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.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Parmesan and Herb Crusted Cod with Garlic Vine Tomatoes and Roasted New Potatoes

Parmesan and herb crusted cod served with extra green veg
Happy Wednesday eveyone!
- I'm saying that sarcastically. Can you tell?
On Monday it seems l set myself up for a bit of a fall. With all the best intentions in the world l said that on Wednesdays l would try to keep posting my recently developed recipes.
Low and behold just two days later when l should be writing up my latest post, I'm in the office working late.
I'm not going to complain though, l get paid 1.5x my hourly rate AND there's a special cupboard that gets opened at 6:30 full of sweets, fizzy drinks, biscuits and more!
l need to make the most if it because when l'm a trainee many of these perks will disappear.
A bit of local history
- Check out the inscription -
"Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Association"
I love Smithfields!
BUT less about work. l may have struggled to get pen to paper but I've still had plenty of time to cook!
Some of you will already be familliar with my healthy fish and chips. This is an evolution of that same dish!
The idea is that the flavour of the bread crumbs is ramped up with lashings of parmesan and traditionally ltalian herbs. The health factor comes from the oven roasted vine tomatoes cooked with garlic (which is great for your heart) and olive oil, one of the so called good fats.
No meal would be complete - or should l say balanced - without some carbs so the fish is lovingly served up with new potatoes roasted in the oven.
Have you noticed the real selling point of this meal yet though? It all just goes in the oven.
No pots and pans or complicated techniques!
And that's why this is a fab mid-week meal!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Italian Turkey Burgers

The leaning tower of Turkey Burgers

Last week I gave you the chance to vote on which recipe you’d like to see on the blog next in a poll on my Facebook page. I’d got a few ideas floating around but I’ve been so busy what with my final exams at law school and looking for a job, I hadn’t quite had the chance to put pen to paper so to speak.

Those of you that voted decided you wanted to see my Italian Turkey Burgers!
I used to make burgers a lot at university and over the last few months I’ve reignited my passion for them. Not only is it slowly but surely becoming BBQ season – the time during which burgers are king – I’ve also recently bought a burger press so I can finally produce professional looking patties.

The patties

What I love most about a burger is that you can flavour it with almost anything!
The meat you choose is your base. I find beef is particularly good with deep flavours. It is stronger than turkey mince so can take the addition of smokey BBQ flavours, as well as salty cheese. Turkey mince on the other hands requires more delicate flavouring.

This burger is very much a “light” burger – not only because it’s made with turkey mince which is leaner than beef mince, but because it is built up in its bun with fresh spinach, succulent beef tomato slices and creamy (low fat) mozzarella as well as sweet caramelised onion rings. Each layer is carefully selected to bring a fresh, summery (and Italian) flavour to the burger.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Goodbye Google Reader – what next?

So it’ll come as no surprise to most of you that Google Reader is no more. This has been a long time in the making and as of today Google Reader has finally gone for good.

When I first found Google Reader I thought it was the best invention in the world!!! So when I was looking for a replacement for it I had a really hard time.
There are a number of different alternatives out there and it really depends how you like to access the blogs you read and whether you’re willing to pay to get the service you want.

After spending ALOT of time trying out what’s on offer this is what I’ve found.

The most like Google Reader
If, like me, you don’t do change then is for you! It has been designed so that its layout is almost identical to Google Reader and it works in pretty much the same way. Simply type in the URL of the blog to which you want to subscribe and there you go, all the updates on that blog will appear just like they did on Google Reader.

Here’s what my looks like –

Good for gadgets

I always access my blog subscriptions when I’m comfortably sat on the sofa with my laptop and cup of tea in hand. This really made a difference to which blog reader I chose.
If however you like to access yours on the go (perhaps on your tablet or smartphone) then Feedly is definitely a contender! It doesn’t matter whether you’re and Android or an Apple either. Feedly is available for everyone and for free!

It’s got a really smooth interface and is pretty cool to look at. It’s really easy to customize so you can make it exactly how you want it!
But best of all? To have all of your current blog subscriptions transported onto Feedly all you need to do is sign in with your Good Reader account. Simple or what!

For blog lovers

I almost exclusively follow food blogs, but if you follow a whole variety of different blogs then Bloglovin will probably be good for you. It’s also great for finding new blogs to follow.
One of my favourite features is the ability to “like” a blog post which will help the blog gain popularity.


 The others
There are even more out there though! With just a quick Google search you can find loads of alternatives.

·         AOLReader is the brand spanking new RSS Feed reader from AOL. They’ve pretty much just seen a gap in the Google Reader market and dived straight in but it’s got its fans.

·         DiggReader is always getting quite popular so may be worth exploring

·         Newsblur is dubbed the alternative to Feedly. So if you don’t quite get on with Feedly Newsblur is probably the platform to try next.

·         Flipboard is a magazine style news reader so offers a bit of a change

Given up?
Now...for those of you who have just given up on all this RSS reader nonsense there is a slightly less conventional alternative...

Many of your favourite blogs will have either Twitter Feeds or Facebook Pages where you will be able to not only get updates to the latest posts, but you will also be able to chat with your favourite bloggers!
So, if none of these Google Reader replacements sounds like they’re for you why not just make the most of social media.

To follow the Kitchen Goddess (in training!) blog via social media like my Facebook Page or follow @KitchenGoddess3 on twitter!


So there you have it...there are plenty of ways you can keep following the Kitchen Goddess (in training!) blog as well as all of your other favourites.


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