Tag Archives: Food

Burrata with Bread from the Farmer’s Market

Burrata cheese is SO good it doesn’t need much, so this is less a recipe and more a PSA. IF you haven’t tried Burrata go and get some. If you’re in Dubai… the farmer’s market (Saturday’s at Garden Center) now sells freshly made burrata. (Thanks Foodiva for the tip!).

So in case burrata is new to you it’s basically buffalo mozarella with a creamy and curdy center – which is so yummy!

What I did for my lunch/dinner was to lightly grill some beautiful Italian potato bread (also bought at the Farmer’s market). I then brushed the bread with some quick homemade basil oil – which I made by pounding together a bunch of basil with some garlic, a green chili, sea salt and olive oil. I then topped the bread with some tomato slices.

I used the bread to scoop out the creamy center. YUM!!!


A promise is a promise! Mini-cakes for a friend’s birthday

I often post pictures of the food I make on my Facebook page. This has caused one of my friends to constantly ask me (jokingly) to cook something for him. I keep promising I will and despite seeing him every Tuesday for the last 3 years for rugby AND working in the same building as him I never did! Eeeeks. Till now. For his birthday I made mini cakes decorated with home-made vanilla buttercream frosting, blue glitter frosting, and mini m&ms. In other words… They looked like something a 2 year old would have done (as you can see from the one I made for myself on the left!)… BUT they tasted pretty darn good, were easy to make, and reasonably light (due to size NOT ingredients!)

So anyways… you ask mini-cakes… aren’t those just cupcakes? Well yes, but since I didn’t have wrappers and self-rising flour… they came out looking like mini-cakes rather than cupcakes… and so mini cakes it is! Sometimes a girl just gets lazy and makes do with what is already in the house…!  Besides…  I baked these things at 10 o clock at night AFTER work and football practice… going to the supermarket just to make traditional cupcakes might have taken things a bit far. lol.

To make 12 mini cakes / cupcakes you will need the following:

  • 1 and 1/3 cups flour
  • 110 grams butter
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • couple drops of vanilla extract

Butter Cream Frosting ingredients

  • 110 grams of softened butter
  • 3 to 4 cups of icing sugar
  • few drops of vanilla extract

Basically as always its pretty simple. In a bowl cream together the butter and sugar (helps if the butter is softened) – it should be nice fluffy. Then add in the eggs and stir. Then slowly add in the flour, and then a little of the milk, bits at a time. Finally add in the vanilla extract. Stir this all together until smooth.

Then pour into muffin holes, about three-quarters the way to the top, add bake for about 20 mins.

Let the the cakes cool – in the mean time get your frosting ready.

To make the frosting whip the butter a little and then slowly bit by bit add in the icing sugar until you have the right taste and texture. Finish with a little vanilla extract.

When the cakes are cooled decorate! I used mini m&ms and glitter frosting!

Enjoy x


Happy Blogaversary?! 1 year old today :-)

1 year ago today (November 17, 2010) I started this blog. The reasons I started blogging about my food were many, but here are the main reasons:

1. I LOVE food and I LOVE cooking

2. I had just ended a long on-off relationship and wanted to keep myself occupied

3. My friend who was meant to help keep me occupied that night (girl’s night out) bailed on me last minute

4. I wanted to!

So there I was on Thursday (our Friday) night with nothing to do and wanting to keep myself busy. The usual options were: call another friend and meet up, have a glass of wine and watch some telly, or read a book. None of these options appealed that night and I found myself with itchy fingers. No, not to text, call, or email him, but to return to a more lasting love… FOOD. :-p

The “immortal” words of my friends M + E came back to me (I know, I know I am NOT funny… but I do amuse myself) who said at a dinner party the week before that I should blog my recipes.

Now before this starts sounding like my blog was a last minute whim of the broken-hearted and friendless (of which I was neither and thankfully am still not), I had always thought about blogging but just had no clue where to start. Also the thought that I’d be terrible and no one would care crossed my mind a couple (hundred) times.

However, that night with M + E’s words ringing in my ears, I thought f**k it, it’ll be fun! It also seemed like a great way for me to document my recipes in an easily accessible format (as I have TERRIBLE handwriting!). My first post was posted in the EARLY morning Friday!

So I took off the party dress, kicked off the heels, poured myself a glass of wine and went to work. Till that date, I had never read a food blog, barely knew what WordPress was, and was a total blogging newbie. I had absolutely no clue (this state still exists), and if you read other people’s far superior blogs you’ll see the truth in those words. But the point is: it was easy. So easy and so much fun. That night I got to create a blog name, “design” my site, and start writing. I haven’t really stopped either.

Blogging about my food has caused me to think up new recipes and be more varied in what I eat (because I can’t blog about the same thing… or can I? Cheese toast, 100 different ways???). It’s also taught me so much about the on and offline world of food love, and shown me just how much passion there is out there. Just how amazing and dedicated people can be to food. I freely admit, I’m still such an amateur and before I started blogging, I didn’t realize quite how much there is to learn and discover. Being young(ish) this excites me… because I can see so many adventures ahead. Blogging has also introduced me to a whole variety of people on and offline that I otherwise would never have met and I just think how cool it is that something as small as a comment made at a dinner party and an unreliable friend! (lol) can be the start of a whole new set of experiences.

I genuinely love that I get to write down and share my recipes and that people read and engage with me over the stuff I write. Thanks so much to everyone who has visited the site and those who comment as well – I really appreciate it!

x


Tofu Salad with Sesame Lime Dressing

Yesterday’s meals were delish but a little oil heavy! I also took it quite easy in the gym today (but hey at least I went!) so to make up for that tonight’s dinner is a light (but tasty!) one.

It’s also super quick which is ALWAYS a good thing.

To make the salad:

Combine: tofu pieces (I used ready to eat organic tofu cutlets – readily available in Waitrose, Spinneys, etc), sugar snap peas (blanched in boiling water for 1 minute), sliced red peppers, and ribbons of carrot into a bowl.

Drizzle with salad dressing and top with some chopped chives.

The Salad Dressing

Whisk together: a dash of sesame oil, some veggie oil, lime juice, sea salt, chopped green chilies, a teeny bit of smashed up garlic, soya sauce, and a little thai chili sauce. Combine to your tastes.

Super easy peasy, healthy, and tasty! A great dinner if you’ve “indulged” a bit before.

Enjoy! x


Spicy mayo prawns (inspired by wasabi prawns)

I think I’ve probably mentioned a couple of times now that I love wasabi prawns and all the variations of it. Caramel in Dubai does TNT Shrimp, Nobu does Spicy Creamy Prawns and this is a version that takes from all of them. I can’t actually explain how much I love these dishes (but having made it at home) I know now why its a restaurant dish… calories galore! I’ve tried to slim it down a little… so it’s not as bad as it could be.

Every time I eat any of these dishes I always marvel at how the restaurants can get a goopy, crispy texture (if you know what I mean?!) but now I know and its pretty simple.

The dish is made in two parts – a home-made mayo (which can be made in advance)  and then frying the prawns and bringing the dish together! Onto the recipes!

Home-made spicy, creamy, asian mayo (I’ll work on the name!)

Makes plenty!

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon sushi vinegar (or rice vinegar)
  • 100 ml veggie oil
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • japanese chili spices
  • peri-peri sauce
Get your egg yolk in a bowl and add a pinch of salt, pepper, the japanese chili spice, and vinegar. Whisk it all together. Then start to slowly (at first drops at time) incorporate the oil. Whisk all the time. Do this slowly at first so the mayo doesn’t split. When all the oil is incorporated and you have the right texture + taste (the mayo should give resistance against the whisk). Add in a tablespoon or two of peri-peri sauce. Taste. Set aside in the fridge until required.
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The Prawns
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Really simple. Get 4 (or more) of the biggest and freshest prawns you can. Clean and remove all the shell, even tails. Then cut the prawns into thirds or fourths (depends on how big the prawns are). Dip the prawn pieces into egg white and then coat all over with corn flour. Deep fry the prawns until golden brown. I shallow fried mine – so did 2 mins on each side. Drain on kitchen towel.
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Once all the excess oil is absorbed, dunk your prawn pieces into the mayo mixture. To rid myself of excess calories (i.e. excess mayo) I kitchen toweled off the excess mayo from the prawns, so that it was only a thin coating. Arrange into a bowl and top with some chopped chives plus a squeeze or two of lemon juice.
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Enjoy! x
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Penne Bolognaise

Now obviously you can use spaghetti or really any pasta you want with the sauce but I said Penne because I want to indicate up front that this is not a traditional bolognaise but rather my version of one. It’s not drastically different but there are a few changes here and there (for what I think is the better…lol). Anyways it tasted SO good and that’s what counts!

What you’ll need:

beef mince (I used low-fat Aussie mince)

onion

garlic

mushrooms

fresh tomatoes

tomato puree

veggie stock cube

wow wow mustard (bought at Burough Market… also available from http://www.herbspice.co.uk)

red wine

boiling water

What to do…

I made this recipe for two small dishes or one really large plate.

Chop up a medium sized onion or three-quarters of a large one. Should be a medium chop. Smash up and very roughly chop a large garlic clove. Saute the onion in butter and a little olive oil then add in the garlic. Season a little with sea salt and pepper. Once translucent add in very roughly chopped mushrooms (5-6 large button mushrooms, but reserve some of the mushrooms to add in at a later stage). Cook down a little over a low heat (don’t burn your onions or garlic).

Then add in the beef mince. I used about 170 grams for two. Brown all over. Season the beef and veggie mixture with: paprika, a dash of cinnamon, and a dash of tabasco. Then stir in a heaped teaspoon of wow wow mustard (which is basically chili mustard). Add in your very very roughly chopped tomatoes (1 large tomato) and a big squeeze of tomato puree. Stir. Then pour in some good red wine. Don’t cook with anything you wouldn’t drink. I used a Californian cabernet (as that was what I had opened and was drinking). I just sort of poured for a few seconds – you don’t want to drown the meat and veggies but you also need to give them a good drink. Crumble in a veggie stock cube.

Then pour in boiling water (amount will depend on how long you plan to cook the sauce for). Add in the remaining mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and let it simmer away on a very low heat for as much time as you fancy. I let mine go for 1.5 hours and the result made me pretty damn happy! Finish the sauce with a little additional butter for gloss and taste.

Super simple recipe and when done grate a little parmesan on top of your pasta and bolognaise sauce. Enjoy x


Quick tip: tandoori scallops

Using pretty much the exact same yogurt marinade as I did for the tandoori prawns (previous post), I marinaded scallops and then grilled them. Tasted even better than the prawns because the slightly sweeter flesh of the scallop works really really well with the spices of the marinade. Super yummy and still so easy to cook!

Enjoy x