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 :)