Saturday, 30 December 2017

canapés and cocktails: simple party food ideas with domu.

Party season is fully upon us and I can't think of a better reason to whip up some canapés on posh serveware. The best thing about having pretty plates and boards is that you can make something super simple into something rather fancy in an instant. The friendly lot at Domu sent me a few of their latest serveware pieces to get creative with this season - just in time for New Year's Eve! I made a spicy chipotle king prawn cocktail and asparagus, soft cheese and Parma ham wraps as well as some mango and orange fizz to celebrate the occasion. Cheers!

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

the golden hour: golden turmeric milk from yogi tea®

With a sense of great passion, Yogi Tea are committed to bringing great quality, authentic and organic teas to the modern market. Pioneers of herbal and spiced teas for over forty years, their ethos is, “Feel good, be good, do good.” 

I was invited to try their Turmeric Chai, an exciting new product coming to the shelves in January 2018. I’ve heard amazing things about turmeric, particularly health benefits, so I couldn’t wait to try. Plus, the chai element means that it’s packed with soothing and comforting spices such as cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon and ginger. As leading specialists in chai blends, Yogi Tea certainly know their stuff. 

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

parmesan and pesto filo parcels.

Whether you're hosting a festive party or you're in charge of Christmas dinner on the big day, these super simple filo parcels are perfect for nibbles, canapés and starters alike. Featuring Parmigiano Reggiano, as well as fresh pesto created from the renowned cheese, these cheesy bites bring together the winning combination of basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil within delectably crisp filo pastry.

Hailed the King of all the Cheeses, it's one of the world’s oldest products with exclusive P.D.O. status. It can only be truly made particular areas of Italy, just where it has been made for over 900 years. That's some commitment! In particular I made these ones ahead for a festive catch up amongst foodie friends. I sampled a few fresh (it was hard to resist) and then warmed the others through when my guests arrived - which went well if I say so myself. Here's how to make ahead these must-have festive morsels...

Monday, 18 December 2017

christmas not-so-pudding doughnuts.

Don't like Christmas pudding all that much? Me neither. If you're more of a chocoholic when it comes to the festive season (or any time of the year...) then these may answer your Christmas wishes all at once. These baked, chocolatey doughnuts are made from a simple cocoa infused sponge and finished with icing and marzipan. All the chocolate. All the festive. Less of the dried fruit.

Friday, 15 December 2017

winter vegetable stew with comté cheese dumplings.

Could it really be Christmas without cheese? With the festive season approaching, I’m loving homemade one pots, seasonal vegetables and curling up with a bowl of comforting stew. This Winter inspired root vegetable stew features not only Brussels sprouts, but a twist on classic dumplings.

Made better with Comté, the delicious cheesy dumplings are the perfect topping for this Winter warmer. Handcrafted an amazing 365 days a year in France, each Comté cheese wheel has its own unique character. The diverse flavours mean it can work in so many dishes - from risottos to bread and salads to gratins.

Fluffy on the inside with a moreish, crunchy topping, with that extra cheesy treat. The French artisan cheese has a slightly nutty and salty flavour which adds a real extra dimension to the dish.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

parmesan, parsnip and brussels sprout gratin.

Add festive side dish to add to your repertoire; a beautifully golden gratin featuring Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, creamy parsnips and Brussels sprouts. Finished with crispy bacon lardons and breadcrumbs, this is a must-have for Christmas spread come December 25th. Parmigiano Reggiano has a striking saltiness that makes it perfect to add a new dimension of flavour and texture to gratins, as well as a natural seasoning. 

Known as the King of Cheeses, it's one of the world’s oldest and richest cheeses - still produced today as it was nine centuries ago. It has an exclusive P.D.O. protection, ensuring it can only be truly made in Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna to the west of the Reno River and Mantua to the east of the Po River. Everyone will be a fan of Brussels sprouts this season once they've tried them with indulgent Parmesan cheese, a crunchy topping and scatterings of smoked lardons. Here's how...

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

#allwrappedup with ao.

Last week I went down to London for lovely Christmassy evening hosted by ao and Hotpoint. With likeminded lifestyle, homeware and food bloggers, we were fully immersed in the festive spirit and spoilt with fantastic food and gifting ideas. From creating our own edible gifts to gift wrapping tips, we were invited to embrace all things Christmas - complete with a full roast dinner!

Monday, 11 December 2017

cranberry & white chocolate cookies.

Another cosy Christmas recipe just waiting to be enjoyed with your afternoon cuppa. Perfect as an edible gifting idea, a festive bake for the tin or treat to take into the office. These cranberry and white chocolate cookies can be really easy mixed up in one bowl too. With Christmassy cranberry combined with a hint of orange zest and chunks of sweet white chocolate, these cookies are a real crowdpleaser with minimum washing up. (Pstt, and they don't take long to make either...)

Friday, 8 December 2017

cinnamon mince pies.

A twist on the traditional mince pie recipe, I've bended the rules slightly to include of my favourite festive spices. So I wasn't much of a fan of mince pies growing up, but I think I've acquired a taste in recent years of homemade ones. In particular, where they feature a little festive twist. Last year I made Bakewell tart inspired mince pies and Christmas pudding brownies. This is - cinnamon mince pies! The cinnamon is mixed in with the sweet shortcrust pastry and they're topped with cinnamon sugar for good measure. Ho ho ho...

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

nutella macarons.

Macarons have got to be one of my favourite things to make. And let's face it, who isn't fond of Nutella? That pretty much sums up how these Nutella macarons came about. Made using a French macaron recipe and lashings of your favourite hazelnut spread, these little delights are gluten free and super indulgent. 

Friday, 1 December 2017

parmesan and sesame bites.

Parmigiano Reggiano and Sesame Bites
parmesan and sesame bites.

A little Christmas gift idea or perhaps as a festive snack for the family, these Parmesan and sesame bites are super easy to make and with only a few simple ingredients too. As part of a Christmas series with Parmigiano Reggiano, I'm embracing one of my favourite cheeses with three festive recipes. 

Parmigiano Reggiano is a hard, Italian cheese which has a PDO credentials. King of Cheeses, it's one of the world’s oldest and richest cheeses - still produced today as it was nine centuries ago. For hundreds of years, this very special product has only be allowed to be made in particular areas of Italy, with selected dairies and producers. The rules of cheese-making this way mean that it's always a high quality product which has a true ancient origin. The result is fantastic, I'm sure cheese lovers will agree.

parmesan and sesame bites.
Parmigiano Reggiano

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

fresh ideas to your door: box'd fresh. (+ giveaway!)

Home cooking, made simple. That's the philosophy from Box'd Fresh, who promise to deliver inspiring recipes and fresh ingredients straight to your door. There are so many meal box delivery services and subscriptions these days that it's really hard to pick which one is right for you.

What struck me about Box'd Fresh is that a lot of the recipes are pretty healthy, with each recipe featuring at least one of your five a day and wholesome carb choices such as quinoa, sweet potato and lentils. There are also lots of vegan options, with enough choice that you could easily make up a dairy free box. A few months back the lovely lot at Box'd Fresh sent me a box to review, as well as the chance for my readers to win one too. Scroll on to found out how...

Monday, 27 November 2017

parma ham, sweet potato and pecan salad.

A warm, Autumnal salad mixing the salty flavours of Parma ham, sweet potato, earthy spinach and sticky pecans. Bringing out the signature flavours of the Prosciutto di Parma DOP, the Italian dry-cured ham has a distinctive slightly sweet and salty taste. With delicate fat running through the prosciutto, the texture also marries will with the skin-on potatoes, wilted spinach, crunchy pecans and shavings of salty Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Friday, 24 November 2017

quick and easy homemade pastrami.

With lots of Autumnal and Thanksgiving inspiration making me drool over on Instagram, I thought it was about time I shared this homemade pastrami recipe with you. Of course, usually a labour of love, pastrami recipes often take hours, even days to create. The brine, curing process and smoking can be a lengthy process with delicious results. On this occasion I thought I'd try out a simple, speedy recipe. It will still take an afternoon, but means you can be indulging in that homemade pastrami sandwich with all the trimmings on the very same day. What do you think?

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

spreading festive cheer with wayfair: my christmas traditions.

I love a good festive tradition! Especially when food is involved. One of my favourite things to do is buy a foodie related Christmas bauble for myself, for example. So far I have a rather cute gingerbread man, a sparkly popcorn box and am eyeing up a glittery avocado for 2017. This season I've teamed up with Wayfair to share my favourite things to do each festive season, with a few of their gorgeous homeware pieces features throughout the post.

One thing I have done for a few years without fail is make the family breakfast. From kedgeree to smoked salmon and classic bacon sarnies (ketchup or brown sauce at your request), I love taking on the role of chef to make everyone's breakfast related dreams come true. One of my favourites are the seriously simple lazy baked eggs. A lazy eggs recipe I shared a while back has fast become a family fave. What's more, you can make 12 at once so it's a real time saver (as well as a crowdpleaser) too. Here's how you make them...

Monday, 20 November 2017

cully & sully: the way we make it.

Is there anything more comforting than a bowl of quality soup on a chilly day? Wholesome, rich in nutrients and most of all... warms you up. Whether you're looking for Winter lunch inspo or a convenient way to comforting meals, Cully & Sully are a must try. The lovely lot sent me a few of their super soups to try, to show what additions can complement their range to personalise your ready-made meal.

Friday, 17 November 2017

have a very foodie christmas with harrods.

Harrods Christmas hamper
Christmas hamper review

If there's ever a time to get excited about food, Christmas is the one. Festive recipes, foodie gift guides and Christmas dinner planning tips are all over our favourite editorials, and I'm into it. Now that my November birthday is out of the way (a belated present is fine with me by the way), I'm ready to embrace all things festive. 

So as you can imagine, I couldn't wait for the arrival of this Harrods hamper. Or better yet, to share it with you. It was a delight to photograph with all my festive props, so I can only imagine how this luxury haul will taste. I was kindly sent The Food Halls Collection (£125) which couldn't have been a better fit. Buttery biscuits, beautifully crafted chutneys to go with your cheeseboard and red, red wine symbolise all that is Christmas for me. So now I've said the C word (three times), I guess that means it's actually happening.

Christmas hamper wine
Christmas hamper UK

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

9 foodie must-dos in costa brava.

Found in Catalonia in the North East of Spain, Costa Brava is a beautiful coastal region that boasts leafy hills, colourful buildings, gorgeous views and an excellent foodie culture. Being by the sea, there are lots of fresh seafood and fish dishes to indulge in. That's not all. Think stunning wine blends, with great pairings, as well as exceptional olive oil and sweets.

I went along as a guest of Jet2holidays to explore what the Catalonia region had to offer. With really reasonable flights from 9 UK destinations, I went from East Midlands to Girona, taking around two hours and costing from about £40pp. It really would make such an easy city break, only using one day holiday to enjoy three full days in the area. But what did I get up to on that long weekend?