Thursday, 27 September 2012

Warm Salad Series: Chicory and Fennel Salad with Balsamic Glaze

This is the fourth warm salad in this series. The first week of the series I posted a recipe for a Grilled Nectarine and Goats Cheese Salad, the second saw my honeyed figs with mozzarella and cured ham salad.
Three weeks after this series started, I’m posting a salad where all of the ingredients are griddled together, including the leaves – the warmest of all of the salads yet.

The salad leaves used in this recipe are chicory. This can be bought in most good supermarkets. Its leaves are firm and crisp which means it stands up to the heat of a griddle-pan really well!

For the best results, this salad should be griddled on a high heat, so that the ingredients begin to blacken adding extra flavour!

For the full recipe see below.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

National Cupcake Week 17th - 24th September: A cupcake round-up!

It’s that time of year again where you get to gorge yourself on lots of naughty, but pretty treats all in the name of supporting a national celebration week. And what exactly is it we are celebrating………CUPCAKES!
Unfortunately this year I have been celebrating from the side-lines! As close as I got to a cupcake was baking a few batches for a Macmillan Nurses Coffee Morning fundraiser, but even so, I thought I could contribute something to the table.
So here is a round-up of all of the cupcake-y goodness that I've brought to you in the past. They are some of my favourite recipes to cook and share, so please give them a go and share the cupcake love!


First things first, you’ll need a basic fairy cake recipe! This is my go to recipe for any cakey needs.

These Lemon and Poppy Seed Cupcakes are the perfect grown up cake for a more sophisticated bake.

Kids and grown ups alike will LOVE these
American inspired Oreo cupcakes

Elderflower and Gooseberry Butterfly Cakes won a competition last year! Therefore this recipe is a must have in any cupcake collection.

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes really are a show stopper!

This is my most favourite recipe EVER – the
bakewell muffin is heaven on a plate!

One of my favourite muffin recipes, this is a twist on the classic American muffin –
Blueberry and Lemon Curd muffins.

Not quite a cupcake, but these
Miniature Carrot Cakes would look good on any cake stand

For a more deep and sophisticated flavour, look no further than my caramel cupcake recipe

The perfect cupcake for Christmas hosting – my After Dinner Mint cupcakes.

Another Christmassy cake, perfect for kids,
red velvet Rudolfcupcakes

And that completes my cupcake-y round up for National Cupcake Week! I hope they have inspired you to get creative in the kitchen!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Warm Salad Series: Fresh Fig Salad with Cured Ham and Mozarella

“Fresh figs 3 for £1,” how do you walk past a market stall with a sign like that? I certainly couldn’t!
The first day that I attended law school I noticed a fruit market just on the corner by the tube station. They sell allsorts from big fruit salads for just £1 which are perfect for lunch, to other fresh seasonal fruits – like figs!

Every morning the stall is already set up with lots of customers grabbing something to eat on their way to work, and it’s only taken me a week to be swept up by the stalls popularity. This may have been my first purchase, but I know it won’t be my last.
I’ve only eaten figs a few times (always in restaurants) and I have never cooked with them myself, so it was a pretty bold move to buy some. However, with my warm salad series underway I knew I could muddle something together.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Chilli Festival at Bennington Lordship

This year was the 6th annual Chilli Festival at the Bennington Lordship Garden, just outside of Aston/Stevenage. It took place on the bank holiday weekend at the end of August, as it does every year as it continues to grow in popularity.

If you want to find out more you can follow them on facebook, or at their website.
The festival attracts thousands of visitors over the two days and has a whole host of stalls offering chilli based products (from oils, chocolates, chutneys and curry sauces) to chilli plants, and chilli packed street food. There’s even a range of speciality beers and other drinks to help you cool down!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Warm Salad Series: Grilled Nectarine and Goats Cheese Salad

This is the first post in my warm salad series!
The inspiration for this set of posts came when I was getting all excited about heart and belly warming recipes that would get me through the autumn and winter months.

Over the last few days we’ve been having torrential rain and gale force winds that leave as quickly as they come. Yesterday a cloud came over the town that was so black, that you could literally see the dividing line of day light and the cloud above us. The rain fell with such force that it definitely wasn’t the heavens opening...

Nonetheless, the more recipes I came up with the more worried I got about my waist size – winter weight may be one way of keeping the frost from biting, but I’d rather just put another jumper on this year. And so the warm salad series was born!
It’s no surprise that these salads will involve some method of cooking so expect some grilling, griddling and baking.

Now for the first warm salad:

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Blackberry Sticky Buns

Health warning: these are just a little bit naughty and shockingly addictive!
‘Sticky buns’ – not normally a phrase that gets me all excited; cinnamon whirls, and Danish pastries, have never been my thing but when we got our first punnet of late summer blackberries I just wanted to encase them in a sticky dough cover them in sugary goodness and gobble them up for breakfast, lunch and pudding.

Now I understand why people love sticky buns so much! They just ooze naughtiness, their cute swirls and playful, and when they’re filled with fruit you can almost convince yourself all that sugar’s ok because one of your five a day balances it out.

They’re super versatile too. The night I made them we had one each nice and warm, straight from the oven. The next morning I gobbled one while getting ready for work, and soon found myself packing one for work! If you made them dainty enough, I bet they’d work for afternoon tea with friends too.

I may just replace all food substances with these delicious blackberry sticky buns now! That’s a balanced diet right?!

The best thing about these though is that they seem to be fool proof. The dough is simple and quick to make (minus rising time of course) and getting messy is just part of the fun! If you’ve not made a mess, you’re not doing it right that’s my motto.

So if you’re a fan of the cinnamon whirl, or a Danish pastry or two, I recommend you have a blackberry sticky bun, and see if you’re converted over to my side!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

A Taste of Cornwall

Well well well, this post has certainly been a long time coming! And unfortunately for no good reason! I was trying to make the photos look super impressive and arty but...I’m just not good at that kind of thing, so instead this is going to be a simple “food porn” post with lots of pictures for you to look at, bare and beautiful, with no editing at all.

I’ll intersperse some of the groups of pictures with my comments and anecdotes/reviews from the holiday. Enjoy!


Cornwall – perhaps my favourite place on the planet! (Though it could be improved greatly by only being 20mins from the centre of London, haha.)

Cornwall has so much to offer and as a result my family and I have been visiting the county for years. I’ve been on almost every beach, and round every national park, I’ve been to Flambards multiple times as well as the Dairy and Cider farms, Poldark mine and much much more! But...I still feel like there’s so much more to explore!

This year for me, unsurprisingly it was all about the food. Despite looking a little bit crazy, I took plenty of pictures of what I scoffed, so here is my holiday, in food. A taste of Cornwall.
Firstly, my family has a rather special little tradition which unsurprisingly involves food, but most excitingly for me, involves breakfast! Now I NEVER eat breakfast, and I mean never, except when I’ve been in a car for 7 hours and have just arrived in Cornwall...
Because my hometown is so far away from Cornwall, our plan of action is always to drive through the night. We leave home at roughly 1:30am, drive for 6-7 hours and arrive in the town of Perranporth sometime after 7:30am a little tired and very hungry.
Perranporth is always our first stopping point, and for one very good reason known as The Dolphin Cafe. Bright blue, and adorned with all sorts of dolphin paraphernalia, the Dolphin open super early so that holiday makers like ourselves can have the best fry up Cornwall has to offer, complete with stunning views of Perranporth beach.

It really is the best way to start a holiday.

This next batch of photos comes from a rather lovely pub which is perched right on the headland at West Pentire overlooking Crantock beach and out to sea. The pub is steeped in history, with plenty of smugglers stories to tell!
Crantock is by far our favourite part of Cornwall, and it has our favourite beach, so we were extremely excited to be staying just a cliff walk away, right next to the Bowgie Inn. We’ve eaten (and drunk) here many a time, so it seemed fitting we came here for our first nights dinner.
Here you can see the smoked seafood salad I enjoyed. It included mackerel, salmon trout and mussels fresh from the smokehouse at St Mawes alongside salad leaves, beetroot, and a homemade potato salad, coleslaw and vinaigrette!

One of the things I had hoped to do on holiday was go on some sort of foraging walk or even a mini course but unfortunately there was just too much to fit in! However, we did go for a lovely early morning walk along the headland of West Pentire round to Porth Joke (Polly Joke to the locals) where I saw a number of yummy edibles along the way, including blackberries, dandelions and mushrooms!

(Don’t panic, I know nothing about mushrooms and definitely didn’t try any, and I don’t recommend you do unless you are foraging with a professional!)

After feeling rather good about ourselves after our brisk morning walk, we ruined it by indulging in “Breakfast Cream Tea” – something which became all too much of a common occurrence!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...