Saturday, 8 August 2009

First time cooking on a boat

Went to London to visit my daughter who lives on a fantastic houseboat opposite Canary Wharf in South East London. Such a dinky little thing all painted out in duck egg blue and white washed inside. Lovely old working wood burner keeps it toasty, original port holes giving a great skyline view of London. You climb onboard and really are transported to another world. She doesn't notice it but you can feel yourself swaying from side to side which is a real reminder that you really are living on water!

Time to eat...made a pastry dish. Puff pastry, serrano ham, roasted vine tomatoes and balsamic glaze and crumbled feta cheese. Really delicious.

Completely normal standard fitted kitchen but there is the odd quirk...whatever goes into the oven or on the hob tilts slightly to the left! Your choice, perfect, or smile and enjoy!

Brownies for dessert, courtesy of my daughter. BEST BROWNIES EVER. If you like rich, gooey, moist, chocolate brownies this is the recipe for you, even better warm with ice cream. Not only that but they are gluten free and you would never know.

Gooey chocolate brownies (gluten free)
300g plain chocolate, broken up
250g butter, plus extra for greasing
5 eggs
300g caster sugar
250g plain gluten free flour
200g chocolate chips
1. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a large bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Remove from the heat, stir gently until smooth and allow to cool. Butter a shallow, rectangular ovenproof dish and preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
2. Beat the eggs with the sugar in a separate bowl. Once the chocolate is cooled, stir in the egg and sugar mixture. (Make sure the chocolate is cool or it will cook the eggs.)
3. Sift the flour over and stir evenly into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips and pour into the prepared dish (also nice with broken up dime bars. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes until just set, I always find slightly undercooking it makes it even more gooey and delicious.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Summer wedding

Back from the market

Had the honour of being asked to ' add creative touches' to the wedding of a friend this summer.
The most bountiful of seasons with flowers at their most beautiful. Between us we chose an informal country style look, perfectly suited to the big showy blooms of the peony, large headed
roses and accompanying sprays of variegated foliage all loosely tied up with some gorgeous vintage lace I had found, hopefully something for her to keep. The overall look was one of a bouquet almost in soft focus naturally complimenting the happiest of brides.

The venue was decorated simply with a mix of field flowers , gypsophila, peonies, roses and
hydrangeas, all casually arranged in a mismatched retro jugs, bowls and tea cups.

I had also found a lovely old typewriter, I then got bride and groom to write a love letter to one another in secret.. Placed on a corner table, it was a tender moment to see their
faces. A memory and future keepsake.

Chocolate shoes and added teapot spilling over with big blooms give the onlooker something to smile about...edible too !

Happy memories...hopefully I didn't let them down...