Hey there, Food Lovers!
I'm thoroughly enjoying a relaxing start to 2024 - we all need time to recharge, don't we?! In saying that though, things always seem to revolve around food here... So far this year it has been quick 'thrown together' meals while catching up on odd jobs around the house. Even quick thrown together meals can still taste and look good though of course!
In this newsletter there are some tips on how a colour wheel can up your food plating game.
For Christmas we were given a soda stream, so rather than buying the ready made syrups I've been experimenting with a few home made syrups and cordials. You can read about that in this newsletter too.
In this issue:
- Food presentation - How A Colour Wheel Can Improve Food Plating
- Make your own - Fruit Cordials
- Inspiration from my kitchen - A Few Things We've Enjoyed This Week
Food Presentation - How A Colour Wheel Can Improve Food Plating
I keep a colour wheel handy when I'm designing a dish or thinking about plating options. A colour wheel shows the main colours on the visible colour spectrum and their relationships to one another. It is a valuable addition to your food presentation tool box for several reasons:
- It can enhance the visual appeal of a dish by guiding you in selecting complementary and harmonious colours. A well-balanced colour scheme makes the dish more enticing and pleasing to the eye.
- It can help you to understand contrast and balance. Contrast, created by complementary colours (opposites on the colour wheel), can make different elements of a dish stand out. On the other hand, analogous colours (next to each other on the wheel) can create a harmonious and balanced look.
- Warm colours like reds, oranges, and yellows are often known to stimulate appetite or make food appear more appetising. Understanding colour psychology can help us create dishes that are not only visually appealing but also increase the perceived tastiness.
- Seasonal ingredients often come in specific colours too. We can use a colour wheel to match the colour palette of a dish with the season. This creates a connection between the visual presentation and the freshness of the ingredients.
Next time you're designing a dish or plating something, have a quick look at a colour wheel... maybe it'll influence your plate or garnishing choices.
Make Your Own - Fruit Cordials
We were lucky enough to get a soda stream for Christmas - something I have been eyeing up for a long time, but have never actually bought. Now that we have one I'm looking forward to making and trying lots of new and exciting homemade (of course ;)) fruit syrups and cordials.
A fruit cordial can bring some amazing colours, and if you thicken them slightly you can make some great sauces for your desserts too. A sauce is an invaluable addition to a dessert and can instantly enhance the appearance.
I had some frozen strawberries in the freezer and a few fresh limes from our lime tree, so that was what I used to make my first syrup. It's nice having genuine flavours instead of the fake imitation flavours you often get in bought products. This one is so tasty and refreshing on a hot day.
Strawberry and Lime Cordial
- 4 cups frozen strawberries
- 1 cup sliced lime, washed and with the skin on
- 5 cups cold water
- 2 cups white sugar
- Put all the ingredients into a large sauce pan and bring to the boil over a medium high heat.
- Boil for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave on the element to infuse for at least an hour
- Strain through a fine sieve or muslin.
- Pour into a clean bottle and refrigerate until needed.
- To use, add about 2 tablespoons (adjust to your liking) to a glass of soda water.
I can't wait to try some stone fruit syrups too, I'll be keeping an eye for a bargain at the local veggie shop :)
Another couple of very refreshing drinks I have previously shared are a mint cordial, elderflower cordial, and a rhubarb champagne. You can find out more about them here:
- Mint Cordial - Simple Dessert Transformation - Issue #13
- Rhubarb Champagne - Video link
- Elderflower Cordial - Video link
Inspiration From My Kitchen - A Few Things We've Enjoyed This Week
Like I said in the intro, we've had a few busy days catching up on things around home and food has been a bit on the back burner. However that definitely doesn't mean it's been drab, tasteless and uninviting!
Here's a platter my daughter put together for lunch this week. It was so good watching her arrange the items I pulled out of the fridge. She tried a few different ideas, a mirror image design, but then realised she was going to run out of room on the plate. Everything got moved around a fair bit, but hey, we learn by trial and error don't we. I was happy to see there was a little bit of thought process going into it.
What do you think about her final design? For a 10 year old I think she did very well - maybe folding the ham would add appeal, and a fresh herb garnish could have taken it up a notch too.
Platters are a fantastic lunch option, you can put on whatever you like and everyone can choose to eat whatever they like. They are a win-win!!
I'd love to hear about things you have been getting up to in the kitchen. Please get in touch and let me know 😄