Monday, 27 April 2015

Healthy weekday meal #10.......{carrot & Coriander soup}

Hello lovelies, did we all have a good weekend? H was away so I enjoyed a very peaceful weekend and got lots of chores done and went for a couple of runs. It was lovely but it was very nice when he returned home to me, albeit a little worse for wear.

Whilst cleaning out the fridge I found many carrots, and some coriander lurking at the back of the fridge. So a lovely, flavoursome and healthy soup was made. It's very filling as well which makes it a really great option when like me you are trying to be good!

Carrot and Coriander Soup

700g carrots, diced 
1 tbsp butter
1 dsp coriander seeds
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 pints chicken stock (use vegetable if you prefer)
3 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp creme fraiche

dry toast the coriander seeds in a pan for a couple of minutes and then roughly grind them in pestle & mortar or spice grinder. melt the butter in a pan and add the coriander seeds, garlic and carrots. cover and leave to soften for 15 mins. uncover, add stock and season and bring to boil. turn heat down and simmer for 20 mins. liquidise, put back in pan and stir in the coriander leaves and creme fraiche. once all warmed through serve with a swirl of creme fraiche 

Friday, 24 April 2015

Hello Friday

Here comes the weekend. My oh my April is nearly over and summer seems to be making an appearance here in the UK - Please stay Summer! So it's the weekend and here we go....
Less than two weeks until we go to Italy, tres excited! We are staying with my friends out there and I can't wait to show H one of my most favourite places on earth

Speaking of holidays you know you are a food blogger when your friend sends you descriptions of recipes when he's halfway across the world. It ends up in you making a rather awesome Thai salad though. Try it - so fresh, so healthy

H is away this weekend which means I am having some sister time, some friend time, some in-law time and some quiet time to myself. I love spending time by myself, It restores me and just makes me happy.

Just like I talked about reading a lot of articles on relationships last week, I have also been reading a lot about the choice on not having children. It's something I think about a lot. Maybe one day I'll do a post about it. When you love children as much as I do and are good with children like I am I think its really easy for people to assume that you want children of your own. I'm totally undecided on the matter but articles like this, this and this make me think. Oh, and to all you Mama's out there trust me I have so much respect and your job is an awesome one I am in no way anti motherhood, I just think it's good to look at both viewpoints and to acknowledge it can be a choice.

I've finished reading The Ice Twins by  S. K. Tremayne which was pretty blah and had a rubbish ending. I'm now on to The Good Girl by Mary Kubica which I'm really enjoying so far!

Have a great weekend!

Linking up with the girls at The Farmers Wife and September Farm for 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

My Little Dream Box..... a review

Box subscriptions; a new(ish) concept for the UK, are something that I never really thought I'd buy into - a monthly box, full of things you have no control over?! How bizarre! However, My Little Box started popping up on my facebook and blog feed so I thought I'd bite the bullet and give it a go, after all you can cancel your subscription at any time no problem!

Every month there is a different theme, last month was superhero (wasn't that impressed) But this time it was my little dream box. And dreamy it was - I loved it. As you can see there were some great goodies, my favourite were the lip gloss and the cleanser which smells so gorgeous!

Its a great box subscription and this month's box has made me excited for the next one and I'm always impressed with how much you get for the money (£14.95).  Anyone else subscribe to a box? What's the best?

Just so you know this is just a review of something I subscribe too - I was in no way compensated for this post!Although if Little Box ever want to send me anything thats cool! 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

When your BBF goes on a holiday......{Thai Seafood Salad}

So my wonderful bestie Paul decided to go and spend a month in Laos, lucky thing! Although I missed him desperately, I loved that every few days he managed to find the time to send me pictures such as these;

Hard life huh?! He also sent me a recipe - the boy knows me too well! He proclaimed it the best salad he had ever eaten so I had to give it a go myself - it was delicious with lovely fresh flavours which are perfect for the summer. I changed a few things, his version had mint leaves instead of coriander and the shallots were in the salad not in the dressing, but hey recipes are meant to be played around with. How lucky I am that even when half way across the world lovely Paul things of me and this little blog of mine! And whilst I love the photos and food stories and the fact he is having amazing experiences I am so very pleased that he is home safe and sound, he has been missed.



Paul's Thai style Seafood Salad

2 gem lettuces, roughly chopped 
small bunch of coriander, chopped
3 spring onions, sliced
200g cooked basmati rice
1 dsp coconut oil
3 squid, cut into rings
10 unpeeled raw prawns (shell on)
4tbsp fish sauce
1 shallot, very finely sliced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 1/2 lemons (or limes), juice of
1 dsp light brown sugar
put all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and mix together. warm coconut oil and toast the rice - you want to be scraping it off the pan so it looks crusty and it is more flaky then rice grains - don't be scared you need to just stand by the pan and keep on scraping and stirring. remove from pan and set aside. in the same pan cook the seafood, this takes no time at all about 5 mins for the prawns and 3 mins for the squid. take the salad vegetables and herbs and toss in a large bowl with 1/2 the dressing. and the toasted rice. divide the salad in two bowls and top with the seafood and the remaining dressing. Eat outside, dreaming of warmer climates and beautiful beaches!
Today I'm linking up with the lovely Miriam at Farm girl

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Hello to the Heatwave.......{Coconut and Lime "no churn" ice cream)

Lovely, lovely sunshine! It's so lovely and warm in Kent and London at the moment it makes it a pity that I have to spend my days working at my desk but such is life! My favourite warm weather food is, of course, ice cream. I love coconut ice cream and there’s a real lack of decent ones available in the shops, so I made it my mission to come up with my own version. This one is no churn which makes it so much more accessible; it’s so easy to make its almost embarrassing. The fresh flavours of the creamy coconut and zesty lime compliment the grilled pineapple perfectly. However, it's great just on its own.

"No Churn" Coconut and Lime Ice Cream with Grilled Pineapple

397g (1 x tin) sweet condensed milk
580ml double cream
160ml coconut cream (Coconut milk would be fine too)
3 TBSP desiccated coconut
Zest of 1-2 limes
Fresh Pineapple, cut in to large slices (or rings if you’d prefer)

In a large bowl, whip the cream to very stiff peaks. Gently fold in the condensed milk, coconut cream, desiccated coconut and lime zest. Pour into a freezer-safe container, cover with cling film or container lid and leave to freeze for about 4 hours. When you are ready for dessert heat up a griddle pan (or any pan if you don’t have a griddle) and lay the pineapple down, cook for about 3 minutes on each side and then serve alongside the ice cream. Told you it was simple!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Healthy weekday Meal #9........{Fish Pie Parcels}

I love me a fish pie - huge chunks of fish, creamy glossy sauce, flavoursome leeks and mounds of mash potato. It's a dreamy British staple but it's not dreamy to the waistband and it also doesn't lend itself that well to the summer days that are creeping up on us. In my quest to find an alternative I came up with this dish - Fish Pie Parcels. You may not think the use of pastry is particularly healthy but I am using filo pastry and a few sheets go a long way....Use what ever combination of fish you desire and for heaven's sake make sure you keep an eye on the oven - as you can see from the photos i left mine in a couple of minutes too long. but I am no professional, these are my recipes and little slip ups sometimes happen! It still tasted great and that's all that matters to me and that's all that should matter to you - relax and just give the recipe a go!

Fish Pie Parcels

2 leeks, finely sliced
unsalted butter
couple of splashes of white wine 
100ml milk
bay leaf
500g fish - I used large chunks of smoked haddock, cod, salmon and raw prawns 
4 tbsp creme fraiche
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice 
filo pastry 
1 egg, beaten 

in a pan cook your leeks with a small amount of butter and a couple of splashes of wine, once soft remove from pan. add in the milk, bay leaf and the fish and put the lid on the pan, allow the fish to stand for 5 minutes until it is almost cooked through. remove the fish, give it a little season and then set aside. mix the creme fraiche with the lemon juice and mustard and then season. lay out a sheet of filo pastry, brush with melted butter, place another sheet over and then repeat the process - i used three sheets for one parcel and four for another - I didn't make much difference and two would be fine I'm sure. in the middle of the square place a couple of spoonfuls of the leeks then a spoonful of the creme fraiche and then add half the fish and top with another spoonful of creme fraiche. bring up the sides of pastry and twist the top so you have a parcel. repeat the process. brush the two parcels with egg wash and place on a baking tray. cook at a moderate to high heat for around 30 minutes or until the pastry is nicely golden. serve with vegetables or a salad. 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

For the many times we are time poor.............{enchilada bake}

Everyone needs a few "cheat meals" up their sleeve - you know the ones where you grab a few ingredients from jars and packets and make some thing that's pretty tasty and easy. This is one of those meals. I'm not trying to claim its the most natural and homemade meal in the world but it is a damn tasty dinner and its just too easy to make! And by using no bread and brown rice its healthier than your usual enchiladas. I've made this both with the chicken and chorizo but it also tastes just as good without. You can also substitute the rice for quinona as the original recipe that I got the inspiration for this dish from!

Enchilada Bake

(inspiration for this dish came from Damn Delcious)

2 chicken breasts (optional)
50g chorizo (optional)
1/2 tsp chili powder 
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1 onion, diced 
250g cooked brown rice
200g (1 tin) black beans 
260g (1 tin) sweetcorn 
bunch of coriander, roughly chopped 
1 jar enchilada sauce (I use Discovery)
half jar green (or red) jalapenos
150g Grated cheese, i use a mixture of cheddar and hard mozzarella 

If using chicken and chorizo cook that off and remove from the pan. Add the onions with the spices and cook off in a little olive oil, when soft add in the chorizo and chicken if using, brown rice, jalapenos, beans, sweetcorn and half the coriander, half the cheese and the sauce. mix it all together and then top with remaining cheese. Place in oven for around 20-30 mins until hot all the way through and cheese melted. Serve with remaining coriander, avocado and tomatoes. 

Linking up with Vicky at Honest Mum
Tasty Tuesdays on

Friday, 10 April 2015

All the Friday Feelings

These shoes are probably my favourite purchase of my summer wardrobe so far. I love lemons and to wear them on my shoes makes perfect sense. Well to me anyways, 

Happy weekend. It's been nice to have a short week and it's nice that spring seems to have arrived in Kent, it feels like the winter has lasted long this year. Some suggestions for your weekend if you are short of things to do....

How about baking some desserts: this one is good as is this

Some really really interesting articles on relationships and marriage can be found here, here and here. I'm a bit like a sponge when it comes to reading things like this at the moment. H and I seem to be going through the stage where everyone keeps asking us "when are you guys going to get married?" and I read articles like this and wonder why we would change something that works so well and yet at the same time I like to think I believe in marriage and maybe we would be the ones to break the cycle.... who knows for now I'll just keep on reading, lets just call it research!

I'm almost finished reading Us by David Nicholls and I've downloaded this to read next. Can't get enough of reading at the moment - makes my commute much more bareable 

Shopping for summer clothes is my favourite thing to do at the moment. I'm loving this playsuit from M&S and I really feel like I need these in my life too. Questionable trousers are my jam.

Alfresco dining for the win - try making these 

Have a great weekend!

Linking up with the girls at The Farmers Wife and September Farm for 

Thursday, 9 April 2015

When on dessert duty #2...............{Meringue with raspberry and passionfruit}

As I mentioned in yesterday's post I made two desserts for Easter. One was the key lime pie  the other was meringue with raspberry and passionfruit, in honour of my brother, as he loves meringue. I have worked on my meringue recipe and got rid of the vinegar and corn flour that I use in my pavlova recipe and I'm not sure this is better it's just crispier and works well in this dessert. Don't be scared of meringue - I feel the secret is always, always use and electric whisk and always use a clean bowl!

Meringue with raspberry and passionfruit

4 egg whites (use the yolks to make key lime pie)!
225g caster sugar
300ml double cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
250g raspberries 
2 passionfruit

Preheat the oven to 120C. line a large baking tray with baking parchment. place the egg whites in a clean bowl (my metal one is great for this) and whisk until they form stiff peaks. continue whisking as you add the sugar, one dessert spoonful at a time, until all the sugar is incorporated. the meringue will then become shiny and hold stiff peaks. place the mixture in a large plastic piping bag or spread the meringue into the baking tray in a rectangular shape. bake for 1½-2 hours, until the meringue can be lifted easily off the paper without sticking. turn off the oven, leave the door slightly open and leave until the meringues are cold. before serving, whip together the cream and icing sugar and spread the cream mixture onto the meringue. top with the fruit. serve. 

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

When on dessert duty.............{key lime pie}

I have exactly four weeks until I jet off to Italy. So excited, although I'm not so excited about wearing the dreaded bikini! Still I'm keeping up with my running (must do an update) and yoga but the healthy eating could be better. Not helped by the fact I was on dessert duty this Easter weekend. I like to do options and one of my options was this traditional key lime pie. Before when I have made "Key lime pie" but this is more of a traditional version and it tastes great -  a great option when you want a special dessert and it helps that it is H's favourite so I get brownie points! This was especially good as it uses egg yolks and my other dessert was meringue which uses egg white!

Key Lime Pie 

300g biscuits - i went for hobnobs but you could use digestives or ginger nuts would be tasty!
75g butter, melted
1 tin condensed milk (about 350g)
3 medium egg yolks
finely grated zest and juice of 4 limes
300ml double cream
1 tbsp icing sugar

crumble the biscuits in a food processor,  mix with the melted butter and press into the base and up the sides of a pie dish (I love my enamel one). bake in moderately heated oven for 10 minutes. remove and leave to cool. put the egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk for a minute with electric whisk. add the condensed milk and whisk for a few minutes until thickened, then add the zest and juice and whisk again for a few more minutes! pour the filling into the cooled base then put back in the oven for 15 minutes. cool then chill in the fridge overnight. when you are ready to serve, whip together the cream and icing sugar, spread over top of pie (piping would make it look so much prettier but who has the time) and finish with some lime zest. indulge. 

Today I'm linking up with the lovely Miriam at Farm girl