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aix-en-provence: my little foodie city guide.

In mid August I took my first solo trip out of the UK to the South of France. For the most part, I stayed in Marseille by the port. But for one day, I ventured out to Aix-en-Provence on the train. It's somewhere I haven't been since the summer of 1998. I went to France with the grandparents for the summer holidays and can still remember the colourful sights of the quaint Southern French city. Here are a few of my foodie travel trips and places to go if you visit too...

vimto jelly bean macarons.

The latest addition to my macaron recipe collection... featuring a well known British soft drink. These Vimto macarons have been coloured pastel purple before being sandwiched together with sweet Vimto infused buttercream. Established in 1908, Vimto is known for it's unusual fruity flavour made with a medley of grapes, raspberries and blackcurrants.  

A recent member of the Vimto family are their mini jelly beans - the very inspiration behind this recipe. So when I was asked if I wanted to join in the Vimto Jelly Bean Bake Off I knew I had to make macarons!

homemade red leicester bread.

It's pretty good being a foodie in Midlands. From countryside farm shops to the vibrant cities, there are so many amazing flavours to whet your appetite. Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire is the home of the pork pie, you can find Colston Bassett Stilton in Nottinghamshire and Bakewell tarts in Derbyshire's Peak District. From beers in Burton-on-Trent to baltis in Birmingham, there's a lot to be said about the food and drink around these parts. So when Haven asked me to share a local delicacy, I was spoilt for choice.

In the end I went with classic Red Leicester; the infamous orange cheese which dates back to the 17th Century. It's found in supermarkets far and wide, but to get the proper hard, crumbly but creamy Red Leicester it needs to be traditional Sparkenhoe. To celebrate this fantastic Leicestershire cheese, I've created a Red Leicester bread - perfect accompanied with some local homemade chutney!

mill street pub & kitchen, oakham, rutland.

Found in the picturesque Rutland village of Oakham is newly opened Mill Street Pub & Kitchen. With a rustic exterior, fitting of Oakham's charm, the inside has been tastefully refurbished with contemporary finishes. Old meets new with grand chandeliers, countryside checks, oak furniture and plush quilted seating. The bar and restaurant has been take over by the EPIC group, to serve up seasonal menus, classy cocktails, local cask ales and Sunday lunch. They have seven newly decorated rooms upstairs too, making Mill Street the ideal location for dining, drinking and staying in the centre of Rutland.

miso mushroom gyoza.

Miso mushroom gyoza

An exciting parcel arrived on my doorstep recently. An exciting parcel bursting with organic goodies. To celebrate Organic September, Organic UK had sent me a variety of fresh, dairy and dry produce to get creative with. From vibrant fruit and vegetables to soy sauce and plain flour to pasta, there were lots of ingredients to play around with in my #OrganicUnboxed package... even wine! I hadn't realised so many foodie products could be organic and couldn't wait to experiment. 

After getting my thinking cap on, I knew I had to use the red miso paste and soy sauce to create something Japanese inspired. And so I present to you... homemade miso mushroom gyoza featuring and organic mushroom filling, pastry made from Doves Farm flower and Clearspring soy sauce for dipping. Yum - and they're vegan too!

Miso mushroom gyoza recipes
Miso mushroom gyoza UK recipe

hellofresh: chefworthy dishes delivered to your door.

HelloFresh have fast become known for their seasonal recipe boxes, making cooking fresh, colouring and exciting meals on busy weeknights as easy as 1, 2, 3. You simply choose between a two or four person vegetarian, meat or family box and a week to suit you... then hey presto the ingredients come weighed and packaged direct to your door. The simple-to-follow recipes are a great way of trying something new without having any food waste. We all know how many condiments, herbs and spices we have lurking in the cupboard from 2014...

So this month HelloFresh are celebrating the brains behind the beautifully thought out menus each week... their resident chefs! This particular Top Chef recipe was Roasted Curried Parsnips with Cumin Quinoa Pilaf and Pomegranate Seeds and featured in their most recent vegetarian box.

indulge in häagen-dazs salted caramel ice cream stick bars.


A rich and indulgent addition to the Häagen-Dazs collection. Whoever said September is too late to enjoy ice cream clearly hasn't tried one of these yet. These sumptuous salted caramel stick bar ice creams from global brand Häagen-Dazs are made up of salted caramel swirl ice cream and flecks of caramel brittle before being smothered in milk chocolate. Who could resist?

Häagen-Dazs ice cream
Häagen-Dazs salted caramel

raspberry and rosewater jam: #iamajam.

A homemade raspberry and rosewater jam, created using Tate & Lyle's Fairtrade jam sugar. The 1:1 jam is specially created to make a traditional jam that uses 1kg fruit to 1kg sugar. With blackberry, summer berry and strawberry and Prosecco making up their lovely recipe ideas, I opted for raspberry and rosewater. A fruity and fragrant mix, the recipe proved to make a really thick and chunky jam which kept the raspberry seeds intact. And what's more, it was so much more simple than I expected.

la marinière, marseille.

For fresh seafood overlooking Marseille's Vieux Port, La Marinière is a must. Showcasing the likes of moules frites, bouillabaisse and seasonal seafood platters, La Marinière can be found along the Quai des Belges amongst the hustle and bustle of the busy French port. I went along a couple of times during my stay in the South of France, both times enjoying some great quality fish dishes at pretty reasonable prices.

thai peanut potato and spinach curry.

Thai potato peanut curry

An indulgent vegan curry featuring the unique Rooster potatoes from Albert Bartlett. Their signature potato has unmistakable deep red skin and a texture that makes them perfect for mashing, boiling, baking and roasting. To celebrate this fantastic potato, I've teamed up with Albert Bartlett to create this Thai inspired curry with hints of peanut, chilli, lime and coriander. The potatoes are the star of the show, with added nutrients from the finely chopped spinach throughout.

Thai potato peanut curry recipe
Thai potato spinach peanut curry