Friday, 27 September 2013

Coffee time

Many moons ago, I learned to master a coffee machine like a pro. It's probably where I got my love of coffee from and why I search out the best coffee shops where ever I go. (Oh hey that rhymed!)

So, as you can imagine I was pretty excited when one of my favourite coffee shops The Green Coffee Machine, Cheltenham (opposite the train station) announced a Barista workshop!

Yes, really! If you love coffee and want to learn about how to get the best from your beans and the secrets of texturing milk and latte art, then this is for you!

It's not as easy as it looks - but with practise, you can be turning out a perfect cup in no time at all.

I trained when I was in Australia and the girl I worked with, Jen, was nothing short of a coffee supergirl. She could pour the perfect cup with the perfect figleaf or heart on top everytime, even after the 300th cup of the morning rush hour. She taught me how to pour the milk and how to make sure the crema was just right. And when it was busy (and could see I needed perking up) she'd shout over 'Angie, do  you want a coffeeee?' and before I could say yes, there'd be a cup waiting for me on the side.

There's nothing like the perfect cup of coffee and when you do get it just right, you'll realise why people like me go crazy about searching for a good cup.

© Angie Browning Art 2013

I must thank my colleague Rich for one of the above photos above. Rich shares my appreciation for good coffee too and loves a cup from The Green Coffee Machine too.

I believe the next workshop is on 4th October so quick! More info here > The Green Coffee Machine.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

The perfect weekend breakfast

© Dishes Undressed 
It's the weekend! Boy, am I glad it's arrived. Knowing that my alarm is not going to go off at the crack of dawn is just the snuggliest, most perfect feeling! Ahhhhh yesss!!

And, what could be more perfect than this breakfast? I've been mad about Bircher Muesli breakfasts all summer long and now winter is fast approaching I want to get the last few in before this 'cool' oaty snack turns into warming porridge.

// Mollie Makes Magazine - Check
// Runny Honey (from british bees)  - Check
// Gluten Free Porridge oats with berries - Check
// Mangos, strawberries and lots of healthy seeds on top? - Check check!!
// A few tunes from my favourite new band London Grammar - Check

Here's how you can have the perfect breakfast too....!

150g muesli mix (I used Perkier!)
1 grated Granny Smith or other eating apple
1 cup milk (or apple juice or soya/rice milk - each are just as delicious!)
A small tub of yoghurt (use alpro soya for dairy free)
1 mango
a few strawberries, sliced
Seed mix
Fresh mint (don't worry if you don't have any!)
1 tablespoon Runny Honey (I used Clarks Honey)


Mix the muesli mix with the milk (or apple juice) and refrigerate overnight (if you want soft oats, but works just as well if you don't refrigerate overnight).

In the morning take out of the fridge, add the grated apple, stir in half the yoghurt and dollop the rest on top.

Cut the mango and strawberries and sprinkle on top with the seed mix and a few mint leaves and drizzle with lashings of honey.

NB:  I am addicted to mangos. I think there has been a boom in Mango sales in recent months due to this. YEY TO THE MANGO!

POOR COFFEEEEEE into your favourite mug.

Perfect rise and shine breakfast!

Enjoy your weekends everybody!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Loads of things I really like

I haven't done a Kitchen Crushes post for a long time. So here it is!

The nights must be drawing in and getting colder because I'm finding myself doing an Internet-shopping-surf-sessh of an evening all of a sudden again.

(Left to Right)

1 // I really need a cool lunch box for the office. All mine are boring. This will do nicely! It's by Happy Jackson.

2 // And if you were an 80's child like me, you'll find a big smile appears on your face when you see this My Little Pony mug.

3 // I have so many bags full of Random Crap. When I came across this one also by Happy Jackson, I knew it would be great for all my ...well, random crap!

4 // And last but not least - I've saved the BEST till last. You know I drink a lot of coffee, right? Well, I also get a lot of takeaways and I was thinking recently about the amount of cardboard cups I use and got guilty about it as it's so wasteful. So I stumbled on 'KeepCup' the resuable takeaway coffee cup!! Sooo brilliant. And, get this, I designed this Coffee Keep Cup myself! You can customise your own too, right here!

1 // Possibly the coolest house?  Well this one in Buenos Aires I found via Remodelista.  And I really want to serve some kind of 'food truck' food from this serving hatch!

2 // And yep, I found this new book, The Truck Food Cookbook detailing some of the coolest food truck recipes in town!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Dad visits YO! Sushi

I love Sushi.  And I love bargains.

So when YO! Sushi came up with their September Blues promo of £2.50 sushi,  I was down there faster than you could say 'Chicken Katsu'.

I decided to take my parents along.  They've not been to YO! Sushi before and knew they'd love it, but wouldn't necessarily go on their own.  Although my Dad needed a bit of persuading, 'I need a big meal Ang, I can't eat little bits of fish..'

'No Dad,'  I reassured him. 'That's not what Sushi is nowadays, there's loads you can have, they're got fried rice, fried noodles, beef, chicken and cheesecake balls...'

'Cheesecake balls?'  His eyes lit up.

'Yes Dad, you'll love it.'

Dad was also relieved that he didn't have to use chopsticks either.

Dad had the vegetable firecracker rice and loved it.  He tried some sushi too, quite liked it, and then he had vegetable tempura (vegetables in batter with a dipping sauce).  Yep, you can guess he loved that too.

Dad also enjoyed the entertainment value and couldn't stop looking around and watching the food go by on the conveyor belt.  'Can I have that?  He pointed to a dish that looked like pancakes.

'Yes, you can take anything from the belt Dad, but you can't put it back!'  But it was too late, Dad had already taken the dish from the conveyor belt and started dipping it in the sweet berry dipping sauce.

'Oh wow, that's amazing'  He said, mouthful of sweet pancakes.

I quickly had to remind him, 'Don't over do it now! You won't have room for your cheesecake balls!'

Watch the little video above for my Dad's reaction!

YO! Sushi Cheltenham is just before Starbucks on the Promenade where Pizza Hut used to be.  You can't miss it.  The staff are lovely too, and all too happy to advise you of what to have and always on hand if you have a question.  The September promo ends on 13th September so get in quick!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Fab Foodie Weekend

We had a great first Fffood Swap on Saturday. A day showcasing and swapping the most amazing fresh produce, produced locally in the gardens of fab foodie’s around Gloucestershire!  Fffantastic! The yellow Courgettes were my favourite!

I met some really great people (some of you from Twitter came, thank you so much for coming by and saying hello!) and I really enjoyed showing people how to make some delicious food with my recipe demonstration!  Here’s some lovely pictures from the day if you missed it.

I also showcased some of my favourite Gluten Free products. In particular Perkier! Foods new porridge mixes,  B-Tempted foods delicious cakes and Honeybuns Bakery traybakes. We also included some in our giveaway hamper, the proceeds of which went to the Stroud Food Bank.

I picked up some apples and have my eye on making some of my Toffee Apple Pockets with some new Warburton’s new gluten free croissants!

If you’re interested in the recipes and recipe demonstrations that I did at the show, I'll be posting them up in the next few days so stay tuned!  

I also met the lovely lady, Naomi who's behind the Heavenly Pies and Puddings company - Great gluten free pies and pastry... Oh my goodness, heavenly, my Mum and I ate the roasted vegetable one and it was the best pastry I've tasted that's gluten free. Heavenly Pies sell at Stroud Farmers market so definitely worth hunting down!

I feely really lucky to live in an area where fresh and local produce is so readily available, and neighbours generously donate their produce to other's.  People here really appreciate where their food comes form here and continue to champion local producers and makers and to encourage people to buy local where it's possible. It makes such a difference.

 © Matt Bigwood Photography

And can you believe that not one penny exchanged hands in return for these goods - yes, swapping, it's the new shopping!  I'm telling you! :)

Big thanks to the Fffood Swap Team who worked magic behind the scenes to make this fantastic event come to fruition!  Well done everyone.

Also a big thank you to other food producers who donated to the Hamper including Tilda Rice and The Artisan Kitchen Preserves.  See you soon for more foodie fun!