Wednesday, 23 December 2009

i've just made the most delicious cinnamon almond milk

this is a slight aside, but i just HAD to post about it because i want you all to make it right now!!

i made some cinnamon almond milk, which was indeed so divine that i drank it all ludicrously quickly without taking pictures or anything. it was only enough for one cup, but given that i'm just one person, i'd say that was the right amount. it's pretty easy to double/triple/quadruple anyway!

so i started out by soaking some almonds, i actually started soaking just under two days ago, and left them soaking for a day and 'sprouting' for a day. i put it in inverted commas because the quality of the nuts i got is so bad that they are officially unsproutable.

anyway, then i just put the soaked nuts in my blender, probably about a cup full, and then added 3 cups of water. i blended this up really really well, like left the machine on high speed for a couple of minutes, so as to really grind up the nuts in my tiny, not-so-powerful blender. then i added about a half teaspoon of cinnamon and a dessertspoon of honey, blended again for another minute, then put it through the jam straining bag. and it's just slightly warmed from all the blending, and the perfect combination of flavours. yummy!

if you missed my video post about nut milk, do check it out and let me know what you think. i do urge you to try nut milks, it's amazing how creamy and delicious they actually are!


Tuesday, 22 December 2009

it's time for the festive food to commence

i can't believe i haven't shared these with you yet...but a couple of days ago i made biscotti for christmas presents. and they turned out beautifully.


i sort of followed this whole wheat biscotti recipe from enjoy healthy eating, but with a few adjustments to what i had lying around. i also made some vanilla biscotti too. i hope everyone enjoys dunking them in their boxing day coffee.

we bought a 25p massive red cabbage the other day, and i promised i'd make delia's traditional red cabbage recipe and then freeze it in batches so we could enjoy it for the next few weeks. so i did. and i'm so glad, because it tastes delicious. there's just one problem with red cabbage, and that's the purple staining...
i'm excited for all the delicious festive food i'll get to eat this season. christmas eve there'll be a smorgasbord with my swedish half of the family, and then traditional english fare on christmas day, including turkey and a chocolate yule log.

the things i'm most excited about though are the vegetables that my auntie will prepare for Christmas dinner, she always does something interesting and un-English to them, which makes them so tasty. i'm also very excited about the smorgastorte on christmas eve, which is one of my favorite foods of all time! (yes, that is a type of savoury cake, full of seafood, OH MY DELICIOUSNESS!)

i'm just hoping that it doesn't snow again so that i can get to all of my relatives homes safely, and not end up snowed in. not that it would matter, as we have 24 mince pies in our freezer and smoked salmon in the fridge, party!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

favorite foodie youtubers

from now on i hope to post more of my favorite youtube health and food videos and channel recommendations, so to start i thought i'd some up some of the videos currently on my favorites list:

As you can see they are mostly (ok, well actually all are, on reflection) raw food recipes, only because I'm reading and researching loads about it, and there's a HUGE raw youtube tribe. i find most raw youtubers really inspirational, and their attitude is always positive and upbeat - plus the recipes are really new and different to anything i've ever really experienced until now.

ps. i'm sat here thinking about my new year's resolutions...what should my health one be this year? last years was just to cook for other people more often, and to try new dishes, but what that ended up being was my baking more, and feeding people naughty treats on a regular basis, really not good.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

raw nut milk with hazelnuts, hmmm

some of you might know, but you probably don't know that I have a Youtube channel, which is really about loads of different things that I'm interested in. so, i've just started to move into doing a few more recipe videos...(if you've got any ideas, let me know!) anyways, here's a chance for you to see what i'm actually like, kinda.


so, raw nut milk is my next big thing. i kind of botched the few batches i've made, in that i've not had anywhere to store it, so have made tiny quantities. next though, i'm totally up for making large batches and keeping it in the fridge so i don't have to blend every day! yey!

ps. i made more of my healthy mince pies, which are so absolutely delicious I just can't get over it! and of course, the mincemeat is even better after a couple of days stored in the fridge. and i've just been asked to make 24 more for Christmas parties, because they've got such delicious reviews from all that have eaten them...I even managed to convert a non-mince-pie eater when i served them hot with a bit of Elmlea....mmmmmmmmmmm.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

scrumptious salad

i've been reading even more about the raw food diet, and yesterday i ordered myself a book that was recommended by a raw foodist which is called the 'mucusless diet healing system' by arnold ehret which was first published in 1922. hopefully i'll receive it today or tomorrow, and be able to have a good read. it sounds really interesting, and is still provocative and relevant to today which is the key thing.


so, after having read so much about this diet, i have made a conscious decision to try to incorporate more RAW vegetables into my diet. i already eat one fresh apple and one banana each day, but i want to move it forward. so a few days ago i made this delicious salad, and have had it for lunch the last couple of days. it's so filling and delicious, and whilst it's not an actual raw salad because it has feta cheese and toasted nuts in it, it is the step up the ladder closer to health.


i thought i would feel weird eating a cold salad whilst the weather outside is so miserable, but it had the opposite effect to what i thought. it actually was very refreshing and just what i needed. it was very filling too, which was fantastic! i did have loads of cups of green and herbal teas yesterday to keep me warm though, but i do that on any regular day, as my fingers get so cold typing all the time.



I've been trying to incorporate as many British grown vegetables too, as it seems weird getting them from South America or even further afield. I do admit that there are some vegetables I just love too much to give up, so I do buy produce from Europe. Anyway, that's why I popped beetroot on my salad, it's not a vegetable we usually have in the house, but it's not expensive and it can be grown in this country: Winner!

Did any of you see Delia's Classic Christmas, wasn't it lovely? I have to admit I was disappointed that she didn't do too many vegetables, and that my favorite dish she cooked was the red cabbage, I love that it can be made and then frozen: healthy and convenient is a fab combination! I think my favorite TV chef is Jamie Oliver, because he loves to do interesting things with vegetables....who's yours?

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

healthy mince pies ★

i've been searching and searching for a healthier alternative to an otherwise ludicrously sweet christmas dessert (as most of them tend to be). and i could not find a recipe online, so as always i took one, and adapted it - i don't often follow a recipe exactly!

when you buy mincemeat in jars, it's often laced with sugar and glucose syrup. last weekend, i went round to a friends house and made some scrumptious mince pies, but they did use shop-bought mincemeat, and refined flour pastry, and real butter. divinely naughty, yet because they were so small i didn't feel all too bad eating one or two. so, if you do want to make some quick regular mince pies, then making small ones, with star tops, then that's probably the way to go.

BUT, before you go and do that, check out this recipe for healthy homemade mince pies. which are equally as yummy, but not as bad for you.




♥ To make the mincemeat, add the following to a large saucepan:
  • 2 finely chopped (gala) apples or 1-2 cups homemade apple sauce
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup apricots
  • 1tbsp linseeds
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1-2tsp mixed spice (don't be too afraid to use lots, because the flavour will dull down with time)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch cloves, ginger and nutmeg
  • 5-10 tbsp water (you may find you need to put more in to keep it at the right consistency)
- cook for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, until it acheives a puply consistency, and the flavours have mixed thoroughly. then leave overnight.
- whilst your healthy mincemeat is simmering, make the pastry, to put in the fridge overnight also.
- mix 225g plain flour (i used: 50g buckwheat, 50g wholemeal, 75g gluten free, 50g regular) and 175g butter substitute (Pure, or margarine, etc) and mix until it forms breadcrumbs.

- then add 65g caster/fructose sugar and 1 beaten egg. bring it together into a dough, wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight, or for at least 1 hour.
- the following morning, roll out your flour as thinly as you dare. and cut out circles for your bases, and smaller circles for your tops. put the bases in a cake tray, and fill as much as you can with your mincemeat, then top with the smaller circles (or festive shapes) and egg wash.
- put in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden.
- i'm going to try to freeze mine, and see how they fare when i take them out. they should be fine...hopefully! i'll let you know.

UPDATE: these freeze beautifully and are perfect to make a month or so before Christmas!

leek and chicken pie ♥

as we were sat on the train coming back from london, i had but one thought. leek and chicken pie. for no particular reason. i hadn't seen it that day, i hadn't even smelt it (that i can remember), nor had i read about it. i just couldn't stop thinking about it.

so. the day after, i went and got the things to make it, and rustled one up in the kitchen.


i used jamie oliver's savoury shortcrust pastry recipe (changing the flours, of course!) from Jamie at Home, which is definitely the best ever pastry! even though i don't ever follow it exactly, and i never use lard, but butter. and i always sub the flour for a mix of gluten free, plain and wholemeal. and i pretty much don't add cheese to it, because we never seem to have any. but it is a good basis!!

then i kind of created my own filling for the pie, based on a Waitrose recipe for Chicken, Leek and Bacon Pie. here's how i made the filling:

- i cooked 2 chicken breasts, and 3-4 rashers bacon. once cooked, i chopped them up and sprinkled them onto the base of my dish.
- then in a large pan, i cooked 2 stalks of celery (cubed), 1 diced onion, 1 clove garlic (chopped), 2 chopped leeks. simmer for about 10 minutes, whilst continuing to stir. then add 1 tin of (my favorite storecupboard item) condensed cream of chicken soup - i use Bachelors. fill the tin with water and add to the pan, then give it a good stir. add salt, pepper and a shake of dried or fresh parsley.
- add a small amount of bouillon powder, and some extra water, depending on how creamy/runny you would like your pie dish to be. i added about 2 tsps of bouillon to a tiny half pint of boiling water, which worked out pretty well.
- pour this on top of the meat, and stir thoroughly. top with the pastry crust, mark with a fork to allow steam to escape, and decorate with any extra pastry. brush with beaten egg.
- put in the oven until golden, about 40 minutes.

serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

eating and food shopping in London

me and my mum went to london last thursday! and on that trip, we pretty much enjoyed all of london (well not all, but we did manage to get a load of different things in to a short space of time)...our first stop was Wholefoods, which I was very very very excited about, after having gone to the one in New York City.

Actually we went to the Wholefoods in Soho, as there's a few in London (but nowhere else in the UK, yet...) and I was just in love with the store. It's beautiful and everything is so delicious looking and healthy. There's a whole bunch of different stuff, but it's all natural and organic, so basically everything is good for you. What a change to be in a store where I can eat everything, and I don't have to detour past any aisles, and to know that anything I bought would be inherently good for me!

I checked out the raw food items, like Maca powder, Lucuma, carob, cacao butter...
and I tried a Conscious Raw food bar, the Berry Christmas one with Inca berries, bilberries, blackcurrants and cinnamon. OH MY WORD! DELICIOUS!! ♥

Who knew that it would be so creamy? It truly is fantastic chocolate, and the kind to that because it's so rich and amazing, you want to save some of it for later, so you can prolong the experience. here's a photo of my mum holding a Conscious bar (yes they are tiny and expensive, but seriously amazing)
 

Thursday, 26 November 2009

giving thanks for all the deliciousness

happy thanksgiving!

even though i'm not american, and i do in fact live in England...I will be making a pumpkin pie today in honor of my american friends and in keeping with the spirit of thankfulness.

i've made a few delicious treats over the last week or so since i posted, including about 60 cakes (cinnamon buns, raspberry cupcakes, maple and banana cupcakes and chocolate ones too) for various events, my first ever sweet potato pie which was enjoyed by everyone and an attempt at hasselback potatoes that was exceedingly scrumptious.

i did make one disaster. cornbread. it went tragically wrong, with a gooey center and terrible after taste. we concluded that the cornmeal had gone off, and that it was partly to blame. but also i reckon the recipe was pretty bad. have you guys got any good ones?

♥ the sweet potato pie...

♥ and the disaster... :(

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

raw food...mayhaps?

i've been reading loads and loads about raw food lately. and watching a million raw food youtube videos! it's such an interesting concept, and I think I might have to buy a book that explains it in more depth, with like scientific studies and proof (anyone know of a good one?)

i imagine it would be amazingly good for my diabetes and sugar levels, etc. there are tons of inspiring stories about how a raw food diet can heal illness, so i'd be really interested to see if it could work.

but, there are 2 reasons that are stopping me...firstly, it is so expensive to buy fresh organic vegetables here in the uk. our weekly budget is about £40 for two of us, which has to include all household goods too, it's a bit tight, and so some cooked foods are definitely a good option.

the second reason is that England is such a cold and miserable country that i can't not eat hot foods. i drink a lot of herbal teas and green teas, which would perhaps suit me quite a bit, but i can't imagine what it would be like to be 100% raw in England. difficult, for sure.

i could start by being like 50% raw, ish. but at the moment, i'm just trying to incorporate more fresh veg and fruit where i can, even if it's not organic. when i get more money and a bigger budget, i'd love to try out some raw food recipes, as they do look pretty yummy, and experiment with some of the different ingredients.

are any of you on a raw food diet? i'd love to hear about your experiences if you are...

Thursday, 12 November 2009

i'm seriously in love

as some of you know...i've been on an ice-cream ban for ages; about 2 years! basically because at uni i ate so much ben & jerry's (or at least it felt that way) and i really wasn't feeling at the top of my game. so i quit. i have had some setbacks, involving phish food and cookie dough, but i haven't wolfed down a whole tub like i used too.

so, over the last couple of weeks, i've been reading a lot about raw foods, and one of the things that they talk about is of course raw ice-cream. and today when i went for a serious cereal bar stock up in my local health food store and i saw some ice-cream in the freezer, i had to try it!

Booja Booja has won a ton of awards for their stuff in a tub, and i can see why. it's amazingly soft and creamy, as well as having only 5 ingredients (water, agave, cashews, maple syrup, pecans..mmmm) guilt free ice-cream is a wonder that i will never ever deprive myself of again! i can't believe how sweet it is as well, like morishly yummy. it tastes way better than regular ice-cream, with no sugar headache, or nauseating after effects. i am in love. i really am.
they aren't sold in supermarkets, but you can get it from goodnessdirect.co.uk and health food stores. i only wish i could buy some for all my readers and send it to you so you could get half as addicted as i will be from today onwards :)

Thursday, 5 November 2009

healthy and some not so healthy (oops)

I am officially now going on a detox. the week in cornwall with really 'heavy' food kinda hurt me. well a lot hurt me. my diabetes is a little out of control. so to bring it back to the realms of health and happiness i am going on my own little version of a detox...

which basically means, no carbs except porridge in the morning, and rice cakes at lunch, and no dairy. we'll see how it pans out. essentially this is what i usually eat, although i have become so lax lately it's not funny. i can partly blame this on my trial runs of christmas hamper gifts...most of which are super sugary, so that they last a long time. the conclusion of this anyway was to try to come up with gift ideas that weren't so bad for other people's health!!

so, my first idea for a food hamper gift, was when my grandparents gave me a massive bag of crabapples to make some crabapple jelly with. which i did of course.
for those of you that have never made crabapple jelly...you start by washing the apples...


then you cut off the bruises, i also topped and tailed them but it's not necessary...


then boil them up until they turn mushy...


then you strain the juice through a mesh, i left mine overnight, and then you boil up the juice with lots of sugar. until its done. you know when it's done because you drop a little on a dish, wait a moment, and then see whether if you push it...it wrinkles.

then put it in some jars. enjoy it on hot buttered toast. mmm. it does taste really good, but the quantity of sugar is insanely head hurting.


ps. don't you love the tea towel, it's an Emma Bridgewater and it says 'I had a really nice dream last night about Daniel Craig' :)

so, to continue the sweet theme, i thought coconut ice would be a nice gift. so i found a recipe on waitrose.com and made some. it's the easiest thing to make ever, and if there were a healthier option i would totally attempt it! (just found one at sugarfreerecipes.co.uk, but it won't last as long as i need it too, but i might try it anyway for future knowledge)

the most frustrating thing about coconut ice, is that is contains condensed milk, which is thoroughly addictive, so once you have one bit, you need another. fortunately, i can stop myself at the second, but by then i've already eaten about 30g of sugar. madness. anyway, how pretty does it look in its jar?


then because i felt so bad about making horrendously sugary things, i made some houmous/hummus, which was delightful, although the olive oil i used had far too much flavour for the recipe. it does taste amazing spread on organic rice cakes though.


this was a dish i made a long while back, but i found it on my camera the other day. it was so good. i really am struggling to remember all the ingredients though...spinach (obviously), mushrooms, onion, chicken?, carrots?, squash? but the most important ingredient in this was low fat creme fraiche, which gave it the most amazing texture and flavour, and all you need is one tbsp full!


anyway, that's me done, over and out!

ps. remember remember the 5th of november!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

cornish delights

we went on a brief holiday/break to cornwall, and we had a delicious time. there are a couple of things i definitely need to mention:


  • pasties are the best. we went around the whole of Bude to find the perfect pasty, and we finally found it on our last day there. if you're also looking for the best pasty in Bude, then go to Tasty Pasties at the top of the hill on Princes St. It's hands down the best pasty i've ever had. Pengenna pasties was a tasteless disaster, and Lansdowne Bakery was a close second to Tasty Pasties, although perhaps a little too oily.
  • there's no clotted cream better than Rodda's. if you've ever eaten clotted cream in the uk, chances are it's Rodda's. and you'd have been truly blessed to have tasted such creamy deliciousness. we tried the Jersey Farm Shop clotted cream from Bude, and although it was delicious, it wasn't particularly spreadable. not healthy really, but a must when you are in cornwall.
  • toasted tea cakes are not over-rated. i can't believe i ever thought that. how bad of me! excellent with a cup of tea as the name suggests. not particularly healthy, but brilliant on a cold autumn day.
  • Rick Stein's patisserie in Padstow is unbelievably good. we split a chocolate eclair and a custard tart...both of which were the best I'd ever eaten.
  • the best place to have lunch in Padstow is Custard. i'd actually never eaten there before. but i was blown away by the simplicity, and elegance of the food that i had to eat. the best mackerel i've ever tasted and a delicious custard tart (yes that was 2 in one day...naughty)
now here's for some photos and some reviews:
rick stein's patisserie (covert pictures!)
everything that's sold here looks delightful and has a chef-y twist to it, the slices are huge, and it is so worth every penny! it all tastes fresh, not too sugary, not oily. just go in and try something, you won't be disappointed :)

custard - the restaurant/cafe

next time you're in Padstow make sure you try out this delightful restaurant.

follow the signs...
walk up these stairs...



and enter into a vast space filled with tan leather chairs, high beams, chandeliers, Cath Kidston prints and comfy cushions. read through your menu, freshly printed so that you are guaranteed that the food will be equally as fresh!

we chose the £10 3 course menu of the day, which included:

- welsh rarebit with watercress and tomatoes


- Cornish mackerel with mashed potatoes


- custard tart with baked plums (so tasty looking and delicious I tucked in straight away and forgot to take a photo until it was almost gone)



and then when you get home after such a satisfying meal, a little shopping in Padstow's boutiques and a walk to the beach, make sure to cook yourself some tomato, pesto and goats cheese flan with roasted vegetables :)


Wednesday, 21 October 2009

devonshire delights

i'm off down to devon for a week or so, and i'll hopefully have all sorts of delicious experiences to share with you all when i get back. i hope so. there'll definitely be some pasty eating, some scones and i expect also some crazy homecooking tales...

on the way we'll be stopping off near Bath, and maybe savouring something rather traditional and delicious. a bath bun perhaps, or maybe just a trip to the costume museum....not quite the same category, but equally scrumptious, don't you think?

now, i'll say cheerio, wish me safe travels and happy pasties!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

chocolate truffles - a la ritz style

it's been a pretty posh week this week. i've taken a stroll around basildon park, where i had afternoon tea. not only was this the set for netherfield in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice, but it is an absolutely gorgeous house, with some very delicious cake choices. mmm. (see photos here)

i love looking around country houses, they are just so ornate and beautiful. if i ever got the opportunity to build my own house, it'd have tall ceilings and big windows just like basildon park. and the library there, oh my word. i'm starting a collection of folio books, but i've not nearly got as many as that library. i'm going to have to keep on going...maybe i'll get there some day?!

and then after that grand experience, i went to a truffle making workshop with the past patisserie chef from the Ritz. it was amazing! it was held near Salisbury Cathedral, which is a beautiful spot, totally stunning building. if you've never been, you should visit it. it'll take your breath away.

the workshop was awesome. 3 hours of pure chocolate heaven.

first we mixed and piped out the ganache...then once set, cut it up and/or rolled it into little balls.



then when those had set, we put the toppings on top. nuts, cocoa powder, more chocolate, vermicelli. yum.



then we spent a few minutes popping the finished truffles in bags and tying with copious amounts of ribbon. i had about 60 truffles to take home with me, and give to friends :)


what a gorgeous experience! unfortunately i can't let you in on all the secrets of perfect chocolate truffle making, as i paid for the secret. you'll just have to go to wiltshire and find out for yourself...

all i can say is that these are the healthiest chocolates (LOL) that i've ever had in my life, and the most delicious. and they don't seem to be lasting very long either. Ritz chocolates. How posh!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

recent yumminess

i have recently been eating too many bad things. it's impossible to eat non-sweet stuff all the time, and like with ebay, i've recently become quite addicted...

of course, what i call sweet stuff isn't nearly as bad for you as regular sweet stuff, so it feels justifiable to me. but because i always make a healthy version, i eat more and so it becomes much less healthy.

portion size is not something that has stuck in my brain yet...i always eat what i'm given and i hate to see food go to waste. which is why it sucks that most sweet recipes feed a family of 6, and there's only 2 people in our house. oh dear. we just both feel the need to polish it off before it gets ruined, which is of course a few hours after i made it :)

plus, there's been a whole host of meetings and dinners where i've needed to take round some type of cake.

these cranberry muffins were made because we had cranberries, and there were more than enough for some smoothie, so my mum suggested muffins...although in reality these are actually cupcakes. they weren't bad. at all. and lasted just over 24hours.



we ate this last night, when my good friend emily came round to visit. we had a million apples, and i wanted to make a dessert that didn't cost so much...so here you go, apple pie.

it was seriously good, and there's still half of it left. i think it would have been a bit much having all of it, as it's a pretty deep dish. although i am 100% positive that it'll be gone by the end of this evening. tasted delicious straight from the oven, with some low fat (Elmlea) single cream on top of it.


here's the recipe...

ingredients:
for the pastry
225g flour (i used about 100g gluten free flour, 50g plain flour and the rest wholemeal)
125g butter (i actually used salted, because that's all we had, and it tasted really good)
a pinch of salt
a sprinkling of sugar
for the apples
1.2kg apples (i used a mixture of cox and gala, which taste amazing when cooked, and hold their shape)
50g granulated sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
juice of half a lemon

1. rub the butter into the flour, until it forms breadcrumbs. then add the sugar and salt. add 3 or 4 tbsps cold water to make it form into a dough. cover in cling film and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
2. core, peel and roughly chop your apples. mix together with the sugar, cinnamon, cloves and lemon juice. make sure the apples are evenly coated.
3. take your pastry out the fridge and roll out until thin. coat your pie dish with pastry. Then fill with the apple mixture.
4. take the remaining pastry and create a simple lattice to cover the top of your pie. Coat with an egg wash (use one beaten egg, to create colour and shine, and a delicious looking dessert).
5. pop in the oven until golden, about 30 minutes, ish.
6. enjoy straight from the oven with some cream (or cream substitute, Alpro Soya Cream is delicious)


and finally, i want to ask, do any of you have an uncontrollable urge to finish everything?

Friday, 9 October 2009

what i ate yesterday

yesterday was a tasty day. i know i always say that, but i would only ever let you in on the tasty days...

it started with a fast, as i had to go to the doctors for a fasting blood glucose test (i'm diabetic, for those of you who didn't already know). and by lunchtime i wasn't particularly hungry, i guess its all the brownies and carrot cake cupcakes that i've been eating the last week!

but i did eat something of course. so at 12:30 i made a smoothie and had asparagus with a fried egg and small sprinkling of cheese. it was sooooooo good.


here's what i put in the smoothie: frozen raspberry and mango mix (defrosted slightly), yogurt, water, raisins, cashews, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, agave nectar, flaked almonds.

i didn't really blend it enough, so there was the occasional chunk of raisin, which was actually pretty good. but, we don't have a strong enough mixer at home to do anything more hardcore with...it will never be smooth :(

then at about 2pm we went to watch a waitrose demonstration at my nearby store. we do this every few months, and i adore them. for about an hour or so, you sit and watch a professional chef at work, listen to their tips and taste what they have cooked.

yesterday's cooking was really good, the chef did four dinners based around the essentials items. the recipes are in the free 'seasons' book. she cooked, stuffed marrow, pizza with dolcelatte and figs, salmon with kale and potatoes and squash and lentil stew. all were delicious, and we also got to taste some chocolate cake from the new 'seriously' range, which was really really good.

i took a sneaky picture on my iphone whilst inside the demo room...




you always need to keep the recipe on your lap, so you can right down their suggestions, edits and so on. it's always so good to see something hands on, and it's a fantastic way to spend 1 free hour :) i might just make squash and lentil stew today actually!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

this weeks deliciousness

so there's been a lot of sweetness this past week...and a lot of tasty food.

last friday i went to a friends house, to which i had promised to bring brownies, so i made some pumpkin brownies, which went down a treat. they are the most moist and rich brownies you'll ever eat i swear. i used the recipe from the 'cook yourself thin' girls, i have the book (which is really good by the way) but you can find the recipe online too, click here for harry's spiced winter chocolate brownies.






i also made some delicious carrot cake cupcakes for a group meeting we had on tuesday, and these turned out to be so delicious i sneaked in 4 before the meeting began. i always feel like carrot cake is healthier...and though i did edit the recipe a little (find it on joy of baking) they still aren't the most virtuous desserts you could ever have! i did top them with cream cheese but by that stage they were being raced out of the door to the meeting so i didn't get a picture.

BY FAR THE BEST CARROT CAKE RECIPE EVER! add a little orange juice and change the types of flour for the best results...in my opinion :)



i also made the most delicious sausage stew, to which i added a dollop of creme fraiche which made all the difference to the smoothness and flavour.

and the one disaster that i had this week was the stew i made yesterday, i added turkey mince which turned out to be a huge mistake. i have never used turkey mince successfully, and so if anyone has any good turkey mince recipes, do let me know! the only reason we had it in the freezer was because it was on offer at the supermarket, and i am now under strict instructions to never buy it again, even if it is substantially cheaper than all other meat.

anyway, i went to the hospital yesterday for a routine checkup and came out with a great plan to eat even more healthily than i already do. so for lunch today, we are having asparagus with scrambled eggs, followed by a raspberry mango smoothie. then for dinner we are having a vegetable stir fry. then tomo morning i will have summer porridge (i will have to share pictures of it soon!), followed by the leftover stew from yesterday and then moussaka for dinner...maybe? my food plans always change depending on my mood.

ps. we went shopping at Lidl's this morning, and bought loads of fruit and veg for only £17. bargain! i love that shop so much. so so much.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

new york city: things to eat

Let me start by saying that NYC is amazing! There are so many delicious places to eat...I swear you could eat somewhere different every night of the year (for several years!) And there are lots of healthy places to eat too, which is awesome :)

Before arriving in New York I had been trying to plan what I ought to try in the city, and I unfortunately didn't even get so far with my list at all, I saw the Magnolia Bakery, but didn't get to go in, I didn't have cheesecake or a bagel, but here's what I did have:

Starbucks - Yes, they do sell different things in different countries! I had a Tarragon Chicken Salad Sandwich, an apple fritter (not healthy at all, but I needed to try some sort of fritter before leaving the states), and a banana and chocolate smoothie with green tea matcha.

Given the choice, I'm not so sure that I'd go back here so frequently, there were so many other places to eat!! But it is great for people watching, which is fab pastime when you are bored :)


of course, if you're ever in manhattan, you have to try a gray's papaya, what a delicious bargain! grilled hot dog with everything please!




i love this last sign, i'm blatantly a real new yorker, i ate a frank every day ;)

then last but not least, fairway was right opposite our amazing hotel, which was awesome as it's potentially the best food market ever! well, it certainly runs a close second to Whole Foods anyway (there you can actually get sachets of maple almond butter, yep, no joke!) and I didn't get a chance to go to Dean & Deluca, which was rubbish, but there really wasn't time to do everything


we had a veg stir fry in our room one night, which was delicious and very filling, and fresh thanks to fairway!

and last but not least, outside fashion week, glamour were giving out cupcakes :)

Friday, 2 October 2009

san francisco - foodie central

i'm carrying on with the penultimate place on my trip, san francisco! (next comes new york!) i was so impressed by the sheer quantity of food places in san francisco, there's anything you could ever want to eat!

so here's some pictures of some of the things i ate in sf:

tuna salad sandwich, this was a pretty good sandwich.


on mission and dolores (i think) there's this amazing little arty cafe, which has a great atmosphere, i would highly recommend it's sweets. mmmm.


i've never seen a more beautiful board, have you? i got a veggie slice...i hardly ever have pizza, so i thought even my one slice for this whole year had better be the healthiest type!




Jamba juice are such a delicious company, i want to eat all their food.


we went out to a 50s diner for breakfast one morning, and this is what we got. can you tell? c had french toast with a side of bacon, and a side of omelette, and i had the pancakes.




we went for a meal out in china town which was tasty, and fun. it wasn't really new things to me, but it was nice. though i did try plum wine for the first time, which was tasty. chinese food is not something i usually eat a lot of, because of the preservatives and sugar content, but i do enjoy eating it :)



the fortune cookie factory...

a tea shop, with super delicious tea.


bread and cocoa, we went there for breakfast one morning, and i had oatmeal, what a delicious way to start the day!





Bristol Farms is so scrumptious, i could have spent a whole day looking at everything, and trying everything. next time i'm in san francisco, i'll be eating here the whole time i swear. it's on the bottom floor of the westfield shopping centre, and it's well worty a visit. i chose chilli and sourdough, as i wanted something hot and filling, and my was i satisfied.




we ordered room service just this once on our trip, because we could! i had a very expensive, but tasty banana, strawberry, yogurt and granola with hot chocolate. and charlotte had a cream cheese bagel and tea. what can i say. it was totally worth the expense!



so, overall, YUM! San Francisco is a delicious place to be!