Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Sandwich Sessions, #1 Fish Finger Sandwich with Homemade Tartar Sauce

A food fanatic like myself  often gets asked "What's your favourite food?" and oh my I have so many, I'm not sure I could possibly pick a favourite... but one of my favourite food groups is the sandwich, and yes I truly believe that the sandwich is a food group. Comforting and so versatile I don't think there is anything humble about a good sandwich, they are the perfect food often H and I will just have a good sandwich for our dinner and that's just fine and dandy with us.

My eldest little sister (who blogs over here) gave me the idea yesterday that I should do a blog on sandwiches and whilst I'm loyal to this blog only I'm going to make this a little series (maybe a link up one day) and every couple of weeks I'm going to show you how to take your sandwiches to a whole other level and enjoy this most perfect of comfort foods.

I'm starting with the Fishfinger sandwich which seems to have become a bit of a staple on UK pub menus and rightly so. Nothing screams nursery food more than fishfingers and by putting them in a sandwich its like we are saying that its acceptable to eat as adults. Make your own tartar sauce because it's not difficult and tastes so much better than shop bought rubbish. You can also make it to your tastes them; I hate too many capers so only add a few.  I used sub rolls as I like the texture with the filling, although you could just use white bread or baguette. However it should be white,  this is not a time for wholemeal. Please forgive me for my use of a processed cheese slice, this is the only occasion where I feel that it is totally acceptable to use them!

Fish Finger Sandwich 

Fishfingers (I used 2 jumbo ones per sandwich but use whatever ones you prefer)
Submarine rolls 
Optional: thinly shredded Iceberg Lettuce, processed cheese slice 

For the Tartar Sauce:
3 - 4 TBSP finely chopped gherkins 
1 TBSP very finely chopped onion
1 TSP Capers 
8 TBSP Good quality mayonnaise
2 TSP freshly squeezed lemon juice 
1 TSP of the pickle juice from your jar of gherkins (trust me it makes all the difference)

Cook the fishfingers according to the directions. Put all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly, taste and make any adjustments you think it may need - maybe some more lemon juice? Slice your rolls along one and spread the sauce along the top and the cheese and lettuce on the bottom, add the fishfingers and then push the sides together. Eat, preferably with your lovely housemate whilst watching Great British Bake Off, and be transported to your childhood when life was ever so simple.  

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Wednesday Winners..... {5 best places to eat in Whitstable, Kent}

Maybe I'll do this every week; maybe I'll get bored of it. Who knows?  I talk about Whitstable a lot on this blog (here, here) which is because it is my happy, safe place. One of the places where my soul is joyful as soon as I get there. Where I feel soothed and rested. Where I eat the simplest but most delicious locally sourced food. Where people smile more and I become more engaged in life. Yes Whitstable is my safe haven.

It's also a foodies dream and today I am offering my five best places to eat while you are visiting this little Kentish seaside town:

The Sportsman 


I wrote a full review of The Sportsman here and my oh my the food here is out of this world. They take really simple, fresh, local ingredients and make food that is so exquisite you just smile the whole way through the meal. The place is nothing fancy from the outside and none of the tables match inside, but I love that. For a Michelin starred restaurant it is totally unpretentious and just focuses on the food which makes it my kind of place. I would recommend you go for the tasting menu which although isn't cheap (£65 per person) it is a bargain for the amount of courses you get and the high quality of it. The Prosecco is the perfect accompaniment. I never wanted to leave. 



Picking a favourite between Wheelers and The Sportsman is like asking me which of my babies i love best (if I had two babies) I love them both equally although they are different. Wheelers is tiny; they have 12 covers and do just 5 sittings a day and you have to book. And it gets so booked up - I have learnt that if you want a table at the weekend you need to call up on the day they release the tables (2 months beforehand on the first day of the month) although you have more of a chance of you are looking for a weekday. The food is predominately seafood and they are famous for their oysters which are divine. And their lobster lasagna is one of the most complex but beautiful things I have ever eaten. I love their spider crab dish and that's often what I will go for to start and remember to save room for pudding, because their puddings are something really really special. Oh and did I mention it's BYOB? Hence the Champagne in the picture - it helps keep the price down. So ignore the fact this place looks like your Granny's parlour and enjoy some of the best food.

Wheelers Website 

Oysters at the Harbour 

One of our favourite things to do is go down to the harbour and eat the fresh oysters whilst watching the world go by. It isn't fancy and the tables are a bit wonky but the oysters are the freshest and most flavoursome and only around 50p each which is a bargain. Take a look at the wonderful fish markets whilst you are there!

V.C. Jones 

Ah the age old British tradition of fish and chips. It's not my favourite food but when in Whitstable we do love to get some VC Jones fish and chips, wrapped in paper and take them to eat on the sea wall, watching the waves and crunching on salty vinegary morsels. Nothing quite like it especially after a 18 mile bike ride!

V.C. Jones Website

The Forge  

Source: Trip Advisor

Literally a little shack on the beach which sells very reasonably priced lobster and chips which you can wash down with local beer and finish with some of their amazing doughnuts! I love sitting in their deckchairs and watching the world go by. It's kind of what you spend a lot of time in Whitstable doing.... .eating seafood and watching the world go by...... 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy ... {aka Lemon Posset's}

Dessert. Something to be enjoyed and lingered over, preferably whilst coffee is brewing in the background. I don't have a great sweet tooth though and I always lean toward citrusy and slightly tart tastes when it comes to pudding. We had a friends over for dinner the other day and this is what I served, Little pots of lemony cream. Simple but effective


Lemon Possets

600ml Double cream
150g Caster Sugar
2 large lemons, zest and juice

On a low heat warm the sugar and cream in a saucepan and bring to the boil slowly. Boil for approximately three minutes, before taking of the heat and cooling for a while. Whisk in the zest and juice and then pour into 6 dishes / glasses (they look lovely in little espresso cups) before refrigerating. I served these with little Ameretti biscuits but they also taste great with homemade shortbread!   

....... I said it was easy!

I'm linking up this post with Alesha for Delicious Dish Tuesday

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And  Supergolden bakes!  


Friday, 22 August 2014

Five things {Oh Hey Friday}

What a week! Even though I have only had a three day week for some reason today I feel EXHAUSTED! Lucky for me that its a bank holiday weekend - hello lie in on Monday morning! So with out further ado here are five things on my mind this Friday


Forget the bride having wedding blues I have bridesmaid blues! Last Thursday I was honoured to be Chief Bridesmaid for my Lucy and it was such an amazing day.  I also feel very blessed that she put us in such amazing bridesmaid dresses - I swished that petticoat all day long, it's my favourite thing I've ever worn...ever and I can't wait to have a decent excuse to wear it again soon! I managed to hold it together when reading the poem I wrote them and I think everyone liked the favours that I spent hours making. Lu made such a beautiful bride and Andy a very handsome groom, they are the perfect couple and I know they have many happy years ahead of them! 


The night before the wedding I cooked an Italian feast for the bridesmaids, bride and her parents, her last meal of freedom so to speak! It was lush and went down very well. Baked chicken, Parmigiana Melanzane and a fresh green salad check out the recipe here


The Abby can be seen on the hill at the top of the photo 

The view from the Abby - excuse the blurriness

Already our mini holiday to Whitby feels like a lifetime ago but what a lovely break we had. Whitby is in Yorkshire and is a beautiful part of the UK coastline. It is also the place where Dracula is said to have arrived ashore and I must admit the abbey was quite eerie at night! The girls had a great time and H and I had a great time with them.


Stuck for meal ideas this weekend? Fancy something a bit different that's fresh, flavoursome and most importantly healthy? Check out my recipe for Turkey Shawarma  - you wont regret it, it tastes great!


And yes, once more, can we just have a big cheer for the bank holiday weekend!

Linking up today with The Farmers Wife and September Farm.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Turkey Shawarma {Arabic Street Food}

I have waxed lyrical about the health benefits of using turkey in your cooking on this blog before and so when I saw that "I Love British Turkey" was launching a blogging competition I knew that I had to get involved. The competition is also run alongside The Red Tractor standard which is something that I have been passionate about since my university days (I did go to Harper Adams after all). I like that as a consumer I can see a little logo on the back and can be assured that I am buying quality British produce, whilst supporting British farmers and as British food is some of the best in the world it's win win really! 

Back to the challenge - the theme was "Arabian Nights" and I spent a great deal of time thinking about what I could do... maybe a tagine or a moussaka (both delicious of course) but I wanted to do something a bit more funky and fresh and a bit less "stereotypical". So I started to think more along the lines of street food and I suddenly came up with the idea of doing a Shawarma, which is a Arabic wrap. I usually make the dish with the more traditional chicken or lamb which is served hot in a warm wrap with crunchy veg and a garlic sauce. However, in my version I like to just make a garlic oil with a good quality British rapeseed oil and let that lightly coat the salad and add a bit of a kick!  Knowing how versatile turkey is I was confident it would take on the spicy, aromatic flavours of the dish perfectly and it did. Don't be put of with the long list of ingredients everything gets thrown in to a couple of bowls, so to speak, so this dish really doesn't take long at all.  So here you have a very fresh and incredibly tasty Turkey Shawarma - enjoy!

Turkey Shawarma

For the meat: 
400g diced turkey
1 1/2 TBSP HillFarm rapeseed oil (Red Tractor logo) 
200g Greek Yogurt (Tesco - Red Tractor logo)
1 egg, beaten lightly 
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 TSP Ras el Hanout
1 TSP cinnamon powder
2 TSP freshly ground black pepper 
Couple of pinches salt
1/2 - 1 TSP red chilli flakes (to taste, i like mine spicy)!
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated 

For the garlic oil:
150ml HillFarm rapeseed oil (Red Tractor logo) 
2 cloves garlic, crushed 
Squeeze of lemon juice 

For the salad:
1/2 Iceberg lettuce, finely sliced 
1/4 cucumber, shaved (with a peeler)
1 tomato, halved and thinly sliced 
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced 
3 TBS coriander, chopped 
3 TBS pomegranate seeds

6 small or 4 big wraps or flat breads (pita bread would also work well) 

Marinate the turkey in all of the ingredients listed for the meat. You want to marinate it for at least and hour preferably a few. Heat a non stick pan and cook the turkey until it is cooked through and quite dry - this is where the yogurt cooks out don't be alarmed if it looks a bit grainy whilst you cook just stick with it. This usually takes around 10 minutes, keep stirring as it cooks. 

Take the oil and crushed garlic and whisk (or blend in a blender), add in the lemon juice to taste and season - you should have a lovely sunshine yellow sauce which is heady with the smell and taste of garlic. 

Assemble the salad ingredients and toss with about a TBSP of the garlic oil.

To make your Shawarma, warm the wrap in a dry pan. Add the salad and then top with the meat and a drizzle of the oil. You can also add a few dollops of yogurt or hummus, both work well. Serve immediately and preferably with and ice cold beer or iced tea.     

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Lucy's Last Meal of Freedom {Baked Chicken with Parmigiana Melanzane}

No Lucy didn't go to jail, she just got married! As her Chief Bridesmaid I decided to do the whole cooking her last meal the night before her wedding as we were all staying at her Mum and Dads. I wanted a really special and memorable evening reminiscent of the many holidays that we have been on to Italy. I actually learnt to make this dish whilst I was in Italy a few years ago and whilst cooking all the aubergines can take time it is well worth it for such a rich and tasty dish, just think of yourself as an Italian Momma for an hour or so. We all ate around the table in the kitchen, remembering happy times when we were younger and more carefree and washed it down with glasses of ice cold Prosecco.  My little Lucy is now married and enjoying her honeymoon in Thailand, yet still the memories and tastes of that night linger on.....

Lucy's Last Meal of Freedom 

Preparing the Melanzane 

Baked Chicken with Parmigiana Melanzane

For the chicken:
Chicken thighs, skin on 
Lemon, cut in to wedges 
Sprigs of  fresh rosemary
8 - 12 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly crushed 

For the Parmigiana Melanzane:
4 Aubergines, slices in into disc's approx 1cm thick
Olive Oil (Lots of it)!
1 litre Passata 
2 small onions, finely chopped 
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped 
Oregano (Dried is fine)
250g fresh mozzarella, chopped into little cubes 
150g freshly grated Parmesan 

For the chicken: lie the chicken out on baking dishes. pat down a bit of butter on to the skin of the chicken and rub in slightly. Season. Tuck the lemon wedges, rosemary and garlic in amongst the thighs. Drizzle it all with olive oil. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 50mins-1hr at about 200°C, until the juices run clear. 

For the Parmigiana Melanzane: take your discs of aubergine, lay them out on tea towels and salt them quite liberally. Leave for approx. 30mins (this draws the bitterness out). Brush both sides of the aubergine with olive oil and fry them off batch by batch - they need to be nice and golden as they come out of the ban but not burnt. This does take time but it is worth it. Meanwhile add the chopped onion and garlic into a pan with olive oil and a pinch of oregano and gently cook until softened. Add in the passata and a couple of TSP of sugar. Allow to bubble away for approx. 20mins. Season. Take a large dish and spread a bit of the sauce to cover the bottom. Top with a layer of aubergine. Cover with sauce, some of the mozzarella and the Parmesan. Repeat this another two - three times ending with a layer of sauce and the cheeses. Bake in oven for 40mins at about 180°C  until its all heated through and the cheese is melted. 

Serve the chicken alongside the Melanzane and a crisp green salad with a jam jar of your favourite homemade salad dressing. Belissima! 

I'm linking up this post with Alesha for Delicious Dish Tuesday

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And  Supergolden bakes!  


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Grown Up Chicken Nuggets

We have a term in the UK whereby we call comfort food that stems back from our childhood "Nursery Food". It's usually pretty simply in terms of flavour but it evokes that warm comforting feeling as the taste takes us back to a time when life was a lot simpler.

Chicken Nuggets are an example of such food for me, I loved them growing up and although I rarely got them as a child as I grew up into a hormonal 13-14 year old I would sometimes have a plate of chicken dippers with some sour cream as my Saturday evening dinner whilst watching Charmed on the television. 

H loves a chicken nugget too and so I decided to make a more grown up version for us both. When I came across many recipes on Pinterest for Cheesy Ritz Chicken I knew I was on to a winner, because Ritz crackers are a staple in our house - we both love them and we always have a box in the cupboard. Throw cheese into the mix and my boyfriend is in heaven! So yesterday as the wind and rain lashed against the window (British weather) we warmed up with this simple but very tasty dish. H took the leftover salad and nuggets in for his lunch today as well - lucky man. 

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner 

Grown Up Chicken Nuggets 

3 Chicken breasts cut into large chunks
10 Ritz crackers, crushed into breadcrumbs with S&P added to taste
grated cheddar cheese 

Line a baking dish with foil and lightly grease it with some oil. Take the pieces of chicken and dunk them in the milk. Press the grated cheese on the top of the piece of chicken and then coat the whole of it in the breadcrumbs. Bake in the oven for about 30-40 mins at 200°C. I served it with a fresh Caesar salad which was lovely. You also could just serve this as one big piece of chicken although if you did that I would recommend you flatten the chicken slightly.  

These nuggets would be great for children as well, and you can easily omit the cheese 

I'm linking up this post with Alesha for Delicious Dish Tuesday

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And for the first time I'm linking up with Supergolden bakes!  


Monday, 11 August 2014

Today is my Thursday

Does that make sense? As in I am only in work for two days this week (Bonus)! I have Maid of Honor duties on Wednesday (setting up, cooking the bride her last single girl dinner) and then the wedding on Thursday! Then it's mini break time - H and I are taking his daughters away for the weekend. New experience for me - I get on really really well with his girls but this will be the longest time we've all spent together. Wish me luck!

This weekend was great, we spent lots of time with family and friends and yesterday I hosted a lovely little dinner party - all the food was photographed for my first magazine spread which is really exciting. It was lovely to use the opportunity to see some good friend's of ours who bought along their little baby who is just the sweetest thing.... this photo makes my heart melt (sorry its not great quality).

I'll hopefully be adding some new recipes this week! Don't forget you can follow me on twitter- @GITKK! 

Friday, 1 August 2014

TFI Friday {Oh Hey Friday}

This week has been loooonnnnnng, I'm so thankful it's Friday!


Me and the blushing bride-to-be 

Think I'm still tired from the Hen Party Mayhem! What fun it was though..... my Chief Bridesmaid duties have really started kicking in at the moment I've been purchasing garters, designing labels for the favour jars, went underwear shopping with the bride and tomorrow I am spending the whole day making  the favours! Still should be fun... can't believe in less than a week one of my eldest and dearest friend is getting married. 


Vino, candles and Olives - Perfect!

After a long day at work yesterday it was so lovely to come home and have a glass of wine in the garden with some good friends - I love the warm, balmy summer evenings we have been getting recently although I kindda need a bit of a breeze during the day!


Snail Mail for the Win! My wonderful friend from uni Fliss moved to Oz seven years ago and I miss her everso much! We have always caught up through Skype and Facebook but recently we have started writing to each other as well.  I had forgotten just how lovely it is to receive post. Got such a buzz reading her letter on the train this morning and I'm going to hopefully send her a little parcel for my reply... What are your feelings on writing letters?


Just too good

Five Guys has made it to the UK. We stopped by for a burger and my favourite drink from the US - Pink Lemonade. And wow, what an experience and what great burgers - America should have shared it with us sooner! Now I just need Target. 


Oh Hey Roomie!

And to the big news of the week...... by the end of the month this cutie and myself will be cohabiting together! Yes, we have made the big decision to move my stuff in officially.... trouble is I'm not sure he actually realises just how much stuff I have! Any tips on how to not kill each other are welcome and probably needed.

Linking up today with The Farmers Wife and September Farm.