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rosa's thai cafe, soho, london.

i recently spent a couple of days being a tourist down in london - a couple of glasses of wine by canary wharf, spending time at the tates, visiting the british museum for the first time, a cider or two at the udder belly festival, a wander around borough market, bagels on brick lane, trying not to be scared of the tube and of course... being a food tourist. 

before jumping on the 10.57 from leicester to st. pancras, i asked about for recommendations on twitter, from friends that have fled down south and did a bit of research on time out. i found rosa's thai cafe on the cheap eats section - where my friend grace also found bombay cafe dishoom and japanese gem koya. reviewing both of these upon my return, they definitely didn't disappoint. and rosa's was no exception... yippee!

white chocolate and ginger blondies.

after seeing these on ellie bee's blog what ellie's baking i just had to try them. white chocolate and ginger - how could i resist? 

based on one of edd kimber's, i used exactly the same measurements of ingredients as on her blog post (except i didn't add cloves as i'm personally not keen on them) and found it really easy to follow. warning: highly picture based post! :)

hello fresh box review.

delicious, healthy and balanced recipes with fresh ingredients, step by step simple instructions and you don't even have to weigh the ingredients. hello and welcome... to hello fresh! delivered straight to your door, the boxes come in three or five meal quantities, a choice of meat or vegetarian and each recipe typically takes around 30 minutes to prepare.

in my meat & fish three meal box for two people i received the ingredients for smokey chicken skewers with corn and potato salad, fearless sesame salmon with cous cous and cherry tomato salsa and a two chicks chorizo tortilla espanola with mixed leaf balsamic salad.

leicestershire foodies meet up: kayal, leicester.

this week i finally got to meet a couple of local foodies; leicestershire food blogger alex who writes over at gingeybites.com and laurie who works as a chef at the manor house in quorn. our indian feast at leicester city based restaurant kayal was a brilliant evening full of restaurant recommendations, edible anecdotes, tasting techniques, far too many food photographs and most importantly... the best way to poach an egg.

i've been to kayal a few times before - the last time my car actually broke down with a punctured tyre outside so missed my starter coming out - so i jumped at the chance when this was suggested as a meeting venue. the south indian kerala cuisine is far from the usual chicken tikka and lamb rogan josh i know and love. i've learnt that since kerala is along the coast of south india where many coconuts grow, there are many delicious seafood dishes as well as the use of coconut in much of the recipes. both of which i always go for when choosing from an indian menu :)

we began with the most unusual indian savoury snacks i've ever had - pappadavada (the spicy, orange poppadoms made with cumin), achappam (the middle honeycomb-like one which was quite sweet), nenthraka varuthathu (banana slices seasoned with turmeric water) and classic poppadoms served with lemon and mango pickles and coconut chutney. i think my favourite combination was the pappadavada dipped in the cool coconut chutney.

of course there had to be a foodie taking a picture of a foodie...

earl grey cupcakes with lemon buttercream.


not long ago i was sent a selection of teas from teapigs to try out some ice tea and cocktail recipes - for which i made a lemon and ginger mojito tea and jasmine gin fizz. there were a couple of their darjeeling earl grey teabags in the parcel too and since i've always wanted to make earl grey cupcakes i thought i'd have a go. this one is based on the hummingbird bakery recipe and makes around 16 cupcakes.

prawn and haloumi skewers with sweet potato chips.

inspired by nando's, this prawn and haloumi skewers takes my favourite elements of their menu and makes a healthy dish that could also be an alternative barbecue idea.

i've marinated the prawns in the nando's garlic peri peri marinade (or spicier if you dare!), changed their infamous sweet potato mash into sweet potato chips and brought my favourite side dish into the mix... grilled haloumi! these can be marinated overnight, prepared in advance or done on the day; so the order that you make them may vary depending :) you will need...

shopping list (for around two people)
♥ two sweet potatoes, sliced
♥ 250g cooked jumbo or king prawns
♥ one block of haloumi, roughly chopped
♥ your fave nando's marinade
♥ a drizzle of olive oil
♥ wooden skewers
♥ silver foil

fluffy puff puffs: the gourmet marshmallow.

well don't these look divine? they tasted brilliant too. when louisa cefaz, creator and owner of fluffy puff puffs got in touch to see if i'd like to try out her sweet creations i obviously jumped at the chance ( i mean, look at them! these are the times i really wish i had a better camera!)

but gourmet marshmallows? i'd never heard of anything like this before and really wanted to know more about her inspiration behind the tasty treats. 

so here is a little interview with louisa about how fluffy puff puffs came to be and what is to come...

crab and leek tart: hairy bikers' recipe.

i first saw this crab and leek tart recipe on a lazy weekend morning on the hairy biker's best of british. if you've not seen this programme before i really suggest you try and catch it or find it on iplayer - as the title suggests they roam around beautiful great britain creating delicious dishes from the local ingredients in that area. i think this one might have been orkney (do correct me if i'm wrong i was too distracted by the look of the tart!) and wow wow wow it's a fantastic combination!

teapigs cocktails: jasmine gin fizz and lemon and ginger mojito tea.

summer glorious summer... is it finally here? long evenings at weekends full of cocktails, posh cider and barbecue food - i just can't wait! when i saw that teapigs were inviting bloggers to try out their tea in the form of cocktails and ice tea i couldn't wait. 

i first heard of teapigs when i worked at a lovely little deli during uni. i can't believe how many more flavours there are since i tried their good old english breakfast tea and refreshing peppermint. 

you really have to try them and check out the look and feel of the teabag to really appreciate the quality - the bags (known as tea temples) are made from delicate, biodegradable mesh and you can see every single whole tea leaf, herb and flower dancing around in the bag. i hope my pictures do this justice :)

so after a little experimentation i decided to make a jasmine gin fizz and lemon and ginger mojito tea.

so how did make them...?

what i ate lately: in pictures.

wow do i have a lot of pictures of food on my phone. i noticed lots of fashion bloggers posting up little montages of their instagram pictures and thought i'd try something similar. so here are a selection of pictures from the last month or so which didn't make the cut, as it were :)