Camelia’s tea room

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Just discovered a lovely hidden tea room,right in the center of London, and had the greatest girly Sunday afternoon there.

The place is called Camelia’s and is divided in two parts: the tea salon and the tea shop were you can by many of their award winning leaf teas and infusions.

Camelia’s Tea House
2.12 Kingly Court,Carnaby Street
W1B 5PW London
Open every day 12pm-7pm

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Goat cheese & spinach quiche – sesame crust

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I know it might sound a bit sad, but quiches are my ultimate weapon of seduction. I am aware it is not exactly a weapon of mass seduction but it works on a very specific target, and the only one that really counts: the gorilla of the house. It is the first thing I cooked for him.. and I pull it up every time I can sense a crisis coming.

Yesterday my car got towed away,and by the time I got out of the car pound with it, my wallet was 300£ lighter. That hurt, especially since no one could explain to me why it had been towed away. I don’t think I will be driving into London anytime soon if parking rules are so arbitrary… Anyway, I came out of there alive (and I was not sure I would as the car pound was located in a very dodgy area), and decided to take it with philosophy. But my boyfriend was beside himself when I called him to tell my story. When I hung up, I thought it was the kind of situation when the quiche was much needed!

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Cashew-almond butter

Cashew almond butter 2When living in Boston a few years ago, I got acquainted with peanut butter. I had vaguely heard about it before, but had never seen any in the supermarket, much less tasted it. I quite liked peanut butter, but it was not an absolute favorite, except maybe with strawberry jam.

But I had a revelation one day, when wandering around Wholefoods, looking for some free sampling while my laundry was getting done at the laundromat next door. I discovered all sorts of freshly made nut butters: peanut, almond, cashew, hazelnut, roasted, honeyed etc.. They were kept in huge jars and you just had to press a button to get some nut butter in a jar. I have to say I had a taste of each, just pouring some on my finger..naughty me.

Anyway, I can now make my own nut butters..yay! I had my first try with a classic peanut butter, and realised that you really don’t have to add that much oil to the mix to make it nice..that was good news.

Now here is my ultimate experiment: cashew-almond butter, sweetened with agave syrup. Try it and tell me about it!

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Blueberry jam – normal sugar,no pectin

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I always thought you need special gelling/jam sugar to make jam. This type of sugar contains pectin as a gelling agent, and often citric acid as a preservative. I did not really want to use this in my attempt to make my own homemade jam, as the purpose was to get something with just fruit and sugar.

So I just tried it with normal sugar..and you know what? It worked really well! I actually like its slightly runnier consistency much better as it tends to soak in the bread…mmmh!

I actually had to cook my jam longer when using normal sugar, but otherwise, it worked quite well. So here is how to make your own blueberry jam with nothing more than fruits and plain white caster sugar.

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