a big bottle  of olive oil into which I stuff a few cloves of crushed garlic , some chill flakes and fresh herbs – the oil adds beautiful depths of flavour in whatever I use it for and because it is a lovely bottle , it looks pretty on my kitchen counter too – which reminds me I need to get around to doing this again soon – hummm

Also I had these bright and colourful mini chilli plants now sitting on my window sill ,looking all pretty and waiting to be used – yellow and deep aubergine coloured chillies – this was going to be one colourful bake !

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So this beautiful marrow came home with us and just like that became part of our dinner plans…..

Stuffed Marrow Bake 

Ingredients

  • 1  beautiful marrow
  • 3 heaped tbsp grated Lactofree mature cheddar
  • 3 flakes of garlic chopped fine
  • 500 gm smoked bacon cubes
  • 4 tbsp sweet corn
  • 2 medium sized red onions
  • 2 tbsp chilli infused Terra Rossa Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • Sea salt to taste

Method

  • Chop the red onions lengthwise , set aside.
  • Cut the marrow into half and scoop out the insides and discard , I know I should have saved them for making something else …

 

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In a saucepan heat 1 tbsp chilli Terra Rossa Olive Oil.

  • Sauté the chopped garlic first and when it begins to brown and the aroma explodes into the kitchen its time to add in the chopped red onions and toss them around till they begin to change colour.Then add the smoked bacon cubes and cook on a medium flame stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes.
  • Then add in the sweet corn and mix well for about a minute , season with sea salt and chilli flakes.

 

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  • Remove the saucepan with this onion, bacon and sweet corn mixture  off the flame and set aside.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment and brush some olive oil on the marrow inside out so that it has a bang of flavour when you bite into it.
  • Stuff both halves of the marrow with the mixture.

 

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  • Wrap the stuffed marrow halves in foil and bake for half an hour at about 180°C – I have a fan oven , please adjust time accordingly to suit  your oven.
  • Remove from foil  and add the grated Lactofree mature cheddar cheese on the top.
  • Then bake again without foil till the cheese browns or for 10 minutes approximately.
  • Serve with a warm fresh baguette or a cheesy bread – simply so that you can scoop every single bit of juicy goodness as you eat.

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The Terra Rossa oils ,I received a pack of 3  exquisite Jordanian infused extra virgin olive oils – chilli and lemon infused oils and a unfiltered, cold dripped Sinolea extra virgin olive oil. Not only is it good to have in the store cupboard , I think it makes for a lovely gift idea too ! Yes it isn’t too early to start planning your x’mas gift list is it ?

It is incredible how much flavour this humble marrow packs in. I cannot wait to use it again in soups and stews. Yes it’s autumn and we are going towards colder weather . So along with getting those woolies out we also need to get started with beautiful soups and stews hummm – the seasons they are a changing ! This easy recipe is perfect for busy weekend evenings ( or for a lazy Sunday evening when you want to spend some time watching telly sipping a glass of wine and chilling out rather than slaving in the kitchen!) when you do not want to compromise on flavour and want a wholesome meal too. For a meat free option replace the bacon with a spicy potato and cauliflower mix . Whatever you choose to add as the stuffing, the result will always be satisfactory – that’s the nature of this beautiful marrow ….

*With  thanks to Terra Rossa  for the samples. No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review . As always all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Giveaway Mornflake Breakfast Hamper

GOOD MORNING!

What better way to kick start your day than with a bowl of Oaty goodness ? well ….oat smothered with fruits perhaps! :)

Who better to know about the goodness of oats than Mornflake who have been milling oats in the South Cheshire countryside since 1675, making us the longest established miller of oats and cereal in the UK! 15 generations later they have managed to keep the family business within the family started by original miller, William Lea. Year on year have won accolades for the quality, purity and consistency of their oats year after year from International Grand Medaille D’Or, an international quality award. Environmentally conscious, they use local British oats wherever possible, have reused and recycled packaging, and use only certified sustainable palm oil.

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To add to that they have a wide variety of products to choose from – from rolled oats to oat bran cereals ,muesli ,granola ,oat meal and the life saver superfast cereal pots for busy morning when you have to catch the rush  hour and not miss breakfast too!

No matter how you like your oats , plain , warm , cold with or without fruit, in pancakes or in cereal bars there is a great range of products to choose from.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and to all oat lovers ,the folks at Mornflake have a fabulous giveaway for one lucky reader of sliceoffme ! It’s really easy to win ! So why not take part and stock up on pats , perfect time too with the weather all set to turn cold!

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You could win this fabulous giveaway,courtesy of Mornflake where ONE lucky winner can win all these lovely goodies :
1.Mornflake Organic Oats
2.Mornflake Scottish Jumbo Oats
3.Mornflake Superfast Oats
4.Mornflake super fast cereal pots – 4 packs in different flavours
5.Mornflake Oatbran CEREALS – any 2
6.Mornflake Oatbran Nuts & Seeds Granola
7.Mornflake Hessian bag
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How To enter the giveaway :

Please have a read through the T&C’s – will take just a teeny weeny minute !

Terms and Conditions:

  • Deadline for entering this contest is 8th November ‘2014 midnight GMT.
  • Entry is open only to residents of the U.K
  • One lucky winner will be chosen using random number generator.
  • The giveaway prize is as mentioned in the post and will be sent directly as a free delivery to the winner by Mornflake and sliceoffme accepts no responsibility for any disputes.
  • By sharing your email id in the comment you allow Mornflake and me to contact you to notify you in case you win
  • The prize is as stated: no cash alternatives are available.
  • You get one entry by way of commenting on this blog post AND following me on Instagram
  •  OR one entry by following @manjirichitnis on twitter AND following me on Instagram,
  •  OR one entry by liking sliceoffme  on Facebook ( do not forget to mention your facebook name in the comment here , comment once only) AND following me on Instagram .
  • All entries via any of the above modes is valid and you can enter by any one way .
  • All blog comments must mention your email id clearly and without a spelling error so the winner can be contacted.
  • The winner will be notified within 7 days of the closing date via the email id provided an announced on this blog post and on twitter .
  • If winner fails to respond within 7 days then another winner will be chosen.

*With thanks to Mornflake for sending samples. No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review. As always all opinions expressed here are entirely my own. All images courtesy Mornflake.

How we planned our Prague trip!

Lazy me , I wrote this post on the bank holiday weekend but didn’t end up uploading it ! But here it is now ! Followed up of course with my Prague and Vienna trip travel adventures !!

Hello everyone ! It’s Monday and we are all waking up feeling very happy that we are not rushing to work ! London has many food festivals happening all over and also the Notting Hill Carnival concludes today.

Hubster and me have just got back from a 3 day highland tour and so am feeling on top of the world. The highlands are simply breathtaking ….But more on that in my Travel posts later, first let me tell you how my girlfriends and I planned a super 3 day getaway to Prague!

A beautiful reminder of our Highland adventure  – many more to come soon – keep reading my travel posts ! Would love to hear your comments too !

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It was my first ever trip to Europe and Jools who writes a travel blog told us one lazy afternoon over a lazy cuppa coffee how she has been wanting to go to Prague for ever. I actually wanted to go to Spain as my first Europe trip but well Prague sounded good too! Muks who is a travel enthusiast was super excited too and just like that we set the plan into motion. Jools being the smart travel blogger that she is found us a brilliant deal with British Airways and we saved a ton of cash by booking our flight tickets and hotel stay with BA.

Next task up was of course getting MP and me a Schengen Visa. Jools had already got her from a trip before and wanted to make the most of the visa. Fab !

So while I started a new job ,Muks and Jools met for coffee again and did all the hard work of planning the itinerary and Muks chalked out a list of all the documents you need to apply for a schengen visa. Here is a quick look on the Czech Republic visa site for documents necessary – please note this list is subject to change and you can get updated information about how to apply for a Schengen Visa for entry into the Czech Republic from the official website here

  • Print out of valid return ticket
  • Proof of stay  – booking details of your stay in Czech Republic
  • Valid travel insurance documents
  • Xerox of your passport front and back
  • Xerox of visa to prove you are legally in the U.K when applying from U.K
  • Proof of employment if valid
  • Employers letter original confirming that you are on their payroll
  • Bank statement of past 3 months or your partners bank statement if you are financially dependant on them

Of course you will need to carry your original passport and visa / BRP card .

For more information for applying for a visa to visit Prague specifically visit the tourist information website here – they have a fabulous and helpful section with names of places where you can do currency exchange at sensible exchange rates while in Prague .

Jools meanwhile had a brainwave (expected!) and we decided to throw in a day trip to Vienna on Day 2 of our 3 day trip. Brilliant idea I must admit and again she found us a cracking deal with a travel company based in Prague.So a one day road trip to Vienna was planned too.

Now all that remained was for us to get the visa! Which arrived in 5 days promptly – cool or what?! But it was a nervous wait espp for Muks as she is stickler for rules and timelines whereas I am …aheam NOT really the kind that would sweat over things much! hehehe

Muks did tons of research and spent hours online and finally the Czech embassy wrote back to her confirming that on a single entry schengen visa we are allowed to travel within schengen states. Muks and my very skeptical OH breathed a sigh of relief that at the Vienna border control we would face no trouble . All this while Jools was confident we could travel to Vienna too and after reading the email , we had a smug ‘told you so’ attitude which probably irked my OH a bit…but hey a hard core travel blogger and a food blogger who has been bitten by wanderlust both can’t go wrong can they ?

All that remained was to pack our bags, with daytime temperatures of 27 ° C predicted we had sun-tan on the top of our lists !

Wahooooo!!!

Stay tuned to my travel blog post series to find out what happened in Prague and on our exciting one day trip to Vienna! What we saw ( or didn’t manage to cram into our packed sightseeing schedule !) and the exciting Czech food we ate – Schnitzels – yes ! :)

L – R – Moi , Jools and Muks with the Astronomical Clock in the busiest square in the old town – when I first laid my eyes on this magical clock I fell in love with this city of cobbled lanes and  historic monuments … it’s as if every brick had a story to tell… am sure they do actually … if only one could care to ask …

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Radha Krishna Bhavan – Tooting , a review

On a dreary Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago after my weekly Indian shop form Dadu’s at Tooting, not feeling particularly in the mood to cook , we walked into Radha Krishna Bhavan for an early lunch . The place was open and barring one table we could pick and choose where to sit , unusual for a Saturday afternoon , little did I know that minutes later the place would be buzzing with activity.

 

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This is a sea food lovers heaven with authentic ,well balanced south Indian cuisine. We ordered a starter of spicy Vadas – flat, fried lentil dough spiced with green chillies and onion , this was crunchy and delicious and just the thing needed on a boring Saturday afternoon when the weather was playing traunt ! (£2.95)

 

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The first thing I noticed was the many sticker on the glass outside with various ratings from the Good Food Guide, Square Meal etc  and a bright yellow mini menu saying ”3 courses for just £5.95′ ! Super ! That definitely drew us in.

 

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But we decided to go a la Carte and ordered for some Kerala Fried Rice (£4.50)and Kerala Fish curry (£7.50) .The fish curry was yum but the portion size was a bit small to share , same with the rice and we found the rice had more than a generous use of oil but it was delicious all the same.

 

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Hungry for more we decided to experiment with some Vellappam – a pancake made of fermented rice with ground coconut and coconut milk with a  lacy egg like appearance . These were light yet  filling and 2 panckakes per dish came with the curry at a combined price (£7.95 ) .The pancakes were mopped up with the accompanying  curry –  a spicy King Fish Malabar.

 

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With no room left for dessert after this we decided to skip and just get ice lollies on our way home ;)

 

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I’d definitely recommend you visit Radha Krishna Bhavan if you are looking for delicious and authentic  flavours of South India at budget rates in a clean , welcoming atmosphere with quick service head (opposite Sainsburys on Tooting High Street)

 

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*This review was written by me of my own accord . I bore the expense of this meal. All views  expressed as always are my own and no monetary compensation of any sort by provided to me by either the restaurant or any other third party.All opinions expressed are valid for this particular visit .

Square Meal Bloggers Meet at Boyds Brasserie

Square Meal is one of the review websites that I post my reviews too and they invited me for a lovely afternoon tea with other blogger reviewers to the very posh Boyds Brasserie at Trafalgar Square , in July .

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That day I was under the grips of a massive , massive Hayfever attack (which went on to develop into a full blown pollen induced chest infection – who knew an innocent bunch of flowers could do something so evil !?!)  and therefore starting the evening with several cups of warm tea was just what I needed ! In spite of it being a really warm evening I enjoyed cradling my hot cuppa and chatting up the other bloggers. Boyds also had a very special treat for us – Brut Ruinart Rose Champagne – I had to unwillingky refuse though …

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The potted shrimp was silky and luxurious and was polished off in no time.

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We had a selection of lovely sandwiches made with soft bread and they went down a treat .

  • Salted Beef, Pickled Cucumber, Dijon on Brown Bread
  • Egg Mayonnaise & Watercress on White Bread
  • Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, Dill on Brown Bread

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The scones served with strawberry jam and Devonshire clotted cream were next and Susan told us about the ‘Scone Test’ , apparently if you twist your scone and breaks away in half without much fuss , it has been made well and is fresh too ! So we all spent the next few minutes trying to ‘break’ our scones , twisting our faces into weird construed frowns and scaring the staff in general ;)

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That is Emily putting her scones to the test ! 

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I gave up after a while resigning to the fact that trying not to die of Hayfever was already too much work for me. I decided to also focus on the other sweet treats that came with the warm scones  – Fruit Cakes, Mini Chocolate Eclairs , Lemon Drizzle Cake, Lemon Curd  and the very tempting Mini Strawberry Tarts.

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It was one of those blogger meets where all the bloggers who came were really were friendly and conversation flowed easily . Each one followed the others on twitter and instagram and on other vitual spaces all this while sharing our foodie adventures.

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L R – : @MyDailyDose8 ,Ele – @cakeoverworld and Snita – @herfavfood

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Far Right : @Mitzie8cake

I quite agree with what the Food & Drink Guide 2014 has to say about the  Boyds Brasserie :

‘Unashamedly British, Boyds delivers quality food and service in opulent surroundings, with a nod to its Victorian heritage, but with none of the stuffiness that might imply. After just one visit to the buzzy bar, glamorous lounge and relaxed modern restaurant, I can promise you’ll fall in love and become a regular guest of this superb restaurant.’

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No wonder then that they have just won the OpenTable Diners’ Choice Award for the third time in four months!

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Last but definitely not the least came these cute mini ice creams – I didn’t dare try one though…took all of me to stop myself from devouring these treats !

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By the time we left the sun had set on London and there was a pleasant much needed breeze waiting to greet me as I stepped out in the chaos before being swallowed up by the evening crowds heading into the tubes , everyone in a rush to get home .

I kept smiling to myself seeing the voucher in our goody bag with an invitation for a dinner for two at the Boyds Brasserie .

*With  thanks to  Square Meal for the invite and to Boyds Brasserie for hosting us. No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review . All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

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Vegetarian Sausage Satay

Wait a bit ? Did you read that right? Absolutely yes ! Vegetarian Sausages are exactly what I have used in this fab recipe sent by my sister who turned vegetarian a few years ago. She doesn’t even consume eggs.  I am far from becoming a vegetarian but love to experiment with lighter options and so was delighted to receive some samples from Secret Sausages which I had sampled first  at FBC 2014 a few months ago and  I recollect  really liking  the the flavours.

I was sent 3 different flavours to experiment with:

  • Rosemary & Garlic – Garlic , Green Beans,Mixed Peppers and Rosemary
  • Honey Bee – Sweet Corn , carrots, peas and honey
  • Chilli and Coriander – Chillies , coriander , onion , sweet corn and carrots

 

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This recipe can be used with the sausages chopped and served as a starter or else as a main with sides like potato or sweet potato mash and green peas .

Serves: 2 as a main with a side of mash and peas

Ingredients  – enough for 2 packets with 6 sausages each

  • groundnut powder – 5 heaped tbsp
  • Garlic purée
  • Green Chillies – 3
  • A small bunch of fresh coriander or one large packet from the supermarket
  • Oil 3 tbsp
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • Red onions – 2 large
  • Tomato – 1 medium sized

 

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Method 

  • In a dry sauce on a low flame heat 1 tbsp oil and add the chopped green chillies and garlic purée.
  • Then add the  the groundnuts powder and roast this mixture for about 2 minutes , stirring continuously ensuring it does not burn.
  • Turn off the flame and add freshly ,finely chopped coriander leaves, salt , sugar and lemon juice.

 

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  • Allow this mixture to cool down and then coat the sausage with skin with the mixture thoroughly.

 

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  • Refrigerate the marinated sausages for an hour.
  • Before you remove the marinated sausages from the refrigerator make the onion and tomato mixture.
  • Chop the onion into long thinstrips.
  • Heat 2 heaped tbsp oil in the same saucepan and sauté till they caramelise.
  • Add the chopped tomato and sauté for another minute.
  • Then remove the marinated sausages from the refrigerator and saute on a griddle pan with very little oil sprinkled onto it.

 

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  • Mix the sausages  in the onion – tomato mixture.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes and green peas as sides.

 

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Why not try my recipe for a fabulous Meatless Monday meal ?

*With  thanks to Secret Sausages  for the samples. No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review . As always all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.