Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Nectarine, Parma Ham & Mozzarella Salad

I started a new job in the big smoke last week. When you're working a busy office job it can be so tempting just to run downstairs to the nearest fast food place but wait! home-made lunches don't have to be boring. There are loads of quick and easy things you can make the night before and just put together at the office. Here's round one! 

What you'll need:
  • 2 slices of parma ham
  • 1 nectarine
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint
  • Zest and juice of a quarter of a lime
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • Half tsp of sugar
  • Half tsp of dijon mustard
  • Half a ball of mozzarella
  • Salad leaves, cucumber, celery etc
(Serves 1)

Slice your nectarine and griddle for about one minute. I used a George Foreman (slightly obsessed) but you could just fry them - don't use any oil though! The leave to cool. Meanwhile prepare your dressing, just blitz together the mint, lemon zest and juice, white wine vinegar, sugar and mustard.

Pour it into a small pot to take with you. With salads like this it's always better to keep your ingredients separate until you actually want to eat it otherwise it will go all soggy and horrible. Slice up all your salad stuff and put into a tub with the mozzarella. Keep the nectarine and parma ham separate. My mum picked up this tub from a home fair at some point but I'm sure you could find them in Wilkinsons or somewhere similar, they are so useful!

So that's the first one! You'll be looking forward to lunch I promise. x

p.s. I added a bag of Sainsbury's sea salt and pepper croutons to mine.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

A Weekend In The City

After a lovely relaxing weekend in Bristol, last weekend myself and some friends made the hop across the pond (and then a bit further) to Germany. I've been to Germany once before to a Christmas market when I was about 11 so was excited to go back. It's one of those countries I think as Brits undervalue - yes it doesn't have the beaches but it's cities are amazing, whatever your scene. 

We started the weekend (on Thursday) in Hamburg and got straight on the German beers. Lots of them come in these really cool clip bottles (like Kilner jars). I tried to save a few of the lovely blue ones but I lost them along the way. Friday we spent the day sight-seeing like typical tourists and even found a fairground in the evening to pre-drink at before heading to our friends DJ set at Stellwerk.

Saturday we took a four hour bus ride to Berlin. Berlin is an absolutely crazy city, so many parties in abandoned warehouses. We also had to take the opportunity to go and see the Berlin Wall - there was a lot more left of it than I thought there would be. On the Sunday we went to an amazing flea market, there was so much I wanted to buy but having to stick to hand luggage meant I had to keep my purse in my bag! 

If you ever get the chance to go to Germany you really should! x

Monday, 12 August 2013

A Weekend By The Sea

My sister has the most stunning house. She lives right on the coast, near Bristol and her kitchen opens up onto a balcony with a direct view of the sea (yes you can hear a hint of jealously in my voice!). I love going down as it's just the perfect place to relax and she always spoils me with food. 

Hope you had a good weekend folks. x

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Lord Palmerston - NW5

My Grandpa came into town for lunch yesterday for work so as usual we all went to lunch. We have our favourite spots around Kentish Town (check out Rosella's and Tufnell Park Tavern) but today we headed up to The Lord Palmerston on Dartmouth Park Hill. Part of a mediumish chain it's one of those gorgeous gastro pubs that I'm such a fan off, and it's dog friendly too!

(Interior photos take from their website)

Isn't this set-up perfect for a kitchen?! The menu isn't that explanatory, it's a bit pot luck but I like that. Pops went for the Peri Peri Chicken and I went for the baby squid salad (which came with a scrummy Asian dressing), followed up with an insanely good but light chocolate brownie, which someone else obviously wanted a piece of! 

Keep your eyes out for the pretty cute guy behind the bar too. Website and info here. x

Friday, 2 August 2013

Classic Victoria Sponge Cake

Call me boring but Victoria sponge is my favourite kind of cake. Its classic, and you can indulge in one too many slices without slipping into a chocolate coma. The lovely people from Baking Mad (the people behind Allinson/Billington's/Silver Spoon etc) sent me some goodies so I thought I'd show you my all time favourite cake recipe.

For the cake:
- 6oz butter
- 6oz golden caster sugar
- 6oz self raising flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 3 eggs, beaten

For the icing:
- 5oz butter
- 10oz icing sugar
- Freshly chopped strawberries

Preheat your oven to 180c and grease your baking tins. You can either use two to make a sandwich or one to make a nice big cake (the latter will be more moist). Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy and then add in the egg and beat until smooth. Slowly sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixture and fold in until all combined. And that's it - easy peasy! Either divide the mixture evenly between tins or whack all in one and cook for 20 minutes to 40 minutes depending on which one you've chosen. When it's done the top should be springy and a metal skewer should come out clean. Transfer the cake onto a wire rack and leave to cool. Meanwhile mix the icing sugar and butter together to make buttercream - if you find that it's a bit stiff add a splash of milk. Pour some boiling water in a jug and soak a metal palette knife, this will make it way easier to spread the icing. Put a dollop in the middle of the cake and spread to the edges. Pile the strawberries on top.

Hope you enjoy - head over to Baking Mad for more recipe tips and inspiration. x