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I am happy to announce two new photography workshops that i am holding, in two very different locations, one in hampi in India and the other in Scotland. both are focused on food photography and styling. do you want to lean a new skill or do you want to improve the skills you already have? then these workshops are great for you, The one in India will be held with rakhee from box of spice who i have held two workshops with previously to see my blog posts from those see here and here 

The attendees from our previous two workshops said that they had an incredible time and learnt to much, so it is going to be great to hold another one together in India.

India is an incredible location and i fell in love with it the first time i visited. rakhee went to hampi last year to check out the hotel and these photos she took show how amazing this part of India is.Hampi India

DATES
12  – 16 September, 2018

LOCATION – Hampi, Karnataka, India.

The retreat is located in a magnificent landscape and the resort where we will stay, reflecting the fort like entrances, stone-paved boulevards, arched hallways and regal chambers mirroring the famed palaces of a bygone but glorious era. Your stay will be in luxurious rooms  that are a perfect blend of traditional architectural charm juxtaposed with modern facilities.

Travel back in time to the glorious days of the 14th century Vijayanagara Empire, in the fantasy land of boulders and ruins. Let the monuments at Hampi tell you the story of what was once described as “the best provided city in the world”. With stunning rugged forests and boulders forming its backdrop is where we will take pictures not just of the stunning food on offer but also its people and landscape.

In this perfect setting learn not only the tips and tricks in Food Photography and Styling but also walk where once Kings and Queens did. Learn about the amazing history of one of the richest and most successful empires in the history of the world.

TEACHERS
Rakhee – Boxofspice
Aimee – Twigg Studios

WHO IS THE WORKSHOP FOR?
This workshop is for anyone who has been thinking of delving into photography seriously or even as a hobby. It is for any level of photographer. For the beginner who has never picked up a camera, we will be going through camera settings and photography basics. For the intermediate and advanced photographer, you will be in a stunning location, in a setting perfect for photography, honing your skills. This retreat is perfect for those interested in food photography (but not limited to) and who want to meet like-minded creatives from around the world.

ABOUT
A 5-day food photography workshop, where both Rakhee and Aimee will share their knowledge on technical skills, styling, social media, creative writing, and Adobe Lightroom. There will be classes we teach together, others will be taught separately and an opportunity to talk 1-on-1 with us about your goals and ambitions concerning food photograpy, styling, blogging (+ editing) etc. Aside from the learning, we will also gather, laugh, enjoy each other’s company and have an amazing time in this beautiful country.

Classes + activities:

Theory of photography – We will talk about the basic camera settings. By the end of the workshop you will know everything about ISO, aperture, shutter speed, composition, lenses, full frame vs. cropped frame, white balance, how to approach lighting and much more. On top of that, you will know how to use this knowledge to your advantage and become your camera’s best friend.

Styling practical – For this class we learn by doing. Rakhee and Aimee will show you how we go about styling and creating a food story. Both bloggers will demonstrate how to create moody settings which beautifully contrasts the bright colors of food. We will also show you how you could lighten pictures, if that is the direction you’d like to take. All dependant on the style you choose. We will also show you how to purposely use props, and what negative space does with your photography.

Heritage walk – Hampi’s ruins are spread over 16 square miles and has been described by UNESCO as an “austere, grandiose site” of more than 1,600 surviving remains of the last great Hindu kingdom in South India that includes “forts, royal and sacred complexes, temples, shrines, pillared halls, mandapas, memorial structures and water structures. We will have the chance to not only visit these ruins but also have the opportunity to shoot them.

How to use Adobe Lightroom – A sit down session where we talk about editing your photos and how to create a personal preset to give your images that consistent look and feel.

The business of social media –  In this session we talk about growing a community on Instagram and Pinterest, talk about developing a style, the use of hashtags, dealing with the algorithms, how to go about sponsored posts, collaborations, balancing creativity & business,

Feasting – You will be treated to exotic food that was prepared for royals hundreds of years ago! You will be indulged and pampered to the best vegetarian or non-vegetarian food that this region has to offer by some of the best chefs in India.

DETAILS

  • Workshop will cover: basic camera settings such as shutter speed, aperture, and ISO and their effects on the image. Lenses and their focal lengths, manipulation of natural lighting, food styling and plating, and post production in Adobe Lightroom.
    A DLSR, or smart phone camera is required. (no point and shoot)
  • All accommodation, meals, drinks (excluding mineral alcohol), walks are included in the workshop cost.
  • Price listed is per person.
  • Space limited to 8 attendees.

PLAN*

  • Wednesday September 12th: Check in and welcome dinner cooked by Rakhee and Aimee at 7:30  pm.
  • Tuesday September 13th: Photography lessons, hands on shooting & styling, visit the UNESCO Heritage Site.
  • Wednesday September 14th: Styling lessons, hands on shooting & styling, social media, how to pitch to brands and creative writing.
  • Thursday September 15th : Adobe Lightroom demonstration, tips and tricks, human element photography.
    Visit more ruins.
  • Friday September 16th: Farewell breakfast at 9 am, guests depart by noon.

COST OPTIONS
Single bed (shared room) $1950
Queen bed (shared room) $2250

INCLUSIONS
4 nights shared accommodation
A shared room on a beautiful and luxurious resort for the retreat period
All classes and demonstrations
All meals and drinks (alcohol not included)
Visit to the historic site
A wonderful goodie bag

NOT INCLUDED
Transport to and from to the location
Alcohol
Spa

TRAVEL
There are several ways to get to Hampi. I am listing them below:

  • Fly to Bangalore International Airport (BLR) and drive to Hampi. Its a 6 hour drive through a beautiful countryside.
    A rare opportunity to see India and its villages.
  • Fly into Hyderabad Airport (HYD) and then take a local flight to Jindal Vidyanagar (VDY). This will bring you just 37 kms away from Hampi. Airport transfer from Jindal Vidyanagar are included.
  • If you are a seasoned traveler and would like to explore the option of traveling by bus or train from the nearest airport, I can help you plan this.

EXTENDED STAY IN INDIA
Please let me know if you would like to stay in India little longer or come some days before the workshop begins. I can advise you on neighbouring cities and places to visit. If you would like to travel extensively in India, I can help you plan this. 

A 50% deposit will be required on booking to hold your place, the balance will be payable latest by August 1, 2018.
(If you would like to pay in three instalments please mention this in the email)

Secure your spot today by sending an email to harvestngather@gmail.com.

After the deposit is paid, you will be required to pay the remainder which will be due no later than August 1, 2018.
No refunds will be available unless you find someone to take your spot.

* in order to provide optimal experience, the program may be subject to small or minor changes dependant on local partners.

scotland 

August 24th -28th  (spaces limited) there is also an option to come for the day

Set over 4 nights this intimate workshop takes place on the coast of Scotland in Prestwick, this is an ideal location for a trip to the isle of Arran where we will go on day three.

On the first two days we will have hands on food photography and styling workshop where i will share all i know about food photography and styling. then we will take the ferry over to arran for the day and enjoy the beautiful island and take some outdoor shots.

The schedule

FRIDAY 24th aug

Arrive: Anytime after 4pm (tea & coffee available)

Assemble in lounge for 6.30pm

Dinner at 7pm

3 course dinner with soft drinks/wine, coffee/tea after in lounge

SATURDAY/SUNDAY

Breakfast – 8 to 9am

Workshop start at 10am approx.

Mid morning coffee & treats – 11.30am

Workshop resume

Lunch – 1.30pm , 2 courses with soft drinks/wine

Workshop resume at 2pm

MidAfternoon Tea break – 3.30/4pm

Workshop Finish…..

Assemble in lounge 6.30pm

Dinner at 7pm, 3 Course with soft drinks/wine, tea/coffee after in lounge

MONDAY

Breakfast – 7.00 to 8.00am

Train Station for 8.34am train from Prestwick Town to Ardrossan Harbour – arrive 9.20am

Ferry to Arran 9.45am, arrive Arran 10.40am

Day in Arran

Last ferry back is 7.20pm, arrive on Main land 8.15pm

Train from Ardrossan Harbour to Prestwick Town – 8.30pm. Arrive Prestwick 9.15pm

Tea & Coffee available.

TUESDAY

breakfast then leave before lunch time

the workshop will include

  • two full days of learning, we will talk about camera settings, natural light, styling and editing. we will style and photograph together and create a visual story.
  • day trip to arran with lunch and dinner and train/ferry
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • all meals in a Scottish theme cooked for us.

The photography workshops we will learn

  • How to shoot in manual mode,
  • How to use natural light and the best angles
  • How to style a scene, prop placement, colour pallets
  • composition
  • How to capture movement and hands on photography
  • How to tell a story with your photos
  • How to find your personal style
  • Editing with Photoshop light room
  • Social media talks and blogging advice

there are 5 rooms available, I am going to sell them as single occupancy but if you want to come to the workshop with a friend and share i can reduce the cost.

price

£1600 pp for four nights

this includes

  • accommodation
  • all meals and drinks
  • day trip to arran

does not include travel to or from the workshop

If you don’t want to stay in the house and just want to come on the day you can attend the photography workshops on the Saturday or Sunday or both, they will be priced at £350 a day including lunch 

(isle or arran photo from the telegraph)

getting there

we will be staying in Prestwick which is easily assessable from Glasgow.

to Book email aimeetwigger@aol.com

The post Upcoming food photography workshops Hampi India and Scotland appeared first on twigg studios.

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Baked marzipan is one of my favourite things! where it leaks out and drips down to the bottom of the loaf and goes crispy, those bits are mine! i will literally fight you for them lol. I mixed some marzipan with some blood orange juice and some mahleb spice. it was the first time i had tried mahleb spice, it is so amazing it is made from the seeds of a certain cherry and smells like almonds. The colour from the blood orange and the marzipan makes the filling pink before its cooked. I love baking bread i find it really therapeutic, this is one of my new favourites, I love blood oranges they are so delicious, i wish the season was longer. I used orange juice as one of the liquids in the dough but feel free to use just milk, or use all orange juice and leave out the milk. 

recipe

dough recipe

  • 3 and half cups strong white flour
  • juice and zest from one orange
  • 3 eggs
  • 100ml milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 14g (2 sachet) fast action yeast
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp. mahleb spice (optional)

filling

  • juice and zest of 1 blood orange approx. 1/4 cup of juice
  • 300g block of marzipan
  • 2 tbsp. mahleb spice (optional)

in the bowl of a stand mixer add the flour, sugar and yeast then put the salt on the opposite side of the bowl with the malheb spice, add the orange juice, and eggs in a measuring jug then top up with milk until it gets to 300ml, (or you could use all milk instead of orange juice) then add it to the flour and add the zest. mix at high speed, adding a drop more milk if you need it until you have a manageable dough and knead for 5 minutes. oil a bowl and place the dough in it and cover and leave to rise for an hour or so until it has doubled in size. once risen tip it out onto a floured surface, knock the air out of the dough and roll out then cut into two long strips,

mix all the filling ingredients in a food processor to blend together then spread onto the dough. roll up lengthways into two long ropes then cut down the middle of each rope of dough then twist the two together and arrange on a baking sheet. leave to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size again.

preheat the oven to 180c

bake for 40 minutes or until baked through. then leave to cool

drizzle over icing made with icing sugar and blood orange juice and finish with some grate zest.

The post marzipan and blood orange loaf appeared first on twigg studios.

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I love the delicate flavour of thia and Malaysian food, the mix of the lemon grass and spices is so fragrant. This dish is based on a prawn laksa but i used chicken rather than prawns which seems to be more traditional. I also added baby corn for extra crunch. Laksa is a Malaysian soup made with vermicelli noodles and has a really fragrant curry paste and spice mix. I made the paste using my kitchenaid power plus blender which I got before Christmas and it’s amazing. Making the curry paste in it was so easy as it’s so powderful. It comes in three great colours I chose the silver one and it looks so stylish in my kitchen next to my mixer. so far I have used it for soup, curry paste and pasta sauce, next I want to try it for nut butter. I highly recommend it. It is one of the worlds most powderful blenders (i think it is actually the most powderful), I recommend taking a trip to the kitchenaid store in London and checking it out. (or one near you). I really love this blender and I have found my self making soup just so I can use it.

recipe adapted from amazing malasian by norman musa

  • 150g vermicelli noodles
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 chicken breasts (or tofu for vegetarian)
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 100g spinach
  • 6 baby corn
  • 100g bean sprouts
  • 1 red pepper sliced
  • 1lime, juice 

For the spice paste:

  • 8 dried chillies, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
  • 3 shallots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2.5cm fresh ginger
  • 2stalks lemongrass (use bottom half only)
  • 1/2 tsp shrimp paste, dry-toasted (or fish sauce) (leave for vegetarian)

For the ground spice mix:

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1star anise
  • 1cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 green cardamom pods 

1. Puree all the paste ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

2. Put the vermicelli noodles into a bowl and add 1 litre of boiling water. Blanch for 2 minutes, then drain. Transfer the noodles into a bowl of ice-cold water for 3 minutes, then drain again and set aside.

3. In a frying pan, dry-toast the spice mix ingredients on a medium heat for 30 seconds, then transfer to a spice grinder and grinder until fine.

4. In a bowl, mix together thoroughly the blended spice paste, ground spice mix and ground turmeric.

5. Heat a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the oil and sauté the spice paste mix for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the chicken  and cook for a few minutes, until it has turned white and is cooked through. Add the salt, sugar and coconut milk, and baby corn and red pepper along with 600ml of water, and bring to the boil.

6. Reduce the heat to low and add the spinach, beansprouts, drained noodles and lime juice. Cook for 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and serve.

The post chicken laksa noodle soup and the kitchenaid pro plus blender appeared first on twigg studios.

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Do you want to take part in an in person food photography workshop but are not sure what you will get out of it?.  Well i want to tell you a bit about the workshop i have planned in London in April with salvia and limone and Isabella from twome. Not only will we cover all we know about food photography and styling but Isabella will also show everyone how to dye fabric with natural dyes made from natural materials. Fabric is a great photography prop and I use it for styling most of my shots. If you look through some of the photos in this post then you will see I use fabric a lot, mainly because it adds flow to an image which we will talk about more. The workshop will take place over two days on April 21st and 22nd at a studio in Clapham.

What will you learn?

  • fabric dying – you will learn how to make dyes using natural materials and then dye some fabric that you can take home. You will learn how to care for the fabric and wash is safely,
  • camera settings – we will talk you through using your camera in manual mode and what all the settings mean,
  • light – finding the best natural light and how to manipulate it,
  • we will photograph the dying process to learn how to capture motion and people,
  • composition and styling – we will show you how to style a still life and let you have hands on experience styling your own scene,
  • story creation – we will shoot a recipe story from start to finish creating 6 photos that tell a story. this is great for blogs and helps you portray a story,
  • editing – lightroom and Photoshop – we will show you how we edit our shots.

What do you get for your money

  • A two day workshop with three teachers in a professional studio
  • Home made lunch and soft drinks
  • All of our knowledge on food photography and fabric dying
  • fabric that you dyed to take home
  • one of the cheapest in person workshops on the market yes it is only £299 for day one or £549 for both days. I would recommend booking both days to get the full experience.

If you want to book then email me at aimeetwigger@aol.com

still not sold? 

Here is some feedback from some of my previous workshops

“Thank you so much for the workshop I learnt so much and I cant wait to go home and use my new skills”

”I cannot tell you how much I loved your workshop and wish I could do it all again!!! I felt there was just the right amount of people for me to get the most out of it and I learnt so much. Thank you so much.”

“I would highly recommend one of the group workshops I felt like I learnt so much”

This was, by a mile the most inspiring, productive and information packed workshop ever”

“I never thought I would be able to create the type of images aimee does but by the end of the day i was shooting images that blew my mind”

“finally I understand how to use and get the most out of my camera”

If you do not live in Europe and cant make the London workshop easily and want to know about other workshops i have then see my workshops page here, so far there is one in Australia planned for may but the page is being updated all the time and new workshops are added regularly so don’t forget to check back or sign up for notifications. I hope to add more countries soon. I also teach one to one workshops.

fabric is great for adding a flow to your photos so that’s why we thought it would be great to include that part of the workshop as it is one of the props i use in most of my shots. that way you can make your own. Isabella teaches lots of amazing craft workshops and her work has been featured in molly makes magazine. We decided to work together on this workshop with Silvia.

here is the link to my workshop page if you want more information or if you want to find a workshop closer to you.

If you want a workshop nearer to you that isn’t on the list leave a comment letting me know where.

Subscribe to our mailing list

The post Food photography and styling and natural dying workshop in london appeared first on twigg studios.

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Okonomiyaki made with Brussel sprouts instead of cabbage. OMG you guys, this was sooooo delicious, and so simple to make. I bought the sauce online but i have added the recipe for a homemade version. In case you don’t know what an okonomiyaki it is a Japanese cabbage pancake covered in Japanese mayo and a Worchester type sticky sauce. I made it with shaved Brussel sprouts as i had some that needed using up, but its a great way to get sprout haters to eat them. I seem to be really into Japanese food lately, I really want to visit japan its at the top of my list of places, do you have a list? mine is massive i don’t think i will ever get around to ticking them all off. fingers crossed i can do a stop over there for a few days when i go to Australia in may. Any way this recipe is so simple and i guarantee you will enjoy it. I cut it into little squared to make it easier to eat.

recipe

  • 3 cups of shaved Brussel sprouts
  • 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup water or stock
  • 2 spring onions (scallions) finely chopped
  • 1 carrot grated

shave the sprouts in a food processer with the slicing attachment then mix in a bowl with grated carrot and flour and finely chopped onions then add the water or stock and eggs mix then In a pan add some sesame oil and add the mixture and pat down, once golden underneath slip out of the pan onto a plate and tip over and brown the other side with the lid on until the centre has set.

serve with kewpie mayo and okonomiyaki sauce (shop bought or recipe below) and sliced spring onions and sushi ginger.

sauce recipe below from http://www.curiousnut.com but i used a shop bought one from souschef.co.uk

1½ tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs ketchup
1 tbs oyster sauce
1 tbs honey
1 tbs brown sugar
½ tsp soy sauce

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Making pasta or tortellini in this case is what i do to relax. This week i needed to relax, not because I’m busy as I’m not unfortunately (i wish i was) i don’t know if its the January blues or the lack of any projects but I’m not feeling like doing any thing this week. I think its probably just a come down from all the Christmas excitement (and chocolate lol) and the terrible winter weather, its the darkness that annoys me as i shoot with natural light and there just doesn’t seem to be any at the moment. Any way i have a one to one workshop this week, so i went to get some ingredients and came across some beetroot and that’s how this recipe came about and thankfully there was just enough light to photograph it. I have been wanting to create another savoury blood orange recipe after i made a blood orange roast chicken last year, and this was the outcome. Orange butter for my pasta with tarragon and hazelnuts and loads of parmesan as i love parmesan. 

recipe

pasta dough

  • 2 1/4 cups (350g) 00 flour
  • 100g pureed beetroot
  • 3 eggs
  • pinch of salt

mix the eggs and beetroot puree together and then make a mound with the flour and make a hole in the centre and pour on half the wet mixture and salt and start mixing with a fork then add some more and mix until you have a manageable dough. knead for 5 minutes then cover and leave to rest for about 20 minutes.

for filling

  • 300g ricotta
  • 70g grated parmesan
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 yolk or 1 quails egg
  • nutmeg

mix ricotta and parmesan together in a bowl and grate about 1/4 of a tsp of nutmeg and lots of black pepper and some salt and mix again and set aside, roll out dough with a pasta machine (I roll it through fold it and roll it through again two times before I start turning down the dial) until quite thin ( i usually go down to number 7) then cut into circles with a cookie cutter or squares using a pastry wheel (i thought the squares liked nicer)  and place a spoonfull of filling in the centre and fold in half, pinch the edges closed, then fold into tortellini, boil for 3 to 4 minutes while you make sauce

butter sauce

  • 100g butter
  • juice from half a blood orange
  • leaves from 2 sprigs of tarragon
  • splash of balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan cheese
  • handful of hazelnuts chopped

melt butter in a pan and add orange juce, tarragon and hazelnuts and a small splash of balsamic vinegar, simmer until bubbling then toss in the pasta an coat them with the butter and serve with lot of grated parmesan and salt and pepper.

suggestions

  • don’t fancy orange then just brown the butter and serve them in that
  • cant find blood oranges (the season is short) try a different orange variety or try lemon instead 
  • don’t like tarragon? use sage instead add it to the pan with the butter to crisp up before adding the orange juice.
  • find tortellini to fiddly make ravioli instead 

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I love Brussel sprouts, but I know how much people hate them so I wanted to find a way to make them more appealing. so I shaved them up and sautéed them with soy, miso and sesame paste. I added some kale, carrot and radish and some sesame crusted tofu, its vegan (if you swap the egg noodles for a vegan alternative) which is great for all those taking part in veganuary (vegan January). I’m not vegan but I think its easy to create great meat free dishes when you are using Japanese flavours. I want to eat less meat than I do now so I am eating dishes like this as often as I can. this dish is so quick and is prepared and cooked in under 10 minutes, so I guess there is no excuse for me to not eat more healthier this year.

recipe

  • 200g Brussel sprouts
  • sesame oil
  • handful of kale
  • 2 tbsp. sesame paste
  • 1 tbsp. brown miso paste
  • 100 ml dark soy
  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 50 ml water
  • 1 packet of fresh egg noodles or for vegan use noodles like soba or rice noodles
  • 1 or 2 tbsp. sesame seeds (black and white)
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 2 radishes finely sliced

tofu

  • 6 trips of tofu
  • 1 tbsp. sesame paste
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 5 tbsp. mixed sesame seeds

in a food processer with the slicing blade finely shave the sprouts and add to a pan with some sesame oil. Sautee and add the kale and then add the sesame paste, miso paste and soy sauce and noodles (if using the fresh ones you don’t need to pre boil them if using dried soba or rice noodles cook first according to packet) then add some water (50ml) and stir fry. add some sesame seeds and the carrot and radish and stir together.

for the tofu mix the sesame paste and soy sauce then dip the tofu strips in it and then coat in sesame seeds and pan fry in some sesame oil until golden

serve the noodles topped with the tofu.

notes want more of a fiery kick add some chilli or fresh ginger.

The post sesame sprout and kale noodles with crispy sesame tofu appeared first on twigg studios.

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I did a poll on Instagram to see what recipes you wanted to see this year and vegetarian/vegan won slightly over meat dishes so I decided to create this Bolognese sauce with quinoa in place of beef. it was really tasty and I didn’t miss the meat in the sauce. if you are not keen on quinoa then use cooked lentils instead. I love spaghetti with beef Bolognese but I wanted to create and vegetarian version of it too. it can be vegan if you leave out the parmesan and use nutritional yeast instead. For extra flavour I added crispy sage rather than basil which is more traditional. I have also used some chipotle paste and flakes which is not traditional because it gives a great smoky flavour and I have also used smoked salt and brown miso paste. this is just a great way to mimic flavours you would get from meat. The taste was not spicy from the chilli at all it just adds more flavour.

recipe

  • 2 cups cooked red and white quinoa or brown lentils
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 150ml wine – red or white will be fine
  • 3 tbsp. tomato puree
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 5 dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 vegetable stock cube in 500ml water
  • 2 tbsp. brown miso paste
  • 1 tsp chipotle flakes
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste
  • 1 tsp smoked salt
  • pepper
  • sage

in a large pan add the chopped onion and oil and sautee until it starts to turn golden then add 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar and a tsp of brown sugar and caramelise. add the garlic and cooked quinoa or lentils then add the wine and cook off the alcohol for 1 minute then add the tomato puree and tinned tomatoes, in a bowl add the porcini mushrooms and stock cube and cover with 500ml boiling water let sit for 5 minutes then add the liquid carefully leaving the grit at the bottom of the bowl. chop up the mushrooms and add to the pan.vthen add the mio pasta, chilli paste/flakes and smoked salt and pepper. in another pan add some oil and fry some sage leaves until crispy (about 12) then take 6 and crush and mix into the sauce and save the rest for the top. cook pasta according to packaging then add a ladle or two of the stachy pasta water and toss the pasta in the sauce and serve with grated parmesan and crispy sage.

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Any kind of pasta makes me happy but this one makes me really really happy. They are filled with roasted squash and creamy goats cheese and tossed and some ground almonds in some brown butter with crispy sage and hazelnuts or almonds. the method of folding them like culurgiones looks really technical but it is so easy. I watched this video here.

it is basically like fancy ravioli or tortellini, the filling is traditionally potato cheese and dried mint and served in a tomato sauce, but they can be filled with anything really. roasted squash is one of my favourite fillings for pasta. I suppose the first week of January is the wrong week to be sharing a carb heavy recipe as every one wants to be starting their diets but oh well. I have made these a few times and the last time with with pomodoro sauce and it was delicious.

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy new year and to let you know how grateful I am for your continued following and support.

pasta dough

  • 300g plain flour (or tippo 00)
  • 2 eggs and 4 yolks
  • tsp olive oil

filling

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 sprig of rosemary and thyme
  • 1 clove from 1 bulb of garlic (you can add two if it is a small one)
  • 150g soft goats cheese or ricotta what ever is your preference
  • 1/2 cup finely ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
  • grating of nutmeg

preheat the oven to 180c

cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over rosemary and thyme and place on tray with one garlic clove or cloves (keep the skin on the clove) roast for 1 hour until tender then scoop out flesh and add into a food processor with the herbs and cut open the garlic clove and squeeze out the insides.  then add the goats cheese and puree and mix with the parmesan and almonds then mix in some grated nut meg and some salt and pepper, chill while you make the pasta.

To make the pasta dough you can either use a food processor or do it by hand, to make it by hand, make a heaped pile with the flour on the worktop and make a hole in the centre and add the yolks and eggs and mix with a fork gradually bringing in the flour, once all mixed press into a ball, knead for 5 minutes and cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Cut into 4 and flour the dough and pasta machine, take one piece and flatten it and roll through a pasta machine on its widest setting, fold in half and roll through and fold again then roll through working your way through until its nice and thin. cut out circles and add a spoon full of filling and pleat together. to do his see videos on you tube.  cook by adding to boiling water and boiling for 4 minutes, brown some butter in a pan with a small bunch of sage and some sliced nuts like hazelnuts then add the pasta and Sautee for a minutes or two to coat then enjoy with some grated parmesan and some salt and pepper.

The post Butternut squash and goats cheese culurgiones (Sardinain ravioli) appeared first on twigg studios.

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here is the second part of my china trip where we went to Xi’an, Beijing Hong Kong, you can see part one here where I shared photos from shanghai, Guilin and Yangshou and pork dumplings two ways. I have also added a recipe for Peking duck with an amazing plum sauce, and then to make the most of the left overs I boiled down the carcass and made soup dumplings.

after landing in the ancient city of Xi’an we went to see the wild goose pagoda and learnt how to do some Chinese calligraphy, then we went on to see the city wall which goes around the city, you can walk or cycle around it but we just walked a little way on one side of it, the next day we went to see the terracotta warriors. it was amazing as each one was different, no two of their faces where the same. they where built to guard the emperor in his afterlife. they where discovered by a farmer digging on his Land in 1974. when they where found they where all broken into loads of pieces and they where painted quite colourful but the air has meant that they lost their colour over time. They are currently working on how to preserve the colour before the dig out any more. there has been a team of archaeologists putting them back together ever since,

a persimmon tree on the grounds of the terracotta army

the Xi’an city wall is still completely intact and you can walk all the way around it.

the small wild goose pagoda, in the evening we visited the Muslim quarter and went to see the shopping street it was so vibrant I loved it. there where so many different food stalls it was so interesting

in Xi’an we saw hand stretched noodles being made and ate shaved rice noodles. rice noodles are very popular in this part of china.

Walnuts and persimmon are also very popular in xi’an I saw so many persimmon and they where huge.

Beijing

we landed in Beijing and it was sooo cold. the first stop was the temple of heaven, then we went to the city centre and saw stalls selling weird food like scorpions and silk worms on sticks. that night we went for a peking duck dinner. then the next day we went to see the great wall of china, it was freezing cold but It was so amazing. we walked quite far along it I was really proud of my self. IM so unfit so it was quite a struggle and the cold air made it harder to breathe. We then went to tiananmen square, the forbidden city and the summer palace. Then on the last day we went on a rickshaw through the old part of Beijing then went to the lama temple.

i thought it would be fun to show the view from the Great Wall as well as photos of it so these are through the window and doorways of the watch towers on the Great Wall. Out guide said that one of the substances used to makes the cement to hold the bricks together was sticky rice.

the summer palace was so beautiful, it was where the emperor went when they where not in the forbidden city. The lake was frozen it was so cold, (it is a man made lake created to help with Feng shui, as the Chinese believe that mountains and water make great Feng shui.

forbidden city

this is where the emperors lived i think 14 in total over the years with their concubines and staff, it has 980 buildings with 9.999 rooms in total. only some are open to the public. This Below was the garden area at the very back of the forbidden city.

tainanmen square, this is at the entrance to the forbidden city. you can recognise it from the portrait of chairman mao. its been famous for protests in the past. We saw lots of these men in their uniforms marching around.temple of heaven above and a monk at the yonghe (lama) temple below. this temple houses the largest wooden budda in the world. today there are still monks living a learning here.

We went to see a acrobat show and it was the best thing I have ever seen.

peking duck

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