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Category Archives: recipe

Five Friday Favourites #10

Phew this has felt like a long old week! However, there have been some highlights…

Holidays

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This week, I have booked not one, but two holidays for the next few months: a Spanish jaunt with Ian and a trip to Croatia with my Mum to celebrate a special birthday together. Just knowing they are in the diary has made me feel so much more positive – we even went out for burgers last night to celebrate!

Night Masks

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I am a big fan of these ‘sleeping masks’ and I have been using this Rose one from Sephora this week. I manage to make one of these pods last a few days and my skin has felt softer and more plumped in the mornings.

This Country

I have discovered a new comedy and it is so spot on if you grew up in a rural setting! Ian and I have giggled non-stop at this and recommended it to several friends.

Memory Foam Slippers

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These beauties from Primark have not left my feet and are so comfortable. They must be my 5th or 6th pair and I love them.

Mac ‘n’ Cheese

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I made my Mac ‘n’ Cauliflower Cheese this week and it was even better than I remembered! I made a huge batch which made a couple of dinners for us and was a delicious treat.

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Five Friday Favourites #8

A slightly belated Friday Favourites this week but I have been away this weekend and wanted to switch off and relax a bit, so better late than never!

Weezer’s White Album

I used to absolutely LOVE this band (the Green Album is one of my all-time favourites) but I didn’t know what to expect when I listened to their new album. Luckily, it didn’t disappoint and I have been playing it non-stop for the past week. My favourite tracks are ‘California Kids’ and ‘Jacked Up’.

A New Lasagne Recipe

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I get really excited when I discover a new twist on a classic recipe and I followed Gino D’Acampo’s lasagne recipe which adds homemade pesto to the white sauce, giving it a new flavour that really works well.

Ricky Gervais

I went to see Ricky Gervais’ new stand-up show ‘Humanity’ this week. He actually had a bit of a funny turn and had to leave the stage for a bit and we weren’t sure whether it was all part of the act or serious! As well as the live show, we had amazing pizzas beforehand at Beerd – the chestnut mushroom, truffle and parmesan one was divine!

The OA

We finished watching this Netflix series this week and whilst it wasn’t one of my all-time favourites, it was entertaining and a bit different…if a little weird.

Banana Bread

It feels like I haven’t baked anything for ages so I was really excited to try a slice of this. I made banana bread with Mini Eggs and hazelnuts and it turned out to be so delicious!

Recipe – Lime and Coriander Chicken

In an effort to eat a little better after the over-indulgence that was Christmas, I have been playing around with different ways to flavour my food to make it a little bit more exciting. Let’s face it, we all know courgetti is never going to taste better than a proper bowl of spaghetti but with the right herbs and spices, it can taste pretty good!

I have made this recipe every week for the past three weeks and every time, I think how fresh and tasty it is. I have stuck to chicken breasts but I’m sure it would work well with turkey or even pork.

Ingredients

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The juice of two limes

A handful of chopped fresh coriander

A good glug of olive oil

A pinch of dried chilli flakes

2 cloves of crushed garlic

Half a teaspoon of paprika

Salt and pepper

4 x chicken breasts

How to make it

  • Make the marinade by mixing together the lime juice, coriander, olive oil, chilli flakes, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl

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  • Add the chicken breasts and ensure they are well coated in the marinade

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  • Leave for at least 2 hours (I pop some clingfilm over the bowl and put it in the fridge)
  • To cook, heat a large frying or griddle pan on a medium-high heat and cook for 8-10 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through
  • I like to serve mine with a giant cous cous salad with the juices from the pan drizzled over

(These chicken breasts are also really tasty cold in a salad for lunch the next day!)

Recipe – Mince Pie Pastries

After yesterday’s blog post, I had a little notification pop up on my WordPress app informing me that it was actually my 1000th post which feels like something of a milestone! I can flit between hobbies but I am so pleased I have actually stuck with this one as it brings me real happiness to write blog posts. I know my photography is not the slickest, and there is the occasional spelling mistake or two, but I do love looking back on what I have written and seeing how much things have changed.

Today, I wanted to share a really easy festive baking recipe that is a twist on a classic mince pie and would make a perfect breakfast pastry if you have family staying over Christmas.

Ingredients

A sheet of puff pastry (feel free to make your own but I always buy puff pastry!)

A jar of mincemeat (again, you can make your own. I bought some from Sainsburys and jazzed it up with some extra cranberries, mixed peel and a dash of orange liquor)

How to make it

  • Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 4/ 180°C
  • Roll your pastry out on a floured surface
  • Spoon over the mincemeat, leaving a gap of about an inch the whole way round

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  • Gently but firmly roll the pastry up into a swiss roll-style log

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  • Slice into rounds about 2cm thick

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  • Put each round between a sheet of greaseproof paper and lightly flatten with a rolling pin or your palm

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  • Place the slices onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper

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  • Bake for around 20 minutes until golden brown

These went down a treat with my colleagues and were tasty warm and once cold. The filling can catch and caramelise on the bottom if you’re not careful so make sure they don’t overcook and burn.

Recipe – Grapefruit Drizzle Cake

I have a fool-proof drizzle cake recipe that I have made with lemon, lime, orange and now…grapefruit! Not everyone likes this fruit but it is floral and fragrant in this recipe and loses that sour, bitter edge.

Ingredients

175g of butter, at room temperature

275g of granulated sugar (100g of this is for the drizzle)

1 large grapefruit (you will need both the zest and the juice)

200g of self-raising flour

Half a teaspoon of baking powder

3 eggs

How to make it

  • Begin by greasing your loaf tin and preheating your oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 4
  • In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and 175g of the sugar

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  • Zest your grapefruit and add the zest and half the juice to the mixing bowl (save the rest for the glaze!)
  • Mix in the flour, baking powder and eggs and mix well

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  • Pour this batter into the loaf tin and bake for about 35 minutes until it is golden brown
  • Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool
  • While your cake is cooling, make your grapefruit drizzle by combining the remaining juice of your grapefruit and the remaining 100g of sugar
  • Turn your cake out onto a chopping board or wire rack and pierce the top of it with a small skewer or tooth pick several times

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  • Carefully spoon over the grapefruit sugar drizzle, making sure the whole cake is covered and it starts to drip down the sides too

  • Allow enough time for the sugar drizzle to crystallise then cut into slices

Sunday Summary #36 and #37

Life

Hello! It’s been a while since I sat down to write but things have been pretty busy.

Firstly, we have been on a mini European cruise visiting Sweden, Estonia, Russia and Finland. I had such a great time and will be writing a blog post about each place soon.

Sadly, my summer holidays have come to an end so I have been trying to get my head back into work mode again and get my body used to 6:30am starts! I did however enjoy my last day of freedom today and met friends for a morning of food and shopping at Frome Market where I had the most amazing meatball sub too.

We’re also having our driveway done which has meant further chaos at home but it is almost finished and so worth it.

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I mentioned in my last weekly post that our village pub was closing. Well, things have moved on quite a bit and the villagers have taken over! The pub has reverted back to its previous name of The Kings Arms and will be staffed by local volunteers for drinks until a buyer is found. I am a firm believer that you should support local businesses and we will be continuing to visit on a weekly basis.

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I finished watching all 6 series of Sex and the City and even squeezed in the two films…a summer well spent!

We finished watching The Five (a good British drama with a slightly far-fetched ending) and are now watching The Night Of which is excellent!

I also finished the two books set by my book club this week and have started reading The Sister which is set in Bath.

Food

We ate really well on holiday! In Stockholm I had the most delicious traditional lunch of an open prawn and egg sandwich on rye bread followed by a cinnamon roll.

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On our ship, there was an abundance of seafood including unlimited prawns and caviar. There was also lots of pickled food and since coming home, I am addicted to gherkins!

I was quite partial to honey beer, served in Estonia.

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With the return of the Great British Bake Off, I have found an urge to bake again. I made a pink grapefruit drizzle cake last week and am planning a lemon and blueberry cake this week.

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I was browsing through my blog for some food inspiration this weekend and found the recipe for a really simple paella. I made it again and it was so tasty!

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Beauty

I raided my drawer of beauty samples and minis for our holiday and fell in love with this Verbena body lotion from L’Occitane en Provence. A fresh, lemony scent, it was a perfect summer product.

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Ian earned some serious husband points this week when he came home with a new bottle of Essie nail varnish for me. Cabana Boy is a lovely pearlescent grey which I wore all this week.

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Fashion

I bought another pair of my favourite Topshop jeans this week in a slightly darker shade for Autumn. These Lucas jeans are the perfect fit and I wore my last pair all summer.

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There’s not much else to report on the fashion front as it’s that funny time in between Summer and Autumn where you have no idea what to wear!

Recipe – Peruvian Lamb

I have rediscovered my cooking mojo this summer. I’m really enjoying flicking through my recipe books for inspiration then spending an afternoon in the kitchen, making something delicious.

My good friend Cat bought me an amazing Peruvian cookbook ‘Ceviche’ after we visited the restaurant of the same name in London and it is packed with vibrant, tasty recipes with lovely photography too.

This recipe is a bit of a twist on a lamb stew and is cooked in beer! You also make a delicious pesto/ sauce from fresh coriander and orange which gives a real zing to the dish. I had the rest of this for my lunch today and it was so tasty.

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Ingredients

A good glug of olive oil

About 1kg of lamb – I bought two trays of diced lamb leg with plenty of fat on

2 onions, roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 chilli or 1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

A handful of fresh coriander – I used a whole mini plant bought at the supermarket

The juice of one orange

1 bottle of beer – I used Corona

400-500g of new potatoes, cut into quarters

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

200g of broad beans or peas

Salt and pepper

How to make it

  • In a large pan or casserole dish (I used my big Le Creuset) on a medium heat, add some oil and brown the lamb on all sides.

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  • Set the lamb aside and in the same pan, add the onions and gently fry until soft

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  • Next, add the garlic and after a few minutes stir through the chilli and cumin

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  • Return the lamb to the dish and stir well so that the meat is coated in the spices

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  • Season well with salt and pepper
  • In a mini-blender, blitz together the coriander and orange juice (keep a few sprigs of coriander for decoration)

  • Add two-thirds of this sauce to the meat then pour over the bottle of beer…obviously treating yourself to a bit first!

  • Bring to the boil then simmer on a low heat with a lid on for one and a half to two hours – the meat will be falling apart after this
  • Add the potatoes and red pepper and simmer for another 20 minutes to half an hour until the potatoes have softened

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  • Add the beans (mine were frozen) until soft and the rest of the orange and coriander sauce
  • I found I had to reduce the sauce slightly by increasing the heat for about 5 minutes
  • Serve on a bed of fresh spinach or with some quinoa…and another beer!

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