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chocolate bakewell tart.

one of my favourite desserts with a twist; a chocolate bakewell using nutella spread! since bakewell is mostly almonds and i love nutty flavours i started thinking how this could work. i imagined once the jam was out of the recipe how this would turn into a nutty frangipane tart with some of my fave flavours :) tempted? here's how i made it...

matar paneer curry.

having really enjoyed matar paneer in a few indian vegetarian restaurants - including bobby's and shivali in leicester - i was keen to have a go myself. this fairly mild north indian dish is made up of matar or mattar (peas) and paneer (indian cheese) in a lightly spiced tomato based sauce. i'm starting to build up a little spice collection lately and this recipe over at padhu's kitchen looked like the perfect place to start...

cafe bruxelles, leicester.

cafe bruxelles as a lovely bar in leicester which serves speciality european beers, complex cocktails and, i've recently come to realise, an appetising menu too. not to mention, a beautiful ceiling hey? i remember first going there with my dad near on ten years ago and always recall him ordering a leffe blond. so, having recently got into trying out a few groupon deals, when i saw cafe bruxelles on the leicester offers i snapped it up straight away. a three course meal and bottle of wine for £24 - you can't go wrong really!

midlands bloggers #chofeast at edmunds, birmingham.

this week, i was kindly invited to a chobani inspired feast along with some other midlands based bloggers. the setting was edmunds at six brindley place, a five star fine dining restaurant set by the city centre canal. so i set off west, excited for the chofeast and meeting a few new local blogger faces. 

spinach, chickpea and cauliflower curry.

whilst looking for a new curry to try on the bbc good food website i came along this delicious sounding chickpea, tomato and spinach curry. so this week i decided to try it out along with the little change of added cauliflower. and let me tell you it was absolutely lovely if i say so myself! and quite a few of your five a day too which is always a winner for me :)

sushi express, sheffield.

it was when i lived in sheffield that i really got into my love of sushi. you wouldn't believe how many little independent japanese gems there are in the city; sakushi, edo sushi, wasabisabi, yami sushi and perhaps my favourite (though not by much) sushi express. when i went to sheffield the other weekend i made sure i had a reunion with their sushi delights before an evening at some old haunts.

salmon and red pepper cannelloni.

having not long ago made a salmon and spinach lasagne and always wanting to try out a cannelloni, i had a brainwave about using lasagne sheets to create the signature pasta rolls. this one is made of red pepper and tomato sauce with grilled salmon but i'm sure lots of combinations would be nice; perhaps lamb and aubergine, chicken and bacon or a combination of cheeses.

jones' bistro, leicester.

found in a lovely little corner of leicester, jones' bistro on queens road has a charming and rustic candlelit feel, serves a fresh, seasonal menu and boasts an extensive wine and cocktail selection. it's somewhere i'd recommend to anyone looking for a cosy, romantic meal or an evening out for a birthday or special occasion. when i used to live in the nearby student area, we'd treat ourselves to meals out here now and again. then, on my graduation back in 2010, i went here for a meal with my mum and sister that i didn't have to pay for :)

fast forward to nowadays and jones' is still serving my favourite seafood risotto, delicious homemade bread and herb butter and their amazing selection of mussel dishes. these include mussels mariniere, thai, portuguese, cornish, stilton and signature jones' - with red onion, fennel, garlic, chilli, white wine and coriander. there are only around ten tables in the place and no wonder they're always pretty booked up! 

homemade spinach, ham and ricotta ravioli.

having made my usual rustic parcels in previous ravioli making, i was so excited to try out this proper ravioli press. it was a little gem i found in my local tk maxx - amongst a pretty impressive baking section of various sized piping bags, decorating tools and cake tins. fellow foodies i urge you to go check it out, this ravioli maker set me back about £2. 

i feel like instead of a crazy cat lady i'm going to be a crazy foodie gadget lady found cuddling my bamboo steamer and pasta maker. i've previously made crab and dill ravioli, boursin and sundried tomato ravioli and red wine venison ravioli so this time i really fancied something with a thick ham and cheese - so i thought i'd try spinach, ham and ricotta filling!

turtle bay caribbean, leicester.

having been to the fantastic, fun and fiery launch night of the newest caribbean restaurant in leicester, turtle bay, i was keen to return and try out their dinner menu. the launch night atmosphere was absolutely buzzing; everyone chatting, laughing, dancing to a live band and helping themselves to platters packed with caribbean tasters. a really relaxed, party ambiance which reflected the character of the restaurant.

on the other hand, this party feel meant that i didn't really try much food or take any pictures. who wants a foodie blogger muscling in on a plate of tasty looking nibbles and saying "sorry, stop can i take a photo please?" i must say i did sample some delicious sweetcorn fritters and curried goat for the first time which were both divine, crunchy and fresh tasting. but how did they do for an evening meal?

shredded roast duck noodles.

a simple duck noodle dish with lots of tasty veg. this dish is gluten free as it uses rice noodles - i absolutely love the texture and versatility of them as they just absorb flavour :) i made this just for me with a gressingham duck leg though you can easily adjust to make for more.