Friday Night Recipes #3 – Beef Stew with rice (a.k.a. a brilliant recipe for busy bees!)

Eating is a necessity, but cooking truly is an art. With the busy lives we lead nowadays, trying to keep up with never-ending life goals means that a lot of us find it hard to dish out delicious meals after a hard day’s work in the rat race.

But the good news is that not every amazingly scrumptious dish takes an insanely long time to prepare. The thought of spending hours in the kitchen slaving over food after an honest day’s work, leaves most of us deflated, frazzled and drinking the wine we should actually be cooking with. Sometimes, all you need are good quality ingredients, and a trusted slow cooker followed by a hearty appetite with enchanting family or dinner guests.

Today’s alternative Friday night dinner recipe is just that. It’s perfect for you and your loved one(s), a big family gathering, and even the Friday night before a wedding celebration as the recipe actually allows you to spend plenty of time with your family, friends and guests. The slow cooker takes on the brunt of the work involved, making it the perfect end-of-the-week recipe.

This is the third in our monthly series of brilliant Friday night recipes. If you missed Mark’s earlier culinary delights, they’re right here.


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Friday Night Recipes #2 – Spaghetti Bolognese

There’s Spaghetti Bolognese and then there’s Spaghetti Bolognese… (or Spaghetti Shabbatgnese!)

Friday night dinner doesn’t always have to be roast chicken and I guarantee that your nearest and dearest will go crazy for this mind-blowing variant of the recipe by our resident chef, Mark Frankel.

Spaghetti Bolognese is a dish that normally takes a huge amount of love and time, and whilst this one is full to bursting with amour, it takes well under an hour to prepare and make the entire dish (more time for wedding planning then – yay!).

This is the second in our monthly series of Frankel-y brilliant Friday night recipes. If you missed Mark’s first one, it’s right here.

Spaghetti Bolognese

By Mark Frankel

Three. Let’s give you three guesses.


Before we start, I must say that it is great to see your culinary appetite whet after surviving my first recipe. There was a noticeable increase in poultry sales here in North West London, which I’m assuming had something to do with me giving away my deepest, tastiest secrets last month…

So, please do take your first guess to which question I am faced with the most. How do I keep my devilishly charming young looks, I hear you say. Ah yes, besides that one. All joking aside, the question of all questions is actually: “What is your most favourite dish?”

Less is more sometimes, and the sweet simple things in life are the real extraordinary pleasures. Therefore, my answer comes easily to this question: Spaghetti alla Bolognese. A hearty, wholesome bowl of steaming pasta covered in generous lashings of deliciously meaty sauce. It’s a fantastic family pleaser and magnificently ticks all the boxes in the comfort food criteria. For the geeks among us, the first documented recipe for this meat based sauce dates all the way back to 1891. Impressively tasty, right?

There are so many variations of this dish worldwide, that it truly boggles the mind. Can you really improve a recipe, which boasts a 125 old food lifespan having rubbed forks and spoons with various meats along the plates from veal to pork, and now the 21st century’s newest fad ‘Quorn’. My amazing grandma, G-d bless her soul, used to prepare her version with carrots and red peppers for a subtly sweet flavour. Others recommend using tomato pureé, a pinch of nutmeg, a dash of wine & even milk for the non-kosher recipes or even turmeric as part of their take on the world’s best ‘spag bol’. Did you know that in Italy this dish is never served with spaghetti due to its smooth surface, which cannot easily absorb the meaty sauce. The true Italian way is to serve it with tagliatelle, pappardelle or fettuccine, which have a wider more coarse surface to taste every last ingredient in your secret bolognese sauce.

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Cheers! A Guide to Wedding Drinks… by Mr STG

This is a guest post by Mr STG (Karen’s husband)

I thought it was high time that I contributed to Smashing The Glass.

What Karen started when we got married has become a really beautiful website and the stories that I hear of connections being made through the blog make me very proud of what she has achieved. Karen has created a community of like-minded creative and dedicated people who want to deliver with a little bit more panache and who are prepared to go that bit further. How very refreshing.

Now what is it that I can contribute?

I thought at this stage I might offer up what I hope might be helpful advice as to choosing and sourcing an integral part of any celebration – the BOOZE!

Champagne wedding
First things first: a great money saving tip

Should you buy the alcohol or allow the venue or caterer to supply the booze?

This is a fundamental question. Some venues and / or caterers will want to charge corkage if you supply the alcohol but it may well prove to be a cost-effective decision to pay corkage or a fee to source and supply your own booze. I say this on the basis that with the likes of Majestic and others being more than happy to offer substantial discounts when buying in quantity. By paying a fee or corkage and choosing your bottles well, you will end up drinking far better quality for less money.

How to decide what to serve

Having decided on whether you are going to acquire the booze, now on to the selections…

This is what I suggest you do on the basis of mistakes made, lessons learnt, hospitality well received, as well as when I think I might have got it right all on my own!.

What I intend to do in keeping with STG style is suggest ideas that might be a little different and allow you, the soon-to-be-married, to stamp your own touches on your day.

So let’s start at the beginning. What do you serve your guests at a reception?

Our wedding reception (click here to see our full wedding)

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Friday Night Recipes #1 – Yummy roast chicken

Friday Night Dinner Shabbat recipes
This is the first in a monthly series of exciting Friday Night dinner recipes that I thought might be fun for you to try out on your beloved, as well as other loved ones in your life. I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for inspiration for what to cook for Mr STG, as well as recipe ideas for when it’s more than just the two of us for dinner.

Quite often our parents, in-laws and siblings join us for Friday nights, and it’s up to my hubby (who does most of the cooking in our house) to rustle up a beautiful dinner. I’d love to get back into cooking and contribute more in the kitchen, so I asked Mark Frankel, a dear friend and talented masterchef, to share some modern takes on the traditional Shabbat meal / Friday night dinner.

I’ll be posting a brand new recipe of his on the first Friday of every month and these dishes will be perfect for busy souls who want tasty family dishes that don’t take all day to prepare.

I’d love you to try out the recipes and share your results on Instagram using the hashtag #SmashingFridayNight. It would be so great to see your creations and of course I’ll be sharing mine too!

So let’s hand over to Mark, our new resident chef, who is kicking off the series with his take on the perfect roast chicken. I mean… how could he we start the series with anything else?! This dish is perfect for when the family come over on Friday night, or for the weekend of your wedding.

I can’t wait to see how you get on… Happy Friday!

Friday Night Dinner Shabbat Recipes Roast Chicken Friday Night Dinner Shabbat Recipe Roast Chicken Friday Night Dinner Shabbat Recipe Roast Chicken Friday Night Dinner Shabbat Recipe Roast Chicken Continue Reading