Saturday, 28 June 2014

Mango Sorbet

Dat boule

There are a few things in life which I really, really enjoy. Mangoes are one. Warm weather (warm enough for cold sweet treats) is another. Really simple recipes are a third. And finally, getting to use fun kitchen gadgets.

I really don’t think I need to say anything more about this recipe except that it combines all four of the above, and you need this in your life. It is worth buying an ice-cream maker for.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Hasselback Potatoes

This is basically a very simple Swedish recipe for roasting potatoes that look so much more impressive than the minimal effort they require.

You know those really aggravating online advertisement things that are like "one weird tip to help you.." Well, they are stupid and annoying. Having said that, for these potatoes, there really is a simple tip to help you slice them perfectly every time. Stick the spuds in a wooden spoon, and then slice them. Boom. You never cut the whole way through them as long as the potato is in the well of the spoon.

Like magic!

I like to make these as a side for any time you would use new potatoes, ie: accompanying roast chicken, pie, quiche, steak. Are you really looking that hard for an excuse to roast a spud?

Saturday, 21 June 2014

The Best Ever Carrot Cake

So, it was my birthday last month. And for a special treat, instead of a regular birthday cake, my boyfriend bought me two delicious patisserie slices of cake all for myself. The first was a mouth-wateringly decadent chocolate brownie cheesecake. And the second, I vowed to myself that I would re-create as soon as the first mouthful passed my lips.

It was a carrot cake of epic proportions: chunky yet light slices of delicately spiced and incredibly flavourful sponge, sandwiched together with a rich and creamy buttercream filling. OMG. My mouth is watering just thinking of it.

And from that moment on, I researched carrot cake recipes like a crazy person. I have settled on a slightly modified version of the Jamie Oliver recipe, and it tasted JUST LIKE I DREAMED IT.

Another reason I love this recipe is that it helped me use up some of the THIRTY eggs that my boyfriend decided to pick up at the shop. Other people would make omelettes. But omelettes aren't cake. And this is an epic cake.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014


Basically, this is one of my favourite dips/sides ever. I always thought I hated avocados but clearly I was young and stupid.

One of the best things about it is the variability. Everyone has their favourite recipe and ingredients that they like in it. My recipe is pretty much a mix between keeping it simple and adding a little crunch/spice. It varies from day to day depending on what I have in the cupboard, but the base is always the same: I want a little bit of onion flavour, paprika and salt and pepper. Everything else is a bonus and depends on my mood.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Chelsea Buns

Well, it's Sunday, and for me that means only one thing: baking! These fruity and sweet little buns are the perfect way to start your day, the way they make the kitchen smell is a bonus delight.

I think these are an English creation. I’d certainly never heard of them before moving here. A treat for the senses, with a light and filling dough, delicious fruity filling, and sweet sugary topping. Really bloody lovely, and would make a great addition to a chunky afternoon tea spread, or hot from the oven for breakfast.

I kind of see these as a British equivalent of the Swedish cinnamon buns I posted before. My boyfriend, who doesn't get their deliciousness, does not agree. More for me!

You can use whichever fruits or nuts you want in the filling. 

I went with dried apricots and cranberries which went really well with the orange zest. However, something like raisins and walnuts could also work. Raisins are evil, so that’s why I haven’t included them in mine. I will not have them in my house.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Chilli Con Carne

There is truly nothing more comforting to me than a big old bowl of homemade chilli. And with the World Cup happening, I think it's tastiness and versatility makes it the ideal game-day food.

And this one is simple, you can let it simmer away in the background while you get on with making the delicious sides (or watching the football!). I went with rice and guacamole, but there are so many options when it comes to chilli.  When I lived at home with my mum, we would live on a big pot of chilli for days. The first night we would normally eat it with rice, then the next night with baked potatoes, and sometimes even baked on top of a baguette and topped with cheese.


Two additions for next time: I will add chillies (just didn't have any in the fridge) and I will take some of the delicious chilli leftovers and sprinkle them over nacho chips to make some ultimate nachos. So much YUM.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Mac and Cheese

America, represent!

I, of course, bastardise this traditional meal shamelessly.

I always feel that this most stodgy of carbohydrate dinners needs something to cut through all the beige. Which is where I come in. To make this a full and slightly more balanced meal, I usually add meat, in the form of frankfurters or bacon, and to give it a little crunch I mix in some scallions. I think spinach could be excellent in this as well.

Sorry, my American friends. This is mac and cheese, but not as you know it.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Nutella Cheesecake

Or, supermarket own brand chocolate hazelnut spread cheesecake. Cordon Bleu!

This baked cheesecake is very simple and utterly delicious. And, if you get the swirls done right, impressive-looking too! It's also easy to prepare ahead of time, as it needs to chill in the fridge before serving.

Now, I used to dislike cheesecake. It was a simpler, and less calorific time. Then I went to New York. And, well, do I need to go on? This recipe is very reminiscent of a white and dark chocolate cheesecake I bought in a little deli there (and pretty much ate right then and there on the street) and I'd been looking to recreate it, but with something that made it a bit different. Then I remembered that I would walk through fire for a spoonful of Nutella, and this cheesecake became a reality. 

Now, my favourite part of cheesecake is the biscuit base. So I may have kind of doubled the base relative to the topping. Feel free to half the base ingredients if you do not share my love of crumbly buttery biscuit. You sadist.

Monday, 2 June 2014


This food was MADE for me. It combines all of my favourite things; sticky rice, meaty spiced chorizo and crunchy scallions. I would not be sad if I could just eat this every day for the rest of my life. I think of it as the Cajun/Creole version of another one-pot rice favourite of mine: veggie pilaf.

So, apparently there's a few schools of thought on jambalaya, but it basically comes down to whether you include tomatoes, or not. I am no fan of tomatoes (I pick them out of EVERYTHING) but using passata is perfect for me, enough silky tomatoey flavour without any of the horrific texture issues.

There is something about this kind of all-in-one-pot meal which is irresistible to me. It’s comforting, all the flavour stays really packed in, and best of all: hardly any clean-up! I spend a significant proportion of my cooking time stirring a pot of meat, sauce and assorted vegetables. And I'm okay with that.