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Forever Nigella April: It’s a Royal Street Party

Thank you Sarah from Maison Cupcake – I am honoured to be hosting this month’s Forever Nigella event – in the month of the Royal Wedding. Well, for me, the second Royal Wedding since “the” wedding will always be Prince Charles and Lady Di’s in 1982. At my Catholic all-girls school, where I was in Grade 7, everything stopped and we crowded around a tiny TV to watch the proceedings. Err, all day!  I love a good Royal Wedding and Neil and I are already planning a Royal Wedding party for the end of the month :-) (yeah, I know, any excuse!).

This month, in honour of the Royal Wedding, Forever Nigella participants are throwing a Street Party!  Street parties are a very British tradition to celebrate national events such as royal weddings, coronations and anniversaries. Everyone comes together in the street with their neighbours to have a big party and brings some food to share.  We have a royal wedding themed prize for Forever Nigella 4, this limited edition Emma Bridgewater “William & Kate” tea towel featuring illustrations by Matthew Rice.  Emma Bridgewater and Matthew Rice’s designs are iconic in the UK and you can expect this to be a collector’s item in years to come.

I will be judging the winner based on the the food/ post which exudes the most “Nigella-ness” (yes, that is a word!)

If you’ve been reading this blog a little while, you will know that I love lots of little tastes of many dishes so I have opted to bring two savoury and two sweet dishes – each in mini size, so you can enjoy a lot of them!  I used the Nigella Express (“Good Food Fast”) book – one that I love because it really does have “express” recipes.  Case in point, each of these dishes took maybe 15 minutes to put together and two of them were ready to eat immediately. My kind of party food!  If you don’t already own a Nigella book, I highly recommend this one – it’s full of do-able and delicious recipes that are not intimidating but which produce impressive results. My kinda book!  You can find it on Amazon or Amazon Canada.

The first dish I chose is the “instant canapé“: Quick crostini with avocado and green pea hummus.

Now I don’t know about you but this is my idea of a perfect canapé. In fact, when I was perusing the book, it stood out not just for its colour but for how fresh and springlike it looked. Can’t you just see this being passed about at a posh English party?  Just a handful of ingredients (peas, avocado, lime juice, salt and pumpernickel bread – though any crackers would do), a few minutes’ work and you have an elegant hors d’oeuvre (or a fancy lunch in the middle of the week!).  Nigella makes this with processed (canned) peas – the famed “mushy peas” but I used frozen with just a little more effort.

Next up, Potato Cakes with Smoked Salmon:

Many of you know that I don’t eat salmon (smoked or otherwise) unless I am on national TV and being polite LOL, so I did not partake in this one. Instead, Neil had a lovely fancy pre-tennis snack (all that sentence is missing is some champagne, strawberries and cream!). Also, Cleo enjoyed this one.  Nigella’s potato/ scallion cakes  are made with Smash (instant mashed potatoes) which I did not have access to (but – sssh! – which I love the French version of – la purée mousline) so I used baby new potatoes very successfully.  These were so easy to make, they will definitely make an appearance at a future dinner party, I am sure.  Topped with a little sour cream and some salmon (ours was hot smoked salmon, hence the thicker slices), it made a decadent treat on a busy Saturday for the other members of my household.

Ok, onto dessert.  I admit that I picked this next recipe because of the tiny serving size (60ml).  Even Nigella thinks this one is so rich and sweet, it needs to be served in “uncharacteristically small portions”!  White Chocolate Mint Mousse:

This. Was. Exquisite. And oh so rich.  As a party dessert, you could easily serve half that and people would be satisfied. Yes, it’s that rich!  So easy to make, you could also substitute dark chocolate if you are not a fan of the white. Personally, I think it looks elegant in white.

Do you still have room?  Because next up, we have Glitzy Chocolate Pudding. Which, clearly I chose for the name. Oh, and because it’s topped with “shards” of Cadbury Crunchie.

Again, ridiculously simple, though Nigella does not tell you this is going to rise a lot when it cooks..  Next time, I would only fill the ramekins 3/4 of the way.  Like a soufflé, it deflates once it’s out of the oven but you can cover up the ugly parts with chocolate glaze and smashed up Crunchie.  I think I will serve these at a dinner party soon because I want to see what Nigella calls “the greedy silence that falls over the table as you put these out.” Indeed.

And what to drink with all of that? Why a Pimm’s Cup, of course!

We enjoyed these last March in New Orleans at the Napoleon House but drink Pimm’s quite often at home too.

Want to join us? 

Here’s a reminder of the rules:
Forever Nigella #4 “Street Party”
Challenge: To cook any Nigella recipe that would be suitable to bring to a street party i.e. any party food suitable for big groups.
Deadline: Sunday, May 1st at midnight wherever you are.

Round up: A few days later. Maybe a week. It depends how many of you enter.  The next challenge will be publicised as soon as this one ends and most likely before the Street Party round up.

There are:
No rules about how often you must take part
No rules about stuff being secret until certain dates (although you are encouraged to tease us on Twitter about what you are making)
No rules that everyone cook exactly the same thing
No rules about not being able to submit to any other blog contests – in fact Sarah actively encourages you to do this. Just make sure it doesn’t contravene any rules the other guys may have.

But there are 3 rules:
1. We want everyone to keep buying lots and lots of Nigella books so that she keeps writing them so you must NOT reproduce recipes verbatim as shown in Nigella’s publications. If you are sticking exactly to the original recipe, just tell us which book it was from and if available, provide a link to it on Nigella.com which publishes a lot (but not all) of her recipes. (You may also find some recipes on sites for some TV stations and newspapers).  Alternatively, you may blog an adapted Nigella recipe so long as you have changed at least two ingredients and write the directions in your own words. Tell us what you changed and why.
2. Publish your Forever Nigella blog post (in English) by the closing date including the latest Forever Nigella graphic and giving a link to this post and the Forever Nigella home page.  Your entry must have been published since the announcement post. You may only re-blog something from your archives if you republish it with the badge and links to this post before the deadline.
3. Email the details to me  and please Cc Sarah – I need your name, your blog name, a link to your post and a photo no more than 300 pixels wide. No billboard sized images please.

That’s it!

Don’t forget to tweet your post with the hashtag #forevernigella.

Sarah and I are looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

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75 Responses to Forever Nigella April: It’s a Royal Street Party

  1. Sarah, Maison Cupcake March 28, 2011 at 12:17 #

    I can tell you are going to be the most amazing hostess, thank you so much for kicking off our street party in such style!

    I made the pea crostini about ten years ago when How to Eat was new (she did a version of them in there too) but I don’t know why I’ve not done them since as they were simple but so marvellous.

    Those chocolate desserts with crunchie bar shards look fantastic too, I’ve not made those but I’ve definitely got my eye on them now.

    Can’t wait to see what dishes everyone else brings!

  2. Lana March 28, 2011 at 12:20 #

    Yay! You are the host! I am really looking forward to this one, as I love tiny bites:)

  3. Lisa Davies March 28, 2011 at 12:47 #

    I’m a Brit living in the States and am very relived to be away from the UK for all the royal wedding shenanigans. However this delightful post makes me desperately want to have a street party. Love this idea – everything in the styleeeee of Nigella! Super doops!

  4. Belinda @zomppa March 28, 2011 at 13:20 #

    I totally remember my parents waking me up at 6AM or whatever it was to watch that wedding! This party sounds like it’s gonna be rockin’!

  5. Lael Hazan March 28, 2011 at 15:57 #

    I love the idea of a tiny bit street party! How fun, also your choices sound delightful. My youngest daughter would be happy to eat any of the “salmon fish” you decide to leave over.

    I actually have friends who are flying to London for the wedding. No, they aren’t invited, they just want to soak in the ambience. I, along with many others, will DVR it and enjoy it with my daughters.

  6. The Mistress of Spices March 28, 2011 at 20:01 #

    Sounds like a lovely idea. That crostini with avocado and green pea hummus looks amazing, and such a lovely color! Mmmmm!!!

  7. Happy When Not Hungry March 28, 2011 at 21:48 #

    What a wonderful opportunity! Such beautiful dishes too!

  8. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen March 28, 2011 at 23:43 #

    Ooo, that Glitzy Chocolate Pudding looks and sounds good! And I love that it’s topped with shards of Cadbury Crunchies.

  9. penny aka jeroxie March 29, 2011 at 00:05 #

    OMG… Am i doing this with you????

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 29, 2011 at 05:43 #

      Well we are having a party for the Wedding when you are here, but this is my contribution as hostess for the Forever Nigella Event. If you want to join in, you have to submit a post by the end of April!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 4, 2011 at 20:07 #

      The party, yes! With Nigella recipes!

  10. Mr. Neil March 29, 2011 at 06:08 #

    Er, isn’t this a tad hypocritical being hosted by someone who avoids toasting the Queen at Rotary lunch? ;-)

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 29, 2011 at 06:13 #

      It’s not the Royal Family I find irrelevant – it’s the Queen. If she would only step aside and let some fresh blood on the throne, perhaps the Royals would be more meaningful for more people.

  11. Alicia March 29, 2011 at 08:36 #

    This all looks amazing! Tiny Nigella bites, yum.

  12. Jan March 29, 2011 at 08:59 #

    Oh, that white chocolate mousse is divine! My mom and I made it once. It almost didn’t make it to the dinner table because it was that good!

  13. Sally - My Custard Pie March 29, 2011 at 09:25 #

    I have made those white choc mousses so many times. If you use shot glasses you can produce at least 9 from the Nigella amount (although people rarely stop at one). The instant mash potato cakes are brilliant too (although under normal circumstances I disapprove of something so highly processed!). Can’t wait to join the street party. Sweet, savoury or both? Hmmm

  14. Deeba March 29, 2011 at 09:41 #

    Wanna be at your street when you party Mardi!

  15. AmandaP March 29, 2011 at 11:21 #

    So never heard of a street party before but I have been to a few southern style block parties. I’ll have to give this a try since I have never tried my hand at a Nigella recipe before.

  16. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction March 29, 2011 at 13:42 #

    That white chocolate mousse looks just incredible! I need to go hunt down some Nigella recipes now. :)

  17. Jason Phelps March 29, 2011 at 18:14 #

    You most just reminded me that I am going to be in Canada the day of the wedding. That might end up being ore fun than I have already planned!

    I fully expect you will be a great host and can’t wait to see what comes along.

    Jason

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 4, 2011 at 20:02 #

      Oh where will you be? I think everyone will be very excited about it (except perhaps in Québec…)

  18. Gwen~healthymamma March 29, 2011 at 19:44 #

    Wow, this is so fun! I love finger foods for the same reason as you, who wants to eat a bunch of just one thing? I love that these recipes are completly up my alley. The avacado-green pea hummus is going to be my new fav snack and a must paired w pumpernickl!
    *seriously salivating as I type.
    I have not heard of Nigella cookbooks. Thanks for enlightening me!
    I must have one.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 4, 2011 at 20:01 #

      Yes the pea-avocado hummus is a definite new fave! And yes, look at Nigella’s books – lovely!

  19. Magic of Spice March 29, 2011 at 19:49 #

    Everything looks fantastic, loving the mint mousse. This sound like so much fun :)

  20. Tonya - What's On My Plate March 29, 2011 at 20:26 #

    Everything looks great (as per usual).

    I may have booked the day off work to watch the wedding… shhhhhh….

  21. Brian @ A Thought For Food March 29, 2011 at 21:51 #

    The mushy peas are killing me! It’s one of my favorite things in the world… seriously. Ok, I think I’m going to have to try my hand at making them now.

  22. Swee San March 30, 2011 at 04:21 #

    oh wow! I absolutely adore Nigella and have almost all her books. I’m sure to be able to find some stuffs for this street party!

  23. Rochelle March 30, 2011 at 11:37 #

    I’m like you, in that I love bite sized food (though I have a hard time cooking only a few bites of anything!) and these look soooo good!

    I’m more than willing to take a few of the smoked salmon potato cakes off your hands seeing as you don’t want them and all. While I’m at it, I’ll take the chocolate mint mousse too :D

  24. Conor @ Hold the Beef March 31, 2011 at 05:29 #

    Ha, I was getting all ready to write “oh no you forgot the Pimm’s!” in my comment but then you came through with the goods at the end. I should never have doubted you. Consider myself smacked on the hand.

  25. Domini April 1, 2011 at 06:02 #

    brilliant, brilliant idea for the challenge this month, I am so excited about taking part… I love your blog by the way, so glad that Sarah introduced me x

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 4, 2011 at 19:44 #

      I love these challenges because it introduces ME to new bloggers too! Looking forward to your entry!

  26. Sidiqa Sohail April 1, 2011 at 07:59 #

    oh wow it all looks sooo good.

  27. Corinne @ Gourmantic April 2, 2011 at 21:26 #

    You’re making my out water with all these canapés! I like the photo of the dribbling sauce on the pudding :)

  28. Liz April 5, 2011 at 09:18 #

    I plan to join in!!! How fun!

  29. marla April 10, 2011 at 09:48 #

    This party is so fun! Especially that green hummus :)

  30. Janice Sheridan April 15, 2011 at 12:22 #

    what a fab idea !!! if you want any bunting or flags
    give us a call

  31. AmandaP April 15, 2011 at 12:45 #

    You might be an American if: You tell your boss you might be a little late to work on the 29th due to the wedding and his answer is “What wedding?”
    In other news I have my book and think I have found some recipes that will work well just as well at 6PM as they will at 6AM

  32. Jen Laceda April 15, 2011 at 23:06 #

    Mardi! Love the colours of the first canape! Avocado and green pea hummus! Yum!

    Ugh, I have to buy a Nigella cookbook now. Your French Fridays already made me buy Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table. Now Nigella? You are bad, Mardi ;) Kidding! Actually, you are an AWESOME PR blogger!

  33. Sanjeeta kk April 19, 2011 at 06:40 #

    Mardi, I need your mail ID..the wizard is not opening in my browser. Can you please send it across so that I can send my entry for Forever Nigella. Thanks.

  34. Antonia April 27, 2011 at 07:21 #

    So excited about this round as we are actually attending a Street Party on Friday in our village. Love your selection of goodies – the glitzy puddings are a favourite of mine already but I really must try the vibrant-looking green pea and avocado crostini. Wow!

  35. Christie April 27, 2011 at 10:28 #

    Wow, it sounds like your street party is going to be so much fun! The food sure looks amazing, so at the absolute least eveveryone will be eating well. I am with a website called citizenside.com. We’re trying to get a citizen perspective on the royal wedding. It would be really interesting for our users to be able to see pictures from your event since you have such a unique and involved perspective. If you end up taking any more pictures at all (of food, celebrations, preparation etc.), we’d love to see them on citizenside.com.

    Thanks,
    Christie/Citizenside

  36. Elaine May 2, 2011 at 22:22 #

    I am so sorry that I missed out on the Royal Wedding Forever Nigella Blog Party. How fun! Your little bites look wonderful!

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