Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Gruyere Biscuits

The ultimate party food, to compliment champagne or prosecco. The saltiness paired with the fruitiness of the wine, is a match made in heaven. Plus, they're super easy, and quick to make. They're incredibly moreish, and suit to most people's tastes. They're not complicated, and there isn't too many ingredients to remember: just make these, and buy some M&S canapes, stock up on alcohol (which from my experience, is the only thing anyone actually cares about), then that's every single Christmas, and New Year party sorted.cheese biscuits
I would recommend at least doubling these, if not tripling these, because you'll find they disappear very quickly. I left them out for 30 mins, and they were all gone by the time i got back, and there were only 2 other people at home (I'm pretty sure a cheese biscuit eating fairy came!!).cheese biscuitsThese can also be made with Parmesan, and its super easy to make different flavoured ones. Finely chopped up rosemary or thyme, would work well, or sprinkle with a pinch of paprika for a bit of heat. The dough can be made well ahead, and kept in the fridge or frozen for later use. The baked biscuit will keep well, in an airtight container for up to a week.
cheese biscuits
cheese biscuits
cheese biscuits
cheese biscuits
75g plain flour
75g cold butter
75g Gruyere cheese
salt and pepper

1. rub the butter and flour together, until it resembles breadcrumbs
2. add the cheese, and gently knead to form a dough
3. wrap, and chill for 10 mins in the fridge
4. meanwhile preheat the oven to 200c.
5. place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out quite thin, and cut out approx 5cm rounds using a cutter (or glass)
6. bake for 10mins (leave room for the biscuits to spread)
7. once golden around the edges, remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with salt and pepper
8. leave to cool completely before serving.

cheese biscuits

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Ginger and Lime Drizzle Cake

 If you've been reading my blog for a while, then you know i love a drizzle cake, or any cake that contains some form of citrus fruit. Oh, and that I'm not very good at doing seasonal baking, but here you have a combination, with the freshness of the lime, and the warmth from the ginger, so is great if you want a light and fresher alternative to a Christmas cake or ginger cake, to serve at Christmas; handy if you have a warm weather Christmas. And as promised more Christmas food is coming super soon.
cakeFresh and citrus cakes always perk me up, and I love making them when the suns shining, but to be honest when its grey and miserable, and considering its the 1st of December, nothing has quote hit the spot, like my filo pastry mince pies and may, or may not, have had two yesterday(just eating my mums and sisters for them, since they can't, obviously). cake
I personally love coconut, and thought it added something different, but if you don't like coconut, replace it with ground almond, or if your allergic just replace with more plain flour. I also had an extra lime, so added the zest the the drizzle mixture, as i think the speckles of green look pretty. If your serving it for someone special, top with chopped crystallised ginger for an extra ginger hit.


200g butter
175g caster sugar
4 limes
3 large eggs
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 heaped tsp ground ginger
50g dessicated coconut
4 balls of stem ginger, chopped
2 tbsp milk
35g granulated sugar
3 tbsp stem ginger syrup

1. preheat the oven to 180°/gas 4, and line and grease a loaf tin 
2. beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
3. gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition.add in the zest of the limes
4. gently fold in the sifted flour, ginger and baking powder, along with the coconut and stem ginger.
5. add in the juice of 2 limes and the milk. spoon the mixture into a prepared tin (don't worry if the mixture looks slightly curdled mine did this and was absolutely fine).
6. bake for 1hr or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean
7. meanwhile mix the juice of the remaining 2 limes, granulated sugar and the ginger syrup
8. once the cake has cooked immediately spoon over the drizzle. cool fully in the tin


Friday, 20 November 2015

Roasted Carrots ,Chickpeas ,and Lemon Quinoa Salad

Just when you thought it was over; I go and give you another salad recipe. This is the salad, I'm most likely to take to college, as it's super tasty and good for you, and a more interesting than a sandwich, and cheaper than the canteen. Plus, its super easy to pack in a box, and its not too smelly for the train, which is my most common lunch place, since we hardly ever get a break.
roasted carrot and lemon quinoa salad
I know salads are a summer thing, but since this one is colourful and filling, I can eat it any time of the year. I promise comfort food, and more Christmas recipes will be coming soon, as well as party foods. Plus, the carrots and chickpeas can be served warm, and are lightly spiced, so are more suited to this time of year. Not to mention, that the other side of the world is in spring at the moment (I'm obviously thinking of them in this post).
This is super easy to make on Sunday nigh,t and it'll last for the whole week. Have a couple variations each day to prevent yourself getting bored. Toss with rocket or spinach to bulk the quinoa out. Or try this recipe, if you just have the quinoa left.
Since my sister was eating this, I didn't add harrissa to the chickpeas and carrots, but if you like a little bit of heat, add about 1 1/2 tbsp once the chickpea have been added.I used a mixture of red, white, and black quinoa, just because it looks pretty, but a don't think it has any more health benefits, so feel free to use ordinary quinoa.
quinoa salad with coriander and feta
roasted carrot and chickpea healthy salad

750g carrots
230g chickpeas
2 tsp cumin powder
Olive oil
1 lemon
Salt and pepper
375g Quinoa (with leftovers)
Handful coriander 
100g Feta

1. Preheat the oven to 180c
2. Chop the carrots into even sized pieces, toss in cumin powder and olive oil. Pop in the oven until the carrots are cooked.
3. Meanwhile cook the quinoa
4. Once cooked drain the quinoa, toss in a lemon vinaigrette( lemon zest & juice, mustard, olive oil and seasoning, to taste)
5. When the carrots are almost tender, toss in the chickpeas until warm, coat in Harissa paste and more cumin if needed
6. To serve plate the quinoa, top with the carrots and chickpea, crumble over the feta and sprinkle the coriander on top.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

My Christmas Cake

As soon as it gets towards the end of November, you go into any supermarket, and i can almost grantee you, there will be no currants, marzipan or royal icing left on the shelves, as everyone rushes to make there Christmas cakes, and Christmas puddings. So, if you're super organised, and haven't left the hunt for currants until now, and just looking for a recipe: I'm obviously biased, but this is my favourite one (even better than my college's, because wow,how much more booze can you fit into a cake?!).
Christmas cake decoration idea
With just the right amount of alcohol for most taste buds, soaked into the fruit it will please most people. If you like a bit more alcohol; Simple, just soak it in a bit more, and feed it with a bit more! I added the almonds as i love the surprise crunch against all the plump fruit, plus i just generally love almonds, but if you don't swap with an extra 50g of currants. 
christmas cake decoration
And yes, you did read the title correctly, I was super organised last year and photographed the Christmas cake on the day, and saved it. Not that I was organised in writing the post, and still manage to be still writing it the night before, and morning.Though i will praise myself, for writing it and putting it up before "Stir up Sunday", this Sunday on the 22nd, which is traditionally the day you make the Christmas cake, and the pudding, so they both have time to mature before Christmas.
This recipe is super adaptable, if you don't like alcohol soak the fruit in the juice of 1 orange. Feed the cake as little, or as often as you like. I also swapped glacé cherries, for an extra 25g of raisins, and an extra 25g of sultanas, but feel free  to put them in, or sometimes i add in sour cherries which I prefer.Christmas cake
Christmas cake side shot
slice of christmas cake side shot showing almonds and fruit

450g currants
200g sultanas
200g raisins
50g mixed peel
3 tbsp brandy
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp mixed spice
50g chopped almonds
225g soft dark brown sugar
1 dtsp treacle
4 eggs
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon

apricot jam
royal icing

1. the night before, mix the dried fruit and mixed peel, with the brandy and leave to soak overnight at least 12 hrs
2. cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
3. gradually add in the eggs
4. gently fold in sifted flour and spices
5. stir in the fruit and peel, nuts, treacle and the zest.
6. spoon into a prepared cake tin, and level the cake
7. tie a band of paper around the outside of the tin, and cover the cake with a double layer of greaseproof paper with a 50p sized hole in the middle.
8. bake the cake at 140°, gas 1, for 4 1/2 
9. remove from the tin and leave to cool
10. make holes with a cocktail stick and feed, repeat every 2 weeks or as wished, leading up to Christmas day
11. when ready glaze the cake with warm apricot jam, to help the marzipan stick and cover
12. decorate as wished
Christmas cake recipe

Friday, 6 November 2015

Tabbouleh with Halloumi

I would like to apologies, because the weather is getting cooler, and I'm still giving you salad recipes. Oh, and the theme of salads with cheese, so apologies in advance if you don't like the sight of cheese, but then why are you even reading my blog. Haloumi is quickly rising in the ranks of favourite cheeses, its just so salty and warm and just so good: I've been finding ways of eating with something middle eastern, instead of just eating it on its own. Luckily I love tabbouleh, so I made it to have an excuse to eat more halloumi!!
So, in an attempt to say goodbye the summer weather and salads, i decided to make this salad. If you have been reading my blog for a while then you'll know that the weather won't stop me eating salads, but it certainly slows me down a bit!
It's Definitely one of my favourite salads as it's so fresh and herby. Plus it's super filling too. I personally love to eat it at lunch or as a light dinner, but if want a more substantial meal, serve with lamb. If you don't like halloumi feel free to remove it.

150g bulgur wheat
2 bunches of mint (100g each), stalks removed
1  large bunch flat leaf parsley (150g)
600g large tomatoes
1/2 red onion
2 lemon, juice and zest 
9 tsp olive oil
salt & pepper


1. cook the bulgur wheat until tender, drain
2. whilst its cooking, chop the parsley and mint
3. add in the chopped tomatoes, and finely chopped red onion
4. add in the bulgur wheat, along with the lemon juice, zest and olive oil. season to taste.set aside
5. meanwhile, on a hot pan, grill the halloumi until golden brown on both sides.
6. once the halloumi is cooked, serve and enjoy

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Raw Flapjack Squares

If you wanted a quick and healthy, but filling snack, then nothing fits the bill more perfectly than this. Perfect for making the night before, then chucking it in your bag in the morning. Before eating it as your lunch, on the train home, because people consistently don't give you a break ,and you end up eating lunch at home around 5, which is almost tea time. So this is the perfect snack, to keep back the hunger, without missing tea. 
As you can see in the photos i did two versions of this: One, i left the oats whole, to give more of a bite, and make it more flapjack like; Two, i blended the oats up finer to make oat flour, and make it more like a soft oaty cookie. 
I used chocolate chips in one of the bars, but not in the other, and can't say which i preferred, just what i was in the mood for. If you don't like chocolate, but still want to add something in, dried fruit such as apricot would work well, or if you're on of those extremely healthy types, add in seeds such as sesame or chia.


2 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp almond milk or other dairy free milk (i used oat)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup oat flour (i just blended the same amount of oats up, until fine)
3/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup chocolate chips/ chunks 

1. melt the coconut oil
2. stir in the milk and sugar
3. mix in the flour, almonds and chocolate if using
4. press flat between greaseproof paper, and pop in the fridge until firm
5. cut into squares or bars, then keep in the fridge until consumed 

Friday, 25 September 2015

Griddled Courgette with Mozzarella & Sweet Chilli Dressing

Sadly, the only courgette recipe this year (completely forgetting about this one). Unless you don't like courgettes, then "yay" for you!! Luckily for both my sisters, Dad only planted 2 plants, and this year wasn't a very good for year, for growing courgettes! Meaning it was a very sad year for me. Normally, we grow so many that we end up giving loads away, but this year we had to buy some, i know shock horror!
Since i love courgettes, and I'm always trying to find new recipes, when i came across this one, i did i little excited dance. Its fits my claim "i could eat mediterranean food every day, for the rest of my life" (not that i am) quite nicely. With several of my most loved ingredients, namely the mozzarella (of course, it's in the top 5 favourite cheeses list!!) and the basil.
The sauce is quite sweet on its own, but paired with the courgettes, it balances out. The sauce is also very versatile, and would work well with salmon and chicken, or if you reduce the sugar, it would make a great dipping sauce. 
Serve as a side dish, with fish or chicken, or as a light lunch with added salad  leaves to bulk it up a bit. We had it with grilled mackerel, and my quinoa salad, not the most well planned, and everything works together beautifully meal, but one of the tastiest. 
100g caster sugar
150ml rice wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 large chillis, deseeded and finely chopped
700g courgettes
1 ball of mozzarella
olive oil
basil leaves, to finish

1. In a small pan, heat the sugar and vinegar with 150ml water. once the sugar has dissolved, add in the garlic and the chilli. Simmer gently for 20mins until reduced and syrupy. Set aside to cool completely.
2. Slice the courgettes finely. Toss in oil and seasoning.
3. Heat the griddle pan or barbecue  to hot.Cook the courgettes, until tender and charred.
4. Arrange on a serving plate, tear over the mozzarella and drizzle with the dressing. Scattered with basil. 

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Orange and Poppy Seed Cake

I'm using the excuse that it wasn't my oven; As my defence, that the cake wasn't cooked enough; It obviously wasn't that, I didn't read the recipe properly, and the oven was supposed to be set at 160 instead of 180. That's also obviously, why the background has been occasionally changing recently, since I've been making full use of the house my mum house/dog sits for; by borrowing their kitchen of course! 
This is now the second citrus fruit, and poppy seed cake in a row, after this one. I do like them, I promise!(well it was my birthday cake) I'm not just trying to use the packet of poppy seeds up, like you all think. I love the slight crunch, and the nuttiness they give the cake. If your making the cake for a special occasion, then toasting the seeds will enhance their flavour.

If you don't like orange marmalade, then feel free to change it to a different marmalade, such as lime, or lemon. Also feel free to swap the marmalade top, with a sugar crust (just mix granulated sugar and orange juice together, use this recipe for it). If you don't like poppy seeds, then feel free to take them out.
3 tbsp thick cut marmalade
150g plain yogurt
3 eggs
175g caster sugar
200g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
175g butter
zest of orange
5 tsp poppy seeds

for the sticky top:
juice 1/2 orange

5 tbsp marmalade

1. preheat the oven to 160°c. 
2. butter and line a loaf tin 
3. melt the marmalade into a small pan or microwave, then beat in the yogurt and leave to cool
4. put the remaining cake ingredients into a bowl and beat until smooth
5. quickly beat in the yogurt and marmalade mix, and pour into the tin( it will be quite runny).Don' smooth and level the top to encourage a crack in the middle.
6. bake for 1hr- 1hr 10mins, until golden and well risen, loosely cover if its getting too brown
7. meanwhile, while heat the orange juice and marmalade in a small pan, until combined and thick, but still runny glaze
8. spoon over the topping, while it's still warm