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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Wild Blueberry & Coconut Ricotta Doughnuts

Wild Blueberry & Coconut Ricotta Doughnuts-16

Wild Blueberry & Coconut Ricotta Doughnuts

My favourite thing about being in New York for so long was that I finally had a chance to meet up with a bunch of other bloggers throughout my stay. It’s so lovely to be able to visit somewhere you don’t really know and already have a bunch of friends who also can recommend stellar places to eat!

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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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Waffled Brioche French Toast

Waffled Brioche French Toast

With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend (well, in the UK at least) loads of people must be thinking about what to make to surprise their mums with for Sunday brunch. I’m teaming up with Cuisinart this month to create some ‘Classic Dish with a Twist’ recipes like this stunner. It’s super easy to make and is a snazzy mash-up of two of my favourite classic brunch dishes.

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Small Batch Lemon Cakes {Gluten Free, High Protein}

Small Batch Lemon Cakes (Gluten Free + High Protein)-2

 

Hello lovelies, I’m up in Leeds this week living the pretend-uni-life in my friend’s halls (she actually is at uni here though). I’ve got spag bol simmering on the stove and Swedish chocolate cake batter ready to go into a cake tin – I’m totally ready for this semi-adult life.

I thought it was about time I posted a cake recipe on my blog though, I mean it’s been a really long while since I’ve made anything cakey on TWC. I did have a gluten-free Swiss Roll recipe up on GB chefs last week but you probably didn’t see that SO I made some mini loaf cakes!

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Carrot Cake Pancakes with Vanilla Mascarpone + a giveaway

Carrot Cake Pancakes 039

It’s not hard to tell that breakfast food is my number one genre of tasty things to make. Take one look at my instagram and within a month of photos, 4/15 of them are of a breakfasty nature. I’d like to say that it’s because I’m a ‘morning person’ but I’m really, really not. It’s not that I’m grumpy at 7 am, I’m just kinda slow. Slow and forgetful. Don’t try to tell me facts when I wake up because half an hour later I will have no recollection of what was said. These traits aren’t particularly useful when trying to follow a recipe.

This is why, if I’m eating pancakes or waffles, there’s a 90% likelihood that it is midday. And now that it’s September I can officially feel not weird when eating warm, cosy food all the time. These pancakes are the epitome of what I’d want all my food to be like – warm, subtly sweet and slightly indulgent (helloooo vanilla mascarpone whipped cream! Yes I will dollop this on everything).

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Chewy, Coconut Granola Bars {GF, Vegan} + Cinnamon Swirl Bread {Vegan}

Chewy, Chocolate Chip, Coconut Granola Bars {GF, Vegan} and Pecan-Raisin Cinnamon Swirl Bread {Vegan} So I’m about to leave to go festival-ing at T in the Park (praying that I’m not going to get too drenched by any downpours when I’m there) for the weekend. I’ve made a couple of things this week which I had zero intention of blogging, I just instagrammed them and thought that was it. However a few people asked for the recipes and my no.1 hate is typing out recipes in Instagram comments so I thought I’d just give you a short, to the point post.

Have a good weekend everybody!

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Strawberry, Peaches and Cream Popsicles with Amaretti

Strawberry, Peaches and Cream Popsicles with Amaretti

If you’ve been reading TWC for a year now, you’ll have witnessed the super green popsicles I made for the 2013 popsicle week – aka the best food week of the year. Billy of Wit & Vinegar is the genius behind the popsicle week idea so make sure you head on over to his site where you can check all the other popsicles that people have been making for the past 7 days alll over the internet.

Of course I’ve had one heck of a full week because when you spend a month indoors staring at biology notes it makes you tiny bit stir-crazy. So trust that I stirred that crazy up this week and now, finally on Sunday I’m able to share my popsicle creation for 2014.

Strawberry, Peaches and Cream Popsicles with Amaretti

So I also maybe only realised today that in the US, a new week begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday whereas here in the UK it’s a Monday-Sunday affair (I don’t really get it – kind of like Fahrenheit and inches which I’m only accustomed to using in cooking situations. Whenever I’m in the US and someone’s like ‘and it was 40 degrees!’ I’m thinking: is that really cold? is that not so cold?…then I end up having to Google it because unless you’re saying 35o F to me, I have no clue man). Weird huh? but hey ho cultural differences make the world a more interesting place and it’s still popsicle week in my casa – it is 11.50 pm right now so only for 10 more minutes – but we can ignore that.

These pops are kind of a world away from last years’ as they’ve got full on luscious double cream going on in there but there’s still fruit! It also wouldn’t matter if you chose to replace the cream with more yogurt because I knooow it’s bikini season or whatev and I’m also going to be posting cake or possibly pie next week, so some healthier treats are probably a good shout…

Strawberry, Peaches and Cream Popsicles with Amaretti

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Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktails

Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktails Before we head down this cocktail path I’m just putting it out there that I have pretty much zero clue about making cocktails. Sooo I’m going to apologise in advance for a) just calling this a cocktail rather than a proper name (it’s vodka and fruit… I dunno man, does that have a real name?) and b) probably butchering it by shaking it too long, serving it in the wrong glasses et cetera, et cetera…

I say: let’s just enjoy all the coraly colours and fancy (although slightly failed) twists of grapefruit zest whilst trying not to laugh too much at my first attempt at making a drink.

Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktails Making this post has been a learning process. I think I’m better at learning by trying things rather than reading about them so I hope I’ll be able to pull off the next cocktail I make with a bit more finesse.

I did manage to pick up on the fact that the zest should be peeled a LOT thicker than I had been doing so for the photo below. So uh, if you’re planning on ever doing the curly zest thing, make sure you peel it thickly (get a bit of pith on it ) then curl it around the handle of a wooden spoon and leave it to sit for a while before using as a garnish.

Also a tip I learned: Don’t drink in the afternoon when you have other things to do. It’ll turn figuring out how to fix a computer monitor into a much longer feat.

Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktails The basis of the drink is grapefruit juice mixed with a rhubarb syrup that I jazzed up with a few strips of grapefruit peel and some sprigs of thyme. It is the most gorgeous cerise colour and I imagine doesn’t need to be used exclusively for ‘dranks’, but would be dreamy mixed with a bit of sparkling water for a fizzy, non-alcoholic drink. I could also see myself swirling it liberally into a plain froyo base which I’d inevitably devour in a very short space of time.

Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktails

Anyway the syrup and juice are shaken up with vodka and ice to make a very pretty concoction. The rhubarb is a welcome background note here – at first I thought I couldn’t actually taste it but the more I sipped the more floral, complex flavours I could taste underneath the grapefruit twang.

 

Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktails

All in all I’d say it was pretty successful! I know I’m probs making you pretty sceptical because I only just turned 18 so I’m no drinks expert, but it honestly was good. I’ve had a great time writing this post after enjoying those cocktails..ummm I meaaan…that one cocktail….and if you’d seen this post pre-spell-check you’d probably know what I mean. (I’m kidding guys, don’t worry)

But I’ve gotta go now because I just realised I have to make myself supper and it’s almost 8 pm.

Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktails

Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktails

Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktails

 (Yes I DIY-ed a mason jar cocktail shaker. Don’t hurt me)

Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktails

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Flourless Browned Butter Brownies {Gluten-Free + Grain-Free}

Flourless Browned Butter Brownies {Gluten-Free + Grain-Free}

It’s no secret to people who know me that I am a stress-eater.

PMS-ing: Time for chocolate.

60 billion pieces of homework due for tomorrow: Give me all of the shortbread please.

Exams: Ima cry-eat this brownie.

And as a particularly daunting round of exams is looming, it probably won’t be surprising to find me drinking endless mugs of tea alongside all of that food, either.

Flourless Browned Butter Brownies {Gluten-Free + Grain-Free}

I find it easier to control my insane sugar cravings during these times by trying to bake things which happen to actually make me feel full. Eating a regular brownie never makes think ‘wow I am so stuffed’. It’s more like ‘that brownie was a pre-brownie trial round. Now for the real thing, gimme another good sir!’.

And that’s why I often use things like flax seeds and oat flour when baking – the fiber and protein (and healthy fats in the flax seeds) are what keep me satiated so I don’t end up gorging.

Flourless Browned Butter Brownies {Gluten-Free + Grain-Free}

Another ingredient akin to those I just mentioned is coconut flour. It’s basically the dried pulp leftover from making coconut milk. It is really high in fiber (because that’s pretty much all that it is) with some protein and good fats in there to boot. It does have a coconutty aroma but the flavour is easily masked when baked with ingredients like chocolate…for example…

So if it’s such a cool ingredient, then why is this one of the first times I’ve mentioned it on here?

Well, the frustrating thing is that coconut flour is a pain in the arse to develop recipes with. It absorbs crazy amounts of liquid and has no real binding quality so usually requires a LOT of eggs to go with it. I’m not a fan of overly eggy textured desserts (i.e. souffles or custard-like things) so I haven’t used it much in the past.

When I was looking through my friend Josh’s new book The Slim Palate Cookbook (full disclosure, that’s an affiliate link), I noticed he’d used coconut flour in a brownie recipe. I had a bag of coconut flour in the cupboard (and, at £6 a bag, I was like ‘yeah okay lets do this, use up some coconut flour!!’) so decided to give the recipe a go as it looked normal for egg quantities and the picture was making me pretty hungry.

Flourless Browned Butter Brownies {Gluten-Free + Grain-Free}

Holy woah they’re good. They’re not as dense as traditional brownies, I think due to the use of coconut flour and small amount of baking soda, and have about half of the amount of sugar. Of course I went all classic food blogger and browned the butter before mixing in the rest of the ingredients. I amped up the chocolate flavour too, by sneaking some extra cocoa powder into the batter 😉

Verdict: Now I know what I’m going to be using the rest of my coconut flour for.

If you don’t have coconut flour/can’t  get it/ don’t want to spend dolla on a bag for one recipe (I wouldn’t blame you) then you can sub in almond flour (see the recipe notes) which also has a healthy fats, protein and fiber. Win win. We all get filling brownies. Hooray!

Flourless Browned Butter Brownies {Gluten-Free + Grain-Free}

(If you want to check out more about Josh’s blog, Slim Palate, go here!

He also has a really nice book trailer that you should totally go and watch here)

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