InstaRecipe! Vietnamese Pho with Courgette Spaghetti

Vietnamese Pho with Courgette Spaghetti

BOOP! Hello, all.

Just bringing yas a quick recipe (and instagram photo) for a gorgeously fragrant pho. I adapted the recipe very slightly from The Art of Eating Well* cookbook by the Hemsley sisters. I made this soup for lunch because even though it’s August, I find British weather rn tends to be more like quotemarks “summer” rather than an actually hot season. It’s been rainy and grey and cold so I’ve been shuffling around the house in slipper socks and jumpers (very chic, I know). That said, I didn’t want a heavy soup/stew plus we’ve had a massive influx of courgettes and green beans from the allotment so this was perfect to use them up. In the headnotes, the Hemsleys suggest adding prawns or an egg to the soup if you want some protein in there too, but their original recipe includes shredded chicken (which I’ve left out cos I’m cutting back on my meat consumption, yo).

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Banoffee Pie Bites {GF & No refined sugar, Vegan option}

banoffee pie bites (vegan, GF & No Refined sugar)-1737

Somewhere in-between last weekend’s hangover and this week’s flu I managed to bake these beauties. Of course if there was one thing that I would fit into the only day this week when I wasn’t bedridden, it would be baking. Thankfully I’m all better now and I’m avoiding any drinks above the 0% alcohol level so there should be PLENTY more time for food in my life (and so plenty more time for these babes).

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Cornmeal & Loganberry Muffins {Vegan}

Loganberry & Cornmeal Muffins-9

When I started baking years ago I remember being perplexed by certain recipes. Cakes and brownies would always turn out well but a) chocolate chip cookies and b) muffins never worked for me. I have to say that I blame this on me using recipes from ‘older’ English cookbooks – the ones with the types of recipes we’d be taught for basic cooking skills in Food Technology lessons at school. Let me tell you something, those cookbooks are great if you want to make hot cross buns and Victoria sponges but terrible for quickbreads, muffins and cookies.

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Malted Milk & Stracciatella Gelato Pops

Malted Milk & Stracciatella Gelato Pops-9

Having just sent off two rolls of film which I’ve been using since Autumn-ish last year, I’ve had film vs. digital on my mind. A digital camera is great for most things because you can take so many photos so easily (the only caveat being that you’ll probably need a few 1 TB external harddrives 😉 ). That said, I still can’t help but feel excited by the possibilities that a new reel of film, loaded into my mum’s old Olympus, brings. There’s something a bit more magical about the potential that each of those 36 exposures contains.

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Broad Bean, Mint & Ricotta Salad

Broad Bean, Mint & Ricotta Salad

Every. Single. Year. My dad brings bagfuls of broad beans back from the allotment. When they’re young and fresh, they’re a dream. So tender and sweet, they’re perfect when boiled and eaten straight up with a scattering of salt.

As the weeks go on though, I always become a bit disenchanted by them. The little pod wrapped around each bean isn’t as buttery-soft and they err on the bitter side. This is the stage when they need flavour friends!

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Carrots with Black Garlic & Herb Yoghurt

Roasted Carrots with Black Garlic & Herb Yoghurt 3

I think I’m with a lot of people on the fact that I prefer carrots in raw form. Boiled or steamed ones can be mushy and bland, even the good ones! There’s something so satisfying about that cold, crisp snap of a carefully cut stick along with the slightly green aroma they tend to have when raw.

Roasted Carrots with Black Garlic & Herb Yoghurt

That said, you can tell me to eat any vegetable once roasted and chances are high that I’ll love it – cauliflower and Brussels sprouts being prime examples. In the UK especially we seem to have resigned those veggies to the ‘boil-to-death’ bitterness which makes them infamously unpopular with children. Roasting helps to caramelise and enhance the natural sugars plus it adds more texture. They become soft and buttery inside with burnished, crispy exteriors.

As carrots are naturally sweet, roasting makes them even more candy-like (no wonder carrots are so f-ing good in cakes! ….Now I’m feeling a strong need to make a roasted carrot cake ASAP). This sweetness can get a bit overwhelming and monotonous as a side so I added a yogurty dressing for contrast. It’s creamy and cooling thanks to the herbs with nuttiness from toasted pumpkin seeds. It swings back into a more savoury spectrum with a special little ingredient: Black garlic.

Roasted Carrots with Black Garlic & Herb Yoghurt 2

Black garlic has become a lot more easily available thanks to the publication of the new Ottolenghi book, Plenty More, which calls for it in a few recipes. My mum and I hadn’t seen it in the supermarkets before reading through that book but now, thank goodness, it’s stocked in Sainsburys! The garlic isn’t raw, it’s slow roasted and milder with an added bonus of not giving you garlic breath. Cos mate, no matter how much parsley or lemon you eat after raw garlic touches your tongue, you’d still be tasting it for hours.

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Tomato and Chargrilled Pepper Soup with feta and bacon

Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup-0946

I think charring vegetables has to be one of my favourite, simple kitchen tips. It’s ridonc easy to do and adds that smoky, barbecue flavour to dishes which I looooove. Seriously, I add sweet smoked paprika to anything and everything that I can (this has been bad when I’ve mistakenly used HOT paprika and made food mouth-burningly spicy).

The two main veg I’ve charred before have been bell peppers, which are an obvious one, for things like salads, frittata and focaccia. Secondly aubergine which slumps into meltingly soft and silky strands – at home we use this in a thai dish: stirred into stir-fried ground pork with lime dressing, fresh coriander and noodles. It’s also the main component in baba ganoush! But I could imagine chargrilled bell peppers or aubergine being excellent additions to other dips (smoky bell pepper hummus!? YUH).

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Individual Plum Cakes (Vegan + GF) and Plum Wood Tablespoons!

Individual Plum Cakes-1212 You might remember a while ago I posted about some lovely tablespoon measures carved by Barnaby Carder a.k.a. Barn The Spoon. Well I’ve got a restock in my shop so anyone who missed out last time can grab one. This time they’ve been crafted from English plum wood so are slightly different to the last batch which were sycamore. It felt fitting to therefore make a small batch recipe using plums to suit the wood!

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DIY Coconut Yogurt (Coyo) + Blueberry Pie Oats + Dutch Baby Pancakes + Flourless Lemon Cake (GF)

Blueberry Pie Overnight Oats 035

I’ve had a few recipes up around the web recently! In the pre-and-post-birthday mayhem I haven’t had time to write about these magical birthday breakfast buns yet (photos and recipe coming shortly, though). However while you wait for all that spicy, buttery goodness why not check out my other recipes after the jump!

Flourless Lemon cake + Dutch Baby Pancake DIY Coconut Yogurt

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Mason Jar Quinoa Salad with Green Thai-Style Dressing (GF and Vegan)

Mason Jar Quinoa Salad with Green Thai-Style Dressing (GF and Vegan) - Perfect for lunch on the go!

I’m heading off to Leeds again! I’m hoping my poor, London-adapted hands won’t freeze and then fall off.. My extremities aren’t used to *The North* haha.

While it’s only a 3 hour journey, my friends and I are catching an afternoon train which poses a dilemma: The dreaded travelling lunch.

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