A Guide to Buying Olive Oil

I was approached by Jamie’s Italian to feature this rather gorgeously designed infographic on buying olive oil. As I’m a big fan of Jamie Oliver, especially since his recent affection for more plant-based foods in his cooking, I was happy to say yes.

It’s also pretty useful and I’m certainly going to refer to it when buying olive oil in the future, especially next week when we head to Italy, so the timing couldn’t be more handy for me! Besides, who knew Spain produced more olive oil than Italy and Greece combined?

Apparently Jamie’s Italian also caters well for allergies, we’ve never tried eating there but I hope we can seek one out soon – here’s one in Norwich as an example: https://www.restaurantchoice.co.uk/restaurants/jamies-italian-norwich.html

Disclaimer: I was paid a fee by Jamie’s Italian to feature this infographic, but only decided to do so as it is rather useful and fits the content of my blog. 

Dough Balls

One of the highlights of eating at Pizza Express seems to be the dough balls (and you can buy them at huge expense in supermarkets) – they are warm, light and very moreish!

However, if you think about it, they’re just little balls of left over pizza dough. We’re having pizza tonight and the dough was particularly delicious (this recipe from Jamie Oliver), and luckily enough we had a good portion left over. It proved to be the perfect dough for homemade dough balls….

3M Mess

If you come to this post searching for homemade egg-free meringue not using a mix, check out this post.

My year 3 daughter has been doing some really cool stuff at school, and this year she’s got a young vibrant teacher who has made school even more fun and exciting, certainly more fun than when I was at school! Anyway, they’ve been studying recipes in the style of Jamie Oliver and are going to make his version of Eton Mess tomorrow.

Obviously, this is a rather problematic recipe if you are allergic to dairy and raw eggs! The yoghurt can easily be substituted with soya yoghurt, but how on earth can you make meringues egg-free?

Well, I found a vegan meringue mix, and having had mixed results before,  I am trying to make some passable ‘meringues’ for her to take in tomorrow. It’s a rather unusual process of adding two powders in bags A and B to sugar and water!!

I think they’ve worked rather well, and are certainly as sweet as a meringue. I’ll get her to recreate the 3M mess at home so we can all taste it. It’s just a question of what to do with the remaining 40 meringues!

Update: Well, it was a huge success! Here’s the recipe in my 8 year old’s words…

3M Mess (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan)

serves 1

  • 4 strawberries
  • a splash of balsamic vinegar
  • a squeeze of orange juice
  • a big handful of meringues
  • a couple of tsps of icing sugar
  • 1 small pot of yogurt
  • a drizzle of vanilla paste

– Scrunch up the strawberries with your hands

– Add icing sugar, balsamic vinegar and orange juice and stir

– Tear apart half the meringues and add.

– Dollop on the yogurt

– Marble

– Add other meringues and a little more yogurt, if wished

– Drizzle on the vanilla paste and top with more strawberries

– Enjoy!