Thursday, 13 June 2013

Thursdays party food

Every Thursday I will be bringing you a  recipe perfect for parties. Its all in the preparation!!
You really don't need to be spending the morning of the party making sandwiches, these recipes will mean all the preparation can be done in the days before so you can relax & enjoy the party.

Quail scotch eggs (recipe for 12 eggs)

  • 12 quail eggs
  • 400g  plain  sausage meat 
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme (no stalks) or 2 tsp  dried thyme
  • 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g  plain flour
  • 200g Panko breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying

  • Prepare a bowl of ice water. Bring a litre or two of water to the boil in a pan. Carefully drop the quail's eggs in & boil for 2 minutes

  • Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and place into ice cold water. Once they are cold, peel & set aside. Be very careful when handling the quail's eggs – they will be soft & fragile.

  • Using your hands, mix the sausage meat in a bowl with the chopped thyme, oil & a pinch of salt and pepper
  • Divide the sausage mixture into 12 equal quantities & press flat between your hands to form a thin sheet of the sausage mixture. Carefully wrap each quail's egg in the mixture, packing the eggs solid and ensuring that there are no air pockets

  • Cover the Scotch eggs with cling film & refrigerate for 15 minutes to set

  • Whisk the hen's eggs in a bowl. Place the flour & panko breadcrumbs on 2 different plates

  • Cover each Scotch egg with the flour, egg & then panko breadcrumbs, then roll again in egg & breadcrumbs, lightly coating each time. The second coating prevents any cracks when frying

  • Heat the deep fat fryer to 175˚C & fry the scotch eggs for 3 minutes.

I mince organic pork shoulder to make my sausage meat. I just like to know what I'm putting in my food, but you can buy prepared sausage meat from butchers.

You can make this the day before & serve cold at the party with some home made brown sauce

I prefer panko breadcrumbs as it gives a crispier finish but you can use normal breadcrumbs.

I like the quails eggs to be a little runny in the middle but if you prefer a hard yolk add a minute to the boiling time at the start.

Also perfect for picnics

Anna x

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Keeping kids entertained while dining out

As anyone with  kids knows, eating out can be hit or miss, especially if you'd like to go somewhere a step up from fast food! I came up with a way to ease the pain of dining out by bringing along a restaurant kit when we go out.

Here's what I put in our restaurant kit for kids:

1. Start with the bag - A small cosmetics bag would work great - I used a bag with a clear front so that I could see inside easily & its heavy duty material lets me clean it off. 

2. Little blank notebooks for each of the kids - fun for drawing, noughts & crosses or pretending to be the waiter.

3. Extra plastic utensils - just in case (sometimes the restaurant only has large heavy utensils which are impractical for little kids & sometimes the fork is on the floor with no replacement in sight).

4. Assorted little toys - I tried to pick things that both kids would enjoy & that could spark some imaginative play.

5. Extra straws - Sometimes restaurants don't have straws or they're only giant straws. I have some thin straws in our kit,  I also cut down some straws so that they fit kid-sized glasses better.

6. Little card games - Snap, happy families or flashcards

7. Crayons - I put them in ziplock bags which hold up better than the little cardboard boxes

8. Little books - We have a Velveteen Rabbit set which breaks the story up into 6 little books, but any little books would work.

9. Sticker books or stickers - The reusable sticker books are great for a restaurant kit because then you know that the stickers won't permanently bond to the table, chairs or floor of the restaurant!

10. Printable coloring pages from Of course you can also find coloring & activity pages at a lot of other sites as well. I've found on some printers you can adjust the print settings to print 4 pages on one, which shrinks the images down to a smaller size - great for going in the kit & for coloring on the table without taking up a ton of space.

Of course, a phone with some kid-friendly apps works well too, but I try to avoid the electronic crutch when possible.

Anna x