Month: December 2017

Anne’s Poetical Egg Salad Sandwiches

One of the absolute delights of my childhood was discovering the Anne of Green Gables set of books by Lucy Maud Montgomery.  They were my favourite books for years!  And to be honest, although I haven’t read one in forever, I still have the entire series and it wouldn’t take much for me to be again drawn into the world of Matthew and Marilla, Diana Barry and Gilbert Blythe and the adorable red-haired, high-spirited feisty girl known as Anne of Green Gables.  And that’s Anne with an E and don’t you forget it!

Anne Books

These books taught me so much about the world – about love, about friendship and family, about how it’s okay to be different (and how to embrace that difference).  Oh, and how I wasn’t the only person in the world who constantly had to spell their name to people to ensure that they got it right!   

So I was overjoyed to find out that there is an Anne of Green Gables Cookbook.  And beside myself to be given a free ARC from NetGalley and Race Point Publishing to review!  Thank you so much!

First up, this book is gorgeous!  The illustrations and the photos are beautiful.  And all of the recipes are referenced to the exact place in the books where they occurred..which a pedant like me totally loves!

I choose to make Anne’s Poetical Egg Salad sandwiches.  And they were delicious. 

Anne's Poetical Egg Salad SandwichesOMG…these were so good!

I think sometimes it’s hard when blogging to present something as simple as these sandwiches because…..well…it’s egg salad right and everyone knows how to make that.  so why bother?  But this is also real food, the kind of food I want to make. Eat. Repeat. 

Recipe?  Here.

And you can also fancy these up.  The version you are looking at has some chives in the mix.  It’s great with lettuce in the sandwich.  To make it really fancy, a slice of smoked salmon is divine!

Poetical Egg Salad Sandwich5

I adored this book almost as much as the novels that inspired it!  

Poetical Egg Salad Sandwich7

And as we head into the new year, some rules for living from Miss Anne Shirley:

ON FRIENDS

 

ON MAKING MISTAKES

1985AnneGreenHair

ON MAKING AN EFFORT

Anne effort

ON ATTITUDE

Anne and Marilla (1)

ON LOVE

Gilbert

THE FUTURE

Anne2

And on that note sweet people, I’m going to bid you adieu for 2017. 

Thank you for reading, commenting, liking, sharing.  You’re the best and most wonderful kindred spirits ever!

And for all of you, all my very, very best for a joyful 2018!  May it bring it everything you wish for!

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This Paté is a Turkey!

Welcome to the end of the world.  Or at the very least the end of The A-Z of Cooking (1977). 

Prepare to feel robbed.  

Turkey Pate2

Dear A-Z of Cooking, 

Look…listen…over the past few years we’ve had joy, we’ve had fun, we’ve had seasons in the sun. 

There’ve been many good times.

Remember the Mushroom Cakes?

And the Brioche?

The Profiteroles?  They were awesome!

Okay, so it wasn’t always smooth sailing.  There were downs with those ups.

There was this:

Still one of the scariest pictures I have ever seen in the pages of a cookbook.

And lets not forget this delightful looking salad:

 

 

Or this suggestion for punishing people who drop in without notice:

 

But on the whole, it’s been good times.  

And this is how you end it?  With a Turkey Paté that looked like cat food until I slapped a few sage leaves and pomegranate seeds on top?  And, I might add, tasted of nothing?

And whilst we’re at it…right from the start you promised me an A-Z

So…ummm…why are we done after Yesterday’s Leftovers? 

Where’s my Z, you dick?

A-z

And a really bad turkey paté. 

And no Z.

Hopefully some better tips for using your Christmas leftovers can be found in the links below!

 

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2
 

History Happy Hour – The Flamingo

So, I made this Flamingo cocktail today with the idea that I would post it in the usual time it takes me to post anything – a month, six weeks, some time in the yet to be disclosed future.  But then I opened my email and discovered that today, December 26 in the way back of 1946 was the day that Bugsy Siegel opened the Pink Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada.  

I’m not a big fan of posting too quickly because I like to procrastinate carefully curate what goes into these pages. 

It’s why the quality is usually so high…😂

But some opportunities are too good to miss.

Flamingo2 (2)

 

And how pretty is this?  It’s a gorgeous, glorious, fabulous pink! Perfect for drinking at the most fabulous, magnificent , luxurious resort in the world….or just, you know, at home…

Flamingo Casino

Siegel, called “the mobster with the beautiful blue eyes” by Cesar Romero named the resort the Flamingo after his girlfriend Virginia Hill who was a leggy redhead.  

The opening of the Pink Flamingo Casino was a total clusterf**k.  Bad weather kept many of the Hollywood celebrities who had been invited to the opening away.  The rooms weren’t finished so gamblers took their winnings elsewhere.  By the end of the first week, the Pink Flamingo had lost $300,000 in revenue.  By the end of its first year of operation it had earned nothing! 

Siegel was shot to death in 1947.  

A memorial to him still exists in the current Flamingo complex.

Flamingo1

Far from being a clusterf**k, the Flamingo cocktail is a total delight! 

Gin, Apricot Brandy, lime juice and Grenadine make it delicious!

A maraschino cherry gives it some vintage glamour.  It’s not in the recipe but it does make it gorgeous!

Here’s the recipe – Enjoy!!!!

https://mixthatdrink.com/flamingo-cocktail/

Bugsy2

Flamingo3

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2
 

The Pink Pornstar

Hello.  Hi.  Welcome to the post that will probably get the most search engine hits ever.  And also the highest number of people leaving bitterly disappointed. 

Just so we’re clear?  It’s a cocktail.  

If you’ve come here for ANYTHING except a martini? 

Then this is not for you. 

Don’t even stay around to comment on how upset you are.  Just form an orderly queue at the door and leave.  Quietly. 

And delete your search engine history. 

Pink Pornstar2

Okay, so now that all the perverts are gone lets talk about the Pornstar Martini.  Vanilla Vodka.  Passionfruit Liqueur.  Lime. Passionfruit.  With some sparkling wine on the side.

It’s the best!  Which is why I don’t understand how it took me so long to taste one!  I had my first Pornstar Martini  in London this year!  Which is kind of appropriate because that’s where they were invented back in 2002 by Douglas Ankrah at the Townhouse Bar in Knightsbridge which is again appropriate because that’s where I was staying. Knightsbridge not the bar!  Despite all this synchronicity I had my first Pornstar Martini at an All Bar One in the West End.  Thank you Monica for the introduction to what has become my favourite cocktail.

 

Pink Pornstar3

 

I knew right from the start that I wanted to blog this drink!  It is just soooo good!  Sweet from the vanilla vodka, tangy from the passionfruit and lime, with a crisp finish from the sparkling wine!  It’s also very festive so perfect for the season.  What am I  saying?  It’s good at anytime!

For a classic Pornstar Martini look no further than the ever reliable Difford’s Guide.  

For a RFFMT’s take?  Keep reading!  And don’t for one second think that this take only came about because…ahem…”someone”  forgot they had planned to make this and bought pink sparkling wine instead of Prosecco!   

The main change I made in creating the Pink Pornstar was that because sparkling rosé is sweeter than normal sparkling wine I had to counter that sweetness somehow. That was easy enough to do simply by omitting the simple syrup from the original recipe and adding a little bit of vanilla paste into the shaker!  Here’s the recipe:

The Pink Pornstar
Serves 1
A delicious and pretty cocktail!
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Ingredients
  1. 60 ml Vanilla Vodka
  2. 1 1/2 passionfruit
  3. 15 ml Passoa Passionfruit Liqueur
  4. 15 ml freshly squeezed lime juice
  5. 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 60 ml Sparkling Rose
  7. Ice
Instructions
  1. Add a large handful of ice into your cocktail shaker.
  2. Add thee vanilla vodka, the seeds and pulp from 1 passionfruit, the Passoa, lime juice and vanilla extract.
  3. Shake, shake shake. You need to get this nice and cold!
  4. Strain and pour into your cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with the 1/2 passionfruit.
  6. Serve alongside a glass of sparkling rose.
  7. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. If you do not have vanilla vodka, Difford's tells you how to make it.
Adapted from Difford's Guide
Adapted from Difford's Guide
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
So, given that the Pink Pornstar is really a drink of three parts, how exactly are you supposed to drink it?

Anyway you like but here are some options:

The Pink Pornstar Purist

Keeps the elements separate.

  • First eats the passionfruit garnish.
  • Then drinks the sparkling.
  • Then the Martini.

The reverse purist does the same but swaps the order of the sparkling and the martini.

Pornstar Martini 5

The Mambo 5 Pink Pornstar Picker

Remember that Lou Bega song from back in the day?  It’s in my mind at the mo because we are doing it in my dance class.  Well the chorus of that song goes:

A little bit of Monica in my life
A little bit of Erica by my side
A little bit of Rita is all I need
A little bit of Tina is what I see
A little bit of Sandra in the sun
A little bit of Mary all night long
A little bit of Jessica here I am
A little bit of you makes me your man

The Mambo #5 Pink Pornstar Picker similarly repeats this actions until the drink is gone:

A little bit of passionfruit at first

A little bit of sparkling for the thirst

A little bit of ‘tini for the burst….

 

The burst? That’s the worst!  Let’s move very swiftly away and pretend that never happened!  The final type?

The Pink Pornstar Punchster

Combines everything in the one glass so they can have a bit of everything all together.  This is my favorite way of drinking it but I would love to hear if you think differently!

Okay all that remains now is to say best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful festive season! 

And beware the creepy Santas.

 

Moules Marinieres

Today we are heading back into The A-Z of Cooking to the chapter called Wine For a Change.  And on the menu is the classic French dish of Moules Marinieres.  This is one of my favourite dishes.  I probably make this around once a month – it ticks all my boxes – it’s healthy, it’s quick and it’s cheap and so, so, tasty!  Over the years my recipe has evolved so now I have my favourite version of Moules Marinieres which I will list below alongside a more pared back version from The A-Z.  
Moules Marinieres
Before we get into the Moules lets talk about this chapter.  Wine for a Change.  Not around here it isn’t. Around here it’s a basic food group.  So there goes that title.  There are some good recipes in this section.  The Moules, Coq au vin, Peaches in Wine….oh and veal kidneys with Marsala. 

You can’t win ’em all. (Sigh)

If the thought of veal kidneys with anything isn’t off-putting enough on its own, the picture is truly unsettling (It’s also at the very bottom of this post if you are brave enough). 

Moules Marinieres loosely translates as Sailor’s Mussels.  Be careful of your spelling if googling this.  You could end up with this: 

Hot damn! Ladies (and possibly gentlemen), don’t ever say I don’t give you anything.  Merry Christmas.  Happy Birthday and Goodnight Irene!

Where were we?  I seem to have lost my entire train of thought.  

Oh yeah, mussels.  The thing that takes the longest with the Moules Marinieres is all your prep work.  First you have to debeard and scrub all of your mussels.

Then cut up your veggies for your mirepoix  I use carrot, celery, fennel and onion in mine.  And for seasoning salt (I used the Port infused salt I bought in Portugal) peppercorns, a pinch of chilli flakes and a smashed garlic clove.

Mirepoix2

 

Cook these down then add some white wine and a splash of Pernod (optional but goes really well with the fennel and the mussels).  Cook these down a bit – the longer the better! Then add wine, Pernod if using and stock and bring to the boil.  Add the mussels.  Add a lid.  Shake the pan occasionally and in all of about 5 minutes you will have a piping hot bowl of mussels with a deliciously tasty broth.  

Moules Marinieres are great with bread to soak up all that broth.  And if that bread happens to be a tasty warm loaf of crusty garlic bread?  Heaven…I”m in heaven….

This time though I made mussels other best friend…frites.  With aioli.  Hard to tell from the pictures but there were three types of frites – potato, sweet potato and parsnip. 

Frites

 

The great thing about this recipe is that it is amenable to all sorts of changes.  Don’t like cream?  Don’t add it.  I quite often will throw in a can of tinned tomatoes.  Also, (and this is where i am sure I will have the purists tutting at me) if you can’t be arsed debearding and scrubbing the mussels, most supermarkets now sell frozen mussel meat.  I  always have a pack of this in my freezer so can whip this up at any time.  One codicil on that though.  The shells on fresh mussels do seem to add some extra flavour.  If using mussel meat alone be sure to use a really good fish stock in your broth!

Here is the original recipe from The A-Z of Cooking and the original picture.  I cannot tell you how much I  love and covet that terracotta mussel pot.  Straight to the top of my list of kitchen must haves!!!  

Moules Recipe

Moules A-Z

And here is my slightly fancier version:

Moules Marinieres (With Frites)
A classic French seafood dish
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For The Mussels
  1. 4 dozen mussels
  2. 125 ml dry white wine (I used a semillon sauvignon blanc)
  3. 250ml fish or vegetable stock
  4. 1 bouquet garni
  5. 1 carrot finely diced
  6. 1/2 fennel finey diced
  7. 2 stalks celery finety diced
  8. 1 snall red onion finely diced
  9. 1 garlic clove, crushe
  10. 6 black peppercorns
  11. 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  12. salt
  13. 3 tbsp cream
  14. 1 tbsp chopped parsley
For the Frites
  1. 2 potatoes julienned
  2. 1 large sweet potato, julienned
  3. 3 parsnips, julienned
  4. Olive oil
  5. Salt
For the Aioli
  1. 3 cloves of garlic, roasted with the frites for 15 minutes
  2. 2 egg yolks
  3. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  4. 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  5. 1/2 cup olive oil or a blend of olive and vegetable oil
  6. Salt and Pepper
For The Frites
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C.
  2. Toss the julienned veggies and 3 cloves of unpeeled garlic (for the aioli) into a bowl with a glug of olive oil, and some salt.
  3. Spread in a single layer on a baking tray and bake for 15 – 30 minutes (depending on size of the fries) or until golden brown, flipping halfway through. At the half way mark, remove the garlic cloves and make the aioli.
For The Aioli
  1. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the skins and add to a foo processor with the egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard until combined and smooth.
  2. With the food processor running add the oil in a thin stream until the mixture becomes thick and creamy.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
For the Mussels
  1. Scrub and debeard the mussels, discarding any that are open or have holes in them. Run cold water over them and drain.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrots, fennel, onion and celery, salt, pepper and chilli if using and stir occasionally until softened (around 5 minutes).
  3. Add the wine, stock pernod and boquet garni. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for around 5 minutes.
  4. Add the mussels to the pan. Close the lid and cook for around 5 minutes or until the mussels have opened, shaking the pan every now and again.
  5. Remove the mussels from the pan and keep warm.
  6. Turn up the heat on the liquid left in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce has reduced by about a third.
  7. Check for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
  8. Swirl in the cream.
  9. Pour the sauce over the mussels, sprinkle with the parsley and serve with the frites and aioli.
  10. Bon Appetit!
Notes
  1. This dish originates from the Normandy region of France. Another variation that is true to the region is to sub out the white wine and pernod and to use cider instead!
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
So, there is only ONE Chapter left in The A-Z!  Will I be able to get it out before Christmas? 

Absolutely not because one of the key ingredients will be a Christmas leftover.  And yes, I will be slapping people’s hands away from the plate if there is even the remotest chance of there not being enough leftovers to make it!

Will there be another post of any sort before the big day?

Almost definitely! 

See you in a couple of days!  

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2
  Oh and for the bravest o the brave?   Here are those veal kidneys:

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