Monday, 6 February 2012

I'm going to start Blogging again to record my 800km journey 

Camino de Santiago de Compostela...



If you'd like to follow me on my walk head over to my new blog Where's Tulip 

Saturday, 10 December 2011


I haven't posted since August
I've had a horrible 2011. 
It all started in January with my brother Bryan, he had flu over Christmas 2010, was admitted into hospital on the Sunday 2nd and I got the call on Tuesday to say that he wasn't expected to make it, he passed away on the Thursday of that same week. 
In the same month my Mum admitted her mobility was such she could no longer manage on her own, she moved to a new flat closer to me and in the April it was decided that it would be best all round if I gave up my Pampered Chef business to care for her full time. This turned out to be a good decision as I went on to be admitted into hospital for two separate health issues myself!!
In August Mum's health became a real worry, she got a cough that she couldn't shift... on the 5th October she was admitted into hospital and the following 24 days were the worse ever... sadly she died of lung cancer just 2 days after her 80th Birthday


I'm not sure when I'm going to post here again but I post recipes on my Facebook page daily if you'd like to follow me...
Tulip's Kitchen Facebook Page 


For all my IPD followers (and there's LOADS of you) come on over and join in, lots of the recipes can be adapted for the pink path

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Thomasina Miers Roast Tomato and Chilli Salas

I am addicted to this...

I first made it to go with Torta (The Mexican Club Sandwich) but have used it as an accompaniment for everything from cheese on toast to stuffed pitta breads!

You can find the recipe here

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Mexican Chile with a fruity twist

 This is just before banana & apple were added.

I told you I'm obsessed with her didn't I?  It's the flavours, it's the ease in which I can put them together. They are great and makes my mouth all tingly!!!

This beat the usual chilli-con-carne, cumin and kidney beans effort I usually churn out! The recipe wasn't online for this, so I watched the episode over and over again and make notes as I went along.. it was delicious but will need to buy the book and check out the recipe for real!
My effort (and it was a ruddy good one even if I do say so myself was...

Minced pork and beef, (Brown it off)
Add chopped onions
Add a batch of  roast tomato salsa (made up to the whizzed up stage without onions & coriander etc)
Cumin, Cinnamon, Cloves (I used about a heaped teaspoon of each)
Olives (chopped)
Raisins (Handful)
Fresh oregano
Smoked paprika (heaped teaspoon)
BBQ sauce (I used about 2 tablespoons of Jack Daniels BBQ sauce as I had it in the fridge)
Chicken stock (I used just enough to cover)
1 Banana chopped
1 Apple diced

Cook on hob for 20 minutes

Served it with rice, salsa
No photos of the served dish as we were greedy piggies again and scoffed it before I could snap! I will try to remember next time, I'm sure I'll be making it again next week...

Friday, 12 August 2011

Thomasina Miers Torta (Mexican Club Sandwich)

I've got myself a bit of a crush at the moment... in the form of the lovely Thomasina Miers.  I have watched all the episodes of her new series Mexican Food Made Simple and just love it... (I'm saving my pennies for the book now) The recipes I have followed from the website have ALL been easy to make and pack such a flavour punch that we are now gagging for more!


Last weekend (I know, I'm late in posted AGAIN!!!) I made the Torta a HUGE one that I cut into four pieces as I couldn't get hold of individual ciabatta buns.


 Never made re-fried beans before - will never ever use tinned again!


  After toasting the inside of the ciabatta with the juice (fat) from the chorizo it was slathered with homemade mayo and crisp iceberg lettuce

 Topped with the chiorzo & fresh red onion

 The beast is ready!

Cut into 4 individual sandwiches.

Thomasina says " Mention the word ' torta' to any chilango (someone who comes from Mexico City) and you will see a faraway look come over them as they are transported back to the torta stands that line the streeets of the capital.  This sandwich is not for the faint-hearted, but it is exceedingly good .

Good? These were AMAZING - as we bit into them we had that faraway look that made us want to be transported to Mexico!!! You could taste all the separate layers, the oozy mayo, the soft beans, the creamy avocado, the kick from the salsa, the different textures, ooooh, it all went together soooo well! 

They were very filling but we still managed to eat two each.... greedy pigs that we are!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Let the Pork Fest begin...


Saturday 30th July 2011

The invites were out...
The RSVP's were back...
We were all ready to ...
All the pork recipes on the menu were taken from the book I was given when I visited  Jimmy's Farm. I know, I know, I had Jimmy sign it over to Claire as she had just left home to live in the middle of the countryside. Honestly, I have let her read it... once... and she loved it, the game recipes and real country feel of this book is right up her street!
Like I was saying, I used the book for the pork recipes, it was very easy to follow, a great read in its own right and I promise I will now give it back to its rightful owner!
We nibble these as appetisers with drinks

  • Perfect pork crackling
  • Mini Sausage bites from my butcher (Pork & Ginger and Pork, Cider & Apple)
  • Mixed Olives

Our main course 
Stuffed hock and trotters!


We had a choice of two desserts ( No real photos of them as the wine was flowing and the kids were impatient, I did capture the chocolate sauce that managed to stick itself to Arty's face... does that count?)



We drank:
  • Buzzards Valley English Regional Wine
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Merlot
  • Stella Artois 
  • Cherry Tango
  • Pepsi 

The conversation flowed....
  • Using real butchers over supermarkets
  • Supporting the British farming industry
  • The recent Pampered Chef Conference & relevant gossip (!)
  • The merits of having teenage kids (or not!)
  • How cute Rachel was when she was little (very!)
The verdict?
We all really enjoyed ourselves and enjoyed the pork dishes to different degrees. The rillettes after slow cooking for 3 hours were a great flavour but didn't have that pull apart loveliest promised in the book :-( 
The hock meat was tender and tasty but needed to be picked out of the debris that was the rest of the hock... the stuffing was very tasty especially the caramelised bit that oozed from the opening of the hock.
Sadly the trotters were left untouched, they looked pretty gruesome and with the rack of moist meaty ribs there was no competition!
Thanks for the Flowers Rachel x
&
the thank you card from the Jackson. 
Lambfest next you say....hmmm, that could be arranged!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Pampered Chef Conference... :-(

The Pampered Chef National Conference was in full swing last week... New product announcements, new brochure launch and all the excitement of the directors events and gala dinner... Sadly I wasn't there :-( 

Team Tulip 2010

Back in June I had to make the difficult decision to stop trading as a PC Consultant!  Now as regular readers on here know, I love my job, love Pampered Chef,  the products, my work colleagues and the flexibility of running my own business.

I started my own Pampered Chef business primarily for the flexibility it offered me.  I was told I could earn a full time wage in part time hours and with money tight and time even tighter  I thought I had nothing to lose but to give it ago.  It needed to fit around caring for my in-laws, they were both ill and needed someone around to attend hospital appointment and pop round at the drop of a hat... or indeed a dropped tablet or  a doctors home visit... who has an employer who would allow that much flexibility?  Pampered Chef did.... I ran my business successfully for 3 years, juggling the oldies in the day time with paperwork and combining a great social life with my shows in the evening. I never had to do more than 3 a week to give earning that much promised 'full time' wage... I was in my element... I had a lovely team, a couple of shows a week, money in my pocket and a kitchen full of fab quality products but then in a blink of an eye it all changed!

My mum who has had health issues for a number of years was registered disabled... the things that she had struggled with for years were now beyond her, it was pretty obvious from the outset that she was going to need long term help. I am the type of person who likes to do things well, I am quite hard on myself, if I'm going to do something I have to do it well, it was clear I was going to have to spend time with Mum which led me to the decision to edit my life. I had to prioritise and sadly I had to pass my team on to my Director and give up my consultancy...pass the in-laws on to the rest of his family and care for my Mum full time!!!  I  still have my part time job with the Diocese and that is about just enough especially as my own health hasn't been 100%

I do miss it but I've made the right decision, Mum is happier, I can spend time with her during the day and be home with my family in the evenings.


With that decision under my belt and loads of consultants as friends I have become a preferred customer... with the NEW BROCHURE out in September with 19 new products  I WANT THEM ALL.....

Short Glasses to match my others!
To all my ex hosts, guests and friends who would also like a new brochure get in touch with Liz Cooke and she'll send you one too!


Food Processor
- same mechanism as the salad spinner which was fantastic, so I'm expecting good things on this
- A great addition to my glamping kit!!!

If you would like to host a show...
are in Swindon contact Kerry Heaphy
in Gloucester contact Maggie Kirby
or if you're in the Stonehouse area contact Sarah L Jackson

Heads up on the new pink products available in October

Sunday, 10 July 2011

A Raucous Garden Party

I'm hosting my own 'Put Pork on your Fork'  event. I've invited friends and family to bring some drink and hang out in my garden on Saturday 30th July and sample some of the fab recipes I'm going to try.


First up will be...

  • Perfect pork scratchings
  • stuffed trotters
  • Rillettes of Pork with melba toast
  • Souvlaki

Friends have been asked to bring their own tipple and if they bring children they have to be well behaved otherwise I will BBQ them... do you think that's too harsh?

If you know me personally and you're not recieved your invite on facebook, get in touch and I'll count you in!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Now I've made pork chops in a smoked paprika tomato sauce

Some very dodgy photo came out of this cooking experience today, all a bit blurred and some even fogged up the lenses, but this one wasn't too bad.

Here you can see the chops balancing on their skins trying to get them nice and crisp. It worked! The chops were lovely and tender and moist with a crispy skin. I let them rest and added a small amount of homemade tomato sauce to the pan and mixed them with the remaining juices, to this I added a teaspoon of smoked paprika, once it was all heated through I poured it over the chops!


I'm really into this pork cooking lark now, to think I was nervous about cooking it. The secret is to cook it until it is just pink in the middle, then by allowing it to rest the residual heat finishes off the cooking process! Why I've never thought about this before I have no idea - it's the same principle as cooking a good steak, Jo likes hers as blood as hell and I've got to be so careful not to allow that resting period to cook it too much for her.... simples.... I have learnt so much this week... Education is a marvelous thing and you are never too old to learn new tricks!
So, have you bought any pork to cook this week, if so, leave me a comment and tell me what recipe you used, I'm up for a few more...

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Souvlaki made from my new cook book!

I didn't think my week could get any better, I was still on a high from taking part in the food blogger event and had my next challenge lined up with a small piece of chump when Amazon delivered a mystery parcel... drum roll please...in this next bit I get a bit sloppy and emotional!!!  Out of the box fell the cook book I was reading at Marie's house, I'd fallen asleep reading and next morning had commented that it was an amazing book and I hurriedly copied down the souvlaki recipe to try with my Jimmy's Farm bounty.  As a thank you for accompanying her to Ipswich Marie had sent me a copy of my own. If I hadn't been rewarded enough with a great day out, great company, a signed cooking book from Jimmy himself, a great lunch and a bag of meat... she sends me this!!! It brought a tear to my eye. Do you know what? Friends are the most important ingredients in the recipe of life... thank you Marie for my thank you gift, it was a pleasure spending time with you!

Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros


 Diced chump of pork, skewered ready for the gril.

I served it with Jamie's chopped salad, Tessa's Tatziki, pitta bread recipe from Domestic Jules  I grilled the kebabs for about 5 mins each side then left them to rest, by the time I was ready to serve them they were cooked to perfect.
I can't believe that I have now cooked two pork dishes without over cooking and drying them out... I'm on a roll; I might just cook pork again tomorrow!!!

For my IPD P2 followers, leave out the pittas the rest is good to go...