Friday, 5 March 2010

Help Save 6Music

We have just launched the Earmuff Campaign to help save 6 Music.

We don't want to hear anything else when preparing a Sunday lunch or doing boring DIY jobs. What about you?

Take part, take photos of you and your friends with your hands over your ears!!


Monday, 8 February 2010

Make your own! Homemade Pizza for Two

How to make pizza? During the current recession climate, everyone's watching their pennies and we are no exception. So we decided to have a homemade romantic evening together.
Ingredients for pizza base
400g Strong white flour
A packet of Fast Action yeast
250ml luke warm water to help the yeast
A couple grinds of salt
A drop of olive oil
A drop of milk

Be creative, pick whatever takes you fancy and put them on the pizza. Enjoy your own creation! This is whatwe did.

100ml Tomato sauce (I bought a small tub of Tesco Bolognese sauce)
2 gloves of garlic, sliced (optional)
1 chilli, chopped (optional)

Mozzarella and Avocado Pizza
Mozzarella cheese
5 cherry tomatos
A handful of spinach
Half avocado, stoned and sliced
3 slices of parma hams

Spicy Veggie Pizza
Grated cheddar cheese, or of your choice
1 red chilli, sliced
Half an onion, quartered
Half a red pepper, diced
4 mushrooms, sliced
A quarter of a courgette, sliced

Step 1
Mix the flour, yeast and salt well. Gradually add the luke warm water and bring the mixture together. As it starts to bind, add a drop of oil and milk. Continue to bind until the outside is smooth.

If it's too slack, wet, add a bit more flour; if it's too dry, hard, add a bit more water.

Step 2
Cover the inside bowl and surface of dough with olive oil, to stop crust from forming when the dough starts to raise. Place the bowl in a warm part of the kitchen to help yeast action. (I put it on the shelf directly above a radiator) Leave for 2 to 3 hours to rise.

Step 3
The dough should have doubled in size. Poke the surface to let out some of the air. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and start kneading for a couple of minutes.

Cut the dough in two. Roll it flat (about 1-1.5cm thick) with a rolling pin (It doesn't really matter what shape it is, I think that's the beauty of homemade food) and place on a pizza tin, or just on a piece of foil. Leave it to rest until you sort out the toppings.

Step 4
Heating up the tomato sauce with garlic and chilli is optional. You can just spread a thin layer of tomato sauce straight on the pizza base.

Heat a pan with a teaspoon of olive oil, after one minute put in the chopped garlic and chilli. Stir it a bit and add the tomato sauce until it just starts to bubble. Leave it aside to cool.

Spread a thin layer of the sauce on the pizza base. Make sure you don't put too much, or it'll go soggy.

Step 5
Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree.
Now do your magic and place toppings on the pizza base in the style you like.

Step 6
Place the two pizzas in the oven and cook for 10-14 minutes.

Enjoy your homemade romance with a glass of good wine!

The Perfect Wine for Pizza

Where Italy comes to Australia from Premium Vineyards with a Wine for Pizza!

Totoiseshell Bay Shiraz/Barbera - South East Australia @ £5.99 per bottle

This is an intensely fruity wine, bursting with brambly Shiraz fruit, spice and herb notes. Barbera adds structure and freshness to the blend, which has soft tannins and a long clean finish.

When the sun goes down, let the wine warm you so you will settle down and sip some sunshine and pleasure with you Pizza!

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Valentine’s Day Recipe - Love Fish (For two)

The name says it all. A special Valentine's Day recipe brought to you by Alastair from Dorje's Wine.

Start the Ceremony for helping the Chef prepare the feast with Distant Land Marlborough Sauvignon from New Zealand.

2 x 10 oz. Salmon steaks
1 tbsp Good olive oil
Mr. Lingham chilli sauce (or other chilli sauce)
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
2cm finely chopped ginger
Juice from one lemon
1 large handful of fresh coriander
6 tomatoes
1 bulb of Fennel, peeled and quartered
6 oz. Broccoli chopped into bite size florets
1 Red pepper chopped into chunks (to add some sweetness)
½ bottle Dry Sherry
1 Banana
Tomato Ketchup
Salt and black pepper to season

Step 1
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
Pour the olive oil onto the salmon steaks and coat the salmon with Mr Lingham chilli sauce. Add the garlic, ginger and lemon juice to the salmon and mix well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Step 2
Place the salmon steaks in a baking tray on a good bed of fresh coriander.
Place tomatoes, quartered fennel, chopped broccoli and red pepper around the salmon steaks. Pour the Sherry on to mix.

Step 3
Chop bananas and place on top of the salmon steaks.
Splash good dash of tomato ketchup over the bananas and salmon steaks.

Step 4
Seal with foil and bake for 1 hour or until the vegetables are cooked.

Serve on a bed of Wild Rice.

Enjoy with a glass of orgasmic Arrogant Frog, Lily Pad Pink Sparkling Rosé!

Compliment from Alastair at

Monday, 5 January 2009

How to make Brownies

Alright, I haven't posted for while. Been busy with other stuff. I nearly consigned this blog to the graveyard like many other blogs out there and then the girlfriend made 'Brownies' on a random spur of the moment. Inspired 100% by Nigella Lawson.

The brownie recipe starts in this clip about 8 minutes in...

and continues with this clip

It's well worth the hassle - they taste absolutely divine. Not one for the New Year's diet mind.

375g Milk Chocolate
300g Butter
225g Plain Flour
6 Large Eggs
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Salt
500g Caster Sugar

Step 1
In a saucepan melt the butter and chocolate over relatively low heat stirring occasionally. Once it has all melted take off the heat.

Step 2
In a separate bowl beat the 6 eggs, vanilla, sugar and salt until well combined.

Step 3
Add the mixed ingredients from step 2 to the saucepan and mix well with the melted chocolate and butter (do not heat). Then add the flour and continue to stir until a smooth consistency.

Step 4
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. In a suitable baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper pour the mixture. Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.


Thursday, 27 November 2008

Dorjes Goes E-Commerce

For a long time now Dorje's have been the voice of expertise in the Midlands (England) for excellent wines. If its fine quality wine you're after then Dorje's is the place to go.

Run by Alistair and Jayne MacBrayne it is host to the finest quality wines from around the globe. Each wine on the exclusive wine list has been hand selected by Ali and Jayne themselves. Only the best will do.

Recently I've helped to get their website online so now you can get access to the delights of that winelist.

To celebrate this they have also put on some fantastic offers at really competitive prices.

I'm Jayne's son and designed the site aswell.

ps - their new blog has just recently kicked off too at Soon to be given a make over.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Restaurant Review: Mulan, Leeds, UK

Its location on the 1st floor next door to the Crown Buffet is perhaps a little more exclusive than you imagine they would prefer. Being that once you have scaled the flight of stairs you are faced with a bell you must ring to enter only heightens the expectations you have for the delights found inside and the feeling that you are experiencing something new. Having only been open for 2-3 months very few people outside the Chinese population of Leeds know about this place. This is confirmed to me from the fact that I'm the only western face in the room.

Mulan is an extension to the oriental food academy( that has been running here since 1995. Providing NVQ's for budding chefs and ensuring licensing laws are adhered for all who attend this establishment they really have been bringing about quality in a corner of the industry which may have been falling short in the past.

Where this restaurant really sets itself apart though is in its promise of freshly made dragging noodles on the menu. A quiet word with those on the front and they will happily open the display window to the kitchen for the chef to do a quick demonstration of the preparation of noodles. The speed at which a lump of dough is transformed into 4 different recognisable shapes of noodles is incredible and its here that you realise the ingenuity and the skills required to truly master oriental cuisine.

My partner and I ordered Beef la mian (swinging noodles) and Chicken dao xiao mian (flat knife noodles). Both dishes came as soupy dishes, a reflection of the Northern Chinese cuisine this food originates from. The flavours were complementary mostly of the meat accompanying the dishes but the real treat was the noodles themselves. It's a refreshing change to the standard dry stuff us Brits are used to. Its almost like having your eyes opened for the first time tasting freshly made noodles. Moreish is an understatement.

What Mulan really offers is an experience that you can't find elsewhere in Leeds. It's the combination of the delicious food, the personal service, the visual expertise of the chefs on hand and the insight into Northern Chinese food. One thing is for sure is that I'm going back to try another flavour of noodles.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Lamb Kebabs on Pearl Barley Broth

This dish is inspired by a recipe found in May '08 Runners World (UK) magazine by Michel Roux Jr. A protein rich broth ideal for an after-race meal. Helps replenish depleted stores of carbohydrates and salts.

If you happen to be wondering why I'm so bothered about running all of a sudden its cos I'm down to run the Berlin Marathon. Follow my training at my Tumble log

For the kebabs
325g lamg leg steaks (diced)
Cumin powder
Chilli flakes (or chilli powder)

For the broth
Half a leek (sliced)
5 chestnut mushrooms (quartered)
60g pearl barley
chicken stock (300ml)
olive oil
garlic (clove, finely chopped)
white pepper

Step 1
Heat oil in a pan and cook the garlic, leek and mushrooms until softened. Then add the chicken stock and pearl barley. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until barley is tender. Season with white pepper.

Step 2
Heat the oven to 190°C. Thread the diced lamb onto skewers place on a baking tray and sprinkle with salt, chilli flakes and olive oil. Cover generously with cumin powder.

Step 3
Cook the kebabs in the oven for 10-15mins. Serve with broth.