Tag Archives: Pasta

Kerr’s Gin steam their botanicals

Most gin, if you are a lover of gin you will know that the botanicals are usually boiled but what makes Kerr’s Gin different you ask?, well they steam their botanicals. By steaming it captures more of the subtle aromas and complex flavours, together with the barley base, this creates a gin of distinctive depth and character.

I was given a thank you gift of Kerr’s Gin courtesy of The Borders Distillery for reviewing their Puffing Vodka.

Kerr’s Gin

The Borders Distillery opened back in March 2018 and was the first Scotch Whisky distillery in the Scottish Borders since 1837. They are dedicated to capturing the true spirit of the Borders bringing whisky making back to the region plus vodka and gin.

Kerr’s Gin is 43% ABV and is a Scottish Gin which is wholly distilled from barley and is grown only 20 miles of the distillery. 

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Hapsburg Absinthe equals strong and minty

Hapsburg Absinthe is one of the worlds most strongest liquors in the world with it having an ABV of 72.5%. Absinthe is a green, strong and minty drink which is great on it’s own, but also delicious in cocktails and also within food, yes food!.

Given a PR sample I was gifted a bottle of Hapsburg Absinthe in which my challenge was to cook with it which I was a bit dubious in it working as of it’s strong minty flavour but I was highly surprised by the results.

Hapsburg Absinthe

Established in 1999, Hapsburg Absinthe was one of the few pioneering brands to appear when the first resurgence of Absinthe took place, since it had been banned in Switzerland in 1905. Absinthe used to be very popular during the 1890’s and very fashionable in the vast majority of cafes, bars and salons, particularly in France and Switzerland, the birthplace of Absinthe. However in 1905 it got banned.

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Puffing Billy Vodka with a difference NO potatoes

Puffing Billy Vodka is different to any other Vodka as their Vodka is not made from potatoes nor grains but from malted barley instead.

I was kindly gifted a bottle of Puffing Billy vodka as a PR sample to enjoy at home as I am a lover of vodka and wow how I was surprised by the taste.

Puffing Billy

Puffing Billy ABV 40% is a new Scottish vodka which came on the market back in February 2020.

Their vodka is different to any other vodka as it’s made using malted barley.

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Casa Tua Italian gem in Kings Cross

Casa Tua brings authentic homemade traditional Italian food to London with their friendly environment within Kings Cross and I was invited on a complimentary basis along with some other members of Love Pop Ups London to taste a variety of their favourite dishes.

Casa Tua

Casa Tua popped up in Camden August 2013 bringing authentic Italian to Londoners giving a homely feel.

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KitchenAid Experience Store – How to use and cook with plant based food

I am not one for vegetables and so when I was invited via KitchenAid London to attend one of their cookery courses of my choice, I chose to learn about plant based food to see if I could actually enjoy a meal made out of vegetables entirely with no meat or fish and I must admit I was presently surprised and impressed.


Firstly let me tell you a bit more about KitchenAid. They were founded back in 1886 by Josephine Cochrane she revolutionized the world of cooking.  She patented an invention that would in time become the dishwasher as we know it today. Nine of her incredible machines were exhibited, sold and used in restaurants. Some found a place in respected luxury hotels. Driven by the desire to popularise her invention, Joséphine adapted a model for household use just before her death in 1913.

From revolutionary inventions then took birth in 1919 with the first mixer and this is how the brand KitchenAid was born.

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Truly Authentic Italian Food – Venerdi

If you love Italian food just as much as I do then you will love the Italian restaurant Venerdi in Homerton. Their focus and aim is to cook quality authentic Italian food. I was invited along with a few other bloggers (Katie @isthatlondon and Joice @jojoexplora) to sample some of their mouthwatering dishes.


Venerdi is an Italian restaurant who cook quality authentic Italian food.

They like to bring diners an old world Italian style of cooking made with fresh Mediterranean ingredients. The menu combines classic Italian dishes with contemporary twists. From great ‘antipasti’ to the home made ‘specialita di pasta’,’ pizza’, ‘pesce’, ‘carne’, and delicious desserts, leaving any diners taste buds satisfied and full bellies. Thus, making Venerdi the perfect place for Italian food lovers!

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Rainbow pasta fun – Pasta Evangelists

I have always wanted to learn how to make multi coloured style pasta so when I got invited along to Pasta Evangelists latest masterclass to learn how to make rainbow pasta it was like being gifted a pot of gold.

Pasta Evangelists

Who are Pasta Evangelists?

Pasta Evangelists was founded in 2017 and is led by MD & Founder Alessandro Savelli, an Anglo-Italian entrepreneur.  Co-founders include Chairman James McArthur, former CEO at Harrods and CEO of Anya Hindmarch, as well as COO Chris Rennoldson, who enjoyed a long career in the city before training as a chef at Leith’s School of Food & Wine.

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Kneading to make pasta – Pasta n Play

Have you always wanted to know how to make pasta? well with Pasta n Play Vicky makes it easy with her simple step by step instructions.

Pasta n Play

Pasta n Play is run by Vicky who is an Italian cookery tutor who wants to spread her passion of good and healthy food to Londoners.

She came to London over 6 years ago and set up Pasta n Play as she loves to cook and teach others.

Her passion for cooking started more than 30 years ago when she used to watch her grandmother prepare food for her family. When she helped out her grandmother she loved to mess around with the flour and playing with the dough.

She will never forget how much fun it was, as that was one of her most beautiful times of her life! Now she wants to teach kids and adults that making homemade food from scratch is a very enjoyable activity.

“I enjoy it so much.  It is so creative and fun and it fits so well around my family.  I am finally doing the job of my dreams.”


At Pasta n Play you’ll find a warm welcome even if you don’t know how to fry an egg. 

All her classes are suitable for kids and adults and a great way to socialise, have fun and learn how to make pasta. 

Pasta masterclass with Pasta n Play

I was invited on a complimentary basis by Vicky to attend one of her classes which I chose to learn about how to make tortellini from scratch. 

Her classes are held in a lovely hall situated in 36A Courthope Road in Camden, London.  Upon entering we found the ingredients all laid out and ready to be used over several tables.

Pasta n Play me

The class starts with Vicky sharing some fun facts about the history of pasta. Then she explained where the ingredients come from, what kind of ingredients are used, where to buy the best ingredients in the future and why to use those specific ingredients.

Pasta n Play Farm Direct

Vicky then demonstrates how to make dough before making it yourself.  She will guide you through the process step-by-step, including mixing and kneading, before showing how to make the perfect tortellini.  

Pasta n Play class

Time to make pasta

Pasta n Play flour

Firstly flour and eggs (water for vegans)

Pasta n Play flour and egg

Make a well within the flour and crack the egg into it then dip your finger into the egg and mix bringing the flour to the centre to combined together.

Pasta n Play Vicky and me

Then was time for the kneading.

Pasta n Play dough

Wrap in clingfilm once kneaded after 15 minutes.

Pasta n Play dough machine making

When ready take about half of the dough and flatten and place through the pasta machine starting from the highest number reducing to lower number settings each time put through the pasta machine which eventually will lead you to having a very long thin strip of pasta. 

Pasta n Play dough machine

Once done you then can cut with the pasta cutters to form squares of pasta to dollop the filling into.

Pasta n Play pasta cut

  Vicky provided us with a meat mix and a optional vegan bean mix.

Pasta n Play filling

Folding over one corner to another I made a triangle and then twisted the long edge round my finger making sure each corner met each corner then pressing together.  Fantisco. 

Pasta n Play tortellini

I now have a tortellini.

Pasta n Play tortellini mine

Sweat eat play repeat with the other half of dough.  Once all done Vicky and her co-partner gathered everyones pasta together and cooked it within a big pot of boiling water.

Pasta n Play tortellini
Pasta n Play cooking

After just a few minutes it was cooked.

The tortellini was then stirred into a buttery sage sauce. 

Pasta n Play cooking Vicky

It tasted really good.  However as everyone’s pasta had all been put into one pot some peoples pasta was thicker than others or much larger so the textures were not the same. Personally I would of preferred if all our pasta was not cooked together in a big pot and perhaps each individual tables was cooked in a pot each however I do understand that this would not be possible or logical considering the pasta is cooked in a large pot on a two piece plug in hot plate.   

Pasta n Play cooking me and Vicky

It really is surprising though how much fresh pasta is so much better than pre-bought dried pasta which you can buy in shops.  Vicky really does show it can easily be done from scratch at home and how it does not take that long to make and cook. You can also take some of your uncooked pasta home with you if you like to cook at home to eat if you wished to.

Watch me make pasta 



Even though I loved this class and Vicky really did show me and others how easy it is to make pasta with a spin of our finger, kneading, rolling, cutting and pressing I feel that the price which is charged for her adult pasta making classes are perhaps on the expensive side.  However in regards to the price I do understand that it is to cover her time, over head costs of the hire of the hall and ingredients. 

Also you only get to learn one type of pasta.  I would of loved to of learnt how to make more than one type and the opportunity to make and learn about different fillings rather than been given one which had already been prepared and cooked by Vicky. 

However saying that I would though still recommend this class as Vicky made it easy to learn how to make pasta and with her lovely personality she made the evening really fun.  Also her pasta making class is a great way to socialise and meet others who have a passion for cooking and wanting to learn how to make pasta so a great way to mingle and make potential new friends.

Book with Pasta n Play 

Vicky’s upcoming pasta classes for next year are as follows:

16th February 2019: 3 – 5.30pm – Make Spaghetti alla chitarra in Hampstead

17th March 2019: 3 – 5.30pm – Make Rainbow Tagliatelle in Hampstead

25th March 2019: 6.30pm – 9pm – Make Rainbow Tagliatelle in Covent Garden, at Tea & Crafting

13th April 2019: 3 – 5.30pm – Make Colourful farfalle (bowtie) in Hampstead

12th May 2019: 3 – 5.30pm – Make Green Lasagne in Hampstead

26th June 2019: 6.30pm – 9pm – Make Polka dots Tortelli in Covent Garden, at Tea & Crafting

Plus Vicky has other classes from pizza to bread making.

Click here to discover more and book a class with Vicky.


Thanks to Pasta n Play for inviting me down to learn how to make past. The evening was complimentary to me but all views are of my own honest opinion.

Quick, simple and delicious – Pasta Evangelists

Who would of thought that you could get fresh pasta delivered to your door whilst at work.  Well with Pasta Evangelists you can as it comes in a narrow insulated recyclable box which can be posted through your letterbox.

Pasta Evangelists can provide you everything for a great restaurant quality meal.  Within the chilled box you’ll be provided with all the ingredients you need to make a great nourishing meal from your pasta, sauce to the garnishes along with a step-by-step cooking instruction guide. The dishes with Pasta Evangelists changes weekly on-line and includes a mix of meat and vegetarian options. This is truly perfect if you love pasta and don’t fancy going out but want restaurant quality food.  So quick, simple and delicious.  Continue reading

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