Food

Sky Garden in London – late lunch with a sunset!

Recently opened London’s Sky Garden, the highest public garden offers unforgettable views of the city. You can either book a free visit to the garden or book a place at the bar, brassiere or restaurant. I’ve chosen Darwin Brassiere for a late lunch at 3pm. This time was perfect for catching a sunset at around 4:30 pm (winter time sunset!). The food was not as expensive as I thought it would be compared to the other skyscrapers I’ve visited in London. I will definitely go back as it is a great place in the City to have a meal or a drink and probably the best 360 view of London.

Sky Garden London

Sky Garden London view

Sky Garden View on Thames river

Sky Garden City view

Sky Garden

Sky Garden view

Sky Garden restaurant

rain in London

Get fit get happy!

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It is not easy for me to wake up early in the morning and exercise for an hour. It takes a lot of determination to exercise at least 4 times a week, especially with such a busy schedule and workload everyone face in those crazy chasing for money times! Here are some things which motivate me to get on with it and maintain the healthy lifestyle. Special thanks to my boyfriend, who is trying to wake me up in the mornings as he is leaving for his gym session. x

wake up prince

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Taste of London 2013

oysters and champagne - Taste of London 2013

I’ve been to Taste of London festival for the first time and I must admit that I didn’t expect it to be such a success as I’m not a big fan of crowded places! However, crowded place with abundance of delicious food and tasty champagne that’s more like it! I went with a group of people, who were invited to the event by Electrolux, a Swedish multinational household and professional appliances manufacturer. The brand sells a variety of products, including cookers, washing machines, dishwashers and fridges.

ELECTROLUX CHEFS' SECRETS

Besides enjoying outstanding dishes we were invited to attend a cooking class with Simon Hulstone, a Michelin start chef. We took part in a hands on cookery session where we picked up kitchen secrets as well as learnt the benefits of induction and steam cooking. I was really surprised that the induction hob was so easy to use and didn’t make me hot, which I normally get when cooking on my old hob at home.

We ended up buying some cheese, cooking oil, chorizo sausage, delicious bread, as well as Belgium chocolate from the stands at the event. Overall it was a great day out and I will definitely come back next year.

ELECTROLUX CHEFS' SECRETS

ELECTROLUX CHEFS' SECRETS

ELECTROLUX CHEFS' SECRETS

ELECTROLUX CHEFS' SECRETS

ELECTROLUX CHEFS' SECRETS

And  VOILA!

ELECTROLUX CHEFS' SECRETS

ELECTROLUX CHEFS' SECRETS

Taste of London 2013

Banana, walnut, chocolate chip muffins

"baked muffins with banana, walnut, and chocolate chip"

Here’s a very easy recipe I’ve got from my friend Patrycja for delicious banana, walnut and chocolate chip muffins. You can pretty much add to the them anything you like; I really love the combined taste of bananas, chocolate and walnuts. The muffins also taste lovely with some blueberries.

It probably took me not more than 20 minutes to prepare the ingredients and then another 20 min to wait for the muffins to bake. Easy and delicious! That’s how I like it!

Ingredients

250g of flour

1 cup of sugar

1 small bag of vanilla sugar

1.5 tsp of baking powder

1 small bottle of vanilla flavor

2 eggs

1 cup of milk

100g of butter

Additives (depending on what you like: banana, walnut, chocolate chips, blueberries, cranberries, cinnamon, etc.)

Method

Mix eggs with milk and the vanilla flavor (can be mixed just with a fork). Melt butter, cool it down and add to the egg and milk mixture.

Then, mix all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.

Lastly combine wet and dry ingredients mixing everything together until smooth.

Prepare a muffin baking tray and put a spoon of the mixture to each of the holes. Then, add some of the lavish extras (I always stir in some banana mash and add walnuts and chocolate chips) and cover it with a next layer of the mixture. Then add some more the extras on the top.

Bake for not more than 20 minutes in a preheated over at about 190 degrees (depends on the over, I took out mine already after 17 min).

Depending on how much extras you’re going to add, the recipe allows for 15 muffins.

Enjoy!

"muffin ingredients"

"muffins in the oven"

"baked muffins with banana, walnut, and chocolate chip"

Signature dish: Fried sweet chilli chicken

"fried_Sweet_Chilli_Chicken"

Pic: Channel 5

Everyone has their signature dish, a meal that they treat their friends and family with on the big occasions. I’ve never fallen for classics like a Sunday roast or meet dishes but I do love Asian cuisine and have been always fascinating with the flavours from that part of the world. Once watching a Channel 5 programme called Chinese in minutes, I’ve fallen in love with a fried sweet chilli chicken dish. At first it looked dead easy to make and the girl indeed cooked it in 10 minutes.

I thought to myself, this is it, tasty Asian meal in just 10 minutes! I’ve decided to make my wok in a good use and bought all the exotic ingredients and realised that actually the dish will take more than an hour to make. 10 minutes takes to make a sauce in the end when all the ingredients are chopped and chicken has been previously fried. Chopping is fairly easy but deep frying pieces of chicken, especially if you want to make a dinner for 6 people takes forever and you end up being closed in a hell hot kitchen for more than an hour! But don’t get discourage there as all that hard work is so worth it in the end and make everyone compliment your cooking skills.

Here is a recipe for my signature dish Fried Sweet Chilli Chicken, which I keep making every couple of months regardless of the time I need to spend on as it is really delicious. )The recipe below is for 4 people).

"sweet chili chicken ingredients"

Ingredients

1 kg of chicken breasts (can also be thighs & drumsticks skinned and halved on the bone)

two glasses of cornflour (you can add more if needed, depends of amount of chicken you have)

4 egg whites

groundnut oil for deep-frying

salt & ground white pepper

For the sauce

1-2 garlic bulbs, finely chopped (depends on how much  you like the garlic, I always add loads)

4cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced

2 medium red chilli, deceeded

600 ml of sweet chilli sauce (this time I added two small bottles plus 1/4 of the big bottle I have left over from last time)

4 tablespoon light soy sauce

juice of 1 lime

1 small handful of freshly chopped coriander

Method

Season the chicken breast pieces with salt and white pepper.

"chicken pieces"

Combine the cornflour and egg whites to make a batter.

"mixing the batter"

Place all the chicken pieces in the batter as it saves you time to dunk it one a time later.

"chicken in the batter"

Heat a wok over a high heat and fill it to one-third of its depth with groundnut oil. When the oil is heated well dip the previously covered in batter chicken pieces in the oil. Deep fry the chicken for about 5 minutes until crispy and golden.

"deep frying chicken"

Lift the chicken out of the oil using some kind of spider spoon (I got mine from Chinese shop) or tongs. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.

"chinese spoon"

"deep fried chicken"

"deep fried chicken"

After all the chicken is deep fried, pour the oil from the wok through a sieve into the heatproof container. I usually tend to clean the wok after deep frying before putting it back on the hob to make a sauce. That is because sometimes the chicken get burnt to the bottom of the wok as I don’t use a proper spider for deep frying.

To make the sauce, wipe out the wok and heat over a high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of drained oil and, when it starts to smoke, add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir fry for a few seconds.

"chopped chili, ginger and garlic"

"stir frying garlic, ginger and chilies"

Then, add the chilli sauce, soy sauce and lime juice. Mix well.

"sweet chili sauce"

Return the chicken to the wok and turn the coat in the hot sauce, then stir the coriander and serve immediately (I tend to add coriander after the chicken is on the plate, look better, but ironically this time I forgot about the coriander because I was so hungry!)

"Fried sweet chili chicken"

Enjoy the chicken with some fresh vegetables & white or brown rice; beans work very well with this dish.

"cleaning the beans"

ENJOY!

"Fried sweet chili chicken with beans"

 

Sunday treat – Homemade Fruit Salad

"fruits in a bowl"

In our busy lives we tend to forget that instead of buying chocolate bars and crisps we could have a healthy snack instead. There is nothing better than a fruit salad made from fresh fruits! It works out cheaper than buying an already cut and packaged fruit in the supermarket and you decide what you put it in.

I’ve used my favorite fruits this time: Mango, Banana, Kiwi, Nectarine, & Blueberries. (you can also add peaches from a can if you don’t have nectarines)

"fruits"

"fruit salad ingredients"

"fruit salad"

"fruit salad"

"fruit salad in a bowl"

Berry King cake

Delicious cake, which is not only looking good but also tastes like heaven! Doesn’t involve loads of work.

"Berry King cake"

Ingredients:

3 boxes of mascarpone cheese 250 g

3 sponge cake bases

3 boxes of fresh raspberries

3 egg yolks

500 ml of whipped cream

150 g of powdered sugar

"cake ingredients"

Strawberry sauce:

0.5 kg of frozen strawberries

2 spoons of sugar

1,5 glass of white wine (semi sweet)

To a saucepan we put frozen strawberries (I added frozen raspberries and some fresh strawberries as I couldn’t find frozen strawberries anywhere…) with two spoons of sugar. We cook it for around 2 minutes constantly stirring. Next, we add white wine and leave on low heat for 15 minutes.

"cooking berries with wine"

"cooking berries with wine"

We should end up with a strawberry mousse.

"cooked berries with white wine"

Next, we whip the cream.

"mixer"

"whipped cream"

In a large bowl we grind the egg yolks with powdered sugar to a smooth mass.

"mixing eggs and powdered sugar"

"mixed eggs and powdered sugar"

Stirring constantly, we add the mascarpone cheese. In the end, we should get a smooth, white mass.

"mixing mascarpone cheese"

"mixing mascarpone cheese"

Then we add the whipped cream into the mascarpone cheese mass and stir it in gently.

"mixing mascarpone cheese with whipped cream"

We place the first sponge base on the cake stand. We soak it with the strawberry mousse.

"spreading the berries sos"

Then, we put the mascarpone and whipped cream mass on the top and we cover it with another cake sponge. We repeat it until we use all three sponge cake bases.

"layers of sponge base"

Finally, we carefully cover the whole cake with the remaining of the white paste.

"covering the cake with the white mascarpone and whipped cream mix"

To make the cake look beautiful, we garnish it with fresh raspberries. Bon appetit!

"Berry King cake"

"Berry King cake"

"Berry King cake"

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