Two-ingredient Date Paste

date paste ritual feasts

Quick and easy Date Paste Recently I have made improvements to my personal eating habits.  More greens and less processed ingredients.  It goes without saying that every now and then I would still like to have a little extra sweetness in my life.  While looking at different recipes I picked up that many recipes call for date paste or Agwa. Instead of heading out and buying a ready-made jar or date paste, make your own.  It’s easy!  You can use fresh or dried dates.  For this recipe I used dried…

Panna Cotta made with Herbal Tea

Panna cotta made with herbal tea

Panna cotta is a great dessert to have in your repertoire.  I find it incredibly forgiving for a beginner (or when you are distracted while making them).  Panna cotta’s are best made a day in advance, so it is ideal for family get-togethers.  All you need to do is pull them out of the fridge, unmould and serve.   With so many flavour options, you will be spoiled for choice.  Don’t forget about that Lavender sugar sitting in your pantry.  This is a great opportunity to use it for the…

Festive homemade pear liqueur

How to make pear liqueur

I love making things from scratch.  In high school, I had a friend who’s brother made homemade liqueur.  I found it fascinating.   With Christmas right around the corner, this Aromatic Pear Liqueur will make the perfect adult foodie gift.  It’s delicious served ice cold or topped up with sparkling water.  Making homemade liqueur is just another day in my life as a private chef.   Having the opportunity to experiment gives me great pleasure as a chef. Pushing and exploring my creativity is fantastic. I found the process pleasantly simply.…

How to make lavender sugar

How to make lavender sugar

How to make lavender sugar When it comes to baking especially, there are small little changes that can uplift a recipe from.  Every day tastes can become something special with some thought and planning. Lavender sugar is one of these little changes.  It’s ridiculously easy to make and will give delightful results (and lavender has many health benefits).   I am very lucky to have extensive gardens available to me during the day with several different types of lavender.  Any type will do.  Some are more fragrant than others –…

How to make Ciabatta at home

How to make Ciabatta

Everyone has that one thing they can’t wait to cool down for.  Cookies, pastries, pie… Mine is Ciabatta.  To be very precise, it’s the end pieces of Ciabatta hot out of the oven with a smear of salted butter. It’s food heaven for me. Ciabatta is also not something you would normally consider to make at home.  I spent years making it in professional kitchens with huge stand mixers.  The dough needs a good, fast beating which these machines provide with no problems.  I tried making a single batch at…

Top 12 uses for fresh lemon

Fresh lemon sliced open in water

When it comes to bringing food to life I love fresh lemon.   Here are my top twelve uses for fresh lemon: Instead of adding more salt to your cooking or finished dish, rather add a squirt of fresh lemon. Maximize the amount of juice you can extract from a lemon by popping it in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Be careful when you squeeze – it may be hot! Alternatively, if you need to squeeze a lot of juice, put the fresh lemon in the freezer for a day and…

How to make Marzipan with white chocolate

almonds falling out of a glass jar

Marzipan is one of my all-time favorite foods. I just can’t get enough of the stuff. It is a love affair that has gone on for many years. Followers of my previous blog may also have noticed a liking for white chocolate. This trend has not yet taken a downturn. It makes sense then that I was absolutely obsessed for years about how to make it.  What was the right ratio to use?  Would the recipe I chose work or would it end up an expensive flop. Today I wanted to…

How to cook Okra

How to cook Okra

For some reason, a lot of people seem to be unsure of how to cook Okra. If you follow this quick method you will have no problem to serve up a delicious helping of this tasty vegetable. Okra is a hairy little green pod with West African origins, but it grows well in many other regions. I don’t often find it in the supermarkets here, which is unfortunate as it is incredibly tasty. When prepared correctly of course. It has a bad reputation for being slimy. This is a result…