Thursday, 27 February 2014

Chicken Fajitas

I’m willing to bet that most people in the UK had their first experience of fajitas via an Ol Del Paso fajita kit, or similar. I know I did. When I was younger, my family would get together, make a big pot of exotically spiced chicken and veg, with tortillas and various sides. It was genuinely my favourite meal as a kid, in no small part because of the family association.

The recipe I do these days is fairly similar to the one from a packet, but I put in separate spices instead of a pre-made spice mix. It’s virtually no more work, tastes delicious and holds a special place in my heart and belly. Normally I would serve with tortilla wraps but we didn't have any, so I improvised with toasted pita breads.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Sesame Noodles

These noodles are ridiculous. You will literally wonder why you have never eaten noodles this way before, and weep. They are also a total breeze to make, and go with about everything you can think of. Brilliantly, they can be eaten on their own as some kind of delicious dinnertime treat.

None of the ingredients should be hard to find, my local Asda had them all, and I use them regularly.

Dream noodles.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Gingerbread and White Chocolate Bars

Another addition to my afternoon-tea tray of delight. Found this recipe online somewhere, and it is fantastic. You know those delicious little hard biscuits you get in IKEA at Christmastime (pepparkakar)? Imagine the flavour of those, but in a dense chewy cake-bar with white choc chips sprinkled in. I’ll give you a second to wipe up the drool from the keyboard.


Anyway, these are great. The only sticking point in the recipe may be using the shortening. I used lard (ooh, delish) and it was a little hard to work with straight from the fridge, next time I might leave it a bit to become room temperature enabling me to blend/cream it more effectively.

These are so packed with flavour and spice, like a delicious fruit cake without any of the gross dried fruit. 

Chocolate instead!

My number one cooking rule is: fruit has no place in desserts. Exception that proves the rule: banoffee. Blowing minds, all up in here.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Sweet Potato Curry

Om nom nom

I am continuing my sweet potato theme, it’s one of the best veggies/starches out there. It makes an appearance in my weekly shopping basket more than twice a month, and it is so versatile. This is unlike a lot of other curries I have made. It’s rich, with a lovely creamy sauce, and the coconut with sweet potato brings a fantastic flavour to the spices. Similar to peshwari naan, by combining the sweet and savoury element, you come out with pure deliciousness.

Another bonus: this can easily be made veggie by simply omitting the chicken, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Cinnamon Loaf

I was mentioning reasons why I love this loaf to my boyfriend. Apart from tasting amazing, the real main reason that I make it so often is that it always works. And it looks pretty impressive.

I’m not joking, it is nearly impossible to mess this up. Of course, that means when I was actually doing it for the blog, it went slightly tits up (my fault). I put it in the oven, but I was oh so tired that I decided to have a tiny little nap, and asked my boyfriend to wake me up in 25 minutes in time to check it and turn it etc.

..of course, I was woken up 45 minutes later by a sheepish boyfriend.

Ultimately, it was a little bit darker on top than is ideal, but this resilient loaf was still absolutely divine. Hot from the oven: amazing. Next day, toasted, butter melting on top: STILL AMAZING!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Valentine’s German Biscuits

What makes them Valentine’s, you ask? Well, like many people around this time, I made something heart shaped and called it day.

These biscuits are so incredibly delicious. For me, they evoke going to the bakery as a child and being allowed to pick out whatever I wanted. Of course, I picked the largest thing I could see – two round pieces of shortbread-style biscuit, sandwiched together with strawberry jam and liberally covered with white icing.

This is my version, so I’ve made them heart shaped in an obvious attempt to make them themed to the season. The last few times I’ve made them, I used a great circular cutter with a serrated edge to really make them similar to the retro ones I remember. I also love the addition of a cut-out so you can see the delicious sticky jam underneath.

This is a fairly easy recipe to make, but you will need plenty of flour on the board to make it anywhere near possible to roll and cut out the dough. Apart from that, it’s a breeze, and the shapes are infinitely customisable. Once I get some more icing skills, I’m making penguin ones.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Chicken and Sweetcorn Pasta Bake

It's a bit pot o' love (and carbs)

This is a firm part of my childhood. My dearest mother doesn’t cook much, despite making delicious meals at the drop of a hat when she decides to. She has always rocked a pasta bake, but has recently kicked it up a notch, so I have shamelessly stolen this recipe from her experimentations.

This is a good way to use up roast chicken leftovers, if you have any left after smothering them in salt and picking at them the evening after a big Sunday roast.

.. Because everyone has to resist that urge, right? Yes? Good.

It is a recipe with a few components, but it all comes together beautifully in one delicious casserole dish that you can stick in the oven and serve when the cheese is bubbling and golden.

Saturday, 8 February 2014


This is unhealthy and delicious. Comfort food at its best for the miserable winter evenings: a warm rich meat sauce, creamy cheesy layers and a sliver of pasta between. This is probably my boyfriend’s favourite pasta dish and he gets extremely happy when it is served up.

Don’t be daunted by making the white sauce, it’s so much more flavourful when you make it yourself, and bonus: you can add as much cheese as you want! That's what sold it to me.

Adapted from a Nigella recipe.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Quick Curry

Every time I make this, I ponder the fact that those premade curry sauces in glass jars are so popular, yet take nearly the same amount of effort as this curry and don’t taste half as good. You can feel as smug as me once you've made this! 

It’s adapted from a Pioneer Woman recipe: Trinidadian Chicken Curry, and when I made it for the first time it was a revelation. It just uses curry powder instead of a complex array of spices, which makes it simple, quick, and tasty. It’s really hard to mess this up, promise.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Super Chocolate-y Cupcakes

Caution: do not lick the screen. Just follow the recipe below and it will all be okay

The most chocolatey cupcakes you will ever eat. People love these, they really do. And it’s easy to see (and taste!) why. There is something about the age-old combination of chocolate on chocolate which just works. You can't explain that.

You will note that there is no butter, instead using oil and buttermilk, and this gives a rich and moist sponge base for the super-fudgy icing to be slathered ontop of. If you don’t have buttermilk don’t worry, I find that you can substitute this for the same amount of milk with one tbsp of lemon juice. Or failing that, you can use half milk and half yogurt to make up the desired amount. Regular milk won’t give you the same consistency.

This is one of my favourite things to bake because they always turn out spot on.

Vanilla sugar in the cutest dish ever