Saturday, 30 March 2013

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Blueberry and White Chocolate Muffins

Sometimes you want a fruit muffin. Sometimes you want a chocolate muffin. Or, you can just have both. Just solving life's little issues one baking session at a time.

I found a recipe for these little beauties on the BBC Good Food website, and adapted it slightly with some more raising agent to give a lighter, fluffier result. They're embarrassingly easy to make, and would make a great addition to your brunch this Easter weekend.  

250g plain flour 
50g caster sugar 
2 tsp baking powder 
a pinch of salt
3 eggs, beaten
50g butter, melted and cooled
100ml milk
75g blueberries
100g white chocolate, chopped into chunks

Heat the oven to 180 ° C/gas 6 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. Mix the egg, melted butter and milk quickly into the dry ingredients with the blueberries and chocolate (don't overmix, it should be a bit lumpy). Divide between the cases and bake for 25 minutes until risen and golden and cooked through.

Friday, 22 March 2013


Hooray! It's the Easter holidays, and although I still have to go to uni for some of the time, I can't wait to have some fun with this little guy. The Easter Bunny has gotten a bit over-excited this year so our chocolate stash is massive already!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Daily Dishonesty

'Daily Dishonesty' typography by New York based graphic designer Lauren Hom - whose website, incidentally is called "Hom Sweet Hom". That is beyond adorable.

I love these so much. It's hilarious the things we say to convince others or just to make us feel better. Other favourites were "I'm not a Hipster" and "I Just Got Your Text".

"I'll be there in 5 minutes" is definitely me.

Visit the official Daily Dishonesty website here.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Crab, Chilli and Rocket Linguine

Here's a sexy little number to add to your pasta recipe repertoire (I know you have one).

It's quick, light, fresh, and uses tinned crab meat so is also very economical. I made this for a weeknight dinner calling for something a little bit special, but that could be knocked together in 10 minutes over a catch up and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. You will not be disappointed! Go, go, go!

150g linguine
1 small tin white crabmeat
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 a red chilli, chopped
1/2 a lemon
A good handful of rocket (sorry I do not weigh rocket!)
olive oil - regular and extra virgin

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the linguine and cook according to packet instructions until al dente. 
Whilst the pasta is cooking, gently fry the garlic and chilli in the (regular) olive oil on a low heat, until the garlic starts to lightly colour - this will only take 3-4 minutes.
Stir in the crab meat and warm through for another couple of minutes.
Drain the pasta, then return to the pan and stir through about a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. This will add flavour and also stops the pasta from sticking.
Add the crab mixture and some rocket, plus a good squeeze of lemon juice, and mix together.
Serve on warmed plates with an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Nothing like feeling a bit fancy on a school night.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Butter Bean Dip

Subtle hints of garlic, chilli and lemon transform the humble tinned butter bean into a creamy yet healthy dip. It's delicious as a starter with crudities or toasted pitta, and if you have any you leftover it also makes a great sandwich filling!

1 x 410g tin butter beans
1 x clove garlic – minced
juice and zest of  lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 a chilli, chopped
approx 60 ml extra virgin olive oil

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz  until you reach the desired texture and consistency.  Taste and adjust seasoning. Spoon into a small bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with warm pitta breads.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Living Alone Behaviour

Hot chocolate with Amaretto, watching 'Girls' on the laptop in bed. This is becoming something of a habit.

Miss P's Ultimate Mexican Hangover Toast

Ok this isn't really Mexican I guess. But it's spicy and has avocado, and is great for soaking up too many tequilas from the night before.

I don't think I need to give you too much instruction here as it's essentially cheese on toast, topped with half a  sliced avocado, a fried egg, some seasoning and a generous drizzle of chilli sauce. Ay caramba!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Creperie du Monde

Creperie du Monde, Chatsworth Street, Hackney - a must visit if you're in the area. This popular local hang out is the perfect brunch destination, so as a big group of hungover gals last weekend we were very lucky to manage to get a table to fit us all. We sought solace in the freshly made crepes, juices and smoothies, whilst pondering whether shots the night before had been a bad choice.

The menu has a wide selection of savoury and sweet options, from an Eggs Benedict folded crepe to the humble maple syrup with berries. Some of the sweet options border on the obscene, such as 'Samba Banana' with cinnamon, hot sliced banana and toffee dulce de leche, or the New York Crunch  with biscuit, nuts, cream and butterscotch. A bit heavy for the morning after the night before, but perhaps another time.

I had the 'Brunch Favourite' - smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and asparagus with hollandaise sauce, and washed it down with a freshly made orange and carrot juice. A pretty damn good hangover cure I'd say.

It did make me wonder, why do I never think to make savoury pancakes at home?
   *adds to my to-do list*

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Dove, Hackney

We stumbled across The Dove on Broadway Market last week and felt like we'd discovered a hidden local gem. The deceptively large pub couldn't be more inviting, filled with old wooden furniture and vintage lamps, and jovial crowds around the bar. The Belgian-inspired menu contained British classics such as my delicious fish pie, as well as Belgian twists like the Flemish beef stew cooked with Bruges Zot Brune, and an Antwerp seafood stew in a creamy sauce. In a very non London fashion, the prices are more than reasonable - mains come in at £10-£12, with steak being the most expensive option at £15.95. A glass of very decent house wine, if I remember correctly, will cost you a little under £4.

Their homemade sausages sound like reason enough to make a return visit - I think I'll be trying the wild boar with apple, marinaded in blonde beer. The roasts also are "legendary" apparently, and I imagine it gets booked up fast as the cosy atmosphere is very conducive to a Sunday afternoon of meat grazing.

Anyway, it turns out it's got quite the reputation and is always packed, even more so since celebs like Katy Perry have been spotted hanging out there. So we didn't exactly discover a hidden gem, but certainly a favourite new eatery in the East end.

Monday, 11 March 2013


Just returned from a great weekend in London, celebrating a dear friend's birthday and having a really good catch up - so much so that I have lost my voice completely. Those who know me will know that's just about the worst thing that could happen to me! Besides from a crazy amount of chatting and giggling, lots of shopping, eating and drinking also took place. I'll share some of my new foodie finds with you in my next couple of posts.

If I can help it, I can't really go to London without popping into a Hummingbird Bakery. We went to the Soho branch and picked up some Red Velvet Cupcakes for the birthday girl. We also gave her a bottle of Zubrowka - because cupcakes and vodka are the best kinds of presents.


Friday, 8 March 2013

Meeting Mary Berry


This week I got the chance to meet a true cooking icon - Mary Berry! She did a book signing in Bath, before which she spoke to an enraptured audience about her highlights from the past year. Mary (I feel as if we're on first name terms now) held everyone's attention for about an hour, and was a warm and witty storyteller. 

Monday, 4 March 2013

Gourmet Burger Kitchen

I experienced my first GBK this weekend...and I'm pretty certain it won't be my last. Here's a few top tips if you decide to make a visit...
1. Whatever burger you choose (we had classic cheeseburgers with American cheese), make sure you opt for a brioche bun.
2. Try the Oreo milkshake - made with organic vanilla ice cream, and so many Oreos you'll find yourself chewing on chunks of the stuff. My current new favourite thing in the world.
3. If you're a student, download the app to get 30% off your food bill. This last point could prove to be very, very dangerous...


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