In (& Out Of) My Kitchen | A Busy Month

I’ve been on Instagram for just over a year and I’ve quickly come to love it. It’s quite distinct from other social media platforms, though it also lends itself to some cross-sharing – I push selected instagrams across to twitter, facebook and to my Nibbles tumblr, which in turn feeds through to the Kavey Eats sidebar. The downside, if there is one, is that I often forget to share some of my food and drinks experiences here on the blog. So for this month’s In My Kitchen, I thought I’d take a meander through some of the last few weeks via my instagrams.

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At the beginning of March, Pete and I took the opportunity to visit the recently opened Sky Garden, housed in that skyscraper that lookslike a mobile phone. It’s (currently) free to visit, but tickets must be booked in advance. Although there are some pretty planted terraces within the space, I think it’s a slight exaggeration to describe the space as a garden, as most of the space is taken up by a restaurant and a cafe terrace space. That said, the views of London are beautiful, and if you’re planning a trip to London, it’s a fun thing to do.

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Afterwards, we popped across to Bad Egg Bar & Diner where we enjoyed a giant fried pork belly rib, huevos rancheros, portion of fries, dulce de leche milkshake and a couple of beers for very reasonable prices.

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We made use of our slow cooker to make a delicious batch of Boston Baked Beans which we enjoyed with slices of Clonakilty black pudding.

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I finally remembered to bake some of the Japanese kit kats friends brought back for me last year – they’ve been sitting forgotten in a box for several months. Note: these kit kats are designed to be baked, I’m not sure this would work well with regular kit kats!

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I was blown away by some particularly fabulous lychees from a local grocery shop – so plump and super sweet.

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Pete and I met with the creators of Codlo, an affordable and space-saving sous vide solution which converts your existing slow cooker or rice cooker into a fully functional sous vide machine. Our results so far have been very positive indeed, and I’ll be writing a full review to share soon.

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I got my hands on my friend Mat Follas’ first book, Fish and it’s a cracker. Review coming in the May issue of Good Things magazine, for which I’m still a regular contributor.

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McVitie’s sent me some of their cuddly toys and biscuits – the cuddly soft toys are super soft and super cute. And I can never resist a chocolate digestive (though, for the record, I think the dark chocolate ones are way tastier!)

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We combined a visit to our wonderful local pub, The Bohemia (in North Finchley) with a catch up with our friend Dom, who is currently in the process of launching his new chocolate brand. In the meantime, we happily purchased his excellent chocolate bars, such as this bar of Trinidad 60% Laverstoke Buffalo Milk Chocolate with Halen Mon Vanilla Sea Salt. Delicious!

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It’s a constant source of surprise to me that North Finchley can support quite so many coffee shops, with new cafes opening every few months to add to the list. But I’m glad Harris & Hoole are one of the options as their hot chocolate and banana cake make a very welcome breakfast after an early morning local appointment. And service is consistently helpful and friendly too.

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I can rarely resist browsing our local Tiger store whenever we pass and on my last visit I found these gorgeous individual oven dishes, as well as a funky white jug to send my friend Celia for her Festivalof50 birthday celebrations. (You can see that jug over on Celia’s blog and watch the video created by our fellow blogger Jason from Don’t Boil The Sauce! – yes I’m in it, looking quite demented!)

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Once again, I was invited to be a judge for the International Chocolate Awards. Of course, it’s a pleasure to taste some excellent chocolate, but the judging is taken very seriously, with regular palate checks and palate cleansing (icky gloopy polenta, but it works) and a carefully considered marking system.

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I attended the inaugural Good Things Supperclub, a pop up dinner featuring recipes from our latest issue – I think it’s fair to say that everyone enjoyed the evening.

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Gregg’s The Bakers invited me to visit a store and try their new breakfast range – which was shockingly good value and very tasty. Just as well there’s not one near my new office or I’d be far too tempted to have a sausage baguette every morning. We also picked up a few of their doughnuts and were amazed at the quality of these, especially at the price point – the caramel custard and chocolate custard ones we bought definitely rivalled those by Krispy Kreme (which I buy regularly) and were far less expensive.

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A Sunday visit to Maltby Street Market saw us devouring a truly fantastic burger from Grant Hawthorne’s African Volcano peri peri stall. We also took home samples of his new smoked salmon -both the peri peri dry rub and the treacle and peri peri sauce varieties were excellent. Keep an eye out for those going on sale soon.

We had a lovely visit to Anspach & Hobsday Brewery, where we chatted with Jack Hobsday about the history of the brewery, the individual beers and the adjacent market. Pete was seriously impressed with the beers. Left to right above, the (third of pint) tasters are A&H’s White Coffee Milk Stout, Pale Ale and Table Porter. We bought home a big box of several of their beers, so look out for full reviews of their bottled range on Pete Drinks soon.

Of course, we also did some shopping – a couple of St John’s custard doughnuts and some fantastic Iberico ham from Tozino, which we had for dinner along with the African Volcano salmon and the Gouda cheese I received from Kaashandel Peters.

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Pete experimented with some kamut flour that we purchased from Tuxford Windmill a few weeks previously. This was Pussy Galoaf loaf 6 and although it was denser than the usual white loaves we’ve been making, the texture was nice and even and the taste very pleasant.

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Just before I started my latest contract (having been working from home for the last couple of months) I spent a happy day down in London catching up with friends for dim sum at Princess Garden and cake at The Delaunay Counter before grabbing a tasty Honest Burger at Camden and heading on to an excellent Tea Tasting event run by Momo Cha Fine Teas.

Glad to find that their teas are as magnificent as ever – I placed an order for more of their incredible High Mountain Oolong the very next day!

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The last Sunday in March was a decadent affair, as I accepted an invitation to Sunday Brunch at the Rosewood Hotel, in celebration of their recently launched Slow Food & Living Market. Unlike other small-scale food markets I’ve visited, this little market is perfectly curated and the range of top quality produce is fantastic, with current stallholders including O’Shea’s Butchers, Hansen & Lydersen (smoked fish), Oliver’s Bakery, Nyborg’s Kitchen, Hiver Honey Beer, Anspach & Hobday brewery, Lalani & Co fine teas, Gosnells London Mead, and other stalls offering fresh produce, dairy and cheese as well as chocolates, cakes and more. It’s not huge but every stall is a good one, so it’s a lovely place to browse and shop. The brunch, featuring produce from the market, was also excellent, though pretty pricy at £60 per person without drinks.

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Surprisingly late in life, I finally spotted and bought some fresh garlic – this is fully grown (unlike wet garlic, which is usually harvested before the bulb has developed much) but still green from the harvest, rather than the dried bulbs we more commonly buy. It has a far milder flavour than the dried equivalent and was delicious in a pasta sauce alongside finely diced homemade fuet.

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Another invitation, this time to a fun blogger event hosted by Tonia Buxton at The Real Greek restaurant in Soho. After some light learning (mixing our own tapenade and learning how to stuff dolmades) we enjoyed a tasty dinner – the menu is affordable and tasty.

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Over the Easter weekend, Pete and I were very happy to discover that the newly taken over local Vietnamese restaurant, now called Phó’ Viet Hu’ó’ng, is better than ever. My dish is the co’m su’ó’n (pork ribs and fried egg with rice) and Pete had mi xào (egg noodles) with chicken and veg. Better still, lunch was only £5.50 each including a soft drink. Very very tasty!

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Easter cooking at home included a simple rosemary roast lamb and some hot cross buns – despite the somewhat Jackson Pollock-esque crosses, they turned out very nicely!

 

I’m submitting this (mammoth) In My Kitchen post to Celia’s round up over at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial.

Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!
49 Comments to "In (& Out Of) My Kitchen | A Busy Month"

  1. kaveyeats

    Heh, it certainly is, with my gorgeous rum cake in the foreground! 😉

    Reply
  2. kaveyeats

    Just a small local grocery store near me in North Finchley. We have several such stores, we’re lucky!

    Reply
  3. nazima

    what a mammoth round up – a very busy month! hope you had a good Easter – the food you had certainly looks delicious!

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Thank you Nazima! I really hadn’t realised how much we had done until I looked back through my last month’s instagrams!!

    Reply
  4. Joanne T Ferguson

    WOW What a wonderfully exciting post and your lychees caught my eye!
    Hope you enjoyed Easter and thank you for your lovely kitchen views via Instagram this month too!

    Reply
  5. kaveyeats

    I’ve not done this kind of one before, where I pull through from instagram on some of the stuff that doesn’t usually make it to the blog! Was fun!

    Reply
  6. Elaine @ foodbod

    Wow! What an amazing post! You’ve done so much!!! That fresh garlic looks very interesting and the loaf with kamut flour looks great. So much to look at and read 🙂
    Have a great day x

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Thanks Elaine, was a much busier month than I realised. I left some stuff out! 😉

    Reply
  7. Elaine @ foodbod

    PS I had no idea you are involved in Mamtas Kitchen, I’ve made so many recipes from that website! It’s great 🙂
    And what is the name of your IG account?

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    That’s so lovely, I’m glad to hear it. Yes, we set Mamta’s Kitchen up back in 2001!
    On instagram I’m @Kaveyf – I’ll add it to my Follow me links box.

    Reply
  8. kaveyeats

    Aah yes, the bakeable kit kats — I guess it would be worth seeing what happened with regular ones but I’m guessing the chocolate would just melt off…

    Reply
  9. Andrea @ Made With Pink

    What a fantastic month you’ve had. So much going on, I’m slightly jealous lol. I’ve been to the Sky Garden a few times now on my lunch break. I agree that it’s hard to consider it a park, but it’s a neat thing to do, especially since it’s free. I saw on instragram that they’ve opened up the outside terrace now too, so I’d like to go back and see that. Wish I could have been in your shoes at the chocolate awards! Lucky you!

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Andrea, it was a shame the outside terrace was closed, if I’m heading that way I’ll try and book to go back for that!

    Reply
  10. Selma | Selma's Table

    Gosh, Kavey, you have had a very busy month! Visiting Sky Garden is something I have been meaning to do so thanks for the reminder and those lychees look fabulous!! I don’t know why I thought you lived in Tooting – I seem to remember reading through some of your posts a couple of years ago and thinking – oh she’s just round the corner!!

    Reply
  11. sherry from sherrys pickings

    crikey so many things in your kitchen:) i have never heard of kit kats you can bake-sounds amazing. and what lovely lychees you have there. and the toys are very cute. Love the sausage baguette and the fresh garlic. well there is just too much going on here for me to comment on:)) lovely!!

    Reply
  12. JJ - 84thand3rd

    You’ve had quite the busy month 😀 We got some of those KitKats in Japan but had no idea they were meant to be baked – they went to work with RJ and are all gone! Thanks for the peek into what you’ve been up to.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Oh, yes these ones are for baking but there are similar ones that are not and you can eat the baking type without baking anyway! 🙂

    Reply
  13. EllaDee

    Wow… that’s the most expansive IMK ever, I think. Wonderful. I was only last night while what a cooking show wondering about sous vide. The Codlo adapter is very interestoing 🙂

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Yeah, I really didn’t think I had done that much in March, when I started writing it… mostly outside my kitchen, rather than in it! Full Codlo review posting soon!

    Reply
  14. Mandy

    What an incredibly tasty month you have had – scrumptious from beginning to end.
    Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    Reply
  15. Nancy | Plus Ate Six

    Mammoth indeed!!! I wish it wasn’t an hour away from dinner when I started reading this post!!! I’m very interested in that sous vide of yours it sounds incredible. I’m going to have to look for some black pudding to bring back with me on my summer UK trip 🙂

    Reply
  16. Anne

    Off to Sky Garden in a couple of weeks, so good to get a preview. Rather fancy a few of those lychees to eat on the way there.

    Reply
  17. Beck

    What a busy month Kavey! I’m fascinated by the sous vide adaptation device, I’ll have to look it up.

    Reply
  18. Lisa

    Such a lot happening in your kitchen this month! I have to confess you had me at salted caramel milkshake and baked kit kats… But then to follow up with fresh lychees, chocolate judging and so many delicious meals… Well, what a feast (for the eyes and the belly).

    I love Tiger stores. I’m sad we don’t have one anywhere close to where I am.

    Thank you so much for a fabulous tour xx

    Reply
  19. Liz

    What a busy month, but looks like you had lots of fun. I am on Instagram but can’t get my arms around it. Keep thinking I should do more but there isn’t enough time.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I have always enjoyed photography, so the more visual nature of instagram is something I enjoy. Plus I can push some of the content across to twitter, facebook and my tumblr so easily.

    Reply
  20. celia

    Kavey, you always make London SO appealing – whenever I read your posts or see your pics, I want to rush over there for a visit. The Sky Garden looks amazing! Such great food you’ve been eating – I love that you go to the places I read about, like St John – and I adore my funky little jug, thank you again!

    Reply

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