rose shaped macarons: inspired by portmeirion botanic garden.

Rose effect macaron recipes

Inspired by nature, the Portmeirion Botanic Garden collection is full of floral flourishes from foxgloves to fuchsias and poppies to peonies. Founder Susan Williams-Ellis created the Botanic Garden range which has been synonymous with the brand since its inception, preferring the delicate pottery pieces to be mixed and matched rather like a British garden would. A quaint hydrangea print teapot can sit alongside sweet pea teacups and a stack of cakes on a iris print plate; each colour, shade and design harmonising against one another.

To celebrate what would have been her 100th birthday (June 6th 2018), I've teamed up with Portmeirion to create some botanical inspired creations of my own. These rose inspired macarons are made with a two tone petal effect, given a fondant green leaf and filled with vanilla and strawberry buttercream. An ode to Susan, I'd like to hope she would have been happy to have them at her afternoon tea party.


roast broccoli, tomato and feta salad.


A warm, vegetarian salad made up of crispy roast broccoli, charred tomatoes, red pesto Quorn pieces and crumbled feta. Packed with goodness, this filling dish works as a midweek main, side dish or lunch box favourite. I roasted ahead the broccoli, tomatoes and Quorn with a drizzle of good quality oil, cracked black pepper and sea salt, and then tossed together the other ingredients right before eating. Super quick, super easy.



homemade beer burgers with beerwulf.com.


Beer and burgers; no-one can doubt they make for a delicious combination. I love a homemade burger stacked up with my favourite toppings and served with skin on fries. Throw in an ice cold beer on a sunny day and you're on to a winner. I've recently teamed up with Beerwulf.com to try out the latest addition to their beer packs, especially for Father's Day. I thought it made sense to put their beers into some tasty burger patties, alongside various paired cheeses.



For those who aren't familiar with Beerwulf.com, they're an online craft and speciality beer shop with loads to choose from. You can discover something new with their variety packs or handpick your own box from your favourites. There are also some helpful reviews and tasting notes over on their site to help you pick the perfect box. At the moment they actually have an offer with the promo code discount5 which entitles you to £5 discount off a £25 minimum spend. 

mexican style cauliflower steaks.

Mexican cauliflower steak recipe

Cauliflower really is the ingredient of the moment. Gluten free rice, vegan steak and wheat free pizza base - so much more than the classic cauliflower cheese (also delicious). So I thought I'd give the meat free trend a try with this dairy free, vegan friendly take on steak. I was really pleased with the results; a versatile texture with crunchy and crispy edges. I created a Mexican twist on it, since what doesn't go well with salsa, tortillas, chilli and heaps of guacamole. 

Vegan cauliflower steak recipe

almond butter quinoa granola with indigo herbs (vegan and dairy free).



A vegan, dairy free and gluten free granola for all. It's certainly not taste free either; Indigo Herbs stock some delicious products that are perfect for shaking up your own homemade granola. Featuring puffed quinoa, cacoa nibs, chia powder and raw almond butter, the vegan and sugar free granola is packed with protein and lots of good stuff to take you through the morning. Fellow fans of nuts will love it too, as the almond and toasted flavour of quinoa really comes through. I enjoy it served up with almond or hazelnut milk but the rest is up to you.


minion macarons.


A fun Minion macaron recipe for my Minion mad nephew. I created these little bite sized blue and yellow treats for his 4th birthday. I'd already got him into macarons a few months earlier (could be due to the Nutella filling...) and now it's really cute that he requests them from me. His wish was my command when I conjured up these Despicable Me delicacies alongside the rest of the spread.

I always swear by Sugarflair when it comes to coloured macarons - they're a little pricy but a tiny pot lasts me ages and can be adjusted to different colour strengths. Simply halve the mix and pipe a mix of yellow and blue. Lemon or blueberry buttercream could work well here but I thought I'd stick to the chocolate...



smoked salmon, ricotta and asparagus tart.


Although the weather can't make it's mind up, Spring is finally in full swing. And that means one of my favourite ingredients is in season... asparagus. Perfect with seafood and fish, the colourful asparagus adds an extra something to this smoked salmon and ricotta puff pastry tart. It's super quick and easy to make too; you can have it for a light lunch, make ahead for picnics or for dinner with a side salad. Tulips optional.


thai prawn massaman salad.


A fragrant and colourful salad perfect for these brighter evenings. A lighter option to your usual noodle dish, this Thai inspired salad brings together vibrant, crunchy veg with juicy king prawns. Enjoy as a light main dish, as a side or even as part of a BBQ banquet.


gluten free salted caramel brownies.


A classic brownie recipe that I swear by - the only difference with this one is there's a tasty salted caramel twist. This recipe also happens to be accidentally gluten free, as I prefer to use ground almonds over flour; though if you're a a fan of nutty flavours then these will be a winner. Gooey on the inside and a bit of crunch to the outside. Divine!


seven must-dos in malta.


From ancient, winding streets to azure blue waters, Malta is 120 square miles of pure discovery. Stretches of stunning scenery, foodie specialities and pages of history make this small European island a destination to tick off your travel to-do list. Found just south of Sicily, sun soaked Malta combines Mediterranean influences with North African culture and cuisine. So if you’re already packing your bags and looking up the weather forecast, here are 7 must-dos, must-sees and must-eats to add to that all important itinerary. `

individual lemon tarts.

lemon tart recipe

If all good things come in small packages, then these lemon tarts are no exception. With a rich, buttery pastry and the zing from two lemons, this dessert recipe is the perfect mix of sharp citrus and sweet indulgence. Make ahead for a Spring or Summer dinner party, dusting with extra icing sugar to finish.

lemon tarts

easter egg macarons.


Happy (almost) Easter! I have made these Easter egg inspired macarons for my friend's birthday. it falls on Easter Sunday so we have decided to do a homemade Easter afternoon tea (I'm sure there will be Instagram pics to follow...) Any excuse to make macarons really! These are good for gluten free gifts as well as people who aren't fans of chocolate. Have a lovely Bank Holiday everyone!



dairy free mint hot chocolate.

vegan hot chocolate

A cosy (and super simple) hot chocolate recipe for this chilly Spring we're having. Last March I remember sunny drives visiting friends down south, warm evenings in pub gardens and getting ready for Spring weddings. Now, we get snow and frostbite. So it makes sense to share this minty hot chocolate recipe which also happens to be vegan and dairy free. Perfect in your favourite mug curled up in a blanket fort with a box set. Plus, you only need three ingredients.

mint hot chocolate
dairy free hot chocolate recipe

easter bunny rabbit macarons.


A cute, bunny shaped treat for Easter. I just couldn't resist creating some rabbit shaped macarons for the occasion, filled with moreish Nutella chocolate spread. I actually made these for a bunny mad bride to be last year and have waited until the run up to Easter to share these little sweeties with you. I may just be tempted to make them again myself...

creme egg macarons.

Creme egg macarons recipe

Just in time for Easter... Creme Egg macarons! Made with two tone yellow and chocolate macaron shells, I've well and truly jumped on the Cadbury Creme Egg baking recipe train with these tempting treats. They're then filled with a classic Creme Egg buttercream to make an Easter inspired delight.

Creme egg macaron recipe
Creme egg macarons

sunday roast at the windmill inn, brascote.

sunday-roast-windmill-inn-brascote-review

Who doesn't love a Sunday lunch, really? So many combinations, so many traditions. Whether you're a veggie, meat eater, Yorkshire pudding obsessive or insist upon roast potatoes every Sunday... everyone has their favourite way to enjoy a roast.

A local pal and I have since decided to start a little Sunday lunch club. I mean, it's just us and every roast we can eat in Leicestershire. But it's going well so far. One I was particularly fond of recently was The Windmill in Brascote. I'd been recommended the restaurant a few times, so it felt about time to venture out.


bounty macarons.


If you like Bounty bars and you like macarons, well, you've come to the right place. If you've read a few any other my other macaron posts you'll know I'm on a mission to create macarons for everyone's favourite chocolate bar. From Crunchie to Mint Aero, I'm here for you guys. All you have to do is adapt the centre with your favourite filling. I'll warn you now, Bounty spread is addictive.


bakewell tart cheesecake.


In the Midlands we're pretty spoilt for food. With Leicestershire as the home of Melton Mowbray pork pies and Stilton cheese, breweries in Burton-on-Trent and the amazing curry houses in Birmingham and Leicester, there really is so much to choose from.

A particular favourite of mine is the Bakewell tart, or pudding, which hails from the Derbyshire town with the same namesake. The puddings and tarts are a little different in recipe and texture, but they both have that delicious medley of almonds and cherries that I can't get enough of. If you've read my recipes or scrolled through Insta before, you'd know I'm pretty obsessed with any adaptation of my beloved tart. So when Leisure cookers challenged me to make a twist on a classic regional dish at my next dinner party, I knew I had try a Bakewell cheesecake. My mixer and range cooker are my best friends in the kitchen so I couldn't wait to get started.


chocolate pancakes with jersey salted caramel sauce.

Chocolate Pancake Recipe

There are just so many good foodie things happening soon. Pancake Day, Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day, which of course is an excuse to eat fancy food to make pink cocktails. Win win! Today's post is all about Pancake Day, which of course is an excuse to eat pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not just any old pancakes though, this recipe calls for indulgent chocolate pancakes with a hefty drizzle of salted caramel sauce. Giving up chocolate for lent? This is the recipe for you!

Salted Caramel Pancakes
Chocolate Pancake Recipe UK

veggie meatballs with baked eggs.


A wholesome, low carb meal idea with lots of veggies, meat-free-meatballs and tasty baked eggs on top. It's great on it's own as a bake, or with your favourite bread for dipping. Simply make the meatballs, beans and sauce ahead and crack on some great quality free range eggs right before baking. I actually use frozen "Swedish style vegetarian meatballs" as they are such a cupboard staple to have in the freezer and bulk out bakes. In fact, a lot of this dish is make with the likes of chopped tomatoes and canned beans which are always so handy (and great on a budget too). Without further ado...


breakfast at gee's, oxford.

 

Just outside of Oxford city centre and past a few of the beautiful university parks, you'll find the decadent glass house that is Gee's. As well as serving up trendy cocktails and curating three course meals, the elegant glass conservatory, bar and terrace is said to do a rather good breakfast. Turns out the rumours are true.