Kale caught my eye…

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One of the highlights of the last few weeks (glossing over the events of the World Cup, needless to say, us Brits are used to disappointments now …) was my visit to Wimbledon. Not just for the tennis, which of course was excellent, but for the totally delicious and generous catering facilities.

I was lucky enough to be taken as a guest of Worcester Bosch Group (the boiler people), and was treated to a stunning lunch, which was an exclusive creation for The Championships by Albert Roux, OBE and KFO – the first chef in the UK to have been awarded 3 Michelin stars.

Starters were Seared Scallops with avocado cream, asparagus and radish and a meat jus vinaigrette which sounds unexpectedly strange, but tasted just perfect. I chose Assiette of Cumbrian Lamb for my main course, which was as fabulous as expected, with roast rack and braised shoulder, served with spiced sausage. However many times we have such a treat laid in front of us, there’s always an element of surprise that this sort of cooking exists, with all its complex flavours and ingredients.

Albert Roux's Wimbledon 2014 Seafood Platter

Albert Roux’s Wimbledon 2014 Seafood Platter

I’ve added pics here of the scallops and the seafood platter, which my dining colleagues chose … as the Cumbrian Lamb wasn’t quite as photogenic as the seafood, and I am trying to rein in my Instagram-foodie inclinations.  Note to self: must try harder with my own dishes …

Trying to stick to healthy cooking and eating has been fairly easy for the last few weeks … due to an unexpected stay in hospital I have been investigating the offerings of the NHS! I’ve discovered that the trick is to order either from the Indian Halal or vegetarian menus. The curries are of a very high standard and knock spots off the insipid offerings on the ‘English’ menus.

It’s also inspired me to try out some new recipes, and I will be going back to some old favourites from Anjum Anand, get inspired by some of her recipes here. There are too many too choose from to pick out favourites, but Paneer-Stuffed Peppers and Coconut and Chilli Okra are well worth a try.

I have also just taken delivery of a new gadget (I love a new appliance …), which is the DeLonghi Multifry, a low-oil air fry and multicooker. I’m planning to whip up a selection of easy, healthy dishes – including skinny and almost-good-for-you French Fries, of course. I will add updates and recommendations once I’ve put it through it’s paces. I think it might be working overtime during the school holidays …. Have a look at it here and do let us know of your successes and any tricks or tips for using it. I’m planning to make some ‘gourmet chips’ which apparently are flavour of the month at the moment … watch this space for Courgette, Parmesan and Poppy-Seed frites, as suggested by chef Anne De La Forest in the Independent.

Kale has caught my eye during the last few weeks. It’s been mentioned in loads of recipes, and even made the health and beauty pages of Grazia magazine. Apparently it’s ‘the A-list’s favourite superfood’. Although I can’t really see that anyone needs to get quite that enthusiastic about a green vegetable, it’s interesting to see how crazes sweep through our consciousness. So all of a sudden I’m thinking that I must go and buy some and start trying it out. Hmm. I wouldn’t be doing that with broccoli, would I?!  (Well, it’s doubtful …). If I can think of a way of combining kale and the DeLonghi Multifry I’ll let you know …. Perhaps tempura-style kale could be the next big thing. Perhaps inspiration will strike here @ discoverkale.co.uk

As far as ‘big ticket’ appliances are concerned, the latest offerings from Beko are well worth a look, with features that are often only found on models with a huge price tag to match. However Beko have just launched the EcoSmart water and ice model, which is the largest capacity non-plumbed-in model available in the UK, and it means that you can have water ‘on tap’ without the need to involve expensive plumbing tasks.

EcoSmart American Style Fridge Freezer with Plumbed Water and Ice

EcoSmart American Style Fridge Freezer with Plumbed Water and Ice

And of course, the water tank can be filled with filtered water if that’s what you prefer. Prices are from £679 to £999, with all models using NeoFrost technology, for faster cooling and more humidity. There’s also an LED touchscreen control system and, as far as I’m concerned, the icing on the cake (or should that be fridge) is the fact that each model has ultra-cool blue interior lighting in both fridge and freezer, which adds the wow-factor every time a doors are opened! Check out the range here

My must-have award for this month goes to the iPrep from Prepara tools

My must-have award for this month goes to the iPrep from Prepara tools

And my must-have award for this month goes to this very useful little item … it’s the iPrep from Prepara tools, and can be purchased from John Lewis and it will hold your iPad, Kindle, Kindle Fire or Samsung Galaxy safely and securely whilst you concentrate on the cooking … it has four viewing angles and rubber grips, and can be stored flat in the kitchen drawer when not being used. It’s £24.99 and should be on everyone’s wish-list.

See it in action here:

Linda (Food Fan and interiors and lifestyle writer)

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About Linda Parker

Linda Parker
Interiors & Lifestyle Writer, who’s spare time is currently spent planning storage strategies for the new house

  Email:  Linda Parker

  Website:  https://www.thekitchenthink.co.uk

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