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  • Craven Maven is about..

    ..experiencing food and all that goes with it.
  • Who is the Craven Maven..?

  • Be a Locavore – what’s in Season?

    Locavore App for Iphone
    Download the Locavore App for iPhone to find out what produce is currently in season in your region. (created by enjoymentland).

Food to Fragrance: Rhubarb & Custard pie meets Ricci Ricci

ricci ricci ingredients rhubarb / rose / sandalwood

Over the years, you will come to find that there are few fragrances that will literally turn heads and stop conversations mid-sentence when you wear them. For me, one of those scents is Ricci Ricci by Nina Ricci which contains notes of rhubarb, rose and sandalwood. The result is, by definition, a fruity-floral scent, but due to the vegetable on top { rhubarb } and the warm back of Sandalwood there is a certain playful sensuality to this fragrance.

I have always found that the warmth of sandalwood gives skin a nice warm sensual feeling, not dissimilar to what enveloping something in warm custard does for what it covers. Sandalwood’s odour is not overpowering or pronounced, but it’s effect is definite – its what gives the certain something that makes people want to draw close and investigate.

Rhubarb is an interesting choice of fragrance note. In the food world it’s a fruit { in America } and a vegetable elsewhere – visually resembling a sort of red celery; when cooked it’s tender with a tarty zing.

ricci ricci meets rhubarb custard pie

The Fragrance: Ricci Ricci by Nina Ricci. The mix of rhubarb, bergamot, rose, tuberose, sandalwood and patchouli create a glamorous scent that is perfect for going out..or just when you want to smell head turningly good.

The Dish: Rhubarb and Custard Pie pudding by The British Larder

Why it works: Rhubarb is the only literal food to fragrance translation I chose to go with in this case. The zing of rhubarb is subdued in this dish due to the inclusion of sugar and vanilla pods in the recipe. The reduction of sharpness makes it ‘friendlier’ – producing the reaction of wanting to ‘get close’ that the fragrance invokes.

The custard and pastry in the recipe comes with a hint of rum – a grown up ‘sophisticated’ element to what could otherwise have been a usual dish. Which brings me to the dish itself. Rhubarb and Custard was, and may still be, a dish that was served weekly for school pudding. I remember few children being able to appreciate the unique taste of such a dish, nevertheless it was a bastion of the school dinner menu rotation.

In a similar way, Nina Ricci is a brand that has proven longevity – 78 years this year in both the worlds of fashion and beauty – staples in life in the Western World at least!


Fragrance tip:
Every fragrance does NOT smell the same on every person, ‘your scent’ can and will be influenced by what you eat as certain foods leech out of the pores after consumption. My foolproof trick is to not eat garlic or spices 24 hours before I am going somewhere special where I need my fragrance to waft at its maximum potential!

Food tip: Personally, I like to consume custard on the day it’s made – it is one food that doesn’t macerate as well as others. Make the dish with a view of eating it day of or the day after at lastest!

Try the fragrance, try the recipe and let me know what you think of both!

images via the british larder and nina ricci
ingredients: 1. 2. 3

Jamie Oliver’s fab new Iphone App..

jamies recipes

If you love to eat { which I suspect you do if you’re reading this blog }, and you have an Iphone or Ipod Touch then you will be glad to know that Jamie Oliver released his second Iphone app yesterday – Jamie’s Recipes. Oh, and did I mention it’s FREE?

I spent the better part of yesterday playing around with it and I must say of all the recipe apps i’ve tried, this one is by far the most aesthetically pleasing and practical.

To start with there are three videos – Jamie introducing you to the app, while standing in a bright light drool-worthy kitchen space, a lesson in knife skills that will save your pinky, { heaven knows I have had many a blood gushing knife incident in the kitchen in my lifetime..}, and a tutorial on how to place your chopping board. Jamie reassuringly walks you through this basics and get’s you set for what’s to come.

jamies recipesrecipes for free or downloadable packs for a fee

Next you have two options to select from – free recipes that come with the app or the option to download a ‘packet’ of ten recipes for $2.99. Recipe packets are varied, with categories such as ‘Brilliant Breakfast and Brunch’ to ’10 minute meals’ to ’20 minute vegetarian dishes’.

jamies recipesingredient listing that can be sent to a shopping list

Pictures of the finished product are incredibly well styled. Each comes with a summary of the dish, a list of what you will need in terms of both equipment and ingredients and a step by step ‘how-to’ guide with pictures. Then, and this is my favourite bit, with a quick click you can add all the ingredients to a shopping list for when you go to the supermarket.

jamies recipeshow-to directions

Last night, I found myself in bed, going through the Banoffee Banana Split recipe, adding it’s contents to my shopping list, then popping over to my Fresh Direct app and creating a request for the items to be delivered to my home..all from under my quilt!

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have officially reached The Future.

This new app is so very easy to use, I highly recommend it and will be playing with it in the weeks and days to come. Let me know if you download it and make something delish!

images from jamieoliver.com

Ace Interview with Berlin Reed, The Ethical Butcher

berlin reed

Yesterday, I read a brilliant interview on the Ace Hotel blog with a guy called Berlin Reed, aka The Ethical Butcher. I’ve never heard of him before but have since become obsessed with learning as much as I can about what he does. Mostly because he said many things in the interview that reflect my own personal philosophies and mindset when it comes to food consumption. My favourite excerpt from the interview:

Ace: Dario Cecchini, who wrote the forward for Primal Cuts says, “There are four things an animal must have: A good life, a good death, a good butcher and a good cook — someone who can dignify the animal and all those whose labors led it to the table.” What do you think about that?

Berlin: I love it! It is the theme of my party and that quote, paraphrased, is the chapter in my book. It is absolutely true, and in my opinion, can be extended to our entire food system. Where does it come from? How was it made and by whom? How did it get to the restaurant/store/market? These are questions we need to ask ourselves about grapes, bananas and coffee just as much as we do about pork and salmon. We have to start looking at our system as whole, as well as our implication in it. The respect afforded these animal is a stream that flows all the way from farm to slaughterhouse to butcher’s counter to your table, you can taste the difference in these meats. Respect is nowhere in the equation of industrial meat, no respect for animals or land, no respect for those who labor in their diseased feedlots and no respect for us, the consumers who will ultimately ingest this food. The four keys open the door to responsible food production and consumption across the board. It is time to ask the questions, not just look for labels.

Serving as a chef, butcher and { meat } blogger he certainly has his hands full, but it seems that this chap also hosted a series of supper clubs…a supper tour if you will, around the US for the past few months culminating in a dinner and book release in Portland tomorrow night { details to be found on the ethical butcher blog }.

I highly recommend reading the interview, I personally find it refreshing that there is someone out there doing what he does. Although I am a vegetarian I am pro meat consumption if it’s done right. It’s just not for me right now – and some of the problems Berlin cited are just some { not all } of the reasons why I chose to stop my meat consumption, { that being said there are various reasons that make up the whole as to why I don’t eat meat – most of which I don’t bother tell people because they get all passive-agressivey about it! }. But regardless of your stance it’s a good read and an encouragement to be an informed participant in your food decisions.

image by alison picard

The SoupaMan

soupaman

When I was in the throes of last weeks bout of flu, I didn’t want to eat, sleep, sit or do anything really. When I felt like eating, I was too weak to cook and I wasn’t going to call the Chinese for delivery – as is characteristic with flu, I just felt completely miserable. I got to wondering about fast food and/or delivered food. Why is it always so crap?! Too much sodium, preservatives, additives, greasiness or just plain ‘plastic’ ( as I like to call chemicals ) ingredients.

Surely, I couldn’t have been the only person to wonder this and I was pleased to discover that I wasn’t. The SoupaMan is a gourmet soup delivery company based in Victoria, Australia.

Using fresh, seasonal ingredients from local farmers their soups are created using homemade stock. This is the perfect answer to a sick day in bed, a soup starter for your multi course dinner party or when you are snowed in…well maybe not in Australia but here for sure!

For variety, the soup menu rotates on a weekly basis and to top it off, you can buy a ‘subscription’ service so that a new, fresh soup is delivered to your home or work each week, or as often as you like.

I think this concept is great and would definitely have a market in the every food conscious, comfort loving { read, ‘self indulgent’ } New York City.


image via soupaman

Etsy T-T-T-Tuesday: Sweet Paul

You would’ve heard about Sweet Paul magazine on this blog before. Created and primarily styled by prop stylist Paul in Brooklyn, it is a veritable visual banquet for the discerning gastro lover.

Now you can have a piece of Sweet Paul all to yourself as an etsy shop has opened to sell the props from past photoshoots. Walk don’t run, these goods promise to sell out quickly!

sweet paul


1. Vintage painted salt jar – $12

2. Plexiglas vase from Space London – $125

3. Knitted teapot – $50

4. Vintage Pyrex polka dot mugs – $15

5. Vintage stone owl (great centerpiece vignette) – SOLD

I can’t wait to see what else comes up for sale in the future..that knitted teapot is calling me like you won’t believe!


all images sweet paul

An Apple Tart for the weekend

It’s no secret I am somewhat of a Cooking Channel addict so it should come as no surprise that this weeks recipe idea is from Laura Calder’s repetoire. She calls it the “Easy Pastry Shop Apple Tart” and like the name states its so simple to do. Let me know if you try it out!

Laura Calder Apple tart

Ingredients

* For the crust
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* For the cream filling
* 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
* 1/4 cup sugar

* 1 egg
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* For the top
* 3 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup slivered almonds or chopped walnuts

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Make the crust: Cream the butter and sugar. Stir in the vanilla. Finally, mix in the flour to make a smooth dough. Press into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan, giving it about a 1-inch rim. Bake 15 minute, or until lightly golden. Remove the tart shell from the oven.

While the crust bakes, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla for the cream filling until smooth. Make the topping by tossing the apple slices with the cinnamon, sugar, and nuts.

Remove the tart shell from the oven. Spread over the cream mixture. Arrange the apple slices on top, and then scatter over the nuts. Bake until the apples are tender and golden, about 40 minutes. Recipe by Laura Calder


image via cooking channel

Kitchen Envy: The Outback Kitchen

cairns outback kitchen

Now before you think I’ve gone absolutely mental with my choice for this weeks Kitchen Envy I want you to pause and give this space a chance. One of the best trips I’ve had to date involved backpacking across the Australian outback. We slept on swags (roll up mattresses in lieu of sleeping bags) , showered under roofless campground showers and cooked communal meals in a makeshift outdoor kitchen. It was bliss.

Sure, there was the threat of dingoes but cooking your dinner by burying a cast iron pot full of potatoes under a roaring bonfire created a meal not quickly forgotten. I think the fresh air and ingenuity that goes into al fresco cooking makes food that much better..and I envy that. The above picture is of a historic Outback kitchen west of Cairns. If it was cleaned up and organised it would be an amazing space and thats why its the source of some major envy:

That phenomenal teal stove is not only a great vintage piece but looks like it operates on coal or firewood. Imagine the smell of cedar or *Australian Sandalwood burning in that stove, filling the space with their warm nuzzly aroma.

Those corrugated walls are quite primitave and functional too. It’s not too precious to smack a nail in it and hang a saucepan up, or, in my personal choice, some funky old artwork!

Stone floors. I have a really bad rep for dropping and breaking stuff in the kitchen. My butterfingers means that I like no nonsense floors that assure a clean break and easy clean up. Wood floors inevitably get scratched, tile and I have grout issues…but stone. Ahh its simple, natural and easy to sweep and mop without any hard feelings.

Open Cabinetry. Now I am not sure if the open cabinetry in this kitchen is intentional but there is certainly space for it! In an environment like this open cabinets means you can instantly see if a pesky snake has snuck into your cupboards…no scary surprises for me! Also the space available to extend cabinetry means the inclusion of more worktops. More often than not an outback kitchen like this is not going to be used by one person but a group at a time..lots of space to allocate people to tasks is just perfect.

So what do you think of this outback kitchen? Tons of potential or just a hot mess?

image by friendship force australia

* Australian Sandalwood market is trying to make up for India’s Sandalwood shortage in recent years so uhm, yeah don’t burn it.