A few weeks ago my housemates and I decided to host a set of ‘Come Dine With Me’ style dinner parties; I was the first to go… the pressure was on! As matcha May was fast approaching, teapig Becky had asked me to try out a few recipes which included our super power green tea, so a matcha themed evening seemed like a good idea and a perfect opportunity for me to experiment! I have recently been introduced to matcha and its amazing benefits, I’m not a big green tea drinker but matcha is so versatile it can be used in so many different ways, I get my daily dose by adding it to my orange juice in the morning, as well as containing 70 x more antioxidants than orange juice it also stops me from snacking or being tempted by anyone’s biscuits! I chose a few of my favourite dishes and gave them a teapigs twist, some worked better than others! The menu was created and emailed to my four guests with a special note attached asking them to wear something green!

 The day arrived, typically it was a gorgeous sunny day outside and I don’t think I was quite prepared for the amount of time I was going to spend in the kitchen!! – ALL of it!!

 To start I made matcha granary bread, I love baking bread but I’m normally impatient when it comes to letting it rise!  I made sure I was patient with this, as I wanted to get it right!! This bread will have a healthy twist - just 1 gram of teapigs organic matcha is bursting with goodness and has the same benefits of drinking 15 cups of green tea! I started the process about 9am to ensure I had everything prepared and sorted by the time the guests arrived!  I kneaded it, let it rest, let it rise, kneaded it, let it rest, let it rise and then rolled it together, then let it rest and rise one last time before popping it in the oven! I baked the bread and let it cool before slicing it, the swirl looked very effective and once placed on a board with some dips and meat it was ready to be eaten! The matcha taste was very subtle which was good as I was little worried it might be overpowering as this was the first time I had cooked with it and wasn’t sure how it would be.  It all got eaten so I think everyone enjoyed it! This was everyone’s favourite course and definitely one to bake again soon!

 My second course was lamb, mint and matcha pea pie.  Originally I was going to serve these with matcha mash and purple sprouting, however when I went shopping I had trouble finding purple sprouting (I tried two local veg stalls and three different supermarkets!) – I’m guessing it was out of season – I should’ve done my research properly rather than worrying about the presentation on the plate!  I also decided against the matcha mash, as I didn’t want everyone to have a matcha overload and be bouncing off the walls before bedtime! I decorated the pie lids with an ‘m’ for matcha and soaked the peas in matcha paste before adding them to the pies.  These came out really well and everyone enjoyed them, the matcha went well with the mint and tasted yummy!

 Before dessert it was time for my entertainment; the very talented singer and songwriter Azu.  Azu sang a couple of his own songs and then took a few requests; whilst he kept the guests entertained I tried to salvage the cheesecakes!  I had checked on them a couple of times through the evening and had noticed they weren’t setting; I was hoping they just needed more time, but that didn’t appear to be the case! I think when adding the gelatine I didn’t get it all out of the pot and into the mix, so if you are following the recipe be sure to get it all out of the bottom!  Once out of the cases they didn’t keep their shape very well and unfortunately adding an Oreo on top and scattering blueberries didn’t distract from this.  The taste of matcha was quite strong and wasn’t so popular with the non green tea drinkers.  The not so popular of the three courses – but one to learn from!

 The evening went well, everyone wore something green and the word and benefits of matcha was spread to a few more people! I wouldn’t recommend having three courses containing matcha before bedtime (as well as my daily matcha juice for breakfast) as it took me hours to get to sleep that night!! We have since had two more dinner parties, ‘Dress to Impress’ and ‘a Kids Party’ which are both contenders for the winning spot, we are still waiting for our final date to be added to our diaries and then the winner will be announced! I am going to continue experimenting with matcha in the kitchen, this weekend I am hoping to get the BBQ out and try out some different cocktail recipes!

 Keep your eyes on the teapigs blog this week for the matcha may Come Dine with Me recipes!