Wow! Summer has been and gone far too quickly. And today marks the first official day of Autumn. I have no idea where the time has disappeared, but I am glad to be back on The Spicy Pear, sharing recipes that have inspired me and creating new ones. Before I share the recipe for this Chicken Pie, I wanted to say a big sorry to my readers for not posting anything for the last three months. It has been an incredibly hectic and stressful period for me, with family illnesses keeping me down, an exciting new job keeping me on my toes, and a holiday with the hubby keeping me sane. I have been overwhelmed with so much happening around me, and felt it best to take some time out, recharge, and make sure all the different balls I was juggling stayed up in the air. I feel much more settled now, and am bursting with new ideas for this blog. Expect to see more dishes for busy cooks; breakfast inspirations; lunch ideas; and dinner party feasts over the next few months. In the meantime, please enjoy this recipe for Chicken Pie created by one of my favourite chefs, Nigella Lawson. This dish is very easy to prepare and is just the thing for the colder months. It is my ‘go to’ recipe when I am in need of something indulgent, rich and comforting. The chicken pie is also perfect for when you have guests over and I am sure they will leave feeling suitably impressed. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I do and please do drop me a comment to tell me how you found it, or just to say hi. I look forward to interacting with you all.
These soft and crunch rum and almond date balls are the perfect way to end a dinner party. Healthy and very tasty, the addition of spiced rum quickly transports me to an exotic island in the sun.
Today, I would like to share with you my recipe for prawn curry with panch phoran spices. Panch phoran translates to “five spices” and is a spice blend from Bengal. The blend is often used in curries, as a rub on meats or sprinkled over vegetables, and has a distinguished taste from garam masala, which is more commonly used in North Indian cooking. The five spices are either dry roasted or tempered (that is fried in ghee or hot oil until the mustard seeds begin popping) depending on how the blend is used. However, for this particular recipe, I dry roasted the spices and then ground them in a coffee grinder until they became a powder. It may not be the traditional way of cooking with panch phoran but it certainly was tasty. I hope you enjoy the curry too.
Tandoori salmon is one of my favourite dishes to cook during the week. I can pick up the salmon on my way home from work, coat the fish in the marinade and bake in the oven. No fuss, no bother. And while the fish is cooking, I quickly prepare the mango salsa. The sweet and sour flavours, in addition to the bright colours in this dish, make it perfect for summer.
On Thursday I attended a special Mothers Day event organised by online retailer, Not On The High Street. I was among a handful of bloggers selected by Mumsnet to attend their Bring Your Own Mum (BYOM) event. My mum and I glammed up for the event and headed over to No 5 Cavendish House, a beautifully restored Georgian townhouse near Oxford Circus. We were excited to spend some quality time together in a unique setting. As soon as we arrived, we were whisked away to the private room upstairs, where we were offered champagne and cocktails. The room was beautifully decorated with a range of products available on the Not On The High Street website, including chic looking telephones, handmade bowls and paper flowers.
Last Wednesday, I was invited to attend the Currys In The Kitchen blogging event, held at The Underground Cookery School. The school is based in Old Street and is run by head chef Matt Kemp, who has previously worked at River Café, The Ivy and Pont De La Tour. He provides cookery classes for corporate team building, hen parties and private parties.
Two weeks back, my husband and I trekked to the other end of London to dine in trendy Wimbledon Village. I don’t tend to go South of the river very often but the promise of Lebanese food at Layla was enough to tempt me to make the hour and a half journey. As we set foot inside the restaurant we were amazed with the look and feel of the place. The decor at Layla quickly transports you to the enchanted world of the Arabian nights, with its exquisite chandeliers, draped ceilings and its intricate wooden frames. We quickly forgot we were in cold, wet London and left our troubles at home.
Harvey Nichols recently sent me a Pop Bakery kit for reviewing. The kit includes a 64 page book written by Clare O’Connell, giving step by step instructions on creating beautiful looking cake pops. If you haven’t heard of Clare, she runs a successful cake pop business, Pop Bakery, out of her home in West Hampstead. Her clients include St Martins Lane hotel, The Sanderson and Harvey Nichols.