Sunday, 29 September 2013

Supper in the Suburbs

I hope you’re sitting down: I’ve got some news.

At the beginning October I will be moving the blog from Kitchen Goddess (in training!) hosted by blogger to Supper in the Suburbs, hosted by Wordpress.

The decision to move wasn’t an easy one – I’ve been told that it’s rather unusual to move from blogger to Wordpress as blogger has so many more features but I feel for me and the blog it makes much more sense to strip down and keep things simple.

Many of you will know that I started this blog whilst I was in the second year of university. I loved cooking but wasn’t particularly skilled or accomplished. I tried creating beginner friendly recipes that wouldn’t break the bank and wouldn’t lead to you piling on the pounds.

As the months and years went on my own personal circumstances have changed. I went from a naive student to a confident finalist before moving back home having graduated. Returning to my parent’s home meant unlimited stocks in the kitchen cupboards along with a fair few challenges like finding the time to take over the kitchen (and who was responsible for clearing up the mess). I also began studying the LPC in London which meant meals out became just as frequent as meals in.

3 years after I first started writing I now work as a Corporate Paralegal in the City and in just another 3 months I will finally embark on my training contract – this training contract will be the last hurdle between me and fully-qualified solicitor status. I’ve also just moved to Southgate in North London with my partner Jon, and for the first time I have a kitchen all to myself!

 Bearing all of this in mind I felt it was finally time to move blog. I’ll be taking all of my old posts with me but I’ll now be blogging under the name ‘Supper in the Suburbs.

I’ll be sharing plenty of recipes for breakfast lunch and dinner, sweat treats, weekend baking, edible gifts and more as well as sharing my tips for entertaining friends and family, keeping kitchen in order and stocking the cupboards.

It’s been a fun three years and I’ve met lots of wonderful people but it’s important to remember this isn’t goodbye! You can all come and chat to me over at the new blog and I’ll be keeping the same twitter and instagram accounts so hopefully the move won’t be too painful for you guys.

If you follow me over to my new home please do drop by and say hi so I know you’re still with me.

Hopefully the next few years will bring new blogging challenges but will also help both the blog and I to continue to grow!

See you all soon!

Emmyw (Kitchen Goddess – no longer in training!)

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Tenderstem and Tofu Sesame Stir Fry

Tenderstem Broccoli and Tofu Sesame Stir Fry
Well that was a lot of alliteration for one blog post title!!! My family of primary school teachers would be very proud – but they’re all too busy focussing on school work now that it’s the beginning of term!
My parents have been home from their holiday for just over a week now and so the two weeks Mr KG and I have spent “playing house” have come to an end.
Playing house with Mr KG has been lots of fun – and as I pointed out in my last post – he’s certainly had me cooking up a storm in the kitchen. I see it as all good practice for when we finally make the big move together. We’ve shared the house chores, we’ve menu planned and managed to buy our food on a budget! So all in all it’s looking good – we may well survive living together yet!

This was one of my favourite recipes from the two weeks together. Despite being a LT vegetarian, Mr KG has never really been a big lover of tofu. I’ve tried all sorts including marinating it myself for DAYS but he still said it lacked much flavour. (Lacked much flavour?! An insult if ever I heard one.) Vegetarian brands Quorn and Cauldron have both got better with their tofu offerings and you can now buy pre-marinated and smoked tofu.
For this recipe we used the marinated tofu but we’ve also used the smoked and I can assure you both tastes just as good.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Sauce

Home made Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Sauce

You will not believe how much time I have spent in the kitchen these last two weeks!

Now, some of you may have already picked up that despite living with my parents still, I do most of the cooking in the house. To be frank, Dad has just got lazy in his old age and when he gets in from work wants to do nothing more than sit down. Mum, bless her, doesn’t think she can cook so tries running in the other direction at the mention of moving into the kitchen. So, almost every day the cooking of the evening meal falls on to me.

Since they’ve gone on holiday, the word ‘almost’ has disappeared...

Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not complaining! Cooking for Mr KG every night for two weeks straight has meant I’ve been a bit more creative as I can’t fall back on many of the recipes I’d cook for my parents. (He’s veggie and has some rather random food allergies like sweetcorn!)

One of the best things to have come out of all of this cooking however, is my ability to knock together something incredibly simple and tasty with basic ingredients.

Best served simply with fresh pasta and garlic bread

Spinach and Ricotta is a classic flavour combination and frequently appears on veggie friendly menus. Ready-made packets of ravioli in the supermarkets are often stuffed to bursting with it and if that’s not enough, 9 times out of 10 there will be a tub of gelatinous spinach and ricotta sauce to go with it. I’ve also seen a twist on lasagne made purely with spinach and ricotta before and let’s not to forget it’s also the obvious filling for cannelloni!

We’ve all tried these supermarket made pasta dishes and I think we can all say that although they are quick and easy they are incredibly bland. Tell me, why do we subject ourselves to tasteless food in the name on convenience!? There really is no good excuse for it!

Monday, 26 August 2013

Dark Chocolate and Passion Fruit Cupcakes (Plus GBBO S4 Ep1)

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes topped with a sticky and sweet Passion Fruit Curd
This (ok, almost last) week saw the first episode of the Great British Bake Off back on our screens and for the first time EVER I actually managed to catch the episode as it went out live on TV. No more iplayer for me!

Two things really stood out for me from the first episode - #1 they all need to calm down and stop trying to chop their own fingers off, it really won’t help them! And #2 passion fruit seems to be the in thing.

Now I may have only made the second observation because I am currently OBSESSED with passion fruit, but still, I’m going to go with it.

The Angel Cakes were all drizzled in the delicious, sticky and sweet pulp of the passion fruit and my did they look heavenly! I was very impressed with how they all turned out actually, considering Angel Cake just isn’t that popular this side of the pond. It’s definitely something I’ll have to try.

The selection of cupcakes at my party.
Even so, this wasn’t the only time passion fruit cropped up in the episode. During the Signature Bake round, Howard made a gluten free passion-fruit and coconut sandwich cake out of rice-flour and xantham gum. It sounded so out there and whacky I don’t think anyone expected it to work but Mary and Paul LOVED it! Another win for the passion fruit.

Then in the Showstopper Bake round Ali cooked a Chocolate, Raspberry and Passion fruit Engagement Cake. Now I think his concept was actually pretty good. The nerves just got the better of him and he executed it pretty poorly. (Ali, don’t worry, you’re still secretly one of my favourites).

Again, yay for passion fruit!

As much as I love passion fruit though, and I really was happy to see it being featured in cakes on the show, it kind of ruined my plan to bake these delicious Dark Chocolate and Passion Fruit Cupcakes if ever I find myself on the show.

If this week’s episode of GBBO did inspire you to try baking with passion fruit and you’re not brave enough to use rice flour like Howard (and you want more success with your finished product than Ali had) then why not give these cupcakes a go!

The sweet and zingy passion fruit curd is paired beautifully with the dark chocolate which makes the overall flavour of the cake much more, well-rounded.

Although it’s tempting to make these cakes with milk chocolate in an attempt to make them more popular with a wider range of guests, the dark chocolate really is essential and many people who usually steer away from the bitter taste of dark chocolate will undoubtedly love it when paired with the sweet exotic fruit.
Another great thing about these cakes is they’re incredibly easy to make and look stunning when finished. Simply follow your usual method of making cupcakes, grab yourself a piping bag complete with a Wilton 1M tip and you’re good to go!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Lavender and Honey Cakes

Lavender and Honey Cupcakes made from locally produced ingredients.

I am one lucky girl. Now I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but I have so much to be grateful for and today I’m going to share them with you. Last weekend my parents threw me a party to celebrate getting a distinction in the LPC and my new job.

I’m thankful not just for the party with copious amount of Champagne, but for the opportunities and support they gave me growing up so that I could get to where I am today and reach my full potential.
I’m also grateful for where I live surrounded by friends, family and the countryside!

Wandering through Hitchin Lavender Fields, Ickleford
For the party I decided to make cakes and I’m lucky enough to live somewhere where I can easily source local ingredients. Just a short drive away we have lavender fields, pick your own fruit farms and local honey producers. I wanted to make the most of all of these things before we move to

London and our only green space becomes an inner city allotment.

With two jars of local honey in the cupboard, I already knew that honey cakes would be on the menu but I wanted to add a twist.

Mr KG (another person I’m incredibly thankful for having n my life after 8 and a half years together)  and I decided to spend our Saturday walking through the local lavender fields spotting bumblebees and butterflies amongst the flowers. They opened for the first time this year and for just £4 per adult – with kids going free – you can pick as much of their 15 varieties of lavender as you like! They even give you a bag to carry it home in and scissors to do the cutting.

Floral fancies - Lavender infused Honey Cakes
They don’t just make their money by letting locals come and cut their own. The lavender is also used in a number of food and beauty products which you can buy in their barn shop. They also produce essential oils (which I may have to stock up on!)

After browsing around the barn I came across their lavender honey and it suddenly occurred to me that lavender and honey cakes were the twist I was looking for! We’d seen in the hours we’d spent wandering the fields just how much the bumble bees loved the lavender so I was sure that my family would love the cakes too.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Law Student Does Lunch - where to eat in the Holborn area

City Snacks
This post is probably overdue and a little premature all at the same tie.

I finished law school back in May and took my exams in June. It feels like it was an age ago already which probably means I’m doing too much. No long hot summer for me!

Law school was one of my favourite periods of education; I always knew I wanted to practice law and as much as I loved my law degree (I really did), Law school was so much more practical and I felt like I was getting one step closer to my dream.
Exam results came out just a week ago and I can now proudly stay I’ve not only taken that step closer but I passed with DISTINCTION!!! I got a distinction in every single module so it almost makes up for just missing out on a first in my undergrad degree.

The nine months I spent at law school weren’t just great because I found my thing – they were also great because it was my first real taste of living/working in London.
Ok, so I still commuted from Hertfordshire, but I spent 5 days a week there! I had a fab time meeting new people, meeting uni friends for dinner, trying out awesome new bars and having some amazing nights out.

I also spent an awful lot of time checking out the food scene. If I wasn’t meeting friends for dinner, I was trying out various street food vendors and I spent plenty of time checking out the various places to grab lunch within walking distance of my law school.
Holborn has some great places to eat if you’re willing to take yourself off of the main road and down the back streets – they’re not scary I promise!

I did manage to get a few of my foodie visits turned into reviews but I couldn’t try all of these places without properly sharing what I found, so after maybe the 5th or so lunch eaten out I decided I had to put them on a map and so the Lawyer Does Lunch Map was born!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Crumble Topped Ocean Pie

Hey folks, what’s up? It’s been a week since my last post on these EXTREMELY cute mini vanilla doughnuts and boy has a lot happened!

Every now and then you get one of those crazy weeks where it all seems to kick off.
Highlights of my week include a mini-school reunion with best friends from primary/secondary school/sixth form!!! A curry with Mr KG and our friend who has been working out in South Sudan for the last 4 months – he just headed back out there yesterday so it’ll be a while until we see him again. I also got my law school results – I passed with Distinction :D every single exams I got a distinction in so I’m a VERY happy girl. Shame no-one is planning to go to graduation, what with us all out working.

Then there was the not so good part of the week – I’ve been complaining of strange aches and pains most of the week. On Friday this turned into excruciating pains in my stomach as well as arms and legs. In the evening it hurt so much it was making me feel sick! So for the last couple of days I’ve been laid flat out either on a sun lounger, sofa or bed. It is seriously boring being ill and not much fun being in pain!!!
It has meant though that I’ve been able to catch up with lots of blog posts from you lovely guys!


This evening I’m thinking about getting back in the kitchen – or perhaps should I say instructing my Mum in the kitchen. It’s probably not a great idea I get stuck in with the food prep being ill and my Mum could do with a bit of practice. There’s still no news on our flat but hopefully we’ll have all the paperwork signed in the next week or two. Keep your fingers crossed for us!!! In the meantime I’ve got to teach Mum how to cook (or just get more confident) in the kitchen.
This recipe is one we cooked together a week or so ago. We’ve had it quite a few times and each time she’s helped out a little bit more. I reckon she’ll be able to whip this up for her and Dad in no time now!

The key with this dish really is the fish. I’ve chosen to use white fish of your choice as the base – think Cod, Pollack, Gurnard or anything else mild and flakey. But it also includes prawns and smoked haddock and this is really where much of the beautiful ocean flavour comes from so please, please, please don’t leave these out! My Mum was never a big prawn lover but she enjoys it in this pie so just give it a go and I’m sure you’ll surprise yourself.
I also love this recipe because it’s another great one for hiding vegetables from my Dad!!! Brocolli, peas, leeks and sweetcorn can all be hidden in the sauce from grumpy old folk and children.


What I love the most about this recipe though is the crumble topping. Mash potato and puff pastry are great ways of topping off a fish pie but this cheesey breadcrumb top is lighter making for a healthier pie and something more suitable for the summer evenings.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Vanilla Mini Doughnuts

Evening all!
I hope you all took my advice on Wednesday and have been enjoying the weather? I’ll be the first to admit I’m not very good in the heat but on an evening like this there is no excuse not to eat al fresco, or have a pint of something yummy and relax outside until the stars rise.

We’ve had another busy weekend, but a weekend busy making the most of the sunshine. On Saturday we spent most of the day at a local park (Fairlands Valley Lakes in Stevenage) with friends. We had a delicious picnic with fresh home-made salads, naughty treats from the delicatessen and iced tea. We also played a game or two of Frisbee as well as bananagrams! To top it off I had an ice-cream – absolute bliss!
Today we’ve been upcycling an old hat stand. It belongs to Mr KG’s parents when they got married and moved in together (30+years ago?) As you can imagine it was a bit dated (pine – eugh!) so we’ve sanded it down, given it an undercoat of primer and managed to get a first coat of white paint on too. Next week we hope it will be sunny again and we can finish off a second white coat before I get to decorate it. That’s right...decorate. When we finally move out our bedroom is going to be Japanese inspired mainly with plum, purple and pink-y tones. We’ve got bedding and a few nik-naks already but for a bit of extra interest in the room we’re having a decorated hat stand. I’ll be painting purple, pink and blue cherry blossoms on it and I can’t wait to see how it turns out! I promise I’ll share a picture...

I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting recently and this recipe was the product of one. Fortunately I made such a large quantity of the mix that I could improve my technique with each batch that I actually baked.

It all came about after a rather depressing day spent suit shopping last weekend. To cheer myself up my Mum took me to Lakeland to treat myself to something cooking-related and I found the most adorable purple silicone mini-doughnut mould. I had to have it!

Much like with the design of my hat stand, I had in my head what I wanted the finished result to look like but getting it to that stage was a bit of a problem. I also knew what I wanted them to taste like and the kind of texture I was after so I spent a lot of time adding a bit of this and then adding a bit more to the batter, tasting as I went along.

I was really please with how they turned out! The texture of the doughnut is firm and cakey but not crumbly. They have a good strong taste of vanilla which makes them extremely moreish and let’s admit. They look seriously cute!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Fruit Ice Cubes

This is an emergency broadcast: It is H-O-T!

Tonight I was going to share with you fun things like how my first full week at work went, or how Mr KG and I may have a flat in London (EEK! More on that soon...) and I was going to share with you the most amazing recipe for Crumble Topped Ocean Pie.

But you know’s just far too hot for all that.

So instead I say stop whatever it is you are doing. Put your feet up and pour yourself a nice cold drink. We’re having a heat wave so let’s make the most of it.

Still if you’re looking for some heat-wave themed inspiration I’ve got just the thing for you...

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Red velvet cupcakes with chocolate dipped strawberry toppers!

Wow has this week been hectic. l've finally completed a full week at my new job and I'm still absolutely loving it. l think I'm slowly learning that if you're not doing something you love then you are going to resent having to go in everyday. This week I've even worked late twice, but you won't here a winge or a moan from me because I'm just so excited to be doing such interesting work! isn't eveything and we all need to find ways to relax. This is going to be quite difficult for me.
Much of this weekend was taken up with flat hunting. l'm in a period of transition right row and can't afford to just sit back and watch the weekends pass me by.
Nonetheless with all this going on I've decided to make Sunday's a day for baking and blogging. For me there is nothing more relaxing than mixing cake batter or icing swirls of buttercream. Who's with me?

I first made these cakes when Wimbledon was in full flow. When the tennis is on it seems inevitable that everyone becomes obsessed with strawberries and cream. I took these two classics and turned them on their head - the cream became buttercream and the strawberries HAD to be dipped in chocolate (it's my favourite way to eat them afterall).
This didn't seem enough though. A vanilla cupcake wasn't going to be immensely transformed just by adding Chocolate Dipper Strawberry Toppers, so instead I chose to pop them on top of a red velvet cupcake. Not only did the red sponge look striking against the light buttercream and vibrant red strawberries, but the cocoa powder in the sponge also tied in with the chocolate the strawberries had been dipped in!
The combination really is inspired. If you too love the strawberry and chocolate combo then you should definitely give it a go.


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