Sunday, 20 July 2014

Zebra Print Birthday Cake

 My beautiful little girl turned eight this weekend. Ever since March, she has known she wanted a Zebra Print cake - since seeing my gorgeous friend's Leopard Skin Cake!

I loved making this for her...

zebra theme birthday
Zebra Print Birthday Cake

9" square cake (recipe x 2)
7" square cake (recipe x 1.5)
White sugarpaste hand-painted with black food gel colouring mixed with vodka, inspired by The Krazy Kool Cakes.
Fondant bow in pink sugarpaste based on Make Fabulous Cakes.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Skinnee Chicken (with homemade kebab shop chilli sauce) Recipe

Flicking through August's Good Housekeeping, scanning for a spontaneous, quick supper, I came across a promotion for a brand of cooking spray, and a Lebanese recipe for Chicken Fattee, by James Ramsden.
Chicken Fattee is a Lebanese dish made up of layers, based on dried bread toasted in butter, with various toppings, the top layer always a yoghurt dressing. I had only about half the ingredients - which is why I've re-named it - so I improvised (a lot) and ended up with a delicious grilled chicken dish served with a chilli sauce just like one you'd get in a decent kebab shop! (Not that I would frequent one of those too often... ahem.)
Himself was pleased anyway...
lebanese chicken recipe
Chicken Skinnee

Serves 2
400 g chicken fillets
Olive oil (in spray form if you have it)
1 tbsp harissa spice mix (use ras el hanout for a real Lebanese flavour)
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 stick cinnamon
300 ml tomato passata
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tortillas (or pitta)
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
3 inch cucumber, diced
Grill the chicken for about 3-4 minutes each side. Slice into bite-sized pieces.
Pan-fry the onion for a few minutes, then add in the garlic until softened. Add the harissa spice mix, chilli flakes, and cinnamon and fry for less than a minute then add in the tomato passata, red wine vinegar, and sugar. Simmer for about 15 minutes until thickened.
Dice up the salad - red onion, pepper and cucumber.
Grill the tortillas, with a spray of olive oil, for 1 minute each side until crisp, then quarter.

Serve the tortilla, topped with the tomato chilli sauce, then the sliced chicken and salad.


Sunday, 6 July 2014

Zilouf's Islington - Restaurant Review

(Zilouf's is now 100 ISLINGTON)

My brief for a girlie night out (really out, not just the local pub - Mums On The Town) was cocktails, cocktails and some food to set us up for the evening. Zilouf's ticked all the boxes. Located towards the Highbury end of Upper Street, we entered a seemingly regular pub, the clientele young, gorgeous and trendy (we fitted it perfectly, obviously). At the back, a dining room, cosy and quirky - some of the wallpaper could be construed as slightly rude, were they leaves, were they...?

Lovely, attentive and knowledgeable staff advised us on the cocktail menu, classics with a twist. Or, as we discovered, 'blow-the-head-off-you cocktails!' First round was a Margarita, a Mojito and a strawberry Daiquiri, giving the nod to the classics, along with a Hoxton 100 (ginger, lychee, chilli, lemon and fizz) and an Overproof Hurricane (a blend of rums, pineapple, Cointreau, lime, spices, and passionfruit). Strong, was one word. Second round was mainly Hoxton 100s. Oh yes, good choice.

The tapas-style small plates were perfect for sharing. Of the ten dishes on the menu we ordered eight, leaving out only the sprouting broccoli (I mean, who needs that on a night out) and the steak tartare - it's too rare for some people. But the dishes we chose were a selection of mouth-watering plates, all modern with an Asian-fusion theme. From the pork belly to the prawn toast, the flavours were zingy, fiery and oh-so-tasty, the seared salmon was 'lush', the cuttlefish fritter, 'unusual', and the spiced crispy beef the 'chilli-est' dish we had. A couple of vegetarian options - beetroot and feta salad, and a miso and apple concoction complemented pretty well, as did the triple cooked chips with mustard aioli. Feeling full - but not too stuffed, it was great to taste a little of everything, and head out for the rest of the evening with tingling tongues, taking the atmospheric buzz of Zilouf's with us.

270 Upper Street 
N1 2QU
Tel: 020 7226 1118
Cocktails: £7.50-9.00
Dinner: ~£35 p/p
Square Meal Ziloufs on Urbanspoon