Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Goodwood Speed Revival September 2008

I bagged some yanks!
Amazing what I will do for some silk stockings and chocolate!

Monday, 22 December 2008

My Birthday!

As always, on my birthday the girls and I go to The Angel Restaurant in Long Crendon. This is the way it's always been and I wouldn't want it any other way.
We start at mine with cheap Asda cava (tradition) - although this year it was Tesco 3 for a tenner!
A few curried sausage rolls later and The Angel is inundated by a bunch of tipsy birds, and we are herded to our table. I say herded in the nicest possible way, as Richard the manager does it with elegance, chivalry and patience, but with the aid of a cattle prod!

The food never fails to be just perfect and completely delicious. I think the biggest test of any restauranteur is the Christmas party. If you can deliver food at a very high standard to big, busy tables complete with a bunch of inebriated people - who often have no idea what they are ordering (me!)- and do it with a smile, then you are absolutely fabulous. The Angel does this every time. I've never had a dud meal there and I always have the best time.

Apparently I had the nutty requirements of Maria Carey on the night - I blame my new purple shoes. I couldn't walk outside with them on, just incase I stumbled or got them muddy! So I had to be ferried right up to the front door.....I didn't think this was too demanding. But perhaps the fluffy white kittens and the fifteen oiled and naked young men carrying me in was a little over the top.

But it WAS my birthday!

The Angel, Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire. 01844 208268 www.angelrestaurant.co.uk

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

What a day!

I had the most momentous day on the 8th December. Not only was it my first QVC show...but also the day when my baby brother was born.
He came a couple of weeks early and surprised us all. He is the most gorgeous little treasure and a beautiful little addition to the family.

I have been an only child for forty one years - and I never thought I would ever be saying - 'Let me introduce you to my baby brother' - but I am! Isn't he such a squidgy little bundle of loveliness!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Vox Pops

Thursday 4th December saw some of my fabulous friends gathered in my kitchen to eat my complete QVC food range,and then be filmed telling the viewers just how lovely it all was!
And I didn't have to pay them a penny!

They all fell foul to manners, etiquette and even the use of a napkin - my wonderful, delightful and amazing friends just ate - came up for air once or twice - and then ate some more!

That is what this delicious food does to you - it makes you embrace two of those deadliest of sins - lust and gluttony. Marvellous.

Above are some photos of the day....including film crew.

I'm on a roll now.....Christmas Cookery Demonstration.

This week I did Christmas demonstration number five. I'm on the home run now!
Actually, I really do enjoy these days - in fact I love nothing more than feeding people. Seeing someone eat my food and cleaning their plates makes me very happy indeed.

We did an seasonal menu with recipes that are easy peasy to cook and freeze ready for Christmas.
My very special Chicken Liver Pate with Warm Pear and Cranberry Chutney, followed by Christmas Pie (a good way to use up the sodding turkey!) and for pud, some pears poached in red wine, spices and forest fruits - with gold leaf (just to show off)!
I had six lovely guests, one lady, Karen who came especially from Guernsey.

For those of you who read this blog, you'll recognise Hussey Sue in the photo and for those of you who watch QVC regularly - you'll recognise my lovely friend Simon Brown! Known him for years!

Here is my special Pie recipe - instead of chicken, use about 1lb (450g) of cooked turkey or ham or both.

Serves 6

The cooked meat from one small free range chicken
2oz (50g) butter
1 large leek – sliced
2 red peppers – sliced
8oz (225g) mushrooms – quartered
1 small autumn squash – peeled and evenly diced
1 tsp of dried thyme
4 level tablespoons plain flour
1 ¼ pints(630ml) chicken stock (made from cooking the chicken)
1 ½ tablespoons of wholegrain mustard
Salt and pepper
1 packet of ready made puff pastry
1 egg – beaten to glaze

1. Cut the chicken into mouth size pieces and place in your pie dish. Reduce the chicken stock in a saucepan over a high heat until about 1 pint (570ml) in volume.
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and fry the leek and peppers for 5 minutes over a gentle heat. Add the mushrooms, squash and thyme and cook for a couple of minutes.
3. Blend the flour into the vegetables and slowly add the strained stock, stirring all the time.
4. When it has thickened, boil for 1 minute and then add the mustard and season with salt and pepper. Spoon over the chicken and allow to cool down.
5. Now, roll out the pastry. Cut a thin strip, dampen the edges of the tin and place the strip around the edge.
Cover the pie with the pastry and decorate with any cut offs.
Knock up the edges of the pastry and glaze with the beaten egg.

Place on a baking sheet and cook in the oven at 200c, or Mark 6 for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 170c Mark 3 and cook for a further 30 minutes. If the pastry gets too brown, loosely cover with a little foil to protect the pastry.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

About time I did some more blogging

Well, I have tried to! But life has just got in the way.....My life has (happily) been rather taken over by my impending QVC show next monday (8th) at Midday....!

Over the last few months I have travelled, eaten, travelled, eaten, travelled and eaten - a lot. All in the pursuit of perfect British produce to sell on my show - what a selfless bird I am!

Last night Daisy took me to see The Kooks in London for an early birthday pressie. I love them - is it cos I'm sooooo down with the kids???? Or is it because I have a slight (and rather weird crush) on the lead singer.....whatever it is, I think they are fab and Daisy and I had the best time. She trained in especially from university for one night to take her mum out - Gawd bless her!

I've also been busy doing my Christmas cookery demonstrations (I've generally done Christmas about six times before the actual day - but never say I don't still have the enthusiasm!) and as of about an hour ago, I have bright blue Christmas lights hanging outside on a large shrub in my front garden. Very badly hung I must say - I'm such a hobbit and you need to be tall with a large bowling swing to get the lights to the top. Mine are around the bottom.

On thursday I am having some Vox Pops filmed here for the show. I'm gathering in all my neighbours and friends to eat the food range, drink the wine and then tell the camera how marvellous they all are. The Husseys will all be present - this is most important as they have been here testing the food range since it's conception. They are the QVC demographic as I keep telling them.
Sassy, 35-65 and gorgeous!

Okay, off to remove the cooked meat from my chicken for the demonstration tomorrow. And to re-arrange (again) the bleeding lights!