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.


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. 


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


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. 


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


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

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!!

  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.


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.

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!
  • 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.

Project 366 268/366

Auntie Heather and I out our foot down and said "NO" to save the animals tonight. So we played telestrations for an hour, followed by tumbling monkeys and then rummikub. Bob needs to be on somebodies team for rummikub as he is not old enough to grasp the concept.

Sunday 23 September 2012

Project 366 267/366

Wow well on our way into the countdown towards the end of the year, only ninety nine days to go, back into double figures. Really was not sure how far I would get into this when I started, but I'm quite proud that I am still going strong, but more to the point still enjoying it.

Tonights walk along the beach at sunset saw me taking pictures of the reflection of seagulls with hints of a pink sky in the water as well.

Saturday 22 September 2012

Project 366 266/366

Gosh just a hundred days left till the end of my project. Two hundred and sixty six shared with you to remind me of the year and the daft things I get up to. This picture was taken just after seven am this morning, and it shows the first frost of many that no doubt will come.

Mind you it has to be better than the relentless rain we have seen this week.

one frosty car window

Friday 21 September 2012

Project 366 265/366

Yesterday here it rained, and it rained, and it rained, so much so that just about every main road in and out of the town was flooded and un-passable, some of them including the local airport still shut this morning.

The river rose from less than two feet yesterday morning, till over 8 feet last night, did try to get pictures of it but time it had stopped raining it was dark, and therefore no perception of height was available.

Went back along the river for our daily walk tonight and trapped in the river, just bobbing along, under the water and back up with no chance of escape were seven balls of various sizes, a few empty plastic juice bottles and a chunk of polystyrene.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Fairtrade Big fair bake challenge.

I saw this challenge over on Foodies 100 and as I buy a lot of fair trade goods I decided I would join in.

What is the challenge all about I hear you ask?

We think that baking tastes better when shared, so the Foodies100 is challenging our members to inspire the nation and cook for someone else with a Big Fair Bake.
Because baking with Fairtrade ingredients is one easy way for everyone to make a difference to millions of people who desperately need a better deal from trade. Without a fair price for the crops they grow, many farmers struggle to support their families. Fairtrade offers farmers and workers the safety net of a fair price today and a little extra to invest in projects which benefit the whole community, such as clean water, education and health care.
The Big Fair Bake is part of our year-long Take a Step campaign, which aims to get the UK to take a total of 1.5 million steps for Fairtrade in 2012, a step for every farmer and worker in the Fairtrade system we aim to work with.
A step can be small, like switching your tea to Fairtrade or baking with Fairtrade ingredients or a larger one like holding an event. Every single one counts, because together they lead to life-changing projects in developing countries.

How You Can Get Involved

 As part of the campaign, we’re inviting Foodies100 bloggers to develop a baking creation inspired by one (or more!) of the following Fairtrade certified ingredients:
  • Honey
  • Chocolate (or Cocoa Powder)
  • Raisins
  • Coffee
  • Bananas
  • Cinnamon
  • Apricots
  • Ginger
  • Brazil Nuts
Fairtrade sugar is not on the list (because that wouldn’t be a challenge!) but obviously if sugar is present we hope you will use readily available Fairtrade certified sugar. You can find out where to buy it, and the other ingredients listed here.

So I made a marbled cake, half vanilla, half chocolate. Spread hocolate fudge icing all round it and decorated with vanilla icing and added orange and lemon slices to finish it off.


6oz rice bran oil
6oz fair trade sugar
3 eggs
12 oz organic self raising flour
2oz Morrison's Organic Fairtrade Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To decorate
Betty Crocker's Fudge icing
Morrison's vanilla butter cream
orange and vanilla slices

Mix oil and sugar together, mix in the eggs, than the self raising flour.
swirled cake

Split the mixture in half, add the vanilla extract to one half and the cocoa powder to the other half, add  milk to make the right consistency if needed.

Put spoonfuls of the vanilla into 2 greased sandwich tins, then add spoonfuls of the chocolate mix to create a checker board effect, then swirl a knife through the mix to make a swirl cake.

Cook for approx 15 mins at 180 oC.

Once cooked remove from tins and leave to cool.

Once cool sandwich together with  Fudge icing, then spread more round the sides and on top.

Pipe vanilla icing in a pattern  of your choice and then decorate with the slices.

my finished cake

the patterned inside

I shared this with my friend Jeanette who I had been over visiting.

As part of the Take a Step campaign, we’re offering everyone who buys and bakes with Fairtrade ingredients a chance of winning a fabulous KitchenAid blender. All they have to do is visit the Fairtrade website and tell us who they’re baking for. Simple!

Disclosure this is my entry for the Fairtrade big bake challenge.