Sunday, 30 September 2012

A night at La Tasca Glasgow

I had an e-mail invite to go to La Tasca in Glasgow the e-mail said

La Tasca on Renfield Street in Glasgow is hosting a special event on Tuesday 25th September.  The event will celebrate the launch of our new autumn / winter menu and will see Antonio Bennetto - La Tasca's executive chef, who masterminds all our delicious dishes, deliver a fantastic paella master class for our guests. 

 The evening event will kick off at about 6pm - 6.30pm with a cocktail and sangria master class - and there will be of course the opportunity to sample these!  After this Antonio will deliver his paella master class and give lots of tips and tricks of the trade, which we hope will allow you to re-create a mouth watering and tasty paella at home.  We will also be showcasing our new menu with plenty of tasters for all to enjoy.  










Well how could a food blogger turn down such an opportunity? So I said yes and toddled off having invited Janice Thompson from a working mum as my +1 and agreeing to meet up with both her and Janice Pattie from farmersgirl kitchen at the train station in Glasgow.

Also met up with Graeme for Scots Larder and Briony who runs The Glasgow food blog with Graeme.










We spent time mingling and drinking, for those that drink, before we were invited to come across and watch the paella being made. Antonio talked us through the ideas behind the dish, how he travels extensively to see and research new ideas and then adapt them for the British lifestyle and tastes. He explained each step of the process, explaining about the different types of rice, the importance of a good stock, and about the individual ingredients. Thomas the chef was doing the cooking, and I loved the way he put the rice in in a cross shape across the pan, and he explained this was to make it easier to gently distribute the rice into the liquid without stirring it too much.








When making this dish I was surprised how soon the prawns and the vegetables went it, I would have left them till nearer the end but they were put in much earlier on and were in for more than half an hour, and I was surprised that they did not taste mushy or overcooked.  We all got to sample the finished dish, and I have to admit I picked out the squid as it did not appeal and the prawns as I dont like them either but the rest was very pleasant.

the finished paella


Now the main reason for the invite for this evening was to introduce the new dishes on their menu.


NEW! PAELLA NEGRA (VALENCIA)Gluten free

The famous black paella with squid and lemon.

I have to admit again I did into try this as it just does not appeal. But the other bloggers at out table shared this pan full and were very impressed with it. 


NEW! OVEN-BAKED FLAT BREAD (BALEARIC ISLANDS)Suitable for vegetarians

Topped with fire roast peppers, onion and cheddar cheese - great to share!



NEW! HOME-MADE BEEF BURGERS (CATALUÑA)

Two fresh mini home-made beef burgers with all the Spanish toppings.

These were beautiful, really meaty, no evidence of cheap nasty fillers, and were really juicy inside. 

NEW! CHORIZO & MORCILLA (CASTILLA Y LEÓN)Gluten free


Spanish black pudding and chorizo cooked with fire roast peppers, basil and onion.


NEW! SPICY ROASTED VEGETABLE CASSOLO WITH ALMOND (CASTILE LA MANCHA)Suitable for vegetariansGluten free


Butternut squash, red onion, chickpeas, celeriac and cannellini beans in a winter warming spicy tomato sauce topped with crushed almonds and parsley.


This I found very pleasant., not to spicy



NEW! FENNEL, TOMATO, RADISH AND ORANGE SALAD (MURCIA)Suitable for vegetariansGluten free

Fresh and zingy.

NEW! ROMESCO CHICKEN (CATALUÑA)Gluten free

Succulent chicken thighs with an amazing roasted tomato, pepper & almond spiced sauce.

NEW! SLOW-COOKED PAN-FRIED DUCK WINGS (EXTREMADURA)Gluten free

With a lentil & serrano ham stew

NEW! SLOW-COOKED PORK CHEEKS (CASTILLA Y LEÓN) WITH PEDRO XIMENEZGluten free

Served with creamed mashed potato.

NEW! FENNEL, TOMATO, RADISH AND ORANGE SALAD (MURCIA)Suitable for vegetariansGluten free

Fresh and zingy.


NEW! HUEVOS CABREAOS (CATALUÑA)Suitable for vegetarians

Amazing Spanish take on egg and chips, needs to be cut before eating.
This was a runny  fried egg with french fries and a spicy sauce on it, this was a very pleasant dish and slightly different from the normal

Sorry did not get pictures of all the foods as my camera (or maybe the operator) not good in half light. 


I have to say it was a lovely evening, the hospitality was excellent, and it was well attended 

enjoying the mingle



Our hostess (RHS) and a colleague









Saturday, 29 September 2012

Project 366 273/366

On Thursday  night daughter No2 phoned to say she was honouring me with her presence on Saturday evening and bringing her OH with her...ohhh and her daft dog. She knows I don't cook after work at weekends, maybe toast and beans or rolls and bacon but that is as far as it goes. So she said she would bring the stuff required to make chicken fajitas and make my tea for me.

My OH was planning on dropping me off at work today and then going up to Glasgow with a friend as he wanted to buy some fishing stuff and the shop had their end of season clearance on.

OH had came back from Glasgow earlier than expected as his friend ended up not going so when he came to pick me up after work he told me that daughter No2 had turned up along with a filthy soaking wet dog to dump in my house while she went off to Glasgow, knowing I would be back before she would to let him out and look after him for her. No mention of tea etc just a hairy smelly rather large dog left for me!!

Jack
  lol.... just got a message on FB from daughter to tell me she sent me a text about tea.....and is going to get a take away when I pick her up.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Foodie Foto Friday (28th September)

Spotted this in a local farm shop today, not sure what it is but I will call it a broccoflower. Its a light green colour with florets like a broccoli but texture of a  cauliflower. It taste similar to cauliflower but a bit stronger.

Madness did not really buy it to eat ( thought we did at tea time) but cos I thought it would make a good photo.





Project 366 272/366

It is four month today, and we bought this when we were on holiday so thought today was a nice day to share it.



If you want to take a look at her remembrance page feel free and pop over and say hello and maybe light her a candle.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Hazelnut crumble

One of the items I picked last month from Healthy Supplies was ground hazelnuts and I have used them in various bits and pieces ( scones, cakes and pancakes) but last night I decided to put some in a crumble and compliment them with morello cherries. 

Crumble

put 4 oz dairy free margarine cut into pieces into a food mixer, add
 4oz sugar
6 oz self raising flour
and 2 oz ground hazelnuts 

pulse until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Put a jar of morello cherries into a dish and pour the crumble on top.

Cook for 20-25 minutes at 180 oC

serve with custard or cream.

This is a beautiful crisp crumble with a very pleasant flavour.

served with alpro soya cream


Morello Cherry hazelnut buns

Cream 4 oz dairy free margarine with
4 oz sugar
add 2 eggs
stir in 2 oz milk and
1/2 jar morello cherries

mix together 6 oz self raising flour  with
2 oz ground hazelnuts

and stir dry ingredients into wet mixture and then place in bun cases.

Cook for 10-12 mins at 180oC.



The cherries and hazelnuts complement each other nicely.

The linked items were part of the items I chose from Healthy Supplies, but the recipes ideas are my own.

Dizolve sheets - a review

I saw this new idea for using in the washing machine, and as I had taken delivery of a new washing machine I really fancied trying them. No gungy draw, no dripping liquid or powder to spill just a sheet  that you pop in the machine on top of the washing and off it goes.


 Let me introduce you to my new friend Dizolve, the non-bio washing sheet.
Dizolve laundry detergent sheets are the first non-bio laundry sheets available in the world.
They are strong and powerful but kind to you and your clothes.

Dizolve laundry detergent sheets contain all the active ingredients that are needed to give your laundry a thorough clean:
  • Surfactants to combat grease and to wet surfaces.
  • Non-surfactant materials that keep dirt in suspension so that they get washed away in the rinse cycle.
  • Ingredients that modify the foaming properties of the cleaning surfactants.
  • Substances to modify pH, to affect performance or stability of other ingredients.
  • Acids for de-scaling or caustics to break down organic compounds.
  • Ingredients such as corrosion inhibitors to counteract damage to equipment with which the detergents is used and preservatives to prevent decay and bacterial attack.


You can pop over here and see what they tell you about them.

the packets

I liked these for quite a few different reasons, the packet is small, easy to carry. light weight, easy to store and more to the point has a smaller carbon footprint delivering it to the shop and from the shop to home.

a flat sheet

see how thin but sturdy they are



First off we used the lavender ones, and you could tell these were lavender  as soon as you opened the package. They can be a bit tricky to separate and make sure you do it with dry hands or you dissolve the edges slightly and then they become even more difficult to separate not that I have done that of course. 

When I got my new machine we tested these against my usual liquid I normally use, Morrisons own non bio liquid.



with applied stains



OH made four stains on identical brand new white face clothes, stain one he rubbed in some grass, stain two was a teaspoon blackberry juice from berries we had picked and cooked, stain three was half a teaspoon of brown sauce and stain four was half a teaspoon melted cooking chocolate rubbed on.  We left them to soak in for six hours. We felt these were some fairly tough stains for a non bio liquid but due to skin problems that is all we use. The surplus chocolate was scrapped off before any of the clothes went in the machine.






The first wash was done with my original liquid, on a 40oC wash, ( I appreciate there is a No2 on this, that was because  I also did a comparison between my old machine and my new one.) It was put in with a 5kg wash, measured specifically to keep it all the same.

The finished result; the grass stain was still there and the blackberry stain was very mildly visible as well ( may need to blow picture up). The other two had gone enough they will not show in the photograph but if you hold them to the daylight at the right angle you can just about see them.






Next up was the turn of the Lavender Dizolve. Again we stained six hours before the wash in the same places as above.

The grass stain was slightly more noticeable than the first time, but the blackberry stain less so, the other two pretty much the same.


So in this test there was little difference, but I have to admit had I had these stains on clothing I would have pre-treated them before adding them to the machine.


I have since used the dizolve sheets for quite a number of washes, from clothes to work uniforms and have no complaints about the results. I personally am not overly keen on the smell that the lavender has when the washing is straight out of the machine and still wet , sort of musty smelling, but once the washing is dry it loses the strange aroma and there is no smell at all.

I also tried them to see how well they dissolve if you wanted to hand wash with them,
These sheets sell for £2.99 for a pack of twelve, thats twenty five pence a wash, easily comparable to your more well known brands. I personally feel it is well worth buying for the sheer convenience factor, and probably will carry on using it after my trial packs are finished.

Want to try them for yourself? Dizolve currently have a competition on their website to win a years supply. 

I was sent four packs for the purpose of this review but the experiment was all my own husbands.













Project 366 271/366

Saw this little creature out and about today. Had to think of my dog who use to manage to hunt these out even when they were hibernating and would give them serious grief.


You would find them tightly rolled up in a ball totally covered in leaves and things where she had rolled them and rolled them to get them home, and she could manage it without a scratch on her.



Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Project 366 269/366

Got invited to a new season menu launch at La Tasca in Glasgow tonight, and very nice it was too.

This was the Paella pan that the cookery demonstration was done in. More photos and a blog post to follow at some time soon.



Had to laugh though you could tell all the food bloggers, we were the ones photographing the food  before eating it.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Telestrations - what we thought of it.


I was sent a game of telestrations as part of the Rainbow Toy Awards 2012. I have no obligation to do a blog post on it,as I had paperwork to fill in,  but I have to say "with the party season coming up it is a must buy for anybody that likes a laugh."  











Telestrations is

Telestrations by USAOPOLY is the award-winning laugh-out-loud party drawing game that
connects all generations through hilarious miscommunications!
Combining the schoolyard favorite ‘telephone game’ with markers and sketch books,
Telestrations has players draw what they see, then guess what they saw. The result?
The Big Reveal, where players get to share how “this” became “that!” How does “doggy bag”
become “man purse?” How does “belly ring” become “tighty whities?” You’ll only know once
you’ve experienced the Telestrations effect!
Reasons Telestrations is the #1 Party Game!
  • All play – it's everyone's turn all the time!What's It Mean?
  • Multigenerational fun – kids to adults!
  • Easy play & unpredictable outcomes!
  • No drawing skills required – stick figures & a sense of humor welcome!





Now when I opened the box and read the instructions I thought "booooooring" but upon playing the game we were literally laughing out loud. The game is great across the generation, or for a group of children age 8+ or for a group of adults along with a few drinks.

Rainbow Toy awards have used this picture on their website, how fab is that.








This website says from age 12+ but the box says 8+ and Fifi at 9 easily managed it.

My drawing skills led to a lot of hilarity and I was worrying my daughter, as she was after me and had to guess from my drawings, and the more I laughed the more worried she got.

Now some of these worked out well,and others proved much funnier.



the secret word

picture 1

first guess

picture 2

2nd guess

picture 3

final guess



and then there are the ones that went slightly astray

























This one was still on theme, but believe me not all of them are.

I would give this game 10 out of 10 and would recommend anybody to buy it.