March 29, 2024

APRIL 2024 UPDATE – Welcome British Summertime (be kind to us please!)

Five Finns, two English, one Swede and a Canadian – Foodie away-day!!

This amazing bunch of ladies travelled down from London on the train to sample a delicious 6 course tasting menu.

The girls started with a selection of welcome canapes which they washed down with some chilled Crémant de Bourgogne. They sat down to cheddar & parmesan soufflés followed by tempura cod & crispy seaweed with an Asian dipping sauce. Next came a Spring vegetable risotto and seabass fillets and a lemon meringue surprise. To finish off, the girls were treated to an enormous cheese selection with truffle honey and aged syrupy balsamic and there were also one or two chocolate treats!

Each course was paired with a delicious wine.

The girls wondered back up to the station around 6.30pm – A totally brilliant away day for them.

 I first met Eija (pictured below, back row, 2nd from the right) in 2015 when I was working for a charity called The Global Fund for Children. Eija helped organise an amazing fundraising gala event for us at Lincolns Inn in London which raised around £500,000!!

Thank you Eija Hakkinen for introducing me to your lovely friends!! I loved cooking for you all xx

Coco Chanel Exhibition

I had an away-day myself and visited the V&A in early March to see the first UK exhibition dedicated to the work of French couturiere, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel.

I was completely blown away by this amazing women …… She was an absolute genius!!

The V&A did her proud, a beautiful, inspiring exhibition.

A Taste of Things (2023)

What better to do on a gloomy Monday afternoon in March than to go to the cinema, snuggle down in the cosy settee (Everyman in Oxted) and watch a film about food!

Set in late 19th-century France, The Taste of Things, presents a tale of culinary artistry and romance. Juliette Binoche stars as a gifted cook, the secret behind a renowned chef’s success. Their relationship, both professional and personal, is the heart of the story, capturing the essence of everyday life amidst the splendour of the French countryside and aristocratic gatherings.

Through subtle gestures and exquisite cuisine, the film paints a captivating portrait of love. As the camera explores the lush landscapes and elegant gardens, viewers are transported to a world where passion simmers like a carefully crafted sauce.

Two and a half hours of deliciousness!

An Easter Carrot Cake Recipe

This cake is deliciously light and moist.

130gms chopped walnuts (or pecans)
300gms dark brown sugar + 100gm granulated sugar
240ml vegetable or sunflower oil
4 large eggs
130gms apple sauce or pineapple (I use a small tin of pineapple rings, drain off most of the juice and whizz it in the food processor)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder / 1 teaspoon bicarb of soda
½ teaspoon salt, 1½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon / 1 teaspoon ground ginger / ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg / ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
250gms grated carrots

Toast the nuts for about 7 mins in an oven at 150C then turn the oven up to 180C.

Whisk the two sugars, oil, eggs, apple sauce, and vanilla extract together with an electric hand whisk then sift in the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Add the carrots and nuts (you can add all the nuts or just half and use the remainder for decorating the top if you like).

Poor the slightly liquid mixture into two lined, loose bottom cake cases and bake for around 30 minutes until skewer comes out clean.  Cool on wire trays and then make your favourite cream cheese frosting and sandwich together – best keep in the fridge.

This particular cake went to Elsa at Charters Village, a treat for tea on Good Friday 😊


Sunday 9th June, 2024

(This event was originally booked for 2nd June but due to unforeseen circumstances had to be changed)

As last year’s class & lunch proved to be so popular,  Second-Helpings has invited back Alex Mannering of YourYoga to hold a 90 session of yoga in the garden followed by a delicious home cooked lunch which includes a glass of bubbles, buffet lunch & desserts, soft drinks, teas & coffees

Start time 11:00am
Lunch served around 13:00
Price £40.00 per person
Ends around 15:00 hrs but absolutely no rush!!

Saturday 29th June, 2024

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