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You wont find me with the Cowboys at the “Coffee Saloon” anymore!

My kitchen at Canford Cliffs has officially closed. The saloon took a previously unexpected turn.  It is going for expansion so at this point they have decided to out- source the food. The food will be coming from Naz at My Food. Naz already has a fully equipped kitchen at the Nuffeild estates. There was an option that I could perhaps work evenings   preparing food for the Saloon but I am not much of an evening person. As a breakfast- brunch cook I like to get up early and start the coffee. I also really like to have a chance to talk to the customers. So I am back home in Parkstone, with my pots and pan's cookbooks and shakers. I just wanted to say I had fun working with the Coffee Saloon Team. I have loved meeting new customers in my four months at The Saloon, and I have also been so flattered with the loyalty of old customers who have followed me from from place to place,some from as far back as Las- Margaritas days. Here are  a few pictures of some of  the food that we served at the saloon. Bahn Mi with Pork August  is a great month to be out of the kitchen and I really do intend to take full advantage of it. The last time I had the summer off Raven was six. At the end of august I will be cooking with Sarah Peters from Travels with My Aunt at the Purbeck Folk Festival. For the next little while Instead of being full of vegetable and dairy orders my diary is going to be filled with new things.  When the summer is over I will decide what i will do next. In the mean- time if anyone wants to meet for brunch or lunch I am free for the rest of the summer.  

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Gluten Free Pancake Day

  Why do we eat Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday?  Pancakes are associated with the day preceding Lent because they were a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent. The recipes for pancakes in this posting both give up something. Serve them for breakfast or for a snack for later in the day. They will definitely satisfy a sweet tooth without having to raid the biscuit tin. Banana Bread Pancakes with Vegan Salted Caramel Sauce (Giving up The Dairy, and the wheat) 175 gr doves farm wheat free flour/ 3 tbs ground almond /1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp mixed spice/1/2 tsp nutmeg/3 mashed bananas/ 100ml water or milk substitute Mix the first five dry ingredients in a bowl. In a second bowl mash the bananas. Mix into the dry ingredients add the water and the vinegar and let sit for five minutes. Coat  a non stick pan with a little oil or coconut oil. Add 3 pancakes and slice a few bananas into each one. Turn when lightly browned on bottom Serve topped with chopped nuts and Salted Caramel Sauce     Vegan Salted Caramel Sauce recipe here  http://www.anorganicwife.com/2013/10/recipe-vegan-salted-caramel-sauce.html Skinny Pancakes with Orange or Lemon and Coconut sugar.  (Giving up the Dairy, the wheat, white refined sugar and the calories.) Paleo There are recipes for these amazing "Paleo Pancakes" all over the internet. The most shocking thing about them is how simple they are to make and how good they taste. Mash 1 banana with two free range eggs and mix it up. Imagine you are making scrambled eggs with banana. I like to add a small cap of vanilla into the mix. The mixture will be quite thin. Melt a little coconut oil in to a pan add a small ladle of the mix and cook gently for a couple of minutes on each side. Serve with a squeeze of orange or lemon and coconut sugar.                

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Five Days On The Childrens Ward

There is a fold down parent bed beside each child's bed in Ward G3 in Southampton Hospital. Ward G3 Children's Orthopedics in Southampton is where I spent five days last week. My daughter Raven had elective surgery on her back. Raven had Idiopathic Scoliosis, which basically means a curved spine. She had a five hour operation that with the help of metal rods straightened her spine. For me it was nine days without work. Nine days not cooking for anyone. Sitting beside my daughter's bed I had plenty of time for reflection.It was sixteen years one month and twenty seven days since Raven was a brand new baby. She was born in Poole hospital. I remembered the overwhelming  feeling of love I had for this small person I had just met. Now here we were again in a hospital. Raven so much longer and taller and what adventures we have already had together. Sitting beside her it seemed as if  only moments had passed since she was born. Nothing has changed except that I love her more and feel just as vulnerable and powerless when I cant stop things from hurting her. I learned that Doctors are absolutely amazing, and clever, and brilliant, and almost magical in the things that they can do, but Nurses have something else indeed. Something incredibly special, the kindness, compassion, warmth, and empathy that was shown to my daughter amazed me. Lou, Hattie, Rachel, and Nicki are just a few of the nurses that work for the NHS in ward G3  in Southampton. For five days they were Raven's nurses. They are people we will remember for a long time. The doctors fixed Ravens back, but it was these amazing nurses that were there to administer pain- relief and medication.They observed, comforted, re-assured, and ultimately start the journey of healing my daughter. I learned that we are all stronger than we know.Sleeping on a pull out bed on a floor in the dark listening to machines beep, in a ward full of children that are ill and in pain, makes you count your blessings, over and over and over again. Especially when you know your own child will be well soon. I was reminded of how important my daughters tribe or peers were to us. One by one they arrived by train and bus to come and sit by her side. When they were there she laughed so much more and seemed more herself. I also appreciated the hugs and the kindness they gave me as I picked them up from reception. I was reminded of how lovely it is to have my daughter crying about normal things. On Friday morning she started  crying about not being able to see her boyfriend until Monday. It was only a  few nights before she had been waking at night crying in pain and  I had been  powerless to do anything but hold her hand. I learned how important morphine is and what a difference it makes to pain relief. It made my heart break to think of the children in Syria and other countries without access to pain relief and kindness. It is  now ten days after the Operation, we have just been to see the nurse at our local G.P surgery. Raven  had her dressing and sterile-strips removed the wound is healing well. My daughter was able to walk the 15 minute walk to the doctors and back. What a miracle modern medicine is and  how lucky we are to have assess to it. Thank you Thank you  Southampton General Hospital  and  Thank you N.H.S.  

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#My 99p Summer Challenge

This summer it feels like I have been feeding the five hundred,Raven my fifteen year old has been home for eight weeks along with a menagerie of her friend's It's been quite shocking how fast a few teenagers can empty a fridge. Luckily I was sent £10.00 in vouchers to spend in the 99p shop and a challenge to spend it creatively and blog about it. On my first trip I bought a pack of O2 cookies, twenty mini flower pots and a tin of coconut milk. I started by making the Oreo  cookie soil a rather naughty treat.   All you have to do is split the cookies apart with a knife, scrape out the centre and then blend the cookies in a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, you can put them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. I blended the coconut milk with banana's. Since it was an experiment I added a tsp of vanilla and some frozen blueberries to half the mix. To  the other half I added rosewater and blueberries. I put them in the freezer for a couple of hours and then carefully removed them from the pot,then I rolled half of them in the O2 soil and left the other half plain. I wanted some of them to be a healthier option. A couple of hours later they were perfect !   1 pack of Oreo  cookies makes a big jar of soil it's also perfect on French Toast, Pancakes,or in Smoothies   On my second visit to the 99p shop I bought some nut-city chocolate spread. A loaf of white bread,A pack of grow your own beets with mini-propagator, a blue enamel-camping bowl, a pack of Alpen breakfast bars a tin of chestnuts and some Opi nail polish. Plenty more 99p adventures to come

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                  Tea and Cake In a Heatwave        I Cook brunch five days a week, so it can be hard to find the inspiration to cook on my days off,especially in the middle of a heatwave. Yesterday instead of turning my cooker on, I turned on my food processor and cooked in my freezer. I have wanted to try this Blueberry Bannana Strawberry Pie for ages. It's vegan It's raw and it's cold. Teamed up with some home made Earl Grey Iced tea, it makes a perfect afternoon treat.  Blueberry Pie just out of the freezer I already had a big stash of blueberries in my freezer because I hoard them. Growing up in Canada, where blueberries are cheap, has turned me into the kind of person that buys all the marked down blueberries from the supermarket and freezes them until I have enough to make pie.   It needs to melt a little   The recipe came  from one of my  favourite blogs. Emily Von Euw  lives in Vancouver British Columbia and her raw food is  utterly beautiful.ttp://www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com/ Her photography is so  pretty. She can even inspire my 15 year old daughter to create. Like my daughter, she does seem to have a sweet tooth. This is probably why  her raw cakes and sweet goods are works of art. I  have adapted Emily's recipe a little. Because last week In a fit of declutter and sort out my lifeness, I threw out the spring form tins. I have used silicone muffin tins instead. I did not have two cups of cashew nuts so I used assorted nuts, cashews, almonds and hazelnuts. If you want to try her recipe or make your own version go here.   http://www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com/2013/03/blueberry-strawberry-banana-ice-cream.html#.UeV3h6wQXxN http://www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com/2013/03/blueberry-strawberry-banana-ice-cream.html#.UeVr7KwQXxM

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Kale Salad I feel like this is my discovery but sadly it isn't. I discovered Kale Salad a couple of months ago, Oliver  Perron from @Boxedvegtvlasked me to come up with a Supper-Club style menu with a high content of  seasonal veg. I needed to find something that used Calvo Nero. This is when I came across this amazing recipe for kale salad. The recipe I used comes from a really innovative food truck in Boston called http://meimeiboston.com/I have only ever been there by browsing online. The week I discovered the recipe the much revered Yotam Ottlenghi was in Boston and tried the salad, he loved it.  Things I love about Kale salad.You don't have to cook it! Just like the fish in ceviche cooks in lime juice, kale changes to an amazing soft texture when it marinates in lemon and olive oil Kale is Truly Madly Deeply good for you.Kale Salad takes hardly any work. It's more like flower arranging than cooking.Put it in a screw top jar carry it in your handbag and eat it on a park bench and it will bring you joy. For the recipe for my favorite Kale Salad go here. I love how it is written in Haiku.http://meimeiboston.com/2012/12/17/winter-a-quick-chat-about-local-food-our-magical-kale-salad-recipe/  by the way evo means extra virgin olive oil To have a little look at the food I cooked for boxed vegtv. http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?videoUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fredirector.googlevideo.com%2Fvideoplayback%3Fid%3D6cd9bac949f6b179%26itag%3D18%26source%3Dpicasa%26cmo%3Dsensitive_content%253Dyes%26ip%3D0.0.0.0%26ipbits%3D0%26expire%3D1370417542%26sparams%3Did%2Citag%2Csource%2Cip%2Cipbits%2Cexpire%26signature%3DD64A9AF7C95360BA56607062FAA4F0F09F06D6AA.84FBCB83CB777F653A0F626B1679ED2ECB7972BD%26key%3Dlh1

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BreakfastBaked Eggs  Breakfast on my day off. These are lovely  straight from the oven and  so easy to make. Take one large very deep muffin pan- I love this silicone one. Cut squares of puff pastry and put them into well greased tray.  Add  a whole egg and some bacon, or some ruby chard and mushroom. Sprinkle with Maldon Salt, black pepper, and some fresh herbs.   Bake at 225  high for ten minutes then turn oven down  to 180 for ten minutes   Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes                Serve with big cup of Yorkshire Tea 

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Taste of N’awlins Supperclub

              Tastes of N’awlins Supper Club at the Living Room                                          Bank Holiday Sunday August 26th 7.30-8pm-                                            £25.00 per head BYOB                                        Live Music with Bruce Griffin                                                                                                                              Menu                                                                               Po Boy Sliders with Cajun Shrimp and FGT , Fried Green Tomatoes.Red Bean Hummus. Cornbread with Pepper Jelly   Pulled Pork in Bourbon BBQ Sauce. Cajun Ya Ya Jambalaya Southern Slaw. Gumbo Z'herbes with black eyed peas, tempeh and Greens.  Bannanas Foster . August 26th will be the start  of a series of  Supper Clubs at the Living Room . Anyone who has been to the Living Room will know what  a lovely space it is. It is great as a coffee lounge and perfect as a breakfast room  but  it is just crying out for the tables to be put together and the seats to be  filled with folks  getting to know each other over dinner. I can't wait to fill the tables up with all kinds of Southern treats. Food will be served Family stlye on big platters. There will be a classic New Orleans style  welcome cocktail.and lots of Southern-style hospitality                                                                                                                                                

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Our Living Room

  Our Living Room opened as a coffee lounge on March 11th  2012. Prior to that it had been run soley as a bed and breakfast. What a terrible waste it would have been if it had stayed that way! Our Living Room is the family home of Andy and Anna Chamberlain and their two young children. Located  at 2 Drury Road, Our Living Room has become a neighbourhood haven for coffee addicts, foodies, and families. Andy and Anna, with their freind and partner Sarah Mitchell, have natured and lovingly worked over every detail of their coffee lounge. For a year before the opening and well before any money was raised for the transformation, the trio held weekend Brunch Clubs, inviting freinds and family. They tested recipes and mulled over ideas. They sipped, brunched and lunched. Closer to opening time they asked  for training and expertese on coffee from Joe at Boscanova and Steve from Tina We Salute you .  They sought advice, graft  and favours from many other freinds and neighbours. Andy, Anna and Sarah set out to create an environment that felt like home, surrounded by friends.They wanted a space that welcomed children, encouraged adults to connect, and for all to feel nurtured and well cared for. I think that the Living Room has become that place. Friends and neighbors drop in regularly for coffee, food , and a chat. Bed and Breakfast guests mingle at breakfast with the locals. I met Andy, Anna and Sarah In February. I am honoured that they chose me to work with them. I am  so happy to be cooking here.We have so many exciting plans. Our Living Room serves Brunch  from 8-2 Tuesday to Sunday - and stays open from  2-4pm for sandwiches and cakes. Closed Mondays and Bank Holidays for Family time  (between us we have six kids!) Brunch   Pop Up Jubilee Market at Our Living Room Our Living Room  2 Drury Road Alum Chine Bournemouth BH4 8HA

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October Cooking

I love cooking in Autumn. The garden looks amazing. Despite the fact that i never get around to planting much  there is a harvest. There are rosehips and wild rocket, nasturiums and the last of the tomatoes.The old grape vine that my freind eric planted sixteen years ago turns a beautiful shade of orange and  produces little sweet black seedless grapes. It's the start of soup and hot-pot season, turning on the oven just makes the house more cozy.    Apple Trees Lovely English Apples are everywhere. Lots in my freind Laura's Neigbors garden. Laura goes scrumping and brings us boxes of apples. I have made apple-sauce and put it in the freezer to have on  top of porridge some snowy winter day. I have made soup and apple crumble.   October means Canadian Thanksgiving. This year we found some fellow Canadians and had a party. My  freind Pam, from Vancouver, came with her  boyfreind Mark. Pam runs Rhapsody cafe in Winton. Laura from Sarnia, who I met in the Dancing Goat, came along with her boyfreind. Laura also bought along the most amazing still warm from the oven Apple Crisp.I also  had the pleasure of making dinner for  Rosie from Rosie's cafe in Boscombe. Finally I got her out of Boscombe and into my living room. Samantha Brightwell a freind and brilliant artist photographer came and impressed Tom and Raven with her vintage camera. My dear freind Matt  from Las maggies days and Bruces new  baseball watching freind also joined us. So did my daughter Raven and her freind Tom.              Bruce Griffin  our resident Canadian and guests  For my Canadian freinds can you spot Bruce Griffin. He spent the day making a Canadian Play list and a slide show of Canadian sites.    Butternut Squash, Apple and Ginger Soup served with wild rocket and Nasturium from the garden. We served this soup at Camden Bar and Kitchen in Ashley Cross for a week and people went mad for it. The apples and squash are roasted with maple syrup and garlic in the oven. This picture is taken in my kitchen.You can see my vintage owl pepper pot and 1980s kettle amd the yellow roses my husband bought me. The recipe for this soup  has been promised to many customers so it will be the next blog post.Through the caravan window         Yesterday was a rainy day. October 30th the clocks changed and as usual I was up before the rest of my family. I took a cup of tea out to Raven's caravan and watched the garden wake up .    October is over and so is Baseball season. The world series ended a few days ago -  Hooray  I get my husband back. Though it seems he is slowly being weaned off sports on the computer , last night he came to bed with American football instead. 

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