Friday, 31 July 2015

Spinachy Wraps

I made this on a bit of a whim looking for something to go with some fish-rizo I was making from the same book, but I'll definitely be making them again. Although mine turned out a bit more like a pancake rather than a wrap, I think a larger pan is in order.

Spinachy Wraps
(from River Cottage Light and Easy - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)
(Makes 4)

150g spinach, washed
4 medium eggs
100g chickpea flour
salt and pepper

Cook the spinach however you want and drain well. When it is cold, squeeze out all the liquid and chop fairly finely.

Put the eggs into a bowl and beat together. Beat in the gram flour until it forms a smooth paste, then add the chopped spinach and season. Stir well, then add enough water (50-75ml) to form a loose, spinachy batter with a pourable texture like double cream.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a thin film of oil. When hot, pour a quarter of the spinach mix into the centre of the loan. Use the back of a spoon to spread the mixture out into an even disc about 20cm in diameter. Cook gently for a couple of minutes, then use a spatula to loosen the pancake. The base should be set but not brown. Flip over and cook for another min or so to seal the second side. Transfer to a plate to cool and repeat with the remaining mixture.

Fill generously and serve.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Sizzling Korean Style Beef with Sesame Seeds

I thought this would be an interesting accompaniment to the Okonomiyaki. I added some peppers and beans to the stir fry and it was delicious, the perfect accompaniment, even if it is from a completely different country!

Sizzling Korean Style Beef with Sesame Seeds (from Skinny Meals in Heels by Jennifer Joyce)
(Serves 4)

500g rump steak, trimmed
3 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp sesame oil
8 spring onions, cut into 3 cm pieces
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Thinly slice the beef. Combine the sugar, soy, mirin, garlic and sesame oil in a bowl. Add the beef and stir well to coat, season with pepper.

Heat a small amount of veg oil in a frying pan over a high heat until very hot. Cook half of the beef for 40 secs, turning until browned, the remove and repeat with a little more oil and the remaining beef. Return all of the beef to the wok and add the spring onions. Stir fry for 1 min, then add the sesame seeds. Serve.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015


Like the steamed buns I have been wanting to make Okonomiyaki for an age. I finally had some cabbage lying around in my fridge and I thought why not! I loved it, eggy but pancakey and then all the cabbage, it really was lovely and I urge you to top it with mayonnaise and brown sauce - delicious.

Okonomiyaki (from The Guardian)
(Serves 1)

1 egg
50g plain flour
50g stock, cooled
15g raw potato, grated
1-2 tsp spring onions, chopped
½ tsp fresh ginger, grated (or Japanese pickled ginger, diced)
125g cabbage, thinly shredded

To garnish
Kewpie mayonnaise (or regular)
Okonomiyaki sauce (or HP sauce)

Mix together the egg and flour, then stir in the cooled stock, making sure that there are no lumps.

Add the grated potato to the batter, then stir in the spring onions, ginger and cabbage.

Heat a thin layer of oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. Pour the mixture into the pan, and fry for five mins each side.

Add the garnishes to taste, and serve immediately.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Buckwheat Noodles with Wakame and Ginger

This was a really tasty and flavourful salad. I used up the last of the seaweed my mum brought me back from Japan last year and I also added in some dried radish. 

Buckwheat Noodles with Wakame and Ginger
(from River Cottage Light and Easy by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)
(Serves 2-4)

15g dried wakame seaweed
150g soba/buckwheat noodles
1 large carrot
1 large courgette
10g toasted sesame seeds

For the dressing
2cm nob ginger, peeled and grated
2 tbsp mirin
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

Put the wake into a bowl of cold water to rehydrate. Follow the packet instructions for how long to soak.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to packet instructions, usually 5 mins.  Drain and run under the cold tap to cool down. Drain thoroughly and then tip the noodles into a large bowl.

Peel the carrots and slice into spaghetti or thin matchsticks. I used a julienne peeler but you could use one of these new fangled spiralizers. Do the same with the courgette but don't peel. Add to the noodles.

When the seaweed has plumped up drain it well and squeeze out the excess water with your hands. Chop the seaweed roughly and add to the noodles and veg.

To make the dressing, mix together the ginger, miring, soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil. Pour this over the noodles and toss so that everything is coated and the ingredients are evenly distributed. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and serve.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Meal Planning Monday

So it's been another busy week. On Monday I went on a tour of the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace, which was fab, they have some absolutely amazing pieces of embroidery. On Tuesday we went to Painting Paradise at The Queen's Gallery, which was a stunning and really interesting exhibition about gardens. They had some beautiful faberge flowers on display that were just gorgeous.

In the afternoon we went to Ladybird by Design at the House of Illustration, this was an exhibition all about Ladybird books which both my Mum and I remeber from growing up. The illustrations were fantastic and it was a wonderful nostalgia trip.

On Wednesday we went to Yauatcha for lunch. I love coming to Yauatcha, there dim sum is so good. We had a variety of dishes and I had a Tokyo Cooler to drink which was a non-alcoholic cocktail featuring peach and guava juice. I meant to do a whole write up - I took enough photos but this week seems to have disappeared.

Friday I went to the Coral Reefs and Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at The Natural History Museum and stopped off in Soho on the way back to try Pilau. Pilau is a pop up serving Indian Wraps. You can choose from Butter Chicken, Lamb and Marrow or Spicy Paneer. I went with the paneer, which was an excellent choice. It's a bit like an Indian burrito in that it includes rice. The other additions I chose were shoestring bhaji, Indian slaw, red onions and lettuce. There was also the choice of three sauces, chilli, mango and apricot chutney and coriander yoghurt. I can't recommend this place highly enough, the paneer was lovely and soft and as a whole it just worked perfectly together. I apologise for the picture I'm not sure how else I could have shown you the inside!

I made one of my favourite sandwiches yesterday; Bun from the farmer's market, a ripe tomato with salt and pepper, buffalo mozzarella and home grown basil. Best Thing Ever!

Yesterday evening I did a Mexican Street Food Course at Recipease in Notting Hill with my sister. We made small corn tortillas and topped them with a sweetcorn salsa, chipotle chicken and tomato, spinach and feta. We also made guacamole and fresh tomato salsa. The meal was incredibly tasty and I loved the chicken, but it was nothing that I couldn't have got a recipe off the internet and done myself. Still it was good fun and I love picking up new recipes.

This week I'm back working for three days. All of the books are being moved out of the library so I have to go in and oversee. I'm also going to play at The Bush Theatre and to see Book of Mormon. Then on Thursday I go on my annual trip to Northumberland for a week and a bit. I'm really looking forward to leaving the big city for a while and chilling out. We have a trip to Edinburgh planned and various other things we might get up to, so no meal plan next week.

Crab and Asparagus Quiche with Salad
Out before the theatre

Salmon Sandwich Pie with Crisps
Courgette and Gnocchi Casserole (WW Cooking for Two)

Out possibly
Chilli Con Carne Meatballs with Bulgar Wheat

Mango Pork Burger
At my parents house

Chipotle Loganberry Chicken Thighs

This was a really lovely recipe that I stumbled across when looking for things to do with the huge amount of loganberries I have collected this year. I made jam a few days before and this was a handy way to use up a little. You could of course use raspberries as with the original recipe or you could use smushed up loganberries or raspberries if you don't have any jam.

Chipotle Loganberry Chicken Thighs (from Handle the Heat)
(Serves 4)

2 tbsp loganberry jam
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 tbsp chipotle paste
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp oil
8 boneless chicken thighs (skin on or removed)
salt and pepper

In a small saucepan, combine the jam, lime zest, lime juice, chipotle, and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 4 minutes, or until slightly syrupy.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken thighs evenly with salt and pepper. Saute chicken for about 6 mins per side, or until golden brown. Spoon the raspberry mixture over the chicken before serving.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Roast Duck Breast with Herbed Freekeh and Preserved Lemon

This was an incredibly tasty dish and I was so excited that I managed to cook the duck perfectly! This looks like a complicated recipe but actually it's deceptively simple.

Roast Duck Breast with Herbed Freekeh and Preserved Lemon
(Serves 4)

200g freekeh
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
4 duck breasts, skin scored
1 tbsp oil
2 small preserved lemons, cut into tiny dice
50g dried figs, chopped
handful chopped mint
handful chopped parsley
juice 1 1/2 lemons
125ml extra virgin olive oil

Cook the freekeh according to packet instructions adding the olive oil and salt to the water.

Preheat the oven to 220C. Season the duck breasts and heat a frying pan until very hot. Fry the duck, skin side down, in the oil until golden. Turn the breasts over and cook until coloured, this should take a couple of mins. Put the duck into a roasting tin and roast for 7-9 mins. When cooked, remove to a plate, cover with foil, insulate with a few tea towels and leave to rest for about 5-10 mins.

Toss the lion rind with the freekeh, along with the figs, herbs, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with pepper.

Slice the duck breast and toss with the fresh. Serve with a green salad.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Roast Courgette Dip

It's the start of the courgette season, so I thought I'd try something a little different. I looked at lots of different courgette dip recipes and took inspiration form them all. This dip is a little sweet, which was unexpected but yummy. I think I'll try one with tahini next.

Roast Courgette Dip

2 large courgettes, thickly sliced
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
handful mint
1/2 tsp dukkah

Preheat the oven to 200C. Put the courgettes onto a baking tray, spray with cooking spray and bake in the oven for 30 mins. Leave to cool slightly.

Once cool, Transfer to a food processor and add the yoghurt, mint and dukkah and blitz until dip like.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Loganberry Jam

I have had bowl upon bowl of loganberries from my the bush in my garden this year. I have frozen them mostly, or eaten them with a sprinkling of sugar for pudding, and I'm also going to make compote. I also decided after picking over a kilo to make jam! My first attempt at jam a couple of years ago was not a success, I used too much sugar and it was so hard you couldn't actually get it out the pot!

My first try at this was under set, so I put it back in the pan, added the juice of half a lemon and a bit more sugar and resterilised the jars. I'm not sure how it turned out second time round as no-ones tried any yet, but it was definitely set, hopefully so that it can still be eaten!

Loganberry Jam
Makes 3 450g/1lb pots

900g fresh or frozen loganberries
900g white sugar, warmed

Preheat the oven to 100-130CWash, dry and sterilise the jars in the oven for 15 mins. Put the sugar onto a baking tray and put in the same low oven as the jars to warm.

Put the berries into a wide, stainless-steel saucepan. Mash them a little and cook for 3–4 mins over a medium heat until the juice begins to run, then add the warmed sugar and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar is fully dissolved.

Increase the heat, bring to the boil and cook steadily for about 5 mins, stirring frequently (frozen berries will take 6 mins).

Test for a set by putting about a tsp of jam on a cold plate and leaving it for a few minutes in a cool place. Press the jam with your finger. If it wrinkles even slightly, it is set. Remove from the heat immediately. Skim and pour into sterilised jam jars. Cover immediately.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Fried Bream Fillets with Pea Puree

This is a really simple dish in terms of ingredients although it takes a little effort to prepare, especially is someone rings you in the middle of pureeing the peas! I served it with a courgette, tomato and balsamic salad and crushed new potatoes.

The peas came from my garden! I have a very small amount of peas with a life of their own and I ended up with about 70g peas so I had to add another 30g of frozen peas. The peas out the pod were delicious though, a reminder than summer is here!

Fried Bream Fillets with Pea Puree (from River Cottage Fish)
(Serves 4)

1 large bunch mint, leaves chopped (keep the stalks)
400g peas
cooking spray
1 1/2 garlic cloves, 1/2 finely chopped, the other skin left on, bruised with a knife
75g unsalted butter
2 bay leaves
4 bream fillets
salt and pepper

Bring a pan of water to the boil and throw in the mint stalks. Add a pinch of salt and the peass and boil for 4-5 mins until the peas are tender. Drain and reserve the cooking water. discard the mint stalks. Put the peas in a blender and set aside.

Put a small pan over a medium-high heat, spray with cooking spray and add the chopped garlic. Sizzle gently until the garlic just begins to colour, then quickly pour into the blender with the peas. Add 50g butter, salt and pepper and the chopped mint leaves. Add 2 tbsp of the pea cooking water and blend to a puree, adding a little more liquid if needed, it should be like coarse hummus.

Put a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, spray with cooking spray. Throw in the bay leaves and the bruised garlic to flavour the fat. Season the fish fillets all over and lay them skin side down in the pan. Cook for about 3 mins until the flesh has turned opaque, then flip them over and cook for 30 secs. Serve.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Crab Salad

This is such a simple salad and yet really refreshing and flavourful.

Crab Salad (from Nom Nom Paleo)
(Serves 3-4)

2 cans crab meat
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp lemon juice
1-2 tbsp mayonnaise
salt and pepper

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well to combine. Serve over salad leaves or in a pitta.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Meal Planning Monday

So it's been a fab and busy week this week. On Monday night I went to see Heston Blumenthal talk at the V&A and although he was a bit rambley it was a very interesting talk.

Tuesday was really busy, I met a friend for lunch at Kingly Court just off Regent's Street and we went to Pizza Pilgrims. Both of us had the Calzone and I found it a tasty pizza but a bit salty.

In the afternoon I went to see Minions, which I loved and then we went to Le Delice in Walthamstow for tea and cake. I had the pear flan which was delicious.

On Thursday I went to the Sky Garden on the 35th floor of the Walkie Talkie building in the City. There were stunning views and you could walk the whole way round and see all over London.

On Saturday I went to my parents house and in the morning we went to Oundle Food Festival, which was fab with lots of different local stalls and I came home with lots of goodies. There did seem to be rather a lot of pickle/mustard/chutney/jam stalls though, so I'm not sure who they all got on.

There was also lots of knitted things scattered around. This is what the front of the bookshop looked like!

On Sunday we visited met some friends and visited The Fan Museum in Greenwich and went to their Orangery for tea which was super. We had scones with clotted cream and jam followed by a piece of lemon drizzle cake and a piece of brownie all for £7.

When we got home I gave my next door neighbour some loganberry brownies and she gave me some treats leftover from Eid.

This week is still busy but hopefully slightly less so. Monday I am going on a tour of the Royal School of Needlework, which was my Mum's birthday present. Tuesday we are going to Planting Paradise at the Queen's Gallery and to a friends for lunch. Wednesday we are going to Yauatcha for lunch and I might actually find some time to grocery shop! Thursday and Friday are free days. Saturday is As Is at Trafalgar Studios and then on Sunday I am doing a Mexican Street Food Class at Recipease with my sister. Meals until Wednesday are as hoc and then from then on it's a bit more structured.

Out for lunch
Jerusalem Artichoke and Spinach Pasty

Burger with Courgette Chips
Courgette Gnocchi Casserole (WW Meals for Two)


Bengali Spiced Trout Parcels (Skinny Meals in Heels)
Lamb Shank with Parpadelle (Donna Hay)


Mexican Street Food

Friday, 17 July 2015

Chicken and Bacon Ranch Gnocchi Casserole

This was a lovely and very cheesy dish. I definitely need to experiment more with making my own gnocchi, which I'm sure are much better than the packet stuff. I added a handful of spinach in to the dish as it needed using, and this was a lovely addition.

Chicken and Bacon Ranch Gnocchi Casserole (from What's Cooking Love?)
(Serves 6-8)

450g gnocchi
3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
6 rashers bacon, cooked and sliced
120ml ranch dressing
370ml milk
200g grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp chives, chopped

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Meanwhile cook the gnocchi according to the packet instructions.

Heat up the ranch dressing, milk, and 100g of the cheese in a saucepan over medium heat until the cheese melts and the mixture becomes creamy.

In a large bowl combine the cooked gnocchi, cheese sauce, chicken, bacon, garlic powder, and chives. Then spoon the mixture into a greased baking dish. Top with the remaining cheddar cheese.

Bake for 20 mins or until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately. 

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

My Food Filled Weekend: Chocolate, Bread and Dim Sum

This weekend just past my Mum came up to visit and I had arranged a few things for us to get up to. I bought her the chocolate tour for Mother's Day and we finally got around to doing it last weekend! We started at The Old Algerian Coffee House on Old Compton Street with chocolate covered coffee beans, which weirdly, even though I don't like coffee were rather delicious.

We then moved on to Hotel Chocolat, where we tried their Mojito Chocolate, which was delicious, just the right amount of rum mixed with the sweetness of the chocolate. They also now do cocoa infused beauty products and cocoa infused gin.


Following that we went to Paul A Young, which was one of the highlights of the tour. We each got a salated caramel chocolate and then got to choose one. He is famous for weird flavours such a marmite and malt loaf and butter, some of the chocolates change each season. I went with a goat's cheese chocolate, which worked surprisingly well. The chocolates are not cheap though at £7 for a box of 4! Below is the dazzling array of flavours he has.

We walked on to Carpo on Piccadilly, which I must have walked past hundreds of times and never noticed. It is a Greek company and sells fruit and nuts as well as coffee and of course chocolate. We tried a dark chocolate with chilli and also chocolate covered fruit and nut.
Our next stop was Prestat, chocolatier to the Royal family. The inside of the shop is much like a sweetbox and was apparently the inspiration for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. They are also the creators of the truffle, so we of course tried a truffle. We then got one free choice and I went for a ginger and saffron fudge, which was delicious, my Mum had a pink champagne truffle.
We then moved onto Fortnum and Mason, where we had, the Queen's favourite chocolate, a rose cream, which to me was way too floral. We ended at the East India Company, where there are plenty of samples out to try! All in all it was a good tour and our guide Alan, was engaging and interactive, which made the tour much better than the Cupcake tour of a few weeks ago.
On Sunday morning we got up early and trundled off to the e5 Bakehouse in Hackney for a tour and tasting. The bakery was set up about 5 years trying to be a sustainable as possible and the owner showed us round. We looked at how the bread was made using traditional leven, and the picture below is of baguettes being made.

We were also shown their big industrial ovens, which seal in the heat and moisture to create a crispier crust.

They also have an area out the back, where they keep chickens and have a small garden. They deliver all of their bread to restaurants by bike, keeping with the sustainable idea.

They bake cakes and patisserie everyday to sell in their shop and this is one of their patisserie chefs making eclairs.

We then sat down for a bread tasting, where we tried several different breads including Hackney Wild, their most popular bread, rugbrot and a swedish inspired loaf amongst others.

They try to use as much british wheat as possible,but this isn't always easy and so the bakery's new project is to mill their own flour and they currently mill about 700kgs a week. Including white, wholemeal and spelt.

This was a really educational visit and definitely gave me a lot of food for thought.
Our last food related activity was a Dim Sum Cookery Class at The London Cookery School in Caledonian Road. We made three different sorts of dumplings, Har Gaw, Sui Mai and Chiu Chow Fun Gwor.
We started off by making the fillings, one was prawn, one was pork and the other was prawn and pork! The filling for the Sui Mai had to be thrown into the bowl several times to soften the meat.
We then made a simple dough for two of our dumplings. Below is my Mum with her ball of dough.

We tried different shapes and I found it very theraputic and relaxing shaping the dumplings. These are some of the ones I made.

And these are what they look like steamed. The dough is magic as it is self healing so even if you have cracks they heal over. We decided that we prefered the prawn ones and the dough we made was definitely better than the store bought sui mai dough.

I really enjoyed this course, we didn't do any of the chopping but we did make dough and mix the fillings together. for £35 it was really good.

Courgette and Corn Taco Seasoned Quinoa Salad

I have no idea what is going on with the colour in this photo, it must have been a weird time of day or something! This was a really tasty salad especially as the courgette was freshly picked from my garden! It had a lovely kick with the chilli.

Courgette and Corn Taco Seasoned Quinoa Salad (from Closet Cooking)
(Serves 2)

120g quinoa
1 tsp taco seasoning
1 ear corn, grilled and kernels or 60g frozen corn
1 courgette, grated
80g black beans
1 jalapeno, sliced
1 spring onion, sliced
bunch coriander, chopped
1 tbsp oil
juice 1 lime
salt and pepper

Cook the quinoa according to packet instructions along with the taco seasoning. (if using frozen corn add it for the last 2-3 mins of cooking.

Mix the quinoa, corn, courgette, black beans, jalapeno, spring onion and coriander in a large bowl.

Mix the oil, lime juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Toss the salad in the dressing and serve.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Meal Planning Monday

I apologise for the tardiness of this post but I had a migraine this morning and spent all moring in bed. I had a fab week last week, two days in Paris and then on Friday evening my Mum came and we had a very foodie weekend. After a rather protracted session at the Genius Bar we went to Yo Sushi for lunch and tried a variety of their dishes, for pudding we had their Japple Pie. You get a syringe of caramel sauce to squirt over the black sesame ice cream as my Mum is demonstrating below.

I want to write a full post on our weekend activities so I'll just give a brief overview. On Saturday afternoon we went on a Chocolate tour of Soho and Piccadilly. On Saturday evening we had rack of lamb with a parmesan/breadcrumb crust, accompanied by all veggies from the garden. Courgettes, beans and potatoes all home grown and then we had carrots too.

Sunday we started off the day on a tour and tasting at the e5 Bakehouse close to London Fields station.

Then in the evening we did a Dim Sum Cookery Class at London Cookery School.

So this week despite it being the holidays is crazy busy! Tonight I'm off to see Heaton Blumenthal give a talk at the V&A. Tomorrow, I am meeting a friend for lunch in Soho, going to see Minions in the afternoon with a different friend and then going to the Private View of the Alice in Cartoonland Exhibition at the Cartoon Museum. Wednesday I'm off to see The Mentalists, Thursday I'm going to the Sky Garden and out for lunch and then Friday I have to take the cat to the V-E-T for her injections. At the weekend I'm going to Oundle Food Festival with my parents on Saturday and then out to Afternoon tea at The Fan Museum on Sunday. Can't complain though, I love being busy.

There features a lot of broad beans in this weeks menu plan. I picked all my broad beans off the plants and froze them, so I'm making a start on them.

Cold Collation
Leftover Dim Sum

Out with a friend
Something on the hoof

Buckwheat Noodles with Wakame and Ginger (River Cottage Light and Easy)
Okonomyaki with Korean Beef (Skinny Meals in Heels)

Out for lunch with friends
Fish Rizo with Broad Beans (River Cottage Light and Easy)

Mexican Chicken Salad (GH Salad Days)
Spring Veg Sausage Casserole

Venison and Mushroom Stuffed Pepper

I made this on a bit of a whim. I'm trying to clear out the meat/fish drawer of my freezer before I go to Warkworth at the end July so that I can stock back up again and I came across the venison, it's much leaner than steak and therefore fits with my vague WeightWatchers meanderings at the moment. This was actually a surprisingly good dish and shows that you don't always need grains to stuff peppers with.

Venison and Mushroom Stuffed Pepper (adapted from Slender Kitchen)
(Serves 4)

  • 340g venison steak, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • cooking spray
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 3 portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 peppers, deseeded with tops cut off
  • 4 thin slices light cheddar or mozzarella cheese

  • Preheat an oven to 200C. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper

  • Toss the steak with the Worcestershire, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

  • Heat a frying pan over a medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add the steak and cook for 4-6 mins until just cooked through. Remove and set aside.

  • Spray the pan again and add the onions and mushrooms. Cook until tender, about 4-6 mins. Turn off the heat and add the steak to the onions and mushrooms.

  • Stuff the steak, onion, and mushroom mixture into each pepper. Top with 1 slice of cheese. Put onto the lined baking sheet and cook for 10-15 mins or until the cheese is melted.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Creamy Celeriac Soup

It's not really the weather for soup but I made this ages ago and never got around to posting it and hey you could always pin it to use later on! This is a lovely creamy satisfying and filling soup.

Creamy Celeriac Soup (from WW Seasonally Sensational)
(Serves 4)
(2 WW ProPoints per serving)

600ml boiling water
600g celeriac, peeled and cut into small chunks
200g potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 veg stock cube
1/2 garlic powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
300ml skimmed milk
salt and pepper

Put the veg into a large pan and pour over the boiling water. Add the stock cube, garlic powder and lemon juice, stir and bring to the boil. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 15-20 mins or until the veg is tender, stirring occasionally.

Using a hand held blender, whizz the soup to a thick puree. Add the milk and return to the heat. Gently warm through and season to taste. Serve.

Friday, 10 July 2015


So, earlier this week I spent a couple of days in Paris. Mostly I went for an exhibition at the Pompidou Centre, but there was the small temptation of the food of course! I basically went on google and typed in places to eat in Paris and Time Out came up with budget eats.

When I arrived on Tuesday it was lunchtime so I headed straight to La Pointe du Grouin, which is on Rue de Belzunce just opposite and behind the Gare du Nord. It is run by chef Thierry Breton, with his too more expensive restaurants either side and serves some of the more adventurous cuts of meat. You also have to swap your Euros for Grouins, and pay in Grouins but beware the machine to get the grouins only works in multiples of ten and I ended up with a few leftover, I guess I'll just have to go back, shame! I ordered the Charcuterie plate and well, I know it has salami and rillettes on it and some kind of terrine but other than that I'm not sure. It came with bread and was easily enough for two people and was absolutely delicious.

I followed it with a Far Breton, which is a kind of prune flan and again was fab. The meal with 2 juices cost me €20 and would easily feed two.

I then went to the Musee D'Orsay, which, even with a ticket bought beforehand online I had to queue for 30 mins to get in and had a wander round there. Then I had a walk around the left bank and up to A L'Olivier on Rue de Rivoli where I bought some delicious fig vinegar.

For dinner I headed to Boco on Rue des Methurins, this is a mini chain of restaurants where five michelin three-star chefs – including Anne-Sophie Pic, RĂ©gis Marcon, and Emmanuel Renaut – were recruited to create recipes for a range of eat-in or takeaway starters, mains and desserts using organic produce, which come in recyclable glass jars. I loved the idea of this, I hate eating out on my own and always feel a bit of an idiot and because this felt a bit more like well Pret-a-Manger than a restaurant I instantly felt more comfortable. So basically you pick your glass jars, take them to the counter and have them reheated.

I went for Risotto de Coquillettes au Reblochon et Courgettes au Romarin by Emmanuel Renaut, which was basically Reblechon (a French cheese) macaroni cheese with courgettes and rosemary. This wasn't a great success, some of the courgettes were still hard and I found the rosemary a slightly annoying texture, but the flavour overall was good.

I followed it with Soyeux de Chocolat Blanc avec Fraises Epices - Frederic Bau, roughly meaning white chocolate mousse with spiced strawberries and a bit of sponge on top. This was to die for, really truly delicious. The flavours were fantastic and the texture was awesome. I would go back for the dessert alone. The whole meal including a lemonade cost me €15.

On Wednesday I went to the Pompidou Centre to the Le Courbusier exhibition, the whole reason I planned the trip and I was not disappointed. The exhibition was fantastic and no queue, plus the view from the top of the Pompidou is amazing! I had a quick lunch close to the Pompidou Centre, which was nothing to write home about, Provencal Quiche with Salad. I had planned to go to La Biche Au Bois but in the end it was too far, one to save for next time!

In the afternoon I ended up at Galeries Lafayette to take advantage of their cheese counter, which has an awesome selection. On my way to the cheese counter however I was in need of refreshment and I stopped off at Angelina, the tea room in the main store. Ironically a nectar d'abricot and a cake was more expensive than my lunch! But it was delicious. I chose a cake called Flore, which well looked like a flower and was mousse with meringue and I think strawberries.

For the train on the way home I stopped at one of the patisserie concessions in Galeries Lafayette: Patisserie Sadaharu AOKI, I had a green tea and chocolate slice with a Macaron on top and it was delicious. A definite recommendation, I think the cake was €5.50 but well worth it.

And that was my trip to Paris. I ended up with a free one way trip as compensation as my journey was delayed on the way out, so I will definitely be going back!