Saturday, 22 December 2018

Our first book is now published and online!

For many hours in the last few weeks, I have been busy with cooking and making up a cooking book as a memento for the Visiting scholars who joined me in the previous year. It is called From Spade to Plate, bringing the world together around a kitchen table.
It has been frustrating at times but learned a lot in the meantime and am now excited to see the end result.

The Apple template was beautiful and to use, that does mean however that I can only publish it on Apple devices. So my apologies to those who are not able to access the information online.
Good news though is that all the recipes in the books (and pictures for that matter) are on this blog somewhere.

For those people who can pick up the hard copy up from me in Cambridge, they will be greeted with a  beautiful book printed by Minuteman Press on Victoria Road. Dario has been brilliant.

The first batch of 30 that was printed, was distributed within no time as Christmas is looming. Over the last couple of weeks, I had feedback to correct any errors we spotted so hopefully the online book is now without mistakes: fingers crossed.

I can now have a little pause before setting up the 2nd book with Spring and Summer experiences.

If you can, have a look online, go to the iBooks Store and in the search box type Karina Wells and the book should be popping up for you to download.  Enjoy!

Monday, 17 December 2018

Christmas coffee morning - Book launch

Today was such an exciting day as it was the launch of the first From Spade to Plate cookbook.
It was lovely to see how much my friends enjoyed them, even though we have already spotted a few mistakes!  So the 2nd edition will be in the making.

I made some hot apple Christmas juice, with puff pastry mince pies, anise biscotti and an amazing strawberry Christmas star. To be honest I was surprised myself. Here is the link on how to make it.
The anise biscotti are included in the cookbook.

Monday, 10 December 2018

What is in the fridge?

Before going on holiday we had our last From Spade to Plate of the year. We looked what was in the fridge and decided to use the mushrooms, leeks, soft cheese, and blue cheese to make ravioli and the

leftover salsa (from Friday's games evening's dips) to add to the tomato sauce that we made as a topping for the ravioli.

As a dessert, we made a puff pastry chocolate snowflake. It was easy to make and very tasty too.

We are looking forward to picking up the cooking book that should be ready at the printers and next Monday we shall have a book launch with the group. So watch this space.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Spinach Christmas tree

This week we had another lovely young chef. Isadora (aged 4) came with her mother Lu to show off her cooking skills. She was so helpful and made the From Spade to Plate cooking activity so different.

A few weeks ago, I promised to make marmalade with the group, as it is so easy (as we use Mamade) and quick and not something we could have for lunch.


we made a Spinach Christmas tree to go with the Soup

We went into the garden to harvest the carrots to make a simple but delicious Carrot Soup 
We added potatoes, (peeled by Isadora)   carrots, an onion to the pan, covered it with stock and after 20 minutes when the vegetables were soft, we pureed it into a lovely soup. This time we did not have bread with the soup but these lovely looking and delicious tasting Spinach, cheesey bread sticks.  With the left over pastry and spinach mix we made some savoury 'tortolini' shaped puffs. Easy to eat and very tasty with the soup.        

Monday, 3 December 2018

Testing for the recipe book - crepes, biscuits and a pumpkin soup

This weekend Andrea came to help figure out how to publish the cookery book and came with a Pumpkin so we decided to turn this one into .... Pumpkin Soup. To be honest our 5 spice recipe in which we normally use butternut squash, would have been much better. So won't give the recipe we used as it was a little mediocre.  Use the Butternut squash and 5 spice recipe instead substituting a pumpkin.

In addition we made some Christmas biscuits, three different types. The Honey jumbles, we changed into heart shapes, The thumb print  biscuits and the puff pastries christmas trees came out well and were quick and easy to make.

For the Christmas trees, take a pre-rolled sheet of puff pastry, sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar, cut a 1 cm strip from the short side of the sheet and layer over it self, zig zagging and reducing the width, resembling a Christmas tree. Pierce a cocktail stick through the top to the bottom and follow the rest of the recipe.

Whilst all this was being made we tested the Cheese ball share and tear bread. I prepared the bread dough before hand to speed things up. We used a mature Cheddar cheese to put inside but think a blue cheese might have been nice too.  Apart from it tasting so lovely, it looked attractive too (even though I say it myself)

Simone was in charge of the Crêpes Suzette and turned this basic ingredients into a scrumptious desert. We used  hot melted butter and Marmalade to make the sauce, to pour over the crêpes but for those who like a tipple, a little orange liqueur added to this sauce would be very nice too.

Lu, Asako, Sayaka, Simone and I worked hard to fit in so many lovely recipes in just 2 hours, the end result was well worth it though.