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green tea almondshake.

just a really simple recipe today; a dairy free almond shake infused with green tea. super yummy and a super healthy alternative too. this is made up of sencha green tea, almond milk and natural sweetener agave nectar. i love this recipe as it's a little pick me up with all natural goodness. plus it's as easy as 1, 2, 3...

you are spookily invited...

it's october 31st and everything feels a bit spooky. are you partying away in your best ghost costume? sitting on your sofa with the lights off trying to avoid trick-or-treaters? or happily carving a pumpkin over a glass of your homemade witches' brew whilst adorning the streets with halloween shaped sweets? this year i'll be going to a house party at my pal amelia's whilst doing my best wednesday addams impression. i think it'll be a hit.

but if you were the one to throw a halloween party, what would it be like? if you could invite anyone, who would it be? and what disgusting delights would be showcased on your terrifying table? if you're dreaming about a distasteful and devilish dinner party, why not enter the latest competition over at atlantic shopping for a chance to win a scarily good prize...

soy sauce fisherman's pie with miso mash.

soy sauce has to be one of the most used condiments in my kitchen. along with sesame oil, i'm always adding a splash here and there to noodles, rice dishes, dim sum and homemade sushi. i'd never thought of adding it to any other dishes before until i saw the latest recipe challenge from kikkoman; to create a tasty one pot or one pan dish, which is not originally oriental in style.

with the weather getting colder and the recent purchase of these cute casserole dishes for one, i've been making a lot of bakes, pies and one pots. so with the discovery of miso mash with the amazing yutaka paste and soy salmon being one of my favourite combinations, i set about creating the fragrant, sweet, salty and umami elements of my kikkoman inspired king prawn and salmon fisherman's pie.

afternoon tea cake.

It's no secret that I love afternoon tea. My mum and I often scout out somewhere to enjoy the cutest of cakes, soldier like sandwiches and neverending pots of tea. 

When i saw that Denby were hosting an afternoon tea themed cake off, I couldn't wait to get involved. I thought, how can I make something that resembles afternoon tea, as well as could be nibbled at one? With our best blue Denby crockery and Sadler romeo and juliet teapot, I laid the table for afternoon tea and got creative for the main event. Cake, of course.

creative cooking with quark: the lake district dairy co.

cooking with quark just got interesting thanks to the lake district dairy co. with creamy garlic & herb, zingy tikka and tasty tomato & basil, the quark based sauces are said to be naturally high in protein, low in fat and yet deliciously indulgent. the lovely lot over at the dairy sent me their new sauces to try, along with the components to create a diverse range of recipes. 

with a mouthwatering menu and fresh ingredients, i couldn't wait to see how the sauces fared on filling me up, balancing out fresh flavours and feeling a little bit naughtier than they actually were.

burger & lobster.

at burger & lobster, the choice is simple. burger or lobster? lobster or burger? or if you're feeling particularly indecisive, a bit of both when shared with a friend. i headed over to the soho branch when i was down in london last. having just been at the trek vs. food event, i'm still not sure how i had room.

pumpkin chinese steamed buns.

Planning a Halloween party this year? Make sure you have all those spooky essentials at the ready. pumpkin? Check! Scary decorations? Check! Fancy dress outfit? Check! Chop sticks... what? 

When traditional Chinese sauce brand Lee Kum Kee got in touch to see how I fancied writing a Chinese pumpkin recipe i couldn't wait to step up to the challenge. inspired by my trip to flesh & buns, i set about developing a Chinese steamed bun recipe.

homemade beef stew and cheesy herb dumplings: community cooks with central england co op.

do you have one of those homemade recipes which evokes the best of memories? my mum's beef stew and dumplings was my favourite meal growing up. i always knew we'd be having it for tea when she was chopping up veggies as i was getting ready for school. then i'd have to turn the oven on when i got in just after 3 so it was ready in time for dinner.

central england coop have launched a community cooks competition to encourage people to #getcooking and share their favourite home cooked meals. whether it be your grandma's strawberry jam tarts, dad's ultimate lasagne or the first meal you impressed your uni friends with without burning your halls down. 

autumn chocolate pots.

i love autumn. pretty brown, orange and ochre leaves, crisp but chilly mornings, being able to wear all your favourite jumpers again and the feeling that my birthday is just around the corner. the rain, not so much. although at least if you've got a rainy sunday morning in, you can turn your hand to a spot of baking. 

this week is both national baking week and national chocolate week. what better excuse? this recipe mixes the two and isn't so difficult at all, so long as you have a bit of time on your hands.

bistro 1847, birmingham.

embracing the tastes, smells and natural beauty of fresh vegetables, herbs and flowers is the birmingham based vegetarian restaurant bistro 1847. i almost hesitated in labelling it as vegetarian, since you don't need to be vegetarian or vegan to enjoy it. quite the opposite. it is simply a beautifully crafted menu with elements that both enhance and compliment one another, that just so happen to not include meat and contain very little animal based ingredients.

recently i went along to enjoy their newly launched autumn menu, which is set out in an on-trend mezze style format in which you mix and match a few plates each.

pressure cooker paella.

When I want a comforting but light meal packed with my favourite seafood, smoky flavours and wholesome veggies, I turn to my old friend the paella. It's a great one to make for friends and family too, since you can make a big pot of it and be as adventurous as you like with your choice of shellfish, chorizo or just simple tasty vegetables. 

When british cookware brand Tower Housewares kindly offered to send me one of their products for review, I instantly went for a pressure cooker. It's a piece of kitchen kit that you don't see very often these days and is something that Tower pride themselves on producing. 

sushi dinner party.

a few weekends back i hosted a little sushi dinner party at my home with fellow leicestershire foodies and bloggers alex and charlotte. i love making homemade sushi so i loved the idea of mixing and matching my favourite flavours and teaching others some new skills along the way.

byron, leicester.

it's been a while since i ate a hamburger. i mean honestly, we're talking months. i mostly eat seafood these days, opt for vegetarian burgers when out and only indulge in a steak now and again. i'm glad i saved my meat eating days for when i went to try out the newly opened byron burger restaurant in leicester. wow. now that's a burger and a half. 

green tea macarons.

with my new found love for baking with green tea, i couldn't wait to try out the flavours in green tea macarons. i'd recently made sushi cupcakes with green tea buttercream so knew i definitely wanted this for the filling. then, i kept the macaron shell recipe fairly simple with a slight hint of food colouring and speckles of finely sieved green tea. i thought it created quite a nice speckled effect, don't you think?