Friday, 22 May 2015

Chargrilled Courgettes, Aubegine and Pepper Salad

Still dreaming about this salad.....I'm not lying, I promise! Recently, I've been constantly craving it, as it was just so tasty, but unfortunately, its one if I have all the ingredients, and a lot of time on hand to make it, even if i used the barbecue to speed up the process (actually thinking about that, it would be x10 quicker....ah never mind, you live and learn!).
grilled vegetable salad
I think we need to talk about the ingredients, in this salad though...In particular the olives; i love them so much, i reckon i could probably eat the whole jar in one sitting. Not to mention the courgettes, which i love so much, that i can't even wait, for the ones my Dad grows to be ready! And aubergines, my new found love, and i don't even care that my sister and Dad don't like them, because now I'm trying to find, loads of other recipes to use them in.
grilled vegetable salad
Feel free, to take out any vegetables you don't like. Can we also take a moment, to appreciate that this salad doesn't have any feta in (yep, I kinda addicted to it), but of course, feel free to add it: Personally, i would tear over mozzarella, to basically have heaven on plate. I also used sundried tomatoes chopped pieces, but feel free to chop up whole sundried tomatoes,as they are easier to find. Serve this salad on its own, or as a side dish.
grilled vegetable salad

Grilled vegetable salad

chargrilled vegetable salad


3 red peppers

3 aubergine
2 courgettes
2 red onions
1  large red chilli
1 garlic clove
6tsbp olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
12 whole sundried tomatoes
2 handful black olives( i used kalamata) 
fresh basil leaves

1. On large griddle pan/ saute pan/ barbecue, cook the peppers, aubergine, onions and courgettes, until softened and either browning, or have bar marks.

2. Meanwhile, mix together the oil, vinegar, finely chopped chilli and crushed garlic.
3. As the vegetables are done, add them into the dressing to marinate.
4. When all the vegetables are cooked, add in the olives, sundried tomatoes, basil and seasoning. Toss.
5. Serve, drizzle with more oil if wished.
Grilled Vegetable salad

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Lemon, Almond and Polenta Cake

With summer on its way...Hopefully. I start using lemon, in a whole lot more recipes. This is just the start of it, unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look on it. This cake is one of my new favourites,as its so moist and it's really lemony, unlike some recipes which lack flavour, unless accompanied with lemon icing, but this isn't one of them.
almond and lemon slice of cake
I also love almonds, so this cake was right up my street. I have also used polenta in the past in cakes see here, and love the unusual crunchy texture it gives. I also love how this cake is gluten free, so I can eat as much as I like without getting a sore tummy.
lemon and almond cake
Serve at afternoon tea, or as a easy summer dessert. Personally, i would chose the dessert option with greek yogurt, or if your feeling really fancy dollop on creme fraiche, sprinkle on thyme, or lemon thyme if your really trying to impress someone.

whole lemon, almond and polenta cake


200g butter

200g caster sugar
200g almond flour
100g polenta 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
2 lemons
125g icing sugar

1. preheat the oven to 180 °/ gas 4.

2. beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
3. in a separate bowl mix together the almonds, polenta and baking powder
4. beat in a little of the dry mix into the butter and sugar, followed by one egg
5. add the rest in, alternating between egg and the dry mix, finally beat in the lemon zest
6. place into your prepared tin, and into the oven for 40 mins, or until golden, and coming away from the sides
7. meanwhile, make the syrup: mix together the lemon juice and icing sugar, bring to the boil in a small saucepan (or in the microwave, until the sugar has dissolved.
8. once the cakes done, prick with a cake tester, pour over the syrup whilst the cakes are still hot. leave to cool fully in the tin
9. when cool, serve with greek yogurt and thyme if wished

Friday, 15 May 2015

Cheese and Tomato Scones

Don't judge a book by it's cover; is the saying, right? Not just the scones, but the photos were taken a year ago, and now look pretty shocking to me, sorry.The scones aren't incredible lookers either, but are one of my most baked  savoury thing of all time, and if i didn't get fat i would eat them every single day(well maybe, that's going to far!)
These were inspired by a cheese shop in Oamaru, New Zealand. Yep, they were so amazing that three years on, i can still(vaguely) remember them. They served beautifully rustic (less rustic, and more pretty than mine) but hey, I'm no professional cheese scone maker, scones topped with red onion and tomatoes, served warm from the oven, and slit with slices of flavoursome cheese.

I've just topped with sliced cherry tomatoes, but feel free to slice up red onion and put it on too. I also just used cheddar, but if you prefer another hard cheese then use that instead.

As you can see, these scones are so incredible that even my cat, Fleur, is fixated on them.


100g butter
450g self- raising flour
240ml milk
150g grated cheddar cheese, plus extra for topping
cherry tomatoes
slices of cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 220°/ gas 7.
2. Rub the flour and butter together to make breadcrumbs
3. Stir in the grated cheese
4. Pour in the milk, stir in using a knife
5. Bring the mixture together, and lightly knead
6. Tear chunks away from the dough, or roll out 
7. Place on a baking tray, top with the sliced cherry tomatoes and scatter with extra grated cheese.
8. Bake for 20 mins
9. When golden brown, remove from the oven, slice and pop in the sliced cheese.
10. Put back into the oven for 1 minute, or until the cheese has melted.
11. Serve immediately.  

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Grapefruit Meringue Tart

This for those fancy summer parties. When you want to impress someone, with a very pretty, but tasty dessert with a twist on a classic. I love lemon tart, so this grapefruit tart, I also love. It's so fresh and zingy, perfect for a evening summer party. It can easily be made in advance, but not more than a day as otherwise the pastry will go soggy. 
I decided to make individual portions, as I think they look cute, and it takes less time for the pastry to cook, and the curd to set. A larger tart would work just as well, then cut into slices. 
I have also left excess pastry around the edge, but feel free to tidy it up and make them neat. I piped around with Italian meringue which I then blowtorched, but you could also pipe it on top, to make it more like a traditional meringue tart. I garnished with mint and grapefruit, to add colour and texture, but if your really trying to impress, scatter edible flowers and gold leaf. 


For the pastry: 
375g flour
125g icing sugar
pinch of salt
140g butter
1 egg yolk

for the curd:
1 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin
3 tbsp cold water
115g unsalted butter
266g granulated sugar
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 cup fresh grapefruit juice
2 tsp grated grapefruit zest
1- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

fresh mint leaves

1. Make the pastry, rub in the butter with the flour, sugar and salt, until breadcrumb texture.
2. Add in the egg yolk and bring together.
3. lightly knead, roll out and line greased tins. freeze the pastry cases for about 30 mins.
4. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 190°/gas 5.
5. Fill the tart cases with baking beans, and bake blind for 15 mins, take out the beans. Bake for a further 10 mins or until golden
6. Whilst the cases are cooling, make the curd. Whisk together the water and gelatin, set aside.
7. In a bowl cream together the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy.
8. Slowly add the eggs and egg yolks, beat for 1 more minute.
9. Add in the grapefruit juice and mix. 
10. Pop over a pan of simmering water, whisking frequently, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.Remove from the heat, strain if needed.
11. Heat up the gelatin to dissolve.
12. Add the gelatin, zest and lemon juice to the curd, and whisk together. Adjust lemon juice to taste.
13. Pour into the cooled tart cases, pop into the fridge until set.
14. To serve pipe blobs of Italian meringue, and scatter grapefruit pieces and shredded mint.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

April Favourites 2015

Another month gone, another favourites. It doesn't seem that long ago i was writing my march favourites, but with two weeks in April being the Easter holidays, it went super quickly. 
Now into my favourite month, May, for obvious reasons, except maybe not parts of this one, luckily my birthdays on the bank holiday, so i have no worry of there being a test on my birthday. Plus I've only got one more week of college left, so no more commuting until September, which I'm super happy about.
1.Running Armband- Since the weathers been picking up, I've been wearing my shorts and no jacket which means i don't have any where to put my phone. I've been using this every time i go for a run.It don't slip or scratch, and fits quite tightly around the phone, which for a worrier like me, is definitely a good thing!
2. Asics Gel-Kayono 20- About once a year, i get new trainers for running in, as they wear down so quickly. These are my new ones and I'm in love, not just because on there maiden run they made me go faster, but of the bright turquoise colour. Plus there super comfy.
3. Wooden massage mouse- Bit of a weird one, but since i have increased my running day from about one (when i was on work experience)to three I've been getting sore shins some days (i blame the very dry ground).I massage my legs after a run with this, to prevent shins splints, so i can continue running as leading up to exams i get a bit stressed, and running tends to make me less stressed, so i don't want to be injured and can't run.
4. La Roche-Posay ANTHELIOS FACE ULTRA-LIGHT FLUID SPF50+ 50ml- With the sun shining a bit more,i thought that i would start being good, and start a (hopefully lifelong) habit of putting sunscreen on every day. I had been looking for a good sunscreen for quite a while, since the last one i had, kept causing spots; this one is super light and sits nicely underneath makeup. Plus it doesn't have the distinctive sunscreen smell, which i don't mind, i just don't smelly things on my face.

5.Lindt 70% Dark Chocolate- Well what can i say, more chocolate. This ones my fave, because its so smooth, but I've been craving any dark chocolate, all month. Plus dark chocolate is good for you right? Well that's what they say in the newspapers. 
*contains no sponsored content

What have you been loving this month? Let me know.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Roasted Butternut Squah, Oregano, Watercress and Feta Salad

Yet another salad. But it's nearly summer, and summer is what salads are for; so sorry there won't be any stopping just yet. Although this salad is only half in season, when watercress is at its peak in the UK its really tasty and can lightens up the dish as well as the fresh herbs.
summer salad
I kept the squash as the main ingredient, but for a lighter meal just bulk it up with more watercress, and adapt portions accordingly. Just don't eat this salad if you going out, or tone down the garlic if you are, because this is defiantly one to keep the vampires away at night.
I used butternut squash as I had to use it up but feel free to swap with pumpkin if you prefer. I left this skin on because it gives a more intense flavour but if you don't like the texture feel free to peel the squash if you don't like the texture. 


1 large butternut squash
olive oil
1 bulb garlic (crushed cloves, skin left on)
1 tsp chilli flakes
4-5 springs oregano

for the dressing
2 tsp red wine vinegar
6 tsp olive oil
salt & pepper

large handfull watercress
150g feta cheese

1. preheat the oven to 200°/ gas 6
2. cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. cut into wedges
3. tip into a roasting tin and toss in olive oil, chilli flakes, oregno ,garlic cloves and salt, roast for about 30mins
4. meanwhile make the dressing whisk together the ingredints and  adjust seasoning 
5. when the butternut is cooked drizzle over the dressing, spinkle with feta and add the watercress and toss together
6. Serve 

Friday, 1 May 2015

Warm Coconut and Spinach Dhal

As my family and anyone that knows me well, will tell you, I love lentils. The green puy lentils are my favourite, but the red lentils in a curry, are good too! Hence this curry. Not to mention, how good they are for you; which is partly why I started eating them (not mentioning how tasty they were when I first tried them, the green lentils was served with confit duck; So of course it was delicious).

   This curry is very creamy, so if you prefer a lighter curry, then swap half of the coconut milk with vegetable or chicken stock. If you want it a bit spicier, feel free to add finely diced fresh red or green chili, which I would do if my youngest sister wasn't eating it(shes doesn't like extremely spicy foods, and knowing me i would make it too spicy for her!).
Serve with rice or naan bread if you like them. I served it with paratha bread, which my mum buys from a specialist Indian food shop, but feel free to make your own. They are incredibly buttery and moreish , and sorry but that after naan bread will never be quite as good unless is homemade(but then all bread is great homemade).


250g red lentils 
1 onion
1 garlic clove
20g fresh ginger
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
500g fresh spinach
400 ml coconut milk
200 ml water
1/2 lemon, juice

1. Cook the lentils for about 8 mins, drain
2. Meanwhile finely chop the onion and garlic. Peel and grate the ginger.
3. Sweat the onion until soft and add in the garlic, ginger and spices.cook for 1 min
4. Add the spinach, and cook for 2-3 mins
5. Add the coconut milk and water
6. Pop in the lentils, mix in and cook for 5 mins or until hot
7. Season and mix in lemon juice to taste.
8. Serve