Sunday, 26 June 2011

Carrot Cake

Cinnamony, slightly sweetly acidic (thanks to the chunks of pineapple) and, of course, decked with swathes of carrot. That is how a carrot cake should be, and that is how this one is. This has got to be one of my favourite recipes. It comes from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
 - admittedly version from 1976, so I have no idea how it's changed. 

Carrot cake, for me, absolutely has to have mountains of freshly grated carrot in it - none of this 'I'm-a-slightly-spiced-with-two-measly-shards-of-carrot--in-the-whole-entire-cake-excuse-for-a-carrot-cake'. This is certainly a cake that evokes a myriad of childhood memories, namely of a period of obsession involving my dad making one of these babies every weekend possible in a bid to perfect it. He was also famed amongst the primary school mothers and Parent-Teacher Association for making the world's best carrot cake ever, and there wasn't a school fête that went by without a special request for it . You could say he was crowned the King of Carrot Cake. I intend to steal that crown from him. And might just be on my way to doing so.

I made this for yesterday to give to my friend Julia's  for her 18th birthday, and she just sent the loveliest thank you text. It read like this:
'My mum is so in love with your cake she thinks you should go on masterchef and open a patisserie. Seriously. It's the best carrot cake in my life, and I have tried quite a few. Then again you know of my love for your family's food. Yummy.'




Enough rambling. Here's the recipe.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F
Line a 9x9x2 inch tin, or an 8 or 9 inch springform cake tin.

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinammon (I always add in around 1 1/2 tsp, I think I've made it pretty clear I love mine really cinammony)
1/2 tsp salt

Sift all of these together into a large bowl

In a separate bowl, whisk together
2 large eggs
2/3 cup salad oil
1-2 tsp vanilla extract

Beat the wet ingredients into the dry (stir in gently to start with just to avoid an explosion)
Make sure everything is really well combined and don't worry if your batter looks, well, less like batter and more like a sticky, goopy, can't-decide-if-it's-cake-batter-or-cookie-dough mess. This will be sorted out by the addition of
1 very very generous cup of grated carrot (I find this normally takes 2 1/2 large carrots, 4 small ones)
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained

The moisture from these two ingredients will, I promise, turn it into quite a wet, bubbly mixture that promises to fill your house with the most beautifully spiced aroma, and later, your belly with an equally gloriously fluffy yet moist sponge. And not forgetting the swathe of slightly-orangey cream cheese frosting.
(I know, I know, more Nigella-esque descriptions, but they are certainly necessary here)

Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer stuck in the deepest part of the car comes out clean. Just to warn you though, the more carrot and pineapple you put in, the longer it will take.



Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so, then transfer to a cooling rack. Once completely cold, then slather in cream cheese frosting. This is from the same book as the cake, but I quite like the Hummingbird Icing too.

3 oz/ 85g cream cheese, room temperature
1 tbsp butter, also at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sifted icing sugar


Cream together the butter and cream cheese for a minute or two until light and fluffy. Then beat in the vanilla. Sift in the icing sugar in small additions, ensuring it's well combined so you don't end up with lumpy frosting. When this is done, I always like to grate in the zest of about half an orange, to give a very subtle zingy citrus kick. Slather over the top of your cake.

If you're making a layer cake, double the frosting and sandwich the two layers with about 1/3 of the icing.

In the words of the aforementioned pal of mine, 'yummy.'

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

In Search of THE ULTIMATE Chocolate Chip Cookie

I recently found an article entitled: Perfection? Hint: It's Warm and Has a Secret  on the New York Times website, but through someone else's blog (apologies, I can't for the life of me remember which one...). It's all about 'the quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie', and who am I to ignore a call to be part of just such a quest?


The main things I got from the article is that chilling cookie dough for 36 HOURS - yes, I know, a painfully long time - and using good quality chocolate of 60-80% cocoa solids gives the best chocolate chip cookies. Beautifully crisp and crunchy on the outside but deliciously soft on the inside, with hints of toffee.


I just baked a few after 24 hours of chilling, and there is only one word that can describe these 5-inch diameter babies: Heaven. 


Pure, absolute, unadulterated heaven. 


My parents will testify that I temporarily lost the ability to speak while eating my cookie straight from the oven. But I have to confess, I do feel mildly ill after consuming it so quickly. So worth it though.


I just used the Nestle Original Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, except I left out the nuts. By all means chuck in a cup of nuts if you like though.


2 1/4 cups flour
1tsp baking soda
1tsp salt
1 cup butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 packed cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (I always like to add a little extra though(
2 large eggs
2 cups (approx 350g) dark chocolate chips, chunks, fèves or slices.
First, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda into a small bowl. Set aside.
Cream the butter until very pale and fluffy, approx two minutes. 
Add in both sugars and cream until thoroughly incorporated and your mixture is light, and still fluffy. 
Then beat in the vanilla and eggs.
Add in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 stages, beating after each addition until the ingredients are just incorporated. 
Finally, stir in the chocolate. If using fèves be careful not to break them up.


Split the dough in half and wrap each segment in greaseproof/waxed/parchment paper. This is quite a soft and sticky dough so if you use clingfilm then lots of your mixture will stick to that, which means less for the cookies, and therefore less for you. Not ideal. 


Refrigerate the dough for 24-36 hours. I'll let you know how the cookies chilled for 36 hours are. (And I've just realised, that'll be breakfast time for me! Excellent.) The dough can be kept for up to 72 hours in the fridge, but if you can hold out baking them for that long I will be truly amazed.


Preheat your oven to 190C/375F
Line a baking / cookie tray with a piece of parchment paper.
Form large balls of cookie dough (about a heaped serving spoon will do nicely) and press down on them slightly.
Place each dough ball a good 4-5 inches apart as these cookies will spread out quite a lot and you probably don't want them to merge into one giant cookie. 


Bake for anywhere between 15-18 minutes. You're looking for them to have spread out really well, started going gloriously crispy and a deep caramel colour around the edge, but still soft and almost doughy on the inside. 


They may not look done when cooking time is up, but they will be. Don't forget they firm up once out of the oven. When you've removed them from the oven, leave on the cookie tray for 5-7minutes, then transfer to a wire rack for another ten. 


And then, as the NYT recipe says,


 Eat warm, with a big napkin.


So, to summarise. Tips to baking the ultimate chocolate chip cookies.


1) Chill for 24-36 hours!
2) Use good quality chocolate, 60% cocoa solids as an absolute minimum
3) A lot of bakers use a 40:60 ratio of chocolate to dough
4) Using fèves (or slices) instead of chips means that you end up with layers of dough and chocolate in every bite
5) Sprinkling a little salt on the cookies just before you bake them adds a "distinctive dimention" (to quote the NYT) to the cookies. Good quality Maldon sea salt or something similar is best here.
6) Finally, make your cookies LARGE. With a 5 or 6 inch diameter cookie you have the gorgeous crispy outside; a chewy, melting centre; and the delightful crossover between the two textures and tastes in the rest of the cookie.


These truly are to die for.


P.S. Sorry about the weird spacing and changes in colours. At the moment I don't have a clue why it's doing that, but I'll sort it as soon asap.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Ok, I know Father's Day was yesterday, but I didn't have time to write this one up. I also know this isn't strictly speaking a 'sweet thing' or 'baked good', but it does have a significant pastry component and is just I too good not to share. I don't think I need anymore justification.

My dad and I had a lovely day together, we went to the gym (I managed to forget my tracksuit bottoms though so ended up having to wait til I got home for my work out. Good job Zoë) and then spent the afternoon cooking up this delicious pastilla.

It's a Moroccan dish that my dad said he tried in Paris and is absolutely delicious. It's a chicken pie type thing with a hint of sugar and cinnamon that gives a divine sweetness that cuts through the savoury, but not overpoweringly so. This was one of the yummiest things we've made in a long long time.

There are quite a few stages so it does take quite a long time, but while various ingredients are cooking off you can potter about doing other things. It's also very relaxing to make.


We found the best looking recipe here, on 'Taste Bud Travels', but we used a little more filo pastry than called for and altered some of the spice specifications and cooking time a little.

The recipe says 'serves 4', but you could definitely get 5 servings out of it. You could even squeeze 6 small portions out of it.

NB: An 8-inch spring form cake tin is an absolute must for this.

2 oz flaked almonds
1 oz butter, plus extra to melt later
3 very finely chopped white onions (or 2 ginormous ones)
1 large garlic clove, finely crushed
1 inch piece of finely grated fresh ginger, or approx 1 1/4 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I put in about 3/4 tsp)
1/4-1/2 tsp turmeric
lots of salt and pepper to season
4 skinless chicken thighs
juice of 1/2 a lemon (we used the juice of 1 very small lemon)
2 tbsp caster sugar
4 lightly beaten eggs
handful of finely chopped coriander
handful of finely chopped parsley
6-8 sheets of filo pastry
icing sugar + extra cinnamon to dust




Firstly toast the almonds in a dry pan, being very careful to make sure they don't burn.
Melt the butter in a large, deep pan (God bless Le Creuset), and sweat the onions and garlic until they go all soft and almost caramely, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the pan.
Mix up all the spices, then stir into the onions with lots of seasoning. It'll turn the most gorgeous golden colour and the room will start smelling like a spice market.
Next, brown the skinless chicken pieces in this mixture. Pour over water to just cover the chicken.
Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer. Go do whatever you want for 30 minutes while the chicken poaches. After 1/2 an hour, stab one of the chicken pieces to see that it's deliciously succulent and tender and transfer to a separate plate with a slotted spoon (you want to keep all those lovely juices in the pan). If you think the chicken needs a few extra minutes then by all means leave it in. It really shouldn't take more than 35-40 minutes though.
Continue to simmer the onion and spice mix until it has reduced and thickened a little.
Meanwhile, shred the chicken. It should be tender enough to pretty much fall apart as you do so, therefore making it much easier to remove the bone than it would be if the chicken were raw.
Add the sugar and lemon juice to the oniony sauce you should now have. There's no harm in a little extra seasoning at this stage as well  if you think it needs it.
Pour the beaten eggs into this mixture, toss in the parsley and coriander. Stir continually for 4-5 minutes on a gentle heat, then remove from the heat. You should have a slightly odd looking scrambled eggs type mixture.

Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F

Melt a good hunk of butter in the microwave. Use a little to grease the springform tin, then butter a sheet of filo pastry. Line the tin with this sheet, ensuring that a good corner is hang over the side of the tin - you need enough pastry to fold over the top of the pie later. Butter another sheet of filo, and layer this at a 90 degree angle to the first sheet, then continue layering up to 6 sheets of pastry in this way.

Lay the shredded chicken in the bottom of this pastry case, then scatter over half of the almonds.
Pour over the egg mixture, followed by the rest of the almonds.
Butter another two sheet of filo, place one on top of the other and lay them over the filling. Try to tuck them down in between the filo case and the filling. Finally, fold the overhanging filo corners over the top of the pie to make a kind of parcel. Brush the top generously with more butter, particularly on the edges of the filo, to make them go as crispy and crunchy as possible.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, then remove the ring of the tin, and bake for another 5-10 to ensure that all the pastry is as crispy as possible.


Remove from the oven and over some icing sugar so that it looks like you have a dusting of snow. You could always sprinkle over some extra cinnamon too if you like. Slice up and serve with a fresh and crunchy green salad.

Simply delicious!

Friday, 17 June 2011

The Long-Winded Cupcake Method


This method of making cupcakes is certainly more time consuming than the chuck-it-all-in-and-beat-until-your-arm-drops-off way, but it does give your cupcakes the texture of clouds.

Beat the butter until it is fluffy and almost white, this takes about two minutes.
Beat in the sugar, keep mixing for about a minute.
Then beat in an egg at a time, with the vanilla, until nice and fluffy.

It should look something like this: 



Sift together your dry ingredients, whisk in about half of it, followed by a little milk. Repeat. 
Then split between your cake cases and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Leave for at least an hour.

Ice any which way you like and dive in!

I'd like to add that it's my current mission to work my way through London cupcake by cupcake - Ella's Bakehouse has been ticked off the list, Hummingbird is next. Any good London cupcake bakery suggestions are most welcome. Whoever suggests the best place will get a recipe of their choice tried, tested (maybe chopped and changed up a little bit) and written up on here. I don't know how much of an incentive that is, but at the moment I don't have anything for a give away so that's the best I can do.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Raspberry Swirl Icing

Cupcakes: simple, easy, fluffy, sweet. And most importantly? De-lish-ous.
Brace yourselves for a long one.




These are, I think, the first thing I ever learnt to bake, and my love affair with them is yet to hit any rocks. Vanilla, Chocolate, Lemon, Lemon and Poppyseed, Hazelnut, Coffee, Carrot, Red Velvet, Coconut, Peanut Butter. You name it, I've probably tried it.

I remember spending a lot of time with my dad being a pain in his backside, begging to lick the spatula or the beaters (or to just eat the batter in its entirety) at pretty much every stage of making the batter. I also used to complain bitterly if he didn't leave at least a two or three teaspoons worth of mix in the bowl for me to devour while the cakes were in the oven.

We always always use Nigella's cupcake recipe from 'How to Be a Domestic Goddess'. You're always guaranteed to get the most wonderful, light, moist cupcakes with this recipe. I always loved making the sticky, sickly sweet glacé icing that she calls for and making a thousand different colours - probably also turning the kitchen into a rainbow in its right. One day I even accidentally ended up with shades of greeny-blue, orange and purple that perfectly matched our fiesta ware! I'll put up pictures of those when I can scan them into the computer (our printer-photocopier-scanner combo had a hissy fit the other day and died).


I EVEN talked about cupcakes and baking for an English Speaking Board exam in year 6 / 5th grade. This was also just called an ESB, and involved speaking about one of your passions for a couple of minutes then answering a bunch of questions. The rest of the class, parents and teachers were the audience. It was enough to give any poor unsuspecting child a fear of public speaking for the rest of their lives! I bribed the examiner with cupcakes. I'm pretty sure it worked. No idea if anything like that still exists.

So, as you can see, cupcakes have been pretty much a constant obsession.
Back to the cake itself. Here's Nigella's recipe, but I always add a little more vanilla extract than she calls for. It's quite hard to have too much vanilla. Always always always make sure that you use good vanilla extract though, none of that vanilla flavour/essence stuff. Blegh. Or you could be super fancy and use the seeds from a vanilla pod. Your call.



Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
Put large cupcake or muffin cases in a 12-hole muffin tin (I know they're cupcakes, but these rise up a lot so you'll need the big cases)

125 g self-raising flour
125g sugar
125g butter, softened
2 large eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1-2 tbsp milk

Nigella's method, the simplest one, is to chuck everything except the milk in a bowl and beat the crap out of it. Be sure to sieve in the dry ingredients! Then, if your batter looks a little too thick, slowly add in as much milk as you think it needs to get the right consistency. There's no denying this method works beautifully.

Split the mixture between your cupcake cases. They shouldn't be any more than 2/3 - 3/4 full.


After 15 minutes, remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

While they're cooling, whip up the icing.

For this I use the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. It makes a beautifully fluffy, lusciously sweet frosting.


Cream 80g of softened butter until it's almost white.
Measure out 250 g icing sugar. Sieve in small amounts and beat until thoroughly combined. If you dump all the icing sugar in at once and turn the beaters on, or you'll end up with a snow-covered kitchen.
After a certain point the icing will get really thick and heavy, so just add a dash of milk to soften it up a little. Don't add any more than 25ml though or it'll be too liquid. Also, it doesn't call for any vanilla, but I always add about 1tsp for an extra dimension.
Once all your ingredients are well mixed, beat on high for a minute or two. Finally, swirl 3 or 4 tsp of raspberry jam (or crush in some real raspberries)  through the icing, and dollop on top of your cupcakes.

Alternatively, à la Nigella, stir together 250g icing sugar with as much water as you need to get a nice shiny, viscous paste. You can colour this however you like and drizzle 'gorgeously' (I gotta slip some of her vocab in somewhere...) over your cupcakes. If desired you can then finish with a few sprinkles or sugar flowers. Whatever floats your boat.

I would apologise for the length of this post, but the first cupcake addition to the blog was inevitably going to be a bit of an epic. I hope you enjoy making these babies as much as I do!

P.S. Please excuse any more elaborate than normal descriptions, I believe that's (what I'm going to call) the 'Nigella effect'.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Banana Walnut Bread

My favourite banana bread recipe is from the 'Better Homes and Gardens' New Cook Book. The flavours mesh together really well and there is nothing better than a slice fresh from the oven with a little butter scraped over it - a delicious breakfast treat! I have one in the oven at the moment and my my my does the house smell absolutely heavenly. It's also really simple, and a great way to use up any overripe bananas (a recurring problem in my household).

You can leave the nuts out if you like, but I think they add a really good depth of flavour.




Preheat the oven to 180C/350F
Line a 9x5x3 inch loaf tin

1/3 cup butter (the original recipe calls for shortening)
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups sifted self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 very very generous cup of mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup chopped up walnuts

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs.
Sift together the dry ingredients, and add to the egg mixture alternately with the mashed banana. 
Make sure everything is really well combined with each addition.
Toss in the nuts (if using) and stir





Bake for 45-50 minutes or until done. The more banana you put it, the longer it will take to cook. Not that this matters, it's best when it is really really banana-y.
Remove from the tin and transfer to a cooling rack asap after you take it out of the oven otherwise it'll keep cooking. This is generally quite a good thing to bear in mind when baking.




I know I said it's best for brekkie - or any other time of day for that matter - straight from the oven with a little butter, BUT if patience is your virtue, then store the bread overnight before cutting into it. This amplifies the banana-y-ness x100 so it tastes even better the next day! 

Monday, 13 June 2011

A Tribute to my American Roots (the first of many)

I have grown up on Peanut Butter. Until a few years ago, Skippy (obviously) was my go-to PB, but sadly British supermarkets don't stock it anymore, and even if they do, my goodness is it expensive. 


So now I live off of this stuff. It's not the same but its still pretty good.

 I found these today on cookiemadness.net and am going to play around with them a little more. I present to you 
No-Bake Grape Nut Peanut Butter Squares. These make very good snacks, and because of the fibre from the Grape Nuts and protein from the PB they're very guilt free! 


You'll find the original recipe here at www.cookiemadness.net/2011/06/no-bake-grape-nuts-peanut-butter-bars/ My changes are changing up the sugar types and quantities and adding in cinnamon. 




This is my version so far:

1/3 cup peanut butter, your choice which brand
1/3 cup golden syrup (white corn syrup in the States)
1/4 cup brown s
ugar (I mixed light and dark)
1 1/3 overflowing cups of Grape Nuts
Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with a loaf liner or baking parchment
In a medium sized microwave-safe bowl, mix together the peanut butter, golden syrup, sugar. Microwave on medium for one minute, stir thoroughly, then microwave for another minute. Pour in the cereal, stir to make sure everything is thoroughly combined, then tip it all into your lined pan. Press into a bar, let it cool (refrigeration speeds this up), then slice into 8 squares.


I've noticed that even just over the course of a couple of hours the peanut butteriness has developed considerably, and they don't taste as syrupy either.
And after being left over night in the fridge, the sickly sweetness from the syrup had almost entirely been replaced by a lovely peanuty crunch. Yum.


Enjoy!

Tropical Summer Pavlova with a secret ingredient

Pavlova has got to be one of my absolute favourite summer desserts. Meringue that's crunchy on the outside, but soft and gooey on the inside, with whipped cream and mountains of beautiful fruit. One of the great things about pavlova is that you can adapt it according to whatever fruit is in season - apple and blackberry in the autumn; strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in the summer (the latter is perfect for any 4th July celebration!)


At the end of April one of my very good friends had a pre-exams / end of Easter holidays BBQ, so I of course jumped at the chance to provide dessert. This is not just any old pavlova, this was possibly one of the best ones I have ever made.


Doesn't she look beautiful?


Without boasting too much, my friends have said that I do make perfect meringues, 'the best ever' according to one. Hopefully now you can too!
Here's my recipe:


Meringue:


5 egg whites
8 oz golden caster sugar
2 oz light brown sugar
1tsp cream of tartar


Generally speaking, a good ratio of egg white to sugar is 2 oz of sugar per egg white. Substituting a little brown sugar for the white gives the meringue an extra, slightly caramely depth of flavour.


Preheat the oven to 150C/300F
Line a large baking tray with a piece of baking parchment. I always find it helpful to draw around a large plate to get a good circle template to shape my pavlova.


Beat the egg whites at quite a high speed until they form soft peaks. Tilt and move the bowl around if it helps.
Then beat in the cream of tartar (this will make the egg whites nice and shiny and more likely to hold their shape)
Slowly add the sugar, beating continuously until you have stiff peaks. 


Note: It's crucial that you add the sugar to the side of the bowl as you beat it in - you don't want to knock all of that lovely air out of the egg whites.
Also make sure that your bowl and beaters are free of any water as even the tiniest drop can stop your egg whites from frothing up the way you want them to.


Turn your meringue mixture out onto the baking parchment. So that I don't have to spread it too much I tend to dollop big spoonfuls around the edge of the circle, then dump the rest in the centre and smooth it out slightly so that the edge are higher than the centre and you get a kind of giant meringue nest. (I hope that makes sense, I'll post a picture the next time I make a pavlova).


Bake in the middle of the oven for a good two hours. The first attempt at making this pavlova was a disaster. I was convinced it was done after one hour as the top had already gone all crispy and, as I didn't want it to burn, I took it out of the oven. As soon as I tried to transfer it to the cooling rack it fell apart completely and turned into a sticky mess, sadly not even fit to make Eton Mess. 


Once your pavlova has completely cooled, you can make a start on the topping. My dad regularly helps out with cooking for local party functions, and learnt from one of the other women who helps out too that the most delicious pavlova filling uses part double cream, part Greek yoghurt. Now, I'm not a huge fan of whipped cream, so this addition sorta made me jump for joy. The yoghurt makes it slightly healthier too, a winner all round then! 


For the topping:


500ml double cream (I believe Americans call this heavy cream?)
300ml Greek yoghurt


Whip up your double cream until it has thickened to form soft peaks, then gently fold in the Greek yoghurt. Slather over the top of your pavlova.


You can alter the ratios of cream to yoghurt according to your taste, there's no strict rules.


 Now you can start adding fruit!


The pavlova above has
1 large mango (if in season a few Alphonso mangos would be just divine)
4 passion fruit
Pomegranate seeds
Zest and juice of one lime
A few sprigs of mint


Cube up the mango any which way you desire and pile high on pavlova and cream/yoghurt base. Scrape out the passion fruit and drizzle around the outside of the mango (hopefully you can see how I did it in the picture). Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over the top, then lime zest. Squeeze over the juice of a lime for an extra kick, then top with a few sprigs of mint.


And voila, you should have the most beautiful summer pavlova. This certainly wowed all my friends, and after a moment of 'but it looks too pretty to eat!' they all dove in with relish. We got about 12 servings out of this one, but some of the end ones were pretty mean. 


Enjoy! 

New Start

A little bit about myself, I'm an 18 year-old student living in the UK, and in all my efforts to avoid the 'slings and arrows' of 'Hamlet' and 'The Revenger's Tragedy' and other exam prep, I have decided to finally get on and post something on here. I seem to have had this blog going for a very long time, but have really only just made up my mind as to exactly what I want it to be about. My favourite thing on this Earth...


Baking! 


Baking is my go-to activity when I'm happy, sad, bored, stressed, chilled out, emotional, calm, in an experimental mood or just in need of something yummy. This seems like a much more entertaining way to channel things and I'd love to share some of my favourite recipes with all you lovely people out there. I regularly host full-blown 3-course dinner parties for friends, generally speaking make something to take with me to a friend's house if they're having people over. And, as I am too broke to buy all of my friends birthday presents (especially in March, what is it with so many people being March babies!?) I always always always make them something edible. 


This is my first shot at food blogging so I really hope you enjoy the recipes I post. I will post something as often as possible, and with a few pretty pictures too. Please feel free to leave comments, questions or suggestions :)


Take care,
Zoe