CONTACT ME @nadiasawalha email@example.com or Daily Mirror, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AP.
* ow, some of you may want to argue with me on this point, but MY Kikibee is the cutest little four-year-old in the world! She has a 1,000-watt smile and the sunniest of dispositions; she's also cross-eyed and bespectacled! What makes her even cuter is that one of the lenses in her glasses is thicker than the other, which consequently makes one of her eyes bigger - trust me it's cute and not nearly as hideous as I'm making it sound.
Anyway, hold the image I have just painted of her in your head while I explain.
Yesterday afternoon, I was just about to leave the house - having dolled myself up for a girly night out - when Kiki fell in from school with a hacking cough and runny nose.
As I helped her out of her duffel coat, she looked up at me with her wonky eyes brimming with tears and said: "Mama, I'm weally worried I've got chicken pops [pox to you and I] and I am going to wake up in the morning with pops all over my face like SpongeBob SquarePants did!" "Oh, sweetheart," I soothed. "Come on, let's get your jamas on and then you can lie down on the sofa and watch whatever you like on the telly."
"OK, Mama, but... can you peeeese make me mango meringues because that's what made SpongeBob SquarePants better!" Well, as you can imagine my heart melted - it was the wonky eye that did it!
And within five minutes I had swapped my stilettos for slippers and was manically whisking eggs to make my dreamy coconut and mango tropical pavlovas!
Needless to say, as delicious as the pavlovas were, they did not heal her chicken pops.
But it certainly put a smile on her rather odd, but quite lovely face!
MINI TROPICAL PAVLOVAS Makes 6 2 egg whites 120g caster sugar 1 tsp white wine vinegar 1 tsp cornflour 1 tsp vanilla extract 200ml double cream 100ml coconut cream 1 large mango, cubed 2 tbsp desiccated coconut Heat the oven to 150C/Gas 2 1 Put the egg whites into a clean bowl and whisk. Start at a low speed and gradually increase until you get soft peaks. Don't over-whisk as this will cause the whites to collapse.
2 Now add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously until you have a shiny, glossy, stiff mixture, then whisk in the vinegar, vanilla and cornflour.
3 Spoon into six mounds in a non-stick baking tray. Make an indentation in each with the back of your spoon. Pop into the oven for an hour. Turn off the heat and leave the meringue to cool.
4 Whisk the coconut cream and double cream together and pile on to each pavlova top with the mango and toasted coconut (toast by cooking on a dry pan over a medium heat until light brown). Feel better now? ask Nadia DEAR NADIA, I have won a jar of homemade red wine jelly. Can you tell me what to serve it with? SANDRA, LEIGHTON BUZZARD DEAR SANDRA, Firstly, can I thank you for your lovely card - I adore freesias! And the uses for red wine jelly are limitless!
Spread it like a jam on cakes, toast and pancakes, put it in gravy, or use as a condiment alongside roast meats. I like it in a cheese sandwich!
LOVE NADIA XXX GREAT BRITISH ROAST BEEF Why not do your own roast beef this Sunday? I don't understand why every time I order it in a pub and get all excited, it's disgusting! You can do it better in the comfort of your own home.
3kg rib of beef (rib is the best joint to roast, but use what you like) Six onions, halved Olive oil Salt and pepper For the gravy: 300ml red wine 200ml water 1 dsp plain flour 1 tbsp horseradish, creamed 1 Heat the oven to 220C/ Gas 7. Rub the joint in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Cut the onions in half, leaving on the skins. Put the onions and beef into a baking tray and then put it into the oven and leave for 30 minutes.
2 This stage is called the sizzle and gets the meat nicely sealed so the juices don't run out. Then turn the oven down to 160C/Gas 3 and pour 100ml of water into the bottom of the pan (not over the meat) and cook for 10 more minutes per 500g for very rare, 15 for medium and 20 for well done.
3 When it's cooked loosely, cover it with foil and leave it to rest for 25-30 minutes. I promise you this does make a difference to the juiciness of the meat so try and allow time for it.
To make the gravy: 1 Take the baked onions out of the baking tray and put to one side. They should be gorgeously sticky and will go beautifully with the beef.
2 Now put the baking tray on to a low heat on the hob and use a metal whisk to scrape up all the lovely bits and pieces that are stuck to it. Then add the flour to the pan and whisk continuously until smooth before pouring in the wine.
3 Let it bubble for a minute to burn off the alcohol. Add the water and keep whisking until you have smooth gravy. Stir in the horseradish and season well. Keep warm.
HOW TO... Bake blind You will often see in recipes the term 'bake blind' - this means that the pastry needs to be baked partially before adding the ingredients. This firms the pastry, making it stronger for when you add the wet ingredients and stops it from going soggy during cooking.
You must first line the pastry with grease-proof paper and fill it with either baking beans or dried beans.
This is to support the sides of the pastry until they are cooked and to stop the base from bubbling up. Then bake the pastry at 200C/Gas 6 and then when the sides are cooked, remove the paper and beans and then pop back into the oven until the base is cooked.
Saturday night flavour... Pop some corn and then add grated parmesan and black pepper for a super-easy savoury snack. The perfect treat to munch your way through in front of the telly.
Scrummy Sunday morning... Slice up a banana and put in a hot pan with some brown sugar and caramelise. When coloured, serve on porridge with a drizzle of honey.
? FORMER CELEBRITY MASTERCHEF WINNER NADIA SAWALHA IS THE AUTHOR OF STUFFED VINE LEAVES SAVED MY LIFE. ? PICTURES BY NADIA AND MARK
CUTEST: My little Kiki-bee