Dinosaur Kale Mac and Cheese

Because dinosaurs are cool.

Chili and Lime Black Bean Burger

The perfect vegan burger!

Beer Battered Halloumi

Nom, nom, nom.

Ginger and Chili Tofu

Crispy delicious tofu that's easy to make... say what?

Chocolate Cake Balls

Cakes, but not as you know them.

Monday, 27 December 2010


This Christmas my dad brought me something I really wanted, but probably shouldn't have. My very own fondue pot! I know fondue is very 60's, unless you're in France or Switzerland, but I was still very excited. The first time I tried fondue was when my boyfriend took me to Paris. I was looking on the internet for restaurants that would serve vegetarian food, and found Pain, Vin, Fromages a tiny restaurant that serves traditional french fondue, as well as raclettes and tartiflettes. The restaurant was amazing and I instantly fell in love with fondue, well, what's not to love, melted cheese on crusty bread!

And when we got home we realised that my boyfriends parents had a fondue pot! We have fondue as an occasional treat, as I'm sure its about as bad as eating 5 big macs. And I now that I have my own pot I can share this much loved treat with some other friends and family. It may be retro food, but this social dish should have a revival! I used my pot for the first time tonight and shared it with my mum, but I forgot to buy methylated spirit, so it was powered by cupcake candles!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

The Microwave

My Dad has never had a microwave in his house (he is a technophobic hippy!) and we haven't had one in my mum's house for over 4 years. So when I came down on Christmas morning to find our fruit bowl (often filled with random objects and a lonely fruit) replaced by a microwave, I didn't really know how to feel. There's once in my house at uni, so it's not like I'm scared of them. It just feels weird to have one in the house. When I first got to uni, I hardly ever used it as I was so used to cooking everything in the oven. I've realised how useful they are for some things, like making a jacket potato. But I still think people rely on them too much, I even know a few people who don't own an oven! And they also bring the convenience of the microwave meal, which, although I have had a few and probably will eat a few more, don't really like. I think it's a shame that most children today aren't taught how to cook, or how to use the stove or the oven. If I have children I'd love to raise them without the connivence of the microwave, so that they have to learn how to cook, because I think there is no better feeling than cooking yourself a nice healthy meal!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Happy Holidays

A while ago I wanted to make some fudge, so I started looking on the Internet for a good recipe. I've made fudge numerous times, and I’ve always used the same recipe from my Nan’s super old cookbook. After looking on the Internet for ages I realised there were none that were quite like that recipe, so I decided to wait until I could copy it from the book. This book lives at my Dad’s house and is technically mine, and as much as I love it, I don’t trust myself to look after it (I somehow destroy everything I own). So for now I have to wait until I go to my dads and copy all the recipes out. The last time I made it was two years ago as part of Christmas hampers for people, so it felt apt to be making it again this time of year. After copying the recipe (but no instructions) down I happily created some lovely nostalgia with the smell and taste of the perfect fudge recipe. So here it is!
60g Butter
450g Sugar
1 Small tin of condensed milk
¼ Pint of water
Fudge to me is basically a form of one pot cooking, so chuck all the ingredients in a large heavy based pan and heat gently until the butter and sugar have melted.

Then turn the heat up slightly and most importantly don’t stop mixing! Then you play the waiting game, carry on mixing and heating until the mixture turns deep golden brown. You can tell when it’s done by dropping a bit of the mixture into cold water, if it turns in to soft balls then it’s done. Or if you have a candy thermometer (destroyed mine) then heat it to 240 degrees Fahrenheit.

When you think it’s ready, remove it from the heat and beat well until it is thick and creamy. Apparently the more you beat it the grainier it becomes, because it encourages crystals to form. So beat for longer if you like it grainy, like me! Then pour in to a buttered dish to set.

I also tried my hand at making truffles today, they we’re slightly more successful than the last time I attempted it. As last time I just seemed to make some sort of yoghurt! Any way I used a Waitrose recipe. I’m definitely enjoying having some time off at the moment to make people homemade gifts.
I’m hoping to make some more sweets to accompany the candles I’ve been making! Well, I say making, I just got some old jugs from a charity shop and melted down some cheap candles to pour in them!

Happy Holidays!!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Christmas Dinner.

Can I call it a success? Well probably not, firstly it was supposed to happen on Saturday but the terrible snow saw an end to that. Despite my boyfriends best efforts to make sure it happened, as I saw the snow getting heavier and heavier, I decided to stop cooking and go to bed. So we had it last night instead, and although the food was maybe not as good as it could have been it was still exactly how I wanted it, filling up on food and feeling festive. Because of the snow I didn’t think two of my friends could come, and one was ill which was going to leave me as the only vegetarian! It felt really silly making myself a veggie wellington so I made a few small ones instead, but luckily one veggie friend braved the snow and made it all the way from Oxford and I had someone to share it with. Aside from that the night started well with the starter, probably because it was piss easy to make, and would have taken a complete idiot to muck it up! But the main was a bit more tricky, despite putting the beef wellington in for quite a bit longer than it said on the recipe, when I got it out it was really rare! And to me looked inedible. Luckily my mum came down at this time and managed to salvage the meat while I had a small nervous breakdown. After that the cheesecake was okayish, but nothing compared to the chocolate fudge brownie sundae from last year. I think I’ll stick to Hotel Chocolat’s brownie recipe for now; it’s so much richer and gooier. The cheeseboard was the savior of the night! All in all, I don’t think it was as successful as last year and I don’t think I will do it next year (I bet I forget how stressful it all was and decide to do it again) but it was still such a nice night and I love cooking for people more than ever.
I’ve realised that I can’t upload any pictures because I think I’ve left the camera cable at uni, well that or it’s in my room, but I’m too lazy to look for it so I can only provide this image of the totally destroyed cheese board.

Friday, 17 December 2010


So, it’s 8 days until Christmas and that can only mean one thing, food, food and more food! Tomorrow will be my annual Christmas dinner with my friends, which started out about 5 years ago as vegetarians only, but now, seems to have merged into a dinner for everyone. I must confess, although the meat eaters came last year my mum did the meat. So this will be the first year I have cooked meat! And it’s not like I never cook it, I sometimes do for my family or boyfriend, but nothing fancy. I went to look at the meat for the beef wellington I’m making and realised I way out of my depth! There we’re so many different cuts! Cooking meat isn’t my favourite thing to do, but I’m not one of those preachy vegetarians who hate the stuff. If people enjoy it then it’s just the same as me enjoying my vegetarian food. So today I am going to go shopping for the ingredients and start the prep, this is what I’ve decided on so far:
Goat’s cheese and apple salad
Beef Wellington or Butternut squash wellington
Raspberry brownie cheesecake
A shit load of cheese

I love the fact that everyone gets excited about food. Especially the cheese aspect, because I love cheese! And a good cheeseboard is the key to ending any meal successfully! This year everyone is bringing a cheese for the board, because last year one of my friends ending up spending as much on cheese as I did for the whole meal! I picked a truffle butter Camembert for mine, as it is just the best cheese I have ever had and I can’t really justify buying it otherwise because it is so expensive. Anyway I hope it all goes well and I’m sure I will be posting lot’s of lovely pictures!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Atomic Burger

A while ago when I was working in Oxford, the team kept going on about a place called Atomic Burger, they pretty much built it up to be amazing in my mind. When I finally got to go it was nothing short of it. Atomic burger is an American style burger restaurant filled with nostalgic comic books and toys, offering fresh and unique burger choices. Walking in I felt like a kid, and with the amazing menu featuring burgers such as the Dead Elvis, The Goober and the Forest Gump, the choice of burger and inspired flavours is amazing. Another reason I was so impressed was that there was such a wide range of vegetarian burgers and toppings. The first time I went I had the Jonny Cash, which had refried beans, American cheese, hot sauce and jalapenos with a side of sci fries. The burger was incredible and like nothing I’ve ever tasted, as soon as I left I knew I needed to go back. It was the kind of place I knew my boyfriend would love so I’ve been nagging him for ages to go to oxford. Although it was a bit of a treck from the center of Oxford it was definitely worth it, this time I had a Cheech and Chong with vege chilli, jalapenos and nachos. It was just as good as I remembered and is perfect for vegetarians that are sick of the same old bean burger. My boyfriends had the beef burger, with bacon, cheese and onion rings and he said it was the best burger he’s ever had. I’m so happy to have finally found a burger restaurant that fulfils vegetarian needs!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Chili Leek and Potato soup

So it's getting bloody cold, and it's the time of year when everyone has colds. And it's times like this that you need something nice and warming to get you over the winter blues. My new favorite meal is chili leek and potato soup, the soup warms you up and the chili clears any horrible coldy symptoms you might be having! And it's really quick and easy to make, so here's the recpie:


Olive oil,
1 small onion chopped,
2 leeks chopped,
1 medium potato chopped,
Half a small red chili chopped,
1 tbsp Bullion stock
Salt and Pepper.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the chopped onion, cook on a medium heat until slightly browned and then add the leeks and chili. Season well and cook for 5 minutes until the leeks have slightly softened, then add the potato and pour over enough boiling water to cover the vegetables. Add the stock powder and stir in well, bring the soup to a boil and then turn down to a gentle simmer. Cook the soup for 10-15 minutes or until the potato has softened, then blend with a hand blender until smooth. Serve it up and enjoy!

(suitable for vegans too, so all your vegan friends can enjoy!)

And if you want something nice and chili to dunk in your soup, why not make some chili cheese straws! All you need to do is make up some basic short crust pastry add how ever much cheese you want, some finely cut red chili and bake for around 15 minutes.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Mushy Pea Fritter!

I am so angry with myself for thinking that I didn’t like mushy peas and therefore denying myself this lovely green mush for 20 years. After actually trying them, I fell deeply in love. I want to eat them with everything, and I would if it was viable to live on mushy peas I would. So any way, on holiday in Cornwall I discovered the mushy pea fritter, and oh my god, it was amazing! I know it’s not exactly haute dining, but the flavours and textures really are amazing. Especially if you’re vegetarian, because I miss eating things covered in batter, or just anything crunchy and bad for you really.

Friday, 10 September 2010

National Cupcake Week!

Horay! A whole week to celebrate the cupcake. Although I have been making the great British fairy cake since I was little, their American sister the cupcake is much more impressive. Made in muffin cases and with mounds of frosting, I can't resist. And because I'm away for National Cupcake Week I thought I'd put my favorite recipe up now:

Caramel Kiss Mix Cupcakes


Cake Mixture:
200g Sugar
200g Butter
200g Flour
50g Cocoa Powder
1tsp Vanilla Essence


100g Butter
100g Icing sugar
50g Dark chocolate (I used 70%)
50g Caramel chocolate (I used Hotel Chocolat's caramel kiss mix)

Makes 12

Place 12 large cupcake cases in to a muffin tin and preheat the oven to 200˚c. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, and then the flour, cocoa powder and vanilla extract until combined. Try not to mix too much or the cakes wont rise! Spoon the mixture into the cases and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. When the cakes are done, pop them on to a wire rack to cool and make the frosting.

To make the frosting melt the chocolate in two separate bain maries and leave to cool. Cream the butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy and divide in half in to two separate bowls. Fold in the two melted chocolates so that you have chocolate fudge and caramel frostings. Pipe the frostings on in alternate swirls and sprinkle Liquid Chocolat or grated chocolate flakes on top!


Monday, 6 September 2010

Raw Food

I forgot to blog about this, because as a complete failure I lasted one day! I truly admire all Raw foodists because they take a massive interest in raw food and what it can do for you. But I love cooking and cooked food too much and one day was enough for me! I started my first day with a smoothie, which I usually do, but it all went down hill from there. I had a salad with my homemade hummus which was okay, but I usually have hot food for lunch and because my work place is freezing I really wanted some warm food. And by the time I got home, I was really missing it! For dinner I had raw courgette pasta which was okay, but nothing compared to what I usually eat. I pretty much already wanted to give up. So the next morning I went to a health food shop in buckingham and couldn't really afford anything I wanted so brought some raspberries from the super market instead. After eating them all I went for a run and started to feel really sick and decided I definitely wanted to stop and when I got home I ate a whole pizza! I do feel annoyed with myself that I couldn't even see it out for 5 days. But I think it would have been a miserable few days, as I just love food too much.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Raw Diet

Raw courgette hummus.

Fully stocked raw fridge!

Starting tomorrow I will be trying a Raw Diet as an experiment, something to write about and hopefully a bit of a detox. I've been reading up on the benefits of a raw diet and the main benefits seem to be more energy and feeling cleansed. At first looking through all the recipes I felt extremely excited about all the new foods I will be eating next for the next 5 days, hopefully this lasts as it will make it so much easier if I can get really stuck in to making all of my meals. I did a quick shop today for everything I needed for the first day, and decided I will start with a smoothie, and have a salad with raw hummus for lunch. I haven't quite decided what to have for dinner, but I like the looks of courgette noodles. I started off today with making my own tahini and courgette hummus for my lunch, it was quite easy to make and will hopefully make my lunch for tomorrow a bit more exciting. I will blog for the next 5 days about what foods I've discovered and how the diet is making me feel. Wish me luck!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Goody Good Stuff New Range!

The main and probably only thing I miss bring vegetarian is real gummy sweets. For ages I've had to buy vegetarian Haribo, which is not only hard to find but also nowhere near as good as regular Haribo. Recently Haribo brought out Funny Mix which is good but you're stuck with cola bottles, stars and strawberries (and a strange texture). So I am ridiculously happy that Goody Good Stuff have brought out an amazing new range of gummy sweets. Not only are they gelatine free, but also fat, dairy, and gluten free and of course taste absolutely amazing. The sweets are made with natural flavorings, which really shines through in the taste. Hopefully they become more widely available because even if you're not vegetarian or vegan they taste great and save you from eating animals hooves and other nasties. I've only tried the Cheery Cherries, Sour Fruit Salad and Koala Gummy bears so far but i've just brought all 8 varieties, for research purposes, obviously.

You can now find them in most Holland and Barrett stores :)

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Being Vegan

The first day of being vegan posed quite a few challenges for me. Firstly it was my 5th and final day of The Secret Garden Party festival, I was feeling a bit worse for wear when I woke up on Monday morning and all I wanted was a cheese and marmite toastie from Tasty Toastie. Then I got home and there was no food in my house at all! I was so tired at this point that I could not be bothered to go food shopping and decided that I should go out for a meal. Then I realised I probably wouldn't be able to eat anything in a restaurant, and started to really regret it. But all was not lost as I remembered that YO! Sushi had just opened so I went there for some vegan delights. Then after a little nap I set off to my boyfriends to be greeted by his whole family who were going to a carvery, so I went out for the meal and just had a drink as I actually couldn't eat anything. But after a nightmare first day I brought lot's of nice fresh ingredients and got excited about the new recipes I was going to try this week. First off were vegan chocolate and raspberry muffins, which were okay-ish... The last few days have been better, but I still can't wait to have a cheese and marmite toastie at the end of it!

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Chocolate Festival

As much as I hate to admit it, I love chocolate. Ever since I started work in Hotel Chocolat I have been obsessed, so I was extremely happy to hear there was a whole festival devoted to it at the Southbank center in London. I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. There were loads of different stalls exhibiting a wide range of magical cocoa in different forms (including the lovely people who employ me). There was a lot of dairy free chocolate such as Roar Chocolate and also The Chocolate Heart. There was the more traditional chocolates from chocolatiers like Rococo who had an amazing display of painted Easter eggs:

and William Curley who had a sea salt caramel bar: That if it wasn't the end of term and I wasn’t already well into my overdraft I would have liked to buy!

I did how ever buy a few truffles, some vegan ones from The Chocolate Heart that were really smooth considering they didn’t contain any dairy. And also some from a stall I have completely forgotten the name of, but had some interesting flavours, like Rosemary and Armagnac. I asked the man to pick me five interesting flavours and hopefully I can work out what they are later. Although I missed the chocolate making demonstrations, Choc Chick were showing off their Chock Chick kit for making your own chocolate and demonstrating how to use it.

You could also enjoy chocolate in a more unconventional way; there was a chilli and chocolate stall, where you could enjoy cocoa infused chilli nachos and burritos. I tried a tiny veggie chilli sample, and it was definitely different, really spicy with the bitter kick from the cocoa. So it’s safe to say the chocolate obsession has been fed even more.


Who didn’t love Pokémon? It was the greatest game on the Gameboy Colour ever! I was a HUGE fan. I even had a Pokémon theme for my 21st Birthday. So imagine my delight as a bright yellow leaflet labelled RE: Pokémon fell out of my Vice magazine. Vice has teamed up with Nintendo to promote the Pokémon Heartgold and Soulsilver and commissioned 7 artists to create Pokémon inspired art works. As it was also the Chocolate festival in London the same weekend (more about that later) I decided a trip to London was in order. The studio where it was held was tiny but perfect to hold the 7 works of art. My favourites were the by Richard Robinson:

and Jeffrey Bowman :

Probably because they both had Pokémon from the original 150. Seriously there’s like a million now, I can’t keep up. The exhibition made me more nostalgic than my birthday and now I really want to buy a Gameboy colour and Pokémon red. I might even embrace the new Pokémon and get Heartgold for my DS.

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