Very recently, we were lucky enough to be invited to attend an intimate cooking workshop with celebrity chef, mum of two and Lengendairy's newest ambassador, Karen Martini. The event was hosted right here in Melbourne at The Urban Kitchen. As huge fans of Karen, this was something we were exceptionally keen on being a part of.
On the day, Karen, as ambassador for Legendairy, was brimming with an obvious and infectious enthusiasm for dairy foods and in particular, milk. There's so much talk in the media these days, about the growing obesity epidemic, unhealthy diets overall, and the wrong sorts of snacks and beverage choices available on the market for children and teens. As Legendairy profess, it's time to rediscover milk in its own right, as a wholesome food that is rich in essential fats and vitamins.
And those fats in milk - they're actually good fats! #AmazingMilk
|The Dairy Kitchen's Amanda Menegazzo and celebrity chef, Karen Martini|
On arrival, our group (including myself and nine year old son Ruben - my cooking buddy), were greeted by a very bubbly Karen and team. Our cooking aprons were distributed, and Karen's own delicious and healthy milkshakes were shared to get us prepped for a morning of exciting foodie fun.
It's just got to be said straight-up that Karen is such a delightful person to be around! She is so personable, approachable and every bit as lovely as she appears on television. Her warmth and welcoming nature were as much of a treat as the delicious milk-based foods she prepared for us throughout the morning.
To begin, Karen gave a wonderful talk about the importance of macronutrients in the diet. These are your carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Quite naturally, milk embodies all of these essentials, making it somewhat of a super-food. Being such a versatile product, we were in for several culinary treats, all cooked on the spot for us by Karen herself. Lucky? Yes!
First up, we were given an example of a kitchen staple - a béchamel sauce, which was whipped together expertly by Karen while fielding our questions. Following this (and a tasty sampling), Karen proceeded to make a batch of homemade scones for us, which were filled with dairy goodness.
|Absolutely amazing scones!|
Hot cakes were next on the agenda, enriched with ricotta. Karen's recipe for pancakes is a particularly fabulous one (as you would expect) and loaded with calcium and protein. Her light and fluffy pancakes were just as quick and simple to prepare as the standard fare. Here's the recipe to try it yourself, shared here with thanks to Karen Martini, Legendairy Ambassador.
Karen Martini's Ricotta Hotcakes
Serves 2-4 (6-8 hotcakes).
180g plain flour
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 extra large eggs
3 tablespoons of melted butter.
Sift the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
Add the milk, ricotta, eggs and melted butter into another bowl and combine.
Add the milk mix to the dry mix and combine until you have a batter. There may be lumps from the ricotta, but ensure that the flour is incorporated.
Heat a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat and add a knob of butter. Once melted, add about half a cup of batter and cook for around two minutes until it starts to bubble on top. (Like a crumpet in texture.)
Once the hotcake is almost cooked, flip it and cook for just 30 seconds on the other side. Set aside and repeat for the remaining batter. Cook more than one hotcake at a time if your pan can accommodate.
|Karen strikes a bonus pose!|
Ricotta hot cakes can be served with either sweet or savoury garnishes. Karen used smoked salmon and an extra serving of ricotta to top-off hers.
Then it was our turn to cook! The Legendairy team had us set-up in an MKR style bake-off. On the menu - Karen's hot cake recipe, the results of which would be judged by Karen herself!
Oh the nerves guys! I can now understand all the tension on those television cooking shows, where the contestants are all hopeless and jittery as they make stupid mistakes in the kitchen! (Nervous laugh - that was me this time!) My son? Well, he just took it all in his stride.
And the results are in... While we didn't win the pancake competition (despite these hot cakes looking very appealing to me at least, right now!), we did walk away with the social media prize - Karen Martini's latest hardbound cook book New Kitchen. I was thrilled! (Squee!) I am in love my new cook book. (Thank you Karen. xx)
Do check out Karen's website for some more fantastic recipes. (You can also purchase her cook books.)
Finally, after all that hard work, (minus the cleaning-up - that was taken care of for us), we sat down to a delicious lunch prepared by Karen and the Legendairy team. There was a superb lasagne and salads which were both beautiful and crunchy-fresh.
A huge thank you goes out to Karen, Legendairy and The Urban Kitchen for hosting this vibrant and entertaining event. We all walked away with such great memories and some wonderful signed cook books too, to help us continue the cooking journey at home.
You can learn more about Legendairy and The Dairy Kitchen here, plus there are fabulous recipes on their website as well.
Win one of five Karen Martini 'Feasting'
Cook Books valued at RRP $31 each!
Total prize pool: $155
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|Thank you to Karen Martini, Legendairy and The Urban Kitchen|
for a highly memorable day.
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