Monday, 30 September 2013

Pinspiration (see what I did there?)

I don't need to tell you guys that Pinterest is the holy grail of the internet. Forget Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Pinterest is what the internet was made for. If you don't know what Pinterest is, where have you been?! It's a place to indulge your wildest fantasies and your store your vast collection of food porn. Effectively it's a place to store all your favourite photos and sites that everyone can share. If you see something cool you 'pin' it to a board and if someone that follows you agrees they will 'repin' it. It's a great way to show your personality online and have a sneak peak at other peoples lives as well.

Your homepage looks something like this. This shows you all the things that the people you follow have pinned, a little like twitter:

Then you have your homepage where you can see and manage all your boards: 

Having different boards is great for planning parties, weddings, gathering interior design inspiration, and drooling over food. One of my favourite boards at the moment is Autumn inspired:

Celebration ideas:

Food porn:

Dream homes:


I tend to get very carried away and end up pinning for hours. I am a bad pinner though and I follow practically nobody. Leave your links below and I will take a look at all of them, I need some new inspiration! 

You can follow me here. x

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Blueberry, Lime and Elderflower Drizzle Cake

Traybakes featured on the Great British Bake Off a few weeks ago and I realised that apart from brownies and flapjacks I knew very few. Luckily my Nana was on hand to help and gave me this recipe for blueberry and elderflower traybake. When you cut the cake you'll get a gorgeous layer of blueberries, and the lime gives it a real zing. If you can keep your hands off it for a while the drizzle will sink through the cake making each bite more delicious and gooey than the last. Keep in an airtight tin and take to work and share around (you'll get a lot of brownie points) or keep at home and eat the lot yourself, I won't tell.

What you'll need:

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 250g butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 6 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and a half limes, juice and zest
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 150g blueberries
  • 100ml elderflower cordial
(Enough to fit in a 22cm cake tin) 

Preheat your oven to 180c and grease and line your cake tin. You make this the same as any other sponge cake. Cream the butter and caster sugar together and then beat in the eggs. Sift in the flour and almonds and mix until smooth. Then add the vanilla, milk and the juice and zest of 1 of the limes. 

Pour into your tray and scatter over the blueberries. You could also use blackberries or raspberries. Bake for 30 minutes. Leave in the tin and mix together the elderflower cordial, granulated sugar and the zest and juice of the other half a lime in a jug. Pour over the warm cake and then leave in the tin to cool.  

Let me know how you get on. x

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Fig, Thyme and Goats Cheese Tart

I don't know about you guys but I have dug out my woolly socks, blankets and chunky knit jumpers and in between indulging my pinterest obsession have found the time to start baking PIE.  

What you'll need:
  • 4 sheets ready rolled filo pastry
  • 75g creme fraiche
  • 125ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 15g parmasan cheese
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 125g goats cheese
  • 4 fresh figs
  • Bunch of fresh thyme
  • Olive oil
(Serves 4)

Preheat the oven to 180c and brush an 18cm round loose-bottomed cake tin with a little olive oil. Cut each of the four filo pastry sheets in half so they are square and lay the first one in the tin like this. 

Brush with more olive oil and continue to layer the filo pastry (oiling between each layer) until you have run out and it looks something like this. 

Beat the creme fraiche, milk, parmasan, eggs and most of the thyme in a large bowl. Then crumble in the goats cheese. It will look a bit like half cooked scrambled egg. 

Pour into the tart case carefully, leaving some room at the top. Halve your figs and place on top, trying to place them more evenly than I did! Sprinkle over the remaining thyme and bake in the oven for 45 minutes until golden and set.

Curl up and enjoy. x

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Inside Look: Jenny Packham

Since Kate Middleton stepped out in one of her dresses at the ARK charity gala in 2011, Jenny Packham has become one of the UK's most coveted designers. Having dressed Helen Mirren, Christina Hendricks and Kate Winslet she is now celebrating her 25th year in the fashion industry. 

Earlier this month she let ES Magazine take a sneak peak around her North London home. Whereas her dresses express the purest elegance her house is an eclectic mix of colour, pattern and shape. Designed in partnership with the interior guru Richard Dewhurst every room is a feast for the eyes whist still maintaining a light an airy quality not often found in a collection such as this. 

I am lusting after everything in her house, especially the cornflower blue fireplace. Surely I can't be the only one who's devastated that polka dot dress was bespoke? x

Celebrity photos from Google Images
Jenny Packham photos from ES Magazine

Curried Parsnip Soup with Naan Bread Croutons

Summer is now closed for business. After a momentary heat wave last week we are back to drizzle, damp shoes and dark evenings. But not to worry, back to school stationary, Guy Fawkes Night and apple crumble are just a few reasons why Autumn is the best season. It’s a chance to pull out your favourite knitted jumper again and snuggle down in front of the TV to watch X Factor without feeling guilty. I have fully embraced comfort food this week with my favourite winter warmer soup.

What you'll need:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 naan breads
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 green chill, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 5 large parsnips, diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander 
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric 
  • 2 tbsp mango chutney
  • 2 pints water
  • 1 lime, juiced 
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sesame seeds
  • Mango chutney and plain yoghurt to serve
(Serves 4 but you can divide it up and freeze portions) 

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large pan (the biggest saucepan you have please!) and add the onion, chilli and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until the onion has softened. Add the parsnips and cook for another 3 minutes before adding the spices and cooking for 1 minutes, constantly stirring otherwise they will burn. 

Add the water and the mango chutney, season well and bring to the boil. When it's bubbling away reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until the parsnips are soft. You should be able to squish them against the side of a pan with a wooden spoon.

Meanwhile get started on your croutons. Cube your naan bread and chuck them into a frying pan with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Cook until golden and then add the sesame seeds and toast for a few minutes. Remove from the pain and lay on kitchen towel to soak up any excess oil.

Now comes the tricky bit. If you are using a food processor or a blender you MUST wait for the soup to cool completely before you blend this. It's a mistake you only make once and as my uni housemates will tell you it leaves your kitchen in a complete state. If you are using a handheld blender you can dive straight in and blitz until smooth. 

When you are ready to eat it you can just reheat the soup in the microwave (or on the hob for you old fashioned people). Sprinkle to croutons on top and dollop on the mango chutney and yoghurt.

Soup isn't the easiest thing to make look appealing but I can assure you it is damn tasty! x

Wednesday, 11 September 2013


I've mentioned before, they are a brand that I absolutely love. They operate as a marketplace, providing a platform for over 3000 small, creative UK businesses to sell their products. You can find so many unique and quirky items on the site from personalised wine stoppers to a cow that's actually a cupboard. I was asked to do a review for them and so chose this watch by Olivia Burton (c/o Kiki's). I picked it because I had been after a new watch for ages: I wanted something classic and simple but a littler different. I love the large, rose gold face and soft leather strap. There's loads of holes as well so if you have slim wrists like me it still fits well and isn't at all uncomfortable. 

There are over 100,000 products listed on so your guarenteed to find something for yourself and for everyone else. There is a distinct possibility I am going to do all my christmas shopping on this site.

Let me know if you stop by. x

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Three Bean Salad with Feta and Turmeric Potatoes

This is another recipe post that features my amazing salad tub (you can find a similar one here). I love this salad, its not the quickest to put together but it's super healthy and looks like sunshine on a plate. I absolutely love snap peas as well, they remind me of trips out to pick your own when we were younger and munching them in the back seat of the car on the way home. 

What you'll need:

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 broad bean pods
  • A handful of soy beans
  • As many snap peas as you like
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 100g feta cheese
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 new potatoes
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 25g butter
  • A handful of fresh basil
  • A handful of fresh chives
(Serves 1)

Heat 1 tablespoons of oil in a pan and gently fry the broad beans and onions for just over 5 minutes until the onions have softened. Remove from the heat and place on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

Slice the tomatoes in half and put on a plate. Sprinkle over the sugar and salt and microwave for 5 minutes (watch the sugar doesn't burn!). Remove from the microwave and drizzle over the remaining olive oil and leave to soak. 

Part-boil the potatoes in water seasoned with turmeric and then drain and fry in the butter for 5 minutes. Chop your herbs. 

Arrange all the bits in the tupperware, you can layer the beans and potatoes and then keep the herbs, cheese and olive oil tomatoes separate. 

Enjoy! x

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

A Great British Bake Off

Today at work we had our annual bake off. Inspired by this years GBBO the theme was all things British and the quality of entries we got was outstanding. Thanks to our partners even the room was kitted out! 

After a lot of sampling we finally crowned the winner (ey ey see what I did) - this absolutely fabulous 4 layer crown cake:

With a bit of help from Mary Berry I made these sheep muffins.

What you'll need:

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 250g soft margarine
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 175g plain chocolate chips
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 250ml milk
  • 250g icing sugar
  • Black writing icing
  • Brown ready roll icing
  • White ready roll icing
  • Marshmallows
(Makes 10)

Preheat the oven to 200c and line your muffin tray with cases. Mix the flour and baking powder and then add 50g margarine and rub into the flour using your fingers. When you're finished it should resemble fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the caster sugar and chocolate chips.

In another bowl mix the eggs, vanilla essence and milk then pour it into the dry mixture and stil quickly. You should have a slightly lumpy runny mixture (don't worry that this is more runny than normal cupcakes). Spoon evenly into the cases and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. 

While the muffins are cooling you can start making the toppings. Roll brown icing into ovals and slightly dent the top half in order to create a sort of nose shape. Roll two small brown balls for ears and two white balls for eyes. Use the black writing icing to create pupils and a cocktail stick to make the nostrils. 

When the muffins are completely cool mix the remaining butter with the icing sugar. This is never an exact science, just keep adding icing sugar until it tastes good! Spread the icing over the top of the muffins and then you're ready to assemble your sheep. Press the face onto the side of the muffin and then cover in marshmallows, press them in one by one. 

If you can bear to bite into these cuties they are delicious! x