Eat Fresh, Eat Poco…Bristol @TomsFeast

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There isn’t anything that I enjoy more than a good meal aside from a good meal in an atmosphere that leaves you to believe that everyone that you are around appreciates the same thing. Poco in Bristol has that. Situated on Jamaica Street, this hidden oasis of seasonal goodness is nestled on a corner plot of a graffiti lined street. Some may call it small or cramped but I call it cozy and intimate.

Everything has the taste of garden to kitchen, fresh and refreshing. The founders of Poco doesn’t just talk the talk of the environmentally conscious, eco-friendly types. The menu reflects its purpose. 90 percent of the ingredients used are sourced in the UK using local suppliers. The fish that is served is sustainably acquired. The menu changes monthly to mirror what is available seasonally which gives diners something new to look forward to. Dinner is made up of a tasty tapas selection serving up small delicious plates. I typically wouldn’t go for tapas because the American in me loves to see lots of food on my plate but the portions were more than enough. “P” and I ordered several dishes and left completely satisfied.

Caerphilly, spinach and nettle tart

Caerphilly, spinach and nettle tart

Rosemary Chips

Rosemary Chips

Lamb, watercress with har

Lamb, watercress with harissa

Moroccan spiced lentil so

Moroccan spiced lentil soup

Poco's own Elderflower Cordial

Poco’s Very Own Elderflower Cordial

**For those parents that are visiting with baby in tow I do recommend leaving behind the pram if possible as space is limited. High chairs are available for the little ones.

For an updated menu visit www.eatpoco.com

Poco

45 Jamaica Street

Bristol

BS2 8JP

 

3 Ingredient Pancakes- FLOURLESS

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My favourite breakfast consists of nothing other than a huge stack of pancakes, American style, fluffy and filling. I know that it isn’t the healthiest choice so I decided to try out an alternative that would satisfy my flapjack craving. I made flourless banana pancakes.  It turned out to be a light, easy, no guilt breakfast. They were absolutely great but I will say that they aren’t a replacement for the real deal, just an alternative.

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas

2 eggs

1/8 teaspoon Gluten Free Baking Powder (can be left out)

(yields 3-4 pancakes)

Directions

In a bowl beat two eggs

Add baking powder to egg mixture

In a separate bowl mash the peeled ripe bananas (lumps are ok as it gives the pancakes it’s fluffiness)

Combine the egg mixture with the bananas

Stir until totally mixed or place in a blender and lightly pulse the mixture

Cook on a hot griddle or pan just as you would traditional pancakes (flip the pancake to cook through the other side).

Plate them up and top with butter, maple syrup and blueberries. I used Cloister  Whipped Honey with Cinnamon instead of syrup and it woke this dish up making it absolutely YUMMY!

*I have not mastered perfectly round pancakes but they are delicious just the same!*

Mmmmm Mmmmm Goood! Makes me think of one of my favourite artists, Jack Johnson singing “Banana Pancakes”

Third Place Spotlight:The Station at Person Street (Raleigh, NC USA)

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There isn’t anything cooler than having a meal in a building that is cleverly constructed to provide everything bar, everything restaurant, and an outdoor place to feel the breeze and just chill out. Situated in the Historic Oakwood area of Raleigh, NC , The Station at Person Street gives it all that with it’s fantastic atmosphere and even more notable food selection.

Black Bean Burger with lettuce, tomato, and lime sour cream

Black Bean Burger with lettuce, tomato, and lime sour cream

Smoked Salmon BLT: smoked salmon, bacon, lettuce, tomato, lemon dill aioli

Smoked Salmon BLT: smoked salmon, bacon, lettuce, tomato, lemon dill aioli

Portobello Caprese Sandwich: herb marinated portobello, milk mozzarella, tomato, basil and balsamic glaze

Portobello Caprese Sandwich: herb marinated portobello, milk mozzarella, tomato, basil and balsamic glaze

To top it off, Iced Tea in A Mason Jar

To top it off, Iced Tea in A Mason Jar

There is no doubt that the Historic Oakwood neighbourhood is on the rise of hip places to eat, drink and live in The City of Oaks. The Station at Person Street is a wonderful edition, providing a quintessential “Third Place” feel.

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The Station at Person Street

701 N. Person Street

Raleigh, NC 27604

stationraleigh.com

Got To Be NC! A Festival Celebrating Everything North Carolina, USA

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I’m a down home country girl at heart and all it takes to make me happy is sunshine, good food, good company and if you add in “country folk” stuff like some livestock, horseback riding or fishing I’m darn near doing cartwheels and back-flips. I was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. I lived there for half of my life but I am ashamed to say that I hadn’t really experienced it as an adult. During this visit back home to Raleigh I decided to EXPERIENCE my hometown and I am so pleased!

First up, The Got To Be NC Festival held at the North Carolina Fair Grounds. This was the 6th Annual event showcasing North Carolina Agriculture, businesses and everything that we North Carolinians take pride in; family, good eatin’, fun and nothing other than TRACTORS! This was 3 days worth of excitement and pure entertainment with enough for EVERY family member to enjoy. Oh, and did I mention that it is FREE gate admission AND FREE parking?

Being at the Got To Be NC Festival is a HUGE reminder to “buy local”. Let me tell you, there is some good stuff that comes out of this state if I shall say so myself! As soon as I stepped out of my car I smelled the beautiful aroma of sweet cotton candy, giant turkey legs and fresh hay! Mmmm hmmm, Now bottle that up and sell it!

There were vendors galore displaying and selling their products that are made right in the Tarheel State. There was everything from handmade jewelry, candles, clothing and any and everything in between.

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The Food, Beer and Wine Expo held in the Exposition Building was absolutely  fantastic costing just $2 for all day admission). All of the booths had free samples of some classic Southern favorites such as  hot grits, fresh ice cream, nuts, pimento cheese, and a host of local wine and beer options. You could literally walk in with an empty stomach and dry mouth and walk out full as a tick and watered up.

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I’m not much of a wine or beer drinker but I found great delight in trying some of the other local products. Amongst my personal favourites were Cocolene natural products and Cloister Honey.

What do I love about Cocolene other than it being a hometown business? Well, I tried the Cocolene Body Balm and it was soothing and moisturised without leaving a sticky thick film on my skin. Absolutely perfect for those extra dry areas such as hands, feet, elbows AND it is NATURAL. I’m so happy that I didn’t leave without it! Highly Recommend! Click here to make your purchase!

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As for Cloister Honey, all I can say is OMG this stuff is AMAZING! I walked by the booth and I heard a voice asking if I would like to try some bourbon infused honey. Me, not being big on the taste of alcohol declined but before I knew it I had a sample in hand….I just couldn’t walk away. WOW, it was EVERYTHING! I HAD TO purchase the Cinnamon Whipped Honey and I have so far used it as a drizzle on top of my pancakes and I must say it made me forget about Maple Syrup! To see what other delicious honey delights they have to offer, click here.

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As a U.S. Air Force Veteran I would have to say that my favourite item on display was the Freedom Tractor. A beautiful piece of art dedicated to the lives of all the men and women from North Carolina that paid the ultimate sacrifice since WWII. An absolutely stunning tribute. Collage 2014-06-11 21_08_33 For the kiddos, there where more than enough carnival rides and model tractors for them to sit on and play “farmer”. There was face painting and pony rides, vendors selling candy apples, Sno Cones, and Cotton Candy. My little NuNu enjoyed people watching (she is nosy just like her mum) and eating all the food she could get her little hands on.

We had some great family fun at the Got To Be NC Festival and will be marking our calendars for the next one!

For more information on the Got To Be NC Festival click here

The Sindercombe Social: A Taste of The States @RubyJeansDiner @sindercombe

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Fresh from my trip to America I couldn’t have come across The Sindercombe Social at a better time. I have spent the last few weeks stuffing my face of nearly every kind of cuisine possible and now I have a place that reminds me a little bit of home right here in West London.

I immediately fell in love with the look of the place. Exposed brick, steel top tables and wooden walls adorned with metal piping that has been transformed into light fixtures…very trendy and giving hint to it’s American inspired menu. This diner/bar/meetup spot is a welcomed edition to the Shepherd’s Bush area of London.

If you are just wanting to chill out, get a drink or if you you have an affinity for burgers, chicken, macaroni and cheese and the fixin’s that goes with it, The Sindercombe Social is where you should be.

The food is provided by Ruby Jean’s Diner, pop-up master’s and self proclaimed “Purveyors of home-cooked Americana”. This isn’t just a place for meat eaters either. I was pleased to know that they had more than enough vegetarian options. I went with the Hippy Houmous (spicy spinach and lentil burger topped with a healthy helping of houmous). The burgers come with a side of chips which would have been plenty but since I was in full on greedy mode I also HAD TO order a side of Tempura Vegetables with Chipotle Jam. All I could say was “yum”.  The burger was fresh, and you could literally taste the garden goodness in every bite. Did I mention that those were double cooked chips? Mmmmmm! The food at The Sindercombe Social was more than pleasing to my foodie soul it was de-li-cious.

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Can’t wait to go back again….and again!

Great atmosphere. Fantastic food.

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Visit The Sindercombe Social online at www.thesindercombesocial.co.uk and Ruby Jean’s Diner at www.rubyjeansdiner.com.

Address: 2 Goldhawk Rd, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 8QD

Accidental Hummus and the Dish It Was Intended to Be

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Today I set out to make chickpea patties but happened upon some really delicious hummus along the way. I thought I would share this yummy goodness!

**I never measure, it’s all cooked to taste**

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of chickpeas
  • mixed herbs
  • crushed garlic cloves
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cumin
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • finely diced spinach (optional)
  • lemon juice (if you like a little tang)

1. Drain the chickpeas and rinse

2. Combine ALL ingredients adding a little at a time to taste

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3. Add to food processor along with a bit of water  (just a little to moisten the mixture)

4. Add a bit of extra virgin olive oil

5. Blend to a smooth puree

6. Add more salt to taste if needed and blend more

7. Serve in a bowl with warm pita bread

Yummy!

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As for the meal that I intended to make…..Chickpea Patties

Add breadcrumbs to the above mixture

You can make your own by putting toasted/day old bread in a food processor with seasoning….or  you can buy them

I make my own, eats cheaper.

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Scoop out a palm size portion and form a patty, coating with more bread crumbs

Repeat for each patty

Place patties in an oiled skillet and darken on both sides

Remove from heat and put in an oven safe dish and bake on 350F or 15 minutes or until firm

Remove from oven, place on warm pita bread and Enjoy!

Chickpeas on Pita with a side of butternut and rice

Chickpeas on Pita with a side of Butternut Squash and Rice

Serve with salad and tzatziki sauce (click here for an excellent version from The Greedy Gourmet).

 

 

Borough Market…A Foodie’s Paradise

Borough Market, in Southwark, London is  right on the edge of London Bridge and can be described with one word for those with a fondness for food …Heaven. Bliss even. Borough Market is one of the largest and oldest food markets in London. This is the place that you should go when you want a variety of quality food.

Cheeses, chocolates,  macaroons, cupcakes, piles of meringue,  fresh fish/meats and my favourite to taste…vegetarian fair are amongst the many items that you can find.  Borough Market is indeed a foodie’s paradise with over 70 stalls of delicious delights.

I wasn’t able to take many photos  because I was very busy exploring my culinary options but these are the few shots that I took in between stuffing my face.

*Photos do not represent all that is available at Borough Market but very telling of my greediness! Food Before Photos!

Feast your eyes on this:

For more info on Borough Market, it’s opening times and traders visit: http://boroughmarket.org.uk/

People who love to eat are always the best people.” ~Julia Child