There was a buzz in the air on Sunday morning as the kick off meeting for the cooking and tech sessions got off to a friendly and exciting start. Participants were greeted with smiles, hugs, and a lovely spread prepared by Julie, her famous scones made an appearance too!
After coffee, chatting and a bit of indulgence we got down to business. Naturally the children sat in line, and any family pairs huddled together too. However, that soon changed as during the session the bite buddies played a spot of musical chairs, when they had to uproot and sit with their new partners.
The first session was for: meeting and greeting; getting to know each other; finding out about peoples’ likes, dislikes, food allergies and intolerances; pairing off with someone from the opposite age group; and choosing recipes for the forthcoming cooking sessions. The two cooking sessions will take place on Sunday 2nd and 9th August. There was a hive of activity and excited chatter once the choosing of recipes got underway. Some used the Internet to search for recipes, whilst others shared family favourites.
The recipes chosen ranged from sweet to savoury, and everything in between. Some participants decided to opt for new flavours they had never tried before – like Madeehah and Jannette who will be trying their hands at this amazing spicy Moroccan fish tagine. #TIP: This can be served with rice but for a more authentic feel stick to couscous.
Jasmine and Vas will be sweetening things up with a choco-berry sponge cake, sounds divine, combining chocolate sponge with fresh summer berries. #TIP: adding a tart coulis made from red or black currents will offset the sweetness of this cake and give it a more balanced flavour.
Whilst Nshyrah will be making pancakes coupled with fresh strawberries with Jace. Both recipes are utilising the fresh berries that are currently in season, a celebration of British summer. #TIP: reduce the sugar added to the batter if using a strawberry coulis or caramel on top.
The savoury dishes on offer will draw on the influence of many countries including the USA with this classic dish of mac and cheese #TIP: this dish can be heavy, and contain a lot of salt due to the amount of cheese used, so omit the salt when boiling the macaroni, and where the recipe calls for cream or milk, substitute for lighter versions.
Followed by some Portuguese heat with the peri peri chicken breast all being cooked by Shai-Lilly, and her mother, Anita.
Ellie and Karen, another mother and daughter team will be giving us some Spanish flavour with a paella named ‘Perfect Paella’, aptly named as it contains the perfect pairing of two meaty friends – chicken and chorizo.
Whilst Jamari and Joy will be getting sticky fingers serving up some delicious smokey BBQ wings #TIP: These would go well with some freshly made vegetable batons (pictured) or a crunchy side salad.
There will also be a classic British dish on offer with a twist, using a mixture of sweet potatoes and normal potatoes, creatively named the ‘Courageous Cottage Peachy Pie’, which will be rustled up by Jadian and Charlotte.
We also have a few family recipes being shared by Hassan and Jan who will be preparing ‘Sputniks’ and Eboney-Mae cooking one of her mom’s (Jenny) favourite meals, ‘Seasoned fish with vegetable rice’. Eboney-Mae will add her own twist to the dish with fresh coriander and lime making it her own.
Khusro was keen to be able to teach someone one of his dishes, and will be taking Lalitha through the steps to make ‘Gluten-free Dark Chocolate dipped Coconut macaroons’.
To take each others likes and intolerances into account the duo, Cerine and Vaska will be meeting in the middle, to make a 50-50 pizza. One half will be made with puff pastry and topped with chicken, while the other half will be made with a gluten-free base and covered with a medley of vegetables. Both will be smothered in pesto sauce!
I am looking forward to sharing more tips with all the bite buddies on the day. There are a variety of preparation and cooking methods being used for the above recipes, so it will be interesting to see the sharing of different skills and techniques.
Join us next week for an update on how the first set of Bite Buddies cooking sessions went.
Alicia (Cooking Tutor)