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Twitter Taste Live

Twitter Wine Tasting

I was invited to a very interesting event recently, a wine tasting organised by the fantastic host and wine blogger Rob, who was aided superbly by fellow wine blogger Andrew, from Spittoon. This was no normal wine tasting, it was multinational, and we would share our thoughts on the wines via twitter. The wines were supplied by Bin Ends, all from the Alsace region, and we would be tasting them with fellow twitterers in the US, Spain, South America, and one in China!

Our Twitter Usernames

Our Twitter Usernames

If you don’t know twitter it’s a microblogging application, where you send your thoughts out into the world in 140 characters or less. It’s community focussed, so those twitterers that are connected to you see those updates, and you can send replies and direct personal messages that only the people involved see. So, it’s like online shared texting, or status updates on facebook. If you’re on there, I am eatlikeagirl, come join me. I really enjoy it and use it as a means of communication with friends and other food bloggers e.g. Helen of World Foodie Guide, Su Lin of Tamarind & Thyme and Helen of Food Stories.

There’s the background, now: back to the tasting.

Now that’s a number of different locations, and clearly timing was going to be an issue, so we started early and planned to twitter with everyone else from midnight. Rob and Andrew prepared a wonderful 5 course meal and matched the food to the wines.

Twittering and blogging the evening

Twittering and blogging the evening

I am guessing you are a little curious about the wines and the food. Now, I don’t blog about wine, and it’s not because I don’t like it, it’s my tipple of choice, I just don’t have anything approaching the level of expertise that wine bloggers have and it’s, well, intimidating. I do want to know more, and I see a wine tasting course looming on my horizon, but for now, I surf the part of the wine list that I know and I try to learn more by breaking out of this occasionally. I’ll get there. This evening all 5 wines were white wines from Alsace, which would prove to be interesting as I am generally more of a fan of red.

scallops starter
So, we started with a delicous starter of scallops accompanied by Hugel Tradition Gentil (aka Les Fleurs d’Alsace) 2006. The scallops pan fried with white wine, ginger, garlic and chilli, the spices added to compliment the spice in the wine. The scallops were fantastic, large, juicy and perfectly cooked and the wine was a very pleasant accompaniment, light with gentle spicy flavours.

asparagus tart

Next up was red onion or asparagus tarts with baby leaf salad accompanied by Hugel Tradition Pinot Blanc 2006. The tarts were great, light and quite eggy, the wine cut through this quite well. I wasn’t a huge fan of this wine, on first taste I was underwhelmed, putting it mildly, but the food was a good match and it improved. It was quite rich and acidic, heavier than the first.

hugel pinot blanc

At this point, we were all starting to feel really spoiled, with our two wine blogging friends slaving in the kitchen, and us chattering, sampling and generally having a very good night. It was time for the next course and our most decadent yet, with fois gras mi cuit with toast and fig chutney matched with Hugel Tradition Gewürztraminer 2006. The foie gras and fig chutney were well matched even before the wine got involved, but the wine was a wonderful match and brought the best out in everything. It was rich and golden with hints of honeysuckle and quite an oily texture, which amplified the flavours in the meal. Delicious.

foie gras with fig chutney

hugel wines

Next up was pork medallions with mustard mash, apples and cider reduction accompanied by Hugel Riesling Jubilee 2004. The dish as all previous was perfectly executed and the wine, for me, was sharp, acidic and spicy with background syrupy sweetness. It was a good match for the food.

pork tenderloin with mustard mash apples and cider reduction.Our last wine was awaiting us, unfortunately so was the last train, so we had to rush. We had coconut macaroons with Hugel Gewürztraminer Vendage Tardive 2001. Now this wine was delicious, and was great with the coconut. It had a honey fragrance, intense sweet syrupy honey flavours, rich and gorgeous.

coconut macaroons

It was truly a wonderful evening, I learned alot, and am determined to expand my wine tasting experiences. The company was great and it was a very fun evening. Thanks to uber host Rob and Andrew, for organising and serving up such a wonderful meal,Bin Ends Wine and Hugel & Fils for the wines and setting up the event and Annie Mole, Lea, Kai, Sandrine, Jeremy, Lolly & James.

There’s lots of photos, you can take a look on the flickr group – Twitter Taste Live.

Flickr Group

Flickr Group

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A little update

It’s not often, or ever, that I provide updates on my blog that relate to anything outside of that, whether that’s work or my personal life. This just isn’t the place for it. You come here because of a shared obssession – FOOD. There have been changes of late that are relevant, however, and they’re quite exciting too, so I decided I’d blog about it.

Last week I blogged about a TrustedPlaces competition, for a dinner for two to the value of £500 at a Top London restaurant. I’ve been a member of TrustedPlaces for some time and quite active. I really like the community, and it’s a great way to share your places of interest with your friends and the community at large, I’ve also found lots of new places to try on there. Since I posted that, there’s been a change, and I’ve become one of the “folks” a TrustedPlaces, having accepted and started a position as Community Manager there.

This is very exciting for a number of reasons, mainly, I get to work with what I am passionate about in an exciting, ambitious and young company. Fun! I will continue to blog here as I have done for the last while but I will now be writing at a second blog also, the TrustedPlaces blog, this will be more location and place based, and Eat Like a Girl will continue to be focussed on the food. So, add that to your reader too, and comment, I’d love to hear from you.

If you’re already on TrustedPlaces, add me as a friend, and if you’re curious and want to join this fun vibrant community, sign up here.

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Covent Garden Night Market

Covent Garden Night Market

Covent Garden Night Market

Covent Garden Night Market is back again for the month of August, every Thursday and Friday. Like last year, expect lots of lovely food stalls with the added extra of a kitchen theatre hosting celebrity chefs like the Hairy Bikers and Fergus Henderson.

I had an opportunity to go last week with fellow bloggers including: Julia of A Slice of Cherry Pie, Helen of Food Stories, Ros of Living to Eat, Krista of Londonelicious, Chris of Londonist, and, Alex of The Princess and the Recipe
. It was really lovely to meet them, having interacted online for so long and we had a fabulous evening.

First stop was the hungry bikers at the kitchen theatre, unfortunately I was too late to see Cyrus from Cafe Spice Namaste. They were very entertaining as always, cooking up seared scallops and salmon, a Tuscan style beef salad and a dessert of zabaglione. It looked fabulous, and by the time it was over I was really hungry and keen to explore and eat.

There was lots on offer, so much choice, I was torn wanting the Rainha Santa hog roast, some of the sporeboy’s risotto and something from the Jewish Deli. And that’s only what I’d spotted on arriving. The Jewish Deli won out in the end and I had some chicken schnitzel. It was very good. After this, chocolate from Melt, cupcakes from Lavender Bakery (absolutely gorgeous – check out Michelle’s blog here) and it was all polished off with some champagne from McManus Oysters, I was too full for the Oyster’s themselves by now. Ooooh, decadent!

I didn’t stop there, I brought loads home including tea from teapigs (including a chilli tea, which is really interesting, physically warm but also the flavour and mild heat of the chilli – try it!), coffee beans, spicy tuscan sausage… and lots more. The sausage was quite special, I am looking forward to getting some more this week.

It’s well worth a trip, highly recommended.

Upcoming Kitchen Theatre Demonstrations:

22nd August: Willie Harcourt-Cooze – the modern day Willie Wonka, famed for his 100% pure Venezuelan Black chocolate

29th August: Fergus Henderson – head chef of St John restaurant and famous for his book and philosophy of ‘Nose to Tail Eating’

Also blogged at Trustedplaces.com

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Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon & Chives

Decadent brunch - Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and chives

It seems silly to write a post about scrambled eggs, maybe I am having a silly day (possible), but, I am sure that it’s more that there’s few things as bad as badly scrambled eggs. Ok, there’s lots of things worse, but when you only have two eggs left and are too lazy to go to the shop, it can screw up your morning. Like it did mine last week, when I overheated the oil accidentally and the eggs turned into an instant omelette whilst splattering and burning me at the same time.

So, determined to redeem myself, the next day I went out and bought some lovely golden burford brown eggs, some smoked salmon and chives. I like my scrambled eggs simple, very simple, this is as a result of a discussion I had some years ago with a friend where I maintained you could put anything in scrambled eggs. I quickly proved that the results of such experimentation can be monstrous so, now, it’s only friends are tomatoes, herbs, smoked salmon and cheese. Maybe some shallots.

This doesn’t need a recipe, just a conversation :-) You need, per person: 2 eggs, a couple of slices of smoked salmon, some butter, some chopped chives and some nice bread for toasting. Toast your bread, heat the butter until foaming, beat the eggs lightly and season with s&p. Add to the butter over a low heat. The eggs will slowly start to cook, stir with a spatula or something similar taking care to pull it in from the sides. Just before the eggs are at the consistency you like them, take them off the heat, for me this is quite fluid. It’s important to do this as the eggs will continue to cook, even off the heat. Stir in most of the chives and half the smoked salmon. Serve on top of the toast with the remaining smoked salmon and chives. Eat immediately.

Enjoy!

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Win a £500 dinner in a Top London Restaurant

Win a £500 dinner in a Top London Restaurant at Trusted Places

Win a £500 dinner in a Top London Restaurant at Trusted Places

This is definitely something worth sharing – the folks at Trusted Places are running a fantastic competition B It’s very easy to enter, you just need to write some reviews (even just one but the more you write the greater your chances) and share your trusted places with the community . You could win dinner for two in one of London’s top 10 restaurants for £500.

I’ve said it before, it’s a great site and it’s definitely a community that’s fun to be involved with. So, sign up, review, get your friends in, and, who knows – you might be indulging in one of London’s Top 10 restaurants, all courtesy of Trusted Places.