What should you serve as a Valentine Day starter?

This is a novel way of eating Italian carpaccio, which would also be fantastic served as canapés. It is important to get a really good colour on the beef so that it almost forms a crust on the outside – this gives the dish its wonderful contrast of textures. This recipe is also delicious served with slices of avocado, shavings of Parmesan and roasted walnuts added.

Serves 2

Ingredients

For the beef rolls:

250g beef fillet, well trimmed

1 garlic cloves, sliced

½ tsp roughly cracked black peppercorns

1 thyme sprig, broken up

1 beetroots, peeled and julienned (on a mandolin is best)

½ bunch English radishes, julienned (on a mandolin is best)

50g fresh watercress sprigs

For the lemon aioli:

1 egg, at room temperature

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp white wine vinegar

Pinch of caster sugar

Finely grated rind of ½ lemon

1 tsp Dijon mustard

100ml (3 1/2fl oz) olive oil

100ml (3 1/2fl oz) sunflower oil

Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

Creamed horseradish, to serve

Method

Rub the beef all over with the olive oil and place in a shallow non-metallic dish with the garlic, cracked peppercorns and thyme. Rub all over the meat and cover with clingfilm. Marinate for at least an hour at room temperature or overnight is best in the fridge.

To make the lemon aioli, break the egg into the food processor and add the garlic, half a teaspoon of salt and the vinegar, sugar, lemon rind, mustard and half of the olive oil. Secure the lid and whizz for 10 seconds.

Leave to stand for a couple of seconds, then turn on again and pour the remaining olive oil and rapeseed oil through the feeder tube in a thin steady stream. This should take 25-30 seconds. Switch off the machine, take off the lid, scrape down the sides, and whizz again for 2-3 seconds, then season to taste. Transfer to a bowl, then cover and chill until needed.

Heat up a griddle or frying pan. Brush the excess marinate off the beef and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes, turning frequently until the outside is well browned, then transfer to a platter and leave to rest for up to 30 minutes.

Slice the beef as thinly as possible and arrange on a serving platter. Serve alongside the creamed horseradish. Add small piles of the beetroot, radish and watercress, then roll up and dip into individual bowls of the lemon aioli.

For more inspiring Irish beef recipes, go to www.irishbeef.co.uk.

Learning about art at school consisted of me coming up with ideas that I could never quite carry off and admiring the other student’s artwork particularly those of squashed cola cans.

I knew I liked Renoir having seen one of his paintings on a greetings card. I knew my Mum favoured Lowry. Funnily enough, I don’t know what sort of art Dad liked although he did paint some beautiful landscapes.

I wonder what makes one person favour one artist over another.

I want my children to have a wider knowledge of art than I do and to learn with them. With this in mind, we are studying a piece of art each day.

Yesterday we started with Katshushika Hokusai from Japan. We took a look at The Great Wave. It is interesting how we noticed different aspects of the print. I could not see the 3 boats until my son pointed them out to me. I could see Mount Fuji clearly but my children did not immediately. When I asked what the print made them think of, my son said it was like Southsea. What a coincidence that we had watched a video of the mighty waves of our local area that same day.

Anything a bit off centre will always appeal to children I find. Apparently Hokusai once chased a chicken with red ink on its feet to make maple leaves!

I am not sure I like the print but then again part of this journey is to expand our horizons so it might grow on me.

Today we considered A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. My daughter was immediately convinced it was a painting of Victorian times and the dates fitted perfectly for that. The location is Paris with lots of people relaxing by the River Seine.

We had a fun “Where’s Wally?” like exercise picking out various animals even including a monkey on a lead! Another coincidence as both myself and my daughter at monkeys when it comes to the Chinese New Year.

Apparently Seurat used a technique of dots, dabs and dashes so the painting took two years to paint.

How much do you know about art?

What questions would be good to reflect on as we continue learning about art?

Playdays and Runways

What foods help you with weight loss?

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I imagine these vary from individual to individual.

I started today positively with a fruit breakfast and later had a comforting bowl of porridge. I find if I start the day healthily, success builds upon success.

You need to identify the healthy foods that you love! For me that includes fish, avocado, tomatoes and game.

It is the sense of deprivation that all to easily upsets our weight loss journey. It does not have to be that way!

This week I am sharing a healthy food find and encourage you to do so.

Healthy food find

I think most of us want to eat our 5 a day but struggle sometimes to make it happen. The new delicious Freeze Dried Fruit from The Snack Organisation is making it easier to eat 5-a-day and to snack healthier

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There are four flavour filled bags to choose from, strawberry, pineapple, apple and apricot, and because the fruit is freeze dried it locks in all the natural nutrition and means each bag counts towards that elusive 5-a-day. The unique freeze dried technique means no other ingredients or additives have been added and when eaten they pack a crunch before melting on the tongue.

The new Freeze Dried Fruits are also fabulously versatile; they are fantastic sprinkled on to yoghurt and cereal; mixed into cake mixtures and used to decorate cupcakes. They are also perfect blitzed into smoothies which is great for smoothie lovers as it means no more rocks of fruit that have been frozen to near concrete and can damage precious blenders.

And with only around 50-70 calories each bag, they’re guilt free so making getting the goodness of fruit easy and tasty. Available at Tesco now for £1 a bag, look out for them in the dried fruit snack aisle.

I like that they are so easy to grab when you get the munchies and also how they make me want to bake and jazz cakes up with them.

Blogging to Jogging is a peer support network for bloggers who are trying to shed the pounds and stones and we hope our stories inspire non-bloggers too.

The Rules

Blog about healthy living in a way that you see fit. It might be some exercise you did, a healthy food choice, a lifestyle change or a recipe. It is important to link back to this post so that we can all inspire one another as we move forwards positively.

Very simply, please comment on at least two other posts and more if you’d like to and grab the badge for your own post, linking one post per week. Tweet me (@kateonthinice) once you’ve linked and please use the #BloggingToJogging tag so that I can find your posts easily to RT them and you can also use the Twitter hashtag on Instagram if you have any relevant photos. Please also link back to this post!

I am so looking forward to reading your talks of health, fitness and well-being. I promise to comment on each post and to promote via my social media networks.

Please display the #bloggingtojogging badge on your post and it would also be cool if we can start engaging on Twitter and Facebook about our healthy living using #bloggingtojogging.


Walk to School Week 2016 takes place from 16-22 May throughout England, Scotland and Wales. It challenges schools and their pupils to walk to school more during the week. It’s a great way to celebrate walking and can be a stepping stone to year-round activity. Last year, over 14,000 classes took part; that’s approximately 400,000 children walking to school.

walking

Although I now home educate and get out walking a lot, it is always good to be reminded of the physical and mental wellbeing benefits of getting some fresh air and talking to people as you walk. With the obesity levels in this country, the more all of us walk the better.

When we walk, we have time to chat. We have time to stop and stare. I used to stop and have impromptu picnics with the children when the weather was fine. You can walk the dog at the same time. Let’s hope it is sunny by May!

My son Ramsey says:

“The great thing about walking is that you never know what you are going to come across. It also gives me a sense of peace”

Walk to School Week is organised by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking.

The fundraising element of Walk to School Week takes place on Tuesday 17 May, or ‘Happy Shoesday’. Children and teachers will wear the shoes that make them the happiest and donate £1.

Money raised will go to Living Streets for work with schools, disability groups and local communities, and campaigning work to make UK streets safer for everyone.

Contact: Schools interested in getting involved should contact Living Streets for more information about available resources: 020 7456 9794.

Will you get involved in Walk to School Week 2016 and encourage your school and community to do so?

The White Star Tavern is a Southampton restaurant offers a very special dining experience. We were lucky enough to visit last weekend. The White Star Tavern is a recently refurbished gastro pub offering excellent customer service, luxurious food and quality drinking options. It also has five star accommodation available. A new menu will be launched this weekend drawing on the talents of Head chef Matt Noonan.

Profile

Many restaurants claim to offer fine food and so few actually do in our experience. You will not have those worries if you visit the White Star Tavern. It holds awards such as The Les Routiers South of England Restaurant of the Year and has held two AA Rosettes since 2010, an award given to ‘Excellent Restaurants’ in the local area.

Beef and stout

As soon as we arrived at the Tavern, I felt about 20 years younger. We don’t get out as a couple alone very often at all and this makes a perfect venue for a date night. We arrived at 7pm when there was already a pleasant and lively atmosphere and things got busier toward 8pm. However, the tables had plenty of room between them and there were different areas from the informal bar to more formal dining areas if that is what you are looking for.

Chicken parfait

We received a very warm welcome from all the members of staff we came into contact with. I loved how we were given sufficient time to read the menu in detail rather than being rushed to order. As soon as we were ready, a waitress dealt with us so very efficiently. We were offered bread and also water for the table. I enjoyed little details like having a tumbler rather than a wine glass for water. Myself and my husband both found the bread a little crusty but that is probably because we tend to eat very basic bread at home.

We moved to starters and I found it difficult to focus on mine as my husband was making noises of delight across the table. As he puts it “Having chosen a Black Pudding and shallots sausage roll with wholegrain mustard as my starter I was delighted to be presented with a sliced roll where the mixture of the black pudding and shallots in pastry produced a taste sensation akin to ecstasy!” Now for a man of few words, that is pretty amazing feedback and I think other diners were about to say “I’ll have whatever he is having!” like in the famous When Harry Met Sally movie scene. He went on to describe his main of twice cooked pork belly with bubble and squeak as brilliant. Pork belly has to be just right for him as it is one of his favourites. He also cleared his dessert plate whereas he is not usually overly concerned with puddings. Here is a pic before the dulche de leche disappeared.

Dulce de leche

I went for the cured sweet potato and butternut soup. This was superb and a taste sensation almost like a fine wine that just keeps on giving.

If you know me, you know that I love all lamb dishes so it was no surprise that I selected the herb crust rack of lamb accompanied by potato gratin, kale and garlic and carrot puree. This was luscious. It was one of those meals where even whilst you are eating it, you are mourning the fact that the experience will not last forever.

To be honest, I was concerned that the dessert could not possibly live up to what had gone before. I went for lemon posset with
lavender & almond shortbread, New Forest berries and raspberry sorbet. Every element of this was scrumptious and it was certainly one to take your time with and savour every mouthful.

Next time, I have to try Death by Chocolate!

Death by Chocolate

There is a good selection of wines and spirits along with a selection of lagers and beers including cask bitters. I enjoyed reading the fun and informative wine list.

Providence is of particular importance to The White Star Tavern as a partner with Hampshire Fare, sourcing their produce from Hampshire suppliers wherever possible. This includes many small independent farms and shops, such as the Hoxton Bake House for their bread, based just 1.3 miles away. The menu boasts an exciting selection of modern British dishes, from pub classics to lighter mains, whilst also featuring vegan and vegetarian options making use of seasonal local ingredients.

Stonebass

Breakfast items on the menu are also freshly prepared, including favourites like the traditional full English, as well as brunch options like the smashed avocado on toast and American style pancakes. The full restaurant menu is available during lunch hours with additional dishes added, including light bites and sandwiches.

Guests can book for up to six people online and the restaurant can easily accommodate larger bookings; in keeping with their personal approach to service the staff talk these through, taking into consideration any additional requests.

About The White Star

The White Star Tavern is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

White Star

28 Oxford Street
Southampton
Hampshire
SO14 3DJ

023 8082 1990

https://twitter.com/WhiteStarTavern

https://www.facebook.com/WhiteStarTavern/?fref=ts

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