dumpling time, san francisco.


If you're fond of beautifully fluffy bao, rows of gyoza and oodles of noodles, then Dumpling Time has probably been on your restaurant radar for a San Francisco food trip. From open faced siu mai to steamed har gow, these guys know their dumplings and they do them well. When we spent a week in the Californian city, I just knew this had to be on the ever-growing list.


king prawn and vegetable pilaf.


A really simple seafood recipe which is light, healthy and flavoursome. Above all, it's really easy to rustle up. There are lots of interpretations of the pilaf, ranging from Central Asian or Middle Eastern areas, namely Turkish to Persian. I'm no expert, but, in simple terms, what defines this from a Spanish paella or Indian biriyani for me is the use of rice and choice of ingredients. So this cheat recipe uses the likes of warming cardamom, cinnamon, lemon, turmeric and cumin for that distinctive colour and flavour. I've read they sometimes feature saffron too, if you're feeling fancy.


cherry cava granita.

Jerte Picota Cherry Cava

Perfect for this beautifully sunny British Summer we're having; ice cold frozen cherry Cava granita. The ideal mix between a cocktail, cold drink and dessert, this delicious cherry infused recipe is both refreshing and tasty. Oh, and so simple too! Impress your guests by making these Spanish inspired frozen Cava granitas beforehand and finishing with a deliciously juicy Jerte Picota Cherry or two.

The Picota Cherry story begins in the beautiful Spanish valley of Jerte, 200km west of Madrid. The area is famous for the incredible annual cherry blossom of over million trees - it must be a beautiful sight to see as the colour of the valley transforms from a dazzling white to colourful bursts of red and green.! The Picota Cherry blossom and harvest follow a 100% natural growing season, which is why the arrival of the Picota Cherry changes each year. In 2018, you can now get them in Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrison's and Aldi from July - but be quick, they may only be around until August.

You can also be in a chance of winning a picnic hamper with Jerte Picota Cherries! Each hamper includes two delicious punnets of cherries, a bottle of Cava, flutes, a cherry pitter and napkins. Scroll down for the granita recipe, as well as to find out how to enter...

Cherry Cava Granita
Jerte Picota Cherry Cava Recipes

parmigiano reggiano crusted salmon with mozzarella, basil and tomato salad.


Beautiful Parmigiano Reggiano PDO cheese, an Italian inspired caprese salad and lightly seasoned salmon make this Italian style dish ideal for enjoying on these long Summer evenings. Enjoy with a cold glass of crisp Pinot Grigio to balance out the classic salty flavours of the cheese, aroma of basil and sweetness of the plump Vittoria tomatoes. 


Exclusively produced in the Northern Italian provinces of Parma, Modena Reggio Emilia, as well as parts of Mantua and Bologna, Parmigiano Reggiano PDO is a much coveted cheese. It hails from the plains, hills and mountains between the rivers Po and Reno, where the long and natural maturation makes for its distinctive fruity, nutty and yet salty taste with the crystallised texture. Cheese masters and inspectors actually say that cheese must pass “two summers”, as the transformations that determine the changes and flavour in Parmigiano Reggiano PDO are more intense in summer because of the heat.

The Parmigiano Reggiano crusted salmon recipe is simple, and would be lovely paired with potatoes, roast vegetables and your choice of salad alike. Here of course it had to be with mozzarella, basil and tomato salad, for that fresh flavour of Italy.

the stable, birmingham.


Dorset born, Dorsey bred. At The Stable, they're proud of their pizza and savvy about their cider. Whether it's colourful, innovative pizza toppings or seeking out the latest cider blends, their casual dining atmosphere makes their locations a fun place for large parties, date days or birthday gatherings. I recently went along to try out their Summer offerings before a local gig in Birmingham, and it couldn't have been a more perfect setting.


say hello to tiger prawn and chorizo spaghetti with fresh vine tomatoes.


HelloFresh has taken the UK by storm with their fresh, flexible and friendly approach to food. Encouraging seasoned cooks to challenge their tastebuds and newbie foodies to try cooking at home, the ingredients are pre-portioned with recipes cards to make midweek meals and weekend treats as easy as they can be. You simply customise your weekly menu and choose your delivery time to cook your favourite seasonal food from scratch.




When HelloFresh got in touch to try out one of their recipes (believe me, it was a tricky decision) I went for one of my favourite flavour combinations. Smoky chorizo and seafood! Tiger Prawn and Chorizo Spaghetti with Fresh Vine Tomatoes, to be precise.

There's a little story behind this one too. This was inspired by Head Chef Patrick's trips to a little Spanish eatery in Borough Market, where he became best friends with the head chef and started to work in the kitchen at weekends. Like me, his favourite recipes included the beautiful Iberican combination of seafood and chorizo. Who can blame him? In just 25 minutes, here's how you can make it too.

9 foodie must-dos in costa brava.


Found in Catalonia in the North East of Spain, Costa Brava is a beautiful coastal region that boasts leafy hills, colourful buildings, gorgeous views and an excellent foodie culture. Being by the sea, there are lots of fresh seafood and fish dishes to indulge in. That's not all. Think stunning wine blends, with great pairings, as well as exceptional olive oil and sweets.

I went along as a guest of Jet2holidays to explore what the Catalonia region had to offer. With really reasonable flights from 9 UK destinations, I went from East Midlands to Girona, taking around two hours and costing from about £40pp. It really would make such an easy city break, only using one day holiday to enjoy three full days in the area. But what did I get up to on that long weekend?


white chocolate and raspberry cookies.


Delicious, freshly baked cookies with a cuppa. I love white chocolate in cakes, cookies and biscuits and just find it's the perfect accompaniment to raspberries. Bake until golden with a slightly crispy edge and gooey white chocolate - perfection!


5 ways with picota cherries.


It's finally Jerte Picota Cherry season - where the glorious Spanish beauties are ready to be picked and enjoyed simply as they are or as part of a tasty Summer recipe. I've put together five deliciously decadent ways to enjoy cherries from some of my favourite fellow food bloggers. For those who love the mix of sweet and savoury, like to experiment with cocktails or make homemade jam - there's something for everyone!

The Picota Cherry journey starts in the stunning Spanish valley of Jerte, 200km from Madrid. The Picota Cherry blossom follows a completely natural season and harvest, which is why the arrival of the Picota Cherry changes each year. The area is known for the amazing and colourful annual blossom of over million cherry trees. For 2018, you can now get them in Sainsbury's, Morrison's, Tesco and Aldi from July - but be speedy, they may only be around until August!


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.


chorizo and smoked cheddar tarts.


It's starting to show signs of... dare I say Summer... and that can only mean one thing. Picnic food, BBQs and cocktails in the sun. Of course it was going to be food. My first picnic recipe of the year happens to be these delicious chorizo and smoked cheddar tarts. Great to make-ahead for picnics, on the go or for a light lunch (I did all three with these). And guess what, they're super simple too.


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.



the queen's head, belton, leicestershire.


Found in the Leicestershire countryside, The Queen's Head is a cosy pub and restaurant that boasts five refurbished rooms. The Belton based establishment pride themselves on using the best ingredients and local producers to create seasonal menus mostly inspired by British and European cuisine. The bar area is dog friendly, whilst the restaurant has a more modern and refined feel for birthday meals, special occasions and date nights alike.


roast cauliflower, vine tomato and red pepper linguine.



A healthy take on pure comfort food. There's nothing like a piping hot bowl of pasta with lashings of Parmesan cheese. In this recipe, the roasted cauliflower, tomatoes and peppers bring together varying textures and flavours. What's more, it goes towards your five a day.



easter mini egg and malteaster bunny brownies.


An indulgent Easter brownie recipe, with melt-in-the-mouth Malteaster bunnies, crunchy Mini Eggs and sweet hits of white chocolate. This is my go-to (accidentally gluten free) brownie recipe, with an April twist. The secret is adding the bunnies to the top of the brownies right at the end, so they slightly melt whilst still keeping that signature crunch. Hoppy Easter!



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

fishmore hall, ludlow.


In a stunning Shropshire setting, you'll find Fishmore Hall nestled in the counryside, just a short walk from Ludlow. The grand, yet quaint, white building has a welcoming entrance and even more welcoming staff. Myself and a girl friend went along a couple of weeks ago to enjoy the seasonal menu and luxury bedrooms as well as make use of the spa and potter around the local village.



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!